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Communication And Human Values Essay

665 words - 3 pages

Communication and Human Values turned out to not be what I was expecting. I came into the classing expecting it to be a course, which discussed what people thought of the forms of communication, not a class about how communication and its mediums could, and have, affected the general populace. I was wrong to judge the course by its title. Now, however, I see that the title truly explained the core meaning of this course. That core meaning of this course is that communication can and will be used to express and manipulate the values of the masses.
The documentaries “War of the Worlds” and “Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed”, featuring Orson Wells and Bill Cosby respectively, provide evidence to the core meaning of this seminar. Both features explain how various forms of media could be used to affect their viewers given the proper circumstances. Wells took advantage of the pre-war and fearful atmosphere to attract viewers to his play “War of the Worlds”. During the Great Depression people were used to constantly hearing, breaking news describing tragedies across the United States and abroad, so people stopped to listen to these news bulletins more readily than they may have in the past. People listened to these news bulletins in such a way because even if they were depicting travesties, they were interesting. As Neil Postman would say, the people were, “entertaining themselves to death.” People wanted to remove themselves from their own lives. Therefore, Wells decided to make his play entertaining using news bulletins. However, because the play was formatted in such a realistic way, many people honestly believed that aliens from Mars were attacking the world. Whether it was Wells intention or not to create a panic is irrelevant because this event serves to prove that the masses are ignorant, stupid, and gullible. This has been something stressed in this course through all the material we have covered. We have gone over readings that...

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