Monday, August 18, 2008

Sam Slater Assignment-Article Review

Samantha Slater
RELN 2011-Shaw
Article Reviews
This article review will summarize then analyze three articles. I will begin with a summary. Then the evaluation will be opinion based.
The article “Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media,” was the product of a study conducted by Media Matters for America. The method used was a comparison of how many times ten progressive and ten conservative religious figures were quoted, interviewed, and mentioned. Major religious leaders that have political influence such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were not included in the study because it would have skewed the findings.The overall result was conservative religious leaders were quoted, interviewed, and mentioned 2.8 times more than progressive religious leaders. The rest of the results were of similar outcome.
The methodology used in this assessment was solid. The exclusion of well-know figures allowed the data to show a more accurate conclusion . If the figure heads had been included in the study there would have been an over representation of progressive religious leaders. These people are more than a religious leader they are outspoken extremes which are over broadcasted in the media.
The findings are what experience has shown. Religion and especially conservative religion has founds its way into media. It is a misrepresentation of America. The article said that almost 90 percent of Americans are religious but only 22 percent of that is traditional religion. This just says that not only conservative more represented but that progressives are over represented as well if the American public was accurately portrayed.
This article is most likely correct in its findings; in America conservative religion is overrepresented in media. Unfortunately, these conclusions are coming from such a bias and untrustworthy source any conclusion drawn from them is null and void. Media Matters for America is a left or progressive non-profit organization . If the result had determined that progressives were more often quoted, interviewed, and mentioned the study would most likely never seen the light of day. Also Media Matters for America is a non-profit. Non-profits are not reliable sources of any study because of how they are funded.
The article “Terrorists We Do Like and Terrorists We Don’t Like,” explains American media bias against Muslims and other-than-Anglo people. It argues that even prior to 9/11 the foundation of discrimination against these groups was already in place. This stereotype was prompted by a prejudice media and how popular culture now makes the association without even thinking about it. It is stated that the media, especially in the States will overlook or underreport incidents involving terrorist groups of Anglos.
This article is coming from a very true place. After the September 11th attacks in the States there was a definite anti- Muslim sentiment. This article is true, but it was repetitive. It has already been said. The anti- Muslim media coverage was most predominating right after 9/11. This was seven years ago. The media has called itself out on the coverage. This is not to say that the media coverage is fair to non-Anglos .
However, this article is a great representation of the Culture Industry idea of Adrono and Horkehiemer. The media is giving a repetitive message to create a desired response from the viewer. This is the sort of thing that Ardono and Horkehimer were worried about; that people could be programmed to hate via the media. But the backlash from the reporting somewhat disproves the culture theory .
“The Culture of Real Virtuality: the Integration of Electronic Communication, the End of the Mass Audience, and the Rise of Interactive Networks,” is an article about the culture surrounding media. It discusses the frequency of media consumption, who is consuming and the culture significance in this. It primarily focuses on the consequences or the culture price of the emerging media condition. It can be summed up by the social and cultural differentiation, increased social stratification, and movement towards all media having a common cognitive pattern, and creating a culturally relative product for the consumer.
This article, though dated, was relevant. It agreed with statistic from other independent studies . It refrained from making extreme predictions about what media. It used past reactions to media to draw analogies for the future. Realizing that social networking through media will/is resulting in weaker social ties. This is while the number of social ties is on the increase. The article stated that as many as 950+ weak social ties on average for a North American. This sort of data is very telling of the impact of media on cultural. For as the number of weak social connections grows the number of strong ties will decrease. Media is traditionally a one way flow of information but it is being morphed into a two way, which of course will have cultural impact, just as one way did .
As technology improved diversification of the product (media) did leading to changed patterns of consumption. The cultural significant of this is who is using the products; on average it is youth who are well to do and educated. The proliferation of the internet was defined by entering the collegiate world then following the gradates into the working world. This made the internet, the new frontier for media, for the rich and the educated. This will lead to media being divided, as the article stated, into the interacting (the rich) and the interacted (those only responding) .
Reference: (See Footnotes)

R Walters - Journal of Black Studies, 2007 -
2008 Media Matters for America.
Media Matters for America, 2007, Left Behind, The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media, May,
Elliot D, 2003, ‘Terrorists we do like and Terrorists we don't like’, In PM Lester & EE Dennis, Eds., Images that Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, 2nd Edn, London, Praeger, ch7, 51-55. RL
Adorno T, 1991, ‘The Culture Industry’; ‘The Culture Industry Reconsidered’, The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, Routledge, London.
G Comstock - Thinking and literacy: The mind at work, 1995 -
Personal interview. Shaw, Sylvie. July 2008.
Castells M, 2000, The Rise of the Network Society, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford & Malden MA. Ch. 5: ‘Culture of Real Virtuality: The Integration of Electronic Communication, the End of the Mass Audience, and the Rise of Interactive Networks.’ ,

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