#BCM110

So much media, so little time…and money.

As someone who dabbles in most forms of media, I’m pretty exposed to media convergence. Media convergence is defined by Henry Jenkins as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms.” The rapid changes in the media environment are so consistent that most of the time we are oblivious to how fast our technology is improving, until we actually look at the media of the past.

I often find myself watching, streaming and listening to multiple media devices all at the same time, such as streaming a show on my laptop whilst watching TV, or I sometimes see my dad reading the paper whilst watching CNN. The effects of convergent media practices are right in front of our faces, yet we don’t really think about it.

1032b4a24eef3bae8576f74a2e4ad6fd.jpg

Image

I tend to spend a lot of my time watching YouTube videos and playing video games (mostly The Sims, which I could happily spend 10 continuous hours playing). Sometimes I even combine the two and watch Let’s Plays of people playing The Sims when I can’t afford to buy the expansion packs myself, and let’s be real, when I’m procrastinating.

When I first started playing The Sims, there’s no way I could’ve watched YouTube videos of people playing the game. YouTube didn’t even exist at the time.

Now many people have created web series on the game, as well as many other games. They create challenges that other YouTubers can participate in, and make tutorials demonstrating how to play the game itself.

This has become such a phenomenon that young people are watching more YouTube than TV. A study done by Defy Media “found that consumers between 13 and 24 watch an average of 11.3 hours of online video per week as opposed to just 8.3 hours of broadcast TV…” (C. L. Palermino 2015, Millennials watch more YouTube than TV, study says, viewed 3 April 2016 < http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/youtube-millennials-tv/>)

So what does this mean for the TV industry?

While the TV industry is continuing to release content, their viewer consumption has significantly declined. This is due to streaming websites, such as Netflix and Hulu, who are producing their own exclusive content as well as offering content that it available on TV.

Why pay for cable TV when you can have all that and more, for less money, on an alternative service?

Of course, there are pro’s and con’s to both. TV companies do offer viewers some things that Internet streaming services do not, and vice versa.

Nonetheless, Internet streaming services, as well as free services like YouTube that are also offering over a year’s worth of entertainment, are continuing to contribute to the decline in TV viewership.

The world, especially with the rapid growth of technology we are experiencing, is bound to change. While we continue to use traditional media, we are quickly progressing to new forms of media. Will traditional media become obsolete? Or simply be recycled over time?

Who knows at this point in time, but for now I will continue to watch YouTube and endless repeats of Friends on my TV…while I can.

Advertisements

Do they own the media…or our minds?

The media is a huge part of our daily lives. We have constant access to it and are exposed to it almost every hour of the day. So much so that I am sitting here, on my computer, various tabs open in Google Chrome, watching She’s the Man on my TV; and having a fantastic time doing so.

We are often oblivious to who actually controls the media that we access on a daily basis. It doesn’t tend to be something that we think about often; someone making millions off of my laziness isn’t something that I enjoy thinking about, but nonetheless, it’s happening so I might as well think about it.

Some big frontrunners earning their success through my indolence are Alphabet Inc. (the company that owns Google and, thus, YouTube) and Rupert Murdoch (the mightiest of all media moguls who owns just about every Television company in existence).

Seeing as Rupert Murdoch plays a huge part in my sources of entertainment, I’m going to continue to use him as an example.

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch arrives at the Twentieth Century Fox & Fox Searchlight Pictures Oscar Party at the LURE on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Due to his vast influence on various companies, Rupert Murdoch can manipulate how audiences receive certain information through the media. It’s no secret that Rupert Murdoch is a climate change sceptic. There is an excellent article by The Guardian analysing his views and the inaccuracy of some of his statements.

So what kind of impact does this have on media audiences?

Well, due to his success and power, some people might take his word as law, as they may have little to no knowledge on the topic themselves. This spread of misinformation downplaying the seriousness of climate change causes immense damage to media audiences and their understanding of the issue. This could lead to further damage in the future, to both the environment due to our lack of urgency, and our knowledge of how climate change in affecting us.

However, Murdoch is not the only one who does this. The media is notorious for misinforming audiences about current social and political issues, some examples can be found in an article by the Huffington Post.

This is understandable seeing as large companies are usually money driven. They try to gain popularity through having a differing opinion and influencing the thought processes of the masses who don’t get involved in the details.

So does it matter who owns the media that use?

Yes, it does.

We as an audience need to make sure that we don’t let biased misinformation affect our knowledge of the world and social issues, so we can create a better future for the real world, and not the make-believe world that the media so often creates.

Dangerous toys and safe guns? Go figure…

Type ‘Controversial Advertisements’ into Google images. Go on, do it.

Witness the thousands of controversial images laid out on that screen, ranging from allusions to domestic violence, blatant racism, objection of women, animal cruelty, and so on and so forth.

Sickening, right?

The fact that Google images is only scratching the surface to the abundance of offensive, borderline abusive advertisements is enough to leave me speechless.

I can’t even imagine what’s going through the advertisers’ head’s as they sift through their repertoire of twisted taglines pair with equally disgusting images. I understand why they do it, to get the people talking about their product, their brand. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t make me want to buy their product, if anything I want to stay as far away from it as possible. Why build a reputation based on unethical, offensive thought processes? I guess that’s just not my taste.

After scrolling through, I found one image that particularly irked me.

moms_demand_action_dodgeball-1024x662

Not because it is too controversial (which is debatable) but because I’m very passionate about the topic of gun control. I’ll try not to get too fired up about it right now.

The signifier in this image is the two children hold these contrasting items side-by-side, which is supposed to convey the ridiculousness of the significantly less dangerous object being banned, as guns obviously cause a lot more harm than dodgeballs.

Due to my ideologies being 100% for gun control, as I’ve grown up in a country where it’s existed for a majority of my life, my connotation of the image is, Why on earth is the game dodgeball banned when it’s so obvious that guns are a huge issue in the U.S.?”

The other images in the series of advertisements continue to make me think as such. Find more here.

moms-deman-action-1024x666.jpg

A bottle of wine? Really?

This only fuels my opinion that the idea of guns for protection is completely absurd. Yet to someone whose grown up in an environment with opposing ideals, this idea is completely justified. For a majority of the U.S., guns have provided a sense of comfort and protection for a long time. This image would have a completely different impact on those people, perhaps they think that these products shouldn’t be compared.

Everyone has different opinions on how the world should be. Although these opposing ideologies can be frustrating, these confronting media texts could allow audiences to open up a dialogue and contribute to the variety of discussions used to expose and address the worlds social and political issues together.

Let’s just hope that this advertisement puts gun control into perspective for those who disagree.

16 and Famous: The parental anxieties of today’s youth.

As a girl in my late teens still trying to discover who I am, I’m fairly impressionable, right?

I used to think so, only when it came to other people’s opinions, which I’d unintentionally adopt in order to sound more knowledgeable about topics I knew absolutely nothing about.

When it came to TV however, I never really considered it to have an influence on me. I’d always wanted the elaborate stories that happened in my favourite shows to happen to me, which would make my life a lot more interesting, but I never went out of my way to make that dream a reality.

Which got me thinking, do most young people today have the same passive desires? Or is there a change in youth culture that’s constructing more of an active audience?

Growing up in the era of rapidly improving media and technology has significantly impacted the way my generation has developed. We are highly exposed to various forms of media, which makes the young people of today perhaps the most affected media audience. Still growing and developing whilst having regular access to the internet and social media is something that no other generation has experienced, giving the adults and parents of today’s youth extreme anxiety about the possible dangers of this behaviour.

One example of this parental anxiety is the MTV reality TV series, 16 and Pregnant.

The premise of this show scared the living daylights out of most parents, due to the fact that they think it glamourizes or encourages teen pregnancy. While this is true in some cases, as most of the girls end up becoming celebrities, it actually provides more of a negative snapshot of their lives; most of the girls end up as single mothers, others’ lives being ridden with domestic violence and drug use.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound that glamourous to me.

1294199533-16-and-pregnant-_ttu4

However, in today’s youth culture, the appealing part of the show isn’t the desire to get pregnant at a young age, it’s the fame that comes along with being on a reality show.

These kids are fame hungry.

Think of the amount of viral videos there are floating around of teenagers doing stupid things. The endless provocative posts on Instagram. The millions of tweets sent to idolised figures, in hopes of getting noticed. This is all part of their inner desire to see their follower and view count climb.

So parents today shouldn’t be scared of their kids falling pregnant due to some TV show (which has actually cause teen pregnancy rate to drop, by the way.) They should be scared of the active desire to get their 15 minutes of fame, which in itself is causing anxiety amongst teenagers, and the sometimes idiotic behaviour that is pursued in order to achieve it.

 

 

Image: http://quotesgram.com/16-and-pregnant-quotes/#xf1P1j2ZcY

Effect of 16 and Pregnant: http://time.com/825/does-16-and-pregnant-prevent-or-promote-teen-pregnancy/

Getting My Life Together

Hey everyone!

My name is Misha.

I am a first year student at UOW and I’m doing a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies, majoring in Digital Media. Although I’m not quite sure if Digital Media is for me, I’m willing to stick it out.

I chose to study BCM because I’m a pretty avid media fan, as I’m sure most of you are, and I’ve always been interesting in studying the various media platforms and discovering how the world is continuing to evolve with these mediums. My interests in film and social media usually cause me to sit on the couch for hours on end, waste away the precious, sun-filled hours of the day and wonder “What am I doing with my life?”

So you could imagine that when I found this degree that I was pretty ecstatic; I could take my otherwise futile interests and turn them into something productive, something that I could make a living out of, which is all anyone ever wants in life, right?

However, I still took a Gap Year. After being completely burned-out from the HSC I took a necessary break in order for my poor brain to recover.

So after working as a swimming teacher for a majority of my year off, watching from the sidelines as my friends spent numerous months travelling around Europe and experiencing the world while I hadn’t earned nearly enough money to join them; I realised I that I still have an incredible amount of self-discovery to do.

And that’s why I’m here.

Now as a 19-year-old, fairly inexperienced uni student living out of home for the first time, I’m on a quest to regain the creativity I lost during my early high school years and am excited, albeit nervous, to be able to think for myself again.

I’m hoping that with a BCM degree, I’ll not only be able to obtain a well-paying, innovative job in the future, but I’ll also gain some skills, discover things about myself that I never thought possible and hopefully make a friend or two along the way.