Over the last semester, I have truly found media analysis to be a class that has made me think deeply. I have enjoyed this class and discovered how my everyday perceptions are affected by the media . My favorite thing that we studied this year was the demographic unit. I learned how the media has the power to stereotype or culturally transform all of their viewers perceptions of a specific demographic. I thought it was extremely interesting to watch all of the TV shows that stereotyped race, gender, and sexual orientation. My biggest takeaway from the class was realizing that people can have negative thoughts or immediately judge a person of a certain demographic completely based off of how the media displays that demographic. It was ironic to see recurring patterns of the same demographics in a television show become the way I have viewed those groups of people. This class taught me that the media can send both positive messages to our society, and it can wrongfully stereotype a group of people.
Although media analysis had many great aspects of the class, I enjoyed writing blogs the most. I really liked to be able to choose the show and voice my own opinions about that episode. The blogs were very enjoyable because I got to analyze different aspects of the series, and I noticed patterns that the writers of the show used to send messages to the viewers. Blogging about TV shows allowed me to publically write about something I was interested and passionate about.
Even though we completed several units in media analysis, I wish we had covered more about the absolute impact social media has on taking over the lives of many people. We talked briefly about fake news and about twitter vs Instagram, but I think how social media is affecting the social skills and perceptions of people who use it should be included in media analysis class. I think it is important to include this because it is so relevant to our modern day society. Nearly every student at Prospect has a smartphone and IPad with social media accounts, and I think it would be important and intriguing to discuss the power these mediums have on your perception.
One part of the media analysis curriculum that I think the course could do without is the viewing of TV shows past our generation. We watched and took notes during the demographic unit on old TV shows that were “classics”. Although these shows were fun to watch, since these shows were not televised during our era, they seemed to be outdated. I believe that the class could eliminate the viewing of these shows because they do not alter perceptions of teenage viewers because teens do not watch these shows. I think media analysis can do without the viewing of old TV shows, and should incorporate more modern shows like Glee and Empire.
Furthermore, to the juniors thinking about taking media analysis next year, I highly recommend it. Unlike most LA classes, you will not be reading and annotating books. Instead this interesting course dives deep into the true power of the media. I think that choosing this class is a fantastic idea because you will become more aware of how TV shows, advertisements, and News are able to shape your opinion and send you biased messages. Choosing this class will give you unique skills to filter proper news sources, and pick up on important messages while you are watching Netflix shows. Above all else, juniors should choose media analysis as an elective and approach it with an open mind because it is one of the few high school classes that you can use your knowledge to apply to your everyday activities.