Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SocietyMassCom: The Chomskyan Critique Continued (W7-P3) Fa17


One of Chomsky’s books that deals critically with media is Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.  This is also a title of a documentary and Chomsky and his idea.

Let's take a look at part of the doc.

In the doc, what is meant by "manufacturing consent"?  Propaganda model?




Now, let's focus specifically on Herman & Chomsky's 5 filters of the propaganda model.




(The previous video comes from Al Jazeera English. If you are interested, you might check out Al Jazeera English)



Also, if you are interested, you might explore the link between the percentages of people in society that Chomsky mentions in the doc and the idea of percentages mentioned in the Brand Nubian song "Meaning of the 5%" .



Or try this YouTube video:


See the lyrics.
If you are interested, for more see Five Percenter Rap: God Hop's Music, Message, and Black Muslim Mission (Profiles in Popular Music)





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SocietyMassCom: Libertarianism and a Chomskyan Critique (W7-P2) Fa17


Political ideology: “A political ideology is a coherent set of views on politics and the role of the government” (Cliff Notes).

Libertarianism is another example of a political ideology.


Libertarianism: “In the most general sense, libertarianism is a political philosophy that affirms the rights of individuals to liberty, to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings, and considers the protection of individual rights the primary role for the state” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).


Libertarianism in 6 Minutes






Chomsky and his Critique of (American) Libertarianism


Noam Chomsky is a famous media critique and social activist (Wikipedia).

Noam Chomsky - Freedom of Speech, Press and Media Regulation




Chomsky and Manufacturing Consent

One of Chomsky’s books that deals critically with media is Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.  This is also a title of a documentary and Chomsky and his idea.


Manufacturing Consent (trailer)



Continued.




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SocietyMassCom: Progressivism, the Fourth Estate, Muckrackers and Ida B. Wells (W7-P1) Fa17


Politics and the Media

So...
What should  the relationship be between media and government?
What should  the relationship be between news and politics?



Progressivism


Political ideology: “A political ideology is a coherent set of views on politics and the role of the government” (Cliff Notes).


Progressivism is an example of a political ideology.


Progressivism:  “the support for or advocacy of social reform” (Wikipedia).
Progressivism:  “philosophy-ideology who believed in measured, moderate progress (change) opposed to conservatism, which advocates for [minimal] change” (Urbandictionary.com).

The Progressive Era: Crash Course US History (0:00-7:45)



Still hear of progressivism today?





The Fourth Estate




The Fourth Estate: “The people and organizations that report the news, or news journalism as a whole, regarded as having palpable but unofficial political influence” (thefreedictionary.com)

What is the relationship between progressivism and the Fourth Estate?





Muckrackers and Ida B. Wells


muckrakers: "Journalism, particularly magazine journalists, who in the early 20th century conducted investigative journalism on major corporations and government, and dubbed Muckrakers for the "muck" they uncovered” (Palik & McIntosh, p. 86).


Ida B. Wells "Female African American journalist in the latter nineteenth century who wrote and fought against racism and lynching of blacks” (Pavlik & McIntosh, p. 224).



Ida B Wells - Civil Rights Pioneer


Ida B. Wells: a Passion for Justice




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Monday, October 2, 2017

ComTheory: Media, Normative Theories and a Chomskyan Critique (W7/W9-P1) Fa17


“Normative theories … don’t describe things as they are, nor do they provide scientific explanations or predictions. Instead, they describe the way things should be if some ideal values or principles are to be realized” (Baran and Davis, p. 61).


When looking at media we could start to ask questions like: How should media be organized?  What relationship should there be between media and government?


One normative political theory that can be applied to media is libertarianism.


Libertarianism: “In the most general sense, libertarianism is a political philosophy that affirms the rights of individuals to liberty, to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings, and considers the protection of individual rights the primary role for the state” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).


Libertarianism in 6 Minutes






Chomsky and his Critique of (American) Libertarianism

“Noam Chomsky ... is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes described as "the father of modern linguistics," Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism” (Wikipedia).


Noam Chomsky - Freedom of Speech I






Chomsky and Manufacturing Consent

On of Chomsky’s books that deals critically with media is Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.  This is also a title of a documentary and Chomsky and his idea.


Manufacturing Consent (trailer)



When watching the full documentary, take careful notes on terms like hegemony, manufacturing consent, necessary illusions, media consolidation/concentration, the Herman & Chomsky propaganda model and flak  Note also lists like those associated with the propaganda model.

If you are interested, parts of the Manufacturing Consent doc are available YouTube.
Also, if you interested, you may find "Key points in 'Manufacturing Consent'" helpful.

Also, if interested, there is a more up-to-date video of 5 filters of the propaganda model.

Lastly, if you are interested in what Manufacturing Consent says about today's media landscape, you may want to check out these two videos, one a more recent interview of Herman and the other of Chomsky.





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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

MyFavMusic: Just listened to the "I've Been Working on the Railroad" by Pete Seeger on the "American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1" album. Added to my "FOLK FAVS - 1000 Recordings" playlist on Spotify



Fav track from album: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
By Pete Seeger
From the album American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1

Added to FOLK FAVS - 1000 Recordings playlist by William Hart on September 26, 2017 at 05:11PM

See info on 1000 Recordings

Listen on Spotify

My musical interests on Tumblr






MyFavMusic: Just listened to the "John Henry" by Pete Seeger on the "American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1" album. Added to my "FOLK FAVS - 1000 Recordings" playlist on Spotify



Fav track from album: John Henry
By Pete Seeger
From the album American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1

Added to FOLK FAVS - 1000 Recordings playlist by William Hart on September 26, 2017 at 05:08PM

See info on 1000 Recordings

Listen on Spotify

My musical interests on Tumblr






Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SocietyMassCom: Defining and Detecting Fake News (W4-P5) Fa17


News Flash: False news reports are hindering the emergency response to Harvey


Fake news: “false information disguised as a legitimate news story, not reporting that people dislike for political reasons and label fake news” (PBS Newshour).

Detecting Fake News
Infographic created by IFLA based on FactCheck.org’s article titled “How to Spot Fake News
If you are interested, here are a few more helpful links on how to spot fake news.



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SocietyMassCom: Buckingham’s Approach to Being Media Literate (W4-P4) Fa17


According to media literacy scholar, David Buckingham, a media literate person should ask a certain set of questions when “reading” a media text.  He breaks up his questions into four areas: production, language, audience, and representation.

  • Within the area of production one would ask such questions as
    • "Who makes media texts?" and
    • "Who owns the companies?"
  • Within the area of language one would ask such questions such as
    • "How do media use different forms of language to convey ideas or meaning?'
    • "How is meaning conveyed through the combination or sequencing of images, sounds or words?"   [Think semiotics]
  • Within the area of audience one would ask such questions as
    • "How are media aimed at particular audiences?”
    • "How do they try to appeal to them?"
  • Lastly, within Buckingham's area of representation one would ask such
    questions as
    • "What is included and what is excluded from the media world?"and
    • "Do media support particular views about the world?"

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SocietyMassCom: Media Literacy, Definitions and Paradigms (W4-P3) Fa17


Media literacy is both a field of study and an education process.  As a field of study, media literacy scholars and educators engaged movement for 40 years, initially sparked by a concern of the negative effective of media especially on children.
According to Potter (2010), “[t]here is a growing literature to help teachers who want to develop a course or even a single presentation on media literacy“ (p. 683).  However, as Baker (2016) claims “[m]any educators know how to teach with media; unfortunately, not many know how to teach about the media.”.  


Did you get media literacy training when in grade school and high school?
As an educational process, media literacy is composed of two key components, media texts and literacy.  Media texts are TV programs, films, books, newspaper articles, video games, etc. (Buckingham, 2003).  Literacy is, in general, the ability to read and write and thus within this context, more broadly, the ability to interpret and compose media texts.  Media literacy has been defined as …
  • “a critical -thinking skill that enables audiences to decipher the information that they received through the channels of mass communications and empowers them to develop independent judgment about media content” Silverblatt & Eliceiri (1997, p. 48).
  • “the process of critically analyzing and learning to create one’s own messages in print, audio, video, and multimedia” Hobbs (1998, p. 16).
As the variety of definitions given suggest, there is some apparent disparity within the field on the definition of media literacy.  Within the field of media literacy studies there has been a debate between the protectionist paradigm which sees media literacy as a way to protect against the negative effects of media, especially on children, by learning how to critically analyze media texts (Hobbs, 2011).  The empowerment paradigm, on the other hand, promotes the idea of students learning how to produce their own media texts.  Potter argues that this debate is a false dichotomy (2011).  The paradigms are not mutually exclusive and are indeed complementary (Potter, 2011; Hoechsmann & Poyntz, 2012).  As Buckingham noted in 2003, media literacy “aims to develop both critical understanding and active participation” (loc 178).
Paradigm: “such a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group” (Dictionary.com).  It is a way of thinking, a general perspective, that a group of researchers share.  



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SocietyMassCom: Skepticism and Media Literacy (W4-P2) Fa17


Media literacy can be seen as applying a skeptical perspective to media.


So, let’s think in general about skepticism.

In everyday life, when you hear the word skepticism what comes to mind? When somebody is labeled a skeptic, what does that mean? Ah, she's a skeptic.


Skepticism can be seen as way of thinking or an approach to a claims.


Claim: “an assertion of the truth of something, typically one that is disputed or in doubt” (Oxford Dictionary).


Have some claims that you doubt?  Why do you doubt them?


Based on your viewing of the video below, is Amazing Randi a critical thinker and true skeptic?  What is it that he does that makes him a critical thinker?  What are his relevant skills and attitudes?


What is the claim he is talking about in the video?  What is his approach to the claim?  Is he skeptical?  What does that mean?





What is Skepticism?


Michael Shermer, the editor Skeptic magazine, writes in his magazine that:


"Some people believe that skepticism is rejection of new ideas, or worse, they confuse "skeptic" with "cynic" and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong. Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas--no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position."







Shermer and the Baloney Detection Kit


Skepticism and the baloney detection kit can be and should be applied in many situation in life, especially when somebody makes a claim that is important to you.  If we apply skepticism and the baloney detection kit to media, then we are talking media literacy.


The baloney detection kit is a set of questions that one should ask when facing an important claim.  In Shermer’s kit he has 10 questions.  For our purposes will focus on just four and see how they especially apply to media.

Part of the kit (4 of 10)
  1. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
  2. Does this fit with the way the world works?
  3. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
  4. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?


Shermer - Baloney Detection Kit video [see from 2:50 to 7:07]



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SocietyMassCom: Critical Thinking and Media Literacy (W4-P1) Fa17


Media literacy can be seen as applying general critical thinking skills and perspectives to media.

So, let’s start with a general discussion of critical thinking.

One way of defining a critical thinker is to identify some of the traits of a critical thinker, a critical thinker's creed, if you will.

The Critical Thinker’s Creed

  • We are Open-minded.
    • We seek to understand other viewpoints.
  • We are Knowledgeable.
    • We offer opinions/claims backed with logic and evidence.
  • We are Mentally Active.
    • We use our intelligence to confront problems.
  • We are Creative.
    • We break out of established patterns of thinking and approach situations from innovative directions.
  • We are Independent Thinkers.
    • We are not afraid to disagree with the group opinion.
  • We are Curious.
    • We go beyond superficial explanations. We seek deeper understanding.

O-K-M-C-I-C   [What's this?]

So, a critical thinker is a person who follows the creed above (or some similar creed)?
Do you follow this creed?

Note: The creed above is based on a section of Chaffee's The Thinker's Way

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Monday, September 11, 2017

ComTheory: Research and Theory Development (W4-P3) Fa17




Theory building is a process. It starts with observation and, in a way, ends with observation.  See below.


Related terms:


Deduction: “inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises“ (Merriam-Webster).




Induction: “inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances“ (Merriam-Webster).






So, based on the above, where does research fit into the theory building process?  Are they the same thing?  What do the definitions tell us?



Now let’s try to develop some theory.






A more complete picture of the theory building process.




So, based on the above, where does research fit into the theory building process?  Are they the same thing?




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