Week 1: Media Autobiography

Week 1: Media Autobiography

Our surrounding media

By Jacqueline Contreras

My experiences with the media have always been constant and changing throughout my life in ways I may not have noticed before. Although there are eight types of media– books, newspapers, magazines, movies, recordings, radio, television, and the internet– I have only actively participated with a few of them on different spectrums. I am Mexican American, meaning that I have grown up with the American media along with the Latin American media as well. The different aspects embedded into the forms of media I have found myself surrounded by, continue to influence me today.

As a child I grew up watching common American cartoons, but would only watch the news with my parents on Univision, a popular Latin American network. Watching the news on CNN or ABC felt strange at the time. Today I am more fluent in English than I am in Spanish, and as a result I now watch the news, along with television shows and movies, in English. I am placed in the same situations when it comes to books. Because I am unable to fluently speak Spanish, I have always read books written in English. Books have always been an important aspect of my life. I have never had dislikes concerning books due to the different genres available, I was always able to read something I could connect with. While I find myself constantly watching television and movies, I do have one main dislike towards them. The lack of diversity in television shows/movies have always been a big issue. People of color are always misrepresented or not represented at all.

Growing up in certain generations means we will be surrounded by certain media, in my case–like many others–it is the internet. The internet is used by many people with varying generations across the globe. I use the internet each day when working on homework or checking social media sites. The internet has left a huge impact on many lives. It is a great way to communicate and connect with others at great distances, however all of its uses are not positive ones. The internet can serve as a huge distraction, it’s so easy to get caught up in social media and the lives of celebrities that sometimes we are left unaware of the greater issues in our society. Just a couple of months ago I was still in high school, and it was in my senior year that I decided to pursue journalism as my future career. Last school year I wrote for my school newspaper, although we only came out with two issues, writing for the newspaper became a great passion of mine. I specialized in writing for the Op-Ed section and wrote about San Jose’s homeless encampment known as “the Jungle” along with the annual march for labor workers in the month of May. Newspapers have become important to me, through them I am able to voice my concerns in writing in a way I would find difficult to do in another manner. Despite my appreciation for newspapers, I know that many people do not care much for them now that that news is easily accessible through the internet. A lot of work goes into writing, editing, and formatting a newspaper, yet those efforts go unnoticed. My experience with the radio is limited, I only use the radio when I  am listening to music in the car. I don’t read magazines or follow up with recordings, so I know little concerning these forms of media.

I am a journalism major and hope to transfer to San Jose State University soon. I would like to be a journalist someday, but I am still deciding what kind of journalist I would like to become.

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