For our third and final DIY project, I created a PSA about net neutrality. My goal with this piece was to be both educational and funny. I used many recognizable faces from within the net neutrality discussion. The majority of my PSA is comprised of John Oliver, Hank Green, and Ajit Pai clips. Hank Green was used as my educational and straightforward explanation of the problem. He broke the issue down into very simple terms making it easy to understand for any viewer. John Oliver took the stance of pro-net neutrality and also brought the humor to my piece. Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, was against net neutrality, and I used him as a rebuttal to the points being made by the John Oliver clips. I also found a handy educational video from the BBC discussing net neutrality with drawings and examples that I used to make sure the context of the piece was clear.
The reason I chose this topic was because of how relevant it is in society at the moment as well as in this class. I have been hearing about the net neutrality debate for years and was never fully aware of precisely what it was. I knew it had to do with access to the internet but never how exactly. I had seen the memes of Ajit Pai but didn’t understand his role in everything. As I watched the videos for my PSA and read through our course readings, I was shocked when I began to understand the issue. Specifically, the Philip Napoli article we read for class opened my eyes. The article discusses media economics and how the economic dynamics of media industries affects consumers. He mentions how, “Understanding the economic dynamics underlying the production, distribution, and exhibition of media content, as well as the dynamics underlying the buying, producing, and selling of media audiences, can lead to more well-rounded research on media industries” (Napoli). This concept directly relates to net neutrality, in that, it addresses precisely what critics of the repeal are fighting, the buying and selling of audiences. I found that concept fascinating because I had never thought about how my service provider had so much control over me and what I do online.
In my video, I tried to focus on allowing for both sides of the debate to be explained while still advocating for only one side. I tried to keep the video engaging and funny but still informative and effective advocacy. I centered on John Oliver the most because he was very effective at being funny while still using explanations that make sense to the average consumer. The music I used in the background I felt kept the tone light without being overpowering. The use of the black and white on the first Ajit Pai clip was to make it clear from the beginning who the antagonist in this video was. I used the echo on his voice for a similar effect. I had a lot of fun on this project getting to be creative and educate myself on a new topic.