Week 3: Scannell and Hartley – Mediation

When I first started reading Scannell, the passage seemed very ordinary. The beginning lacked what many claim to be an interesting introduction, one that keeps the audience wanting to read more. As I continued through the passage, Scannell’s writing became a lot more intriguing. I began to agree with what he was writing.
Scannell’s argument is an interesting one, an argument that is never really thought about until you read a passage such as his. It raises the question…. Since when has media begun to tell time? In a common home or workplace, particularly the home, the routine around media has eliminated the need for a clock in the family home. Children and Parents now know that mum will come home from work at 6, cook dinner, eat at 7 and then gather around the television for “family time” in order to watch a particular show; a show which is routinely shown at the same time everyday day, week or fortnight.
The existence of “toddler’s truce” in the 1950’s is a prime example of how media can tell time. No longer did the parents need a clock to tell them it was bed time, instead when the TV went blank – it was time for the children to go to sleep.
Scannell’s article really makes you think about your life. It rhetorically asks the question, is our life a routine due to media? Why is it the “cancelation” or the “moving of a programme” affects us so much? Is it normal to get stressed and re-routine your life over a media program?
Unlike Scannell, Hartley’s article is quiet interesting from the beginning. The article overall however, posses the same message as Scannell’s article – that media, both written and watched – has made a routine out of modern life.
Hartley’s example of the “news at five” – where even the name portrays evidence of modern society media telling time – fits very nicely with Scannell’s message. Even the unsuccessful attempt of moving the show to a later time until 1999, is evidence of how the media plays such vital parts in our “time and space” spectrum.
Overall, although very different articles, I believe Hartley and Scannell are portraying the same overall message in slightly different ways. Although the exact message is hard to articulate, the concept is very easy to explain. Both articles were written to explain to the audience how much we, as a society, rely on media in our everyday lives. Not only as a basis for entertainment, but for a extremely strict routine. Media has become such an influence in our society, that no longer does “family time” involve going outdoors or sitting around a table playing board games, but circling around the family TV at a set time every night, to be entertained by a show which one can predict is going to come on.

Hope it makes sense 🙂

Natasha Boustani xx

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