Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pure Beauty of the Media

In "Communications Research Since Lazarsfeld,” Elihu Katz analyzes three challenges to the paradigm of limited effects, which were called institutional, critical, and technological. One challenge that I am going to focus on is the institutional model that explains that the media tells us what to think about. Currently, we are in the midst of a presidential election, so it is typical that the media focuses most on the campaigns, the political parties and the candidates. Since most of us have never met these presidential candidates, the media influences our opinions and votes, since it is the only source of information that we can get. As Katz explained, “Campaign studies of the sort that occupy the limited effects paradigm are thought to address the proposition that the media tell us what to think or what to do” (Katz 303). I personally agree with this thought that the media tells us what to think about. We are constantly bombarded with media messages everyday, whether it is through advertisements, the radio, and the television; we have become trained to think about what the media wants us to think.
The most recent thing that has caught my attention in the media besides the presidential campaign is a popular song called “Gangnam Style” by PSY, a Korean rapper. The song has gained instantaneous success on its YouTube release and has been popular since. I feel as though everywhere I turn, I hear people playing “Gangnam Style” or at least talking about it. Recently, I came across a video that stood out to me that not only involved the song “Gangnam Style,” but it also incorporating Mitt Romney. In my opinion the video is hilarious and was made out of pure entertainment; however, it really stuck out to me. Even though the video was a complete joke, it reminded me yet again about the presidential campaign and what each candidate and their political parties stood for. This is where the institutional model comes into hand where the media tells us what to think about. The media has now connected two things for me that I would never have compared otherwise, “Gangnam Style” and Mitt Romney. This is the pure beauty of the media; it can compare two things that really have no relation to each other.

(I will show the video in class on Thursday)

1 comment:

  1. For those of you who didn't see this in its entirety in section or lecture, here's the "Romney Style" video. Shirin, you do a good job of discussing the "what to think about" aspect of the institutional paradigm, but don't forget that "institution" is also a reminder to think of politics less as just voting behavior than as a complex institution with its own history, roles, norms, etc.