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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The ‘mediated’ Public Sphere and the Effects of Sexualisation and Advertisement on Children

This week in the lecture we had a look at the ‘mediated’ public sphere and were asked to analyse a popular media text and how it might contribute to debate in a ‘mediated’ public sphere. The popular media text I have chosen is a photo from Vogue Paris from 2011. Although this image is 3 years old I still believe that it would still be relevant in a debate today.

But first, what is a ‘mediated’ public sphere? Well, a public sphere is a “…virtual space where communication about public issues takes place,…”, this basically means people come together in this metaphorical sphere to discuss public issues (McKee, 2005). The public sphere becomes a ‘mediated’ public sphere when a mediator is introduced to help direct the discussion, an example of a ‘mediated’ public sphere includes the program Insight hosted by Jenny Brockie.

Image from Vogue Paris 2011
Image from Vogue Paris 2011

My popular media text is a picture of Thylane Blondeau from the magazine Vogue Paris in 2011. Little Blondeau was only 10 at the time and has been seductively laid out on a leopard print bed spread with what appears to be two rabbits, she is dressed in a tight golden dress with matching heels and necklace, and looks as if she’s been attacked by the makeup crew one too many times. This media text would contribute to debates over the sexualisation of children in the media, the behavior of children in relation to sexual themes, exposing children to adult content and advertising, debates over how old models should be and the possible mental disorders that could develop from exposure to the fashion industry. (Gale, 2011) (Sky, 2014)

Most of these issues arise because of the advertising and fashion industries being self-regulated with a voluntary code of ethics meaning nothing will be done about provocative media unless someone complains. (Gale, 2011) With the code of ethics remaining voluntary, they can remain interested in making money first and thinking about the well-being of those they employ and those they sell to second. (Gale, 2011) (Sky, 2014)

That’s all for this week, goodbye.

Gale, J., 2011. Sexualisation of Children and Young Teens. Educating Young Children – Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years, 17(2), pp. 21 – 23.

McKee, A., 2005. Introduction. In: An Introduction to the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 01-31.

Sky, J., 2014. Protect Children in the Fashion Industry from Exploitation. [Online]
Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKJ99Gh0UN0
[Accessed 05 April 2014].

Why does it matter?

Why does it matter?

This week we were asked to look at a source of media we use, who has editorial control and why does it matter. Well, the media source I would like to talk about is the ABC or Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I think it is important to talk about the ABC because in the chaos of media ownership in Australia, this service stands apart by not being owned or aligned with the key players such as Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rinehart but by being owned by the Australian Government.

The ABC is an excellent example for this question because it is one of only a few sources for reliable and unbiased news left in Australia. While it may be owned by the Australian Government they have no editorial control and simply fund this station, editorial control for the ABC lays with current Managing Director Mark Scott who has “…ultimate editorial power and responsibility.” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2011). The only other group with editorial powers after the Managing Director is the ABC Board, a group of seven people chosen by the governor general recommended by the government, it is their job to ensure “…that the gathering and presentation of news and information is accurate and impartial, according to recognised standards of journalism, and that the ABC complies with legislative and legal requirements.” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2014)

Along with these editorial powerhouses is the ABC Code of Practice followed by all Journalist’s working for this corporation which was developed by the ABC Board. This document is very impressive in that it puts more force on its journalists to self-regulate their work and when writing to make “…assertions of fact, not to expressions of opinion.” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2014). This basically means that all stories must have a basis in fact and not be expressions of opinions.

So why does it matter? It matters because for the ABC, editorial control is more of a way to make the news more reliable and accurate instead of monopolizing the news for personal interest like other media moguls do.

Well that’s all for this week. I hope its informative stuff!

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2011. Our Editorial Policies. [Online]
Available at: http://about.abc.net.au/reports-publications/editorial-policies/
[Accessed 29 March 2014].

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2014. Code of Practice 2014. [Online]
Available at: http://about.abc.net.au/reports-publications/code-of-practice-2014/
[Accessed 29 March 2014].

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2014. The ABC Board. [Online]
Available at: http://about.abc.net.au/who-we-are/the-abc-board/
[Accessed 29 March 2014].

Denotations and Connotations

This week we were asked to locate and discuss how a controversial/complex ‘text’ operates as a sign in terms of its denotation and connotation. I found an interesting article called “Two state colleges could lose funding over controversial topic” (Stevens, 2014), this article looks at a controversial book choice recommended to freshmen by the College of Charleston and USC Upstate. This book is called “Fun home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel and contains elements of homosexuality, this book in particular is a source of controversy at the College of Charleston (Stevens, 2014).

For the purpose of staying within the word limit I will be writing in a more basic form from here on out than what I normally would, here we go!

Signifier/Denotation: The book “Fun home: A Family Tragicomic” in this situation is the signifier/denotation.

Signified/Connotations:

Homosexuality: The book itself contains elements of homosexuality and prompts discussions about the life of a homosexual and their personal preferences.

Homophobia: Legislators are punishing the colleges recommending this book to their students by cutting funding because they believe that students are being forced to read it when they are not. Actions speak louder than words and this action is loaded with disgust for LGBT content thus proving the presence of homophobia in this action.

LGBT Rights: This book sparks debate of LGBT rights regarding same-sex marriage, equal treatment and even rights to published content that displays homosexual content.

Government Interference: This issue with the colleges brings attention to micromanagement of educational establishments and educatory content by the American government forcing their morals onto others.

The book “Fun home: A Family Tragicomic” operates as a sign by facilitating discussion about real world issues that are relevant today.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you will be back in the future!

Stevens, S., 2014. Two state colleges could lose funding over controversial topic. [Online]
Available at: http://www.abcnews4.com/story/24780486/two-state-colleges-could-lose-funding-because-of-controversial-topic
[Accessed 19 February 2014].

What is wrong with the ‘media effects’ model?

What is wrong with the 'media effects' model?

What is wrong with the ‘media effects’ model? Where do I start? This week’s reading for BCM110 was an article called “Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’” (Gauntlett, 1998) from the book Approaches to Audience – A Reader. This article laid the effects model completely bare as it listed, explained and gave evidence as to why it is useless. So why is it wrong? There are at least 10 points we could look at to determine that it is wrong but there is one point Gauntlett writes about that I really agree with.

The first thing I agreed with that Gauntlett talked about was how studies involving the effects model were often based on artificial studies. These artificial studies involved being conducted in environments that weren’t typical such as “…a laboratory, or… a classroom…” and often involved a researcher conspicuously turning up to conduct the experiment (Gauntlett, 1998). As if the untypical environment wasn’t bad enough, the whole reason of the experiment is thrown out the window when researchers don’t even use everyday media examples to conduct the experiment, instead they use selected examples that “…lack the narrative meaning inherent in everyday TV productions.” (Gauntlett, 1998) I believe that these inflections in studies really undermine the results produced because they are obtaining information from people based on what they are showing these people and not what the subjects themselves watch in reality. But what really kills this for me is the idea that people are going to not be affected by strangers asking them questions and observing them, of course people are going to react to this, it’s not a typical situation one finds themselves in on a daily basis so they are going to monitor how they themselves act, it is in my opinion, human nature to be conscious of how we present ourselves.

Well that’s all from me this week. Bye for now!

Gauntlett, D., 1998. Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm
[Accessed 12 March 2014].

BCM110: Introductions

Hello, my name is Jacob Foster despite the japanese name you will see on the side of this post. I will change this when I figure out how to. I usually use weebly so please be patient with me as I fiddle around with WordPress and get used to the Media Platform.

What to say about myself… How about a list? Here we go!

  1. I am 19 and will be turning 20 this year.
  2. I completed a Diploma of Communication and Media last year at TAFE.
  3. I am really into anime, manga and I occasionally fire up a game console to enjoy a good RPG every now and then.
  4. I’m a complete Bookaholic. I love a good read! Currently reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.
  5. I have been playing the violin for about 4 and a half, if not, 5 years now. It’s more a hobby then a passion though so I play on and off.

When I finish up with Uni. I want to be a journalist for a newspaper or magazine. I found my interest in this area when I attended my work experience for TAFE at the local rag in Nowra. I got to experience many aspects of being a journalist there and wrote articles for the paper that were published with half of them getting by-lines.

I hope I do well in Uni. and hope to make some really great friends here!

Thank you for reading.