Free Press is a concept that we use in this country to promote diversity of ideas and to reflect the interest of the public. It’s an idea that is born out of Freedom of Speech in the Constitution. Free Press helps smaller organizations or groups like women in minorities own and operate television stations to prevent large cooperation monopoly of the market. For example, if the FCC were to require that stations provide fair and equal time to men’s and women’s sports the network and cable companies would be motivated to comply because they could lose their license upon renewal. Also, those stations not in compliance could be fined.
The FCC has guidelines in place that help networks determine what is appropriate for general viewing. In other words, all the major networks are available to everyone with a television … there is no cost but the viewing is limited. Hence, the FCC regulates what these networks can broadcast within the pre-determined appropriate content. For example, there is no nudity, sexual content is more limited, foul language or inappropriate subject matter will be banned on these channels by the FCC. Therefore, in order for the networks to stay competitive and draw advertising revenue, they generally follow the FCC guidelines. The byproduct results in “self-regulation” and avoids a monopoly within the general market. “By preventing monopoly ownership of media, the government attempts to act in the public interest because control of media information by a few companies may well be detrimental to the free flow of ideas” (84).
This is in the best interest of the public because it allows for free flow of ideas throughout the media. To encourage diverse media ownership allows for diverse media products. If all ideas and media products are controlled by the largest corporations, free press is highly threatened. Big corporations use their knowledge to be more profitable for themselves and don’t care about the good of the people. The FCC limited the three major TV Networks hoping to establish diversity of programs due to the diverse sources that those programs would come from. This also established more completion for the producers of these programs.
Cable networks have much less strict guidelines because they are paid for by the consumer. In other words, if I want to watch “Jersey Shore” I have to purchase a cable package that allows me to watch MTV. The FCC guidelines are very relaxed for the cable networks in comparison to the free networks because the consumer is making a choice to purchase and view this type of programming.
How does conglomerate’s monopolistic control affect the diversity of the media world?
Perhaps to me, the most compelling story is the story about the Long Island nuclear power plant Shoreham. While Long Island is a rather big place, with a high population, it is still amazing how the people of that community, with the help of the local news, were able to stop that power plant from opening. Coming from a fairly small community, I know how difficult it is to get people to even show up for a rally, or protest, even a city council meeting. So to hear that they were able to stop a multibillion-dollar power plant is surreal. It just goes to show that with enough support from the people, and the power of the media, anything is possible. Perhaps the media is the most powerful weapon in anybody’s arsenal. The media, which may include radio, television, and newspapers can persuade those viewers on the fence, and even convert some. For example, if you only had access to fox news, and that was all you heard all day everyday, you would probably begin to see things in a more conservative way. So, when it comes to Shoreham, the local media definitely could have swayed many people in the area. By putting powerful images, statistics, and certain quotes, the public is made aware of the negatives to something like a nuclear power plant. If you show the devastation of a power plant disaster, then clearly nobody is going to approve. People in Long Island, which is a congested area with lots of families don’t want to put their children at risk. One of the problems with the media today, is how can I use the media to bring people together for certain events. Even with Facebook, email, and texts, I feel as if people still don’t attend functions like they should. Yeah, you can send a Facebook invite, but that doesn’t mean everybody will show. The media is incredibly powerful and I would like to know a better way to utilize to my advantage.
The Media Theory I find to be most interesting is the theory
of media effects. All the theories within this category are used by the media, or have been used in
the past. The hypodermic model is one that I find very intriguing. The media
absolutely attempts to inject messages and agendas directly into our minds.
That is essentially what advertising is. A company is injecting into your mind
the idea that you need the product they are producing. I do not believe this to
be an extremely effective way for the media to influence us but it does work in
some ways. I do not go out and purchase every product I see advertised on television,
but occasionally the advertising I am exposed to will entice me into going out
and buying something. The cultivation theory is also a very interesting one. It
suggests that the generations that were brought up watching television are
likely to be influenced on a wide variety of social and economic issues. The
book says that the impact of television cultivation political beliefs causes a
conservative leaning public. While I do believe that the United States is a
center-right nation, I could not disagree more adamantly that television and
media have anything to do with this, especially in my generation. Conservatism
is despised by almost all of the writers and actors in Hollywood, and there is
only one major news outlet that is right leaning. The leftist controlled media
brainwashes people into hating fox news and people like rush Limbaugh by taking
things that are said wildly out of context, and in some cases making them up
completely. One of my favorite things to do after someone expresses disgust at
the mere sound of Rush Limbaugh’s name is to ask them if they have ever
listened to his radio show. The answer every single time has been no. I truly
believe that television cultivation has nothing to do with anyone becoming
conservative, and I honestly don’t think any conservative or liberal would ever
make that argument. The media effects theories all have areas of truth and
effectiveness but many are no longer in practice. It is very interesting to go
back and look how they started and how they have changed over time.
In the year 2011, information is widely available through a multitude of mediums such as newspaper, internet, radio, and television. Since I am technologically savvy, I choose the internet, but to me, using the internet to get my news is the most efficient way to me. I say this because I can receive radio broadcasts, as well as television coverage. Even around election season, I stil utilize the internet more than the other mediums because that is what the candidates are also doing. Barack Obama utilized Facebook, Twitter, as well as other social networks to get his message out more efficiently and to a crowd who was potentially new to elections. Since we have so many outlets for media, there is more of a chance that more people get news. After reading Eesha William’s perspective on nuclear energy and the way the media handled it, I forgot that the internet was not even thought of back when President Carter was in office. The media back then pretty much stood by the fact that there were no other alternative forms of energy such as wind and solar power. The media made it out to be that nuclear energy was the future of energy. Honestly, I blame the government for the way the media portrayed nuclear energy because they had just found out that Russia also had nuclear technology. Since America never wants to be second place in anything, they made sure that was the message being sent to the public. I feel that if the internet were around back then like it is now, people would be much quicker in calling out the government because the word of the people would get out quicker with our social networks and search engines. I’m very grateful to live in the time I do now, where information is quickly accessible, as well as enjoyable to use. I am also grateful because I can have a voice, with many other people and have a chance to have an impact on something that affects my future.
I would like to focus on Media Ecology in my video essay. Media Ecology explores the relationship between humans, and considers the different ways that humans interact with each other and with the media. I want to explore how technological determinism is playing a role in the environmental movement, both in terms of how information is being conveyed to the public and whether or not this process is beneficial or negative to society. I want to look at how the media is affecting our understanding of environmentalism, and whether or not it is increasing awareness of issues or de-sensitizing us due to over-exposure. I’ll explore how the environmental movement would be different without technology, and also think about the ways that the media has gotten people interested in this issue. Social media may also be interesting to consider; it tends to play a very large role in activist causes.
I think Media Ecology is a good theory to focus on when considering media’s role in the environmental movement because environmental issues deal heavily with how society is changing and being affected by its surroundings. Media ecology focuses on how people and technology interact to produce change in the world, and also explores how media is changing how society thinks or behaves. The environmental movement relies completely on society’s perception and understanding of climate change and anthropogenic effects in nature, and therefore, a theory focusing on how people and media interact to produce a greater outcome seems like the best approach.
We see a variety of media everyday, ranging from what is on the news, what we hear on the radio, or what we read about on the Internet. After coming in contact with any type of media, we immediately have some type of opinion about the content. We may agree, disagree, or be unaffected by it—this is know as active audience. “The notion of an active audience appeals to our belief in the intelligence and autonomy of people. The term is both a critique of cynicism about the power of media and an expression of faith in the power of people” (256). The belief used to be the mass media was communicated to society and that the audience was being dominated and told what to think according to what the media said. This idea has completely changed due to three factors; individual interpretation, collective interpretation, and through collective action.
Individual interpretation refers to when a viewer sees some type of media, like an ad and reflects on the ad. This can be as simple as someone seeing a movie trailer and thus from the trailer deciding to go see the movie. It is completely up to the individual to decide how they feel about what the media shows. The thing that is so compelling about individual interpretation is that the makers of advertisements want the viewers to feel a specific way about their ad, however they don’t have 100% control over an individuals feelings. A viewer could easily see an ad they are supposed to like, and instantly hate it. This is the basic notion of individual interpretation—the viewer is in control of what they see.
The second notion that goes along with active audience is collective interpretation of media. This notion is almost the same as the first with one distinct difference, almost anything you witness you are sharing with the people around you. “Audiences are active in the sense that they interpret media messages socially” (258). This means that not only does the individual see media but it also becomes transmitted around to multiple other people. If something is amusing it spreads like wildfire especially with websites like YouTube and Facebook where everything is seen and shared with hundreds of other people. Viewers construct certain meaning and the ways audiences engage with others as they interpret media show that the producers of media don’t have that much control on what people think.
The third notion that active audiences cover is collective action. Collective action is the build up from first individual interpretation or seeing something that gives you opinion, then sharing it with the people around you, which ends with collective action or doing something to change a situation. This is a common occurrence when something offensive is played on TV or the radio; it results in public outrage and thus collective action. Collection action really shows how the media cannot control its viewers. It is vital for the audience to show their on opinions about a variety of topics. Active audience is very important because it allows society to express what they think about the media they see whether it is individually or collectively.
I think all of them are extremely relevant and important to our everyday life. However, I think what truly effects us more then we think is media ecology. The first thing I think of when i think of media ecology is Facebook and Google. How between these two major media systems our world has changed the way we as a society go about our daily lives. in the past 10 years we have gone from doing things ourselves to being reliant on technology. not saying that it is a bad thing i am just stating a fact that we our evolving with the times. However there might be more consequences then we think. When we do all are research on Google, we become more ignorant with our library system. When we think we can get our news from Facebook we become less culture and more ignorant. If we message on Facebook instead of going to meet friends we become a more sheltered society. 21st century media ecology is all about how these systems have changed the way we pick restaurants, go to parties, communicate with friends, and live our daily lives. Our world revolves around what we as consumers want and how these companies can make millions if not billions of dollars. We all know that is what they do because that is business. Media ecology is the most important because it is the most relevant to us. We cant change the way these companies run or the way they need to make money, we can change the way the affect us. Overall, media ecology has changed the way we run ourselves. We unconsciously go to google for anything, and stay on Facebook all day to stay connected. These two media outlets have changed the way we think, act, and learn everyday.