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1. Lack of an intervening or mediating agency; unmediatedness; directness. Face-to-face interaction is often phonocentrically framed as unmediated (see also presence; social presence). However, many theorists argue that communication and reality are never unmediated: see also mediation.

2. A phenomenal quality attributed to any medium that seems to achieve transparency by backgrounding the presence of the medium and the process of mediation: for example, photography. Bolter and Richard Grusin, American new media theorists, argue that it is always represented as a first-person point of view. See also remediation; compare hypermedia.

3. (journalism) A key news value: reporting events ‘as they happen’; often seen as a strength of live broadcasting, it tends to operate against contextualization.

4. A lack of systemic delay in a particular form of interpersonal communication, offering the potential for immediate feedback: see also real-time; synchronous communication.

5. A quality reflected in specific verbal and nonverbal behaviour (e.g. proximity, open postures, postural orientation, eye contact, affectionate touch, positive facial expressions, warm vocal tones) from which liking, warmth, involvement, and relational closeness may be inferred. A measure of psychological distance.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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