Category Archives: BCM310

BCM310: Globalisation and Bollywood film

Globalisation refers to two main processes that are inherently connected to one another. The first – “the ways in which technologies can overcome global distances, so that people live in a world that seems borderless” and the second – “the ways that one particular economic system – ‘the free market’ or global capitalism – now permeates most of the globe” (Khorana 2014). This means that developments in technology and transport are allowing for people to establish connections across borders, this can mean the assimilation of cultures and a heightened loss of cultural difference.

Globalisation means that people are able to make positive connections with other countries, sharing ideas and media. However, this can also be problematic as cultures are increasingly similar. This is connected to the notion of cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism refers to the idea that one culture is dominant and is spread to other smaller cultures. This is many cases refers to the Americanization of cultures. Prolific examples of this Americanization are evident in many Eastern countries culture (Khorana 2014). Perhaps one of the most interesting examples is in Bollywood film. Bollywood films are notorious for mimicking the characteristics which are commonly credited to Hollywood cinema (Illawarra Mercury 2003). An example of this can be seen in the two film clips below which compare Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby to Anant Mahadevan’s The Xpose. The film mimics the style, plot and set design of The Great Gatsby with a little added Indian flavour. But is this a bad thing? It could be argued that Bollywood films are just an out-right rip off of Hollywood’s and if this copycat culture was broken, it could be a positive thing for the future of Indian cinema (Nelson 2010).

This Americanization of cultures, Bollywood films being just one example, is contributing to a disproportionate amount of American culture being disseminated compared to other countries. This can have a negative impact as it can lead to the assimilation of cultures all over the world and a loss of unique cultural differences.

References:

Illawarra Mercury 2003, ‘Bollywood out to rip off Hollywood Entertainment’, Illawarra Mercury, 6 June, viewed 17 May 2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/364486315

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Globalisation and the Media’, BCM310, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 12 May 2014

Nelson, D 2010, ‘Hollywood cracks down on Bollywood ‘rip offs”, Telegraph online, 7 October, viewed 17 May 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/bollywood/8048582/Hollywood-cracks-down-on-Bollywood-rip-offs.html

BCM310: Women and Advertising

The media plays a huge role when it comes to shaping our learning. Our entire understanding of gender and equality has been moulded by not only our experiences, but through what we have seen in the media. This is why the issue of the representation of women in the media is so important. Advertising’s primary function is to create propaganda for commodities, to do this, it sells a “system of values consistent with the imperatives of consumer capitalism” (Cortese 2004, p. 12). It advocates unrealistic ideals of beauty and stereotypes women in order to sell products. This can have a detrimental impact on women’s notion of their own self-worth and identity as well as deepening the objectification women experience in an everyday context.

Women are constantly hyper-sexualised and treated as objects in today’s advertising media. The company, Lynx, is notorious for producing advertisements that are extremely sexist and objectify women time and time again. In addition to this, the advertisement below (which was eventually banned) (Poulter 2011), perpetuates the stereotype that a woman’s place is in the kitchen or performing some other domestic task. The campaign featured a model, Lucy Pinder, and asked viewers to “Play with Lucy” and “Put premature perspiration to the test” through its website, which further objectifies women (Sweney 2011). The advertisement aims to suggest that by using Lynx deodorant, men will become more attractive to women. 

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This kind of advertising uses a type of ‘humour’ to reach its target market. However, this can have multiple, serious repercussions in an everyday context for women and society as a whole. It can lead to men having unrealistic ideas of what beauty is and to the acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment (Miss Representation 2011). In addition to this, it is contributing to an increasingly submissive attitude from women when faced with the type of media (Zimmerman & Dahlberg 2008), as it happens so frequently it is becoming ‘normal’.

 

References:

Cortese, AJ 2004, Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising, 2nd edn, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc, USA

Miss Representation 2011, DVD, Girls’ Club Entertainment, United States, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Poulter, S 2011, ”Degrading’ Lynx adverts featuring glamour model Lucy Pinder banned by watchdog”, MailOnline, 24 November, viewed 3 May 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2064946/Degrading-Lynx-adverts-featuring-Lucy-Pinder-banned-watchdog.html

Sweney, M 2011, ‘Lynx’s Lucy Pinder Ads Banned by ASA’, Guardian, 23 November, viewed 3 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/nov/23/lynx-lucy-pinder-ads-banned

Zimmerman, A & Dahlberg, J 2008, ‘The Sexual Objectification of Women in Advertising: A Contemporary Cultural Perspective’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol, 48, iss. 1, pp. 71-79

The Future of Journalism – brighter?

“Is the disruption caused by digital technology to journalism making the world worse of better? And my answer is – Yes.” – Tom Rosenstiel (2014)

This week we were asked to watched two videos, both of which discussed the changing nature of news media and more broadly, the future of journalism. These discussions led me to reflect on week 5’s blog topic, participatory journalism and further assess the role the audience is now playing in content production and how this will further influence the future of journalism.

I found the TedX lecture, by Tom Rosenstiel particularly engaging. He raised interesting ideas that I had not previously thought about. He discussed the idea that audiences are entering a ‘new enlightenment’ when it comes to news media as consumers now have the power to decide when and how they access it. In the past, traditional news outlets or ‘gatekeepers’ decided what we heard and how we heard it, now the audience has the command to control their learning and decide what news is important. In accordance with this, news media must now be designed to keep up with how we live our lives rather than the other way around. This is decidedly true with today’s fast paced, screen obsessed culture.

Another idea Rosenstiel mentioned was the notion that the audience have become ‘teachers in journalism’. This is inextricably linked to participatory journalism as it looks at the idea that consumers are creating and contributing to news content like never before. Rosenstiel also noted the importance of understanding the audience in order to thrive in journalism. Journalism must ask the audience what they think, rather than dictating what they should think.

Despite this shift to a more interactive role of the consumer when it comes to creating content, the journalism we once knew is certainly not doomed. Social media and the continuing rise of new technologies means that journalists now have a means to gain more knowledge and content from consumers in order to create better, more timely news. Although the number of paid journalists has seen a massive decrease in recent years, this does not mean the end of traditional journalism. Journalists and consumers should be encouraged to work together in order to produce news of a higher standard, news that is hopefully, more detailed and diverse.

References:
Rosenstiel, T 2013, The Future of Journalism, TED X online video, YouTube, viewed 19 April 2014 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuBE_dP900Y>

New York Times, 2014, NYT’s David Carr on the Future of Journalism, online video, YouTube, viewed 19 April 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WPlazqH0TdA>

BCM310: Participatory Journalism…but what is it?

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With the rise of convergent media, the future of journalism is looking more uncertain than ever before. Media convergence has created new opportunities for public involvement, new forms of content delivery as well as new competition for mainstream journalism. This trend marks a shift from passive media consumers to a ‘prosumer’ culture and a blurring of boundaries between citizens and professional journalists (O’Donnell, 2014).  This phenomenon is known as participatory journalism, but what does that mean for the future of journalism?

Domingo et al note that traditionally journalism is affixed to the institution of media and is “based upon the production of news by the dedicated paid labour, the journalists” (2008, p. 326). This notion is practically obsolete with consumers producing more media content and contributing to news sources like never before. Additionally, the role of the ‘gate keeper’ is being challenged. The phrase ‘gate keeper’ depicts the main role of traditional journalists, that is, to determine what information and how much of it the public should be privy to (Domingo et al, 2008). Though, this too, is becoming obsolete. New technologies and social media are allowing for increased content production and public access to a “potentially global audience” at any time (Domingo et al, 2008). This means that the public is tightening their grip on what news is discussed and how much attention it will get. Now when an important world event materialises, we switch onto social media and online media forums to access news sources and join in the conversation.

In many cases, traditional and new media have a symbiotic relationship in which they inform and play off one another. Additionally, professional and citizen journalists collaborate to produce content (Redefiningjournalism, 2011). Despite this move towards participatory journalism globally, mainstream media is still of the utmost importance as it is an “essential tool for reaching a domestic and global audience” (Simon quoted in Crouch, 2012). In other words, you can’t have one without the other.

 

References:

Crouch, D 2012, ‘Arab media make most of citizen journalism’, FT.com, 21 February

Domingo, D, Quandt, T, Heinonen, A, Paulussen, S, Singer, JB & Vujnovic, M 2008, ‘Participatory Journalism Practices in the Media and Beyond’, Journalism Practice, Vol. 2, Iss. 3, pp. 326-342

O’Donnell, M 2014, ‘The future of journalism’, Lecture, BCM310, University of Wollongong, viewed 31 March 2014

Redefiningjournalism 2011, ‘Participatory Journalism: what do you think it means?’, Redefining Journalism’s Blog, weblog post, 2 February, viewed 5 March 2014, http://redefiningjournalism.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/participatory-journalism-what-do-you-think-that-means/

BCM310: The blurred lines of journalism and entertainment

For years, journalism was the solitary source that determined how we understood the world around us. However, this is no longer the case. With the ever-increasing rise and birth of new technologies, journalism has become just one of the facets that moulds public perspective of society and culture. The advent of social media particularly, has had an effect on what is considered journalism and what isn’t. In conjunction with this, in many instances, it is now entertainment media which underpins and forms public opinion regarding political issues.

In Berkowitz’s article ‘Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape’, he outlines a shift in journalism’s role and discusses the implications this has had on society in general (2009). He suggests that the lines between “news, analysis, opinion and entertainment” have become increasingly blurred and proposes that popular culture and journalism have merged (p. 290). Indeed, we can see examples of this in contemporary entertainment media. For example, the television series Modern Family deals, not only with issues of the dysfunctional family but also notions of equality and gay rights. By dealing with these issues in a comical manner, the show reinforces the normalcy of same-sex relationships and elucidates the importance of equal rights while the media is abuzz with journalism regarding these same issues.

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Similarly, McGuigan (2005) identifies a shift from Habermas’ literary public sphere into the cultural public sphere. He defines the cultural public sphere as “the articulation of politics, public and personal, as a contested terrain through affective (aesthetic and emotional) modes of communication)”. McGuigan suggests that it is through entertainment such as soap operas, reality television and celebrity scandal, that much of public opinion regarding political issues is informed.      

By looking at ideas from both Berkowitz and McGuigan’s texts, we can see that there has been a blending of the boundaries between journalism and popular culture. What was once deemed entertainment, now manifests journalistic value and plays a role in the debate of current political issues in the public sphere.

 

References:
McGuigan, J 2005, ‘The cultural public sphere’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 8, Iss. 4, pp. 427-443

Berkowitz, D 2009, ‘Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape’, Journalism, Vol. 10. Iss. 3, pp. 290-292