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Week 10 – Class Highlights

By Hope Weston

I have greatly enjoyed my time in this mass communications class, and have a few “aha!” moments as well. The first was recognizing that all media is mass media, and that everything from the margins moves to the center. So even if I think “That’s not the media’s real thoughts” it effects our society none the less! Also learning to recognize the manipulative and false information that has become too prevalent in our media world, so that I can be more well-informed to the truth. These were just 3 of the moments I had in this class!

My media literacy has definitely improved, through the information given in the books and lectures, to the discussions with my classmates from all cultures, races, identities, and beliefs. I feel like I have a greater understanding of the world around me, as well as an passion to educate, and improve, the world around me.


Week 9 – The Internet

By Hope Weston

I have known many people in my generation who have been caught up in the whirlwind of online gaming, dating, socializing and shopping. I feel like everyone around me has some of their daily time consumed by the internet in one way or another, although I cannot think of a specific person who was more “addicted” than the rest. I have seen people spend hours and hours scrolling, posting, meeting new people and shopping endlessly. It all seems to be the normal thing these days. I even find myself, because of my business, spending my days with my eyes glued to the screen. The best thing we can do is take time to turn off, walk away and experience life as it is happening – not through a lens. I personally have been making more efforts to put my phone away at concerts or events, during meals and while I’m studying or doing other homework. It greatly helps to live in the moment and “turn off” a few times a day. I hope everyone will adapt to this style of taking breaks or turning off completely.

Week 10 – Media Ethics

By Hope Weston

Ethics are a tricky subject in today’s world. With the rise of the conservative, right-wing ideal of Christian-based morals it can be hard to distinguish between what is righteous, and what is just good. In terms of Media, there has always been a thin line between finding the truth at all costs and trying not to step on any toes. In the days of journalism’s beginnings with Newspapers and the first reporters, we have this kind of pipe-dream that they were all there for the right reasons, to tell the right stories and get to the bottom of things to show their readers… Then at the beginning of sensationalism we see a huge shift towards what is entertaining, flashy, and shocking rather than telling the story like it is. I believe this was the beginning of the end of Media Ethics. Since then, magazines, televisions, newspapers and of course the Internet have all fought for attention, leading them to report only the fearful, biased stories that will keep their audience hooked. Especially with online sources today being able to say/print whatever they want without hardly ever being double checked!! I believe that Media Ethics now lay in the hands of the audience… for we must use our own ethics and logic to discern between what is shocking and entertaining, and what is true.

Week 8: Media Law

By Hope Weston

A current law case regarding copyright infringement and individual right-of-publicity is a case between the National Football League and 23 different major league football players who claim the NFL wrongfully made videos and commercials without their permission and therefore encroaching on their rights. Twenty of the plaintiff’s settled and the other cases were ultimately concluded to have no case because the NFL did not share false statements in anyway.

Week 7 – Propaganda in Advertising

By Hope Weston

This advertisement seemed so flashy I just had to pick it. It uses “glittering generalities” asking if you want to lose weight and have more energy. It also uses “sex appeal” showing a thin woman looking at you, as if you will be her or she will want you if you use this diet pill. Also “half-truth” because it says FREE but you can clearly see the asterik marking it NOT free!

Week 5 – Movies or Television

The Best of the Best

by Hope Weston

My favorite movie of 2015 was Star Wars: Episode IIV The Force Awakens. Not only did it bring back fan-favorite (and personal favorite) characters like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker – it introduced a female lead (yay!) and an African-American counterpart (yay again!). Studies show that seeing people you relate to or identify with in movies/television improves self-image and allows for greater goals in life.

My favorite movie of all time was hard to pick, and although there was many animated Disney films that I could have chosen, I had to pick Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger. I have watched this movie more times than any other! It’s themes of the rise to greatness, the struggle for power and the passion to succeed are really amazing. And it has an amazing classic rock soundtrack that gives a modern feel to the medieval setting.

I first saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters with my family. I first same Knight’s Tale at home with my parents.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens –

Knight’s Tale –

The trailer for Knight’s Tale –

Week 4 – Newspaper or Audio

Blog #4

By Hope Jonsson

It is hard to explain my feelings on the question provided. Should a source be cited as a woman or a minority even if it has no bearing on the subject or story? There is a part of my mind that most definitely wants to say yes! Because being a woman or a minority DOES change the story! It changes the privilege, the opportunity, the motive, etc. of the situation!

On the other hand, I believe in fact-based unbiased media and information – which technically means it should not matter who or where the source is from as long as it is a true account of the situation or real science-based facts.

So I suppose it entirely depends on the story or situation being presented. In terms of the quality of the news being presented, I personally believe that a human interest story is always better quality when told from the perspective of an everyday person.

Week 3 – Books

Three Books that Changed Everything

By Hope Weston

There have been many  books in my life time that I consider influential in my life, in fact I found picking 3 to be harder than I thought it would be!

First I thought of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite “classics” and the way it brought the struggles of women to light. The idea of being bought and sold, how to marry for love and be true yourself and your heart all spoke to me. I have read it many times but the first time I remember it truly opening my eyes to the things women have dealt with for centuries and are just starting to overcome.

Next, and I know this is more than one book, the Harry Potter series had a huge impact on me in my childhood and through today! Friendship, loyalty, doing what is right (even if it isn’t easy), the battle between good and evil; each is something prevalent in every day life and in our society, very important. To stick up for what you believe in, even when it’s difficult. It’s very noble, just like the characters.

And lastly, the most recent book I’ve read, called “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. It’s a memoir of Melton’s struggles with bulimia and alcoholism, her growth into a mother and wife, and eventually, her journey to become herself. It was so heart-wrenching and promoted such a strong feeling of self-love and togetherness. How to be a friend when the hard times come, how to be a friend to ourselves even more in those times! I recommend this book to everyone, but there are some “trigger” scenes for those with addictions or mental illness.

The link to Love Warrior:

The others are classics or very popular so I assume most have read them! If not you can find them at the local library!

Week 2- Media Impacts

The Impact of Objectification

By Hope Weston

The very first thing that came to my mind when asked to find an example of the media being blamed for real-life problems, was the issue of body image and self-esteem. As a woman, these issues are personal to myself, my family and my community. Although the prompt asked for a situation that “blamed” media – I do believe that the media is at least partially at fault for the epidemic of low-self esteem and eating disorders in women.

Everywhere I look I seem to be bombarded with skinny, flawlessly beautiful women. They have better clothes, hair, makeup, cars, homes and “lives” that I could imagine having. When I was younger, 11 or 12 years old, it was hard to understand that these women were for the purpose of advertising. Instead, like many pre-teens, I went home and looked at myself in the mirror and compared myself to these women.

Television ads and the characters on TV. Movies and celebrities. News anchors, billboards, magazines – the list goes on and on! All of these media outlets promote, at best, unrealistic standards of beauty – and at it’s worst? Total objectification and even violence towards women. It’s very concerning to see and hear the evidence regarding the issue, and to have felt it myself and seen it affect those around me only makes it more relevant. I encourage everyone to look at the media you are consuming and begin to recognize the dangers of this objectification.

For more information, please see

And watch the documentary “Miss Representation”
Trailer here:

Week 1: Media Autobiography

Growing Up in a Media World

By Hope Weston

Considering that I grew from infant to adolescent to adult during the most rapid expanse of technology the world has seen, it’s not surprising that my relationship with media and technology is deeply intertwined in my daily habits. When I was younger, maybe six or seven, books, magazines and newspapers were some of my favorite things in the world! I was homeschooled by my mother, so many were used for my education as well as what I did in my spare time. I had kids and pre-teen magazines delivered monthly so I could keep up to date with science and nature discoveries, I brought home piles of books from the library every week! I read historical fiction, science-fiction and a LOT of fantasy! This was my first immersion into media – reading and learning people’s stories across time and space helped develop my imagination (and my love of things unknown)

Since then I have become deeply involved with television and the Internet. Television (Netlfix specfically) being one of the true happy things in my life. Television characters have a way of connecting to us that we don’t realize until the credits are rolling! We watch a lot of television, probably 2-3 hours each night! And then, of course, we come to the Internet. I’m a self-taught Social Media Marketer and I love every second of it! My connection to a Global Market does not get taken for granted! I started with ItWorks, a direct sales company, last year and learning to market using Social/Mass Media has been amazing!

As a communications major I understand and appreciate all forms of communication and media usage. While some may find the advantages and disadvantages to be even or tipped towards the negative, I believe that media is an incredible technology and, when used for good, an irreplaceable part of our society today.

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