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.


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.


If a copyrighted tree were to fall in a crowded area, would we be allowed to hear it?

In todays modern society copyright is playing a bigger role every day. Consider tumblr, being a passionate Tumblr blogger myself I have witness countless arguments and posts complaining about certain people claiming photos, gifts, fan fictions etc. as their own, but even then are these works really the bloggers? They are using footage from TV shows and movies to created artistic collages and giffs, but this footage is copyrighted and not in the public domain.

Consider sites like fanfiction that host thousands of fan written stories inspired by the characters of their favourite book, television show and movies…But do they have the right to make them in the first place. According to copyright, No they don’t. What does that do to the consumers let alone the prosumers our society is turning into

How does copyright affect comedy shows like “the big bang theory” and “Community” where a large portion of their show is based on references and homage to different shows, brands, books, comics, etc. what counts as a breach of copyright and what is acceptable as fair use. Is referencing an idea, concept,or a book a breach of copyright?

The writers of Community have an incredible attitude towards  ownership and copyright rules. The first “fan video” made using footage from the show was done to the song “gravity”. Because of the copyright rules the writers and producers had the right to remove the footage INSTEAD they payed tribute to their fans by paying $50,000 dollars for the rights to play that song in an episode. That interaction changes the relationship between the producers and consumers.

On the flip side, consider Disneys attitude towards its content and audience. When disney’s movies reach a certain age they are put in the disney vault for a set time. For a limited time every ten years the  movie is released again as “platinum” or “silver” editions, increasing the price with every “upgrade”.

“Disney claims the Vault keeps its movies new for each generation, but the Vault is really all about market control. The company enjoyed getting a fresh infusion of money from each of its animated films for each re-release, so they found a way to recreate this cash flow for the modern home video market…By releasing a movie for a limited time, Disney takes advantage of being able to sell the film for the full price, then pulls the movie off the market” [1]

Disney attempts to restrict the access the consumer has to its content other than what it prescribes. Disney has gained greater control over more content. just last year they purchased the copyrights to “Marvel comics”.

“Under the deal Disney will now control and own 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man and Spider-Man” [2]

Although Disney hasn’t enforced their copyright rights, the concept of the vault potentially being enforced across all their channels raises issues with controlling content from the public domaine.

Through my tumblr feed I came across this video in tribute to Disney classics.Would you consider this a breach of copyright regulations or is it within fair use.

[1] the disney vault: why does it exist

[2]Disney purchases Marvel

B is for blame thats good enough for me

Yes! The media does have the potential to affect society in a violent way, in the same way that when you go swimming there is a potential that you could get attacked by a shark. How many people each year are attacked by sharks?

“The ‘media effects’ approach, in this sense, comes at the problem backwards, by starting with the media and then trying to lasso connections from there on to social beings, rather than the other way around.”[1]

Jack Johnson captures this in “Cookie Jar”. 

The problem with the ‘Media effects’ is that everyone is trying to find a cause for this behavior without anyone accepting their part in it. Of all the violent acts caused that have been “linked” to violent videos or games, there has ALWAYS been a building amount of issues behind it.

Look at the Port Arthur mascara with Martin Bryant. The media was blamed for his rampage when in fact he had mental issues that had not been addressed, horrible home background where his father committed suicide.

Compare that with another friend’s child that has been allowed at the age of 8 to watch movies like “Paranormal activity”. Watching those kinds of movies won’t necessarily make her ‘violent’ but it doesn’t mean its okay for a child of her age to watch that type of content. There is some content that can be quiet graphic and violent, but that doesn’t mean you have to watch it and let it affect you.

[1] Ten things wrong with the ‘effect model’, in approaches to audience