News, trust, and “truthiness”

After reading some of my classmate’s blogs on satirical news I have come to the understanding that many of us think that these news shows are indeed useful to the public sphere. Most of the blogs I read were under the same consensus that although these shows possess elements that could create biases they are still overall useful and informative.

In David O’Connor’s blog he makes a point of saying that shows like the daily show, and the Rick Mercer report, are informative but their content should always be taken with a grain of salt. He goes on to say, “They exist to make the public use their brain, to think about things a little deeper, and lighten up about various topics. Especially when the topic is a politician such as Stephen Harper, Mike Duffy, or Rob Ford, the audience needs to be aware that what they are about to watch is not going to give the most accurate representation of what is going on.” Satirical news reports are at the end of the day a source of entertainment, and their content should never be taken too seriously.

Another blog I read was Haya Alsakka’s who also seemed to think similarly. She goes on to say “The objective of this media is to make money from this form of entertainment. However they do so by crossing boundaries in how much they criticize companies, politicians, and anyone with a large effect on our society’s  customs and behaviour”. Haya’s point is similar to mine that these news shows at the end of the day are just entertainment sources, and ultimately look to attract viewers with humorous content.

Madelaine Legault’s has a different point of view and goes on to say “While this satirical imitation of form is humorous in effect, it seems to create a blurred distinction between the “real” delivery of hegemonic news, and the “fake” delivery of the satirical product of the former. When I watch Jon Stewart, it is often without foreknowledge of the news items to which he refers; I do not watch for a parody of the news, but for the news itself, free of bias and taint from mainstream media.” Although satirical news shows are classified as entertainment genre, their content and availability of valid information propels their status as a legitimate news show for audiences and becomes a trusted source although it isn’t the most accurate source. The hosts of these shows usually stress their opinions on their shows, which could lead to misconceptions of facts.

Satirical news reports are highly ambitious with their content, because they look to stimulate their audience intellectually on current events while at the same time being a source of entertainment. Their content should always be taken with a grain of salt, and not be taken too seriously. However these shows are definitely useful to the public sphere and this is an opinion that I see many of my classmates share. I think that these shows should be put out there for people to watch alongside other media broadcasts because their satirical content allows us to critically examine other media sources and subsequently alleviate the public sphere.


Is the fake news the real news?


Culture jamming is a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream cultural institutions, including corporate advertising. This approach is used to point out flaws in the world and start taking progressive action against it. This tactic is utilized by internet groups, newspapers and through other mediums like television shows. News shows like The daily show, The Rick Mercer Report, and the Colbert show use satire to present current situations and problems in society.

These shows deliver news like any other channel however satire is used to address certain issues. Satire is used to point out flaws or to criticize people’s voices with humor and is often used in politics. These news shows can be legitimately considered as a mainstream form of culture jamming, because they raise points regarding current situations which the general audience watches and is interpolated to think in the same way. The use of satire can create biases in audiences to certain perspectives. However at the same time these shows can be considered legitimate new shows because they do deliver all of the news without any strings attached. I sometimes watch sxephil on youtube who also addresses current world situations effectively but at the same time uses humor to criticize some people from these events. These shows are definitely useful to the public sphere because they provide information while being entertaining. A quote from the textbook, “culture jamming can be used simply to be clever or funny, without a political or critical motive.” (O’Shaughnessy, M., & Stadler, J.,p.214). These shows do create buzzes around topics they address on their show but they do not have any underlying political motives or direction, instead they are focused on providing news and entertainment at the same time. By adding humor to their show the topics on these shows lose significance. However the public is still made aware of these issues so these news broadcasts do not create misconceptions with their media portrayals. O’Shaughnessy writes “Cultural jamming examines the whole picture of different situations within a comedic frame, while criticizing media sources that present this news” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012, p. 214).

The public sphere benefits from shows like The daily show, and The Colbert show, because they provide an engaging and informative show which educates the audience on current events while at the same time is entertaining to watch. Satire is necessary in our society because through satire we can criticize news channels that have massive blind followers who do not use different sources of media, and thus become subjects to mass media deception. However through the use of satire we are able to identify and criticize other media and people without being overly critical or causing confrontation.

O’Shaughnessy, M., Stadler J. (2012). Media and Society Fifth Edition. Victoria, Australia: Oxford. An episode of The Daily show

Demonstrable Demographics


Searching through some of my fellow classmate’s blog posts, I see a commonly understood idea that advertisements create social roles/characters for people through their ads. People are drawn by these ads and partake in what they have to say and consequently become a subject to their work.

After analyzing through some of my classmates blogs I have come across a few common strategies for interpellation. One way the media gains influence of the people is by the use of idols. Sanjeet Mavi said “showing a professional hockey player using their product this can heavily influence hockey fans like myself to also purchase Gatorade in hopes of becoming like our NHL idols”. This is a concept that advertisers have become increasingly accustomed to. Idols like athletes, singers, actors, have massive influential power over people who look up to them. I know I would rather buy the same boxing gloves that Manny pacquiao uses rather than some average Joe. This is a method of interpellation which has become common in advertisements and allows the media influence over people.

The media also uses gender characteristics to attract to the genders specifically.  Linda Tanyanyiwa said “The prospect of being hailed comes from the aspect of gender assignment to specific roles as way to facilitate for socialization”. Advertisers appeal to the genders by showing stereotypes like women have to show as much skin as possible to be sexy. Madelaine Legault says ” The female gets beauty products; healthy, weight-reducing foods; underclothes for those who “love their bodies””.

Advertisers also use patriotic feelings to promote their product. For example in class we were shown a commercial about a bottled water company ( that I can’t remember) but in the commercial the water bottle is in the back of a rusty truck which has red, white, and blue colors. By using these techniques this water company which initially appealed to the upper class who looked down upon the middle class, now appealed to the middle and lower classes. They did this by showing a rusty truck which many middle class Americans identify with. The advertisers were able to appeal to a new demographic and expand their consumer demographic by using these techniques. 


Sanjeet Mavi

Tanyanyiwa, Linda.  []



What the Hail?

What the Hail?

Advertisements have evolved over many years and have adapted new techniques on targeting certain viewers. We are exposed to unprecedented amounts of advertisements throughout our lives so much so that when the time is accumulated they actually take up years of our lives. Throughout this time advertisers have perfected their craft so that they appeal to a certain audience based on pre-ideological beliefs. They have become very effective in delivering a message and captivating audiences to the point where they represent social norms in certain demographics.

This iPhone ad seems to be directed towards a certain demographic of people, The iPhone ad is presented to show the innovative cutting edge technology which is the iPhone 5. The portrayal of the phone as a life tool for people who do various activities makes it appeal to a large demographic. In the commercial people are using the iPhone to take pictures of beautiful scenery, loved ones, sports, concerts, parties etc. It is shown as a versatile device which can be used by people from all over the world. I think this ad gives off a vibe which says buy this phone because it will help you go on cool journeys and find yourself.  A quote from the text relating to this idea, “We live in a culture that stresses individuality, encourages us to believe that every person has unique qualities, and puts forward the view that we have control over who we are, what we do, and how others see us, but this view is questionable” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012. Pg189).

I am a young male, middle-class, and also keep up with new phone technology like the majority of young people do today. This iPhone is targeted towards people like me who are looking to make their lives more comfortable, have a couple more apps to make life interesting, and brag to a couple friends about having the latest. Modern trends are also shown in the commercial like when some person was taking a picture of their food. This is a trend that many people are aware of, and has been made a subject of parody and scrutiny. The ad appeals to a specific audience like those who regularly browse internet sites like 9gag, reddit, twitter. Ads have a lasting effect on people and the choices they make. People choose what ideologies to follow and ultimately create their own views. “Seeing how we are determined by the ideology we were born into, seeing how our behaviour has been shaped […] can give us a broader set of social choices about who we want to be and what we can do in the future” (191).


Works cited

O’Shaughnessy, Michael, and Jane Stadler. Media and Society. 5th ed. Australia: Oxford University Press, 2012. 181-191. Print.

Wanted: The media that we need


I use the media from different sources and am exposed to different types of thoughts, information, and opinions. People who use the media all absorb the messages presented to them and are affected by it. The media is used globally however the message is communicated differently from all over the world. Every country uses media but they present the information in a manner that appeals to their intended audience and delivers their message effectively. Hunter Lackey thought similarly, “The media will cater their message to the desires of their target audience.” We are consistently satisfied by media, and the media is made relevant in turn. This mutual agreement between people and media drives the media to improve their appearance and attract viewers. It also means the facts will be skewed in a certain favor and that the audience will not get a reliable source of information to analyze for themselves.


Since the media is always having an impact on their viewers they do not present the information correctly and instead of giving the media we need they give the media we want. Alexandra says “The media’s number one job is to keep the audience satisfied and entertained”.  Since the media is always looking to make an impression on their targets they do not give us the media we need. The media we need is information presented to us without bias or direction. It should be up to the audience to analyze the information.


Although we do not get the media we need, we are all entertained by the media and follow our own paths on how we will behave in society. We receive many media updates and information everyday but they might not necessarily inform us on important social, political, cultural, and/or economic matters. We are reflections of ideas, and messages presented to us and ultimately decide for ourselves to use certain media. I agree with Madelainelegault who says “There is no forcing of products upon us, nor any implanting of ideas and attractions into our minds; we buy willingly, we subscribe based on personal choice”. People could find accurate information somewhere out there but it wouldn’t be entertaining and simply boring.

Works cited

The media we want?

The media we want?

The media is a mass medium of communication through which brands, pop culture, economics, and social ideals are processed. Everyone receives some sort of media, people who watch the news, people who browse webpages (reddit, 9gag, blogs, etc.) and people who read magazines. These simple acts cause the transferral of information from a source towards the intended audience. However, what message the intended audience is subjected to is entirely up to the individual. We all use different media, and create our own meanings with these messages as according to how the information involves, and is perceived by our past experiences. “[audiences] are active participants who make their own meanings” (O’Shaughnessy 101). The impact the media will have on us is entirely up to us, however the media does still shape our thoughts in some way. In this way we want the media we get, because although a biased source may be providing the information it is up to us to read the source of information and make an intended meaning of this message.

The mainstream media that is being broadcasted must meet certain requirements, because if it didn’t nobody would want the media. The media is specifically designed to target certain groups and make sense of their experiences. For example if we look at 9/11 and the media which was broadcasted within America relating to this event, it communicated the same thing, “terrorists have bombed America and are a threat to us all”. However some people believed that it was a conspiracy and turned to other media like Jim jones and conspiracy theorists. In this way we turn to media to make sense of our experiences and want the media we get.  “The media shows us what the world is like; they make sense of the world for us” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012). I believe people make choices every day, choices on what channels they watch, what websites they use, what people they hang out with, and these choices ultimately form their thoughts and opinions. A quote relating to the acquisition of information, “Knowledge is most likely to be gained not from our actual experience of going there, but through representations: reading about them, hearing and watching media stories told about them, and viewing pictures of them” (O’Shaughnessy, Stadler, 2012) Their knowledge is only a collection of experiences through the things they choose to be involved with, and therefore I must say we want the media we get but also get the media we want.

Work Cited

O’Shaughnessy, Michael, and Jane Stadler. Media and Society. 5th ed. Australia: Oxford University Press, 2012. 99-101. Print.

1f25 blog response 1: Media Impact on Others

After reading many of my classmates views on mass media, I came to the conclusion that mass media and technology is not particularly good or evil, just different. Three blogs that had an effect on my views of the media are posted below.


My initial thoughts were that mass media was very deceptive and more of a problem to humanity than a benefit, and after reading some blogs I have realized that other students also see it this way. Haya Alsakka( pointed out that mass media influences everyone and the opinions they form. She also pointed out that sites like Tumblr are often used to post pictures of adolescent women holing Starbucks drinks. Another way media impacts our lives is by marketing these products everywhere we look. If I take a look at the things most people own they are name-brand and these brands subsequently create classes in societies (social status, etc).

Douglas Smith said that he had never been outside of Canada and as a result relied on the media to explain the outside world. This is a point I also agree with because we rely on the media for information of the world and believe whatever they say, because of this douglas’ view on Iraq and Pakistan is that it is a country that is prominently in war and filled with terror. The media is also used as an useful tool to broadcast messages which can benefit people, like the stop smoking campaigns which show people the true dangers and harmful effects smoking causes. 

Adrienne Reds makes a point of how we have come to become dependent on technology. We have progressed from the days of newspapers and dial up-internet to today’s world where we follow idols on twitter and are informed of news almost instantly. It may be stretch to say we need technology to survive but media and technology have definitely become apart of our lives and will continue to impact our worldviews. My classmates views on the media gives me additional information on how much the media does impact my life as it has grown to become an integral part of today’s society, and the media may or may not be a benefit to us but it definitely does make life interesting.