The Oprah Winfrey show is well known by most Americans due to the impact it had on its audience. It was a talk show that ran for 25 years and was highly ranked during this period. The talk show can be used as a literacy artifact due to the role it played in the society. It was used as a way of educating the public by way of sharing other people’s experiences. The type of knowledge gathered was diverse since the topics being aired were varied.
Oprah Winfrey was the speaker of the show and used to host several guests that she interviewed over the cause of the show. The guests being interviewed did not have a specific social class since they ranged from celebrities to ordinary people that had a story; which the public could learn from. Oprah’s credibility was enhanced by the fact that she was involved in TV talks and other media responsibilities before the initiation of this talk show. Her past life was also an inspiration by itself. She was also an actress, media proprietor, producer, and philanthropist. This showed that she was someone with the desire of providing the public with content that would be beneficial in many ways. She is a public figure that people would easily associate with and pay close attention to whatever she said.
Oprah’s main intention with on show was to inspire the public. She did this by way of letting people tell their stories. The stories were diverse depending on the guest being interviewed at a given particular time. Through the talk show, Oprah promoted education, charitable works, and civic engagement. The show’s audience was diverse, in that it was being watched by people of different social class, race, and gender among other orientations. For the people that attended the talk show live, they had to be over 18 years old.
The content of the message was passed via different segments involved in the talk show. The segments included interviews, remembering your spirit, Oprah’s favorite things, Oprah and Gayle’s big adventures and Oprah’s book club. The interviews focused on public figures and ordinary people. They gave their intimate secrets, and when serious stories came up, the show focused on putting a human face on the headlines. The book club on its part featured classic works of literature that would be inspiring to people. It would be safe to say that such antics triggered some people to start reading in search of life-changing knowledge. The favorite things segment brought awareness to the public of some things that they were not aware of, but would have been helpful to them. Remembering your Spirit was a segment that featured ordinary spiritual counselors that had been involved in extraordinary situations. They shared their stories with the audience on how they overcame adversity. This was meant to inspire the viewers that they should be doing that too. That is, going against the odds regardless of your situation or what you think of yourself.
The communication aspects used in the show were more of vocal and visual. The vocal perspective emanates from the individual hosting the show; Oprah. She is a public figure that is known to have a staunch stand with issues of philanthropy. She also has a favorable reputation in the media industry due to her past involvements. These aspects mean that she has a huge following. She can be termed as a vocal speaker since most of the things she is advocating for will be taken with the desired weight. Every word that oozes from her mouth is taken with great magnitude. The visual aspect is depicted by the people used in the show. The segments incorporate people from different backgrounds, and with different stories. This technique helps the audience to create mental pictures of the actual situation. The moment they become visual, the situation becomes clearer. It becomes easier to understand things this way.
The form used to convey the message corresponds to the content. These things are happening in our society, and the only way to convey them is using real life examples. Use of hypothetical examples would make it difficult for the audience to remain intrigued.
The message passed actualizes the intentions of the speaker. Oprah aspires to inspire people in different ways through the talk show. The message conveyed during the shows definitely ensures that this has been achieved. On a personal level, Oprah fits her message quite well. This is based on her background whereby she was born into poverty by a teenage single mother. During her childhood and early teenage life, she was molested and become pregnant by age 14, though the child died in infancy. Despite these occurrences, Oprah was able to defy the odds and make a life for herself. Her story is so inspiring. Such an individual telling people that they can overcome all the obstacles in life fits in quite well. She has experienced it all, and now she is living her dream.
In conclusion, the Oprah Winfrey Show provides a good example of a literacy artifact. It is a show that got the audience hooked up due to the knowledge they anticipated to gain. The form of inspiration given to them was held with great magnitude. Oprah’s persona as a media personality and her character in general played a huge role in enabling her gain credibility. Her main intentions were to inspire based on the nature of segments available in the show. The methods used to convey the information were quite effective due to the real life examples used.
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