As an uneducated media viewer I had never considered that there were editors and CEO’s micro managing news stories to ensure that only desirable messages are made available to audiences. Often these undesirable stories will be regarding a financial contributor to the media network so reporting on it could sever relationships and result in a loss of advertising for the network. These editors have the power to approve, pick apart or completely dismiss a story based on the “big picture” message that they are trying display to their audience. The way modern media conglomerates to business presents many problems for the credibility of their broadcasts because they have so many affiliates and parent companies that most of the negative financial news gets ignored. Instead, media is obsessed with violence and scaring their viewers into a state of paranoid financial destitution. I did not know that editors were in fact the gatekeepers of public opinion until we went over it in class!
As a white man I found the the theory of Internalized Dominance to have some truth to it, although I disagree with the fact that it is directed at mainly white people. I think that people from all countries will develop some form of internal dominance if they are part of the majority. Not all white people grow up in a majority situation, a friend of mine who happens to be white, grew up in a middle eastern country where he was part of the minority, and from some of his recollections he remembers feeling different, like he was the one out of place. I had never really thought about internalized dominance before it was discussed in class, probably because I have always been part of the majority. It is an interesting theme and I am curious to see how difference cultures express their own individual forms of internalized dominance.
Objectification is becoming a growing problem in western society, with the public starting to take a more liberal approach to life I think that people will be more willing to let themselves become objectified. Women are especially subjected to objectification due to the male desire to witness female sexuality, it is hard to curb the trend though when so many women willingly submit to these practices. What I mean by that is women who have careers as sexual objects like swimsuit models, escorts, ring girls, entertainers and trophy wives will prolong the objectification of women. The issue here is that it is often relatively easy to make good money as an attractive woman and many women are willing to take a little objectification for a lot of money. I am not saying all women are willing to do this because they are not, this applies to men as well, though it is not as prevalent in our male dominated society
I found the idea of encoding hidden messages into their broadcasts and mediums to be an intriguing topic because it helps me to look at the media in a completely different way. Watching a media broadcast in one of its many forms almost becomes a game and it helps you see between the lines which is becoming increasingly more relevant in modern day society. In some cases it is readily apparent where media deliberately misinterpret the facts for the purpose of misleading the viewer. This typically happens when the media outlet actually has something at stake, for instance if the story portrayed one of their sponsors in an unpleasant light. coded media messages present a challenge to a media literate viewer and can make the modern media experience a more beneficial learning environment. With increased media literacy by the public, media networks will either have to stop coding or waste a giant sum of time and money to pull it off.
After discussing the subtleties of media racism in class I took to television and visual imagery in particular to see how prevalent the problem really is.What i discovered was rather disturbing, often kids are used in the marketing and they are color matched by their skin tone to products! There was one advertisement in particular that stood out, there were three products displayed and the original flavor had a white child on the package, the product itself became darker for the next two flavors and so did the children on the label! Another example which I believe we went over in class was the ‘clean baby dirty baby’ photo where the ‘clean baby’ is white and the ‘dirty baby’ is black. When advertisers use examples like these they are associating different colored people to different products when in fact their skin color has nothing to do with the product. This is a poor way to market especially with kids products, we are trying to eliminate bias based on skin color from this world, not encourage it.
The videos we watched in class on April second, regarding the portrayal of women as sex objects, revealed a side of music and entertainment industry that is thoroughly disgusting. What I found especially disturbing was the scene in which musicians were throwing what appeared to be processed lunch meat onto a woman who was dancing while dressed in lingerie. The worst part about the entire situation for me is that the people who support this degrading imagery don’t find anything wrong with it, if I ever saw a musician do something like that I would never in my life support them. It seems that people are becoming comfortable with the mistreatment of others, as this topic has started to wane significantly in media importance in recent years. Just a few years ago when I was in High school the topic of sexual objectification was more of a concern in the media than it is today.
In March of 2012 Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old black male, was on his way to the convenience store during a break of the sports program he was watching at a relatives house when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Travyon was unarmed and had no prior criminal record, yet Zimmerman took him for a criminal based on his appearance and opened fire. Zimmerman claimed self defense and was not arrested or charged, this has led to massive public outcry and heavy media coverage.
The killing of Trayvon Martin albeit a tragic and unfounded killing has helped bring to light the social injustices that are present in the United States as well as some media conglomerates across the world. Since Trayvon was black, police apparently did not have a hard time believing Zimmerman’s self defense claim because after all there is no such thing as a mild mannered and harmless black male in America, right? Social Justice is about equality, people of all colors and backgrounds should feel that the law and those that enforce it represent them as much as anyone else. Let us imagine that the situation was flipped and it was a dark skinned man that gunned down a light skinned teenager, would he have been arrested on the spot? absolutely. This harsh fact further helps us understand how the portrayal of black youth in media has led to a negative public image resulting in events like Trayvons death. Even after police learned that Trayvon was a good kid with no record they still refuse to arrest and press charged against Zimmerman. This kind of situation deteriorates the social solidarity that mixed race communities all across north America have been working hard for years to build. A major social justice is being committed against Trayvon’s family every minute that Zimmerman get to walk around as a free man without even having to defend his innocence in court.