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college writing media effects paper

college writing media effects paper - Berks 1 The media is...

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Berks 1 The media is a large part of the general public today. It affects how people view issues, what issues they view, and how they think about those issues. In particular are four media effects: Agenda Setting, Cultivation Theory, Third-Person Effect and Spiral of Silence. In 1999 there was extensive media coverage when Columbine High School seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold brought guns to school and “killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves (Nicholson, 2007)” in addition to wounding at least twenty others. In a school where sports ruled and where the jocks got away with almost anything, Harris and Klebold got angry. “dozens of interviews and and a review of court records suggest that Harris’s and Klebold’s rage began with the injustices of jocks (Adams, 1999).” They had witnessed many instances in which the athletes bullied other students and didn’t get in trouble for it. As a result, Harris and Klebold sought revenge. When applied to the shootings, Agenda Setting, Cultivation Theory, Third-Person Effect and Spiral of Silence together illustrate the media’s and society’s reactions. Agenda Setting, developed in early 1970s by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw, (University of Twente, 2004) is the idea that what the media publishes, whether in words or in pictures/live-action TV, affects the receiver’s belief of how important the issue really is. Or: “The media don’t tell people what to think, but what to think about (Baran & Davis, 2006).” Regarding the media around Columbine, Agenda Setting would suggest that guns, trench coats, and poor parenting skills, in addition to the school itself being a bully-filled battle ground, were some reasons for the shooting—even though those reasons might not necessarily be true. For example, the addition of the shooters’ attire in the following quote implies that the trench coats were directly related to the shooting: “two
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Berks 2 masked gunmen in black trench coats, brandishing shotguns and semi-automatic weapons (O’Driscoll, 1999).” To inform people of Columbine High School’s dangerous hallways, The Washington post said, “Columbine High School is a culture where initiation rituals meant upperclass wrestlers twisted the nipples of freshman wrestlers until they turned purple (Adams, 1999).” It was those incidents, and more like them, that caused Klebold and Harris to snap. The Los Angeles times published an article that made people think it could have been the poor parents. It states that Wayne Harris, the father of Eric Harris, kept a diary “that detailed numerous contacts with school officials and law enforcement authorities (Riccardi, 2006).” George Gerbner introduced Cultivation Theory in the 1970s. While his research focused mostly on violence in television () the theory can also be applied to news articles about Columbine. Because of that theory, the emphasis in the media on guns and trench coats as reasons for Columbine caused the general public to fear guns and trench coats. A
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  • Fall '08
  • Daly
  • Cultivation theory, Columbine High School massacre, Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, third-person effect

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college writing media effects paper - Berks 1 The media is...

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