Sunday, September 25, 2011

How the media affect public opinion (Cultural Studies & Kellner's Multiperspectival approach)

Media and the influence they have on public

      Kellner's multiperspectival approach talks about the three factors that influence cultures and the way people within cultures perceive thing and create ideas. To understand a culture we should look at it from the three perspectives: political economy, text analysis, and audience reception. This idea ultimately brought me into analyzing how the media can influence the public's opinion. The different media outlets among different cultures broadcast message in different ways, in ways that fit the communication style in the particular culture.
      I could not help but think of our class while reading and following a recent coverage on Amanda Knox trial in Italy. Although the trial might be interesting it is not my intention to be talking about who did what and why. What I really find interesting and very recent when it comes down to our class is the way media covers and handles this case as it is followed internationally.
            This case involves natives of three different countries while this case itself took place in a country by itself. So how does the media cover it? Of course they are going to take sides depending on what country they are from and what the person involved did. In this case the media portrays the young American as an innocent girl who just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. How does the American public react to this? Very recently there was another case that is somewhat similar when it comes down to the media attention. The Casey Anthony trial was aired live and people were able to watch everything that was said in the courtroom. The question I have to ask is if people are going to get influenced by what the media says or if they have already made up their mind before even paying attention to the trial itself.
            Besides a young American woman involved, it is the victim who was from England. Here we can see the difference. The media in England are in general opposed to Amanda Knox and refer to her as another Casey Anthony. I guess my question is how much of the opinion of people is influenced by media? Is most of the opinion based on the media as people assume that the media probably know what they are talking about? Or are people influenced more by what country they belong to as it plays a big role in this particular case?
            To be honest I see it from a little different perspective. I believe that media are standing behind their opinion and picked a particular side because they know that no matter what the case looks like nationality and the feeling of belonging to a certain country is a very powerful emotion. That is why they do not have to repeat twice that Amanda Know is in fact a cruel American woman who did do whatever she is accused of. The same is happening here in America. The media know very well what people are going to feel like since the young woman “belong” to this country. It is not that they pay close attention to the trial and believe she is innocent it is the powerful feelings that are the main drive behind this.
So as we can see bias is all around us and it is not possible to deliver a message without influencing its content a little bit.
            How do you think the media portrays the case and Amanda Knox in Italy? Do you think that the local media is probably a little less biased? How do you think people perceive this case in Italy or in a country that is not involved?
You can follow the trial here:,8599,2095586,00.html


Dines, G. & Humez, J. (Eds.) (2008) Gender, Race, Class and Media (Third Edition) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage        
Kellner, D. (2007). Cultural studies, multiculturalism, and media culture. In Dines, G. & Humez, J. (Eds.), Gender, Race and Class in Media (7-18). Location: Thousand Oaks,CA: Sage.

            Burleigh, N. (2011, September 30). Why there will always be three Amanda Knoxes.                                   TimeWorld. Retrieved from,8599,2095586,00.html

1 comment:

  1. I find your post on the media influence in female court cases intriguing. I understand that the media is biased when it comes to court cases and they decide whether the person is innocent or guilty. I think it would be beneficial if you did find an article from a foreign country that portrayed any of the cases you mentioned in a different light. This would prove that we have tunnel vision when it comes to females that commit crimes. Though I have not followed the Knox case, I did follow the Anthony case. In the Anthony case the media did find her guilty and I did as well, but yet she was innocent. Did the jury not get influenced by the media? Or did they see something that we did not? That is also an interesting factor to look into.