Comic Relief: Lee Lin Chin takes on Australia’s News Teams

SBS New Reader, Lee Lin Chin

SBS New Reader, Lee Lin Chin

If you didn’t catch Lee Lin Chin‘s fight against some of Australia’s biggest news anchors, you definitely missed out.

Late last year, as a part of the final episode of ‘The Feed’, on SBS2, many of televisions biggest faces took part in an epic battle, including TEN Eyewitness News’ Sandra Sully and Hugh Riminton, The TODAY SHOW’s Karl StefanovicLisa Wilkinson along with Richard Wilkins from Channel Nine; Channel Seven’s Derryn Hinch and ABC’s Juanita PhillipsSteve Cannane and Annabel Crabb.

It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen news readers take part in – but it’s hilarious! For those who have already seen it I’m sure you’d love to watch it again and for those who haven’t here it is:

Lee Lin Chin’s fight to the death in Broadcast Battleground.

You can thank me later…

Anti-Vaxxers slammed on Mediated Public Sphere

Q. What do ‘Q&A’ and ‘My Kitchen Rules’ have in common?

A. Both illustrate examples of a mediated public sphere.

The term ‘mediated public sphere’ was established in 1962 by Jürgen Habermas and Hannah Arendt (The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere), and is defined as “a conversational space in which citizens freely gather to debate matters of significance to the public”. Habermas pictured the public sphere as an 18th century coffee house in which citizens debate about common concerns, separate from the state and separate from the official economy.

Beginning our discussion public spheres in BCM110 a couple of weeks ago; it quickly became evident that this concept is not just important in media communications. A mediated public sphere offers a platform through which we can share our thoughts, opinions, enter into debates with others, and can vary in forms from trending #hastags to widely broadcasted television programs. Continue reading

Who is telling you how to think?

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The Daily Telegraph Article (5.8.13),   “Kick     This Mob Out”

Have you ever watched or seen something and just felt like an opinion was being smeared forcefully in your face?

Yes?

I would think most of us have. Whether it’s been done consciously or not, no article, news story or blog post is free from bias. Not even this one. This certain type of bias is known as media bias, which can be defined as: “political bias in journalistic reporting, in programming selection, or otherwise in mass communications media”. Although often journalists strive to exclude bias from their work, more frequently the bias of the media owner isn’t excluded.

Continue reading

UNHATE:

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  Edited 17th April 2015

I was immediately captivated by this image.

An image has the power to instantly communicate a vast amount of information, often with different ways of looking at them, depending on your personal knowledge and beliefs.

Denotations: First we see two adult men, from the shoulders up, dressed in similar suits – one navy blue, and the other, black. The man on the left has thick black hair, wearing reading classes and appears to be of Asian heritage. The man on the right has darker skin and short, Afro hair, suggestive of an African background. No context is suggested by the setting, which is blurred and generic. They are both in focus, and take up majority of the image, drawing our eyes to centre of the photo and their kiss. The two men have their eyes shut and lips puckered. In the top left hand corner “UNHATE” is written in bold, white, capitals and in opposite corner, a dark green box frames the words “United Colours of Benetton” also written in white. Beneath this “Support the Unhate Foundation unhatefoundation.org” is written.

This illustration is constructed of signifiers, what is in the image, describing the denotation of the image before we begin to interpret the signified, forming meaning from what we see. Every image is made up of two parts: what you see, and what you interpret. This can be studied through semiotics, a term coined by its fathers, Charles Pierce, Ferdinand Saussure and Rowland Baths. Semiotics is, defined by the University of Vermont, as “the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation”.

Connotations: Clear to some, the two men in the photo are the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama (right), and the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping (left). These two governments are recognised as being ideologically opposed to one another, yet in this image their leaders are seen sharing a kiss. This confronting image makes us instantly question the purpose. This affection, combined with the white text “UNHATE” suggests a message of love and harmony. This image, of two great leaders of opposing world superpowers, suggests that they have put aside their differences in order to share an act of love asking: if they can do it, why not us?

There are many other ways this image can be read. It could be viewed as an advertisement promoting cooperation between the American and Chinese governments, or a campaign promoting equality and acceptance for LGBT relationships. The text “United Colours of Benetton” suggests that it could also be interpreted as a ‘shock-value’ advertisement for the clothing brand.

So what does the image actually stand for?

“What does UNHATE mean? UN-hate. Stop hating, if you were hating. Unhate is a message that invites us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think. Actually, the two opposing sentiments are often in a delicate and unstable balance. Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate.”

This image was used as a part of the Unhate Foundation’s, 2011 campaign titled: UNHATE. The Unhate Foundation is founded by the Benetton Group who run the clothing brand “United Colors of Benetton”.

What how did you respond when you first saw this image? Loved it? Hated it? Do you think it was successful in communicating it’s intended message?

Let me know what you think in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts…

– H.

Want more information? Go to: Unhate Benetton

References:
Definitions and information

Video Credit

Image Credit

WARNING: Post may cause anxiety.

For as long as the media has existed, there have been subsequent concerns and debates on its effects. The increasing use of social media is only increasing these uncertainties.

It isn’t news to anyone that social media is everywhere. Whether logged into an office desktop, home laptop, family tablet or mobile phone, media now is incessantly in our clutches. Social media plugs us into a database filled with friends, family and strangers all over the world who we can contact and who can consequently contact us, both with, and without, our consent.

texting

photo credit: Snipview

Lengthy research into the media and its effects has birthed a term known as the ‘Media Effects Theory’ which refers to the theories about the ways in which mass media and media culture affect how their audiences think and behave. However Professor of the Media Research Institute at the University of Winchester, David Gauntlet, states in his article 10 Things Wrong with the Media ‘Effects’ Model that he believes that a lack of clear answers on the medias effects can only mean one of two things – either after 60 years of extensive research there is nothing to be found, or, consistently the wrong approach into research has been taken.

Gauntlet believes that “the effect model tackles the problem backwards” trying to explain an issue such as anti social behavior starting with social media as opposed to first referring to a persons identity, background or character. Furthermore “the effects model is based on artificial studies”, expensive to undertake, the research often taking place in a laboratory or a classroom with a conspicuous research who instigates certain activities, neither of which are natural environments. Together these two frequently made mistakes illustrate just how murky research into media effects often is. So if media research is often inaccurate, do we have anything to worry about?

Enter cyberbullying (using technology to repeatedly bully someone) – an issue that has arisen as a consequence of the media. This harassment, aimed to embarrass, intimidate and hurt others, no longer terminates at the end of a work or schooling day. The media is a constantly available source of information where we are able to anonymously seek answers, have opinions and give feedback on issues which we views as important. However this also gives people the ability to do other things anonymously such as bully and harass or stalk people without without necessarily being held accountable.

When I pitched to a friend my worries of cyberbulling, stressing that we can so easily be be followed by bullies into our homes through social media, she countered why not just turn it off? And sure, why not put your phone down, shut down your laptop? Problem solved right? On many accounts this might just help solve these worries. However just as many times these bullies stretch over a various platforms and/or create groups on social media, inviting people to continue this act of bullying.

In my opinion cyberbullying has become one of the more important anxieties in the media. It has become a concentration in schools from Kindergarten through to Year 12, teaching students about the consequences of cyberbullying, for both bully and the victim, how to identify an online bully and methods that may help in dealing with this issue. But this isn’t just a focus in schools.

photo credit: Sites.Duke

Cyberbullying and the fears of its effects are often discussed in media itself. More recently this focus has been on the bill passed in parliament to instate a e-Safety Commissioner. A step in the right directions, the e-Safety Commissioner will be charged with a list of roles including:

– Removing material that is viewed as harmful for children from large social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

– Working towards better options for smartphones and other devices with internet access to assist parents in protecting children from harmful content;

– Creating an accessible platform where parents can view guidelines about the appropriateness of media content;

– Establishing research fund which investigates the effects of internet use on children and support services can be provided online and ways to moderate children’s online risks

– Establishing funding for online safety education to be delivered in schools

For more information on the e-Safety Commissioners roles see: Enhancing Online Safety for Children

This decision to create a position, in which an appointed member can monitor and reprimand those who use social media in the wrong way, is an indicator in itself that cyberbullying is growing issue and is viewed as increasingly important.

It is the expectation that this step will indeed make the move towards the ending cyberbullying and I agree that it is a start. However, for the moment, this role is to be tackled by a singular person, and I struggle to believe that this individual will be able to fully meet the demands when faced with cyberbullying throughout Australia. It is my hope that the Australian government will recognise this and consider a larger team of experts. Subsequently the e-Safety Commissioner will only be responsible for people under 18 years of age, which leads me to ask the question: can’t bullying effect everyone equally regardless of age?

Last week Triple J’s Hack program discussed many of the issues surrounding cyberbullying and the impact people believe an e-Safety Commissioner may make in the media:

References:

10 Things Wrong with the Media ‘Effects’ Model

David Gauntlet: Biography

– Cybersmart: How to Deal with Cyberbullying

Communications: Online Safety for Children

“Every fact is disputable. There is no such thing as truth.”

Today during my first lecture for Government, Power and Political Systems (POL150) our lecturer said something I found very interesting:

“Every fact is disputable. There is no such thing as truth.”

There was something about this statement that I absolutely loved. Probably because I feel like it’s a quote that urges me to not simply be contempt and agree with the information we are provided in the media This is something I want both my reader and I to keep in mind as I start this blog and continue to develop it over next couple of years.

It’s exciting to start something for the first time, and for me this week it’s been several things. First day at University. First lecture. First tutorial. And now first blog. It’s all apart of my progress into developing a career in Journalism, which is something that I’ve wanted to do for the past six or seven years now. This is what I want to do.

IMG_4500As for introductions, well, my name is Hannah! Welcome! I’m nineteen years old and I finished high school just over a year ago. I spent just under eight months at the beginning of 2014 working, often fourteen hour days, in order to save for another passion of mine – travelling. I know many people either, aren’t interested in, or don’t like the idea of, a “Gap Year” but it was something that I’ve always wanted to do and found incredibly beneficial. Not only was I able to spend three months travelling around Europe with four of my closest friends; prove to myself that I could independently save the money I needed for my trip, but also felt that my ambition to go to university and become a journalist grew even stronger. I mean, I love travelling, and I love journalism! Why not do both, right?

So now I’m here: sitting on a slightly over air-conditioned train between the busyness of Wollongong and my picturesque home of Berry, hoping that someone is actually reading this and if I’ve at least succeeded in that, that you’re as excited as me to see where this will all end up.