Final Media Reflection

By Rachel Jones

Media 201 has taught me a lot about media as a whole, new and old, as well as marketing and the relationships with corporations. I value this knowledge as I move in to my career with brand development and marketing. It was interesting seeing the evolution of new media to what it is today. I especially enjoyed learning in depth about print newspapers in comparison to online news. Also looking at the rise and slow decline of cable television.

Throughout the course of the semester I have been more aware of my media consumption via my electronics. I challenged myself to an experiment about 6 months ago which was a complete overhaul of social media applications like Snapchat and Instagram. When the summer started I decided to re-download these applications but keep my utilization under 2 hours for all the applications collectively. Seeing as social media applications are so addicting, this was quite a chore for me. So far, I’ve been staying steady with low utilization with random spikes on my days off.

My personal experiment as well as my final essay in regards to YouTube and socialization has left me with a lot of questions in regards to new media topics. If I had more time to, I would love to go in depth on YouTube utilization, demographics and how it compares to other content sharing sources.

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Democracy in Music

By Sidnee Short

In a democracy, music plays the role of self-expression and free speech. Music is created by artists in order to let the world know how they’re feeling or spark social change. Just like the textbook said about rock & roll in the 50’s and beyond and how it caused controversy and helped bring genders and races together. Music allows people to speak their minds and allow their followers, fans, and audiences speak their minds as well. With today’s music, I believe that it still plays a role in social change, but it’s not as loud and plentiful as it was in the past. For example, just recently the artists Justin Bieber, Lil Dicky, Ariana Grande, Snoop Dogg, and many more created a songto promote helping out our planet, and they even added a link in the videos description to a sight with plenty of information on how to help out with the project they were promoting. I do believe that people in the music industry today are very vocal about social change through their music, but especially through their social media. Because of all the ways these artists are able to communicate with their fans other than music, I believe that the need for music to be an outlet for social change has faded. The industries profit motives do place some limits on free expression, but I believe the main reason that the music today has strayed away from expressing social change compared to the past, is because of all the other ways artists are able to express themselves to their fans. 

Music in Democracy

Music plays a huge role in our democracy, and in the same in all countries across the world. We have seen music and the entertainment industry be a big influence when it comes to politics including in elections and in the judicial system. We have seen in the last few years but more so in the last year, music being used as a platform for world issues, and also music stars using their platform as a voice in our democracy. I truly think today’s music plays a role in social change, and although limits on free expression created some turbulence, I think those within the music industry have taken huge strides to get back on track and the big companies are beginning to listen. 

Final Thoughts

Ben LeVine

This class has taught me a lot about certain media trends and how drastically the media world has changed in the last 20 years. The main points that I will take away from this class is that the media landscape is always changing. What is current today, could very well not be here tomorrow. I will also keep in the back of my head how scary the social media usage facts are.Not scary in a bad way, I just had no idea that many people used social media. 65% of adults are on social media. My media consumption will be more after this class then before this class. I am taking more media classes, so that is where the increase in usage come in. I am guessing that my media intake will go up in the form of print and news media. That is what we did in this class, and I hope it stays like that for the next semester. The questions I have after this class is really just one question. Can someone get addicted to social media, in a way that someone gets addicted to drugs. I have always wondered that and this class has re enforced my worry that people can get addicted to social media.

Pushing Boundaries

By: Kerry Loughran

Music, just like any other media, has an important role in our democracy. It is a channel in which artists can express their feelings, views, opinions and then consumers connect with their music. It is used to share ideas, and for people to use those ideas to create and encourage change. The freedom we have to express our opinions is incredibly important, and music is an effective way to harness that expression and share it with others. Especially for more well-known artists, it is a great platform to promote issues that need to be addressed and to promote the good things happening around us. It’s also a great way for people to connect to one another on a human level; it’s a powerful media because it doesn’t need words in order to get a message across.

I don’t think music has “abandoned” the role it played in social change. I think there are a lot of artists addressing important issues and trying to promote ways we can attempt to fix or just acknowledge the issues. However, I think many of the popular music today is very surface level in meaning and has gotten very caught-up in music as sales, rather than music as art. As mentioned earlier, I think music is one of the most powerful mediums because it doesn’t require words for the audience to understand or relate with the music. However, there can be some issues with this. There’s a YouTube parody called “Dramatic Song” and the entire song is about the lyrics being lackluster and boring, having no correlation to the instrumental mood of the song at all. The lyrics create this very odd, in-depth story of someone’s foreign grandmother thinking it is a great, emotional song when the reality one of the verses is written as this: “You’d probably think I’m singing / ‘bout some pretty serious stuff. / But in reality, I’m singing ’bout / the lack of stuff I’m singing ’bout.” I think this, unfortunately, is how a lot of songs today really are; they give off a certain vibe in sound, but the lyrics have no depth and/or no correlation.

Listening to music not usually found on the radio, you come across a lot of songs and artists that are very obviously addressing important issues and ways we can productively approach them. Macklemore and twenty one pilots are two artists that have a variety of songs addressing issues important to them, yet very few of their songs are played on the radio. Macklemore has used his music to address issues like drug addiction to equality and a number of other things. But one of his most popular songs, the song played most on the radio, is about thrift shops. Twenty one pilots addresses the issues of mental health: acknowledging it, understanding it, helping others struggling, and helping yourself. Just like Macklemore, a majority of their songs address this issue in one way or another; yet their most popular song is about being stressed out and only brushes the surface of mental illness in the context of the rest of the album Blurryface. Meanwhile, a song on their recent album Trench directly addresses the stigma around suicide and mental illness.

I think many artists do try to address issues important to them and important in our society, but it’s the public as a general whole that doesn’t acknowledge their attempt to address the important things. I think this also may have to do with censorship on the radio. So maybe it comes down to us requesting the songs on that push boundaries to be played on radio stations that refuse to let boundaries be pushed.

The Role of Music

By Tatum MacMillan

For as long as I can remember music has always been my go to for when I am happy, mad, sad, excited etc. There is music for everything. Music is an escape and music can send a message. With this being said, music plays a major role in our democratic society. Whether we know it or not the lyrics of music and the beat and rhythm all play a part in our role in society.

Many artists, especially in this day and age are using their platforms to send a message through their music. Artists such as Selena Gomez, Halsey, Justin Bieber etc. have all sent messages to their peers through their music. This is an awesome way to convey a message to the world because many people will not sit and listen to a speech but they will listen to a song whether they know if there is a hidden message or not.

Another way that music helps in our democratic society is it gives the younger generation people to look up to if they choose not to invest some of their time into politics and the way our government works. Many artists these days are using their social media platforms to reach out to their followers to make a change and that is an amazing way to communicate to the people.

To show how music can have powerful messages I linked below a couple videos of songs that were used to portray a message even though the listener may not know they are being told something directly.

Women empowerment
LQBTQ rights
Immigration

These are just a few examples of how music can convey a message in our democracy. Many people will not watch the news but music is an awesome way to show a message to the world.

What Have I Learned?

By: Megan Miles

I have learned that in order to see a change in the way media sources provide information, it starts with you, and having an open mind to every bit of information available to you (or not available to you). Even though you may think you have found the answers, they may be hidden amongst a position that you don’t necessarily align yourself with. 

This class sparked my need to let go of my negative media habits and improve how I use media everyday. Since it is impossible to avoid it entirely, I would like to minimize my time online by placing my phone on time restrictions and changing the color filter settings on my phone. I think this would benefit my mental health because I tend to get caught up in the likes and arguments and I think it would lower my stress to let it go a bit more and focus on my hobbies and videos. I have been working on a YouTube channel and from now on, I will be watching extra carefully to make sure that all of the facts available are in the videos if such topics come up. 

My media diet will be less time spent online, perhaps only two hours a day, with much more time spend on editing, drawing, embroidery, hiking, photography, finding new adventures and beginning my journey as a launch team member for a new church in Boise. This class has taught me to be critical of everything that you think you know and challenge yourself to think from a different point of view. I think I struggled with the idea of putting my preconceived notions aside at first but now I am a better artist, a friend and a person who deeply wants to understand.