Rewind and Reflect

Looking back on the last 6 weeks I’ve encountered many new concepts, ideas and theories in regards to the media such as The media effects model, Controversial ads, Media control, Semiotics, The Mediated public sphere and most recently the controversial idea of ‘corporate pedophilia’. Each of these concepts can be considered when we tackle the perverted idea of sexualisation and exploitation of children in the media.

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Via the mediated public sphere everything is debatable due to different perspectives out of which arise different interpretations. Take Eden Wood for example, a former “Toddlers and Tiara’s” star, who started pageants at only 14 months, and now has her own Televison show “Eden’s World” at only 9 years old. The child star is a huge topic of debate in the mediated public sphere constantly featured on television, radio, and discussed on online chatrooms by fans and conflicted viewers of her shows. There is a growing concern of the exploitation and sexualisation of Eden as a young child, according to Joanne Faulkner “The depiction in magazines and on television of children adopting apparently ‘coquettish’ postures, the wearing of make-up or adult-looking clothes, and the products marketed to children are all identified as signs of the decline of childhood innocence” – ‘The Innocence Fetish: The Commodification and Sexualisation of Children in the Media and Popular Culture’ Media International Australia, No 135, pp. 106.

The idea of the media being blamed, derived from the media effects model, also links in with Eden as she’s compared to the former 6 year old murdered pageant star, JonBenét Ramsay, who has sparked continuous debate that by putting a young child, sexualised on display her innocence was stripped and contributed to her sexual abuse and murder, as quoted by her Father I now believe with all my heart that it’s not a good idea to put your child on public display.” It is controversial as Australia lobbies against pedaphiles, demanding that predators be punished, yet media allows and therefore condones the sexual display by children such as pelvic thrusts, heavy makeup and outfits that frame the child’s underdeveloped body as arousing and mature.

Perhaps we must consider the changing ideology of the world. Children are a focus of so much debate around the role of the media because they’re seen as innocent and vulnerable (their behaviour can be influenced by media, and what they view to be ‘popular’ or ‘trending’ and wish to conform with) yet we must realise that with an advancing world of technology children are growing up faster and therefore physically advancing. There is less privacy surrounding child lives, now with the introduction of Facebook as a necessary means of communication, social media has become essential to life therefore between generations different conservative ideologies are emerging between what is ‘right’, and what is ‘wrong’.

References:

JonBenét Ramsey’s Father Criticizes Toddlers & Tiaras: It’s Very Bizarre | E! Online UK. 2014. JonBenét Ramsey’s Father Criticizes Toddlers & Tiaras: It’s Very Bizarre | E! Online UK. [ONLINE] Available at:http://au.eonline.com/news/300881/jonbenet-ramsey-s-father-criticizes-toddlers-tiaras-it-s-very-bizarre. [Accessed 09 April 2014].

MICKIE AND EDEN WOODS – A BLOODY JOKE – Topix. 2014. MICKIE AND EDEN WOODS – A BLOODY JOKE – Topix. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.topix.com/forum/au/brisbane/T93MHHFOJRPC0NCLH. [Accessed 09 April 2014].

‘The Innocence Fetish: The Commodification and Sexualisation of Children in the Media and Popular Culture’ Media International Australia, No 135, pp. 106-117 [Accessed 09 April 2014]

 

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Geordie are you Shore this is entertainment?!

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Geordie Shore is a reality television show on MTV that follows a group of housemates living together in the UK’s Newcastle. Sounds innocent enough right? Wrong.

Best known for outrageous and shocking drunken antics and X-rated sex scenes Geordie Shore singlehandedly portrays England’s youth to be wild, binge-drinking party people who are always up for drama, a fiery row and ‘a shag’. Their careless lifestyle coincides with their disrespect towards strangers, each other, and the women the boys bring home they demean to calling “mingers“. With all these various aspects there’s no wonder the show contributes to debate in the mediated public sphere.

The exchange of public opinion regarding Geordie Shore has been no less than aggressive, disgusted debate amongst viewers, posting on online chatrooms one viewer negatively ranted “It’s like they’ve ran out of ideas to air on the TV…It’s a load of rubbish how a city full of well rounded people with a few di**heads is now getting stereotyped as the people from Geordie shore” and another “This show should be banned from TV, it really is disgusting and degrading to the human race, these guys are the human waste, failed people”

Discussion in the mediated public sphere arises as whether this reality TV show is an appropriate form of entertainment for the main target viewers of MTV: youth. The concerning issues that are raised are not only the promotion of the binge culture and youth alcoholism but privacy is incredibly diluted as both the males and females openly discuss their sex lives on camera involving both housemates and complete strangers. Much debate still surrounds Geordie Shore since its launch in 2011 as it continues to be a popular media text provoking dispute in the mediated public sphere.

 

References:

Geordie Shore – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2014. Geordie Shore – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geordie_Shore. [Accessed 03 April 2014].

“Geordie Shore” Reviews & Ratings – IMDb. 2014. “Geordie Shore” Reviews & Ratings – IMDb. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1960255/reviews. [Accessed 03 April 2014].

Does anyone else find Geordie Shore people pathetic/disgusting? – The Student Room. 2014. Does anyone else find Geordie Shore people pathetic/disgusting? – The Student Room. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1955719. [Accessed 03 April 2014].

Geordie Shore – News, views, gossip, pictures, video – Mirror Online. 2014.Geordie Shore – News, views, gossip, pictures, video – Mirror Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/all-about/geordie%20shore. [Accessed 03 April 2014].

Tales and Traverses of An Ingenious Paradox – CULTURE: THE DOUCHES and ACES OF NEWCASTLE. 2014. Tales and Traverses of An Ingenious Paradox – CULTURE: THE DOUCHES and ACES OF NEWCASTLE. [ONLINE] Available at:http://aningeniousparadox.tumblr.com/post/26424244509/culture-the-douches-and-aces-of-newcastle. [Accessed 03 April 2014].

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How much public opinion do the public actually control?

In the tangled media web there are various spiders scattered amongst it who are seen to control the media, that is what we read, hear, and view on TV.

Now I know, as a fellow Generation Y, that the media is supposed to be our friend. We grew up watching TV, learning our alphabet from Sesame Street, and are the most fluent generation with technology – our main access to the media. So you may be sitting here shocked, astounded, that someone is literally controlling everything you view and hear & may be shaping the way you think – and if not, I hope you are by the end of this blog post.

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In Australia the largest media company is News Limited, owned by Rupert Murdoch, with the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Australian as its main newspapers. These newspapers are just a few of the 17.3 Million newspapers that News Corp sells each week – (59% of overall newspaper sales each week) When you consider the papers published by Fairfax media you come to the conclusion that merely two companies control an astounding 84% of the weekly newspaper sales in Australia.  I can’t imagine there’d be too many varied opinions arising by citizens when they’re only exposed to such a minimal amount of news coverage. Still don’t think the media is shaping our ideas and opinions?

In our media web we also have other spiders such as Bruce Gordon, one of Australia’s richest men, who owns WIN television and is the biggest shareholder of Channel 10. Gina Rinehart, the 4th richest woman in world, who also has a share in channel 10, is the biggest shareholder in Fairfax Media, and owns massive mining rights in WA. Kerry Stokes who owns channel 7 and yahoo7. John Singleton who owns Macquarie radio network and James Packer who owns Foxtel and Telstra.

Diversity of media ownership is declining, at the same time as there is a proliferation of media users and producers.  We must ask ourselves how much public opinion do the public actually control?

References:

Factbox: Who owns what in the Australian media | SBS News. 2014. Factbox: Who owns what in the Australian media | SBS News. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2012/06/22/factbox-who-owns-what-australian-media. [Accessed 31 March 2014]

Gen Y Taking Technology To New Level – InformationWeek. 2014. Gen Y Taking Technology To New Level – InformationWeek. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.informationweek.com/gen-y-taking-technology-to-new-level/d/d-id/1045714?. [Accessed 31 March 2014].

FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?. 2014. FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://theconversation.com/factcheck-does-murdoch-own-70-of-newspapers-in-australia-16812. [Accessed 31 March 2014].

Hart, Elizabeth, ‘Media Ownership’ in Media and Journalism, Bainbridge, J., Goc, N. and Tynan, L. (eds.) Oxford University Press: Melbourne, 2008, pp. 400-408, accessed 31/3/14 http://www.oup.com.au/__data/assets/…/Bainbridge_1e_Case_Study_6.pdf

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People for ethical treatment of humans?

Pamela Anderson, a known Baywatch Blonde Bombshell, is a recognised supporter of the charity PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals)  but in the ad that Canada banned for its controversy we as responders must question, are PETA also focusing on the ethical treatment of humans in their quest for ethical treatment of animals?

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The shocking advertisement’s caption reads “All animals have the same parts” as Anderson poses in a bikini with her body parts marked and labeled in black “ribs” “rump” “leg” etc, in an attempt to mirror the slaughter creatures are subject to by butchers and expose the cruel nature of these acts. In this extremely controversial ad varied opinions exist, as its clear main objective was to shock and confront viewers, yet we must question our personal ethics and values as to ‘where do we draw the line?

In the debatable image Anderson is deliberately dehumanized as PETA are accused of treating the actress as nothing more than a piece of meat. The risqué image attempted to promote the vegetarian lifestyle yet at the same time is undeniably allowing the actress to be degraded and compared to an animal about to be slaughtered for human consumption. This disgusting and shocking similarity of a human to an animal also brings up a sexist argument of why a female is utilized, and not a male? If the advertisement was purely to confront viewers that animals too have feelings, families and lives why not utilize a group of people rather than one single female exposed in a bikini? Is this a further degradation of women or are PETA also integrating the idea that ‘sex sells’ and therefore demeaning Anderson further, literally using her body.

The advertisements shocking denotation and connotations are what makes the campaign so very forceful and confronting, yet forces us to question our personal morals and where the line should be drawn.

References:

Pamela Anderson Shows That All Animals Have the Same Parts. 2014. Pamela Anderson Shows That All Animals Have the Same Parts. [ONLINE] Available at: https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3205. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

PAMELA ANDERSON PETA AD BANNED IN CANADA | Weekly World News. 2014. PAMELA ANDERSON PETA AD BANNED IN CANADA | Weekly World News. [ONLINE] Available at:http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/19175/pamela-anderson-peta-ad-banned-in-canada/. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

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Find me someone to blame!

Perhaps we’ve derived the notion that someone is always at fault from the tender age where ‘dobbing’ was necessary in order to switch the blame from yourself to the other kid who so totally did ‘that thing’ he was not supposed to do, and you had absolutely no part in it. In today’s society there’s no doubt that media plays a huge part in our lives and therefore is receiving much blame.

“No way, I’m a free spirit! Media doesn’t control me” –

You exclaim as you read this text on your Ipad hooked up to the university’s wireless internet, that you’re also connected to on your Iphone ready to post a ‘#rant’ tweet (under 140 characters of course)

In my opinion the media effects model fails as it’s seemingly selective in its criticisms of depictions of violence that appear in the media. George Gerbner’s cultivation theory argues that when television contains violence, responders often develop an exaggerated belief of a mean, frightening outside world and we immediately position ourselves, as an audience, as vulnerable, gullible idiots playing the ‘victim’ consumers. But if this is true we must take into account that the media depictions of violence that the effects model recognises are limited to fictional productions and the acts of violence reported on the daily news are somehow magically exempt.

In no way am I arguing that we turn a blind eye to the current affairs, but merely to draw attention to the model’s lack of recognition that if antisocial acts displayed in movies & television can be blamed for mirrored violent outbursts by consumers or fear of the outside world, would the gang rape of a 14 year old female in Sydney’s Doonside or the abduction and murder of 5 year old April Jones not confront viewers substantially greater than Wile. E Coyote and the Road Runners ongoing cartoon rivalry?

 

References:

http://www.theory.org.uk Resources: Media Effects. 2014. http://www.theory.org.uk Resources: Media Effects. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm. [Accessed 10 March 2014].

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A little about me :)

To start off my blogging journey I thought I’d be incredibly cliché and throw in a quote
Martin Luther King, Jr “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write”

I’m an 18 year old Sydney girl, born & raised in the Shire. Call me Jess, call me Jessica, just don’t call me Jessie & I promise we can be good friends. I’ve always been incredibly interested in creative outlets, more specifically writing, since the mere age of 5 when I self-elected myself a publisher creating my own magazine and selling it to my Mum for 50c (LOL, maybe I’m sharing too much?!)

I’m currently studying a double degree of Journalism and Communication & Media at the University of Wollongong.

I love to learn and meet new people and I’m so ecstatic to start writing this new chapter of my life at UOW.
This blog is merely a platform in which I aim to share a little about myself, my passions and my journey.

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