I’ve never been good at choosing catchy blog titles.

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Six weeks ago the only time i ever felt free enough to express my political opinion on the internet, was through my personal Tumblr, where nobody knew me, and could therefore not associate any of my ideologies to my actual name. It’s been great to finally get myself out of that web of self-doubt and put my ideas forward without the fear of being patronised or challenged on everything. 

As journalists, or people working in the media, it’s our job to become involved with a huge variety of social issues, and a lot of people are going to look to us for an explanation, or for an opinion they can compare to their own. These posts allow us to practice that, to prepare for the real world, and to feel proud that other people listen to and value what we have to say. 
The best part about being involved with this online community, was gaining perspective on the thoughts of everyone else around you, especially when they are along the same lines as your own, or better yet, when they happen to contradict everything with absolute credible sources and make you second guess your own theories, because it’s all about getting to the truth of things. 

Everything we’ve learnt has been relative, the images we see represent exactly what we’re conditioned to see, which is a direct result of media ownership, regulation and control. This persuasion is dominate in the public sphere, because everything that matters to us is set out like a program and unveiled to us at certain times to achieve certain results. Everything we see, hear, think, feel (at-least politicly) wasn’t our idea, it was theirs.

We form opinions on things like the effect the media has on children, and take no hesitation on telling everyone who will listen (from our lounges) how bad the media is because our kids are all talking about what they were biologically programmed to do a-lot earlier than society says is okay, all while forgetting to notice the charity collectors on our front door step who are actually out doing something, and making a difference to the lives of people who have real problems. 

I don’t know, i guess i just feel like theres something messed up about wanting to protect the kids who, if they’re lives are affected in any way by the media, are lucky enough to have a roof over their heads, clothes on their body and a meal in their stomachs. It’s the children who’s lives aren’t touched by violent video games, advertisements or photo shoots that we should be concerned about, but the public sphere is more fixated on naming every person who puts make-up on a child a pedophile. 

There are things i’ve learnt over the past six weeks that have definitely changed the way i see things, and when you really think about it, it’s pretty much the same as forming an opinion like most people do, from what we read. The difference this time is that what we’re discussing is important and it comes from each other, not from a corporate personality who’s reading over our shoulder and editing out the parts that really matter. 

It’s been a pleasure getting to know everybody from what’s swimming around in their brain, and i can’t wait to see what the next semester brings! 

Desensitisation in the public sphere.

“Continued exposure to violent videos will make an adolescent less sensitive to violence, more accepting of violence, and more likely to commit aggressive acts, since the emotional component associated with aggression is reduced and normally acts as a brake on aggressive behaviour.” (Adams, 2010)

The public sphere in Western countries have become desensitised and disinterested towards political culture, with themes broadcasted in the media such as criminal television shows and half-assed comical Journalism such as “Sunrise” and “The morning show”, serious political and social issues like violence, rape, suicide, murder and public news have become less important than “celebrities, diets and sex tips” (Mckee, 2005, p. 1,31.)

Furedi (2004) suggests that people are more interested in the “private lives of politicians than the way they handle their public office”.
He also claims that the media or public sphere has shifted from politics to personal, and that individual misbehaviour, private troubles and personality conflicts excite greater interest than important issues. I agree.

At the beginning of every Law and Order episode, it states that the show is about “The crimes, not the people who investigate them”, and succeeds in leaving out the drama or love affairs of the detectives, and focusing on the crimes and investigations relevant to them. It doesn’t censor or skip over any grisly details, and gives the proper attention and sense of horror that things such as these should invoke. Although it does not follow the usual soap-worthy back-story running behind some of televisions most successful tv shows, so why are dramatic and scandalous personal lives more successful? – People don’t want to focus too much on the real world.

Comparatively, shows such as NCIS and Dexter intertwine murder with romance, comedy and personal drama, so after watching somebody get butchered, you’re watering down the effects of what you’ve just seen with something ‘normal’ and relevant to your own life. 

People are becoming accustomed to seeing dead bodies on the screen and it makes it hard to apply any real-life significance to these occurrences. Murder, violence and suicide etc. aren’t controversial issues anymore; they’re everyday themes on your favourite TV show, blanketed and served with sex, laughter and emotional theatre.

 

References

Adams, S. 2010. Screen violence ‘desensitises teenage brains’ – Telegraph.
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8059204/Screen-violence-desensitises-teenage-brains.html&gt;
viewed on 9 Apr 2014.

Furedi, F. 2004. spiked-essays | Essay | The politics of the lonely crowd.
<http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA449.html&gt;
viewed on 9 Apr 2014.

Mckee, A. 2005. Introduction to the Public Sphere: An introduction. Cambridge University Press, p. 1,31.
viewed on 9 Apr 2014.

 

 

Youtube, who profits the most?

social-media-bandwagon1
Youtube is the ultimate example of media convergence, because it demonstrates the ability to relay content from both professionals and amateurs.
Although the users of the platform (the uploaders) who contribute to it’s content do act as gateways that decided what we see, the power is still held in the hands of the conglomerates.

Youtube is owned by American multinational corporation Google, and most of their profits are derived from AdWords, Google’s advertisement network. So even if you upload your own content, it reserves the right to place advertisements on your videos, controlling what the viewers see, and profiting from your work.

“Some fear that media is out of control; others that it is too controlled”.
Jenkins says that there has been an alarming concentration on the ownership of mainstream commercial media, with only a handful of media conglomerates dominating all sectors of the entertainment industry, this is evident in Google’s ownership of Youtube and the advertisements it places on Youtube’s videos through their companies. He also points out how all gatekeepers get partial credit, which is further proof that no matter what you are uploading to the platform, you aren’t the only one benefiting from it’s content.

 

 

References

Accounts.google.com. 2014. Google AdWords – Online Advertising by Google.
<https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=adwords&continue=https://adwords.google.com/um/gaiaauth?apt%3DNone%26ltmpl%3Djfk&hl=en_AU&ltmpl=jfk&passive=86400&skipvpage=true&sacu=1&sarp=1&sourceid=awo&subid=ww-ns-g-awhp_nelsontest3_p&gt;
viewed on 7 Apr 2014.

HubPages. 2014. Power to the Spectator: Digital Media and Convergence Culture.
<http://jannalee.hubpages.com/hub/Power-to-the-Spectator&gt;
viewed on 7 Apr 2014.

Jenkins, H. 2004. The cultural logic of media convergence. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7 (1), pp. 33-43.
viewed on 7 Apr 2014.