Rift Fournier

October 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm (Uncategorized)

Rift Fournier was born in Wichita, but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. He first started off bragging about how he never paid attention in school and liked to read all the time in class. Despite his lack of attentiveness in class, he somehow pulled off straight A’s in all of his classes and was a star athlete on his football team. I knew something terrible must have happened after this point in his life because he was giving us this lecture sitting in his wheel chair. He then explained that he got Polio and all his dreams of pursuing athletics came to a halt. After being put in a wheelchair, he was inspired to resource of his next best talent, to become a writer.

I believe the reason Professor Falk brought Rift in to talk to the class is because he has so much experience on media literacy and could help us transition onto that topic. The whole time he gave us advice and his opinion on different things. He says that college prepares you to learn, and that the best things you can learn is how much you don’t know. This advice is very deep and can be put towards anything a person is wants to achieve in life. It seemed like he really tried to make an emphasis on how important writing is in every career. Rift went to law school, didn’t like it but learned how to write. He said that writing is communicating, and if a person can’t communicate, he or she might as well be working at McDonalds. He believes if a person has willingness to learn, then they will be successful.

Rift has been a script writer for the shows Kojak and NYPD Blue, and has experience in the media. He said that the challenges of script writing are making characters liked by the viewer. The class started to ask questions about Rift’s opinion on different shows on television now a day. Rift believes that reality shows suck, the only reality shows he likes are the ones on the Discovery Channel. He likes shows that have good writing, such as NYCSI, Dexter, Cold Case, and House. The shows he hates are the ones that are like CSI. He says that CSI is “bullshit”.

Rift seems like a guy who will speak his mind about anything, no matter who he’s offending. A funny story he told was about when he worked at ABC. He said that he backhanded and executive producer of ABC and said they were “devoted cowards” and didn’t respect the audience. I feel like we are a lucky college to have teaching us about his experiences in the real life. He says that the reason he came to Lindenwood is through some of his connections, but the main thing that won him over was when the new performing arts building was established. The lecture he gave helped me become more media literate which I feel is critical being a mass communication major.


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Frank W. Baker: Media Literacy

October 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm (Uncategorized)

I am a junior at Lindenwood University and just starting The Mass Communication degree. This semester is the first time I’ve taken communication classes and they have been real eye opening. I learn something new every day, but one of the things that I felt most appealing was a lecture by Frank Baker on media literacy. What is media literacy? Coming into the lecture I had no full understanding of what media literacy actually was. Frank started off by asking what we believe media literacy is. My definition was, “Understanding the media, and being able to understand the messages it’s trying to convey”. To be honest with you, I pulled that out of know where. I have no idea what it is or what it means. About ten minutes into the lecture I started to get a grasp on the concept. The true meaning, and which makes the most sense, is “the ability to access, analyze, interpret, and produce media”. Frank explained to our class that advertisements are filling up the media world. We experience advertisements in our everyday lives. We are just so used to it; it seems hard to notice them.

During the lecture Frank went over what media really is. First he talked about how media messages are constructed, and that they represent reality. The images on TV and in pictures aren’t real; there just technology showing us what something looks like. Next is that media uses their own language, such as OMG and LOL. Next is that audience’s negotiating meaning. If a message is trying to be conveyed, newer audience might think of something more “up to date” when an older generation could believe of something that occurred a long time ago. It just depends on how old the person is and how media literate they are. Last, is that media communicates value and points-of-view, and are also interested in communicating power and profit.

An important part of the lecture is mainly set on advertising. Frank went over what the purpose of TV was, and that it was made to bring eyeballs to advertisers. When the voice is heard, “this program is brought to you by the sponsor”, in truth, you are brought to the sponsor by the program. Advertising is huge in the media today. Advertising has different techniques to capture the audience’s attention. Company’s strategies are to make things look better than they really are. In making ads, companies manipulate colors, genders, fonts, symbolism, camera angles, and expressions. All these different techniques are used to do one thing, and that is to capture the views attention so they look and find their product or products appealing.

This lecture will really make me pay more attention on how advertisers work. I won’t be able to watch a commercial without thinking about the things I talked to you about here. It has been real eye opening for me and I hope you look more into it.

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