Time to Reflect

Photo by Paul Reynolds
Photo by Paul Reynolds

Over the last 6 weeks I have learned a lot from the BCM110 (Introduction to Communication and Media) Lectures, Tutorials and Readings. In these we have looked at various topics such as:
• Media Effects
• Causality
• Cultivation Theory
• Content Analysis
• Semiotics
• Denotations and Connotations
• Ideology and Interpretation
• Uses and Gratifications
• Media Ownership and Control
• The Public and Mediated Public Spheres
• Corporate Paedophilia
• Moral Panic.

In this week’s lecture we learned about corporate paedophilia and Stanley Cohen’s moral panic which he describes as “a condition, episode, person or group of persons (who) emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.” (Cohen, 1972, p. 1) Ann Luce (Luce, 2013) says that moral panics generally occur when there is a misrepresentation of an important social issue or when information is sensationalised, an example of moral panic she uses to illustrate this is the emergence of HIV/Aids in the 1980’s. Luce (Luce, 2013) goes on to talk about how journalists exaggerated the number of afflicted, causing panic on a wide geographical scale. Luce (Luce, 2013) also discuss the debates raised by this event such as: religion, the relationships between men and women, the immorality of consensual sexual relationships between men, the idea that it was a ‘gay plague’ and that gay men needed to be quarantined, and the innocents who contracted the disease through blood transfusions among other issues.

A lot of these topics have interested me and I particularly enjoyed learning about semiotics, media ownership and control, the various public spheres, and moral panic. Although I enjoyed learning about all of these topics I must confess there were times I felt completely lost, learning about the topics in the lectures gave me a basic understanding but my own independent learning was impeded due to information in readings and other sources being dense and flowery.

In the future I will need to read given material closely and keep summaries of the subjects learned so that I can construct my own understandings and meanings. Overall I think this assignment has made me realise the study habits which I have and need to drop so that I may apply constructive learning techniques.

References:

Cohen, S., 1972. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. 1st ed. London: MacGibbon and Kee.

Luce, A., 2013. Chapter 24 Moral Panics: Reconsidering Journalism’s Responsibilities. In: K. Fowler-Watt & A. Stuart, eds. Journalism: New Challenges. Bournemouth: Centre for Journalism and Communication Research Bournemouth University, pp. 393 – 409.

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