Talking bout the blogger in the mirror

I was surprised by how much of this course built on knowledge I gained from the ‘Society and Culture’ in the HSC, especially about looking beyond what you are presented. Although we weren’t taught with such detail about who controls the media, we were always taught to question what we are shown. Without realising it I have started to look at the end of the credits to see who owns this TV show or news report. One concept I never really heard about was the ‘public sphere’. Although it’s not what is put into the public sphere that’s important, it is what the audience reacts to – which in-turn causes debates and conversation – that is crucial to society. I never understood why it was so important about who owns the media, but whoever owns the media is controlling the content that is entering the public sphere. That is why it’s important to have a variety of voices…That is why there is such a high value on blogs today.

It’s crazy to think that it was only a month ago that we started these blog posts. I have always been a bit of a micro blogger on Tumblr, which has been helpful in that it has helped me adjust to using WordPress but at the same time it might have restricted my audience. What I mean by that is, I am use to writing to a specific audience on Tumblr, it has shaped how I address issues and even my writing styles. To have your own writing style is really important when blogging, I have learnt that from reading everyone’s blog posts, as you need to have your own voice to stand out. The problem I faced during these last couple of weeks is that I hadn’t found a way to both sound sophisticated as everyone else had managed to do and still use my writing style.

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I’d risk it all for the truth doll face

I wish journalism still held the same thirst for truth as it did in the 1940’s. Maybe it’s just a stereotype but I love the concept of seeking truth not popularity. Certainly within Australia’s nighttime news programs (such as “today tonight” and “A Current Affairs”) are competing both with other news programs and television shows for ratings. The “news” stories are often very emotional, which recently is causing speculation that the stories have been twisted or manipulated to create more ratings. Recently there has been great concern over the ownership of the media. Who owns the media? Who controls the content? The problem is someone will always own the media; it’s how much they own that is the problem.

If the audience is not allowed different perspective, different information, then there is only one thought they will hold. Their thinking is controlled; and I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too… Why doesn’t the government take a bit of control back from these corporations? The issue then is your have the government controlling stories about themselves and their policies. Consider the restriction of the media in China. In Mao’s leadership he used the media dramatically with his propaganda.

the cultural revoultion propaganda the cultural revolution propaganda

So what does this all mean for consumers? We can’t just trust the government to control what information is given to us and we can’t trust the corporations that own the media now to give us all the facts and all the stories, not just the ones they want us to see. In high school we were taught to make ourselves socially literate…Well what does that mean? There are 8 areas people can improve to make themselves socially literate:

  • Empathises with people of different societies and cultures
  • is capable of informed decision making and takes considered action on social issues
  • shows critical discernment towards the media
  • is interested in, observes, and asks questions about the immediate (micro) and wider (macro) world
  • is self aware, with a sense of personal, social and cultural identity
  • shows concern for the welfare, rights and dignity of all people
  • understands continuity and change and the implications for the future in a global context
  • communicates effectively [1]

What that all means is that you become someone who doesn’t simply accept the information they are given. Yes what that report said on the news this afternoon may all be true, but what is the other sides opinion? What aren’t they telling us? Even though we aren’t given the truth at least we can learn not to accept that it may not be true.

[1] http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/pdf_doc/society-culture-st6-syl-from2010.pdf