Reflecto petronum

It’s time to reflect, summarise and decipher all the things I’ve learned, gained and loved in BCM110.

For the past 6 weeks I have been briefed on topics relating to the media and it’s uncontrollable control it has over every person that is contacted through any media form. Terms like ‘public sphere’, ‘connotations’ and ‘mythbusting’ have become my best friends and have widened my knowledge on this ever growing concept of media in today’s society.

Media effects, Mythbusting, Public Sphere, Controversial Texts, Children in the Media, Who Controls the Media.

All topics, theories, ideas and concepts we have explored and deciphered. The blog posts done weekly by every student in BCM110 not only made these theories easier to understand and summarise, but gave me personally, a gateway to read how other students interpreted the weekly topics and insight in all forms of media used differently in relation to the topics. This can also be said about the use of Twitter for BCM110 students and tutors, I found it exciting, useful and FUN!

From the 6 weeks, the most influential and interesting topic I found was week 5’s ‘mediated public sphere’. It was most interesting for me to find an example of popular media debated in the mediated public sphere and how it links to criticisms such as commercialisation. My example was the famous series Breaking Bad and it’s influences to societies norm as well as the influence it had on to children by commercialising it’s plot into toys produced by LEGO.

Week 4 also intrigued me greatly, rather, made me think and become passionate about the views society have on controlled media. During this blog post I found myself ranting about the importance of having a controlled media especially after the debate in week 4’s tutorial. I learnt a lot from BCM110 in the first 6 weeks and will continue to learn more exciting things that will further expand my knowledge on media today and it’s role in depicting every aspect of our lives such as morality, children and power.

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Are you Breaking Bad?

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Popular media such as highly grossing television shows, effect a whole generation of viewers, and in recent years, develop a larger following of fans and critics than ever before in the history of media. These fans and critics establish something you may know as the ‘mediated public sphere’, a term developed by German philosopher Jurgen Habermas. He defines this term as “A domain of our social life where such a thing as public opinion can be formed [where] citizens… deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion… [to] express and publicise their views.” (Habermas, 1997: 105). The contemporary mediated public sphere has been criticised in five main topics by Alan McKee’s The Public Sphere: An Introduction. These topics are described as:

Too Trivialised

Too Commercialised

Too Fragmented

Reliance on Spectacle

Cause to become too Apathetic

One of the more recent and popular television shows that has caused great debate towards the public is Breaking Bad. This series contributed to the ongoing debates in the mediated public sphere on what is acceptable to produce and broadcast on public television. Breaking Bad was a revolutionary series as it depicted a harsh and negative lifestyle ongoing throughout the series, mainly focused on drugs but also on depression, stress, poverty and illness, the series gave an artistic perception of a controversial and realistic text. Realistic? Not every 50 year old cancerous husband and father to a disabled child experiments with drugs like meth. or do they?

Blake Ewing, an assistant district attorney of Austin, Texas states “[Breaking Bad] does normalize the idea of meth for a broad segment of society that might otherwise have no knowledge of that dark and dangerous world.” This series has caused debate in glorifying meth, making it a normal occurrence in society. Since the publication of the series, it has grown widely in fanbase. This has given the producers an easy way to commercialise the program through children’s toys. 

LEGO’s Citizen Brick delivers toys for children and in some cases adults for entertainment purposes, and through the hit series Breaking Bad kids are now able to venture through the life of a man producing illegal drugs and performing illegal acts such as murder. This has also stirred the mediated public sphere as the representation of producing drugs is brought into homes and worse yet,performed by children hypothetically, re-enforcing the idea of making illegal drugs like meth a normal occurrence in society.

This series explores the boundaries of televised media, challenging it in a positive way however releases negative implications through many viewers in society.

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Reference:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2428615/Breaking-Bad-good-bad-The-popular-tv-faces-criticism-glorifying-meth.html

control = power = dominance = hitler

Before and during the second World War, all forms of media ranging from informative to leisured, was controlled by one man and his government, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party! All that power did not seem to end well for Hitler…

Although I guess he was under different circumstances in a different time. We live in an era that is much more advanced in communicative devices, allowing forms of media to be held in ones hand any time of the day they prefer. The population of 2014 are able to access these forms through unlimited sources on the internet including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and millions more websites and blogs. But why is it so important that someone or one company control the media as a whole? Alternatively what would happen if that control wasn’t there?

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Australian media networks such as WIN, PRIME, and channel TEN are currently owned by what seems the most influential and powerful people in Australia, Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes, Gina Rhinehart and Bruce Gordon. These people are in control of what we see, hear and learn from television (one of our main sources for information and entertainment); their control allows biased onto television as well as diversity, but most of all their control enables censorship and balance for all Australian viewers.

The media form of television is basically a collection of news broadcasts, reality shows, entertainment such as dramas and comedy, and sports. Having control over this form of media enables a harmonious flow of this collection with certain censored precautions in place to eliminate negative feedback. It is important to have people such as Rupert Murdoch in the leading chair of televised media, as he has knowledge and experience in the field of media, giving him a greater understanding of what the people of Australia want and need to hear and see on television and in the news especially.

If that control was not in place, if, hypothetically speaking, not one person or body of people controlled anything in the televised media, and everything shown and heard was from any citizen in Australia, broadcasting anything they find worthy, would we be able to safely turn on the television? Of course not. Being against any form of power would be indicative of this procedure of mayhem. Many would argue that current media forms are biased through the control they have from the individual running the show, but in actual fact there is no such thing as an unbiased view (in my biased view). Every person with a functioning body and mind are deemed to be biased towards almost every aspect of their life, affecting their views on politics and ethics. Not having control of the media would cause mass, biased views of ill-informed everyday people and a lack in factual, informative news on current events and politics.

Not everyone would agree with the current form of media control, many would oppose the hierarchy that comes with media production, but without it there would be a lack of stability and the population of Australia would find it difficult to be informed properly about news in the world. It is important to have control over televised media in particular as it is accessible by anyone in Australia if preferred and delivers a safe and valuable element in broadcasting for viewers.

Bubblelicious

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Images hold thousands of words, and hundreds of perspectives. Asking what the true connotations of a picture is like asking a book what it’s true intentions are. It is also hard to figure out whether the advertisement is using negative or positive techniques to sell.

American Apparel is famous for it’s unique take on advertising fashion in the 21st Century, using un-airbrushed photos and everyday people instead of professional models. Many critics suggest that sex is a main factor in American Apparel advertising, sourcing from founder Dov Charney (a former pornographer).

In this certain banner advertisement for American Apparel, we see a young woman lying on what seems a bed of white sheets, wearing a white singlet, no pants, and blue thigh high socks with the famous baseball stripes in white. The woman is blowing a big pink bubble from her mouth with the bold black letters above her positioned bottom half reading ‘bubblelicious’. Another thing we notice is the lack of make-up and touch up to the womans face, giving her a natural look with messy hair. The only other font in the advertisement is very fine showing the company and what the model is wearing.

Instantly people will deem the advertisement sexual as it is suggested, however without the use of airbrushed models, the advertisement is also seen as revolutionary. It may show off skin, but also releases the true beauty of people, making it a much more comfortable experience for teenage girls. So as said earlier, the connotations differ widely especially as ideologies are constantly changing in the fashion industry and perceptions of a young teenage society.

American Apparel have made it clear on their website that their advertising techniques are well thought of and not just used for the fact of ‘sex sells’. Although they are also aware of the sexual aspect, it is reflected through society, ‘Our ads have always been indicative of a time and place in American Apparel’s identity’ (American Apparel website).

References:

http://www.americanapparel.net/advertising/

http://m.voices.yahoo.com/american-apparel-company-criticism-clothing-313739.html

Media Tempts Children. (Book of Sexualisation, 69:69)

When do we adapt to the world? How do we adapt to the world? Morals, who decided what was wrong and right?

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Media. In all it’s forms since the origins of language, to the silently still figures behind a computer screen (bloggers), has manifested and moulded the morals of everyday people and more specifically, children. As the age of technology has rapidly advanced, so has the accessibility to all sources of media. However! Can we really say that media itself, is at fault for sexualising children in the 21st Century? Psychologist Laurence Steinberg published on the online journal, Developmental Psychology, his research of young teenagers and their relation to sexuality in the media, to their lives at home and factors associating with their upbringing. Steinberg makes a clear point in his publication to the results of his research,

It may look like media exposure leads to sexual activity, but the relation between the two is artificial.

Finding that most teenagers with a desire for sexualisation, looked for it themselves with easy accessibility due to home conditions and traditions, rather than directly influenced by the media. Nadine Dorries, an influential Member of Parliament in Britain, takes a stand against media and it’s manipulative production of sexualisation around her life, everywhere!

We have an over-sexualisation of this culture which is everywhere. It is in Sky Television, in video games that children now can access, on computer games, mobile phones.

However, as Nadine points out, “children now can access” almost everything, and we have to ask ourselves why. Did media put the phone in their hand? Did media make the parents buy the sexualised video games? Did media give children unsupervised internet usage? Of course not! So ask yourself, is media really to blame for the sexualisation of children? Or is it the morals children develop from their upbringing and disciplining?

Although my blog is quite conflicting in the ‘actual’ view I take in media’s responsibility to sexualising children, I urge everyone to subscribe to THNKR on youtube and watch their videos. You will not regret it! I have been subscribed for 2 years and it has vastly enhanced my knowledge on all topics surrounding our generation. Here is one on sexualisation of women in the media:

Links:

the first of many.

Welcome!

My Name is Julie Naous, an 18-year old girl fresh out of High School and trying desperately to figure out her life let alone how to blog. Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet though. I’ll break it down for you guys. I attended St Josephs High School, completing the course from HELL that we all know as HSC. I am now studying at UOW in a double degree of Creative Arts and Journalism, majoring in Creative Writing. Now for some highly anticipated facts!

This be me:

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I write. I draw. I read. I take pictures. I love avocados. 4th Year at McDonalds. I have three cats. I am the middle child of 7. I LOVE music. Avenged Sevenfold. Angus & Julia Stone. Rihanna. Matt Corby. Rise Against. Norah Jones. London Grammar. Just to name a few. I consider myself a boring person. Others argue this.

I am excited to meet new people and be of assistance to everyone in BCM110.