First Day of Class

I’m excited to start this course on media literacy with Dr. Mary Bucy. Media has such a profound impact on how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. I get the sense that many people I know would like to understand and adjust their relationship to media, but don’t  know what where to start.

In our class, we started by watching a commercial ( video below) and applying our nascent critical media analysis skills to it.

I definitely picked up on strong themes in the commercial – it plays on stereotypes about gender and class on its nose – but I will be interested to see if my perspective changes or is deepened by the end of the course.

We also did some research into the corporate ownership of media giants like Disney, Newscorp, and Comcast. Some of the information we started out with in class was a few years old, and as Mary pointed out, the landscape had already shifted. The global media is in a steady state of flux as companies are acquired, spun off, sold, or shuttered, although the general trend is one of consolidation.  To be honest, this wasn’t new to me – I remember being an angry teenager and listening to this Fugazi song in the late 90s (warning: the song has a swear)

Fugazi – Five Corporations

Grows so smoothly
Moves so slowly
Takes completely
It’s as if they
Belong and they’ve
Been here all along

Buy them up and
Shut them down
Then repeat
In every town

Every town will
Be the same

This one’s ours
Lets take another

Full lyrics at Genius

I worry about the corporate takeover of the world. Slowly spreading, gaining influence, buying off politicians, and getting better and better at convincing us that this is all normal. The media plays a big part in that, from advertising to newspaper and TV coverage of politics and economics to embedding messages and products into entertainment.

Fugazi has a point!

* Featured Image: Fugazi live photo by Sumlin on Flickr via Creative Commons license