One of the challenges of writing a media literacy/intro to mass comm textbook is keeping it up to date. Even with new editions coming every two years, current events have a way of changing the media world we live in at a rapid pace. I give you two examples from this week.
- How it was: In April of 2016, Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, was an online video gamer personality who was famous for being the first person in YouTube history to have more than 10 billion views. That fact did not go unnoticed by the legacy media, with Kjellberg being featured in the Washington Post as well as being a guest on Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. He also got a contract to produce programming for the Disney-owned Maker Studios.
- How it is: On Feb. 13, 2016, Disney-owned Maker Studios dropped Kjellberg after he posed a video filled with anti-semitic humor. Kjellberg reportedly hired two men in India through a crowd-sourcing platform to hold up a sign saying “death to all Jews.” Kjellberg claimed it was a satirical post showing that people “would say anything for 5 dollars.” The following day, YouTube (owned by Google/Alphabet) dropped the second season of PewDiePie’s reality show Scare PewDiePie. Kjellberg’s anti-semitic video has since been taken down.
An example of a PewDiePie video. NSFW language and talk.
Playboy and Naked Ladies
- How It Was: In October of 2015, Playboy magazine announced that it was no longer be the place for the lads to go for photos of fully naked ladies. This was not, apparently, because Playboy was newly respectful of women; rather, the magazine was working to rebrand itself to fit in better in the world of PG-13ish social media.
- How it is: In November of 2017, Playboy announced that it was returning to publishing photos of nude women. Though they wouldn’t be quite as nude as they had been in the past. Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s creative officer and son of the magazine’s founder, tweeted Monday, “I’ll be the first to admit the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake.” The New York Post reports, “The new issue displays breasts and butts, but not full frontal nudity that had typified the earlier incarnation before the switch with the March issue a full year earlier.” So now you know.