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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2100F/G
Jonathan Burston

HOW THE MEDIA BUSINESS INFLUENCES SOCIETY CROTEAU&HOYNES Ch. 6 If the media change, their impact is likely to change as well SOCIAL INFLUENCES o How the medias very presence has influenced how we understand ourselves and our world Ubiquity of Commbercial Media: All the Worlds a Sale o Commercial medias greatest impact: colonization of social space Saturated in media Expansion into virtually all public and private life o The media are commercial enterprises in 2 fundamental ways: Media content is advertised and sold to consumers as products Are vehicles for more advertising that sells other products (ex. Newspapers) o Everything, it seems is a product and ad o Myth: the media just give people what they want Ie. Paying attention to audience taste h/e audiences actively avoid ads media finds surreptitious ways to advertise Captive Audiences o unavoidable advertising o ex. Students forced to watch Channel One complete with advertising schools are high commodity o book covers, writing contests, music broadcasts with ads, approved logos on assets, learning comp. prog.s o airports, gas station pumps, elevators o stealth adv Saturation o highly conspicuous/unavoidable o domination of television program, sporting event o coverage of physical space Blurring Advertising With Content o merge ads with media content o cartoons based on toy characters o music videos promoting endless new music releases o products in media content o products stamped with sports logos; playing surfaces and uniforms; stadium names; virtual ads computer generated for tv watchers o pop-ups, banner ads Sneak Attack ads o unexpected places o links in digital tv programs o computer generated product placement: alter the virtual ad based on markets; different countries see different ads Promos and Brand Names and Ads, Oh My! o Childs entertainment is almost exclusively aimed at selling products o The metalesson (moral) of the story is consumption o The avg. US child recognizes corp. logos by 18 months o The material culture represented by the media cultivates/encourages an ideology based on consumption o Takeover of all aspects of childrens imagination o Advertising fosters a skeptical, or even cynical, buyer beware view of the world in media savvy consumers. It engages us with humour, music sex, and flashy visuals o As our lives are increasingly entrenched w ads, we are left with a much narrower public spehere for ongoing and serious discussions and debates about ideas and issuesthe kind of deliberation that is a foundation for a just and productive society Audience Fragmentation o Techniques for reaching particular demographic groups o Todays cable channels are usually narrowcasting instead of broadcasting; tending specific audiences o Exposed to indices of income, race, age, gender o the electronic equivalents of gated communities within which small segments of society essentially talk only among themselves o society-making media is weakened: specialized media = fragmented society o falsifying product history for market appeal (Bell changed Italian for Italy phone service) o media sources are also stratified affluence appeal newspapers try to attract the wealthy for their advertisers eliminate distant audiences and low income A Media-Saturated Society: Fish in Water o overthrow public spaces with ads o adapt to the environment as fish in water POLITICAL INFLUENCE o impact of the media properties owned by these conglomerates anf from industry lobbyists and campaign contributions Media Corp.s and the Political System o lobbying efforts campaign contributions are ideal if they promote companies agendas o media industry hold fundraisers for friendly politicians o have politicians on payrolls who rep. their interests o 1998: with the expiration of Mickey, Disney got a 20-yr extension on all copyrighted works o Bob Dole calls Congress a big, big corporate welfare project o Media giants use the political system in ways similar to other industries. H/e, the media ind. Can influence politics in unique ways as well o Media have control of the info. about public figures: publicity is the most powerful weapon that can be wielded in a republicif control of the media was concentrated in a few hands, then woe to those who dare to differ with them. o Abuse of media power is always a potential problem o Media influence by omission o The bigger the company the higher risk of info. abuse. Rupert Murdoch is a symbol of this potential threat o Murdoch has also repeatedly used his media holdings to advocate his conservative views and to promote or punish politicians o Murdoch started a 24-hr news channel, FOXNews, and put political conservative Roger Ailes in charge former Reagan media adviser The Politics of Content: Antidrug and Promilitary o Another type of political influence occurs when corporate media team up with government to inset certain messages in media content o In 2000, networks teamed up w the White House to insert anti-drug messages Indicates government inject and warns consumers that further collusion could arise Prime-Time Propoganda o The military has been involved in promoting itself through movies for years: Top Gun o Gov. reps go to media corps with movie ideas THE SPECIAL ROLE OF NEWS MEDIA Although the news media were applauded their coverage of 9/11 public skepticism and mistrust of the media returned failure to scrutinize the Bush admin.s erroneous claims regard weapons of mass destruction Declined public trust in the news media The free press is criticized when public figures are given handouts to promote specific ideas Several of the medias characteristics are often cited for their corrosive effect on the public sphere. Drama, Sensationalism, profit for media companies recipe for civic disaster endless series about corruption and depravity o post-9/11: the coverage seemed to take a serious and sober look at the event and its aftermath h/w claimed that nothing would ever be the same return to scandal: war on terror o negativity: news seems to focus on shocking, disturbing, depressing events compassion fatigue among citizens o Events Instead of Issues: brevity and drama; rarely are people engaged as citizens with a role to play in the unfolding drama o Personalities Instead of Politics: deliverance of drama through the personal lives of public figures; human interest approach has a place in journalism, but it has displaced more substantive analysis and examination of public policy and social issues o Fragmentation and Superficiality: coverage is fragmented and episodic; little depth or context o Lack of Relevance: the news media often dont address the concerns of avg. citizens, focusing instead on insider politics and economic info. for the investor class. news media are often interested in reaching only the particular desirable demographic groups that advertisers covet, many news media outlets do little to engage broader groups of citizens or educate them about the significance of civic affairs o Strategy Over Substance: game of politics, highlighting the strategic actions of various public figures Distracts from the substance of political actions Generally employs a two-sided approach The news media generally address people as consumers and spectators, not active citizens News does little to help teach citizens about how government works or why they should care CONCLUSION: the ubiquity of media and advertising has transformed social experiences in daily life THUSSU LIVE TV AND BLOODLESS DEATHS: WAR INFOTAINMENT AND 24/7 NEWS live TV is news because of it cotemporaneity and the ability to transmit it instantaneously to a global audience The demand for live 24/7 news can lead to sensationalization and trvialization of ooftern complex stories and a temptation to highlight the entertainment value of news CNN created a new paradigm of 24-hour news culture which has led to the CNNization of television networks across the globe War as Infotainment: this type of coverage is in the process of being globalized given the power and influence of the Western, or more specifically, US model of tvnews Television news and the 24/7 cycle Television transcends linguistic and geographical barriers. Images carry greater influence in shaping opinion that words Tv news is seen as authoritative and therefore trustworthy Growing commercialization of the airwaves The shift from public-service to ratings-led tv , dependent on corp. advertising and a heterogeneous global audience, has implications for news agendas and editorial priorityies Developments in communications tech.s such as as satellite and cable, and especially the availability of digital broadcasting, has made possible the global expansion of news and current affairs Gulf War: the first war shot in real time for C
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