Blog Essay Class 12 (last one!)

Re: The mediatization of society – This article brought full circle everything we’ve learned about in this course. One of the main points was to illustrate how media affects and permeates everything we do culturally and as a society. The media (and discussions of various aspects of the media) are ubiquitous. That is what Dr. Rodgers’ Tumblr page is trying to show us – that an article from The New York Times, The Guardian or The Atlantic and an article from TMZ, Jezebel and Yahoo! Shine can all discuss the media, and these media outlets run the gamut in terms of their perceived “credibility,” journalistic training, content, et cetera. On the first day of class, Dr. Rodgers said his goal for us as students was to learn to become “aware” of the media. Much of this awareness is contingent upon our knowledge of and ability to see just how connected the media is to everything we do, consume, see, hear, listen to, purchase — the list goes on and on. It is through this awareness that we can then apply a critical lens with which to subsequently critique and analyze the media.

The article goes on to discuss how mediatization influences political processes, which I found interesting. Politicians are keenly aware of how powerful the media can be and thus use it to their advantage when running a political campaign. Perhaps one of the most effective use of media (social media sites) in a political campaign is Barack Obama in the 2008 election. According to Politico, Obama is “master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.” It is through these “manipulations” that a political figure it constructed and his image is iterated to the public.

I was particularly interested in the article’s discussion of consumerism. “Jansson (2002) takes his starting point in the general mediatization of contemporary culture, which he describes as “the process through which mediated cultural products have gained importance as cultural referents and hence contribute to the development and maintenance of cultural communities” (p. 108). In what ways do you think that mediatization has influenced your consumerism/purchases? For me, I think advertising has framed certain brand names and products as salient and desirable and it definitely has an influence on me. I know as someone studying the field of media, I should be impervious to catchy advertisements, but I fully admit that I am far from that. The truth is that certain products have been presented as necessary or “cool” (which reminds me of the Merchants of Cool article we read earlier in the semester). Trends influence our purchasing power and the impetus of it all is mass media – which dictates what is “in” and what is “out.” One of the advertising professors here told me that “aspirational images” are what sells products – so for example, in order to most effectively market a new type of fitness shoe, it would be best to show a couple exercising together to get fit.

Re: Ch 20 – This chapter discussed the future of the news industry. I found it the discussion about the decline of news media and how people confuse that with journalism (p. 366). It, again, goes back to something we learned early on in the semester – that journalism and media are not the same thing, or as the books say, “not synonymous.” (Dr. Rodgers says there are no synonyms anyway). Regardless, I agree. Just because print media is declining, it doesn’t mean journalism is too. Journalism is “an activity” (p. 366). It’s akin to saying that writing/reading is going downhill because people aren’t purchasing hard copies of books anymore. The advent of reading devices like Kindles, Nooks and iPads doesn’t make reading any less of a hobby for people. What do you think is the future of media? Where do we go from here? I think that the future is full of possibility. We shouldn’t view the field of communications in a state of decline because as we learned early on in this class, communications is like the “water”, and thus cannot be divorced as it is one of the most mundane and commonplace of human interactions. It is the basis for society in many ways. We will just have to be adaptable to accept the new platforms by which media will be disseminated.

DQ:

-What do you think is the future of media? Where do we go from here?

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5 thoughts on “Blog Essay Class 12 (last one!)

  1. suzette gazette

    The future of media involves testing technology boundaries to see what we can accomplish with new software and gadgets. With each new invention of equipment that facilitates news dissemination and collection, we have new opportunities to reach each other and maintain lines of communication but to also development new discourse communities. These communities perhaps will yield new power for positive change through transparency and increases in participation of major events that can impact the world. Voting, volunteerism, civic duty, environmental conservation, recycling, you name it. The messages now have a stronger voice because more voices are being heard and hopefully small discourse communities will join other groups to tackle bigger issues.
    A new arena of art is upon us with independent citizen journalists making movies, writing stories. There will probably be a channel such as YouTube integrated on TV that allows anyone’s work to be viewed. Maybe our politicians will access a channel that shows their tweets or Facebook activity in real time. An editor can pick whose tweets and posts are top and which ones get get aired as a gatekeeper.
    I think there will be a need for educated gatekeepers to make sense of all of this information coming at us. We will definitely need sources such as the New York Times to continue to maintain professional journalism standings and prioritize what stories they think we really need to consume.
    Interactive graphics use that utilize voice, video and still imagery will become the new language online.
    Those who want to be professional journalists for a living will have to adopt a new entrepreneurial approach that frees them from holding down extra jobs that allow time and resources to be a journalists.

    Combining passions about journalism and another interest will be the way to go, I think. Becoming an expert in a certain arena comparable to having a beat might be necessary. So continue on to get your masters in engineering or architecture of get and MBA, then become a journalist who has a specialty of coverage. Then expand your company by diversifying and creating more stream of revenue because ad revenue is unpredictable and constantly shifting.

    More media will be controlled by the owners of companies or departments of colleges. Gatorzone is a model to watch. Staffed by pro journalists, the Gatorzone crew releases its own stories and will always scoop outside media so they will control how the news is received and when.
    In the end, journalism as a form of media will need to offer viewers and readers something they can’t get anywhere else in order for readers and viewers to keep coming back.

    Reply
  2. jcrinkley

    I appreciate more and more the ability to see the media around me for what it is, a representation rather than true reality. Everything is fed to us through one lens or another, and it’s nice to be able to see behind the curtain in a way. I believe that it helps me remember to escape all of my media from time to time. It forces me out my small world and into something new and real like going to see the Grand Canyon or running a marathon. However, as I think about it, I wouldn’t know those things existed or were available to be experienced if it weren’t for the media, so do I ever really escape?

    I think that we see with Fox News and Sarah Palin as well that once you have the spotlight in a medium, you can create almost any narrative you wish, political or otherwise, and there will always be people willing to believe. All it takes is a good slogan and some promises and you’ve got a viewing public in the palm of your hand. Like Obama’s “hope and change” and “yes we can” bits that really hooked a lot of people to his message.

    As far as consumerism is concerned, I definitely find myself preferring name brand items most of the time. In my head I convince myself that “you get what you pay for” and the brand name is established, so it’s trustworthy, but this is all just a construct of my own mediatized view of retail products. I use Old Spice deodorant just because I think the commercials are funny, and I appreciate funny commercials more than boring but possibly more informative ones.

    I agree with you completely about the state of journalism. We may be entering a new era of journalism which is far superior to the one that is fading away. There are so many new and amazing ways of creating a narrative being explored. Not only that ,however, the ability to produce something akin to journalism is now available to vast numbers of citizens. I believe that this will become more acceptable as time goes by. We want truer, more personal accounts of events and the ability to send messages is only increasing.

    Reply

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