According To…Who?

In my last post, I discussed global media and the components of news broadcasting. Tonight, I will continue this discussion on global media and global broadcasting, reflecting on Dr Tanja Dreher’s presentation of the topic of Global Crisis and Global News.

Dreher examined four main ‘crises’, and how they are addressed in the global media:

  • Climate change
  • ‘Voice for the voiceless’
  • ‘False balance’
  • Pacific Calling Partnership.

The issue that stuck with me was the way in which the global media has addressed the issue of climate change in the recent past. This is a quintessential global issue that affects not only affects our Earth in the present, but degrades it for the future generations that are to come. The issue of climate change, and our experiences with climate change are highly mediated (Dreher 2014). However, the way in which these issues have been addressed in the media has been quite striking.

Source: I Heart Climate Scientists (Facebook Page), obtained Upworthy (Facebook Page).

Source: I Heart Climate Scientists (Facebook Page), obtained Upworthy (Facebook Page).

As examined by Bud Ward in this topic’s reading, “in reporting on climate change and the findings in the physical and earth sciences defining it, US reporters for many years practised what critics contend is a ‘false balance’, providing space disproportionate to its scientific credibility to perspectives running counter t what is now widely accepted as the ‘established’ scientific judgement” (Ward 2009, p.14).’

Headlines such as this covered Newspapers, as the opinions of uninformed critics were given as much weight as the evidence produced by scientists. Source: The Daily Express

Headlines such as this covered Newspapers, as the opinions of uninformed critics were given as much weight as the evidence produced by scientists. Source: The Daily Express

For many years, climate change was reported on with scepticism and doubt. This indecision on the severity of the matter was brought about by ‘false balance’- that the opinions of critics and the uninformed were given as much weight in the media as that of scientists and their evidence (Dreher 2014). Thankfully, the approach to reporting on climate change and climate science has changed to be based on evidence and not just sheet opinion (Ward 2009).

Reference List

Dreher, T 2014, BCM111 Global Crises, Global News: Pacific Calling Partnerships: 2014 lecture notes 8th September 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 2, 2014.

Ward, B (2009) ‘Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty’ Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics Vol 9, pp. 13 – 15.

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News Worthy

When absorbing the News, especially as a Communications and Media student, it is important to understand that what we see or hear as an audience is not transparent, but a result of a series of selections; a product of journalistic routines and standardised procedures (Khorana 2014). Choices are made by the News organisation, which often reflects the bias of the owners, producers, broadcasters and journalists, rather than applying objective standards (Khorana 2014).

An important News Value is the fact that it is a narrativisation of events (Khorana 2014). News items are referred to as news stories- and they are; right down to the packaging of the three-act structure, often with a victim, or hero, and a villain. It is believed that news stories are presented this way because Western audiences are able to easily digest this narrative framework (Lee-Wright 2012).

Another interesting point that was presented in this topic was, not only how the News is presented, but what actually makes the News. Lee-Wright’s article encourages audiences to consider what the reporting of news articles tells us about the news makers, their values and objectives (Lee-Wright 2014).

When looking at online news sources, such as The Daily Mail, online edition, it is obvious that particular types of stories ‘earn’ the most converted spots. In the case of the Daily Mail, the types of stories that are considered hard-hitting journalism are stories how The Simpsons predicted the Ebola epidemic and the naming of celebrities’ children.

Article's considered important by the Daily Mail Australia. Source: Daily Mail Australia

Article’s considered important by the Daily Mail Australia. Source: Daily Mail Australia

It takes definite sifting to find articles that could even be considered real ‘news’. The story that made the headline today was an article on the Brisbane murder of a transgender woman by her husband. The victim was only described as “transsexual”, and her murderer was described as “the blue-eyed boy” and “a karate-loving kid”.

The headline article for the Daily Mail Australia on Firday, 10th October 2014. Source: Daily Mail Australia

The headline article for the Daily Mail Australia on Firday, 10th October 2014. Source: Daily Mail Australia

Endearing terms used to described a murderer who horrifically killed his wife. It isn’t until half-way down the page that stories involving new MH17 facts, the Ebola epidemic and ‘harder’ news articles surface. On behalf of the Daily Mail, I would recommend that you DON’T MISS the ‘news’ of celebrities, their children and fashion and interviews concerning The Bachelor.

Daily Mail's 'Don't Miss' column. Source: Daily Mail Australia

Daily Mail’s ‘Don’t Miss’ column. Source: Daily Mail Australia

Lee-Wright references Simon McGregor-Wood’s observation, “that it is not in the nature of news ­– nor increasingly within its budget – to stay on a story beyond its audience’s attention.” It saddens me that this is what captures Australians’ attention.

This topic of Global Media and News Values will lead me into my next post in which I will discuss Dr Tanja Dreher’s presentation of the topic of Global Crisis and Global News. Stay tuned.

 

References:

Daily Mail Australia, 2014, Daily Mail Australia, Daily Mail, viewed 10th October 2014, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/auhome/index.html>.

Khorana, S 2014, BCM111 Who Counts in Global Media? News Values: 2014 lecture notes 24th September 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 2, 2014.

Lee-Wright, P (2012) ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’ JOMEC Journal: Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, <http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/jomecjournal/1-june2012/leewright_newsvalues.pdf>.

 

 

 

So…What are Media Capitals?

In this post I am going to try and pass on my (quite limited) knowledge of media capitals. I have been reluctant to write about this topic, because it is one that, admittedly, I have found difficult to grasp. Michael Curtin (2003) defines media capitals as“…sites of mediation, locations where complex forces and flows interact. They are neither bounded not self-contained entities. Rather, we should understand them in the manner that geographers like Doreen Massey (1992) and Kevin Robins (1991) understand cities, as meeting places where local specificity arises out of migration, interaction and exchange…Media capitals are places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible”.

With this as the given definition, I am sure you can sympathise as to why I have found the concept difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, I have attempted to comprehend it anyway.

Although America, specifically Hollywood, dominates the global entertainment markets, the concept of media capitals is based on the transnational flow of television. These media flows are becoming multi-directional. Nations broadcasters are developing global satellite services and media contracts in with other nations, such as TVB’s, Hong Kong’s dominant local broadcaster, collaboration with MEASAT, a Malaysia media corporation (Curtin 2003). Hong Kong has established itself as a powerful media capital, that was made possible by the influence of migration and the merging of cultures. For example, Hong Kong television is produced and consumed in countries such as Taipei, Beijing, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur (Curtin 2003).

Media is no longer contained to one physical location or one cultural identity, rather contemporary television “is transcending frontiers and disrupting conventional structures of domination… the one-way flow of US programming to the periphery of the worlds systems are being reassessed in light of increasing multi-directional flows of media industry “ (Curtin 2003).

If this humble blog post has not quite left you feeling completely enlightened on the concept of media capitals, then I recommend you have a read of the following article by Michael Curtin, which has helped me address this topic:

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capitals: Towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2.

Reference List

Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capitals: Towards the study of spatial flows’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2.

Khorana, S 2014, BCM111 Television and the Emergence of  ‘New’ Media Cpaitals: 2014 lecture notes 3rd September 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 2, 2014.