Media Analysis Reflection
By Megan Lundblad
One of the big takeaways for me from Media Analysis this semester was understanding different demographics’ portrayal in the media. It was interesting to really look at how certain demographics are constantly being characterized. For example, gay men are many times portrayed as feminine and flamboyant, and upper class women time and time again are seen as being dependent on men. Stereotypical portrayals such as these tend to have negative effects on viewers and can perpetuate inaccurate perceptions of these demographics. I feel that I am now more aware of these stereotypical portrayals and can analyze the effect they have on viewers. By recognizing these common tropes, I feel that I am a better media consumer who can see past the tired, reused stereotypes.
I believe that other schools should adopt this course because it is an informative, but also fairly enjoyable class. Media Analysis talks about all the forms of media that we as teenagers have basically grown up using. It is nice to have a class that teaches students about how to be good media consumers and how to notice more things than the average person. It is also a good senior elective because it does not require a ton of work outside of class, besides blogs, Cornell notes, and finishing up projects and essays.
One aspect of Media Analysis that I did not enjoy as much was having to complete the ad project during the weeks of AP testing. I know that this might not be the case next year or for first semester, but having to do this project while AP testing was going on was tough. Because seniors typically take multiple AP tests, they miss many days during the AP weeks. This leads to most of the project being done outside of class, which cuts into studying time for the tests. Students should be able to focus on their tests instead of working on this big project/presentation. While I thought this project was beneficial and worthwhile to the class, perhaps it could be moved earlier to avoid conflicting with these two weeks of important testing.
If I had to give a message to seniors taking this class next year, I would urge them to not procrastinate on the blogs. They should make sure they work on it for at least two days so that they are not rushing to finish it late on the night it is due. I struggled a bit with this and my blogs sometimes suffered. To write the best blog they can, it is important that students spend their time developing and supporting their ideas and have time to proofread and revise to make it even better.
Finally, I would vote against combining Media Analysis with Advanced Composition and making it a year long course. I believe that one semester was enough time for students to learn a broad range of topics and I feel that drawing it out longer would make the curriculum feel slow and stretched as well. Also, there is no need to incorporate Advanced Composition skills into the class because students already have a research paper in Media and I feel that teaching these writing skills, that many students hopefully already know, would detract from the main focus of this course- analysing media.
In conclusion, this class was one of the more fun English classes that I have taken. It always felt relevant to our lives as teenagers and media consumers. I would recommend this course to future seniors who enjoy multiple forms of media and want to learn more about them.