I came across a pretty cool article today, about how the latest issue of “People” magazine has taken a pretty firm stance on gun laws in this country. Here’s a link to the article, where it details how the magazine printed all 535 congressional phone numbers and urged its readers to give their own representative a call. Gun control in this country has been a pretty topical issue as of late, and in light of the Umpqua Community College shooting, has really started to attract the kind of media attention it needs.

I think it’s pretty neat that People magazine, which has a HUGE readership, consisting of a demographic that might not normally become involved with political matters of this kind, because the normal content they post is not very political or socially aware at all. The growing frustration levels in this country about gun laws and the NRA’s power over the government always seem to surge (understandably) after an incident that could have been prevented through stricter gun laws, and with this most recent incident, it’s not any kind of surprise as to why. I’m pretty impressed that People magazine actually did this, because it varies so much from the usual stories and content that they normally publish. I’d love to hear everyone else’s thoughts about this though!

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2 responses »

  1. nlredmond says:

    I totally agree with you that People using their platform and influence to push a certain political agenda is definitely surprising and needed. I think that the fact that we are surprised, though, points to the nature of People Magazine and other widely read media/publications in our society as reflective of the dominant institutional culture, and our complicity in supporting this role. I think People previously being silent surrounding political issues is evidence of its purpose as a magazine to construct and display an “ideal” society where nothing goes wrong, whereas them choosing to take a stand acknowledges that this violence touches every aspect of society, including fashion/celebrity, and I commend this. However, it is significant that no one usually visibly protests this silence – they actually continue to read the magazines (perhaps as an escape to this “ideal” society), but then support when it breaks the mold.

  2. mollyhaas16 says:

    This further blurs the line for me between “the media” being something that perpetrates such negative parts of our culture, versus something that calls for a revolution and exposes parts of our culture that need to be questioned. Of course, People Magazine is far from calling on a revolution, but at least it is being critical of the ways we function as a society. It makes me wonder what happens when such a big publication that survives off of its many subscribers starts contributing to political movements. What is there agenda and who are they trying to please?

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