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The term "mediascape", coined by Arjun Appadurai (1990), refers to the electronic and print media in "global cultural flows". For Appadurai, mediascape indexes the electronic capabilities of production and dissemination, as well as "the images of the world created by these media".
Such imagery comes from books, magazines, television, cinema, and, above all, advertising that can directly impact the landscape (in the form of posters and billboards) and also subtly influence, through persuasive techniques and an increasingly pervasive presence, the way that people perceive reality.
The word mediascape also describes visual culture. For example "the American mediascape is becoming increasingly partisan" or simply to denote "what's on" as in "a quick survey of the British mediascape shows how much Channel 4 has lost its way".
The term Mediascape was first used in trade by the U.S. company Mediascape Corporation, formed in 1992, for the purpose of delivering rich media through the Internet and Web. Mediascape is the U.S. owner of the Federal trademark for use of that mark in relation to multimedia products in commerce.
Mediascape is also used as a generic term to describe a digital media artifact where items of digital media are associated with regions in space and can then be triggered by the location of the person experiencing the media. Thus in a mediascape a person may walk around an area and as they do so they will hear digitally stored sounds associated with different places in that area.
- (Appadurai 1990, p. 9)