Over the course of six weeks in our introduction to communication and media studies we have covered four key topics; what are the media being blamed for today and why?, connotation and denotation of controversial texts, who controls the media?, and the mediated public sphere. Each topic has help to broaden my knowledge of the media and the effects the media has on respective audiences. The theories and readings around who controls our media and the mediated public sphere actively engaged my thoughts and forced me to delve deeper than the surface, therefore changing my views on bias and my views on the media on the whole.
The four key topics covered relate to the final critical topic, children and the media. I decided to look at Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber. He first gained attention as a YouTube phenomenon. After signing a record deal with Usher’s label, Bieber turned a generation of teen girls into “Beliebers.” (Biography.com, 2014)
After tasting success and earning considerable wealth after his record releases, Bieber ‘went off the rails’ so to speak. The teenage pop star was all over the media with stories about sex, drugs and speeding.
“In an older media model, Bieber enthusiasm would have directed itself to tried and true celebrity outlets. They would then have benefited from Bieber interest the way CNN benefits from hurricanes and sudden mayhem. But now, with a free-floating digital audience without much brand interest or even awareness, every news site, content collection or traffic aggregator can participate in the Bieber bonanza” (Wolff, 2014). To put it simply Bieber sells. The more illegal or morally unjust actions the more press the teenage pop sensation receives. He is a media magnet and newspapers, television and radio thrive on the teenagers every move.
The questions remain would Bieber be acting this way if he didn’t receive so much publicity? or has the media corrupted another teenage celebrity?. The ongoing debate about how young children are affected by the media, especially in a rapidly increasing technological society will remain a topic of debate. As the audience we have to be critical of the source of the information and decipher whether or not Bieber is really what the media portrays him as.
Justin Drew Bieber, The Biography.com website, http://www.biography.com/people/justin-bieber-522504, Accessed 13 Apr 2014.
Justin Bieber reportedly spending $US1 million ($1.3 million) a month on drugs, entourage and lavish lifestyle, News.com.au website, http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/justin-bieber-reportedly-spending-us1-million-a-week-on-drugs-entourage-and-lavish-lifestyle/story-e6frfmq9-1226814478498, Accessed 13 Apr 2014
Wolff, theguardian.com, Justin Bieber’s not newsworthy, but who cares? He’s online traffic gold, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/27/justin-bieber-media-fever-tabloid-journalism, Accessed 13 Apr 2014
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