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Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s 1970 essay Constituents of a Theory of the Media outlined seven characteristics for what would constitute emanicipatory media.

  1. Decentralized program
  2. Each receiver a potential transmitter
  3. Mobilization of the masses
  4. Collective production
  5. Interaction of those involved, feedback
  6. Social control by self-organization
  7. A political learning process

New media scholars and students often debate wether or not digital media, including the Internet fullfill these criteria. Enzensberger is seen as a classic Marxist thinker, who sought a socialist system of media. He also described the convergence of media in pre-digital eras, predicting that this would become a dominant trend within media.


"With the develpoment of the electronic media, the industry that shapes consciousness has become the pacemaker for the social and economic development of societies in the late industrial age. It infiltrates into all other sectors of production, takes over more and more directional and control functions, and determines the standard of the prevailing technology.
In lieu of normative definitions, here is an incomplete list of new developments which have emerged in the last twenty years: news satellites, color television, cable relay television, cassettes, videotape, videotape recorders, video-phones, stereophony, laser techniques, electrostatic reproduction processes, electronic high-speed printing, composing and learning machines, microfiches with electronic access, printing by radio, time-sharing computers, data banks. All these new forms of media are constantly forming new connections both with each other and with older media like printing, radio, film, television, telephone, teletype, radar, and so on. They are clearly coming together to form a universal system."


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