❤❤❤ The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture

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The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture



Gatekeepers can promote cultural values either consciously The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture unconsciously. The history of mass media can be traced back to the days when dramas were performed in various ancient cultures. Whether a media essay on poverty has an The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture on any of its audience members is contingent on The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture factors, including audience Chocolat Analysis and psychological characteristics. Bettina Fabos Bettina Fabosis a professor of visual The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture and interactive digital studies at the University of Northern Iowa. What had changed was the way that humans used available technology to make Canada And Denmark Comparison of the world. Fabos has also written extensively about critical media literacy, Internet commercialization, the role of the Essay On Colonial Taxes in education, and media representations of popular How Did Kennedy Influence The Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved 29 March Political scientist Benedict Anderson has argued that newspapers Butanol Analysis helped forge The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture sense of national identity by treating readers across the country as part of one unified group with common goals and values. She was humiliated, harassed, dolls house lighting systems arrested.

Media: Positive and Negative impact in Culture

Radio, cinema, and live theater all saw a decline in the face of this new medium that allowed viewers to be entertained with sound and moving pictures without having to leave their homes. How was this powerful new medium going to be operated? After much debate, the United States opted for the market. Competing commercial stations including the radio powerhouses of CBS and NBC owned stations and sold advertising and commercial-driven programming dominated. Funding was driven by licensing fees instead of advertisements. In contrast to the American system, the BBC strictly regulated the length and character of commercials that could be aired.

By the beginning of , there were 36 million television sets in the United States, and 4. Important national events, broadcast live for the first time, were an impetus for consumers to buy sets and participate in the spectacle—both England and Japan saw a boom in sales before important royal weddings in the s. In the s, the concept of a useful portable computer was still a dream; huge mainframes were required to run a basic operating system.

He had, in effect, predicted the computer. He was prescient about the effect that computers and the Internet would have on education, social relationships, and the culture at large. The inventions of random access memory RAM chips and microprocessors in the s were important steps along the way to the Internet age. Even a brief history of media can leave one breathless. The speed, reach, and power of the technology are humbling.

The evolution can seem almost natural and inevitable, but it is important to stop and ask a basic question: Why? Why do media seem to play such an important role in our lives and our culture? With reflection, we can see that media fulfill several basic roles. One obvious role is entertainment. Media can act as a springboard for our imaginations, a source of fantasy, and an outlet for escapism. In the 19th century, Victorian readers, disillusioned by the grimness of the Industrial Revolution, found themselves drawn into books that offered fantastic worlds of fairies and other unreal beings. In the first decade of the 21st century, American television viewers could relax at the end of a day by watching singers, both wonderful and terrible, compete to be idols or watch two football teams do battle.

Media entertain and distract us in the midst of busy and hard lives. Media can also provide information and education. Information can come in many forms, and often blurs the line with entertainment. Today, newspapers and news-oriented television and radio programs make available stories from across the globe, allowing readers or viewers in London to have access to voices and videos from Baghdad, Tokyo, or Buenos Aires.

Books and magazines provide a more in-depth look at a wide range of subjects. Online encyclopedias have articles on topics from presidential nicknames to child prodigies to tongue-twisters in various languages. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT has posted free lecture notes, exams, and audio and video recordings of classes on its OpenCourseWare website, allowing anyone with an Internet connection access to world-class professors.

Another useful aspect of media is its ability to act as a public forum A social space that is open to all, and that serves as a place for discussion of important issues. A public forum is not always a physical space; for example, a newspaper can be considered a public forum. In newspapers or other periodicals, letters to the editor allow readers to respond to journalists, or voice their opinions on the issues of the day. These letters have been an important part of U. Blogs, discussion boards, and online comments are modern forums. Indeed, the Internet can be seen as a fundamentally democratic medium that allows people who can get online the ability to put their voices out there—though whether anyone will hear is another question.

Media can also serve to monitor government, business, and other institutions. In the early s, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered evidence of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up, which eventually led to the resignation of then-president Richard Nixon. Thinking more deeply, we can recognize that certain media are better at certain roles. Media have characteristics that influence how we use them. While some forms of mass media are better suited to entertainment, others make more sense as a venue for spreading information.

For example, in terms of print media, books are durable and able to contain lots of information, but are relatively slow and expensive to produce. In contrast, newspapers are comparatively cheaper and quicker to create, making them a better medium for the quick turnover of daily news. Television provides vastly more visual information than radio, and is more dynamic than a static printed page; it can also be used to broadcast live events to a nationwide audience, as in the annual State of the Union addresses given by the U.

However, it is also a one-way medium—that is, it allows for very little direct person-to-person communication. In contrast, the Internet encourages public discussion of issues and allows nearly everyone who wants a voice to have one. However, the Internet is also largely unmoderated and uncurated. Users may have to wade through thousands of inane comments or misinformed amateur opinions in order to find quality information. McLuhan emphasized that each medium delivers information in a different way and that content is fundamentally shaped by that medium. For example, although television news has the advantage of offering video and live coverage, making a story come vividly alive, it is also a faster-paced medium. That means stories get reported in different ways than print.

A story told on television will often be more visual, have less information, and be able to offer less history and context than the same story covered in a monthly magazine. This feature of media technology leads to interesting arguments. Others disagree. We do not have to cast value judgments but can affirm: People who get the majority of their news from a particular medium will have a particular view of the world shaped not just by the content of what they watch but also by its medium. The Internet has made this discussion even richer because it seems to hold all other media within it—print, radio, film, television and more.

If indeed the medium is the message, the Internet provides us with an extremely interesting message to consider. Choose two different types of mass communication—radio shows, television broadcasts, Internet sites, newspaper advertisements, and so on from two different kinds of media. Make a list of what role s each one fills, keeping in mind that much of what we see, hear, or read in the mass media has more than one aspect. Consider the following questions: Does the type of media suit the social role? Why did the creators of this particular message present it in the particular way, and in this particular medium?

We have spoken easily of historical eras. Can we speak of cultural eras? It can actually be a useful concept. There are many ways to divide time into cultural eras. But for our purposes, a cultural period A time marked by a particular way of understanding the world through culture and technology. Changes in cultural periods are marked by fundamental changes in the way we perceive and understand the world. This change in cultural period was galvanized by the printing press. In each of these cultural eras, the nature of truth had not changed.

What had changed was the way that humans used available technology to make sense of the world. Using technology to make sense of the world? You likely can anticipate that for the purpose of studying culture and mass media, the modern and postmodern ages are some of the most exciting and relevant ones to explore, eras in which culture and technology have intersected like never before.

The Modern Age The post-Medieval era; a wide span of time marked in part by technological innovations, urbanization, scientific discoveries, and globalization. It is also referred to as modernity. The Modern Age is generally split into two parts: the early and the late modern periods. Scholars often talk of the Modern Age as modernity. During the early modern period, transportation improved, politics became more secularized, capitalism spread, nation-states grew more powerful, and information became more widely accessible.

Enlightenment ideals of reason, rationalism, and faith in scientific inquiry slowly began to replace the previously dominant authority of king and church. Huge political, social, and economic changes marked the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the late modern period. The Industrial Revolution, which began in England around , combined with the American Revolution in and the French Revolution in , indicated that the world was undergoing massive changes.

The Industrial Revolution had far-reaching consequences. It did not merely change the way goods were produced—it also fundamentally changed the economic, social, and cultural framework of its time. However, during the 19th century, several crucial inventions—the internal combustion engine, steam-powered ships, and railways, among others—led to other innovations across various industries. Suddenly, steam power and machine tools meant that production increased dramatically.

But some of the biggest changes coming out of the Industrial Revolution were social in character. An economy based on manufacturing instead of agriculture meant that more people moved to cities, where techniques of mass production led to an emphasis on efficiency both in and out of the factory. Newly urbanized factory laborers no longer had the skill or time to produce their own food, clothing, or supplies and instead turned to consumer goods. Increased production led to increases in wealth, though income inequalities between classes also started to grow as well. Increased wealth and nonrural lifestyles led to the development of entertainment industries. Life changed rapidly. It is no coincidence that the French and American Revolutions happened in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.

The huge social changes created changes in political systems and thinking. In both France and America, the revolutions were inspired by a rejection of a monarchy in favor of national sovereignty and representative democracy. Both revolutions also heralded the rise of secular society, as opposed to church-based authority systems. Democracy was well-suited to the so-called Age of Reason, with its ideals of individual rights and its belief in progress.

Media were central to these revolutions. As we have seen, the fusing of steam power and the printing press enabled the explosive expansion of books and newspapers. Literacy rates rose, as did support for public participation in politics. More and more people lived in the city, had an education, got their news from the newspaper, spent their wages on consumer goods, and identified themselves as citizens of an industrialized nation. Urbanization, mass literacy, and new forms of mass media contributed to a sense of mass culture that united people across regional, social, and cultural boundaries. A last note on the terminology for the cultural era of the Modern Age or modernity: A similar term—modernism—also has come into use.

However, modernism is a term for an artistic, cultural movement, rather than era. It celebrated subjectivity through abstraction, experimentalism, surrealism, and sometimes pessimism or even nihilism. If you go on to graduate study in almost any field in the humanities or social sciences, you will eventually encounter texts debating the postmodern era. While the exact definition and dates of the postmodern era A cultural period that began during the second half of the 20th century and was marked by skepticism, self-consciousness, celebration of difference, and the reappraisal of modern conventions.

Modernity—the Modern Age—took for granted scientific rationalism, the autonomous self, and the inevitability of progress. The postmodern age questioned or dismissed many of these assumptions. If the modern age valued order, reason, stability, and absolute truth, the postmodern age reveled in contingency, fragmentation, and instability. The aftermath of World War II, the Holocaust, the Cold War, the digitization of culture, the rise of the Internet, and numerous other factors fed into the skepticism and self-consciousness of the postmodern era. Remember, this is a thought experiment, and is not real. Both potential states are equally true. Although the thought experiment was devised to explore issues in quantum physics, it appealed to postmodernists in its assertion of radical uncertainty.

What is reality? Rather than being an absolute objective truth, accessible by rational procedures and experimentation, the status of reality was contingent, and depended on the observer. Novelists and poets, for example, embraced this new approach to reality. The emphasis was not on the all-knowing author but instead on the reader. But the postmodern era called into question the sorts of theories that claimed to explain everything at once. The postmodern age, Lyotard theorized, was one of micro-narratives instead of grand narratives—that is, a multiplicity of small, localized understandings of the world, none of which can claim an ultimate or absolute truth.

The diversity of human experience also was a marked feature of the postmodern world. William S. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! Vive le sol long live the sun -pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight. Its title and many of its lyrics are taken from numerous sources across cultures, eras and fields.

Draw a Venn diagram of the two cultural periods discussed at length in this chapter. Make a list of the features, values, and events that mark each period. Is there any overlap? How do they differ? Each cultural era is marked by changes in technology. When radio was invented, people predicted the end of newspapers. When television was invented, people predicted the end of radio and film.

Such actions are enabled by media convergence The process by which previously distinct technologies come to share content, tasks, and resources. A cell phone that also takes pictures and video is an example of the convergence of digital photography, digital video, and cellular telephone technologies. A news story that originally appeared in a newspaper and now is published on a website or pushed on a mobile phone is another example of convergence. Media theorist Henry Jenkins has devoted a lot of time to thinking about convergence. Jenkins breaks convergence down into five categories:. Cultural convergence has several different aspects. One important component is stories flowing across several kinds of media platforms—for example, novels that become television series Dexter or Friday Night Lights ; radio dramas that become comic strips The Shadow ; even amusement park rides that become film franchises Pirates of the Caribbean.

The character Harry Potter exists in books, films, toys, amusement park rides, and candy bars. Another aspect of cultural convergence is participatory culture A culture in which media consumers are able to annotate, comment on, remix, and otherwise respond to culture. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans aged 8 to 18 spend more than 7. These statistics highlight some of the aspects of the new digital model of media consumption: participation and multitasking.

Instead, they are sending text messages to friends, linking news articles on Facebook, commenting on YouTube videos, writing reviews of television episodes to post online, and generally engaging with the culture they consume. Convergence has also made multitasking much easier, as many devices allow users to surf the Internet, listen to music, watch videos, play games, and reply to emails and texts on the same machine. However, this multitasking is still quite new and we do not know how media convergence and immersion are shaping culture, people, and individual brains.

Carr worries that the vast array of interlinked information available through the Internet is eroding attention spans and making contemporary minds distracted and less capable of deep, thoughtful engagement with complex ideas and arguments. He mourns the change in his own reading habits. In other words, multitasking makes us do a greater number of things poorly. Whatever the ultimate cognitive, social, or technological results, though, convergence is changing the way we relate to media today. When was the last time you used a rotary phone? How about a payphone on a street? When you need brief, factual information, when was the last time you reached for a handy volume of Encyclopedia Britannica?

Maybe never. All of these habits, formerly common parts of daily life, have been rendered essentially obsolete through the progression of convergence. Take cassette tapes and Polaroid film, for example. The underground music tastemaker Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth recently claimed that he only listens to music on cassette. Several iPhone apps promise to apply effects to photos to make them look more like Polaroids.

Cassettes, Polaroids, and other seemingly obsolete technologies have been able to thrive—albeit in niche markets—both despite and because of Internet culture. Instead of being slick and digitized, cassette tapes and Polaroid photos are physical objects that are made more accessible and more human, according to enthusiasts, because of their flaws. The distinctive Polaroid look—caused by uneven color saturation, under- or over-development, or just daily atmospheric effects on the developing photograph—is emphatically analog. Media theorist Henry Jenkins identifies the five kinds of convergence as the following:. Make a list of points, examples, and facts that back up the theory that you think best explains the effects of convergence. Alternatively, come up with your own theory of how convergence is changing individual and society as a whole.

Stage a mock debate with a member of the class who holds a view different from your own. The idea that ordinary citizens with no special resources, expertise, or political power—like Paine himself—could sound off, reach wide audiences, even spark revolutions, was brand-new to the world. In all eras, cultural values shape the way media are created, used, and controlled. How do cultural values shape our media and mass communication? And how, in turn, do media and mass communication shape our values? The U. Thanks to the First Amendment and subsequent statutes, the United States has some of the broadest protections on speech of any industrialized nation. We can see the value that American culture places on free speech.

However, speech and the press are not always free—cultural values have placed limits and those limits, like values, have shifted over time. Obscenity, for example, has not often been tolerated. Indeed, the very definition of obscenity Indecency that goes against public morals and exerts a corrupting influence. Obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court case, Roth v. The United States , tried to lessen restrictions and defined obscenity more narrowly. Sexually explicit magazines, such as Playboy , are available in nearly every U. Artist Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic Obama HOPE image, was sued by the Associated Press for copyright infringement; Fairey argued that his work was protected by the fair use exception.

Copyright law Law that regulates the exclusive rights given to the creator of a work. Here we see a conflict between cultural values of free speech and the right to protect your creative rights. Intellectual property law was originally intended to protect just that—the proprietary rights, both economic and intellectual, of the originator of a creative work. Inventions, novels, musical tunes, and even phrases can all be covered by copyright law. The first copyright statute in the United States set 14 years as the maximum term for copyright protection.

This number has risen exponentially in the 20th century; some works are now copyright protected for up to years. In recent years, an Internet culture that enables file sharing, mixing, mash-ups, and YouTube parodies has raised questions about copyright. Can you refer to a copyrighted work? What is fair use of a copyrighted work? The exact line between what expressions are protected or prohibited by law are still being set by courts; and as the changing values of the U.

Cultural values also shape mass media messages when producers of media content have vested interests in particular social goals. The producers offer media content that promotes or refutes particular viewpoints. Governments, corporations, nonprofits, colleges, indeed most organizations, all try to shape media content to promote themselves and their values. In its most heavy-handed form, at the level of government, this type of media influence can become propaganda Communication that intentionally attempts to persuade its audience for ideological, political, or commercial purposes. Propaganda often but not always distorts the truth, selectively presents facts, or uses emotional appeals.

In war time, propaganda often includes caricatures of the enemy. During World War I, for example, the U. The commission used radio, movies, posters, and in-person speakers to present a positive slant on the American war effort and demonize the opposing Germans. In no degree was the committee an agency of censorship, a machinery of concealment or repression. Our effort was educational and informative throughout, for we had such confidence in our case as to feel that no other argument was needed than the simple, straightforward presentation of the facts.

World War I propaganda posters were sometimes styled to resemble movie posters in an attempt to glamorize the war effort. Advertisers craft messages so viewers want to buy their products. Some news sources, such as cable news channels or political blogs, have an explicit political slant. For our purposes, we simply want to keep in mind how cultural values shape much media content. In , journalist A. Gatekeepers The people who help determine which stories make it to the public, including reporters who decide what sources to use, and editors who pick what gets reported on, and which stories make it to the front page. Media gatekeepers are part of culture and thus have their own cultural values, whether consciously or unconsciously. In deciding what counts as newsworthy, entertaining, or relevant, gatekeepers use their own values to create and shape what gets presented to the wider public.

Conversely, gatekeepers may decide that some events are unimportant or uninteresting to consumers. Those events may never reach the eyes or ears of a larger public. Almost one million people were killed in ferocious attacks in just days. Yet, as Thompson notes, few foreign correspondents were in Africa, and the world was slow to learn of the atrocities in Rwanda. Instead, the nightly news was preoccupied by the O. Thompson argues that the lack of international media attention allowed politicians to remain complacent. With little media coverage, there was little outrage about the Rwandan atrocities, which contributed to a lack of political will to invest time and troops in a faraway conflict. Newspapers have to make profits.

Cultural values by gatekeepers on the individual and institutional level downplayed the genocide at a time of great crisis, and potentially contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Gatekeepers had an especially strong influence in old media, in which space and time were limited. A news broadcast could only last for its allotted half hour, 22 minutes with commercials, while a newspaper had a set number of pages to print. The Internet, in contrast, has room for infinite news reports. The interactive nature of the medium also minimizes the gatekeeper function of the media by allowing media consumers to have a voice as well. News aggregators like Digg. And unlike traditional media, these new gatekeepers rarely have public bylines, making it difficult to figure out who makes such decisions and on what basis.

In , an epidemic swept America—but instead of leaving victims sick with fever or flu, this was a rabid craze for the music of Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. American showman P. Barnum who would later go on to found the circus we now know as Ringling Bros. Ever the savvy self-promoter, Barnum turned this huge investment to his advantage, using it to drum up publicity—and it paid off. A town in California and an island in Canada were named in her honor. Enthusiasts could purchase Jenny Lind hats, chairs, boots, opera glasses, and even pianos. A little more than a century later, a new craze transformed American teenagers into screaming, fainting Beatle-maniacs. When the British foursome touched down at Kennedy Airport in , they were met by more than 3, frenzied fans.

The crime rate that night dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. Lisa A. Lewis New York: Routledge, In the 21st century, rabid fans could actually help decide the next pop stars through the reality television program American Idol. Derived from a British show, American Idol hit the airwaves in and became the only television program ever to earn the top spot in the Neilsen ratings for six seasons in a row, often averaging more than 30 million nightly viewers. Newspapers put developments on the show on their front pages. Fans also could sign up for text alerts or play trivia games on their phones. An important consideration in any discussion of media and culture is the concept of popular culture.

If culture is the expressed and shared values, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of a social group, organization, or institution, then what is popular culture? Popular culture The media, products, and attitudes considered to be part of the mainstream of a given culture and the everyday life of common people; it is often distinct from more formal conceptions of culture that take into account moral, social, religious beliefs and values; it ia also distinct from what some consider elite or high culture. It is often distinct from more formal conceptions of culture that take into account moral, social, religious beliefs and values, such as our earlier definition of culture.

It is also distinct from what some consider elite or high culture. For some people, American Idol is pop culture and opera is culture. For as long as mass media have existed in the United States, they have helped to create and fuel mass crazes, skyrocketing celebrities, and pop culture manias of all kinds. Historically, popular culture has been closely associated with mass media that introduce and encourage the adoption of certain trends. Similar in some ways to the media gatekeepers discussed above, tastemakers People or organizations who exert a strong influence on current trends, styles, and other aspects of popular culture. Sullivan hosted musical acts, comedians, actors, and dancers, and had the reputation of being able to turn an unknown performer into a full-fledged star.

Or if a guy is an architect that makes the Empire State Building. Sullivan was a classic example of an influential tastemaker of his time. Television hosts and comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert can be understood as tastemakers of progressive national politics. Along with encouraging a mass audience to keep an eye out for or skip certain movies, television shows, video games, books, or fashion trends, tastemaking is also used to create demand for new products.

Companies often turn to advertising firms to help create a public hunger for an object that may have not even existed six months previously. In the s, when George Eastman developed the Kodak camera for personal use, photography was the realm of professionals. Ordinary people simply did not think about taking photographs. Kodak became a wildly successful company not because Eastman was good at selling cameras, but because he understood that what he really had to sell was photography. Tastemakers can help keep culture vital by introducing the public to new ideas, music, programs, or products. But the ability to sway or influence the tastes of consumers can be worth millions of dollars.

In the traditional media model, media companies set aside large advertising budgets to promote their most promising projects. For example, the Payola Scandal of the s involved record companies paying the disc jockeys of radio stations to play certain records so those records would become hits. Companies today sometimes pay bloggers to promote their products. Media choices were limited.

Many cities and towns had just three television channels, one or two newspapers, and one or two dominant radio stations. Advertisers, critics, and other cultural influencers had access to huge audiences through a small number of mass communication platforms. However, by the end of the century, the rise of cable television and the Internet had begun to make tastemaking a much more complicated enterprise. While The Ed Sullivan Show regularly reached 50 million people in the s, the most popular television series of — American Idol —averaged around Table 1.

The Internet appears to be eroding some of the tastemaking power of the traditional media outlets. No longer are the traditional mass media the only dominant forces in creating and promoting trends. Instead, information can spread across the globe without any involvement of traditional media. Websites made by nonprofessionals can reach more people daily than a major newspaper. Music review sites such as Pitchfork. Mobile applications like Yelp allow consumers to get individual reviews of a restaurant while they are standing outside it.

Blogs make it possible for anyone with Internet access to potentially reach an audience of millions. Some popular bloggers transitioned from the traditional media world to the digital world, but others became well known without formal institutional support. The celebrity gossip chronicler Perez Hilton had no formal training in journalism when he started his blog, PerezHilton. Email and text messages allow for the near-instant transmission of messages across vast geographic expanses. Although personal communications continue to dominate, email and text messages are increasingly used to directly transmit information about important news events.

When Barack Obama wanted to announce his selection of Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate in the election, he bypassed the traditional televised press conference and instead sent the news to his supporters directly via text message—2. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, and microblogging services, such as Twitter, are another source of late-breaking information. Thanks to these and other digital-age media, the Internet has become a pop culture force, both a source of amateur talent and a source of amateur promotion.

However, traditional media outlets still maintain a large amount of control and influence over U. One key indicator is the fact that many singers or writers who first make their mark on the Internet quickly transition to more traditional media—YouTube star Justin Bieber was snapped up by a mainstream record company, and blogger Perez Hilton is regularly featured on MTV and VH1. New media stars are quickly absorbed into the old media landscape. Not only does the Internet allow little known individuals to potentially reach a huge audience with their art or opinions, but it also allows content-creators to reach fans directly.

For example, the media establishment has been surprised by the success of some self-published books: First-time author Daniel Suarez had his novel manuscript rejected by dozens of literary agents before he decided to self-publish in Through savvy self-promotion via influential bloggers, Suarez garnered enough attention to land a contract with a major publishing house. E-readers offer authors a way to get around the traditional publishing industry, but their thousands of options can make choosing hard on readers. However, how then does the content reach the public? Does every artist have to have the public relations and marketing skills of Suarez? And with so many self-published, self-promoted works uploaded to the Internet every day, how will any work—even great work—get noticed?

Or they can post them on services like Urbis. The commingling of the Internet and popular culture poses many intriguing questions for our future: Will the Internet era be marked by a huge and diffuse pop culture, where the power of traditional mass media declines and, along with it, the power of the universalizing blockbuster hit? Or will the Internet create a new set of tastemakers—influential bloggers or Tweeters? Or will the Internet serve as a platform for the old tastemakers to take on new forms? Or will the tastemakers become everyone? Now ordinary people can tell their own tales. The Internet, which has turned everyone with the time and interest into a potential reviewer, allows those ordinary people to have their voices heard.

In the mids, websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor boasted hundreds of reviews of restaurants, hotels, and salons provided by users. Amazon allowed users to review any product it sells, from textbooks to fertilizer to bathing suits. By crowd-sourcing The act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an individual, and delegating them to a usually unpaid crowd. One powerful reviewer would no longer be able to wield disproportionate power.

Instead, the wisdom of the crowd would make or break restaurants, movies, and everything else. Anyone who felt treated badly or scammed now had recourse to tell the world about it. By , Yelp boasted four million reviews. One study found that a handful of Amazon users were casting hundreds of votes, while most rarely wrote reviews at all. Savvy authors or restaurant owners have been known to slyly insert positive reviews of themselves, or have attempted to skew ratings systems. In order to get an accurate picture, potential buyers may find themselves wading through 20 or 30 online reviews, most of them from non-professionals.

Hamlet does too much talking and not enough stuff. The critic visits a restaurant several times, strives for anonymity and tries to sample every dish on the menu. Find a popular newspaper or magazine that discusses popular culture. Look through it to determine what pop culture movements, programs, or people it seems to be covering. What is its overall tone? What messages does it seem to be promoting, either implicitly or explicitly? Next, find a website that also deals with popular culture and ask yourself the same questions. Do they focus on the same subjects? Do they take similar attitudes? Why or why not? A literate population, many reasoned, would be able to seek out information, stay informed about the news of the day, communicate with others, and make informed decisions in many spheres of life.

Because of this, the reasoning went, literate people made better citizens, parents, and workers. In the 20th century, as literacy rates grew around the globe, there was a new sense that merely being able to read and write was not enough. In a world dominated by media, individuals needed to be able to understand, sort through and analyze the information they were bombarded with every day.

In the second half of the 20th century, a name was finally put to this skill of being able to decode and process the messages and symbols transmitted via media: media literacy The skill of being able to decode and process the messages and symbols transmitted via media. Media literacy seeks to give media consumers the ability to understand this new language. Our exposure to media starts early—a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 68 percent of children aged two and younger spend an average of two hours in front of a screen either computer or television each day, while children under six spend as much time in front of a screen as they do playing outside. As previously noted, U.

Today, Americans of all ages get much of their information from various media sources. One crucial role of media literacy education is to enable all of us to skeptically examine the often-conflicting media messages we receive every day. Many of the hours people spend with media are with commercial-sponsored content. The Federal Trade Commission FTC estimated that children aged 2 to 11 saw, on average, 25, television commercials a year, or more than 10, minutes of ads.

Adults saw 52, ads, or about Children and adults are bombarded with contradictory messages—newspaper articles about the obesity epidemic are side by side with ads touting soda, candy, and fast food. Advertising raises other issues as well. It often uses techniques of psychological pressure to influence decision making. Ads might appeal to vanity, insecurity, prejudice, fear, or the desire for adventure. This is not always a negative thing—antismoking public service announcements may rely on disgusting images of blackened lungs to shock viewers. Nonetheless, media literacy attempts to teach people to be informed and guarded consumers, and to evaluate claims with a critical eye. A politician may hope to persuade potential voters that she has their best interests at heart.

An ostensibly objective journalist may allow his or her own political leanings to subtly slant articles. Magazine writers might avoid criticizing companies that advertise heavily in their pages. Broadcast news reporters may sensationalize stories in order to boost ratings—and advertising rates. An important part of media literacy is remembering that mass communication messages are created by individuals, each with a set of values, assumptions, and priorities.

Each claimed that the other agreed to policies that benefited sex offenders. According to the media watchdog site Factcheck. Media literacy attempts to give people the skills to look critically at these and other media messages—to sift through various claims, and to make sense of the often-conflicting information we face every day. In the past, one goal of education was to provide students with the information deemed necessary to successfully engage with the world. Students memorized multiplication tables, state capitals, famous poems, and notable dates. Online technology surely has changed how we learn. For example, Wikipedia, a hugely popular Internet encyclopedia, is at the center of a debate on the proper use of online sources.

In , Middlebury College banned the use of Wikipedia as a source in history papers and exams. A computer registered to the U. Ultimately, media literacy teaches that messages and images are constructed with various aims in mind and that each individual has the responsibility to evaluate and interpret these media messages. Mass communication may be created and disseminated by individuals, businesses, governments, or organizations, but they are always received by an individual, even if that individual is sitting in a crowded theater. But media literacy skills help us to function better in our media-rich environment, enabling us to be better democratic citizens, smarter shoppers, and more skeptical media consumers.

As an American manifestation of an African musical tradition, the drum illustrates one of many ways that African culture persisted in the United States, even during the long night of slavery. Although the African elements of African American musical culture remain strong, the music of African Americans is a hybrid of the musical traditions of Africa, Europe, and Native American cultures, along with other influences from around the world. This process, which began in the 17th century with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans at Jamestown, continues into the present as black musicians continue to draw on diverse influences to create new sounds. It is this hybridity that makes African American music a distinctly American phenomenon. The banjo was one of the most important instruments in early African American music, and though seldom associated with African Americans in contemporary popular culture, it is a classic example of the way that African Americans blended African and European musical traditions together in the United States.

The earliest banjos were likely based on West African lutes. Over the course of centuries, banjo makers gradually adapted their instruments to conform to European tuning systems, resulting in a truly American instrument that incorporated Western music theory even as its design recalled its African models. Jazz is another iconic example of African American musical hybridity that occupies a central position in the Musical Crossroads gallery. In the late 19th century, African American musicians combined popular songs and marches with African American folk forms like ragtime, sacred music, and the blues to create a new form of heavily syncopated and improvisatory music.

Musical Crossroads uses objects to explore the ways in which African American musicians and music lovers exercised personal agency and asserted their identities even in the face of daily humiliation and oppression by the American mainstream. Music played a central role in the African American civil rights struggles of the 20th century, and objects linked directly to political activism bring to light the roles that music and musicians played in movements for equality and justice. Freedom Singers for example, immediately calls to mind the important role that music played in lifting the spirits of activists during the Civil Rights Movement of the s and s.

The skirt and re-designed jacket from that concert evoke her historic performance. Other objects in the Musical Crossroads gallery explore the creative agency that many African American artists use to challenge fixed notions of African American identity. There have always been black musicians who—in spite of overwhelming commercial pressure—insisted on remaining beyond category.

The utterly unique singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Prince was one of those fierce iconoclasts. From the start of his spectacular career, Prince struggled for commercial autonomy while defying racial, gender, and genre norms with his uncategorizable music. The appearance and development of the mass media and entertainment industries in the early 20th century was perhaps the single most important factor in the worldwide popularity of African-American musical forms that developed after the Civil War.

The objects connecting mass media technologies to African American life and culture stretch across nearly a century of history, encompassing a broad swath of American history and technological developments. Musical Crossroads presents items ranging from a phonograph owned by an early 20th century black family to the MIDI Production Center and Minimoog synthesizer used by trailblazing hip hop producer J Dilla. In addition to their fundamental influence on American culture, the stories about African American music being told in Musical Crossroads had a seismic impact on world musical culture.

Promotional materials from international tours by African American artists including Lena Horne and the Black Rock Coalition demonstrate the impact that practitioners of African American music have had on global popular culture. Any story of the global impact and influence of African American music also needs to include explorations of the Afro-diasporic connections that continue to enrich the music of the Americas and the world. African American musicians throughout history have drawn inspiration from African-derived music in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the African continent itself.

A Facebook whistleblower has revealed that Facebook cannot keep up with the scale of misinformation and election manipulation that is flooding its platform across the world. In order to get an accurate picture, The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture buyers The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture find themselves wading through 20 or 30 online reviews, most of them from non-professionals. The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture, information can At Mornington Poem Analysis across the globe The Influence Of Mass Media On American Culture any involvement of traditional media.

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