Week 9- Who Counts in Global Media? News Values.

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

We are exposed to global media on a daily basis as a result of new age technologies such as social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This media can often seem exaggerated and dramatic, so the question playing on everyone’s minds is often: is global media the truth? Or is it made to seem more or less serious depending on the audience. This can also be related to the statement: what is or isn’t news depends on the audience. Therefore, the answer to the question “who counts in global media?” does largely include the audience.
Going back to the question of what makes news, the reporting of a story and how the reporting is done is a choice made by the organisation, therefore it can be subjective and bias depending on the organisations political, social, religious and economic views. It is argued that if an organisation is attempting to take an objective stance, that their reporting then is too broad and general without specific knowledge or opinions on an event.
We as the audience expect to have major news reported on, and with this information, news broadcasters often exaggerate stories in order to get a rise out of the public. They also use strong visuals, such as images of people fleeing bomb sites including the September 11 attacks, or the images of children being “thrown” off illegal refugee boats in the Tampa affair. Such strong visuals, as true or false as they may be, create strong emotions and responses from the viewer.
“I think it’s important that journalists who are serious about covering what is being called the Great Arab Revolt, the Arab Spring, they need to follow up, they can’t just cover the big moments because this is a story of huge historical importance that will reverberate for years afterwards, a bit like World War I and its impact on the Middle East that we feel to this very day. It’s important not to take a snapshot but to take a long video of what’s going on.” (Lee-Wright 2012, 1)
Often, news will focus on how an event has affected a specific society. For example, the Malaysian flight that got shot down, Australian media only focused on the amount of Australians on board the vessel. This negativity in the media is very unexpected, often explaining why global conflict is so intriguing to the audience. However, many major conflicts that are broadcasted only display violence, anger and death, rather than the underlying social issues causing the initial conflict.
References
ABC News, 2011, The Tampa Affair available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMk6L_4Bw4
Lee-Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’ JOMEC Journal Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London, pp. 1

Week 8: Television in Translation- Drama

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Drama is a universal theme among all cultures and is evident in all forms of film, television and even radio. Drama operates across cultures and nationalities in a similar way to one another. There is often a hardboiled detective who replaces the part of a police officer. He is usually broken or damages, has addiction to drugs or alcohol and prefers to be alone. He is flawed but doesn’t let anyone see it. Then there is the hero or heroine, who completely contrasts with that of the detective. They usually belong in the world. There is also a femme fatale who is the female victim, often seen as weak, afraid and unlovable for one reason or another.

It is typical in drama for there to be old English accents. This adds a sense of authenticity to the story, such as programs including Downton Abbey. These traditional old English stories show how order can eventually emerge from chaos.

Modern drama is very similar to that of traditional. A flawed detective generally replaces a cop, and the story has to be plausible, as well as the characters, in order for one to enjoy it. There is also an added element in modern drama, especially in television and book series. The author or director ends the story or episode with a lack of closure, making the audience want more. These are called cliff hangers and are a core feature of the drama and crime genres.

Texts reflect the culture in which they emanate, thus making them successful.

Week 7: Television in Translation- Kath and Kim

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Comedy is often a cultural specific element of television and film, sometimes only a specific culture will understand it and find it amusing. This depends on the location, the context, on one’s background, beliefs etc. Some things everyone finds funny because they can relate, such as Mr Bean due to the fact that he only uses universally recognizable gestures instead of words.

SO the question now is: does humor always need to be translated to make sense to an audience? Are these translations successful? An example of television in translation is The Office UK and The Office USA. Other examples include Kath and Kim Australia vs USA, as well as The Inbetweeners UK vs USA. V translation  is successful if there are cultural references, it is cultural specific, audience can relate, there are known actors playing major roles, and of course the taste of the audience.

Comedy is thought to be all about timing, nuance, gestures, facial expressions and pronunciation, as well as the likeability of the character. Other forms of comedy include a more traditional forms, such as a male joke teller, a male listener, and a female who is at the butt of the joke. The reason that the US often fails to translate UK and Australian TV is because it is too patriarchal and parochial. Australia and the UK however share the same cultural DNA, making the translation more successful.

Television is a culture but culture isn’t always shown through television. The perception of content will be dependent on cultural understanding of the audience. If a show contains universal themes, such as racism, love etc., and is translated specifically for a certain culture with culture specific references, then that audience can adapt into their culture and understand it for what it is.

Week 6: Television and the Emergence of New Media Capitals

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Media capitals are a patterned change in our day to day lives. We can talk about cultural spheres of influence without seeing them as coherent, bounding entities. Contemporary television is believed to be disrupting this orthodox domination structure as a result of the growing interest of broadcasting.

Television broadcasting is only popular if consumer culture is evident- they will only report on things if there is a great interest in the general public. violence and conflict in the Eastern world has a habit of emerging into Western TV broadcasting. It is believed that the unexpected events of violence and war take great interest within the public of a country that is far away from where the conflict is actually occurring.

However the Western world does have a great influence on that of the eastern due to a decrease in local market. Responses to new media by institutions such as Bollywood and Indian television and news are seen as being too dramatic, too sensationalized and following the pack. This may be as a result to keep up with the western world, however it is important to note that the western world does not have a monopoly on television.

Television allows us to view a range of entertainment as information from all around the world. This promotes globalization and educates the viewer on issues that are often outside their mindset. Television is a continual flow of culture without any Geo-political divides. When new media capitals emerge, they shift everyday cultural norms due to their wide range of power.

Audiences and television programs coexist in modern television programs, for example the Twitter and Facebook feeds on shows such as Q and A and Big Brother.

Week 5: Global Film- Towards Crossovers

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Hollywood is often portrayed as being glamorous, violent, and sexy. This Americanized view of the media is to put it simply: only part of the Western world.

Emotions such as fear, pain, anger and joy experienced by many individuals in the middle east come from the news, not film. However, Western films adapted into Eastern films shows how film interpretations shapes the perception of a culture. Films are interpretated in a certain way as a result of the viewer’s background, beliefs, religion, experiences, and so on. Conversations with others who have different beliefs, background, experiences etc.may alter a viewers interpretations and personal opinions of the film.

There are some limits when it comes to broadcasting foreign news or films when foreign issues are shown in different cultures. There may be a lack of understanding, a rise in anger and protest or simply confusion due to the issue at hand being lost in translation.

Many people think that most films are American produced, however as i explained in my previous post, the Bollywood industry is the largest film industry in the world, it is simply just not as evident in the Western World as it is in the middle east.

Intercontinental style, such as Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood and other cultural influences are evident even in Australian Films such as Looking for Alibrandi. This raises the question: Are these films really Australian?

Despite criticism about the authenticity of the movies, the Australian Film Industry is thriving as a result of international influence and the hybridity of cultures.

Week 4: Global Film Beyond Hollywood

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, larger even that the infamous Hollywood. However there is a major difference between Bollywood and Bollywood inspired films, as those that are simply Bollywood influenced are often Americanized.

There is the growing question of whether this influence of Indian culture in Hollywood films is hybridity of culture or theft.

Nollywood is the Nigerian equivalent of Hollywood or Bollywood. It is the third largest film industry in the world after Bollywood and Hollywood. These Nigerian films differ from Bollywood or Hollywood ones in the way that they are never shown in cinemas, they go straight to video, DVD or Blue Ray. The Nigerian film industry is not as wealthy as it’s competitors. Nigerian directors only adopt new technologies when they become affordable. This raises the question of whether there is a better quality story involved as well as editing, as a result of using all available sources and not taking any for granted.

It is also discussed that Hollywood often doesn’t discuss social issues in the same way that Bollywood and Nollywood do. They challenge cultural taboos in their films, such as gender inequality, domestic and child abuse, male prostitution, sexuality- the list goes on.

These different film industries challenge the audience to view the world in a different way than they did before, encouraging them to let go of all prejudices and put themselves into a position they haven’t had top be in before. This ultimately creates equality and understanding of others cultures and way of life, thus encouraging the hybiridity of cultures. This once again is another form of globalization at its finest.

Week 3: Globalising Education

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

“Internationalizing education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be”- Marginson (2012)
Globalising education is the dispersing of education on an international level, and allowing human beings all over the world to have access to an education. It is empirical that if all people had access to some form of education, the world would drastically improve socially, politically and environmentally. However, many barriers come with the globalisation of education, such as language barriers, adapting to a different culture and communicating effectively with local residents.
Many of these cultural barriers can often be solved by the promotion of study abroad programs and oversees immigrants studying at local institutions. Unfortunately, however, the advertising of education can often be misleading to those who are uneducated or unaware about the dangers of travelling to study.
Countries such as India and China promote study abroad programs to nations such as England and Australia. These promotions advertise not the high-ranked universities in the mentioned countries, but instead offer apprenticeships at small colleges unheard of by many of the local citizens in the first world countries. These colleges offer hairdressing, hospitality and maintenance opportunities, and although these seem like a fantastic prospect to many foreign people, a lot of these institutions have been investigated and under discovery the government found that several of these establishments were unqualified, some not even providing any suitable equipment or location to successfully complete the course. These institutions who target naive international students have caused major cultural barriers and isolation between exchange students and local residents, as well as a separation and lack of understanding of the Australian culture.
This provoked many human rights activist groups in Australia and oversees countries such as India and China. They were furious as to how Australia could offer such poor opportunities as to make a student’s family living in poverty give up everything they owned just so their child could have a healthier life. Many international students have left their families, many of whom are disadvantaged, behind in order for them to improve their quality of life and gain an education in order to prevent the cycle of disadvantaged people worldwide.
Vogl and Kell (2011) discuss the concerns and difficulties that international students in Australia face and how much of a big step in their lives it is to pack up and leave their home. They introduce issues such as safety and security, exploitation in housing and employment, visas and migration. They also explain that although many international students want to interact with locals and will make a conscious effort to do so, most domestic students are simply not interested in learning another’s culture and accepting them into theirs. This creates a negative intercultural experience for both parties.
Marginson (2012) supports this theory stating ‘Australians are often too parochial, trapped within an Australian-centred view of a diverse and complex world’. This limited range of scope means that even if Australians did want to experience different cultures, many simply do not know how. This can cause conflict and violence, such as the attacks on Indian students in 2009, as well as social, economic and political concerns.
The ethnocentric attitude of the Australian culture is often aggressive and racist. This negative attitude and ignorant false assumptions contrasts with that of the international students, many of them being friendly and open to the Australian culture. Studies by Marginson (2012) have shown that international students have high levels of determination and are willing to succeed, possibly because the opportunity they have been given is rare or perhaps it is to further express their desire to adapt to a different environment and to prove that they are not inferior to the local residents.
So instead of assuming that all international students are illegal, uneducated immigrants, we should learn from these issues and help Australia to cooperate and collaborate in order to become a nation focused on quality education as opposed to racism and ignorance.
References
Erlenawati Sawir, Simon Marginson, Helen Forbes-Mewett, Chris Nyland and Gaby Ramia 2012, ‘International student security and English language proficiency. Journal of Studies in International Education, vol.16, no.5.
Peter Kell and Gillian Vogl 2007, ‘International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Everyday Multiculturalism Conference, Macquarie University.

Week 2- Globalisation, Media Flows and Saturation Coverage

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

‘Globalisation refers to an international community influences by technological development and economic, political, and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.
Globalisation could lead to the homogenisation of world cultures, or to hybridisation and multiculturalism’ (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 458).
Globalisation allows cultures to be dispersed worldwide, promoting equality between societies and understanding of different lifestyles.
The media is a central form of how globalisation is occurring and spreading. Global media is a major source for individuals researching, viewing or reading about global news and events. However global media has its downfalls. It often gives an overload of information and access to virtual communities. This creation of a global cyberspace decreases meaningful, knowledgeable and correct communication.
‘The central problem of today’s global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization…What these arguments fail to consider is that at least as rapidly as forces from various metropolises are brought into new societies they tend to become indigenized in one or another way: this is true of music and housing styles as much as it is true of science and terrorism, spectacles and constitutions’ (Appadurai, 32).
Ethnoscapes, technoscapes, mediascapes, financescapes and ideoscapes are all aspects of the global community and media, and their flow has increased over time “…at all periods in human history, there have been some disjuncture’s in the flows of these things, but the sheer speed, scale, and volume of each of these flows are now so great that the disjuncture’s have become central to the politics of global culture” (Appadurai, 37). Many individuals argue that these scapes (in promoting globalisation) have encouraged the cultural imperialism of the Western World and intruded on traditional, ancient cultures.
Although many individuals highlight the negative aspects of globalisation, it is slowly becoming recognised as a ‘norm’ rather than a concept. It may be attempted to be stopped but it is an inevitable phenomenon.
References
Appadurai, A 1990, ‘Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy’, Public Culture, vol.2, no.3, pp.1-23.
O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J 2008, Media and Society, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Blog Post 6- Making Connections

Friday, April 11th, 2014

In this final blog post for assessment 1, I will discuss both a case study involving children and the media, as well as reflecting on my time posting on this blog in the last seven weeks. As I have progressed through my blog posts, I feel as if I have gained a greater understanding of how to blog, and feel as though my blogging style has dramatically improved since week one.  I will discuss further some ideas, concepts, theories and issues I found both challenging and rewarding in this blogging experience.

The role of children in the media is a rapidly expanding issue. Media audiences, in particular, children, are portrayed as gullible and easily influenced victims by the mass-media “the unreal has almost as much influence on them as the real” Gustave Le Bon (1896).

This image portrays the effect of the mass-media from an early age. The signifiers (the logos on the baby) express the signified message of the image ( children are exposed too early to advertising).

The logos on the baby include adverts for fast food outlets, technology devices and clothing brands. This emphasises the concept that the mass media is promoting child consumerism through technology itself. The fact that children are exposed to phones, computers and other forms of technological communication contrasts with earlier ideologies that television, phones and films were dangerous forms of media.

George Gerber’s cultivation theory goes further in explaining this, stating that the exposure to film violence dramatically affects the behaviour of children. However as time has passed, this theory has been proved false as a lack of evidence has been provided and unable to prove this correct.

However the interpretation of the image depends on shared knowledge, myths and ideologies. For example, it is commonly believed that children shouldn’t be exposed to technology as the radiation will affect their brain development, or children shouldn’t eat fast food because it will make them fat.

Despite these universally accepted “facts”, individuals will interpret this image differently based on their ideological position.

As the differentiation of opinion grows, so does the mass media’s influence on children. The media is getting smarter and smarter at targeting children directly without parental knowledge. Adverts are being directed at children specifically, such as McDonald’s happy meals and the exciting new plastic toy that is received with every cheeseburger and fries.

Further, child sexuality is recognised as being simply dangerous and in no way a form of exploration, thus causing moral panic of children, sex and the power of the media.  ‘Corporate paedophilia is a metaphor… used to describe the selling of products to children… it encapsulates the idea that such advertising and marketing is an abuse of children and contravenes public norms’ Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze (2006). It is emphasised that the commercialisation of children poses as a ‘threat to societal value and interests… by the mass media’ Stanley Cohen (1972).

Despite my initial struggle with blogging (a very new concept for me), I believe my writing style has improved over the weeks and I have greatly enjoyed the topics each week. I have discussed how and if television makes you fat, the role of the media and the mediated public sphere. I have struggled with some topics, including who controls the media and controversial media texts, but with consultation of the lecture slides and my tutorials I have been able to overcome my initial confusion. Overall, I believe my time blogging for BCM110 has helped my writing progress significantly and will assist me in my further assessments.

http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/commercialization-of-children.html

Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze , ‘Corporate Paedophilia’, The Australian Institute 2006

Cohen, S ‘Moral Panics’, vol. 3, 1972

Le Bon, G ‘The Crowd: A Study of The Popular Mind’, 1896

 

 

 

 

Blog Post 5- Media Mythbusting

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

 

The public sphere is “a domain of our social life where such a thing as public opinion can be formed [where] citizens… deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion… [to] express and publicise their views”. Habermas (1997: 105). It is bigger than just the media itself, however only as a result of the mass media can large groups of people come together and exchange ideas and opinions.

The public sphere is also different from the state, so it is a place where individual citizens work out the public opinion of an issue, then consult the state to deal with it.

Not only does Australia have the public sphere, but it also encapsulates the concept of the mediated public sphere. This describes how the popular media is primarily concerned with the domestic, emotional and personal issues, as well as discussing political and moral issues.

The mediated public sphere however is quite flawed. It is often criticised for being too trivialized, too commercialised, too spectacular instead of rational, too fragmented and too apathetic. It is described as being too reliant on public spectacle, neglecting important public issues and content and concentrating on money-making stories.

The Gruen Transfer

The Gruen Transfer is a term created by Austrian architect Victor Gruen, and refers to the moment a customer walks into a shopping mall and, overwhelmed by the advertising and consumerism, forgets their original intentions.

Once adapted into a television series on the ABC, the program allows for the media and the public to come together and discuss how mass-media is attempting to make us “impulsive buyers” through advertising.

Public opinion is expressed the Twitter feed at the bottom of the screen in each episode, and although it is not mediated, the usually civil comments allow the general public to express their judgments on certain matters.

The program also knows who their audience is, and introduces individuals who are currently being talked about in the media, such as Kim Kardashian, however they prefer to keep their personalities political and focus on politicians, including Tony Abbot and Julia Gillard. This refers back to the mediated public sphere as the program talks about topics the public are familiar with, however it places emphasis on moral and political issues as well.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/gruentransfer/

http://thegruentransfer.tumblr.com/