Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Media outlets - What's the difference?

Group 4 - part I

The health care debate is an emotional topic and the nature of its coverage seems to demonstrate this. Through our research we have devoted a substantial amount of time to television and digital media coverage. Each medium is different. Silverblatt argues that, “The senses involved in receiving information affect people’s ability to assimilate certain kinds of information, as well as the ways in which they respond to content.”

Television and digital media allow the audience to use multiple senses as they digest information, persuading the audience emotionally.

Radio uses the sense of hearing. As a result, radio is limited in terms of its ability to evoke emotion which is important in the health care debate. Silverblatt address the importance of images. He says, “We tend to use visually oriented media in an affective or emotional way.” Images are not available in radio, so the audience is forced to use their own imagination to draw emotional meaning from the text.

We had very little experience with radio as we navigated through the internet, but we don’t discredit the importance of radio. The pace of radio is set by the radio host. This means the host can exhibit a sense of urgency if the topic calls for it. Radio also has the ability to share information as it becomes available. This is important considering the health care debate is a current issue with constant updates.

Print uses the sense of sight and touch. The audience can see the words on the page and feel the actual paper. Silverblatt called print a, “tangible medium.” It has the ability to use imagery to tell a story. The authors of the text are credited and the style of the font can change for emphasis. The New York Times printed, Democrats Try to Balance Cost and Coverage in Health Plan. The article features two images.

This is one interpretation of the pictures and there may be many others. The point is that print allows us to draw meaning from the images presented.

In terms of the health care debate print is one step further than radio in its ability to engage the audience emotionally, but in a debate that is constantly changing; print lacks the ability to present updates as quickly as the audience needs them. The morning paper only comes once a day.

is a unique medium our group has found very helpful during our research. Television combines sight and sound, but carries over aspects of traditional radio. The host can set the pace and deliver an emotional speech as seen in our previous example with Keith Olberman. The audience’s ability to use multiple senses makes the situation real and moves us emotionally.
Silverblatt says, “Television is an ideal medium for showing events in the process of unfolding.” The health care debate is unfolding as we speak.

Digital Media made this entire project possible. It’s a combination of print, photography, radio, images and video, making it the most powerful force among other media outlets. Digital Media provides access to a surplus of information. The information is instantaneous and easily accessible.

“Entire libraries filled with information are literally at our fingertips.” (Silverblatt, p. 48.) Most websites, as you can see in The New York Times article, have links to other related stories, videos and blogs. This allows the audience to read and see as much or as little as they choose. There is an overwhelming sense of control when dealing with digital media.

This control relates to the amount of time it takes for information to be conveyed and also allows citizen journalism to flourish. Without digital media, our group would not have found the tea party demonstration documentary

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