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Ignorance, Greed, and the American Media

analytical Essay
2907 words
2907 words
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Ignorance, Greed, and the American Media “God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables... slaves with white collars. Advertising has its taste in cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, no purpose or place. We have no Great War. No great depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war… Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd be millionaires, movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. We're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, VERY PISSED OFF.” This is a quote from the character of Tyler Durden in the 1999 movie Fight Club. This quote is an intricate summary of the current generation of twenty/thirty-something-year-olds. It highlights the fact that this generation was “raised on television” and one the film’s main themes is how the misuse of media has corrupted the minds of those it influenced beyond repair. And the worst part? It’s all true… The media world today is a strange one. Why are there so few political or current affairs themed programmes on our television screens? Why are the so many American comedies on our screens? Why is it so hard to find a balanced, unbiased news report on the “war” in Iraq? When John Reith founded the BBC in 1922, as director general, he developed strong ideas about educational and cultural public service responsibilities of a national radio service. He based his ideas on Plato’s philosophy that if you allow the human soul to come into contact with the Good, the True and the Beautiful, the soul will respond. His three aims were to inform, to educate and to entertain. What became of his admirable ideology? Why is it that the main use of media now is seemingly entertainment? Could it be argued that the current misuse of media power is the result of private media ownership? If a businessperson owned a large media empire, would they have any moral concern if their media had a negative effect on society, as long as they were making money? Surely, a government would have a far greater concern for how the generation of tomorrow was affected by the media. If the government were to control the media, couldn’t they mould the current youth into fine and upstanding citizens of the future? But what if the media businessperson somehow gained more influence than the government? What if ... ... middle of paper ... ...Michael (2003) “Dude, Where’s My Country?” Britain: Penguin Books Gorman, L. & McLean, D. (2003) “Media and society in the twentieth century: a historical introduction” Britain: Blackwell Publications Films David Fincher (1999) “Fight Club” US: 20th Century Fox Moore, Michael (2004) “Fahrenheit 9/11” US: Optimum Releasing Ltd. Websites Stille, Alexander (1999) “Emperor of the Air” http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=19991129&s=stille The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2004, Columbia University Press “Ted Turner” http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0849757.html Shawcross,William (1999) “Rupert Murdoch” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/intl/article/0,9171,1107991025-33716,00.html Patsuris, Penelope (2001) “Forbes Face: Rupert Murdoch” http://www.forbes.com/2001/01/02/0102faces.html Gildea, Josh (2004) “Media coverage of issues not at all fair or balanced” http://www.dailycardinal.com Sterling, C.H. (1993) “REITH, JOHN C.W.” http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/index.html Bryan, J. & Zillion, D “Media Effect: The Psychology of Television” http://www.lucidexperience.com/HypnoPapers/529.html NOTE: All websites were accessed on 2/12/2006

In this essay, the author

  • Introduces gorman, l., and mclean, d. (2003), "media and society in the twentieth century: a historical introduction."
  • Quotes tyler durden in the 1999 movie fight club to illustrate how the misuse of media has corrupted the minds of those it influenced beyond repair.
  • Argues that berlusconi's political involvement could eliminate his business competition making him effectively a media dictator.
  • Opines that we're the middle children of history, with no purpose or place. we've all been raised on television to believe that one day we would be millionaires, movie gods, and rock stars.
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