Final Exam, Newspapers

969771_10151398521476712_785450529_nBy Margaret Dawson

Word Count: 1323

Despite its start in the late 17th century, newspapers truly started to gain their relevancy in the late 18th century, particularly during and after the Revolutionary War.  The first daily newspapers were published beginning in the 1700s mostly with local circulation and dealing with political discourse and debate. They also had the added caveat of being geared toward the mercantile elite. However, after American Independence and our constitution, in 1791, the first amendment to the constitution was ratified which guaranteed “freedom of speech and the press and the right of the people to assemble peacefully” (King 319). There were also significant technological advances that came: in 1825, the first cylinder press was used in the United States, which allowed for growth in papers and readership. Also, by 1835, steam engines were used for an even greater increase in circulation. With the advent of faster technology that allowed for not only a higher publishing rate but also an increased amount of publishing, the cost of newspaper production went way down and even allowed for newspapers to be sold for a penny thus coining the phrase “penny press”.

The most important technological advance for the newspaper was in 1830 with the employment of the telegraph. This machine allowed for more timely news coverage and increase in the area which news could cover. The newspaper was especially important regarding news coverage of the Civil War in the 1830s. It was in 1866 that the first transatlantic cable was successful in transmitting news from Europe to be published in American newspapers. In the early 20th century came the rise of professionalization in newspaper journalism. With that came the expectation of objectivity within reporting; that is, in the 1923 publication of the “Canons of Journalism” by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (founded in 1922), came this statement: “News reports should be free from opinion or bias of any kind” (King 319). Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, newspaper continued to hold captive the public opinion with the creation of newspaper chains that could publish opinions that aligned with those of U.S. markets. However, many felt that newspapers weren’t publishing the opinions of the people; this opinion was by no means, a new idea as local newspapers had been circulated since the early 19th century. They held a special place for immigrants coming to American as a way to either sustain their culture or learn of what was going on back home. Also, they were extremely significant in Civil Rights issues as many black papers were in response to white newspapers and also were important to the rise of female rights.

A different kind of media was starting to come to the forefront of a means of communications, and that was the TV; the first electric one premiered in the 1939 World Fair. It wasn’t until the 1950s and the rise of cable television that newspapers really started to face issues and competition. Originally, in terms of news coverage, the television seemed to beat the newspaper in terms of timeliness. While newspapers would publish several editions at different times of the day, they seemed to not be able to compete with the rapid nature of the television. With the growth of television’s presence in American households came TV’s influence in politics when in 1952, VP Richard Nixon became the first politician to address the American public directly. In 1960, he also went on to lose the first televised presidential campaign. News coverage via television was giving the public access to more content that newspapers seemed to not be able to provide as readily. Newspapers also came with a higher cost of production. Each task was becoming more specialized; this happened around the same time as the rise in professionalization and thus the cost of hiring and then production increased. Also, as the American public became more used to the rapid nature of television, their attention span decreased, as did their interest in substantially longer texts. USA Today tried to appeal to the changing minds of the American public with bold graphics and shorter stories and was successful. Other newspapers weren’t as lucky and as a result of the increasing costs of production and the decreasing readership, they have had to cut departments and certain features from their daily editions.

It is in convergence that newspapers have really started to see their biggest decline. In terms of convergence, there has been technological convergence in which there are more computer-based platforms that allow for all media to be played in a digital format on different devices. Also, though, industrial convergence has become an issue; while previously, each industry had developed a certain organizational structure and an audience to go along with it, as time goes on, the generational differences show that the current generation is less inclined to read newspapers and has a greater tendency towards online media. Many of the news forms have started to become equal in terms of reputability and forms of communication have been criticized for not making the digital transition quickly enough. Specifically, online newspaper business models have been slow to develop which has greatly affected the readership of newspapers. Because print newspapers are not as quickly or easily accessible as online forms of journalism, people more readily access these online versions, preferring the most up-to-date news in the quickest and simplest medium possible. That is one of the main reasons that newspapers have been suffering with the digital age. The current age has a tendency towards instant gratification and the need for the latest and greatest and therefore our attention span has become greatly shortened and along with that, too, has been our patience.

We as a public have become so in tuned to the world around us and in such great desire for current events that with such internet capabilities, we don’t have to wait for news reporters to cover stories as citizen journalism is becoming more and more popular especially with the ease and accessibility of running your own blog. Not only are people able to post news but others are able to respond to what others have posted in user generated forums which can develop along side of a particular news outlet or as a group by itself, simply separate of any one source or issue. Certain newspapers have become published solely online which, economically speaking, saves a lot of money on printing costs, paper, ink, etc. However, it requires new jobs that stay up to date wit the latest technology so that the news may be properly published in a rapid manner. Not all online news sites require a paid subscription, either, which has become appealing to readers of print newspapers who are used to paying a subscription; newspapers have more so heavily come to depend on that subscriptions as a means of capital as they can rely less and less on advertisements paying for space when sites like Craigslist and eBay make for quicker and easier access.

For example, on the Baltimore Sun website, you can sign up for a digital subscription of 99 cents and under the links, the website comments that you can sign up or sign in to comment, indicating the popularity of commenting on stories. They even offer hot topics for people to respond to. The Baltimore Sun also has a link to a ‘Forum’ where there are solely user/reader generated discussion pertaining to numerous categories–news, sports, entertainment, etc. This sort of user run message board allows for people to feel like they have a say in the conversation about a particular issue, especially one they might be particularly passionate about. They might feel as though their opinion or voice is being heard. Also, in responding to other stories, users can indicate what else they might like to see published by the Baltimore Sun which would allow for the Sun to better tailor their media content so as to increase their readership/number of viewers.

My Story: Going Abroad

By Margaret Dawson

I chose the whole abroad experience to try to encapsulate. I am not going to get the opportunity to go abroad because of my major and my direct roommate, Caroline, was going on about how much she loved going abroad and so I decided to try to learn about the whole abroad experience. It seemed relatively easy since I was here this summer with all of these seniors who had just come back from abroad, too. I wanted to know what I would be missing out on.

This video is partially informative and partially humorous. Basically, my mindset was “What would I want to know if I were a sophomore thinking about going abroad?” I know that there are information sessions about going abroad but you really don’t get to understand the abroad experience unless you hear the first hand stories, and not just the ones that are chosen by the abroad coordinators. You have to really talk to students personally to get a real understanding of what the experience is like, and so I tried to include funny moments as well as information about class sizes, etc. I had also hoped it would be a persuasive tool in getting students to look at traveling abroad not just at Loyola but also experiencing the world for themselves at least once.

There were a lot of challenges in producing this story. The two main ones were the backgrounds for the people I was interviewing and also the fact that I didn’t know what the people were going to say. I could have only guessed what they were going to say or how they would respond. I had a vision in mind going into this project and I didn’t end up with what I thought I would but I still think I managed to pull out some pretty good footage. Also, I had wanted to use backgrounds for each person but since the lighting was subpar, I couldn’t do a ‘green screen’ type thing and go in and cut out their backgrounds and put in my own images. Also, the footage was grainier for the interviews I shot in my dorm (which happened to be three out of the four). Lastly, I wish I had had more time to get more interviews because three of the seniors I interviewed went to Cork, so I would have preferred more diversity.

I shot all of the footage myself. The first few animated images I got from a royalty free, copyright free website and then converted them to an animated or cartoon style myself in Photoshop. The last four images were from Facebook, taken from three of the four people’s photos from abroad. I used a filter for those photos because the quality of photos that Facebook has is also less than I would like and doesn’t result in the nicest or sharpest of images.

tweet @MrEdByrne

ED BYRNE

By Margaret Dawson

Ed Byrne is an Irish comedian known for observational comedy. Aside from what he talks about in his comedy shows, not much is known about his personal life and there are very few photos of his family on the internet.

He isn’t as well known in the United States, and therefore doesn’t have as big of a fan base. I came to know of him from the BBC TV show called “Mock the Week” which is a comedy show in a very ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ fashion. He has also put out several stand up DVDs, the most recent being “Crowd Pleaser” released in 2011.

The majority of what Ed Byrne is posting on Twitter is response to those to those tweet him. Within the last week, he only had one promotional post about a show in which he was going to perform. He occasionally posts some funny quips of his own. However, the majority is Byrne responding to his fans.

As he isn’t well known in the United States, I think it is good for him to connect to his audience and for him to form relationships with them. As the public is his primary audience in working on relationships with them, he is garnering a larger audience therefore increasing the potential profits.

It is great that Byrne is able to reach fans who aren’t European and without access to technology, he wouldn’t have been able to gain an international following.

Snickers “Coach” Ad Analysis

By Margaret Dawson

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This is the commercial I chose for my text analysis. It was made by the advertising firm BBDO Worldwide for Snickers, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. This campaign, known as “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry”, was first launched in 2010, and this commercial, “Coach”, first aired in 2013.

In this commercial, a football team comes in to the huddle looking for advice from their coach, Robin Williams. However, instead of telling them what to do, he starts saying random, nonsensical things like, “Tyler, make little tea cozies, something fun,” and “we will win this for Mother Russia!” which confuse his team. An assistant then comes up to the coach to tell him to eat a Snickers because the coach is not himself when he is hungry; the coach turns into an African American man who then rallies his players. Finally, a middle-aged man, celebrity Bobcat Goldthwait, falls off of the top of the cheerleading pyramid while cheering for the team. The commercial finishes with its tagline “Snickers satisfies”.

On the surface level, the advertisement is successful in the way that the ad is memorable, the line most specifically being, “we will win this for Mother Russia!” In that respect, the commercial is good for Snicker’s brand recognition. The commercial should be successful, though, for the amount of money Snickers spent on its advertising campaign. Spending, according to Ad Age, was $72.3 million as of October 2012, which is down about 16% from the previous $85.6 million spent in 2011.

This advertisement, like its predecessors, centers on the idea that being hungry can change who you are. In this case, it can quite literally change you from an effeminate white comedian into a tough, African American head coach. However, this advertisement is unlike its predecessors; previous ads showed that without a Snickers, a male would turn into a female. The commercial has somewhat stepped away from the gender implications that were originally playing off the stereotype that women complain a lot and that they are not as strong as men. While in this case the gender stays the same for the hungry individual, Robin Williams does not seem to carry the same weight or convey the same manliness as the African American coach he later becomes. Williams mutters rather superfluous comments, like the one about tea cozies, which, through association is connected to tea, which is then connected to the idea of being lady-like and prim. However, in choosing a white male as the hungry personality, Snickers brings up racial stereotypes; this ad perpetuates the idea that African Americans are tougher or more dangerous than whites and that they can instill more fear within us.

snickersThis advertisement is one of many in the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign. Previous commercials based on this premise showed the change from Betty White to a male American football player. Other celebrities who have appeared include Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli, Abe Vagoda, Richard Lewis, Roseanne Barr, Joe Pesci and Don Rickles. This commercial has also achieved international success and has featured stars like Mexican singer Anahí and UK celebrities, Joan Collins and Stephanie Beachem.

While the ad deals with many stereotypes, those stereotypes are not at the forefront of the advertisement; rather, they are masked by the humor and the completely inane idea that eating a Snickers could actually change Robin Williams into an African American football coach.

So, do I find the advertisement humorous? Yes, but it, along with the others, walks a thin line between being funny and becoming controversial.

No Place to Hide: as reviewed by Lisa Smith

       

By: Margaret Dawson

        While the book is originally introduced as being accessible to the general public, some of the references in the review reference subjects or specific matters (ChoicePoint, LexisNexis). Those not in the field of surveillance might not understand which made the review difficult to get into at first. While she also uses a few too many descriptive words that make her point a bit more difficult to get to, she eventually summarizes the different kinds of technology that we as a public might see as harmless or useful when, in actuality, they can be used in such a fashion ( as the author puts it ) “creating a surveillance society even Orwell’s Big Brother would envy.”

There were also a few paragraphs under her direct quote in which I wasn’t sure if she was giving her own opinion on technology or was stating O’Harrow’s, which made me question the relevance of that information. Ultimately, because I did enjoy 1984 and Smith’s reference to the book, I was curious as to the topics presented in this book. I would want to read the book because some of the examples (specifically the one about amazon and book recommendations) the author uses made me curious to find out more about the quote-unquote big brother and his presence in our lives.

Read the original review here! You can also watch a webcast on the Library of Congress website by click on this link.

Media Leader Bio – Mary Wells Lawrence

By Margaret Dawson

“Mary was to Madison Avenue what Muhammad Ali was to boxing.”  Charlie Moss, former creative director of Wells Rich Green

Co-founder and former president of Wells Rich Green–founded 1966, Mary Wells Lawrence became one of the most influential women in advertising. She was the first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange; Lawrence was named Advertising Woman of the Year in 1971 and was induced into the American Advertising Hall of Fame in 1999 (24). She has coined popular phrases such as “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” and the iconic “I ♥ New York,” which was eventually made into a graphic by Milton Glaser. To many, “Lawrence’s ads were effective because they were humorous and did not insult the audience’s intelligence” (24). She was successful in her advertising as it was infused with creativity, imagination, and theatrics.

More about Mary Wells Lawrence: