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Riepl's law is a hypothesis formulated by Wolfgang Riepl in 1913. It is frequently cited in discussions about newly emerging forms of media in the scientific community in German-speaking countries.
Riepl, the chief editor of Nuremberg's biggest newspaper at the time, stated in his dissertation about ancient modes of news communications (original title: "Das Nachrichtenwesen des Altertums mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Römer") that new, further developed types of media never replace the existing modes of media and their usage patterns. Instead, a convergence takes place in their field, leading to a different way and field of use for these older forms.
This hypothesis is still considered to be relevant, explaining the fact that new media never make the "old" media disappear.
- Riepl, Wolfgang (1913). "Das Nachrichtenwesen des Altertums mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Römer", Leipzig: Teubner.