The media technology and society
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The Media, Technology and Society. The purpose: To familiarize you with the subtle and overt influence (manipulation) of the media. Technology and the Media. One of the most prominent characteristics of modern technology is how rapidly it is developed and infused into society

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The Media, Technology and Society

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The Media, Technology and Society

The purpose: To familiarize you with the subtle and overt influence (manipulation) of the media

Technology and the Media

  • One of the most prominent characteristics of modern technology is how rapidly it is developed and infused into society

  • Technology is welcomed and absorbed

    • Extending life, entertaining, increasing production/standard of living

Earlier categories

Public: television, radio, film, the press, cable/satellite TV

Private: telephone, telegraph, fax, other technologies used to transmit private messages, closed business networks, etc.

The computer and digitalization have hastened the collapse of these categories

Categoriesof Communication Technology


  • Before writing was developed, ( a technology in itself) communication was primarily auditory; now it is predominantly visual.

  • A shift away from church and government control;

  • Who is in control now?

4 Significant Functionsof Communication

  • Surveillance: Gathering and dissemination of intelligence (hard news)

  • Correlation: Selecting, placing, deciding which stories are important, emphasizing, de-emphasizing news

  • Socialization: Media giving messages about right and wrong.

  • Entertainment: Is the news entertainment?

Effect of the Media

  • Sets public agendas/exerts political agendas

  • Media does not tell us “what to think” as much as “what to think about!”

  • Media does not lead society, but does have an influence

  • Played a part in American revolution

    • Printing press, newspapers from England

  • Mechanization of printing

    • 19th Century development of the popular press, telegraph, telephone.

  • Dominates our culture

Current Trends

  • The media: a dominant socialization force

    • We see/hear the same stuff

    • Time of exposure greater

    • Development of virtual entities: commercial/ entertainment - v. reality; communication - de-centered v. communities

Current Trends

  • News:

    • more visual, less linear; visuals make it news; also more color (USA Today = McPaper?).

    • “Quasi journalism” = news as entertainment (Rescue 911, 20/20, Dateline)

    • More superficial, less in depth; commentary.

    • Again, not just what to think, but what to think about

Technology and the Media

  • Technology has allowed the media to focus (quickly) on things that would not be “news” in the past.

    • Robert Blake

    • The War in Iraq/Afganistan (The media war)

    • Scott Peterson (Do we need to know his name?)

    • Reality television (Amazing Race, Survivor)

    • Entertainment Tonight

    • Change from information to entertainment


  • Psychological manipulation (subtle)

    • Media impacts language structures

    • Media impacts cultural assumptions

    • Perception becomes truth

      • Perceived events (NASA)

      • Forgery

      • Perceived relationships

      • Perceived truths (toward self & about world)

  • Human physiology

  • Symbolism


  • Through selection and omission: Examples

  • Through Placement: Examples:

  • By headlines, captions: Examples

  • By photos and camera angles: Examples

Would this picture have the same impact if shot from above?


  • Use of names and titles: Example

  • Through statistics and crowd counts: Example

  • By source control: Example

  • Word choice and tone: Example


  • How has the media changed political races? (distinguish between paid ads and news)

  • How has the media changed the presidency?

  • How might the media influence the public’s support for a war? Consider both government releases and news coverage.

  • What drives news programs?

Mediated Communication

  • The most prominent two

    • Television: In use over 7 hours per day

    • Telephone: Near-saturation

  • Nearly ubiquitous in America

Media, Schools, and Education

  • Most children spend more time with media than in school

  • Negative correlation between TV viewing and academic performance

  • Declines in academic achievement in American can be tied to media habits

  • Virtual technologies help re-establish communities

Personal Problems

  • The information poor: Should we use tax dollars to make it be available to all (like telephone)

  • Information overload: People unable to deal the amount of information and choices?

  • Privacy: Can we keep information to ourselves (what do others know)?

Is There a Role for Television?

  • Should we limit television?

A Short History of Television

  • April 30, 1939: President Roosevelt introduced America to the TV during opening of the World Fair

  • 1946: Interest in TV picked up after WWII

    • No commercials on television

  • 1949: 2 million Americans had purchased TV’s

  • 1952: Eisenhower first politician to use TV

  • 1953: Number of TV’s in America doubled

    • Commercials began (T-I-D-E)

    • Soap Operas

A Short History of Television

  • 1955: Research indicated initial results of television:

    • Increased vocabulary, fewer library loans, empty movie theaters, church attendance down, housewives reported fewer social gatherings, people working longer to pay for new TV

  • 1960: Kennedy/Nixon debate

    • TV viewers thought that Kennedy won debate

    • Radio listeners though that Nixon won

A Short History of Television

  • 1960’s: Television news gains popularity

    • Kennedy assassination marked a turning point

    • Civil rights movement (radio & newspapers could not show brutality)

    • Vietnam War (Police Chief shoots Vietcong in head)

    • U.S. pulls out of Vietnam

    • Communication satellites

    • 1969: Space travel seen in 47 nations

      • 723 million people saw the “space walk” (1/5 of worlds population at the time)

A Short History of Television

  • 1970’s: Sports on television

    • 700 cameras at 1972 Munich Olympics

    • Terrorists capture Israeli team (even more viewers tune in TV sets)

    • Other terrorists start using TV to “sell” message

    • 1975: “Dallas” dubbed into 90 languages and becomes worlds perception of the United States

    • Many people around globe unable to distinguish between TV and reality

A Short History of Television

  • 1980’s – Today

    • CNN & Fox News (24 hour news)

    • Changed the way we see current events (different perspectives)

    • MTV: Changed the way we listen to music

    • Shock TV: Cops, Jerry Springer, etc.

    • Sleaze TV: Strip Poker

    • Reality TV: Big Brother, Survivor, Apprentice

    • TV changes values and alters culture (taking a portable TV on vacation)

Media & Truth

  • There is your truth, there is my truth and there is ‘the truth.’”

  • Most of us are convinced that “my truth” is “the truth.”

  • Increasingly, the media uses techniques to convince us that someone else’s “truth” should be ours.

  • Objective TV reporting is a myth. Every TV personality brings his/her own biases

    • A few well placed adjectives (alleged, so-called) can wind up a definite ideological twist

Does Television Turn Children to Violence?

  • What responsibility does the media hold?

  • We are all used to seeing greed, jealousy, and dashed hopes turn adults to murder on TV

    • Does this cause children to be less sensitive to violence

    • Not a single answer to this complex problem

School Violence

  • Over the past two years, children as young as 14, have mowed down classmates or teachers in a dozen schools across the U.S.

  • However:

    • The homicide rate among teens is actually down by 1/3 since the early 1990’s

    • Crime is actually rare in American schools

      • 43% of 1,234 elementary schools surveyed in 1997 reported “no” crimes

      • Most crime in schools are only minor offenses

      • Is this how it is portrayed by the media?

A Lack of Parental Involvement?

  • Has the television become the babysitter

  • Children may not re-enact TV violence

    • But experts agree that a constant diet of mass entertainment can warp children’s sense of the world

      • Everybody does it

      • Access to weapons makes it easy to carry out revenge fantasies

      • 200 million guns in the U.S. (16% unlocked and loaded)

      • What responsibility does the media hold? Parents? Government? Gun Industry?

Perpetuating Rural Myths

  • Small town shooting sprees attract a great deal of attention in the media

    • Teenage murders are much more common in urban areas (9 times higher than rural areas)

      • Growing up without loving, capable, responsible adults who teach right from wrong

      • Growing up surrounded by delinquent and criminal adults

      • Where self-respecting young men aspire to get away with murder

      • 4 in 10 inner city children have witnessed a murder

      • So why do all of the TV cameras show up when something happens in rural or suburban areas? Is it bias?

Media Response

  • The media routinely blames violence on videogames, violent television programs, southern gun culture

    • The New York Times, published in a region where the most common use of hand guns is “sticking up” grocery stores, ran a front page headline reading:

      • “Born to Kill” over the picture of six year old Andrew Golden after the Jonesboro shooting.

      • What message was the media trying to sell?

Media Responsibility

  • Have you seen anything on television, in a movie, or in a magazine in the past month that you would be embarrassed to show your grandmother or watch with your grandmother?

  • Is the media responsible for:

    • A coarsening of American society?

    • Violence among the nations youth?

    • A society that is increasingly “shock free?”

    • Public acceptance of violence/immorality?

Media Liability?

  • Should the media:

    • be required to sensor content?

    • Be held accountable for people who commit crimes while re-enacting?

    • Be held liable for copycat crimes?

    • Be required to show both sides of the story?

    • Be subject to governmental regulations?

Responsibility of Advertisers

  • What television advertisements bother you the most?

  • Are media advertisers responsible for the coarsening of our society?

  • Should media advertisers be held responsible for:

    • The content of their advertisements?

    • The actions of people responding to their advertisements?

    • Strict governmental regulations?

Parental Responsibility

  • Should parents be held responsible for:

    • The actions of their children?

    • The media with which they expose their children?

    • The media in which they allow their children to participate?

    • The media which they endorse through purchases?

Is the Media Responsible?

  • Is the media responsible for a coarsening of American values?

  • While watching the video clips, ask yourself questions like:

    • What values are portrayed?

    • Who is the hero?

    • What message is being sold?

    • How have things changed in 40 years?

    • Is the message more or less offensive to you?

    • What social issues are targeted in the clip?

    • Record your observations for discussion?

    • Roll the video!

Now, A Personal Question:

  • To what degree does the media influence your perception of the world?

  • How pervasive is the influence of media and technology on society?

  • Record the number of items (below) that you answer correctly.

The “High Seas”

Who is the captain who was so brutal that a “mutiny on the Bounty” resulted?

  • William Bligh

Who is the fictional captain who helps sell cereal?

  • Captain Crunch

The News?

What is the name of one tabloid that can be found in the checkout lane of the supermarket?

  • Star

  • The National Enquirer

  • The World News

What are the names some of the most important political newspapers in the America?

  • The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard

Important Historical Figures?

Name three signers of the U.S. Constitution.

  • George Washington

  • Benjamin Franklin

  • Alexander Hamilton

  • James Madison

Name three of the characters from the TV show “The Brady Bunch.”

  • Marcia, Carol, Greg

  • Jan, Alice, Peter

  • Cindy, Mike, Bobby

Famous Animals?

What is the name of the largest dinosaur ever discovered?

  • Argentinosaurus

What is the name of the dinosaur who stars in his own popular children’s show?

  • Barney

News Makers?

Who is this…

President and General Ulysses S. Grant

Who is this…

  • Monica Lewinsky

Who is this…

The maker of the first American Flag Betsy Ross

Who is this…

Hugh Hefner

Famous Quotes?

Who said “Give me liberty or give me death?”

  • Patrick Henry

Who said “Life is like a box of chocolates?”

  • Forrest Gump

Who said “We shall return” upon leaving the Philippines during WWII?

  • General Douglas Macarthur

Who said “I’ll be back” during a popular movie?

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

The Printing Industry

Who invented the printing press?

  • Johannes Gutenberg

Who is the founding publisher of Hustler Magazine?

  • Larry Flynt

Famous Women?

Name a female participant of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  • Sacajawea

Name a female character from Gilligan’s Island.

  • Mrs. Howell

  • Ginger

  • Mary Ann

Who was the first woman lawyer in America?

  • Myra Colby Bradwell 1869

Which actress portrayed a single mom turned legal assistant in a recent blockbuster film?

  • Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich

Who wrote the original Frankenstein story?

  • Mary Shelley

Which actress spends time slaying vampires each week on a popular TV program?

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy

Famous Sports Figures?

Who invented the game of basketball?

  • Dr. James Naismith invented the game in 1891

Who is the former pro basketball player that routinely changed his hair color?

  • Dennis Rodman

Law Enforcement

Who is credited as the founder of the FBI?

  • J. Edgar Hoover

Name a fictional FBI agent who investigated the supernatural on TV.

  • Dana Sculley

  • Fox Mulder


Who is credited with inventing the internal combustion engine?

  • Rudolf Diesel

Name an actor who starred in a movie about stealing 50 cars.

  • Nicholas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Duvall, and Will Patton from Gone in 60 Seconds

The Theatre

Who wrote the words “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women in it merely players?”

  • William Shakespeare –from his play As You Like It

This young actor recently starred in a Shakespearean film, name him.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

Is the Media:More bad than good?More good than bad?

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