Blackout assignment

Amanda-Victoria Gonzalez

Well-done, nicely written Amanda!

Team 11


After reading “The End of Solitude”, it’s crazy to see how much I and so many people I know resonate with Deresiwicz thoughts towards connectivity and celebrity. The camera and computer are some of the most popular and advanced forms of technology we obtain today, and we have somehow found a way to merge the two which not only creates new means of communicating which only leads to new sources of connecting as well as becoming known. I didn’t know how valid these points were until I actually got to analyze my own actions for a few days. I crave the recognition on social media. The likes, comments, views; they all satisfy me in their own ways. It’s sad to believe any type of technology could hold a sense of a validity of a person with it, but I am not shocked that it is the reality we live in today.

A few days ago, I committed to my own blackout experiment. It’s only a measure of what cutting off all types of social media looks like, but I did, and it did make a difference in my actions. Even those close to me noticed a difference in my behavior.   I was experiencing solitude as well as a sense of anxiety. I already struggle with anxiety, so this experiment basically just added to it. I hated the idea of not knowing much about what’s going on the world. It was also disheartening when I was already following stories in the news that were currently unraveling (the Kavanaugh story). For incoming information to just stop all of a sudden really took its toll on me and I ended up taking it out on the people around me. I began to realize the constant draw I had to my phone. It almost felt like a battle within my mind when I would continuously unlock my phone to see if there was anything new to read and just not being able to. I was frustrated and I all of a sudden felt the need to be with friends and this was definitely my solitude kicking in. I wanted to do things that it didn’t involve a camera or my phone. I asked my friends to go with me to see the sunrise at the beach and to go to the movies. I ended up doing both by myself and it was a realization moment for me.

After the blackout, I realized that there is a certain beauty that comes with being alone. The only connectivity I was really trying to be in tune with was my own with myself. I don’t think people spend enough time by themselves which is sad because our own self is all we have in the end and there’s nothing wrong with taking some time for ourselves to escape from our phones and the pressures that they encompass.  With that being said, news is important though. I think there is a need for people to be in the know on current events and that goes without saying. Life is all about balance and if we just learn to make time to read about the news, but also make time for ourselves and we will be just fine. (Excellent!!!) 


Team Assignment 2: The Insider. Group 11

Team Assignment 2: The Insider

Well-done Team!


1. The mainstream media often face enormous challenges in trying to give audiences an accurate picture of the world. For individual journalists, there are extraordinary pressures and obstacles to getting at the truth and telling the stories audiences want and need.

You may select Jeffry Wigand, 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace, producer Lowell Bergman, executive producer Don Hewitt, the Wall Street Journal editor who helped stop the smear or the NY Times reporter who exposed the inside story on how CBS handled the Wigand affair.

All of these people had significant personal and institutional pressures, some more than others. Please do not select your character because you believe everyone will write about that person. No team can analyze this case the same as someone else, unless they cheat.

Your essay should focus on how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case or the case at CBS News. 500 words.*

Wigand surely had the most pressures personally and institutionally. He was angry, but not so much at himself, but more of the actions of this smear (campaign) at hand. The situation was truly affecting his career, his family and his overall life because his name in the industry was simply being destroyed and that was really  seemed to be the overall goal. His career really is at stake and the pressure to figure out what strategy to follow through with is difficult considering he has 5 lawyers by his side and they cannot decide on tactic to proceed with.

It was John Scanlon’s goal as a public relations man along with the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp and their law firm to completely discredit Wigand. Scanlon was hired to paint Wigand as a liar and as a bad guy. He brought up a ton of charges against him including fraud and spousal abuse.  B&W had gotten a hold of Wigand’s personal records from the Louisville courthouse and begin to ask questions about Wigand’s marriage as if they are trying to ruin that too.  His children even began to receive death threats as Wigand’s reputation began to tarnish over this organized campaign. With this did come a feeling of conspiracy and secrecy with all of Wigand’s phone call conversations. He was soon kicked out of his house by his wife because of the death threats and the danger Wigand had put his family in. He lost his family and was at a loss.  He lost his severance agreements which meant no more medical care for his family until he found another job with benefits In addition to that, Wigand himself was constantly threatened by his former boss at B&W which impacted his ability to fully participate with the trial. When testifying, he confessed the dangers of cigarettes and the addictive properties in nicotine. B&W had been trying to conceal this information of course to keep the business thriving and the death threats towards Wigands continued. It’s fascinating to think about the lengths B&W were going through to taint Wigand’s statements; spending night after night in the B&W Tower and completely invading Wigand’s privacy.  B&W really thought they could break Wigand with threats and harassment, but seemed to also lack the knowledge of just who they were really up against. He’s not easily intimidated he was motivated to clear his name and provide clarity to the claims. The situation has brought an undoubtable amount of stress and pressure from both the tobacco company, reporters and his family. His life has drastically changed along with his name being dragged through the dirt.

Brenner, Marie. “Jeffrey Wigand: The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, 31 Jan. 2015,

2. How does Jeffry Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affect the flow of information in The Insider? What legitimate argument, if any, could Brown and Williamson (B&W) make in support of the agreement? What NDAs have recently been used in the public sector? Using the critical perspective, what are the implications of NDAs for government employees? 300 words.

Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement affects the flow of information in The Insider due to the importance of the information that Wigand possessed. In Blevens’ video, he highlights that privacy should only be used as a tool in order to protect yourself or the general public. Given that Wigand knew B&W was making their cigarettes more addictive, this information, if not disclosed, could be detrimental to the well-being (needs hyphen) of those who buy cigarettes from B&W or those who plan on beginning to buying cigarettes from them. The reason behind Wigand not wanting to reveal the information was to protect his reputation and his career, which can be a good thing sometimes, but in this situation, it’s difficult to create an argument in support of the agreement because nothing warrants doing something that can harm the public and nothing warrants hiding it either. (good point!) Recently in the public sector, NDAs have been used to cover up sexual misconduct allegations. This is one of the big reasons that NDAs have been under heavy scrutiny lately since the public is having a difficult time trusting the government. NDAs for government employees could be harmful to their jobs and for the government. For example, Trump has signed several NDAs with several government employees in his term, whatever that informations holds or the importance of it if not revealed could ultimately create havoc for the government or the public and could also end up having a government employee lose his job. As a government employee, the more secrets you hold and NDAs you could possibly sign, there’s a risk of your reputation and other things that could be in jeopardy.

Gomez, Luis. “Rare, but White House Staff Are Not Alone to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.”, 19 Mar. 2018,

3. John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how?

Michael Mann’s 1999 film “The Insider” tells the true story of Jeffrey Wigand the whistleblower who exposed the secrets of the Big Tobacco industry and the subsequent investigation and smear campaign against him. The film also delves into the ethics of journalism with its focus on the 60 Minutes interview and the formats in which it airs.  McLuhan’s principles on media can certainly be applied to the events in the film, particularly his famous claim that the “medium is the message.”

The decision to air the 60 Minutes interview in an edited form illustrates the power of the media and the fear that it can induce. (good!) The network is wary of airing the entire interview in fear that it’s aftermath could lead to a potential lawsuit from the Brown & Williamson Tobacco company and jeopardize the sale of the network. The moral and ethical issues of the media and journalistic integrity are further explored by Bergman’s disagreement in airing an edited version of the interview. He believes that revealing the entire truth is the responsibility of every journalist.  McLuhan’s principle that the medium is the message applies here as well, where a televised interview can have devastating effects on all parties involved. The media, in this case television, is potentially more dangerous than the actual message being transmitted. (very good !)

The events in the film took place in the early 1990’s. Had they happened in today’s digital era, the results would likely have been even more explosive. In the age of Twitter, where a single tweet can destroy lives and businesses in an instant, the smear campaign against Wigand would likely have been more vicious. The reaction of the general public would also have been more heated and involved. McLuhan’s principle that the medium is the message applies even more today in the age of social media, where comments fired on Twitter and Facebook have greater reactions than any televised interview or published article

Brenner, Marie. “Jeffrey Wigand: The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, May. 2016,

4. In the film, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt attend a meeting with CBS Corporate.  CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli informs them of “tortious interference” and its implications for the 60 Minutes Wigand piece. Provide a detailed analysis of the rhetoric used by the participants in the meeting. For each speaker, who is their intended audience, and how do they use the modes of rhetoric?

During that scene, Caperelli starts by telling the people in the meeting the definition of tortious interference and that B&W are planning to use that against CBS. Bergman then states that interfering with things is a part of journalism, and that they can’t afford to have that lawsuit mess with the fact that they have a big story on their hands that could change the well-being of society. The audience of each speaker is everyone in the room since they are discussing the matter amongst themselves. Caperelli continues to tell the members of CBS that if they were sued by B&W then CBS could take a major fall. She used facts to try and convince CBS not to post the interview with Wigand. The main mode of rhetoric would be exposition, as she presents the idea of changing the 60 Minutes episode with Wigand and providing relevant evidence, so everyone can come to an understanding. (very good!) Bergman used ethos, speaking as a journalist and TV producer, that airing the episode without Wigand’s part wouldn’t serve the public justice. Caperelli also used ethos because of experience as a general council. She knows how the law system works when it comes to business procedures and is looking for the best way to handle the situation. Caperelli and Bergman continue to go back and forth about the possible consequences for the tortious interference claim, to which Caperelli continues to debunk any possible argument that Bergman has to offer.


GROUP # 11
Amanda-Victoria Gonzalez: Responsible for Question #1.
Ronald Smith: Responsible for Question #1.
Ivo Caminata: Responsible for Question #2
Daniela Lozano: Responsible for Question # 3
Christhie Portillo: Responsible for Question #4

Thesis statement

Amanda –


Is this the meeting from Oct. 7? You need an event on or before Oct. 1.



After meeting Kim Jong Un, Mike Pompeo claims ‘progress’ in North Korea nuclear talks. Even though there is a long haul ahead, there is also a sense of promise of a good future for both countries.

Amanda-Victoria Gonzalez

team 11

Understanding the Concept of Solitude. By: Daniela Lozano

Lozano, Daniela
Group # 11.

        Understanding the Concept of Solitude

            It is human nature that man is a social being. It is difficult for anyone to exist and operate independently without the input of other people. Therefore, people have been devising better methods of communication that will promote interaction and interactivity. Contemporarily, the need for people to socialize and interact seems to have increased. This is a conclusion that can be arrived at by checking the large numbers of people on social media websites that are mainly created to allow individuals to interact with as many people as they please. Facebook is one prominent social media platform that has millions of users. Many people, I included, use Facebook to make friends. The more the friends one has, the better. It does not matter whether or not we have met the so-called friends.

Deresiewicz argues that the camera has been propagating a culture of celebrity while the computer has been promoting a culture of connectivity. His argument proves to be factual in this modern times. The computer has made communication evolve to levels that were unimaginable decades ago. Through the internet, people who are worlds apart can communicate through emails or even video calls through Skype. People can connect with a lot of ease, and thus the connectivity culture is formed.

The camera, on the other hand, has been used to come up with images of people. The aspect of celebrity culture comes in when the pictures are shared with friends who will return show appreciation. This is now a common trend on Facebook where people share their photos and look forward to the photos being liked. When many people ‘like’ or comment positively the individual who posted the photos feels gratified. The trend of sharing and people commenting positively and even attracting more people to come and have a look at the pictures posted leads to celebrity culture. Instagram is one social media platform that allows people also to share pictures.

With the explosion of information on the internet and the many social media platforms that keep mushrooming, the concept of solitude is almost nonexistent. How can one stay without being in touch with other people for even an hour, let alone the whole day? That can be depressing especially when one is used to always being in communication or being informed of whatever that is happening in their surroundings. Information passed through news outlets gives as an idea of what is happening. It even sets an agenda of what people will be talking about for the next few days. The news covers all areas ranging from politics, business, health, lifestyle and even entertainment. Through news, one gets to know about the latest trends, ‘what’s in, what’s out.’ Consequently, the information acquired determines many of the decisions one will take. For instance, adopting a healthy diet with fewer calories can be arrived at after consuming content that spreads awareness of unhealthy foods. The informed decision might not have been arrived at had the individual not consumed news. Solitude will leave alienated and less informed about the outside world.

However, having taken a test of solitude, there are many aspects that are appreciated. First, when in solitude, an individual gets an opportunity to connect with self. It provides room for self-discovery away from the noise encountered when chatting with other people. Moreover, one gets an opportunity to be real. Clearly, when interacting with other people, especially on social media platforms, there is a lot of faking. Everyone tries to print a specific picture of how they want the social media community to perceive them. This has proven to be a social problem. People are in constant fear of being themselves because they do not want to be judged. Now, people are afraid of themselves and do not want to spend some time alone to focus on the ‘me’ aspect. Individuals instead surround themselves with people than sit alone and do some reflection about their life and the decisions they make every day. This can only be realized through solitude.



Deresiewicz, W. (2009). The end of solitude. Retrieved 29 September 2018 from:

Lozano, Daniela
Group # 11.

10:30 AM


Assignment 2, Team 11


Ivo Caminata

Team 11

Hi Ivo,  Please spell McLuhan name correctly! All throughout the essay. Please pay attention to details. Your essay is fairly well-organized, but I had some difficulty following your train of thought sometimes. For instance, “strange and extremely distant” I’m not sure what you mean by choosing those two words.  “. . . during his time period” could also be clearer by saying exactly which time period you are referring to.  Write shorter and more concise sentences.  One thought in one sentence.  You will improve!  Read the NYT carefully for good writing too.

Critical Perspective


Marshall Mcluhan’s idea of the global village was perceived as strange and extremely distant during his time period. Mcluhan’s perspective of the television and the impact that it could have on society was actually far ahead of its time. In several ways, Mcluhan utilized the critical perspective in order to formulate his idea of the global village. (perhaps explain how he did this, or what part of critical perspective he employed?)

In the first aspect of the critical perspective, Mcluhan questions the impact that television can have on a person. As he claims, nobody is truly “self-aware” or critically questioning how television has made a difference in their lives.  but This is a something concept that Mcluhan constantly ponders about. For him, the television has been able to manifest this “global village” where we as humans are now more interconnected with each other, simply because we’ve attained the ability to hold more information about the world. Even for Mcluhan, he’s questioning the educational system and how it should adapt to the youth becoming the “television generation.” Mcluhan believes that the entire educational system should change because children have had “all of their senses involved by television” This basically means that the old educational system will be disinteresting (word choice?) to the youth and they need education to stimulate them on the level that television has.

In the second aspect of the critical perspective, it’s imperative to consider how the things Mcluhan claims expand the bounds of debate worldwide. For one, Mcluhan recognizes how television has been able to transform political leaders into what he calls “tribal chieftain” He uses the example of Castro to demonstrate how he utilizes the camera to govern his country. This example allows us to expand on our political perspective of the world and television and further debate with others on how we feel about it. For Mcluhan, the electric media in general has created this global village and it’s influencing politics because it allows global leaders to “master the media”, which is something important to consider when you debate how some political leaders were able to hold success during that time period.

In the final aspect of the critical perspective, there is definitely an aim for the betterment of society. When Mcluhan considers the television and this global village, he views the influence that it has had on children. As he claims, “You must remember that the TV child has been relentlessly exposed to all the “adult” news of the modern world—war, racial discrimination, rioting, crime, inflation, sexual revolution.” Now that this child holds all of this information about the world along with the fact that he’s been able to visualize it, Mcluhan believes it has to be considered, for the betterment of society, to completely reinvent the educational system and create something more to the standards of what these children already know about the world.





McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

Lozano, Daniela
September 17, 2018
Panther ID #: 4892016
IDS 33009 – Pearson
GROUP #: 11
Excellent essay Daniela.  Well-written, clear and concise use of language. Your points are vividly rendered. I enjoyed reading it. Good image too!
                                        McLuhan and the Critical Perspective
Marshall McLuhan’s writing is so heavily critical of man’s inability to perceive the impact of media on society that it would be almost absurd to claim that he does not the employ critical perspective.  While his writing is often difficult to decipher, his use of critical perspective is clear in The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan, where McLuhan answers questions in a manner that is strikingly similar to his written text and illustrates his famous claim that “the medium is the message.” (good intro)
McLuhan ironically raises more questions than he is being asked in the Playboy interview.  After discussing the fact that television ended the “visual supremacy” inherent in other technology and being asked whether television is a visual medium, McLuhan responds by saying that it is quite the opposite. McLuhan states that this is actually a huge misconception.  He utilizes the critical perspective by questioning our interpretation of media. Television is commonly considered a visual medium comprised of moving images that are continuously viewed.  McLuhan raises the question of whether we have accurately interpreted this form of media. He goes on to stress that “the TV image is a mosaic mesh not only of horizontal lines but of millions of tiny dots, of which the viewer is physiologically able to pick up only 50 or 60 from which he shapes the image; thus he is constantly filling in vague and blurry images, bringing himself into in-depth involvement with the screen.”  McLuhan criticizes the common assumption that television is strictly a visual medium spoon-feeding images into our brains and argues that it in fact forces us to form our own images to fill in the gaps of its limitations.  He argues that humans are only able to process a small portion of what is actually seen on screen and stimulates our imaginations by forcing us to fill in the missing parts. By challenging common assumptions and misconceptions, McLuhan is using the critical prospective to show that the message does not lie in what the media shows, but rather in the vessel in which it is being sent.  He argues that the effect that the media has is far more groundbreaking and socially significant than the message being transmitted. (well-put!)
It is clear that McLuhan is aiming for the betterment of society in his response to questions regarding education and the “TV child.”  His criticism of administrators and parents who refuse to acknowledge that they have failed is rooted in his desire for a better future.  McLuhan’s argument that children who have watched “as much as 4000 hours of television” before kindergarten have already been exposed to adult problems including crime and the Vietnam War. His use of the critical perspective argues that society should learn from its mistakes in order to educate future generations more fruitfully and “start fresh with new techniques and values.”
From the interview in Playboy, it is clear that McLuhan’s use of the critical perspective convincingly presents his idea that the media itself is often more powerful than the message portrayed therein.
One link to a web page about McLuhan or his ideas:
One link to a video about Marshall McLuhan or his ideas:
One image illustrating McLuhan or his ideas:
Image result for mcluhan medium is the message
Lozano, Daniela

The Medium Is the Message

Cristhie Portillo

How We Know What We Know

A fairly well-written essay Christhie. You went a bit over the word count by about 30 words.  I’d like to see you remove any unnecessary or redundant words in future essays. See red highlights for words I’d consider removing. Also watch your paragraph structure. Also, I think you forgot to add the rest of a sentence “. . . expecting them to……”

Team 11
Marshall McLuhan was a man that was way ahead of his time. His ideas, perspectives, and theories were presented around the 1960’s. He essentially “woke up” the public by presenting the idea that how the information is displayed is more important than the actual information. This threw out all previous opinions and thoughts of the public and forced them to start looking at the media from a different perspective. The theories and thoughts still apply today, and to the current world that is enslaved by social media.
Does McLuhan question commonly held assumptions? Simply put, yes, he does. He changed the perspective of the public eye to view information shown by media more critically. He makes them question whether this information is being shown to me correctly, or is it being exaggerated to appeal to me? Assumptions made by the average person was changed if they were exposed to such a radical and revolutionary idea. Living in the current world, McLuhan’s theories don’t seem to radical anymore.
Perspective is everything. McLuhan changed that, it is so important to have the same perspective to understand and come to terms on the same objective. Having different perspectives is a world open to debate. McLuhan expanded the debate. Is the media really manipulating our information? The public tends to put their trust on the media, expecting them to . . . . . . . ?

The Medium is the Message (I think you are missing a word?) deliver accurate and important news. Some Canadian man ? tells you otherwise and of course you are going to question it. The boundaries are expanded to people who have the trust in the media and to people who now don’t believe the information being told to them.

There is a more subjective question at hand. Does McLuhan aim to better society? He implies in all his interviews that yes, he wants to better society by telling them television and your newspaper is not reliable news. McLuhan aims to change the way society looks for their information resources. He wants them to question, is this a reliable source of information or are they manipulating me into thinking what they want me to think? The public choosing other sources of news opened the doors to other companies who reproduce information to advertise more. This revolutionary moment in time created companies who are still running today and most importantly it put pressure on the television media who was unchallenged for years. The media must fight for reliable information.

McLuhan, although being called a radical, has changed the current world with his theories he presented in the 1960’s. Instead of putting their complete trust on the media being handed to them, the public will choose to find their own information. This expanded the boundaries of debate.  and had everyone asking themselves questions. This bettered society by putting pressure in on the newspapers and television and making the public more self-conscious on what they choose to read and to, most importantly, believe. McLuhan used the critically thinking perspective by thinking outside of the box and presenting something that was not normal ? I would select a better word choice, perhaps ‘typical’ at the time.

The Medium is the Message
Eudaimonia. (Dec. 2168) ​The Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan | Book Review. Retrieved from
mywebcowtube. (Aug. 2011) ​Marshall McLuhan Full Lecture: The Medium is the Message – 1977. ​Retrieved from
Todd Kappelman. (2001) ​Marshall McLuhan: “The Medium is the Message.” ​Retrieved from

Image result for marshall mcluhan medium is the message