Patterns! Media Patterns Everywhere!

Ever notice that media messages typically follow patterns?

We have the standard political commercial:

We have the standard corporate “feel good” ad:

We have the standard “TED” talk, given by a “thought leader”:

We have the standard reality show stereotypes:

Here’s a BRILLIANT piece from Charlie Brooker, showing the common pattern in news packages: (LANGUAGE)

And The Onion takes it one step further: (MORE LANGUAGE)

Here’s a “typical” blockbuster movie trailer:

Ever notice how People Magazine covers focus on STORIES of all types? (These are from a 3-month period)

And here is the basic “formula” for a Cosmo cover:

And even Sportscenter has a typical pattern, spoofed here brilliantly by Key & Peele:

Sure, these are fun to show and watch. But take these formulas one step further, and ask:

  • Why are these patterns so prevalent?
  • What do these patterns tell us about our media expectations?
  • What can they tell us about the actual content, or the producers?
  • What information is NOT typically included in these formulas?
  • Who profits from the pervasiveness of these formulas?
  • Do we notice when these patterns are broken?

Question question question…!!!




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