Media Literacy‎ > ‎Blogs‎ > ‎

Janna P.

Holocaust Museum and Propaganda.

posted Oct 14, 2011, 7:03 AM by Janna Potts

The website is actually pretty interesting.  Obviously Nazi Germany utilized a lot of propaganda and similar techniques around the WWII era, but I had never really seen the actual examples like the cartoon drawings of Jewish people in coloring books or the magazine covers.  I can definitely see how propaganda can influence people because if you're not completely aware and you're caught up in your life, it may be easy to believe something that almost all of your mass media forms are throwing at you. Writers and journalists are especially good at twisting words and painting an incomplete picture that leads many people to believe incorrect information.  I noticed that in the gallery they had ugly pictures of Jewish people they put in coloring books.  I thought that was particularly horrific because as a child, you believe anything your parents or other adults tell you. To imagine that some children probably grew up hearing nothing but criticism against Jewish people and coloring ugly pictures of them is awful because they never even stood a chance to fully understand the whole situation. 

I also thought that the "Themes" section was interesting, particularly the "Defining the Enemy", because it sort of explains how Hitler was so powerful.  Although he was obviously a horrible person, he was clever in that he knew to create an enemy through propaganda to band together a country and therefore gain influence.  The propaganda highlighted all the Jewish and other minorities as the scapegoat for the country's problems, and created a higher elite that everyone wanted to be a part of.  The "Deceiving the Public" article is also interesting since it sort of centers on how this was so successful; Hitler's propaganda created an illusion of a perfect Utopian future that could only be reached by expelling anyone who did not belong to the "National Community". 

The time line also illustrates how Hitler used organization to be successful in carrying out his beliefs.  I thought the thing about the 25 Point program was interesting, because it directly conveys who can and can't be apart of what and do certain things.

Propaganda isn't all bad though, it's just that its more popular uses happen to be the most notorious, such as the ones uses in Germany.  Britain had its own forms of propaganda that wasn't necessarily bad though, such as Animal Farm.  Britain also issued a number of posters to boost the country's esteem in the chaos of everything like the "Keep Calm and Carry On" one.  I know that also during WWII, America used a lot of propaganda against Germany.  One example is the "A Careless Word... A Needless Loss" posters used to discourage people from careless talking in public in case important information might be picked up by spies -

Pepsi Assembly

posted Oct 7, 2011, 6:30 AM by Janna Potts

I usually actually enjoy watching the Pepsi assemblies.  They're pretty interesting and usually use pretty graphic stories to get there point across.  I don't even think we had one last year.  I've pretty much liked all of them except for the one the year before last year.  That one was honestly stupid.  They had that story about the guy who stole a stop sign and started crying about it.  I'm sorry, but that was not an effective story at all.  Nobody took that seriously; it was just some idiot crying about a very minor crime.  The ones before have always been pretty good though.  I do think that their use of modern music and movie clips is good, because it catches everyone's attention and makes it easier to relate.  It makes it more entertaining and people take it more seriously because it's not just boring presentation telling us not to drive drunk and such.  I don't think I would change much about it, other than I would make sure I find better stories than idiots crying over stop signs.  


posted Oct 3, 2011, 7:27 AM by Janna Potts

Yes, because it would very inconvenient.  I would hate having to use things like a typewriter and not having instant access to information through things like the internet.  Communication would be very slow and delayed compared to post-modern communication.  Technology is always advancing and there is doubt that it will continue to do so.  Technology is a great tool, and like anything else, it can be overused, but as long as you use it only as much as you need than it's not a problem. I think that after being exposed to technology, we could not live without it. 

9/11 Documentary Reaction.

posted Sep 18, 2011, 9:49 PM by Janna Potts

I'm going to be completely honest - 9/11 never affected me that much.  I remember where I was on that day, but I don't even think I knew what actually happened until years later.  I have no memory of anyone explaining to me what happened on that day, unless I just completely forgot, but otherwise, I barely understood the depth of the whole event.  Of course I've always had sympathy and respect for the day and all the people affected over the years, but I sort of pushed it out of my mind.  After watching that documentary though, it really put everything in perspective to me.  I never even realized that it's not even just about the people who died in those buildings, but also all the people in the city who must have been terrified. I can't imagine what it would be having to decide what to do when there is so much chaos going on.  Where should I go? Should I stay in home or leave? Are my friends and family okay? Are there going to be more attacks? The idea of being in a burning building while it's crumbling to the ground like dust is just horrific on its own, as well as the idea that some people actually jumped to their death because they couldn't handle it.  It's one of those things where you realize how every little second and action makes a difference, like the man who lived because he was fifteen minutes late to work due to Monday night football.  Seth MacFarlane was supposed to be on one of those planes, but he missed it by ten minutes.  How would you feel after that, knowing that an entire floor of your coworkers, people you knew and interacted with, died, and you missed the same death by minutes?  Or that an entire plane of people, the one you were supposed to be sitting on, crashed into a building and blew up? It's pretty amazing, honestly. I was also appalled at the effect of the buildings falling. That would be so eerie to see a massive cloud of dust just rushing down the city, covering everything, knocking people over and smothering the oxygen.  There's so many awful perspectives to the whole event. The most horrific has to be the people who were in those buildings and the people in those planes.  It has to be awful sitting in a plane that's been hijacked and knowing there's barely anything you can do but sail into a building and burn to death, for the purpose of killing innocent people.  That documentary was extremely depressing, and parts of it actually sort of made me sick to my stomach, but I'm happy I saw it so I can at least try to understand what it must have been like for all these people who have been affected by it. 

Media Survey Results.

posted Sep 1, 2011, 10:14 PM by Janna Potts

I'm not at all surprised at the fact that almost everyone put the internet as the way they typically receive news and information because let's be honest, who's going to scope out the newspaper or wait for the news when you can just Google everything? Of course there are some people who aren't computer savvy so they prefer their  own ways, but I think for the most part a lot of people have figured out the internet is pretty convenient. I was a little surprised at the mixed results for newspaper usage.  I suppose that with the internet, and the fact that I never read newspapers, I sort of assumed they were dying out but I guess some people still read them at least weekly.  However, looking at what the majority of people actually read in the newspaper (Entertainment or sports mostly), they aren't trying to use the newspapers for information or news, so that explains why some people are still reading it.  I wasn't too surprised to see the trend that a lot of people still watch a good deal of local television.  Although the internet is convenient, I think a lot of people are still in the habit of just coming home and flipping on the news while they eat dinner or something just to sort of see what's going on.  It seems like most people are typically watching local tv in the evenings, which again, isn't that surprising.  First of all, most people have jobs or something going on in the day so they're not home to watch local tv.  Secondly, the evening is when the local news is aired and when new tv shows are aired, so of course that's going to be a trend. 

Blogging Responsibly.

posted Sep 1, 2011, 10:13 PM by Janna Potts

I think that when it comes down to it, people who are actually responsible and mature will know how to properly blog.  It's not so much the internet that's causing all this trouble and misuse, but rather irresponsible teens who would find ways to cause the same trouble anyway.  Those girls who wrote inappropriate comments about the teacher could have easily carved that into a desk or passed a note about it if blogging didn't exist.  Same with the student who posted racist and offensive things - she could have easily found another way to express that.  I understand the articles are trying to focus on showing people that they need to be careful about blogging, but I also feel that the USA Today one is acting like the internet and social networking sites bring on all of these issues, which isn't true.  Sure, they're another opportunity for people to post inappropirate information, but that's because those people are idiots in the first place. It is true, however, that the internet does create more risks with child pornography and predators.  I understand there are some kids who don't understand that, and they need to be monitored to be sure they don't post personal information.  Other than that though, I feel that most people around my age should have enough common sense to realize that on their own now.  Obviously the most important rules I would make for a blog policy would be to not post personal information about you or anybody, don't post anything that might come off as offensive or derogatory to anyone, and don't say anything you wouldn't write on a homework assignment.  Contrary to what that student in the article said, I do not believe your blog should be a personal journal unless you have privacy settings set to a way that only certain people you know can view it.  Otherwise, you might as well take you're most personal diary and leave it lying around outside. 

Mass Communication - Chapter 1 Review/Thoughts.

posted Aug 29, 2011, 6:41 AM by Janna Potts

This article was pretty successful in describing all the different eras of media, as well as the products and styles of media.  Obviously the media plays very important roles in culture because it helps define it and make it unique.  The article also helped break down the three major parts having to do with communication and media - culture, mass media, and mass communication.  Culture expresses itself through mass communication, which are the messages and stories that are presented to us, which is transmitted through mass media, which act as channels of communication such as TV, movies, books, etc.  The article did a very good job of simplifying this while also showing how messages get from one place to another in order to define the interests of cultures.  It's especially easy to see today where we have a wide array of devices and tools that can give us information and present these messages almost instantaneously.  Smart phones, tablets, and computers in general let us access movies, news, stories, and much more right on demand.  Our generation is particularly interesting because while earlier generations had television and newspapers to transmit information, the internet is so vast and accessible that I personally think we have  easier access to unedited information and multiple versions which can give us a broader view on everything.  The article also seems to point out that media is only getting bigger with each era, which is also interesting.  The earliest is oral and written, where communication was very slow to circulate, and manuscripts or other written forms were limited to upper or ruling classes.  The print revolution obviously helped distribute written communication in a wider spectrum to other classes since the mass production of books became possible. This allowed for different ideas and views to spread more easily and eventually led to revolutions, which helped define or separate cultures on a bigger level.  Then there are of course, the electronic and digital eras. Maybe it's because I've personally experience these, but I find these the most interesting.  I think it's just pretty interesting how fast certain things have taken off in the last few decades, especially internet.  Internet is probably the biggest role in modern media.  You can access it from almost anywhere, and it only takes a matter of seconds to transmit one message from one place to another.  It's used not only for social networking, but for research, business, profit, news, and entertainment.  It basically takes all forms of media that have emerged in history and combines them all into one.  This is common knowledge to us, and we're so used to it that's it's almost boring to talk about, but if you compare it to other forms of media in other eras, it's actually pretty impressive.  The article expresses this pretty successfully as well as the complications that occur with it.  Although the linear model of communication is pretty straightforward (senders transmit messages through mass media channels to receivers who create feedback), the path sometimes doesn't make it all the way through, or the messages are intercepted or interpreted wrong.  Overall, though, the descriptions and examples of media today compared to earlier eras in the article is pretty interesting, and it does a good job in emphasizing the role of media then and now. 

1-7 of 7