Bigger Might Not Always Be Better!

Do you know who controls what you see? Times have changed from when our parents watched the news. Over the past 20+ years the amount of companies controlling the news we see have decreased from 50 to about 6. According to Ken Doctor there is the “Digital Dozen, twelve companies fighting to have control over the news industry”(Doctor, 2010). Fox News is one of the largest media companies that has the most impact on this country; Rupert Murdoch has great control because of his media empire.

How did this all start?

Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News, which was bought out by News Corporation in 1985. In 1995, Murdoch started up Fox News Channel to acquire “Fair and Balanced” news. The problem is that since the beginning of Fox News it has been seen that they are unfair and unbalanced. Murdoch owns  “9 satellite tv networks, 175 news papers, 100 cable channels, 40 book imprints, 40 TV stations and 1 movie studio making his total global reach 4.7 billion people”(Greenwald, 2004). This kind of outreach makes it easy for one to manipulate the news and have multiple sources agree even though all the sources are owned by the same person.

Why does this pose a problem?

With such a large global reach by Rupert Murdoch, it is easy for him to manipulate the news in order for it to reflect his views and also have multiple sources seem like what is in the news is true. In this case Murdoch’s news empire reflects his conservative views.  It has been estimated that “Murdoch and his company News Corp. have spent close to $50 million here in America through well-heeled lobbyist” (Colarusso, 2011). With his power, he has used his money to persuade lobbyists and law makers to relax guidelines that would make it harder for him to snatch up multiple media guidelines. He has spent $5 million dollars a year to help push his conservative agenda.

What does this do for our news?

Since Murdoch is a known backer of the Republican Party, he strives to make sure that his “fair and balanced” news leans heavily to the right. Recently, the Moody Memos have come out. These memos are daily letters sent to the various Fox News stations by editors in NY and DC. The memos stated what the news should focus on to put the right wing in the positive spotlight and the left wing in the negative spotlight. As Fox has grown the blending news and commentary has become more and more apparent. Jon Du Pre, a former Fox reporter, stated that “they weren’t a news gathering organization, but a proponent of a point of view”(Greenwald, 2004).  With Fox as the leading news channel in the nation, its large audience is now mistaking opinion for fact. Shepard Smith explains that he was told by a representative of Fox News that “Bill O’Reilly, Neil Cavuto and Glenn Beck aren’t really news people, they are editorialists and ought to be analyzed as such”(McDermott, 2010). This can be shown with Bill O’Reily’s talking points in his show. It is hard to differentiate what is fact and what is his opinion.

In an interview with a Fox news representative they stated that “I think we are the counterweight… I think that they have a liberal agenda and I think we tell the other side of the story”(Smith,2011). So instead of the representative defending the fairness and balance of Fox, they actually admit the fact they are very much conservative because the “liberal agenda” forces them to be. Ultimately the bias and unbalance causes us as the viewer to believe false information. A recent study by Fairleigh Dickinson shows that because of Fox News opinionated style of reporting, Fox leads people to be even less informed then those who do not watch the news at all.

What does this do to us as the viewer and America as a whole?

We are heading towards an election this year where most Americans won’t be in a room with the candidates, most people learn about the candidates from what the media shows them or doesn’t show them. With Fox News being one of our Digital Dozen their outreach can and does affect political views within this country, even if the “facts” they give are false or have been spun to make the opposition look bad. To help out its right wing agenda, this past election, “Fox has devoted more time to floor speech at the republican national convention then they do with the democratic convention” (Morris, 2007).  Even now with the election only 7 months away it is important that we as viewers make sure we look at other news sources so that we get accurate information about what is really going on in our world. While yes it is great that these super news companies like Fox News in the Digital Dozen can get us “news” faster than ever, the downside is that multi-billionaires such as Murdoch can and do influence the news we get.

The super news companies are slowly straying away from fact based news to opinionated, it is hard for the viewer to get the real story because there are so few news outlets to get accurate information. While it might seem great that we can now get news whenever we want with these “digital dozen” companies like Fox news, it does come at a price. That price is at times misinformation and bias. So it is important to ask yourself, “Is bigger always better?”.



McDermott, T. (2010). Dumb Like a Fox. Columbia Journalism Review48(6), 26-32.

Morris, J. S. (2007). Slanted Objectivity? Perceived Media Bias, Cable News Exposure, and Political Attitudes. Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited)88(3), 707-728. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2007.00479.x

33 internal FOX editorial memos reviewed by MMFA reveal FOX News Channel’s inner workings | Media Matters for America. (n.d.). Media Matters for America. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from

Colarusso, L. (n.d.). How Rupert Murdochs Money Helps Him Makes Friends – The Daily Beast. The

Daily Beast. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from

Doctor, K. (2010). Newsonomics: twelve new trends that will shape the news you get. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

”  Bay of Fundie» Blog Archive   » Bias-Free Dennis Prager Sees Bias.” Bay of Fundie. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <>.

“Fox News, Bret Baier Show Complete Lack Of Respect For President Obama « The Gholston Post.” The Gholston Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <>.

“Murdoch Jibes the Obama New York Times | The Wrap Media.” | Entertainment Industry Analysis, Breaking Hollywood News. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <>.



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Don’t Slay This Gentle Giant

“Look how the mighty have fallen”. This phrase, one we are all familiar with,  can be used to describe the 2007 collapse of the 18-0 Patriots in the Super Bowl or even with the 2011 Red Sox, going from first place to missing the playoffs in three weeks. The most shocking example of this saying, however, is that of the news paper industry. Over the past few years I have walked down my driveway and slowly realized the absence of plastic wrapped news papers around the neighborhood. This change didn’t faze me until my house stopped receiving the paper also. I asked my father why we had not been receiving it. His answer- “Hey, what’s the score of the game?” in which I replied- “Hold on, let me check my phone”.  Then it dawned on me. I realized that the new age of internet and smart phones was slowly choking the news paper industry to death. Granted, I wasn’t oblivious to the fact news papers companies were seeing lower numbers for there had been multiple articles about lower numbers, but I just thought it was because of the economy. If this trend continues to occur print media as we know it may cease to exist.

As I was reading “Newsonomics” by Ken Doctor, he brought out just how far the news paper industry has declined. Doctor says, “over the last 5 years, U.S. newspaper companies have cut their newsprint usage by 40 percent… about 20 percent of the news room staff has been cut”(Doctor, 2010). It is being compared to being the worst financial crisis for the news paper industry since the Great Depression (Salman,2011). If the News Paper Industry collapses, tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs.  What is causing this collapse at such a high rate? The answer is simple- technology.

I myself own an Android phone; on that phone I have an app for the stocks, weather, and sports. I also have an app for MSNBC which brings me up to the minute updates about world, political, and US news. Such media outlets like MSNBC CNN and NBC all now have 24 hour news websites. It is much easier to just go on those websites and find what information you need, the best part is, that it is on your time. You do not have to wait for a news paper to come to your house to learn about daily US news. If you can’t find the news you want, all you have to do is go to a search engine like Google, and it will look all over the web to find the story you want. In the time of “I want it now”, the news paper industry is very much so behind.

What is happening to the paper?

As previously state, the paper is slowly dying off, but the numbers aren’t widely advertised. On Sundays are the days the papers make the most money from its advertisers; however, according to Perez-Pena,  “Sundays have seen a decrease of circulation 4.8% annually in 2007” (Perez-Pena, 2008). If the papers cannot make as much money from the Sunday and even weekday circulation they lose money, when they lose money they cut pay or even cut jobs. When this happens, there is less coverage, and  some papers might stop daily circulation, “since the decline, 100 dailies are no longer daily” (Doctor,2010). With the lack of printing, advertisers are putting them their ads online where they can reach far more people and even have their ads on websites that will reach their target consumers.

Is all hope lost?

As it seems like there is no way the news industry can turn it around, there are ways they are trying to keep from going bankrupt and continue to circulate newspapers. A good majority of newspaper companies are turning to the internet. It seems odd at first that they would turn to the thing that is single handedly destroying its industry. In reality, it is genius. In 2007, “The Washington post saw revenues grow by 28% thanks to online viewership” (Wharton,2008). The reason for the revenue increase was due to the fact that advertisers were spending money for internet ads. When people would Google something The Washington Post would now show up in the search engine. Another more powerful way the industry is trying to save itself is by lobbying to the senate. The news paper industry and senate, “held a hearing on possibly changing the Antitrust Law to allow more collaborations and mergers in the newspaper industry…”(Kirchhoff, 2010). Some think that the Federal Government should support the news paper industry with federal funds to help maintain business. For others, they feel that even with all the online competition, the paper industry will stay strong, Werbach notes, “I don’t need the Washington Post anymore to give me my weather, sports scores, or basic news of the day, but I could still use its perspective on what is going on in Iraq, or how the Presidential campaign is going”(Wharton,2008).

The Newspaper has been around for over 300 years. It has lasted longer than the Quin Dynasty, the Prussian Empire and has seen itself go from the printing press with removable text to high tech computers and printers able to print thousands of pages per hour. The Newspaper is a vital role in our society. It is imperative that it cannot fail, and as of now, steps are being taken to make sure it doesn’t.

Doctor, K. (2010). Newsonomics: twelve new trends that will shape the news you get. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Kirchhoff, S. (2010). The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition.Congressional Research Service1, 1-28.

PÉREZ-PEÑA, R. (n.d.). Newspaper Circulation Continues to Decline Rapidly – NY Times Advertisement. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from

Salman, A., Ibrahim, F., Yusof Hj.Abdullah, M., Mustaffa, N., & Mahbob, M. (2011). The Impact of New Media on Traditional Mainstream Mass Media. Innovation Journal16(3), 1-11.

Web vs. Print: Online Successes at One Newspaper Raise More Questions Than They Answer – Knowledge@Wharton. (n.d.).Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from

” Google Image Result for”Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <

“BOSSY BETTY: The Newspaper: Either You Get It or You Don’t..”BOSSY BETTY. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <>.

“Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » White House Has MSNBC Hosts Over For Breakfast….” Weasel Zippers . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <>.

Google Image Result for” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <




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Beyond Scared Straight: The Media

It is a nice spring morning on the day of April 20, 1999 in a suburb of Denver called Littleton. Parents were getting ready to leave for work, and students were on the bus ride to school longing for their summer vacation. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were seniors at Columbine High School. They both woke up like any other ordinary day; only instead of packing their backpacks, they started packing pipe bombs, propane tanks, and TEC-9 semi-auto machine guns. In the next few hours, the largest school shooting of that century was going to occur. Within minutes of the homicides, police and S.W.A.T were on the scene along with news crews from the local media outlets.

Once the national media outlets caught wind of this story, every news stations was broadcasting the story, only relying on testimonials from survivors. The media produced a story without any solid proof or facts. The stories struck fear into the homes of Americans across this country due to their cultivation of fear and lack of accurate facts before reporting the news. The inaccurate accounts produced by the news affected how Americans felt about everything from pop culture, cliques, and even gun control. The media started up a fire storm about the gothic movement and bullying in this country. Granted, some of the topics produced helped the public become aware of laws and school procedures that needed amending, they also struck the country with fear due to 24/7 coverage of the attack during and after the shootings.

The news media struck fear into Americans with the use of the Cultivation Theory which stated the media is exposing people to bad things, in this case Columbine. In return, the viewers were convinced that Gothic pop culture is bad, and that death metal and violent video games are the root to violence and aggression in this country. In the documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, Michael Moore brings up the fact that other countries, specifically Germany (the home of gothic music), listen to and live the gothic life style, and yet they don’t have the school shootings like we had in Columbine. The day after the shootings, The Washington Post reported: “The shooters who turned Columbine High School into an unspeakable landscape of carnage yesterday were members of a small clique of outcasts who always wore black trench coats and spent their entire adolescence deep inside the morose subculture of Gothic fantasy” (Fisher 1). The news took the outcast roll of the gothic lifestyle and used it as the root of this massacre.  The fact the boys were assumed to be part of the Trench Coat Mafia is what links them to being gothic.

Once Goth lifestyle was accused for these killings so was the music they listened to. Most widely targeted artist was Marilyn Manson. He was accused due to his songs about suicide and death. Manson feels otherwise, “It is easy to throw my face on TV because I represent what people fear, I am the poster boy” (Moore, 2002).  Manson also brings up the idea that the media is the reason for this fear of the Gothic movement, the fear of his music, and the fear of life in general.  “The media runs on a campaign of fear, they inject aids, war, floods, and death, then cut to commercials for Colgate because if you have bad breath people won’t like you, if you have a pimple the girls wont (expletive) you..”(Moore, 2002). Manson also states that “blaming me for the shootings at Columbine is just as possible as blaming the President” (Moore, 2002). Manson stated this because on April 20, 1999 the largest one day bombing by the US occurred in Eastern Europe in a City called Kosovo. Manson goes on to say that he imagines that the president is looked up to and is a greater role model than he is, so by seeing this leader with power bombing a country and killing people it could give people the idea it is okay to kill.  He says instead of apologizing to the Eric and Dylan, he would listen to them because that is what nobody else would do, listen.

There was no way to get away from the fear of Goths or the fears of letting your child go to school because you were afraid they would be killed. People couldn’t get enough of this story, the local news paper “printed a total of 56 pages of news about the killings in a 3 day span” (Strupp, 1999). Another study showed, “a search showed within a 30 day period, 683 documents of print and broadcast were collected by using  the terms “Columbine” and “Littleton” and the main key words”(Unnlthan,2009) on average it would take 15 months to accumulate that many stories.   This constant deliverance of the killings in Columbine causes the audience to believe that Goths are all evil and that the killings were based on targeting bullies. In reality,  Dylan and Eric were not Goth, and they were not targeting specific people. Instead the news took interviews and twisted them like the one with Bree Pasquale. Bree stated to the news that “they shot anyone wearing a hat…they didn’t care who it was..”(Cullen, 2009) In that interview, Miss Pasquale says four separate times that the killings were at random, yet the news took the fact they shot people with hats as a sign of targeting.  The news also portrayed the killers as “part of the TCM a cult of homosexual Goths orchestrating a bizarre death pact for the year 2000.”(Cullen, 2009). From those words “homosexual Goth”, the religious right helped stereotype the Goth lifestyle, Rev. Jerry Falwell stated, “Two filthy fags Slaughtered 13 people at Columbine High.”(Cullen, 2009).

Through all the bad, there is one newspaper that did the right thing. The Chicago Sun-Times kept the school shootings off of its front page; it did so “because it was concerned that such treatment could harm or frighten vulnerable children”(Fitzgerald,1992). The news media struck fear into the hearts and brains of Americans by giving out so many reports and news articles about this shooting. More specifically, the quick jump to conclusions with the motive the killers had along with what their demographic was made people fear the gothic lifestyle. For me, it has opened my eyes to the fact that because humans want instant gratification, the news had to make reports immediately without 100% fact, so along with the news, viewers are also responsible for the fear campaign against Goths and the gothic movement.

Moore, M. (Director). (2002). Bowling For Columbine [Documentary]. United States: United Artist.

Cullen, D. (2009). Columbine. New York: Twelve.

Fitzgerald, M., Moses, L., & Strupp, J. (1999). H.S. shooting kept off page one: Chicago sun-times decides to put horrific inside for children’s sake. Editor & Publisher132(17), 6-7.

Strupp, J. (1999). Denver news overload: Colo. newspapers deal with two big stories at once. Editor & Publisher,132(18), 12.

Glenn W. Muschert, (. (2009). Frame-changing in the media coverage of a school shooting: The rise of Columbine as a national concern. The Social Science Journal46164-170. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2008.12.014

Works Cited of Pictures

Marilyn Manson Music Wallpaper | Music Wallpaper Pictures and Backgrounds. (n.d.). Music Wallpaper Pictures and Backgrounds. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from

Red Raven Inn – Pandora’s Book – Level 4 – Trenchcoat Maffia. (n.d.). The Portfolio of Jitse Lemmens. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from

The stone is cast –   Alan Wolfe – (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2012, from

fallmediaenglish / BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE WIKI PROJECTS. (n.d.). fallmediaenglish / FrontPage. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from









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I Got Congestive Heart Failure in My Happy Meal!!

“McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut”. Do you remember hearing or even singing that song on the play ground or even in class during Elementary School? What about competing with your friends to see who can collect all the Happy Meal Toys First? For most of us, we have these memories. But why do we all have these memories? The answer is quite simple. McDonalds targets children in their ads by the use of toys, songs, fun characters and even once used the most “Magical Place on Earth”, Disney.

I found this topic important because, before this class, I never really thought about advertisement to children via toys and what health risks could come out of targeting children to consume mass amounts of Happy Meals. It is important to show that there might be a direct link from McDonalds advertising to children, to childhood obesity in this country. People need to know that currently in the United States, “about one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963.” While it is not only the fact of childhood obesity going up, it is the fact that McDonalds Corporation will go at any cause to mislead a child in its advertisements of food, and real the child in along with his or her parents with a plastic toy made in China.

One major factor used by companies such as McDonalds is known as the “Nag Factor” where children ask repeatedly for an item such as a Happy Meal. My question is what does McDonalds Happy Meals have that makes kids want them so bad? A major influence on the children is the Happy Meal toy itself. According to Dr. Lambert and Dr. Mizerski, “McDonalds has long been the largest distributor of toys in the world” (Lambert, Mizerski, 2010). Since McDonalds began giving away toys, “20 billion Happy Meals have been sold since they were introduced in 1979. “Out of all the Happy Meal toys that were being given away with the meals, the Teenie Beanie Babies were defiantly the most popular, having more than 100 million given away” (Fuller, 2010).

“McDonalds, is the nation’s largest fast food restaurant. McDonalds spends more money than their competitors on advertising and marketing to children (Munger, 2004). McDonalds would go so far to attract children, that they would pay “$100 million  in royalties and conduct 11 promotions a year for Disney films, videos and TV shows, with seven aimed specifically towards the young Happy Meal Consumer” (Rachel, 2006). Luckily, Disney cut ties with McDonalds once it realized that American children were developing unhealthy eating habits because of the attraction of the Happy Meal toy. A mother of a Happy Meal consumer even stated, “He (Calvin) is interested in the toy aspect more than the food” (Rachel, 2006). This goes to show that the children do not really care what kind of food they are getting their parents to buy as long as they get the gratification of that toy. As much as the kids do not care about the food, neither does McDonalds considering the average meal consists over 600 calories and 3.6 grams of trans fat.

Not only has the “Nag Factor” been started by all the “must have toys” from McDonalds, another factor for why children want Happy Meals could be the fictional characters McDonalds has created. These characters are  Big Mac, (named after their ever so delicious number 1 combo), Birdie the Early Bird, Captain Crook, Grimace, Mayor McCheese, The Professor, The Hamburgler, and of course the face of McDonalds, Ronald McDonald, the lovable burger clown. Now, by the time McDonalds Introduced all of these Characters (excluding Ronald) they had been a successful company for almost 30 years. Why would they need to create such a lovable gang? The answer is easy, to get more children to drag their parents to McDonalds to see the gang. Now it is easy to think “why don’t the parents just say no?” Well there are  several reasons, parents love their children so it is hard to say no to such a pretty face, the next is that they get annoyed by the children’s nagging for the  Happy Meal, and the third being it is a cheap meal. Unfortunately McDonalds does this to help advertise towards the parents, they make the meals cheap, so low income families will buy their food even though the health risk that come with it can be detrimental.

Now I do not have hatred towards McDonalds for making money, my disappointment goes towards the fact they are misleading children, and taking advantage of low income families while giving them nothing but unhealthy food. It can be compared that McDonalds and Ronald McDonald could be the next Joe Camel, considering “the insurance companies have paid more money with obesity related illnesses than tobacco related incidences” (Munger, 2004).

The way McDonalds advertises to children has gotten to an all time bad considering “Ronald McDonald is recognized by 96% of all American schoolchildren” (Munger, 2004). McDonald’s advertisements to children, especially when young children have a hard time establishing differences between television programming and commercials, are taking an advantage of these young minds.  Also, McDonalds puts parents in an odd place because usually parents do not like saying no to their children. With the constant nagging parents will give in, in order to please their child.  These advertisements are sucking American families in to McDonalds more and more often, which are not only unethical, but also causing children to live shortened less healthy lives, and doesn’t everyone deserve to live healthy? As McDonalds directly advertises to innocent children, it is important to educate children, brothers, sister, nieces and nephews that even though the toys, fictional characters and playlands are fun and cool, McDonalds doesn’t care about them or their health all they care about is their money.

Works Cited

Lambert, C., & Mizerski, D. (2010). PURCHASE OF A FAST FOOD CARTOON CHARACTER TOY PREMIUM TARGETED TO YOUNG CHILDREN. American Academy Of Advertising Conference Proceedings, 90-92.

Fuller, E. (2010, November 4). Happy Meal ban: No toys for you!. Christian Science Monitor. p. N.PAG.

Rachel, A. (2006, May 8). The Nation; Disney Loses Its Appetite for Happy Meal Tie-Ins; As more children lean toward obesity, Mickey and Co. lean away from McDonald’s fast food. Los Angeles Times (CA).


Overweight in Children. (n.d.) Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Photo Work Cited

History Characters. (n.d.). Macs Happy Toys Intro Page. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Libertarians 4 Freedom: The war against Ronald McDonald.. (n.d.). Libertarians 4 Freedom. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Remembering McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. (n.d.). Gunaxin Gadgets | games, toys, computers, electronics, vehicles, and more. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

slide shows, articles, web links on obesity, fast food, children’s television ads | Public Health and Social Justice. (n.d.). Public Health and Social Justice | educational slide shows, articles, web links. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from


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Mr. Sandman Bring Me Motley Crue?

As many people do, when a commercial comes on, I change the channel to something that’ll interest me more. For me, there is only one exception, Superbowl Sunday. As most Americans do, I watch the game mostly for the football. This year though, some of the commercials really made me think about who they were marketing to and what the real meaning behind the commercial was.  In the Kia commercial produced by David and Goliath Ad Agency, a man and his presumed wife are asleep in bed as the Sandman comes out to give them their dreams. The Sandman gives the wife her dose and the wife dreams about riding on a unicorn with an attractive man. When the sandman goes over to the husband he trips pouring the dust all over him, instantly the man goes into an extremely heterosexual dream. He dreams of rock bands fast cars and scantily clad women. I wanted to find out who this ad was directed too and if there are any messages or stereotypes shown.


In this commercial, it appears that they are trying to sell to men who are between the ages of 25-40 who are white males. It seems this way because when the man’s dream begins Motley Crue begins playing. Now it could be that the Kia Motor Company is trying to get the older generation to buy this car by having them relive their youth by playing Motley Crue.  As the man is driving around in the car, thousands of super models watch him while they are wearing bikini’s, which is another thing men enjoy; attractive women. As the commercial goes on, two rather large strong lumberjacks are sawing at a large sub sandwich while a UFC cage fight is going on. Finally at the end of the commercial, he saves his wife from her dream. All of these factors in this dream are very manly, what male wouldn’t want to drive fast to Motley Crue while being gazed at by attractive women. This ad is completely directed to men. This can be clearly seen because “The media stereotype is that men are simple, testosterone-fueled creatures who are interested primarily in power, sexual conquest and success”(Sand 2010).The testosterone-fueled can be seen by driving fast with no limits,  the power can be seen by being the center of attention, the sexual conquest can be seen by all the attractive women watching him in joy and the success can be seen when he rescues his wife from her dream.

What seems like Kia is trying to say, is that the all new Kia is something you would dream about, but the best part is that you dream has now come true. The music and characters of this ad shows just how dreamlike this car can be and just how manly you will be if you buy one.  A subtext I feel is shown is that Kias aren’t girly cars but the manliest of manly cars, that if you do not own one you are a lesser of a man.

Kia uses several techniques to try to sell this car, the first being plainfolks which is “a technique strengthens the down-home, “authentic” image of products.” Also, “beautiful people” is used. This is when a commercial uses attractive people to catch our attention such as models. The last tool of persuasion used was the use of celebrities. These celebrities included Motley Cue, Victoria Secret Models and Brock Lesnar a UFC fighter. Another tool used to get there commercial out there is what is known as the “Pregame Warm-up” In which “an advertiser announces its product a week or two before the Superbowl” (Nail 2007).

For somebody who has never seen a commercial or know anything about real life, this commercial makes it seem like Kia has the perfect car, that when a person drives this car, they automatically become a manly man with all of his wildest dreams coming true. It shows also that all men like manly things, like fighting, rock music and super models. Unfortunately, this ad shows hyper masculinity which empowers man as only extremely manly while it disempowers women and metro sexual males or even homosexual males. It does this by showing as earlier stated only manly images. It infers that driving this car will make you the manliest of the men, and only the manliest of the men can drive this car. What if that isn’t what you want to be? Is it still okay to want to buy this car? Another criticism I have in this commercial is the ad never states how much the car is,  that buying this car will not result in being a manly man, and especially what is the MPG which is so important especially with the gas prices now .

While yes these Superbowl commercials are quite enjoyable, the companies that back them will go at any cost to show false realities , and it is important that we can see beyond the marketing sceems set by these companies and purchase good for their uses and not their appeal set by the commercial.



EBSCOhost Discovery Service: What’s it mean to be a man?  . (n.d.). EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

Motley Crue discography reference list of music CDs.. (n.d.). Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Discography Database: Bands Starting With Letter A – Heavy Harmonies. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

Nail, J. (2007). Visibility versus Surprise: Which Drives the Greatest Discussion of Super Bowl Advertisements?. Journal of Advertising Research, 12, 412-419. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from the EBSCOhost Discovery Service database.

World Car Kia Dealers | (n.d.). – Latest Kia News | Cool Pictures Galleries | Insight to Upcoming Auto Shows and More. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from




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About Us

My name is Brandon Kelly. I am a sophomore Mass Media major. I currently live in Midlothian VA and I am also a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity. I hope on working in the sports field when I graduate. I enjoy watching sports and also hanging out with my friends and brothers.

                A media artifact that I remember is 9/11. I was a fourth grader at Gordon Elementary when we were told about what happened.  I myself like any other American have a love for this country so it stands out to me in my memory especially because it was the first attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. For once, it was like Americans no longer had issues with each other and stood together as one. Especially now with the elections going on, it is hard for Americans to see eye to eye. My Mom had a hard time with 9/11 because that is the city she grew up in and she loved very much. When the teachers told us about what happened it was hours after the events occurred. They told us minimal details and told us to go home and talk to our parent which is understandable when dealing with such a graphic event. As I look back now 10 years later it’s still surreal that an even like this occurred, but it brought our country together and that is what we need is to be brought together.

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THE University

THE Longwood University, it is no longer that small college out in Farmville Virginia. Longwood is now one of the major colleges in Virginia and one of the top ranked schools in the south. This small school of about 4,800 students has a vast amount of organizations within its campus. Men, how does the sound of a 3:1 girl to guy ratio sound to you? Quite appealing I assume. Ladies, how does the fact that Longwood is the home to FOUR alpha chapters for sororities? Do you want to go away to college and not just be a number, but actually be known by name? Then Longwood University has got to be the place for you!

Founded on March 5, 1839, as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, Longwood University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States and one the oldest public institutions of higher education for women in the United States. The Farmville Female College was incorporated in 1860 as the increasing prosperity of the seminary led the stockholders to expand it into a college. On April 7, 1884, the state of Virginia acquired the property of the Farmville Female College, and in October of the same year the Normal School opened with 110 students enrolled, making it the first state institution of higher learning for women in Virginia. It became the State Normal School for Women in 1914, the State Teachers College at Farmville in 1924, and Longwood College in 1949. In 1954, graduate programs were authorized. Longwood became fully coeducational in 1976.

Longwood University is one of the best schools in the state to further your education. In fact, if you are looking to become a teacher, it is one of the best schools in the nation! It has recently been accredited by The Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in the southeast, ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the best colleges in 2011 and U.S. news ranked is as one of the best colleges in 2012. Not only is Longwood one of the best schools in the state of Virginia, it also has a culture that many of the major schools in Virginia have.  Classes are small, but that is a good thing. You are able to develop a relationship on a more personal level with your professors. Almost everyone knows each other and greets each other with a smile.

There are several groups and organizations of people that comply to various cultures, making Longwood diverse and extremely acceptable.  Clifford Geertz and Michael Pacanowsky, both are experts on culture in organizations and we can use their findings to further understand the culture of Longwood and all of its students. According to them, “culture is not whole or undivided.” That statement shows that it is natural of humans to associate themselves with others of the same interest. At one point, Geertz says, “ even close knit societies have subcultures within their boundaries” We can relate this with Longwood because Longwood has over 200 clubs and other activities to join, so basically there is something for everyone who goes to Longwood.

Longwood is a melting pot and with how corny it sounds, it is very much so true. When Pacanowsky studied culture in organizations, he found using metaphors “clarifies what is unknown or confusing by equating it with an image that is more familiar or vivid”. In this case, you but everything in melting pots, bread, cheese, meat and vegetables, although cheese might hang out with meat, he/she also hangs out with bread. Everybody hangs out with everybody at Longwood.

Along with metaphors come stories, Geertz states these as “stories that are told over and over provide a convenient window through which to view corporate webs of significance.” Stories help us understand things about different organizations; it also helps us learn the history of some as well. One type of story is a collegial story; this type of story as Pacanowski explains is, “positive or negative anecdotes about others.” There are stories about every organization whether it be at Longwood University or up in Wall Street.” One story that is very much so used especially in the first few weeks of school, are those of members of Greek life. For the first few weeks each Greek organizations members go out at talk to freshman about their organization and bout all of the volunteer work and fun activities they do for the campus and with other fraternities and sororities. One negative story that might be said that because Longwood is a small school that makes it a party school which could lead to dangerous drinking habits, but all of this is untrue. It is easy to see how one could come to this conclusion especially with it now being shown that College-age adults average nine alcoholic beverages when they binge drink. This assumption of small schools being party schools is a clear cut example of “default assumptions” as mentioned in A First Look at Communication Theory (Griffin, 2009). Default assumptions, is when we take a situation and assume ones role. Joachim   Knuf says, “ritual is thought to lend itself to the development and maintenance of positive relationships among individuals or groups in an organization which are achieved in its mutual enactment and performance.” At Longwood Rituals and traditions are something we pride ourselves on. From Greek Week, Oktoberfest, Spring Weekend, Chi walks and Princeps, the traditions and rituals of Longwood University cannot be beaten! Knuf says that rituals bring people of a particular organization closer together. For example, the Chi walks at Longwood is a tradition that is almost a lifetime old, it promotes tradition and school spirit  which brings the student body together to appreciate the secret society.

Longwood’s Chi and Princeps, in my opinion are worth preserving.  Chi is so important because it is the spirit of Longwood; it is the spirit of being the best you can be and always going the extra mile and give the assisting hand to all who seek it. It also shows the primacy of alma mater, its usefulness and its accomplishments over the almost 200 year history. Chi walks are events that are just as popular as athletic events and if you are one of the lucky students to find a Chi dropping you have an artifact worth keeping. These droppings are good luck especially academically. The Princeps 7 is also another important symbol here at Longwood University, just as Chi uses the seven point crown for good luck ( you will see many of these painted on the ground here at Longwood), so does Princeps. Both promote academic success and integrity and overall being what Longwood likes to see, a citizen leader.

Four major signs are prevalent here at Longwood University, these being the seven pointed crown, the rotunda, the lancer, and the Princeps seven. These signs are also known as semiotics which deals with signs people see and the thought that comes to mind after they see the symbol.  The crown as earlier said is associated with Princeps and brings good luck, the 7 also known with Princeps is known for academic achievements, the lancer is the mascot of our dear Alma Mater and the Rotunda is also a symbol of our school, it is seen on everything from diplomas to stationary.

Longwood is more than a school for its students. It is a new home and a second home. It is a way of life. Every day you will learn something new about this amazing and historic campus. We cannot wait to have you visit our wonderful campus and we hope you pick us as your college of choice!



A First Look at Griffin, E.  (2008).  Communicationcommunication theory (7th ed.)  Boston: McGraw-Hill

Knuf, J. (1989). Where Cultures Meet: Ritual Code and Organizational Boundary Management. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 23109-138. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Why Longwood. (2011). Retrieved from

“News from The Associated Press.” News from The Associated Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2012. <>.


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States or Bust!

Monacan High School, a small high school in comparison of others in the state. In one sport though, they have been at the top of the food chain for years. Football you might ask, or maybe basketball, actually it is men’s volleyball. Luckily for me, I was able to be apart of this powerhouse starting my sophomore year. I came in never playing before, lucky for me I had some of the states best players and best coaches to learn from. Their were different kind of stories and situations I was able to acquire my skills a relentlessness from.

These stories and situations, related to Geertz’s three symbolic interpretations of story: corporate stories, personal stories, and collegial stories mentioned in A First Look at Communication Theory. Although Geertz’s symbolic interpretations are meant to focus on the corporate work place, in high school, the volleyball court was my work place. I worked towards a scholarship (that ended when I blew out my knee).

In the world of Monacan Volleyball, the corporate stories (defined as tales that carry management ideals and reinforce company policy) , would come from Hillary Clark, we can look at her as the CEO with the accreditation of Multiple RVC (Richmond Volleyball Club) Championships a .750 win record all time, Dominion District Boys Championship, 2nd place finish in Regionals and 3rd place in States. Her stories would be in the for of advice on how to cover blocks, or how to run a tandem, or run a pike. She would Teach serves whether it was a jump serve or a floater. She would press the issue on never quitting on a play. Her positive comments would enlighten the team and her encouragement would push the team through a rough stretch during a game.

Next in the Corporate world of Monacan Boys Volleyball would  be personal stories. These stories would come from the upper class-men such as Micheal Kobel (now starter for the mens volleyball team at GMU), Tyler Schleinkoffer, who holds the record for blocks in a game at Monacan High School. Ryan Ropelewski , who now is a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. These stories would be told to put them in a good light. Such stories about there freshman years and how they were undefeated and pulled up to play on the 2002 Stat Championship Varsity team. To us sophomores, they were legends, every other week The Richmond Times Dispatch would be interviewing them and the team as they made the quest towards another State Championship.

The third set of stories, are collegial stories those being positive or negative anecdotes about others in organizations. For my team, these stores would be about our rivals such as Midlothian, or the hated Cosby. In most cases it was about Cosby and how they pulled all the best players and tried to cheat there way to a State Championship. The best part was, we beat them both times that years. One of those times they left the court in tears. We would talk about other players to watch out for, what serve they liked and what there weakness was. This would take place during film sessions or in the corporate world would be seen as meetings.

With all of these stories I learned in my time with Monacan volleyball, they can be used in the corporate world. Those such as teamwork, the ability to work hard, being able to come through in a stressful situation and being able to push yourself further than you could ever imagine.

Griffin, E. (2008). A first look at communication theory. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

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It is High! It is Far! SEE YA!!!

Hours before the World Series, you arrive at one of sports most famous buildings, Yankee Stadium. You and your colleague walk down on the field, freshly painted with the World Series logo. Just a week ago you were walking on to Lambaeu  Field. These moments you will never forget as long as you live. You have the greatest job on earth, a Sports Caster for ESPN.

In my opinion I feel like this would be my perfect job for me when I graduate. I feel this because I love sports, I enjoy talking about sports I enjoy debating about sports. Sports are what has kept America together through the worst times in our history, I want to be apart of that. Also, who wouldn’t want to visit such great places as Yankee Stadium, The Big House, Giants Stadium and Lambeau Field?

Schooling requirements needed for such a job would be at least a B.A. in Communications but a Masters would provide a more competitive edge. Also, extra curricular activities will also beef up a resume. Longwood Provides many activities  such as WMLU sports committee. They go to the basketball and baseball games and do the play by play for each. Another good activity to do would be The Rotunda and write columns for them. Another thing to join would be the Rotunda Show, this group of people film, produce, star in, and edit there own news show about the Longwood Campus. The mass media course also provides classes that can help give you an edge, such classes as Comm 241: Basic Media Reporting and Writing, Comm 341: Advanced Media Reporting and Writing, and Comm 443:Advanced Broadcast Production. One major advantage that Longwood has over every other school, is the requirement to do an internship to graduate, this creates networking for the field you want to work in.

All my life I have watched sports, I have heard some of the greatest play calls and have seen some of the most incredible moments in sports history. To work my whole life in this field would be incredible, it wouldn’t be work too me because I would enjoy so much it wouldn’t seem like work. So hopefully when I graduate and you turn on ESPN or the Yes Network, you will hear my voice and see me up in the booth calling the World Series, or maybe leaving my mark in sports history.



Mass Media – Longwood University. (n.d.). Longwood University. Retrieved January 5, 2012, from


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Ain’t Nothin But A G Thang Baby.

Step outside, look around at the people and look at what they are wearing. You can see hundreds of colors hundreds of people all outside walking around carefree. What they wear can sometimes represent views, feelings sports teams or even a sense of style. Unfortunately, in some neighborhoods, some of the colors you see people wearing can get you killed. Almost every color has a gang affiliation if you wear the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time you can, and most likely will be killed, but for what? Wearing the wrong color?

Both the bloods and the Crips began in the 1960’s; both as non-violent gangs just as a group of kids representing what part of South Central LA they were from. Eventually this grew to fist fights, and when the introduction of crack cocaine in the 80’s men from either side of the gang would kill just so that they could make money. The bloods wear the color Red for obvious reasons and also wear green to symbolize money. Most Crip sets wear blue. Some people believe the origin of the color is from the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. Other believe they started wearing blue because of “Buddha”, who always wore blue shirts, khakis, shoes, and a blue bandana from his left poccet, which is why Crips flag out the left side.

According to Barthes, as talked about in A First Look at Communication Theory, semiotics is the study of social meaning towards signs and symbols. It examines how something can stand for something else (Griffin, 2009). The sign and symbol is broken down into the signifier, the physical sign or meaning and the signified. The blue and red clothing are the signifier and what they stand for, which is the Bloods and the Crips are the signified.

In layman terms, in life what might be one thing to you, has a completely different meaning to a whole other group of people, it can be something as an piece of clothing. Now, I don’t want people to stereotype and thing any kind of “thug” looking person wearing these colors is gang affiliated, in all likelihood they aren’t. Some other symbols can help identify such as tattoos, verbal calls such as “Soo Woo”(what the bloods say) and even hand signs. To me, the saddest thing is that a boy going to school maybe wants to wear his favorite Dodgers jersey, and because it is blue he could be shot and killed, just because of a color. Unfortunately this happens a lot, and the scary thing is, it happens to people of our age.

Griffin, E. (2009). Communication: Afirst look at communication theory. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies .

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