‘This Is Media’ documentary premieres in Franklin Hall

Heather Inglis

Being mindful of social media content was the overall theme of the premier of Pivot TV’s ‘Eyes Wide Open: This Is Media’ on Thursday Feb. 20, in Franklin Hall.

Kent State was one of 15 schools that got the grant to show the premier of this documentary, which hosted by the National Association for Media Literacy Education. JMC professor Federico Subveri was the one who nominated KSU for the grant.

 Subveri said he thought Kent was an ideal location for a premiere and hoped audiences would be more cautious of this digital footprint after viewing the film.

“It’s about how we’re losing and giving away our privacy via our use of social media,” Subveri said. “So we should be aware of that, and how it’s not just the NSA taking away information but how we’re giving it away.”

The documentary not only showed how people just give away information, but also how people can protect themselves as media producers from sharing faulty or too much information.

The narrators of the film, who remained anonymous, wanted to demonstrate to the audience that what they produce online can be deemed news whether it’s fact or fiction. As media producers, people need to be aware that they are responsible for what they put online as it can be viewed by anyone whether the outlet it’s published on is set private or not.

This topic was further examined in the discussion panel after the documentary was shown. The panel consisted of Chris Quinn, senior vice president of content for the Northeast Ohio Media Group; Thor Wasbotten, director of JMC; Karl Idsvoog and Jan Leach, professors in JMC; and Kathryn Coduto, a senior electronic media major.

During the panel session, a student in the audience mentioned the concept of personal branding, as it’s something people do everyday via social media. A person’s brand can be used for a number of things ranging from who they accept friend requests from to which person a large company plans on hiring. No matter what setting something is posted under, private or not, corporations can still gain access to what’s posted.

“Your brand is built every single time you go on the Internet,” Wasbotten said. “It’s what you post, or where you’re looking, or where you’re searching. People can find out who you are, and what you stand for, and choices that you might make. It’s all out there.”

The panel also discussed how privacy doesn’t necessarily mean private on the Internet. The documentary explained that people must be mindful of what they post in order to not face the repercussions later on.

“You have an inter-generational idea of privacy: what you’ve given away and what you accept. So from the idea of privacy and from the idea of harm we should be very careful,” Leach said.

Social media can also be used for good. Networking, building a positive personal brand, and even starting a franchise via a blog are all healthy ways to utilize social media the panel said. People just need to be mindful of what’s being said.

Click here for more information on ‘Eyes Wide Open: This Is Media.’ For more information on the National Association for Media Literacy Education, visit www.namle.net.

Contact Heather Inglis at [email protected].