What forms of new media do you use daily?
In what ways does media reach you indirectly (through friends, co-workers, etc.)?
Do you think that media influences your perspective of world events?
Do you believe that the media has the power to tell you what to think about, but not what to think?
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 measurable effects?
Are these positive or negative influences?
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.)
Media is a part of my daily life. I tune to the local news channel as I get ready for work. I try to switch news channels every so often and try to see if a certain channel gives a particular slant to news stories. When I get to work I immediately open email. Throughout the day I may search information on the internet, read articles, and use other sources to gain information. Once I get home, the information I gain is from the latest Facebook feed, play online poker, and check email. I use many forms of media and am probably leaving out a lot. Media is immersed in daily life. Thinking about what is used can be laborious for it is embedded in routines.
What I don’t read, hear, or see for myself, I can rely on friends, family, and co-workers to fill me in on the hottest topics. I recently watched Orange is the New Black series and am in season two of The House of Cards because my boss and co-workers were talking about it and of course I wanted to be in on the conversations. Another instance of media reaching me through others is a scandal within my school district. A top-level administrator was arrested and faces felony charges. I was unaware of what occurred. My friend called me, my daughter texted me with a link to the story, and co-workers brought the article in to work. The scandal was the buzz for several weeks. So I would not be behind on the buzz and also because I was considering this prior, I subscribed to our local newspaper to get daily deliveries.
Media absolutely affects my perspective on world events. I rely on media to inform me of what is happening around the world. I do know that there are different slants and perspectives. I do not ingest everything I read or hear as the truth. For a topic that is near and dear to me, I try to consult several sources to determine the facts. I do get annoyed when a person relies on one source and swears that is what is going on. I try to encourage others to not rely on one source, but use many to get a well-rounded story.
In education we face common misconceptions or information daily. Recently many people have the perception that charter schools are better. There is a lot of hyper on this subject in the media. Some charter schools are great, but not all of them. A person needs to research the school to determine if it is a good fit for their child, not merely associating all charter schools as better than public schools. In the past, people only had the choice of public or private schools. Newscasts have reported some of our seriously in need of help schools and highlighted charter schools that have made a difference. I am not saying charter schools are bad. I am saying that people get caught up in the news stories or posts on websites and make decisions based on limited information. If one person blogs that a school is terrible and has terrible teachers based on their one experience say with one person, it is now said the whole system is bad. I urge people to look into information before making decisions that will affect their child’s education. Kovach and Rosenstiel, authors of Blur, state that people’s access to information has reached a high and their is a need to determine which information is reliable and which information is not (2010).
Kovach, B. a. (2010). Blur. New York: Bloomsbury.