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Sara Ashy

The Christian Gypsy

Wanted: The Media We Need

My media choices better inform me, however I am also guilty for choosing to not find important information through news stations or sources that focus on such topics. I used to watch the morning news every day before going to school but after a few months of doing this routine I realized that the news stations only focused on disasters and bad politics within Canada and the rest of the world. The benefits I found from watching the news each morning were fractional compared to how the morning news set the tone for my day. Like kirbychan.88 expresses, “Audiences do not have any choice to see or get what is shown on their television.” (http://kirbychan88.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/the-media-we-want/). I think that because I was seeing too much negativity at once from news stations that it became overwhelming and started effecting me negatively. Once I turned the television off for good, I found my optimism and positive attitude started to grow, even if I was living in ignorance to the things happening in the world around me.

But have no fear! I was still curious in learning about things happening around the world, like LP10GL says “Even if it happens to be some sort of disaster…it’s all appealing when you are trying to simply become more knowledgeable about the world you’re living in.” (http://lp10gl.wordpress.com/). I still wanted to be learning about things happening in the world, so I found my sources for topics relating to social, political, cultural and economic issues by other means.

 Social media and the internet have become great tools to become informed, because social media and news media have blended together. It’s nearly impossible to separate the two types of media; with that said I believe I find newsworthy stories regarding social, political, cultural and economic matters through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and newly WordPress. Since sites like Facebook allow a person post freely, when a big worldly issue arises that catches attention of the popular audience these issues appear on Facebook in response to others thoughts and opinions. Not only do I hear about news stories via Facebook, but I also hear the opinions of everyone responding to the issue because social media “…encourages a spark within us to do, or say more.” (http://lp10gl.wordpress.com/), which helps me formulate my own opinion and expand my knowledge on such a situation.  

The power of social media and how it’s evolving to include news media makes it more accessible for people to become connected and informed about social, political, cultural, and economic matters.  In my case, social media has allowed me to become selectively informed about such issues around the world. I know that I am not always getting the ‘full picture’ like watching a news station would, but it keeps me in a more positive state and allows me to strengthen my opinions by simply logging onto Facebook. 

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Do We Get the Media We Want or Want the Media We Get?

When I was approached with this question, I was utterly confused. I was confused because I thought that both questions meant the same thing. It took long and hard thinking before I realized that getting the media we want or wanting the media we get are completely different ideas. To break down the question, I referred to chapter 3 of the text and thought ‘do I believe that media reflects or affects the world?’ and then I questioned ‘what type of media are we talking about?’. To narrow down the possibilities of my discussion I am exploring social media and how it reflects and affects the world. We want the media we get!

We not only want the media we get, but we are addicted to it. Social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube have over 1 Billion users, and I can assure you that they aren’t being forced to use them. “The media construct(s) and shape(s) our actions, our sense of who we are, our daily and annual routines” (pg. 44). Every morning when I wake up I check Facebook, Instagram, and occasionally Pinterest and Twitter before even getting out of bed! This is a daily routine I do by choice, and have been doing ever since I got my smartphone more than a year ago. Not only do I check my social medias in the morning, but I am constantly checking throughout the day when I have time or when I lose interest in something (sometimes in lecture, oops!). I know I am not alone in my social media habits, and it just goes to show how much we want the media we receive and how heavily if affects our daily lives.

So how does social media reflect the world and reflect me? When I post a photo or status on Facebook, I am projecting it to all my Facebook friends which subconsciously shows my personality and thoughts to everyone I know. What’s great about Facebook is that I only post things I want to show, giving me power over my social media. Who doesn’t want to feel in control of our media? This only makes us want the media we get more, because it’s usually positive feedback. “Media producers, texts, and audiences are all part of the social whole; they are not separate entities” (pg. 59). Basically, the people that design social media networks are real people too and they understand what the world wants because they are also a part of it. The creator of Facebook was a university student that had a great idea with the intent of connecting people around the world. He came up with the idea because he thought people would like it, and in return use it.

Understanding how social media affects and reflects me makes it easier to understand why I want the media I get. Do you check in on these social networks and want the media you get as well?

Text: Media and Society

Fifth Edition

Michael O’Shaughnessy

Jane Stadler

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1F25 Blog Response # 1: Media Impact on Others

Reading over my first blog and exploring other student’s blogs from the CPCF class, I have found a large variety, but general consensus on the topic relating to mass media and the impact it has on our lives. It has been agreed upon by my classmates that media heavily influences our worldviews as a mass audience. I found a few blogs I strongly agreed with, and others not so much.  But mostly, after reading the blogs of others I have reinforced my own viewpoints and critically thought more about my own conflicts relating to the effects of mass media.

I found the most interesting blogs were the ones I didn’t agree with, which allowed me to consider other viewpoints. In particular, Abbey’s blog indirectly spoke about news stations and her disinterest, stating “I am more interested in the latest TMZ post then what Obama has to say about Syria” (http://abbeyunyi.wordpress.com ). This contradicts my original statement “I don’t care what Miley Cyrus did at the VMA’s, I read the newspaper and watch the news to become informed about world topics, not celebrity mishaps”. It then occurred to me that there are thousands more people like Abbey than people who think like I do, which is why news coverage is changing to celebrity talk and advertisement instead of reporting world news. My point is that news stations are projecting topics the masses want to hear, and the power is more in our hands than I originally thought.

Shannon pointed out something I found very similar to my own life experience. She briefly spoke about her sister who had planned on travelling to Turkey for a work opportunity, but “with it being so close to Iraq and Iran, and negative stories about the violent acts, my family was very skeptical about the idea” (http://www.sm13hm.blogspot.ca). Similar to my situation in travelling to Kenya, the media and other people discouraged Shannon’s sister from travelling to these foreign countries because of the violent connotations that surround the Middle East. The difference between Shannon’s sister and I was that I didn’t let negativity from others stop me from taking the trip of a lifetime, which allowed me to learn about the ‘other side’ of the cultural story that the news ignores.

I also found another blog by Patrick I found interesting. His main argument was very similar to mine, although his was more radical. He wrote “Often people are unable to tell the difference between reality and media hype” (http://patricksimmonsblog.wordpress.com/). I was glad to read a blog that opposed the media like I did, and when I had challenged readers to think about messages media convey, Patrick was already criticizing. Unlike Abbey and Shannon, Patrick and I seem to formulate our opinions about the media on skepticism rather than believing everything the media throws at us.

After reflecting upon Abbey, Shannon, and Patrick’s blogs, along with metacognitive thinking about my first response, my ideas about media and news stations are stronger reinforced, but my world view has shifted once again as it will always continue to shift the more media comes into my life. 

1F25 Post # 1: Media Impact

The mass media has been impacting the lives of thousands since a time long before mine. I want to remind every reader how our society has turned into mass consumers post WW1 and WW2 due to industrialization. It makes sense that with mass consumption comes mass media- even Andy Warhol would agree (Campbell’s Soup anyone?).

It seems like today you can’t escape mass media, especially with the rapid growth of computer technology and accessibility to anything in the world in the palm of our hands. Social Networking, big shot Corporations, and even News Stations understand how they can affect popular culture through mass media and marketing and they take full advantage of it.

I understand that the media affects me in almost anything I do:  from what I buy, what I see on television, what happens over the internet, and how I communicate is always foreshadowed by some sort of mass media and pop culture. I can pick and choose what to believe and follow within the popular culture, but I have an issue with news networks partaking in the same type of mass media.  The stories news stations headline aim to catch attention and gain viewers through the marketing of ‘cool’. This means the news prioritizes fast paced topics including violence, disasters, celebrity talk and sex. Mark Twain once wrote “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed”; frankly I couldn’t agree more.  I don’t care what Miley Cyrus did at the VMA’s, I watch the news or read the newspaper to become informed about world topics, not celebrity mishaps.

News networks often ignore issues happening and affecting people within the country or globally, because another story is more appealing. The news networks today are set up very unequally, changing what we as a mass audience think is important.  The news changes our opinions and mentality of everything it projects, often letting Canada stand in limelight where other third world countries like Kenya come across as uncivilized, violent, and poor. I know firsthand this way of thinking is not entirely correct, because I have been to Kenya and experienced their way of life. Kenya has violence and a high poverty rate, but Canada isn’t perfect either. Violence does happen here and we still have homeless and hungry people living within our own neighbourhood. So why do news networks ignore many issues such as these within Canada but highlight them in other countries like Kenya? Just because Kenya has a different way of living from Canada doesn’t mean it is wrong, yet news stations seem to make us think it is wrong.

Audiences need to realize that they shouldn’t believe everything that comes from mass media, especially news stations and their coverage. I challenge listeners to think next time they hear a news story about what the message the station is sending and whether it falls into one of the categories I listed above.  Are we living in ignorance by only listening to the fast paced topics news stations are sending us?

Oh no, don’t worry, I’m scared!

I have a lot of big scary dreams. Does that mean I’m an idealist or right on track?

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