Although we were only in Scotland for a short period of time, we did, in fact, get to experience some very amazing and beautiful things.  Our first day there, we received a tour of the BBC Station in Glasgow.  The BBC is the oldest, biggest and most well-known broadcasting agency throughout the European nations.  It has an excellent reputation for its programing while maintaining an unwavering high level of popularity and integrity within the U.K., Ireland, Europe, not to mention the United States.

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While inside its premises, we toured various news rooms and sets specifically allocated for local television programs. As I mentioned previously, the British Broadcasting Corporation is also very well-received in the United States.  In fact, one of the most well known shows that aired for six seasons is Downton Abbey. This Masterpiece Theatre show kept people talking and wondering from week to week about what would transpire in the next episode and from season to season. Even though Downton Abbey was more frequently watched by an older crowd, I know that I, along with some of my friends, tuned in with our parents to enjoy a few episodes from time to time. When this series ended, followers were sad and wanted more, and the BBC was clever enough to keep their attention by offering a new series.  Once again, the BBC came up with a new hit show on Masterpiece Theatre called Indian Summers. Although the setting is India, the characters in this program are just as captivating, thus providing a new opportunity for the BBC’s existing audience, as well as the ability to reel in new viewers due to its enticing episodes. I think both of these shows are prime examples of mass media because they demonstrate how favored television programs can establish themselves in one area of the world, yet make their way into other countries, reaching many different types of audiences from varying cultural backgrounds. Once a station is able to draw in a vast amount of viewers, those viewers will remain loyal and trustworthy to further offerings that come along, and the BBC has done an outstanding job of creating exactly this type of following.

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Additionally, the Edinburgh Film Festival is another perfect example of mass media.  The reason being is that it is one of Edinburgh’s biggest attractions during the summer, and it draws fans from all over Europe that enjoy both the atmosphere and the love for media art. Through the sharing of films, this festival both embraces and exhibits all different kinds of film making. These films can range from short movies made by local film makers, to longer screenings created by well known directors.  You can see advertisements showcasing this particular event all throughout the city of Edinburgh prior to and while the festival is taking place. It encourages a younger crowd to come out and experience the festival first hand. By focusing on drawing in a younger crowd, this media approach consequently is able to create a fan that will return for years to come. Since the Edinburgh Film Festival is also the world’s longest continually-running film festival, this definitely adds to its legacy for being historic just like the city itself. There is something to be said about tradition. People enjoy attending media events such as this due to the richness of such tradition and historical significance. It provides them with a sense of being part of a legacy.

Finally, the most well known aspect about Scotland when it comes to media is the broadcasting of its numerous golf tournaments. Although we didn’t formally study this particular aspect of media, I myself had the opportunity to visit St. Andrews Old Course with some of my fellow classmates. On one of our final free afternoons, six of us decided to travel by train to take in the ambience that we had heard about for years. The reason we are all so in awe of St. Andrews is due to the fact that media has played such a substantial role there.  The game of golf originated at the Old Course and has forever since welcomed the best golfers from around the world to not only take in its beauty but appreciate its history.  Drawing in these athletes to be seen on a global scale is exactly how media is able to function so well. Through televised golf majors, viewers can’t wait to see their favorite players go head to head. All the while, media is also able to focus on promoting its numerous sponsors through advertisement. In this way viewers are watching the game while being exposed to new products and services available on the global market. I experienced this up close and personal as I walked the streets of St. Andrews.  I had been lured there by the media due to my years of watching professional golf. Once there, I couldn’t leave without purchasing an authentic St. Andrews Old Course golf shirt. I wasn’t alone as I visited more than several stores that lined the streets along the 17th and 18th holes.  It seemed as if almost every visitor had to have merchandise with the St. Andrews logo.  All of this is the result of successful media.

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In conclusion, Scotland provided me with formal and informal ways in which to better understand exactly how media plays an intricate role in my everyday life. My tour of the BBC allowed me to gain a much better understanding of the prestigious reputation it has long created for itself through positive media, reliable news and solid programming. The Edinburgh Film Festival captured my attention through the numerous flyers that appeared all over the city. I couldn’t help but learn about its popularity and importance because of this media marketing approach. Finally, my own visit to St. Andrews was definitely a product of many years of media. I was finally able to make a personal connection with something I have dreamed about seeing in person thanks to media.

I came home with many new, unique and unforgettable experiences from my six weeks abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland. I feel fortunate to have met new friends and shared these wonderful new memories with them.  I want to thank both Sue and Troy for making all of this possible through your countless hours of planning and hard work.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I would not have wanted to experience this study abroad with any other group of people.  This has left me with the desire to go on other trips in order to see more of the world.

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BBC homepage

St. Andrews Old Course