Fake News and Media Bias

The news article that I have chosen to analyze is titled, ” Studies Show Normal Children Today Report More Anxiety than Child Psychiatric Patients in the 1950’s.”

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/12/anxiety.aspx

It’s basically informing the reader that anxiety rates have sky rocketed since the 1950’s. It explains that various reasons why anxiety have gone up, a few being low social connectedness (due to high divorce rates, more people living alone, and a decline in trust in people) and high environmental threat.

The Checklist:

  1. Is there an author?

While there doesn’t seem to be a “written by” section anywhere on the page, it also says, “Jean M. Twenge, PhD can be reached at….” and it does make reference to her research in this article.

2. where was this published?

It was published by American Psychological Association and all their content has been reviewed by the APA Council of Representitives as part of the APA policy.

It doesn’t neccessarily have a comment section, but it does have a “Website Feedback” section.

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3. Does it have a date of publication?

The date of publication is December 14, 2000. So the site is quite old, but in that period of time, the information is relevant.

4.  Does it have trustworthy sources?

The article sites another article that is written by Jean M. Twenge who has a PhD.

Article: “The Age of Anxiety? Birth Cohort Change in Anxiety and Neuroticism, 1952-1993,” Jean M. Twenge, PhD, Case Western Reserve University; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 79, No. 6.

At the bottom of this article, it states:

“The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 159,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 59 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.”

5. Is this article well written?

The article is very well written, the only exception being the word, “connectedness.” Which is showing up on my computer as a typo.

6. Does anything in the piece make me angry or afraid?

No, I am not mad or afraid of anything, it’s very straightforward and factual.

 

The other article I have chosen to cross-check this one by is “Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/anxiety-the-epidemic-sweeping-through-generation-y/

Since this article was published approximately fifteen years after the first, it is more modernized. In it, Rachael Dove explains that many of the reasons for anxiety today are, “The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst.” Also the statistics are more updated, so that 57 percent of females in University experience “overwhelming episodes of anxiety.”

While my first article is more factual based, the second is more personal. The woman writing it has suffered from anxiety and explains many of the reasons why, but also how to help coax one’s anxiety. She has a desire to make the reader acknowledge that anxiety is a problem, and she makes this statement at the end: “If only we could put down our phones, and stop worrying about how we come across, maybe we could find a way to be truly present in the moment.”

 

Sara

 

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Forrest Gump – Movie Review

Forrest Gump is a movie about a slightly mentally disabled man named Forrest Gump. It is told from an unreliable narrator perspective, with Forrest as the narrator. With Forrest, we journey through his childhood, being called stupid and picked on by his classmates, finding a friend named Jenny who was being abused by her father, and him finding out that he sure can run fast. As the story unfolds, Forrest goes to college for his football (a feat that many never thought he would have been able to do), he joins the war and comes back to do the shrimping business. Out of context, this movie might sound a bit whack – however it’s a wonderful story about a man and his journey to finding his purpose.

This movie was released to the world on June 23, 1994. Forrest Gump is based on the book by Winston Groom, however the screenplay was by Eric Roth. The producers of the movie were Steve Starkey, Steve Tisch and Wendy Finerman. The director of this film was Robert Zemeckis. Forrest Gump received 4.5 stars out of 5 on the IMDb network for Canada. Three prominent actors in this film were Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Robin Wright (Jenny Curran), and Sally Field (Mrs. Gump.)

The first element I am using to analyze this movie is theme. The themes in Forrest Gump are evidently Death, Love and Responsibility.

Through the movie, we see that Forrest happens to be in almost every important timeline event in the 60’s and 70’s. When he was a kid, he had Elvis Presley come stay at his house and Presley took some cool moves from Forrest. He was at the ceremony of desegregation at the University of Alabama, where Governor George Wallace symbolically stood in front of the schoolhouse door and President Kennedy used military force to get him to move. Forrest went to the Oval Office to meet President Kennedy as part of the All American Football team. Gump was in the war at Vietnam and was awarded the medal of Honour for his bravery in the field by President Johnson. He was on the All American Ping pong team and he went to China. When he got home, he was a national celebrity and went on a talk show with John Lennon. One thing that ALL these moments in history have in common, is that all these people were shot and some were killed. We follow Forrest as he tries to understand death. His mother says on her deathbed, “Don’t be afraid sweetheart….death is just apart of life, something we’re all destined to do.”

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Forrest Gump watches as George Wallace stands in the doorway to the University of Alabama

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Forrest Gump shows Elvis Presley his moves

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Forrest Gump meets President JFK – “I gotta pee”

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Forrest’s mother dies – “It’s my time, it’s just my time.”

Forrest is a mighty great friend. He finds a true shrimp-loving friend named Bubba, when he joins in the war. Bubba also seems to have some learning difficulties, but that doesn’t stop Forrest from being a constant friend. “Bubba was my best, good friend. And even I know that ain’t something you can just find around the corner.”

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Forrest carries Bubba out of the forest to the water to die

Forrest sticks with Jenny straight from childhood and stands up for her when she is older. Throughout the movie, we constantly see him thinking about Jenny, hoping that she’s okay. Forrest proposes to Jenny, and when he’s told, “you don’t want to marry me,” he says, “Why don’t you love me Jenny? I am not a smart man, but I know what love is.”

 

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Jenny runs away from home and comes to sleep with Forrest because she’s scared

We also see Forrest Gump’s love for his son. Jenny has Forrest’s baby and Forrest falls head over heels with little Forrest as soon as he sees him. “He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen….”

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Forrest meets his son for the first time

Lastly, we have the theme of responsibility. Something that Forrest Gump knows how to attain. Throughout the movie, we see Forrest’s responsibility to save Jenny increase. As Jenny gets hit by an abusive boyfriend, yelled at by a bunch of lust-driven men, and even getting her head slightly knocked on the car window by a guy, Forrest jumps in and punches his way through for Jenny’s safety – even whens she doesn’t want it.

All Forrest Gump wants is for Jenny to be safe.

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Jenny lives at Forrest’s house for a brief time, he enjoys having her around and he wants it to stay this way.

At the end of the movie, Forrest finds out that he has a son, who’s name is also Forrest. He also takes responsibility over his own offspring and loves him like a father should.

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Forrest and his son fishing at the exact spot where he and Jenny watched the fireworks

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Forrest and his son watching, “Bert and Ernie.”

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Forrest finally has a family to provide for

The second element that I have chosen is acting. The acting alone in this movie is phenomenal. Robin Wright plays Jenny Curran perfectly, portraying her as a repetitive girl who won’t accept Forrest’s help, but is loving and kind. Also, Sally Field as Mrs. Gump did an amazing job, caring for Forrest and treating him no different than any child and constantly telling him that he is worth just as much as any other child. Tom Hanks does a fantastic job portraying a simple-minded man who goes through his life. Let’s just say, at the end of this film, I was crying my eyes out when he said good bye to Jenny, “I miss you Jenny, if there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.” Overall, the actors/actresses were extremely natural and played their parts wonderfully.

Forrest Gump Mama

Mama Gump tells Forrest that he is no different than anybody else

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Jenny Curran falls down in front of her old house, where she experience abuse

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Forrest Gump says goodbye to Jenny

Thirdly, I wanted to talk about the element of editing. I simply love the way that this film was edited, when Gump has a bunch of “historic television” scenes, the scene is shot in black and white. I like this because it gives one an “old-time” feel. The editing in this film is simple enough to understand. I really like this as well, because it doesn’t make it too confusing. It’s a simple edit, just like Forrest Gump is a simple man – makes sense.

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As the movie progresses, we see a change in the filter of the shot – this portrays that time has since passed

I really enjoyed how they edited Forrest Gump in the Black and White video shown above and then went back to colour to show that life goes on.

Lastly, the final element I would like to analyze the movie with, would be cinematography. The shots in this movie are breathtaking. There’s a rich simplicity that goes along with each scene that I have snap-shots of below, and I truly believe that they added greatly to the movie as a whole.

Forrest Gump Sunset

Forrest Gump watches the sunset on his shrimp boat, “Jenny”

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Forrest and Jenny sit out in their tree

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Forrest Gump Cinematic

Rastilin0903 had to say this about the film: “You know how they say that some movies are timeless? This is one of those films. Everything in this movie is just simply put, perfect.” I honestly couldn’t agree more with him on this one. It is a timeless film that sticks with us forever.

This movie not only teaches us how to truly love, but it teaches us to not judge a book by it’s cover. Forrest Gump may be a simple-minded man, but once you get to know him, he is the sweetest man alive.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film and would give it a 10 out of 10.

~Sar

Social Media Fast

For a media studies assignment, I chose to fast from all my social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), Youtube videos and for the most part, unnecessary texting for three whole days. I chose these specifically because I felt as if I have been spending a lot of time on all of these, and I really needed a reality check. We live in the here and now, I needed a few days to realise that I don’t have to check up on what everyone else is doing. I needed that break, and i’m grateful that this assignment gave that opportunity to me to do so.

On all the platforms above, i’d estimate that on a normal day I spend anywhere from 3.5-5 hours a day on them. That’s insane and saying it out loud just goes to show, that having a phone is a complete addiction. I recently just got my first ever phone, and I’ve been loving keeping in touch with people. I haven’t owned a device in 1.5-2 years, it’s been a while. I remember all those days when I would sit around with people at the lunch table, only to have them look at their phones. More and more now I’ve been finding that, I’ve been doing that too. On May 8th, I was sitting at the lunch table, without a phone to distract myself with and I had that same feeling. On any normal day, I can find myself checking my phone before, in between and after school.

For the first day, it felt very off not to check these social media platforms, but as the days went by, all went back to normal. On Saturday May 6, I had to go to driving school. At driving school, if you have absolutely nothing else to do, the most obvious answer is to go on your phone, right? Well, I didn’t have that choice and at first I felt a little, “left out.” I kept thinking to myself, maybe I should break the fast for a few minutes each day to check on what is going on on Instagram or Facebook, or maybe I should give my Snap chat password to a friend, so they can keep up my streaks with my friends! But, as the time went on, I realised that all that was not important. So what if I don’t see what other people are doing? so what if I don’t follow that person on Instagram RIGHT THIS SECOND? so what if I lose my snap chat streak? I can always see all these things later, but for now, I’m pushing myself to go beyond what society has pushing me into in the first place.

From this experience, I learned that cell phones truly can be a distraction from daily living. They are meant to distract you, to take you away from reality – which, don’t get me wrong, sometimes people need that. This assignment has emphasised for me, that it should be me controlling my phone and not my phone controlling me. I really recommend it to everyone to try.

 

~Sar

Generation Like Journal

Our class just finished watching the documentary, “Generation Like” by Douglas Rushkov.

What surprised me the most about this documentary, was that sponsors can track virtually everything! They know what you like, they market to what you like, and they even know how many people a certain photo can reach. It’s mind boggling to think that all that information, is at anyone’s fingertips.

The documentary explained that “likes” are a form of currency. The reason being, is that sponsors can reach out to up and coming popular people, the amount of likes that a person could get, could even mean money to them. Sponsors could possibly want to give you money or goods in exchange for promoting their product. To me, when I like something, it means that I value what the other person is posting – a.k.a. I think that it’s awesome! When someone else likes my photo, I assume the same thing – whether it’s true or not.

I get the idea that a lot of people believe, the idea that our generation is being used for just our “likes.” However, at the same time, I think that with careful thought, I may have discovered a loophole. I do like certain products, and I think that I’ve come to the point where I realise that they’re trying to use me, but I just won’t let them. I won’t buy into the lie that they are trying to sell me, I believe in honesty. That’s my personal take on how I feel, I don’t feel so cheated because I won’t allow myself to be cheated.

Messages About Gender Adbusters Assignment – Old Spice

Recently, we’ve been learning about how there are messages in the media about gender stereotyping. How the media has taken and is using gender stereotypes to define what a man or a woman is.

I was looking around on the internet for an ad, and the answer came in the form of an, “Old Spice” ad. In the original ad, the message is clear – a real, pure man has a vast amount of tattoos and is “tough.” I took this ad and showed the reality of what many man are – a father. I even changed the slogan from, “Pure Man Scent” to “Pure Dad Scent.” I used PowerPoint and paint where necessary, and tried to copy the font as best as I could when it came to both the slogan and product name. I changed the name of, “Old Spice” to “Old Spic & Span.”

I chose to spoof this ad, because I wanted to show that there are more ways to display a man than just “tough.” Very often, men are put in this box called “manhood” and told to stay put. This gives a completely unrealistic, one-sided view of men in the media. Many are wonderful and thoughtful friends, boyfriends, husbands and fathers. I wanted to portray this and therefore spoof what Old Spice was trying to “prove.”

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Gendered Children’s Advertising

1. Describe at least three creative choices that show how the advertiser is either aiming this at little boys or little girls. Examples include: tone of voice used by actors, colours used, gender of actors, activities shown, music, or other elements that stick out to you.

This commercial is – without a doubt – aimed at little boys. I know because the tone of voice is low and manly (obviously a man), there is a great deal of violence displayed, and the colours are all “boy” oriented – green, red, blue, black and brown.

2. Does the commercial seem to show any stereotypes of gender roles? If so describe.

This commercial seems to show the stereotype that boys are obsessed with violence. It labels them as aggressive.

3. Do you believe this commercial would be harmful to little boys or girls? Why or why not?

It is very possible that it could hurt them in the long-run. It labels them as brutal, it doesn’t give them much room for exploring other options. On the other hand, this constant exposure to violent themes numbs their morals. So yes, I do believe that it could be harmful to them – on the other hand, it is a commercial showing creative ways to piece together legos. I’m all for the creativity that comes with building, just not the violence.

Consuming Kids Documentary Response

12. Think about products or characters you were exposed to at an early age. How do you feel about those characters now? Would you purchase products with those characters for your own children? do you feel there is a difference now? why or why not?

When I was a kid, the hype was all about Dora. Dora backpacks, Dora boots, Dora everything. I’m not interested in Dora anymore, in fact, i’m not really sure why I watched it to be completely honest. I didn’t have too many characters or products exposed to me as a kid, it was mostly Barbie and Arthur that I watched (along with Dora. I don’t think I would buy these products for my own children, personally now, I feel as if Dora is a little silly. The only one I would consider would be Arthur, I guess you could say i’m a sucker for Arthur. I do feel as if there is a difference – since watching this documentary – as to what I will let my kids watch or not. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t let my kids watch too much television, but now I know that I don’t want them to be watching or being exposed to T.V. at a very young age. I feel this way because I want my children to engage themselves in other activities that aren’t as mind numbing as just watching television.

14. What role and responsibility do you feel parents should have when it comes to addressing the commercialisation of childhood? is it fair to expect them to cope on their own, with a billion dollar industry?

I don’t believe that parents should face the billion dollar industry alone. Nowadays, we live in a society that is overwhelmed by the media and advertisements. One would have to completely get rid of T.V., computer and phones to get away from the industry. I don’t think it’s fair to expect parents to cope on their own, someone needs to help.

15. Do you think the government should play a role regulating advertising for/at children?

The government needs to implement regulations that keep companies from trying to “buy” our children. By regulating the advertisements that are directed toward our children, we can help give our children a chance to experience their own opinions toward the various media outlets that are trying to get at them. Kids need to just be kids, I don’t like the idea that kids nowadays are growing up faster. Call me Peter Pan if you want, but that’s my personal beliefs.