Imagery & Culture
16 April 2014
Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter : Blog Post #3
Today media is one of the most important things in people’s daily lives, whether they know it or not. Media generally means communication, such as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines that reach or influence people. This might be old news for most people of today’s era. But the average person has no clue about ownership in the media as a whole. Who owns certain television stations? Who owns radio stations or newspaper companies? Sometimes people assume that every television channel has its own company. But this is far from correct; you can actually count on one hand how many companies own practically the entire media world. It is shown, “that only 5 huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS)” own the media.  It is actually kind of scary to think about; only 5 companies own nearly the entire media corporations of today’s generation. What people don’t realize is what if there were alternatives to this mainstream media? What if there were other options? Well there actually are thousands of them; I personally will only be discussing two of them. Lightworkers Media and Pure Flix Media, two independent film production companies that are completely different from any mainstream film company today.
Some people might be thinking, what’s the big deal about only having 5 major media outlets. But little do they know that, “one of the major concerns that arises from such concentration is that there are very few media owners in the mainstream that reach out to the masses. As a result, there is the risk of reduced diversity of issues and perspectives as well as undue political influence and interests from a few affecting the many.”  The less people running something the less opinions there are going to be. So technically there are only 5 opinions that really matter in the media world today. So if people think that a certain group or race is not being portrayed correctly in mainstream media it really won’t matter. Because if all 5 of these head corporations don’t care about that problem then it will never be addressed. This is something that is seen in mainstream media every day.
For example, something that we discussed in class over and over was the bias against women and minorities in the media in general. Lets narrow it down to just film. Film is one of the most dominant industries in America; mainstream Hollywood movies make millions of dollars a day for certain films. But what people do not notice is the bias against women in this industry, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is an organization that has seen this bias and is speaking out against it, they state, “Indeed, there is a persistent lack of minorities and women in the management ranks of broadcast and cable companies, narrowing professional and economic opportunity in one of the country’s most dominant industries.” 1 Hopefully now it is starting to make more and more sense for why this ownership of the media issue is a serious problem. This is why people need to start looking else where for media and news. Which brings me to my topic, alternative media sources.
The first alternative media source I would like to focus on is Lightworkers Media. This is a film production company headquartered in Los Angles, CA. This is a Christian based film company, something that is very rare in America. They currently just produced a hit series that aired on the History channel titled, “The Bible.” As well as producing a multi million-dollar film, “The Son of God,” both these projects were big hits and part of the mainstream media. However, the message behind both of these productions was not a normal mainstream media message. It is extremely rare to see Christianity or the Bible ever stated in mainstream media. Recently it has become a trend with the new mainstream Hollywood film, “Noah” and another mainstream film coming out soon titled, “Heaven is Real.” But, two or three years ago is was almost non-existent in mainstream film. The average moviegoer can probably name one Christian film that they’ve seen in the past 10 years, “The Passion of the Christ,” produced by Mel Gibson. I do not understand why more films about this subject cannot be made. “LightWorkers Media is committed to creating programs that are positive, uplifting and inspirational”  The message behind their films and their mission statement above is something I believe mainstream media needs. But back to my previous point, if an independent company has an opinion that the top 5 major media outlets don’t care about it will rarely get any light. This is the problem, but I can definitely see a change with the media and the bible in general in the past couple of years.
Lightworkers Media is not the only film production company with an opinion about the bible. Pure Flix Entertainment is another independent production company that shares the same beliefs. “Pure Flix’s mission statement is ‘transforming the human spirit through values based entertainment.’”  I don’t want to simply complain that Christian movies are not seen as much as they should be in mainstream media. I just want to show that they can be successful, by explaining the productions of both of these alternative media outlets. Pure Flix Entertainment has a movie out currently titled, “God’s Not Dead.” The budget to make this film was just around 2 million dollars; the revenue so far is just above 41 million. This proves that Christian films deserve a shot in the mainstream media today. It is no different from Greek Mythology films in my opinion; it is all simply history that can be redone in film form. Greek Mythology films get produced almost every year and make millions, why can’t films be created that are inspired by bible stories as well? Fox news has an interesting interview on their YouTube channel regarding this idea that mainstream media has a bias against Christianity. This interview goes beyond just film; it goes into television and newspapers as well. So clearly this is something that relates to all media, not just movie making.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wELbRALjYo) At about 5 minutes and 50 seconds into the video, Warren Cole Smith, Vice President of the WORLD News Group explains that during the first few months of super storm sandy there were a multitude of Christian groups helping the people who needed it most. Yet, when the news coverage started for the Sandy revival the Christians were no where to be found, but yet they focused mostly on organizations the Governor and President Obama started for this tragedy. Apparently, in Smith’s point of view the Christians actually did more work than either of these groups that got airtime. This is just one specific example that proves that Christians and Christianity in general have been shoved aside when it comes to mainstream media.
This is only one of many examples of certain groups being left out of mainstream media. This is the case when a country only has 5 media outlets in charge of a media system that reaches millions of people. That is what is going to happen, people are going to be left out, whether is it women, different races, or different religions. At the end of the day these 5 media companies only care about what creates revenue. This is why there are alternative media companies like Lightworkers Media and Pure Flix Entertainment that need to get more light. But until a bulk of the media audience stops supporting mainstream media I unfortunately doubt that this can happen.
Imagery & Culture
Blog Post #3
16 April 2014