1F25 Response 4: News, trust, and “truthiness”!

After reading the opinions of my colleagues, it has been discovered that the general consensus is that satirical news reporting is a positive contribution to the society. However, it is also unanimous that satirical reporting is also considered culture jamming. A common comment from my colleagues was the comedy that came along with the news made watching the show and learning about the world’s events much more enjoyable.  Tori Gligic made a good point mentioning that she is more educated on events, but watches for the comedy: “personally, I would rather watch a satirical news reporting, which would give keep me updated on what I need to know around the world, yet still keep me laughing and intrigued.”

Although the reporting is laced with comedy and mockery, to say that satirical reporting is not consistent or factual would be an exaggeration. Keenan Beaumont pointed out that despite the alternative delivery, the news itself is not far off the mark: “although the presentations are slightly different, the same basic facts can be gathered from both forms of media, with some added benefits to satirical news.” If anything, satirical news is more effective as it draws more views in than the regular news, and thusly educates more of the public.

Despite the positive connotation that satirical news reporting has, there are also downfalls to the comedy and skits that are performed on these shows. Shai-Ann Richards spoke about the bad reputation the hosts accumulate while reporting on these shows, “satirical news can make professionals seem like liars or deceivers as they are often mocked and made fun of. This is in turn makes it harder for the public to take the people in leadership serious or to trust them, causing them to constantly prove themselves.” The same can be said about the mock advertising that appears during these shows; while the commercials are funny, they also anger the legitimate brands whom are the target of the mocking, claiming these mock ads are potentially injuring sales.


Special Thanks to:

Tori Gligic: http://torigligic.wordpress.com/

Keenan Beaumont: http://keenbeau80.wordpress.com

Shai-Ann Richards: http://shaiannrichards.wordpress.com









CPCF 1F25 Post 4: Is the fake news the real news?!

Within our society presently shows such as the Rick Mercer Report and The Daily Show offer a unique perspective on events around the world. However, given the nature of these television shows, it could be argued that these genres of reporting can be considered culture jamming. As defined by O’Shaughnessy, “The term ‘jamming’ can refer to an obstruction, that is the equivalent of a traffic jam for the media; it can also refer to a more playful, spontaneous form of improvising and engaging with the media, as when musicians jam together.” (213). A recent example that supports Rick Mercer as a satirical news report is his rant on Rob Ford, it was not informative and served a humorous agenda. Rick Mercer often focuses on the social criticism of an issue or event and uses wit as a weapon, as opposed to being educational.

Although shows such as Rick Mercer and The Daily Show often use political and cultural events as material for their satire, they criticize these events from the perspective of the audience. O’Shaughnessy explained the “…objectives of culture jamming often include consciousness raising, as well as using the media to criticize the media” (215) as an effective way to connect with their audience. The use of comedy draws in viewers, while subtly educating them on the issues surround their culture. However this can lead to misinformation and skewing of perspective, if there is not informed of the accurate events prior to watching the show. As well, a majority of viewers tune into satirical shows such as the Rick Mercer Report and The Daily Show for the humor and defamatory skits rather than the “reporting” of events and issues. Mocking or slandering celebrities is a common trend in culture jamming, another great way of drawing in viewers.

O’Shaughnessy wrote about a number of issues that can arise from a legal standpoint, “culture jammers can be sued for brand tarnishment, brand infringement, copyright violation, and even defamation”  (224). Using celebrities or political figures whose careers are dependent on reputation and the perspective in which society views them are not inclined to support satirical shows. Legal issues can lead to censoring or taming the content that is spoken about on these shows, or alternatively, elevate the ridicule.

O’Shaughnessy, M., & Stadler, J.. (2012). Media and Society. 5th Ed. South Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

CPCF 1F25 Response 3: Demonstrable Demographics!

Many of my colleagues chose intriguing advertisements that lend to the current societal norms that we face on a daily basis. I find this trend to be enlightening that despite the endless amounts of advertisements that dominate the media, that we don’t necessarily find applicable to our life, there are plenty that have got a grip on what it means to be a young adult in today’s society and what interests us as a target group.

Advertisers utilize the current trends and popular celebrities to boost the desire for their products. Advertisers use celebrities while they are at the peak of their fame or the popularity of their current project to entice viewers to buy their products. Viewers of Victoria Secret’s “I love my body” campaign is chalked full with the famous Victoria Secret Angels, all exclaiming to love their bodies. Korinna Charette the blogger whom centered their post around this advertisement pointed out the influence this will have on women yearning for the body type that these celebrities not only have, but are claiming to love: “The phrase “I love my body” is, in my opinion, trying to make women want to lose weight and look like the women in the ad instead of loving what their body is actually like.” This advertisement is successful as it has become a social norm for women to look this way or to desire to look this way.

Not only do advertisers understand and keep up with the interests of my generation, they also understand what motivates us. Brooke Harnum, for example, chose an ad designed to divert people from smoking. The ad cleverly points out that occasional smokers as still being smokers. Brooke explained that this ad represented the “normal behaviours, beliefs, and values of those displayed by adolescences and young adults today”, as well as her belief that the message of the advertisement as being successful with it’s viewers. 

Although my colleague were diligent in analyzing advertisements that were geared towards our demographic, a few pointed out the failings of advertisements that I found enlightening. I personally find advertisements weakness in being too specific with their advertising.  Keenan Beaumont chose a Nike advertisement that focuses on athletes and how their products can benefit athletes. Keenan Beaumont recognized Nike’s intention of “preying” on athletes and the heavy usage of celebrity athletes to do so. However, for an advertisement to be successful they must reach the largest demographic possible, and by narrowing their target audience down to only athletes, Nike has made an ad for a minority of the population.


Special thanks to:

Brooke Harnum: http://brookeharnum1.wordpress.com

Korinna Charette: http://lookingformargo.wordpress.com

Keenan Beaumont: http://keenbeau80.wordpress.com


1F25 Post 3: What the Hail?!

1F25 Post 3: What the Hail?!

For my advertisement, I chose a Proactiv ad that targeted young women whom suffer from acne. Growing up as an adolescent, and even now as a stressed-out young adult, acne was a sensitive subject and an insecurity for myself and many others. Proactiv targeted teenage women whom are at an age in which their looks and relationship status are focus points in their self-worth. Michael O’Shaughnessy discussed how “the media will address messages to specific aspects of you identity for marketing purposes or serve vested interests” (page 188) Proactive suggests that a girl’s acne is why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, and subsequently suggests that by using Proactive both her problems will be fixed. Although this advertisement is cruel, it is effective; Proactiv is currently the top selling acne remedy in the country, and with their largest consuming market to female teenagers whom are suffering through puberty. The connotation of “boyfriend” solidifies the notion that this advertisement is targeted towards females. As discussed by O’Shughnessy “gender is central to identity and gender socialization is one of the earliest processes of interpellation” (page 185), and the use of pronouns and the confirmation of a insecurity that is common in female teenagers, Proactiv is hitting an identity that is relatable to most girls. What caught my eye was not the product itself, but the blatant disrespect towards women. This advertisement magnifies a minor complexion imperfection into a seemly catastrophic issue that will lead to endless social issues if not taken care of.
Although Proactiv succeeded in their goal of meeting sale quotas, consequently they have earned a negative reputation from outraged individuals. It is arguable that Proactiv is exploiting insecurities that trigger other serious issues, such as mental illness. Overall, I feel this advertisement is clever though cruel.

O’Shaughnessy, M., & Stadler, J.. (2012). Media and Society. 5th Ed. South Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

1F25 Response 2: Do we get the media we want, or want the media we get?

The impact of media has become a very individual experience. Given the nature of Canada’s cultural society, many Canadian’s have yet to reach the depths of mass media due to persona choice or the economic state of their previous residence.  That being said, given the nature of current societal norms it is very difficult to escape the impact that mass media has on our lives as Generation Y; we are constantly flooded with social media and advertisements that we don’t necessarily want but are convinced that we do, and very rarely can we get through a day with a friend or colleague asking the “hey did you hear about…” question. We often choose the media that we want whether it is informative or not.  Keenan Beaumont discussed his struggle to avoid the latest media sensations, while his peers were indirectly encouraging it, “I vividly remember people telling how stupid the [Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball] video was, and thought to my that I would never even bother watching something or ridiculous. It only took about a day or two for me to give in”.  He is right, the video is ridiculous, however, how many of us can truly say we have not seen the video? And how many watched it because our peers told us to?

What we view in the media quite often dictates how we grow to view the world and even ourselves.  Haley Bourque spoke about the idealistic lifestyle that most of us desires has been influenced by the media, “The more we listen or the lives of the famous, the more we want to see this on a day-to-day basis”. More and more do we see society aiming to look and live like the celebrities they adore, no more that financial or health costs.

The question of whether we truly get the media we want, or do we want the media we get, was explored extensively by my colleagues. Matthew Famele discussed a perspective that had not occurred to me even as I wrote my latest blog post, “we see that society has a major influence on media while media has a major influence on society”.  As a society we indulge in what we are interested in, and as a result the media broadcasts more of it. If we were to shift our interests to more meaningful things than the Kardashians, wouldn’t the media have to shift in order to stay the focus of our attention?

Special Thanks to:

Keenan Beaumont: http://keenbeau80.wordpress.com

Hailey Bourque: http://hb123na.wordpress.com

Matthew Famele: http://matthewfamele.wordpress.com

1F25 Post 2: Do we get the media we want, or want the media we get?

As a media consumer, I am very careful as to how I procure my information. With the uprise of the filter bubble and the skewed views that are represented through news outlets, it becomes more apparent how critical we as a society must become of the media.  So do we get the media that we want or do we want the media that we get?

I have developed a habit that I feel is beneficial to my consumption of media; for every tabloid or unsubstantial piece I read or listen to, I locate an article that has mean or insightful journalism, or is even the defying argument of what I had just read. This ensures that I nourish a well rounded appetite for media. However, despite this routine, I find my newsfeeds and new papers flooded with headlines that are not what I am looking for but are geared by my perceived interests. The unavoidable filter bubble on my computer does a great job of skewing my browsing to what they have predicted my interests to be.

That being said I don’t doubt the media machines making profit “education and informing” society have a heavy hand in what is flashing across my screen.  O’Shaughnessy and Stadler explore this notion in the textbook “This is not to say that the media set out with this educational -teaching- agenda in mind, or that they are necessarily even conscious of what they are doing, but that the influence they have on us as we grow up, reading and consuming the media, is to give us these patterns that explain how we will see ourselves and others, how we will understand gender, race, and our own identities as men or women with particular national, cultural, and religious identities. “ (page 35).  It is too easy for us as consumers to become a cog in the media machine that is more interested in churning out a profit than the truth.

We are at the mercy of the media in terms of the perspective we receive on events and groups of individuals, despite how adverse we are in our browsing. Exploring this further in the text, “In general, Western democratic societies have found ways to maintain social stability at the same time as maintaining social inequalities. They have succeeded in influencing the perceptions, beliefs, and values of many people, but winning their hearts and minds so they accept the status quo”  (page 34). It is all too common for society to form opinions of events or groups of individuals based on a collection of carefully pointed stories.

I think it is very easy to find media that we don’t want but are taught to think we want it. It has become the norm to have to comb through the muck of media to find stories that are of your interest or that are valid pieces of journalism. And society is getting very good at that.

O’Shaughnessy, M., & Stadler, J. (2012).Media and Society (Fifth Edition ed.). Australia: Oxford University Press.

1F25 Response 1: Media Impact

As I has speculated, the majority of my peers share similar perspectives and opinions as a whole on the impact of the media, not only had individuals but as a generation.  We agreed that we are all affected extensively more than the scale in which we are, especially negatively. Unfortunately that is where the similarities ended.

I found that very few of colleagues shared the opinion of secular presentation of a group of people. I found this particularly troubling as I feel the integrity of society is far more significant than the impact of marketing. My moral compass could be up for speculation, but I am partial to believe that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, and the right to remain innocent until proven guilty. By pigeonholing a group of individuals into a label or a reputation due to the irrational actions of one individual, those rights are lost and racist or discriminatory opinions grow.

In contemplation of the way in which the media sways societies view of specific groups or incidents, Keenan Beaumont lent this example of 9/11“In a confused state we turned to the news in order to make sense of what happened. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the media has persuaded many to believe that Islamic terrorists were responsible, and that all Muslims are a threat to the United States. Although some media distributors may disagree, I believe that it is completely asinine to blame an entire religious group for the actions of just a few.” I am disappointed that more of my colleagues did not feel this way.

Throughout my exploration of my colleagues work, I came across an argument that although seems quite obvious, I failed to acknowledge the impact of it until reading the findings of Evan Wallace on the topic of the impact of the English language that the media has on society. I, myself, cringed at the abbreviations he had typed in his blog in explanation, let alone someone actually uttering them out loud: “….makes me cringe at the very sight of someone typing, let alone saying out loud. LOL, BRB, AFK, G2G, ROFL, SMH. I know you all know what these mean, and I know they make life behind a keyboard a lot easier, but it feels as if as the years advance and the technology gets greater, the English language seems to diminish.”  Mr. Wallace brought forth a very important discovery; as we as human make great advances in not only technology, but in research and social movements, we fall behind on the basic tools we used to make those advances to begin with. The informality in which we conduct ourselves as a society is concerning; we have become desperate the find short cuts in everything that we do to ensure the fastest results possible. The most recent example of this would be the software update for apple products, specifically iPhones. Within a week of the release of the much-anticipated iOS 7, the iOS 7.0.2 was released to resolve multiple issues that were found in the original software.

I was especially eager to highlight the downfalls of media in my previous post on this topic, I failed to recognize the positive aspects of the media. Adelina Ferati’s discussion of her family fleeing a war sparked this epiphany. “By watching the news and being updated on the safety of our loved ones gave me and my family a sense of relief that we had that option of seeing what is happening.” This admission reminded me of the education and relief that the media can provide for not only individuals but for the masses as well.

Special thanks to the contributions of:

Keenan Beaumont: http://keenbeau80.wordpress.com

Evan Wallace: http://evanwallacecpcf.blogspot.ca

Adelina Ferati: http://adelina23.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/1f25-post-1-media-impact/

1F25 Post 1: Media Impact

I have a love-hate relationship with the media. I have a devotion to the newspaper and religiously scan CNN, however like most of my generation I find most of news on the internet, whether it be on social media platforms, or on legitimate websites.

That being said, I am not of a generation that allows for the wool to be pulled over my eyes; I am fully educated on the topics of censorship and selective publishing, and am hesitant t believe the majority of what I read.  I am firm believer that the Internet can be an excellent resource, if used appropriately. However, considering the mass amount of rumor and useless content that floats around the web, it can be difficult to decipher what is insightful journalism and what is swampy tabloid.

An excellent case of this is the announcement that J.K. Rowling was continuing the Harry Potter empire and writing an eight book. The (not so) inner nerd in me lost her composure and was overwhelmed with excitement. That is until I realized that the “confirming article” was an identical copy of the April Fool’s joke played earlier this year.  To say I was disappointed is an understatement, although I cannot confirm that my reaction was appropriate given the nature of my findings.

My hesitance towards the media does not only stem from heartbreaking rumors, but also from the way the media portrays certain aspects of the news to the masses. The world is wrought with disasters and war, and I feel the media capitalizes on it. Throughout the coverage of wars in the Middle East, the media did not hesitate to display images of populations in defamatory ways. The media went as far as to criticize the solders whom were to assist in peace-making, and neglected to explore the positive impact they were making. It was the media whom created the image of terror in individuals of Aryan identity, and although there are images that support this opinion, that is not where it ends. More common examples of this would be the Holocaust and 1960 racial attacks, while more currently the list has the likes of Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, and Jared Loughner. We as a population have be told that North America is stepping in to assist in war, against the advising of the UN, however to those nations would we be considered terrorists?

Although I love the media for the power in which it holds to make a difference, I am resentful towards what is chosen to use said power on.