BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 12 Towards Intersectional Approaches

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 12 Towards Intersectional Approaches.

Date: 8 June 2014

In the tenth week of BCM 310, we discussed the role of media in intersectional approaches and women’s rights.

To my understanding, intersectionality is the interaction of various biological, social and cultural categories such as race, class and gender, sexual orientation and other axes of identity (Rigoni 2012, pp834-849; Durham 2004, pp140–161). It comes about when diasporic or transnational identities crosscut with national, local and metropolitan cultural identities (Rigoni 2012, pp834-849). Cabramatta is a good example of intersectionality at play. Such interaction can result in systematic injustice and social inequality, sometimes leading to oppression within society. “The idea of intersectionality is rooted in several traditions including postmodern feminist theory, post-colonial theory, black feminism and queer theory” (Rigoni 2012, pp834-849). Dreher’s work on Cabramatta exposes the uneven distribution of cultural media resources, with some people having access to a wide range of cultural products and definitions, while others compete for a limited range of representations (Dreher 2012, pp67-80). Dreher (2012, pp67-80) opines that the lack of representations in the media is a “great loss for the metropolitan and national centers as much as for the people of Cabramatta”. It represents an opportunity for media to play a bigger role in a society increasingly aware of differences.


The media especially become major actors when dealing with women’s rights as they provide the primary systems for disseminating information and organizing knowledge about women and people around them. Feminist groups often cite the hijab and burqa as oppression towards women, symbolizing the inferior social status of women (Rowe, 2010). Many would interpret that the Muslim woman is being forced by her religion, her husband or her family into wearing a hijab or burqa. They are unaware that the hijab is often a personal choice because the Muslim woman feels it is part of her identity. Media representation of “veiled” women is responsible for public perception of Islam and the Muslim women. The Times cover title “Lifting the Veil” exemplifies American media’s portrayal of women being oppressed “behind the veil”. There is much media focus on women as victims in “honor killings”; female genital mutilation; and stoning to death for female adulterers (Assultany 2013, pp161-169). This helps reinforce women’s rights and the feminist movement. The Ukrainian women’s protest group, Femen, adopt a simple, outrageous formula: “scantily clad topless women staging highly theatrical demonstrations to draw the attention of the media to various facets of gender inequality in Ukraine” (Zychowicz 2011, pp215-227). The media, in turn, have capitalized on their protests, declaring it a new kind of feminism. The NPR, BBC, and The New York Times, have all highlighted their cause (Zychowicz 2011, pp215-227).


The western media possess a powerful clout in selecting information that they wish to disseminate. The ability of western media to reach out to a global audience makes the western media a force to be reckoned with. For those on the other side of the fence, like the Muslim community, it can be a discrimination against them. Thus, media like Aljazeera can play an effective role in representing Muslim concerns and helping others to understand the Muslim culture and practices.

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Asultany, E 2013, Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era, American Quarterly, vol.55, no.1, pp161-169, accessed 7/6/2014, http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/journals/american_quarterly/v065/65.1.alsultany.html.


Durham, M, G, 2004, ‘Constructing the “new ethnicities”: media, sexuality and diaspora identity in the lives of South Asian immigrant girls’, Critical Studies in Media Communication, vol.21, no.2, pp140–161, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/07393180410001688047.


Dreher, T 2012, ‘Intersections: a transdisciplinary approach to media, identity, and place’, Australian journal of Communication, vol.29, no.1, pp67-80, http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/511/.


Rigoni, I 2012, ‘Intersectionality and mediated cultural production in a globalized post-colonial world’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol.35, no.5, pp834-849, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/01419870.2011.628035.


Rowe, T 2010, ‘To Ban or Not to Ban? The Burqa, Religious Identity, and Politics’, weblog post, Butterflies and Wheels, 31 Aug, accessed 3/6/14, http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2010/to-ban-or-not-to-ban-the-burqa-religious-identity-and-politics/


Zychowicz, J 2011, ‘Two Bad Words: FEMEN & Feminism in Independent Ukraine’, Anthropology of East Europe Review, vol.29, no.2, pp215-227, http://www.ualberta.ca/~feminism/assets/femen-and-feminism.pdf.


BCM 310: BCM 310, Emerging issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 11 Diasporic Media

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 11 Diasporic Media.

Date: 1 June 2014

In the eleventh week of BCM310 we studied diasporic media. Ben-Rafael (2013, pp842 – 861) states that the word ‘diaspora’ stems from the Greek language, and means the widespread dispersal of people from the same territory. In simple parlance, diaspora refers to those communities dispersed to more than one country. The concept of diaspora has since the 1990s being taken to mean complex transnational flows.

Despite their widespread dispersal, some thousands of miles away, diasporic groups have stayed connected via a variety of media such as mail, telephone, film and the internet (Karim, 2003 pp1-18). A classic example of the dispersion of people from their original homeland is the Chinese diaspora (Sun 2005, pp65-86). They comprised a significant migratory population in the United States, constituting some 1.3million immigrants and refugees in 2004, originating from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong (Shi 2005, pp55-72; Sun 2005, pp65-86).

An example of a diasporic media is a movie; “Bend it like Beckham” directed by Indo-British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha (Chacko 2010, pp81-86). It concerns Jasminder “Jess” Bhamra, an 18 year-old Punjabi whose obsession with football compels her to challenge patriarchal stereotyping at home and racism on the field (Chacko 2010, pp81-86). To attain her goal, she has to bend the rules prescribed by her cultural backgrounds much to the chagrin of her family (Chacko 2010, pp81-86). This is because in Indian’s diaspora, girls that play football are courting the impending invasion of “foreign” cultural practices into their domestic space. As highlighted by Ram (2005, pp121-137), diaspora goes beyond the representation of one’s culture to an alien but it has to bestow to one’s own offspring as well; hence, the parents’ objection to Jess’ passion for the British sport.

The contents of diasporic media are relevant to diasporic communities like the Bhamra’s and is representative of them. Their role in developing intercultural dialogue and promoting cultural understanding is critical for the migrant communities and the host country to familiarize and understand the differences of their cultures (Georgiou, 2003, pp1-80). It is even more significant as “cultural difference, particularly third-world cultures, continues to be portrayed as being patriarchal, traditional, homogenous, and as deliberately choosing ghettoization over assimilation in multicultural societies” (Chacko 2010, pp81-86). In Australia, refugees were depicted as villains or victims by the media without a concrete examination of the cultural complexity of refugee experience (Salazar 2012, pp65-84).

In my opinion, diasporic media is central to the construction of migrant identities, simply because media are essential sources for society to learn about other culture. Diaspora media also function as linkages between the country of origin and diasporic communities throughout the world (Georgiou, 2003, pp1-80). Telephone and Internet centres and diasporic video clubs flourish in multiethnic neighborhoods (Dijck 2009, pp41–58). They both reproduce and sustain mediated minority communication, as well as direct and face-to-face communication (Dijck 2009, pp41–58; Pavlik 2013, pp181-193). Such public spaces not only offer communication technologies but also act as meeting places for social interaction, bringing a sense of belonging (Georgiou, 2003, pp1-80; Pavlik 2013, pp181-193). Diasporic media also pave the way for dialogue and facilitate minority participation in setting agendas in local, national and transnational spaces and forums, bringing a sense of emancipation within diasporic groups. The Internet enables users to create, evaluate, and distribute Internet content and applications (Hermida & Thurman 2008, pp343-356). This further empowers diaporic communities in their host countries.


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Ben-Rafael, E 2013, ‘Diaspora’, Current Sociology, vol.61, no.5-6, pp842 – 861, accessed 30/5/2014, http://www.sagepub.net/isa/resources/pdf/Diaspora.pdf.


Chacko, M, A 2010, ‘Bend It Like Beckham: Dribbling the Self Through a Cross-Cultural Space’, Multicultural Perspectives, vol.12, no.2, pp81-86, accessed 31/5/2014, https://www.academia.edu/887368/Bend_It_Like_Beckham_Dribbling_the_Self_through_a_Cross-Cultural_Space.


Dijck, V, J 2009, ‘Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content’, Media, Culture & Society, vol.31, no.1, pp41–58, accessed 10/4/2014, http://jclass.umd.edu/classes/jour698m/vandijk.pdf.


Georgiou, M 2003, ‘Mapping Diasporic Media across the EU: Addressing Cultural Exclusion’, accessed 31/5/2014, http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EMTEL/reports/georgiou_2003_emtel.pdf.


Hermida, A & Thurman, N 2008, ‘A CLASH OF CULTURES: The integration of user-generated content within professional journalistic frameworks at British newspaper websites’, Journalism Practice, vol.2, no.3, pp343-356, accessed 10/4/2014, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17512780802054538#.U0of6PmSySp.


Karim, K, H 2003, ‘Mapping diasporic mediascapes’,The media of diaspora, London & New York, Routledege.


Pavlik, V, J 2013, ‘Innovation and the future of journalism’, Digital Journalism, vol.1, no.2, pp181-193, accessed 10/4/2014, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/21670811.2012.756666#.U0og_vmSySo.


Ram, K 2005, ‘Phantom limbs: South Indian dance and immigrant reifications of the female body’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol.26, no.1-2, pp121-137, accessed 10/4/2014, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/07256860500074342.


Salazar, J 2012, ‘Digital stories and emerging citizens’ media practices by migrant youth in Western Sydney’, 3CMedia: Journal of Community, Citizen’s & Third Sector Media & Communication, vol.1, no.7, pp65-84, accessed 31/5/2014, http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/ehost/detail?sid=17e59b3d-f573-4c99-9bbe-d67dddac74e2%40sessionmgr110&vid=1&hid=127&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=ufh&AN=79551905.


Shi, Y 2005, ‘Identity Construction of the Chinese Diaspora, Ethnic Media Use, Community Formation, and the Possibility of Social Activism’, Journal of Media & Culture Studies, vol.19, no.1, pp55-72, accessed 30/5/2014, http://www.nabilechchaibi.com/resources/identity%20construction.pdf.


Sun, W 2005, ‘Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Consumption, and Transnational Imagination’. Journal of Chinese Overseas, vol.1, no.1, pp65-86, accessed 30/5/2014, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jco/summary/v001/1.1sun.html.

BCM 310: BCM 310, Emerging issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 10 Globalization and the Media

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 10 Globalisation and the Media (Comparative Media Studies).

Date: 25 May 2014

In the tenth week of BCM 310, we discussed globalization and the media, and how globalization impacts media, and vice-versa.

To Faulconbridge and Beaverstock (2008, pp331-343) globalization is “the widening, deepening and speeding up of global interconnectedness”. This has culminated in a “shrinking world” in which transnational flows of media, information, people and goods are facilitated (Eijaz & Ahmad 2011, pp100-106). Globalization is facilitated by perpetual rapid technological changes (Eijaz & Ahmad 2011, pp100-106). With interconnectedness, globalization has also altered the way media functions. Conversely, the media has transformed the world into a global village, whereby boundaries are shattered (Eijaz & Ahmad 2011, pp100-106).

Global television broadcast invades our living room. Elsewhere, the internet enables brisk efficient economic activities across space (Eijaz & Ahmad 2011, pp100-106). Reality shows like The Kardashians and singing contests like The Voice are viewed worldwide. In India, localized versions of the American sitcom “Friends” and the Game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, called “Hello Friends” and “Kuan Benega Crorepati” respectively, adopt the western formats of television programs (Sinclair & Harrison 2004, pp41-54). In “Kuan Benega Crorepati”, although the host is Indian, his clothing, and accent are “westernized” (Sinclair & Harrison 2004, pp41-54). English is spoken throughout most of the show. This reflects the diminishing of Indian culture through homogenization of culture which, in the final analysis, is an impact of globalisation. In the process, new slurs emerged. For e.g. Hinglish is a slur, which incorporates English with Hindi, popular among urban middle classes (Sinclair & Harrison 2004, pp41-54).

Furthermore, globalisation has given rise to new contents in local shows with very strong western influence. The impact of globalization upon television programs also extends towards the demand upon local television programs. In Malaysia, many people subscribe to ASTRO and instead of watching local productions, many of us prefer to watch foreign programmes. In short, globalisation has led to American domination on television programs in many countries (Tay & Turner 2008, pp71-81). Clearly, globalization has taken over our media channels. And the impact is huge, with some people labelling the effect of globalization upon their media channels as a “cultural invasion” (Sinclair & Harrison, 2004).

Another impact of globalization on the media channels stems from the Internet. Continuous global integration has led to an increasing demand for internet and for those with access to it, faster internet. Also, information is far more accessible online in comparison to contemporary media channels such as television or radio, rendering former media channels less effective and thus, less preferable. Tay and Turner (2008, pp71-81) contend that in Australia, television advertising, being on the decline, is being replaced with online advertising, another sign that globalisation has definitely and significantly impacted the way media works (Tay & Turner 2008, pp71-81). In Malaysia, the number of locally produced films lags behind the imported ones (Herwina Rosnan, Mohd Nazari Ismail and Norzaidi Mohd Daud, 2010).

The general consensus is that globalization has altered the media in many countries. However, Voltmer (2008, pp23-40) highlights that “The role of the state vis-à-vis the media is usually regarded an antagonistic one, especially in new democracies where censorship and state interference is one of the main legacies of the past regime”. To me, it demonstrates the limitations of globalization in impacting the media. Politics triumphs globalization. Politics leads, legal follows, and media tag along. Thus, globalization does not always affect media.

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Eijaz, A & Ahmad, R, E 2011,‘Challenges Of Media Globalization For Developing Countries’, International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol.2, no.18, pp100-106, accessed 24/5/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/904529702.


Faulconbridge, J.R & Beaverstock, J.V 2008, ‘Globalization: Interconnected Worlds’, Hollway, vol.19, pp331-343, accessed 24/5/2014, http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/24132_19_Hollway_Ch_19.pdf.


Naim, M 2004, ‘Globalization – passing fad or permanent revolution?’, Harvard international review, vol.26, no.1, pp83-84, accessed 22/5/14, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/230946526


Sinclair, J & Harrison, M 2004, ‘Globalisation, Nation, and Television in Asia: The Cases of India and China’, Television and New Media, vol.5, no. 1, pp41-54, accessed 24/5/2014,


Tay, J & Turner, G 2008, ‘What is Television: Comparing Media Systems in the Post-broadcast Era’, Media International Australia, vol.1, no.126, pp71-81, accessed 24/5/2014, http://ey9ff7jb6l.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=What+Is+Television%3F%3A+Comparing+Media+Systems+in+the+Post-broadcast+Era&rft.jtitle=Media+International+Australia%2C+Incorporating+Culture+%26+Policy&rft.au=Tay%2C+Jinna&rft.au=Turner%2C+Graeme&rft.date=2008-02-01&rft.issn=1329-878X&rft.issue=126&rft.spage=71&rft.epage=81&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=907493952716742&paramdict=en-US.


Voltmer, K 2008, ‘Comparing media systems in new democracies: East meets South meets West’, Central European Journal of Communication, vol.1, no.1, pp23-40, accessed 24/5/2014,

BCM310, Emerging issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 9 Race, Ethnicity and the Media

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 9 Race, Ethnicity and the Media.

Date: 18 May 2014

In the ninth week of BCM 310, we discussed Race, Ethnicity and the Media, how races and ethnicity are portrayed in the media, and how this impacts the way people view others from different races and cultures.

Although often depicted as the land of milk and honey where opportunities abound and diversities embraced, the US is home to ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the opinion that one’s own ethnic ways are superior to others or “judging other groups as inferior to one’s own”, culminating in prejudices and stereotypes. Ethnocentrism in the US dates back to the 19th century, when slavery was introduced.


Ethnocentric stereotype of Black People


Minstrel Poster

An Example of “Black Stereotypes” in Media in early 19th Century.

An Example of “Black Stereotypes” in Media in early 19th Century.(Raj 2014)

Image URL: http://tvaraj.com/2014/05/28/blackface-and-the-minstrel-show/


It was a time when the media portrayed black people as thieves, unintelligent, lazy lechers and “pathological liars” (Mahony, 2009). It heralded an era of “minstrel shows”, in which white actors, disguised as “black people” with exaggerated lip sizes donned torn clothes and applied burnt cork or shoe polish to darken their faces (Mahony, 2009). Serious episodes of ethnocentrism have now gravitated towards the Arab and Muslim community (Alsultany 2013, pp161-169; Huesmann et. al 2012, pp556–570).

Today, emboldened behind pseudonyms, racists exploit the Internet to spew hateful racist remarks. American media attitudes towards Muslim Americans can, at best, be described as negative and unappealing, spawning Islamophobia, which translated to “a threat that is generally related to Islam and Muslims.” At worst, Muslims are depicted as “a threat to world peace” (Bodissey, 2011). Fed by the fervors of war, the evils of ethnocentrism have resulted in extreme border surveillance (Perera 2002, p1). Fearing enemies within their midst, “the racialization, criminalization and targeting of suspect groups” is nurtured. What transpired are the ‘Patriot Acts’ in the United States, the White Paper on citizenship in the U.K, new anti-asylum seeker policies throughout the European Union and ‘Border Protection’ in Australia (Perera 2002, p1).


Mini Documentary on Modern Day ethnocentric stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims



Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogjm0DC-xAQ

Stereotyping Muslims (This Reality Bites 2007)


Online sites like “The Conversation” exemplify the role of the media in highlighting racial issues. In this site, academic Jon Stratton, contends that many non-white migrants entering Australia’s middle class are gravitating towards “honorary whiteness” (referred to as “model minority” in the US). Asylum seekers who fail to adopt “white values” are deemed “bad migrants”, while those who adopt white mannerisms gain more acceptance.

Post 9/11 saw an increase in sympathetic depictions of Arabs and Muslims on US television (Alsultany 2013, pp161-169). Often depicted as a terrorist, another “positive” portrayal of an Arab or Muslim is added to the storyline to counter the negative representation (Alsultany 2013, pp161-169; Huesmann et. al 2012, pp556–570). The Arabs are often shown as the unjust target of hate crimes or as patriotic US citizens. On one hand, American media project themselves as a unifying force. On the other hand, they propagate blatant racist stereotypes. This is a dangerous game played by the media.

Despite the sympathetic depictions on US commercial television, after 9/11, hate crimes, workplace discrimination, and bias incidents have escalated. (Alsultany 2013, pp161-169; Bodissey, 2011). These senseless yet terrifying events have unfortunately gone unabated in the decade after 9/11 and even spreaded to other Western nations. Bodissey claims “Since 11 September 2001, the epithet ‘Islamophobia’ has increasingly become in vogue in Britain” (Bodissey, 2011), manifested through intolerance, discrimination, unequal treatment, prejudice, stereotyping, hostility, and adverse public discourse.” (Bodissey, 2013). “So, is the media a friend or a foe?”

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Alsultany, E, 2013,‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era’, American Quarterly, vol.65, no.1, pp161-169, accessed 11/5/2014, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_quarterly/v065/65.1.alsultany.html.


Baron Bodissey, 2011, What does Islamphobia mean?, accessed 12/5/14, http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/10/what-does-islamophobia-mean/.


Huesmann, L, R, Dubow, E, F, Boxer, P, Souweidane, V & Ginges, J, 2012, ‘Foreign Wars and Domestic Prejudice: How Media Exposure to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Predicts Ethnic Stereotyping by Jewish and Arab American Adolescents’, Journal Of Research On Adolescence, vol.22, no.3, pp556–570, accessed 11/5/2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00785.x/pdf.


Khorana, Sukhmani, 2013, ‘On Being an “Ethnic Killjoy” in the Asian Century’, The Conversation, accessed 11/5/2014, http://theconversation.com/on-being-an-ethnic-killjoy-in-the-asian-century-19833.


Mahony, M, 2009, ‘What’s all the fuss about “blackface”?’, Crikey, accessed 11/5/2014, http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/10/08/crikey-clarifier-whats-all-the-fuss-about-blackface/.


Perera, S, 2002, ‘What is a camp, what is its juridico-political structure, that such events could take place there?’, Borderlands E-Journal, vol.1, no.1, p1, accessed 11/5/2014, http://www.borderlands.net.au/vol1no1_2002/perera_camp.html.


Raj, A 2014, ‘“Blackface” and the Minstrel Show’, weblog post, Impressions, 31 Aug, accessed 3/6/14, http://tvaraj.com/2014/05/28/blackface-and-the-minstrel-show/.


This Reality Bites 2007, Stereotyping Muslims, accessed 3/6/14, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogjm0DC-xAQ.

BCM310, Emerging issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 8 Gender and the Media

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 8 Gender and Media.

Date: 10 May 2014

In the eighth week of BCM310, we examine how the portrayal of gender in media impacts people and their view of genders.

Berberick (2010, pp1-15) contends that rising Internet use, ridiculous weight-loss advertisements and modern music videos that exhibit women immodestly, are encouraging women to take perilous steps to achieve an unrealistic media-crafted ideal. They reinforce the sexist belief that the female counterpart is imperfect and by extension, the male gender is more superior. The objectification and stereotyping of women in media brings them shame and fear; it also induces the treatment of them as inhuman playthings and encourages sexual harassment, and worse (Berberick 2010, pp1-15). Women themselves are ‘trapped’ in a vicious cycle of low self-esteem, depression and sexual assault, in their desire to emulate a virtually unattainable standard.

The television series “The Newsroom” portrays the male characters as “admirable or brave” (Ryan & Lacob 2012). It symbolizes misogyny, pillorying women as helpless and histrionic (Ryan & Lacob 2012). When a female presenter is asked to appear on “News Night” because of her shapely legs, it screams objectification (Ryan & Lacob 2012). Sadly, the female character accepts it, illustrating media’s portrayal of how women view themselves.

Similarly, for generations, Disney has portrayed women as either good or bad. A good woman is one who is passive, victimized or destroyed. Men are depicted as more superior (Gopal 2013, pp119-121). Only few Disney films, such as “Mulan” and “Pocahontas” showcase women’s strengths and capability (Gopal 2013, pp119-121; Tanner et al. 2003, pp355-373). In a study of Disney films, it was discovered that family relationships were prioritized, the diversity of families was simplified, mothers were sidelined, and the role of fathers, amplified (Tanner et al. 2003, pp355-373). In the recent Disney film “Frozen”, based on “The Snow Queen”, by Hans Christian Anderson, the classic portrayal of the Snow Queen as a villain has been rewritten as the deuteragonist and the character Elsa is manifested as a more misunderstood, kind-hearted, intelligent, playful character. Sadly, Disney’s portrayal of women has not changed over time as it merely transforms her from an intimidating tyrant to that of a weaker princess persona; again a stereotype of women, so typical of Disney films. The role of Disney films cannot be underestimated. Research has indicated that fairy tales help to mould a child’s view of the world (Gopal 2013, pp119-121). It is at their most impressionable age that they learnt, through Disney films, about the stereotypical roles of man and woman and are exposed to the conservative ways of thinking about the family system and feminist roles in fairy tales. Clearly, the media play a significant role in shaping perceptions.

Despite having an influential economic and cultural clout, the media fail miserably in its representation of women (Marcotte 2013). Commenting on the rape and murder trial of Adrian Ernest Bayley, Ford laments that the media give coverage to those women “we value most – the pretty, white, middle class, loved one” (Ford 2013). Martin, a 65 year-old sex worker and Jill Meagher, a pretty, white, middle class woman were murdered, a year apart, by the same man, Bayley (Ford 2013). Unlike Martin, Meagher’s death received nationwide coverage (Ford 2013). Thus, even if they give coverage to women, there is bias in media representation.

(500 words)



Berberick, S, N 2010, ‘The Objectification of Women in Mass Media: Female Self-Image in Misogynist Culture’, The New York Sociologist, vol.5, no.1, pp1-15, accessed 1/5/2014, http://newyorksociologist.org/11/Berberick2011.pdf.

Gopal, B, M, B, K 2013, ‘The Construction of Family in Selected Disney Animated Films’, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol.3, no.11, pp119-121, accessed 1/5/2014, http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_11_June_2013/13.pdf.

Ford, C 2013,‘How did we let Adrian Bayley happen?’, DailyLife.com.au., 14 June, accessed 1/5/2014,

Marcotte, M 2013, ‘Gender Inequity in Public Media Newsrooms’, weblog post, MVM Consulting, March, accessed 1/5/2014,

Ryan, M & Lacob, J 2012, ‘“The Newsroom”: Women Problems Abound in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Series’, weblog post, Huffingtonpost.com, 7 Feb, accessed 1/5/2014,

Tanner, L, R, Haddock, S, A, Zimmerman, T, S & Lund, L, K 2003, ‘Images of Couples and Families in Disney feature-length animated Films’, The American Journal of Family Therapy, vol.31, no.5, pp355-373, accessed 1/5/2014, http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_11_June_2013/13.pdf.

BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 7 Journalism and Emerging Issues

Date: 27 April 2014

Blogpost 5

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 7 Journalism and Emerging Issues

In the seventh week, our guest lecturer, Miss Siti Sarwa, discussed what journalism is; who journalists are; emerging issues in journalism, their impact and significance on media and communications and vice-versa. Miss Siti Sarwa is a veteran reporter for RTM.

To my understanding, journalism is the process and concept of gathering, editing and producing information and news and presenting it to the public. These activities of gathering information, interpreting it, and spreading it are carried out by journalists (Van Der Haak, Parks & Castells 2012, pp2923–2938).

Initially journalism was a profession where only trained people carried out the tasks (Deuze 2005, pp442–464). Today, with the internet, journalism is no longer confined to the professionals (Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342). Common people have taken to writing blogs and posting their own opinions on virtually every topic. They even discuss technical topics and medical subjects as though they are experts. This is very dangerous as some people who read these blogs are gullible enough to believe what these laymen have posted on the internet (Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342).

Take the case of the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 on March 8 2014. All kinds of theories abounded in the internet. This situation has impacted the relationship between the people of China and Malaysia, as most of the passengers on board the ill-fated plane were Chinese citizens. The Chinese have even accused the Malaysian government of being murderers.

Conversely, so many ‘pseudo journalists’ have contributed to the abundance of information and generation of discussion on various topics in the internet (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179). This has led people to question the news in mainstream newspapers, which is deemed censored or manipulated by the government in countries like North Korea and China (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Lazaroiu 2010, pp264–272).

Sharing the news spotlight in Malaysia today is the visit by the US President, Barack Obama. Since the last US presidential visit was 47 years ago, this is a big deal to Malaysia, considering the United States is a superpower. Is it a coincidence that his arrival follows so closely behind the mysterious disappearance of FlightMH370? Or is he here to ensure that Malaysia becomes a signatory to the TPPA. Is he also here to enlist Malaysia’s help in keeping watch over China’s rising influence in this region? The US President could be of the opinion that Malaysia is truly a moderate Muslim country and his itinerary includes a visit to the National Mosque proves that the US is not against Islam. Could it be the US fears of Malaysia being a terrorist hub? I think these theories are not so far-fetched.

In my opinion, the more bizarre the news, the more the media will seek to cover it. Current events in Malaysia affect the media as journalists scramble to find the hard facts about the disappearance of Flight MH370. For the first time, so many foreign news media, like CNN, converge in Malaysia. Richard Quest of CNN in his interview of the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, demonstrates the power of the media in highlighting the world’s current negative opinion of Malaysia.

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Deuze, M 2005, ‘What is journalism? Professional identity and ideology of journalists reconsidered’, Journalism, vol. 6, no. 4, pp442–464, accessed 23/4/2014, http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/6/4/442.full.pdf+html.

Domingo, D, Quandt, T, Heinonen, A, Paulussen, S, Singer, J, B, & Vujnovic, M 2008, “Participatory Journalism Practices In The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, vol.2, no.3, pp326-342, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://jclass.umd.edu/classes/jour698m/domingo.pdf.

Lazaroiu, G 2010, ‘MEDIA CONCENTRATION, DIGITAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS, AND THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA ON THE NEWS ENVIRONMENT’ Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, vol.5, no.2, pp264–272, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/748829708/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Lewis, S, C, Kaufhold, K, Lasorsa, D, L 2009, ‘THINKING ABOUT CITIZEN JOURNALISM’, Journalism Practice, vol. 4, no.2, pp163-179, accessed: 5/4/2014, https://online.journalism.utexas.edu/2009/papers/Lewisetal09.pdf.

Van Der Haak, B, Parks, M, Castells, M 2012, ‘The Future of Journalism: Networked Journalism’, International Journal of Communication vol.6, no.1, pp2923–2938, accessed 23/4/2014, http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/1750/832.

BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 6 Creative Cities and Public Media Spaces

Date: 20 April 2014

Blogpost 4

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 6 Creative Cities and Public Media Spaces

In the sixth week, we discussed creative cities, public media spaces and aesthetic journalism, their impact and significance on media and communications and vice-versa.

To my understanding, “The Creative City” is a concept which identifies, nurtures, attracts and sustains talent and in doing so, is able to mobilize ideas, talents and creativity and generate thoughts and imagination. To establish the milieu, the built environment – the stage and the setting – is crucial. A creative milieu contains the necessary hard and soft infrastructure to generate ideas and inventions (Pratt 2011, pp123–130). A milieu can be a building, a street, or a city such as Hollywood and Milan. Fan fiction sites on the internet such as FanFic.com are non-physical creative cities that enable users to create or rewrite stories, generating new versions of existing works, impacting the way these works can be presented in the media, thereby affecting media and communications. Conversely, media and communications, such as the internet, facilitate creativity.

Aesthetic journalism employs images and pictures rather than words to communicate an idea or even culture. According to Pratt (2011, pp123–130) “Art and other forms of ‘aesthetic’ information, like documentary, online projects and advertising … has become an expansion of mass-media …journalism”. Many tribes have been using aesthetic means of communications, via symbols or images to express and manifest feelings or emotions. Festivals, art and music (without lyrics) are forms of aesthetic journalism, practised since time immemorial (Cramerotti 2009, 1-135).

Pratt opines that aesthetic journalism contributes to building (critical) knowledge. Thus, scientific knowledge depends on ‘visualization’ to be understood and politics relies on daily news to raise its credibility (Pratt 2011, pp123–130). The “artist-researcher”, being the narrator, takes responsibility for his work. Artistic ‘platforms’ such as museums and art galleries, cultural programs ( like the EU programme Culture 2000), art magazines, university conferences and online forums facilitate the dissemination of information. The activities and themes produced by art generate an ‘art discourse’ (Cramerotti, A 2009, 1-135; Pratt 2011, pp123–130; MacQueen, K 2010, p62).

Aesthetic journalism, aided by the rapid rise of social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, provides users with new means of expressions and connections, and enables mass participation in public discourse (Cramerotti, A 2009, 1-135; Pratt 2011, pp123–130; MacQueen, K 2010, p62; Lazaroiu 2010, pp264–272). These “electronic settings” represent the public media spaces whereby participants can create real-time visual and acoustic environments that span physically separate entities and time. These have impacted the balance between personal (private) space, community (public) space, and corporate (commercial) space, institutional structures and professional routines through which both public and private communication becomes intertwined with social media’s commercial mechanisms, transforming the political economy of the media landscape (Cramerotti, A 2009, 1-135; Pratt 2011, pp123–130; MacQueen, K 2010, p62). This has significant implications as the mass media, civil society organizations, and state institution will need to reassess their position in public space.

In my opinion, culture and creativity drives all innovation. Furthermore, without creativity and imagination, the world would be devoid of entertainment. Imagine a world without Hollywood, the fashion industry without Paris or Milan. People are always seeking ways to be entertained and creativity and imagination help fulfill this desire. Media and communications help to facilitate and develop creativity and imagination and vice-versa.

(497 words)



Cramerotti, A 2009, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing, Intellect Books, Chicago, USA, accessed 5/4/2014, http://books.google.com.my/books?id=cyKb7dQrmlAC&q=%3A+How+to+Inform+Without+Informing#v=snippet&q=%3A%20How%20to%20Inform%20Without%20Informing&f=false.

Lazaroiu, G 2010, ‘MEDIA CONCENTRATION, DIGITAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS, AND THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA ON THE NEWS ENVIRONMENT’ Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, vol.5, no.2, pp264–272, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/748829708/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Mcquire, S 2010, ‘Rethinking media events: large screens, public space broadcasting and beyond’, New Media Society, vol.12, no.4, pp567-582, accessed 14/4/2014, http://nms.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/12/4/567.full.pdf+html.

MacQueen, K 2010, ‘AESTHETIC JOURNALISM: HOW TO INFORM WITHOUT INFORMING BY ALFREDO CRAMEROTTI’, The Art Book, vol. 17, no.4, p62, accessed 14/4/2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8357.2010.01137_14.x/pdf.

Pratt, A, C 2011, ‘The cultural contradictions of the creative city’, City, Culture and Society, vol.2, no.3, pp123–130, accessed 14/4/2014, http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/cmci/people/papers/pratt/contradictions.pdf.

BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 5 The future of journalism: not just a business problem

Date: 26 March 2014

Blogpost 3

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 5 The The future of journalism: not just a business problem

In the Fifth week, for BCM310, we discussed what journalism is, the future of journalism, its effects on the public sphere and how social media affect journalism and finally how the rise of citizen journalism impacts media and communications and vice-versa.

To my understanding, journalism is the art of creating, communicating, and updating news and/or information. It is an ongoing process which can never be suppressed, that is its greatest virtues and faults. Its virtues are obvious as it enables information to be propagated to the relevant parties. With the internet as a popular channel of journalism, news is so easily dispersed. Also, the identity of the journalist has transformed from that of a professional nature to that of the lay man. Citizen journalists are your regular individuals, who, though not professionally trained are capable of generating and dispersing news to a global audience. He is equally effective in influencing others. Herein lies the fault of journalism. Imagine an untrained, irresponsible citizen journalist posting blueprints of weapons or bombs on the internet. This can cause mayhem.

Before the internet age, with small and closely knit social networks, reporting and journalism had a limited reach, occurring via direct interaction among community members orally (Hennig-Thurau et. al 2010, pp311-330; Chen 2012, pp1-7). Individual and situational factors affect access to and observation of events, as well as the screening of information (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Chen 2012, pp1-7). Additionally, some community members might be excluded from news or get a distorted version of it.

Today, with the wide-reaching ‘tentacles’ of the new media a whole new global range of consumers has access to a ginormous pool, of proactive and real-time knowledge made by journalists worldwide. This has encouraged newspapers to explore newsroom convergence. Journalists have also embraced the new media as they enable journalists to better understand their consumers, thanks to increased consumer interactions (Hennig-Thurau et. al 2010, pp311-330; Lazaroiu 2010, pp264–272).

The shift from print to online newspapers, and the rise of participatory journalism has shattered the boundaries between print, broadcast and online media and altered the definitions of professional journalism, lending a new dimension to it (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Salman et. al 2011, pp1-11). In my opinion, this has resulted in a total disregard for the professional codes of journalism.

Previously, news organizations treated journalism as a profession and as a means of dispersing information through breaking news or entertainment channels like animation, reality shows, talk shows and music TV series (MTV). Today, spurred by increased citizen journalism, they have veered towards disseminating information, rather than making a career out of it.

These are exciting and challenging times for journalism and the media. Galvanized in part by global technological and economic uncertainty, journalism is experiencing a turbulent change. John V. Pavlik opines that the long-term success of the news media in this digital era is contingent to innovation, guided by four principles: intelligence or research; a commitment to freedom of speech; a dedication to the pursuit of truth and accuracy in reporting; and ethics (Pavlik 2013, pp181-193). He contends that early innovations by news media leaders that adhere to these principles are successful in attracting audience and generating digital revenue (Pavlik 2013, pp181-193).

(495 words)



Chen, G, M 2012, ‘The Impact of New Media on Intercultural Communication in Global Context’, China Media Research, vol.8, no.2, pp1-7, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://ey9ff7jb6l.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=The+impact+of+new+media+on+intercultural+communication+in+global+context&rft.jtitle=China+Media+Research&rft.au=Chen%2C+Guo-Ming&rft.date=2012-04-01&rft.pub=Edmondson+Intercultural+Enterprises&rft.issn=1556-889X&rft.eissn=1932-3476&rft.volume=8&rft.issue=2&rft.spage=1&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=289120576&paramdict=en-US.

Domingo, D, Quandt, T, Heinonen, A, Paulussen, S, Singer, J, B, & Vujnovic, M 2008, “Participatory Journalism Practices In The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, vol.2, no.3, pp326-342, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://jclass.umd.edu/classes/jour698m/domingo.pdf.

Hennig-Thurau, T, Malthouse, E, C, Friege, C, Gensler, S, Lobschat, L, Rangaswamy, A, and Skiera, B 2010, ‘The Impact of New Media on Customer Relationships’, Journal of Service Research, vol.13, no.3, pp311-330, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://jsr.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/13/3/311.full.pdf+html.

Lazaroiu, G 2010, ‘MEDIA CONCENTRATION, DIGITAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS, AND THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA ON THE NEWS ENVIRONMENT’ Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, vol.5, no.2, pp264–272, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/748829708/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Pavlik, John, V 2013, “Innovation And The Future Of Journalism,” Digital Journalism, vol.1, no.2, pp181-193.

Salman, A, Ibrahim, F, Hj.Abdullah, M, Y, Mustaffa, N & Mahbob, M, H 2011, ‘The Impact of New Media on Traditional Mainstream Mass Media’, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, vol.16, no.3, pp1-11, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://www.innovation.cc/scholarly-style/ali_samman_new+media_impac116v3i7a.pdf.

BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 4 The Public Sphere

Date: 20 March 2014

Blogpost 2

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication, Chapter 4 The Public Sphere of Imagination

In the fourth week, for BCM310, we discussed the topic of public sphere, what public sphere is, how it affects Media and Communications and vice-versa.

To me, the Public Sphere is all around us. It is both ideal and actual; a place where the public congregate and express opinions on issues of interest, whether sensitive or of trivial popular cultural nature (Berkowitz 2009, pp290–292; McGuigan 2005, pp427–443).

According to Jurger Habermas, the structural transformation of the public sphere from 1962 to 1989 saw the shift from feudal monarchical society to enlightenment values (McGuigan 2005, pp427–443). The public sphere represents the ideal state where citizens meet to discuss societal needs (McGuigan 2005, pp427–443). Habermas opined that, by mid- 20th century, commercial interest and public relations have diluted and distorted press freedom and open debate. Initially, the public sphere included coffee shops and bars. Later, newspapers provided an opportune forum for discussion among the bourgeois (McGuigan 2005, pp427–443). Today, social media like video sites and blogs such as YouTube and WordPress provide a convenient and real-time realm for discussion, enabling the prodigious proliferation and growth of the public sphere.

The public sphere can be viewed from a “literary” lens and “cultural” lens. The former covers public opinions, public agenda and media agenda. The latter encompasses videos, public comments, movies, television series and even songs.

From a literary lens, the Apocalypse, a hotly-debated media topic, is a phantasmagoric vision of the end of time. The Tsunami which claimed thousands of lives and the recent mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 have prompted us to view life differently, besides spawning much discussion. Hollywood creates entertaining apocalyptic films (e.g. Left Behind) and TV series (e.g. The Walking Dead) to be used as a media agenda. Stephen D. Reese asserts that “The powerful can manipulate the media, but under some conditions media assert their own power and agenda” (Anderson 2011, pp309-340). To me, the media profit from our fear of Doomsday, playing on people’s emotions and inquisitiveness to see how an Apocalypse can occur and how they can survive it. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films generate much debate within the public sphere on whether the end is nigh or will it herald the revival of the world and humanity and whether we will attain utopia or plunge into dystopia. This is a vivid illustration of the role of media in influencing the public sphere.

From a cultural view, the war on terror by the west and America has greatly influenced the media. Once again, Reese’s comments come to mind. Through the control of both the public sphere and media by the powerful, namely the USA and its allies, the enemies are portrayed as oppressive brutes bent on crushing the freedom of others (Calabrese & Burke 1992, pp52 – 73; McGuigan 2005, pp427–443). And that their cause is the only right cause. The hit post-9/11 TV drama series “24” exemplifies America’s obsession with the war on terror. It alludes that all Muslims, particularly those from the Middle-East are vicious terrorists. The media has clearly attempted to portray America as the ‘good guy’ (Calabrese & Burke 1992, pp52 – 73; McGuigan 2005, pp427–443; Tenenboim-Weinblatt 2009, pp367-87). They glorify America by showing how the American hero, Jack Bauer, always manages to save the day (Tenenboim-Weinblatt 2009, pp367-87).

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Anderson, J, A 2011, Communication Yearbook 14, Issue 14, Routledge, Third Avenue, New York, accessed 27/3/2014, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3VqLAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA309&dq=stephen+d+reese+communication+yearbook+14&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sphCU_vWNIiKrgfNn4DYCQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=stephen%20d%20reese%20communication%20yearbook%2014&f=false.

Berkowitz, D 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, vol.10, no.3, pp290–292, accessed 20/3/2014, http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/10/3/290.

Calabrese, A & Burke, B, R 1992, ‘American Identities: Nationalism, the Media, and the Public Sphere’, Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol.16, no.2, pp52 – 73, accessed 20/3/2014, http://jci.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/16/2/52.

McGuigan, J 2005, ‘The cultural public sphere’, Cultural Studies, vol.8, no.4, pp427–443, accessed 20/3/2014, http://ecs.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/8/4/427.full.pdf+html.

Tenenboim-Weinblatt, K. 2009, ‘Where Is Jack Bauer When You Need Him?” The Uses of Television Drama in Mediated Political Discourse’, Political Communication, vol.26, no.4, pp367-87, accessed 20/3/2014, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/10584600903296960.

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