Diasporic Media: Framing a journey

In it’s original and historical form, ‘Diaspora’ referred to the dispersal or scattering of a people from a homeland, often encompassing several journeys, think of peoples migration out of Africa or Israelite’s out of Babylon. Today, it has come to be used in many other contexts, including the media. (BCM310 Lecture, 2014). The framing of ‘migrations’ in the media can be both used negatively, to promote fear, xenophobia and dislike or the use of diasporic media can enable minority communities to feel more at ‘home’ and more connected to cultural, religious and ethnic roots. In Australia, we can see both of these types of diasporic media narratives playing out.

One of the dominant xenophobic media stories of the last 10 years in Australia has been the reporting of asylum seekers. This issue has become strongly politicized and use of certain language in media reporting creates an ‘us versus them’ dichotomy. Articles dehumanizing asylum seekers and painting their journey as ‘illegal’ and a ‘threat’ is common. Recently, articles hailing Prime Minister Abbott’s ‘Stop the Boats’ campaign have been trumpeting its success. Boats being towed back to Indonesian waters, ‘would-be’ asylum seekers sent back to South East Asia and money being saved by the government are all presented as the successful results of stopping ‘the other’ from reaching our shores (Herald Sun, 2014). The media is a powerful tool in perpetuating this negative image of the asylum seeker journey and by nullifying their voice and ability to share their own story is restricting their agency as creators of their own media.

Prominent media commentators: ‘These people’, common fear of the ‘other’

There are those that are challenging these sorts of generalizations and negative portrayals of migrants and asylum seekers in the mainstream media. Through active participation in content creation, development and communication of their own story and news, migrants in Western Sydney are challenging the mainstream medias negative portrayal (Salazar, 2012). Salazar in his article looks at things such as digital storytelling as a way that migrants are telling their own story and making their voice heard. This is directly challenging stereo-types, myths and fear that is perpetuated by main stream media outlets. Also allowing youth to feel connected to their culture and heritage through diasporic media.

In this multicultural country of ours, it is important that everyone has a space and platform to express themselves and tell their stories the way they want to.

References

BCM310, 2014, Emerging issues in Media and Communication: Diasporic Media, Lecture week 11, 19/5/14

Herald Sun, 2014, Stopping the boats is the one promise that was kept, accessed 23/5/14, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/stopping-the-boats-is-the-one-promise-that-was-kept/story-fni0ffsx-1226927355487

Salazar, J, 2012, Digital stories and emerging citizens’ media practices by migrant youth in Western Sydney’, Journal of
Community, Citizen’s and Third Sector Media and Communication, Issue 7, pp 1-11

Brave New World: TV in the modern media landscape and globalisation

 

The role of television has undergone a huge transformation during the past 20 years, caused by the emergence of new forms of media, alternative media spaces, globalization of world media and the massive fragmentation of the receiving audience (Turner, 2008). But what is televisions role in the modern media landscape? How has it changed and developed?

The original and key role of television in early broadcast years was to circulate and provide information and education to the broader populace, to reflect the values and culture of the national audience through reporting on relevant news, national days and providing a public sphere for discussion and debate. Television was the symbol of mass media, a one way amplification of information to the wider populace (Turner, 2006).

The new media landscape has had profound effects on televisions role, its audiences and other things like advertising. However, television it is still a powerful tool in communication and the globalization of television is evident in the reach of high profile and financially powerful networks, as well as powerful media mogul’s such as Rupert Murdoch. The impact that globalization has had on television has long been debated and often criticized, several scholars concerned about the power that television monopolies have on influencing and ‘educating’ its audience, particularly youth and children. Other critics raise concern about globalization impact on displaying stereotypical and blanket depictions of certain cultures to the world (Mitu, 2011). Disney television programs and films are often how many kids are introduced to other cultures (Mulan, Aladdin) but these are generally stereo typical portrayals and give children a very distorted view of their fellow man from other regions of the world. In this way, the globalization of Television and certain programs can have a negative affect.

Obviously globalization has had a profound effect on the media, television was certainly affected also. Globalization makes time and space obsolete, with technology enabling instant communication and information sharing between people on opposite sides of the globe. TV has certainly developed a new role in the 21st century, but it still has a very significant presence in the me

 Reference list

Tay, Jinna and Turner, Graeme, 2008, ‘What is Television: Comparing Media Systems in the Post-broadcast Era’. Media International Australia, Issue 126

Mitu, B, 2011, Culture and Television, The Televisual Globalization, Economics, management and financial market, Issue 6, Vol 2, pp 896-900

Race and the media. What is going on??

Race, ethnicity and the media is very topical issue in today’s social landscape, particulalry with nations increasingly becoming more multicultural and, supposedly, more accepting of people from all backgrounds and heriatges. So how do racial sterotypes manifest themselves in the media? This blog will look at a few examples

Avove: Example of a TV show challenging racial sterotypes

After the events of 9/11 which saw the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC, killing thousands of innocent Americans, police noticed increasing animosity towards people of middle eastern appearance living in America. Increase in negativity, hate crimes and violence towards these groups increased (Alsultany, 2013). TV attempted to combat these negative stereotypes with more ‘positive’ middle eastern characters but still many portrayed middle eastern characters in a negative way.

Closer to home, Australia has a long and dark history of racism and this has been portrayed in the media on several occasions. During the Cronulla riots, popular radio host Alan Jones used his breakfast show to circulate hate filled messages being distributed among Australians, calling to act violently towards Lebanese people. Jones described the Lebanese as ‘Vermin’ and was quoted live on radio saying “biker gangs to be present at Cronulla railway station when these Lebanese thugs arrive.. Australians old and new should not have to put up with this scum…..we don’t have Anglo-Saxon kids out there raping women in western Sydney” (The Australian 2007). A prominent and popular radio host perpetuating terrible stereotypes and inciting hatred and violence is a scary thought, Jones has since been found guilty of inciting hate speech and sentenced.

The ‘blackface’ incident on popular Television program ‘hey, hey its Saturday’ also caused a huge stir across the world when a skit involved 5 white Australians painting their faces black to honor the Jackson 5 (Crikey, 2012). These issues show that, not only is racism alive and well in society but stereotypes of ethnicity and race is still perpetuated on media outlets and by popular presenters. Generally, certain ethnicities are cast as certain stereotyped characters eg Asians are smart, Indians driving taxis etc, we need to challenge this view in Australia and move towards equality.

Reference list

Alsultany, Evelyn. (2013). ‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era’. American Quarterly, Vol. 65 No. 1

Mahoney, M, 2009, What’s all the fuss about “blackface”?, http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/10/08/crikey-clarifier-whats-all-the-fuss-about-blackface, accessed 7/5/14

The Australian, 2007, Jones guilty of breach over Cronulla riots comments, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/jones-guilty-of-breach-over-cronulla-riots-comments/story-e6frg6nf-1111113320313, accessed 8/5/14

 

Women portrayed in the media: Let’s move beyond the stereotypes

In media, whether it be television, film, advertising or others, women have historically been portrayed in a very stereotyped way. It is not difficult to notice the portrayal of typical gender roles and stereotypes when watching TV or films and children are indoctrinated, largely through media influences and cultural and societal values, of what it means to be male and female. The portrayal of women in the media had come under heavy criticism recently, popular shows such as HBO’s televison series ‘The Newsroom’, has been in the spotlight particularly.

 “In fact, “The Newsroom” seems to relish putting “loud” women in their place or to render them helpless and histrionic” (Ryan 2012). 

‘The Newsroom’ is a popular HBO television series that looks behind the scenes of a fictional news cable program and follows the characters in their strive to make and present the news. The series is highly acclaimed for its raw nature and plot lines, however critics have raised concerns with the series portrayal of its female characters. Generally, the female characters are portrayed as needing to be rescued by the male leads, generally confused and messed up in both their social life and work life and highly prone to silly mistakes. Commentators are confused by Mackenzies character, a decorated war correspondent and journalist, being unable to work an e-mail (Ryan, 2012).

Other gender stereotypes manifest themselves in magazines where young girls are told what beauty is and what isnt, thus promoting an unhealthy body image. Magazines like cosmopolitan place a typically, strong, striking and thin woman on the front. This portrays beauty as having a universal standard (Sorin, 2012). Similar steretypes of men can be found in Mens health magazine.

Even disney movies subtly reinforce gender roles and present worrying messages for girls when considering life and love. For example, the little mermaid needing to change who she is for a man (PolicyMic, 2014).

Ultimately we need to challenge these stereotypes and make sure our children grow up with no imposed character traits of what they can be or achieve.

Reference list.

Ryan, Maureen and Lacob, Jace. (2012). ‘“The Newsroom”: Women Problems Abound in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Series’. Huffingtonpost.com. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/the-newsroom Ryan, Maureen and Lacob, Jace. Accessed 27/4/14

Sorin, S, 2012, Advertising communication and gender stereotypes, Seria Stiinte, volume 18, pp 526-530

PolicyMic, 2014, 9 harmful stereotypes we never realised our favourite disney movies taught us, http://www.policymic.com/articles/88167/9-harmful-stereotypes-we-never-realized-our-favorite-disney-movies-taught-us, accessed 27/4/14

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The Future of Journalism: Video response

David Carr:

David speaks a lot about the ‘present future’ of journalism, a concept he states that signifies the variety of avenues, models and mediums of journalism that are on the table but that no one can guarantee what will work and flourish or fall and collapse. The trajectory of a student of journalism to a professional journalism is now very hands on and takes on varying paths, not the traditional study, work at a small local paper, larger regional paper and then a daily. The present future of journalism is unclear in many respects, and so students are having to study the new forms of journalism creation and create their own paths through the varying new avenues of the journalistic field. The lines of new and old media are becoming blurred and the rise of the internet has transformed old media outlets, such as the New York Times, into using blogs, videos and public input, while the internet has also seen the emergence of journalistic websites such as BuzzFeed. The latter hiring journalists to ensure they still have journalistic principles embedded in this new medium, hence the walls of new and old media are torn town and the future looks as if they will be one in the same. I believe that this video shed light on how the synergy between these two forms of media does not mean that one will swallow the other but that it has a future in journalism. technology does not have to spell the end of journalistic principles, old media values or journalism as we know it today, but this is the natural progression of journalism and has the potential to be great.

Tom Rosensteil:

“The audience will determine the future of news”

Tom opens with talking about how the old way of news was presented to us by gatekeepers (trusted organisations) and they told us what to think about by giving us news that they deemed was relevant for us. Today, we the audience, have the power and ability to access the news we want, when we want it. Online articles, websites, social media etc has made news on demand, at our fingertips at any moment and now the audience has the ability to shape their knowledge and learning themselves based on what they choose to read and expose themselves to. Economic effects of the current mediascape for old media has been devastating, in terms of advertising, viewership and readership, however it hasn’t meant the destruction of interest in news but has changed how the news media has to adapt to fit with the audiences behavior. I think this video talks about how the consumption of news has changed how news media operates. They must adapt in the future to fit in with the audience lives, not the other way around like before.

Both videos are interesting and offer similar but also different perspectives on the future of journalism. I enjoyed both and walk away feeling more informed and optomistic about journalism place in the future

 

Power of Art

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There are many examples of Art being used as a driver of social, political and cultural viewpoints, and recently the realm of art has crossed over into the area of journalism. This is due to a variety of reasons such as cultural change, strong artistic movements and the emergence of the internet as a powerful channel for distributing and accessing material. Cramerotti’s reading explored the concept of aesthetic journalism, initially looking at periods of antiquity and history were prominent explorers, scientists, mathematicians and politicians used art to convey, usually, a political, social or cultural message (Cramerotti, 2011). Art was used to conceptualize and communicate, visually, the knowledge acquired by humanity and the reality seen in theory (Cramerotti, 2011). In this sense, art has the power to tell a story, inform a public of local or world issues, persuade and encourage further exploration. Public displays of art to tell a story or raise an issue are common practice for prominent graffiti artists and environmental groups

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East side gallery in Berlin is no stranger to the use of art to convey a message.

A local and recent example of aesthetic journalism and, more broadly, the use of art to convey a certain message is the ‘about wild! Rhinos’ campaign in Sydney and greater NSW. Colorfully decorated and painted sculptures of rhinos have made a big impact in Sydney and are being used to raise awareness for this endangered species conservation and to promote Taronga Zoo’s bredding program and conservation program. The trail of Rhinos go from Sydney to Dubbo and are very aesthetically pleasing, peaking the public’s interest in the story behind the colorful creatures.

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All for a great cause, rhinos to be auctioned off after the exhibit.

Other prominent grafiti artists, such as Banksy, are well known for their use of art to convey a political message. These artists have a huge following and create groundswell for issues that may be lost to the public in the endless pages of newspapers or internet links. Using art as a way of conveying news and issues is a new and interesting tactic.

Banksy art work at the west bank, Israel

All in all, art and journalism have an interesting and effective synergy. It is a way to convey a message that is clever and encourages further research into the issues that are portrayed through the art. It is a new form of journalism, but it has an exciting future.

Reference list

Cramerotti, Alfredo, 2011, “When did Aesthetic Journalism Develop,” in Cramerotti, Alfredo, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing, Intellect, London

Taronga Zoo website, 2014, Wild! Rhino’s artists program, accessed 11/4/14, http://taronga.org.au/wild-rhinos/artists

ABC news website, Jan 2014, Rhinos stampede opera house, accessed, 11/4/14, http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/01/31/3935742.htm

Do journalists have a future? The future of journalism

It is not a new phenomenon to see the face of journalism undergo a huge transformation, Hiltz commenting 30 years ago that soon we would be  “exchanging vast amounts of both information and socialemotional communications with colleagues, friends and strangers who share similar interests, who are spread out all over the nation.” (Hiltz, 1978). However, what has changed and where is journalism headed in this age of ever-evolving technology? Is journalism under threat due to new media practices and the utilization of ‘Citizen Journalism’? Some believe it is dying out, while others just comment on the integration of new technologies and media practices to make the new journalism of the future.

“There is no future for journalism without journalists..” (Mosco, 2009). Mosco’s article highlights the point that journalist jobs across North America have been slashed due to new media practices which seek to use amateur journalists, photographers and bloggers, while also using new technologies to produce news stories fast and distribute them over social media platforms, online and via traditional media outlets. The speed of which technology allows news and information to travel has had an impact on how much man power and time news corporations are willing to give professional journalists to investigate stories, a contributing factor to job cuts.

Pavlik also asserts that journalists roles are changing but just need to tailor their storytelling to a global and interconnected audience which can provide new insight, comment and criticize (Pavlik, 2001). Space and time limitations on analog print has effectively changed the dynamic of journalism and the networked audience has caused journalism to become interactive, able to be customized and in-demand. Journalists just need to learn how to operate in this new environment and to tailor news to this type of audience.

To me, the future of journalism is not bleak but bright, and the new technology and media environment open a new world for journalism. Integrating traditional journalism principles with new media practices, new audiences, new media channels and new technology has opened up entire new doors for journalists to work in and the future looks bright.

References

Hiltz, 1978, The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Mosco, V,  2009, The future of Journalism, JournalismVolume 10, Issue 3, pp. 350 – 352

John V. Pavlik, 2013, “Innovation And The Future Of Journalism,” Digital Journalism, 1:2, 181-193

Pavlik, John V.,2001 , Journalism and New Media. New York: Columbia University Press, 25.

 

Who is the audience? Journalism in the modern mediascape

In this modern day of smartphones, super speed internet, social networking and laptops, news and information can be accessed, read and shared faster then ever before. Access to the internet has opened a whole new world for people to consume their news and allowed the creation of may new platforms for news and journalism to utilize. However, this same modern technology has led to journalism no longer being dominant in the modern mediascape and a steady decline in the readership and viewership of traditional media channels, TV, radio and newspapers (Berkowitz, 2009). This has changed the journalism landscape from macro audiences to micro audiences, changed the relationship between audiences and journalists and changed how news is consumed. This is what I want to briefly discuss in order to get one angle of journalism’s new place in the modern holistic mediascape.

One such change that has effected journalists due to new media is the use of feedback, communities, sharing and discussion being created online (Bonin, 2013). With these new technologies and media platforms, the audience does not just receive the news, it also interprets it, shares it, debates, contributes to and discusses it. Audiences are micro in this sense as they can now choose what news they read online and avoid what they don’t want.

Due to this large change, major news organisations are adopting ‘citizen journalism’ whereby normal citizens are able to contribute to the news by sending videos, pictures, questions or reports that the organisations will then investigate further. Examples such as CNN iReport program where CNN cross check information on social media platforms, it’s citizen journalists and its own investigation to make news (King, 2012).

The new mediascape is saturated with social media, traditional media and online content. Major, respected news organisations such as the BBC have put hours of time and manpower into analyzing the latest trends for their news sources and platforms, and like many others, have found that the audience consuming journalism on social media is growing rapidly (Belair-Gagnon, 2013). It is obvious that journalism has changed in this new technological and internet age, and it will continue to adapt in the future.

Reference list

Berkowitz, Dan, 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292

Belair-Gagnon, V, 2013, Revisiting partiality: Social Media and Journalism at the BBC, Symbolic interaction, Vol 36, Iss 4, pp 478-486

Bonin, G, 2013, Journalism and New Media, Global Media Journal, vol 6, issue 1, pp 1-3

King, L, 2012, Vetting citizen journalism, Nieman reports, June 1 2012