Media platforms have evolved from a method of message distribution to a multi-faceted part of our everyday lives. We discovered throughout our research that as more media platforms have developed, different agendas and functions have arisen along with these new mediums, especially regarding entertainment media content. With our examination of each entertainment media platform, we have come to find that there are several overarching themes within entertainment media (the Internet, social media, the radio, print media, and television.) These themes include: advertising strategy, socialization, and media convergence.
We found that advertising is used across all media platforms, but different techniques were used within each platform in order to effectively meet advertising goals and to effectively reach targeted audiences. For example, repetition is often used in radio advertising because it lacks a visual component for audiences, while internet and social media advertisements rely on more analytical and personal data such as the behavioral tracking technique. Print and television media rely heavily on the use of visual graphics in advertising, and programs like Photoshop are often used to create and/or enhance graphics which seek to emphasize the impact of intended messages.
These advertisements rely on established social norms in order to convey desired messages. Advertisers resort to this reliance on social norms because of limitations of time and/or space. While the message becomes more direct this way, there are certain repercussions from the use of stereotypes in advertising. Such repercussions include the perpetuation of these stereotypes. Social media is often used in an attempt to defy/eradicate personal associations with these stereotypes. We found that media served many other socialization purposes including:
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Maintenance of the Status Quo
We found in our research that, despite our separation of media platforms, each platform was somehow integrated with another platform. For example, Buzzfeed articles and online radio stations can be linked directly to social media. Also there are many sites that allow for interactive readings of traditionally print sources online and there are many websites that provide access to network television shows from computers or even cell phones and tablets.
Why Should We Care?
Media is not only ubiquitous, but it has become an almost necessary component for participation in a globalized community. Media is everywhere, and the access to entertainment media seems to increase every day. The most important thing we have learned from our research is the importance of media literacy. It is important to know what kinds of resources you have, but it is more important to know how to use these media. We must be wary of the messages that are transmitted via the entertainment media because they are so powerful.