Why does it matter who ‘owns’ the media?

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Photo Credit: http://www.freepress.net/

 

 

Power is persuasion, and in an age dominated by the media, you learn to question everything you see and hear, even when its being presented to you by ‘trustworthy’ news stations, and respectable journalists.

The dominant media conglomerates each control a large percentage of any content released in the media, meaning all of the information released is coming from the same source. So you aren’t seeing any varying opinions, only the same side of the story every time through different mediums.
A whopping three-quarters of global spending ends up in the pockets of a mere twenty media companies (Mcchesney, 2001).

Many of us rely on the news to keep up to date with what’s happening around us, and part of that reliability is trusting that the information we are being subjected to is accurate and objective, but this is sadly not the case.

Free Press (2014) published an online article stating that NewsCorp, owned by the world’s second-largest media conglomerate Rupert Murdoch, uses its media power to shape corporate-friendly policies and squash those that don’t further its aims.“News Corp also helps elect politicians with timely endorsements while punishing foes who get in its way with negative coverage and political threats”.

What this means is that the people who control the media, are also controlling our opinions, our votes and our voice.
The media shapes how we see ourselves and how we see the world. In a democracy, the free flow of information, of different points of view, is crucial for open debate (Eaton, 2013).

 

 

References

Eaton, G. 2013. New Statesman | Labour takes aim at Murdoch with new call for media ownership cap. <http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/06/labour-takes-aim-murdoch-new-call-media-ownership-cap&gt;
viewed on 30 Mar 2014.

Mcchesney, R. 2001. Global Media, Neoliberalism and Imperialism.
<http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/2011030211146705.pdf&gt;
viewed on 30 Mar 2014.

Press, F. 2014.
<http://www.freepress.net/rupert-murdoch-scandal&gt;
viewed on 30 Mar 2014.

 

“Youtube came in like a wrecking ball”

Youtube is a platform that is built around the uploading and sharing of videos, and many people rely on this networking system not only to spread ideas and enjoy entertainment, but also for creating an income.
Youtube personalities are a huge hit on the internet, and how much they earn depends on the size of their fan base and their viewers statistics, although not all of the profit some of them earn is exactly legal, and it can be easy to upload content that violates copyright laws if you’re not careful.

“These are namely gamers, uploading gameplay footage either raw or with voice over and then earning money from advertising revenue on Youtube” says Cramgaming.com (2013).”It can be debated whether it’s right or wrong for people to earn money using other peoples derivative works in context of making something unique from it, however, it seems the industry is adopting an overall tougher stance on this”.

In December 2013, Youtube updated its copyright laws in an attempt to address complaints of theft of profit and original ideas, the new laws mostly targeted gaming channels, and sent out thousands of flags to gaming videos all over the platform (Gutelle, 2013) The problem with this new system, was that popular online gamers and creators starting getting flagged for their own original content by suspicious third party complaints.

“My YouTube channel was temporarily terminated and suffered a 21-hour outage after receiving copyright violations that have now been withdrawn. The effects weren’t only felt during that period, either. It took us a week to recover and start receiving our pre-takedown viewership numbers” said Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, the founder and CEO of WatchMojo’s, one of Youtubes top 25 most watched channels.

Copyright was created to protect the ideas and creations of individuals, but when anybody can make a claim to that idea and it directly affects the business of that individual, shouldn’t it be monitored and used correctly by the people enforcing it?
YouTube has struggled for years with copyright law — especially when it comes to gaming. You can own something, put it on YouTube, and still get a copyright-violation notice (Grubb, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

References 

 

Cramgaming.com 2013. Youtube getting tough on video game monetization in 2014 – Cramgaming.com. <http://cramgaming.com/youtube-getting-tough-video-game-monetization-12989/&gt;
viewed on 29 Mar 2014.

 

Grubb, J. 2014. Developer still struggling with YouTube over copyright claim on video of his own game. <http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/24/game-developer-still-struggling-with-youtube-over-copyright-claim-on-his-own-game/&gt;
viewed on 29 Mar 2014.

 

Gutelle, S. 2013. YouTube Is Suddenly Flagging A LOT Of Videos For Copyright Claims. <http://www.tubefilter.com/2013/12/10/youtube-contentid-flag-gaming-videos/&gt;
viewed on 29 Mar 2014.

 

Karbasfrooshan, A. 2013. It’s Time For YouTube’s ContentID & Copyright Policies To Reflect Reality.
<http://www.tubefilter.com/2013/12/23/youtube-contentid-reflects-reality/&gt;
viewed on 29 Mar 2014.

Youtube for Kids

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We all know that Youtube is no place for children, giving easy access to controversial images and videos it’s enough to distort the minds of minors at an early age, and give an adult impression before they are mature enough to understand that what they are watching is considered ‘adult content’, and not created for the eyes and ears of juveniles. 

NDTV Gadgets, 2014 wrote that Youtube is reportedly building a dedicated kids section, that will only include child-oriented content. “The Google-owned company is developing a dedicated kids version of YouTube that will filter videos and comments not appropriate for children.”
The information, an online subscription publication, exclusively published an article claiming that “Google’s online video destination is now developing a version of the site for kids under 10 that would ‘wall off racier videos and comments’ and be deemed a safe place by parents” (The Information, 2014).

This would of course benefit the media platform profoundly, as it would be opening up it’s content to even younger audiences and by doing so, increasing the number of users and subscribers. If the new expansion were to hit off, so would the profit from the applications created to view the media through other mediums.
“The site would be free of videos and comments that adults usually want to shield their children of. The special app could work on multiple devices, just like YouTube, but it would only include kid-safe content.” (Vatu, 2014).

Although the idea certainly seems like an appealing one, all resources report that it is just simply that for now, ‘an idea’.
“The product isn’t anywhere close to being launched, however, and how exactly it will work can is still very much up in the air.”(Protalinski, 2014).

 

 

 

References:

NDTV Gadgets 2014, YouTube reportedly building a dedicated kids section | NDTV Gadgets,
<http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/youtube-reportedly-building-a-dedicated-kids-section-497106&gt; viewed on 18 Mar 2014.

Protalinski, E 2014, YouTube Reportedly Developing a Version for Kids,
<
http://thenextweb.com/google/2014/03/18/youtube-reportedly-building-version-kids-10-years-old-asks-creators-child-oriented-content/#!Apxjg&gt; viewed on 18 Mar 2014.

The Information 2014, YouTube Sets Sights on Kids – The Information,
<https://www.theinformation.com/YouTube-Sets-Sights-on-Kids&gt; viewed on 18 Mar 2014.

Vatu, G 2014, YouTube Is Working on a Site Version for Kids Under 10 Years Old – Report. <http://news.softpedia.com/news/YouTube-Is-Working-On-a-Site-Version-for-Kids-Under-10-Years-Old-Report-432713.shtml>%5BAccessed: 18 Mar 2014].viewed on 18 Mar 2014.

 

‘Don’t talk while she drives’

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This controversial Bangalore public safety advertisement was created by the Bangalore traffic police, and was designed to shock people out of talking to their friends and families on the phone while they are driving (Macleod, 2010).
The symbolism in this image is as clear as it is alarming, if you know you are talking to somebody who is behind the wheel, hang up the phone or their blood could be on your hands, or as Weburbanist.com, 2014 says “and on your face… not to mention splattered all over your clothing and bedding”. 

The image is that of a man holding a mobile phone away from himself, while blood is shooting out of the device onto his clearly horrified and unprepared face. The character is faded and background blurred to contrast the vivid red colour of the blood gunning out of the phone, and is done purposely as to draw your attention, the image of the blood is a severe shock and immediately hooks you onto the purpose of the advertisement. 

Simonlugassy.com, 2014, states that “these ads use fear in its most primal state by showing the threat of death. The message of the ad is clear”, and it is, using very graphic and disturbing truths to guilt you into driving responsibly.
The connotations of this image are obvious as first sight, blood is immediately associated with harm or death so at first glance you are aware that the message will be controversial, as it is done strategically by also writing it in blood, to further highlight the danger.

The modern interpretation of this image seems as clear as it would have been in the 1960’s even without the technology, distractions have consequences, and being an accessory to the diversion means you are deemed just as responsible to the outcome, or at least ‘guilty by association’.

 

 

References:

Adsoftheworld.com. 2014. Bangalore traffic police: Talk them dead, Girlfriend | Ads of the World
<http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/bangalore_traffic_police_talk_them_dead_girlfriend&gt; viewed 18 Mar 2014

Macleod, D 2010, Don’t Talk While he Drives,
<http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2010/dont-talk-while-he-drives/> viewed 18 Mar 2014.

Simonlugassy.com 2014, ROAD SAFETY: Don’t Talk While He/She Drives,
<http://www.simonlugassy.com/theshrink/roadsafetyIndia.html> viewed 18 Mar 2014.

Weburbanist.com 2014, Mad Marketing: 15 Crazy & Controversial Advertisements | Urbanist,
<http://weburbanist.com/2010/11/08/15-cool-crazy-controversial-advertisements/> viewed 18 Mar 2014.

 

Media in any form is a distraction from the real world

Smart phones, high-speed internet and a variety of different social media platforms are still relatively new to us.  
Six years ago i had no idea what a smart phone was, and to communicate instantly the only option was MSN (messenger) or if you were patient, email. As we’ve pooled together our innovative resources, we’ve managed to progress into a kind of technological revolution, where the rate of technological and media advancement has soared significantly.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m a huge apple fan and i can say with absolute confidence that i would be lost without my iPhone or Macbook, but to reflect on that sentence, it’s also something i can say that i’m not at all proud of. New ‘apps’ and media platforms are being created every day, which may be an ideal way to ‘meet’ new people and connect internationally, but it steers us from the actual human experience.
So even though the choice is ours to pull ourselves away from the alluring attraction of the television or computer screen, social media and media in general is driving a wedge between the relationships humans have been making since the beginning of time. Connection is an important part of any relationship, and when there is nobody there to connect to (personally), how can these bonds still be made, or at the very least be the same? 

I can proudly boast near 1000 internet friends, but if i had to count my real friends, i would not come anywhere close to that number. All i know about 999 of my 1000 friends is their occupation, their gender and what they do on weekends. 

Youtube!

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Social media platforms are interesting to research because they bridge between the story world and the real world (Transmedia and Crossmedia Convergence in a Connected World, 2014).
I was originally thinking of usingTumblr (being an avid user of the site myself) but honestly i wouldn’t have any idea where to start. It is most certainly personal and definitely has a lot of story and real world themes, but theres something too personal about it, i use it often enough to kind of want to leave it alone.

Instead i opted for Youtube, one of the most successful and fascinating social media platforms i know. Being as vast as it is, the possibilities are endless, and the smart people realised this before the rest of us and jumped on that wagon while it was leaving and moving towards the ‘V’s’, viral videos, vines and vlogs.
There’s something addictive about planting yourself on your bed and watching other people’s lives to escape the mundane existence of your own. Even though television provides plenty of opportunity to do the same, youtube provides you with real life, every day people, so you know that somebody even as ordinary as yourself can maybe becoming interesting to others, and then maybe eventually, to yourself.

I’m looking forward to researching this more extensively!

 

 

References

 

Transmedia and Crossmedia Convergence in a Connected World 2014. Media Platforms.
<http://convergenceishere.weebly.com/media-platforms.html&gt;
viewed on 5 March 2014

An Introduction.

My name is Jamie Reynolds,

I’m a 21 year old female from the south coast, currently studying a Bachelor of communication and media, majoring in journalism and professional writing.
I completed a diploma of the same course a year ago so i’m also studying second year subjects, although it’s my first actual year at UOW’s campus.

A lot of people want to be writers, they want to develop a voice and change lives, influence people in a way that let’s that voice be heard, not just for themselves but for others too. I’m no different.
A mentor of mine once told me that journalists play a bigger role than we realised, we pick and choose everything people see and hear and that shapes them into the people that they are or will be; based on the opinions they create, formed by the information they are given, by us. (It goes full circle)
It’s a strange thing to think that you can influence so many people you don’t (and probably will never) know.
It seems a dangerous tool in the wrong hands, but an excellent opportunity for change in the right ones, which is why it appeals so much to me.

That’s basically why i’m so interested in journalism, to make a difference, create change and help introduce new and thought provoking ideas.