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Gutenberg or Zuckerberg? Which person’s invention has been the most important to mass communication?

That’s the question mass communication students were asked to answer today, and here are some of their thoughts:

“Although both ‘Bergs’ have become notable figures for contributing to mass media, Gutenberg’s invention has been more important to mass communication. Gutenberg is one of the founders of mass communication. By inventing the typemold, he inspired more individuals to write. He reduced the amount of labor involved in writing. While Zuckerberg has invented one of the best forms of communication for his time, his work may not have existed if it had not been for the original Berg. There would not be a Zuckerberg without help from the great contributors of the past, such as Gutenberg.” – Andranita Williams

“Zuckerberg’s invention has been more important to today’s mass communication because Zuckerberg found a successful way to let people communicate daily through the use of social media. Although Gutenberg actually started it all, it was Zuckerberg who really changed the landscape of our modern day media.” – Christopher Winford II

“The growth of mass communication has significantly evolved over the past 600 years. With Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, he made it possible for writers and printers to make copies of papers without having to use one’s own hand to write each letter. Fast-forward nearly 600 years. Because of Gutenberg’s invention, we have shortened that even more, so that we can mass produce books in minutes. I believe Johannes Gutenberg has been the most important to mass communication. Even though Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook has been a significant part of every social media user worldwide, I think Gutenberg’s invention has shaped our culture more.” – Abby Ray Vance

“Zuckerberg’s invention was the most important to mass communication because it is a social media tool that is used globally, and has multiple categories and features. It allows for immediate and direct communication across the world.” – Morgan Taylor

“Zuckerberg has been more influential. He opened up a new platform of social media … I can’t imagine living in a world without social media. It’s how we stay connected with people long distance, how we have all the information in the world at our fingertips. The invention of Facebook led to the world that we all know and love/hate today.” – Ashton Rawls

Gutenberg to Zuckerberg is like trying to compare the sun to the moon. Both are completely necessary to our world’s history of communication. Obviously Zuckerberg wouldn’t be anybody without Gutenberg, but you can’t honestly say one has less value. Both were innovators, geniuses really. Gutenberg invented the way we immortalize information in a world that knew oral tradition and prolonged the writing of manuscripts. Zuckerberg invented the way we immortalize information within our world today, which is based upon the Internet. They are both major key players.” – Reagan Pepper

“Johannes Gutenberg’s development of the first practical printing press, as well as movable type is one of the most important innovations for mass communication, if not the most important. To compare Gutenberg and Zuckerberg is slightly unfair due to the state of mass communication in the current day vs. Gutenberg’s time. If I had to choose which invention revolutionized mass communication more, it would be Gutenberg’s. Had it not been for him, mass communication would be nothing like it presently is.” – Rex Ravita II.

“Gutenberg’s invention brought forth new levels of communication and accessibility in what had been a dark period for Europe. Without Gutenberg, we can’t say for certain whether we would have entered the enlightenment – a crucial age – or not. It was also impactful that it made spoken Latin less common.” – Brantley Meaders

“Mark Zuckerberg’s invention was more important to our mass communication because he has connected us in a new, faster and more efficient way by connecting us through technology.” – Madison McGrath

“I believe Gutenberg’s invention was more remarkable for several reasons. Gutenberg’s development of the printing press was groundbreaking, especially when you consider the time period. It was the first of many. It signaled mass communication and changed everything. Without Gutenberg, there would be no Zuckerberg. Facebook is one of many social media outlets, and it is not the first. Gutenberg’s impact will forever be felt. You can’t be so sure about Facebook’s. Years from now, people might not know what it is. Also, Gutenberg produced 120 editions of the Bible, and 46 of them still remain. Zuckerberg only produced a site where people socialize. Although Facebook is popular now, it will never have the lasting effect of the printing press on mass communication.” – Jyesha Johnson

“Facebook has changed the means of mass communication, but Gutenberg’s development of the typemold and printing press signaled the invention of mass communication and massive cultural changes. Many attribute the Protestant Reformation to Gutenberg because of how easily ideas could be spread through books. Another thing to consider is that books are still being printed and used today, even with all the internet has to offer, because books just mean so much more. Facebook has only been around a few years, and it has changed our means of mass communication, but I think Gutenberg’s invention was the most important.” – Brandon Hancock

“Gutenberg has contributed more to media, as he single-handedly changed how the world works. He made books, such as the Bible, available for more people. Zuckerberg is obviously important, but the internet was already around when he began. Social media was already largely taking off, but he did revolutionize the industry. I would compare the printing press with internet, and seeing as Zuckerberg didn’t invent the internet, I am inclined to say that Gutenberg wins.” – Christian Johnson

“I think Gutenberg’s printing press was far more important to mass communication than Zuckerberg’s invention of Facebook. The printing press invention allowed the growth of a majority literate society, and it allowed people to gather and distribute information more efficiently and effectively, for example in newspapers and pamphlets. If Gutenberg had never invented the printing press, we could very well still be a mostly illiterate society, and Zuckerberg wouldn’t have been able to invent Facebook. I think Facebook is a disease of mass communication because it allows for the distribution of highly inaccurate and non-fact-based information passed off as fully factual articles.” – Mary Elizabeth High

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