All posts by zaclarraza

The Future of Media in My Life

For about a decade now, all types of media have been a pretty big part of my life.  From my first memory of a major media event, which was the twin towers attack, to my latest, the Boston Bombing incident, media has influenced what I do along with my peers.  Media controls what is in style and what is no longer something that should be happening.  They play with our emotions, entertain us and make us obsess, but in the end, we need each other to function. 


New media creates relationships, ideas and uncertainty, but maybe it isn’t just the media creating it.  Maybe it’s the people like me sitting behind a computer pouring my thoughts out in a blog post that will spark an idea for someone else.  Maybe this post will evoke someone to spark up a conversation with me that create a new friendship.  Our media does have its unquestionable positivity’s about it.  I personally use media to connect with my beliefs, my likes and friends that I no longer see on a regular basis. 

I am no hardcore politics guru but I do chose one news station over another because of the material they portray on their outlet.  With the amount of diversity in that portion of media, people are able to pick and chose the news outlet. 

My biggest interest in life is sports, not just the playing of the sports, but the makeup of every franchise from owner to towel boy and what it takes to keep a successful sports business running.  ESPN and every local sports station keeps me up to date on what is going on in the sports world.

 For me, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are my most visited websites.  Each one of those serves a different purpose in my life.  I use each media outlet to connect with different people in different ways.


I believe that when our generation begins to have children, their entire world will be consumed with electronics and media.  You are already beginning to see children with Iphones or Ipads connecting with the media world with very limited supervision from their parents.  So when I begin to have children I already plan on their entire curriculum in school being based off of Ipads and media based studies.  Also, media has taken enormous leaps and bounds in the past few years and I plan on it only getting bigger and a more integrated portion of our lives. 


One thing I do fear is the constant need of power in conglomerations and that never-ending chase to become the most powerful.  The diversity we have right now in media is great and like I said earlier, people have a vast field to choose from in many classifications.  As we get older, the need for power may grow and conglomerations may begin to buy out struggling outlets.  This will greatly affect the concentration of our news and entertainment.    

Modern Family: The non-stereotypical stereotype

For five seasons now, Modern Family has been putting its own personal spin on stereotypes with race, gender and sexual orientation.  For those of you who have not seen this show, it is about a large family with every stereotype of a person you could think of.  The title of the show fits perfectly with the content within the show.  Every quote, scenario or character in the show depicts(with a twist) of what life is beginning to look like in the Modern world.  You see the evolution of family and how it has moved away from the traditional family which is; same race, opposite sex, same age, same class and 2-4 kids.  Now you see depicted in this show; same sex marriage, interracial relationships, differing age relationships, adopted children. 

In this show, I believe the media is misrepresenting the characters and every scenario about the show for a reason.  I believe they are showing the change that our society is going through.  We are going through a progressive time with a lot of change.  Some major changes have happened in recent history with feminism, same sex marriage and interracial relationships.  This show puts a hilarious twist on nearly every stereotype you can think of.  This may be one of the only shows that does this for the good and to make people aware of the ongoing change our social norms are going through.  

For me growing up, I only knew about the typical old fashioned family I talked about earlier.  It had nothing to do with me not being an open minded person, it was just that is all I knew and the only thing I had been taught until about the age of 10.  This show has been pretty educational to people watching while being very entertaining.  Although it Modern Family does pull out every stereotype possible, they do it do inform people that there are other ways of viewing relationships and people.  


I did happen to stumble upon this which was one of the few negative stereotypes that was shown in an episode(at least to my knowledge).  Although it may have that funny, feel good twist to the joke, it is still furthering the stereotype of all people of Asian descent being terrible drivers.  

Overall this show is the only one I can think of that constructively uses stereotypical ideologies to enhance the knowledge of the social movement.  It does have its moments of inappropriate actions but overall is used as a base to encourage people to keep an open mind for everything that may come and go throughout their lives  

The Truth Behind Tillman

Gatekeeping is information that gets either watered down or built up and sent out to the general public through any media outlet.  Those media outlets include the radio, T.V, or newspaper.  Gatekeeping can occur in many different ways but two of the most popular are through the news reporter or the editor.  The news reporter can decide which sources he decides to publish while the editor has the ability to chose which news stories will be published.  There are many ways for gatekeeping to take place now and many examples of when it has occurred in the past.


One of those examples that really caught my attention was an event that started with the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001.  Pat Tillman was an NFL Pro-Bowl linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals the day those heinous events took place.  Eight months after that horrific day Pat Tillman was a United States Army Ranger.  On April 22, 2004, he was killed in combat in Afghanistan.  At first the military claimed Tillman died fighting the Taliban and earned a Silver Star in his last action. This was the story that was first reported. Tillman was a poster boy for the government’s involvement in the war. They wanted to make him a hero. Then the real story came out, after much pressure from his family, that there was a “friendly fire” incident. 


As this particular example shows, what occurred in reality and what was reported to the public in the media were very different. The reporters were doing their job when they were reporting the “hero” story. There were editors who knew the truth but felt it would damage the governments’ position in the war, the military’s ability to recruit young people to join and certainly the public support. So to protect all these entities, the truth was covered up. As typically happens these days, the real story eventually makes it’s way to mainstream media and gets reported. Even then, there are questions about the new version of the story. Was Pat Tillman’s death really caused by friendly fire? If the truth was withheld before is the truth being told now?  All of this is a strong example of gatekeeping. 


As one can see, the people who control what is reported can affect many aspects of a story. Even to the point of the public questioning the integrity of the highest level of the government. The gatekeepers lead us to think and believe what they want us to think and believe, sometimes when the truth may be tampered with.  The reporters and editors have the ability to control beliefs of the public and this example is one that upset me when I heard the truth.  

The Morality and Regulation in Media

Something that has caught my attention for quite a while now was how not just T.V but all of media was regulated.  So, while reading this chapter, I knew this was something I would like to conduct my next blog post about.  The definition from of Morality is, “a particular system of values and principles of conduct, esp. one held by a specified person or society.”  Now this given definition gives a pretty accurate description of what I also believe morality could mean, but how can we decide what belongs in the moral category and what content is immoral.  You ask one hundred different people and I assume nearly everyone will have discrepancies on deciding which type of content should be aloud to be shown to the American community.  For example, take show like Family Guy.  Although it is a cartoon, they conceptualize real life, every day situations.  I am a person who isn’t offended by much and this show gets very close to upsetting me sometimes.  A person who has thinner skin may get a very uneasy or uncomfortable feeling form watching a few minutes of this popular television program. Periodically throughout this program, the characters make fun of the government, media regulations, and everyday situations in the crudest way possible.  As immoral a T.V as it is, it is made for entertainment purposes (and to stir up trouble with FOX) and not to influence people to go out in the world and act in the same idiotic way the characters do.  I don’t believe that people watch a show like this and go out in the real world and think that driving drunk is smart or a cool thing to do because Peter Griffin does it.  Shows like this aren’t meant to influence people to go out in the world and act as they see on T.V, they are put on cable television for entertainment. 

From a young age, adults always asked to me, “If (insert someone’s name) jumped off a bridge, would you?  I always said no and to this day have never jumped off a bridge.  I never understood why I was asked that because I know that was dangerous and I know the person who I just quoted would probably never jump off a bridge.    Viewers and critics need to realize that because we see something cruel on T.V and we know it’s a heinous thing to do, we more than likely will not go out and try to duplicate the action we watched.  All television is based off of real world events and I think no matter what program you look at, it will be less graphic than what would be happening in the real life situation.  To me, the real world carries the most impact on what someone’s views of any certain topic is.  Sure, television helps shape that opinion but what that an individual experience throughout his life at school, on the streets or around the house is what will mold is morals.  For me, I grew up with parental controls on the television, which gives a parent their own type of regulation.  Any two people in this country can define both regulation and morality differently.  Each person has their own right to be able to have morals and be able to regulate what is displayed on their television.  Whatever morality means to you is better suited to be regulated while sitting on the couch in front of a television because it sure as hell wont be regulated once you walk outside your door into the real world. 

ESPN “The World Wide Leader In Sports”

Entertainment and Sports Programming Network is the largest sports broadcasting company in the world.  ESPN has its headquarters stationed in Bristol, Connecticut.  ESPN does not only have a television station but also owns a website and a magazine.  ESPN is not only an American media conglomerate, but a worldwide company. Including the U.S, ESPN has stations in Mexico, Spain, Australia, Brazil and the U.K.  In 2012, ESPN opened a second broadcasting station in LA to help compliment the already successful station in Connecticut. 


Below is an ownership map of the companies and programs that are owned by ESPN.


TV:  Sports Center, Baseball Tonight, College GameDay, College Football Final, College Football Live, College Football Scoreboard, College GameNight, Midnight Madness, E:60, ESPN FC, MMA Live, Monday Night Countdown, NASCAR Countdown, NASCAR Now, NBA Coast to Coast, NBA Countdown, NFL Live, NFL Matchup, NFL Primetime, NBA Fastbreak, NBA Shootaround, Outside the Lines First Report, Sunday NFL Countdown, The Beat, The Trifecta, WNBA Shootaround, World Cup Live.

Talk/Debate: Around The Horn, Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable, First Take, Mike and Mike in the Morning, Numbers Never Lie, Outside the Lines Sunday, Pardon the Interruption, The Sports Reporters, Best of Mike and Mike, SportsNation, Winners Bracket.

Original Series: Battle of the Gridiron Stars, The Bronx is Burning, The Contender, ESPN2 Block Party, ESPN2 Garage, Madden Nation, NBA Live: Bring It Home, The New American Sportsman, Teammates, Tilt, World Series of Poker, 30 for 30, Nine for IX.

Game Telecasts: ACC Wednesday, Big Monday, ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime, ESPN College Football Thursday Primetime, ESPN2 College Football Friday Primetime, ESPN2 College Football Saturday Primetime, ESPN Full Circle, Friday Night Fights, Monday Night Baseball, Monday Night Football, NASCAR on ESPN, NBA Friday, NBA Wednesday, Professional Bowlers Association, Saturday Primetime, Sunday Night Baseball, Super Tuesday, Throwdown Thursday, Wednesday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Fights, Wimbledon, WNBA Tuesday.

Print:  ESPN The Magazine.

Entertainment/ Miscellaneous: ESPY Awards, ESPN The Magazine, The ESPN Sports Poll, ESPN Broadband, ESPN Books,, ESPN Deportes La Revista, ESPN Integration, ESPN MVP, ESPN Online Games, College football bowl games, X Games.



ESPN is an extremely successful media conglomerate whose majority owner is none other than the infamous Disney.  ESPN was founded on September 7, 1979 by a man by the name of Bill Rasmussen.  Chet Simmons is the only President and CEO to serve since the start of ESPN.   Since the grand opening of this illustrious company, they have done nothing but increase their value and spread across the world.  Every company needs money to start up and the Getty Oil Company provided that funding for the kicking off of ESPN.  The biggest money maker for ESPN is its flagship program, Sports Center.  Sports Center came along with the ESPN start up and has been the main show on ESPN ever since.


ESPN does quite a bit of both vertical and horizontal integration.  They use the same type of media, that being sports, to accumulate their wealth.  They have many shows that touch different audiences but are similar.  They have expanded form their original TV station to many different media outlets.  Including television, they now have radio, print and Internet.  ESPN is able to influence their viewers in nearly anyway they would like because like their slogan says, they are “The World Wide Leader in Sports”. There is no other sports/media conglomerate in the world that compares to the mass audience that ESPN touches on a daily basis.





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