The media theory that interested me the most was active audience or audience interpretation. The media does try to influence and almost control what their audience thinks and does in response to what is shown. However, the audience has the power to take away whatever they want from a given media presentation. The role of the audience member in the success of a TV show, movie or news story still plays a large part in media–regardless of what the big cable networks might think. Sure, they are able to delight the masses or sneakily gain acceptance of whatever it is they are showing and telling us, but they do not ultimately have the final say in what we (the audience) think about the material or how we respond to it. The theory of audience interpretation is the one thing over which big cable powerhouses such as Viacom or Time Warner cannot gain control. The media monopoly stops there.
I found the chapter on the janitors’ unions to be especially interesting. The large corporations were more interested in paying nothing for a lot of hard work rather than taking care of the people that provided a service that few others would dare to offer. There was definitely a feeling of racism during the march that the Latino janitors led in L.A. when they were beaten and gassed. There was no violent behavior, yet they were treated as if they were there to massacre the neighborhood.
The reason this particular case interested me most is the fact that union reform is necessary in many other areas. In particular, the musicians’ union is an area that needs to be addressed as well.
My question is, when beginning to think about how to reform a union or get better conditions and compensation for workers, where is a good place to start? A protest might now always be the most effective way. How does one need to think in order to achieve the desired (or at least as close as possible to the desired) outcome?
Free Press is a non-profit organization that is setting out to bring media reform to the United States. This organization reports on countless media concerns including net neutrality and media policy updates. Free Press’s purpose for striving for media reform is the apparent interference of government and corporate giants. The book talks about the portion of the Constitution that states that government shall have no control over the press. This is exactly what Free Press is striving to achieve once again. Our media has become biased and controlled. Our only source of news and information is what is allowed to be aired on the radio, television and internet. While the internet is slightly more loose in its restrictions, the rapid control of the internet by large ISP’s is going to bring those reigns of control in much tighter on the internet. Free Press is an organization that is focusing on making the people aware of these issues and giving us the tools to make a difference for freedom of press.
I decided to do an idealogical analysis on a more progressive cultural bias. I have chosen to pull my analysis from the TV shows “Gilmore Girls” and “Reba” and from the movie “The Devil Wears Prada.” All three of these choices highlight a strong female role. Lorelai Gilmore is a single mom that ardently protests getting help from her well-to-do parents. Reba is a divorced woman with a crazy family life, but she is still a strong head to her household. Miranda Priestly is a wildly successful Editor-in-chief of a popular fashion magazine in New York City. All three of these women portray a sort of “hero” for women in our society. I believe that these three media examples show the bias of our culture towards feminism and a “turning of the tables” as it were.
In the past, there was a strong male presence in media. The father was the head of the house and provided for his family. A strong male figure was almost deemed necessary to achieve a “happy” family dynamic. These examples I have chosen are an entirely opposite viewpoint. Each example shows the woman as the successful figure. This is a fairly accurate depiction of where culture is heading–or at least where it is being led.
The ideological analysis of these clips is that even progressive biases such as total feminism is quite easily portrayed in media. It is an example of how truly varied “reality” is in the media. Media has the power to influence you to believe that women are capable of being successful and solely providing for their families one hour while convincing you, in the very next hour, to believe that every woman really does need her “prince charming” to ride in and save the day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNLvCWvy2f0 Gilmore Girls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYKOvIFue-g The Devil Wears Prada
This article was extremely interesting to read. I was surprised to find out some details about how Apple’s technology was being used in the academic setting of Duke University. Elements such as iTunes U and podcasting didn’t even exist prior to this “iPod experiment,” and now they have become such an integral part of our everyday lives. I was so excited to read that Duke did not fold under the public criticism of using an “entertainment” device to promote learning in the University. They essentially pioneered the idea of “crowdsourcing.” I use my Apple mobile devices everyday in classes. Even reading this article, I downloaded the PDF to iBooks on my iPad. This technology, though widely criticized by many, has endless possibilities for transforming the education system.
The reference to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was so accurate in my mind! It is entirely true that the school system has changed very little in the last couple hundred years. Why shouldn’t it change, though? What is wrong with using these technological advancements? It is inspiring to think that a lot of applications on today’s iPods came from the ideas of those students at Duke in 2003. I think that educational institutions should continue to use the creative and unorthodox thinking of their students to create great applications, programs and class curriculum to adjust to our dynamic, changing culture.
This discovery-based learning experiment was a genius way to get students to look beyond the “marketed” use of the iPod to the full potential of this iconic device. The image went beyond the dancing silhouettes on a billboard to a powerful recording device in lecture halls. How much easier is it to record a lecture and play it back than it is to try and catch every important detail in writing in a Biology lecture.
I’d be interested to see how more experiments like this one can be conducted as new technology emerges. I feel that pulling from our student body resource to achieve breakthroughs in educational practices is an excellent way to engage students and inspire us to think outside of the “academic box.”