Media and Information Literacy | Chapter 5: Media Organizations and Stakeholders

          It was said by Pertierra (2012, 13) that “while the media is free, it is also highly partisan”. Partisan means an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, especially a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance. Basically, it’s not only free, it’s biased. Although we would hear from professional teachers that a news reporter shouldn’t be biased, it is never guaranteed that the government-controlled journalists are not biased, especially by the fact that it is government-controlled.

          The free expression in media may be a very honorable privilege given to the citizens from the government, but it also has its downfall. Free expression in media is not entirely free, it is constrained and limited to give respect and safety to others. There are just people who abuse the freedom and use it as a means of destroying reputations and images, even if the issues are just very petty. And the fact that it’s petty had resulted to tolerance by the government.

          Aside from the freedom of expression, the continuous development of media constructed two perspectives on how they view the relationship of the media industry to society.

          Market Model. It is a model where the content is seen as a product and the audiences are viewed as consumers. It operates with the use of the logic of supply and demand and where profit is their ultimate motive. They care about promoting their “profit” by increasing their demand from selling their supply in the best quality at the least quantity. They adjust to the change of interest of their audiences to stay at the peak of their profit, regardless of the influence it may bring.

          Public Sphere Model. This model opposes the norms of the Market Model. As the Market Model seeks to satisfy the interest of the audience, the Public Sphere Model let the audience come to them. Building and influencing good democracy is their objective and where profit and demands are unnecessary.

          The Public Sphere Model also believes that the Market Model is amoral, where it does not consider products that my harm, even indirectly, the audiences. They also believe that the Market Model do not meet the democratic needs of the society, which is based on the rights of individuals such as food, water, home, education, clean environment, etc. The Market Model’s drive for profit takes away those rights, as, for example, the once government-owned public utilities were turned over to the private monopolistic companies where they can increase prices as they want without considering the poor.

          It is true when it is said that the Market Model is the dominant perspective within the media industry. From is stated above, although the media cares more about what they can profit than the good and need of the people, it is still the mostly used perspective by the media producers.

          There is also what is called the Alternative Media. Its goal is to provide information and creative expression that the mainstream media (traditional media) will not report or feature. Basically, they go against the usual bias of the dominant media and give the opposing opinion with the hope of influencing the people against the crowd. It is somehow seen as the propaganda of the media. Usually, this happens during elections and political issues. Many people would express their opinions through videos or posts, may it be unpopular or not.

          Media is a free accessed tool for expression that is usually abused for selfish profits. Even though this is true, most people cannot afford to have that freedom of expression taken away from them. Even the government cannot probably consider taking that freedom away. When media is owned by government groups or political clans, there is always a possibility of a biased information. And the fact that it mostly fools people had shown how people are generally illogical.

Media and Information Literacy | Chapter 4: Values, Lifestyles, and Ideology in Media

          From what I learned in Chapter 4 of Media and Information Literacy, it seems that this part of the book is showing the negative side and negative effects of media. Aside from being a developed technology from the origins of the very first Movable Type Machine of Johann Gutenberg (1394-1460), its original use of spreading information in a wide mass of audiences is now being abused and used to have power and gain control over others, even without the use of force.

          Media is one of the greatest influences the world has ever seen. In fact, it is the main instrument used not just to influence others, but also to persuade them to believe something, regardless whether it is real or not, right or wrong. Either way, it had greatly affected some aspects of society—social, moral, spiritual, perception, lifestyle, and et cetera.

          Moreover, it seemed that what the media portray is not really the reflection of reality, but what they want to represent. This is what they call “frame”—the tools utilized by media creators and producers to tell their story. This frame does not mean the actual frame you see in a picture frame, though it is kind of used by media production literally. They only capture what they want to show, as well as excluding some parts they don’t want the society to see.

          But regardless of how bad it seemed, we cannot ignore the fact that it had greatly affected the society already. Some who didn’t want to get affected were sometimes the ones who get in trouble. But we cannot blame these all to media. Unlike what the Marxist believed where the ruling classes can force down their own ideology to the oppressed classes, individuals can always choose whether to follow or not. That’s the good news about consensus—it doesn’t control people by force (which is the concept of coercion).

          Even though what is stated above is true, it’s always been the presence of psychology where the free will of people is manipulated to believe something and be easily blinded from what was really meant. Maybe that’s why “all media and information texts are constructed”. They are constructed in a way where most people, if not all, will most likely be persuaded easily.

          Stereotypes, for example, are already well embedded on most people’s minds, especially children. What is being portrayed in the media can construct that thinking into an individual. Like when most Disney princesses were always been saved by their Prince Charming, most would see girls as someone who needed saving and cannot live without a guy. This could also cause men to think that girls are like tools where they can get easily.

          This chapter had shown that no matter how the media creators and producers frame their productions as “good”, it is not guaranteed that everything doesn’t have a hidden agenda. In the end, it’s the audience’s choice and will whether to have a blind eye or think before believing everything media has thrown at them.

Media and Information Literacy | Chapter 3: Audiences

          Audience is one of the most important elements in media. Without audience, media would not have evolved throughout the generation when it had started. When Johan Gutenberg invented the very first printing press, it wouldn’t have been a success if he didn’t have audiences.

          But having an audience also does not make media effective. We need to study and understand our audience in order to reflect it to what we want to show in the world through media.

          Most media and information creators are targeting the mass media—the majority of a certain scope of population. If they want to have the attention of those audiences, they should create something that interests them.

          How do they do that?

          They conduct Audience Research. Audience Research is traditionally about gaining an insight on audience preferences and calibrating audience sizes and reach. Through their research they will gain the information they need in order to know what the mass media are similarly interested at. These audience their aiming, they are what we call target audience.

          Media creators do not only target the mass media, but also consider other groups of audience. Though they are also looking out for those similar attributes of the audience or GEARS:

          Gender

          Ethnicity

          Age range

          Region or nationality

          Socio-economic group

          What media creators create will depend on their target audiences, including how they will create it and how they will deliver it. The concept of a child’s show should be delivered in a way which the children will understand, while an adult’s show can be delivered in an indirect way where people has to figure out what it means.

          Media had enhanced throughout the generation ever since its first invention—and it continues to do so. And it never would have made it this far if it wasn’t for the audience’s participation. To be better media and information creators, understanding the audience is required.