Chapter 15

Government Criticism

I like to think I would be willing to speak out and criticize my government regardless of the consequences. There is no way for me to know for sure because of the freedoms I was granted. Let’s say I would. This is because of my upbringing and ideals. If the government was truly doing harm and something that is objectively wrong, I think it is imperative for people to speak out. That’s the only way to change things for the better.

However, personally, you never know until you are in those situations. There are a lot of things people would do hypothetically but when it is real there is no telling how one would react. In this case, if it was something that I felt needed to be changed it must be a big problem because I am usually passive when it comes to this stuff. But, if criticizing the government is just a couple of jokes and I could get tortured or imprisoned I would definitely say those jokes. That is just based on who I am as a person. I like to make fun of and criticize everything so if the government is forcing me to change who I am that would not fly with me. This is why free speech is so important. That way the dystopian futures of Sci-Fi don’t become reality.

Chapter 14

Media Apologies

A media outlet should always apologize to the public when they make a mistake. I think this because if they don’t acknowledge the mistake and apologize for it, what’s stopping them from fabricating stories all the time. We should always hold the media accountable because, especially in news media, we trust them and use them understand the world around us. If they make a mistake, it could lead to people thinking the wrong things about the world and the people. Also, the only real way a mistake is known is when it is a big story or important to someone who reads the story and really cares about it. So, it’s not like they are apologizing for minor mistakes that don’t change that much. These mistakes that need apologies are usually big ones and should definitely be acknowledged and fixed.

I don’t think apologizing can make things worse. It might be hard for the outlet and the people involved, but apologizing will put trust back into the readers. I just think it is better in the long run to apologize. Your readers will trust you more and think that you are able to be held accountable for your actions. Not to mention it just looks like you don’t care, if you don’t apologize, which is not something I think any news outlet wants.

Chapter 13

The First Amendment

I do not think the First Amendment goes too far in its protections of the and of individuals. I think this because it is the backbone of our democratic and free society. I think it is always best for everyone to be able to express and say whatever they want to. This is the only way that we can come together and understand each other. If we begin banning words and saying what people can and can’t say that is not freedom. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be consequences. I’m saying that it can be a slippery slope if we start banning speech that is seen as “offensive.” Who determines what is and isn’t offensive? One thing that is offensive to someone may not be to someone else. I just don’t like the idea of that.

I think the government periodically tries to limit it because it knows that it is this powerful tool and ideal that does not bend to political ideologies. They understand that it can hurt and help them. So, they try to limit it to what benefits them the most. I think they just don’t like how open and over-arching it is. It is something they can’t necessarily control and that is hard for them to handle. But that’s just my opinion. I think it shouldn’t be messed with, period.

Chapter 12

Open and Honest PR

I think many PR professionals do deal with the public openly and honestly today. There are obviously ones that don’t, but that may be just from them not being that good at their job and the media world we live in today. However, I think good PR professionals deal with the public this way because of that. In the always online, social media aspect of the world today, many of these PR professionals can’t afford to not be open and honest. If they aren’t, someone is bound to figure out and telegraph it to the world instantly. Having an online and social media presence is basically a major part of PR today, and when something happens they have to be ready and quick with their response. Also, with millions of people that can fact check anything you say online you have to be open and honest because they will immediately prove you wrong and eat you alive.

So, the good PR professionals are open and honest with the public and think many of the modern PR professionals are. However, like with anything else in life, there are some bad apples in the bunch. Overall they are open and honest because they will more than likely lose their job if they aren’t. It may not be the best incentive but at least keeps them open and honest.

Chapter 11

Product Placement

I don’t really mind television programs that feature sponsored products. As long as it’s not gratuitous it doesn’t bother me. Like, if a show features products that make sense within the show then it is perfectly fine, but if it is just randomly placed on the show it is annoying. I guess I’m talking about product integration. I understand that TV shows need to make money but if they can find a way to creatively or stealthily integrate their sponsors into the show it makes it better in my eyes. It’s like The Wire using Verizon payphones and talking about the company Verizon when they needed information from cellphones. It doesn’t take you out of the show.

I find it more annoying in reality shows because I find reality shows annoying. They are almost completely fake but passed off as real and their product placement is nowhere near seamless. When the shows blur a certain brand but don’t blur another it is painfully obvious who the sponsors are. Sometimes there are whole “plot points” in these shows that just big product placements. Overall product placements are annoying but if a show can find a creative and seamless way to feature its sponsors then I’m all for it. I just don’t want to watch a 30-60 minute advertisement.

Media Journal iii: Life Without Media

            Introspection. That is what my day without media could be summed up to. I slept in later than I normally so I could kill time, but after that, it was just me, myself, and I. The first thing I did was drive around for almost two and half hours in North East Arkansas. I didn’t really have a plan going into this assignment and that was the first thing I thought of. I viewed the landscape and nature of the towns outside of Jonesboro and further all the while just thinking about where I was at in my life. I then went to the park and took a nap in my Eno under the trees by the water. I ate dinner with my family with no media and then went back to the dorm and slept. It was not an eventful day.

            I would say it was somewhat difficult because I didn’t really have anything else to do. After the fact, I thought of some things that would have been good to do but I didn’t plan my day well. This is because I did this on a Saturday which is the highest day for my media consumption. So, the most difficult part was the boredom. I just felt bored all day because I didn’t have any distractions or entertainment that I am used to. However, this brought about some good inner thinking time. I was able to, especially while I was driving, to question my choices and what I was doing and what I want to be doing.

            I missed my entertainment the most. As I said, Saturdays are my highest media use days, so I was not able to use any of these things I normally do for fun on my most free day. I missed watching YouTube, listening to my music, and especially watching movies. I have a long list of movies I plan to watch and this really stifled that and Saturdays are usually when I watch a lot of them. When I was driving, I really missed my music because that is when I listen to it the most. I think this why I was so bored because these forms of media keep me happy and distracted from my boring life. This really made me face that and see how boring my life is.

            The effect of this deprivation on me was that I was, again, bored, but it also made me cherish my media use and almost kind of hold back on it. It kind of taught me to savor it when I had it. Like the kind of mindset that I wouldn’t have it after this time I consumed it. However, it had little to no effect on my social contacts because I only really talk to my mom and no else talked to me on that day besides some people I saw at dinner in person.

            Overall I felt that the assignment is an important one to do. The aspect of being free from the world for a certain amount of time really makes you think and can be helpful for some people. I would suggest the time be shortened a little. Make it a day but not exactly 24 hours. It seemed kind of pointless after 8:00 P.M. But I guess if you have something you could do maybe not. That’s just my opinion. Honestly, the outcome was kind of predictable for me. After doing the previous media journal I knew my media habits and could tell that I would probably be bored all day. I wouldn’t say it was life changing for me, but it was a nice experiment and was fun at times.

            So, after completing these three media journals I’ve learned I use media almost constantly, but I don’t feel addicted to it. I’ve noticed that a lot my consumption is not just throw away entertainment but things that I am using to better myself and my thinking. There are fun things that I watch that don’t have much of an impact on me, but most of it has a purpose behind it. On a scale of 1 to 10 for my control of my media, I would have to rate myself at a 3. I feel that I control my media to a good degree, but I don’t have any alternatives to it. It’s like I know how much I’m using and it may be too much for some people, but I am able to handle it. In the future, I will cherish and savor my media use more and will always make sure it is not controlling me and my life. Regarding recommending this to others, I’m not sure. If they would actually do it, I think some people could really benefit from this. However, I think there are some people who already have a good idea about this stuff and don’t exactly need to do this. So, it depends on the person, but overall I would recommend it. It is an interesting experience and can be helpful. I know I found it interesting. So, am I being used? I don’t think so. I think growing up the way I did, I have learned to control myself and use media for my best interests so I can get busy living.

Chapter 9

Television

I usually watch television whenever I am done with my assignments that need to be done that day and when I have caught up on the Youtube videos that were posted each day. So, it is usually from somewhere around the afternoon until I go to bed when I watch TV. Right now I am watching specific shows through services like HBO GO, Netflix, and STARZ because I don’t really watch anything currently airing on cable and broadcast channels. This is mainly because I am living on campus so I don’t have access to the channels I would watch at home, but even if I was at home it would just be the movie channels and on-demand shows.

This is sort of a bold statement from someone like me, but I do think that someone can watch too much TV. However, I don’t think this because it “rots your brain.” I say this because a lot of shows aren’t meant to be “binge watched,” especially dramatic shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, etc. These types of shows have a lot to offer to the viewer and have many twists and turns that are meant sit with the audience. By just going straight from a cliff hanger to what happens next takes away the impact of that moment. I’m just as guilty of doing this as everyone else but now I try to be more careful about it. But in terms of the first reason that you can watch too much TV, I don’t agree fully with that. Like with any other thing people consume, it depends on what that person is consuming and balance, in my opinion.

Last night I watched Band of Brothers on HBO. It is a WWII show in the style of Saving Private Ryan based on a book written about these real people. It follows Easy Company of the US Army 101st division in Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. It is very well done and realistic just like Private Ryan and if you have seen and liked that movie I would highly recommend this show.