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Compass Newsletter Masthead
   Volume IV, Issue 2
November 2007   

“How technology is changing communication”

In his Oct. 23 talk as part of the Scholarship @ Villanova series, Dr. Leonard Shyles emphasized how technology has brought about decentralization and democratization of media as a result of the transition from analog to digital platforms. Dr. Shyles, an associate professor in communication, who has taught at Villanova University since 1989, recently published The Art of Video Production (Sage, 2007).

Addressing the broader view of contemporary media, especially television, Dr. Shyles pointed out how fact can be separated from lies and "the plausible from the preposterous" by using one’s own knowledge base, determining the credibility of the source and relying on corroboration from more than one source.

Dr. Shyles noted that he wrote his latest book “to repair the world,” a translation of Tikkun Olam, a core Jewish belief that it is everyone’s responsibility to heal or improve the world. While Dr. Shyles was writing the book over a period of 18 months, a new improved Apple Corporation product, Final Cut Pro, appeared, which then required some more revision of his text.

Relating his publication experience, Dr. Shyles convinced his publisher's marketing staff that his book was better and cheaper than his competitors'. The book's images were selected to emphasize certain techniques. The videos accompanying his talk, one on a local bike manufacturer and the other on a local piano teacher, demonstrated that videos can portray the good and the useful.

In the concluding question and answer period, Dr. Shyles asked audience members about their personal response to the changes in media technology. One audience member replied that he does not have a landline phone nor a television but uses the Internet to keep up with the news.

Contributed by Jacqueline Mirabile; photograph by Natalie Tomasco