Technological Advances Impacting PA

Despite the fact that many people believe that Public Address is strictly verbal communication to a given audience, the internet has provided a new medium by which to discover the rhetorical situation. The internet, and its many facets, has provided an opportunity to change the concepts of audience, by broadening it, and constraints, by taking away face-to-face interaction.

For example, Wikipedia has recently added a new section on the top of each entry in which members of the corporation are asking for donations. See link below:

Because wikipedia is a global website, by choosing to address their public on the website, they are reaching a global audience. Instead of inviting a specific group of people to some sort of fundraiser event, they have chosen to make all wiki-users their target audience. The rhetorical situation of a global website, allows for this to happen. In addition to the new form of audience, there are new constraints that come along with the new situation. A major constraint in reaching a global audience is learning how to effectively communicate with individuals from multiple cultures and multiple languages. Although you are reaching more people, how do you effectively establish an ethos without face-to-face communication? Although the internet has been around for awhile now, the exigency in the situation is more recently being discovered. This discovery has important implications about the way we study public address, implying new forms of audience, constraints and exigency. With technological advances, the rhetorical situation is changing. As students of public address, we should ask ourselves how these advances change our perception of public address.

Carly Huber


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