Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Presidential Debates on TV

Television became prominent in politics in 1960 when the first presidential debate was aired. Although this media form is still used today, there has been so much that has changed since. The question of the week was, how do older forms of media inform new media markets? To answer that question, I decided to focus on the Nixon vs. Kennedy debate and compare it to how these debates have changed since, and the difference between the use of television then vs now.

Digital media, starting with television, shaped the way for politicians to get involved with newer media and reach a larger audience through these platforms. Television was used merely as a form of entertainment then, but now it has become a way for people to stay informed. The airing of presidential debates became popular because it gave the candidates a way to discuss “face to face” real issues to the public. It also helped the public have a different perspective of the candidates. In the Kennedy/Nixon case, it was a literal game changer where Nixon was favored prior to the debate, and Kennedy ended up winning the race.

All in all, televising debates paved the way for presidential candidates to know that there are various ways to reach the public. It taught our modern mass media the importance of relating/connecting to the information that was being passed along the targeted audiences.

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McNulty, T. (1993). Television's Impact on Executive Decision Making and Diplomacy.
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The Power of Television Images: The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate Revisited. The
Journal of Politics [serial online]. 2003:559. Available from: JSTOR Journals,
Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 21, 2017.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"The Future of PBS and Rise of Digital Media"

     Today I spoke on the future of PBS regarding the 2018 federal budget blueprint. I found this topic to be interesting while researching the history and values of PBS. As a taxpayer and viewer of PBS I can relate to the conversation that many are having today. There is not a clear date on the approval of budget cuts for the Corporation of public broadcasting but it is igniting public stations to show their worth. In the digital market that Netflix and Hulu have come into there is plenty to learn from the older forms of media. The question of the week asks, how do older forms of media inform newer media markets? To answer this question, the development of PBS will need to show its steps towards remaining relevant and valuable to the nation's population.
     The newer media markets have founded their programs through a large audience of paid subscriptions and film studios. In contrast, the older media as public broadcasting, receive their funding from the federal government, corporations, foundations and most importantly, viewers. The 2018 budget proposal puts the future of PBS at risk of losing the federal funding and having to rely on more viewer sponsorship. The privatization of public stations will not stop their production but it will rather make it less accessible for non-cable or Netflix homes. The value that PBS has is found on the impact that its culture, news, and educational shows leaves on its nationwide viewers.
    In conclusion, we are interested in the newer media markets being able to continue their broadcasting and observing their impact in homes. Time will tell what will occur with the public broadcasting stations. It is important to keep in mind those children that rely on their shows to learn math skills that their parents cannot teach them and how they improve their vocabulary after every show. PBS shows how this form of old media can inform the digital age by demonstrating its importance and its valuable product that has been able to adapt to current consumer trends.


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Ingram, M. (2017, January 19). Trump's Team Said to Be Planning to Privatize Public           Broadcasting. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from           public-broadcasting/

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NPR and APTS Action, Inc. (2017). ACT NOW: President's Budget Eliminates Public Media      Funding. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Oscars and Who Views Them

            The question of the week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” and in my opinion the Oscars are a great example of how the industry can shape who watches movies. The Oscars are annual awards given out within the movie industry to honor the best of the best of various aspects of the movie industry. Every year, awards are given out for all levels of production, makeup, wardrobe, directing, sound, acting, and various other awards. These awards are voted on by the Academy, a group of roughly six thousand people who vote for the various fields related to themselves. Everyone within the Academy votes for the highly coveted Best Picture award. The people who watch the Oscars each year are usually those who know a lot about movies, or who might want more information about movies in general.
            Throughout the years, the Oscars have changed a great deal. They have gotten immensely longer, with many more awards given out each year. The Academy Awards have become much more inclusive in who they give awards too, though this could be contested by the 2016 Academy Awards where there was a controversy because no people of color were nominated. Many winners also use the Oscars as a platform for things they are passionate about, such as environmental rights, human rights, women’s education, HIV/AIDs awareness, and various other issues over the years. In many cases, those films who win big are those ones who have a great audience opinion rating, and not always those who have a lot of critic approval.
            In conclusion, my opinion is that those who watch the Oscars are those who want to know more about movies, and who use the Academy Awards as a placeholder for what films they might want to watch in the future. The audience opinion shapes who wins just as much as the industry shaping who watches the Awards and the movies they promote.

* Delbyck, Cole. (27 February 2017). Craziest Oscars in History Watched by Smallest Audience in 9 Years. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from:
* Fahey, Mark. (25 February 2017). Oscar Nominees Please Audiences More Than Critics, Data Shows. CNBC. Retrieved from:  
* McCann, Universal. (23 March 2000). PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting, and Monitoring. PR Newswire. Retrieved from:
* Nguyen, Hanh.  (26 February 2017). Oscar Potiical Moments: A Timeline of Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout the Telecast’s History. IndieWire. Retrieved from:
 Rosenberg, Jennifer. (15 December 2014). Academy Awards Interesting Facts. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from:
 Roxborough, Georg SzalaiScott. (February 23, 2016). Oscars: How Many People Watch the Ceremony Worldwide?. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from:
 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Story. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from:

MPAA Ratings and the Audience's Response

The question of the week was “how do media industries shape media audiences?” I discussed the MPAA ratings system in my case study to answer this question. Pertaining to my case study, film studios (media industries) set the standard for the content of films by creating a rating system for the media audiences. The studios influence the audiences by rating the subject of the films and receive reception from critics as well as parents. I also discussed how parents push for a harsher rating for sexual content and profanity as opposed to violence in films. Critics of the rating system believe that the system limits the creativity of filmmakers. Filmmakers can appeal for a less severe rating since their main goal is for a wider audience to view their film.
                I received a lot of thoughtful answers from the discussion section of my case study’s presentation. I asked the class if the rating system is effective or ineffective and got a diverse set of responses I also asked them if films should be censored or rated by the government and most of the class said that it’s unnecessary for the government to step in and I completely agree with that because the government has other important affairs to handle.
                In conclusion, the media industry continues to impose and regulate media content, however, the audience does have right to respond or alter the regulation of the content. The rating system has influenced the kind of films audiences choose to watch. While government censorship of films isn’t necessary, it is essential for films to let the audiences know which film is suitable for them and children.

Askar, J. G. (2012, November 15). Why ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ was almost rated R. Retrieved March  06, 2017, from 27-was-almost-rated-R.html

Austin, B. (1980). The influence of the mpaa's film-rating system on motion picture attendance: a pilot study. Journal Of Psychology: Interdisciplinary And Applied, 106(1), 91-99.          doi:10.1080/00223980.1980.9915174

Corcoran, P. (2016). Respecting the Audience. Boxoffice, 152(2), 18-19.

Indiewire (2014, October 07). 15 Times the MPAA Got it Wrong. Retrieved March 06, 2017, from

Rottenberg, J., & Sperling, N. (2013). Will the MPAA Ever Get the Ratings Right?. Entertainment Weekly, (1287), 18

Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2016). Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and   Technology (9th ed.). Boston , MA: Cengage Learning.

Friday, March 10, 2017

James Cameron and Avatar

The question I had for this week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” I answered this question by talking about the famous filmmaker James Cameron and I focused specifically on his movie Avatar for my research. I introduced to the class all of the CGI and 3D technologies Cameron used in making this movie such as the PACE Fusion 3D Camera, Facial Performance Recognition technique, and the Swing Camera. Cameron co-designed the Fusion Camera that changed the way 3D movies were filmed, this allowed for better quality of footage from the multiple stereoscopic cameras within the set up and it helped producers cut down editing time. The FPR has been used before but Cameron changed it by inventing the “head rig” which was able to record their emotions and facial expressions. This allowed for real human emotion to be to be displayed in the avatar characters, which made it more realistic and emotional for the movie viewers. The Swing Camera was a technology Cameron used for directing that allowed him to see the actors in “Pandora” through an LCD screen device that displayed and detected the movements of the actors’ performance suits as they acted out a scene. This used virtual reality technology and helped Cameron visualize whatever scene he was trying to film better, this allowed him to critique the actors in the moment and fix mistakes. 
I believe these technologies have impacted the way audiences view 3D movies now, we want to be able to get lost in the movie and feel like we are actually there. Cameron has changed not only the way we watch 3D movies but also how 3D movies are filmed with the Fusion camera, the swing camera, and the FPR. I think these technologies blur the lines between computer animation and reality. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what is isn’t. I think that’s what an audience looks for when searching for a good movie.


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Johnson, B. (2009, August 19). The secrets of James Cameron's new film Avatar. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from

Ng, J. (2012). Seeing movement: On motion capture animation and James Cameron's Avatar. Animation7(3), 273-286. doi:10.1177/1746847712456262

Robertson, B. (2009). CG In Another World. Computer Graphics World32(12), 12-20

Society, N. G. (n.d.). James Cameron, Filmmaker/Inventor Information, Facts, News, Photos. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from

Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2016). Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology (9th ed.). Boston , MA: Cengage Learning.