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I can't see where "that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast" is connected in the sentence below.

However, it is precisely because, in an everyday sense, the Internet is seen as a tool, or as a vessel/conduit ‘highway’ (see the discussion below of Meyrowitz’s three metaphors of media), rather than an environment, that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast. An appreciation of how the Internet might be a medium-as-environment is less common in an everyday sense.

Source: Communication Theory; Media, Technology and Society belonging to David Holmes

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    What is your thinking on this? Specifically, what do you believe is the antecedent of the word "it" in your phrase of interest? – Jason Patterson Feb 23 '15 at 4:15
  • @BladorthinTheGrey I rolled back your edit because I think the edited title changes the question. It may be closer to the original if you didn't use the word "context" (but wrote something like "How does this clause fit in this sentence?" instead). Hope you don't mind. – Damkerng T. Oct 16 '16 at 17:44
  • “Broadcast” here means “broadcasting”. You will find the word “broadcasting” more common in general usage, and the word form “broadcast” more common in this type of technical writing. – whiskeychief Apr 16 at 11:08
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Everything between "tool" and "that" is parenthetical. "In an everyday sense" is also parenthetical. So leaving those out we get:

However, it is precisely because the Internet is seen as a tool that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast.

Now, I have no idea what the speaker means by suggesting that the Internet is more seen as a medium than broadcast is seen as a medium, but that is what he's saying.

  • Thanks for your concern, it really seemed to me grammatically wrong either or it does not make any sense – mediacademic Feb 24 '15 at 0:10
  • It is not grammatically wrong. – Lambie Oct 16 '16 at 22:00
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TL;DR

Here is the meaning of the sentence: "Broadcast is seen as a medium. Yet the Internet is seen even more so, and that is because the Internet is not just an environment, it's also a tool or a highway."

You can read:
"that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast" as:
"that the Internet is seen as a medium, and it's seen so much more than broadcast is seen so".


The following is step-by-step transformations showing that the sentence is grammatical.

(By reading these steps carefully, you can understand the meaning of "that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast" and the structure of the sentence. It's a bit tedious, but I hope that you'll be able to apply the idea to other long and complicated sentences you may find in your reading.)

Eliminated less-important parts:

However, it is precisely because, in an everyday sense, the Internet is seen as a tool, or as a vessel/conduit ‘highway’ (see the discussion below of Meyrowitz’s three metaphors of media), rather than an environment, that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast.

Replaced noun-phrases with symbols.

It is precisely because the Internet is seen as T or as H rather than E,
that it is seen as M much more so than is B.

Decomposed the clauses:

1a) The Internet is seen as M much more so than is B.
1b) It's so (1a), precisely because the Internet is seen as T or as H rather than E.

Unwound 1a):

2a) The Internet is seen as M. -- It's so (i.e., seen as M) much more than B is so.
2b) It's so (2a), precisely because the Internet is seen as T or as H rather than E.

Unwound information:

3a) The Internet is seen as a tool (T) or a highway (H) rather than an environment (E).
3b) (implied) Both broadcast and the Internet are seen as a medium (M).
3c) It's precisely because of (3a) that...
3d) The Internet is seen as a medium much more than broadcast is seen as a medium.

And that's all about it (about the structure of the sentence)!

The rest is to find out what the keywords (broadcast, medium, environment*) mean in this context, in order to understand the meaning of the sentence completely.

Here are the key important ideas:

  • Broadcast (or broadcasting) - the distribution of audio/video content to the audience via mass communication medium. TV is the representative of the "broadcast" medium.

  • Medium (in the context of "media studies") - A medium is anything that mediates our interaction with the world or other humans.

  • Environment (in the context of "media ecology") - the media of communication that is surrounding us. "The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people." (Wikipedia)

With the understanding of the keywords and the structure of the sentence, I hope that you can understand the structure and the meaning of the sentence. Here is my paraphrase of the sentence:

"Broadcast is seen as a medium. Yet the Internet is seen even more so, and that is because the Internet is not just an environment, it's also a tool or a highway."

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Re this sentence: However, it is precisely because, in an everyday sense, the Internet is seen as a tool, or as a vessel/conduit ‘highway’ (see the discussion below of Meyrowitz’s three metaphors of media), rather than an environment, that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast.

The sentence above comes from part of the book that is entitled: Broadcast communication in the context of network communication. Broadcast means to send out a message over the airwaves (television or radio) and specifically in the US, it meant television broadcasting (as opposed to cable TV which is not broadcast, it is sent through a cable not over the airwaves).

Structure of the sentence:

However, it is precisely because, in an everyday sense, the Internet is seen as 1) a tool, 2) or as a vessel/conduit ‘highway’, rather than an environment, 3) that it is seen as a medium much more so than is broadcast [television].

I removed the parenthesis as that has nothing to do with the structure. In other words, the internet is seen much more as a medium than broadcast television is seen as a medium.

  • I don't really mind your -1 on my answer, (I think it's quite likely that it's yours. In case it's not yours, I'm sorry) because anyone can have their own opinion. But in the case you missed the point of the OP, here's an important part of the title of this question: "How can I understand the structure of this sentence?" – Damkerng T. Oct 16 '16 at 17:29
  • I have now clarified the structure of the sentence. – Lambie Oct 16 '16 at 19:51
  • @DamkerngT. the question title was created by you, not by the OP – Mari-Lou A Oct 16 '16 at 20:30
  • @Mari-LouA Oh, you're right. It was back in our title/tag cleanup event. Now I wonder if I understand the OP's "connect" correctly. (And maybe I should've left this question alone.) -- Ah, I just noticed the OP's comment under CodeSwitcher's answer! I think that was why I edited the title that way. – Damkerng T. Oct 16 '16 at 21:12

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