Reflection…

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BCM110 classes and lectures over the past 6 weeks has actually been my favourite thing about uni so far. I’ve been able to write about things I’m not only interested in to do with the media but also the media’s involvement politically – which is appropriate as I’m a politics major  in my arts degree! So, my other subjects and interests have all become intertwined in this blog.

Some of the ‘ideas’ (concepts, theories and issues) about the media that have interested me in the media are:

– Rupert Murdoch’s involvement in the media and ‘media control’ in Australia.

– Propaganda, ‘Controlling the Ideology’.

– Historical aspects. The Frankfurt School, Herta Herzog.

 

However, at times there have been things that have puzzled me…

– What is the ‘Public Sphere’? Or the ‘Mediated Public Sphere’?

– The Moral Panic?

– Controversial Images

My tutorials have definitely helped me understand these concepts and my research has hopefully reflected this. Discussions in my tutorials, especially with the controversial images topic has helped me develop a deeper understanding of the role the media plays in today’s society and how ‘moral panic’ is created. Discussing with my peers and connecting on social network platforms (Twitter + Facebook) has made it much easier for us to all share our own work and to give and receive feedback. Thus, our work has become multilayered and is now a  much richer, detailed version of our originals. The readings provided every week have also enriched my understanding, especially with the concepts I’ve found puzzling. I’ve enjoyed researching and discovering other intellectuals opinions.

Thus, I have been able to respond to the challenges this assignment has thrown at me. The major challenge I faced was not being very technically skilled and connecting on a social network platform (Twitter) that was unknown for me. But, with helpful peers and WordPress tutorials I overcame this challenge and am now eager to blog outside of university life.

But is it Art or Pornography?

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Moral Panic: “an instance of public anxiety or alarm in response to a problem regarded as threatening the moral standards of society.”

Children and their representation in the media has become a moral panic in today’s society, as well as ‘sexualisation’. Unfortunately, both have become intertwined leading to a greater moral panic.  Arguably, we can take the view that the media is to blame, it is the way the panic is spread and how stories become escalated. In 2008 Bill Henson’s exhibit of adolescents raised many eyebrows and the 20 photographs were seized by NSW police. Henson was told he would be prosecuted but the Director of Public Prosecutions later decided against pursuing any chargers. But who’s to say this isn’t art? A statement on an awkward age for human beings? What is the difference between the images above which are considered as “art” to the ones below which are viewed as child pornography. If someone had never seen the painting of “Venus and Cupid” and we told them that it connotes ideas of pornography and child sexualisation then they would start looking at the painting in that way and possibly be able to draw the same conclusion. Thus, it isn’t until we associate words, which we often regurgitate from the media or overall ‘moral panic’ that we start looking at things in a whole new way.  

 

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So if Bill Henson’s photographs were a statement on the “awkward stage of adolescence” wouldn’t it be art?

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Futhermore, what about the teenagers in this photograph? Don’t you think the harm to them wasn’t actually the photographs but instead the outpouring of negativity Bill Henson and the photographs received? Personally, I think the bigger picture is the “Moral Panic” and how we let that distort our views and opinions. I’m not saying that there isn’t child sexualisation in the media….. It’s just in the places we’re not looking.  
   

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References: 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Bellini_-_Young_Woman_at_Her_Toilette_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/jacopo-pontormo/venus-and-cupid

http://scrippsmediaethics.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/selling-child-mind-to-advertising_29.html

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/body-issues-20120913-25taz.html

http://memecrunch.com/meme/OYRA/won-t-somebody-please-think-of-the-children

http://dailyserving.com/2008/06/pornography-or-art-the-controversial-photography-of-bill-henson/

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/arts/bill-henson-pulls-controversial-exhibition-at-art-gallery-after-call-from-detective-to-jay-weatherill/story-fni6um7a-1226722039572

http://ninglunbooks.wordpress.com/fiction/10-but-is-it-art-responses-to-the-bill-henson-controversy-of-2008/  

The Public Sphere? Let’s get Leslie’s view…

The ‘Public Sphere’ is a place for citizens to come forward to debate the matters of the day, thus public “opinion” is formed. The Mediated Public Sphere has a moderator but is still a space for citizens to come forward to debate the matters of the day.

Examples of this? – Talk back radio, Vox Pops, Internet Forums (Twitter, Facebook, Discussion Blogs)

Today we see the public sphere in a radically new way compared to Jugen Hobermas’ “Coffee House”. Social media has been the major contributor in this change and it has become even more accessible for us to share our views and concerns. However, because we can so freely express our views has the public sphere been degraded by consumer capitalism? Or, has it been enhanced by the emergence of different publics and public spaces?

As a journalism and media student I am becoming increasingly aware of how the media portrays people. Arguably, TV shows like Big Brother and The Block are examples of the public sphere being degraded by consumer capitalism. I personally wasn’t allowed to watch Big Brother when I was younger and have never been a huge fan of the show. However, this is not why I am negatively portraying it. I am personally a big fan of The Block but I have been disheartened by the past years twitter feeds about the personalities on the show. In the end, for both shows it has more of a popularity contest compared to who ‘played the game’ and who designed the best home.

But what about the positives? Why is it that we tend to comment on the controversial, or disregard the tv shows that portray a good role model? We tend to focus on the negatives in the public sphere, compared to focusing on the positives.

Leslie Knope is the main character in NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’. Strong willed and determined deputy director of parks and recreation in Pawnee, Leslie Knope is an extremely positive role model in today’s mediated public sphere. Even though Leslie doesn’t have the most highly payed job, or whatever you would term the “best job” she is so hardworking and appreciates everyone she works with… besides Jerry – but that’s just for comedic relief.  The TV show as a whole embraces the idea that you can always keep reaching for something bigger and something better and you’ll find ambitions you didn’t even know you had.

Here’s a further 17 reasons why Leslie Knope is a kick-ass role model…

So? Why should we continue to discuss the negatives? Let’s focus on the positives in the public sphere so we can get more positive role models out there!

 

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References:

http://home.fnal.gov/~annis/wild/digirati/habermas.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/samanthal43/17-reasons-why-leslie-knope-is-the-best-feminist-r-byn2

http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2011/09/22/attack-of-the-meme-parks-and-recreation-food-banter/

 

Do you see what I see?

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This advertisement was meant to warn about the links between heavy drinking and rape. But in my opinion, failed to do so.

This image serves as a sign in terms of its denotion and connotation as it points its finger to the victim – the one they suggest we are to blame. The caption states “when your friends drink, they can end up making bad decisions”, thus shifting the blame away from the rapist and not only onto the victim but the victims friends as well? What the? I really hope I’m not the only one who sees this as morally wrong…..

 “She didn’t want to, but she couldn’t say no” could be viewed several ways. However, I believe this image suggests that the reason she couldn’t say no was because she had been drinking – and thus “made a bad choice”. This, again, is highlighting the idea that the victim is to blame.

This is an interesting article on sexual assaults and the limited impact alcohol has on them which i discovered while researching:

http://www2.potsdam.edu/alcohol/Controversies/1109127234.html

 This controversial image features a woman, only showing her legs and her underwear around her ankles on a bathroom floor. To me, this image shows the girl as nothing but helpless. Captioned is “decisions like that leave them vulnerable to dangers like date rape. Help your friends stay in control and stay safe. The juxtaposition of helplessness and “bad decisions” on the victims behalf is shocking. Situations like this is an act on the part of the rapist – not the victim.

However, because the image is controversial it did generate quite a bit of conversation in the public sphere. Arguably, creating more awareness.

References

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071890/She-say-Pennsylvania-Liquor-Control-Board-pulls-controversial-ad-blames-date-rape-victims-victims-friends-receiving-hundreds-complaints.html

http://daeschner.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/just-because-she-isnt-saying-no-doesnt-mean-shes-saying-yes/

What?! A Corporate Octopus has taken over the world?!

 

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“The Media  is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the media of the masses.”

– Malcom X

Australian social scientists Alex Carey argues that “the 20th Century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate power as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” In effect, the public become “oberservors, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.”

– Noam Chomsky (World Orders: Old + New)

For some time now I’ve been aware of the political ‘leanings’ a newspaper, radio station or television network may have. However, it wasn’t until my BCM110 lecture this week that I really became aware of the influence of individuals in the media.

Does this face look familiar?

Murdoch

Don’t worry I wouldn’t want to remember this face either, let’s just remember his name for now. Meet Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is the primary shareholder and chief executive of News Corporation, one of the largest media companies in the world and he owns around 70% in shares of media outlets in the Australian Market. So, if you’ve ever had to cut things out of the newspaper for a school project and it’s the one that’s been sitting on your coffee bench for a while now..the likes of it being a part of the Murdoch franchise is pretty high!

Here’s just a few of the many newspapers you may have cut articles, photos and captions out of without even considering the option of bias or political leanings.

– The Australian

– The Weekend Australian

– The Daily TelegraphthCAOZSW72

– The Sunday Telegraph    

– Sportsman

– Herald Sun

– The Weekly Times

– The Courier Mail

– The Sunday Mail

– The Suburban

– The Mercury

So what’s the issue with Murdoch owning so much? One of the major issues I see is the influence of Murdoch’s newspaper in Australian political life due to his conservative, right-wing political leanings – and his use of ‘propaganda’. We witnessed this in the 2013 elections:

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 Because Murdoch controls such a huge portion of media outlets in Australia it’s hard not to be influenced by the views he holds. It dumbs us down and it keeps us ignorant. We are only told what we need to. Which, is therefore, an aspect of censorship. The more corporations own media our local voices and local matters will continue to be overruled with the corporations “agenda.”

As a democratic society there should be a limit on the number of stations/print media that any one person or corporation owns. Thus, as a society we would be introduced to a variety of perspectives and we can therefore shape our own, individual outlook.

References:

http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/STS218/media/ownership/influence.html

http://www.susanohanian.org/cartoon_fetch.php?id=475

http://theconversation.com/factcheck-does-murdoch-own-70-of-newspapers-in-australia-16812

http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/tag/australian-news-media-ownership/

http://keoghcartoons.com.au/rupert-murdoch-destroyer-of-democracy-australian-style/ 

http://historicaltimes.tumblr.com/post/60067402650/australia-needs-tony-front-page-of-the-sunday

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/74430-the-media-s-the-most-powerful-entity-on-earth-they-have

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the media to blame?

It’s one thing for little girls to play dress-ups, donning frocks and heels, putting on some lippy and parading around the lounge room—but when adults come along and turn it into a fierce competition for money and prizes, complete with professional make-up artists, hairdressers and photographers, that’s just creepy and every kind of wrong.” – Catherine Manning.

young-girl-obsessed-with-body-shape-pic-getty-images-741087993 As a young girl, my favourite movie like many others was a Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid”. I vividly remember asking my Mum, “Why don’t I have red hair like Ariel?…and, why can’t I sing?” Obviously young children ask a lot of questions – and “why?” was definitely my favourite word up until I was.. well, let’s just say it still is. Ariel, a damsel in distress, skinny waisted and my definition of “perfect” was what I aspired to when I was 5. Sure, at the time I thought it was perfectly okay to think like this – but when it comes to reality, a young girl, boy, woman or man shouldn’t have to worry why they don’t have something that someone else does, instead they should embrace who they are because in my opinion, that is much more important. It was only last night I turned my Wii Fit on and put it away again after 5 minutes because it yelped and told me I should “try to avoid [my] afternoon snacks”.

So what on earth does this have to do with media and it’s effects? Well frankly, there is so much pressure in today’s society to be “perfect” or “ideal”. While the media isn’t 100% to blame it definitely plays a huge part in how we think about and portray ourselves. Linking to media is social media which is growing rapidly every day and it is hugely accessible on our phones, tablets and laptops. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are just a few of the ways we connect with others in the 21st century and it is through these sites and news programmes that we are drowned in negative images, comments and introduced to things such as “trolls”. If the media showcases what is “acceptable”, or rather if we as a society agree, then can magazine…. after magazine…. after magazine really escape the responsibility of instilling the minds of women and girls, an ‘ideal’ paradigm of beauty? “Toddlers and Tiaras” is a controversial television program showing oversexualised girls and is an example of not only the effects of media’s ideal but society’s viewpoint. pageant+girl-296x300 How can parents protect their children from developing a false sense of identity and self-esteem? Is it the media to blame for shows like this to be aired in the first place – creating self-esteem issues in young children, or is it the society’s view-point? Is this now a source of entertainment for viewers – to laugh, to comment – can it actually get any worse? This is a British article I came across, which includes some disturbing reallydisturbing facts. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2020765/Children-aged-FIVE-treated-anorexia-Doctors-blame-ultra-slim-celebrities.html?ito=feeds-newsxml This leads me to my next point. Discussions, insults and opinions play out on such a larger scale than ever before with the “connected” world, it is not just a localised or isolated dialogue. As all of you would know,  “liking” someones post – and being able to join in a conversation on any social media program has become the new way of “discussing”, but in most cases leads to arguments, cyberbulling – and “keyboard warriors”.. who somehow think negative comments wont have the same effect typed as it would be spoken face to face. References: http://ezinearticles.com/?Negative-Body-Image—Is-the-Media-to-Blame?&id=2905466 http://www.disordered-eating.co.uk/causes-of-eating-disorders/negative-body-image.html http://www.parenthood360.com/index.php/teen-body-image-and-the-media-14-20960/ http://kelseyd629.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/media-and-eating-disorders.html http://enlighteneducation.edublogs.org/2011/04/01/toddlers-tiaras-pull-the-pin-now/