Television Media Analysis: The Cosby Show
Today’s society depends heavily on mass media for information, communication, and entertainment. The average person wakes up in the morning, watches news and weather on television, and makes plans for the day based on information they receive through their mass media sources. Many times there is little thought given to the actual reliability of these media sources. Media literacy can help audiences gain important perspectives regarding which media sources are most reliable and on how to interpret media content. These important interpretations can help individuals make wise decisions about what they should watch, read, listen to and rely on for information and entertainment (Baran and Davis).
Although many people now rely on sources such as the Internet and smartphones for breaking news stories, television still remains a major source for information and entertainment for many individuals and families. This paper will attempt to present a model for television media analysis using Art Silverblatt’s keys to media analysis. The TV show that will be analyzed is regarded as one of the most famous television programs in history, “The Cosby Show”. Silverblatt’s keys for interpreting media messages as well as critical thinking skills will be incorporated in this selection analysis.
In 1939 when television began, blacks were projected as mere servants and simple-minded people. Blacks and whites were certainly depicted as inherently different beings. Early sitcoms in the 1960s such as Amos n Andy continues with negative portrayals of black people which depicted mostly lazy, loud, uneducated blacks as the stereotype for their race. Then in the 1970s other sitcoms followed along the same lines such as Sanford and Son and Good Times (Crenshaw). The Cosby Show, which first aired in 1984, was the most popular television program in the nation for four consecutive years and remained a favorite show for a total of seven years....
Cited: Baran, Stanley J., and Dennis K. Davis. Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. Print.
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