End of the road, but not end of the journey!

The-Journey-Ends

Well, our time here is coming to a close and I have to say I have enjoyed it! And yes it is the end of this road, but I know it is not the end of the journey. With what I have learnt here, I will apply to my future studies and grow in my writing and understandings!

Six weeks ago I was a not only a new university student but I was also new to the world of blogging. I want to say thank you for reading my blogs and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them!

Lets take a look at what we have covered over these last six weeks…

 

We have taken a journey through the world of the media with our first stop questioning what is wrong with the Media Effects Model, to controversial texts in the media and why we see them the way that we do, to the ownership and control of the media and debate within the public sphere.

I have always had an interest in the media and its role in society so each topic has allowed me to further investigate real and important issues we face today as each topic was very relevant to the media today and its impact on our lives. Writing this blog has allowed me to think about things that I would have really never taken into consideration, I guess I could say that my perceptions have changed and my knowledge has grown!

Blogging has provided me with a new way of exercising my love for the written word, in a fresh and fun way! It has allowed me to share what I have learnt and allowed me to consider others views and ideas.

It was a worthwhile experience because it helped me organize my thoughts, and now I have begun a portfolio of work that is unfolding, which is exiting! I can look back on these blogs and remember how I used to write!

It has opened my eyes to see and opened my ears ready to listen for more information to add to what I have learnt. It has started a flame! I am now ready to learn more about what we have covered, to expand my knowledge. This really is the right course for me because I cannot wait to learn more about everything we have covered!

This has also been a worthwhile experience because I have found something that I can really improve on… my lengthy, loquaciousness. I had trouble keeping to 300 words as I always have so much to say, but I know I can now develop this skill and learn to be more concise and effective.

Thank you BCM110! And thank you to the blogging world! You have taught me a lot!

Yours Truly,

In our WRITE mind. (After all this I hope you picked up on the pun!)

1338228-1137-Cartoon-Character-Animal-Tiger-With-Briefcase-By-Waving-A-Greeting

Bye!!!  

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Debate is their middle name!

Welcome back to the best blog you will ever read!

Well, that opinion could probably be debated don’t you agree? Just as many ‘popular’ media texts contribute to debate in the public sphere.

“What is the public sphere?” I hear you calling out with interest! The concept came from the idea in the 18th century coffee houses, where citizens would meet, and matters of the day and issues surrounding them were discussed. And who was the man behind this notion? A one, Jurgen Habermas!

More recently however, the ‘mediated public sphere’ has been examined. This implies that the media is the initial form of communicating within the public sphere, and numerous concerns have been raised about the medias role within the public sphere.

And whom do we think of when we hear such words as “concern” and “debate”? None other than The Chasers!

Debate seems to be their middle name!

Individuals have used the media as a platform to raise issues of society for generations, and today more so than ever the wide spread debates of issues reach nearly everyone!

Issues that are discussed in the mediated public sphere are simply what most people are talking about: gender, sexual identity, sexual behavior, cultural differences, ageism, political protests, and of course the issues that The Chasers are creating. I would like to focus on one segment they conducted, “Make a Realistic Wish Foundation” to show how debate within the mediated public sphere escalated out of sight!

“Having a go at kids with a terminal illness is really beyond the pale, absolutely beyond the pale. These guys collectively should get up and hang their heads in shame, it’s just wrong.”

– Kevin Rudd

The idea of the public sphere is ‘a place where things can be discussed and issues can be raised’. This issue was not only raised on News sites, but on Social Media sites, Radio stations, Newspapers, Blogs and many more. Very quickly people were so interested in The Chasers that they began to watch it because it was such a controversial text. This made people more intrigued. I know what you’re thinking, ‘that’s the best advertising they could ever get!’ But it did seem to have the opposite effect as well. Because of the wide spread outrage, people began to despise the Chasers, demanding an apology, and of course they did receive one:

The mediated public sphere is so extensive that anyone has access to view anything within it, so understating audiences and what they expect to see as ‘appropriate’ should always be taken into account to minimize the debate and controversy the mediated public sphere gets.

See you next time for some more blogging goodness!

References:

Media Watch, 2009, How Do You Air A Bad Joke? Media Watch, online video, June 9, YouTube, viewed 11 April 2013, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5dEgO_4_Hk>

The Chaser Team, 2009, A message from The Chaser team (apologizing for the Make a Realistic Wish Foundation sketch), online video, 6 June, YouTube, viewed 11 April 2013, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GQ8U-NQAxg>

Whoever Controls the Media, Controls the Mind

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.

-Jim Morrison

That famous quote by Jim Morrison, really puts it into perspective… are we really that easily controlled? – Or have we simply lost control all together?

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Well here I am again, blogging! Do we think I am getting any good yet? Hopefully!

I am actually excited to be writing this one because it is on a topic that truly interests me, “why does it matter who ‘controls’ the media?”

Last year I was lucky enough to work alongside the news director at a local radio station for some summer work experience. It was such a great experience, but the thing that shocked me most… and I am sure would shock a lot of you…

… wait for it…

They didn’t ‘find’ their own news stories! What they did was listen to and read other stories and create their news programs based on that.

A lot of us rely too heavily on local news programs for their ‘grasp’ on what is happening around us, but should we? Or do we really care?

Honestly, a certain amount of trust comes into the equation here. I always watched the news and got the sense of trust that what I was watching or reading in the newspaper was 100% truthful, principally because it ‘seemed’ to come from ‘experts’ (so they say…) and it ‘seemed’ to be based on facts.

Is the news just the media listening to higher control and copying them with no further research done?

This troubles me a great deal!

In Australia today the Australian Press Council, Self-regulation and Australian communications and Media Authority regulate the forms of media.  The media is of huge importance to all of us, it is how we gain information and connect with people around the globe, but if all we are seeing, hearing and reading, not matter how many different media platforms we search through, is the same story… then how will we ever know different sides to issues that surround us, and sometimes even effect us? It is just like a stream of dominos falling down a line of different media platforms, with people in society picking up on the story at different points along the line of falling dominos. And do we even want to think about what is altered along the way? Has a huge game of Chinese Whispers occurred here?

Then what is at the bottom of this line of fallen dominos? Social media?

It seems that Social Media is picking up on stories at different places along this fallen line of dominos and “reporting” on what is happening for thousands to read and possibly believe. This seems to be the issue of ‘Fragmented Accounts’ of important issues with no primary research being conducted by anyone other than the head guy in his huge office chair at the top, that is if he actually has done some!

The fear that the news and issues we get could actually be simply one biased opinion from one person sitting at a big desk in a penthouse suite up in the clouds is worrying. I believe we live in a world where varying opinions are great, so lets get people looking into issues for themselves! Like Illawarra News does!

Illawarra News is an online news forum for all citizens to share their opinions on community matters. 

Finally a place where people are getting more than one biased view!

Check it out below:

Illawarra News

The media is too concentrated, too few people own too much. There’s really five companies that control 90% of what we read, see and hear. It’s not healthy.

–       Ted Turner

 

In my opinion, the issue with this is that we hear the same stories 204,657,863,546 times, from numerous different places, but are only ever told in 1 way.

So it seems that it is up to us! We need to research topics that affect us in much greater depth before taking what we see or hear as the one and only truth. I just hope its not too late to take back what is rightfully ours! Hopefully not everywhere we look has been cleaned up and regulated by the same people, other wise is there any hope of us getting the truth?

Reference:

Illawarra News, 2013, ‘Illawarra News’: By the Community, For The community, Illawarra News, viewed 10 April 2013, <http://illawarranews.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/illawarra-news-by-community-for.html>

Set to Shock? but Shall we Mock?

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“How embarrassing! How awful!” – one might say… and yes I agree those were some of my first thoughts when I saw this cover of Time Magazine. But why do we think this way? And why are we so shocked?

We can begin to comprehend why this shocks us all so much through the understanding of semiotics – the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation”. By understanding how semiotics is used in texts, especially in marketing and advertising, we can begin to ‘unpack’ why we see texts in a certain manner.

“It all starts with getting the potential audiences attention

by adding meaning to what they are viewing.”

– unknown author

 

Lets dive into the denotation of the image!

This involves looking at the ‘Sign’ (anything that conveys meaning) by first looking at the ‘Signifier’ (what gives meaning), and starting with what is actually present and visible. There is a boy, standing on a chair and a woman who has the boy attached to her. But this does not just have an image, it also has a bold and ‘grabbing’ title pulling in the audiences attention, “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH”- yes even capitalized! Do we think they are trying to get our attention? It is here that we begin putting the image and the title together to create meaning.

The Signifier can cause different meanings to be created in the viewers mind, take this for an example:

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So, now we understand, lets plunge into the connotations!

It is when we begin to look beyond the simple signifier that this image begins to seem controversial. It brings about an uneasy reaction because the Signifiers in the image provoke the Signified (what is suggested in the mind; the mental concept). We begin to attach to the image our own context and knowledge of the subject matter. What I first thought of was “that boy looks way too old to still be breastfeeding” and, “its just wrong!” Also, we then begin to add to our views by reading the title ‘Are you mom enough’, as it can be offensive and seen as questioning a parents ability, just as we too are questioning what she is doing.

So I hope, through the discussion of the signs and symbols in ‘texts’, that it is clear that one cannot simply ‘get mad’ or ‘be shocked’ by just an image but only by examining the context of the viewer and the context behind the text itself.

Something extra: 

So, for those who are enjoying themselves and would like to get a better understanding about this article, read on! Because I found some more interesting info!

The ‘Time’ advertisement caused some outrage in the public and questioned what was appropriate in the media and what was “correct parenting”. The following video shows a ‘follow-up’ on the article, an insight into the background of the advertisement and some expert opinions. It also clearly showed how much of a “stir” it caused, as 122,056 voters were interested in voicing their opinion, as shown below:

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The mother said that she knew it was “going to cause a stir”. Lets take a look:

 Video

So we have been shocked, but shall we mock? It all depends on what you bring to the text to make connections and create understandings and opinions.

 

Thanks again for reading!

 

References:

Unknown author, 2012, Mom: Breast-feeding kid, 3, ‘not for everybody’, online video, 11 May, NBC NEWS, viewed 30 March 2013, <http://www.today.com/video/today/47385461#47385461>

 

Oxford Dictionaries, 2013, semiotics, Oxford Dictionaries, viewed 29 March 2013, <http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/semiotics>

Are the ‘blamers’ choosing the right ‘blamees’?

Yes, I know ‘blamees’ is not a word… but are those who play ‘the blame game’ choosing the right place to dump all of this blame?

“TV makes you fat… the media makes children turn into violent killers… SpongeBob gives us all an incorrect view of the happenings beneath the ocean”

… well maybe the last one is a little silly, although who doesn’t dream we could all live under the sea and be best friends with a sponge!?

Getting back on track now, the role of Mass Media has caused anxieties in the ‘mass audience’ for some time now and it is safe to say, and I don’t think I will get anyone who disagrees with me here – Media influences people. No shock there! Today, the media plays a crucial role with the way that individuals gain knowledge and the way in which they communicate with each other. As consumers we can rarely escape being involved with a ‘medium’, and therefore being exposed to the global village. We all know that the media does cause people to think a certain way, but can we go as far as to presume that the media can change an individual’s personality and common sense?

This brings us to the Media Effects Model. This is a method investigating how the media impacts its audience, although it seems to be extensively flawed.

The reading “Ten Things Wrong with the ‘Effects Model’” explains how scientists and professionals are trying to find the answer to the effects of problems in society backwards, by examining and blaming the media before looking at other factors in life.

 

“In more general terms, the ‘backwards’ approach involves the mistake

 of looking at individuals, rather than society, in relation to the mass media.”

– Gauntlett, D.

It would seem that such “professionals” would look at the causality of problems by starting with the media and not the actual people or issue. It completely disregards the idea of context, therefore resulting in a misguided or one-sided point of view. So the statement “TV Makes You Fat” has begun with looking at the Media first, not people’s genetic coding, their hormonal imbalance, diet, levels of activity and other social factors… They are looking at the problem backwards!

This is also the case with the Murder of Jamie Bulger in 1993 as the first point of reference for blame was the medias effect and influence on the killers lives, not dysfunctional family life, poverty, alcoholism, marital breakdown and the neglect and bullying within their lives.

It is when studies begin to start with the person’s life as the first frame of reference and not the media; more ‘truthful’ conclusions can be made. The findings from the accusing statement “TV makes children desensitized to violence – and therefore become violent killers” was that persistent young offenders do not watch more violent films or television than ‘ordinary’ school children and they prefer soap operas to video “nasty’s”.

And so I will have to agree with Gauntlett’s statement:

“We can see that studies which take the perpetrators of actual

violence as their first point of reference, rather than the media, come to

rather different conclusions (and there is certainly a need for more such research).”

– Gauntlett, D.

References:

Gauntlett, D 1988, ‘The things wrong with the ‘effects model’, Approaches to Audiences, Unknown, 16 March 2013, http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm

Wayne Lapierre, NRA Full Speech: Blames Media, Video Games and Hollywood, online video, viewed 16 March 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glwggRUAQBk

 

There is a first time for everything…

Hello to my fellow bloggers!

First things first… I love to write! However, I do not consider myself a good writer by any stretch of the word… but there is something that thrills me about sitting down and being immersed in a world where whatever you write onto the paper, with no limitations, becomes a reality in your mind and the minds of your readers.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

– Maya Angelou

This, being my first blogging experience, is a platform that I hope will help me with my writing, allow me to begin to write those stories inside me, get used to using technology in a new and exciting way and be a place to bring light on many fascinating stories and many undoubtedly thought-provoking lessons I learn in BCM110.

So, speaking of stories… Here is where mine all began.

I was born in Wollongong in 1994 and have lived, gone to school and recently worked in the Illawarra region for my entire 18 years and 7 months. I currently live in the beautiful Shellharbour area with my parents and only 5 minutes away from my older sister, her husband and two gorgeous little twin girls.

I have been a dancer for as long as I can remember and three years ago I began teaching, at the same time when I began a job at the Movies. I have a real love for the beach and all its beauty! I have been surfing for years and cant wait to teach my two little nieces one day!

 

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.

–       Orson Scott Card

I chose to study a Bachelor of Communication and Media studies, beginning this year at UOW, because I want to become the best writer that I can be.

I am also studying a Bachelor of Commerce to conjoin my love for composing and my interest in the business world that will one day allow me to be able to spread my skills to bring awareness, through writing, of the sufferings of others and the less fortunate in an attempt to find new means to gain awareness of people’s sufferings outside our own world.

I am not a ‘keen’ social networker but I admire its easy accessibility and ability to connect people from all over the world. Through social media I have easily been able to keep in touch with friends and family from all around the world with only a couple of taps on a keyboard!

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.

– William Faulkner

The main skill that I want to gain from my blogging experience is simply to learn how to write and publish my thoughts on interesting topics. I know I can always improve, and learn from my mistakes, so all I can do now is give it a go and hope that this experience will get me a little bit closer to reaching my goals!