Ethical Journalism …

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Media manipulation, its impact on the scientific research of climate change and how this research reaches and affects an educated or uneducated audience is one under much debate. Documentation of initial and ongoing politics of global media coverage that surrounds climate change, the imbalance in its analysis, its response to legislative initiatives and the fluctuating, impermanence of global warming stories present in the mainstream media show substantial discrepancies in accuracy and integrity. Such errors begin to intensify when the ability to manipulate a global audience on such an important environmental level flourish far more frequently, be this sensationalised, underestimated or ‘falsely balanced.’

The idea of ‘false balance’ – the “over simplified notion of providing ‘balance’ in reporting on news involving different perspectives, journalists increasingly and rightly, take their clues from the leading and acknowledged scientific experts” which show global warming is actually occurring, but still proceed to show the minority percentage who disagree, as a somewhat majority opposition. Political scientists are especially sensitive to the way in which the media handles this issue, fearing that the media shape the publics perception of what is important while accurate scientific research is drifting far from their spotlight, allowing ignorance to take its place. 

Here is a short clip that illustrates the extent of this by professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University; Stephen Schnieder. 

Most people do not read scientific reports, specialist web­sites and blogs, or the reports of the IPCC, they turn to what would be expected to be a ‘straightforward’ and ‘concise’ version in a daily newspaper or report, however, most news labels and corporations only tailor their stories to suit their payrolls, it is their first priority to prosper as a business, presenting a reliable article or television segment with honest facts and proven research does not always provide this.

It is concluded by Ward in his article on climate change reporting that the ethical principles facing this issue will “play out over the coming years and decades in light of the pressures the mainstream news media (MSM) are currently facing remains uncertain. But what remains a veritable certainty is that, without the acknowledged credibility …an interested citizenry inevitably will have to turn elsewhere for its information.”

Just where that might be is anyone’s guess.

  

-Ward, B, 2009, “Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty”, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, vol. 9 13-15

-Nell, T. Gavin, 2009, “Addressing climate change: a media perspective”, Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 765-780.

Don’t criticise, just globalise

Having struggled to define globalisation myself and all it comprises, I stumbled across a fantastic explanation that is relevant especially to media flows in the set reading ‘Media and Society’ (O’Shaughnessy and Standler) 

“globalisation refers to an international community influences by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterized by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.”

The act of abolishing national and geographical borders promotes an utmost level of shared information, awareness and connectedness. However, while differential curiosity arises, anxiety follows. Conflict often arises when individuals and communities are faced with perceptions that don’t match their own, inevitably; a latent mistrust of those who are different presents itself. The notion of ‘cultural imperialism’ runs deep here, the idea that upheld traditions are being taken over by the homogenization of Western culture and its consumerist ways. There is relentless questioning so as to view human kind as scapegoats of homogenization or more broadly informed and educated as a result of cultural integration. But in my own opinion, I think the positives out weigh the somewhat culturally intolerant negatives. This would easily be viewed as a utopian outlook on the concept of globalisation; encapsulated by a key philosopher in the ‘Communication Theory’ Marshall McLuhan as a ‘global village’ in which he creates an image of

“a world in which media transcend the nation-state in a democratising process that gives everyone’s voice a chance to be heard and enables information to be shared freely.”

However, the voice that is criticised for being overheard and overbearing is that of the West. Although, there would be many other underlying, intra-cultural influences when the topic of ‘Americanization’ is presented.

In the video below: ‘Big ‘Think’, Dr Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and Vice President of the Society’s Global Arts Programming discusses a balance between the utopian and dystopian views of globalisation, explaining how “global organisations become localised to the regions in which they are operating, encouraging both the preservation of the indigenous culture, but also the evolution of a new hybrid culture.”

Time to reflect…

Reflection time can only mean one thing, the end! Finally!

Blogging was not as bad as I expected it to be, and I even (secretly) enjoyed learning about transmedia, especially because I could find common ground with Dexter. I had heard about the online investigation throughout watching the series but didn’t know it was a form of transmedia which admittedly was a pretty fascinating concept. Citizen journalism and collective intelligence was also a preferred topic, the bounds our society has taken, and is continuing to take towards “niche content” and the reflection upon how far we have come from “news as a bundle” was quite remarkable. The last favoured topic was our ‘remix culture’ and delving into culture jamming – I had no idea how remixed things are becoming, almost everything has been recycled or mashed up. Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call me maybe’ was my chosen example and even after posting about it, I followed up countless other send ups, finding the Harvard and Texas baseball team parody as well as one by the ORICA Green Edge Pro cycling team.

Following a media platform however, was far more challenging. I didn’t enjoy learning about platforms or following their updates, while I thoroughly enjoy using them, discovering the background knowledge or how/why they have emerged held no interest to me and I certainly struggled to keep up. In hindsight though, my experience with blogging could have been far worse, so I will say a kind farewell, but you WordPress, will not be missed!

He-man woman haters!

Hey Ben, please refer to this post for marking, paragraphs were out of order in the submitted template. My apologies!

The wedge between males and females was driven there a long time ago, it dates back – for me – as far as I can immaturely remember, for example:

Childish indeed, but seemingly optimistic compared to the way things are now. In the newest production of the ‘Little Rascals’ in 1994, girls and boys were separated by choice, their differences turned them off one another, but of course by the end, came together by accepting each other’s differences and finding ‘puppy love.’ Today, the separation we feel is not by choice, we did not choose to be put beneath our male counterparts, nor did we choose to receive the abuse we cop for standing up in an attempt to change this.
Dale Spender discussed ‘women online’ in 1997 and came to the conclusion that: women need modems. To translate, women need to get involved in the online environment so as to make their mark. While yes, there have been some celebratory changes made over this time until now, there has also been an extended plateau in many other aspects:
-only 1 in 10 women are considered in the ‘top 50 most significant people online’
-85% of Wikipedia posts are authored by men
-female protagonists in the gaming world are slim to none

In my humble opinion, women have moved forward online (and even offline), but nowhere near enough. Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore claimed when interviewed that she couldn’t “put on here some stuff men write to me. It involves dismemberment, blood and excrement.” It is from these kind of remarks that the #mencallmethings hashtag was constructed, a twitter tag that can be seen as a means of fighting back against the sexism that is so evident in our online society, they believe putting it out in the open and making it known is the first step. Even our Australian Prime Minister is fighting back, Guilia Gillard’s speech late last year on sexism was aimed directly her misogynistic opposition – declaring that if Tony Abbott “wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror“. Based on Suzanne Moore’s experience with abuse, I find it no coincidence that the capacity to make comments on this video has been disabled.

We are the 99%, hear us roar!

With the ever-increasing level of convergence present in today’s society, online ‘participatory politics’ is becoming an unparalleled force, especially amongst youth. The art of clicktivism; the use of digital media to bring about social change, has come through very powerfully and widespread over the past decade.
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a leaderless resistance movement of people from different ethnicities, genders and political persuasions. The website states that ‘the one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.’ (http://jademaddison8.wordpress.com/)

This is an example of ‘participatory politics’ – “interactive, peer-based acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern.” A tumblr blog titled “we are the 99%” allows those apart of such percentage to share the experiences that made it so,
-“I am 20 years oldand i cant find a job because i have no experience. I have no experience because i can’t find a job. I am the 99%”
-“I am a single mum of four, college student, shelf stocker, I go hungry every day. I am the 99%”

Henry Jenkins alleged that “58 percent of American youth forward links or share information through social networks at least once a week” – evidently there are large numbers of online youth participation. However, while OWS focuses typically on social media and the followers it recruits there, it may not always be the most successful avenue, and can easily be labelled as slacktivism which describes the ‘feel good’ measures involved with ‘liking’ or ‘joining’ an online campaign as such without actually putting in any physical effort. But, in my opinion, there is evidence to support that this is not completely true, to some degree there is a level of slactivism, but to another, there is a huge level of activism too, as pointed out by OWS and the online and offline protests they undertake. Henry Giroux, and American cultural critic stated “there’s something that brings these kids together that is in some way is more powerful even than the class and racial divides that separate them. So the world better watch out!”

“We are living, in a remix world, and I am a remixed girl”

That right there is some quality culture jamming! By taking Madonna’s ‘Material girl’ and satirically altering it to fit the title of this post, is what some would call a ‘mash up’ or a ‘remake’ of an initial product. Taking something that an audience recognise, and recreating it to tell a different message is a basic definition of ‘culture jamming’ and at large, the basis of the participatory, remix culture we are living in. While often used for satirical and entertainment purposes, in some cases it holds a political stance, Jamie Warner of Marshall University affirms “Contemporary politicians have wholeheartedly embraced commercial branding techniques such as culture jamming, saturating the public sphere with market tested, emotional messages designed to cultivate trust in their political “brand,” thus working against the ideal of a democratic public sphere.”

Alex Bruns argues that to blame our rapid transformation into a participatory culture is the reason behind culture jamming would be seen as “simplistic” he believes that was has really happened “is that the increasing availability of symmetrical media technologies – of networks like the Internet that afford their participants an equal chance to have their message heard – has simply amplified the existing cultural activities of independent fans and artists to an extent that they now stand side by side (and sometimes overshadow) the cultural output sanctioned by conventional publishers.”

I agree wholly with Bruns, our participatory culture has only amplified the existing cultural activities, allowing broadcasting to reach a wider range of audiences. For instance, Carly Rae Jepson’s single ‘Call me maybe’ has been used relentlessly as the punch line in memes, mashup’s and takeoff’s. The following collection shows some satirical examples of culture jamming in regards to her:

call me maybe meme

Transmedium messages of Dexter Morgan

for bcm112 proper

After an intense study session of Henry Jenkin’s official weblog ‘Confessions of an Aca-fan’ I (finally) developed a relatively in-depth understanding of transmedia narratives, and came to realise how effectively they can be used as well as how a progression of media agencies in this direction will be evident in the future.
Firstly, I’ll give you a good ol’ definition so we’re on the same page: Transmedia storytelling (also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies – (Thanks again wikipedia).

Henry Jekins expands on this, stating: “Most often, transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories. This process of world-building encourages an encyclopedic impulse in both readers and writers. We are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.”

It was this statement that triggered my brain back into Dexter mode, something that has sadly been absent for some time now as a result of season seven having not made it to DVD yet, however, the previous seasons undertook some major advertising campaigns so as to launch their premieres, which involved, none other than transmedia! It was cleverly utilised through “diverse platforms to build a ‘world beyond the page’ of Dexter Morgan.” (Cheshire & Burton, 2010) Minor transmedia movements included: print (Dexter newsstands), TV, magazines, webisodes (Dexter: Early Cuts), DexterWiki, user-generated-content such as YouTube videos and spin offs, street marketing, real online investigations, mobile and online videogames, social networks, online shop etc. The most innovative and what proved to exceedingly successful, was the interactive, online investigation launched just before the premiere of season six. The video below gives a brief depiction of the experience:

In my opinion, the success of the online investigation stemmed from Jenkin’s allegation of being “drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.” The world of Dexter is so encapsulating, any given watcher would thrive to become even a small part of it. Our participatory culture and its intensifying levels of produsage are at a completely new means of convergence, consequently transmedia is assisting in the way such culture is dealing with this ongoing progression.

References:
-http://ibcomtransmedia2012.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/dexter-get-the-full-experience/
-http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html