Shark Week, The Longest Running Cable Tv Programming Event Essay

1018 WordsNov 2, 20165 Pages
Every summer, Discovery Channel dedicates an entire week to air shows about one animal: sharks. Shark Week features shows about shark attacks, new research pertaining to sharks, comedic interpretation of shark behaviors, and much more. It grows in popularity every year and according to The Atlantic, it is “the longest-running cable TV programming event in history.”(Fetters) With its growing population, comes its growing influence on the general public and its attitude towards sharks. Sharks don’t have their own voice, therefore whatever we say about them is taken without question, and we create their reputation through our communication. How we treat sharks and their environment is based on how we feel about the species. Negative portrayal of sharks in the media leads to decreased support for conservation. Sharks have a negative image, as portrayed in the media. More specifically, the media gives them a murderous and dangerous image. According to a content analysis of Shark Week from 2001 to 2012, by Susanne Evans in 2014, “Discovery Channel relied heavily on presenting audiences with images of sharks as violent killers” (qtd in Myrick, 545). Displaying sharks as killers will cause the viewers to perceive them similar to how they would perceive murderers they see in the news, with fear, disgust, and hatred. In 2015, part of the Shark Week lineup was a show called “Great White Serial Killer”(Great White Zeros In On Cage, 0:02). Before even looking at the content of the show,

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