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News in China&the U.S.-Video Essay revised from Li&Di

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

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Blog #7

November 10, 2011 1 comment

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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Blog #6

November 8, 2011 3 comments

While talking about globalization and the time we spent at South High School, we have to mention that the students of South High School come from over 40 countries. What they crossed was not only geographic boundaries but also cultures. I believe that globalization has played an important role to make them know and adapt to American culture and other cultures of each other. Also, in some videos we reviewed, it was mentioned that industries had increased use of their income on media products such as Facebook to spread their reputation globally, just as the chapter talks about the trend of global creative industries, “increasing global incomes that allow more spending on media and cultural products” (P326).

Cultural imperialism talks a situation that the cultural flow from the West or other wealthy area is shaping the others’ cultural value and has a conflict with local culture. Also, with this deviation, the concept of “global village”, “an even playing field occupied by equally influential actors” (P342), has become lack of reality. As I notice, people of my home country especially the youth has been influenced a lot by Western media. For example, with exposure on media other than domestic media, the youth have become more interested in Western festival such as Halloween other than Chinese traditional festival. Also, Chinese classical books have less and less readers. People are just attracted by some foreign books such as Japanese and Western comic books.

With globalization of media, there have become many complicated issues on regulation. Since the media has been boundary-crossing, the jurisdiction has to be complicated and blurred. It is hard to capture and monitor things and people online and I feel it is hard to determine the jurisdiction in a virtual world. As a result, we can imagine easily the loopholes online. For the governments and agencies, this kind of regulation is a big concern. As a media consumer, I always feel unsafe online, especially when it is about some personal information and intellectual property rights.

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Blog 4

October 18, 2011 1 comment

I feel that the most compelling theories in these chapters is the Media Effects theory basically because it always come up with some vivid examples as well as explain relevant development of researches so that it can remind me of my own experiences.

The Media Effects theory in chapter 7 goes over the five subtheories, which are the Hypodermic Model, the Minimal Effects Model, Agenda Setting, Political Socialization Theory and Cultivation Theory, by reviewing the development of those researches in history.

First of all is the Hypodermic Model, which is also called “silver bullet” and addressed years ago. In this theory, media is likely to inject “a message directly into the “bloodstream” of the public” (P231), so that the public is just some passive acceptors.

However, a theory like this had been reconsidered and replaced by Mass Society Theory and the Minimal Effects Model. The Mass Society Theory suggests that as “growing homogenization of the population and a decline in interpersonal and group relations” (P231), the public has become more susceptible to the influence of information posted by media. But the Minimal Effects believes that media is more likely to have impact on the belief that the public have already hold instead of changing their opinion. Also, media also have influence on the public by influencing their leaders.

After that, Agenda Setting approach came out. “This ability to direct people’s attention toward certain issues became known as agenda setting” (P232). The research on this approach pointed out that the public agenda is more correlated to media’s focus than the “reality”. It makes me come up with what I feel that we cannot what the world is about in a full view; what we see is just the information provided by media. We have to pay attention to what media tell us except those happen surrounding us.

Political Socialization Theory suggests “effects in subtler terms” (P235) and “the long-term, cumulative effect of exposure to mass media” (P235) especially on adolescents. As we all know, since the young people have more exposure to media, their beliefs, values and attentions including mine are unavoidably influenced by media.

Another cumulative impact of media is Cultivation Theory, which is considering the differences between if those exposure to media a lot instead of which individual program they are getting. This is also what we can observe and feel in our lives.

Overall, I can always find good explanations, backgrounds, examples making sense for me and relations to my own life when I was reading this theory, so it is really compelling to me.

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Blog 3

October 16, 2011 1 comment

Free Press is a nonprofit media advocacy organization focusing on reforming media through education, organizing and advocacy by promoting diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism and universal access to communications. They are trying to gather the public and their ideas on reforming media and also to do some high-caliber research, in order to propose better media policies making sure real care about public interests.

As the book, Media/Society, claims, “Government regulation is important because it sets the ground rules within which media must operate…when we consider the role of media in the social world, we must take into account the influence of these outside forces” (P111), which means that the contribution to decisions of media is probably not just based on what we are interested. What makes Free Press to do what they are doing is the concern that the public interests are no longer cared about by media policies, and the public are no longer the participants but only the accepters. In fact, when there is a tension between public interests, media’s responsibility, and the government’s consideration or need, the latter always goes first for the decisions of media, which is unfair for us. As the book points out, “What constitutes the “national interest” is a debatable topic, but governments sometimes regulate media to protect or advance what it defines as the national interest-the goals and ambitions of a nation” (P105). Considering the situation like this lack of benefits for the public, an organization like Free Press is necessary to be founded.

Question: High-speed broadband Internet is now important for the public to get whatever information. Considering the large number of the people do not have the high-speed broadband Internet to use, Free Press is trying to work on making that kind of Internet available and affordable for more people. How could they get support of FCC and relevant companies to reach the goals by provide the service to the regions where have not been covered by high-speed broadband Internet and reducing the price to make it affordable, which seems a big process and hard to be finished.

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Blog #2

September 22, 2011 2 comments

The year of 2010 is the Ninth Anniversary of 9.11 and it had been the 8th year that Jack Bauer worked on antiterrorism for the U.S. since the popular TV show 24 was firstly created eight years ago. Apparently, the idea of creating 24 just came from the event of 9.11.

Each season of 24 contains 24 episodes of which each screens what happens within one hour. The leading character named Jack Bauer who works for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) is always walking right along the edge of life and experiences narrow escape in each season. The only reason he is what he is is to fight against terrorism, conspiracy and betrayal for his country.

Heroism is a special part of American culture and always has been. I did not watch American TV shows or films a lot when I was a child or a teenager but what impresses me is an old cartoon show named Popeye the Sailor. The leading character Popeye is an old sailor and every time once he has a can of spinach, he is able to beat anyone especially his rival in love to win his girl back. Obviously, Popeye was created as a hero who satisfies the old American dream, which meant a normal person could solve any problems and had his/her love.

However, since the event of 9.11, the American heroism has become more serious and the heroism has become global. Jack Bauer is also a typical hero but not as same as Popeye, which means the hero is no longer to fight for himself and his beauty.

The event of 9.11 was definitely a nightmare for all American especially for those lost who they knew such as their families and friends, which really hurt a lot. As a result, artists began to create a number of hero characters on media of which Jack Bauer is just one example. The public do need a hero they believe in like this to have themselves comforted, to get hope again, to believe that a disaster like 9.11 will never happen again and to believe that there is always someone who would like to tell, “Don’t be scared. I’m right here for you, for our country and for the peace of the world.”

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