Understand What You Consume

Hello to all! My name is Kayla Yingst and I am a senior at Towson University with the major of Public Relations specializing in professional athletes. Ever since I can remember I really enjoy being involved in the community, and staying constantly busy. On campus I am in Phi Mu sorority and take the role as Membership Director (Rush Chair). Since I have figure skated for eighteen years I also participate in the sports club Figure Skating Team. Outside of school I coach figure skating, as well as volunteer for the Special Olympics.

I was drawn to participate in this class in the interest of being able to better understand how media is able to have so much power in our culture, as well as shape our perceptions of the world. This course will help us, as students understand what we are watching and what people will take from particular media texts. rI feel that the United States is very ethnocentrically formed, due to the fact that we have a choice and freedom unlike other countries around the world. There are justified ways as to why Americans are so ethnocentric, and that can be led to our knowledge of the media that we as a society absorb on a day-to-day basis.

Media criticism is a skill that must be developed in order to understand and interpret what we take from media texts that are fed to us as media’s consumers. Media is the number one outlet today to target large number of target audiences to distribute a particular message that is being portrayed. Although we tend to think that as consumers we get unbiased breaking news coverage, it may just be the contrary. Many news conglomerates have biased opinion on what is acceptable and unacceptable news for the general public to have knowledge of. One of the greatest examples of this is the ability to acknowledge what political party particular news stations favor during election times. This also contributes to what is displayed on television and what is not. Many times media viewers are unable to receive the whole truth pertaining to new stories, or only receive partial information. Within media criticism I want to be able to develop the skills to understand what stories could go into more detail, and if there is information withheld.

Media text surrounds our society with all of the different media outlets used to reach their audience. You are always able to find information in a flash thanks to the latest technology. Reality television has really taken off within the last few years. I personally feel that producers are sending a message across to different audiences with different reality television scenarios. With numbers rising of young women becoming pregnant in the United States it was only normal that producers would find it acceptable to start a









reality television show about teen mothers, and following them throughout their pregnancy. In essence this show was aired to show teens how hard it is to be pregnant so young and care for a child not much younger then they are. I feel that it is rare that most teens take away that message thought (if they wanted to have a child that young) and just see the start of a family that they can call their own. Through media criticism we are able to depict the messages that are trying to be portrayed to the public, and the message that the viewing audience is actually taking away from this particular show.


With such large amounts of media consumption it is very important that we become media literate as viewers. This generally means that we can depict certain images, and know right from wrong. This can shape our view on society, and keep the status quo, that as a nation many try to maintain. News conglomerates that have more enforceable power are able maintain hegemonic power over those companies that want to possibly change the means of information distributed to society.

Within the television show Breaking Bad  as a viewer you understand that the actions that are taking place within the show are illegal, and many would not attempt to go the same course as some of the main characters have. This is a eminent example of how society should be able to differentiate between nice and evil, good and bad, right and wrong.

During the time of this course I am interested to generate new skills, and really understand more about the media that I am consuming everyday and the actual meaning that it is representing. Once these skills are maintained they can be applied to how others react to certain forms of media text, and give an explanation as to why they do it. In a way I feel that this will give an insight to the inner workings of a consumers mind, and can help us better target particular groups of people.



About kaylayingst

Junior at Towson University.
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