I found this section of the reading to overall be very interesting, particularly Chapter 14, which focused on shifts in the way media and philanthropy work. Right before starting my college career, I spent some time in Seattle, Washington where I learned about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This amazing foundation has provided amazing services since its founding in 1997, including medical care for women and children in the developing world.
The use of media for a major foundation such as the Gates’ is very influential on society. While many people know who Bill Gates is, it is not as often that they know of the work the foundation has done. After walking through the building of the foundation, I was blown away by just how much one family has been able to do, and the huge impact it has had on the lives of many individuals who otherwise would not have received medical treatment or scholarship money in order to better their lives.
Philanthropy has always been seen as a bunch of rich guys giving money to poor people to make themselves seem like better people (think back to the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller) yet today, Philanthropy is more than that. By sending cameras into developing countries following around doctors who are giving medical attention to those in need, it shows the particular extent to the ways in which people are being helped. The media can also be used to keep these huge foundations and the people they represent from straying from doing the right thing.
The media that portrays a huge company that represents a foundation is the same media that every day people look to when deciding if they support the values of a company which can determine whether or not a person uses the services of a company. Media, and a company’s presence in the media often changes the impact it has and can also help dictate the success of the presence of a company.