Mr. Know the messages given by various media?

Our world has become a “Global Village”, which according to Marshall McLuhan means we can know information about our neighbor’s life in the same amount of time as finding out information that is half way around the world. He says geography is no longer an obstacle for communication (lecture). Internet, TV, texting, skype, social networking are all gateways to information and communication no matter where you are! (Mostly). Music and song artists are known everywhere, if you say Justin Bieber when your in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Canada or pretty much anywhere, most of them will know who you are talking about because he is talked about everywhere through various types of mediums.

Another theory McLuhan had was his idea that “medium is the message”. Katie Warfield put a definition of what this means in her lecture power point, “McLuhan’s insight was that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself” (lecture).  So when looking at a medium that plays songs, such as the radio you can receive one message, but when looking at the song visually like a music video on youtube, it change the role of the songs message.

For example, listening to Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know it all” song, I got the idea that she was talking about an ex- boyfriend and is showing that he doesn’t know who she is, and how he can’t control her every move.

“You ain’t got the right to tell me

When and where to go, no right to tell me

Acting like you own me lately

Yeah baby you don’t know a thing about me

You don’t know a thing about me.”

So this is the message I get when listening to this song over the radio, or on my ipod. But, when I saw the music video on TV (a different medium) this changed my interpretation of the song, and also seeing her explanation of the meaning of the video which you will see below.  In the music video she has ads from newspapers, magazines and on TV about paparazzi and how she is fed up with the constant put downs, and making statements about whom she is and what she is doing, when they have no idea.

This can happen quite often with songs, when you put them into different medium they can end up giving you a different message of what the song is about. McLuhan recognized how much medium can influence the message of something, and this was even before the Internet, so imagine how much medium really influences the message now. This ties in with how fast the medium message gets sent around the world, which connects to his theory of global village.


Warfield, Katie. “How do media technologies shape how we think and how we communicate?” Communications 1100. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Feb. 28. 2012. Lecture.

By Breanne Kamrudin


The Gospel According to Bieber and Gaga’s Tweets.

Marshall McLuhan, from the Toronto School of Thought, proposed the idea that the medium is the message. By this, he meant “a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself” (Warfield). While I definitely agree with that statement, I suggest making an addition to the theory. Exhibit A: Twitter. Exhibit B: Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga’s cult of followers, or his Beliebers and her Monsters. Bieber and Gaga maintain God like status as they hold the number one and two spots for having the most followers—Gaga with 20,144,337 and Bieber close behind with 18,124,932 (I’m positive these numbers are climbing as you read this).

Twitter epitomizes McLuhan’s idea of “the medium as the message” as seen in the case with Bieber and Gaga. In addition, McLuhan also presents the idea of a global village. This concept, because of “the advent of electronic media,” can be defined as knowing “the information about your neighbor’s life in the same amount of time as it takes to know what is happening on the other side of the world. Geography is no longer a hindrance to communication” (Warfield). You can read what Bieber and Gaga are tweeting about immediately, just as fast as you can hear what is taking place on the other side of the world from different mediums such as TV, radio, the Internet, and even Twitter. “Followers” of the musicians are able to get a glimpse into their world, and somehow feel as if they are apart of their lives.

Twitter is a social media network that connects users “to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting” (Twitter). It’s really quite simple; find the accounts that are compelling to you, click ‘follow’ and you’re now part of the conversation taking place. Even though each tweet is restricted to 140 characters, it is amazing what you can find out in such a small space. Going back to the idea of the global village, “Twitter was founded in San Francisco, but it’s used by people in nearly every country in world” (Twitter). Just as fast as Bieber and Gaga who are in the United States can read about the floods taking place in Australia, fans of the pop superstars in Australia can hear and even see Bieber’s outfit of the day or what Gaga is having for breakfast.

The power that these two artists hold is actually kind of scary. Most recently, Gaga tweeted “Did ANYONE see SPRINGSTEEN on Fallon last night!!!! Buy his new album. It is so genius its hard to even believe. Just mind-blowing passion” (Gaga). Since she said it, it could be true, so most likely her monsters are going to listen to her and purchase Springsteen’s album. Sure, her message has impact, but without the medium of twitter, its importance would be hard to reach her 20 million and counting followers. The same can be said for Bieber. He recently tweeted how he “love[s] being a big brother” (Bieber). His tweet holds importance, but again, without the medium of Twitter, there would be no message. I’m willing to argue, in accordance with Technological Determinism, that “the belief that technology is the principal if not only cause of historical change” (Warfield). What Bieber and Gaga did for Twitter was huge, but what Twitter did for Bieber and Gaga in terms of their celebrity status was even bigger.


By Jaclyn Quitzon


Works Cited

Bieber, Justin. (@justinbieber). “love being a big brother.” 4 March 2012, 6:58PM.


Gaga, Lady. (@ladygaga). “Did ANYONE see SPRINGSTEEN on Fallon last night!!!! Buy his

new album. It is so genius its hard to even believe. Just mind-blowing passion.” 3

March 2012, 9:55AM. Tweet.

Twitter. “About Twitter.” 5 March 2012. Web.

Warfield, Katie. “How do media technologies shape how we think and how we

communicate.” COMM 1100. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 28 February 2012. Lecture.


McLuhan, Concerts, Song Lyrics..What do they have in Common?

The idea that “the medium is the message”, first introduced by Marshall McLuhan, believed that the medium used to deliver messages is far more important that the message itself. There are many different examples that can be used to support this idea, like musicians performing at their concerts. For a musician to get tours and performance opportunities, they really have to be good at entertaining and pleasing crowds. Even though a song from that artist may be a great hit, how they perform it is far more important to the audience. The medium here is the concert or oral performance by the artist, where the message is the actual artist’s song. This is why fans buy tickets for concerts, rather than listening to them on the radio or buying their album. Concerts therefore, prove the point that “the medium is the message.”

Although songs performed by artists at concerts have “shared forms of writing messages, I believe concerts and song lyrics are still considered to be a part of oral culture. They are in the form of face to face communication, and although the songs are fixed lyrics, the way the artist talks and engages the crowd is not fixed. Nobody knows exactly what the artist is going to say or do, so there is a sense of surprise and storytelling involved in the artist’s performance.  Other qualities that allow concerts to be categorized as oral culture are that the lyrics performed by the artist are forms of storytelling, and have rhythmic and balanced patterns. They also use “commonly strung words” as well as the use of repetition. Often, music artists write their lyrics in reference to their own lives, or global concerns such as poverty, topics that make memorizing the lyrics a lot easier. Although musicians may write down their lyrics first, which could also be considered a part of written culture, the words come out orally.

Although McLuhan suggested there are 4 types of communication cultures: oral, written, print, and electronic, I feel that oral culture is the most powerful form of communication, because oral culture was the first ever communication used before 1050 BC, which brought together some of the first people on this planet. True meaning and understanding comes from face to face communication. When oral culture is used today, it brings back years and years of history and communication, and is a type of communication that will always be used.


Intersections of Media and Communications- Will Straw, Sandra Gabriele, Ira Wagman

By: Guninder Rai

Who’s Justin Bieber?

Justin Bieber performing With You by Chris Brown on Youtube. It has reached more than 39,000,000 viewers today!

Marshall McLuhan may have thought he got it all covered within the four types of communication cultures, but with today’s technological advancements, some forms of media and communications just do not seem to fall in place with the types described by McLuhan in the 19th century. If McLuhan was still alive today, perhaps he would create a fifth culture, and perhaps that fifth culture would be named mass media culture.

It would be safe to say that the mass media culture would include social networking sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. These forms of media all have one thing in common: they have the ability to reach a large audience in a short period of time. Many people have used Youtube to their advantage. There are many “Youtube celebrities” out there such as Sam Tsui. And if one is lucky, they may even be able to make it big.

A perfect example would be Justin Bieber. Bieber was passionate for music at a very young age; he knew how to play various instruments and entered singing contests in his hometwon, Stratford, Ontario. Bieber’s parents began to upload videos of their son singing onto Youtube. And it was only by accident that he has been discovered. Today, Bieber is someone who is almost known to every teenager in North America. Just two years ago he had had his first headlining tour, My World, which toured 40 major cities in North America. Bieber’s fame was speedy indeed; only five years ago was he signed by Mr. Scooter Braun, a hip-hop music manager.

It is not for me to say that Bieber would not have made it big without the help of Youtube; Bieber has proven that he has talent and entertainment skills. But just because one has talent, does not mean that one would become famous. If it were not for Youtube, Braun would not have accidentally clicked into Bieber’s home videos.

This medium, Youtube, has a certain way of shaping the message. As an audience of many Youtube singers, I feel that Youtube gives off a sense of rawness; the video contains originality. In comparions to professional music videos, it is safe to say that many of the Youtube singers have not fine-tuned nor edited their voices.

Also, it would not be surprising if Mr. Braun had inspected the amount of viewers on Justin Bieber’s videos, along with the comments that came with it. We can think of the amount of views and comments on Youtube videos like an unpaid survey. With an evaluation of the depth of comments and also a comparison between those that enjoyed the video versus those that thought it was complete crap. A general acceptance would only be an asset and a reason for any music record company to sign singers on Youtube into their company.

By Chantal C.

Good girl gone Bad

Rihanna is one of my favorite singers, and I, as well as a lot of people around the world find her very talented. But, along with this talent, her music comes with major sexual content and provocative videos and lyrics, sometimes causing her work to be censored and banned in various countries.  The difference between censored and banned is that ‘censored’ means lyrics or something has been taken out or changed, whereas ‘banned’ means not being able to disclose at all.

Rihanna hasn’t always been this bad girl  sex symbol, she started out as this innocent young girl with songs such as “Pon de replay, S.O.S, Take a bow, Don’t stop the music”, these showed her talent and were not racy what so ever. Now her songs are pretty much all about sex and risky content songs such as S&M experienced many mixed reviews regarding its extreme sexual lyrics and the video was banned in 11 countries. This song was also censored by BBC’s radio edit, her lyrics like “whip” and “chain” were censored out and the song was called “Come on” instead of “S&M”. This was only during daytime radio hours, and the real lyrics were shown in special radio shows. Rihanna was not happy when she heard the edited radio version.

Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it

Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But chains and whips excite me.”

Her song “Man Down” which was on her album “Loud” and was released in 2011 also experienced many mixed reviews, mostly the video. The song and video was said to be glorifying murder where she guns down a “rapist”. Without even watching the video and just listening to the lyrics you can see where listeners and reviewers may get the idea that she is making murder seem like not a big deal…

It’s a 22, I call her Peggy Sue

When she fits right down in my shoes

What you expect me to do

If you’re playing me for a fool

I will lose my cool

And reach for my fire arm”

The reason I listen to her music is not because of what she is talking about, but because of the beat, and how catchy her songs are, as most people do. But, radio stations, and shows that show this content have to be extremely careful of what they air because they don’t want to offend anyone, or have complaints from parents. You don’t hear many songs or videos get banned from Canada but there is a large amount of censoring that occurs during daytime hours, whereas other countries can be very strict and just ban the content so their people are not able to hear or see it during their broadcasting.

Good Girl…

Gone Bad…

Work Cited:—why.html

By: Breanne Kamrudin

Money for Nothing

Censorship and restrictions have regulated the music industry for many years. “The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to administer standards established by its members, Canada’s private broadcasters”. Unlike the United States, Canada has promotional and restrictive regulations on media, to ensure radio and television broadcasts are appropriate for everyone. Canada has a much more strict view of radio and television than in the United States, as we “function under a socially responsible parliamentary system, which informs a socially responsible media system, meaning Canada focuses less on absolute freedom of the press, and more on keeping that in balance with the welfare of society” (Katie Warfield). A recent example is a ban on playing any uncensored versions of the 1980’s song “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. In this song, the band uses the word “faggot” three times, a word that is considered very offensive in today’s society. The word faggot is a term used to call a homosexual individual, which in recent years has developed a very negative discourse and connotative meaning, a hurtful and unacceptable term used against gay people.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) put a ban on playing uncensored versions of this song on the radio, something which created mixed reactions. The CBSC said this about their recent restriction, “this is not another example of what some might call Canada’s “nanny state.” The broadcast council is not a government body. It’s made up of about 760 radio and TV stations across Canada. It’s an example of a private industry regulating itself” . Radio listeners were somewhat angry at this decision, as the Charter of Rights includes the “freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” (Charter of Rights). When it comes to radio, music will always be filtered and censored, as Canada’s approach to media is a “common good for all.”


Katie Warfield

By: Guninder Rai

Express Herself

Madonna. She is not the Virgin Mary but rather quite the complete opposite. She’s the American pop singer and actress, Madonna Louise Ciccone or Madonna. This “bad girl” is known for reinventing herself, and her image as a sex symbol is undeniable.  It is hard to avoid her songs and music videos without seeing a glimpse of this sexuality. Madonna is no stranger to pushing boundaries. “Like a Prayer” was a song released in 1989 from her fourth studio album of the same name. Upon listening to the song, or after reading the lyrics, you might get the idea that it is about a passionate, young girl who is so in love with God that he eventually becomes the only male figure in her life. Sounds relatively harmless, right? Let’s take a closer look.

            When the single was paired with the music video, directed by Mary Lambert, it seems to go against everything the song is about. At the connotative level the song is dependent on the music video to garner different interpretations from the different audiences [“the cultural or social or situational meaning of a word. This meaning is dependent on context, time, and place” (Warfield)]. The video begins with Madonna witnessing a murder then running into a church to hide. Tame, so far, until she depicts numerous Catholic symbols including stigmata on her hands, mimicking and referencing those “marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion” (Apple). The implication that she is Christ-like is definitely controversial but she takes it to another level when she is in a field surrounded by burning crosses.

Countless critics accused Madonna of being unnecessarily provocative. Whether or not she was trying to convey a completely different ideology of victimization [“a value or belief system that is accepted as fact of truth by some group” (Warfield)], the negative connotations were still associated with the now infamous song. Although Madonna pushes boundaries,some boundaries are controlled by restrictions and regulations. Restrictive regulations are “regulations that limit certain ideas, expressions, or communicators from communicating” (Warfield). Immediately after its release, the Vatican condemned the video as sacrilegious, the Pope himself banned Madonna from making any appearances in Italy, and even “protests from a small Catholic organization in the country prompted Italian state television network RAI and Madonna’s Italian record company WEA to not air the video there” (Hochman).

          Regulations can be government imposed and they can also be self-imposed. While the music video was still in production, Pepsi-Cola signed a contract with Madonna to use her and “Like a Prayer” in one of their TV commercials. The day after the commercial aired, she decided to release her video, causing even more controversy, not only for herself, but for Pepsi-Cola as well. The company was immediately bombarded with protests and faced scrutiny for associating themselves with the musician, and eventually “cancelled the advertising campaign” (Taraborrelli). What’s interesting, however, is that they “even allowed Madonna to keep the five million dollars she had been advanced” (Key).

I’ll hand it to Madonna for being able to stir up a racy video, air it, while being a part of a commercial that features the controversial song, and still walk away with a successful future. Her ability to exercise her artistic freedom is undeniable and the so-called bad publicity she received was not really bad at all.

By Jaclyn Quitzon

Works Cited

Apple. (2011). Dictionary (Version 10. 6. 8) [MacBook application software].

Hochman, Steve. “Mad About Madonna PepsiCo Backs Use of Video in Ad Campaign.”

            PQ Archiver. 1989. Web.

Key, Janet. “Pepsi ‘Thrilled’ with Madonna Ads.” PQ Archiver. 1989. Web.

Tarraborrelli, J. Randy. Madonna: An Intimate Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson: United

Kingdom. (2001). Print.

Warfield, Katie. “Bitch, Bang, and Smoking Guns: Meaning and Meaning Making in words and expressions.” COMM 1100 Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 24 January 2012. Lecture.

Warfield, Katie. “What Boobs and Pink Nail Polish Really Mean.” COMM 1100. Kwantlen

Polytechnic University. 31 January 2012. Lecture.

Warfield. Katie. “Why We Love and Hate Celine Dion and Nickelback: Self and State

Regulations.” COMM 1100. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 14 February 2012.


Where’s the Seinfeld Commercial?!

Even if one does not know a lot about american football, it would not be risky to assume that someone who lives in North America has heard of the pricy commercials aired during the Super Bowl.

What makes these commercials so unique and special? Maybe the fact that a 30-second commercial played on NBC costs $3.5 million dollars. There is a certain degree of expectations for these costly commercials from the audience. Advertisers are willing to pay the vast amount of money for their commercials to be played during the Super Bowl because a large audience is guaranteed. This year, there was approximately 111.3 million viewers that witnessed the victory of the New York Giants. Although the Super Bowls are more popular in the U.S., the number of viewers in Canada is still quite astonishing. In 2010 the show had 6.3 million viewers in Canada! The only program watched by more people that same year was the Olympic Hockey game. The number of viewers in Canada of the Super Bowl games even outnumbered the Stanley Cup finals. This meant that many Canadians were just as into the Super Bowls as an average American; which also meant that if the American commercials were to be aired, Canadians would be fed with advertisements for U.S. companies rather than Canadian ones.

If 6.3 million Canadians were to be influenced by the advertisements of the U.S., it would be fearful to Canadian companies because that may cause a drop in Canadian economy. The Canadian Radio Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an important body that regulates media in Canada by imposing rules against foreign programs, prompted a specific regulation called the “simultaneous substitution” for television broadcasting. Simultaneous substitution happens when there are American channels in Canada that are broadcasting the same program as a Canadian channel. Under this regulation, the cable or satellite provider must switch from American signals to Canadian signals so that viewers of the program in Canada will see Canadian advertisements instead of American ones. This is why we do not get to see the American commercials played during the Super Bowls.

6.3 million people is a lot, so why don’t more Canadian companies buy airtime for their advertisements during the Super Bowl games? Cost would not be the answer to this question since an equivalent time slot during the Super Bowl in Canada is only $130,000. But some companies, such as Pepsico Beverages Canada,  continue to choose to only air their commercials in the U.S. because their commercials are usually driven towards the American lifestyle which some Canadians may find difficult to relate with. Vice president of marketing of Pepsico Beverages Canada proposed that it would be unnecessary to buy airtime from Canadian broadcasters because he expected Canadians to view their advertisements online. This would not have been proposed prior to Youtube and other video streaming websites.

The ideology of the CRTC may be beneficial to Canadians; to promote and enforce Canadian content through broadcasting while preventing too much foreign content. But the matter of fact shown here is that there is no way to prevent Canadians from consuming American advertisements with the continued growth of mass medias such as the internet.

By Chantal C.–demand-for-super-bowl-ads-spikes-in-canada

He Said What?!

From his explicit lyrics and graphic music videos, to his appearance at award shows interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech claiming that Beyonce’s video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it) was one of the best videos of all time,” Kanye West seems to be surrounded with controversy. Within the general media, West is not afraid to challenge dominant discourses where it is defined as “definitions of events and issues that emphasize the interests of elites, without challenging the political or economic status quo” (Warfield).

On September 2, 2005, a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina was broadcasted on NBC where West was a featured celebrity speaker. West presented for the relief alongside Mike Meyers, and when it was West’s turn to speak, he digressed from the prepared script saying, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Immediately, you could see the wave of reaction created by this statement. Meyers was shocked, the producer of the telecast cut the microphone off and moved to Chris Tucker. Unfortunately, this one sentence reached millions of viewers worldwide, and if someone did not see it, they could view the controversy on the Internet. Not only did he challenge the dominant discourse but he also encouraged society to practice the art of discourse and “talk” amongst themslves as well.

West’s actions sparked immediate conversations amongst people. His claim that Bush was a racist was probably received the worst by Bush himself. In an interview, he claimed that the comment made by West was “one of the most disgusting moments” of his presidency (Itzkoff). Bush already faced criticism for his role as the President and West only made things worse for him by tarnishing his name. West could be guilty of defamation, which is defined as “making a false statement of fact that injures someone’s reputation” (Warfield). More specifically, West slandered Bush’s name since his words were spoken rather than written (Warfield). Bush, of course, denied these allegations and claimed that what West said was absolutely not true.

In a later interview with Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today Show, West expressed his regret for his statement and apologized to Bush. He stated that he “didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist” however, he somehow defended his actions by claiming that, “in a situation of high emotion like that, we as human beings didn’t always choose the right words” (De Moraes). If that was not bad enough, he went on to accuse Lauer of manipulating his answers to respond in a certain way. Then West is libel by writing a tweet saying “HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS” (Michaels). Fortunately, “the rapper has since resolved not to ‘do press any more’” (Michaels).

By Jaclyn Quitzon

Works Cited

De Moraes, Lisa. “Kanye West’s Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC.” The Washington Post

(2005). Web.

Itzkoff, Dave. “Kanye Wes Criticizes ‘Today’ Show for ‘Brutal’ Interview.” The New York

Times. (2010). Web.

Michaels, Sean. “Kanye West Apologises for Calling George Bush a Racist.” The Guardian

(2010). Web.

Warfield, Katie. “What Boobs and Pink Nail Polish Really Mean.” COMM 1100. Kwantlen

Polytechnic University. 31 January 2012. Lecture.

Warfield, Katie. “Why We Love and Hate Celine Dion and Nichelback: Self and State

Regulations.” COMM 1100. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 14 February 2012.



Making a socialist statement is rarely brought to our attention through song lyrics today. Most lyrics are about what is, not what could be or should be. When we look at the meaning of the ideology “socialism” we would see statements such as “co-operation rather then competition”,  “focusing on laborers rather than on industrial or political leaders and structures”, and also “society run for the common good” etc (lecture). When looking at these phrases which socialism consists of, a song that is very socialist and also full of optimism is John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”. This entire song is based off what our world should be like, with no wars, religion or private property.

“Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people Living life in peace…

The socialist parts of the song come out when he talks about having no religion, nothing to kill or die for, etc. Whereas when he is expressing his optimism, that is shown when ever he says imagine. This is making an image of what he wants the world to be like, and what it ought to be, he truly believed doing these things would make the world come together as one.

“You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

Hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Not only did John Lennon write these lyrics through a simple thought process, but he also strongly believed in them and showed them through various actions, which have been titled as “pranks”. John Lennon’s famous pranks on the stage while the Beatles played in Germany included mocking the Nazis’ salute and wearing a toilet seat around his neck. Another one of John Lennon’s pranks was when he urinated from the rooftop of a Liverpool church upon nuns passing below.

John Lennon was not the type to stay silent about his beliefs, and the position he put himself in society. He expressed his ideologies through his music and they were a very clear message, which is why his songs, especially “imagine” became so famous. He knew what the world was, but he also knew what it could be and what it ought to be. He was a socialist and also an optimist, and this is shown through his song “Imagine”.


Katie Warfield. “discourses and ideologies”. lecture. January 31. 2012.

By: Breanne Kamrudin