After doing the assigned coursework for this section, it is clear to me that the invasion of the privacy of the individual for the sake of security is marked by good intentions, though it has gone too far in recent years; similarly, the same invasion of rightful property for the sake of corporations is unethical and must become more transparent as well as more regulated. After the horrific events of 9/11, I can understand the desire of the government to prevent an additional attack by any means necessary, and I am in support of their surveillance up to a certain point; however, I am also a firm believer in my rights as a citizen of this country, and the government tapping into my private life and conversations without my permission violates the rights guaranteed to me in the Bill of Rights. Also, the government has no right granted to them within any legislation that allows them to order companies such as Verizon to hand over sensitive information about their customers, information that annihilates any semblance of trust between service provider and user. The phone conversations of clients of Verizon and other companies are not under the jurisdiction of the National Security Agency, otherwise known as the NSA, and their presumption to the right to these conversations is a clear sign that changes need to be made in the structure of terrorism prevention programs. On a related note, the unrestricted access of corporations to private information of potential and current clients is also a violation of said clients’ rights. The sale of contact information for various demographics and individuals that are considered “likely clients” to companies that use this information is not a problem per se, but the issue has potential to become problematic if left unchecked and if no transparency on behalf of the companies who aggregate the data and those who utilize said data is mandated. When I open my computer and make use of Google for homework, and the advertisements are tailored to mention student discounts on various retail websites, and when the company from which I purchased a suit for high school forensics my junior year of high school still is mentioned on the side of my screen, I am made to feel uncomfortable. I have recently taken to using “Incognito” mode on my Internet browser in order to avoid the collection of my data, and I have disabled “cookies” as well. Though there are measures in place to protect online privacy, the vast majority of those accessing Internet content are not aware of them. I would argue that these options must be made more accessible, becoming “common knowledge.” Until this point, rights are being violated, and though the violation is not severe, it could quickly become more dire if left unchecked.
The issue of diversity in the mass media culture is often a topic of hot debate, and for good reason. For countless years, since the beginnings of mass communication, the market has been heavily saturated by white individuals, primarily white males. As such, a great deal of reasonable complaints have arisen in recent history about the uniformity of most news stations and other modes of news. Many measures have been taken as a result of the airing of these grievances, but some would argue that it isn’t enough. However, still others would argue that attempting to regulate who we see when we attempt to get our news each day is unnecessary and denies some individuals a fair chance to work in the field they are trained for, prioritizing those with a specific minority status over those who may be more qualified. Personally, I feel that these changes in the media are truly for the better. Every person should be able to see herself in the media, regardless of race or gender. Additionally, the diversity of people within the media lends itself to a variety of perspectives on what is often the same story, as one story is usually covered by almost every media outlet with varying frequency. Another complaint some have about diversity within the media is that these diverse individuals have different viewpoints than they might, which is quickly remedied by the changing of the channel to a station that lends itself to the same viewpoint as the viewer or the picking up of a different newspaper or magazine. There are seemingly endless news stations and outlets available for public consumption; it is almost impossible to hold a claim that is not catered to by one or more outlets. Still another grievance is the statement that white people who watch diverse news teams don’t feel that every person on said teams represent their demographic, In response to that, it could easily be argued that no other race or ethnicity is able to turn on the television or open a newspaper or magazine and see that all the contributors are the same as them, unless one is looking at “niche” channels, publications, or websites. Furthermore, those of different ethnicities or orientations who may not have seen themselves represented prior to these regulations and encouragements to do so may now feel that they too can attempt this career path, opening doors that previously weren’t available to them. As such, diversity in the media should not only be encouraged, but required in order to ensure equal representation for all ethnicities and races.
After hearing Mike Boettcher’s talk in class, I was really amazed! Above is a video interview I did with a partner following the lecture.