David P. Amelotti

Simply, A Work In Progress!

Month: February, 2013

Network’s Corporate Ownership and Overexposure in Today’s Society

Compare the television landscape of today with the landscape depicted in Network. In particular, how has the average television viewer’s (if there is such a thing) news gathering methods and sources changed?

In an article provided by Professor Oldham, it was indicated that CBS, ABC, and NBC average from 5.5-7 million viewers during the evening news time slot. Those numbers aren’t very impressive if one considers 108 million individuals tuned in for the 2013 Super Bowl. However, these lower numbers are understandable if compared to the time period that the movie, Network, is based out of because at that time there are only a handful of stations competing for viewership. With the emergence of cable tv, AT&T Uverse, and other unique services, individuals can have channels in the 5000s.

If there is one element of the article that I find that stands out the most in comparison with Network is the ownership of the stations. As stated in the article “ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.”

All of the television networks today are owned by large global corporations. No longer do we see a home grown corporation in full control of their programming, causing havoc in the lives of employees.

Disney has their hands in almost every market and the same can be said of Warner Bros. Entertainment. The world, through advancement in cellular devices, the internet and television, the world has become a far smaller place. All of these corporations are vast empires looking only to make a profit and the competitive edge may not be present as it was 50 years ago.

4. In Network, programming the news is taken to the extreme. To what degree do you feel the news is programmed in reality? Support your answer with details and examples.

In the movie, Network, extremes are taken as they take a man considered to be mentally ill and they thrust him in front of a live audience and cameras and portray him as a modern prophet.

Do news networks take the extremes today?

I have one example that suggests that those in affiliated with the news have no emotions or if they do, there is a switch turned to the off position when covering their assignments. Take the Sandy Hook shooting: a story that swept the nation, in fact students from the school performed at the most recent Super Bowl.

How did the news originally cover the situation?

Let us focus on CNN who after arriving at the school, describing the location, they began pulling children and interviewed them. They put children under the age of 10, who were crying, confused, and scared on TV to depict what had happened. That is pretty sick if you think about it. Ratings would indicate that such an emotional interview would be a great attribute in taking down competition as well as establishing a dark shroud over the viewership. To inflict fear on the viewers and to instill in their minds that their network, CNN has all the answers is an objective they strive on a daily basis.

Many media outlets in the United States struggle to move on. Months we hear about one shooting which will last until the next which causes for studies to be published and experts on morning talk shows discussing the psychology of a mind that has the audacity to take the lives of children.

Some may see this mentality as insensitive to the situation however others have a mindset that we should not over expose our vulnerability.

This nation will reflect the tragedy of 9/11 until the earth crumbles but even in the roughly 12 years since, the country has transitioned into mourning into remembering which allows for a rebuilding process. The Freedom Tower is being built taller than the original Twin Towers, a symbol of this nation’s strength to rebuild to greater levels that dreamt imaginable.

However, a sense of patriotism that one may embrace when seeing the new building being constructed combats the media outlets as every year during the week, “Remembering 9/11” all the same clips are shown, we begin to recognize faces in the crowds running away. I think the constant redistribution of the same material, having the same discussions, which are what causes us to go numb with emotions. We become accustomed to seeing the pain – we become casual when discussing a terrorist attack that killed over 3000 innocent people. One may read that last sentence, but how much did that shock you? The writing might not be compelling but the vast overexposure by some media outlets has reduced the true detriment of the event.

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Natural Beauty: Dove

In regards to the case discussing Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, I was personally impressed with the concept of showing “every-day” women in an effort to promote all women are beautiful. Personally, I enjoy that normal women were depicted instead of female models because you should not have to strive and even starve yourself to be a certain size. Working in an effort for personal health is one thing, but models can be the extreme. The beauty of the women in the ad was further supported by the commentary made by students in class.

The ad could also be considered as a message directly to all women that all women are beautiful. That is a pretty healthy message. Some critics were cited for believing the campaign was manipulating women because of a potential lack of self-esteem.

In response to the Micro Issue number 3:

It appears that Dove’s motive is to sell these beauty products to women in an attempt to offer them the feeling of being beautiful. Women, like those depicted in the campaign are in fact beautiful but it seems these products being provided to the public are not telling the women to change their physical selves to become beautiful but simply use their product which acts as a morale booster.

 

Big Daddy Evaluated by TARES Test

The Superbowl commercial I selected was Bar Refaelis Big Kiss Go Daddy Commercial. Using the TARES test, one can evaluate the ad on productivity and effectiveness. This commercial can be found on youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EFfZ3_0Uro

T: It is difficult to tell what Big Daddy was being truthful about: maybe sex sells or those who fall under the category of nerds truly struggle with women. Clearly the purpose of the 49 second commercial was to fuel conversation that would attract more attention and motivate individuals to visit GoDaddy.com.  

A: – The entire controversy surrounding the commercial was that it lacked authenticity. Why was it necessary to have an attractive blonde model make out with a socially awkward man? They knew it would be effective! BigDaddy.com was not paying millions of dollars to air that commercial to be the number 1 rated commercial. They knew that by making the viewing audience uncomfortable, they would be memorable and therefore injecting themselves in Monday morning water cooler conversation.  

R: If one is finding it difficult to find the respect for the audience after watching this commercial, that is only natural. Personally, I became frustrated midway through the commercial because it was so blatantly obvious that sex appeal was being used to sell the website. One should feel insulted by how obvious it was made that BigDaddy.com knows people are foolish enough to accept the method.

E: As stated above in regards to respect, there is a lack of equality between the sender and the receiver as the viewers are the victim to the mindless selling method of the manipulation of sex.

S: Despite my personal frustrations, the social controversy does target whether or not the commercial was socially irresponsible. Is it appropriate for two individuals to be lip-locked for nearly a minute during the Superbowl when many families with children watch spectacle? In that situation, a parent’s job is to parent and can regulate what the child watches by viewing the commercials. Some may find the concept humorous; I did until it went past the 10 second mark. Regardless, this commercial although not the most memorable, it was effective for BigDaddy.com.

Staged Events By Politicians Acceptable When Not Caught

If there is one aspect of the provided materials for Wednesday’s class that truly fascinated me, it was the Stephen Colbert piece on the staged event by Paul Ryan. Ryan who was running for Vice President alongside Mitt Romney, staged an event where he went to a local soup kitchen and began to clean dishes. As Colbert would go on to explain with enjoyable humor, Ryan had arrived at the soup kitchen after all had been served and had gone home. In fact, one article stated that Ryan began to wash dishes that had already been cleaned. In the 21st century, it is should not be any secret that events are staged by those running for office but the term “sick” could be applied when candidates are caught in action, lying to the public in which they are hoping to gain votes.

In regards to the Midrange Issue #5, the article, “Visualizing September 11th,” provides a photo of an unknown man falling from one of the towers on the day of the terrorist attack. As #5 instructs, one is asked to compare this photo with the photo taken by Stanley Forman which was of the woman falling from the fire escape which was analyzed earlier in the semester.

The purpose of these photos are to convey a message and develop and emotional relationship with the readers. These photos are effective. Clearly the two are visually similar as there is a living body at the time falling to the ground. This man jumped in an attempt to save his life or maybe out of fear unlike the woman as she was unable to take hold of the fireman in time bore the collapse of the faulty fire escape. As with the Stanley Forman photo, I would run this photo. This photo shows the vulnerable state of the nation and sense has been one of the identifying images of the event. In a way, this picture is one of hope, hope in the mind of this man that he may live, or hope that one day the country will unite and one day be stronger.

Journalist: An Emotionally Involved Person

In class on February 3rd, we read an article about a teacher conducting her introductory reporting class at Columbia Journalism School in September of 2001. The instructor went on to explain how her class was barely a month into the course when the terrorist attacks occurred, causing the twin towers to crumble to the ground. As an assignment, she had her students write articles on the event and was surprised the variety of topics that were discussed: racism and prejudice, personal reflections, undertakers organizing corpses.

 

This story of inexperienced writers was part of a larger question in regards to journalists being emotionally involved in their stories. Does it allow for true journalism to be conducted? It is of the opinion of some experts in the field that it is the job of a journalist to become emotionally invested into every topic he or she researches. That the individual writing owes that much to their potential readers. It would seem to me if one were emotionally involved, the article may translate more clearly or the purpose may be more compelling. With that thought in mind, it would also cause some tension in the mind of the journalist as one would want to avoid bias. There are ways of crafting ones thought to express one’s feelings while still being respectful of both parties involved in the story.

In looking at the ethical news values on page 35 in the textbook, accuracy, confirmation, tenacity, dignity, reciprocity, sufficiency, equity, community, and diversity could all be respected in my mind if the journalist would be emotionally involved because if the writer had good intentions, the previously mentioned ethics would be of a concern for the individual and he or she would want to serve her readers to the best of his or her ability.

My Moral Compass

Interestingly enough, the conversation of the difference between morals and ethics led me to my investigation of finding my moral compass. From as early to preschool through my entire high school education, there has always been a religious undertone when having this conversation. Whether I may see sheltered to the world or just unaware in a general sense, I felt morals was a term only applicable to those of a religious affiliation. If just a quick glance is taken at the two words, they seem similar, they are both standards in which one should conduct themselves but is the difference in the origin or is it how these standards become relevant to society.

Regardless, these standards are first established in the home.

My dad is a deacon and my mom is a faithful follower; both in the Catholic Church. It is safe to say, the churches’ teachings were ingrained in my head since I was an infant. I was embraced by my family and offered any opportunity that would help me succeed. Interestingly enough, most of us can say something similar about our families and the sacrifices made for you to achieve desired accomplishments.

I went to school with an individual, we will call him Student 1, and he proclaimed himself to be an Atheist. He was rather rude about the matter as he would go out of his way, calling out individuals for following a certain faith and trying to disprove their religious stance. Although he didn’t believe in a god nor did he have social tact, he did at times demonstrate a set standard, a certain way to conduct himself in public. On his best behavior in class, his actions represented a method in which he had been raised by his family. His parents, both devout in the Catholic Church, they tried developing a morally strong son. However, it was Student 1 who preferred ethics and although his personal reasoning was a bit strange, I would have to agree he was an individual who answered to ethical values.

This isn’t a case of morals being “our word” but it seems ethics is a term that allows the global populous to distribute a common code for everyone to strive to adhere towards.

Simply, my moral compass was instilled and nurtured by my mom and dad and further reinforced by my education during my more formative years. I will never deny that. I can’t in all honesty. It was in school that I could first test all that I had learned from my parents and over the course of the seven years I spent at Chaminade, I have to believe the product that graduated on May 21, 2010 possessed a high moral standard due to his family and learning environment.

Their Respective Realm: Ethics and Morals

“It is important here to distinguish between ethics, a rational process founded on certain agreed-on principles, and morals, which are in the realm of religion.” –  Excerpt from Media Ethics: Issues and Cases

The conversation erupted last Wednesday with Professor Oldham presenting the topic discussion regarding the difference, if any, between ethics and morals. Having read the material prior to class, I was comforted that I shared some of the viewpoints found within the first chapter. Among the various perspectives shared, the few lines that left a lasting impression on me was the quote I placed at the beginning of this post.

As the class discussion would progress, we would evaluate the photography of Stanley Forman who is notorious for taking a photograph of a young mother and her child falling from a broken fire escape. I saw the photo initially and thought nothing of it as it was just a still moment in time. Then the class learned the outcome, the mother died with the child surviving. We saw the other photos in the portfolio and saw the horror scene develop before our eyes. They were 3 inches of being saved as a shot depicted the firefighter reaching out towards the ladder.

Should that photo have been used in newspapers covering the story?

I think, yes. The emotional impact it had on me massive, especially after learning the entire story. A concern is how far one must go to prove a point. Why should we conceal the tragedies of one family to save our families the pain of such visuals? The bluntness is effective and rather that method may be crude or not, this referenced photo of the mother and her child falling truly does say 10,000 words.