My Story Assignment: Jordan Bateson

For My Story Assignment I chose to explain how attending Dave Matthews Band concerts is for a hard core fan. The video includes clips from live performances as well as tailgating, waiting in line, running, and all the other aspects that go along with following a band around much of the continental United States.

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Final Exam: Question #2 (Jordan Bateson)

Jordan Bateson

CM.203.01

Final Exam: Question #2

The required reading for chapter 10 talks heavily about how television could become a more participatory and democratic medium. The main arguments in this reading are that in media, consumption and participation are very important! When it comes to media, distribution, production and selection of what to produce and which programs to run are on the very top of the importance list. People must find things interesting in order to want to watch them. Along with the previously mentioned aspects, technology and culture are also important. These two criteria are two of the most important core aspects of public participation in media.

Convergence culture is also another big topic. Convergence culture is “enabling new forms of participation and collaboration” (279). Convergence itself “represents a paradigm shift. It is a move from medium-specific content toward content that flows across multiple media channels” (279). This convergence culture is used by the media to shape consumer behavior. Media companies strive to shape and alter consumer behavior so that is betters the amount of consumption of their brand. Companies want consumers to watch them and use their products, therefore they put out media centered and geared to certain demographics and individual interests.

Viewers enjoy the aspect of having a say in the types of media they watch and interact with. One of the biggest changes in media in the recent years has been individual change and the personalization of media consumption. Apple is a great example of personalized usage for each and every consumer. Those customers with iPhones, iPods, Mac computers, laptops, etc… witness first hand how moldable Apple is in an effort to heighten the satisfaction and better individualize their products. Apple has an application for what seems like pretty much everything. There are “apps” for running such as “Nike+ Running” and “Nike Training Club” that are geared towards those consumers interested in fitness. Both of these “apps” have a built in memory. Nike+ Running has a built in GPS that maps each consumers running route as well as records time and mile splits. The application allows each runner to create their own personalized playlist and list of pump-up songs that are available to listen to while he or she is on the run. Additionally, the application remembers personal records and aids each runner in achieving better fitness and run times each time he or she laces up his or her running shoes to go out for a run. Along with many other features, “Nike+ Running” also enables users to upload and “share” their workout with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, making it possible for friends and family that aren’t always close by to know what you’re up to and how you’re doing. This “share” can be done at the beginning of a workout as well. Doing this posts a message on the runners Facebook or Twitter that enables friends to “like” or “retweet” the workout. When a friend “likes” the workout post, the sound of applause is sent wirelessly to the runner that is heard through their headphones while in the middle of a workout.

Apple continues to use much of the same technology in all the applications and programs they produce. Another example is in iTunes. With every song, application, book, etc… someone downloads, iTunes then generates a list of recommended choices for the consumer based on what is already in their current library. Through allowing consumers to download programs and information, Apple and other companies are “aiding in distribution content” (286).

Media has changed in many ways since the 1960’s and 1980’s. Back when our parents were younger, the main form of media came via radio, black and white television, printed news: newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, etc… The computer wasn’t a huge form of media back in the 60’s and 80’s. Computers started out very large in size and they were very expensive, making it impossible for anyone other than large companies to possess them. This lack of digital media in the 1960’s-1980’s makes in much more difficult for adults today, who were young during that time, to become accustomed to and learn about present day media.

Sources:

Elliot King, Russell Cook, and Mitchell Tropin, “Currents in Communication.” Dubuque, IA 2010. Print

Chapter 9 Summary

Jordan Bateson

Chapter 9 Summary

Chapter 9 focused on ways in which people can communicate using stories to convey a message. The chapter in all discusses the centrality of story telling as a way to improve and build upon social life as well as to look deeper into ways in which stories are put together, torn apart, and how some stand the test of time. The chapter also looks at the differences that exist in the media and how these differences better tell stories to their audiences. Finally, the chapter finished by giving examples of different media storytellers and how they go about telling stories.

Humans are not the only ones that tell stories. Other species that incorporate storytelling into their lives include honeybees and whales. However, although humans are not alone in utilizing storytelling, they are the most heavily driven by companionship. Humans need intrapersonal as well as interpersonal communication. Dialogic domain, “the mode of connecting with others” (232), is crucial in human interaction.

The chapter continues on to explain how the ways and manners in which authors and storytellers convey and portray their messages are important. Because writing takes away the personal aspect of communication, mood, and tone are hard to assess, thus “separates the speaker” (232) from the words themselves.

Journalism developed from the idea of separation of word and tone. The job of a journalist is to persuade, convince, and capture the readers. Journalists, including newspaper writers as well as television producers must work hard to captivate their audiences by increasing the entertainment value of the information they are producing and writing about. Journalists use what is called “soft news” or “feature news”. These terms refer to “human-interest or celebrity stories that can keep until tomorrow. They tend to be long, in-depth stories that take more time to write and produce” (233). The term “hard news” refers to stories and information that is time sensitive. These stories include profiles, memoirs, or diaries that need to be published in an astonishingly fast manner.

The required reading, Birth Of A Nation, comes from a film of which branches from two novels centered on white supremacy. Thomas Dixon’s novels, “The Clansman” and “The Leopards Spot” are centered on telling the story of the way in which white supremacy groups were developed and how they flourished. All of these stories give the readers a sense of being in the situation, but still learning about it from a far. The stories use different techniques to convey their messages and tell their stories, just as the chapter was suggesting all writers do.

The Harry Potter series was a favorite of mine when I was growing up and the writing of J.K. Rowling still astounds me. The books pertain to the topics discussed in Chapter 9 as well as the required reading because the series does a great job in following the lives of multiple students as the face obstacles along the path of growing up. The series begins by following one teenager specifically, Harry Potter, from the time he was just turning 13 and not yet a student at Hogwarts, then concludes after he’s made friends, embarked on many dangerous and grueling journeys, and at the end of the series he’s still on a conquest. The writing of these novels is great in the fact that although they are non-fiction, the writer uses dialogue that enables the reader to place him or herself in the story.

A series that isn’t quite as captivating for me, and manages to grab my attention for all the wrong reasons is Jersey Shore. The show, although a favorite among many of my friends, gives off the impression that all young adults do on the Jersey Shore is party, sleep around, and use obscure language. It gives many people from New Jersey a bad reputation, especially those from the Shore area. The series doesn’t try to make anyone look intellectual, instead it shows that people can be lazy and irresponsible and still make it big in life. Through telling the stories of these friends and group of individuals, the producers are able to portray a message that does not resemble the larger portion of society and cause younger children to look up to these adults who don’t deserve to be role models.

Sources:

Elliot King, Russell Cook, and Mitchell Tropin, “Currents in Communication.” Dubuque, IA 2010. Print

http://www.harrypotterwizardscollection.com/

http://www.jkrowling.com/

http://www.mtv.com/shows/jersey_shore/season_5/series.jhtml

Celebrity Archeology: Taylor Swift

Jordan Bateson

CM 203.01

Celebrity Archeology: Taylor Swift

Due: June 28, 2012

Taylor Swift is a young lady whom for many is easy to relate to. She draws the attention and love of young children all the way up to adults. The songs she writes are about topics that young girls especially can place themselves into and put themselves into Taylor’s shoes. She writes about family, relationships, friendships, school, and many other relatable topics. Her songs for the most part are simple, as well as fun to sing along to.

Taylor’s tweets and Twitter pictures are full of family occasions, they give fans a look inside her personal life, both from the public and performing side and from the side that fans don’t generally get to see. Taylor has images of herself with her cats, a Starbucks latte with “have a great day! Taylor” written on the cup, old family photos as well as an Easter photo with herself and her mother. She also has photos of her invitation to the Academy Awards for Country Music, a few fans wearing t-shirts with her face on them, a photo of herself with her Grammy awards, a few of herself on stage, Christmas photos, herself in the recording studio, as well as a photo of her father.

Her tweets do much of the same things as her photos; along with allowing her followers inside of her life, she also supports other artists and musical talents via her Twitter. One of her tweets from April 30th reads, “Just bought @bobatl’s new album, including “Both of Us”, the song we did. Do it!!!!!!!! (too many exclamation points? Sorry I’m not sorry)” through this tweet she is helping to promote another artist’s album as well as promoting her own role in the song she performed on.

Along with her many fans, Taylor also has many people who aren’t as adoring or supportive. There are articles online such as “Why You Should Hate on Taylor Swift” written by Bill Gray and Vh1’s “5 Reason’s to Hate Taylor Swift” by Kate Spencer, who’s purposes are to spread negative feelings about the artist. Many of these articles are hating on the fact that Taylor is famous. Bill Gray printed a line stating, “So, the young woman apparently cannot sing, but we are suppose to forgive that because…” additionally he states, “As for the Kanye defense, I think we can all agree it was the best thing to ever happen to Swift’s career. She’ll probably write a fluffy song about it. Next time, let’s hope Kanye disrupts and saves us from a pitchy performance and not an acceptance speech for yet another undeserved award”. However, the hatred that surrounds Taylor Swift is nothing that other artists don’t face as well, and in order to be in the spotlight and the center of the media, she will have to get accustomed to it and learn to put up with it.

Here is a link to the mentioned “Kanye incodent”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsnv6uYD7LA

Midterm Exam: Question C

Jordan Bateson

CM 203.01

Midterm Exam: Question C

Due: June 25, 2012

The required reading, “Medium Theory” by Joshua Meyrowitz takes on the topic of how communications has evolved. Communications started off based solely on oral tradition. In order for information to spread someone had to pass it on personally. Communication has changed and the next step was the growth of print societies. In these print societies, oral tradition wasn’t used as much. Or when it was used, it was then written down and the oral aspect of the information thread could be cut. Finally, today, the electronic global culture. The article discusses these three media eras and what was included and the main components of each.

The first media era the world encountered was traditional oral societies. In these societies, “presentation of ideas and mores depends upon the living memory of people” (Medium Theory, pg. 63). These societies were built upon memorization and recitation. The only way the message was spread to others was through close physical contact, in other words, people had to live in close proximity to one another to receive the information because there was no other method of delivering news.

Oral cultures have two primary characteristics. First, like already stated, they require a close physical presence be available between the communicating parties. Second, Individuality is a large factor, in the sense that is it limited. Yes, people can have ideas that are unique to themselves and present complex arguments, however these ideas and arguments are difficult to remember in their entirety and therefore often forgotten without a method of which to document them. Additionally, spoken word, as it is referred to in the reading, is difficult to rely on. People are human; they forget and stories become mixed up, forgotten, or misconstrued and therefore, their purpose and meaning are lost.

The second media era includes the modern print societies. A strength of these modern print societies includes that “writing establishes the potential for true ‘literature,’ ‘science,’ and ‘philosophy” (Medium Theory, pg. 63). These print societies have documentation and records of the important and unique ideas as well as arguments that the oral societies had but couldn’t provide documentation for. Therefore, the modern print societies better allow to people to express different views and have those views heard by others. In order for these modern print societies to work and function correctly, literacy is crucial. If people are illiterate, a print society cannot exist because those in it cannot read or write. The reading refers to writing and reading as “natural means for communication”.

The third media era is the electronic global culture. This third era is what the world and the United States are considered to be in currently. An electronic global culture takes time to develop; it isn’t developed or created over night. “Electronic media bring back a key aspect of oral societies: simultaneity of action, perception, and reaction” (Medium Theory, pg. 65). This quotation shows that all three of these media eras are part of the role triad and each one is built off of and an extension on the one before it. A difference among the three eras that the “electronic global culture possesses and the others don’t is that electronic communication is not subject to the physical limitations of time or space”.

Social roles in societies are extremely important. Matter of fact, these social roles are much of what societies are built from. Social roles provide group identity, socialization, and a hierarchy for its members. Their three social roles can also be defined as roles of affiliation, roles of transition, and roles of authority, each of which is crucial to a functioning triad.

The “Mobile Life Youth Report” provides some interesting and intriguing statistics on the importance of the role triad and how our current era (electronic global) is currently at the forefront of discussion and necessity. However, the importance of the previous two eras is also evident and are both needed for the current era to function. The report states that in the 11-17 year old group, electronic media and using it as a form of communication is very important. 78% of this age group possesses a mobile phone and reported that it provides them with a better social life than they would have without one. Additionally, 70% reported a higher quality of life when they possessed electronic methods of communication. The report continued to provide statistics stating that 68% of people 11-17 years old use text messaging as a form of communication, 90+% use email, and 55% are members of at least one social networking site (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter).

These findings in the “Mobile Life Youth Report” provide the proof behind the thought that electronic communication is of the utmost importance in today’s era. We truly are living in and experiencing an electronic global culture.

Midterm Exam: Question A

Jordan Bateson

CM 203.01

Midterm Exam: Question A

Due: June 25, 2012

The required reading for chapter 3, “The Next Room,” by Mitchell Stephens discusses the increase in digital media consumption over the past few decades. The extent of media available to consumers was at one point limited to print (newspapers, magazines, books, etc…) as well as media distributed via the radio. Television is a fairly new technology. The first full scale television came out in 1947 and a mere eight years later “half of all American homes had a black-and-white television set” (The Next Room, pg. 96).

The three major revolutions in communications include writing, print, and video. This article focuses on the video revolution and how the television has taken over and become the dominant force in media and its production and has remained that way for decades. This article also places focus on how the introduction of the television and video media has impacted the first two communications revolutions: writing and print.

The introduction of the television was huge and much more effective than words printed on a screen or regular still shots captured using a camera and placed in newspapers or other printed sources. Television media began to gain momentum and increase rapidly in popularity during the second half of the twentieth century. It began to look as though images and that sort of media were becoming more popular than the standard written media people were accustomed to.

One primary aspect of television media that sticks out and sets it apart from that of other sources such as computers, newspapers, magazines, radio, iPods, cell phones, Internet, email, skype, ect… is the fact that “no medium or technology, before or after, “penetrated,” as the researchers put it, our homes more quickly” (The Next Room, pg. 96). To put it into perspective, the spread of the telephone in American homes took almost eight times longer than the spread of the television into homes, making it a fast growing media outlet.

The extent of which American families have included the television in their lives and the lives of their families is drastic. American homes, on average, have the television on for 8 hours a day and people sit in front of it (doing nothing but watching) for an average of about 2-5 hours per day. This finding is huge. The amount of time Americans spend in front of the television converts to less time spent reading, interacting with family members by talking, less time studying, less time spent outside or on work and so on. Television has been shown to take time away from other important aspects of everyday life. Many Americans are beginning to feel overwhelmed with the amount of formal education given in school and the amount of reading that is required. This demand on students had pushed them away from reading in their spare time and towards the television.

An article in USA Today provided some interesting and informative statistics about media consumption in the United States. Kids in the United States spend a gargantuan amount of time with all different types of electronic media including cell phones, computers, iPods, video calling, text messaging, email, and so on. USA Today reports a study finding that adolescents spend on average 53 hours a week with electronic media. Also reported was the amount of free time kids spent listening to music, watching television, watching movies, or time spent in front of the computer. The numbers show that children spend 79 more minutes on average than those of the same age 10 years ago did on the previously stated types of electronic media consumption.

The Kaiser Family Foundation survey reported findings from a group of 2,002 participants ranging from the ages of 8-18 and their media consumption. The findings may seem surprising. The average person in the range 8-18 years old spends 7 hours and 38 minutes using media on any given day; this is an increase of 1 hour and 19 minutes per day from those 10 years earlier. The survey also reported “cell phone ownership has increased sharply since 2004, from 39% to 65%. Ownership of iPods has jumped even more since 2004, from 18% to 76%. Additionally, 20% of kids’ media comes via mobile devices” (USA Today: Kids’ electronic media use jumps to 53 hours a week). This information provides proof that the television isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.