Television- Its History and Future

By Megan Malewich

Word Count: 574

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Television is a vital part of everyday communication for all people of the world. The history of television shows slow advances in technology with major impacts on the world and how people view it. These advances have affected everything from entertainment to politics. As Web 2.0 has come about, television has had to adapt to remain relevant.

Television has had a long run to where it is at currently. With its building blocks in Marconi’s wireless telegram(ebook, 362), TV began its major impact on the world in the 1950s, though the first television was created in 1927 by Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworkin(ebook, 365). Originally with grainy, black and white images, television shows were thought to be merely visual radios. In 1953, color broadcasting became possible, this made watching a more enjoyable experience. A major breakthrough in television occurred when Ampex developed technology in 1956 for video recording and editing. Television went from all live shows to broadcasts that could be shown at different times. The development of Community Antenna Television (CATV) became the foundation for cable television and allowed more people from all over to have access to television. Cable and satellite, with fiber-optic cables allowed for cable channels to establish hundreds of different channels(ebook, 353). Finally, HDTV came about in the 2000s and allowed for better visuals. The slow development of TV was paired with 30 years of limited choices for viewers. But with advances in technology, starting with VCRs, then to DVDs and Tivo television watching boomed, there was an increase of 21% since these came out. Tivo, which is considered to be “multimedia time warping system”, and all these other technologies allowed for easier TV watching, which could be done on your own time. Series shows with complex story lines, like 24 became a trend (ebook, 330).

The advances of television lead to changes in entertainment and how we view the world. As visuals on tv’s became better and more important, hard news became softer (ebook, 308). Sitcoms, like All in the Family, became hits(ebook, 318) and national networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox News developed. Historical moments, like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon were able to be viewed by all (ebook, 426).

Television had a great effect on politics and political events. TV “became the dominant medium for political campaigns” (ebook, 206). The first nation conventions were aired in 1948. Channels like CNN began to pop up and add commentary to politics. The government became involved with the creation of the FCC, and mandated that both sides of political debate be heard with the Equal Time Rule (ebook, 135). The effects of TV on politics can be seen through the election of JFK over Nixon, after the televised debate in which JFK looked like a better candidate (ebook 211).

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One of the first developments seen in television that showed adaption to Web 2.0 was American Idol.  The viewers were active in the results of the show by voting off contestants. But as technologies developed TV developed, as well. Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV and the like are all examples of TV blending itself with Web 2.0. More and more television watching is done over the internet. There are 17 million users of streaming devices. Netflix has developed to allow viewers to have taste profiles and interact with their shows. These sites bring TV to the mobile world through streaming anywhere and everywhere. TV has a future in the world, it will continue to advance with the internet. Television will develop with Web 2.0 to become even more mobile, where all shows can be streamed to anywhere, and become more interactive.

Rebellion and Big Brother

By Megan Malewich

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George Orwell was a prolific writer that had a knack for incorporating powerful political commentary into interesting stories. Though best known for his novel Animal Farm, 1984 is Orwell’s most developed piece. Both pieces of nonfiction express his distaste for socialism. George Orwell’s 1984 is a the perfect example of dystopian nonfiction writing. Set in the the year 1984, the futuristic 1984 paints the picture of a totalitarian society in London, Oceania that is not picturesque. Orwell explores the repercussions of a society in which all aspects are controlled by the government, in the book The Party. Written in 1949, Orwell was inspired by what he knew about totalitarian governments, namely Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, to warn readers what this kind of government and extreme socialism would look like in free countries in the future.

The concept of “Big Brother” can be credited to this nonfiction book. The Party’s omniscient leader is everywhere but never seen. The government has control over every part of life, even thought. The city of London is not a pleasant one and its population is always being watched, cameras are everywhere, even in private homes. Pyramid shaped building rise above the city to serve the government’s need for control. Winston Smith is the protagonist of the story and leads a life that rebells from The Party. As ordinary employee in the Ministry of Truth Winston works to maintain the government’s ability to control what the population knows, bending history to show the masses only what the government wants the people to understand. Disgruntled by his lack of freedom, Winston begins his rebellion by keeping a diary. His lists of crimes against The Party continues to grow when he becomes interested in co-workers Julia and O’Brien. Winston’s rebellion eventually turns explosive when he is confronted by the Thought Police. Rebellion, betrayal, self expression and power all mix in this powerful novel.

“Big Brother”, mind control, the affects of propaganda, and creative writing make this book a must read. 1984 is a classic that deserves the title. Orwell’s passion for writing and his concerns for politics blend perfectly in this novel. It explores self-expression, oppression, love, and free will. His deep passion to express his concerns about politics and the types of government during his time help create a novel that can show, though very dramatic, how the human mind can be altered so greatly. With constant and powerful propaganda a human can be changed into something they never thought they would be. This book shows how communication and what we are exposed to shape us as people.

“The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”(Orwell, 1984) This book does exactly that, we already know the affects of what a totalitarian government can do, but the book does not only apply to history. 1984 exemplifies what effects communication, advertising, free will, and self-expression have on our minds and our society. Orwell succeeded in making political commentary into art, while expressing himself. Whether you are looking for a classic read, a fiction book that helped people be socially conscious, or a book that can blend entertainment and important lessons 1984 is a perfect choice.  Readers will fully understand the saying “Big Brother is watching you” once reading this book. Orwell combines politics, social consciousness and science fiction into a dramatic eye opening masterpiece. Similar books that deal with censorship, propaganda, and rebellion are Orwell’s Animal Farm and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. However after reading 1984, I have found this book to have the best intertwining of artistic writing and political commentary. I highly recommend this book and would give it a rating of 4 stars.

1984 is a Signet Classic and can be bought for $10 in paperback form.

Works Cited

Rollins, Jill. “Nineteen Eighty-Four Portrays Totalitarianism and Mind Control.” Research Starters. Salem Press Encyclopedia, Mar. 2015. Web. Apr. 2015.

George Orwell. 1984. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2003. Print.

Photo from: http://people.ucsc.edu/~jchellem/index2.html

Insta-Sucess

By Megan Malewich and Amanda Pape

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Instagram has become the new wave for teenagers to share every moment with their friends. A picture is worth a thousands words and thats why Instagram has become so  popular. Instagram allows for all of the moments you wish to capture to be viewed with the perfect filter. Though Instagram has been around for about five years, it has taken picture sharing to a new level.

In interviews with our peers we have found that Instagram has mainly taken the place of Facebook for many. Olivia mentioned that she now regularly checks Instagram while only checks Facebook once a day. If a phone is in her hand most likely she’s checking up on what the newest pics are. She says its an easier way to view all the pictures she wants to see. She loves that when she posts a picture she has the ability to edit it to look exactly how she wants it. Lizzy also is a huge fan of the app. She says its easier to check up on what her friends are doing when she can just see one photo instead of waiting for an entire album to be posted on Facebook. Instagram is used more than Facebook because its instantaneous.

Instagram was released for public use on October 6, 2010. Systrom and Krieger began working on the app in San Fransisco when they decided their seed project would be focused on mobile photography. Originally only for iPhone users the app took off because of its photo editing and sharing abilities. Instagram linked immediately to other social networking devices, allowing for user’s insta pics to be seen on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Instagram is considered an “immediate success story”. Within two months it had 1 million users. Facebook snatched up the successful app in April 2012, showing how popular and impressive the app was only two years after its launch. The popularity of Instagram is shown through its growth. Instagram grew 23% while Facebook grew 3% in 2013. In February 2013 it had 100 million users. Now Instagram has 150 million users and is still going strong.

Work Cited

Hochman, Nadav, and Raz Schwartz. “Visualizing Instagram: Tracing Cultural Visual Rhythms.” Visualizing Instagram: Tracing Cultural Visual Rhythms.

River Surfing and Mountain Climbing

By Megan Malewich

I chose to tell the story of my trip to Germany and the Alps. This four countries in less than two weeks trip has been one of my favorite life experiences to date. Because the journey was so breath taking and interesting I struggled with picking my favorite parts of the trip. To fit the story in which I could go on for days talking about into a less than three minute video was a struggle. In working on this project I became more advanced and skilled in working with iMovie. My favorite part of this project was that it gave me a reason to reminisce over the trip.

A Movie That Questions Humanity

By Amanda Pape and Megan Malewich

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The Blade Runner is considered to be one of the most influential science fiction movies of all time. The movie depicts Los Angeles in 2019 in a dystopian state. “Replicants”, robots that are basically indistinguishable from humans, have disobeyed the command to stay away from Earth. Blade Runners, retired special police officers, must track these outlaws down.

The Nation Film Registry has marked this movie as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film has taken great lengths to intertwine questions concerning humanity, ethics, and technology in our world. Replicants make the viewer question what it really means to be a human. Uncertainty and doubt are major themes throughout the movie. The Replicants showing sympathy make the viewer question if empathy and similar feelings are solely human emotions, and if that is the only thing that distinguishes a human being from a robot. The movie is also significant because it shows the relationship between a fictional world and the factual world. “THE BLADE RUNNER EXPERIENCE: THE LEGACY OF A SCIENCE FICTION CLASSIC” by Will Brooker points out that fiction, especially with this movie, affects how people perceive the real world.

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This 1982 movie took great lengths to depict a very advanced world. It is far more advance than what we believe the world will be like in four years. Though we have expanded greatly in technology over the years this movie reaches too far in advances in technology. The movie also makes the viewer question how far we should go in advancing technology. This could add to the critical acclaim within science fiction circles to the film.

In final analysis, the movie is an interesting and relevant piece that makes the view question what it means to be human.

“Brewed the Hard Way” Ad Analysis

By: Megan Malewich

I chose Budweiser’s “Brewed the Hard Way” commercial for the ad analysis assignment.

Budweiser’s aired their “Brewed the Hard Way” commercial for the 2015 Super Bowl. The ad takes a different approach from their usual story telling ad, which often do not spend much time showing their beer. For this sixty second commercial the beer takes center stage as intense up beat music plays in the background. All the while Budweiser contrasts those who drink their beer to craft beer drinkers. The “Brewed the Hard Way” commercial evokes multiple emotions with subliminally images and speaks to the economic influence their beer has in our society.

The ad’s target audience is young adults in their 20’s. Throughout the ad these are the only people shown. Budweiser is a beer drank by the masses, the average joe. With showing large groups of average young adults they are their beer is the common beer. To fit in with the normal crowd, you must drink their beer. Budweiser picks on craft beer drinkers by making them social outcasts. This ad makes being “ordinary” desirable.

This commercial is rich in symbols. The horse and multiple shots of the American Flag give the ad and American feel. To drink Budweiser beer is to be truly American. All people drinking their beer are attractive young people, symbolizing that is the crowd of people that drink their beer. While drinking the non-craft beer, everyone is have a good time and partying. This is saying that to have a good time you must drink Budweiser. Drinking craft beer and “fussing over” and “dissecting” the flavor makes the experience of drinking the competitors’ beers to be a less unenjoyable experience. Drinking Budweiser will make you have fun and to be a part of a fun group of people. Captions like “This is the only beer,” and “This is the famous…,” make the beer to be the most desirable in the industry.

Drinking craft beer has become more popular than ever before. Because of this the Anheuser Busch, the makers of Budweiser, being a “macro beer,” has taken a hit on their sales. This ad cost the company 9 million dollars to help combat their beer rivals while presenting themselves as “proudly, a macro beer”. However, the Anheuser Busch company recently bought out many craft breweries like Green Valley Brewing Company and Elysian, so their attempt to ridicule craft beers is an actually an attack on themselves. The main point of this ad is to show Budweiser as the staple of the American beer culture. The final scene of the commercial is a throwback to on of  their original slogan of “This Bud’s for you.” The slogan since 1979 adds to Budweiser’s attempt to appeal to the masses.

In essence, Budweiser tried to take an approach of commonality in their commercial. While poking fun at craft beers, they presented their beer as a beer for every young person, a beer that will allow you to have fun and be a part of the in-crowd. Psychologically and symbolically the “Brewed the Hard Way” ad presents images that establishes Budweiser as the all-American, good times beer. Economically the commercial represents what the Anheuser Busch company wants their consumer to be, large and not small like the their craft brewery competitors. Budweiser does a good job with depicting a good time, making the average viewer want to drink their beer, however the actual content of the ad is class and is hypocritical.