Ever since 2012 Miley Cyrus has been a walking headline. With daring outfits, performances, and lyrics, she is not the same girl that many of us grew up with on Disney’s Hannah Montana. She has made countless provocative decisions highlighted by her dancing on Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMA’s. While some were shocked and outraged by her act, MTV realized the opportunity they had with her and decided to bring her back, this time to host the Video Music Awards in 2015. It was everything MTV could have asked for, millions tuned in to see what Miley Cyrus would wear, say and do. Here are just some of the events that took place during August 30, 2015 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angelas, California.
While the Video Music Awards are certainly not the Oscars, or the Golden Globes, the Video Music Awards is a meaningful event for artists around the world and it is thought that a host should hold themselves to a high standard while generating some laughs and entertainment. Miley decided to completely avoid the standard part, cursing throughout the show multiple times without any regard to who some of the people watching at home would be. Now, this is certainly not the first time someone has cursed on live television, it may be the first time someone has cursed that much on live television. In a world where people look up to celebrities, Miley Cyrus used to be someone that parents could approve of if their child decided to look up to her. Now, parents have to hide Miley from their kids.
Miley Cyrus also ate a marijuana brownie with Snoop Dogg, an American rapper famous for smoking marijuana. California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, however has not legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Marijuana is also still federally illegal, so while there was no concrete proof that the brownie had marijuana in it, for Miley Cyrus to say that she was eating a marijuana brownie with Snoop Dogg on national television was bold to say the least. Marijuana is still frowned upon in society even if some states have legalized it, the marijuana taboo still exists. Even though cigarettes are looked down on in America after the marketing campaign that took place in the early 2000s, cigarettes have less of a stigma than marijuana does. Marijuana is looked at as a gateway drug and something that bad people do. For Miley to admit that she was smoking marijuana on national television was either a huge stunt by MTV to get people talking, something to try and loosen the stigma on marijuana or just Miley being Miley and doing whatever she wants to do to try and further herself from the Disney, can do no wrong, innocent little girl Miley.
2015 had a lot of controversial instances in the music industry. There were plenty of feuds, controversial lyrics and people doing whatever they wanted to get their name out. It goes to show than in that industry, people believe that regardless of the story, publicity is publicity and it can help their career.
“Page One: Inside the New York Times” is a documentary about how the New York times has been able to survive through the digital age. A time where advertising in newspapers has disappeared resulting in many papers going bankrupt. Also, people want information yesterday and they want it for free. The documentary shows the process a story goes through to make it in the New York Times and compares that to how quickly a story can be posted online. Online, someone hears about something headline worthy, types it up and posts it for everyone to see. As compared to the New York Times, the story has to be heard, all the correct facts need to be collected, the story then needs to be typed properly, it then gets edited and re-edited. Then finally the story goes to the a meeting where the heads from each section debate on which stories will be put on the next day’s paper. This method has pros and cons. A pro would be that for a reputable paper like the New York Times, it should be a garuantee that all the facts are correct and the story is properly reported. However this is not always the case; before the war in Iraq, Judy Miller wrongly reported the details about Iraq having weapons of mass distruction as well as other misreportings. A con to this method is that not every story that someone would want to read is published. However this also works adversely for online media. Due to the volume of stories published online, many are lost in the feed and not seen by the public.
The documentary then talks about why print media like the New York Times is so vital. People who work for the Times were filmed talking about how they will never see a media outlet like the Huffington Post publish an article about a town board meeting. Media is now being dominated by a few giant places or individual,independent journalists; neither of which would care about a town board meeting. However there are readers who want to know what happened in that meeting and without the local papers, there is a chance that information like that may be lost.
The film then shows the impact of Wikileaks, a website that leaks government information for the good of the public. They showed how Wikileaks has manipulated information to better fit their agenda. They showed a video of the United States attacking in Iraq and framing so it looked like the United States was in the wrong. This could be described as dirty journalism, something the New York Times stays away from however the public see the story and react. They have a low media literacy and because of that, they do not make the right judgements about what they are seeeing and reading.
Online media has brought us closer than ever to events worldwide. However it is also removing us from what is close to that, and people who work for companies like the New York Times are trying to keep that preserved.
Media literacy is something that every person should understand, but very few even know about. As defined by the book, media literacy is, “The process of interacting with media content and analyzing it critically by considering its particular presentation, its underlying political or social messages, and ownership and regulation issues that may affect what is presented and in what form.” Being media literate allows you, the reader to answer the question, “why.” Why did they post this article, why is is relevant, is this worth stressing over. Too many times do people see a headline, read the article and then verbally vomit the information back up without even thinking about what they just read.
Take Donald Trump for instace, the man who is running for President of the United States almost completely off headlines and is currently a front runner. He has said brash things, avoided a lot of actually political talk and still has Americans convinced to vote for him. Part of the reason why, a lack of media literacy in America. People are seeing what he says but they are not listening to what he actually talks about. Similarly to what happened in the Nixon Kennedy debate. Those who watched the debate on televison believed that John F. Kennedy had won. However those who listened to the debate on the radio believed that Richard Nixon had won the debate. The reason, people who saw the debate looked at Kennedy, the more confident person and believed it sounded better than what Nixon was sayiing, who was sweaty and worse in front of the camera than Kennedy. While the people who only listened to the debate only got to hear the words both candidates were saying. This played into Nixon’s hand because his politics that night were better than Kennedy’s. However the people who watched the debate were more influential than those who only listened to the debate, as Kennedy eventually went on to become President.
Now, I am not arguing who should have been President after the 1960 election. And I am also not here to talk about whether Donald Trump should be President or not. What I am here to talk about however is the importance of being able to disect a headline or an article. Nowadays the vast majority of people living in America, can read. But is that enough. Is it enough to be able to read an article and summarize its main points. We are in a time where we have access to far more information at any given moment than ever imagined. This can be a blessing, and it can also be a curse. It is a great thing when the next biggest storm is rapidly approaching and you now have a few days to be able to prepare for it and take precautionary measure to make sure you are safe. However when you believed a non-reliable source for this storm and you bought protection from the storm without keeping the receipt, then it becomes a curse.