Brainstorm- Grab a clean sheet on the table.When you think of Drug Dealers, what 10 things come to mind? Drug Dealers
Focus on The MediaUnderstand the Media Before We Talk about Current Issues
What makes up the Media? Television Newspapers The Internet Magazines Radio
What is the JOB of the media? 5 Core Concepts of the Media
1) All media messages are constructed. • We should not think of media texts as ‘natural’ • They are built…..constructed. • In a mag for example, there are words in different sizes and typefonts, pictures, colors, layout & page location. • In TV/Movies there are hundreds of building blocks – camera angle to lighting to music to sound effects • The message we receive was BUILT by someone…we don’t see the words, pics, etc that were rejected…only what was accepted.
Guiding Questions to Ask • What kind of ‘text’ is it? • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole? • How similar or different is to others of the same genre? • What technologies were used in its creation? • How would it be different in a different medium? • What choices were made that might have made it different? • How many people did it take to make this message?
2) Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules. • Scary music heightens fears; camera close-ups convey intimacy; big headlines signal significance
Guiding Questions to Ask • What did you notice?.....(about the way the message is constructed) • Colors & shapes • Sound effects? Music? Silence? Dialogue or narration? • Props, sets, clothing? • Movement? Composition? • Lighting? • Where is the camera? What is the viewpoint? • How is the story told? What are the people doing? • Are there any visual symbols or metaphors? • What’s the emotional aspect? Persuasive devices? • What makes it seem ‘real’?
3) Different people experience the same media message differently. • Each person brings their own unique set of life experiences (age, gender, education, cultural upbringing, etc.) which when combined with the text create unique interpretations • A WWII vet interprets Saving Private Ryan differently than a non vet • Each viewer is trying to ‘make sense’ of what they’re viewing
Guiding Questions to Ask • Have you ever experienced anything like this? • How close does it come to what you experienced in real life? • What did you learn from the media text? What did you learn about yourself from experiencing the media text? • What did you learn about other people’s response – and their experience? • How many other interpretations could there be? How could we hear about them? • How can you explain the different responses? • Are there other viewpoints just as valid as mine?
4) Media have embedded values and points of view. • Media are storytellers….require characters and a plot with a beginning, middle and end. • Choice of character’s age, gender or ethnicity • mixed in with the lifestyles, attitudes & portrayed behaviors; • selection of setting (urban? rural? Affluent? Poor?) • and the actions/re-actions in the plot are some ways that values are embedded
Guiding Questions to Ask • How is the person characterized? What kinds of behaviors/consequences are depicted? • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with? • What questions come to mind as you watch/read/listen? • What ideas/values are being ‘sold’? • What political/economic ideas are communicated? • What judgments/statements are made about how we treat other people? • What is the overall worldview? • Are any ideas/perspectives left out? How would you find what’s missing?
5) Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power. • Most media are commercial…..which means they need to make MONEY to stay in business • Newspapers/mags lay out ads first; remaining space is devoted to news • The network/mags, etc want to create an audience (and put them in a receptive mood) so that the network/publisher can sell time or space to sponsors to advertise products • Sponsors pay for time based upon the # of viewers predicted • AND get a REFUND if that number is lower than promised
Guiding Questions to Ask • Who’s in control of the creation and transmission of this message? • Why are they sending it? How do you know? • Who are they sending it to? How do you know? • Who is served by, profits or benefits from the message? The public? Private interests? Individuals? Institutions? • Who wins? Who loses? Who decides? • What economic decisions may have influenced the construction or transmission of the message?
Missing White Woman Syndrome • Missing White Woman Syndrome is the disproportionately greater degree of coverage in television, radio, and print news reporting of a missing person case involving a young, attractive, white woman, compared with cases concerning a missing male, or missing non-white individuals.
Caylee Anthony • Went missing and after 1 month, her family reported her missing.
High school student that disappeared in Aruba. Natalee Holloway (2005)
First reported that a Latino male and female kidnapped her. The Truth- She ran away from home because she didn’t want to marry her fiancé. Jennifer Wilbanks (2005)
Was 7 months pregnant when she disappeared. 5 months after her disappearance, her body was found. Her husband was found guilty in her murder. Laci Peterson (2002)
Was 26 years old and pregnant when she went missing. She was last seen shopping at a grocery store. Her boyfriend (a police officer) was convicted of her murder. Jessie Davis (2007)
2 Questions • Name the last major story of a missing Latino/Latina? An African-American? An Asian-American? A white guy? • Why does the media focus on white women more than others?
Gloria Walker Gloria Walker was last seen on May 20, 2007, driving a car that her long-time boyfriend had been repairing for a relative. Walker's brother reported her missing five days after neighbors last saw her. Two weeks later, three miles from her house in Cleveland, her car was found abandoned. One reporter did a cleveland.com search of Jessie Davis….got over 54000 results. (She disappeared the same year) They then did a cleveland.com search of Gloria…..and got 113 results. Google was worse….Davis = 4 million and Walker = 800,000 (only two on the first page were even relevant)
Latoyia Figueroa • The Figueroa case bears a similarity to the case of Laci Peterson case. • The Peterson case was covered heavily throughout 2004 and led to public consensus that Scott Peterson was guilty of the murder. • Figueroa's family stated that the lack of media coverage of her disappearance only brought more tragedy to an already troubled search. • Figueroa's mother, Ann Taylor, was murdered when LaToyia was a toddler. • Figueroa had a 7 yr old daughter. • Joseph Taylor, Figueroa's uncle and family spokesman, has actively criticized the media. • America's Most Wanted and the Philadelphia Citizen Crime Commission teamed up with police to aid in the search. • A $100,000 reward was funded by rap stars Beanie Sigel (while in a prison) and Damon Dash, Beneficial Bank, T.G.I. Fridays, local philanthropists Joe Mammanaand, Kal Rudman, and Internet bloggers to help the family in the search for LaToyia.
Why? • Whites form the largest majority in the population. Large population= large purchasing power. The media wants to make money and these stories sell. • People relate more to attractive, middle class people. Would you care about a missing prostitute, drug dealer, a male, or someone that doesn’t look like you?
Brainstorm- Grab a clean sheet underneath the pencil sharper.When you think of Drug Dealers, what 10 things come to mind? Drug Dealers
Wealth Power Entrepreneurs Violence Women Drugs Cars Cities Movies Money Material Possessions Boats Mansions Illegal Dangerous Guns Weapons Gangs Themes
What message does Hollywood send?1) Drugs are fun & funny2) People that deal drugs are powerful & wealthy
Movie about Drug Lord Tony Montana Tony Montana is wealthy; powerful; and unapologetic. Favorite movie amongst many in the Hip Hop community (50 cent, Fat Joe, Ludacris) Scarface (1983)
Film that starred Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. Real life story about drug lord Frank Lucas. Lucas is powerful and wealthy and does little jail time for the crimes he committed. Spent one week as the #1 film American Gangster (2007)
Real story about gangster Henry Hill. Hill was a small time drug dealer and becomes a “made man.” He becomes wealthy and powerful. At the end, he turns state witness against his friends. Ashanti’s Foolish video is a remake of Goodfellas. Goodfellas (1990)
True story about Curtis Jackson Aka 50 cent Glorified life on the street Working for gangs Making money Became a success story Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005)
True story about musician Notorious B.I.G Very similar to 50 cents’ movie He uses his power and wealth to become a famous rapper Glorifies the streets Notorious (2009)
Real life story Johnny Truelove Small time drug dealer that is involved in a murder plot Real person is Jesse James Hollywood Alpha Dog (2006)