Blog Post Week 2

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One thing brought up in the class lecture today was how the media sometimes perpetuates harmful norms and ideologies. This made me think of violent movies and video games and how they normalize violence and are still intensely marketed. Another question raised was "How does the political economy of media (that is media ownership and profit imperatives) impact what content gets produced, which audiences 'count' as valuable consumers, and how media policy gets made (and whom this policy favors)?" Two audiences that are targeted a lot in movies are teenage girls/college-age women and young men. Many of the movies with these groups as a target audience are lacking in substance and insult a large part of the audience they try to target (college-age men and women) by assuming that the average person in that group only wants to see sophomoric comedies.
The Media Literacy Project reading mentioned how "most media are controlled by commercial interests." For the most part, media companies do not care if the public is "well-informed." They are concerned with appealing to us on an "emotional level" (which according to page 285 of our book is when media is most powerful) to persuade us to buy their products so they can make money. Another good point that this reading makes is that "[o]ur media system produces lots of negative, demeaning imagery, values and ideas. It renders many people invisible." While it is rendering these people invisible, it does the same to the ideas that these people have, ignoring them if they will not contribute to the financial success of the company. Also, on page 286 number 19 states that people without money, privilege, influence, and power "are often shut out of the media system." This makes the ideas and struggles of the less privileged classes more obscure to the general public. That these ideas and struggles are not articulated in mainstream media can result in a lack of interest or ignorance of these things among the general public.

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Over the course of the week I have been exposed to many new ideas related to media. Whether it has been a result of the course readings thus far, or the class discussions we’ve had. It is becoming harder and harder to just simply indulge in media without thinking more in depth about what exactly the true purpose of the media I’m using is. I find myself paying attention to invisible norms, or the subtext within the message. To be more specific, I really liked the part of the media literacy reading that emphasized how media messages affect us in different ways. I really can relate that portion of the reading to pretty much any TV ad or billboard I see, and that’s a lot. Advertisements have one purpose and that’s to get our attention and hopefully persuade us to buy their product. After being in this class for only a week, I am already dissecting many of the ads I come across, and I’m not sure if my knowledge is really even helping me from falling victim to the effectiveness of these ads. There is just something about certain advertisements that even when completely obvious about trying to sell me a product, they still grab my attention. The Volkswagen super bowl commercial we watched in class was another extremely interesting thing to me. Not just the text of the ad, but the different reactions the ad got and just within our classroom we had pretty divided opinions. It’s obvious that this ad is an easily debatable media example. Whether the debate is on the topic of racism, or how the subtext is meant to translated. Ads like these are very interesting to me because it gives us a chance to hear a lot of different opinions regarding the different aspects of the message.

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This page contains a single entry by DarkStar published on January 30, 2013 10:36 PM.

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