Category Archives: BCM110

Reflection #bcm110

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reflect_cartoon #bcm110

I have enjoyed everything that has been explained from the Lectures and discussed in the Tutorials, from talking about who controls the media to the mediated public sphere. I have been shown the biased and agendas that appear in our media in order to persuade an audience, to the male only coffee houses where discussion and concerns took place.

Through blogging on the weekly topics I realise that it helps with getting some practical use on what the topics are about and also my perceptions of what stands out to me about the concepts/topics being talked about. Such as the topic of Semiotics and Ideology where looking at images and ads are made for multiple purposes such as the denotation (what is the image) and connotation (what does it represent) of an image.

From reading other students blogs doing the same subject I have realised that everyone has takes a different aspect to the concepts and produces their blogs in their own way. It is also enjoyable to view the videos and links other students post that are something I have not seen in awhile or thought the way they did about it.

BCM110 Introduction to Communication and Media Studies is a great and interesting subject that has my interest and has pretty much set in what I want to do at University and is a stepping stone to what I want to do in future.

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What am I this week Media?

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Celebrating a mate’s birthday at the local club – being the designated driver, I find myself watching my mates and their behaviour as they are constantly consuming alcohol. I am noticing the typical early signs of being intoxicated – odd movements, random bursts of laughter and obscure ideas, higher confidence, lower social awareness and the increase of volume and vulgar language when speaking to someone that is right next to them. I also noticed the increase of appearances from security guards and staff watching us, so… it wasn’t just me paying attention to my mates.

It isn’t odd that we were being watched, the establishment, the guards and staff do have to do their jobs. Watched from across the room or being watched from all of the cameras – that were obvious. It was more about being watched about the potential dangers that could happen, not the actual behaviour going on. Watching through the cameras I suspect there to be no audio just video, so It would be not until an action that could be seen as a potential escalation of something more dangerous that my mates and I would be able to stay.

This seems to be how surveillance/CCTV/phone footage is being used by the media. To produce content for, yet against, the public by controlling the potential dangers society has to offer, until a danger occurs, then it is displayed in the media everywhere alerting the audiences to the troubles of people and countries.

For example with the current label of Australians being racist in the media shown by:

From 2 weeks ago – discussion on Sunrise

From 4 months ago

When I type “racist” then press space, I am greeted with “racist Australia” as the 4th most searched phrase in both Google and YouTube. If I type in “racist a” I get “racist Australia”, “racist Aussie jokes”, “racist Asian names” and “racist Australia jokes” rounding out the top 4 displayed on Google.

It is not just Google, YouTube and the news showing some simple clips that portray racial discrimination in Australia – sticking with the racism in Australia’s media, we are shown documents, research and interviews that both portray Australia as racist. Such as this ground breaking SBS report (published 23/2/11 – brought up each time racism enters Australian media) that says 1 in 10 Australians are racist, this story (published 5/4/13) of daily real life events from Waleed Aly (appears also on Tens The Project) who describes the passive, pervasive racism that has always been in Australia or the following video from website All Together Now

Our media has focused on a topic that creates discussion and concern to everyone. Looking at the videos above, comments made and looking at what is being searched on the net (globally), Australia is racist… until the next news story when fickle Australia becomes something else.

Sensitivity and Memes in the Public Sphere!

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Warning: May contain Offensive Material!

When there is a topic that needs to be talked about, where do you go? To the ‘Public Sphere’ – an area, such as a coffee house, for discussion about controversial issues, news or debates. The idea of a Public Sphere gives people the opportunity to converse in a social setting, face-to-face about topics discussed  in media, this has changed to due to the introduction of the internet.

The internet allows for anyone in the world to gather at specific websites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Reddit, to give an opinion on any information that they so choose. The Public Sphere has become a much less face-to-face interaction but a bigger, more social one, thus changing the need for mediation with-in the “Public Sphere”. The websites mentioned have all mediated themselves in some way, usually by having rules – restricting adult content to certain forums or not allowing any at all, placing certain content into categories and allowing certain people to post or the introduction of Moderators to patrol forums to enforce the rules. There are certain aspects of the internet that can’t be mediated as they are produced by users, yet no one can justify owning the content, I am talking about Memes – a short picture, phrase or a combination that spreads around the internet.

I love strawberries BCM110

The above picture, to me anyway, is nothing more than a turtle eating a strawberry with the written words “OH MY GOD, I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!!” as to represent the feelings of the turtle as to show both the cuteness of the turtle in something so absurd but also to express the similar feel that a human can. It is something anyone can relate to by enjoying/liking something very much.

In contrast to the comedic aspect of personifying a turtle’s affection eating a strawberry, there are other memes that bring controversy, such as:

controversy meme BCM110

The above meme, and many others, bring controversy to any place that it is posted. One can be disgusted by looking at a failing attempt at humour on the touchy subject of rape. To produce a picture like this, but to also include the line “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something”, to express the idea if women can not voice her objection, then it is not rape.

When it comes to this meme it brings up the controversy and debate of rape and women oppression against the freedom of speech on the internet. What is considered humour? Can every area of the internet be mediated? Do controversial memes hurt anyone? Are memes used to point fun at sensitive issues or to bring them up and get people to talk?

When there is no claim to creation but a reason for the creation in the first place, it would be easier to just avoid what is portrayed but then conversation and understanding would not ever happen.

Would you like diversity with your agenda?

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Sheeple BCM110

Today, just like yesterday and the day before we have access to every type of media, television, radio, newspaper, even blogs – to get our need for news. However with the ability to get news anytime from any source, 24/7, is the ‘news’ actually news? When there is a story to tell about an incident is that what makes it news? Does the amount of people involve or the emotion evoked in the story make it news?

We are in an age where anything can be classified as news, it is not that, nothing would be worthy of being news but the fact that since we are a society that likes to know about our society we need to be catered for. This ‘need to know’ causes media outlets to get any story they can and to create news out of it. We have changed the meaning of news, our society has changed, our interests have changed, our ability to use technology has changed; an era of convergence has changed what causes news to be news.

With umpteen amount of media outlets for news it is a good idea for media moguls to diverse their interest in order to continue the expansion of their empire and audience. This expansion causes some issues, the limited freedom of expression – economic, cultural, social and political condition on the stories presented, with a concentration of owners, the variety of interests provided is also concentrated. Those that are employed usually have an agenda that reflects those of the employer, this causes the degree of news to be sud-standard, explained by Elizabeth Hart in ‘Media Ownership‘ (reading for Week 4).

The resulting action of contradicting the agenda the employer represents ends up with the simple result of “your effort is no longer needed”, which is the basic result of CBS ex-worker Dan Rather who reported news about then President George W. Bush avoiding going to Vietnam about his national guard duties. Which caused confusion about the evidence supporting the claim made by Dan Rather and the potential cover up by CBS to claim that there was no evidence.

The ‘sacking’ of Dan Rather caused news outlets around America to both question Dan Rather’s political outlook but also his integrity as a news presenter. He appeared on the American ABC’s The View, which gave Dan Rather the opportunity to voice his reasoning and understanding of what happened, and also his opinion on what the news has become. Dan Rather commented that his political stance was as an Independent, while his previous employer, CBS, is seen as having a Liberal bias.

The power to control the media allowed for such an event to happen, one could not just get away with freedom of speech on a news show which has a political agenda, regardless of experience in the field.

media_control BCM112

When asking “does it matter who controls the media”, the answer is yes, it does matter. Where there is a need for news you are more likely to watch news that is aimed for the individual that has the same outlook as the company producing the news. The company knows who watches there programming and co-ordinates there scheduling and showing to emphasize their possible agenda. When does it become too much? When the diversity of what is on different media outlets is all the same, there is a need for diversity and a need for regulation. If I turn on the television and then the radio and they both produce the same conceived biased idea, I think it would be time to change who controls our media.

I kissed a World Leader and I liked it

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A beer ad I remember!

I find it memorable mainly because I did not actually get what the ad was for, until the beer came into shot. With DJ Benny Benassi’s track, Satisfaction playing, it caught my attention and become imbedded into my memory. I saw it as something unusual, the representation of taste (the tongue) being used to suggest that there will always be a craving, the need for satisfaction, but also possible the idea of drinking at a party and that scenario being up social drinking. It was very unexpected from previous promotional beer ads where it would be just stereotypical beer drinking doing anything for a beer even juxtaposing that stereotype.

The following images I find are also memorable:

controlversial kiss 2 bcm110

U.S President Barack Obama kissing Chinese President Hu Jintao

Controversial kiss BCm110Pope Benedict kissing Ahmed al-Tayeb

Without the captions or knowledge of who the men are and what they represent, you would only get the title “UnHate” and the obvious part of men kissing, closed eyes, puckered lips, the wrapped around arm/hand (around the pope), bringing up the idea of homosexual pride and diversity, possibly? The white writing in the green box reads “United Colors of Benetton”, Benetton being a clothing brand.

These images have caused controversy around both political and religious communities as it is seen to both undermine and obscure what Obama, the Pope, Hu and Ahmed represent, yet at the same time the images bring both political and religious situations, homosexuality (gay marriage), diversity (racism), political constraints, religious freedom. This is what Benetton represents, as they are a firm advocate for religious, political and environmental ideals, supporting diversity, so this isn’t as shocking to come from such a brand.

An interesting video about Semiotics:

Getting ready for #bcm110 and #bcm112

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Welcome to Talkin’ about Technology!

My name is James and I am a University student. I am studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies, majoring in Digital Media and Communication – hopefully!

I am easy going and like to get things done. I enjoy sleeping, eating and relaxing – some might say I am lazy. I prefer easy going.

This blog will be a University project that will help me create an “Online Portfolio”. At this moment in time I will be posting about YouTube – creators, channels, editors, pretty much anything that I find fascinating or that makes me laugh. This will revolve around BCM112 class.

I will also be using this blog to post my understanding on concepts and situations from my BCM110 class, which revolves around Communication and Media Studies.

If I get the chance, which I should considering how much time I spend on the computer, I will also be posting some reviews of things, or observations of stuff – it is pretty broad so… be on the look out.

As for future plans this website will see me through my University life. I also plan to do a student exchange some time in the future – here’s hoping.

I will be using tags to categories my posts so if just looking for a specific thing check to the right and click on a tag!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and come again!