Handling Media: Living
With New Technologies and
Communicating About Media
Q: What country in the world has the fastest rate of growth of cell phones?
A: Zimbabwe, with over 800% growth in 1999, compared to 24% in the U. S. and 70% in Europe. Developing countries with poor telephone infrastructure and long waiting lists for phone service have found cell phones much more reliable and attractive. In numerous countries like Botswana, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Paraguay, and Venezuela, cell phone users outnumbered conventional phone users by 2000 (Romero, 2000).
Q: What was Mexican soap opera star Veronica Castro doing in Moscow in September 1992?
A: Being entertained by President Boris Yeltsin and Russian Parliament members. Her triumphal tour was in celebration of the success of the Mexican telenovela The Rich Also Cry in Russia. It had recently drawn 200 million daily viewers, 70% of the nation's population, making it the most watched TV series in the history of the world (Kopkind, 1993).
Q: How often do teens visit web sites with antisocial content?
A: According to Tarpley (2001), 44% have visited an adult sex site, 25% a site promoting hate groups, and 12% a site with information on how to buy a gun.
Q: What was the major impetus to turning the cattle ranches (fazendas) of southwestern Brazil's Pantanal into ecotourist vacation havens?
A: The 1994 Brazilian hit telenovela Pantanal, set in the Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetlands, which were up until that time largely empty and unknown to the outside world. (Grzelewski, 2002).
In this book we have examined the way that the perceived reality that we create from the media often deviates substantially from the real world.