Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why are we watching Max Headroom?

In class on January 30th we watched the episode War from the Max Headroom series that aired in the 1980's. A short-lived but interesting portrayal of the future controlled and obsessed by the media (in particular television).

I'd like to get you started blogging so there's no better time to start. Here's what I want you to do:
  • First read Mr. Brad Weaver's guide to blogging. His recommendations are good and so there's no need for me to write anything new.
  • Next, set up a blog of your own. I suggest either Blogger or Wordpress (in that order).
  • Choose a creative name for your blog and get it going live.
  • For Monday, February4th, I want you to compose a post based on the Max Headroom episode we watched in class. Make the post about 150-200 words. (Please don't make it one huge block of text. Make a new paragraph every three or four sentences...this makes it easier to read)
  • Assume that you are a media critic/observer and you just discovered these old Max Headroom episodes and you decided to write on it. Focus your comments on how this episode illustrates a key concept of media literacy (we have talked about many so far so pick a concept and base your comments on that).
  • Remember approach this as if you are writing for a mass distributed blog and you are the media expert.
This assignment isn't graded but it is intended to get your blog up and operational and you writing.

27 comments:

Keith said...

Leave your blog addresses here.

Leah's Blog said...

In class we discussed the three types/ classifications of media messages; information based, entertainment based, and advertising based. We discussed how sometimes a message can represent more than one or even all three. (The line is blurred between the three types.) I thought this was an interesting topic of media literacy presented in the Max Headroom episode.
The show was based around a news station. Many people would automatically think that this meant the messages being exposed to the public were information based messages. However, this episode of Max Headroom proved that even with news the line is blurred between information and entertainment based messages. There was a quote from the episode that made this concept stand out.
Edison Carter said, “Since when has news been entertainment?” He was answered by his friend with the mustache, “Since it began.”
The whole episode was based around the idea of “sweeps” and the competition for rates and viewers between two different news stations. The one news station was not reporting true news. The stories the news station was reporting were staged and planned out. The episode shows that even the news can sometimes trap us and give us a false sense of being informed.

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