Reflection

OK… well, This has definitely been a new experience for me… 

I have enjoyed the lectures a lot, and I’ve found this course to be quite thought provoking. I still can’t bring myself to start ‘tweeting’ but I’m sure I’ll get over that… I’ll probably have to… As someone studying journalism…

I have enjoyed writing my blog a lot more than I thought I would… reading them… not so much…there are some interesting ideas put forward I guess… and definitely some great writers with amazing ability… though some I found long winded and even though they were meant to be funny… and probably were to the person writing it… well I just couldn’t get into them… That’s probably what people reading mine think… now that I look at it like this… Wow this is an eye opener, I should probably delete that last bit but I find it to be quite pertinent to my learning curve with these blog things… I’m still not used to sharing my thoughts and opinions on such a public forum… though I suppose I can be grateful that most people wont bother reading more than the opening statement… I like that idea… Only people who have an opinion about the things I’m writing about and enjoy my writing style will bother to suffer through the entire article… I might be able to like this now… 

So what have I learned? I’ve learned that it is easy to skew the audiences reception of an issue through clever reporting and editing devices. I’ve also learned that the public is probably smarter than the media gives it credit for… At least as far as we don’t ALL believe EVERYTHING we see on television or read in the paper, a video game can’t really make you kill people, and just because Britney Spears flashes her lady parts whilst drunk and gets on TV it doesn’t mean anyone is going to care if you get drunk and flash yours – the paparazzi are not waiting for you! A little bit of humour goes a long way…The most entertaining blogs – the ones I liked the most -were hilarious. I think the lectures are the most entertaining I have the pleasure of sitting through.. They’re also the fullest.. My love of all things Chaser has been entirely renewed!

So far I’ve had fun and learned a bit about blogging and the interwebs… I hope to continue to learn and laugh just as much for the rest of this course.

Cheers; Chez. 

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Being in the public sphere… What issues does it raise, provoke?

OK so.. The Hamster Wheel by the Chasers is the ‘popular’ media program I’m going to utilise in this blog about what being in the public sphere can do to provoke and or raise issues… 

I hesitated in my choice of media, however I can’t stand Magazines, I rarely use facebook – indeed if my friends were more localised I probably wouldn’t use it at all – and I can’t stand twitter… it’s full of twits! I don’t watch or indeed even own a television, and I am grossly uninformed on the latest celebrity gossip so I was left (as I see it) with few options… I considered an episode from QI, however it didn’t seem to be quite as interesting… (pun intended – haha – I like puns)

This episode of the Hamster Wheel raises many issues and provokes everyone! No matter what your political or moral view point is, the chaser team poke fun at and ridicule everyone! Which is why I chose this program. The Hamster Wheel not only provokes thought it provokes laughter, and what better way to make you audience pay attention than to make them laugh? In order for their audience to get the jokes they must watch, and pay attention to the majority of the content. This is in my opinion a great way to create a captive audience, because for all you may not agree with them you never know where they’re going with their story unless you watch it all – sometimes with unexpected twists and surprise endings to each segment. This I believe is a great tool for opening up public debate on otherwise potentially sensitive subjects. As the adage goes –  “Religion and Politics – Two subjects that should not be debated amongst friends.” 

The use of humour does two main things – it makes people who are not generally interested in news or politics pay attention as the seriousness is underlined with comedy, and it forces viewers to question the validity of the media sources they are getting their ‘news’ from. In my opinion this program is a gateway to healthy debate and questioning for its viewers as it opens the eyes of viewers to the reality or unreality of certain statements and arguments presented as ‘fact’ by other media networks or publications.

Popular issues such as :Drugs and drug use, prostitution, sport, gambling, Alan Jones, Qantas strikes, Global warming/climate change, carbon tax, newspaper bias (news limited) professionalism of journalism, ‘experts,’ Prue McSween, burquas, facebook, shari-ah law, stem cells, etc. are all scrutinised, both for what happened and for how it was reported opening new and comedic avenues to interest people in finding out more about what’s really going on, it helps people question what they hear and read allowing room for debate and discussion. 

Adios.

 

Why does it matter who ‘controls’ the media?

G’day!

OK… So, this seems like a rather simple question at first glance, things like; politics, religion, feminism, terror and human rights jump straight to mind. But does it really matter? After all Journalists and News programs can only report what’s actually happening right?!?

The problem of who controls the media and whether or not it matters has been publicly debated on shows such as ‘The Hamster Wheel’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbbYev0XVlU Where the chaser ridicule the content of newspapers and news stations prompting viewers to question what is news? and what makes it news worthy?

Who controls the media is an important question to ask when looking at world events. How they’re reported is often as important as what they’re reporting. The viewing public can be positioned to view an event from a different angle depending on how they’re reported and what the main focus of the article is.

This was highlighted in Australia during the last election when many people and indeed some businesses decided to boy-cot some major Australian Newspapers as they decided the corporations and/or the people behind the corporations were influencing the news reports to induce a bias toward/against a particular political party. This was achieved through the way in which articles were presented or edited in order for them to be eligible for publication within these particular ‘News’ sources. This open ridicule of the News sources led people to question the impartiality of those (Murdoch’s in particular) media outlets, and to ask who was gaining from these points of view that were being expressed. The outcome of this questioning was that it was made fairly public through other media outlets that Murdoch would gain if a particular party was to be elected in the (at the time) upcoming election. 

Whether or not this had an impact on the out come of the election is no clear, and probably never will be, however the idea that a “news” corporation could willingly try to sway people to a particular bias is slightly disturbing, which is why I believe it does matter who controls the media. If all media is controlled by only one person or group, then only one person or group can have a say on a public platform. This opens all media up to corruption. Stories that should be made public may not be because they go against the interests of the controlling parties.

Here’s a hypothetical for you…

If you owned the media… all of it… and you also had shares in say a mining company… Would you let someone publish a story in your news publication that would be publicly damning to your other investments? A story that while it would save lives, and make people aware of a dire threat to public health could potentially cost you billions of dollars and negatively impact your personal reputation? Or would you publish a fluff piece to distract people and give them something else to think about other than why people started getting sick in a particular area… I mean.. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting!!”

 I may be slightly selfish, but that’s what I’d do! 

Whilst I am willing to admit I would be a terrible person to be left in charge of the media, and that someone else would do a much better job. I am of the opinion that no single person, group or corporation should ever be given a controlling interest in any News corporation… Other media; TV shows, social media, books, and art… Well I don’t think it really matters who controls those… News should be incorruptible… Journalists should be held to a standard of reporting that negates bias and informs more than it dictates. People should be given news that is unbiased and from reputable sources. I believe that who controls the media is important especially when it comes to information given to the general public – especially when that information is given as ‘Fact.’

Well there’s my opinion.. in the words of Walt Disney:  “That’s all Folks!” 

What are the media being blamed for today and is this justified?

G’day!

The media has a history of being blamed for many things, whether or not this is justifiable is subjective and can only really be seen form an opinionated view point. What may seem to justify something to one person may not justify it to another. This is rather glaringly obvious if one looks at the laws in certain religiously run countries where women can be accused of and imprisoned for ‘extra marital sex’ even if the sex was reported as ‘rape’ to authorities. Justifiable? Here, you’d get a big resounding “NO!!” There… Well it’s the law…

There are many justifications for media being to blame for violence in society; such as violent video games, being associated with an increase in gun violence at high schools in parts of the USA,  and the story about the man who ‘acted out a scene’ from ‘Grand Theft Auto’ (a video game based on drive by shootings, robbery and murder) and other horror stories such as these have become more prevalent over the last decade or so seeming to justify the view that various media outlets have created these homicidal maniacs and therefore need to be stopped.

Similarly, Media such as the ‘News’ has also been accused of ‘scaremongering’ with a tendency for the top news stories being about war and especially the ever elusive ‘War on Terror’ campaigns that have been going on throughout America.

As comedian Steve Hughes so eloquently puts his views on the ‘war on terror’ campaign; ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRv2KN2edgk )’You’re having a war on the consequence of the actions that you’re involved in.’ These anti-terror campaigns have been seen to some degree as successful at influencing  the public… This is quite brilliantly shown (in my opinion) by the Chaser Non-stop News Network’s (CNNNN’s) foray into the USA with Collin Firth as he does a series of vox pop’s in the street to see what the ‘average American’ thinks of a particular subject such as who to go to war with next and how big of a threat are certain nations. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d2wsryEnUQ ) This however has two effects in my opinion; the first it positions the viewer to believe that the subjects haven’t actually been listening to/paying attention to the news only as few concepts such as the idea of ‘terror’  that have been imparted and secondly it highlights the way in which people comprehend only that which makes sense to their own subjective view of the world as a whole.

The idea of whether or not the media can me ‘blamed’ for peoples uninformed or even informed decisions is really a matter for debate. While the media – be it games, news, TV shows and commercials or even comedy – can be seen as a platform for asserting opinions, it is really up to the individual consumer to decide what conclusions are going to be made and how or even if they are going to be asserted.

Cheers; Chez.

 

Denotation and Connotation

G’day!

What you see is what you get… or is it?

Image

 

This is apparently a man in a Burka. A Burka is the traditional muslim robe worn by women to conceal their sexuality, so as not to tempt men into lascivious or lustful thoughts or actions (approximately). 

The denotations of the picture by itself, without knowing the person wearing it is possibly male – seems to be of a woman of Muslim persuasion walking with some baggage. 

The connotations can vary depending on where you are, your cultural back ground and what you believe and or your religious persuasion. 

This picture could inspire outrage at the subjugation of women and their lack of personal rights – as a symbol of women being forced to wear such concealing clothing in order to protect their ‘basic human rights’ and avoid being raped. 
It could also inspire thoughts from the devout of the perfect garb for a conservative Muslim woman who is looking after her sanctity. 
Or with headings like “Selfridges robbery: ‘Men in burkas’ in ‘smash and grab'” can inspire fear and mistrust. 

The “man in Burka” headline has become quite controversial across the international community, some people even going so far as to call for a ban on the Burka as an allowable form of dress in some western countries – France, Belgium and Italy, to name but a few.  

So… The denotations of this picture really don’t tell you much until you look at where it was published and under what headline “Gunman disguised in burka and sunglasses robs cash courier” (Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1273588/Gunman-dressed-burka-sunglasses-robs-cash-courier.html#ixzz2yGolwhcN ) Without the headline; the picture would most likely be thought to be of a female Muslim in traditional attire. With the headline however, the occupant of the religious attire is presented as a man masquerading as a woman and in fact taking advantage of religious beliefs in doing so. This gives the image an entirely new meaning, possibly inspiring connotations that may lead to the sacrilegious and to the idea of insecurity and fear of the unknown and unseen. 

The reason I chose this image… well… I can’t really say to be honest, it seemed to fit the descriptor. 
My first impression was changed dramatically by my reading of the article and of related news stories, there seems to be an epidemic of men in Burkas committing  crimes (at leas there sure is if that’s what you search for). Which has lead to a revision by some nations as to whether or not it should be an allowable form of dress within their countries. Fashion police in the literal sense… But where does it stop? What could become an illegal form of dress next? What are the other implications of this startling trend? 
I have probably asked more questions than I’ve answered, and I feel like I may be rambling now… So I’ll stop. 

Cheers; Chez. 

Introduction

G’day!
My name is Francesca Klutke, I’m studying Journalism and Arts at Wollongong University.

My first pets were called Mr Twitch and Fuzzlewumps… Just thought I’d mention it here as I am still getting my head around the idea of using the dreaded “Twitter” for any sort of communication.. a phobia I’ll no doubt have to get over if I want any sort of career in modern Journalism. One step at a time though… for me writing a blog is scary enough for starters.
I have always loved reading a good article in a newspaper or magazine… By ‘good’ I mean interesting and by ‘interesting’ I probably have pretty low standards. However my standards aside I love to read, I love to argue and I enjoy playing devil’s advocate – especially if it’s a controversial topic.

I tend to be outspoken and have been described as many things such as-  ‘heartless bitch’ ‘Nazi’ and ‘Blunt’ I have few friends, but they seem to think I’m ‘good value – once you get to know (me)’ which I like to translate as ‘she’s a bitch – but you’ll get used to it’

Please forgive me if my blog is terrible, I have no idea how this is supposed to work, I am just going with what I think is probably what I’m supposed to do… I’m very nervous, as you may have gathered, sometimes I can be rather offensive, though usually I’m not actually trying to offend anyone – but I will call a spade a spade. This makes sense to me as I know not what else to call it. I hope anyone who bothers reading this finds it at least entertaining… Please remember to take everything I say with a grain (or even a generous handful) of salt as sometimes I love to just put a point out there because I think its a valid point – not because I necessarily agree with it.
Cheers – Chez.