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You’re sitting in your room reading a newspaper, just doing your thing. When all of a sudden you hear a little ring on your computer. Not knowing what it is, you go over to check it out. Turns out one of your friends just read an article on somebody’s blog. You start reading it, and get captivated, you read on and on until you come to the end. You realize that your newspaper is on the floor, what becomes of that newspaper, do you go back to it, or read another post?

There is a controversy concerning the newsroom and the safety of ones home as a place of journalistic inspiration. Although this controversy exists, in my eyes, blogging to the world could be a way of journalistic expression. It’s been left out, just like Regina George was when she was wearing sweats.
According to Newsonomics many reporters actually go through this process and become bloggers, just like Jon Lasner.

This could all correlate with the idea of the Agenda-Setting Theory, which states that the news media doesn’t tell us what to think, but what to think and worry about. Same goes for blogging. In the world of the blogosphere, people are writing stories about incidents and issues in the world. They’re making you think about what is going on in their opinion, versus an unbiased outlook. David Carr a columnist on media for The New York Times gave countless number of cases where the issues of blogging as a journalist came across. Essentially the issue was, whether it was credible and whether information was true.Thenextweb.com stated, “You can’t just sit on your computer all day. You need to get off your butt, go out there and interview sources, investigate the issue yourself and then write what you’ve learned.” My rebuttal to that is something that I learned in my Media Writing Class… You can grab information from anywhere, even in the privacy of your own home. We are surrounded by information and the world is at our fingertips. No matter how you get, information is always available for you to use.

In conclusion. The news media today is creating a schism all on its own. Blogging, Newspaper, Broadcasting, Youtube, whatever media device you use… Anything can be considered journalistic, as long as you are credible and being smart. Without the credibility or the edge that makes your piece stand out, you cannot call yourself a journalist.

 

 

Don’t Let Go!

Last week was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The ship of wonders, the dawn of a new era, this ship was supposed to be the shining vessel of modern day (at the time). However, we all remember the movie Titanic with the ever so beautiful Rose and Jack Dawson. While the couple was waiting for the lifeboats, they waded in the below freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean. Jack stated, “Don’t ever let go.” Rose stuttered an agreement. After noticing the lifeboats, Rose quickly turned to Jack cheerfully and realized he was no longer with her. She quietly muttered, “I’ll never let go,” and she let poor Jack submerge into the depths of the ocean. Have we done this with the media we once cherished and grasped onto with our lives? Have we let go?

In his book Newsonomics, Ken Doctor entitles a chapter called The Old News World is Gone: Get Over It. I for one refuse to let go, and offer a small rebuttal to his argument. When Doctor (2010) speaks of the “Old News World” he’s speaking of methods of news retrieval by the general public, in this case, newspapers and news broadcasts. Doctor (2010) speaks of a “Reader Revolution,” which in turn means that the readers can choose how to get their news information be simpler means. In his words (2010), “It’s a revolution of choice and ease.”

Here is my argument to him, the likeliness that the Old News World is gone, is just as possible as me having the desire to become President of the United States. I don’t believe the Old News World can die out. In the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times, the camera crew looks at how the New York Times stays afloat and still has the ability to act as a print source of news. David Carr, a columnist for the Times, was one of the individuals the camera crew followed around.

There’s a scene where an individual from an online news source spoke against print media and stated that no one truly goes for their information. Carr simply stated that everyone depends on print sources still, for example, the gentleman’s news website. Carr presented a collage of stories written by the gentleman’s website, and held up the same collage of stories but cut out all the ones that were linked to the Times. It goes without saying that the second collage was empty and full of holes.

In an interview Carr stated, “They asked, ‘Who reads The New York Times?’ And I would say about 90 percent of the hands went up—and, yeah, there were a few people who wished The New York Times would fail. But what is it that these people are constantly annotating? Where do they get this data that they pore over? It’s very often the work of The New York Times and other large news organizations like it.”

I am arguing that the Old News World is not gone, but just a bit more hidden in the shadows. In the meantime, the Old News Media groups stay alive by offering online services. This correlates with the Advertising Revolution described by Doctor (2010) who describes it as an issue at hand because newspapers are losing ad space due to the fiery intensity of the internet. However, according to the St. Louis Journalism Review, “the news isn’t dying; it’s shape-shifting.” The newspapers are hitting the internet and charging people to view their information. For example, in order to access the New York Times individuals have to pay in order view the content.

The original news media outlets will never let go, they’ll just hide in the shadows. Just because they’re not as prominent as before, they’ll always still exist. Online media outlets and other news gathering groups rely on the print sources to gain the main information needed.

Sources:

Steege, J. (2008, January). The shape of newspapers. St. Louis Journalism Review. pp. 12-13.

Rossi, A. (Director). (2011). Page One: Inside the New York Times [Documentary]. United States: Magnolia Pictures.

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

Rumor Has It

April 20, 1999 is a day that has gone down in history as a day of death, sadness, and fear. On this day at Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went through the school causing chaos. These young men killed 13 fellow students before taking their own lives. But why? Rumors have been growing causing great controversy on the subject. What has the media led us to?


Some of the rumors being thrown around included the fact that the young men were being bullied, according to Cullen’s (2009) book Columbine. In reality Eric was a well received young man, he had the looks and had the popularity. The fact of the matter is, he was a sociopath and Dylan was incredibly depressed. Another rumor that rose with the media’s coverage of the event includes a group known as the Trench Coat Mafia, which happened to be a body of students that constantly wore trenchcoats, were loners, and continuously listened to the macabre lyrics of Marilyn Manson.

All these rumors were being thrown around thanks to the media. Two theories match the purpose of why such things were said at the time. The first theory is called the Cultivation Theory which states, the more a person focuses on violent images on television, the more likely they’ll continue seeing the real world, as the mean world. An example of this occurrence could be the Marilyn Manson myth, stating that thanks to his music and his look, it helped drive the two young men to shoot up the school. Manson stated once in an interview, “Blaming me for [Columbine] was ridiculous. It’s a lack of responsibility from everyone. If you want to blame something, well, I went to a Christian school. That’s why I write what I write. Shall we blame the Christians?” It’s all a blame game, just because his music is seen as dark and macabre, he automatically has to be blamed for the shootings? The other theory associated with the events, could be the Agenda Setting Theory, pretty much stating, the media can alter or determine what we think and worry about. A rumored example could be the story of Cassie the Martyr. It was stated that Cassie was murdered for her belief in God, the media blew up about this, and Cassie’s fame grew. However, that apparently didn’t happen according to Cullen. In reality a young woman named Val was asked the very same question, and yet she was not shot because of it, the young man simply ignored her and walked away. The media kept focusing of Cassie, causing the world to call her a martyr and a brave soul, when in reality the young woman that actually went through it was criticized for wanting attention.

Rumors can occur between enemies and friends. No matter what, rumors will fly all around us. It is our duty to focus on reality and focus on real facts. We should not be persuaded by one source constantly, we should look at all sources of information before we go around making statements that we know very little about.

We all remember those Disney classics like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast. We witness their beauty and grace always exemplifying what it means to be “lady-like.” Although these films are entertaining and boosting the self-esteem for young girls, the end result could lead them to become monster toddlers.

Disney movies tend to present young ladies as independent, thin, “beautiful,” and incredibly mature. The women that happen to become princesses, usually start off by being economically and socially casted out. Young girls happen to see this, and automatically let their imagination run wild, especially after Disney usually expresses, “Anyone can be a princess.” They feel the need to become this princess, because according to Disney, anyone can be one. They provoke the idea even more by producing materials that would make them feel even more like a princess. These materials include, costumes, makeup kits, etc. Not only that, they persuade young girls to take a trip to a Disney themed park (all expenses paid by their parents), “A Kingdom where dreams come true.”

Disney is persuading children to fit their mold, as well as maturing them at an early age. According to the Symbolic Interactionism theory of George Herbert Meade (Found in A First Look at Communication Theory by Em Griffin) the young girls are creating their ideal selves through the images presented by Disney. For example, by taking the role of another human (or in this case an animated character), they create a mental self image of themselves. They, in a sense, step in the shoes of the princess and look at themselves as a young girl. They mold themselves into the image of the princess, that way they could be just like them. This results in the young girl to attempt to act older than she really is. According to Barbaro and Earp, “To build brand loyalty as early as possible, youth marketers use a technique known as ‘age compression,’ meaning that they take advantage of a child’s natural developmental urge to be older and more mature than they actually are” (p 13). Which is evident in the cosmetics, apparel, and dolls that they market to the young girls, getting them to become more familiar with adult-like products. Since they place themselves in the shoes of the princess, they tend to adopt the persona of the princess and behave in a matter unlike their own. Instead of acting like a child, stereotypically care-free of ideals, they start to portray mannerisms of femininity and poise. Wohlwend states, “For girls, gendered talk included the following: “wearing femininity, body movements [e.g., twirling (hair or skirt), curtseying], make-up, beauty, and fashion talk” (p 60).

As consumers, we have to understand that not only are we always being targeted, but the youth of today as well. It’s an issue that is sweeping the nation by storm affecting those we care about so dearly.

 

“The consumer embryo begins to develop during the first year of existence. Children begin their journey in infancy, and they certainly deserve consideration as consumers at that time.” -James U. McNeal

 

Jule, A. (2011). Princesses in the Classroom: Young Children Learning to be Human in a Gendered World. Canadian Children, 36(2), 33-35.

Griffin, E. (2008). Symbolic interactionism of George Herbert Mead. In M. Ryan (Ed.), Communication: A first look at communication theory (7th ed.) (pp. 59-68). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Wohlwend, K. (2009). Damsels in discourse: girls consuming and producing identity texts through disney princess play. Reading Research Quarterly, 44(1), 57-83.

Barbaro, A. & Earp, J. (2008). Consuming kids: the commercialization of childhood. Media Education Foundation Study Guide, 1-20.

Image hyperlinked to source.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ2lXGK5juYGoDaddy.com has always been known for their commercials, especially during the Superbowl season, but have they taken it too far this time? During the 2012 Superbowl a GoDaddy commercial aired that starred Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels, and Natalia Velez. In this commercial both Patrick and Michaels were painting Velez discussing their new “.co” domain name, painting advertisements on her. Now the camera only focuses on a certain body parts of Velez, that suggest that she is naked. In the end, Michaels and Patrick back up, look at Velez, and claim they’ve missed “spots” on her body. This ad appealed to a large crowd, but to a very specific crowd. This ad, however, degrades women and uses them merely as objects and “poster pieces”.

One thing is certain, according to Mae Anderson, “This year’s ads use celebrities, nostalgia and sex appeal to draw in the 111million-plus viewers who are expected to tune in” (Associated Press). Which is entirely true in this case, GoDaddy decided to use sex appeal to reach out to the middle-aged male entrepreneurs. They provoke the consumer to check out GoDaddy in order to display the end result of the commercial. Seth Winter, senior vice president of NBC Sports group sales & marketing, said some of the commercials he saw were “astonishing”. Mainly, because most of the Super Bowl commercials are funny or action packed. GoDaddy didn’t seem to have a very humorous or riveting commercial. Although very intelligent to appeal to their target audience, it’s entirely degrading towards women. However, their exploitation of women seems to have worked, because during the Super Bowl, their was a giant spike in Web Traffic to the site after it aired, reports BusinessWire.

According to the Media Literacy Project, this one ad uses several persuasion techniques. One of the techniques it uses is the “Association” technique (pg. 7) that relates the product to either wealth, beauty, intimacy, or security. In this case it related the product to possession, by possessing the product, the individual would become appealing to beautiful people, thus resulting in intimacy. Another persuasion technique they use is the “Beautiful People” method (pg. 7). By using the model, plus two attractive celebrities, they’re attracting the attention of the consumer to lure them into gaining more interest.

GoDaddy also made their incentives clear as well, by having both Michaels and Patrick talk about, how much people would notice a “hot model” in body paint. They’re clearly putting that in the text in order to make the ad seem less vulgar. However, they do happen to place suggestive ideas within the subtext to urge the consumer to go to their website. By suggesting that the model is naked, they’re emphasizing the idea, that is the consumer visits the site, they could possibly see the rest of the commercial and check out the site pleasurably. It doesn’t help that they have two “attractive” celebrities put the body paint on her, this is just displaying the message that if a woman can openly paint on a naked lady and be urge consumers to go to this site, then most women shouldn’t have a problem, and the ad is “just another ad.”

GoDaddy will do anything it takes to catch the attention of their target audience, no matter who it might damage in the long run. People have to realize that we don’t live in a world of black and white, we live in a world of abundant colors. Not noticing this could result in chaos and unequal opportunities. If we live in a land of freedom and democracy, why should we degrade others to make one group feel superior than the other.

Anderson, Mae. “Super Bowl ads battle for championship.” Associated Press [New York ] 5 Feb. 2012: n. pag. http://www.associatedpress.com. Web. 5 Feb. 2012.

Video obtained from youtube, and the image is hyperlinked to its source.

 

Oh hello there! I didn’t see you standing there! My name is Daniel Arthur Roberts, but everyone calls me Dani. I am a sophomore Communication Studies major with a concentration in Mass Media and minors in Women and Gender Studies and Sociology. I am a Resident Assistant, member of the Longwood Ambassadors, Student Diversity and Inclusion Council, and a columnist for the campus newspaper, The Rotunda. My future plans are to go into the entertainment industry as a television talk show host, and hopefully become a voice for those who have been brought down by society.

When I was younger, Lilo and Stitch became my everything, and I fell in love with its message. I was always an outcast as a child for being more feminine than others and Lilo and Stitch taught me that I wasn’t alone, and if I continue being myself then I will find happiness soon. People thought I was strange for loving Lilo and Stitch, but then it became a positive label. My parents found my media interest a little misunderstanding and uncommon for an adolescent male, but they let me continue with my interest. I still have great interest in Lilo and Stitch, and it shall continue to forever.

 

Image of myself from Facebook

Image of Lilo and Stitch retrieved from Google

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