COMS201 Fall 2011

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Lecture 7

Filed under: Uncategorized November 5, 2011 @ 20:36

Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

24 Comments »

  1. Fraser Flemons:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    -I think that I am a consumer, along with everyone else. We are expected to be consumers, and when we start to become more citizen than consumer (like the occupy movement), we are portrayed as \acting out\.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    Definetly. Economically, democracy relies on the injection of money into the market. People have to spend their money in order for the economy to remain stable. When people start saving their money, it further drives the economy into depression. With that in mind, the media is privately owned by a small concentration of businesses who use the media as a tool to effect what we think about, what we want/need ect. I also believe that these major businesses that control the media have more power over us than any government would, and therefore would strongly influence governmental decisions. It produces a situation where a very small group of people with all of the money are able to control the government and the population through media.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    No. The internet is different than other forms of media because it allows the general public to go out and find information that would not be available through more traditional forms of media. It also allows people to express their own views and opinions to others by \Broadcasting themselves\. This is unique to the internet because it allows people who do not have wealth to widely broadcast ideas and viewpoints that may not be congruent with the agendas of big media owning companies. By charging by use, these major companies would be strangling the viewpoints of these indipendant broadcasters, and eliminating opinion which is not laced with revenue driven motives. Internet companies are wanting to do this for 2 reasons. Increased revenue for themselves, and also to return to the situation where a small group of people who have all of the money are able to influence and control all aspects of the society

  2. Graham C.:

    1. I think that I am probably a consumer…And while I agree with the assumption in many respects, I also don’t find myself motivated by the newest technologies. I don’t want the newest phones or TV’s or even an upgrade to my ’94 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Yes, I consume on a daily basis but at the same time there an involuntary resistance, not because I am trying to fight the vicious cycle, but because the products that they are trying to sell to me just don’t appeal… Maybe I just don’t like change.

    2.Unfortunately media has has corrupted democracy. Media is the “Gatekeeper” of information and depending on the values that the particular media entity holds they can subtly endorse or degrade parties. With people having less interest in politics, especially when it comes to changing their routine to become informed on what the parties truly offer, media will continue to spoon feed the public the information that furthers their own agenda.

    3. Hearing that this is a possibility has saddened me. While I definitely hope that it doesn’t happen, it’s hard to believe that it won’t. Another sobering point about “Internet Metering,” is that Saturday’s class was the first I had heard of it. The people who control what messages are getting sent to the public are keeping this issue much quieter then it should be because it would cause an uproar.
    I hope that it doesn’t come to fruition but they find a way to make us pay for everything else so it looks grim…

  3. Brooklyn Tchozewski:

    1.Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    It is difficult to say I am more of a consumer, because I truly want to say I am a citizen. However, I consume so many things in my life. Consumerism versus citizenship is basically “I want” versus “we need”. For example, I want to support Canadian stores because it is good for our nations economy. However, if I am at a Canadian store and I know my groceries are going to be more expensive than if I go to WalMart, I will shop at WalMart. I will do this regardless if I know the products were created by young children in a factory. I am slightly ashamed and feel selfish writing this, but the it is the truth for not only myself, but many other people as well.

    2.Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    Media definitely corrupts democracy to an extent. I feel as if media distorts particular parties and democracy so that we will never truly know the strengths and weaknesses of our own system. As a society, we mostly agree that democracy is the best way to go. Therefore, it is rare that we question it. It is also quite corrupt how the value of money is played into democracy. If we give money to a particular party, we are said to support that party. It seems as if the party that holds the most money is the party that is able to get their message across more effectively through media. Therefore, is the information really spread fairly? I don’t believe it is. Democracy is very corrupted by media concentration.

    3.Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    No, I do not. The Internet is the modern-day book. The Internet is how people access information on a global scale. A monthly fee is appropriate because you are buying a service. Pay-per-use would become extremely expensive. I feel as if the Internet should be treated as a newspaper would. Businesses are very money driven, so I can definitely see pay-per-use occurring, but it would be unfortunate.

  4. Alva:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    I think we have established on the world stage that consumerism is a vital part of our citizenship and loyalty to our country. Economy has been integrated into patriotism.
    In separating the two I would say I am more of a consumer. I do not vote every time I am given the opportunity or obey the law to the letter 100% of the time. But I do shop, even when I’m not purchasing anything I am analyzing products in my head and deciding how much I need to save.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?
    I think media furthers the deception that already existed by giving politicians a new avenue to do so. I also believe that if the directors of media are favouring a candidate they can alter the perception of the audience by showing only positive incidents of the candidate and only negatives (or not covering at all) the opposing.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?
    I use the internet comparatively little. I check facebook, use google maps and blackboard but that is about it. So personally, I wouldn’t mind, but I can see why others would be upset.

    On a side note I find it interesting that internet companies can supposedly monitor where you are getting movies and such from but there has been no pressure (or at least none that’s become evident to the public) from the government to use this information to track and charge those who download illegally. this makes me wonder if it is still regarded as an issue or if it’s become an accepted norm.

  5. Jennifer K. Blezard:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    I think of myself more as a citizen. I don’t run out to buy the fancy new gadget once it’s out just because of a sense of “have to have it”. If I need it, then I will buy it but usually I look for the best deal and won’t make a strictly brand driven purchase. I practice my rights as a citizen and try to contribute to society in a way that a constructive citizen would. The idea that we are all mindless capitalist consumers presents some very interesting theories but I think it’s not as black and white as that. There are grey areas.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    I think once again this is a slightly grey area. I think Chomsky had some valid points and that the media to some extent corrupts democracy. But I think what’s lacking in this theory is the notion that most people today are quite aware of how saturated we are day-to-day with media.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    No. No. No. No. And no. I think this is another way of big business reaching into the pockets of the people and scratching around for more money. As a student, a lot of my studying and research relies on online sources. I’m on a blog for this class right now! If my internet usage is metered I’m basically up a creek without a paddle. Shaw charges me enough as it is for what I get and if we end up with metered internet usage I am concerned that people in the student populace will be impacted the worst. This is greed, plain and simple on behalf of service providers. They already monopolize the market. I have few enough options to shop around for my carrier and they want more money for a service that is already controlled?
    …I will conclude here as there is a big danger of this escalating into a HUGE rant.

  6. Devin Chollak:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    It is hard to say which one I am. I feel that I am a mix of both. However, unlike many people I know TV is an extremely rare activity for me. I spend significantly more time on the computer and online with people I know than simple watching the news on TV or shows. I am a consumer because I still go and watch movies, buy clothes at the mall, food from the grocery store, etc. It would be hard to say that anyone living in our society isn’t, at some level, a consumer.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    I believe that not only democracy but any type of political system will become corrupted when media is held by a select few. Personally, the political system has almost no relevance in regards to if it becomes corrupt or not. Instead it is the media concentration that can cause almost any system of government we have cause corruption. Ideally, this means that any government that seriously wants to combat media concentration is required to enforce regulations to prevent its existence.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    No, never, ever, ever, ever, ever! The internet is an enabling technology that we should only need to pay to access, not pay to use. There is absolutely no reason to charge for usage other than to put a cap on excessive data usage. Otherwise the information and data should be free to use.

  7. shidashabanirad:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    im definitely a mix of both. I buy clothes and shoes and groceries and etc, at the same time i hate news and news paper and radios! i don’t believe in any of it because i simply think its pure BS .. (personal opinion)

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    I think everything from political, to democracy and government is all corrupted with Media. Everything is absolutely corrupted to make us see things other than what they actually are to have us thinking in ways that are most beneficial to these acts. For example the only way we do have a connection to these acts are through, NEWS PAPERS, TV, RADIO, INTERNET .. what other ways are there for us to access to find out information about them? so why wouldn’t they include what information and media they want to put in our heads the ideas they want …

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    Internet is absolutely great, but it goes back to my point about news and radio and TV .. i think Internet is a way of having control over people and their lives. Who are the providers of these internet services? what is it that assures us these people cannot access our private information? Think about it, if someone wanted to know who you are and what you do and what your interests are as a person .. its extremely easy! just check your inbox and than move on to your Facebook and from there to your bank statements to see what it is you pay for and go to and what your financial situation is to seeing your Google map searches to your destinations and what types of searches did you pull up on Google to see what it was you were interested in knowing and finding out .. BAM! that person now knows EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE! .. that to me is a bit creepy, however, i still use internet at all times from my pc to my ipad to my phones .. and there is no stopping it and if it was pay per use id still pay to use it and im glad that it isn’t! means more clothes and shoes!

  8. Kevin:

    I feel like I am definitely a citizen… I participate in a lot of online message board and forums to create discourse on media events and get opinions from other people. I’m also involved in a lot of social media, and have seen the power that an online community uniting can have. I’ve grown up as a child of the internet, the first generation to do so, and it’s had a profound effect on the way I communicate with everyone.

    I’m one of the few who isn’t entirely opposed to having internet be pay-per-use… it does cost the company more money to be putting out more bandwidth, that’s how the internet works. Why should everyone’s rates go up when one person might only use it for their hockey pool and Facebook and another person uses it to download terabytes worth of media?

  9. Kanza Anjum:

    1- I think I’m a consumer. I love shopping. whenever i get time,
    the first thing i do is to go to a mall and look for best deals.
    I don’t really watch TV but spend most of my time on internet.

    2- yes, I agree that media corrupts democracy.
    We believe on what media shows us,and whatever it shows us is not 100% truth.

    3- No, internet should never be subject to pay-per-use policies. I think it
    is the fastest source that makes us stay connected to each other and to the world

  10. Yidan Jiang:

    Democracy is definitely corrupted by media usage. We always say Canada, Us, North american countries are democracy countries. By Democracy, Canadians do have more freedom to vote and other thing. But when it comes to media, we also have news, and tv shows and channel that brainwashes us into whatever the government want us to believe in. So, in a way, this is just like a propaganda that communist countries experience.

  11. orkhan.suleymanov:

    The “consumer” is the one who consumes the goods and services produced. As such, consumers plays a vital role in the economic system of a nation because in the absence of the effective demand that emanates from them, the economy virtually collapses. And Citizen is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. I think i am a citizen and simultaneously a consumer.In my opinion, eavh person is the consumer and citizen.
    I really agree with Chomsky.Because,democracy has to be controlled by people, and now people are being controled by media, so it means that democracy is managed or corrupted by media and t its consntrations. There is one very good info text on wikipedia..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer

  12. Jing Jing Yang:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    I think I am a mix of both. On the one hand, I do spend lots of time watch TV, surfer the Internet and use smart phone every day. One the other hand, I have read news habit and read everywhere such as TV news, internet, newspaper even radio sometimes.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    I absolutely agree with Chomsky. According the structure picture which showed in class, all the thing from political, democracy and government transformed through media. Also, it is said news and media are profit driven and media outlets must cater to financial interests of owners. Indeed, the media is privately owned by concentration of businesses which use the media as a tool to influence what we think and what we need. Ultimately, those major business influences the governments make decisions. That democracy is defiantly corrupted by media concentration.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    No. The Internet cannot be subject to pay-per-use policies. Internet is new media and it’s totally different with other forms of media. It is a place provides to people free talking, share views and relaxing. It has changed the traditional media style which not limited by time, space, place. It allows more people have opportunities acquiring information and knowledge, keep touch with society and share culture events. Without Internet, the world just cannot rapidly such fast and people’s life cannot get such high level. Because it’s already plays an important role in media, if the Internet in a pay-per-use model, the mechanism of information transmitted would became a low level and go back to the situation which small group control whole society.

  13. moses ndirangu:

    1. Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    I think I am a consumer , since i spend most of the weekend surfing the net , watching TV and talking on my cell phone

    2.Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    The mass media constitute the backbone of democracy. The media are supplying the political information that voters base their decisions on. They identify problems in our society and serve as a medium for deliberation. They are also the watchdogs that we rely on for uncovering errors and wrongdoings by those who have power. It is therefore reasonable to require that the media perform to certain standards with respect to these functions, and our democratic society rests on the assumption that they do. The most important democratic functions that we can expect the media to include surveillance of sociopolitical developments, identifying the most relevant issues, providing a platform for debate across a diverse range of views, holding officials to account for the way they exercise power, provide incentives for citizens to learn, choose, and become involved in the political process, and resist efforts of forces outside the media to subvert their independence.
    3.Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    The internet in my opinion should be subject to pay per use , because some of us are casual users while others spend most of the day online and still we pay the same premiums so i think the regulations would help to minimise costs for those that do not use it as much and maybe act as a deterrent to those that do.

  14. therese:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen? I think I am more of a citizen. I used to be a victim of marketing but as I get older I realize that name brands and trends are fleeting and and unimportant. While it can be fun to be a consumer, the rat race is never one that can be won, or as Lily Tomlin said once \ Even if you win you are still a rat!\

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration? Yes. I think it takes a very strong person to go against the faceless conglomerate that is paying your bills and feeding your kids!

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?
    Because I work for an ISP I appreciate why companies want to be able to charge for internet. We do have to support it with agents that are paid to provide tech support, install modems, manage email lost etc. As well as maintaining servers that provide a place to store data etc. On the other hand I can see why people object to paying for something that was never developed originally as a pay per use function.

  15. christinadruce:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    I think that I move between being a consumer and a citizen constantly and with every decision I make. Sadly I think I am a consumer more than a citizen on average, but with the acquisition of more knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions, I act as a citizen and consider the impact of my decisions on the whole more and more.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?
    I certainly agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration. It is truly shocking and horrifying to think of how much power the media has to shape and control our thoughts and perceptions of our very own world, and who actually holds control of that power. The worst part is that we hear of the mergers and acquisitions however the average person has no idea what that means and how it is impacting the accuracy of the information that they are receiving. Most people believe that they have some knowledge or understanding of the professional standards that journalists are meant to be held to and have no idea the extent to which those have been eroded.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?
    Quite frankly, no, we pay enough for all of our services. In my experience we have below average internet quality that we already pay a premium for and the service providers make more than enough money already.

  16. KelseyMcCay:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    Unfortunately I think I am more of a consumer. Im not very active in politics, I generally dont read the paper or watch the news. I feel as I mature I am becoming more involved, but as of now I am a consumer.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    Yes, I agree with Chomsky. It seems like as the years go by there are less and less companies controlling the media and the big companies hold shares in others. Also, politicians hold shares in media corporations and pay for ads to be run on those media outlets. I feel like people think that as Canadians we have a lot of freedom, but when you think about it, how much freedom do we really have? We are hit by influential ads, images, writing in papers and magazines, radio commercial, and news everywhere we turn. I also think that different groups might be more naive than others, my dad watches the new everyday and agrees whole heartedly with whatever they say.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    Im kind of in the middle on this one. I think maybe it should be like the data use on cell phones. There should be deals and roll over data and such. But, I dont think its fair that a grama that uses the internet once a month should pay the same as a person who is surfing the web constantly, downloading things etc. And there should be deals for students for sure!

  17. joannelee:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    Hi, My Name is Joanne and I am a consumer.I am a recovering Shop-a-holic. I used to buy into the whole, “it’s a shiney new toy and you need it NOW or your life isn’t complete!” thought process that the media constantly shoves down society’s throat. I would still consider myself a consumer, since I do buy products. I don’t live on a farm and produce everything for myself organically (although as I child I did. Except we bought clothes, gas, lumber, toys. All food was supplied by our little farm.) However, the desire and urge to get the latest and greatest has significantly subsided since I stopped watching TV.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    Yes, it is. Thankfully we have the internet and sites which do allow people to voice individual opinion and not just the opinions of the large corporations or the elite in society. However, I do believe that we are being spoon fed what the corporations want us to believe and pay attention to.

    I spoke to a guy who was in the war in Iraq and he said lots of the positive things were not being relayed to the outside world. It was frustrating for him to see media only focus on the negative instead of the positive of what was happening and how nice the people were there.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    HELL NO!!! That’s just another way for large corporations to take more of our money. It is BS. 🙁 Canada already is the most expensive place to surf the web. We don’t need to be paying based on how much we use the internet just to line someone else’s pockets with money and to pay for their new Ferrari.

  18. Bartholomew Allan:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?

    I believe I fall with the masses, I am more a consumer than a citizen. I have proved this to myself over and over again, I am technology fanatic, if there is something new, I must try it. I have worked hard to break out of this mentality, and have won some battles and lost some others; however I believe I have become a more discerning and critical consumer, getting only what is really of value to me.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?

    Absolutely, media concentration has changed the reality of what it means to be a part of democracy. I feel that one of the biggest changes is the effort which is now required to take place in a truly democratic system. I would question whether the system itself has truly changed that much over the past 50 years; however I believe that democracy has become less accessible to the average citizen. With media concentration, we only see a very controlled selection of politics, in turn controlled by the stake holders in the media outlets. To be part of a truly democratic system in this day and age requires us to be active in social and online media where we can get the flip side of what the large media outlets present in politics.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?

    Absolutely not. As someone already mentioned, Canadians already overpay for the internet services provided to them currently. And to further increase that cost for Canadians will seriously devolve what we have worked of hard to build, which is a country that is connected from tip to tip. Many people aren’t aware of the millions of dollars invested into making internet available to everyone in this vast country. To suddenly limit the access to this resource by one’s own financial means to participate will ruin what we have spent so much time building.

  19. Evangelos Lambrinoudis:

    A lot of what i’d like to say could probably implicate me in potentially illegal or questionable activity but i will say that i have resisted consumerism as much as possible. I rarely buy new things or new clothes, i live WELL below the poverty line, i dont partake in major debt, or new cars or any of that crap. I live with 6 people and i eat as organic and local as possible…I have license and choose not to drive. I consume as much as probably most other consumers out there but the difference lies in how make those choices. We’re all consumers because we wake up every day in the system of consumption.
    Until that significantly changes i’ll try and exert citizenship to what ever extent is possible.

  20. Stephane Licina:

    I believe I am a consumer more than a citizen. I try to focus on my own well being, and by trying to consume and excel in life, I am more of a consumer than a citizen.
    As for the media being responsible for a corrupt democracy, I would also have to say that I agree that the media is responsible for this. The media control what they want us to hear and see, and by using this method, they can manipulate our decisions by their point of view. Even outside of this topic, we hear that the “bad guys” are the people against the U.S in their current war, but we could be missing the real truth. Perhaps the U.S is really the “bad guy” in this situation, and they used their power to overthrow the truth. This can be demonstrated very well by what we hear and see about some Balkan countries and their “terrible” stories we have heard in our media, when their is a completely different story then what is portrayed here.
    Now for the internet pay-per-use, I do not think we should use this policy. Like stated by someone, we already pay so much for its use. To me, it should be free, and something available to everyone to use as a source of learning, communication, and sharing opinions.

  21. yamna:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    I think ill have to go with the mass, im a mix of both i do buy clothes and food, however i try to keep up with the news and current affairs weather its on the go-blackbrry ipod, or at home -actual news i try to know whats going on in the world. i use to me active within the political community, however i stop that.
    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration? yes i do agree with chomsky that the media has corrupted the democratically more then often political decisions are made on the baises of what the media would say, because less face it no one wants a “negative” political image portrayed by the media.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?
    no i dont. not only would this restrict the content you upload/view. many people will find ways around it.

  22. vincents2:

    1. I think specially in wealthy countries, everyone is more a consumer than a citizens. It is hard to notice that we are being framed by the media and our ideology are distorted from reality. If people have not take this course like me, I am sure they will be less aware of the issue. Even I have noticed, I find myself still attached to consumer values, like I know products of apply are not really a necessity and I want it simply because the media and culture frames that. I still want it.
    2. I agree, politics are always a game of manipulating the general public to win their support in order to gain power.
    3. No I dont.To be honest I think I watch more critical articles and reading on the internet than another other kind of media. Addition to that movie as well.

  23. James McDonal:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    I believe I am a citizen. I try to be involved, culturally, with the world and to participate in all aspects. I vote. I take part. I engage.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?
    Democracy is corrupted. It is still the same – in essence – but the “importance” of the message has been subjugated to the act of expressing it. In this way is democracy corrupted by the media. Never again can it be information for its own sake.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies? No. ISPs already have all their costs factored in to pricing (evidenced by their ongoing profitability) so why not leave things the way they are. It’s just another potential money grab.

  24. Crystal She:

    Do you think that you are more of a consumer or a citizen?
    I think I am more of a consumer. I am involved as a citizen through various media sites but do not always continue to be active or state my opinion. I admit I spend money on worthless things that I do not need but I want. If I didn’t have my laptop or my camera I would feel like my life would be gone, yup it’s a huge problem.

    Do you agree with Chomsky that democracy is corrupted by media concentration?
    Yes, I agree. The media has the ability to make you focus on certain messages. I think the media has a lot more control on what we actually think about even if we don’t realize it. Plus media sites on the internet are one of the worst because as soon as someone sees something on the internet they believe its true.

    Do you think the Internet should be subject to pay-per-use policies?
    No, I completely disagree with this. Perhaps it’s because I spend 24/7 on the internet so this would become extremely expensive for me but I believe that with the pay-per-policy it will restrict people from contributing and expressing their thoughts online. The internet is a great source of information and entertainment for everyone.

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