The media is a powerful instrument for the containing of man's understanding. That is, the media can be seen as a channel of information the contents of which the media itself largely decides. What we should know, papers and TV etc decide.
Yet there is a widely held feeling that media should somehow be open, democratic, objective, all-encompassing so that man can be at the centre of the relationship between information, knowledge, understanding, and meaning.
This last argument suggests that media should have a point beyond its own conditions of self-reproduction or profit, namely human goals. Media, it could be suggested should play its part in helping man to progressively come to understand himself in the context of the flux of his world. Thus good knowledge and understanding will provide part of a foundation for self-reproduction in relation to others doing the same so as to build an intelligent, human community which is literate and critical in regard of social, political, economic and cultural forms of society. For these are the forms of life in which man realises himself as a fulfilling human being.
My argument here is that contrary to the view that sees the media in terms of routines, power internal to the media industries, and self-interested reproduction of the same;
…media can be seen to have a humanistic purpose - a role in the unfolding of the answer to the question that has be-devilled man since he was aware of himelf - what is the meaning of life.
In the 20th C. there is one man who has become noted for his attempt to place the media in the context of the unfolding of human life, and that is Marshall McLuhan....
Media and the Meaning of Life.
McLuhan against: Media as the reproductive aspects of the internal meaning of the media industries.
McLuhan against seeing Media as constraining - it selects what we should, and writes it up according to the norms of the particular medium.
What about media's role in democracy?
What about media's role in the project of human BEING?
A HUMANISTIC prupose and goal for the media?
Welcome to Marshall McLuhan....
His history of Media and the Six Ages.
His scepticism and optimism
Extending Man's Senses.
The Medium is the Message
Media Hot and Cool
The Global Village.