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Marshal McLuhan is considered to be the greatest philosophers in communication theories in the 20th century. His contribution to the field of communication is contemplated to be the milestone in communication media and has been inspired in many of them.

medium theory

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Marshal McLuhan is known for his statement “the medium is the message” as he believes that how the media modifies or disrupts the message when it is conveyed. He stressed about modifying and developing of the views and senses due to altering channels of communication.

He was deeply influenced by the works of Harold Innis who provided an insight on how media influenced the social lives. He stated that the media played a major part in the development of human society and is depended on how the information is been transferred among the people. Other scholars who worked on this topic were Joshua Meyrowitz  and Neil Postman.


Throughout the history, the communication is a phenomenon which is highly imperative for the development of a society. In fact the researchers believe that the content as well as the medium that it is been interpreted also plays a vital part in dissemination of information.

During ancient eons where hard stone carvings replaced books the communication dissemination was very slow and tough. Only the few of the people in a society knew how to read and the others were mere listeners. There were many social and psychological impacts due to these events and the researches consider this as the evolution of the basic social structure of the society.

As time passed and communication mediums developed people started to envisage and take their own decisions rather than being a meagre listener. It is found that this helped the society to develop faster and today due to internet and other facilities, the information could be conveyed promptly.

As we encounter the world through these Medias and so the researches find it significant to scrutinize not only the message disseminated but also across which media it is been transmitted.

Medium Theory

Medium theory is a set of approaches used to convey the difference in meanings of the message conveyed with regarding to the different channels used to communicate it. The core assumption is that the media as we consider is not just a channel were the communication takes place but they are diverse set of setting or environment that enable the communication to happen and it may vary the meaning and sense of the information that it is been transferred.

Here the features of each media are being taken into consideration and how they differ discretely. By understanding features of these Medias (which can be classified into audio, video and print) the researchers will be able to examine the efficiency of communication through these mediums and also to compare it while communicating interpersonally.

We can observe the influence of media on our society in many ways since the beginning of using media in disseminating information. Initially the usage of media was very limited due to lack of knowledge and information but now, common man can read and access to any kind of information which he desires from the wide array of media.

It has helped in the development as well as the democratization among people. New media enables people to access and to share information around the world and has reduced the gap in communication.


The theory explains how a media is influenced in propagating information physically and psychologically. So it can be useful in comprehending about various Medias and how each media can be beneficial in distributing information.

Like the saying” a picture can convey 1000 words” not every message has to be expressed through words or pictures, through proper analysis and application of this theory relevant media can be designated and can be used appropriately.


Students of Oakland high school were divided into two groups and each of these groups was exposed to a set of activities related to their syllabus. Batch A was given books on the topic and were asked to prepare for the test. And batch B were exposed to video on the same topic.

When the test results came out batch B displayed better marks than batch A. This proved that the student found the moving images more effective in recollecting than words. The difference in Medias thus creates lot of differences both physically and psychologically.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Khaled Alyani January 15, 2020, 8:34 pm

    Great job. Thank you

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