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Realism can be viewed as an obvious way starting point to the review of the various forms of mass media coverage i.e. television, films, newspapers, radio etc. this can be said to be the relationship between the various media forms and the reality that is being represented. This consideration will apply both to the television field or even the news paper reviews on the fact of the recorded information and also the analysis of advertisements. (This could be the analysis of the product being advertised and the real life implication thereof). The word media in itself should be taken to mean a medium: a medium is the channel that carries relays or transmits a message or better said processes it from the source to the target. In the mass media case, we are concerned with the media which delivers the view of the world, represents reality. We need to understand the ways the media use to transform information, distort it or even re-process the reality of the raw facts to the masses.
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Some of the questions we should ask ourselves in addressing the issue of realism in relation to the media are: in which areas of representation or media is the use of realism significant? , why is it important to address the issue of realism? Why isn't realism a form of attempted intellectualization of the popular entertainment which does not make sense anyway?
My opinion is that the literacy aspect of the media is quite important for all people, so that we can be largely enlightened on the prevalent issues, the influence and the social effects of what is prevailing in the society as the reality and the truth. The media industry has been referred to as the "consciousness industry", this means that the media provides a form of perspectives, consciousness, values, belief etc. the film and the television industry is a powerful tool that directs the beliefs, ideas and also the values required to develop an understanding not only on the way they operate but also the reasons for their operation. This is important since it will help to maintain a critical distance. It is also important since it will help the masses to re-evaluate the items they are being fed with in films, programmes and advertisements.
Being media-literate means: to become more conscious of the channel itself. This in other words is to realize the way through which the media itself is the message. This also involves becoming aware of the cultural, economic, aesthetical, technological and social factors which are functional in the media representations and which also cause them not to be real and truthful on the world situation. A good starting point would be to examine a number of the manmade objects and to do so critically. We should be aware not only of the particular view of reality but also the way in which that fact is presented and the reason why it is presented in such a way. Suggested are three possible ways of doing this: First, carry out a content analysis of the existing films. This entails looking at issues such as exclusion of certain social or racial groups, lifestyles or even professions. Secondly, we can alternatively analyze the different views of the same reality. This may be comparison between the soap operas and documentaries of social issues. Lastly we can try to compare and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of particular media. An example is the analysis of what films can do that news papers or television or even the television programs cannot do.
After performing this review it will be clear that some factors such as technological factors, social and cultural do actually govern they way in which the reality is presented to the society. If for example a television program or film program was to present a particular world review, it will do so in its own terms and also its own context and conventions. We will not that some of the factors that do actually affect the world will be isolated.
Semiotics is the science of signs and codes and the meaning that they give. The signs are collected according to code rules and from this we can provide a given meaning. Semiotics is used in the media to explain the reality but they themselves do not make reality anyway. These codes create a relationship of the users and the contents. They do form a structure that that works to produce a specific reaction. Semiotics has a wide variety of use. The signs and the codes have a characteristic that works to give a definite meaning or a message.
Lee Teter is an artist whom I will refer to so as to address the issue of semiotics. He never Studied art but became one renowned artist. We could say he was an absent artist. He never grew up in a well of family. Lee Teter painted the "reflection" and had it on display somewhere on a congested mall. Lee got his motivation from his artistic work experience and not just by the commercials or even the sales. This "reflection" was actually a realistic painting of a Vietnam veteran of war who was mourning the death of his fellow friends. He was mourning in a memorial held in Washington DC while he remembered his friends. This painting was actually a greater reality to Lee since it was uniquely arousing emotions. It caught him in tears, remembering that he had also to deal with the death of his mother's. This painting is actually a demonstrated way of allowing bygones to be bygones.
Many codes that were visual were used in the painting to channel the initial feeling of grief and also reflect on the all prevalent way of dealing with death. The types of the colors used are also instrumental in refocusing our attention on the figure, especially at the soldiers figure which we all identify ourselves in. the wall of memory and the strokes of white representing the soul of a loved one alludes to the atmosphere and the physiological closure experienced when we remember the many lives which were lost. This heart touching represented view strengthens our experience. The man in this painting represents the war veteran in the Vietnam War. The reflection on the other hand represents the souls and the memories of them who died during the war. This man represented here is seen to be alive upon a closer analysis. He is seen to be contemplating memories of the friends who never made it. The man is our focal point. His posture and expression attracts our attention on the reality and also allows us to experience the same thing he is experiencing. The whole idea drawn from a careful analysis of the painting is actually inspiring comfort to the broken hearted and also unifying those who are left behind. The figure actually inspires the idea that memories are something to hold onto and hence it invokes the need to connect us to the long gone. It allows our conscious to get emotional and deal with death.
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Semiotic analysis is what has been used to the idea that is being conveyed to the viewer of the "reflection" done by Lee. Looking at some of Lees' life experiences, you can be greatly inspired by his work. We can confidently conclude that the painting has been used as an instrument to the viewer to make him understand the issue of death and the memories associated with it. The atmosphere created by this image brought another factor; for one to understand the image, you need to have had prior experience. The connection between the weeping man and the reflections was properly demonstrated. An interesting observation to make is that the painting actually depicts an emotional battle between realities and our memories (realism). It stars the viewers' involvement in the war but not physically, only in their thoughts. We should therefore not try overcoming our emotions but instead we should allow them to be expressed so as to deal with them.
Realism and semiotics are two tools that are widely used as medium of information conveyance. In my previous state, I actually did ignore art work as a beneficial medium. From the semiotics analysis obtained from Lees work it is important to sensitize the masses to beware of art work that is actually life changing.