Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Post 1: Society of the Spectacle

     Today’s society is completely consumed by mass media. While all forms of media and technology grow, society has become lost in the whirlwind of the commodity; like the iPhone 5 and Michael Jordan sneakers, to say the very least. Becoming immensely obsessed and addicted to "what's hot" and "what's next," consumers have completely indulged in a false perception of reality. 

     In Guy Debord's reading, Society of the Spectacle, he compares and analyzes the mass media as the spectacle. He explains and describes how Society of the Spectacle creates a false sense of reality through the use of images, commercials and advertisements in which society can relate to these outlets as a whole. He further investigates the spectacle by introducing us to what the problems of the commodities are. He explains, "The fetishism of the commodity — the domination of society by “intangible as well as tangible things” — attains its ultimate fulfillment in the spectacle, where the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality"(Debord 36). Pretty much, Debord is saying that we as a society, have now become slaves to these products and images.
"The world at once present and absent that the spectacle holds up to view is the world of the commodity dominating all living experience. The world of the commodity is thus shown for what it is, because its development is identical to people’s estrangement from each other and from everything they produce." (Debord 37)
    Written over 40 years ago, Debord was extremely correct in his predications of how media images would effect society in future years to come. It is like we are living in the matrix; living in a world that seems to be reality but instead is just a fa├žade. Over 50 years ago, we wouldn't work solely to just buy materialistic things. Now, however, as oppose to having these products as a luxury, we purchase them as a necessity, a must-have. As a consequence, instead of us having these products, images and other materialistic things, these products now have us. We have now become slaves to the things we once controlled. 

Kobe Bryant wearing Beats headphones in  Laker's Team Color

Getting a pair of Beats by Dre are an example of the commodity. Without witty marketing plans and "to die for" ads, no one would really want to spend $350 on these "not so good" headphones anyway. But because the consumer may glorify their favorite athlete, pop star and/or rapper who sport these headphones, these headphones have ultimately become a commodity.  Purchasing trendy and "cool"material items leads us to believe that we are worth something in the eye of society. We want everyone to know it and see it. It also gives us the feeling that we are just like those who we glorify to be. We intrinsically believe we have higher self-value; we feel better about our selves, inside. 


     With the help of our iPads, MacBooks, iPhones and other mobile electronics, it is so easy for society to fall into the lap of the commodity. Advertisements are found on every social network like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Being that we are able to instantly access these social media outlets at the tip of our fingers, we become soaked in the perception of what we as a people should be. Everyone begins to build a persona of what or who they would want to be. This form of brainwashing happens so often we forget who we actually are and rapidly lose individualism and originality."The spectacle is the stage at which the commodity has succeeded in totally colonizing social life. Commodification is not only visible, we no longer see anything else; the world we see is the world of the commodity"(Debord 42).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chapter 11: News in a Digital Age


          a.    Newsreel: short Films, usually around 10 minutes long, containing 5 or 6 items of current news, human-interest features, and sports events.
          b.   First newsreel: in Paris by Charles Pathe in1909
                                              i.     First newsreel with sound came about in 1927
          c.    Typical newsreel: one installment a week
                                              i.     By1930’s it came to four installments a week
          d.   During WWII the U.S government supervised newsreels

          a.    Lee DeForest created the Audion tube in 1916
          b.   THE PRESS – RADIO WAR                                           
                                             i.     Newspapersfelt threatened by the radio
                                            ii.     Baltimore Agreement: Between CBS and NBC in NYC (1933)
                                   1.    They agreed networks would only air two 5 minute newscasts a day
                                   2.    From 9AM – 9PM
                                   3.    This lasted less than one year
                                           iii.     Radiodidn’t affect newspapers
          c.    LIVE REPORTS                                           
                                           i.     Foreign news became popular
          d.   POST-WAR PERIOD
                                              i.     By1946, 63% of American citizens used the radio as their main news source
          e.   THE ALL NEWS FORMAT                                         
                                             i.     KFAX:in 1960 became the first all news radio station
                                            ii.     By1980’s radio news began to decline
                                           iii.     Thisis when music radio stations began to show up

         a.    Edward Murrow (from CBS) said television should move forward
         b.   MOBILE UNITS:                                             
                                             i.     First scheduled television news programs were 15 minutes long (1940)
                                            ii.     Mobile Units (1937)
                          1.    Two huge buses, equipment, and mobile transmitter sent to the Empire State Building
                          2.    First commercial use: David Sarnoff (NBC)
         c.    FILM UNITS:
                                              i.     Stringers:independent journalists
                                            ii.     Cameramen were hired
                                           iii.     In1953 NBC developed a portable film developer and installed it in an airport in England
                                           iv.     TVbegan to reduce the scoop of news
                                            v.     InMid 1970’s videotaping came about

       a.    Edward Murrow was the News and Public AffairsV.P of CBS
       b.   Documentary: long formed filmed examination of a social problem or historical subject
                                              i.     JFK’s assassination was covered through live radio and Harvey Lee Oswald’s was coverlive by television broadcast
       d.   VIETNAM:
                                              i.     Through coverage of Vietnam the term Credibility Gap came to be known. It is the difference between what a government says and what the public believes

      a.    CNN:
                                              i.     1980– Ted Turner launched Cable News Network
      b.   FOX NEWS:
                                              i.     Roger Ales and Rupert Murdoch
                                            ii.     Brought the feistiness of talk radio to television
                                           iii.     Itserved as a conservative news source
      c.    ONLINE NEWS:
                                              i.     Newson Demand: information that users can access whenever
                                            ii.     Videotext:delivering electronic newspapers to homes via television sets (1980’s)
      d.   THE EARLY DAYS:
                                              i.     1978– Nexis, newspaper database
                                            ii.     Took10 minutes to load and was $40 a month
                                           iii.     BulletinBoard Services: early online news services
                                              i.     WWWbegan in 1993
                                            ii.     By1995 there were 150 papers online
                                           iii.     Earlybloggers were citizen journalists

      a.    In 1995 CNN opened their website
      b.   1996 – MSNBC
      c.    1997 – ABC

      a.    NEWS VALUES
                                              i.     News:presentation of information that is timely, important, and interesting
                                            ii.     NewsValues: Characteristics that define news:
                                1.    Timeliness – it is 24hrs.
                                2.    Importance – people are affected by the news
                                3.    Interest – whether by proximity (peg) orprominence (celebrities, sports, politics,etc.)

      a.    Media may show partiality
      b.   Liberal Bias: anti-big business, probig-government, anti-Republican
                                              i.     Comprisedof 80%-90% Democratic viewers
      c.    Conservative Bias: pro big-business,pro-religion, pro-Republican
      d.   Centrist Bias: failure to report radical points of view
      e.   Creeping Bias: certain television production elements (such as tone, songs, titles, pictures, etc.) can serve asa form of slanting

      a.    Entertainment Vales
                      i.     Titillating announcements/teaser
                      i.     Promotion of programs
      b.   Polls as Entertainment
                            i.     Reporters ask frivolous questions about entertainment related material such as celebrities, etc.