Out “94 Days of Summer” guest blogging continues with Communication Studies major Jamey Padojino. Here we go…
“I’m a junior at USF majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Journalism. My summer has been pretty busy – taking three summer school classes (2 down, 1 to go!) and interning at ABC7/KGO-TV (which I’ll share more about in a later post). This coming school year will be my last year at USF. I’m graduating a year early – which is terrifying but all the more exciting. Netflix has become an addiction of mine this summer. I’ve been glued to watching The Office and I can now see why everyone loves it so much.
In the meantime I’ve also been tackling my summer reading list and one of the books relates to our major! I was in Professor DeLaure’s Rhetoric and the Public Sphere class last Fall and she recommended the book Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. In a nutshell the book talks about how television has consumed every aspect of our culture and communication. Our inability to have a discussion with the people behind a screen only increases opportunities for amusement. Information intake is a one-way street. This creates problems for talking about real issues because they’re presented to us as forms of entertainment. I figured I should read a book about television while interning at a news station.
The book provides many historical references on how communication has evolved. After every chapter I read it made me realize how much TV has consumed the way I look at the world. At times I almost felt ashamed at how much I devour the entertainment that comes before my eyes. At the end of the book Postman’s cure is through education. He says we need to change the way we watch TV – we need to think about what we watching. As I closed the book I wondered how I could think while watching TV.
At first they don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. But I realized that I do have conversations about television all the time in class. Postman talks about the phenomenon of ‘Now…This’ which is all about how information is always jam-packed into single sentences concerning politics, religion and much more. I now appreciate all the discussions in class about major issues that most people may only hear about for a minute and a half on a news segment. And through these talks we can stray away from being solely entertained by news stories. We can’t brush off our habits of amusement with the television or talk to the people behind the camera but we can continue to keep the conversation going in the classrooms.
With my new perspective on television, specifically news shows, I can now keep in mind that there’s always another side to the story. Facts are facts and some news shows can be skewed with opinion but there’s still a conversation waiting to happen.”
Thanks, Jamey, for your thoughtful post! In addition to reading and interning this summer, Jamey also made time to go to the Alameda County Fair. Check out her picture with the World’s Largest Hamburger! I can’t decide if that makes me hungry for a hamburger or never want to eat one again…