BCM110 Issue Reflection

In following the media coverage of Global Warming for the past several weeks, I have come to realise that representation of this issue is diverse. Initially I thought that it was the public who were divided over the issue, however it has become clear after analysing various sources that it is the media who portray differing and often confusing opinions.  Despite varying perspectives on the issue itself, I discovered some underlying commonalities in the way in which the media instigate a response from their audience. The primary technique I have come to find is the use of fear throughout campaigns.

Covering this issue has allowed me to consider how much of an effect the ‘public sphere’ has on what content is publically mediated. Recent social turmoil has been the result of Julia Gillard’s (PM) announcement to introduce a Carbon tax, to be introduced around July 2012. My blog demonstrates intertextuality in using hyperlinks and embedded video of other sources, showing the mass array of sources available for consideration within the public sphere.

The debate surrounding the Prime Minister’s decision has been expressed in online polls, user-generated videos, interviews and through social media. It seems as though some form of debate surrounding climate change is constantly present. That is to say that, if discussion isn’t circulating about the validity behind global warming, it seems to be focused on whether we should pay money for the amount we pollute.

The majority of media outlets that I examined for my blogs were advertisements, used by companies to encourage the audience to take affirmative action against climate change. Organisations such as WWF (World Wildlife Fund) rely primarily on the premise that people will ‘stop climate change’, in order for their work in nurturing the habitat of endangered or threatened wildlife to continue. For this reason, the WWF invested in a campaign to combat the arguable growth of climate change, with a series of hard-hitting pictorial advertisements that rely on audience empathy and sense of humour. This campaign exemplifies one way in which the media are driving messages that stir guilt and anxiety in the reader, in order to communicate their message.

I found this campaign effective, and liked the way it provided me with a new angle to consider. As I tackled this issue with the perspectives of a climate-change sceptic, this was one of the few sources that compelled me to go green.

As well as discovering the fearful and guilt-ridden media releases that portray a world in rapid demise, I found that the media use imagery and scare tactics extremely quickly. To demonstrate my argument, I included in my blog entry “Jumping The Gun!” an image of Time magazine’s front page from 1974 and contrasted it with one from 2006.

Thirty years ago, this publication ran an issue titled “How To Survive The Coming Ice Age”. Conversely, the 2006 issue was plastered boldly with the heading “Special Report: Global Warming. Be Worried. Be Very Worried”.

This contradictory message, mediated by the same source, demonstrates how swiftly fluctuating ideas are eagerly spat out by the media.

Personally, I feel as though the ‘moral panic’ surrounding global warming is dominantly, if not completely, the responsibility of the media. In filtering down from scientific sources and researchers, the issue of global warming has been grasped by the media and thrust into the public eye more than any other.

As I already mentioned, the WWF campaign relies on audience fear as a catalyst for action. This technique is also used in the “Act On Co2” advert, shown in my ‘Worry for the enviro-future’ blog-post. The video finishes with the words of a young girl questioning how the story ends for our planet with, “Does it have a happy ending?” tugging at the heartstrings of the audience. It is again with the use of techniques that force the audience to reflect on their actions regarding climate change, that a self-driven moral panic is instigated. This panic is magnified by the media and creates a more widespread and fearful issue than what was once intended.

Looking into this issue has not necessarily made me more conscious of the issue itself; rather it has opened my eyes to the way in which the media portray issues. Many of the sources I used as references to this issue in my blog feature scare-tactics that evoke what the media regards as an appropriate response from their audience. In many of these cases, that response involves choosing more energy efficient alternatives to run households or companies.

– Orcadia 🙂

Worry for the enviro-future..

The media is instrumental in sending messages (from whatever perspective) about climate change to the public. Without the media to orchestrate and hype up their audiences fears, the current state of the global warming issue may not be as severe. Like I’ve said in previous blogs however, people, despite being aware of issues, often don’t act…for whatever the reason may be.

The  “Act on CO2” Campaign and many others just like it, instils obligation in the audience, encouraging them to reverse global warming on the basis that their own actions have caused the earths demise.

Tom Levitt reports that “upwards of 75 per cent of the general public…say climate change is an important issue”. So, basically, people are aware that it’s an issue…however, he also reports “few of us are doing much to actually tackle the problem and reduce our own emissions”.

He outlines a number of factors that underpin people’s reluctance to go green and do their bit for the environment. Some of these include, mistrust in the reported climate change ‘facts’, uncertainty in the impact their actions have on a global scale, and comparing themselves with others who do far less to reduce their carbon footprint.

I don’t personally identify as an eco-warrior of any sort, and I don’t go out of my way to reduce the carbon impact I have on this glorious earth of ours. However, behaviours such as recycling and not littering intentionally are automatic.

So despite people like me out there who don’t take the greatest care in choosing biodegradable/carbon-reducing alternatives, we are all picking up good small habits that make an impact in the long run.

– Orcadia

Reflection.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been discovering some new and interesting things about the media and the myriad issues surrounding it, most of which I’ve converged into a blog for your enjoyment (well, I hope they’ve been enjoyable). The blog posts that I’ve written containing my most personal perspectives into an issue, I feel are the most successful.

Destroy all Trolls, my most recent blog-post, gives an overview of the social climate online and how negative comments and posts are increasingly appearing on online forums and websites. This is an issue that frequently appears in the media (both traditional and social), mainly due to societies growing dissatisfaction for cyber-bullying. I used my personal interactions with cyber-bullying to illustrate to the audience how widespread and unnecessary ‘trolling’ is. I did so with use of a YouTube video which I embedded into the post.

Last week I explored how news is becoming increasingly accessible and easy to personally distribute. Who isn’t a journalist these days? discusses how traditional media outlets are now relying on social media and emerging technologies to bring news stories to wider and diverse audiences. I was able to effectively maintain a relatable tone for readers, using a combination of appropriate jargon and formal language.

My favourite blog to write was definitely R-r-r-r-REMIX! as it enabled me to reveal my keen interest in digital manipulation and indicated the respect I have for artists who can create something unique from an already existing piece of work. I showed how  modern rap artists produced a new creation by taking samples from a previously released song, embedding videos of both songs to give the audience something visually stimulating.

My 3 favourite posts each explore something very different about the state of converging media and stir up dynamic and still ever-changing ideas for me.

I’m getting used to the fact that my opinions are being broadcasted and considered by people and consequently have developed my own style of blogging. The future possibilities for me to share ideas through my blog, makes me excited to continue this learning process.

– Orcadia

 

Destroy all ‘Trolls’.

I’ve come to realise that whilst the Internet is revolutionary and something that I personally appreciate, it is also a mechanism for people to circulate hate and obscene material. A “Troll” from my experiences online, is someone that, usually out of boredom, comments or posts emotionally damaging, hateful or provocative material to spark a reaction from the online world. The lack of face-to-face communication that the Internet provides makes for a perfect place for trolls to thrive, meaning that physical backlash or retaliation is virtually impossible.

A topic that also came to my attention this week was the misogynistic nature of the online community. Whilst some may make the claim that hatred of females is rife within the cyber world, I would argue that locally and when confined to a specific social media, there are limited cases of this. Personally, it’s only when I venture from the safety of my closed Facebook medium that I realise how widespread ignorance and rudeness really is. Social media allows for us to connect and share in a relatively private forum, with the ability to ‘unfriend’ and ‘block’ troublesome people being used at many people’s discretion. So, for me, its only really when I visit public websites, that I begin to understand how much of an affect, trolling, misogyny and cyber bullying are really having on our society.

I first came to realise this when watching one of my favourite YouTube “comediennes” (make note: she is a woman).  At the end of each satirical vlog ‘Miranda’ addresses her fans and haters in a segment called ‘Fan mail of the day’.

I often think to myself during this segment, “why should an entertainer,who is merely trying to put a bright & funny spin on things, have to put up with so much of other peoples abuse?”. Actually, I find the fact that this segment needed to be created in the first place, pretty sickening.

Basically, ignorance what it comes down to. People are insecure and bored so decide to circulate hostility and resentment, in a [cyber] world that far too often, has no consequences.

– Orcadia

Who isn’t a journalist these days?

In today’s day and age, we all  have the opinions and the skills (internet) to freely broadcast whatever menial thought springs to mind. Unfortunately, people often mishandle the power that the Internet grants them, frequently clogging up our newsfeeds and inboxes with cringe-worthy junk.

Despite the grammatically terrifying and frequently ridiculous status’ broadcasted by people, social media plays a huge role in enabling users to communicate/receive news and events.

Today’s society doesn’t rely purely on traditional news sources anymore, more so opting for an entertaining and brief outline of important events. We create and share things instantly, making us more than ever, the authors of our own news (however irrelevant your stories may seem)  e.g. “OMG so bored” or “20mins left till work finishes”.

This clip demonstrates from a highly reputable news source’s perspective how social media has transformed the gathering and delivery of news on a global scale.

A good example of citizen journalism is ‘The Project’, a news based television show that uses everyday language and comedy to better engage the audience. Frequently displaying popular Twitter trends and discussing them comically with the television audience, the show engages viewer and user participation, which actively engages them with the stories being announced. Despite this program being broadcasted by a traditional media form, the show defies general stereotypes and enables citizens to become journalists in their own right.

– Orcadia

R-r-r-r-REMIX!

Remix culture is something I love. Simple.

Growing up I loved to mess around on Windows Moviemaker and Garageband, making family videos and sound clips for fun. I got a kick out of chucking all of the bits I liked into one fun piece of music (or whatever the medium may be).

Popular culture played a huge role in I why I started to become interested in the art of remix. Growing up, I was a fan of artists like J-Lo and R-Kelly (I think initials were trending that year), who released remixes of their own songs after initially having limited success. Remember ‘Ain’t It Funny’ and ‘Ignition’? Both of these are remixes of original songs by their own artist!

More recently though, my favourite Rap artists remixed one of my favourite songs…do things get much better than that? In 2011, Kanye West collaborated with Jay-Z to create ‘Otis’, a song that was created upon the foundation of Otis Redding’s, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. Currently the remixed version has over 42million YouTube views: an impressive feat for a song that is arguably unoriginal.

Otis Redding’s original track, “Try A Little Tenderness”

Kanye’s modern interpretation, “Otis”

It’s hard for artists to create completely original music; after all there are only a limited number of notes to choose from, so they turn to remix to create something interesting and better than before. It’s clear that ‘remix’, whilst many see it as cheating or stealing, is just a way of bringing art to new and wider audiences.

– Orcadia