Media Convergence + You

(Watch for a really interesting & informative take on how technology is taking over traditional media boundaries!)

Henry Jenkins once described media convergence as ‘the migratory behaviour of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kind of entertainment experiences they wanted’.

Think of the technology you own… Phone? Laptop? iPod?
Now think of why you wanted those items…

Was it because you needed them for school or work?
Was it because you needed them to communicate with family and friends?
To socialise on media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter?
To keep up to date with what was happening online and in the news?
For entertainment and enjoyment?

Whatever the case, we buy these new technologies to keep up with the new ways to experience and engage in media, and this is why we are the greatest participants in media convergence.

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Media Monopoly – Not A Game To Play

Does it matter who owns and controls the media?

As the deregulation of the current media laws in Australia becomes more and more of a reality, it’s time to question what effect this will have on us – the audience.

The government wants to deconstruct our current media market laws – by removing the current “two out of three” rule and the “75% reach” rule that presently oversights the media distribution in Australia.

The “two of three” rule is a law that has been set up to prevent one body from ‘controlling more than two out of three traditional media platforms’ in one radio licence area. Further, no one company or person can hold the control over a broadcasting television licence that reaches over 75% of the nation.

But the government wants to get rid of these laws, allowing a company or individual to have no restrictions over distribution. Shadow Minister for Communications, Jason Clare, has understood, as stated in an interview with the ABC, the reason behind the reform is to ‘create bigger, more vertically integrated media companies’. And it makes sense. Scrapping these laws would allow media companies to grow to, perhaps, their full potential, rather than be restrained by laws that prevent them from reaching a larger scale audience.
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Semiotics and Looking Deeper

An image has the ability to convey something differently to every person. What is known as the ‘signifiers’ of the image are what you see – what makes up the image. The ‘signified’ is where the image changes and where meaning is put to the image by the viewer.

Take this image for example:

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Image by Taronga Zoo.

From: https://taronga.org.au/

The signifiers of the image are two giraffes, and in the background is the city of Sydney. At the forefront of the image is Taronga Zoo’s logo and name. The colours in the image are vibrant; bright blue and luscious greens. The giraffes are the focal point of the image, at the front and drawing your eye to them with their unusual place in a backdrop of a city. What we get from the signifiers is the understanding that the two giraffe’s are at Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, Australia.

But what connotations do audiences take away from this image?

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Media: A Hero or Villain?

Is the media something that is helping our society or destroying it?

Media anxieties have been prevalent ever since media existence; from the invention of the printing press to modern day social media platforms and the dark unknown of the internet. As media has increased, so have the amount of anxieties that society has about the effects of this new, completely foreign and therefore ~terrifying~, technology.

It freaks people out because they don’t know how to deal with the change it’ll bring, the possible dangers of it and therefore the natural reaction is to view it in a negative way. Ultimately, to blame the societal changes and issues that occur around the time of new media emergence, on the new media itself.

But is there any causality between the media and the negative effects it’s associated with?

Is the television to blame for an obese child who watches it consistently?
Are the video or computer games to blame for the violent teenager?

The real question in relation to media anxieties, I believe, is how much of the responsibility should the media take in comparison to the individual themselves?

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Image Source: Pinterest

I don’t think the media is the only, or even the most culpable, factor to blame.

But what about the responsibility of a magazine or newspaper, or the runway itself, to the a girl with an eating disorder or body image issues?
In her TedxuConn Talk, Renee Engeln speaks about the effect of the media on body image, particularly focusing on how the images of models, photoshopped or not, affect the minds of young women. Regardless of the knowledge women have of the modelling industry and the unrealistic representation of the women on the screens, Engeln believes that “knowing isn’t enough” and women still are drastically affected by the way media portrays beauty, fashion, and happiness.

The problem with the blaming the media for societal issues and changes is when society blames ONLY the media. The media anxiety takes over – and other factors that contribute to societal changes and issues are ignored.

Media is an easy victim. I don’t believe that media doesn’t have a role to play in the societal changes or the negative societal issues we experience. But it is not the only factor in these issues, and the anxiety of people toward new media often leads to society blaming media for anything it can.

Reference List:

TedxUconn, Renee Engeln. (2013). An Epidemic of Beauty Sickness. [Online Video]. 21 October. Available from: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/An-Epidemic-of-Beauty-Sickness;search%3Arenee%20engeln. [Accessed: 10 March 2016].

 

Hello!

I’m Holly, a second year UOW student!

After completing my first year of a Bachelor of Laws last year, I’m beginning this year doing my double degree, Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Communication and Media.

As a result of beginning the Communications and Media course, we were asked to create an online persona in the form of a blog and a twitter, two things I have never really done before!

But here I am!
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