Reflections: The Power of the Media Revisited

It’s so hard to believe 10 weeks have come and gone so fast with today the final day of classes for me…for a week at least. It has been a roller-coaster ride of media communications exposure as well as a continuous opportunity to flex and hone my own media literacy skills. After re-reading my initial blog post ‘Examining Media Use and Influence’ my views of media’s power to shape my beliefs remains relatively as it was at the beginning of this term; more appropriately, I still have a love-hate relationship with technology. But to be fair, I don’t think that will ever change.

I should note that my types and frequency of media use over the course of the last several weeks have increased drastically through the authoring of this blog, research for assignments, experiencing multimedia and incorporating its usage into my work, as well as personal projects that have me analyzing, scrutinizing, and verifying different media sources and applications.

As stated in my first post, “I feel most outside sources/stimuli have the potential to influence, but it is how each of us interprets the information that makes the influence positive or negative.” I stand by that comment just as solidly today as I did the moment I wrote that line. With the potentiality of such influences, some may wonder if becoming “media literate” will reduce their threat/effect. First, one must note that not all media is “bad”, and in a way can be subjective like art. Media literacy is unique in that it aids a person in their critical assessment of a given piece of media, whether it be a news story, a controversial YouTube video, or the reading/following of a major blog. While becoming media literate is no guarantee one is protected from outside influences, it does encourage one to actively play a role in their own journey of life by deciphering media messages to determine their value and meaning to us on an individual level and how (if) we should apply it to our repertoire.

In the dissemination of information for our society, writers play a huge role. With the capabilities, access, and reach of Internet communication technologies, many people are now content contributors to the world, and arguably, writers. When writers do not act ethically in their gathering and disseminating of information, anyone lacking media literacy skills can be argued that they are in danger of poor influence. However, that same unethical writing can have the potential to reinforce positive behaviors from readers and other writers, teaching not to emulate such a style. This class has taught me a good rule of thumb in order to best avoid unethical writing as a content contributor myself: Follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

References

[Photo]. (n.a.). (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://api.ning.com/files/8k2*97pl68yu24gz6bwFXu*BMCD6pEjYau*9e3gMN9r8IRIlPidftmficI-

Society of Professional Journalists. (2014, September 6). SPJ Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

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