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Blog #7

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The most compelling story to me is the one about effect of media on janitors’ unions and their strike, because I care if the media really stand for the voice from the public as they always claim and I often notice that the public is easily provoked and directed especially in my home country.

This story is basically talking about how different media have different coverage and attitude resulting in different effect around the period of the janitors’ strike in La in 2000 and in Huston in 2006. Generally, “This ranged from public radio station KPFT and Spanish-language newspaper Rumbo, both of which interviewed almost exclusively strikers, to the Houston Chronicle daily newspaper, which emphasized the employers’ point of view in its articles, and the Houston Press, which did not cover the strike” (Williams (I guess I’m unable to cite the page number because I’m reading an electronic version, of which the pages are really different)).

As we read in the Media Society before, what determine the coverage and attitude of media is their owners’ value instead of the majority of the public’s. Since their owners are the employers of the janitors at the same time, some of the media such as the Houston Chronicle prefer to stand at the opposite side of the janitors’ strike.

However, as I mentioned earlier, the public is easily provoked and directed. As a result, once the media’s voice has a specific direction, the public would probably go along with it. The effects talked in the chapter is said, “Some of the janitors who read my articles during the strike decided to get involved in the struggle”, “This kind of coverage would likely have served to boost the confidence of striking workers, and to encourage others to join the strike”, “The article may have influenced janitors who were devout Catholics to support the strike”, “Mike Espinoza said in the article that the cause was important enough to him to risk having a criminal record”, “A lot of times, when my reports would air, we’d get calls at the station from listeners asking how they could support the strikers” (Williams). In China, I noticed that a number of people did not have their own view at the beginning of each event. What they often do is to follow the majority agree. But how does the majority’s view come? It is always directed by the media.

My question is: how can the structure of media’s operation and their owners be healthier in order to be act more objectively and to give the public more objective direction?

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  1. Kathleen
    November 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Li, you bring up good questions on the points of media ownership and media efficacy. Nice post!

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