Media Industries

This week’s topic for BCM110 was ‘Media Industries’. We were asked “who owns/controls the media that you use on a daily basis, and does it matter?” Upon being asked this, I realised that in hindsight, I really don’t know all that much about who owns the media I use and how this affects me.

Considering how deeply integrated media is in my daily life, I realised that I not only wanted but needed to know more about who those in power are and how they can and do control me.

Every day I interact with multiple media outlets. I view things on T.V, hear things on the radio, and predominantly read things on the Internet. But who, I ask, is behind all of these platforms, deciding what content is shown and in what way?

I researched some statistics about who currently (in 2016) owns what in relation to media. The figures are as follows:

Kerry Stokes: Controls Channel 7 which is owned by Seven West Media (through his majority investment in Seven Group) “Apart from its main TV station 7, it also owns or has stakes in the West Australian, Pacific Magazines, Yahoo7 and Sky News.” (Goncalves, R 2013)

 Bruce Gordon: One of the predominant owners of the Channel 9 corporation, (however it is noted that Channel 9 isn’t owned by any one person.) Gordon owns regional television network WIN TV – which is family owned. Additionally, he owns nearly 15% of Channel 10.

Lachlan Murdoch: Holds 7.68% of shares in Channel 10. Murdoch owns 100% of NOVA and is co-chairman of News Corporation (US), which owns 100% of New Corp Australia. Additionally, Rupert Murdoch is executive chairman for News Corporation (US).

media snapshot - BCM110 blog
WHO OWNS WHAT?

I found that the more I researched and delved into the confusing world of media ownership, the more confused I became. It seemed to be that the same powerful plutocrats held sole or joint power in most if not all media platforms.

This ownership in the media is most evident in the influence that is cast over political issues.

“In this sense, the media have enormous power over national elections… those candidates who are placed on the media’s agenda have a chance to win; those that are ignored languish. Those issues – either policy or personal – which the media spotlight become the yardsticks for measuring candidates. When candidates receive heavy (and favourable) publicity, their campaigns flourish… (Lichter and Noyes 1995, p. 24)

Plutocrats such as Murdoch and Stokes have extreme power in the things we view, read and hear. However these people are not only good at holding the control, but are also great at hiding the fact that they do.

Semiotics – Media Texts

This week we explored the concept of semiotics, looking at denotation, connotation and myths. In short, semiotics is ‘the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.’ Looking at an image through these three concepts allows an individual to see a media text from multiple angles.  It allows people to open up their minds and perhaps experience an alternate train of thought than what is natural.

Media texts can be classified as any media product that we examine through analysis and deconstruction. Ultimately, almost every media product we engage in can be classified as a media text, ranging from current films to newspaper articles.

When viewing a media text, many people do not go further than to look at it from a denotative sense. Denotation is the way an image can be most literally taken, the most obvious meaning that comes to mind. However, if one is to look past this, they would be looking at the connotative aspects of the image.“The term ‘connotation’ is used to refer to the socio-cultural and ‘personal’ associations (ideological, emotional etc.) of the sign. These are typically related to the interpreter’s class, age, gender, ethnicity and so on.”(Chandler 2014) 

For this weeks blog we were asked to find an example of a complex image that can be read in more than one way. Although I found numerous advertising campaigns that fit perfectly, thinking in the way of semiotics, I ventured out to find an image that I may not usually give a second thought to. Below, is the image I have chosen, a picture of the iconic Uluru.

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Image of Uluru

When looking at this image, many things come to mind.

The signifier (linked to denotation) – Is that it is Uluru, a rock, a natural landmark.

The signified (linked to connotation) – Uluru’s meaning is entirely dependent on a person’s background and culture. To Aboriginals, Uluru is representative of the dreamtime as a sacred landmark where they interacted on a daily basis (as seen through ancient rock drawings). To foreigners, it is a tourist attraction/ representative of Australia’s core, and to Australians it is a key part of our nation that we are all familiar with representing a vital part of Australian history.

Only just briefly touching on the many different denotations and connotations linked with the above image of Uluru displays just how many alternate meanings can be drawn from a media text depending on who is looking at it and how.

Technological convergence

This week in BCM112 we discussed technological convergence. I think that this is a concept that is extremely representative of my generation, so I found it really interesting to learn about. Right before my eyes I have seen phones go from bricks that could hardly message to devices that allow me to speak to anyone in the world, access the internet in a heartbeat and live stream movies and T.V shows whenever and wherever I want.

As media platforms have developed and thrived, we have seen these platforms mutate and converge into new technologies. (See link for timeline of the development of mobile phones)

Sometimes we forget where these technologies started off, as we cannot imagine them in their initial state. I have put together a Prezi to show where some of the technologies we love and use the most started off and how they converged with other platforms to give us the technologies that we have today.

Prezi: https://prezi.com/b5guwqhdrmvq/technological-convergence/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copys

 

Copyright/copywrong

6zY2Kb5 - Imgur
Whilst copyright laws have been around for centuries, they have never held such importance or played such a major part in every life as they do now in the 21st Century. It seems everything we watch, hear or read belongs to someone, somewhere, causing thousands of copyright battles daily on a global scale.

The debate of who owns what, and who said it first, has grown in such epic proportions that even something as simple as the word “YUUUP” has now been trademarked. Storage Wars star Dave Hester tried to sue rapper Trey Songz over the use of what is apparently his word.

These sort of legal battles occur far too often, however as time goes on, we are only seeing more phrases, songs, sounds and names being claimed. Although copyright is in place to prevent ideas from being stolen and to promote creativity, the laws surrounding copyright have become so strict they almost prevent people from being creative in the first place.

Information sourced from: <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/legal-battle-who-gets-say-261627?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&gt;

Meme made on http://imgur.com/memegen/create/rudJ2Rq

It’s not you, it’s media

The anxieties that surround media have existed for as long as media itself, however whilst the relationship between the two has stayed relatively similar and peaceful over time, within the last few decades there has been a major shift in power dynamics and favour. People are now blaming the media for problems all over the world, creating numerous anxieties that did not exist before. As media outlets have exponentially grown within the 21st Century, the media we view, read and hear is now being targeted and blamed for political, personal and social problems. Although this may be the most popular view in today’s society, this does not necessarily mean it is the correct one.

David Gauntlett’s “Ten things wrong with the effects model” opposes this view, and instead focus’s on the flaws surrounding this popular theory. Gauntlett highlights the issue that the effects model is often based on studies with misapplied methodology, that is makes no attempt to understand meanings of the media and that fundamentally the effects model is not grounded in theory. Its continued survival is largely dependent on the idea that most people are not looking for a grounded well supported theory, just an easy one. The easiest option in regards to the media is to blame it for causing complications within our society. People see violent movies and create a link between them and the rise in violence in their community. They associate their child’s lack of social skills with increased screen time, and their obesity with the growth of the television world. Whilst media outlets may have some level of influence over these issues, ultimately, each individual is responsible for their own actions, regardless of what may or may not have assisted in their choices.

 

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Instagram – Twitter – Facebook

Some of the most common media anxieties are related to and focused on the media directly related to the Internet. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the main platforms where we see a high turnover of activity. These outlets are being labelled as the source of the issue, but is this really the case? Yes, bullies are online on these sites, but Facebook doesn’t create the words, it just provides the platform to post them. It is time to step back and stop blaming media for what people are doing. Whether they post it online, or say it aloud, they will say and do what that want, not because ‘Facebook made them’.

Here’s an interesting article i found relevant to the topic –
http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/internet-blaming-social-media-behavioral-problems-59538

References:

David Gauntlett 1998 ‘Ten things wrong with the effects model'<http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm&gt;

Google Images <https://www.google.com.au/search?q=facebook+twitter+instagram&espv=2&biw=1297&bih=634&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF-rKslc7LAhUKn5QKHbXUClgQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=sTL1f82r8VZ5sM%3A&gt;

Jared Keller 2013 ‘The internet made me do it’ <http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/internet-blaming-social-media-behavioral-problems-59538&gt;

Google Images <https://www.google.com.au/search?q=media+influences&espv=2&biw=1297&bih=586&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjzo_qnl87LAhVLp5QKHULwBywQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=7j9fFBqUzPZmSM%3A&gt;

The who is the what?

This week BCM112 covered the theme

‘The Medium is the Message’.

McLuhan tells us that a message is, ‘the change of scale or pace or pattern’ that a new invention or innovation ‘introduces into human affairs.’ Note that it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in interBOFtzsD - Imgurpersonal dynamics that the innovation brings with it.

In shorter words, basically, the medium that any message is conveyed through can be just as important as the message itself. This change in dynamics and power between the medium and the message, has developed and increased as new technologies have entered our lives. As technology has dominated the social world we live in, a new ‘global village’ of sorts has begun to form as we all communicate through the same mediums.

However, whilst we may think that we are all receiving the same message, the medium through which it is delivered may surreptitiously insert their own bias, meaning that in reality each medium can ultimately deliver the same message differently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Whilst similar to my previous ‘Why am I here’ blog post, my introduction is a little bit less about my degree/Uni life and a little bit more about me. I am 20 years old, from Lilli Pilli and am living the Uni students dream – working minimal hours per week in retail. As mentioned earlier, I have just begun my third year at UOW. Previously an arts student, I am now a BA-BCMS student. My arts major is sociology, which is where I think my interest in BCM really started. As i learnt more about the world from a social perspective I realised how interesting and helpful BCM could be to my degree, and ultimately, my future. Although I’m not too sure what to expect from BCM112, i am excited to see what’s in store and learn a bit more about the social media platforms that i am borderline obsessed with…

Why am I here…

Well, that is the million dollar question that i hope to know the answer to by the end of this semester. My name is Eden Fitzpatrick and i am currently in my third year at the wonderful University of Wollongong. For the past 2 years i have been an Arts student, majoring in sociology. The thought of finishing Uni at the end of this year didn’t feel right to me, I still feel like i have so much more to learn and discover, and lets be honest I’m not ready to say goodbye to the amazing lifestyle of a Uni student (that 4 month holiday is oh too good). Realising this, I went down the path of changing my degree. After a little bit of research and a meeting or two, I now find myself studying a Bachelor of Arts-Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree. BCM has always interested me throughout and after high school as I find myself so deeply immersed in the world of social media every day. This led me to develop a curiosity, wanting to know more about media and the role it plays in todays society. Hopefully throughout the course of BCM110, and my other BCM subjects, my queries will be answered (I’m sure they will be).