I remember when the “Diplomatic Cables Release” occurred in November of this year. A teacher at my high school was a recent veteran and I remember he was very upset and said that it was putting innocent lives in danger and that the culprit deserved severe punishment. I had heard about wikileaks before this occasion but this was when I really took the time to look into what it was and if my teacher’s claims were founded. From what I can tell, the event was simply uncovering a lot of confidential embassy documents. It seems like the event made a lot of diplomats unhappy but I don’t think that it really put anyone’s life in danger unless someone reacted to the information in a very extreme manner.
The more I learn about wikileaks, the more I think it is an essential part of the information age and the more I think that it is the most powerful example of the internet being used as a tool for liberty. I think that by creating an element of transparency in the government, the public will be informed of certain elements of society which would not be available otherwise. I also think that the government just might be more honest and less corrupt when they know that anything they say or do might be released to the public at some point.
Maybe I am not understanding an important element of wikileaks functions but to me it seems to be more of a gift to the American Public than a threat to american security. With that said I understand that it is only natural that the government and those in power would try to crush this power because it threatens their power.
Overall I think there are many misconceptions about Wikileaks and the way that they make private documents available is a natural step in democracy’s progression.
Globalization is a powerful force in international economics and politics. While showing my video at South High School, I wondered if people from all different cultures would be able to appreciate the content of my video. My video was about music websites, which I thought were almost exclusively American and European but I was surprised and pleased when a girl from the high school said that my video was her favorite. I did not realize before our trip to South and before reading this chapter that American exported movies are popular all over the world. This is probably comparable to American music websites like Pitchfork in the sense that the internet connects the whole world and people in any country can and probably do view the same content that I view every day in America.
Globalization has been described as a “flattening of the world”. I think that the internet is a huge contributor to that. I think South High School is a perfect example of a classic “mixing pot”. It is a physical place where people from all different cultures comes together and share ideas with one another. I think that the internet has now become a “cyber mixing pot”. It is still an area where people of different cultures can connect with one another but the difference is that they don’t need to occupy the same physical space.
In conclusion, my video was more relatable to different cultures than I thought it would be and this is a testament to how much American culture is exported around the world and contributes greatly to Globalization.
Of the media theories represented in this chapter, I thought that Media Ecology was the most interesting. The concept of a virtual environment having as much effect on the real world as a real environment is incredibly interesting. Specifically, I thought that technological determinism was an interesting thought. Technology was created so that humans could manipulate it and use it to make out lives easier. It is strange that technology is now controlling us in a sense.
While all of the media theories are interesting, they are all somehow controlled by this new environment called the internet. Certainly media effects has valid points. However, the media can only function by means of technology. The internet has become the world’s main source for news and at one time television and radio were brand new technologies as well.
Active audience is true because certainly viewers illicit a response to entertainment and shape it but technology is often more subtle and people often involve themselves more willingly and trustingly in something like Facebook more so than the news. This goes back to the way that the internet really manipulates people more than they are aware of when they really expect to manipulate the internet.
Media Economics is certainly what drives the industry but technology offers the infrastructure for economics to function. There would be no media industry without a means to deliver the information to the public.
In general, I am fascinated by Media Ecology and I would like to learn more about it. I like how they brought up the early use of the radio in the book because I’m sure it had a similar effect on older generations that the internet is having on my generation. Media Ecology seems like a paradox: something inorganic and something organic and real, but ultimately it reveals the true nature of our technology and media driven world.
Free Press is an organization that recognizes the media’s flaws and strives to improve or eliminate them. They have no media concentration and they are watch dogs of television, the internet, telephones and journalism among other things. Free Press exists because other the media are supposed to function as watch dogs but when they are all owned by the same parent company, they are likely to look the other way from questionable activity. Now independent sites like Free Press are the only places where information is relatively un-biased.
Free press recently supported a Federal Court Decision which disallowed the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. This would have been a powerful example of vertical integration. When two of the largest phone companies join forces they creep closer and closer to a monopoly and it creates less competition in the market when there are fewer companies competing. AT&T already had a monopoly and it was split up into various entities called “baby bells”. This merger certainly would have helped the companies involved but it would not reflect well on the public’s interest.
If I were to ask the Free Press Director a question it would be, “How can the average American combat the twisted media system?” It seems like every channel has some sort of an agenda, even if some are more pronounced than others. In the face of huge media conglomerates, individuals and small organizations seem easily overpowered. Individuals seem powerless.
It is fortunate that organizations like Free Press exist because otherwise no one would be aware of the media’s major faults and agenda.
Three movies that show black individuals as victims and white people as saviors are: Freedom Writers, Radio, and The Blind Side. Each of these movies shows black people as poor, uneducated and generally incapable until a white person intervenes. In Freedom Writers Hillary Swank plays a white teacher who comes to a predominantly black neighborhood where test scores are bad and kids are all but incapable of writing. With her help, the school turns around and its black students become successful. The movie, Radio, shows a poor black boy who is in need of guidance and a white man is his answer. Finally The Blind Side shows a poor black youth who needs a wealthy white family to find success.
These movies perpetuate the idea that white people are saviors and black people are inherently victims or helpless. This is of course not true because people of all races can be both impoverished and successful. Other movies show powerful partnerships between black and white people such as Remember the Titans.
These films benefit white people, particularly rich white people, and make them seem more powerful than they actually are. These inaccuracies could easily be fixed by putting some minorities in positions of power, just as they are in real life. They could also have white people in impoverished positions because this is another important part of reality. Each of these movies reflects part of reality and yet somehow distorts it by placing whites in the position of a savior. It is unfortunate that things are presented this way but they are still a massive improvement over the stereotypes formally shown in the media.