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.

(488 words)

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References

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.

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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)

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References

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)

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References

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).

(500 words)

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References

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.

BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication, Introduction

Date: 20 March 2014

Blogpost 1

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication, Introduction

In the first two weeks, we were introduced to the subject of BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication which addresses breaking issues affecting the media and communications industries, how innovation, regulation and policy in media and communications interrelate with social issues. Relevant topics include health communications, climate change, media piracy and digital social inclusion (Goins, 2013, pp13-14). We also discussed the media, new media, WikiLeaks, and activists.

New media refer to on-demand access to content and real-time generation of new and unregulated content, which includes interactive user feedback and creative participation They are digital, often can be manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and interactive. They include the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, video games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. They exclude television programs, feature films, paper-based publications – unless they enable digital interactivity (Goins, 2013, pp13-14).

Thanks to new technology, new media enable us to tweet and check our status updates on social websites, have access to wide-ranging resources, up-to-date news and linkages to others worldwide (Ohta et al. 2013, pp1-5). More significantly, we can create media ourselves, download music and pictures, post blogs and offer our views on a myriad of issues to a worldwide audience (Ohta et al. 2013, pp1-5). We are both consumers and prosumers.
Life has been revolutionized with new media.

However, our intoxication with social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have made us neglects face-to-face communication. Likewise, on the Internet, news can spiral uncontrollably, for e.g. WikiLeaks which proved a headache for the US government or we may encounter extreme views that might be disturbing or unverifiable (Benkler 2011, pp311-397; Coddington 2012, pp377-396; Rosen, 2010). Similarly, cyber bullying threatens the lives and well-being of youths. Pedophiles and stalkers scrutinize social media for potential victims. Terrorists tap the Internet to recruit members. Our privacy online is invaded. In my opinion, the initial euphoria surrounding the new media can turn into a nightmare for those whose identities are stolen or whose privacy is violated.
(299 words)

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References

Benkler, Y 2011, ‘A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks and the Battle Over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate,’ Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, vol.46, no.2, pp311-397, accessed 20/3/2014, http://harvardcrcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Benkler.pdf.

Coddington, M 2012, ‘Defending a Paradigm by Patrolling a Boundary: Two Global Newspapers Approach to WikiLeaks’, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, vol.89, no.3, pp377-396, accessed 20/3/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/1036601494/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Goins, J, D 2013, ‘Emerging New Media Issues’, Computer and Internet Lawyer, vol.30, no.1, pp13-14, accessed 20/3/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/1269701561/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Ohta, N, Takahara, A, Jajszczyk, A & Saracco, R 2013, ‘Emerging Technologies in Communications’ IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol.31, no.9, pp1-5, accessed 20/3/2014, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6585876.

Rosen, J 2010, ‘The Afghanistan War Logs Released by Wikileaks, the World’s First Stateless News Organization’, weblog post, Press Think, 26 July, accessed 20/3/2014, http://archive.pressthink.org/2010/07/26/wikileaks_afghan.html.

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