The ‘popular’ media text that i chose for this week post is an American teen drama show called Gossip Girl as it contributes to the ‘mediated’ public sphere. The very first series of the TV show was broadcasted in 2007 and it caught the attention of majority of the teenage girls living in year 2000, that’s including me (major fan). Hot guys and edgy fashion dressed-up girls with scandalous lives living in Manhattan’s Upper-East side elites. No doubt the show is over materialised as it would be hard to believe this actually happens in reality.
The public sphere:
“It’s where each of us finds out what’s happening in our community, and what social, cultural and political issues are facing us. It’s where we engage this issues and add our voices to discussion about them, playing our part in the process of a society reaching our consensus or compromise about what we think about issues, and what should be done about them.” (McKee, 2005 p2-3)
Today’s public sphere develop with new social medias such as the television and the internet. It is evident through the YouTube video above that Gossip Girl caused many debates high and low in the mediated public sphere. The video trailer portrays aspects in the form of scandals, violence, sex, alcohol, depression, high-end fashion, and designer brands that generates both positive and negative feedbacks from the society especially from parents.
Few scenes from the show caused debates in the ‘mediated’ public sphere where a scene of threesome happened and where a girl suffers from depression had attempted suicide. This supports McKee’s idea about the content of the modern media being too trivialized, commercialised, fragmented and apathetic about important public issue. Should TV shows such as Gossip Girl be introduced to teenagers and young adults? Nevertheless, the show was targeted to viewers over the age of 18, but unsurprisingly and obviously there are viewers and in fact, majority of the viewers ranges from 12-17 years old. An example of TV shows like Gossip Girls that will increase and contribute most to the mediated public sphere.
McKee, A (2005), ‘Introduction: the public sphere: an introduction’ in Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp1-31
Lau, D. (2013). Current public sphere vs. Bourgeois public sphere. Available: http://dorislau.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/current-public-sphere-vs-bourgeois-public-sphere-123/.