Does Beyoncé matter?

Media is the nervous system of a democracy. 

If the media does not function properly, neither does democracy.

This statement has stuck with me because I think it sums up the importance of media ownership very simply. If the owners of media companies use their power to spread biased views, this inhibits democracy by persuading and shaping the views of the public.

Personalities such as Rupert Murdoch, who owns various platforms across the world including Fox Networks and News Corp, can essentially use the media as a form of propaganda to influence the views of the public.

“70% media saturation can be turned into 100% control of political discourse.”

A cartoon depicting Murdoch’s influence on Australian political elections. 

His influence is clear in these publications of The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Telegraph, as they show a biased political view.

 

Now what has this got to do with Beyoncé?

Beyoncé uses her music and wide social media reach to bring attention to important social and cultural issues.

This is significant in a world where concentrated media ownership contorts views of the public. With access to different perspectives, individuals can create their own views and do justice to democracy.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard of Beyoncé’s masterpiece that is the visual album ‘Lemonade’.

Since its release, it has caused a stream of discussion on black feminism, identity, diversity and the ‘black lives matter’ movement. This isn’t new for Beyoncé, who has been dropping hints at these issues for decades, but, lemonade blurs the lines of high and low culture, extending its reach. Lemonade makes a much more explicit statement, such as in her song Formation:

I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils

And images of black women whose sons were victims of police brutality.

Image result for political images from beyonce's lemonade

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Lemonade encapsulates Beyoncé embracing her ethnicity and promoting diversity and acceptance.

Beyoncé matters because she represents unheard views through her music and social media platforms, supporting those who feel let down or misrepresented by legacy media.

 

References:

Why Beyoncé Matters: The Conversation, May 3rd 2016 https://theconversation.com/why-beyonce-matters-58542 

Murdoch papers accused of bias as media enquiry opens, November 8 2011 http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/murdoch-papers-accused-of-bias-as-media-inquiry-opens-20111107-1n4g7.html 

 

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