Caution: Crossing the Digital Divide Takes Patience and Determination

         My personal experiences with the digital divide have been minor incidences. There have been a few times within my college career when I have encountered problems with media. For example, at my old college we never were assigned or taught how to use programs like iMovie or Phototshop. When I came to SLU, it seemed like most of the students knew what they were doing with their assignments.

            One idea that stuck with me from the assigned readings was the “e-Government” on the slideshow. Considering the possibility that all government forms and information could potentially be online, it made me think of the older generation and more specifically, my grandparents. Neither set of my grandparents has owned a computer ever since I can remember. Simple things like e-mail would be impossible for them to comprehend. Therefore, I think if the government were to take most of it’s business online, they would lose many senior citizens who have been lost in society’s transition from paper to digital.

            It is important tot help people cross the digital divide because it makes everyone else’s life a lot easier. I think one big problem with technology is that when people feel like they are left behind, they lose motivation to catch up. At least in my experience, when I have tried to teach my grandparents how to turn on a DVD, they are less willing to listen and more likely to just have someone do the job for them. Whether it is grandparents and computers or college students in iMovie, it really is not that hard to learn the skill as long as you are determined.

            To help people continue to cross the digital divide, it is important to have an open mind and the willingness to help. Most of the time, it takes a lot of patience to teach someone how to use technology. When people learn how easy it is, it is hard to understand how someone cannot do a simple task. I think classes, like the one’s being offered by the North Carolina public libraries, are a great idea because they will teach people who are willing to learn the necessary skills to take on the digital divide.


Video: Computer Recycling Program helps with the Digital Divide


Television’s Future: Good Ideas but Realistic Expecations?

After reading and watching Cisco’s new predictions for the future of Television, it was interesting to see some of the ideas they have in place. Some of these technological advances seem like they would have a positive effect on a person’s TV experience. For example, I like the idea of viewers purchasing multifaceted screens instead of buying a television that can only function in one or two ways. By purchasing a screen, viewers would be able to access the Internet, watch videos on YouTube, log on to twitter, or have face-to-face interaction with someone across the country. For example, I was watching the Cardinals game while I was writing this blog post and they brought up Jim Edmonds and his great catches he used to make in center field. After I heard the announcers mention it, I logged on to YouTube to see his career highlights. If the television was made into some type of tablet or iPad-like screen, I would be able to do this activity on one screen.

While some of these innovations are interesting ideas to consider, others seem to be a little too far-fetched.  It is hard for me to understand the idea that someone would be able to taste a food that is being made on a Food Network Program. I also don’t understand how a viewer would be able to take their programs to any screen. In the movie they showed someone take their television program and put it on a small screen on their table. This kind of technology would cause restaurants like McDonald’s to get small tablet screens on their tables. I don’t think fast food places would spend the money for these screens when most people go to the drive through to get their food.

The future of technology seems limitless and television is no different. It will be interesting to see what advances companies such as Cisco will come up with in order to make our television viewing experience better.

“A Few Good Men” But A Lot to Rave About

After watching “A Few Good Men” on the Turner Classic Movies channel, I believe this film has truly earned the status of “classic”. First, in order to become a classic, a movie has to have convincing acting. This particular film is filled with a remarkable cast from top to bottom. Tom Cruise takes the lead while Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, and Kevin Pollak all have big supporting roles. Cruise has three Oscar nominations, Nicholson has won three Oscars, Demi Moore has been nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards, Bacon has won a Golden Globe, and Kiefer Sutherland has also won a Golden Globe. From these statistics, it is clear the movie has a brilliant cast. While the movie is filled with dramatic situations, it also tells the story of an underdog lawyer (Tom Cruise) who seemingly has no chance at defending his clients from spending the rest of their lives in prison. However, through hard work and dedication to the case and his clients, Cruise is able to beat the odds and win the case.

There are many messages throughout the movie that can tell us about ourselves. First, the film shows that there is no person in our country that is above the law. Jack Nicholson’s character is a high ranking officer that is supposed to be a front runner for a future for the Commander and Chief position in the US government. After he is proven guilty by Cruise in court, he is arrested and sent to prison. By ranking this movie as classic, it shows that Americans have pride in our democracy and there are no special circumstances where people get away with crimes. American people always love an underdog and Tom Cruise’s character was exactly that. He was a lawyer who was generally inexperienced and was living in the shadow of his father who was “the best trial lawyer ever”. Cruise also mentions multiple times how he believes the case is over and how he should give up. But in the end he beats the odds, showing the viewers that if you work hard, you can beat the odds too.

I believe the message of patriotism displayed in this movie relates to the way movies play a part in democracy. In this particular instance, we have a real life portrayal of our justice system and it shows that every citizen of the United States has equal rights. Even high ranking coronels in the US Army have to obey the law and if they don’t, our government will bring them to justice.  

Soundtrack To My Life

1. Dave Matthews Band – Crush


This was the first Dave Matthews Band song that I ever heard. After listening to it one time it became one of my favorites. Since then I have become a huge fan of the band and have seen them perform many times in concert


2. Kanye West – Stronger


During my high school soccer games, this song would always come on while our team was warming up. Every time I hear it I am reminded of my high school teammates and friends.


3. Slightly Stoopid – Closer to the Sun


When I was going to school in California, I took a trip to Los Angeles over a three-day weekend with some of my friends. While we were driving down, this song came on. I had never heard it until then and it will always remind me of Newport Beach.


4. Rebelution – Feeling Alright


This song will always remind me of when I went to school at Santa Clara University. I had never heard of this reggae group until I arrived at SCU. I will always have great memories from that school and when I hear this song, it always reminds me of those memories.


5. MGMT – Electric Feel


This song was playing while I was warming up for my first collegiate soccer game. This is significant for me because it was the first game when I was a starter. My whole freshman year I was redshirted and I really had to work hard to earn a starting spot the following year. This song reminds me of the work I put in and how good if felt to be a starter for the first time.


6. Queen – We are the Champions


Winning the Missouri High School State Championship in Boy’s Soccer is a huge deal around the St. Louis area. There are many teams that are extremely competitive on a national level. A lot of my friends from my club team also played at other schools, which added to the rivalry. In 2006, when I was a junior, my school was able to win and hearing this song after we won was a great feeling.


7. Cool & The Gang – Celebration


This past October was one of the most historical baseball finishes in the history of the sport. I was lucky enough to be at Game 6 of the World Series and see the Cardinals epic win over the Rangers. To make it better, I was with my Dad and older brother. All of us will never forget that night and I’m happy I got to share it with them.


8. Jay-Z – Run This Town


This is a song I would always listen to before games. It started out at Santa Clara when I would drive to the games with my teammate and best friend. We made it a tradition after we listened to it before a game and won.

Midterm Review Questions


  1. How many corporations control most of America’s newspapers, magazines, TV, books and movies? PAGE 412
    1. 5
    2. 20
    3. 50
    4. 15


    1. True or False: The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the first papers to make money by printing advertisements alongside news. PAGE 62


  1. Trade books are aimed for a ________ audience. PAGE 41


  1. What type of story was added to penny press newspapers after 1835? PAGE 65
    1. Human Interest
    2. Local events
    3. Sports
    4. Scandals


  1. True or False: Muckraking journalism led to many much needed societal reforms. PAGE 100


  1. What is the average percentage breakdown for advertising and editorial content in a magazine? PAGE 112


  1. True or False: The association Principle assesses consumers’ behaviors and attitudes about a product before developing ads PAGE 296


  1. True of False: There are two types of ad agencies, mega-agencies and boutique agencies. PAGE 289


  1. How do advertising agencies track online ads? PAGE 294
    1. Recording click rates
    2. Cookies
    3. Tracking ad impressions
    4. All of these

10. How did the invention of the Printing Press change the Print Era of Mass Communication? PAGE 36 – 37













  1. 5
  2. True
  3. General
  4. Sports
  5. True
  6. 50% ads , %50 editorial
  7. False
  8. True
  9. All of these

10. The Printing Press allowed for mass production, which made books more affordable for more people, allowed ideas to travel faster than ever before, created new socioeconomic classes, and spread literacy throughout social classes. People were able to spread their ideas and knowledge faster than ever before which allowed them to resist traditional authority. Mass production of books eventually led to the Industrial Revolution, which sparked the emergence of the middle class


Stupid Guys

Ad companies have been creating messages about social stereotypes throughout the history of the industry. In a sense, the industry has created social roles for men and women in society. Lately, I have been noticing a lot of television ads that have been focusing on the stereotype of men being too dumb and incapable to take care of them self.

The most popular incapable man can be found in beer commercials all over television.  This stereotype is not discriminated by brand either. Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light, three major contributors to the beer industry in our country, all portray ignorant men in their advertisements. Bud Light has the ‘Here We Go’ campaign, which makes the person who has the craziest party ideas look like the coolest person in the world. Most of these men look to be in the their late 20’s or earlier 30’s. It seems unrealistic that men this age would be partying in the ways they are displayed in the commercials. Miller Lite is even more stereotypical in their advertisements, as they have developed their ‘Man Up’ campaign. These ads create man-laws that every man has to live by. If they don’t live up to these expectations, they are made fun of by every person in the commercial setting. Coors Light displays their ‘Proper Tailgating Technique’ ads that features guys that are so dumb that they need to coach to help them learn how to tail gate. They can’t put ice in a cooler or cook the meat on the grill without being told what to do.

I think most of these commercials are not necessarily trying to portray males as stupid. They are simply trying to dumb-down their messages and humor so that it can reach a broader audience. This can sometimes lead to commercials that can be interpreted as offensive. However, these commercials do not depict real life and there are possible social implications that come with this idea. One problem that comes to mind is that women may think they will have to do everything in a relationship. If a man isn’t able to put ice in a cooler than how is he supposed to be a good father or provide for a family?

Unfortunately, I do not see advertisements changing the way they reach audiences. No matter the protest, people are still going to purchase products like Bud Light. The most important thing is that society is able to depict real life from advertisement strategy. For further commentary, here is an interesting article about males in advertising.


Advertisements Tracking Internet Activity: All Bad? Maybe…

An article on NPR’s website interviews an author, Joseph Turow, who recently wrote a book about advertising and it’s future on the internet. Advertising, like many other forms of media, are taking their market to the Internet. Companies are able to track different sites that a user visits as well as links they click on. Based on a person’s web activity, advertisement companies are informed about what a user is interested in. For Turow, these new insights that ad companies are taking bring up privacy concerns for many people. There are some things that individuals may not wish to make public and companies that take advantage of this information sometimes do not respect an individual’s privacy.

Advertising on the Internet is a topic I have mixed feelings about. First, I see positives in marketing products that people are interested in. A while ago I clicked on an ad that displayed a pair of shoes I liked. Ever since then, I have seen numerous advertisements on different websites that show shoes that I am interested in buying. I don’t purchase a pair each time, but at least I am going to their website and browsing which is success for the ad. As a consumer, being shown products that actually interest me is a lot better than seeing ads on television that have no application to my life.

With that said, I do believe there are some serious privacy issues. If ads ar playing off of information that could have serious implications for someone’s life, I think the ad company should have enough respect for its consumer not to go out of their way to get these people’s attention. If companies do not respect people’s privacy then I think their advertisements will put companies in a bad light. Instead of promoting a company and selling products, I think these companies will find themselves on the bad side of the public, which could have serious business consequences.



Information on how to block Internet ad tracking


More Implications for advertisement tracking