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entertainment and the media

Talking about . . . entertainment and media: created culture or following it?

The role and impact of our larger entertainment and media system has long been a source of lively discussion in America. Since the advent of the radio, then television, then cable, now internet — there have always been groups of people asking questions about what these advances in technology will mean for US life and what, if any, cautions or guidelines should be embraced to ensure their productive use. How do we consume entertainment? And what is the impact that we experience personally or in the community? What are your perspectives on entertainment and media issues?

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic. 

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Now that you are all together, here we go!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.

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One. Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two. Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three. Your thoughts and concerns.

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • what is your favorite type of entertainment?
  • what have you learned about other people from your entertainment?
  • how close is your experience in real life compared to life presented in your entertainment?
  • were you ever surprised when what you learned in entertainment is different from real life? What happened?
  • have you ever been stereotyped by someone else? What happened?
  • has the media influenced the way you see other people?

Four. Reflection

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
  • what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five. Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:
  • name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing

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