|Type of paper:||Argumentative essay|
In the media world, every story gets to be told. In media, the three concepts are convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence. Henry Jenkins, on his discussion about convergence culture, affirms that creative results become visible when people deal with their problems without including the media and adds that it can be detrimental to everyone involved. Examples of media sources include CNN, Fox News, NPR, and MSNBC. Besides that, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are contemporary media tools. A current event that was widely seen in media platforms is the NFL protests. They began in 2016 when members of the NFL began protesting police brutality and racial inequality during the playing of the American national anthem. As opposed to the tradition of standing when playing the national anthem, members of the NFL team, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, knelt down. The protests intensified in 2017 when more members of the NFL knelt during the national anthem. Donald Trump, the president of America, did not have nice words to say about those protestors. In his public speeches, he referred to them in derogatory terms and called for their sacking. The protests have been widely shared in media outlets. In the paper, I will discuss how social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube as well as the traditional news source Fox News covered the NFL protests. Media coverage of news is significant because it makes people connected and gives them a chance to express their views.
A convergence culture refers to the combination of both old and new media. A good example of convergence media is contemporary social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat and traditional media sources such as BBC, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and MNSBC. Due to the evolution of technology, media converged. Media technologies, both old and new have converged to perform different tasks but put across the same message. As Jenkins (p.24) states, "we are entering an era of prolonged transition and transformation in the way that media operates." In his view, the world is entering a convergence culture, where many complexities and contradictions are involved.
Most millennials spend their time on their phone looking at the various social media platform. A majority of them do not bother watching the traditional news outlets. However, through those social media platforms, they get to peruse through some of the trending stories on the internet. The NFL protests for example, have been widely shared on social media and these millennials get to see the stories.
Turkle (p.171) tells a story of the way an eighteen year old called Roman, indicates that whenever he gets something posted on his Facebook page, he must log in to view it. The author affirms that when speaking to him and ten of his peers, they express the need to connect (p.171). As the author affirms, these youngsters "live in a state of waiting to connect" (p.171). According to the author, instead of the young generation working to learn empathic skills and think about their identity, they have an attachment to technology, which makes them feel the need to connect (p.172). Turkle's story has no difference with Jenkins concept of media convergence. In that sense, the new era has become different from the old one in a way that millennials are consumed in social media sites.
On her discussion on cyber sexism, Penny (p.3), in the old days, the internet was not for everyone. As she states, it was only for boys and if one was a girl, she had to pretend to be a boy on the internet. The author refers to Helen Lewis, a journalist who in her speech of misogyny in the mainstream press affirmed that individuals should not heed to the talks of people who affirm that the internet is for boys only (p.3). The author provides a story of when she seventeen years old, she was told that the internet was bad for them (p.3). She affirms that besides the internet, magazines and books were bad as well, but television and catalogue were allowed (p.3). Her story brings about the concept of convergence media by Henry Jenkins. Today, the old and new media have combined in a way that various people have their preferences to watch either traditional media sources or go for social media platforms on the internet.
How Media Outlets Covered NFL Protests
On Facebook, there are various pages set up that talk about the NFL protests. One of the links to the pages is https://www.facebook.com/StandingForAmericans/
On that specific page called "Standing for America," various photos of veterans and NFL players who knelt during the national anthem exist. Besides that, the page has a reviews section where people air their views. One user affirmed that it is a disgrace that the athletes should be fired because they do not stand up during the playing of the national anthem. Another refers to the athletes as oppressed and says that their behavior has no effect on him because he will always stand up when playing the national anthem.
Another page created on Facebook is called the "Veterans against NFL." According to the page, their aim is to protest against those who protest against America. The link to the page is https://www.facebook.com/Veterans-against-the-NFL-931027563668352/
The page has a myriad of photos of veterans who dislike the behavior of the NFL players. Some of the members of the group air out their opinions by affirming that they are disappointed by the NFL players by saying that they are done with them. One of the users had mixed reactions as she affirms that they are many stories about the NFL protests that make her unable to trust the media. More so, another laments that it is disgusting how the protests have turned out to be political.
Upon a simple search of "NFL protests' on YouTube, about 428000 results are available. Today, many people visit YouTube to watch their favorite videos or upload videos for people to watch. When speaking media convergence, when the old and new media come together, cases of traditional media sources conveying their messages on social media platforms are rampant. Most of the media outlets have channels on YouTube where their members can subscribe and get exclusive views once they upload anything. On the social media platform, people who are not accustomed to traditional media sources have an opportunity to know what is happening all over the world. Besides watching videos, viewers have a chance to comment their views regarding the videos.
A good example of a video on YouTube is the NBC News reporting of the NFL protests. The name of the video is "A season of protests for the NFL." The video has over 2000 views. The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTW7ciTuccQ
Another video on YouTube is by CBS published in 2017 and has more than 65,000 views. The video is titled "More than 200 NFL players protest after Trump's criticism." The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NPrxcN5gfc
De Seno (p.1) covered a report affirming that the NFL national anthem protests are teaching children not be thankful for America. The author asserts that the ongoing protests are setting terrible examples for American children by giving them room to disrespect the flag and brave patriots in the armed forces. According to the report, many children in America are following in their footsteps. Some of the examples, which the author provides includes the four high school students from Michigan who were benched when their superiors too note that they had a plan to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. As well, he provides another example of high school students in Texas where two students were kicked of their team after emulating the NFL players who protested during the national anthem. Besides that, the author references the boys in Illinois who knelt during the playing of the national anthem because their coach asked them to do so. As the author explains, the coach indicated that the nationwide protests made him feel that it was the right teaching moment. The author emphasizes that the emulation by the various sports team is teaching children hatred for America.
On the Fox News section of "truth exchange," Kathy Barnett, a US armed forces reserves veteran weighs in on her perspective about the NFL protests on Veterans Day. According to her, she was not surprised to see the NFL players take a knee on that day because of the political grassroots, which have made people tired of not seeing any change. Besides that, she adds that in as much as the kneeling did not come as a surprise, people need to look at the facts of why the NFL players are kneeling. However, she indicates that the players are disrespectful to the "symbol of honor" for the veterans. In her perspective, all the protests are political in nature. More so, she gives in her views on how the NFL commissioner requested a $20 million raise yet he has not made any efforts to change the dynamics of the league.
Overall, it is believable that the media plays a huge role in conveying information to the public. However, when information is conveyed to people, they do have mixed reactions when various reports are out across by media outlets. When people view news stories such as the NFL protests in both old and new media, they do take sides. Nevertheless, from a personal perspective, the NFL protests will continue. The first reason I believe so is that the current president Donald Trump is not making matters better. The issue of police brutality and inequality in African-Americans has persisted in America over the years. If he would sit down with the NFL commissioner as well as the head of the criminal justice system and find a way to come up with a solution, then the protests would be over. Truth be told, the NFL protesters are disrespectful to the national anthem when they kneel. On the contrary, equality has not been achieved over the years. In essence, the NFL protests have given the media an opportunity to discuss the racial disparities in America both knowingly or unknowingly. In some sort, when the media outlets report these protests, they reach millions of people. As Henry Jenkins affirmed, we are now reaching an age where both the old and new media will converge. Though, the media reporting is significant because both baby boomers and millennials get to see the trending stories available on the media platforms. Largely, the protests have been effective because they have attracted massive media coverage.
De Seno, Tommy. NFL national anthem protests are teaching our children to NOT be thankful for America. Fox News. 2017. Accessible at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/22/nfl-national-anthem-protests-are-teaching-our-children-to-not-be-thankful-for-america.html
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York, NY: NYU Press. 2006. Print.
Penny, Laurie. Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet. New York; NY: A&C Black. 2013. Print.
Turkle, Sherry. Chapter 9, Growing up Tethered. 2013. Accessible at https://quote.ucsd.edu/childhood/files/2013/05/turkle-tethered.pdf
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