The common consensus found while reading my classmates entries is that satirical new reportage is equally as reliable as the traditional news reportage. Brenda Bouk and I share the idea that “It is useful because it challenges individuals to go against the norm, or to re-think their views on a particular subject that most media has branded into our minds” (http://brendab-blog4.blogspot.ca/). She discusses that satirical news reportage helps give a new perspective on what is going on around the world. As I stated in previous entries, it is absolutely essential that our public sphere be educated. The best education evolves from being inquisitive, not solely following one media source. We all must question the norms from time to time.
Tori Gligic proposes the idea that you receive the same information from satirical news reporting, just in a more entertaining way. She asserts, “Personally, I would rather watch a satirical news reporting, which would give keep me updated on what I need to know around the world, yet still keep me laughing and intrigued” (http://torigligic.wordpress.com/). This got me thinking that this type of reporting is a great benefit to the public sphere. Many people do not bother to watch the traditional news, declaring it boring or depressing. Introducing these people to satirical news reporting would not only amuse them, but keep them up to date on what is occurring around the world. This tactic would increase the awareness of global issues, adding more knowledgeable individuals to the public sphere.
Satirical news reporting is “used to just help release the tension that is building up with the audience” (http://boston94.blogspot.ca/). Lynden Boston believes that this type of news is beneficial to lightening the mood surrounding traditional new (sometimes the best thing you can do is laugh it off). Much like Tori, Lynden believes that satirical news reporting is a decent source of news, with a twist that makes you actually want to watch it. You can get your facts and laughs all in the same place.
Satirical news reporting, such as The Daily Show and the Rick Mercer Report, contribute to the mainstream form of culture jamming. “Culture jamming is a form of media activism that subverts and reworks the intended meaning of an existing media texts, or parodies major corporations, public figures and their media images” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012, pg. 213). Shows like these definitely do poke fun at officials, brands and organizations, but I believe they are an important part of the informational system. Without reportage like this many people wouldn’t questions anything they see; the population would be far more gullible. The Daily Show and the Rick Mercer Report are great additions to the public sphere because they endorse reflection. These type of shows encourage people to think about the things that they hear, and analyze them. Why would they call it a public sphere if they didn’t intend for it to be well rounded? In order to create a balanced society the news we are receiving must be depicted from all angles. Throughout everything that I have written so far, I have forced the idea that thinking for yourself is important. You can’t be told one thing and then only believe that one thing for the rest of your life. Exploration of ideas and different points of view not only give you a better sense of the truth, they also broaden you as an intellectual. “Culture jamming speaks about refusing to consume, and refusing to be seduced by images that offer unattainable, unhealthy or unethical ideals” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012, pg. 216). Culture jamming is in actuality, if you aren’t the target of the jam, a tool that is extremely beneficial. Most times it is just revealing the truth that you are not supposed to see. Even if you don’t agree with the idea of culture jamming, you cannot deny that the Saturday Night Live news skits are hilarious!
O’Shaughnessy, Stadler (2012). Media and Society. Oxford University Press.
A common theme among women was found as I read my classmate’s blog entries from last week. Many of the pieces of writing talked about body image. Before choosing the ad that I did for my previous entry, I found one similar to that of Meagan MacLeod’s (http://mm13sa.wordpress.com/). “Sex sells; there is no doubt about that,” she says. The slogan for the first ad I found was, “Someone you know wants it.” It was for a bottle of perfume focusing on sex appeal. Sadly this is the way my demographic is represented in most ads; Women are sex symbols. Meagan talks about how all women want to be desired and feel good about themselves, and the media knows this. The media is very successful in its techniques for interpellation of my demographic because most of us are still in a state of development; forming identities for ourselves. These type of ads can become integral puzzle pieces that we make fit, distorting the overall picture of who we are.
Alexandra Deyman brought up a great point about how the media uses the famous and glamorous as a device (http://alexandradeyman.wordpress.com/). They are expended to persuade not only my demographic, but most, to become loyal to a product or service. As humans, it is like second nature to compare ourselves to others. We want what others have and compete in the area of appearance. These ads make us compare ourselves to beautiful and desired celebrities. Somehow the ad ropes us into believing that by the use of their product we can be just like the personality endorsing it (come on, we would all love to look like a superstar). “Women will go to great lengths and are willing to try anything to be attractive,” Alexandra asserts. This is exactly why the ads directed at my demographic are so effective.
One ad in particular caught my eye while reading different entries. This body image ad was brought to my attention by Raven Henry (http://askrae.wordpress.com/). This ad shows how much a woman’s appearance is altered in ads, using photoshop and makeup. The ad was created to encourage mandatory disclaimers when bodies are manipulated for the purpose of advertisement. “The hailing that goes on in this add is body image and what the perfect female should look like,” Raven expresses. I think this ad is absolutely incredible! Most of the time the people we strive to resemble are transformed to the point where they look nothing like themselves. It’s unfair to present women with the idea of a “perfect” appearance, when it cannot be realized without alterations. This is especially true when the consumers do not know that the image is not natural.
Young women are popular targets of advertisements because most of them lower self-esteem and then offer a “solution.” It is this strategy of demeaning appearances that makes people feel inferior; interpellating my demographic.
Proactiv is a facial cleansing ointment used by many teens. One particular ad I found for this product is one that states, “Just ask your boyfriend what to do. Oh, that’s right, you don’t have a boyfriend.” The last part of the catchphrase is bolded and is also converted to pink font, the stereotypical “girl” colour. This goes to say that if you don’t have perfect skin, then you cannot possibly have a good social life. As a young person in general, having a thriving social calendar may seem like the most important thing. This ad is designed to get girls to associate this product with being pretty; a device to catapult them to the top of the popularity pyramid. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, there usually seems to be this kind of societal hierarchy guiding our actions and our purchases. Most commercials, posters and advertisements focused on young women usually follow the same degrading trend. The identity of a maturing teenager is something that is very vulnerable and easily influenced. Body images are “…. part of your constructed subjectivity” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012, pg. 188). Often we surrender to ideas of how we should look and act, taking pieces and fitting them together to build our persona. The authors stress that the media will address this part of a person’s identity for marketing purposes, and that we should be aware. As women, we do not have to conform to this ideology. These types of advertisements, more often than not, hail that a woman is purely based on the way she looks. Giving the impression that her societal standing won’t be clear if her skin isn’t. “Are we defined and determined by forces outside of us- like cogs in a machine- or are we self-determining, autonomous individuals with free will?” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012, pg. 189). On a personal level, this ad just makes me laugh. I am not much interested in giving myself a makeover to become someone new. Although this advertisement is unsuccessful in embodying my values and beliefs, there are some girls that will fixate on it. It is a clever emotional game to play with self-conscious girls.
O’Shaughnessy, Stadler (2012). Media and Society. Oxford University Press.
Media sources are a great place to educate yourself, if you pick the right ones. Watching Jerry Springer probably won’t educate you on very many important issues going on in the world. The best informational source is a news network. “They tell us what is newsworthy and valuable for us to know,” states my classmate Shaiann Richards (http://shaiannrichards.wordpress.com/). They provide us with material on social, political, cultural and economic matters. The one major downfall of the news is that most young people would much rather watch reality shows. I, for one, cannot remember a time when I chose to watch the news when there was other things on TV.
Reading Haley Bourque’s blog reinforces that when we talk about wanting the media we get it most often “connects to reality TV shows, such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (http://hb123na.wordpress.com). She talks about how it clearly is not educational but what grabs our attention is the drama. TV shows are a huge market for entertainment, and most of the time will sway younger people from watching the news. Haley also mentions how the glamorous lives of celebrities captivates us. It is fun to imagine what our lives would be like if we could take their place. Another element of these shows are their ability to make us addicted to them. It is for these reasons that I personally chose TV series over the more logical option of informing myself about what’s going on in the world around me. I think a possible theory for this decision is that television shows play strongly on our emotional sides and we feel that it is more relatable. The news regularly displays some pretty horrific incidents and issues that are important that we recognize are happening. Although it is crucial that we know what’s going on globally, I know I would much rather live in a dream land. Haven’t you ever wished your life was like a movie you watched?
“Access to information at the click of a button in a variety of new forms has changed the way we not only receive our news, but how closely we can now interact with the world events as they are taking place” (http://zachengel98.wordpress.com). With the great point Zach makes, you would assume that it would drive us to keep informed on world updates. In actuality, new app updates are what keeps a lot of today’s youth busy. Whether it be the Dead Yourself app or Facebook, we are always distracted. The point I’m trying to get at here is that it is easy to find information on important topics, but my media choices do not leave me very informed. Other aspects of the media are just much more flamboyant, capturing and maintaining my attention.
Do we get the media we want, or want the media we get? On a product consumer scale, in the beginning we definitely want the media we get. A company has to come up with something new and exciting for its audience to fall in love with. It is their job to make us want it. Just like the mass media makes us act in certain ways, commercials brain wash us into believing that we need certain products. After the hype has been created the roles switch over. It is now their job to keep up with our growing desire for more. A classic example would be the vampire craze. Before Twilight, vampires were nothing special. After the series kicked off, it had a domino effect on media. All of a sudden vampires were the best thing since sliced bread. More movies and TV shows were based on blood suckers to satisfy the vampire frenzy (Personally, I never was much for the vampire scene). On an informational level, I strongly believe we get the media we want. We always want to know what other people are doing, and that is exactly what the different forms of media bring us. When Britney Spears shaves her head, we all want to know about it. We are an inquisitive race for sure, but our need to “share” information, which I like to call gossiping, is quite evident as well. What better way to do so than broadcasting it worldwide?
Agenda setting is a tactic that the media uses. It “refers to instances in which media coverage draws attention to an issue or event and puts it on the agenda for public discussion and debate” (pg.25).This gives the people what they wanted, the chance to express their thoughts and the information they have been wanting to confirm. The media brings to the surface the things that people want to talk about. Tests are done all the time to find out what certain age groups like. Why would we have these tests if the media wasn’t working to deliver to us something that we want? The media adapts to changes, “according to the media user’s needs and interests” (pg. 109). Information wouldn’t be conveyed by the media if there wasn’t someone out there that wanted it. On the contrary, I guess you could say that if we get the media we want, we do want the media we get…
Michael O’Shaughnessy, J. S. (2012). Media and Society. Oxford University Press.
Reading some of my fellow classmates’ blog entries has not changed my conclusion about the media, rather strengthened it. Christina Clark mentions that the bad news in the media, more often than not, outshines the good (http://cclark865.wordpress.com/). This is definitely true, although unlike Christina I do believe that the media can be a helpful resource as well. I think all the negativity that is seen on the television can be the ‘kick in the pants’ that the world needs to make some necessary changes. I agree that the news is a big part of the problem. It causes people to panic and perceive the world as an awful, violent and scary place. Obviously there are times when this is true, but they don’t generally report on the things that restore your faith in humanity. There are rainbows, butterflies and all that good stuff out there too.
I completely forgot to consider music as an effective media source until I read Miles Rowe’s blog (http://ablogbymiles.wordpress.com/). Music is an integral piece of our lives. If you’re anything like me, music is constantly playing in the background. There is a song that will cater to every feeling you have. We all have that go-to song we listen to when we are in a great mood or in an ‘I hate everything’ kind of mood. Emotions play a pivotal role in how you perceive things. The song that was playing when you were with a loved one, or after you win a big game will always be significant to you. Movies use music to tell you exactly what to feel at every moment. It always gives me the cue to hide my face under the blankets when watching a scary movie or to appreciate those ‘awww’ moments. I agree 100% with Miles when he says that songs have the potential to revise the goals people set for themselves and who they want to be. Music is a very powerful tool, and for impressionable young people it can chisel away at their futures. Relating back to my previous blog entry, I still believe that just because the music is telling you how to feel doesn’t mean you have to feel that way.
I though Madison Bygrave made an excellent point about how the media raises all of our expectations for everything (http://mb12qe.wordpress.com). Personally I still love quiz magazines, childish I know, but I realize now that even though the results said that I would look great with a short haircut, they were sadly mistaken. Media sources such as magazines and television try to convince us that we should look and act in certain ways, when in actuality we should look and act however we want! The media has too much control over too many people. People, especially women, need to recognize that ‘perfect’ is different for everyone. How lame would it be if we lived in a world where we all looked and acted the same? That is not a place I want to be! We should thrive on being different, after all that’s how we will accomplish the similar goal of making the world a better place.