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The Only Constant is ChangeTechnology, Political Communication, and Innovation Over Time$
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Ben Epstein

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

The Technological Imperative

The Technological Imperative

How and When New Communication Technology Becomes Politically Viable

(p.49) 3 The Technological Imperative
The Only Constant is Change

Ben Epstein

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 is the second chapter dedicated to the technological imperative stage of the political communication cycle (PCC). It focuses on the technological component of political communication revolutions (PCRs) and addresses how the cost, rate of diffusion, and perceived benefits of each new information and communication technology (ICT) affects its political utility. In other words, chapter 3 evaluates how new ICTs become politically viable. A politically viable ICT does not enter American politics without active choices made on the part of political actors who try to use these new tools in innovative ways. All widely diffused ICTs do not share wide-scale political utility. As a result, some ICTs—like mass-marketed newspapers, radio, television, and the internet—have had a major impact on communication practices broadly and political communication innovations specifically, while others like the telephone and telegraph have transformed social communication but not political communication.

Keywords:   information and communications technologies, political viability, diffusion of innovations, newspapers, radio, television, telephone, telegraph, internet, S-curve

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