January 10, 2007

Comments on Apocalypto coverage

From a teacher:As a social studies teacher, I am regularly frustrated by Hollywood's sensationalism and distortions--through sly deceit, innuendo, outright lies, all their methods!--and this certainly appears to be the most recent example of movies at their worst. I wish Mel would stick to acting.

I often use information you've provided me as basis of lesson plans and I promise you my students are learning to analyze and think for themselves instead of swallowing the garbage they're fed regularly via the media (and I do mean ALL media--printed, broadcast, movies, etc.!).

Thank you for continuing to make my job easier and for bringing light to a world that often has its eyes closed.
From a correspondent:I don't think it was a problem that you posted so many Apocalypto articles. As you said, the presence of them accurately reflected what was going on. By the way? Count me as one of those whom you said wrote to you to say that they were influenced NOT to see it because of the coverage on Newspaper Rock.


Rob said...

Those things aren't what we usually mean when we talk about the media today. For the most part, parents, schools, churches, and communities are not vehicles for mass communications.

Before the invention of printing, word of mouth was the primary means of disseminating information (and stereotypes). But the mass media has long since come to dominate the globe as the means of cultural transmission. Its supremacy arguably began with the introduction of television in the 1950s.

In short, the teacher used the word "media" correctly. Neither she nor I have forgotten its meaning. If anyone's in doubt, here's the dictionary definition:


me·di·a /ˈmidiə/
1. a pl. of medium.
2. (usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.

Rob said...

"Mass communications" means communicating with masses of people. Large masses, as in a number you can't communicate with face to face. Unless the parents we're talking about are George and Laura Bush, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or some equally famous pair, no parent communicates with more than a roomful of people at a time.

The same analysis applies to schools, churches, and community forums. Really, Russ, did you not understand the dictionary definition I gave you, or are you just pulling our legs? It's hard to tell.

If an institution such as "public education" or "organized religion" communicates with the masses, you can bet it's through the media. About the only exception would be if a public figure such as the Secretary of Education or the Pope spoke to a large crowd. In most cases, these people speak through broadcasts, articles, or websites--i.e., the media.