Thursday, 28 November 2013

CPCF 1F25: News, trust, and “truthiness”

        Last week we were asked to discuss culture jamming and how it relates to satirical news. After reading multiple of my classmate’s blogs, I received insight into how reliable satirical news is in today’s society compared to traditional news. I can conclude that satirical news is equally relatable as everyday traditional news.

       First off, my peer Kaitlin Sanderson explains that, “Though what satire shows say can be risky, they do succeed in presenting the news, just in a different way” ( Satirical news and traditional news have different methods when portraying their information. This being said, they still share a similar purpose. This purpose is to educate viewers on news stories around the world.

       As Jessica Znaczko writes, “Using humour in satirical news reports makes this form of culture jamming more lighthearted, easier to understand, and more effective” ( A lot of people find satirical news easier to follow, as they are both educational and entertaining. For this reason, many viewers are drawn to these types of news channels.

       Ryan Mallat can add on to this explanation by saying,
 “It helps viewers who don’t watch the news religiously to stay connected with some of the world’s biggest topics” ( If someone chooses not to watch traditional news channels, they can still gain insight on world news from these satirical news channels.

       In conclusion, I believe that satirical news is just as reliable as traditional news. It does this by using humour as an incentive to get the public interested in news and current events. These shows are useful, however it is important to remember to take it with a grain of salt, meaning not to be influenced by bias or misleading information. They attract a variety of audience viewers - based on age, gender, and social groups. Essentially this type of news allows for a larger amount of people to be educated, who wouldn’t normally watch traditional news stations. I believe that the existence of satirical news will continue to be crucial in the future, as it will continue to educate multiple people.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

CPCF 1F25: Is the fake news the real news?

The media plays a very important part in educating society about what is happening in the world today. Traditional news programs such as CNN and CTV News provide viewers with information that is “politically correct.” They follow specific guidelines laid out by the network when presenting the news. Satirical news on the other hand, such as programs like The Rick Mercer Report and the Daily Show, use humour, irony, ridicule, etc. to get their message across regarding the news.

I believe that it is legitimate to suggest that these satirical news channels are in fact considered a mainstream form of “culture jamming.” As the textbook says, “The objectives of culture jamming often include consciousness raising (raising awareness of social and political issues) as well as using the media to criticize the media and dominant culture” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012, p. 214). Shows such as the Rick Mercer Report have raised awareness for many different social and political issues locally, nationally, and globally. Although some people may believe that these shows cross the line at times, as they often tend to criticize certain issues, they are very informative and bring light to news reports.
Chapter 14 states that, “Culture jamming techniques can also be used simply to be clever or funny, without a political or critical motives” (O’ Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012, p. 214). As mentioned, this type of news does not always educate people on different issues in the world, but rather make people aware of different community events, organizations, sports, etc. in a humorous and original way. I have a personal connection with The Rick Mercer Report show as he did a segment on the importance of Women’s Fastpitch at the University level in Ontario. This segment was meant to bring awareness to the sport, as a majority of the teams were not being recognized by their University and it is not considered a varsity sport. Members from my Brock softball team were featured during the segment, along with those from other Universities.
I believe many people are drawn to these types of shows, as they are humorous – they are not as dry and boring as traditional news programs, they are inclusive, creative, and relatable to many. I believe that they are definitely a useful addition to the public spear, as they provide a different insight to world events and issues in different ways than traditional news programs do. You can tell from the mass number of viewers that people enjoy satirical news, and I believe it will continue to be popular for a long time.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

CPCF 1F25: Demonstrable demographics

            This week we were asked to note similarities and differences in our classmates blog posts compared to our own about advertisements. Instead of using an actual advertisement for my blog, I used a video in which promoted the Woman’s Sports foundation. This short video portrays a powerful message about how the media promotes “image” as the most important aspect in female’s lives. As a result of this, we see many young girls being influenced to keep up with the latest fashion and makeup trends, rather than choosing to partake in sports. This is one of many different advertisements which are directed to a certain age group and gender. For the most part, my classmates also focus on gender based and/or age based advertisements.

            For example, Brandon Lewis found an ad made by Reebok, which included three professional athletes working out in a dark facility. He later explains, “Two things that society generalizes as connections for males are pro athletes and sports/physical activity” This advertisement reaches out to the male population primarily, by incorporating famous male athletes working out together. This ad is essentially trying to sell the Reebok brand, but I also believe that it tries to sell body image, considering these athletes are all very muscular.

Another example is Farah AlHalbouni’s advertisement she found trying to sell a perfume by Justin Bieber. The ad consists of the following: a pretty teenage girl laying in her bed holding the “key to Justin’s heart” as he walks towards her room. Farah explains that, “The fragrance itself is for females, and the company that decided to use Justin Bieber obviously knew what they were doing since they can guarantee at least 1 million sales due to the obsessive teenage girls who would want to have something Justin Bieber’s face is on” ( This advertisement was directed toward a certain age group and gender, which are teenage females. This was a very smart move by this perfume company, considering there are millions of vulnerable teenagers that would desire this product. Today we see many products being sold with celebrity’s faces on them in order so sell.

Finally, Hayley Sawyer talks about the new kinder eggs that have girl toys and boy toys inside of them now. She says that, “Now, they have put special toys inside the Eggs based on what society feels a girl should play with, and what a boy should play with” ( It seems that society now needs to be as gender specific as they can be. I remember when I was young and got so happy to get any sort of toy in my kinder egg. Now it seems like the company is taking it too far, as they are consuming small children by their gender, in order for their product to sell better.

            As an eighteen-year-old female in her first year of university, I believe that some of these ads can represent my demographic. Although I don’t always pay attention to the products that are being advertised in certain ads, essentially I care about my image. This being said however, I have a filter and know not to believe everything I see. Like I explained in my initial post, I love to play sports, and won’t let the media persuade me to discontinue playing these sports. I don’t believe that these advertisements are always accurate, but for the most part it seems like most products are being targeted to the right consumers. The media has the control to influence certain age and gender groups, but I think we as humans have the power to do one of three things: let the media totally control us, somewhat influence us, or not have any power over us. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

CPCF 1F25: What the Hail?

The advertisement that I chose for the assignment is a public service announcement for the Women’s Sports Foundation. It was sponsored by Gatorade and is meant to encourage young girls to live up to their potential instead of conforming to social norms. I feel this ad provides a very meaningful message when it comes to female involvement in sports, especially at a young age. It starts off with a team of young girls – maybe 10-12 years old, enjoying a game of soccer, until the “media” interrupts their game through the loud speakers. The media starts to dictate how these girls should be acting, dressing, and what they should look like. One by one the girls begin to walk off the field and follow what the media is telling them to do.

Sadly, we live in a world that teaches girls to judge their worth by what they look like rather than their abilities. The ad explains that, "it's no wonder that by age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys" (Keep Her in the Game, 2012). The ad has a great message for young women, as well as for parents, educators and society in general. When a girl quits a sport, they are walking away from their potential.

Despite efforts from parents who encourage their daughters to be active and play outside, somehow the media is still able to influence young girls. At a young age, the media steps in and enforces that, “gender is central to identity” (O’ Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012, p. 185). They reinforce social norms such as the saying, “sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of” and, “slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler, 2012, p. 185).  As girls mature, they are constantly being targeted by the media. This often shifts their attention away from sports and exercise, and draws them into having their “image” be the centre of focus. We rarely see advertisements directed towards girls playing sport, but rather the latest fashions trends and make-up products.

When looking for ads for this post, this one really got me thinking about how impressionable young girls are. I have been a competitive athlete my whole life and I have been exposed to a variety of negative media. Thankfully, I was not influenced to conform to these types of social norms for women. I play on a baseball team and have witnessed firsthand how girls will alter their appearance based on what the media tells them.  For example, if one of my teammates has her boyfriend watching the game, you automatically notice a change in her appearance and attitude. I strongly believe this is because the media is constantly telling girls that they need to look good for their boyfriends otherwise he will not want to be with them anymore.

Overall, this ad was successful in representing my values and beliefs. It immediately got my attention and inspired me to continue promoting sports to young girls.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

CPCF 1F25: Wanted: The media that we need

This week we were asked the question, does media better inform us of different matters in our world. I believe that this question connects with last weeks question, do we get the media we want, or want the media we get. Personally, I feel that the media has the opportunity to better inform us on different social, political, cultural, and economic matters, however it all comes down to what media we choose to expose ourselves to. For example, if an individual chooses to follow the news, then they are obviously going to educate themselves on world events, which in conclusion, will make them better informed.
Mavisan Jeet explains that, “Media is geared towards both the young and old and people from all different walks of life” ( (1). No matter what your age, there are certain medias that are directed towards your age group. The media seeks to meet the needs of all its consumers, by giving us what we desire. I believe that it safe to say that “we are in control of the media, rather then the media is in control of us.”

Jess Dowdall further explains that, “everyone is drawn to the type of media that incorporates their likes and interests whether its beauty, fashions, sports, celebrity gossip, everyday news, and so on” ( (2). Essentially, we consume any type of media that we are interested in. No matter what type of media we choose to expose ourselves to, I believe that we do take in new information that can educate us on our different interests.

In today’s day and age, technological improvements allow for anyone to view different types of media, at any time. Mackenzie C states that, in modern industrialized society, messages are transmitted through the technological means of the world wide web, print, film, digital technologies, mobile phones, computer systems, and so on” ( (3). This endless source of technology allows us to seek information that we wouldn’t get without it. It furthers our social capabilities and strengthens our education. Without the use of technology, we wouldn’t be able to take in the infinite amount of information that we take in on a daily basis.

Some people may argue that we have too much exposure to these technologies, and with new developments, we over use these resources. I believe this is true because we are too technologically dependent and rely heavily on these sources in our everyday lives. Nonetheless, these assets will continue to impact our lives and how we view media. Overall I believe our media choices better inform us on different areas of interests, which are accessible wherever, and whenever.