My Story Project: Europe Trip

By Katie Sheahin

This is a short video about the four places I visited in Europe for my international marketing tour.  These places were Munich Germany, Innsbruck Austria, Nice France, and Rome Italy.  While visiting these four places we had nine company visits that we went on.  While we did have nine company visits to attend, there was also a lot of time to explore these four amazing places and get a taste for their cultures.

Final Exam: Question One

By: Katie Sheahin

Newspapers use to be the dominant form of mass media when looking back at the times of the American War of Independence.  During the time of the American War, newpapers started to appear in most of the colonies, that were usually no more than 4 pages long and just consisted of news items. With advances in technology in the 1800’s, that allowed for an increase in the availability of newspapers at a lower cost.  With the invention of the telegraph, that allowed for the newspapers to take a major step forward because it allowed for out-of-town news to be reported in the matter of days rather than weeks.  Another technology that greatly affected newspapers was the Linotype machine, which greatly helped newspapers in creating a page of the paper.  Around the 1940’s newspapers had hit there peak and a reduction of newspapers published and, “the percentage of the population that read them…”(318) had decreased.  In more recent times newspapers are starting to go out of business because of the technological advances todays world provides.  With the creation of the radio,TV’s, computers, smart-phones, etc. people rely less and less on the newspaper for their source of information.  These new forms of technology have given people of today’s world easier access to the news and in a more condense way.  Instead of having to go pick up the newspaper at the end of ones drive way, one is able to go on their computer and browse the internet for whatever they are interested in learning about.

All these new technologies have allowed for technology convergence to occur.  Like I stated above, the Internet allows for information to be given to one at the snap of a finger.  The internet also allows for “news to be decentralised.”  It allows for the public opinion to be heard by the ability to post blogs and videos.  The TV has also affected the convergence because many news shows are now portrayed on TV, which gives audio and video image which can be seen as new technological advances in comparison to the newspaper.  With all these new technology convergences, this then allows for industrial convergences, with certain companies coming together.  For instance, Netflix was a computer based application that is now available for access on TV’s.  This convergence of this application being able to first be seen on the computer but now is available on the TV, shows two different industries coming together.  With these new technologies, people are now able to search and watch things much, much faster than before the time of these technologies.

Newspapers business models have changed in that they have had to cut back on the amount of employees they have because they are unable to afford them.  Newspapers have realized that in order to stay afloat they need to be available on these different technologies such as the computer or smart-phones, to access the Internet.  They use websites like Facebook to present their information.  Newspapers have converged their newspapers to an online basis, so they can stay in business.  Some newspapers may even start to charge people for using their newspaper based website, in order for newspapers to stay in business.

The Baltimore Sun Website uses multimedia by presenting videos and pictures of different stories, so it will catch the users attention more.  They also make sure to present lots of pictures on the homepage of their website to keep people in-tuned, so they do not get bored.  I think they use these new medias in this way so people do not get bored with the information they our viewing the Baltimore Suns website.  Allowing people to view pictures and videos of the stories they are presenting keeps the viewers more interested.

Video about Convergence:

Sources/Links

http://ali-aj.blogspot.com/2011/06/convergence-case-study-newspapers.html

http://www.baltimoresun.com/

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

Chapter 9 Summary Assignment

By: Katie Sheahin

Chapter 9: “Communication as Storytelling”, was a chapter about just what the title says communication through the use of storytelling.  The chapter covers the different ways in which communication as storytelling occurs.  The chapter starts off explaining that humans are not the only storytelling species, however we do surpass any other storytelling species.  Storytellers have the job of preserving social values for the younger generation.  The dialogic domain, “-the mode of connecting with other-is omnipresent and shapes human symbolic thinking regardless of communication means” (232, King).  A story is told and retold as an unchanging universe by a storyteller.  The chapter then got into how, “writing separates the speaker from the story by stripping away the sounds of the words…” (232). Writing took away the sounds and rhythms a storyteller could give when speaking orally.  This then lead to what journalism entails, which is to tell stories that maintain essential myths.  Storytelling has the traditional job of nonfiction genres.  Society’s gatekeepers, journalist and documentarians, have control over “hard news” (influence the public’s perception of importance) and “soft news” (stories of human interest).  Today’s new media and technology has transformed ancient myths and oral traditions into things such as movies.  This occurrence has led to a blend in the distinction of what is fiction and nonfiction.  The occasional media hoax does not help this distinction.  In conclusion, media storytellers have many different and new technologies to tell their stories, and use past stories as a framework to help with their storytelling.  To be successful in today’s media, storytellers need to be able to tell their story using all these different technologies today’s world offers.

The required reading, “The Good Lynching and the Birth of a Nation: Discourses and Aesthetics of Jim Crow” talked in depth about of how the techniques of film portray racial ideologies.  The movie “The Birth of a Nation” D.W. Griffiths is a film that was created based off the two novels, “The Clansmen” and “The Leopard’s Spots” by Thomas Dixon.  This film is, “the only historical epic focused on the fear of so-called Negro domination in the Reconstruction era”(246).  The reading talks about how the movie used white actors dressed up as African-Americans, to play the roles of African-Americans.  While having these white actors dress up as blacks, Griffiths also elaborated greatly on how blacks gesture and are verbally inadequate.  There was controversy over how African-American men were portrayed in treating white women and how the Ku Klux Klan was almost seen as heroic.  This movie all-in-all, is a good place to begin with analyzing the use of race in cinema productions.

The required reading and the chapter connect in two main ways.  The first is that the movie, “The Birth of a Nation’s” main themes have been acquired from the novels, “The Clansmen” and “The Leopard’s Spots”.  D.W. Griffiths, being the storyteller in this case, took ideas from these two novels to help him create his movie.  This therefore relates to the chapter reading because in the chapter reading it talks about how ancient forms of storytelling are resurrected using new forms of media, which is in a way what Griffiths did.  The other relation that can be concluded after reading the chapter and required reading is that both present uncertainty about what is fiction and nonfiction.  For instance, in the required reading when it talks about the film “The Birth of a Nation”, the film is portraying African-American’s during the Reconstruction era as unintelligent and sexually aggressive and the Ku Klux Klan as heroic.  These portrayals of this era can start to clash between what is considered fiction and nonfiction.  Within the chapter, this problem of what is considered fiction and nonfiction is due to the use of storytelling through new medias.

A narrative that is one of my favorites which some of these concepts apply to is the novel and movie “The Notebook”.  This is one of my favorites because it is a romance that shows the strength of true love.  “The Notebook” is a love story written by Nicholas Sparks which was published in 1996.  The film version of “The Notebook” was released in 2004.  The film version of “The Notebook” had some details changed from the book version.  This was due to the fact that the storyteller(s) were different for the movie version.  Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi took all the main ideas from the book, but cut and edited the parts they thought made the movie better.  They were able to do this due to the new media and innovations of film.  While the book is fiction, it is based on a true story.  The creation of the movie makes it harder for one to be able to determine if it is fiction or nonfiction.  A TV show that is not one of my favorites is “WWE Raw”.  This TV show is both offensive and troubling.  It is offensive by how it de-humanizes woman and makes them prance around in skimpy bikinis.  The show is troubling in the way that it portrays the stereotype of how a “man” is supposed to act.  These generalizations of how men and women are supposed to act can be seen as very sexiest and can give people a skewed perspective of how men and women are supposed to act.  The storyteller of this TV series is able to portray this skewed perspective more easily through the use of new technologies such as TV and the Internet.

Video of WWE:

Cites/Sources:

http://www.nicholassparks.com/books/the-notebook

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332280/

http://www.usanetwork.com/sports/wwe/

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

Celebrity Archeology: Oprah Winfrey

By: Katie Sheahin

Oprah Winfrey is an African-American woman in her late 50’s who has made a great impact in in the media world through her multi-award-winning talk show.  She is known for being the richest African American of the 20th century and the greatest black philanthropist in American History.  Her followers and fans range from any age, race, and sex.  She is one of the figures of the 20th and 21st century that have impacted so many of our lives.

Oprah uses the ICT, Twitter in many different ways.  She posts majority of her tweets in response to people she is having conversations with but she also posts thank you’s and appreciations, where she currently is and who she is with, promoting products, asking questions directed at certain people, quotes, and random facts that she did not know.  For instance, in one of her tweets she says, “I had no idea what a Lamborghini costs.  I said 75 grand which we had to edit out.”  This is one of the many random facts she tweets about.  Another example of one of the ways she uses Twitter is her saying, “On Valerie Simpsons patio talking about life after Nick.”  This lets he fans know what she currently is up to.  I think Oprah is using Twitter in a positive and smart way.  She is promoting herself but also promoting others.  I think she is using Twitter to show that even though she is a celebrity, she is also a regular person by interacting with her friends and showing her personality.  I also think she is using Twitter to keep her followers/ fans in tuned to where she is and what she is doing.

I definitely think there can be a dark-side to having so much information available to the public.  For starters, if people do not like how celebrities present themselves, they already have a negative outlook on them.  For instance, there is an article called, ” 10 Good Reasons You Should Hate Oprah Winfrey“, that shows she is not liked by this person just because of how she presents herself.  Then taking a closer look into things, celebrities have to worry about all the little details when portraying themselves on medias like Twitter, Facebook, the Internet, etc.  The way one may word things can be interpreted differently, depending on the person, and this has caused some major problems for some celebrities.  The article “Spilling on Twitter can result in blowback for celebs“, talks in detail about some celebrities who have had problems with posting some things that have rubbed fans and people the wrong way.  For example,”Kelly Clarkson managed to draw the ire of some of her more than 944,000 followers last week when she offered an off-the-cuff endorsement for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul…”

I think Oprah has been more helped than hurt by the new media because she is smart about what she posts.  She does not seem to go on rants that could upset her followers/fans.  These new medias help her stay in-tuned with her fans and followers.  I think these new ICTs impact non-celebrities greatly within our daily lives.  These new medias allow for people to waste hours upon hours of their day tweeting, facebooking, or searching the web.  They do allow information to come to us at the snap of a finger but also can consume much of our time without even realizing it.  Oprah posts a good amount.  After looking at her posts from the past week, she posted every day, and many of those days numerous times.  For instance, on June 24th she tweeted more than 50 times throughout the day!

Video about Twitter:

Links/Sources:

https://twitter.com/#!/Oprah

http://www.alternet.org/media/145084/10_good_reasons_you_should_hate_oprah_winfrey?page=entire

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/06/entertainment/la-et-twitter-rant-20120106

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey

Midterm: Question C

By: Katie Sheahin

Question C

“Media Theory” by Joshua Meyrowitz explains how, even with all the different theories theorists have covered, the interaction of media and culture, “ cohere together into a shared image of three phases of civilization matched to three major forms of communication: the move from traditional oral societies to modern print societies, to an electronic global culture”(King,Cook, Tropin, 63).  Oral societies are dependent upon the living memory of people.  The focus is on skills such as memorization and recitation.  Within an oral culture one must physically be there because it is near impossible to interact with those not physically there and individuality is not common because it is too hard to just remember individual ideas and expressions.  An oral society relies heavily on the interplay of the five senses.  There are few distinctions of social status within the oral world, allowing everyone to be on the same page.  However, once writing and print are introduced, this social status is broken up.

Writing allows for ideas that are too complex and too long to be memorized, to be known and preserved.  Writing allows for “literate” people who live in the same environment to have different experiences and different world views about topics.  “Writing, therefore, both splinters and unites people in new ways”(King, 63).  The distinction between speech, hearing and writing, reading is that speech and hearing are “natural” means of communicating whereas writing and reading are not.  Writing and reading are communication techniques that require a lot of learning and practice.  That is therefore why social statuses start to create.  However the printing press helps balance the use of reading and writing throughout cultures but then again reinforces the separation of, “people into different informational worlds” (King, 64).In further explaining the differences between oral societies and print societies, “print, even more than writing, undoes the tribal balance of senses”(King, 64).  The printing press compared to an oral society allows for more growth of knowledge.  The printing press helped with the occurrence of reforms and revolutions.

The next and final form of communication that Meyrowitz covers is electronic media.  “While print allows for new ways of sharing knowledge, and industrialization enables the wide scale sharing of products, electronic media tend to foster new types of shared experiences”(King, 66).  The scale of sharing events, ideas, etc. around the world is enhanced greatly due to electronic media.  Meyrowitz goes on to explain how written and printed words emphasize ideas while most electronic media emphasize feeling, appearance and mood.  Electronic communication is not subject to the physical limitations that spoken communication is limited to.  This again leads into social statuses within communities.  “People of the same status generally have access to the same or similar situations and information” (King, 66).  To understand this concept more thoroughly, Meyrowitz discusses how social roles can be described in terms of an informative-network-sensitive triad of social roles.  These social roles are broken up into three categories: group identity, socialization, and hierarchy.  However, in many situations these roles can overlap with one another.  Meyrowitz furthers his position by explaining that, “each of these role categories, in turn can be described in terms of set patterns of access to social information” (King,68). For instance, things that are told to sixth graders are hidden from fifth graders.

Social roles have changed with the rise of digital media with the Internet, social media and mobile devices media.  The article “The Mobile Life Youth Report” gives more factual information about what I mentioned above relating to social roles, in referring to the usage of mobile devices with young Americans.  The social role of the average 11-14 year old has changed in that it is normal for that age to now acquire cellphones.  This social role is broken up into an even more specific group identity, with statistics showing that, “when choosing a mobile phone, for boys functionality matters more than style; for girls style matters more than functionality”(The Mobile Life Youth Report,16).  As the teens get older they have more power over spending preferences for the phone they want, which creates another distinguishing social role within young Americans.  One of the videos below talks about how teenagers these days depend on their cellphones and feel disconnected if they do not have their phones.  This just shows how electronic media has become such a central role in the everyday lives of today’s world.  To even prove this point further, in the article “The Mobile Life Youth Report” explains that, “78% of 11-17 year-olds say that having a mobile phone gives them a better social life, because they can more easily maintain contact with their friends. More widely, 70% say their mobile phone has made their life better”(12).Today’s communication relies heavily on these electronic technologies.  The other video below, shows how the media uses these electronic devices, such as the T.V. or Internet, to portray certain ideas of how men and women are suppose to act within certain communities.  In both videos and through the texts I have mentioned, it is evident that electronic media controls many aspects of our lives, including communication.

Teens and Cellphones:

Video about roles in media:

Work Cited:

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

The Mobile Life Youth Report 2006.” N.p., n.d. Web.

Midterm: Question A

By: Katie Sheahin

Question A

“The Next Room” by Mitchell Stephens talks about the growing popularity of visual media, particularly the Television and the corresponding decline in reading.  He then furthers his argument by talking about the impact visual media has on children and gives statistics to back his understanding.  There has been no other technology like the T.V. that has “penetrated” the homes of people throughout the world more drastically.  In today’s century it seems as if images have risen above the use of words.  “…the second half of the twentieth century-for perhaps the first time in human history- it began to seem as if images would gain the upper hand over words”(King, Cook, Tropin, 96).  This change has also been seen dramatically through the shift in home designs for instance, libraries to family rooms.  In today’s world, “image is replacing the word as the predominant means of mental transport” (King, 100).

Not only has the visual revolution had an impact on the communication style of images and a change in what people do for their free time, but it has also impacted what the younger generations spend their time doing and learning from.  Mitchell went on to prove his point about image being the language that is overtaking the use of word by giving factual information about children.  “The average fifth-grader reports (they likely are underestimating) spending almost seven times as much time each day watching television as reading” (King, 97).  Children have a founder taste for the use of image bearing technologies than for writing or print.  “…the arrival of the moving image-has been a significant lessening in the importance of the printed word” (King, 98), and this is even more evident with the children of today’s generation.

In today’s world, young Americans have a daily media diet that consists of using electronic media such as “…cell phones, iPods, video games, instant messaging, interactive multi-player video games, virtual reality sites, Web social networks, and e-mail”(Children and Electronic Media, 3), not just the Television.  These different electronic devices have led to America’s young people using these devices more than any activity other than sleep.  They have learned how to multi-task using these different devices.  Therefore, Television has been kept static in the lives of young Americans, “The rise of multitasking explains why time spent viewing television has remained static and has not been replaced with other media: children are simply adding other media uses to the time that the television is on” (Children and Electronic Media, 4). The certain groups that watch more TV and are likely to use their cellphones more are older children, like teenagers and in doing so can multi-task on their cell-phones.  The article “Children and Electronic Media” goes on to explain how the use of electronic media with toddlers and infants is not helpful because humans at these ages need direct interaction.  Whereas, with young preschoolers electronic media can be helpful with repeating ideas over and over again, or presenting images and sounds, however the electronic media focused at this age group is fixated more on entertaining rather than educating.  The use of electronic media with older children for their own leisure has shown to benefit the learning and achievement of the children.  However, the use of electronic media in schools for older children has not been proven to help educate the children any better than the traditional ways of teaching.  Depending on the type of media intake a child is revealed to can determine how they view the world, for instance as violent or not, depending on the amount of intake they take in about violence.  While researchers have noted that the new communication tools invite “…harassment and offer a place for bullying” (Children and Electronic Media, 6), the positives seem to outweigh the negatives for the most part.

video about electronic media:

 

Works Cited:

Children and Electronic Media.” N.p., n.d. Web.

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