The topics we researched in our blog posts in these past weeks have made me look at popular media in a whole new light. I now feel I understand a lot better why SBS and ABC are the places to go for unbiased news coverage, along with the less obvious things like how a photo can have numerous different meanings depending on what context you’re looking at it in. Researching the media effects model, semiotics, media ownership control, the public sphere, moral panic and corporate paedophilia, and executing these concepts ourselves through our blog posts, has given me a lot to think about whenever I’m engaged in the media now. I think about who really owns that newspaper which is telling me that global warming is nothing to be concerned about, along with what this picture is really signifying? Who found out that 50.2% of teens are now drinking less and why the media is to blame? (That’s the first positive thing I’ve seen that the media may be responsible for.)
The media effects model showed me the extent the media is truly being blamed for psychological issues in everyone from toddlers to adults. I’ve learnt that the media does portray copious amounts of violence, unrealistic body images and cyberbullying does happen on media platforms, but I’ve also learnt that people are objective beings and everybody can be adversely affected by the media ‘except for me’.
Semiotics explores the science of signs in images and studies the perceived meanings behind them. This was significant for us to research to understand what the connotations and denotations behind an image represent. For example:
This image taken by Jonathan Hobin, is denoting the tragedy which occurred on 9/11 in which 2,996 people died in the attack. Yet this image holds the connotations that it was all a ‘kids playroom game’ and that in such a tragedy we’re all just as helpless as young children. Further suggesting how ingrained into the American culture this attack has become, that kids no older than 5 have the ability to imitate it as if it was a scene from a cartoon.
My understanding of ‘The Mediated Public Sphere’ is that it’s a metaphor for ‘popular culture’. A place where people discuss almost anything in their society, I’ve learnt that it’s criticism as being ‘feminised’ stems from the apparently trivialised and over personalised aspects of discussion. Yet through further research I now believe that The Mediated Public Sphere is an integral way of keeping the citizens of the world connected through common personal, sometimes fragmented, similarities. After all, ‘the personal is political’.
Finally the term ‘Moral Panic’ which is the extreme social response of the belief that the moral standards of society are declining at an accelerated pace, I’ve discovered has been fabricated to distract the public attention from the real social problems, justifying the control over society (Crossman A, 2104) . Along the more disturbing ‘Corporate Pedophilia’, which is the use of young children in advertisements aimed at kids using sexual provocation to sell their product.
One quote I took down from our lecture was the reminder that the very young girls portrayed in the media, “They are our daughters.” As if the audience needed the further emphasis that these girls meant something to somebody somewhere, to justify they were still human. Not just pretty pictures on a screen, as if they had been detached from the real world and placed into the mediated public sphere purely for entertaining, advertising and money purposes.
My travels through the blog-sphere these past five weeks have left me feeling like quite an educated individual on the ins and outs of the media. I’ve also learnt apparently rabbits have cute penises.
- Week 2,3,4,5,6 BCM110 Lecture notes, 2014
- Crossman A 2014, Moral Panic About.com; Sociology viewed 11 April 2014 <http://sociology.about.com/od/M_Index/g/Moral-Panic.htm>
- Carlisle, E 2013, Questions and Answers or More Confusion? Q&A and the Problematic Practice of Public Sphere Therory’, Melbourne, viewed 11 April 2014 http://www.academia.edu/5305277/Questions_and_Answers_or_More_Confusion_Q_and_A_and_the_Problematic_Practice_of_Public_Sphere_Theory