Before I start up on another thought of how the media affects our society, there was another question from the last post that, of course, needs to be answered.
How would you make people aware of how the media affect our society (other than your blog)?
Quite frankly, I think the media are one of the most creative and successful outlets in order to reach a mass of people all at once. Media literacy should be taught at high school level as part of our history and social studies courses. The topic itself is really interesting, and does not have to span back to Gutenberg times, but to recent events. That way, the students will be interested and they would feel involved in some way. But a classroom is a classroom.
I think it has been done, though I cannot for the life of me remember any examples, but wouldn’t it be ironic, to shoot a 40-sec commercial of how certain mediums can influence individuals for the worse? What better way to reach a large group of people all at once, with a limited budget and limited time.
Next topic … comics
The media do not consist only of television, radio and newspapers. It can also include online, film, comics etc. Whatever form that can reach a mass of people.
I would like to talk about the daily comics.
We read, we laugh and we joke around when we read the comics in our newspapers or online. Funny how some of the comic strips strike home to so many people reflecting how our society really is.
A Georgia State University study published in the national Journal of Marriage and the Family found that particular well-known comic strips (Blondie, Bloom County, Cathy, Dennis the Menace, The Family Circus, Garfield, Hi and Lois, Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts, Pogo and Ziggy ) were reflections on how the society was during those days.
- “Men penned the majority of comics, reflecting the patriarchal culture of the newspaper industry.
- Only recently was there any representation of minorities. In this sample, only 5.1 percent of the comics featured an African-American parental figure as a main character.
- Depicted families tended to be middle class and nuclear in structure. Single parent families were rarely shown.
- Family-oriented comics came to dominate the funny papers after W.W.II.
- The proportion of comics that had fatherhood, motherhood or parenthood as a theme, regardless of reference to the holidays, mushroomed to nearly 25 percent in the 1990s.
- In the 1960s, in contrast to the 1950s, fathers were as likely as mothers to be depicted as nurturing and supportive, but more likely to be made fun of. This change was not due to an increase in the “warm and fuzzy” quotient of fathers, but to a decrease in the nurturing view of mothers as the women’s movement and social activism increased.
- In the 1970s, fathers were no more likely than mothers to be depicted as incompetent, a result of feminists gains in the 1960s.
- There was a dramatic increase in both paternal and maternal nurturing and support that began in the 1980s and continued through the 1990s.”
– Courtesy of medialit.org