Media Analysis Reflection
The big takeaway that I got from taking Media Analysis is that everything in the media has a purpose. This could be seen when we watched tv shows in the media during the demographic unit and for the advertisement unit. In the demographic unit, certain things people said or did all related back to one central idea. It connected back to at least one of the functions of media that we learned about during the first few weeks of the semester, which were mostly either cultural transmission or enforcement of norms. We learned that things said and done on tv and movies is done deliberately. After taking this class, there are times when I watch tv and think about the effect that certain things can have on a demographic or all of society. I learned that the media helps portray the perception of demographics.
Media Analysis has allowed me to develop a variety of skills, mostly in my writing. It has allowed me to be more comfortable writing online. In the past, I would try to avoid writing online because I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my point of view or idea in public. This class has allowed me to break away from that. A lot of the homework assignments in the class have been to write about something, then blog about it. After blogging about it, we shared the blogs on Twitter. All of this was very knew for me: both using Twitter and writing online. The writing aspect of this class has made me more successful as a writer. This class focuses on watching or reading an article, and then pulling out the main points and analyzing them; hence, why the class is called Media Analysis. Analyzing scenarios and keeping my interpretations consistent has never been a strong point for me. The class has helped me focus on the big ideas or perceptions of tv/movies instead of getting caught up in small details that have no affect on the overall point of the analysis.
I think one thing in Media Analysis that could be changed is some of the homework assignments that were assigned. I feel like some assignments were unnecessary and seemed like busy-work. I also think it would be a greater use of class time to talk about other topics versus talking about a homework assignment for half the period. I would also prefer we find some way to change the dates of the ad project. It was very hard for AP students to work on it outside of class because they were trying to study for their AP tests, in which good scores directly help the district.
I think that the demographic unit was good, but could be improved. For example, the race subsection of the demographic unit only talked about African Americans and hispanics, but only Mexicans, even though there is a wide variety of different races and ethnic groups. I think it would of be beneficial if the unit also talked about people from the Middle East, Asians, other types of Hispanics, Native Americans, etc. This would be able to show students that there is more than just three types of races/ethnicities in the United States, or even the world. I think it would have been interesting to go into how certain races view other races as well, like how African Americans view Hispanics, how Asians view African Americans, or how African Americans view Caucasians, etc. I think this idea could be explored in the other subsections of the demographic unit as well. Also, age was supposed to be a subsection we learned about because it’s listed on the Schoology site, but we never got into it. The age demographic is just as important as other demographics as well. It would have been beneficial for students to see how different age groups interact with one another.
In the end, I did thoroughly enjoy this class. Although it was a chaotic AP week for me, I did enjoy the advertising unit. It was my favorite unit out of them all. I think it helped show me what it was like to run an advertising company. It helped me understand how companies come up with ads, and why they do certain things. My favorite part was when we had to create an ad to beat another group. This friendly competition helped drive me to work harder and win. I had never really thought about ads prior to this class. I thought that I was immune to ads, and that they had no affect on me, but, in reality, I learned that people say ads do not affect them even though they do. I did not realize that ads like to play with viewers’ subconscious. I also enjoyed learning how the news works. I did not know what gatekeeper was. I also was unaware of the idea of people being in a bubble. This idea is that if a person only listens to people with the same viewpoints, then they will believe that their viewpoint is the only viewpoint. This made me realize many things within the US media. It was eye-opening. All together, Media Analysis has allowed me to think of subjects and topics that I normally would not think about. This has class has shaped me into a better person.