SMAD 150 Notes, Weeks 1 & 2
SMAD 150 Notes, Weeks 1 & 2 SMAD 150
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophie Witmer on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SMAD 150 at James Madison University taught by Dr. Leidholdt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see SMAD 150 Mediated Communication: Issues and Skills in SMAD at James Madison University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
SMAD 150 Notes Sophie Witmer 8/29/16 What is Media Literacy??? *the ability to understand, analyze, use words, images, sound, and multimedia formats ● Media messages are EVERYWHERE ○ Vending machines, ads, clothing, video games, internet, music, etc… How does it make sense??? ● Sets of perspectives (how do YOU interpret media?) ***In order to be media literate, be ACTIVE, not PASSIVE; use media to get further in life! Four Dimensions of Analysis: 1. Communication Technologies a. means understanding how new media changes and are changed by the cultures that adopt them i. Video: Microsoft “What is Technology?” 2. Economics of Mediated Communication a. involves knowing how ownership and profit influence who gets a say (and sell) what to whom b. Powerful Media Corporations: i. CBS ii. Disney iii. 20th Century FOX 1. Video: 60 Minutes Tobacco Story 3. Functions of Media in Everyday Life a. entails becoming aware of how you use media and their contents to satisfy your personal and social needs i. entertainment vs. personal identity ii. music, TV, internet, newspapers 1. Video: Uses of Music in “Diner” 4. Meaning of Messages in the Media a. means questioning how others select and shape the “stories” that validate (or negate) your life. i. What does media offer to us? (messages) ii. When we receive the “text,” what is the meaning? iii. encoding vs. decoding (interpreting by questioning 1. Video: Mini USA “Defy Labels” Chapter 1 key ideas: ➔ We live in an incredibly informationsaturated world ➔ Try to figure out how to access info that will help YOU, not powerful corporations SMAD 150 Notes Sophie Witmer 9/6/2016 Media Technology *key terms* ● Media (derived from Latin, meaning middle) in the middle of a communication process, between the sender and receiver of a message ● Traditional Mass Media echnologies that allow communication from one place to be received in many places by a large audience ○ print, magazine, radio, newspapers ○ People are unable to immediately respond to traditional mass media ● Characteristics of traditional mass media (print and broadcast) ○ Known sender/anonymous receivers ○ Oneway communication (not interactive) ○ Clear distinction between producers and receivers Media Characteristics ● Mass Media ○ Senders are known ○ Receivers are anonymous ○ Primarily a oneway ● “New” Media (Internet) ○ Notion of known senders and anonymous receivers problematic ■ Senders can remain anonymous (Yik Yak, phishing) ■ Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. require registration so that the receivers are NOT anonymous ■ Search history can be found easily, making Internet receivers NOT anonymous ○ Often very interactive ■ Communication can go BOTH ways (liking/disliking something on YouTube, writing on someone’s Facebook wall) Technological Determinism ● An approach that identifies technology, or technological advances, as the central causal element in processes of social change ● “To understand the relationship between media and society, the most important question is not ‘What does a new technology do to people?’ but, inst ow do people use the new technology?’ ” Croteau & Hoynes, p. 300 ○ Social construction and technology determinism do NOT agree ○ Technology dictates what humans can do ○ Technology sets the boundaries for humans and how we use it (which is a problem) ○ People can find unexpected adoptions through technology (both problematic and not) ** the OTHER side of the argument: ** Social Construction of Media Media technologies may have inherent capabilities that predispose them toward certain uses, but ultimately those uses are determined by s ocial forces and uman agency. ● Social forces include legal regulations (government), social norms (cultural values), and market pressures (corporate interests) ● Human agency focuses on individuals’ ability to influence the development and application of media technologies More to do with Social Construction of Media ➢ Media are socially constructive ➢ Forces are currently shaping the INTERNET (just like in the past with other technologies) ➢ We tend to regulate the media very loosely (the US government) ➢ Social norms and values shape our views ➢ We tend to value immediate gratification (consumerism, entertainment, spending lots of $) ➢ We tend to value the individual over the good ➢ Media reflects these norms and values ➢ Huge media and technology companies have increasing power in the world (driven by profits and capitalism) ➢ Corporations value profits most of all ➢ Strong personal LOCUS (we have initiative, free will; we help shape the media) ➢ We are OBSESSED with social media right now (and continue to become more addicted every day) ➢ We are giving “free labor” to social media companies (by surrendering our privacy to the internet) Social Construction of Radio ● After W. W. I ○ Many nonprofit station owners ○ Educational institutions owned many stations ○ Diverse content (educational, cultural, political) ○ Much localism ○ No advertising ● Late 1920s ○ Powerful radio networks seize control ○ Influence government regulators ○ Nonprofit broadcasters lose stations ○ Little diversity (entertainment) ○ Little localism ○ Much advertising **MORE about the Social Construction of Radio** ❖ All old communication technologies were new at one point (printing press, telegraph, telephone, radio, tv, etc…) ❖ Ultimately, they were all socially constructive ❖ Commercial radio is formatted now (talk, sports, music; owned by HUGE corporations) ❖ There is little diversity in radio today, little localism ❖ Radio used to be different different businesses, religious groups, colleges/universities, labor unions, etc...all used to own radio stations ❖ Social forces (capitalism, suspicious of regulation, etc., combined to turn radio into what it is today) ❖ Early radio networks (BIG corporations) influenced the government to change the radio systems in many different ways ❖ Radio stations had different missions (to inform, educate) ❖ BBC tried to elevate the cultural and education standards (which was successful in Europe); however, the US made it more about entertainment than anything else Social Construction of the Internet ● Conceptualized in 1960s/70s as technology to facilitate: ○ Military and government communication ○ Computer sharing ● Use required great technical expertise ● Commercialism eschewed ● Culture of openness ● In early 1990s development of WWW (hypertext & browsers) encourage mass adoption ○ Businesses adopt, monetize & seek to dominate ○ Result of a complex social process involving commercial interests, users & regulators to shape Internet ● Web 2.0 coined in 2004 ○ Interactivity and content creation ○ Participation inequality **More about the Social Construction of the Internet** ● What are the social forces shaping the internet?? ○ Government ○ Commercial interests ○ Users of the internet ● We tend to take a very optimistic view BUT participation inequality says that people use some social media more than others Medium Theorists and Traditional Media ● Meyrowitz ○ Medium Theory ○ “Situational Geography” ● McLuhan ○ “The medium is the message” ○ Global village ● Postman ○ Print vs. Image ○ Loss of context **More about Medium Theorists and Traditional Media ● These theorists lean more towards technology determinism ● They believe that the technology can shape our environment ● Meyrowitz the way tv and electronic media break the connection between physical and social space (blurs the distinction between age, gender, and authority) ○ Reality shows (what are the social values of these shows?) “situational geography ● McLuhan the whole world would be a single community (global village); does technology create a single community? No, that is too optimistic ● Postman with the decline of the printed world, the tv presents everything as entertainment (weather, murder, politics...all seen as entertainment now) ● Tv gives shorter soundbites (you can fit more into your computer loss of context) New Media Theorists/Critics ● Many writers today remain focused on technolog er se ● utopian/uncritical visions of early internet ● Give way to contemporary concerns ○ Discourage reading and rigorous thinking ○ Promote an “attention deficit culture” ○ Alter brain development ○ Encourage a “Generation Me” **More about New Media Theorists/Critics ● These people focus on the technology mainly ● Newer generation of scholars are becoming more critical of the internet ● They were overly optimistic when the internet first became a “thing” (they thought that people would become more educated and it would end international strike and we would be able to become a more peaceful world) ● Media can be good AND bad ● New media creates constant stimulation and multitasking (not always a good thing) ● Alter brain development by stimulating one side of the brain more than the other discourages us to follow complex ideas ● Makes us fixate on ourselves and how we present ourselves on social media (facebook, instagram, twitter, etc.) New Media and Social Forces ● Factors to weigh: ○ Technical capabilities ○ Commercial interests ○ User habits ○ Government regulation ○ Human agency ● “A miniscule number of sites dominate web traffic.” These sites are owned by powerful traditional media companies with “roots that predate the web” and “new internetbased corporate giants.” Croteau and Hoynes p.322 **More about New Media and Social Forces ● Will new media technology alone usher in a new utopian era? ● Will the technology itself have the opposite effect and undo our culture? ● The authors of the reading dismiss the notion of technology determinism; they believe that new technology cannot stand on its own ● Commercial media companies are in the best position to steer us to content that glorifies consumption and immediate gratification ● Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Yahoo top 5 websites in the world ● The government’s lack of action shapes the internet ● Should government regulators act to end the level playing field (for the internet) and limit our contact? New Media and the Janus Principle
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