Mediated is a factual book written by Thomas de Zengotita. The author holds a PhD in anthropology. Mediated was published in the year 2005. The book focuses on the impacts the press has had in the developed world (Zengotita, 2005). Other than presenting handy answers to tackle the infringement of too much media in our society, the author seeks to create responsiveness. In the book, Zengotita centers his attention on the means and the procedures our societies can adopt to lessen media interference.
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The author bases his arguments on the fact that the converse of reality is not spurious but rather optional. In the book, he asserts that humans opt between options to establish who they are (Zengotita, 2005). According to the author, humans have always been able to choose between options since time immemorial.
However, he asserts that in the recent society humans have more choices than they had in the past. Zengotita states that evaluation of contemporary world against postmodern world is similar to evaluation a breeze against hurricanes. According to the book, from the mid 20th century the impacts of the media in our society have expanded our options. The author believes that with the expansion of media industry we have been sweet-talked into thinking that we ought to be spectators in the same way we take pleasure being in the spectators.
The author suggests that media advancement witnessed in the last few decades, have enabled us to exchange e-mails, texts, tweets, and posts (Zengotita, 2005). Zengotita suggests that these advancements are not the cause of our neuroses. Instead, he argues that the advancements have made it easier for humans to exist in realism, which is not always factual. In my opinion, the most important parts of the book are the section focusing on the 9/11 attacks, Princess Diana’s funeral service, and John F. Kennedy’s murder (Zengotita, 2005).
With respect to John F. Kennedy’s murder, the author asserts that before the incidents he undertook classes in method acting. In the classes, he was required to replicate intense grief. On the day the class members were informed of the murder, they all melted into true grief. During the moment, no one could tell whether the students were acting or were real. Through this, the author argues that the media can flatter the public easily.
With respect to Princess Diana’s burial, the author questions if the mourners were obsessed with legitimate emotions. He asserts that there are higher chances that their emotions were staged managed. Based on the above illustrations, the author argues that almost everything we perceive came to us through some press prism. He argues that these perceptions are just colors and not our observation of these things. As such, Zengotita believes that humans are the products of colossal and unclear media propaganda.
While reading the book, I asked myself a number of critical questions about the author. Based on these questions, I noted that I noted that the author was not too critical about capitalism, industrialization, and progress. In the book, the author acknowledges that the recent progress experienced by humans in the last few centuries have been beneficial. For instance, he acknowledges that advancements in the media industry have enabled us to be closer and communicate with ease than earlier thought (Zengotita, 2005).
Through this, it is apparent that the author acknowledges that capitalism and industrialization have been beneficial to humanity. The only issue the author had with the modern advancements is about how the media has become manipulative in the recent past few decades. In my opinion, I believe that what the author asserts is true. Therefore, at the moment and in the future people should demand the media to be authoritative.
I believe that people have the power to demand the media to offer them with the real information rather than the mediated information, as asserted by the author. If we fail to raise these demands, our media will continue manipulating our minds. If these continue, our future’s perceptions are going to be dependent on the media. Given that the media content are edited to benefit some few elites, our thoughts would be flattered to be in line with the elites’ desires. Through this, we will lose our independence to think as free entities.
Since the author’s arguments are valid, out development in the last few decades has thrived due to media influence (Zengotita, 2005). I believe that the media have been able to manipulate our minds to the extent that we believe everything they offer us without questioning.
Through this, they have collaborated with other industries in determining the products we should consume and those we should reject. By doing so, a number of new industries have been set up to produce and supply the products and services the media deem well for humans to consume. Through this initiative, development has been made possible. With respect to globalization, I believe that the media have had a huge role in globalizing the world.
Unlike before, the world is more connected owing to advancements in the media industry. Through the internet and television broadcasts, individuals around the world can be informed of what is happening in a specific location regardless of their geographical location. Therefore, if the media are not made to be authoritative, more humans will fall victims of their manipulation has globalization enhances.
For the environment, we will be able to address issues such as global warming and environmental degradation based on the position the media fraternity takes. If the media fraternity supports measures put in place to thwart these issues, the public will be follow suit. Similarly, if they oppose the measures the public will be in their support again. The above situation will materialize because of their manipulative tactics.
Based on the themes covered through the semester in terms of communication media, I noted that the author focused on the ideology of progress. In the book, he acknowledges the contributions the media has done in the society. Although he questions the manner in which they have manipulated the public minds, he is grateful for their contributions towards the development.
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If we were to apply the author’s theories to the United States, his theories would hold up. For a while, there have been rumors that the United States government in collaboration with their media has been manipulating the public (Biagi, 2012). More at times, the government or any other political party would pay the media for them to fabricate their content in their favor. Through this, the public has been denied the chance to know the facts about some things, political parties, or events.
The author has not considered the issue from the perspectives of class, gender, race, and other disadvantaged perspectives. He has done so because his main objective was to great awareness to the public about how they should perceive the world from their own dimension rather than relying on the media’s dimension.
Therefore, the issue of class, gender, or race would be irrelevant to this topic. Similarly, I noted that the author did not rely too heavily on any particular political or economic theories or positions. Instead, the author focuses of real life incidences that made him believe that the media has affected the manner in which we perceive the world.
Despite its strengths in creating awareness among the public members, I noted that the book had a weakness. Notably, I noted that the book too complex for non-media professionals.
As such, the author has used a number of media terminologies and cases that can only be understood by the media personnel or students. Therefore, the book’s audience would be limited to these individuals. Given that the book was meant to create public awareness, the author should have used simple words and cases in the book. If he had done this, the public could have related to the book with ease.
I would recommend this book to the public. The main aim of the author was to create awareness among the public members about how they should perceive the world. Everyone should read this book because it gives us important insights on how our media has indoctrinated us. Through this, we would be able to question all the content in the media to authenticate their credibility.
Biagi, S. (2012). Media/impact: an introduction to mass media (10. ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadswort/Cengage Learning.
Zengotita, T. (2005). Mediated: how the media shapes your world and the way you live in it. New York: Bloomsbury.