Week 7

When considering media preferences we only focus on what we seek out and consume.   However, with the rise of media participation through outlets such as Youtube, these preferences also influence what is created.  Just like many other aspects of life,  we have certain preferences when it comes to media.  Certain visual styles of media may have more appeal to some than others.  Certain types of media are preferred, like comedy, drama, science-fiction or horror.  Some may prefer certain emotions be evoked or not evoked like l happy, sad, scared or angry.  Many of these preferences and more form the building the media that is consumed and created.

An important part of media is the message the sender is trying to convey, whether or not that is a message we prefer may determine whether the sender’s intent is received.  Personal media bias can be shaped by a number of factors in a person’s experience.  Factors such as cultural background, economic status, sexual orientation or religious and political preferences may influences media bias.

People automatically filter information, gleaning their preferred elements from what enters.  In this way, we tailor the message we receive, applying our bias so it fits our expectation.  As mentioned in previous writings, the medium alone can influence the message, ensuring a bias toward one particular form over another.  Media preferences can be basic, individuals may have a preference for the media form he or she imbibes.  A person may prefer video to written media or radio to film.  The way information is taken in can be very personal.

Despite the massive amount of media consumed on a daily basis, we seldom stop to consider our preferences.  Those in the media business understand our biases better than we do.  It is their job to understand what people want and cater to those desires in an effort to influence thinking.  Targeting the bias of a certain group, like republicans or democrats can garner a large audience.  An interesting way to assess just how many different groups can be targeted, look at the various niche magazines, from Cat Fancier to Guns and Gardens, there are a number of bias groups that exist.

The internet allows people to not only consume media that fits their bias, but create and distribute as well.  One such example is the documentary Loose Change, a film created by a teen that did not believe the accepted reports of the September 11, 2011 events in the U.S.  In this case, the film maker literally filtered information from news reports into a message that conveyed the information as he perceived it.  He the posted it to the internet where his ideas could be distributed to the masses.  Many with similar bias, who thought official accounts of 9/11 were untrue found the documentary fitting well with their preferences.

The vast amount of media that exists means one can find almost any outlet that fits well with personal bias.  Essentially, that is why so much media exists, because there are many preferences.  However, constant avoidance of ideas contrary to our own preferences is not good either.  Sometimes we have to experience new thoughts and ideas to better understand the world around us.

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