Media Analysis Blogs

The following blogs include a series of reflections and analyses that occurred throughout the semester.  Looking at different mediums I have responded on the basis of questioning their existence and placement to why I enjoy them.  I hope you enjoy the media on which I chose to extrapolate

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THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH

A series of short adventures and experiences Winnie the Pooh and his friends share in the Hundred Acre Woods.

This animated classic is the timeless tale of the famous Disney character Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh lives in the Hundred Acre Woods along with his friends. This animated series stems from the series of short stories written by A.A. Milne. In this animated series, Pooh and his friends Rabbit, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Christopher Robbin, Owl, Gopher. In different episodes the friends encounter certain adventures and learning experiences. In certain episodes some characters are more involved than the other, but all and all there is a lesson to be learned from the episode and is discovered throughout their adventure.
Each individual episode does build off one another. Though there are new experiences learned in each episode, the previous knowledge form prior episodes is not forgotten. The friends learn and grow together which makes this childhood classic truly memorable and very special. This animated series is geared towards children, but holds a timeless place in the hearts of many teens and adults. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh aired first in 1988 on ABC—I was just one year old. The Disney Channel later picked up the series in 1993. If I can remember correctly Winnie the Pooh came on early in the morning I would say around 8-10am. I always remember it being bright and early outside when I watched the show that is until I bought the VHS cassette tapes to watch all day long.
For as long as I can remember, Winnie the Pooh was a great part of my childhood. I have grown up an avid lover of animals. They have always held a special spot in my hear—taking care of them, playing with them, and making them apart of my family. I grew up an only child so animals, make believe, and my imagination was what kept me entertained when I did not have friends over. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh always has held a special place in my heart, because I truly believed the creatures of the Hundred Acre Wood existed, and I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. The show taught me great life lessons (in kid form) and they are lessons that I still cling to today. I still have my Winnie the Pooh and piglet stuffed animals that I would gather around me as a child before the show would come on. I will always appreciate the show for keeping my imagination alive and warming my heart with the belief that you can talk to and play with animals as if they were your own friends and family.

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DOCUMENTARY: Prejudice Through the Looking-Glass of Michael Jackson

PREJUDICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS OF MICHAEL JACKSON

Michael Jackson – Documentary: “Changes”

This documentary short is about exposing the ignorance in prejudice. The filmmaker does so by utilizing an iconic person around the world Michael Jackson, in order to expose the reality of prejudices against him via the media and how that parlays the ignorance known as prejudice that people both experience and place on others each and everyday. The documentary filmmaker utilizes a montage of pictures in order to show the evolution of Michael Jackson and some aesthetic changes he has had in his life – his nose and his skin. The filmmaker poignantly talks to the reader as a voice over the music or has a script that reels off over the photomontage. The filmmaker utilizes this series of photos to show the real changes in Michael Jackson, while explaining the alignment of those changes with prejudice against not only Michael Jackson but also people all over the world. The photo montage allows the audience to really see that all the prejudice against Michael Jackson and the way he looks or has changes over the years is not really that much, and furthermore exposes that he was suffering form a skin disease which he got help to fix.
I believe what accounts for this documentary success is the true sophistication and respect of the filmmaker. She explicitly states her agenda in the beginning of the film and throughout the documentary she explores her agenda with true poise. She does not attack others so to speak, but politely highlights through Michael Jackson how people can truly affect other people of this world with such an ignorant past time as acting out in prejudice. To further account for this documentary success, the video had 3,361,107 hits. I believe that can justify that the filmmaker attracted peoples attention in a positive enough way to spread the word to well over three million viewers. The video definitely went viral. The filmmaker has updated her documentary three times as a response to the incredible numbers of viewers and all their input that they offered her.
Unfortunately, the video did not have any useful immediate comments below it, rather just people for or against being a fan of Michael Jackson himself. But being that the documentary filmmaker updated her documentary three times, shows that she had enough critical insight in order to adjust the film one way or another. In viewing this film and thinking about my upcoming documentary, I do think that pictures along with a reeling script of commentary over top of the pictures is an excellent way to attract and engage your viewers. It is a consideration I most definitely will have for my documentary, but I will need to see how much it will be relevant to my topic after further investigation.

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OLYMPIC NEWS ANALYSIS

Watching the Olympics truly is an event that cannot be missed.  Only once every four years do we get to see the World’s best athletes compete in an array of challenging sports for the title of gold, silver, or bronze medal.  Last night a couple amazing events took place among which was that of downhill skier Lindsey Vonn.  Despite her shin bruise injury, Vonn became the first American woman to win the Olympic Downhill yesterday.  What I feel is so interesting about the Olympics is that though there is such a sense of National pride during these game weeks, there is also a lot of respect for competitors of other countries.  As I said, this is a special time where people can see the best athletes of the world in the same place at the same time competing.  So even if athletes form your country does not necessarily win an event or race, there is still good coverage of the entire games.

I watched the Olympics last evening, airing at 8pm on NBC 17 in Raleigh, NC.  Furthermore, I caught Lindsey Vonn’s incredible race to win the gold medal.  I was very interested to see how NBC covered her story and so I also looked at stories from the local, nation, and international level also pulling a radio report and television report about the event.  What was most interesting about these stories was the facts of the stories were generally the same.  Usually with news people are subjected to different viewpoints or biases depending on the place or conditions under which the news is being relayed to the public.  What is different though is the Olympics are being publicly displayed to the entire world via Television, Radio, and Web.  Therefore a much larger amount of viewers are being able to see and hear first hand what events are taking place as they are taking place.  Because more people get a first hand look, there is less room for biases to take place or skewed views to be implanted on people reading or watching or hearing the news.  Therefore, from local to international, the news on Lindsay Vonn winning the gold medal was interestingly enough mostly the same factual information without extremely noticeable biases or partial takes on the matter.

I have provided all the news articles, videos, radio for you to take a look yourself.

Local News: http://www.newsobserver.com/olympics/story/344718.html

National News: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/vancouver/2010-02-18-medal-haul_N.htm

International News: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/vonn-white-cement-superstar-status-at-problemhit-games-20100218-ofdv.html

Radio News: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/news_cut/archive/2010/02/lindsey_vonn_redacted.shtml

Television News: http://insidetv.aol.com/2010/02/18/lindsey-vonn-shaun-white-score-gold-medals-olympics-video/

All the above stories talk about Lindsay winning the Gold.  They note the event and place it took place, the downhill race in Vancouver for the Olympic Games. They all say something along the lines of Lindsey’s incredible feat yesterday of becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic gold medal in the downhill race.  They all note to some degree her level of Excellency and proficiency in the sport. And they all note in some way the despite her shin injury she was able to still be the best above all the rest, which is pretty amazing.  Though there are not many facts.

Because this news story is based of a World viewed event, most of the same quotes are used in each of the stories.  This story is a brand new one and therefore there is only but so much to report on.  Lindsey has some key comments that were used in all the stories because it highlighted her experience after her race, such as “This is everything I’ve wanted and hoped for” – Vonn. Some stories did use different quotes or did not use any at all because of either the constraints of the type of news or just to provide more insight.  I felt that the national and international news were the most descriptive with their quotes, because they are the ones covering for their nations and therefore want to highlight all aspects of these world games whether it be an athlete form their nation or another.  I do not think beyond that there was much purposeful thought into what quotes were chosen, because again this even is viewed by the world.  It is a positive and fun event to watch all over the world, and since a very large amount of the World is able to access this news in some way, shape, or form I think that there is a consistency among reporters regaling the events that took or are taking place.

Though the base of the stories were the same it is important to take a more specific look to see how and if they different depending on circumstance of how the news was delivered and depending on where and when the news was being delivered.

Looking at the local News, their angle was really to highlight the overall US performance on day six of the Olympics with the title “US has near-perfect day with 6 medals, 3 gold.”  This helped put a slant on how the lead was going to go for Vonn’s story.  Their lead basically elaborated on the day six US performance, noting that these six medals won made US history as the most medals won in a day by a US team in the Winter Olympic.  This lead allows for elaboration of the six medal recipients including a focus on Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal performance.  Since this is the local news medium, which is not local to the story, this medium requires that they extract news from a more national and international level where the event is taking place in order to construct the story.  Based on the stories title I do not think there is much bias here.  Though it seems to be a very Nationally bias and proud article about the day six Olympic games outcome, the title shows the article is only discussing the US outcomes, so I do not think it is biased that this article does so.  The sources used in this story are mostly from interviews, or relaying of national news seen on TV reported during the Olympic games yesterday. This method of storytelling fits the local audience, because the local audience may be looking for a more general and overall result of the Olympic games.  This article provides an overview of the important highlights, which some may have missed.  I feel this is appropriate for a local audience who may or may not be interested in the subject, and if they are they can seek out news that’s purpose is to highlight these events in detail.

The National News angle is similar to the local but definitely more descriptive.  Their angle is the same “A six-pack of American medals.”  They too highlight the overall grandeur of the sixth day at the Olympics.  The fact that this is a national newspaper makes it clear why they would include more quotes and input from the event than the local.  Their medium’s purpose is to shape national news for the American public, therefore they are reporting with a more national bias.  I think that there is proper national bias here, because the Americans had a wonderful day in the Olympics, therefore again I do think the bias is appropriate especially according to the title of the article.  The evaluative language in this story is really just highlighted through quoting Lindsey after her race.  Using “Lindsay says…” and such phrases along those lines evaluate the story to show the passion and the emotion of how proud she is and therefore we should be of her accomplishment.  The sources for this story are quotes from Lindsey herself and news of reporters that were there live to witness or get information about the event.  I think this method of storytelling fits the audience, because this article takes the national approach.  Since it is a national paper, and we are representing the US in the Olympics as a nation it is important that they highlight the events from a national standpoint.

The television story highlights the actual event of Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic race and outcome.  This story’s angle is more focused on Lindsey Vonn and a fellow gold medalist – “Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White Score Gold at the Olympics.”  Lead is determined by the information they have in the video, which shows the highlight of Lindsey’s race yesterday.  Being that the medium is television, the story can be more present with clips showing what really happened.  Also there is less commentary, because viewers are seeing the action take place, so there does not need to be as much description about the event.  There is not real bias in this television story, just a recount of two of the gold medalists from yesterdays events.  The evaluative language is evident in this story when the announcer’s voices change with excitement, as Lindsey gets closer to the finish line and then when we hear Lindsay screaming for joy after winning the race.  The sources used are live footage of the event, including some background of news that has been acquired from interviews over the past few weeks with Lindsey.  I think this method of storytelling is great for television.  Clips of events taking place are important for a straightforward coverage of a story in order to get the point across.

The Radio news was pulled from a Minnesota radio Station where Lindsey Vonn is from.  The angle is “Lindsey Vonn.”  The lead is determined form direct report of the event right after it occurred at the Olympic games.  This reporter was reporting the event outcomes before the games were to appear on live Television.  Therefore, there was no exhibition of quotes from Lindsey, or a long story.  Rather just a short account that Lindsey did indeed win the gold medal for downhill.  I feel that there is bias for this reporting, because the reporter does so before the appropriate time.  Thought the event had taken place, it was not “nationally” viewed at this point and therefore I feel there is local bias there.  The reporter announced to his local Minnesota folks that Lindsey did win the gold medal, and I feel that he just wanted Lindsey’s fellow Minnesota fans to be able to hear the news first since that is her hometown. There is not a lot of evaluative language in this story except for the reporter’s excitement to the news that he is reporting.  The sources for this story are first hand experience; the reporter was there at the games reporting to the Radio station.  This method of storytelling was short and sweet.  Radio must get to the point because it is so constrained unlike the news and television.  Therefore in order to discuss a topic the highlights must be pointed out immediately, which is this cause they were.

The international news story is form a paper out of Sydney, Australia.  Their angle was “Vonn, White cement superstar status at problem-hit Games.”  This newspaper highlighted Vonn’s accomplishments but their angle was a bit different.  Rather then just talking of the successes of the day, they also recounted the many injuries and mishaps that occurred.  Therefore the lead was determines more by the overall outcome of both good and bad and not just the US winnings.  There is not really a clear bias in this story.  I feel that this paper gives wonderful credit to the Americans and the gold-medalists in particular without question.  The evaluative language as with most of these stories is similar.  Referencing Lindsey Vonn herself and how she felt about her race was how the story got its emotional shape.  The sources here again are mostly from Lindsey herself and from reports live from the Games themselves.  This method of storytelling is important for an international audience, because this story highlights the overall outcome for more then just the US country.  This story highlights the athletes as individuals and how each did, and it also highlights how there were some injuries with other athletes from other countries.  I feel that this article produced a sound view of the entire day as a whole for readers.

Overall, as I already stated, I feel that events that are so nationally captured have less room for error, bias, or distortion.  So news coverage over something like the Olympic games and even an American athlete will be covered in a fairly even manner across the board or different news mediums.

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Sprint Commercial Analysis

Do you feel the urge to laugh when you see someone at a distance trip, fall, and slip, run into something? If so…you will love this critique.

This commercial is maybe one of the most hilarious commercials I have seen in a while.  Furthermore, the commercial is for Sprint, which is a brand that I usually do not associate hilarious commercials with.  The product being advertised the cell phones made by Sprint.  Here again, the commercial appeals to humor.  The whole point of the commercial is to make the audience laugh.  The commercial is very effective, because Sprint is not longer a new brand.  Sprint is a top-of-mind brand when people think of cell phone companies.  Sprint has established a certain level of credibility with its consumers, so commercials for brands like Sprint need to be different then those say of a new brand.  Sprint consumers and other potential cell phone consumers know what sprint can offer on a general level compared to its competitors.  Therefore, in order to keep it’s product looking fresh and fun, Sprint advertisers appeal to more humorous and light emotions of an audience.  Consumers know from a utility standpoint what the Sprint brand can do for you, so it is Sprint’s goal to just keep them on your mind by creating attractive commercials to advertise their products over and over again.  This commercial utilized slapstick, physical comedy in order to achieve its goal for consumers.  Here is the clip for viewing; I hope you laugh as hard as I did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDKrK3uJgg

Clearly, the audience that is being targeted here are potential cell phone consumers.  The demographics would be probably in the age range of 18-34, men and women, with a HHI of 50,000.  The Psychographics of this target audience would be people that are technologically efficient consumers, working or students, outgoing, fun, funny, looking for a new tech product or cell phone upgrade.

This commercial was a very simple commercial, but it had a strong dramatic effect.  The commercial caught consumer’s attention when one of the characters said to the other that his Sprint cell phone was better because it had a crime deterrent feature.  This is immediately an effective attraction for viewers, because no one has heard of a crime deterrent feature on a cell phone, so consumers begin to pay close attention.  Then the character asks his friend to try and take his phone from him and he will prove it.  Consumers are really interested in seeing what this feature does when suddenly the character chucks his phone at his friend, which immediately makes consumers and viewers crack up.  Thought there is no real crime deterrent feature that aspect of the commercial was very effective because it captivates viewers.  Watch the commercial and tell me that it does not have the same effect on you!

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PSA Analysis

Public service announcements are meant as non-profit promotions to engage the public in a certain service that they can partake in to help themselves or others.  Personally I find the public service announcements can come off a bit cheesy at times, and therefore, I think the best public service announcements are those that involve humor.  I came across a group of very entertaining PSAs, while watching the television series The Office. Here is a link…and I promise one of the PSAs will relate to an issue you have experienced on some level and be humorous to you as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiXo78XPdKU

Each of these PSAs are about 10-second spots.  NBC and more specifically the Office is the sponsor of these hilarious spots, as seen by the cast members who are making the announcements.  I chose to focus on one specific the PSA, where the character Jim from the office warns viewers about the dangers of trying to eat six saltines in under a minute in order to fit in.  This can be locates at minute 2:30 of the video.  This PSA goal is to urge others that trying to do “crazy” stunts to fit in are not safe and not worth trying to make friends.  Through humor appeals of this PSA are what gives the spot attractive qualities to the viewer.  The message though humorous and somewhat joking, is effective.  Kids today and in the past do act out and do stupid things to seem “cool” to other kids and fit in.  Therefore this PSA appeals to parents and kids who are trying to fit with an effective message.  The character Jim from the office may also be someone that viewers look up to as a comedic idol; therefore, if he is telling viewers that it is not cool or safe to try and stuff six saltines in your mouth to get attention form others then viewers may be more likely to listen. The message was able to be effective because of the comedic device referred to as satire.  The whole point of these PSAs are to make fun of the seriousness of these typical spots, but furthermore to bring light to some really annoying things that people do which they shouldn’t.  For example, another one of the PSAs discusses the importance of following the instructions on the wedding invitations.  It instructs viewers not to call the bride three days before the wedding and bug her, that all the information needed is on the invitation.  Though that seems like a silly PSA, people do call brides the day before the wedding asking stupid questions that are already addressed on invitations, so it is funny and yet important to offer public service advice to viewers who may do this.

The “Saltine” PSA as addressed does have a clear message, do not do stupid things to fit in such as trying to eat six saltines in under a minute – eat crackers responsibly.  I think that the viewer will listen and laugh to this PSA, and I actually do think they will listen to the message.  I as a viewer, though I do not try to eat as many saltines as possible in under a minute to fit in, did ponder the idea of the stupid things kids, teens, and adults do to fit in and realized that some of those things can be stupid because of the dangerous possible effects.  Being that this is a PSA about eating saltines around a group of friends, I am led to believe this PSA is directed more towards kids and teens between the ages of 9-14. I think it appeals to both boys and girls, but it could probably appeal to boys even up to the ages of 19…because boys tend to act out even at late ages.  This PSA appeals to kids who are looking to fit in or are already in the “IN” crowd but trying to stay in.  Therefore, I think it appeals to a broad range of kids and teens, who go to school, and therefore, are in a place where they are surrounded by others their age for a good amount of the day.  Hopefully this commercial makes teens and parents laugh, but also brings light to the fact that people should be more careful eating crackers…and taking part in silly acts of trying to fit in.

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Regis & Kelly TV Commercial Analysis

Regis & Kelly

Every morning at 9am on the abc network, I toast a new day to my favorite show, Regis & Kelly live.  Their show is provides that latest news stories, interviews the best stars and is always funny and entertaining.

I have analyzed the commercials that play during this show the past few days and note that there are about 25 commercials that run each day.  The commercials do not normally repeat in the same day but it is possible; however, the commercials do repeat throughout  the week.  The typical kinds of commercials that air during this show are home appliance, food, personal product, animal product, and child product commercials geared mostly towards women.

An example of the commercials seen on this show include the one i provided for viewers.  This is a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt commercial featuring Heidi Klum.  She is at a spa shamelessly indulging in a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, while another woman looks longingly at her consuming the entire thing.  The point of the commercial to to tell consumers to go ahead and indulge in Dannon’s yogurt because it is only 80 calories which is less than the other leading brands who have 100 calories.

This commercial is aimed at women, who are looking to eat and lead a healthy life, with a little room for indulgence.  Being that mostly women are the viewers watching Regis & Kelly, this commercial is properly placed for their viewing.  Furthermore, Dannon Light & Fit yogurt is an all day snack or food that can be consumed, but is a great breakfast choice.  Being that this show airs in the morning around the time when viewers are making or about to get breakfast, this commercial may just change their mind, making them want their Dannon yogurt for breakfast.

This commercial is properly put together putting a beautiful woman like Heidi Klum as the spokesperson.  When female viewers see this beautiful model who is in great shape indulging in Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, they will think that they themselves can indulge in it to get more like her or just follow in her footsteps to lead a healthy life.  The dialogue in the commercial is minimal, consisting of mostly Heidi making pleasure sounds to how wonderful her yogurt is.  The other woman in the commercial however does comment after watching her saying “wow! only 80 calories?” Heidi confirms and then a background announcer says how light and creamy Dannon is with less calories than other leading brands.  This commercial posts a cup of Dannon’s Light & Fit and the other popular Yoplait yogurt next to it, showing that Dannon’s product is the better choice.

The goal of the commercial as discussed is to get viewers to not only eat yogurt, but Dannon yogurt rather than other leading brands.  I think that this commercial worked very well, because I have not eaten breakfast yet this morning and I now want a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt! Plus it is nice to know that I will indulge in something that is 20 less calories than other brands that I like.  Furthermore, as a consumer I have tasted Dannon’s Light & Fit products and I prefer it to Yoplait, I think the taste is more pleasing.  So, if you have not eaten breakfast this morning…try Dannon Light & Fit – I am!

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