There are several media contexts that I have considered while preparing my ideas for this final paper. It is hard to narrow all of these ideas down to just one because in all honesty I could write a novel on basically every one of my favorite television shows, movies or artists. These are my top 3 choices, and my final decision on what to write my analysis on.
Blackfish was and still is one of the most talked about documentary in the past five years. The film tells the history of Sea World, a popular aquarium that features live shows starring Orca whales. The film specifically focusses on one case where a trainer was killed by one of the captive whales during a show by a well known Orca named Tilikum, whose story we also learn. The main purpose of the documentary is to expose the mistreatment and abuse that the whales endure due to being kept in captivity through brutal videos and photos, and horrific stories from people involved with the case and Sea World as a whole. Immediately after this film was released, viewers took to social media to share their opinions and outrage, and as a result of all of this outrage Sea World has decided to no longer breed Orcas in captivity.
I feel that this would be a good topic to write my final paper on because it relates to so much of the material we have covered in class. For instance, in my media analysis how media framework is used in the film. This documentary uses certain stories and emotions to tell its viewers how to feel and how to react to what is being said in the film. This framework guides the way that we think about the material being presented to us. I would also discuss how the creators of the film were “setting the agenda” in order to effect the publics perception of the idea of orcas in captivity.
Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation was a popular comedy on NBC about a dedicated government employee Leslie Knope, who will stop at nothing to better the town she lives in and empower other women. This show is important to our culture because it is very rare that comedy’s feature a strong and hardworking woman as the lead role. Leslie Knope is a character that women and girls can look up to and strive to be like.
If I were to choose Parks and Recreation as the topic for my research paper, I would discuss the topic of gender and media representation. I would also discuss the topic of class, as the show features characters of numerous different classes and represents each of them in a fairly accurate manner.
One of MTV’s boldest television programs to date, Jackass was a unique and risky show that featured nine “normal” guys doing crazy stunts and sketches to purposely get a reaction from their viewers. Many rebellious teens and skateboarders alike were very excited that there was finally a show that they could relate to and actually laugh at. However, the show gained so many fans and followers that many of the viewers attempted to recreate some of the stunts performed by the “stars.” This caused MTV to show a warning at the beginning of each episode (which they still use today for shows like Ridiculousness) and eventually cancel the show due to the high number of injuries caused by fans recreating the stunts.
If I were to conduct a media analysis on Jackass, I would dive into the media perception and agenda for the show. Although the show was seen as a comedy, it is almost framed as if these are the most stupid men on the earth and you should aspire to not be anything like them. Social media also played a big role in the rapid growth in popularity of the show as many people created Jackass like videos and shared them on social media. Another concept that could be used to analyze this show would be media framework. It would be interesting to research different ways that the media framed the show. The men on the show were also portrayed to be “bad boys” in the media and were made out to almost be bad guys who just did drugs and made stupid decisions.
And the winner is:
In the end, I have chosen to write my media analysis on Blackfish. I am very excited to look deeper into how the media framed the film and set the agenda to decide how it wants the viewers to process the information being provided to them through the film. It is obvious that the film only presents the negative side of the concept of whales in captivity, but it will be interesting to hear both sides of the story.
I am also interested to look into the different reactions from viewers and how the film was reviewed and discussed in the media. It is interesting that it caused such an uproar among its viewers, and became a social media sensation.