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Sydney Bell

English 2010

Professor Brandon Alva

Eportfolio Reflection

In watching the news, I have come to truly realize that America has precious freedoms

that other nations do not have. One I noticed greatly this semester is the freedom of the press. In

fact, just this week in Sudan, the people there have been protesting against their government

because they want this very freedom. It was very interesting to me that something we look at so

trivially is so important to those who don’t have it. This semester, as we’ve studied the media

and the influence it has on us (and the influence we have on it), I have come to understand that

even though there are always many sides to every story, the freedom to hear that story in the first

place is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Especially in recent political news, it seems that the media is being called out as being

“fake” or unauthentic. However, I have learned so much about the importance the media has on

making sure the American people are informed. Sure, there will always be truly fake news, but I

have learned that media represents freedom from tyranny. Regardless of the news that is

presented, the freedom to have that news is what truly matters.

One of the big topics we covered was the different roles that bias play in the media and

our everyday lives. I didn’t realize how good marketing teams really are at their jobs! Biases are

present everywhere around us, and if we aren’t careful, we can be sucked into a false path of

thought very easily. I think that learning about these biases helped me better open my mind to

new perspectives and recognize that there is always more than one way of seeing things. It also
helped me understand that I need to look at everything that surrounds a piece of media to fully be

able to make a decision or form an opinion about it. Everything is not nearly as simple as it

seems, and it can be very easy to slip down a slippery slope if we aren’t aware of these tricky

biases.

As a part of this course, I kept a media journal that was influential in helping me see

where my views really came from. I realized that I am far from as informed as I should be about

the world. Years ago, I deleted my social media apps in an attempt to avoid unnecessary drama.

However, it never dawned on me that those apps were a large resource for being informed about

the world. I realized that I didn’t have to have those apps, but that I should definitely be a better

participant in being informed. One of the ideas that really hit me from this activity is that the

famous quote, “ignorance is bliss” might not actually be as accurate as we would like it to be. In

fact, I learned that ignorance is just ignorance. And because of that, I have to come see the

importance of being an active part of the media conversation. I decided that even if I wasn’t one

to get on social media and post about my ideas or views, simply listening and being more aware

was a great way to be more actively involved.

Learning about these things in this course has helped me gain more perspective about the

world around me. It has given me skills to think more critically about the things I see and hear.

I’ve learned to see more than one viewpoint in everything so that I can be more informed and

more understanding of the world around me.