Media ecology – Definition

Media ecology involves the study of information environments. According to the Media Ecology Association, media ecology can be defined as “the study of the complex set of relationships or interrelationships among symbols, media and culture.”

In 1977, Marshall McLuhan said that media ecology “means arranging various media to help each other so they won’t cancel each other out, to buttress one medium with another. You might say, for example, that radio is a bigger help to literacy than television, but television might be a very wonderful aid to teaching languages. And so you can do some things on some media that you cannot do on others. And, therefore, if you watch the whole field, you can prevent this waste that comes by one canceling the other out.” (Source: Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews, by Marshall McLuhan, edited by Stephanie McLuhan and David Staines, Foreword by Tom Wolfe. MIT Press, 2004)

In 1971, Neil Postman founded the Program in Media Ecology at the Steinhardt School of Education of New York University.