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.