Posts Tagged ‘ media ’

Journal 09-07-03

Another article in this “choices” section of the Utne (2003, May/June) was Life is a Smorgasbord which describes the differences between our culture and Sweden in regard to freedom of choice and access. The author writes that for an American, Sweden can be a type of prison because the choices are limited to the most quality items.  He describes as an example, that in American we have a liquor store on every corner but can’t get a decent bottle of wine.  In Sweden, “the System” as it is called is the world’s single largest wine buyer and its wine selection is literally (according to the author) second to none.  This is probably not as telling an example as the fact that Sweden only sells two kinds of cars. There, again, quality is the determinant.

Anyway, all of this reminds me of the FCC issues I was reading about last week from a book called Media diversity : economics, ownership, and the FCC by Maria Einstein.  She is arguing that conglomeration of power isn’t necessarily the defining force (or at least not the only one) behind lack of diversity in programming.  Posing the social theory side against the economic theory side, she shows that both are equally capable of stifling diversity.  The America/Sweden distinction describes the socialist/economic debate Einstein presents.  Proposing most Americans think about economic power at play (whether they are for or against), what she made me see was that the social theory side is not possible without regulation of content.  This is the key issue in the freedom of access to information and a perfect example of the predicament we find ourselves in surfing the net or the channels of our television, at the grocery store cereal aisle, in the job market, and even when facing presidential elections and decisions of international importance.



Utne, L. (2003, May/June). Life is a smorgasbord. Utne (117), 64-65. Retrieved November 1, 2009 from Proquest Research Library (Document ID: 333748581).

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Journal 08-26-03

Advertisements in schools?  My personal opinion is that this type of corporate involvement is inappropriate, exactly because it exploits students.  I would add that at the very least, it is the schools’ and librarians’ role and responsibility to inform families about this type of arrangement.  Perhaps if this scenario were in a public library setting, it would be different given the mission and funding sources for public libraries.  But my gut still says it is overstepping.

I am not sure if this situation could be used as a tool for teaching students to evaluate material on the internet.  It might be interesting to pose these very questions to high school or junior high students.  I’m not sure if junior high is too young for that type of discussion or not.  More to learn I suppose.  And again, how am I able to ensure that my own bias isn’t entering the equation if I try to counteract it?  I tend to get too personal, moral , philosophical (whatever) with this issue because I am extremely sensitive to the effect media is having, has had, and continues to have increasingly have on the shaping of our society, culture and generations — ESPECIALLY young adults.  All the while the media claims it is only mirroring society.   What I haven’t figured out (among other things) is whether this all flushes out over time.  When the young adults are my age, are they going to be as impassioned about the issues facing the youth of their day?

Another thing to consider when accepting corporate support (and when we begin discussing this in class) is the problem of support becoming dependence.  For example, issues of maintenance, upgrades to computers, issues of ethics concerning the company offering the support. Careful consideration and proactive planning is require in these times of rapid change, especially in the of technology and information format.  This is something libraries and schools are all kind of just getting their feet wet with.   I know for sure that I am not ready to make a prudent call on the matter yet.

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