Posted by: katieaoreilly | October 8, 2014

Does social reality dictate our view of different media sources?

In keeping a journal of my daily media interactions, I started to wonder. What constitutes media?

In class last week we each defined journalism and media, and came to the general conclusion that “journalism” constitutes the content, and “media” is the platform through which it is shared. Theoretically this suffices, but in application, it becomes less clear. What counts as media today, and who decides?

On October 7, I interacted with multiple media sources, primarily online. I visited Yahoo news, Al Jazeera English, Huffington Post, Facebook, and D-Listed. I wrote blog posts and newsletters at work about medical advances and awards, and then I wrote a Facebook post about my thoughts on a proper name for a pork chop food cart. It cannot be debated that each of these sources counts as media, but I can’t help but notice a substantial, personal perceived difference among each source’s level of importance and credibility. In grouping all of these things together, it feels like I’m comparing Walter Cronkite to Perez Hilton.

My own social reality leads me to place more legitimacy on news media than entertainment media, and I have difficulty viewing the two as equal outlets. However, looking at my media journal, I seem to utilize both forms equally and for specific purposes. I chose the platforms for each of my messages carefully. Does the content truly matter in making media today, or does credibility now depend on the way each consumer interprets it?

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Responses

  1. I think everyone has to find a balance between news media, and entertainment media. As I did my media journal this week, I noticed that I had a little more news media, because I work in the news industry, but saw that I tend to rely on entertainment media for certain aspects of my daily routine.

    I think the definition of importance is internal, meaning that everyone has to decide for themselves what they classify as important. I also think that’s why there’s a large abundance of media available to the public, to provide options.

  2. “I can’t help but notice a substantial, personal perceived difference among each source’s level of importance and credibility. In grouping all of these things together, it feels like I’m comparing Walter Cronkite to Perez Hilton.”

    I thought the exact same thing when I saw Ben Affleck on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ discussing radical Islam on a 5-way panel with distinguished authors, researchers and academics. Like, what?

    I get it, Mr. Affleck is an educated citizen like the rest of us, but it seemed like a debate between college students and someone let their middle-school brother attend just because he recently had to memorize the Preamble to the United States Constitution and all of a sudden he’s an expert *whose opinion must be heard.*

    This is a common thread I see leaking across various content platforms, that one’s appeal to a general populace dictates the breadth of their opinions regardless of academic or professional expertise. It’s discerning to note that so many people are willing to blindly accept these OpEd’s w/out performing independent research of their own.


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