Thursday, 13 December 2012

’It Is Not The Strongest That Survive But Those Most Responsive To Change.’ How And Why Do Media Institutions Continue To Change?

’It is not the strongest that survive but those most responsive to change.’
How and why do media institutions continue to change?

Media institutions adapt to change because they need to in order to continue operating, if they continue to use outdated methods of publicity and distribution they will likely fall out of popularity.

More recently the film industry has been adapting to online marketing to reach a larger audience, horror movies were once intended very much for a niche audience but online marketing of horror movies is utilising more conventional marketing techniques in an effort to widen the audience for this genre. When Paranormal Activity 4 was launched it had a Twitter feed that not only advised fans of various methods to watch the movie but also retweeted the tweets of people who said positive things about the movie. This has two functions, number one, it reinforces the existing fanbase because people will appreciate their tweet being retweeted by the makers of a movie that they enjoyed, and number two, it helps create more fans because of the subtext of the whole procedure, a person may read these positive tweets and be encouraged to see the movie because this person genuinely enjoyed the movie, it was their own personal opinion which can be more encouraging than an actual trailer which has been created by a team of people that may not even like the movie and are only producing the trailer because it is their job.

Viral marketing is effective because of it's interactive element. The official trailer for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D has nearly 4 million views proving how popular these online trailer can be. What draws a person to an online trailer are the interactive codes and conventions of video sharing websites such as YouTube, you can comment on an online video, expressing your opinion is something that the internet is synonymous with and people like to put forth their opinions and get into debates about whether the movie looks any good, what aspects of the trailer were good etc. Also an online trailer can be shared, YouTube has a share function where you can link a YouTube video from Facebook, Twitter or GooglePlus in a few seconds. This feature inspires people to share the link so that they can debate about the trailer with other people and it is cost effective marketing for the movie producers because they are spreading news about their product without having to spend any money.

The trailer for horror movies themselves are also changing, previously horror movies were about as much gore and horrific scenes you could fit into a time slot, nowadays they are much more focused on building tension and then dissipating all of that tension with one big climactic death scene before going back to building the tension, the trailer mirrors this aesthetic very well. We are shown a lot of wide angle shots that show the main characters whole body in order to make the main character look lost and confused in the expansive set, the mise-en-scene is drab and dull using plenty of grey for exterior shots to capture the emotionless feeling of the town that the movie is set in, lots of dark red shades are used for the interior shots to signify that these are the more violent scenes of the movie which indeed they are as the interior shots are the only time we see any monsters attempt to hurt the main character. The interior shots are usually the shots that have a 'narrow' feeling to the mise-en-scene, the full body shots are still used to give that feeling of exposure but the all of the rooms for the interior shots are narrow corridors where the main character has only one direct path ,thereby being forced to continue toward her enemies and increasing the tension for the viewers as they know it's only a matter of time before the main character encounters more grotesque spirits attempting to destroy her.

The music industry is a prime example of how institutions adapt to fit the best interests of their customers. Both major record labels and independent labels have begun to realise that the internet is the future for music distribution. With the success of the Vevo channels on YouTube showing music videos, the huge popularity of sites such as iTunes, Pandora and and the fact that well established print institutions such as NME and Village Voice now have websites where they show all of the content that they feature in their magazines on the website it is clear that people enjoy listening to and finding out about music online, and why wouldn't they? The service of downloading an audio file is so simple and not nearly as time consuming as going to a record store and hunting down the particular records that you're looking for. 

The record companies aren't the only people involved who benefit. The marketing power of the internet means that it is now easier than ever before for a band to market themselves rather than rely on record companies. If a band, or any other kind of performer for that matter, wants to make themselves known, there are a number of websites on the internet that can assist them. Creating Facebook and Twitter pages can build a fan base easily so you can give people constant updates on the band members and their activities, not to mention making an account on one of these websites is completely free so it is undoubtedly the most cost effective form of promotion that someone can utilise. A band can sell their music on iTunes without the hassle of actually paying someone to make CD's which is just another drain on one's resources, or the band can make their own website and sell the music for free if they are so inclined.

How The Media Is Making Us Stupid

The latest YouTube layout has been designed in such a way that your homepage on the site is now nearly devoid of videos by the people that you actually subscribe to having been replaced with videos that have been "reccomended for you because you watched ...". The institution has a very low opinion of the users of the YouTube, apparently assuming that we are all inept at finding good content by ourselves and instead need to be spoon-fed the same bland non-entertainment from more popular channels such as 'PewDiePie' and 'The Yogscast'. The layout is more of an inconvenience as it prevents poeple from easily viewing the content that they actually want to watch.

YouTuber's themselves are starting to employ more conventional marketing techniques making themselves appeal less to a niche audience in order to gain more fans. Most YouTuber's often fill their videos with annotations and links to their Facebook and Twitter pages, links to their blog, KickStarter account, second channel, friend's channels etc. People are perfectly acceptable of finding these outlets themselves but the YouTuber's feel the need to turn themselves into a recognisable institution with branding to ensure a large and consistent fanbase. The media landscape of YouTube becomes incredibly stale as more people conform to the idea that you have to fill your videos with these links and annotations and content begins to feel the same, for example, there are now countless "Let's Play" channels on YouTube because people noted the popularity of people such as 'TotalBiscuit' and 'The Yogscast' and imitated them to gain popularity.

The music industry has recently been genre stereotyping to the degree of Grunge in the 1990's or Glam Rock in the 1980's. Heavy Metal bands and their music videos are becoming increasingly conformist. The mise-en-scene for these music videos is always the same, the band is performing in some decrepit looking building, there is usually scenes of love story with shots of the band broken up with a very stereotypical unhappy love story of two people growing apart and being "reborn", the codes and conventions of these videos is that black is the prevailing colour, everything is in black from the clothes that the band wear to the room itself, the clothes of the band members is basically the same clothes that Motley Crue or Posion wore in the 80's but with a Goth/Scene Kid overtone with tight black jeans, vests and straight, long hair dyed jet black, often with the hair covering one eye.

There is also a laughable attempt at trying to sexualise the band members as they are often shot with specific camera angles, shooting them from the waist up and focusing on their makeup and skinny, exposed arms. The intention of these framing techniques is to bring in a larger female audience which is admirable but it is done in a very derogatory way where the institutions assume that women are interested in the bands appearance than their music.

This genre stereotyping effectively funnels people into different subgenres, people begin to identify with a recognisable look and will buy music from bands that look similar. People will blindly accept whatever music is given to them as long as they have a particular appearance, genre stereotyping prevents people from discovering music on their own and instructs people to listen to music based on fashion and looks rather than originality, melody, rhythm, musical abilities etc.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Why And With What Success Are Traditional Media Institutions Adapting To The Challenge Posed By New/Digital Media?

The film industry has recently begun to utilise new and digital media in order to promote its movies with varying degrees of success.

Most films have Twitter feeds and Facebook pages up and running before the films are released in theatres and are now essential codes and conventions in the advertsing world, an example of this is the movie Paranormal Activity 4 which has a popular Twitter feed where positive messages from fans praising the movie are 'retweeted', this increases brand loyalty by making the audience feel like the producers of the film care for their fan base and value their participation, it also encourages people to see the film who haven't already seen it as they appreciate the good nature of the films producers 'retweeting' fan messages.

One aspect of new and digital media that has definitely impacted horror movies in a negative way is the advent and popularity of online film review websites such as Rotten Tomatoes, iMDB and the IGN film review series, these websites are notoriously highly critical of repetitive franchises such as the Paranormal Activity series and bland horror movies such as Silent Hill: Revelation 3D that do not bring anything new to the genre. Rotten Tomatoes recently called Silent Hill: Revelation 3D as "Featuring weak characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a decided shortage of scares, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations". These review websites are incredibly popular and recognised as trustable and respectable institutions and as a result many fans will defintely be discouraged from seeing a movie if their favourite review website gives a film a poor review.

Fan websites such as TheFinalDestinationWiki provide a lot of fan service with all the codes and conventions of typical fan websites such as character bios and polls for users of the website to vote on, the film industry reognises these websites as essential marketing tools as these websites comply with the uses and gratifications theory, if people want to find out more about The Final Destination franchise and its characters, producers, settings etc, this website is the most obvious choice as it has by far the most information of The Final Destination out of all of the fan made websites.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Link To

I think this illustrates how even big time magazines and other print based organisations are feeling pressured to go online nowadays since that's where people are going for their news nowadays.

Also the website has a lot of user interactivity since they do a lot of polls like '50 Best Record Producers', 'Best Songs Of 2012' etc. Also people post comments on articles.

Link to The O' Reiliy Factor

A link to a recent episode of The O' Reiliy Factor. Displays plenty of iconography and examples of codes and conventions of Fox News and displays some of Fox News right wing bias.

New And Digital Media Erodes The Dividing Line Between Reporters And Reported, Between Active Producers And Passive Audiences: People Are Enabled To Speak For Themselves.’Have Such Developments Made The Media More Democratic, With More Equal Participation By More People?

Developments in new and digital media have undoubtedly increased user interactivity and helped break down the barriers between content provider and audience. With the advent of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, the average person can now make their opinion heard much easier than in previous years. These sites allow for fan pages to be created and allow people to voice their critiques both positive and negative in a much more open and democratic fashion, media institutions will often create these fan pages as they are now standard codes and conventions of marketing and they are convenient for the fans because they are easy and enjoyable to use because they allow you to discuss subjects much more easily. However the free and open nature of these fan pages on Facebook and Twitter means that discussions can easily turn into fights and 'flame wars' where peoples opinions are suppressed and one argument can dominate a debate. The same is true of comment sections on websites such as YouTube, a well known case of this 'flaming' would be the case of Amanda Todd, the girl who committed suicide after being abused for a lengthy period of time, on YouTube many commenter's actually criticised Amanda, saying that she was foolish and deserved what she got.

Recently the free and open nature of the internet has caused the internet itself to come under threat from various governments, the SOPA bill was introduced by US politicians to prevent illegal downloading of media products such as movies and music, a similar bill known as PIPA is still trying to be passed right now. Sometimes too much freedom on the internet actually has the opposite effect of its intentions, because people have the freedom to do what they want they will often push the boundaries of what they can do on the internet which includes illegal acts such as the illegal downloading of movies and music, in this way the internet still has a lot of limitations since the government will intervene when they feel their presence is necessary, Egypt and more recently Syria have completely disabled all internet access in their countries as a media blackout to prevent news of violent revolutions occurring, clearly some governments do not believe in a more democratic control of the internet as free speech and independent thinking isn't necessarily the best option for their regimes.

Google actually monitors all of the sites that their users search for to make sure that illegal material such as child pornography or pirated media is not being viewed, a perfect example of how surveillance is most prevalent on the internet, much like in real life there are always limitations to what you can legally do, during the 2012 Olympics a teenager was arrested for sending abusive tweets to Olympic diver Tom Daley. To some this would not seem democratic at all as online messages are rarely ever taken so seriously, this story was a shock to most people as arrests for abusive messages are still somewhat of a rarity, and if someone can be arrested for simply criticising someone on the internet perhaps this signifies that we are entering a period of increased censorship where the government in taking more control of the internet and imposing harsher rules and regulations.

YouTube is the one of the best examples of interactivity and and equal participation in new and digital media. YouTube allows people to post all manner of videos from simple vlogs made by one person in their home such as the hugely successful JennaMarbles to expansive networks such as TheGameStation. YouTube gets between 2 and 3 billion hits a day proving that there is a huge demand for original content on a website that covers everything from music and videogaming to comedy and sports. YouTube encourages expression and original content and the comments section with its functionality that allows users to 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' a comment signifies YouTube's emphasis on building a democratic community and although 'trolls' are still an occurrence on the website most users have learned to simply ignore them, perhaps much more than any other website. The channels themselves on YouTube often have grass-roots fan bases and channels are often operated by one person or a small group of people, much of YouTube's popularity comes from the fact that most content is not overblown and flashy with 'Hollywood' level production values, it has a certain earthy quality where individuals produce content and comment on peoples videos fairly and treat each other as equals purely for the joy of finding enjoyable content and interacting with each other.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Do you believe that Media Institutions should be allowed gain information through any means possible in order to create news?

- Begin with some back-story on media institutions invading peoples privacy to obtain news stories and briefly outline the two sides to the argument, the people who are in favour of tactics such as phone hacking and those who are against such tactics.

- Introduce the idea that media institutions should be allowed to use any means neccesary to create news and back up the argument with real examples of media institutions using extreme methods to obtain the truth or news stories that are important to the public.

- Then argue against the idea by introducing examples of the media going too far to obtain news stories where they have commited acts that are morally wrong and use those examples as evidence.

- Talk about the benifits of phone hacking.

- Give some background on the media institutions who have used phone hacking.

- State your opinion on the topic.

Link To The RoosterTeeth Store

The RoosterTeeth Store is a prime xample of branding and merchandising to increase awareness of your products.

Link To The RoosterTeeth Podcast

This is where you can listen to the RoosterTeeth podcast which is an example of an institution using a popular  and current media form to promote themselves, there are also links to Twitter on the website.

Paranormal Activity 4 Official Website

An example of a movie using Twitter and Facebook to promote itself, links to Twitter and Facebook can be found at the bottom of the home page on the official website.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Identify How Media Products From Your Case Study Make Links With Other Media Platforms. What Are The Reasons For These Links?

1. Building a following through Twitter and Facebook is practically essential in marketing nowadays. It makes sense as it costs literally nothing to start accounts on Facebook and Twitter where as creating a commercial for television or radio can cost a lot of money and may not gain a lot of popularity. Given how incredibly popular and widely used social networking sites are throughout the world, creating an account on one of these sites is a smart marketing tactic as you can quickly and easily gather a large online following when trying to market music, films etc, also given the mobile nature of social networking sites where people will often tweet or post on Facebook from their phones and other mobile devices, this allows your fan base to stay in greater contact with you ensuring brand loyalty and being more convenient for the fans so they will be more inclined to follow a band on Twitter or 'Like' a movie on Facebook. Most movies and music artists have Facebook and Twitter accounts and use them to keep fans informed and communicate with them. Movies such as 'The Final Destination' and 'Paranormal Activity 4' have advertised their Facebook and Twitter accounts on their televised commercials so clearly social networking is an essential factor in hyping up a new product. In conclusion, marketing on social networking sites is beneficial for the institution because it is cheap, effective and relatively stress free and it is beneficial for the audience because of its convenience.

2. Fan made Twitter pages do the marketing for the corporations, they build a cult of personality around a character and increase their notoriety. Sometimes these fan made Twitter accounts are actually parodies of characters, an example being the Roy Cropper Twitter feed where the creator took Roy Cropper, the 'Coronation Street' character known for his innocent and bumbling personality, impersonated him uses the account to tweet vulgar and often offensive statements and jokes as a parody of the genuine Roy Cropper character, the account currently has over 650,000 followers. While this is an unconventional from of fan promotion it is undeniable that the account is very popular and likely gets people discussing both the regular Roy Cropper from the show and the parody Roy Cropper on Twitter, the account may have even encouraged people who don't normally watch 'Coronation Street' to watch the show just to compare the differing natures and personalities of the two different characters.

3.  Official websites can be effective in building brand loyalty particularly if the you can create your own account and become a registered user of the website. Popular internet entertainment production team RoosterTeeth have done exactly this. On the RoosterTeeth website you can sign up for an account on the website which allows you to post comments and communicate with other users, privileges that you can only acquire if you have an account on the website. This adds another level of interactivity to the fan experience as you are all part of a community sharing thoughts and opinions, everyone likes to discuss their passions and interests with like minded people which is the main appeal of this function of the website. Another large component of official websites is online stores, another area that the RoosterTeeth has covered. RoosterTeeth's online store sells all kinds of official merchandise including, t-shirts, posters, comic books, DVD's and much more. Not only does an online store make a modest profit but it is also cheap advertising, having people walk around in your branded merchandise is going to attract more visitors to your website who saw the website advertised on a t-shirt or a hat etc. More people will visit the site, become members, buy merchandise and the cycle continues creating more fans and more revenue.

4. A very popular genre of videos found on YouTube are cover songs, fan made videos where musicians will take the original master track of a song and then cover what one particular instrument is playing in the song. This is actually very effective in introducing people to new music as evidenced by many of the comments on these videos, frequently comments can be seen on these videos where people express delight at having seen the video because without they would never have heard the song or artist. Some of these cover song YouTube channels have grown incredibly popular such as bassist David Caraccio whose YouTube Channel 'DavidSinRocks'  has over 22 million video views. Like official merchandise, cover song videos are cost effective marketing where music can find a larger audience and gain the band and the record company more revenue without the band or the record company even having to do the promotion themselves. 
5. Fan made websites are another producer of the cult of personality, they are cost effective marketing tools that allow a product to gain a larger audience. Almost every videogame and movie has a fan made wikipedia website, not affiliated with the actual Wikipedia website but a mimic of the originial website that focuses exclusively on one product or series, for example, is a website dedicated exclusively to the Final Destination movie series where people users of the website go into extreme detail to discuss the Final Destination movies, you can find out a lot of information on the movies such as where they were filmed, what the filming process was like and the actors and the production team, these fan made wikipedia mimic sites allow for much more focus on one singular product or series and are designed for both die-hard fans as well as new-comers who want to find out more about the product, because these websites allow for much greater detail than regular Wikipedia pages they are actually more useful than Wikipedia that can only tell people relatively basic information. If someone wants to get informed on a specific movie or band a fan made wikipedia mimic website is a great place to go for in-depth information.

6. Film reviews are a source of publicity that can generate a lot of potential movie-goers, movie reviewing websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and iMDB as well as proffessional movie critics such as Roger Ebert are respected institutions who people trust to accuratly rate a movie. If a popular critic gives a movie a good review then the critics loyal fans will be more inclined to see the movie because they trust the opinion of the critic.

7. Character profiles are an integral part of fan websites. Again reffering to the Final Destination Wiki, the website has a full page of main and supporting characters from all of the movies. The characters in Final Destination movies are one of the big factors that fans enjoy the series, the characters are usually very stereotypical 'bad guys' and 'good guys' often the most level headed and innocent characters and the stuck up, self important characters are the first characters to die and fans enjoy discussing their death scenes and wether or not certain charcters should have died and what they like and dislike about different characters. Character profiles are practically designed for these die-hard fans who love to 'geek-out' about their favourite franchises similar to videogame or comic book fans, character profiles are another constructor of cult of personality that build a legend and mystique around characters and create more loyal fans who obsess over their favourite characters and continue to visit the fan website and follow the movie series, and of course the makers and distributors of the Fianl Destination movies, having a few copyright laws violaed is a small price to pay for having a loyal fanbase created for you without you even having to invest any time or money into the project, if anything it guarantess the creators more revenue as fans are becoming even more enamoured with the series due to the fan website.

8. Podcasts have become incredibly popular in recent years and are effective in promoting a larger product or insitution, examples of this would be the RoosterTeeth podcast and TheGameStation podcast. These podcasts feature recognisable personalities such as the RoosterTeeth podcast which features RoosterTeeth alumni Gus Sorola and Burnie Burns as regular hosts and TheGameStation podcast features host John "TotalBiscuit" Bain who operates one of the most popular gaming channels on YouTube with over 800,000 subscibers, as well as "Let's Player" Jesse Cox and gaming news presenter Dodger Leigh who also operate popular YouTube channels with 370,000 subscibers and 250,000 subscibers respectively. The panels discuss not only videogame culture but also stories and anecdotes from the panel of guests and hosts. These podcasts are usually very laid back and feel like a group of fans simply discussing their lives, the easy going nature and friendly panels have made these podcasts incredibly popular, the RoosterTeeth podcast is a featured podcast on the iTunes Music Store and was biefly the number 1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes. These podcasts while being their own singular products are also important promotion tools for the companies that own them such as RoosterTeeth and TheGameStation as the podcasts bring in new fans who after listening to the podcasts will want to check out other aspects of these enterprises such as various YouTube channels who belong to TheGameStation or the videos that RoosterTeeth post on the internet which will of course bring in larger profits and bigger fan bases for these companies.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Dave Grohl on Music Piracy

Dave Grohl gives some reasons why file sharing and piracy is beneficial to the artists.

The comments make some pretty good arguments too.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Steve Albini On File Sharing And Piracy

Steve Albini:

I reject the term "piracy." It's people listening to music and sharing it with other people, and it's good for musicians because it widens the audience for music. The record industry doesn't like trading music because they see it as lost sales, but that's nonsense. Sales have declined because physical discs are no longer the distribution medium for mass-appeal pop music, and expecting people to treat files as physical objects to be inventoried and bought individually is absurd.

The downtrend in sales has hurt the recording business, obviously, but not us specifically because we never relied on the mainstream record industry for our clientele. Bands are always going to want to record themselves, and there will always be a market among serious music fans for well-made record albums. I'll point to the success of the Chicago label Numero Group as an example.

There won't ever be a mass-market record industry again, and that's fine with me because that industry didn't operate for the benefit of the musicians or the audience, the only classes of people I care about.
Free distribution of music has created a huge growth in the audience for live music performance, where most bands spend most of their time and energy anyway. Ticket prices have risen to the point that even club-level touring bands can earn a middle-class income if they keep their shit together, and every band now has access to a world-wide audience at no cost of acquisition. That's fantastic.

Additionally, places poorly-served by the old-school record business (small or isolate towns, third-world and non-english-speaking countries) now have access to everything instead of a small sampling of music controlled by a hidebound local industry. When my band toured Eastern Europe a couple of years ago we had full houses despite having sold literally no records in most of those countries. Thank you internets.

To summarise:

- File sharing is a very effective and cheap way for bands to get their music heard. In fact it can be more effective than large record companies who demand ridiculous sums of money from the artists.

- Distribution of music has created a huge growth in the attendance of live performances which is where bands work the hardest and make most of their money anyway.

- The reason that the major record companies are experiencing an economic downfall that they will likely never recover from is because of their reluctance to utilise file sharing, they are so afraid of piracy that they pose strict rules and regulations on the sale of music online because they are terrified of losing profits.

- Asking people to treat music files like physical objects to be sold the same way that CD's and vinyl are sold is ridiculous and is simply not going to happen.

- It makes much more sense for an artist to manage their own careear rather than depend on record companies, distributors, promoters etc because those individuals are trying to squeeze as much use and money out of the artist as possible and cares more about making a profit than making music heard and treating their artists fairly. With advances in technology it is perfectly feasible and effective for a band to record and distribute their own music and make a good profit off of it, they can even sell their music for free, something that a major record label would never allow because it wouldn't make them any profits.

- No matter how popular file sharing becomes their will always be a large market of "music nerds" who will want to buy physical records for their collectability and simply because it feels more satisfying to own a record, it feels like your property that you own rather than a file that you downloaded which feels much more artificial and un-organic.

Do You Believe That There Should Be More Control Over Social Media?

  • I believe that sharing sites such as Reddit should be better moderated. Sub-Reddits such as Creepshot and Jailbait are a clear invasion of peoples privacy and should be removed by the creators of the website, the creators and moderators of Reddit often claim that monitoring offensive Sub-Reddits is not thier business as Reddit is largly auser created site and moderating Sub-Reddits would be imposing unfair restrictions on the Reddit community. While I understand their argument and don't believe that they should censor their website for profanity or legal forms of pornography I also believe that the creators have a responsibility to remove illegal activity from the site such as Creepshots and child pornography.
  • While I sympathise with cases such as Amanda Todd I also believe that people need to realise that cases such as Amanda Todd are isolated incidents, cyber bullying is a serious problem that needs to be addressed but it is extremely rare that people experience depression or even harm themselves due to cyber bullying. The media and tabloid newspapers will often jump at the chance to exploit a story such as Amanda Todd's to appeal to the paranoia of their audience and often an issue such as cyber bullying can be made to look much more damaging and wide spread than it really is.
  • I support the idea of exposing trolls to the public, some argue that this method is no better than trolling itself but that is precisely why I think it is a good idea, if you expose the troll to the public and they recieve criticism for their actions they will know how it feels to be abused online and will fully comprehend how much pain online bullying can cause. Also, similar to the "Scared Staright" programs in American prisons, the online outing of trolls will be a warning to others that these are the consequences that you could face if you bully someone online.
  • I believe that some people need to realise that online abuse and opinions that they do not agree with are just a feature of free speech that we have to get used to. For example when gay marriage was legalised in the state of New York the Fox News online forums were filled with offensive messages from homophobic users of the website threatening homosexuals,while I fully support gay rights and have absolutely no respect for the homophobic users of the Fox News forums I would not try to censor their beliefs, online or anywhere else as this would essestially be facism; I would be forcing my beliefs on other people, if I have the right to support gay marriage then other people should have just as much right to oppose it. Just because somebody disagrees with someone elses belief that does not mean that that persons beliefs are wrong. Free speech means just that; you are free to say what you want, and the great feature about free speech is that if you disagree with someones opinion you have the right to disagree with them.
  • It is important to allow people to express their opinions but also monitor people for offensive statements. The case of Azhar Ahmed is a prime example, I believe that if Ahmed had worded his Facebook message more appropraitely then his case would not have been as controversial. If he had been fair and balanced in his message and stated his reasons and evidence for not supporting British soldiers in a civilised manner, that would have been perfectly acceptable as an opinion. Instead Ahmed merely stated "All soldiers should die and go to hell". The Facebook message that he actually posted was a sweepingly derogatory term where he offered no evidence to back up his argument and generalised all British soldiers, I believe that his actions were very foolish and he has discredited people who have legitimate reasons for not supporting British soldiers. Ahmed's case is a prime example of why society needs to find a comfortable middle groundwith censorship, a lack of censorship would mean that Ahmed would get to voice his opinions in a manner that is offensive as he did, too much censorship would mean that Ahmed would not have been able to voice his opinion at all.
  • Reddit moderator Yishan Wong condemed Adrian Chen for outing an online troll saying, "We stand for free speech, we are not going to ban distasteful Sub-Reddits". I fully support free speech but I also support peoples right to privacy, saying that banning a sub-reddit would be a violation of free speech is just a defence for not eliminating popular sections of Reddit that provide the owners of Reddit with revenue. The owners and creators of Reddit seem to be the worst kind of Vulture Capitalists, they allow offensive sections of their website to remain open to the public purely because it generates their revenue, any human being with common decency would remove sections of their website that contain child pornography and unconsensual pornographic photographs. If we allow users of Reddit to post illegal and offensive material with the defence of "it's their right to free speech" the owners of Reddit will continue to make money off of illegal material being postedon their website, everybody has their right to free speech but when people take advantage of that right by using it to post illegal pornography on the internet with no consequences this is when some steps need to be taken to ensure that people are not posting and making profits off of other peoples suffering.

Friday, 9 November 2012

New and digital media offers media institutions different ways of reaching audiences.
Consider how and why media institutions are using these techniques. (48 marks)

  • Media can use the internet to you interact with their audience, to promote or improve their film or to get feedback. 
  • Can reach a younger audience as there are lots of teenagers on the internet. 
  • You can target teens by advertising on facebook, Twitter, youtube.  (EXAMPLE)
  • Allows more people to access what institutions want us to see.
  • Different platforms can be used to promote a film for example APPS (EXAMPLE) 
  • Faster to communicate with audiences.
  • Mass promotion between institutions - teaming up to promote something.
  • Niche and specific audience. 
  • Customers can be made to feel special, like a priority.
  • Audience can access the media at any time because of the availability of the internet. 
  • E4+1 anmd dejavu - audiences are more up to date.
  • Audience have freedom.
  • 'The audience narrative has changed as they are able to enjoy a very specific diet of programmes or films that they are interested in.'
  • Can access MEdia anytime anywhere and therefore people are able to see new promotions etc immedietly.
  • Direct interaction with fanbase eg:  email subscriptions.
  • online services  - version online.
  • Love Film - promotions offered to entice customers in. 
  • Once customers are signed up for something, their details are there for institutions. 
  • Websites are becoming more advanced in their ways of interacting with consumers. (EXAMPLE)
Withe new and digital media it is a lot easier for an institution to directly interact with their own fanbase, for example, on the Rolling Stone website you can now listen to the new Deftones record in its entirety before it is even released, this is an effective way of marketing the record, the fans are allowed to sample the record before they even buy it so the fans feel priveledged and have a greater loyalty to the band. In fact, marketing music on the internet in general is a good business strategy, nowadays a bands entire discography is usually located on itunes and other file sharing websites and it is a lot easier to access music, especially obscure muaic with a niche audience, in previous years to listen to a bands full discography you would have no choice but to hunt down the individual records so consumers nowadays have a lot more convenience when trying to access product. The same thinking can be applied to the world of film, Netflix allows you to stream movies directly to your TV which is a lot more convenient than going to the movie theatre or waiting for the movie to be relased in stores on DVD or Blu-Ray. All of this added convenience means that people are more inclined to access media such as movies and music becuase it is easier, this of course means greater profit for the institution that produces the media so these marketing stratef=gies are benificial for the producer and the consumer.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

What Opportunities and/or Disadvantages do New and Digital Media have for Audiences

In recent years new and digital media has brought many advantages and disadvantages to regular people. I am going to discuss the pros and cons of new and digital medias effect on modern society.

With new and digital media it is much easier for people to voice their opinions on a subject than in previous years, with online forums on most movie websites and the ability to rate movies and post your own reviews on websites such as iMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, you don't have to be a professional critic for a magazine or a TV show to voice your opinion on a new movie, band, TV show etc. This also allows for much more debate. However debates can easily turn into arguments and often a person will post their opinion online only to be shot down by another user who will employ all manner of brutal tactics such as threats and intimidation to make the other person feel inferior, as if their opinion is wrong or doesn't matter.

The advent of sites such as Wikipedia make it much easier to find out trivia and other facts. Nowadays if you want to find out about a movie and the people who worked on it you don't have to spend much more than a few minutes searching and reading on the internet before you know a variety of details on the movie, its actors, director, where it was filmed, other films that the actors and director have worked on etc. However often the information on these sites is submitted by the users, user maintained sites such as Wikipedia are not monitored regularly by administrators and will only take down articles if they are offensive. The information on these websites is often false and not regualrly checked so often people will repeat the knowledge found on these sites as common truths when in fact the knowledge was fabricated.

Advantages and Disadvantages of New and Digital Media

1. Easier for the regular person to voice their opinion.  For example with trailers and comments on youtube.  SPECIFIC EXAMPLE FROM YOUR CASE STUDY.

- Can easily turn into arguments where peoples opinions are devalued and the people themselves can be left feeling as if they don't matter.

2. find out information more easily eg:  views, trivia, information about the films.  For example, wikapedia articles.  IMDB for miscellaneous information. 

- This information is not always accurate, especially on sites such as wikipedia where the users contribute their own knowledge which is not checked by the administrators of the site.

3. You can share your life with people.  For example on Twitter and with photos.  Social interaction and discussion.

- Identity theft and stalkers are a huge problem on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

4. Validation of your existence and self esteem booster.

- Not neccesarily healthy, some people may become so obsessed with this cheap self esteem booster that they spend more time on social networking sites than actually interacting with people in real life.

5. if you want to be famous it's easier.

- This devalues the concept of celebrity, if anyone can become famous that means that websites are filled with people trying to make their opinion heard.
  1. You can share your interests and meet other people who have the same passions as you.  youtube posting comments back and forth.  Vital BMX - so people with a similar niche interest can easily find groups of likeminded people. 
  2. For some people they may see it  as freedom to act in a way that they want and to be able to say what they want.   Gives people confidence because they can be anyone that they want.
  3. Allows another platform to access Media - you can watch things on the internet more easily. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Case Study - Silent Hill Revelation 3D

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
  • Opened at number 5 in the box office.
  • Grossed $8 million in its opening weekend.
  • Filmed entirely in 3D.
  • Plot overview: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a 2012 3D horror film directed and written by Michael J. Bassett and a sequel to the horror film Silent Hill. Revelation 3D stars Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Deborah Kara Unger, Martin Donovan, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Sean Bean, and is based on the survival horror video game Silent Hill 3 by Konami. Revelation 3D's plot follows teenager Heather Mason (Clemens) who discovers on the eve of her eighteenth birthday that her presumed identity is false and as a result is drawn to an alternate dimension existing in the fictitious American town of Silent Hill.
E - Media
  • The film has its own Facebook page where people can 'like' the film's page and share it with other Facebook users, increasing the films notoriety.
  • Michael Bassett has his own blog where he interacted with fans of the Silent Hill videogame series and even asked for suggestions of who should be cast as the protagonist.
  • Online revies gave the movie extremely poor ratings almost universally:
- Rotten Tomatoes - 5% approval rating "Featuring weak characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a decided shortage of scares, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations".
- Metacritic - 16/100 "Silent Hill: Revelation fundamentally misunderstands the appeal of its source material".

  • Two clips of the film were screened at the 2012 San Diego Comic - Con, this makes sense since the movie is based on a videogame series, an event such as Comic - Con which hosts all kinds of 'nerd' culture including videogames would be a great place to market a movie adapted from a videogame.
  • Empire Magazine verdict on Silent Hill Revelation 3D
"The first film was imperfect but solid as game-adaps go and fans revelled in its clammy shocks. No such luck this time out. Director Bassett oversees a vaporous horror sequel that rarely raises the pulse".

Movie Poster

The poster depicts hands emerging from cells attempting to grab the protaginist, this creates a feeling of claustrophobia and vulnerability, aspects that the Silent Hill game series is known for. This piques the interest of both horror fans and videogame fans. The feelings of being trapped and isolated are particularly prevelant in modern horror movies such as Saw, Hostel and Final Destination as well as classic horror movies such as The Thing and Evil Dead, therefore these emotions are staples of horror movies and will entice people. These emotions are also a staple of the Silent Hill series and fans of the videogame series will recognise this as an attempt to re-create the feelings experienced when playing the game and transplating them into the movie. The character in the background of the poster is 'Pyramid Head' a recognisable character from the videogame series and fans will appreciate the addition of this charactrer in the movie.

Case Study - Paranormal Activity 4

Paranormal Activity 4
  • Featured numerous incidents of product placement for products and companies such as Macbook, Xbox Kinect, Smart Phones and Canon.
  • Grossed over $91 million.
  • Notorious for accidentally being screened to minors at a cinema instead of Madagascar 3, this was a popular news story and likely gained the film some more notoriety. 
E - Media
  • Multiple trailers for the film are on YouTube, all of them have over a million views.
  • Poor online reviews but seems to be building a cult following with some saying that people who liked the previous films will enjoy the fourth.
 Scott Weinberg gave a positive review, saying that there was "some fun" to be had in the film, however also felt that the film would likely only be enjoyed by fans of the previous films. Fred Topel also gave a positive review, saying that the film included iconography from some classic horror films

- While it does manage to wring a few more screams out of the franchise's surprisingly durable premise, Paranormal Activity 4 provides fans of the series with dismayingly diminishing returns.

- Metacritic - 40/100
- Rotten Tomatoes - 25% approval rating.

  • Commercials for the film were regularly screened on TV after 9pm showing when the film could be seen in theatres.
  • The editing for the trailer was fast paced and every shot was incredibly short and usually showed a large room with one person in the room, likely to make the viewer feel more vulnerable.
  • Dark, drab colours create feelings of unease.
  • The ghost that haunts people in the film is never fully shown, the ghost is usually just a dark silhouette of a human which piques the viewers interest as to what exactly the ghost is, where it came from and why it haunts these particular characters.
  • Another trailer for the film actually featured footage of people watching the full movie in a theatre, we get to see people getting shocked and scared which ensures the viewer that the movie is genuinely scary.
  • Paranormal Activity 4 poster:

This poster makes its narrative very clear from the camera perspective of this shot. We can tell that this movie is a "hidden camera" movie, first popularised by 'The Blair Witch Project', this style has been copied by a number of horror films since then. "Hidden camera" films have become very popular in the last decade, the makers of the Paranormal Activity series know this and market the film in such a way that moviegoers know what to expect, fans of "hidden camera" movies will recognise the format and be interested in the film. Often people enjoy seeing the same film they've seen before but with different characters, setting etc and will prefer to watch a film because they know what to expect rather than to see an original film where they may be dissapointed.

Another example of smart marketing is the way that the ghost is depicted in the poster; an omionus, dark silhouette of a human being. In many ways this is much scarier than depicting a full human being with clear facial features, arms, legs etc because a darkened silhouette inspires curiosity, the poster leaves people wondering who the ghost is, why it haunts this house and these particular characters and what destruction will the ghost cause.

Case Study - The Final Destination

The Final Destination
  • According to USA Today and Newsday, Final Destination 4 debuted at the top of the North American box office, beating Rob Zombie's Halloween II, by earning $28.3 million during its first weekend.
  • First movie to be filmed in high definition and 3D.
  • Box Office earnings - $186,167,139
  • The film was marketed specifically towards young adults and teenagers, videogames such as Saint's Row 2 and Skate 2 featured in-game posters advertising the film.
  • The HD and 3D capabilities of the film were greatly empasised in trailers, 3D is a huge part of film marketing nowadays, especially when it comes to big budget blockbusters such as The Final Destination. HD and 3D are mostly targeted at casual moviegoers, in the film world many movie aficionados denounce 3D and HD as marketing gimmicks however to the casual moviegoer who is less informed of this debate HD and 3D may well be effective ways of persuasion to watch a movie.
  • The theatrical trailer on YouTube has over 1,300,000 views.
  • Review of The Final Destination from The Guardian "Time, once again, to set the nail-guns teetering on a high shelf, perhaps in a classroom full of six-year-olds. This, incredibly, is the fifth Final Destination movie, and we might not be finished yet. Never has the first word in a title been more inappropriate. Fans of this franchise know precisely what to expect, and the film delivers it with wit and flair. The Final Destination movies are like inspired Kentucky Fried Movie sketches, but also like deadpan satires of a particular sub-genre they invented in the first place. As ever, the idea is that a bunch of attractive young people, plus one or two hilarious oldies and uglies, somehow escape dying in a spectacular accident and then Death, furious at being cheated of his bounty, picks off the survivors, one by one, in a series of bizarre freak accidents. This being a 3D movie, there are loads of sharp objects flying directly out of the screen. A group of youthful interns are employed at a drab office, presided over by a managerial nerd, adjoining a factory shopfloor. (So to the list of American institutions indirectly influenced by Ricky Gervais we can now add the Final Destination movies.) They go off on a team-building "retreat" on a coach, but just as they drive over a suspension bridge, one of their number has a vision of everyone dying as the bridge collapses. He gets most of them off before it happens, and this collapse scene is quite spectacular. Things progress from there. This film will do nothing for those people intending to have laser surgery for short sight".
  • The Final Destination poster

The Final Destination is another movie that knows its audience and markets the film very specifically. The image of the human face being shot at through glass is an accurate representation of the gruesome and graphic ways that people die in Final Destination movies, nobody ever dies of natural causes or an everyday occurence, instead peoples deaths are caused in ridiculous and impossible scenarios, like an incredibly violent variation of the game 'Mouse Trap'. The poster makes it clear that the this will be a typical Final Destination movie with over the top death scenes so fans of the movies will recognise the iconography and want to see the latest installment of a franchise that they enjoy.


  • Two trailers for the movie are on YouTube, one has 1,300,000 views, the other has nearly 3 million views.
  • The film has a fan site: Final Destination Wiki -
  • The website includes a plot summary, trivia and information on characters and the actors who played them.
  • The website also has a large community aspect with links to blogs about the movie, people can also vote on Top Ten Lists such as 'Top 10 Best Death Scenes' and 'Top 10 Characters Who Shouldn't Have Died'.
  • Online review sites rated the movie mostly poorly or average.  
-IMDB -5.0
- Rotten Tomatoes - 30% approval rating - "With little of the ingenuity of previous instalments The Final Destination is predictable, disposable horror fare".

Do You Believe That The Media Is Responsible For Continuing To Create Stereotypical Representations Of Class

I believe that the media does create stereotypical representations of class, I believe that one of the reasons they do this is to give people a common enemy, for example it is easy for an upper class person to dislike the characters in the TV show 'Shameless' because the characters play up to the cultural stereotypes of the working class and inner city citizens as uneducated criminals. An upper class person would likely not enjoy 'Shameless' because they would view the characters as unruly and stupid, on the other hand a working class person may look past these characteristics and identify with other aspects of the show such as living in poor/dangerous area and not having much money or material goods and may enjoy the show for being an accurate representation of their surroundings. The creators of 'Shameless' clearly know their target audience (in this case the working class) and appeal to what they know and what their experiences of life are.

Another reason for these stereotypical representations is escapism, a working class person can watch a show such as 'Made In Chelsea' and fantasise about their own lives being similar to the lives of the characters in the show who are rarely shown working and instead often shown socialising and partying. Often people require outlets such as TV shows, movies and videogames to escape the tedium of their own lives which they consider boring and unstimulated, a show such as 'Made In Chelsea' allows people to forget about their regular lives and experience a totally different lifestyle that they find more interesting.

Often class differences are exploited for comedic effect, an older example of this is the cult classic 'The Young Ones'. In this show we are given two characters who are polar opposites, Vyvyan and Rick. Rick is a self obsessed hypocritical member of the middle class, desperately looking for attention and trying to associate himself with left wing political ideology, a topic that he has a very poor grasp of. Vyvyan is a typical working class punk rocker who is constantly wearing denim and has dyed orange hair, much of his behaviour borders on psychopathic as he regularly physically abuses his own friends for minor indiscretions and enjoys annoying people for no apparent reason. Although the class differences in 'The Young Ones' are often greatly exaggerated they still represent a vast cultural, political and social chasm between the two characters. Rick is obsessed with his own image and desperately attempts to study communist politics to be viewed as a 'left-winger', for example in one scene we see Rick asleep and clutching a copy of Karl Marx's 'Das Capital' apparently having fallen asleep while attempting to read it. Rick's actions and personality play up to the stereotypes of an upper/middle class person, an attention seeking yet largely aloof person with little understanding of how society functions.

In conclusion I believe that the media is responsible for creating class stereotypes, the media creates these stereotypes for a number of reasons, escapism, identification, comedic effect and to repulse people with a lifestyle that they are not used to, the reason for this stereotyping is to appeal to certain target audiences and repulse people who are not a member of that target audience.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Identity Questions

Identity Questions

4. If you are different from the norm, people will label you as something specific.
I agree with this statement as I believe people feel a need to stereotype and label certain people for a variety of reasons. People like to pigeonhole certain groups so they can ridicule that group of people, either for their own amusement or to fit in with other people who like to ridicule that group. Some people go out of their way to differentiate themselves from what is considered the norm, often with the sole intention of being labelled as a certain stereotype (i.e. Goth, Punk, Nerd etc.). Sometimes these stereotypes are intentionally achieved because people like to feel part of group or to sublimate their true personality which they may be unhappy with.

5. There is no longer one representation of either gender.
While I believe that there are still representations that we associate exclusively with either men or women, I believe that there are many more representations than there have been in previous years and that what constitutes feminine and masculine behaviour and appearance is much more open ended and accepted by the public in general. Women are no longer looked upon as homemakers and child bearers, now it is commonplace for women to take on high stress jobs that were previously the reserve of men; women are now much more likely to go to college and other forms of higher education. Men are no longer expected to be strong, stoic independent people who are always in control of their lives, men are now much more open about their thoughts and feelings and don’t have to be stereotypical masculine men. Men are now expected to take better care of their personal appearances and often use a range of hygiene products; just a few decades ago this would be looked upon as habits reserved exclusively for women. It is now commonplace for women to wear jeans and other clothing that was previously considered un-feminine.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

More Violence In The Media

Black Ops 2 Tariler:
Evil Dead 2 Trailer:

How Do These Clips Represent Violence?

The two trailers show two very different sides of violence in the media. The Black Ops 2 trailer is much more serious in tone, war is portrayed as gritty and dramatic, a portrayal that fans of the franchise are used to. The setting is also clearly very modern, with stealth bombers and realistic weapons and camoflauge outfits to give an accuarate portrayal of a modern war. In contrast the Evil Dead 2 trailer parodies the explicit 'slasher' genre of horror movies that were popular in the 1980's. The violence is incredibly over the top and intentionally silly with decapitations, a woman getting attacked by a tree possessed by an evil spirit and a re-animated corpse stabbing itself with a chainsaw and spewing blood over the set. All of these ridiculous occurences are designed to make viewers laugh at how explicit and silly the violence is as much as horrify them.

Do You Believe That The Media Promotes Violence?

I believe that neither of the trailers promote violence. The Black Ops 2 trailer is merely a depiction of war, it neither glorifies nor condemns violence. There are no actions that make war or violence in general look like sometghing that you should aspire to re-create, if anything the trailer is a detterent from violence since people are shown dying and buildings explode, it is a very accurate depiction of war. Most people would probably see the trailer and think that the game looks entertaining but they would never want to re-create this situation in reality for fear of losing their lives. The Evil Dead 2 trailer is so over the top and ridiculous that no sane person would think that these actions would be possible in real life. The violent events in the trailer are clearly not capable of happening in the real world which is where the movie derives most of its humour, the fact that the occurences in the movie are so unrealistic. People would definitly realise that this move is a parody of excessivly violent films and would respect the use of Evil Dead 2's own excessivly violent context since it is used to comedic effect and to make fun of other horror movies.

Violence in the Media

Violence in the Media
Do You Believe That The Media Promotes Violence?
I do not believe that the media promotes violence. I believe that most people are intelligent enough to differentiate between violence that they see in a media text such as a movie or a videogame and violence in reality. Often the violence in a media text is so over the top and ridiculous that people natural instincts will tell them that what they see on screen is not possible in reality, an example of this over the top nature would be the movie ‘Crank’ which is intentionally written and directed to be as ridiculous as possible with excessive use of car crashes, blood and gore. The film is so silly that people would likely view it as what it is; an over the top action blockbuster with no real meaning. Tests have been conducted such as the 1961 ‘Bobo Doll Experiment’ that allegedly prove that children will act violently when they regularly view violent media. Personally, I believe that this is normal human behaviour, the children in the experiment were left in a room with nothing but the doll, they really had no other option than to start beating the doll since there was nothing else for them to do in the room, when confronted with such an odd situation they just carried out the only action that they could do in that situation. I would argue that it would be extremely counter-productive for the media to encourage violence. The companies and corporations who make violent media texts (i.e. video game developers such as Capcom and Rockstar Games) are ultimately producing these media texts to make money not stir up controversy. In the past creators of violent media texts have removed excessive violence from their texts so that it doesn’t anger the public; in 2001 Rockstar Games removed the ability to kill children in their game Grand Theft Auto 3 because some game retailers were refusing to stock the game, this is just one example that shows ultimately, providers of violent media want a steady source of income, they don’t want to infuriate people as this could easily get the media texts that they produce banned.
Does the Media Promote Violence in Young People?
I definitely do not believe that the media promotes violence in young people. Violence in media texts appeal to young people because it is fake violence that does not harm anybody; you get the joy of defeating an enemy in a videogame or watching a villain get killed in a movie all the while knowing that nobody was actually harmed. All DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s and videogames carry an ESRB warning that warns parents of the explicit contents that a media text contains. A child cannot buy certain media texts without the approval of their parents, for example a 12 year old child would not be able to buy an 18 rated movie without at least one of their parents in the store to approve the purchase. This shows that media content providers are cautious about who they market certain texts to. I would argue that if a parent complains about a violent videogame influencing their children to be violent then it is the parents fault for buying the game in the first place, the content provider gave plenty of warning as to the violent nature of the media text, the parent(s) should have had the insight to see that this could influence their child.
Why Do People Play Videogames?
I believe that the main reason that people play videogames is escapism, videogames are a great way to relieve stress and get away from the daily tedium that life often offers. When people immerse themselves in these fictional worlds there is a huge variation of possibilities, for example they can be a famous musician in ‘Guitar Hero’ or a street racer in ‘Need For Speed’, things that they would probably never attempt in reality. People argue that media texts influence people to carry out what they see on screen in real life but I would argue that the opposite is true, people know that they could never win a street race or kill someone in real life because they are not a sociopath or an expert driver but they could carry out these actions in a fictional world and have the satisfaction of winning a street race or carrying out an assassination without the repercussions such as prison or death.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Reception Theory Homework

American Hardcore is a documentary on American Punk Rock in the 1980's.

American Hardcore Trailer:

Preferred Reading: The trailer feels very much intended for existing fans of Punk Rock. Archive footage and familiar music in the form of non diagetic sound by Minor Threat and other American Punk bands instantly create the emotions and essence of Punk Rock, the music is rapid and meant to inspire passion. The editing is fast paced, aggressive and relentless much like the music that it tells the story of. The trailer is short and sweet at just under two minutes, when an interview subject appears on screen they are there for usually no longer than a few seconds before more archive footage is shown, again, this matches the fast and furious nature of Punk music and helps create a nostalgic feel as old heroes such as Ian MacKaye appear on screen to spout a few lines about why they love the music.

Opposite Reading: It is easy to see why some people would feel immediately disinterested in this documentary after watching this trailer. The violence of the early Punk Rock scene is mentioned with clips from interviews such as Henry Rollins, lead singer of Black Flag, describing a typical Black Flag show as, "They're knocking guys out, they chase a guy underneath a car and try to pull him out and beat him". To many people these words are a perfect summary of the faults of early Punk Rock, the machismo and needless brutality is an instant turn off to people who are not interested in the stereotypical punk behaviour.

Negotiated Reading: The trailer is great impetus for anybody who wants to know more about Punk Rock, the archive footage does a good job of showing what a typical Punk Rock concert is like with plenty of wide angle shots that show cramped clubs stuffed full of excited fans.Many people who are less informed about Punk Rock may be intrigued by the appearance of the people featured in the documentary as none of them conform to the typical Punk fashion such as leather jackets, heavy boots and gauntlets. This would certainly be a surprise to the non-informed, average viewer who would be expecting the archetypal punk rocker only to find that American punks often dressed simply in t-shirts, button shirts, jeans and Converse sneakers, much more casually than their European counterparts.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Race And Ideology


- Race is a social construction.
- Races do not exist outside representation.
- Historical formation of race occupies structually subordinate positions.

Third World Images

- Localised inequalitities reproduced on world scale. - Portays Asia as an untouched melting pot of culture. - The institution portarys Asia as a travel destination with the intention of making money. The website plays up to Asia's reputation as a place of culture that is much different from Western culture. This exploits a certain stereotype of Asia, not an offensive stereotype but a stereotype nontheless. - Dedicated to providing an honest and truthful look at Asian news and politics. Clearly geared toward Asians and people who speak Asian languages since you can translate the site into Hindi and other Asian languages.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Homework - Representation In 'Bad Education'

1. How does the trailer use media language to engage the audience?

The mise-en-scene is that of a typical English high school and the students represent various stereotypes of children, making the show easy to relate to, many people have likely been to a school that looks like the school in the show and encountered at least some of the student stereotypes. The non-diagetic music creates a party atmosphere, implying that the show is going to focus more on being entertaining than being an accurate portrayal of school life, so that people watching the trailer will know what kind of show 'Bad Education' is. Most of the shots are mid shots showing the characters from the chest up, making it clear that the show is a character comedy.

2. How does the trailer represent young people.

The typical roles of older and young people are almost completely reversed which is where most of the shows humour comes from. The students in the show are clearly much more comfortable with themselves and stable minded than the teachers. For example, at one point we see a student slap Alfie, the teacher, and tell him to "Snap out of it", this is obviously not a typical relationship that a student and a teacher have which is what makes the scene humorous. The students all wear bland, conventional looking uniforms as is typical of English high schools, to establish that the kids are all working/middle class. However railing against the conformity of their uniforms, other aspects of their appearances are dramatically different from each other to help showcase the stereotypes that they portray, for example Jing's glasses and pony tail establish her as the typical nerd, Stephen's voice and extrovert nature establish him as the gay stereotype.

Homework - Representation

1. How does the trailer use media language to engage it's target audience?

The actors and actresses in the trailer are clearly stereotypes of upper class people. By showing these over privileged people enjoying themselves the trailer attracts two groups of people: the first group are the escapists who want to watch 'Made In Chelsea' because they aspire to be rich and extravagant like the characters in the show, the second group are the cynics who watch the show purely to make fun of the characters for being pompous and ignorant.

2. What sort of representations are created of young people?

The people in the trailer all look young (early twenties) and they are all having a great time, they look as if their lives are just huge parties and they don't have a care in the world. They also seem to be very wealthy since they are partying in what appears to be some kind of gothic manor, they are all wearing corsets and other clothing that was popular a couple of centuries ago and at one point you see a man reaching the epitome of excess when he opens a champagne bottle with a sword.

3. What do we learn about E4 from watching this?

We learn that E4 knows how to reach a target audience. They know how to construct and direct a trailer in a provocative way so that the trailer generates interest in 'Made In Chelsea'. Cleverly the trailer doesn't tell us a lot about the show, all we see is people partying, we aren't told about any of the characters or storylines so the trailer leaves people wanting to find out more and the only way they can do that is by watching 'Made In Chelsea'.

News Values

  • Negative stories
  • Human interests
  • Shock Value
  • Creation of celebrities out of general
  • Public
  • Coninuity
  • Proximity
Recent News Stories of Cultural Concern:

Royal launch criminal complaint over Kate Middleton's topless photos:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Moral Panics - Chik-fil-A Controversey

File:PC Chick-Fil-A 2012-08-01.jpg

Chik-fil-A is an American fast-food restaurant chain. In recent years Chik-fil-A have generated controversy when it was discovered that Chik-fil-A donates substantial amounts of money to anti-homosexual groups. Chik-fil-A's chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, is himself openly anti-gay.

 Chik-fil-A's anti-gay stance has provoked both left and right wing people.

 After many left wing political groups and media outlets criticised Chik-fil-A, arch conservative politician Mike Huckabee organised "Chik-fil-A appreciation day", where on the 1st of August thousands of people bought Chil-fil-A food to show support for the restaurant, the restaurant chain saw record breaking sales on the day.

In response to "Chik-fil-A appreciation day" left wingers held "Same Sex Kiss Day" on the 3rd of August where same sex couples would go into Chik-fil-A restaurants and start passionately kissing.  

The Mayor's of San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have all stated that they will not let Chik-fil-A open another restaurant in their cities until they change their anti-gay stance and stop donating money to anti-gay organisations.

Moral Panics - Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton served as the 42nd President of the USA from 1993 - 2001.

In 2001 Clinton was accused of having extra marital affairs which he admits to and was also the victim of unsubstantiated sexual harassment charges. These accusations were constantly being reported on by the media, particularly right wing American media who opposed Clinton's presidency. In 2001 Clinton was impeached largely due to his sexual harassment charges. Clinton was a successful and popular President with a high approval rating from the public, he opposed war in the Middle East and was generally admired by the public for his image as a "single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's -and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas", but despite his popularity a few months of media hysteria was all it took to get Clinton kicked out of office.

Moral Panics and What They've Changed - 'Brass Eye'

'Brass Eye' was a TV show in the late nineties that parodied moral panics and sensationalism in the media and poked fun at the way that people blindly listen to whatever sensationalised news stories the media feeds them. The show actually ended up causing a moral panic of it's own.

The show outraged many people and received around 3,000 official complaints. Politicians such as David Blunkett and Beverly Hughes spoke out against the show, calling it "unspeakably sick". There was also a tabloid campaign against the shows creator, Chris Morris. British Labour Party politician, Tessa Jowell asked the Independent Television Commission (ITC) to reinstate censorship to get the show taken off of TV.