MTV makes it a point to attempt to stay relevant with their ever-changing audiences. It is the number one television station for the roughly 15 to 32 age demographic, and knows that it has a large array of fans that it needs to strike a chord with. As our current generation, aptly dubbed “Generation Debt” due to the large amounts of student debt we have racked up over the last couple of years, becomes ever more prominent, MTV is attempting to fix their programming to fit our needs. However, are they really doing their best to make sure they’re reaching out to everyone? Are they actually addressing the real issues at hand in our generation, or are they stuck avoiding the topic entirely and providing some more mindless programming? This blog is to discuss these questions, and to figure out if MTV really is the “voice of our generation”.

James, M. (2011, Octover 02). Mtv remakes itself for the millennial generation. Retrieved from

MTV is looking to change up its programming to better fit the Millenial Generation. They needed to “let go of Generation X” in order to “own the Millenials”. The new generation is demanding different shows than what has been offered in the past, shows that have less to do with excessive Hollywood lifestyles (such as “The Hills”). Retooling MTV is considered the “ultimate branding challenge”.


Spears, S. (2011, July 31). Thirty years later, mtv’s revolution continues..without any soundtrack. Retrieved from

The creation of MTV birthed a revolution. Somewhere during the last 30 years, our understanding of pop culture changed. 1987 is when music videos became scarce, games shows and other shows began to air. They needed a “new niche for a new decade”. The quality of programming has gone down. The shows are no longer about the original generation of viewers. Even if MTV did still play all music videos, it still wouldn’t be the MTV of that past since the music has changed over generations as well.


Soloman, R. (2012, January). MTV Launches Facebook App Aimed at Reducing College Student Debt. Retrieved from

“My College Dollars” is an app that uses students’ Facebook profile data to “determine the best financial approach toward a higher education”. MTV’s inclusion in attempting to help alleviate student debt will be influential on the younger audiences that are invested in the station. What is included on the app may not be better than other websites and apps going off of the same idea, but MTV certainly reaches a wider audience. Other entertainment networks should take a tip from what MTV is doing.


Tecson, B. (2005, October 05). Tuition Gone Wild: Rising College Costs Saddling “Generation Debt”. Retrieved from

The problem of student debt is gong to most likely get more difficult. The debt amounts from tuition costs, room and board, textbooks, etc – all prices are rising. Tuition rates are on the rise, but apparently so is financial aid. You have to learn how to work the system to your advantage. You need to be assertive with the process to go to college. The money doesn’t go to people who need it most, but people who most understand how the process works.


John , S. (2001). Mtv. Retrieved from

MTV was originally “music television”, but has since changed into just programming for the 12-34 demographic. It is constantly changing over time.


The MTV Generation. Retrieved from

The few examples that MTV has of actually living up to its name of “MUSIC” television in the past few years: TRL, Unplugged, and the VMAs.


Richardson, V. (2006, February 08) .”Generation Debt” is Going Deep Into the Red. Retrieved from

Discusses how the debt is climbing in our country and people are having to cut out different daily expenses in their lives in order to accommodate. Those raised on MTV were taught to mimic the lifestyles they saw on display throughout the years. Includes steps that people can take in order to attempt to change their consumer lifestyle or try to in some way alleviate their debt.


Taylor, C. (2011, 6 23). Reuters money. Retrieved from

Older generations are growing concerned over the future for the youth of America today. Things are different than they were twenty years ago. It is part of a phenomenon: the decline of faith in the American Dream. Someone in the comments brings up MTV and “Sixteen and Pregnant”.


Bluebook, M. (2008, January 06). My super sweet 16: Messing up and spoiling kids for the next generation. Retrieved from

“My Super Sweet 16” is leading the kids of today to believe in excessive consumerism, wealth, and entitlement. The parents seem to have indispensible money. The show is all-inclusive, showing that all kids, white, black, Latino, male, female, gay, straight – all of them are able to hold a sense of entitlement. The show is entertaining, but also very sad. It is instilling all of the wrong values in the youth of today.

James, M. (2010, November 10). MTV Taps Two to Overhaul Programming. Retrieved from

Under-30 viewers are now going away from reality programming, so MTV is creating or adding more scripted shows to their lineup. They need to keep up with the Millenials, and so are looking for more diverse programming. MTV’s audience “used to” have an obsession with the glamorous lives of celebrities, and also non-celebrities. Since the recession, these indulgent shows have become less relevant. “MTV needs to shed its skin every three years”. Claims that the audience now is looking for brutal honesty. MTV put on reality shows that were less glamorous (even though the Jersey Shore cast is making millions and living a dream life).


Ortiz, L. (2012, March 08). Protestors Occupy UTEP Raising Concerns About Student Debt and Unemployment. Retrieved from

A discussion of the Occupy El Paso movement and the work they are doing to protest student debt and economic woes. It is said that students are more caught up in watching “Jersey Shore” than actually going out and making a difference.


Gales, A. (2011, August 29). State press. Retrieved from

Some people just view “Jersey Shore” as a guilty pleasure, but others think it’s giving college students unreal expectations. Gives positive images of drinking and random hookups, which college students then think college is all about. The cast is getting paid insane amounts, which makes one think that with money like that, who needs college?

(2012). PR Experts to Host Panel Exploring MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ and Its Impact on New Jersey’s Reputation. Retrieved from

A summary of what the forum on “Jersey Shore” will be discussing; the long and short term impacts of the show on the reputation of the state. They wanted to explore why “Jersey Shore” gained the attention and controversy it did.


Guarino, S. (2011, March 16). The Affect the “Jersey Shore” Has on College Students. Retrieved from

What the cast does on the show could easily influence a younger audience. The amount of alcohol being consumed and promoted could have very negative consequences on our youth. The standards of how college students want to dress has also been affected and changed by the show. Students are beginning “thirsty Thursdays” by watching the newest episode of the show. The show also promotes the “hook up” lifestyle. Women become objects of sexual desire. People who visit Jersey are now flocking to the clubs there and trying to act like the cast. People admit to wanting to have the kind of fun they see on TV. (2011, December 27). Is MTV’s Hit Show Teen Mom Encouraging Teen Pregnancy?. Retrieved from

MTV thinks that “Teen Mom” is informative in showing teens a negative image of how difficult it is to be a teen mom, but they could be unintentionally promoting teen pregnancy. Continuous seasons of the show with different girls encourages this theory. Girls are willing to get pregnant in order to get an audition to be on the show. MTV has a moral obligation to either end the show and the encouragement or to ride out their cash cow. MTV thinks it’s dong a service with this type of programming while making money for themselves, but it’s making the teen moms famous which wants others to emulate their actions.


Berry , A. (26 O). How the Media Effects Society. Retrieved from

Media controls society, not the people. Much of MTV’s old programming are examples of shows that cared nothing about actually spending money. They all showed excessive spending, and these shows were often about every day people, not just celebrities. Most of the viewers of these shows are going to see what’s happening on them and want the same thing. The music scene is also adding to this idea of the rich lifestyle – especially rap.


Paul. (2012, March 04). Faith in the Future, Disgust with the Past. Retrieved from

Students who have taken out loans without knowing how dire the consequences would be are referred to as “victims”. The Baby Boomer Generation is taking advantage of Generation Debt. They are seen as more selfish and have a sense of false superiority. Our generation seems to be more conscious at an earlier phase of development than the “Guinea Pig Generation”. They are more engaged with efforts to help alleviate debt. There are the stragglers of the generation who are still obsessed with television and texting, but a good number are rising up to the occasion of fighting back.


Brooks, C. (2009, December 12). Time u.s.. Retrieved from,8599,1947338,00.html

Discussing the controversy over “Jersey Shore” in the Italian-American community. The show uses the word “Guido” continuously, which to some people seems to Italians as the “n” word would to African Americans. Many advertisers of the show began to pull out due to the pressure they felt from Italian-American anti-defamation groups. The page also looks at the roots of the term “guido” and explains that no matter how others use it, it should always be seen as derogatory.


Wing, N. (2010, July 29). Jersey shore cast responds to new jersey gov. chris christie’s insults (video). Retrieved from

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey made slanderous remarks about the cast of “Jersey Shore”, since the show itself was being protested against by those in the state of New Jersey. Citizens and Gov. Christie alike all believed the show would bring negative attention to the state and promote a negative image of it. The link includes a video of some of the cast members on the “Today” show, discussing their response.


Controversies of the jersey shore. (2012, April 26). Retrieved from

A Wikipedia page about the different controversies surrounding “Jersey Shore”, from the Italian-American anti-defamation leagues and citizens of New Jersey protesting the show, to the over-exposure of tanning and binge-drinking culture. The page provides a run-down of all of the different controversies that occurred before the show even aired.


Jersey shore cast on the today show 8 2-01-2010. (2010, February 3). Retrieved from

A portion of the cast of “Jersey Shore” being interviewed on the “Today” show about the program.


D, P. (2009, November 07). Pauly-d quotes. Retrieved from

A break down of different quotes said by “Jersey Shore” cast mate Pauly D throughout the first season.


The situation about grenades and landmines. (2010, November 17). Retrieved from

The Situation from “Jersey Shore” explains the definitions of commonly used phrases in the Shore house.


Jersey shore – grenade whistle!. (2011, January 1). Retrieved from

A clip of Vinny, a housemate on “Jersey Shore” using the “grenade whistle” to warn the other roommates of an unappealing girl in the house.


Holleran, K. (2012, May 2). “power won’t invest in people until people invest in power” – david banner. Retrieved from

A blog post from MTV’s Rock the Vote campaign. This post discusses the use of rapper David Banner to help Harvard get political news out to students, so they would more easily understand and digest what they were being told. The post explains that the youth in America is in need for a dialogue about all of the confusing and unjust issues that occur in the country, such as the murder of Trayvon Martin.


Madonna – rock the vote (1990). (2011, March 11). Retrieved from

A video of an ad Madonna did for MTV and the Rock the Vote campaign in which she changes the lyrics to her popular song “Vogue”.


History of rock the vote. (2012). Retrieved from

This page includes a rundown of the history of the Rock the Vote campaign. It provides links to every year from 1992 until 2011, so that visitors to the website can explore the movement year by year.


Softley, J. (2004, August 2). Mtv’s rock the vote: Beyond useless. Retrieved from

A critique of the Rock the Vote movement, explaining that it actually ended up not doing much to change youth voting in the presidential elections. The campaign ended up being more about celebrities being in the public eye and looking involved, rather than actually making a difference in the younger generations.


Madonna – rock the vote commercial 1992. (2006, July 16). Retrieved from

Another video of a Madonna Rock the Vote ad, this time it is her getting her make up and hair done and discussing how she needs to become more involved in the political process.


Alice, L. (2010, June 6). Famous celebrity hypocrites past and present. Retrieved from

A critique of celebrities who say one thing and do another. An example is of Paris Hilton, who was active in the Rock the Vote campaign, yet never herself registered to vote. The page also discusses Al Gore, who is extremely famous now for his work with global warming, but is actively participating in the continuation of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: