So what do you mean by “media”?
We’re talking about the various forms of multimedia that people view on a daily basis. The internet has really changed what and how often we consume.
We review movies, T.V. shows, video games, books, and music; things that are meant to entertain and influence consumers.
Do you mean media or medium?
Think of media as a letter, and the medium as its mail carrier. Mediums include things such as television, radio, internet, print, oral communication, etc., the tools by which we communicate with one another. The media is the content, what we give and get by engaging in communication. Something as simple as talking to someone face to face is a medium.
Mediums appeal to a variety of senses. Film and television appeal to both our visual and auditory senses (conveying things like sound, motion, and time), whereas radio is strictly hearing and books are strictly sight. By understanding the carrier and all of the ways it can be absorbed by the audience, media incorporate different elements; in entertainment, the goal is to create the illusion of “reality,” making the stories and messages believable, relatable, and pleasing to people.
The more you think about it like that, the more you understand how difficult (but valuable) it is to create stories that are groundbreaking, or timeless; messages that speak to different generations, despite how technology, culture, and attitudes change.
Why do you care so much?
Personally, I view criticism as a means to:
- Share opinions
- Inform potential consumers of the content (a.k.a. how it might be recieved/construed)
- Help the artist/creator improve for the future
- Draw attention to new/unfairly ignored or maligned artists
- Question and challenge trends and other opinions with thoughtful discourse
- Hopefully provide some good old edu-tainment 🙂
I’ve bolded the statements that I value most.
Criticism can be harsh, but it should never be used to bully the creator or consumers you disagree with. It should be a helpful tool; a motivator and a learning experience, used in the quest for better quality entertainment and higher standards for all. The context (i.e. the time and place of origin) of someone’s work is also important; if you judge something old by a modern lens, you’re probably missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.
I care because I am a writer. I write fiction in my free time, and while criticism can hurt (because I put so much of myself into my work), it’s essential if I want to improve. I want to enjoy my writing, but I also want other people to enjoy it too.
It is easier to pick something apart than it is to build something up, but sometimes what you build is unsteady, set on weak or rotting foundations. Ideally, I think of criticism as basic upkeep and maintenance. Frozen would not be half so loved if a) it didn’t have a great source material to build from, and b) Disney didn’t realize the mistakes of their past. The Matrix wouldn’t have been half so intriguing if it didn’t criticize society.
Many people forget that creators are critics themselves, and critics don’t make nothing.