Au-revoir, the end of the journey.

Finally it comes to the end of the semester, which also means the end of my blogging journey for BCM111. Throughout the blogging exercises, I managed to develop a better understanding on globalisation and its impact on the media industry. With the help of technology convergence, the world is now marching toward a world that is more interactive with better connectivity, forming active audiences with wide varieties of channels in consuming media contents rather than relying on the mainstream media, that is seem to be shrinking in credibility in providing professional and credible news reporting to its audiences.

As this is not my first time to blog, I had blogged for both BCM110 and BCM112 for my previous semester, and also maintaining weekly blogging exercise for BCM240, I found that I had gained a better improvement in writing and structuring my content. With the presence of internet, it allows me to browse through a sea of resources available online, and learned to be critical in selecting relevant and credible sources when writing for my blog. This blogging exercise pushes me to become a more independent learner, rather than merely relying on everything that are being provided in our sols system. As I was writing weekly reflective blog on the weekly topic, it helps me to gain a better understanding on the topic while researching for sources and putting in my personal thought into the content.

Undoubtedly, this blogging journey is a wonderful experience for me. I believed what I had learned through this reflective exercise will indeed help me a lot in my understanding in media studies in my remaining semesters throughout the university life and life in general. I am grateful for being taught such a valuable skill. Lastly, I would like to thanks my lecturer, Ms Rohayu Kosmin for her continuous support in guiding us throughout our learning process of BCM111 and also my fellow classmates that have provided me guidance and support to encourage me to write better and blog regularly. I truly believed that this will not be the end for my blogging journey.

And now, it’s time for me to say goodbye.

Au-revoir. 🙂

Peace Journalism in times of war

John Swinton, a former journalist at the New York Times once stated this statement at a dinner held for his retirement:

“”There is no such thing, at this date in the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it…. If I allowed my honest opinion to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. You know it and I know it. And what folly is this – toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

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Very often, we hear people say:

“This conspiracy thing can’t be true. If it was, it would be on TV and in the newspapers.”

Majority of people believe in mainstream media in providing us the first hand credible news. In fact, have you ever wonder who are feeding us every source of information that we consume everyday in our live? Watching TV, reading the  newspapers and listening to the radio are our habitual activities that we will perform everyday in our life.

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I believe that most of us do not really think about who are controlling and owning the media. No one really seem to care like I used to be. After attending BCM courses, I came to realize that today, media ownership has been concentrated in hand of six major corporations:

  • Time Warner
  • Walt Disney
  • Viacom
  • CBS Corporation
  • NBC Universal
  • News Corporation
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All these corporation dominated over what we hear and see everyday in our life. They have authority in accessing the first hand news, selecting and filtering news, controlling every sources of information that we consume every single day. Scary enough? Imagine how they control over what we hear, watch and read, manipulating and shaping our perspective, ideologies and behavior according to their preferences. Their dominant power over the mainstream media is a very influential tool to shape and control public opinion, drown out independent media and changing the government policy. With their dominant control over the press, there is no freedom of the press.

As the world marching into the 21st century, technological change has allow people to broadcast live national affair to the world spontaneously, at the same time allowing people from different part of the world to experience and learn about far away events (el-Nawawy & Powers, 2010). Technology convergence has allowed people from different part of the world to connect as one, interact, share, participate and exchange opinions regardless geographical and timeline restrict. This phenomena has shifted mainstream media one way dissemination in news reporting where the audiences remain passive. This shift has formed active audiences, engaging and providing media contents, in which El- Nawawy & Powers discussing Seib point of view, ‘the connectivity of new media is superseding the traditional connections that have brought identity and structure to global politics’, (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010).

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Most of the news we access todays is dominated by an approach of ‘war journalism’.

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The press are both “structurally and institutionally inclined to offer ‘escalation- oriented conflict coverage’ in which the media often generate political or commercial propaganda that favors particular bodies, constructing unfavorable image of the others, creating a ‘global fishbowl‘, displaying the world’s wealthiest people to the boundless numbers of desperately poor (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010). “The media professional standard which often thieve on drama, sensationalism and emotions, are more compatible with war than with peace”, focusing on emotion rather than rational, highlighting news demand based on the present, the unusual, the dramatic, simplicity, action, personalization, and results (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010) to maintain viewership based on audiences preferences toward conflict news. Most of the time. broadcasters tend to target on a particular segmentation rather than considering the multiplicity of audiences, relying more on cultural, political and historical myths in contextualizing international events (el-Nawawy & Powers, 2010). For instance, during the period of Iraq war back in 2003, British and America media broadcast the news implying the narrative of national security in rationalizing the necessity of invading Baghdad while in contrast, the Arab media framed the invasion as western imperialism and colonialism.

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“In times of war, today’s mainstream media often tailor their coverage in ways that construct an ideologically aligned narrative that reinforces the attitudes and opinions of their target national or regional audiences”, (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010), resulted in the clash of civilizations.

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In addressing such challenge, a reform of Journalism takes place. Peace journalism, refers to media practitioners critical decision in news reporting, creating an opportunities for the audiences to rethink and value rational responses to conflict (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010). Media in conflict times should provide a platform for free voices, emphasizing on the negative impact of violence to encourage rational public debate. For instance, Al-Jazeera English, aim to “offers an alternative to today’s mode of news journalism that continues to encourage stereotypical attitudes towards cultural ‘others’”,reaching out to the voiceless, bringing diverse audiences as one and encourage dialogue, empathy, responsibility and reconciliation (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010).

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“AJE, by giving a voice to the voiceless and shedding light on parts of the world that have often been marginalized by mainstream global media, has been recognized by its viewers as a channel that can play a conciliatory role in today’s conflict-driven environment,” (El- Nawawy & Powers, 2010).

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References

Mohammed el-Nawawy & Powers, S 2010, ‘Al-Jazeera English: A conciliatory medium in a conflict-driven environment?’, Journal article, viewed 1 November 2013, accessed UOW@sols.

Liebling, A.J. 2009, ‘Who owns the news?’, viewed 1 November 2013, accessed <http://www.whoownsthenews.com/&gt;

Spartacus Educational, ‘John Swinton’, viewed 1 November 2013, accessed <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAswintonJ.htm&gt;

Protest culture: The uprising of the Arab Revolution and its impact on human civilization

The 21st centuries, a beautiful era that marked the historic evolution of human civilization and communication. The inception of digital technology and technology convergence has allow people from all around the world to connect as one, regardless geographical and timeline borders. Social media, platforms that open up the door of opportunities that allows mankind to interact, share, exchange and debate on current affairs, allowing one piece of information to be share and heard by one, disseminate from many to more, circulating around the world wide web among the global audiences that its impact is unpredictable.

I still remember the first time I encountered and awared of Kony 2012 was through Facebook. With the help of digital technology and social media, I am aware with the condition that is faced by the African. Kony 2012, a short filmed produced by Invisible Children, aims to expose the criminal act of Joseph Kony, an Ugandan child-abductor warlord to the world to have him arrested and bring him into justice by the year of 2012 by making him famous in the world of technology convergence.

 

 

In 6 days, the video went viral and made a 100 millions views record on YouTube. Nearly 60 percent of American aged 18- 29 were aware of its presence in the first week when the video was posted online (2013). Social media has played a crucial role in enhancing human communication, maximizing the dissemination of information from one part of the world to another part of the world with a few click away in few seconds, that is so unpredictable and unstoppable. Technologies convergence allowed Kony 2012 to gain its significant exposure from one to many, and from many to a number that you can never ever imagine.

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The video moved and empowered mankind on humanity, helping in making the different by spreading the news in a few clicks away, ‘‘liking,’’ reposting, and PayPaling to help capture the criminal, garnered the attention of national and international media. It even captured the attention of President Obama and the US congress, converted into aid for the Ugandan military’s Kony pursuit (Harsin, 2012). According to Harsin, “The narrative’s advocacy also moves effectively to transform viewers into active citizens” when they are informed about the problem and how they might act to bring a solution (Harsin, 2012). With the presence of digital technology and social media, it has formed a phenomena that encourages user- empowerment, giving hope to the hopeless, voicing out for the voiceless. The beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’ happened when Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor set himself on fire, protesting confiscation of his commodities and the humiliation he gained from the female municipal official in Tunisian, has became a blasting fuse for Tunisian Revolution which later on, impacted on the other Arab countries.

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According to Zied Mhirsi, “the symbol by just burning himself, using his body as a way to express that anger and need for dignity touched a lot of Tunisians”. According to him, Tunisia is a peaceful country where citizens do not hold a gun, even the robbers. Instead of protecting its nation, the government shoot bullets in their heads. Hundred of protestors were killed and the media was being accused of not reporting the truth. Only through Facebook, Mhirsi stated, “Facebook was the only video-sharing platform that was available to Tunisians. And seeing videos of people shot with real bullets in their heads on Facebook was shocking to many Tunisians.” The social media becomes a channel that allows the nation to get the latest updates on the event when the mainstream media failed to provide credible reporting. It allow audiences to participate and interact with the world by sending their hard condition through social media, hoping to garner the attention of the international media and people from different part of the world. Click here for a Correspondent Bob Simon’s interview with “Overtime” editor Ann Silvio, “  A statue of Mark Zuckerberg in Tunisia?

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In Malaysia, we also experienced the aftermath of the Arab revolution during our 13th General Election. With the help of social media, Gen Y Malaysians are aware of the power of their vote in bringing the country into a more democratic country. According to Malaysia Daily, 21.69% of the 13, 291, 385 eligible voters casted their first vote in the 13th General Election, who may decide the future of the country. It was reported that four out of ten of new voters falled into the category of the Gen Y generation, breaking the record of highest registered new voters in the history of Malaysia. With the presence of social media, youth in Malaysia are aware of the rising cost of living and properties, corruption, unemployment and environmental issues, causing insecurity among the young Malaysia toward the future of the country, hoping for a chance for a better future. When the electoral result that was vary from their expectations were announced, Malaysian turned into social media sites to express their dissatisfaction and anger by flooding FaceBook and Twitter profile picture with black colour, signifying the death of democracy in Malaysia, and later on garnered the attention of international media all around the world.

It then created an aftermath of Black505 rally, a rally lead by opposition coalition, People’s Reliance’s leader, Anwar Ibrahim, to protest against the “theft” of the election.

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For months, the rally were spreading across Malaysia, even to Malaysians that are residing in the foreign countries.

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Did social media enhances democracy and enhance world civilization? Undoubtedly, social media play a crucial role in enhancing human communication while its impact on audience’s behaviors and ideologies is yet to be uncover as time goes by.

References

Harsin, J 2013, ‘WTF was Kony 2012? Considerations for Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (CCCS)’, Journal article, 25 June, viewed 25 Oct 2013, accessed UOW@sols.

Mihailovich, D & Sommer, N 2011, ‘How a slap sparked Tunisia’s revolution’, 60 Minutes Overtimes, 20 Feb, viewed 25 Oct 2013, accessed <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-20033404.html&gt;

Overtime 2011, ‘A statue of Mark Zuckerberg in Tunisia?’, 60 Minutes Overtimes, 20 Feb,viewed 25 Oct 2013, accessed <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-20033613-10391709.html&gt;

Malaysia Daily 2013, ‘Where is the Gen Y headed?’, 3 April, viewed 25 Oct 2013, accessed <http://malaysiadaily.my/where-is-the-gen-y-headed/&gt;

Global warming: The shrinking credibility of the media

The media played an important role in communicating and educating the public. Our daily life is pretty much filled by the media. It is everywhere and has became a part of our life. It play a crucial role in the learning process of mankind and has the possibilities of shaping our perspectives, behavior and understanding toward our earth and immediate reality. Hence, media role in communicating climate change is crucial. People look up to the media habitually everyday to gain credible sources through professional journalists as most people do not read scientific reports, specialist websites or the reports of the IPCC. It is powerful tool to increase public understanding on complex issue that is happening everyday in our life, for instance, climate change.

We read newspaper and watch news everyday, thus, media publicity play a crucial role in shaping public opinion on environmental awareness of the population (Lyytimaki, 2009). However, media publicity is far from perfect, con­sid­er­able dif­fer­ences exist between the edit­orial lines taken by dif­ferent media organ­isa­tions about the reality and ser­i­ous­ness of cli­mate change which consist of poor justified assertions, biases, occasional errors and misunderstanding (Lyytimaki, 2009).

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Despite of overwhelming scientific reports provided by the science experts, most people are not convinced and skeptical about the seriousness and critical consequences of climate change.

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People are misinformed by the media, hence, are lack on the knowledge of climate change and care less about the consequences and the impact of climate change will have on mankind.

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Image source:John Cole

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However, researchers argue that unrealistic expectation of the quality of climate change coverage to improve drastically, despite various attempts to educate the journalists remains impractical. According to Lyytimaki in discussing Mazur point of view, the major problem of media publicity is its ability in highlighting true warnings and false alarm, which is hard to seperate (Lyytimaki, 2009). Therefore, public media literacy is important for the public to analyze and think practically rather than merely consuming everything that is reporting by the media. Media literacy, refers to the “fallacies of logic and rhetoric so that individuals can create and identify well-reasoned arguments and recognize myths and fraudulent arguments”, (Cooper, 2013) aims to develop critical understanding but also active participation (Buckingham, 2003) in order to overcome the overload of climate communication which often includes exaggerations, oversimplications and misunderstanding (Lyytimaki, 2009). The mainstream media has been criticized for illustrating too simplistically the conception of providing a ‘balanced’ set of views, leading to competing ideologies on scientific affair being presented as equally supported, when in fact they are not (Boykoff & Boykoff, 2004). Hence, “sufficient ecological literacy of the public has been highlighted as a precondition for developing and implementing effective social responses to environmental problems (Lyytimaki, 2009).

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Unsurprisingly, there is a deep relationship between the political perspective of a media organisation and its position on climate change. For instance, The Guardian is best known as a left- leaning UK newspaper that provides rational opinion in climate change and environmental reporting whereas comparing to right leaning media such as the US Wall Street Journal, New York Times and BBC, are likely to incorporate scep­tical opinion and edit­or­ials.  This undoubtedly has go against the code of ethics by US-based Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), in which professional journalists seek the truth and report it as an independent body with free obligation of interest (Ward, 2009). Journalists cannot play both the roles of observers and participants in event which they are reporting, ‘avoid entangling alliances’, without having an influence on the “planning, implementation, or outcome of an event and be expected to observe and report objectively on that same event,” (Ward, 2009).

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With the rising of technology convergence, audiences have their options in choosing channels to consume news rather than relying on the mainstream media that has lost their standing and credibility among its professional peers and audiences as time goes by. The rising of new media has formed a public sphere that allows people to engage and seek for credible sources independently, sweeping the journalism industry in which its impact and consequences are yet to be uncover.

References

Boykoff, M. & Boykoff, J. (2004). Balance as Bias: Global warming and the US Prestige Press. Global Environmental Change 15 (4) 125–136.

Lyytimäki, H 2009, ‘Mulling over the Climate Debate: Media Education on Climate Change’, Vol, 2, Journal article, viewed 11/10/13, accessed UOW@sols.

Ward, B 2009, ‘Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty’, Journal article, viewed 11/10/13, accessed UOW@sols.

Romm, J 2009, ‘NYT’s Revkin seems shocked, shocked by media’s own failure to explain climate threat’, Climate Progress, 26 January, viewed11/10/13, accessed <http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2009/01/26/203597/new-york-times-andrew-revkin-media/&gt;

Romm, J 2009, ‘Media Literacy: Is the New York Times Coverage of Global Warming Fatally Flawed?’, World Changing, 24 Feb, viewed 11/10/13, accessed <http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/009471.html&gt;

Who counts in global media: News value

When I was young, I used to spend my time watching news with my parents during the prime time for news reporting. Since I was young, I had this impression that journalists are good people that had a great job. For more than a century and half, they have had authorization in bringing the truth to people. They are people that have traveled far from their homeland to different countries around the world, overcoming great obstacles and made great and horrific sacrifices, putting their life in risk to obtain the first hand news at the front line, to ensure news was reported quickly, accurately and honestly. Too often, we heard news of journalists being reported missing, threaten, kidnapped and murdered brutally at the riot areas and war zones. Their presence is like heroes bravely go into the enemies zone, providing truth to people all around the world to enhance world civilization. The press carried the image of integrity and ethical behavior of gathering and reporting the news.

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Since the introduction of the first newspaper, Relation by Johann Carolus in the human history, people has developed a strong trust and reliant on the mainstream media in providing the latest breaking news that is happening around the world. The press, act as a body that has authority in accessing the first hand news, has privilege in selecting and filtering news and contents that will be disseminate to their audiences. How do the media consider which news are news- worthy enough to be cover at the newsroom?

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According to Golding and Elliot, the media selects its available stories and rating them from important to less important, creating the news that they want to report based on their opinion. It derived from unstated or implicit assumptions or judgement about the audience, accessibility and fit (Golding & Elliot, 2000). When selecting a news, the press will consider news that will appeal according to the audiences preferences rather than applying objective standard.

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Americans were assumed by the media as not interested in foreign affairs. Hence, to satisfy their appetite, western media tend to select, include and exclude certain elements, setting priorities over foreign news coverage, “driven principally by budgetary constraint, as well as a desperate fear of challenging the viewer with material they may find dull,’ (Lee- Wright, 2012). They are like the gatekeepers, filtering and selecting news by incorporating their own preferences and perspective when reporting a news. For instance, the historic international stories, the ‘Arab Spring’.

Most of the western media failed to highlight the historical evolution of the Arab world due to lack of coverage of the event as Ben Wedeman, CNN’s Cairo-based senior international correspondent addressed, the role of journalists is crucial in covering the event with constant news coverage in addressing the event, as he stated “‘Arab Spring’ is a story of huge historical importance that will reverberate for years afterwards, a bit like World War I and its impact on the Middle East that we feel to this very day,” (Marshall, 2011). The western media has been criticized for their news coverage in selecting what elements to include and exclude in their newsroom, evading statutory procedure than mature reflection. When covering the Egyptian Revolution, the press tend to magnify the controversy such as violent and drama rather than underlying injustice facing by the Egypt nation. The Boston bombing which happened tragically on the April 15th, dominated most cover pages of newspapers and was highlighted in newsroom in many countries including Malaysia. Within 24 hours, another bombing happened in Iraq, causing a great lost and suffering. However, unlike the significant attention received by the Boston bombing, how many of us actually noticed about the tragedy that is happening in Iraq at almost the same period of time? To be honest, I never have heard about the Iraq bombing as my surrounding was being flooded with news related to Boston bombing.

News is a very powerful tool in shaping people perspective and ideologies. According to Golding and Elliot, “News is ideology to the extent that it provides an integrated picture of reality. It is ideology implies that it provides a world view both consistent in itself, and supportive of the interest of powerful social groups,” (Golding & Elliot, 2000). It suggests that:

  • The news gathered our attention on events that is managed and resolved.
  • The news report on controversy subjects that is limited by the cultural norm.
  • Broadcast news is for historical and organization reason, portraying the dead of democracy.
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Hence, it is extremely important for the media corporation to remain rational in news reporting.  However, despite the press claiming themselves of holding on to their integrity and ethical practices in news reporting, the truth is not always beautiful. As most of the mainstream medias around the world are dominant by six major corporations, there are chances where the broadcast news being broadcasted consist of bias view of the journalists, that is often influenced and bounded by professional standards of the media corporations. Golding and Elliot suggests that news is biased, especially when it is bound to the professional standard. Most of the time, the news is handled and constructed by individuals, who in turn consciously or unconsciously put in their own thought and perspective into that piece of news (Golding & Elliot, 2000).

However, there is always hero with a rescue plan, bringing light into the darkness. For instance, the Middle East based Al Jazeera, Global Voices and numerous independent bodies that cover news with better details, changing the representation of the Arab world, challenging the assumption of ‘no democracy’ and voicing out for the voiceless, has march the world toward democracy and civilization, shaping a better world and a brighter tomorrow.

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References

Lee- Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, Journal article, viewed 3/10/13, accessed UOW@sols.

Rohayu Kosmin, 2013, ‘Who Counts in Global Media? News Value’, Lecture Slides, BCM111, University of Wollongong, viewed 3/10/13, accessed UOW@sols.

Golding, P & Elliot, P 2000, ‘News Values & News Production’, New York University Press, P. 632- 644, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://media.litmuse.net/vocabulary/bias/-news-value—news-production&gt;

Balinska, M 2010, ‘A Former BBC Producer Takes a Fresh Look at Foreign News: ‘It’s the Audience, Stupid!’, The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102449/A-Former-BBC-Producer-Takes-a-Fresh-Look-at-Foreign-News-Its-the-Audience-Stupid.aspx&gt;

The Times of India 2007, ‘When and where was the first newspaper published?’, 21 October, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2007-10-21/open-space/27981311_1_weekly-newspaper-johann-carolus-antwerp&gt;

Hashtings, D 2013, ‘Bodies pile up as Mexican drug cartels kill and dismember journalists’, Daily News, 6 May, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mexico-deadly-journalists-targeted-cartels-article-1.1334310&gt;

Reporters Without Borders 2012, ‘2o12 Roundup in Numbers’, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://fr.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/bilanannuelgb.pdf&gt;

Pressman, A & Simon, s 2013, ‘Bombs kill three people, wound more than 100 at Boston Marathon’, Reuters, 16 Apr, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/16/us-athletics-marathon-boston-blast-idUSBRE93E0ZF20130416&gt;

Sky News 2013, ‘Iraq Bombings: Up To 32 Killed In 18 Blasts’, 15 Apr, viewed 3/10/13, accessed <http://news.sky.com/story/1078291/iraq-bombings-up-to-32-killed-in-18-blasts&gt;

“Not sure if I don’t get the joke, or it just isn’t funny.”

Have you ever have the experienced of feeling confused and you just do not seem to get the joke while the others were laughing so hard watching a comedy. Humor is a genre that is closely related to our everyday life. It is culturally specific and is not always universally accepted. Jokes can be hard to do, and sometimes not everyone will get it.

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In recent years, television has improved at rapid pace. Due to the sophistication of technology, our media experience of watching television has improved at rapid pace compared to decades ago.With the introduction of high technology television such as smart TV, we can now enjoy a viewing experience that gave cinema its edge at our comfy home. Improvement in quality and technology has allowed audiences to have more alternatives over choices. Furthermore, an increasingly lively social media universe further enhances interactivity and connectivity of TV audiences with the show (Carr, 2009). Unlike decades ago where movie making is a main target for producers and actors to go for, the small screen seem to have show it growing dominance in recent years. Consider how successful TV series such as Game of Throne, Gossip girls, Lost, Glee and The Office is.

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With such rising opportunities and the growing phenomena of globalisation, more and more ground breaking tv series are being targeted by producers and being translated for a wider global audiences to maximize its profit. Kath and Kim is a situated comedy series produced in Australia. This comedy series had received a major success among the Australia community and has garnered much critical acclaim since its debut and has become a popular culture in Australia. With all these triumph it gained throughout the years, it has formed a cult fanbase internationally.

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In 2006, it was announced that the US version will be produced and will be air on NBC.

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Despite the major success of the Australian comedy in UK, the show was not well received by audiences in the US. There are critics and outcry of audiences with different opinions regarding the remake of the show. According to Professor Turnbull, “there has been a seriously lost in translation” of the role and the place of irony  (Turnbull 2010). In term of cultural translation, Andy Medhurst suggests that comedy play a crucial role in the construction of national identity as it invite people to belong and relate by sharing the joke. The original series emphasizes on suburban family values and its key component focuses on Aussie culture. Hence, the joke and humor implied in the comedy were related to Australia local references. Those who are not familiar with the cultural context would not adapt to the national belonging as American and Australian demonstrate divergent interpretations of humor. Through comedy, it will reveal in terms of how that national identity is imagined when people turn their attention to what the joke implies in term of sharing and belonging. Hence, adaptation is essential when it comes to television in translation as cultures shapes comedy style (Turnbull, 2008). For instance, despite Mother and Son phenomenal success at the worldwide level, it was not well received in China due to different in culture, moral values and differing attitudes toward the care of the elderly, according to Cunningham and Jacka (Turnbull, 2008). The major factor for Kath & Kim to successfully appealed to its British audiences is because of the sharing and similarities in culture. British audiences are able to relate and get the Australian joke as both countries share similarities in term of history, cultures and languages which are distinctively different compared to the American. For instance, Australian has their own kind of accent and unique terms that outsiders would not understand when talking among their community.

As Malaysia is a multilingual and a multicultural country, we have our own unique way in talking and expressing too!

Hence, people that were not brought up in that particular culture or country may find it difficult to understand it.

Other than that, selecting of a right cast and the interpretation of the character by the performer him/herself are also crucial in determining the success of a TV translation. According to Turnbull in discussing Atherden’s point of view, the crucial fundamental for the global audiences to adapt to the cultural translation of the comedy  is the performance of the performer. As we are living in a digitalized world, audiences are able to make comparison between the original and the remake version easily with easy accessibility of the internet. Hence, it is indeed important for producers to make a right decision when it comes to casting and choices of the characters that is relevant and make sense to the audiences to enhance the embodied performances as according to Professor Turnbull, “sizeable and often crucial amounts of comedic meaning reside in inflection, timing, nuance, gesture, the balance of sound and silence, the unexpected or willful pronunciation of key words, the raising of eyebrows or the flipping of wrists” (Turnbull, 2008).

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In Australia version of the comedy, the show appeal to its audiences with key actors that are approximately  the same age as part of the ‘joke’. Moreover, each and every actors in the original comedy have their own uniqueness in portraying the characters, by exaggerating their worst features to appeal as unlovely as possible in order to relate to Aussie national irony while comparing to the US version, Selma Blair and Molly Shannon portrayal as Kath Day and Kim is lacking to be “cliches, stereotypes, parodies or even brave enough to be abhorrent or funny,” (Turbnull, 2008).

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Furthermore, US audiences often prefer lead characters that are attractive with good appealing. For instance, The Office major success in America was due to its producer critical decision in incorporating the remaining of many characters of the show in an attempt to reinvent, reimaging it for America audiences that are more culturally diverse. In order for Kath and Kim to be successfully break through cultural translation,  the production team had struggled to meet US audiences taste by inviting recognizable actors to play Kath (Molly Shanon) and Kim (Selma Blair).

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From the photo, we can see distinct differences in term of the selection of casts, performances and clothing styles between the US and the Australia version.

Hence, Producers decision on the production deal is crucial. For the show to be successfully translated and understood, adapting and critical understanding on a new culture is extremely important and essential to ensure the millions dollar business do not ended up in the hall of fame of failed TV remakes history.

References

Turnbull, S 2008, ‘It’s Like They Threw a Panther in the Air and Caught It in Embroidery’: Television Comedy in Translation’ Metro Magazine Issue 159, viewed 25/9/13.

Plackett, B 2013, ‘Steven Soderbergh and the Growing Dominance of the Small Screen’, The Connectivist, 15 March, viewed 25/9/13, accessed <http://www.theconnectivist.com/2013/03/steven-soderbergh-and-the-growing-dominance-of-the-small-screen/&gt;

Matthew, S.E. 2013, ‘No More Subtitles: Why We Translate TV’, The Connectivist, 17 July, viewed 25/9/13, accessed <http://www.theconnectivist.com/2013/07/no-more-subtitles-why-we-translate-tv/&gt;

Greenwald, A 2013, ‘Too Soon, Too Late, Just Right: Major stars are making a return to television. How’s their timing?’, Grantland, 13 March, viewed 25/9/13, accessed <http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9046838/which-movie-stars-returning-tv-right-moment&gt;

Carr, D 2009, ‘Has the Quality of TV Improved, or Just the Buzz About It?’, The New York Times, 25 Sept, viewed 25/9/13, accessed http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/has-the-quality-of-tv-improved-or-just-the-buzz-about-it/?_r=2&gt;

WinterRose84 2012, ‘Aussie Slang (Australian Slang vs US and UK)’, YouTube, 27 July, accessed 25/9/13, available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_UOHu01YNc&gt;

JinnyBoyTV 2013, ‘Rojak’, YouTube, 6 June, accessed 25/9/13, available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LBVX2w3ZgQ&gt;

Transnational film industries

Hollywood has been under the spotlight and is affirmed as the centre of the film industry for as long as most of us are aware of. Recalling all the blockbusters movies in the hall of fame of cinematory, people will assume it as a product produced in Hollywood. Hollywood, a dream spot for all the aspire actors and actresses to make their name. As time evolves, the global cinema has become more transnational, where elements from different cultures inspired movie directors on the storyline, movie directing and demonstration of performances in the movie that transcend national boundaries. Cinema nowadays no longer dominated by Hollywood. Transnational films has

“Blurring the boundaries between the modern and the traditional, the high and low culture, and the national and the global culture.” (Karan & Schaefer, 2006).

As we are living in the world where globalisation and the advancement of digital technology continues to take place and evolves, these phenomena has encourage cultures, worldviews and different nationalities all around the world to inspire and influence on each other. In order for the cinema to keep up their footstep in this technology era new millennium, scholar has argues the role of Asian production centers will continue to exploit cinematic contra- flows that draw upon structures of hybridity in order to meet the growing demand for glocalized content within globalized distribution networks (Karan & Schaefer, 2006). According to Karan & Schaefer in discussing Schiller’s point of view, cultural hybridity is essential to glocalization. This remains in human beings conscious mind, “creatively combine local with global cultural formations in a bid to subvert potentially homogenizing forces associated with cultural imperialism” (Schiller, 1991) by mixing both local and global cultures and elements in order to appeal to the changing cinematic public spheres that continues to evolve as time goes by.

For instance, Ang Lee’s ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, was associated to hybridization in cinematic public spheres, appealing to both Western and Eastern, the global audiences as a whole.

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Image source: tvtropes.org

Chinese filmmakers such as Ang Lee, ‘challenge Hollywood’s current hegemony among the Asian audiences, but also in other parts of Asia and beyond where Chinese geopolitical, economic, and cultural influence is growing by the day’ (Karan & Schaefer, 2006),

‘Chindia’ refers to the unity of both China and India to challenge the dominance influence of the West over creative influence in the cinema sphere.

Lets take a look at the current Bollywood cinema sphere.

Bollywood movie is the combination of both Bombay and Hollywood that is available to the global audiences, has becoming more sexually explicit compare to the past decades. For instance, their dance routine with distinguishing characteristics.

Looking at the western media, we can see h0w bollywood has influences in the production of Hollywood media contents.

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Image source: IMDb

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Image source: IMDb

Avatar, directed by James Cameron, portraying a world where humans transform into avatars to exist on a planet called Pandora.Avatar come from the Sanskrit language in sacred Hindu texts, refers to divine beings sent to restore goodness to Earth.

From here, we can see that the flow of creative influences among Hollywood and Bollywood has influences on each other as the world of cinema sphere continues to evolve.

References

Schaefer, D.J. & and Karan, K 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia : Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian’, Journal article, viewed 13 September 2013, accessed UOW@sols.

Lassin, A.N. 2009, ‘New movie Avatar shines light on Hindu word’, Chron, 18 Dec, viewed 13 September 2013, accessed <http://www.chron.com/life/houston-belief/article/New-movie-Avatar-shines-light-on-Hindu-word-1721675.php&gt;

SelenaGomezVevo 2013, ‘Come & Get it’, YouTube, May 7, viewed 13 September 2013, accessed <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-D1EB74Ckg&gt;

ARRahmanVEVO 2009, ‘Jai Ho (You are my destiny)’, YouTube, 5 Oct, viewed 13 September 2013, accessed <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc5OyXmHD0w&gt;

BBCNewss Mribology 2013, ‘BBC News 100 years of Indian cinema – What you need to know’, YouTube, 3 May, viewed 13 September 2013, accessed <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J53DBTdXq-M&gt;

Media capital

Back in 1923, the Hollywood sign was built intentionally for advertisers to advertise on real estates development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Chinatown.

HollywoodSunset

Image source: patdollard.com

As American cinema rise between 1927 and 1963, known as the golden period of Hollywood, the Hollywood sign that alighted in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles became an internationally recognized symbol. The white block letters is best known as the prime symbol of the movies all around the world. It is a landmark that represent American culture icon. Due to Hollywood dominant influence over the television decades ago, Americanization impact on the world is indisputable.

Media capital defines as ‘places where things come together and consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible’ (Curtin 2003). Globalization has make the world, different in cultures and nations to come together and interdependence to each other.

Looking back to the history, the competition of North America to be acknowledge as a media capital begins with a early history of 1920s. Back then, US broadcast emphasized on localism, “where it was intended that political decisions should grow out of interpersonal deliberation among the assembled population of any given town or borough” (Curtin, 2003). The concept was somehow anachronism as the broadcasting industries were dominated by New York based major corporations (Curtin, 2003). Chicago had been a major factor in enhances the mediation of US popular culture due to their substantial pool of creative talents to produce high quality productions in music, films, drama and public affair programs, formed US and Chicago as the center of program productions (Curtin, 2003). A strategic geographical location of Chicago, located at the heart of manufacturing, transport and communication, became an important base for advertising firms. “American TV had become Hollywood TV, financed and managed on the East Coast and produced on the West Coast, a binary relationship that belied the centralization of media power at the national level,” ( Curtin 2003). Control over broadcasting contents of New York base network were shared between Chicago (creative talents) and Los Angeles (star power).

With the emergence of Television, New York based network will to have dominant control over creative content and operational process turned them over from Chicago and LA to Hollywood. In late 1950s, network shutted down production in Chicago, New York and Los Angelas, brought studio production to Hollywood. With its new partnership with Hollywood, its allows more control over contents, less costly and new distribution opportunities to the local and oversea markets (Curtin 2003).

Today, as the world is experiencing globalization drastically, thanks to the advancement of technology, the growth of transnational media conglomerates, the proliferation of new distribution vehicles (cable, satellite, video cassette), the re-regulation of electronic media, and the emergence of new production arrangements has caused a shift of high network era to neo- television era. Network era, refers to the time where the fundamental of profitability emphasized on the restriction of diminished national channels while neo- network television emphasizes on marketing, promotion and the control of intellectual property. Digital technologies  brought anxiety to the Hollywood due to its ability in providing multi channels contents consumption. Today’s Hollywood industries is threatened by its rising competitors. For instance, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, a country that plays a central role in trades, investment, migration and cultural flows among the Chinese communities around the world, has shifted the spotlight of Hollywood domination in the film industries, rises up as a new media capital. With its distinctive geographical position at both the center and the margins of Greater China, it plays a distinctive mediation role  for a vast and enormously complex economic and cultural formation ( Curtin 2003). “Its rapid embrace of television was connected to the fact that it mediated complex relations between East and West, between tradition and modernity, and between immigrant and indigenous populations,” ( Curtin 2003). Moreover, Hong Kong lack of censorship and open trade policies has encouraged transnational alliances of talent and resources, rising as one of the most competing media capital in the history of film industries (Curtin 2003).

Undoubtedly, the complex interactions of economic, demographic, technological, cultural and ideological that operates at different levels, local, national, regional and global that is interdependent and interrelated has successfully structuring the rise of media capitals such as Chicago, Hollywood and Hong Kong.

References

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol.6, no.2, pp202-228, accessed 5/9/2013, http://ics.sagepub.com/content/6/2/202.

Unveil the deep root of Hip- Hop Culture

“The “hip hop culture” has permeated popular culture in an unprecedented fashion. Because of its enormous cross-over appeal, the hip hop culture is a potentially great unifier of diverse populations”, (Reese, 2000). Today’s world, Hip- Hop is one of the mainstream culture or music that most of us are familiar with.

With it root originated from Africa, most of the black American musics are descended from the ancient African tribal rhythms and musical traditions, be it Jazz, Soul, R’n’B. Beginning in the 17th century, millions of African were being transported as salves into America, separated from their families, country and own roots.  Their hardship began in 1619, when the first American slaves were captured and forced in slavery, transported to Virginia to support the production of worthwhile crops such as Tobacco.

Although Hip- Hop is originated from the African- American, it influences on the world is unpredictable. “Out of this desolation came the unfortunate liberty for Africans to develop a new culture from their abrupt change of situation and the remnants of their old lives carried in their minds and bodies with them to the New World”, (Sullivan, 2001). Due to the harsh condition they face in America, they formed their voice, their music, by infusing their rich culture into the music. Its allow them to express the imbalance and unfair treatment among the black and white, racism and oppression by the white community. Music is the only way they feel connected to their root culture back home. It’s their way of protesting the harsh condition they faced throughout the histoty. “By working within sociocultural constraints, innovating and adapting musical styles, African-Americans created a musical tradition distinctively their own, and that in itself was a form of defiance”, (Sullivan, 2001). African- American used music to strengthen and toughen themselves when facing the slave’s owner brutal and inhuman acts that to opressed them psychologically, physically and spiritually, (Sullivan, 2001). Hip- Hop is a way to express and to protest against the unfair treatment. Todays, Hip- Hop culture has spread all across the world and outstripped ethnic boundaries. Hip- Hop cultures consist of four core elements which includes rapping, Djing,  b- boying(break dancing) and aerosol graffiti). According to Forman’s article, he discussed about Kitwana’s point of view, that rap is the expression of “new worldview”, where personal and social perspectives, ideology were being express through oral form, that is commonly shares among the Africa- Americans, the white, as well as nation from different part of the world with different cultures, nationalities, languages, skin colors and identities. According to hip-hop veteran KRS-1, “rap is something you do and hip-hop is something you live.”

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Image source: .dropther.net

As hip- hop continues to gain its popularity, it caused controversy and arguments on the negativity of rap music toward the society. In fact, most of the hip- hop music we listen on the radio, watch on YouTube or Television nowadays imply negative and inappropriate messages or elements that portray violence, sexism, misogyny, vulgar and protestation toward the government or political leaders that may bring negative influences to the society.

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Image source: Google

Despite it negativity, Hip- Hop cultures do has it good side. In 2008, President Obama 2008 electoral campaign “signal a decisive break from the Civil Rights era, providing a crucial moment in the transformation of the nation’s discourse around race, culture, and identity”, (Forman, 2010). Forman argues Hale point of view in his article, with the growing influence of Hip- Hop cultures among the non- black community, it has “helped a younger generation see race in a slightly different perspective”, (Forman, 2010).

Despite it negative influences that impacted the world, Hip- Hop can be use to spread the messages of love, peace and equality too. With its ability to transcend ethnic boundaries, undoubtedly, the impact it has on ethnic relation is tremendous. Hip- hop culture has the potential to spread the love to different part of the world to avoid racism, discrimination, hate, crime, violence and misogynistic to form a world that value humanity and love, true relation and peace.

References

Forman, M 2010, ‘Conscious Hip-Hop, Change, and the Obama Era’, American Studies Journal, viewed 30 August 2013, accessed <http://www.asjournal.org/179.html&gt;

History 2013, ‘Slavery in America’, viewed 30 August 2013, accessed <http://www.history.com/topics/slavery&gt;

Henderson, AK 2006, ‘Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora’, The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture. Basu, Dipannita and Sidney J. Lemelle, eds. London: Pluto Press, pp. 180 – 200.

Internationalized education, what are the challenges?

Since the inception of human being most awe- inspiring invention of all time back in decades ago, the internet, the world is experiencing globalization drastically where different cultures, worldviews and ideas intersects. Globalization generates a world where economics, technology and the development of countries are interdependence. Nevertheless, one of the most obvious evidence of globalization can be witness through education sector, the internationalization of education.

University is a place where students can actually experience intercultural experiences with students from different cultures, backgrounds and religions. It is a multicultural setting where students can interact, socialize and build their networks with people from all around the world. According to Marginson, international education is reported as one of the most critical profit- making business for certain countries such as Australia, United States and United Kingdom.

News of stereotyping toward international students is nothing new. According to Marginson’s article, it is reported that 80 percent of international students at University of Melbourne come from Asian’s background. In fact, most of the Asian students may not be competence enough in English speaking as English might be a second language during their upbringing. In order for international student to have a successful intercultural communication and experiences, language proficiency is indeed critical for them to adapt to a new environment successfully. Without language competence, how can a person start to interact with a simple communication and later on building a deeper relationship when encountering a person that has totally different background and upbringing? As culture and language are interdependence, it is important to be competent with the language in order to know the culture when blending in into a new environment. “A crucial element in the achievement of international students is not only their academic adjustment but also their adjustment  to the social and cultural environment”, (Kell & Vogl, 2007).

Most International students decided to study abroad is to shape a new identity, to step out of their comfort zone, meeting new people that are different from their home country, experiencing new cultures, strengthen their self- confidence and communication competence. When people is new to an environment, human being will have this sub- conscious to force themselves to take risks in order to adapt or survive successfully to a new social setting or community. Despite most of the time international student make an attempt to get to know the local but the challenge is, it is hard to motivate or persuade the local to step out of their comfort zone to experience this intercultural encounter. In fact, people is being ethnocentrism most of the time thinking their own race and culture is superior than the others and treats those with different skin colors or cultures as outsiders.

There are stereotypes against specific races. Sad but true. As we are living in a world that are experiencing globalization drastically where different cultures, worldviews, and countries intersect, we have to live outside the box and accept the facts that we all are human being that is made uniquely by God no matter what language we speak, what skin color we are born with, different in cultures, identity and nation, everyone is equal.

References

Kell, P & Vogl G 2007, ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Journal article, viewed 23 August, accessed UOW@sols.