The Post-Network Era

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The emergence of the post-network era along with the rise of convergence in the media industry has brought along a series of changes in the way society views, produces, and critically engages with media. The effects of these changes have been argued to be both positive and negative. One effect I see from these changes is the increase of representation and empowerment of oppressed and minority groups, including women. The increase of content targeted at niche audiences, edgy content that pushes boundaries, and legitimation of media content are changes brought on by the post-network era that bring representation and power to women.
One of the biggest changes brought on by the post-network era is the sheer increase in content due to the increase
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One of the niche audiences that producers can cater to are audiences that are comfortable with and enjoy watching edgy content. This new space for edgy content allows for shows to challenge social ideologies in the media, which can be highly beneficial to the empowerment of women. An example of this can be found in the show Broad City. Historically, the media’s representation of women often includes overly attractive female characters that act subdued, well-mannered and “lady-like.” Broad City features two female leads that are the exact opposite of this kind of representation. The main characters Abbi and Ilana are two normal looking girls who are often seen cursing, swearing, doing illegal drugs, and other obscene activities. The two main actresses are also the writers and creators of the show, which further pushes societal boundaries and increases representation. This kind of representation overtly challenges gender roles in the media, which results in the empowerment of women. While negative representations of women still exist in the mainstream media, it’s shows like Broad City that bring these issues to light so that we as a society can work to resolve …show more content…
One of the points made by Newman and Levine in this study was that this legitimation has some negative consequences They note on the conversation of legitimation, “Such discourses seem to be according respect to a medium that has long been denied it, challenging prevailing cultural hierarchies to welcome, progressive ends. But discourses of television’s cultural legitimation do not dismantle prevailing structures of status” (Newman 3). Newman and Levine are concerned that while this legitimation has the potential to be progressive, it also can perpetuate unequal status structures. Society legitimates the dominant audience’s taste in television while delegitimizing other forms. However, I would argue that with the increase in edgy niche targeted audiences works in favor with the legitimation of television. Even though there are still inequalities in which programs are considered legitimate quality TV, there are still programs that cater to marginalized groups as well as challenge social norms that are gaining respect. For an example, Orange is the New Black is a show that does just that. Orange is the New Black has won numerous emmys and has received recognition as a respectable series. This empowers women and other minority groups because it’s a show that pushes progressive ideas of women that is being critically engaged with in the world, which is a huge

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