Invisible Cities (BCM310)

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Diasporic Media is a term I was unfamiliar with until recently. It refers to media representations of groups dispersed from their traditional homelands, and the way these representations are circulated and responded to by audiences. Myria (2003), studies this term, describing “the growing potential for mobility and communication” having led to “new forming inclusion and exclusion in transnational communities and multicultural societies”. It is noted the way media cultures are essential elements shaping and being shaped by everyday life.

I liken this notion of diasporic media to the way trends play out across culture, fashion and media practices. Trends and sub- cultures in music and/or style such as rap culture, or surf culture, start off as minority groups born within their original environments. Then, due to a growing global media environment, they are dispersed through various platforms, groups and audiences, and enter the mainstream.

Media consumption and communication technologies become increasingly important in the formation of shared identity for populations spread across the globe. Documentaries, blogs, magazines, novels and reality television become tools for communicating and disseminating the identities of minority groups and cultures. Invisible Cities, The Jews: A people’s History and We Shall Remain are examples of documentaries which share the experiences and history of these cultures.

“They contribute to the generation of transnational flows in the areas of population movement, finance, politics, cultural production, and, as a result, are considered to be in the vanguard of the forces that deepen and intensify globalisation” (Tsagarousianou, 2004).

As I have recently explored, diasporic media trends exist as platforms and tools for learning, discovery and communication. The benefits of these are that identities, experiences and stories are shared in ways that reach audiences all over the world- deepening understanding, and providing new insights into the world and the cultures around it.

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Georgiou, Myria. (2003). ‘Mapping Diasporic Media across the EU: Addressing Cultural Exclusion’. Key Deliverable: The European Media and Technology in Everyday Life Network, 2000-2003,
http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EMTEL/reports/georgiou_2003_emtel.pdf

Tsagarousianou, R. (2004). Rethinking the concept of diaspora: mobility, connectivity and communication in a globalised world, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, University of Westminster, London, Vol. 1(1): 52-65. 

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Going Global (BCM310)

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I read Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue from the UK, Japan, Italy, Singapore, the US and Australia. My favourite show, Big Brother, airs in 63 countries around the world. My music taste also ranges from Independent Australian Artists to songs from my Eurovision playlist. What does this say about Globalisation and the media? Furthermore, what does it say about the way Globalisation impacts delivery and circulation of the media? I believe it says quite a lot.

Jan’s Globalisation of the Media explores the power of global media ability to intervene in the course of events and affect their outcomes. The paper discusses media markets, audiences, advertisers, finance and creative content. As suggested by Jan, the globalisation of media subsidiaries are powerful in creating a global public sphere whereby content is shared and accessed more easily by individuals around the world, and furthermore, become influential in the way they are responded to (Jan, 2009).

In ‘Impacts of globalisation on world economy’, Rao introduces discussion on positive impacts of globalisation on business and media industries, focusing on more efficient markets, stabalised security and increased competition (Rao, 2013).

The positive outcomes of globalisation for media and business are endless- opening up more room for cultural diversity and awareness, wider ranges of content, increased tools for learning and the formation of an international market of producers and consumers.

As the impacts of globalisation become more prominent, it is important to remain conscious of the constant changes to global media and its trends- as these will have direct impact upon learning, jobs and issues across the world. When tools and media are utilized effectively and interactively with other locations and channels, this generates the most effective results for content and the scope in which it is delivered.

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 Jan, M. 2009. Globalization of Media: Key issues and Dimensions. Department of Mass Communication, Gomal University, European Journal of Scientific Research, Vol.29 No.1 (2009), pp.66-75

Rao, A, May 7, 2013. 4 Positive impacts of globalisation on world economy. Retrieved 20/5/2014, from http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2013/05/07/4-positive-impacts-of-globalization-on-world-economy/

Sea of Flags (BCM310)

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I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to discuss the representation of Indigenous Australian women within the mediascape. I want to note that whilst I do feel there is space to invest more exposure of Indigenous women into Australia’s media, and that little effort has been made to fill this gap in the past, I do feel our industry is on the right path to addressing the issue.

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The beautiful Samantha Harris on the cover of Vogue Australia in 2010 

In ‘White Australia has a blackface history’, Maxine addresses some hard hitting issues based on Indigenous Australians’ and some negative experiences these individuals had faced in Australia in relation to representation and treatment. Reading stories of these occurrences does put a negative spin on the representation of Indigenous Australian women in Australia’s media environment.

However, if we are talking about the very ‘current’ mediascape- I would like to address the fact that just this weekend I watched music artist Jessica Mauboy perform in the Eurovision Semi-finals and was extremely proud to see her represent Australia. The song she performed is titled ‘Sea of Flags’- thus the title of my post. Also just last week, I finished watching the first season of The Face Australia, which included a pair of sisters from Perth, Kiara and Shenika, who were representing Indigenous Australian women.

This year in April, the very first Indigenous Australian Fashion Week took place, highlighting talented Indigenous Australians who work, design and model in the Australian Fashion Industry. The Founder of Indigenous Australian Fashion Week, Krystal Perkins, said that “the whole point of this Fashion Week is to encourage Indigenous economic development”.

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Seeing Samantha Harris on the front cover of Vogue, Jessica Mauboy representing Australia on the Eurovision stage and the introduction of Indigenous Australian Fashion Week does give me hope of a brighter future for the exposure of Indigenous talent within Australia media- however, only the future will tell what is to come for the future of this industry, and what it will present us with.

Clarke, Maxine. (2010). ‘White Australia has a blackface history’. Overland. http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-199/feature-maxine-clarke/. Accessed 14/5/2014 

Gender: Not so ‘modern’ family? (BCM310)

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Discussions and debates about gender issues are a frequent occurrence of today, with these debates often relating to representations of gender roles, particularly those depicted through media channels on television, in magazines and films & various realms of pop culture. I wanted to discuss this issue with various perspectives in mind, in attempt to provide an objective discussion.

I know that I myself often become switched off when watching my favourite shows and listening to music, becoming oblivious to signs of gender inequalities the medium may present to me. References to gender are often delivered through humour, using jokes based on male or female stereotypes. Two and a Half Men and Modern Family are programs that often use humor based on female stereotypes- as well as the stereotypical ways in which women are treated by men (as housewives, or sex objects). This is just one perspective.

Girls and Sex and the City communicate general issues that affect women like relationships and career complications, possibility as a means of connecting to the general experiences of female audiences. How I Met Your Mother and Friends often integrate jokes relating to stereotypical behaviours of men- using humour and jokes based on male stereotypes.

Sexism refers to prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. Music artists Dr Dre and Pitbull have been known to include ‘sexist’ or stereotypical statements in their lyrics when speaking about women. Whilst this definition notes that sexism is something typically experienced by women, it is also widely experienced by men in both the media and in the workplace. This is sometimes referred to as Reverse Sexism.

Whilst unequal representation of gender roles in the media is largely connected to female stereotypes, I think it is important to note, that men too, are often stereotyped in the ways in which they are represented across various forms. On top of this, levels of inequality are often overshadowed by humour, being overlooked by the viewer in effect. Within this study, it is relevant to note the ways subtle stereotypes are often integrated into these platforms- as these variances have cultural and ideological impacts on thinking, learning and the way media and media forms are internalized and responded to by viewers.

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Marcotte, Micheal. (2013). ‘Gender Inequality in Public Media Newsrooms’. MVM Consulting. URL: http://www.mikemarcotte.com/2013/03/gender-inequity-in-public-media-newsrooms.html. Accessed 28/4/2014

Krishnan, Kavita. (2013). ‘The Anti-Rape Movement: The Political Vision of Naari Mukti/Sabki Mukti’. Kafila.org. http://kafila.org/2013/12/15/the-anti-rape-movement-the-political-vision-of-naari-muktisabki-mukti-kavita-krishnan/. Accessed 28/4/2014

 

Cities: Constructing Creative Culture (BCM310)

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This post allows me to venture into a subject I love discussing- cities. Not in terms of their concrete, geographical meaning but rather, the role they play in communicating creativity and means of aesthetic journalism. Alfredo talks about art, and this term ‘aesthetic journalism‘, noting that “we no longer consider artists as specialized craftspeople: to produce sense socially and politically, one has to abandon the notion of artisanship in favour of innumerable forms of expression, which include film festivals, newspapers, television, internet, radio and magazines” (Alfredo, 2011).

I’ve often heard the phrase “style is speaking without having to say a word”. To some, this may seem unrelated to the topic, however I feel it extends the boundaries of fashion, and is relevant when describing the ways spaces communicate meaning and ‘inform without having to inform’. This is aesthetic journalism.

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I have once again used Instagram as a research platform to explore the ways cities and spaces are represented by individuals within the public sphere, how they are presented, used and circulated within this world.

What defines a city? On top of this, what defines a culture? I believe that Alfredo is touching on a very important point here, stating that these ‘innumerable forms of expression’ are what define modern aesthetic journalism and expressions of art. The pictures above need no description or justification- the cities and their aesthetic appeal are art in its itself. And the experiences and possibilities these spaces offer are what define the culture.

“With art and journalism, if we open up and re- think our conception of traditional information formats, allowing imagination and open-endness, we might perceive things in ways we remain unaware of.” (Alfredo, 2011)

Cramerotti, Alfredo, 2011, “What is Aesthetic Journalism”, in Cramerotti, Alfredo, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing, Intellect, London

Pratt, Andy C., 2011, “The cultural contradictions of the creative city,” City, Culture and Society 2 pp.123-130

Audiences: Active architects of meaning (BCM310)

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Participatory Journalism and practices in the media and beyond discusses a contemporary, alternative view of sourcing media which is referred to as ‘Public Journalism’- a model which asks ‘for a more reciprocal relationship between reporters and their audience, suggesting news should be a conversation rather than a lecture’. I will use this outlook to supplement my thoughts on ‘the future of journalism’- whilst I investigate what the future of this industry will entail, who it will involve, and how it will be defined.

Concepts of participatory journalism, co-creation, active audiences, and uses of crowd-sourcing are becoming more and more prominent within the business and media landscape of ‘now’. Media convergence and the influence of social media have transformed the relationship between texts and audiences in market, professional and social contexts (Vujnovic, 2008).

YouTube as a platform for sharing and viewing clips can be used to illustrate this contemporary shift in audience relationship and participation. In this context, the journalists or producers of the content, and the audiences who consume the content, are not two separate factions. The users of the platform are one dynamic group of consumers, producers, journalists, artists, creators and viewers.

This same model of Participatory Journalism is painted through online forums and blogs whereby users create and use concurrently. Reality programs such as Big Brother represent this model in the way audiences play a part in the creation of the show and determining its final result. Large corporations such as Nike and Starbucks also implement audience participation in the design of their products and services through use of crowd sourcing and co-creation in their developments (Witell, 2011).

These trends, evident within current media and business affairs, shed light on the changing scope of audience relationship and participation, and the increasing inability to define what the term audience or journalism can be used to describe in modern media studies. I will leave you with the suggestion that, quite possibly, it could be the inability to no longer define what the term means that truly defines the future of journalism- and what lies beyond the horizon of the current media landscape.

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The above image is a collection of screenshots taken from Instagram, when #audience is typed into the search bar. The collection depicts the diversification of what individuals view as being an ‘audience’ and what contexts these audiences are being placed in- again suggesting what lies ahead for the future of journalism, and how audience types will have impact on this. 

Idea Generation: Customer Co-creation versus Traditional Market Research Techniques, Witell, et al, Journal of Services Management, Vol 22, No.2, 2011, pp 140-159. 

John V. Pavlik, 2013, “Innovation And The Future of Journalism”, Digital Journalism, 1:2, 181-193. 

Singer and Marina Vujnovic, 2008, “Participatory Journalism Pratices in The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, 2:3, 326-342. 

 

Journalism: Blending Boundaries (BCM310)

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I want to start off by initiating a discussion about Journalism as a division within the media landscape, how it can be defined and how far this meaning can be extended within the realm of what is considered to be true journalism.

Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape touches on this, observing that ‘journalism has become part of a holistic mix of media elements that intentionally or unintentionally provide people with varied glimpses of the world around them’ (Berkowitz, 2009). I wanted to discuss this theory in relation to an aspect of popular culture I know very well, and which I see fitting to this topic- Reality Television.

Big Brother Australia, The Australian Celebrity Apprentice, Australia’s Next Top Model and new series The Face Australia are all reality programs that can be discussed in relation to this topic, holding in common that they all link on ‘providing people with glimpses of the world around them’ based on four boundaries of social and political processes-being Debate, Voting, Competition and Relationships.

You may have noticed that each of these programs are competition based in one way or another. With any competition comes opportunity for debate and the process of voting, not unlike that of an election. Strong links can be drawn between the two, observing the way the public becomes involved with the system- determining the final result. The way in which conversation sparks into debate on various social media platforms, with viewers sharing their views and opinions on certain topics relating to an election or to the reality series, also sheds light on how these two can be studied in relation to one another.

Relationships are always a significant theme within these programs, particularly in the context of Big Brother, when the viewer watches the ways in which relationships develop and unfold with various personalities in the house.

This links back to the Berkowitz quote, with such programs exposing various political and social elements that are in fact relevant within the real world- articulating the way in which humans interact within various social and political contexts, how these processes unfold and how they influence public opinion.

Grief, 2005, ‘The Reality of Reality Television’, N+1 Magazine, 16 September

Ouellette, 2010, Reality Television, Oxford Bibliographies, viewed 28/3/2014, URL: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756841/obo-9780199756841-0057.xml

McGuigan, Jim, 2005, The cultural public sphere, Cultural Studies, 8:4, pp. 427–443

Tenenboim-Weinblatt, K. 2009, ‘“Where Is Jack Bauer When You Need Him?” The Uses of Television Drama in Mediated Political Discourse’, Political Communication, vol. 26, pp. 367-87.

Berkowitz, Dan, 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292

#instapanic (BCM240)

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Moral panics are a common pattern in all societies and shed light on the moral standard and social order through which it functions. What isn’t often recognized is that reactions and attitudes  to these are very much dependent on spatial flows of media content distribution and the driving force of ‘space’ itself. ImageSpatial impacts upon social media are huge in number- consisting of the physical spatial setting, peer groups and various spaces of people, social settings, trends, news and events, spaces of moral idea, attitude, behaviour and opinion, distribution of media and access to technology and resources available/accessible to individuals . These factors drive the way both groups and individuals view and use social media- whether this be achieved through a positive or negative lens.

This week I looked at Instagram as a platform for connecting audience, space and ways of thinking about social media. Instagram as a medium does so in more ways than one- combining spatial settings and location settings applied to each post, use of hashtags relating to the spatial experience, followers that remain as a constant audience and the wider audience (which exists all across the world) that have access to your posts through searching with tags.

Spatial elements like these are what feed the way we use, and the way we experience social media. The tools, groups, places, ideas and audiences we encounter throughout or experiences within social media contribute to our understanding and learning of platforms through these spatial devices.

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The material above is a collection of posts from individuals and users that I follow on Instagram, constructed as a means of demonstrating the spatial experiences that I encounter within my own social world.

Moral panics play out in the same way, with experiences in relation to what we hear and view contributing to our learning and the worldviews we then construct. I recently spoke to a mother of two children who deals with conflicting views and moral panics surrounding social media and expressed how these ideas then go on to impact the way she parents and manages her children in relation to social media. She informed me that with all the panic and some of the stories she hears, she feels she has no choice but to check their Instagram profiles each night before bed as a means of making sure they are posting within a ‘safe media environment’. Seeing that I utilize the platform more than any other and would never think to see it in negative light, I thought this sounded crazy- however it occurred to me that people within different spatial environments will experience different encounters with social media that are unlike mine- due to the simple fact that they do exist in a different spatial setting to that of mine.

Often out of our control, our attitudes and ideas surrounding platforms and commodities are shaped by what we see, hear and experience within our spatial environment and how spatial elements are distributed and circulated within these settings.

Source 

Hochman, N. 2013, ‘Zooming into an Instagram City: Reading the local through social media’ First Monday, Volume 18, Number 7, Viewed 2 September 2013, <http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4711/3698>

Rewind (BCM240)

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I’m a firm supporter of the idea that the devices we use, the movies and shows we watch and the books we read growing up shape much of who we are and how we view the world around us. I grew up watching Disney films, F.r.i.e.n.d.s and Harry Potter– and whilst it may sound dramatic I feel as though in some ways I wouldn’t be the same without them. And at times I take this for granted I think- having such a significant driving force to media and culture present within most rooms of the household, often forgetting there are people alive today who once lived without them. This afternoon I had the privilege of conversing with someone who experienced this emergence of television within the mid-20th Century- My Grandmother Francis.

Francis remembers at 10 years of age experiencing this emergence in the year of 1956. She presses on the fact that television sets were highly expensive upon their introduction. Because of this, Francis and her friends would run down to Ashfield shopping centre where the first televisions were displayed in the windows of electrical shops. Here they would find a crowd of people watching the TV’s through the shop windows- no sound, just moving pictures.  She has memories of running there after school come 4pm, their school cases in hands. Upon arriving at the shop window they would place their cases across the floor and sit on them whilst they watched the moving pictures- which were of course broadcast in black and white. I liken this audience reaction to the reaction of audiences when a new model of the iPhone is released- hovering around shops and shop windows in awe and curiosity of a new innovation.

It wasn’t until about 5 years later, at the age of 15, that Francis experienced the medium of television within her own home, due to it being such a massive household purchase. Prior to this she remembers people in her life who had purchased one for the home- her neighbour who lived four houses down from her, and her Aunty. Francis explains how exciting this was to know someone who owned a television set and remembers the way groups of friends and family would get together on Friday nights to watch television shows together as an alternative to visiting the cinema. She remembers gathering to watch The Three Stooges, Looney Tunes, Felix the Cat, 77 Sunset Strip and The Mickey Mouse Club.

Following my listening to her early memories I proceeded to ask whether she saw this emergence as a force for changing ideas about home spaces and privacy. Francis thought about this for a minute, and decided that it did. TV viewing became a social experience among friends and family in the sense that they had to gather together to share the experience within the one household. She states that it made social experiences within the home more congested as people sat together in front of the one screen rather than spread across the house, remembering the fact that hardly anyone left the room whilst the TV was on due to it being such an event.

I do believe that the media experiences we encounter whilst growing up shape our lives and worldviews significantly. I believe it does so for us as we await new innovations and cultural experiences, and did so for my Nanna 50 years ago as she describes “this wonderful thing that came into our time”. 

References

Picklum, F, 2013. Personal Communication, 27 August 2013

Bourdon, J. 2003, Some Sense of Time: Remembering Television, History & Memory, Volume 15, Number 2, Fall/Winter, pp. 5-35