In my opinion, the overall goal of media analysis is to learn how to interpret different forms of media. This is an extremely important skill to have, especially as I become an adult and start forming more of my own opinions. All media, whether people notice it or not, has some sort of bias to it and it is the reader’s responsibility to be educated in the fact that not everything they see on the television or read online is entirely true. The class material presented throughout the semester has helped trained me in figuring out what I should listen to and what the overall purpose that the form of media is trying to achieve. Between reading articles, watching shows, and discussing bias and stereotypes, I have a better understanding of how to correctly interpret what I see in advertisements, news sources, and online media.
One message I found most intriguing in this class was that stereotypes are constantly portrayed in television shows. While shows like Glee and Jane the Virgin aim to shine light on the less popular demographics like the Latino and gay community, they still have characters falling into stereotypes. It was also interesting reading about different channels having different ratings of diversity. Another message I found interesting was that advertisements often use the same types of people to advertise the same types of products. For example, the muscular, handsome guy is always seen in the athletic equipment ads, while the beautiful, skinny, tan girl is always seen modeling for the clothing industry. Although Photoshop is often used in altering these models, viewers tend to use them as unrealistic physical goals for themselves. Lastly, I found the lack of certain races in television shows and movies interesting. It is important to point out that certain races are not getting the same opportunity to star in shows as the white community, as noted in Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue.
This class has changed my approach to being an adult as it has taught me how to be more careful when taking in news, especially with breaking news. After watching Newsroom, I learned that many news sources are more focused on being the first to put out information than making sure that their sources are reliable and that the information is accurate. In the future when watching news, I also know that different channels have different political views and will alter their broadcasts to support their bias. I would tell an incoming senior that while this class does teach some interesting lessons, it gets boring and old with the constant worksheets and discussions. It feels like busywork and gets hard to take seriously when there is a discussion due that night along with your calculus, chemistry, stats, and economics homework. Other than that, I would recommend taking the class.