Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blogging for Dummies

Top 10 Tips for Blogging

1. Write your opinions
2. Link everything
3. Write Less
4. 250 words does the
6. Include bullet point lists
7. Make your posts easy to scan
8. Be consistent with your
9. Use Keywords in posts
10. Edit your post

When writing a blog always keep in mind that you are the writer and people are reading your blogs to see what you think so always write about your own opinions and beliefs. After writing your blog and using any pictures on your blog make sure you link all the material that you use. Ever heard of less is more, you should never write too much in a blog because people are busy and are not willing to read an essay 250 words usually does the trick. Headlines should always be catchy because that’s the first thing people read and if the head line isn’t catchy they most like wont read the blog. Don’t always use paragraph format, try switching to bullet points, people love bullet points they are faster to read. Always use the same writing style when writing blogs because you don’t want to confuse people and try to make it easier for people to scan through your blogs. Use lost of key words in your head lines from your blog posts so people can search them easier and find what they are looking for. Lastly always re-read and edit you blog posts, if you follow this 10 steps you well on your way to successful blogging!

Unknown. "Blogging for Dummies." Unknown. Online image. January 16, 2007

Unknown Ten Tips for Blogging.Unknown. Online. 16 Jan 2007.<>

Media is part of our environemt

I think that media literacy is important because it shows us as people what we used to be like in the past and why we are what we are today. Media shows us what part of the world we are living in and what are the norms in that part of the world. It is a major source of modern culture and entertainment and also requires us to learn to use critical thinking skills, to take apart media products using the Media Studies Triangle, which includes the Text, the Audience and the Production. Media is one of the biggest businesses around the world; if one was too succeeded in the business they could go very far and make a very good living. It defines how we as a society communicate with each other, what terms are in and what terms aren’t anymore, it keeps people up-to-date. Technology is improving everyday, and media keeps us all up to date with all of the new kinds of technology, making it feel welcome and not different and unaccepted by us, because we all know that to humans different is weird. Media has become a part of our environment, we see it everywhere we go, and it’s become like trees, mountains, rivers, oceans and more, which have been here since the begging of time. It influences us, it helps us chose who we want to be, what we want to be and why we want to be it by explaining everything to us even if we don’t need to hear it. People should know about media because there is a lot of thought put into it and it’s a carefully planned and constructed product. Now media may sound all great but it is not always there to help people it is also used to get people to do things like buy what they don’t need. So people should learn the language of media, the terms in media and not fall into the trap of media. Media literacy is importantand people should study the media BECAUSE THE MEDIA GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO STUDY YOU!

Unknown. "Billboards". Unknown. Online image. January 16,2007

We all have our moments

While the Dixie Chicks were on their “Top of the World Tour” their career was sky rocketing and they were selling more albums then any other country group. Then On March 10th, 2003, during a concert in London, England, Natalie Maines spoke out against George W. Bush, by saying “Just so you know we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas”. Seconds later the Shepherd's Bush Empire was filled with cheers and applause. The next day the London press was all over what Natalie Maines had said, and thanks to the internet the story made its way over to the United States of America. In a matter of a day the Dixie Chicks went from on top of the world, to North Americas’ most hated country group. Their songs started to get pulled of the radio, radio stations started to get hate mail and began to boycott the group, the Dixie Chicks also started receiving hate mail and then name calling began such as traitors, Saddam's Angels, big mouths, ‘Dixie Sluts’, etc… During this time America really showed their support for George W. Bush.

After the Dixie Chicks incident, you would think that people would be scared to speak out against George W. Bush but clearly not. In August 2005, during NBC’s Hurricane Katrina fundraiser, Kanye West said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people". The comment that he made was talked about for a short period of time and made its way on but was forgotten right after because people were more concerned with what had happened in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. Also because people didn’t really care too much about what he had to say since he has been know to speak his mind about what he feels is important. Kanye West’s comment about George W. Bush was complete out of the blue and he had absolutely no proof, yet it was much worse then what the Dixie Chicks said, but his career didn’t suffer one bit.

Pink now on the other had has gone way past just saying one thing about George W. Bush, she has a written a complete song, where she makes it very clear how she feels about the president. Her song is tilted "Dear Mr. President" in the song she has lyrics that question, his ability to be a president, how he can let the war in Iraq go on and more. Now unlike the Dixie Chicks and Kanye West, Pink is looked up to for writing this song and her fans love it. I think she didn’t get as much criticism, as the other two because her song has a message in it, and if you have listened to Pink’s other songs they all have a message in them.

After looking closely at all of these cases, I looked at the years that they happened and how President George W. Bush was doing with the public. Then I realized that the Dixie Chicks, were almost destroyed because the president was looked up to back in 2003 for starting the war with Iraq, since everybody was convinced the terrorists crashed the planes into the Twin Towers. The Kanye West wasn’t taken serious at all but instead it was a big joke to everybody, since his comment was so random and out of the blue. Finally Pink is being looked up to because George W. Bush is not anymore and people now are strongly disagreeing with the war in Iraq. Over all it all depended on the timing when the three spoke out, because if Natalie Maines was to speak out now her and the Dixie Chicks would be looked up to just like Pink!

Pink - Dear Mr.President

Kanye West “George Bush doesn’t care about black people"

Unknown. "Pink." Unknown. Online image. January 16, 2007

Unknown. "The Dixie Chicks." Unknown. Online image. January 16, 2007


North America is all about multiculturalism, there are people from all over the world living in North America, but in reality that is not what we see in the movies, television shows and commercials we see on a everyday basis. The movies, television shows and commercials in North America are highly numbered with mainly Caucasian people. Since North American is known for its extremely multicultural atmosphere, the media is unable to meet the expectations of equally representing the various ethnicities that are present to the society itself. The ethnic diversity in North America has been increasing by a great number every year, yet we are not able to see these numerous cultures in the daily television shows that are viewed by the society itself.

The multiculturalism in television and the media is currently becoming an issue in some aspects; reasons being, that the diversity is only being shown in a negative perspective and is being shown in means of stereotype or discrimination (All Arabs are terrorists and all African American people are gangsters and more). An example for the stereotyping of various cultures in the media would be the Lakota commercial that appears on the CH network; the broadcasting of the Lakota advertisement is showing the community or at least the viewers of the commercial that the Aboriginals are known to wear silly outfits -which are traditional to them - and are able to relieve pain in an instant. This example and many other fall greatly into discrimination of ethnic groups from around the world.

Even though North America is known for its ethnic diversity and for adopting numerous cultures into its own; the media is contradicting itself. It is doing this by showing the viewers and their most likely target audience that they are wanting to illustrate more "varied and multicultural programs and broadcastings", yet the media is only presenting certain ethnic groups to the community, at which stereotyping and discrimination is coming into play.

Unfortunately, the ideal model of a person that we see in the media is to be a Caucasian person, along with the certain groups of ethnicities on television. The media is hiring and broadcasting the more sexual and "better looking" people (in their perspective) and are giving them the jobs and work. The media in the North American lifestyle is not looking at the people around the world that have talents and are able to be known for something that could change the world, but want to sell their product and are willing do anything to make a profit.

Now, even though the diversity and national multiplicity that we see in the media is not as immense, it is showing more mixture and multiculturalism then it has had in the recent past five years. Ethnical diversity is a crucial factor in the media for it shows what North America is made up of and in North America there the blacks, Chinese, Japanese, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and many other countless ethnicities. Diversity in the media is very much needed, and not just having people of different ethnicities but showing people of different ethnicities doing things that we in today’s society only see Caucasian people doing. I believe that if we stop judging people on their appearance and beliefs, but look at what’s in the inside we can really change the world.

My group members and I were assigned to watch for diversity in animated sitcoms and here is what we found:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Media Among Us

Click Images Above and Below to Enlarge

After I wrote out all the media that I experienced over weekend I was very shocked and surprised to see just how much media I go through in just a 3 day period. What shocked me was how I would be watching TV and eating something and on the television I would see the exact thing that I was eating at the moment, like the Kraft Dinner I ate. What surprised me was how I was eating Kraft Dinner and I was thirsty but didn’t really give it too much attention until I saw the commercial for Coca Cola on the television and took one out of the fridge and drank it. When I think about all the media that I am exposed to on a regular basis, I don’t really think about it because I don’t really pay to much attention to it, although my brain picks it all up and literally saves it till the moment I need that media product. So subconsciously I am paying attention to all the media around me whether I like it or not and even though I don’t always remember it all, it’s always in the back of my mind ready to popup when I need it. I think the amount of media that I am exposed to is too little because I live in Winona and there aren’t too many advertisements and billboards there. The only real media exposures I get are from the television which I don’t watch very often and the computer which I mainly used for homework. Now I do go places other than Winona but is there really that much more media exposure there from here. The amount of media I am exposed to is no where close to the amount a child is exposed to each day because they are home most of the day and watch television non-stop, which is filled with commercials for toys, cereals, snacks and so much more. Also let’s just say I was to live in New York City, the amount of media I would be exposed to would be ridiculous, almost 100 times the media I experienced in Winona. Overall, we are all exposed to media, some more than others depending on where they live, but one thing to keep in mind is that media may be all around us, but we control the media.

Unknown. "Times Square." Unknown. Online image. January 15, 2007

Hey hey you you, you plagiarised that song!

Avril Lavigne was accused of plagiarism in July, 2007, by The Rubinoos for plagiarising their 1979 hit single, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend". The lead singer Tommy Dunbar who has written all the songs and also formed The Rubinoos, accused Avril Lavigne of stealing aspects of his song for her 2007 hit single “Girl friend”. After listening to both of the songs, I noticed that songs sound very different overall, with tempo and everything. Then there is the lyrics “hey hey you you” part in both songs where the chorus and the rhythm sound alike. Although it may sound like she plagiarised, I believe that she didn’t because in the past there have been other groups to use the lyrics “hey hey you you”. Groups such as The Rolling Stones that have the song "Hey, hey, you, you get off of my cloud" and the Ramones that have the song “Hey little girl I want to be your boyfriend", these names sound very similar to both the Rubinoos song and Avril Lavigne’s song. In addition to that, Avril Lavigne’s album The Best Damn Thing, which includes the song “Girlfriend”, was released on April 17, 2007, and the Rubinoos didn’t accuse her of plagiarism until July which is 4 months later! Now to me this looks like a bunch of has-beens trying to make a profit out of someone else’s fame. Although Avril Lavigne and the Rubinoos have now settled the case, in a private, it is still not known whether she plagiarized or not. However the accusations about Avril Lavigne plagiarizing are far from over because people will remember this case and question her future songs on whether they are her own original songs or if she plagiarized them. Overall, I still am convinced that she did not plagiarize and that the has-beens the Rubinoos just wanted to make some money, because it couldn’t have possibly taken them 4 months to realize that she used four words from their single, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend". People who don’t make money anymore need money and will do anything to make a few bucks.

Comparing the two songs

Unknown. "Avril Lavigne." Unknown. Online image. January 15

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just like everybody else

Arabs and Muslims have been and still are portrayed as terrorists, killers and suicidal people, in Hollywood movies. However, Arabs and Muslims are people just like you and me, who go to school, go to malls, parties and everything else like people in the western side of the world. This image that has been given to these people is wrong and incorrect, and to show the rest of the world that they are normal people, just like everyone else, I am going to make a series of advertisement videos that show images of incorrect stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims and then show images of “Real” Arabs and Muslims. Every video of pictures will have a caption and at the end of the advertisement there will be a phone number to call to learn more about real Arab and Muslims people. The reason I would preferably chose this type of media is because pictures contain more than a thousand words and I believe that a picture can really open peoples eyes and teach them what the truth is. My specific audience for this media form would be males and females of all ages, because people everyone should see the truth because the past can’t be changed, but the present can and the future of false portrayals of Arabs and Muslims can be avoided. Also, to reassure I am getting my message across to people they will be asked a couple of questions about whether the advertisement changed their perspective on these people, and what they learned that they didn’t know before, this is if they chose to call the number at the end of the advertisements.

Unknown. "Arabic women playing football in veils." Unknown. Online image. January 14 2007.

Why we care

Britney Spears is back; she opened the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards with her new single “Gimme More”. The song starts out with the interesting line of “Its Britney Bitch”, but no media outlet paid any attention to that, instead every media outlet was criticizing her dancing, singing and the fact that she had gained weight, over all trying to destroy her right after she came back into the music scene.

Now is it really fair to criticize Britney Spears about these things, without considering the fact that she hasn’t performed or sung in years and the fact that she has gained weight should not have been a surprise to anyone, because after having two children, that’s what usually happens. After her performance it was established that her dancing routine was changed last minute and during the performance her heel broke which affected her dancing, a video on outlines what happened step by step. Unfortunately in today’s age, we live in a world where most of us do not take that extra initiative to research about what might have happened and why it was not all that great. Instead we take that first bit of information we receive from a certain media outlet and let it influence us how ever it likes.

Her singing, couldn’t have possibly been judged because she was lip singing, yet there were media outlets around the world criticizing Britney Spears about how her singing was horrible, by this misinforming people and as for her lip singing ability, it may have not have been all that great but after so many years of not performing it was expected.

Britney Spears’ weight gain seemed to be what most media outlets were focused on, but really should not have been focused on at all because after a woman has two children she usually gains weight. She may be a celebrity that has always been skinny and all but in reality she is human and is just like anybody else, who gains and loses weight. One reason that may have centered the attention to her weight may have been the outfit that she wore during her performance, which was very revealing. But did Britney Spears really gain that much weight that it deserved that much of the media’s attention, because if she was “fat”, society’s views on fat and skinny have drastically changed for the worse. In addition media outlets do not take into consideration how girls who look up to Britney Spears might see themselves because in reality Britney Spears was not fat at all; she was just not as skinny as people were used to seeing her in her earlier years.

I believe society loves to gossip about celebrities because they are fascinated about their rich lifestyles and most people really grow up with these people through the involvement the celebrities have in movies, music, magazines and so much more and they develop a certain bond with complete strangers. Magazines such as People, Us Weekly, Star, etc… in a way document the celebrities’ lives from the moment they become famous till the day that they die, and people who read these magazines learn a lot of personal things about the people whether they are lies or the truth, and some people become obsessed. It goes to extremes where people will do anything to meet this person they know nothing about, just what they have read in these magazines. The fascination with celebrities sometimes goes too far and people start to stalk celebrities and begin invading their personal lives, which then leads to court, restraining orders and even jail.

Now what does this “say” about us as people and as a society? Well in my opinion it says that we are people obsessed with the lives of complete strangers who have a lot of money. It is rather pathetic how people judge and talk about complete strangers, it just shows that their own lives aren’t enough for them and that they need to talk about others. This relates to the whole bullying issue, because people who gossip about celebrities are like school yard bullies picking on kids because they are unhappy with themselves. Over all people love gossiping about celebrities because they don’t have what the celebrities have, which is money & fame. We are a society that is run on jealousy and gossip, we need someone to pick on and talk about to make ourselves feel better because as people we will always want what we don’t have.

Outlining what went wrong

Unknown. "Britney Spears at the VMA's." Unknown. Online image. January 14 2007

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Different Media Tools

· My father’s favourite media tool is the cell phone which he uses on a regular basis because he runs a small business.

· My mother’s favourite media tool is the telephone because she has family all over the world, so she does a lot long distance calling and talks for hours.

· My favourite media tool is the computer, because it has all one really, I can do homework, watch TV, talk to people and so much more, I spend a good amount of time on the computer.

· My brother’s favourite media tool is the iPod because the music calms and helps him through the day; he listens to it almost all day.

· My father’s least favourite media tool is the computer because he does not know how to use and it frustrates him.

· My mother’s least favourite media tool is the computer because, like my father, she does not know how to use it either and it also frustrates her.

· My least favourite media tool is the cell phone because I have a tendency to over talk and text people and I get charged a lot on my phone bills, which I don’t pay for myself, making my father who pays for them very upset.

· My brother’s least favourite media tool is the computer because he complains that it hurts his eyes, even though he barely spends anytime in the computer.

3. Yes, I believe that children of different ages prefer different items because certain items are much easier to use for different age groups. In addition, almost every age group has that one item that they are attached, because it satisfies their needs at that certain time in their lives.

4. In my family the item that is used the most is the TV because it is the easiest to use and most preferred for entertainment purposes.

5. In my family the item that is used the least is the cell phone because only my father and I own one and I rarely use mine anymore do to my very high phone bills.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Photo Manipulation: Where's the line?

Photo Manipulation is the technique of manipulating a photographic image by altering it in order to create an illusion or deception, or just too simply enhance and correct the image to your standards and/or desires. Photo Manipulation can be done either through analog or digital means, yet digital is the preferred technique because it is fast and results can be seen instantly, with programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Photo Manipulation has been around since the invention of photography and has greatly increased since the invention of digital cameras, because most digital cameras now come with a photo manipulation program that people use on a regular basis. The most commonly known photo to have been manipulated was the mug shot of O.J. Simpson, by Time magazine, which many believed had crossed all ethics towards photo manipulation.

Matt Mahurin, an illustrator for Time magazine manipulated the mug shot of O.J. Simpson and caused an out burst of criticism towards Time magazine. To defend the Time magazine and himself, Mahurin stated “wanted to make it more artful, more compelling”. This statement by Mr. Mahurin shows how the Time magazine’s illustrator would rather have an eye catching front cover image, to sell more magazines, and to communicate a specific thought when someone is to look at the cover. The manipulation of O.J. Simpson’s photo was extremely unethical because it crossed all borders of photo manipulation.

Although photo manipulation may seem very unethical, there are certain photo manipulations techniques that are accepted and allowed, such as brightness and contrast adjustments, colour correction, cropping a frame to fit a layout, retouching of dust and scratches etc... Now the photo manipulation techniques that are considered unethical and are not accepted are adding or removing objects within the frame, changing colours rather than restoring the original colours, flipping a photograph in any way and basically anything that will alter the image to change the reader’s opinion. Although all ethics of photo manipulation have been crossed, the Time magazine had misled their readers by publishing a false image. The exploitation of O.J. Simpsons has been known for being racist and insensitive because of the effect on the magazine readers. In addition to that the magazine had taken a coloured man’s photo and made it darker making him seem more evil, which directly leads to Us vs. Them, where they have given him the image as the bad guy and in his case the murderer of his ex-wife and her lover. The difference between the News Week cover and the Time magazine cover was obvious, for News Week’s magazine had left the mug shot of O.J. Simpson as it was, where the Time magazine had change the photo, in order to sell more copies and alter the publics opinion about Mr. Simpson.

Photo manipulation, which in today’s world is very well known and dealt with on a regular basis, has shown the world just how much a person would digitally manipulate an image, to make a cash profit. Other media cases of photo manipulation include the doctored photo of Lebanon which had additional smoke clouds added to the original and was darkened, News Weeks cover of Martha Stewart had her head placed on someone else’s body and hundreds of others. Race, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic background, play a strong role in how a person would interpret a image and because most people don’t take the time to read about the images they see they judge by what they see before knowing what is really going on in the image. This was the same with O.J. Simpson’s mug shot on the Time magazine that was darkened; it made society believe that he was a murderer. The Time magazine is not a cruel and racist magazine because it is not the first media magazine to take an image of a black man and make it seem evil. In fact, the interpretations that people in today’s world have range from the misinterpretations of Muslims and Arabs in the news to black people in the media. Altogether “the art” of photo manipulation is acceptable to a certain extend, but this certain extend is different for every person.