Media uncertainty on global issues

We are constantly faced with media coverage on global disasters. Each day/week/month, media forums such as newspapers, television and radio report on national and international news. As well as reporting on these issues, forums such as twitter contain constant live coverage of global crisis’ alike ISIS. Although constant coverage of ISIS is beneficial in sustaining social awareness of the issue, it brings attention away from other global issues that are also trending.

Global warming is an issue that is often neglected of media coverage. While it is important that society is knowledgeable on the topic of ISIS, they should also be aware about the uprising issues of global warming, a topic that is of greater threat to us then terror. Global warming and climate change is an issue that affects every living human, however has little coverage in the media. This creates a major global issue for society as it limits our understanding on the importance of climate change. (Ward, 2014) brings forth the idea of ‘balance’ in reporting on news. It is said “journalists increasingly, and rightly take their cues from the leading and acknowledged scientific experts when it comes to the facts and causes of global climate change” (Ward, B 2014, p 14). Although this can be perceived as a reliable source, it also creates concern of lagging information on global warming until it is actually occurring.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.27.44 PMUnequal mediated global coverage has made it difficult for society to argue which global crisis needs attaining. If the concept of global warming were more regularly mediated then it would require society to ‘think global and act global cooperatively’.

Ward, B. (2009). Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, [online] 9, pp.13-15[Accessed 14 Oct. 2014]<http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/esep00097>

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Equalising Mediation of Global Affairs

Media forums such as television, news, radio and online political blogging deliver global news to society every day. These issues are mediated in a particular way to shape individual’s opinion and understanding of global crisis. Although the media is successful in delivering of information, it also brings forth the concern of imbalanced media coverage towards various global affairs.

Take the media coverage of the Syrian crisis in contrast to the coverage of asylum seekers in Australia for example. Australia has constant access to mediated coverage of the war in Syria, however less then half the coverage on asylum seekers migrating to Australia, an issue that is of greater concern to our economy.

The concern for asylum seekers in Australia is an issue effecting a major proportion of our society, yet it receives either; incorrect media coverage or hardly no coverage at all.  This issue links to Write’s (2012) theory ‘Re-apprasial of new priorities’. Write (2012) depicts how it wasn’t until 2011 when American media forums increased foreign affair coverage. “143 minutes was focused on the uprising in Syria, whereas only 42 minutes was dedicated to the Arab Awakening” (Write 2012). This upraises concern that society will be less informed about additional global affairs. If the issue of asylum seekers in Australia was regularly mediated individual’s could actively contribute to the affair in order to aid our economy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.58.02 AMUnequal mediated global coverage has made it difficult for society to argue which global crisis needs attaining. The Syrian crisis is displayed on all forms of media and even withholds its own hashtag (#SYRIA). Furthermore, making it difficult for additional global affairs with equal importance such as asylum seekers in Australia to hold attention. 

Lee-Wright, P. 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of New Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, in Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-20

‘No shit Sherlock’

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.01.49 AMPrior to this weeks lecture my only understanding of Sherlock Holmes came from the well-known saying ‘no shit Sherlock’ (used when someone would uncover something quite obvious). This saying was based on the television series ‘Sherlock Holmes’, whose protagonist uncovered fiction crime scenes. Sherlock Holmes is a popular television series that has been globally adapted numerous times in order to aid cultural desire.

British and American culture both modified the television series to allow for a successful cultural understanding. I previously touched on cultural consideration in last weeks blog. I stated that in order for an effective positive viewership response, cultural consideration must be adjusted. In British culture, Sherlock allows us to see what modern fan fiction would look like if it was written by well-paid, well respect middle age man (Penny, 2014). The English version shows no distinct ‘romantic’ relationship between Sherlock and Watson however continually brings forth the idea of possible homoeroticism between the two.

Yet in contrast, in the American version ‘Elementary’ the producers made Irene Adler and Moriarty form into one person, furthermore making Holme’s greatest opponent a woman, who ironically was Sherlocks former lover. ‘Elementary’ constructed a relationship between Holme’s and Moriarity “falling into the boundaries of a heteronormative couple” (Asher-Perrin, 2014). ‘Elementary’ also altered Sherlock’s independent nature towards crime solving by getting him to recruit Watson as his apprentice as he considers Watson’s opinion and skill valuable.

Although there are some distinct differences between ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Elementary’ like the fact that Joan Watson is played by a woman of colour in ‘Elementary’, and that people of different races, sexualities and social classes (Asher-Perrin, 2014) is greatly evident. The writers and producers of ‘Elementary’ fought to preserve similar characteristics displayed in the characters in the British version ‘Sherlock’.

The British and American version of this television has been adapted in order to aid cultural norms. The British version of Sherlock Holmes successfully captures the culture of England through the use of incorporating appropriate english comedy and teasing of homoeroticism behaviour. Where as the American version ‘Elementary’ displays regular love and relationships scenes along side crime solving. Both series successfully incorporated cultural changes to appeal to desired audience.

Penny, L (2014) ‘Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase’ New Statesman, viewed 28th September 2014, http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/01/sherlock-and-adventure-overzealous-fanbase

Asher-Perrin, E (2014) ‘Battling Super Sleuths: The Awkward Case of Elementary, Sherlock, and Building the Better Adaptation’ Tor.com, viewed September 28th 2014, http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/02/battling-super-sleuths-the-awkward-case-of-elementary-sherlock-and-building-the-better-adaptation

Look at MOI

Humour may only be considered humour if our culture allows us to understand and accept what is being heard. Culture plays an immense role in determining what individuals find funny, amusing, or disturbing. ‘Humour, and thus comedy formats, most drama, relying as it does on some unavoidable specifies of character and place, and of course the vast bulk of news and current affairs, remain resistant to exploitation in a multiplicity of markets’ (Cunningham and Jacka 1996: 249). In other words, comedy & humour can not be globally identical. Cultural consideration must be achieved in order for a positive viewership response.

So lets take a little look at how some comedy and humour television shows have negatively abused cultural consideration. Kath and Kim is a prime example (and probably the one being most used….sorry to bring it up again!). Kath and Kim is a highly successful Australian television show which exemplifies the ‘bogan’ lifestyle of an Australian Mother and Daughter. Kath and Kim’s catch fraise’s; “It’s unuZual”, “It’s different”, and “Look at Moiii” had Australian’s hooked and in stitches laughing. Why? Because it captured Australian cultural successfully.

Kath and Kim was so successful in Australia that America thought they could remake the television series to provide comedy for their culture. However, it backfired. Badly. The show was received badly by American’s and was cancelled after just the first season. News.com (2010) proclaim that three of America’s most influential newspapers slammed the show in reviews, with one stating “Like the yeast-extract spread and its offspring, the Vegemite sandwich and the Cheesymite scroll, (it) is just not something that suits the American palette. While the characters in the Aussie version are squirm-worthy, they are still likeable. In the American version, they are merely detestable.”

The reason the American version failed to provide comedy and humour is merely because cultural consideration was not addressed. “The successful translation of a comedy depends not only on the translation of the cultural context from one locale to another (Scranton for Slough, Florida for Fountain Lakes, (but also on the kinds of production deals which are made and the expectations about audiences which are then inferred (Turnbull,2008).

There are in many cases where local television can be successful in becoming a global sensation, however cultural consideration must first be addressed and achieved.

Turnbull, S (2004) ‘Look at Moiye, Kimmie, look at moiye’: Kath and Kim and the Australian comedy of taste’. Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 113, pp. 98 – 109

Clash or rise of civilisation?

I have always believed that the global cultural flow of media came from Hollywood. Growing up I was confronted with Hollywood movies, Hollywood pop songs and Hollywood magazines. These further became my fundamental income of media. However, it was not only until this weeks topic ‘Media Capitals’ where I discovered just how many media scapes are positioned around the world essentially portraying large dominate media coverage of cultural flow. Media capitals are places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible” (Curtin, 2003).

One major example of a central media capital is HongKong. HongKong became a central media capital after World War 2 due to the influx of migration. Due to this, society was forced to make a living in HongKong by “finding work, starting businesses and creating families” (Curtin, 2003) moreover, turning HongKong into a economic stable nation. Due to this, HongKong as a media capital emerged with the Chinese Opera being one of the most popular forms of entertainment. 

Along with the Chinese Opera, HongKong have incorporated a hybrid of WesternPop, and other international influences of music entertainment. “While the original songs often featured traditional Chinese instruments, these have, mostly been phased out and nowadays Cantopop is more like a wholesome version of Western Pop sung in the Cantonese language” (Boland). Although Cantopop originated in HongKong, they now make world tours to places including L.A, New York, London, San Fran and Vancouver (Boland). 

Media Capitals alike HongKong contribute greatly to our global economy. However, Huntington perceives media capitals to lead to the ‘Clash of Civilisation’. “The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural”(Huntington, 1993). Depicting his perception that the East and Westernised culture can not subvert due to cultural difference and perception. 

I believe media capitals alike HongKong will not cause the ‘clash of civilisation’. Although Huntington studies a relevant hypothesis I choose to believe that media capitals will increase globalisation rather then destroy it.

References: 

Curtin, M. 2003, ‘Media capital’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 202-228

Boland R, ‘About Travel’, ‘Cantopop – What is Cantopop?’ viewed 9th September 2014 http://gohongkong.about.com/od/historyandcultureofhk/a/Cantopop.htm

Huntington, S. 1996, Clash of Civilisations, Simon and Schuster, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross over & Transnational Cinema

Cross over Cinema and Transnational Cinema share a similar relationship. Cross over cinema is solely based on crossing cultural boards during conceptualisation and production, whereas transnational cinema focus further on challenging audience to critically think about films with a national brand, further influencing pre conceived ideologies based on the cultural content displayed in the films (Khorana, 2013, p. 2).Both of these elements, although they are very similar, play a distinct role in the production of cross-cultural films. 

When researching cross over cinema I was surprised by how many movies incorporate multi ethnic backgrounds. One finding, The Grudge is based on the Japanese horror movie called Ju-on. Hollywood recreated the movie for the Westernised culture, even hiring the same director from the original in order to integrate a similar cultural experience. Both  movies were exactly an hour and a half long so that The Grudge could fit in as much description as the original. One of the central cultural differences in these two movies was that Ju-on’s main character was in about half of the movie scenes where as in the Grudge the main character is in almost every scene. As well as this, the Hollywood version incorporated the desire of love, where as Ju-on does not. This is merely due to the Westernized culture’s appeal towards love compared to the Japanese who share little interest in films concentrated around love.

Snow White and the Huntsman is another example of an Hollywood movie grounded on a 1994 Japanese anime series called Shirayuki Hime no Densetsu. Snow White and the Huntman heavily mirror the Japanese anime series through the influence of their colours and designs.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.24.30 AMSourced

In Khorana’s reading she depicts the motion of ‘belonging’ in relation to cross over cinema. Individuals whom come from multi ethnic backgrounds form a sense of belonging to these movies as they are characterised by multi cultural influences (Khorana, 2013, p.9).

 

References:
Khorana, S. 2013, “Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview”,  Research Online,pp. 1-18.

Melvile, Ju-On vs. The Grudge — The Battle of the Pacific’, Earth-2.Net Geek Culture at its Finest, Viewed 02 September 2014, <http://www.earth-2.net/columns/melville/melville-01.php&gt;

Sensei 2010, ‘The Advantages of Being an Alice in Anime, Manga, and Video Games’, Hibari-Sensei’s Classroom, Viewed 02 September 2014, <http://hibari-sensei.livejournal.com/25223.html&gt;

 

 

 

I nek nominate Bollywood!

From twerking, to saying the word ‘Yolo’  then to forcing all Facebook friends to ‘nek nominate’ I’d thought we had seen it all. But I was wrong. The next big thing heading our way is ‘Bollywood’! “New millennium Indian and Chinese films will wrestle control of global films from western dominance” (Schaefer 2012, p309). These Bollywood films are combining the link between local and global culture and appealing them to audience’s tastes and trends to provide rich entertainment. 

These films are the new and uprising threat to traditional Hollywood films, “Bose predicted that Indian films stood ‘the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the movie making world'” (2006:195). One example that I’m sure all you fellow bloggers are mentioning is ‘Avatar’. It’s seriously just too mind boggling not to mention! Avatar has made an estimated $1.8437 billion since released (Bettinger, 2010). Avatar combined both mixed American themes with ancient Hindu concepts. One main central concept introduced from Indian mythogy into the American film was ‘the blue skin colour of the Na’vi characters, the colour traditionally used for depicting the religious avatars Rama Krishna (Jain, 2005). 

Following Bollywood is another new revolution called ‘Nollywood’ also known as the African cinema. Nollywood has arose from the African country of Nigeria with its sole purpose to “produce culture from the bottom of the street” (Okomo 2007, p2). Nollywood’s soul purpose was to bring the poorer African communities together in street sites and provide entertainment for a small donation. These films are budgeted much lower then Hollywood (around $1500) and are produced in a shorter time (sometimes no more then 10 days) (Corrigan, 2006). From the year 2000 Nollywood has began to venture out into the big wide world by attending one international film festival to the other. Nowadays Nollywood has become the second largest film industry in the world in number of annual film productions (Wikipedia, 2014). 

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.18.02 PM

 

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Subverting Bollywood and Nollywood into Hollywood are in my opinion a blessing to greet our western culture. Although these two revolutions are apposing threat to traditional Hollywood films it also provides increased knowledge and awareness of cultures that are unfamiliar.

References: 

Schaefer, D 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, ‘Global Media and Communication’, Los Angeles, pp. 309-316

Bose, D. (2006) Brand Bollywood: A New Global Entertainment Order. New Delhi: Sage.

Okome, O 2007, ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, pp. 1-20

Bettinger 2010, AVATAR Achieves The Highest Worldwide Gross of All Time with $1.84 Billion, COLLIDER, viewed 25th August 2014, <http://collider.com/avatar-achieves-the-highest-worldwide-gross-of-all-time-with-184-billion/&gt;

Corrigan 2006, About Nollywood, thisisNollywood.com, viewed 25th August 2014, <http://www.thisisnollywood.com/nollywood.htm> 

Wikipedia 2014, last updated 22nd August 2014,Cinema of Nigeria, viewed 25th August 2014, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Nigeria&gt;

 

 

 

 

 

 

InterSOCIALISing Education!

Uni break called for 3 months of exciting new adventures. However being Winter in Australia my family and I thought it was best to escape the cold weather and travel somewhere warmer. Little did I know what Thailand had in store for us. Among Thai cooking classes, zip lining across Chang Mai’s sky line and elephant riding I began to accept and appreciate Thai culture.

10424997_10204613841732292_788229951089234470_nMy own image

When getting a pedicure (kind of a have to thing to do over there) one afternoon I started conversation with the young Thai girl working. Overcoming cultural language barriers was difficult, however she managed to understand that I was an Australian University student currently on study break. She found this utterly fascinating as she explained to me that she has been saving for years in the hope to travel to Australia and receive an Australian education.

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Studying the topic ‘Internationalising Education’ represented a strong relationship between determination of the young Thai girl and the motivation that existing international students show, as they both share the desire to adhere to Australian culture. “International students need academic adjustment & social and cultural environment adjustment to achieve english language success” (Kell, 2006). Stating that the connections that international students form with Australian locals can hugely affect their learning experience as well as their cultural experience.

A study on the issues confronting international students in academic and social life in Australia stated that “some of the international students believed that it was not that the local students were unfriendly but rather they also did not know how to initiate conversations with international students” (Kell, 2006). Displaying a gap in international students personal communicative relationships with local Australian’s which could further limit their cultural experience of Australia.

Another study conducted was the case of ‘International Japanese students at an Australian University’, also presenting the idea that there is a constant lack of contact and relationship development between international and host national students. This study brings fourth the idea that four major themes need to be emerged as important elements in the development of intercultural friendship. These being; frequent contact, similarity, self disclosure and receptivity of other nations (Kudo, 2010).

So there it is people, we need to start socialising more! (If I told my Mother I need to socialise more she would probably shake her head in disbelief…that’s all I do!).

Kell, P and Vogl, G “International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes” (2007).  University of Wollongong. p.1- 10

Kazuhiro Kudo, Keith A. Simkin .(2010) . ‘Intercultural Friendship Formation: the case of Japanese students at an Australian university’. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 24, Issue 2.