Local News Update

Media Literacy

Media literacy is defined as a series of communication that enables people to analyze, access, evaluate, and communicate information. The media has become a very important to the population in day to day life. Media literacy like literature is important because the media is a huge source of modern culture, entertainment, and teaches critical thinking skills. Today the media has become more of a life style than in past generations. In this generation it is very essential to be media literate. Social media has become the number one way to communicate. Through programs such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many others, people are able to reconnect with loved ones, communicate with family and friends, advertise their business or products, and people have been able to be recognized and become famous for their talents all by social media. Media literacy is the 21st century way of education. Schools have now focused more on teaching computer skills and have even started using computer programs instead of using books. Although the media has become a very important part to the population’s lives, many sources have expressed that this has become the “Age of Distraction”. Articles say that that this generation has become too dependent on the media. However, in this time all you see is the rapid upraise of the media. Being media literate has become an essential skill not only in the work force but also is necessary for citizens of a democracy.

2014 Superbowl Commercial

In the 2014 Super bowl Game Day Ad, “Gracie”, General Mills asserts that its product (Cheerios cereal) is not just a food but also an integral part of family life and in addition introduces a new variation of a family image. The commercial shows an interracial family with the father talking to his daughter using cheerios (to represent each family member) while breaking the news to her that she will be getting a baby brother at which point she adds another cheerio to the group of four and explains “and a puppy”. General Mills is giving its classic but basic product (Cheerios) a new look by showing a modern example of a family (interracial couple and biracial child) yet still appealing to basic family values by using Cheerios to assist them in a touching family moment in order to remind the public that its product is still important to today’s generation and still essential to family life, tradition, and nutrition. The commercial targets family audiences and assures them that General Mills (and Cheerios) will continue to be a part of their lives growing with them and providing them with a traditional, wholesome product that makes them think of family and family values. This commercial uses an emotional tone which connects with families and their wholesome values.

Satirical News Article

Texting is found to be the most accurate way of getting to know someone and can even lead to longer lasting relationships!

Anna Cate Miller, Reporter

Tues Feb, 18 2014

ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY- Texting has become the number one way to communicate! You no longer have to speak face to face with anyone to get to know them. Now you can you can get to know someone and ask all the needed questions simply by typing and pressing send in the privacy of your own home. Relationships are so much easier to start because you can avoid the face to face interaction which may cause people to feel awkward and even shy but while texting they can have the personality that is nothing like their real personality making them comes across as confident and outgoing.

Most individuals particularly single, say that they much rather start and end their relationship via text. “The first time me and my boyfriend ever hung out he had already asked me to be his girlfriend,” says local Atlanta student.” I proposed to my wife on our 1 year anniversary by sending a text message and the first time we met face to face was at our wedding,” says Adam Adams, he then added that he and his wife were soon to be divorced 3 weeks later because they felt as though the other persons personality wasn’t the same as before. However, don’t be fooled, Adams case is rare and 99.9% of none verbal communication relationships has definitely become the most successful. ”My girlfriend and I found that our texting relationship is much more advanced than our in person relationship so I think we will just stick to texting,” says local college student. Even married couples that have been married for over 10 years have resorted to the new and improved way of communication. “My husband and I have been married for 23 years and used to talk face to face all the time but with the kids and being so busy with work texting makes it fast and easy. I even find myself texting him while we are having a nice dinner just the two of us,” says Courtney Brown.

Maybe if we can all come to this conclusion we can never have to deal with face to face interactions and finally end the art of communication for good!

Kinetic Typography

Teenagers need to stop the constant obsession of communicating through texting. Not only are they spending insane amounts of time using their phones, they would much rather communicate in the privacy of their own home than have a face-to-face conversation. Even relationships are affected by this type of communication. How is someone supposed to really get to know somebody by texting? You aren't the same over texts. You don't have to be shy, you can say things that you normally wouldn't say in person, and you can come across as a much more outgoing person but if that’s not you then you cant expect someone to really know you. I totally agree that sometimes face-to-face interactions can be awkward but when a texting relationship is more advanced then being in person then that’s a problem. How are people supposed to learn how to have mature conversations if the only way they know how to communicate is through texting? Being able to communicate face to face with an adult is a very important skill for anyone’s future. Being able to have a good interview and have interviewing skills is essential to finding a job. But what happens when you are having an interview and you can’t filter your words because you are so used to being bold over texts and saying whatever you want? Now I understand that talking to a superior isn't easy and can be very intimidating but if you don't learn now it'll be too late. Being bold and saying things you normally wouldn't say to someone in person isn't worth losing your common courtesy. This generation has many amazing characteristics but it is lazy. We are too lazy to pick up the phone and call someone for information. We are too lazy to get into our cars and go meet someone to sit down with them face to face and have a normal conversation. We are lazy because our choice of communicating with someone is typing up a message on a screen and simply pressing send without moving a muscle because it’s easy. We are slowly losing the art of communication and if we don't stop now and make a change it'll be gone for good.

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Understanding Russian Annexation of Crimea

The Russian government has annexed Crimea in an attempt to protect its Russian majority of citizens and to protect the Russian fleet that is located in Sevastopol and that comprises one half of the Russian Navy. Crimea had been a part of the Ukraine and the world is attempting to make sense of this new balance of power in Europe. Russia has received much criticism and outrage over this seemingly aggressive action however Americans might want to examine the situation in another manner.

Americans should attempt to understand the history of Crimea and its ties to Russia before passing judgment. Russia, like the United States, has a right and a duty to protect its citizens and preserve our safety. Crimea had once been a part of the Russian empire and then the Soviet Union. Soviet leader gave Crimea to his native Ukraine and it stayed with Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed. However, 58% of the Crimean people are Russian speaking and identify with Russia. The area of Crimea is separated from Ukraine geographically, historically, and politically. Its coast reaches out to Russian and there is a plan to build a straight to connect the two lands.

At one point in time, Russia had close ties to Crimea, as the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They had an agreement that would allow the Russian fleet to remain in Sevastopol in Crimea. The area was home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and thousand of naval personnel. The access to the Mediterranean Sea is crucial to the protection of Russia. Unfortunately Yanukovych was ousted and the future of the naval base is unsure. President Putin needed to pursue actions in order to protect the naval fleet along with the personnel that were stationed there. Protection of Russian lives was at stake.

In addition to the naval base and largely Russian population, Crimea is the site of a great tourist destination in Yalta the site of the Yalta Conference where the leaders of the Soviet Union, U.S., and Britain discussed the ending and consequences of World War II. This site should be protected and remain within the boundaries of Russia.

The people of Crimea have been celebrating about their Russian annexation. President Putin assured that this would not lead to the take over of other areas and that Russia did not need that. This was simply an act of common sense, protection, and reunification of people.

There may come a time in the future where the United States will feel that it is their duty to protect citizens in a closely tied area and should have the right to annex that area without criticism or opposition. Russia has behaved in a logical and protective manner in annexing Crimea. Placing sanctions on Russia is not needed as they have promised not to invade other territories. The people of the United States should understand because our government should have the right to behave in a similar manner in the future if American lives need to be protected.

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I chose this topic because I think that Russia taking over Crimea could be only the start. Some people think this is not a big but they also thought that Hitler taking over a small country like Austria was not a big deal and that was just the start of his take over.

1984 Reflection:

Reading George Orwell’s novel, 1984 was an eye opening experience as we are presented with a scenario of how our government today could change by taking away individual freedoms in order to control and mandate the people. It is truly a picture of how America could become a dystopian society. The protagonist in the novel was an activist who resisted the controlling government that was referred to as Big Brother. However, Orwell concluded 1984 with the main character Winston finally giving into the party and truly loving Big Brother. Some may be surprised or disappointed in this ending because the bad guys win. Instead, I thought that this really interpreted the message that Orwell was trying to share with his readers. I believe Orwell wanted others to see that this could happen today with our current government and by having the book end in a way you do not expect, the readers are left to contemplate whether this same risk could overtake our current society and leave the government in complete control over the individual. This particular ending relates to reality. Life isn't perfect and you don’t always understand why something happens or what is going to happen next. I have enjoyed reading this book and I like Orwell’s work. I feel that he isn't afraid to tell the truth and make people think about the future. The point of his book was not to present another fairy tale where the hero wins because that is not reality. I do think some scenarios in this book are appropriate criticisms that may reflect on our current government, however, I think the situations in this book reflect more on other countries and their governments instead. I think the main message Orwell was trying to share with his readers is that governments or individuals will do and say anything to gain power and control. Orwell gives us a glimpse of what the future may become if we let governments take away our rights as citizens and teaches us the importance of protecting those rights.


The image below reminds me of 1984 because it shows the people of one country under the control of one power and individual.

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The image below is one of the slogans of the party in 1984. It means that as long as the people are ignorant the government will be strong and continue to have power over them.
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This image to me is one of the most important aims of the book. it shows that 2+2=5 which is what the party would brain wash their people into believing. Whatever the party says or government says is true and is right even if it goes against what you know to be right.
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The Media Literacy course that we took this year as our senior year of Language Arts was very appropriate as we move on from high school and into college and other areas where media and technology play such an important role. Understanding media and being able to use technology wisely is crucial for our future success. Whether it means interpreting advertisements and articles or learning how to use social media for our advantage, being educated in media literacy will help us tremendously in our near future.

The most important lesson I have learned is how social media can have such a big impact on the perception others have of you. I have already been made aware of this aspect as I have become a part of a college program and was told I represented “their brand” and should behave accordingly and to be wise when using social media sites. I have also taken away with me the idea that we as a generation must not lose the “art of communication” and should strive to make connections with people in ways other than texting or tweeting. I am looking forward to going to college with a mission of creating relationships that depend more upon face-to-face interaction. I now have a better appreciation for advertising and news reporting as we have studied how the author’s message or the company’s strategy unfolds on the audience. It has given me a new perspective to look into the facts and make my own judgments. People need to feel independent enough to make decisions without feeling manipulated. Reading 1984 was very insightful as well to understanding individual thought versus collective persuasion. Examining a government that tried to control people in various ways that took away personal freedoms was very interesting. I believe that all of these learning exercises that we did in class has helped me to become more aware of the media and how it can influence people, how it can be hurtful, and how it can benefit individuals as well. I liked how the class was organized and how we used schoology to view upcoming assignments, view the instructions, and submit them. Media Literacy was definitely different than other Language Arts classes that I have taken because it did not follow the typical writing assignments and works of literature study, but again, I feel it was important to have before entering college to be equipped with a greater understanding of the importance of media on our society. I now have a better understanding of the tools I need to be successful for today. If I could make any suggestions to improve the class I would have to say that having a few tests would be beneficial to tying everything together.