1-2 Blog: Examining Media Use and Influence

  1. What forms of new media do you use daily?

Daily I use a vast range of new media including website, web pages, blogs and social media. Examples of the ones I use more frequently comprise:

  • SNHU’s website.
  • Job searching website like LinkedIn, career builders, theladders.com, and others.
  • Skype, Corporate communication blogs, companies blogs including CEMEX, government pages, WhatsApp, etc.
  • News website from USA and others countries, including CNN News, Fox News, Washington Post, The New York Times, Diario Libre from DR, and others.
  • Universities websites and blogs, Banks web sites, Magazines websites (Harvard Business Review), Healthy food websites including Food Babe.
  • Applications directly on my cell phone that are suitable for my need (healthy life, exercises, Dictionaries, compasses, Bank links, and others)
  • Within the social media I normally visit Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and YouTube.

2. In what ways does media reach you indirectly (through friends, co-workers, etc.)?

Basically through friends and corporate requirements, in most cases in respond of new developments and tendencies.

3. Do you think that media influences your perspective of world events?

Of course! In many ways. Sometimes to avoid their influence in me, I prefer to limit the constant contact with them.

4. Do you believe that the media has the power to tell you what to think about, but not what to think?

The media have the power, of course!!! The big conglomerates can shape our perspective, our perceptions and decisions. The conglomerates, seven of them, control the 95% of all traditional media and also are an influencer in the new media (Curtis, 2012). But this does not mean that we will allow openly this action.

We are the ones entitled to decide what to think regardless the ways media brings info to us. Many people let media dictate what to think – a reactive response -; it is our choice makeup our minds not with a reaction, but with an action.

Again, education, culture and values are the factor that have an impact and have influence in this issue.

5. Can media shape your beliefs? If not, explain. If yes, to what degree? Is the influence strong and direct—for example, if a newscaster told you to go jump off a bridge, would you do it? Or are your beliefs cultivated over time through continued exposure, resulting in small but measureable effects?

The influence of media in people perspective and behavior is undeniable; its impact is strong and frequently is very difficult avoiding changes or readjustments in our own personal beliefs in front of media. It is a fact that each day it is more challenging being cautious and analytical in front of how media is coming to us; often regardless the source. Big conglomerates have the power in shaping our opinions and influence our decisions; that is why it is important to be aware and look at things from a different perspective from the medium (Curtis, 2012) At the end, I have more inclination to think that the influence of media will depend on your conception of life, beliefs, education, experiences, culture, etc.

Of course that if any media tell me to jump a bridge I will not do it because I know the consequences of this type of action.

The author of Blur: How to Know What’s True in the age of Information overload, express that media contribute in shaping the personal beliefs. (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013). I think that instead of shaping my belief for me it is better saying that media make me evaluate and rethink deeply about the tendencies, situations, and changes in comparison to my personal conceptions and thoughts of a particular subject . This evaluation and comparison is basically a combination that includes my values, education, experiences and other factors. From this point belief can be changed or not.

6. Are these positive or negative influences?

The influence of media can have both tendencies, positive and negative. From my point of view, it will depend on the subject and your valuation of it. The personality and the personal characteristics of each individual are different, so the effects will be different in each case. Some factors which have an impact in the categorization of media influence – positive or negative- are education, belief, culture, values, and others.

7. How have information   revolutions resulted in ways of knowledge changing or remaining the same? How has the power of media changed throughout history? What are some differences and similarities of our current time and place to the past? (Hint: See Blur Chapter 2.)

We must start saying that there have been eight periods of transformation in communication going from cave drawings, written word, printing press, telegraph, radio, broadcast television, cable and now the internet. Each of them represented a transformation and a development in knowledge; also, force the existing power of each period to exploit communication in order to reorganize and direct the energy in the democratization released at the grassroots level (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010).

One of the details of this issue that is shown in the book Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload -chapter II- that caught my attention says: with each one of the information revolution people shared knowledge, and curiosity brought people together in large communities’ based on common ways of knowing. So, as more people became more knowledgeable they also became better able to question the world and the behavior of the people and institution that directed their lives. This resulted in shifts in power and changes of old authorities.

The media are powerful with each development, the number of people reached is greatest than before and the influence of them too.

The first record of communication was the cave drawings were humans trying to reach out people beyond face-to-face.

After this, oral language came and then the written words with the use of symbols. With this advancement, the communications became deeper, more complex and empirical; the fact that the written word was mobiles was an important issue. The permanence, complexity, and mobility made a profound change in communication.

The next transformation came with the Printing press that brought the journalism with what they called News Books, and with this something else happened: what for centuries had been known as common or vulgar opinion was transformed into public opinion (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010)

Of course, certain key patterns have repeated themselves and certain tensions have remained; the tension between the fact and faith is one of them. All these patterns, communities’ democratization, reorganization, and tension are still evident. It has been said that with this came the Western Civilization’s greatest results, democracy.

Then the Telegraph and the birth of the news came, the first one with the use of electric signals that transmitted language electronically over wires. These allowed people receive info instantly across very long distance.

Then the radio appears to give people not only the ability to learn about events within a few minutes of their occurrences, but also the ability to hear events themselves. With this, never seeing before, the radio began knitting together a nation whose population had become increasingly fragmented by the cascading change of the industrial revolution. The newspaper never could. Also, in response to this effect of radio, newspaper changes their concept by becoming more sensationalists and the tabloid era began. From this, the ability in printing photographs was developed, also with alteration for dramatic effect.

Then came the television, a powerful new technology, which offered people the ability to see as well as hear the news; with a natural and realistic sight. With the television came what is known scientifically as “incidental news acquisition” meaning when people learn about things they might not have interest; bringing with it a social consensus increases.   After this, came the digital technology that shows the increase of internet use from 2000 to 2008; regarding the use of high-speed internet, cell phone use, and wireless connectivity.

The main similarities between our current ways of communication with the previous one are the patterns that keep remaining since always, indicated in Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of Information overload, are:

  • The forming of new communities.
  • Political reorganization.
  • And the continued tension between fact and faith.

Finally, some of the main differences between these revolutionary changes in communication technologies are related to:

  • The ways is advertising coming to us.
  • The ways in how traditional media face the changes in the audiences preferences and the way they serve news and information.
  • The way people choose the information they have interested; there are no longer need to have “Incidental news acquisition” (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010), it will not depend on media offerings; the people or the general audiences have the choice to choose.

Reference:

Curtis, D. A. (2012, June). Retrieved November 2014, from http://www2.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/Courses/ResourcesForCourses/PDFs/Mass_Media_Influence_on_Society.pdf

Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information overload . In B. Kovach, & T. Rosenstiel, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information overload (p. 207). New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Retrieved November 2014, from https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783030-dt-content-rid-10107987_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module1_overview.pdf

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