How do we interpret information on the internet of a certain topic? On the 4th of June, 2015, each of the YIS Grade 10 English classes hosted a Media Fair, introducing a specific topic and its supporting and possibly opposing media sources to discuss with the audience about the student’s findings in the research each student conducted over the course of 2 weeks. In our double lesson, two classes had their “gallery walk” occurring at the same time, one from Ms. Cox’s class and one from Mr. Kew’s class. Half of the students from each class presented their findings while the other half of the students of each class walked around to interview and take notes about the research their peers conducted. Each student conducted their own exhibition, and the purpose of this task was to investigate a topic we were interested in and to find various sources that are presented in numerous methods that may change the audience’s behaviour towards the topic according to the way they interpret it.
While I looked at the posters that my classmates and the other class’ students made, I found 3 interesting ones that I observed further on.
The first poster I took a look at is Hemanth’s. Below is his poster.
Hemanth made a poster investigating about the sports company Wilson, and there are several things I thought were very interesting to share. First of all, his text types were: posters (Poster 1, Poster 2, Poster 3), commercial, review column page, twitter, and a news article. He shared with me that the fact he found extremely interesting about Wilson, is that they publicise and promote their own company indirectly, which is done by not using their logo intentionally. In his opinion, the strongest and most effective text type was the commercial because it utilises celebrity endorsement. The pattern that was seen from the text types were that the name of the product wasn’t stated in most of the text types which shows their indirect promotion of the company and product. He felt that the least effective text type was the posters, since according to Hemanth, the poster commercial only lasted for a month in the public. The reason to this is because it was released after Federer won the championships, however he lost right after this, which forced Wilson to take it down since it was giving a “message that should not been given anymore” since the poster featured Federer in a very strong way to emphasise his victory. I found it interesting where he explained that Wilson did not use their logo to make commercials often, however in his poster, he had a Wilson logo in the middle which stood out, which completely was opposing to what Wilson did.
The second poster I focused on is Alex’s. Below is his poster.
Alex made a poster about Nuclear power plants which has been a issue globally, however is especially significant in the country we live in, Japan. The text types he investigated on were: blog post, PSA, news, political cartoon, and a poster. What he found interesting overall after looking at all articles and analysing them, is that different countries has different perspectives on this topic. Specifically, the European countries tended to be more positive about Nuclear Power Plants, and the Asian countries tended to be more afraid about Nuclear Power Plants and careful about what they write or present. However, there are several opinions on this, because people certainly have different perspectives within countries, especially on a topic like Nuclear power plants that we have been relying on to receive source of energy. Alex says that the age target is anyone but most definitely over 14, because people from that age are able to think about, understand and develop their own opinions about arguable topics like this. Our opinion matched on where we said the most effective source was the PSA, because it was certainly interesting to watch, it had precise information, and it was relatable since it was not something like a documentary where everything tended to be more professional and mainly factual. He thought that the least effective text type was the poster. This was because hidden meanings and indirect messages in posters are occasionally too hard to understand, not straightforward enough, and it does not attract much audience because of where it was posted.
The third and last poster I looked at is Duncan’s. Below is his poster.
Duncan’s topic was McDonald’s, and his text types were: commercial, another commercial, picture, movie, and an article. He told me that he decided to use two commercials in his research, and the difference between each commercial was that the first one being rather offensive towards vegetarians and people who eat healthy, which was a commercial saying traditional McDonald’s food is unhealthy but it doesn’t matter, and the second being a commercial introducing that McDonalds’s food has healthy options. He wanted to convey that from there two commercials, there were contradictory messages. What I found interesting from his sources were that depending on the target audience, the message McDonald’s conveys changes. The most effective source in my opinion was the movie called “Supersize me”, because it used a lot of statistics, it also has personal experiences so it was more convincing. A pattern that I saw while look at the sources, were that McDonald’s tends to convey their information use visuals, and anti McDonald’s sources uses facts and text to communicate information. We both agreed on that the least effective source was the picture poster, or the Info-graphic. While info-graphics tend to have interesting and astonishing facts and information, the info-graphic Duncan introduced tried to use statistics, however it gradually became less significant as it revealed information in such a smaller scale.
After observing these three posters, I felt that regardless of the topic, different types of media can communicate varied messages to the audience. It may become a message that might have not been necessary and targeted, for example giving a wrong message because the information and the way it was presented was not appropriate for a certain audience in terms of their political views, and age. Various text types and visuals has been introduced in the media fair according to the students’ findings, and some certainly stood out due to its captivating characteristics and persuasiveness. Some were rated poorly due to its indirect representations and lack of straight-forwardness. What is true about media is that it can convey diverse attitudes, both positive and negative even in a single text. It is really up to how we interpret it.