Evolution of the media: map of a discipline under construction. A review


  • Carlos A. Scolari Universitat Pompeu Fabra



Palabras clave:

Media, Communication, Technology, Evolution, Ecology, Intermediality, Communication theories, Medium Theory, Media evolution, media archeology, McLuhan, Review article


The vertiginous explosion of new forms and experiences of communication that have emerged in the last 30 years cannot be compared with other moments in the history of humanity. The rapid transformation of the media ecosystem and the technological sphere in general is putting old scientific theories and models to the test. The very idea of “ecosystem” or widely used concepts such as “emergence” (of new media) or “adaptation” or even “extinction” (of old media), albeit metaphorically, point in the same direction: the development of an evolutionary theory of media change. This review article aims to map the different approaches and contributions that come together in an evolutionary theory of the media, understood for all purposes as a transdisciplinary work-in-progress. The article opens with a reflection on the processes of theoretical construction, continues with a map of Media Ecology –a “field of inquiry” inspired by the works of Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman– and concludes this first approach with the authors who worked on the evolutionary dimension of media change. It could be said that the evolutionary theory of the media already exists, but it is scattered in countless texts and investigations waiting to be articulated. The article concludes with a first identikit of the Evolution of the Media, understood as a theoretical field under construction but more than necessary to understand the past and contemporary transformations of the media ecosystem.


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Cómo citar

Scolari, C. A. (2022). Evolution of the media: map of a discipline under construction. A review. Profesional De La Información, 31(2). https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2022.mar.17



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