Week 8. Gender.
Feminism; noun; the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
Feminism is a dirty word. Men belittle the movement. Women refuse to be associated with it. But why? After all, being a feminist simply means that you view men and women as equal. I am a feminist. I believe that I should have the same opportunities as my brothers. I believe my being female does not make me weak, it should not make me ineligible for anything. Which is why I also believe that I should receive no special privileges for being a female. I should be afforded the same respect that would be afforded to any man.
Which is why I am disgusted when I turn the television on I see men paraded around like heroes for having sex with as many people as they like, as is their legal right but women are portrayed as, for lack of a better term, ‘sluts’ for exercising that same right to choose. Men continuously tell us that they see us as equal however why are we still receiving treatment in the media that depicts us as merely a mans sex toy. Female sexuality is so often paraded around on television for the sexual gratification of men. I can almost picture directors sitting there watching a scene play out and deciding “this scene is a little boring, she better take her top off to keep it interesting,” because obviously there is nothing the public like more than unnecessary female nudity. I am not a prude. I have no problem with nudity – when it exists to add to the storyline and not simply to attract a broader male audience.
There are strong, admirable female characters on television (shocking, yes, television producers sometimes get it right). In The Good Wife Julianna Margulies plays Alicia Florrick a women who does not stand in the shadow of her husband and who has become a woman who is respected by everyone because of her strength as a person, her intelligence and her integrity not simply for her beauty. She is a character who is shown to be a sexual being but not degraded to seem like a slut. The world needs more female characters of Alicia Florrick’s calibre, who are portrayed as strong without being cast as a bitch.
Media Spaces. Week 6.
Is it news? Is it art? Is it marketing? The entire world has become a maze for humans to wonder around aimlessly subconsciously absorbing countless different types of media is just as many forms.
Sometimes the unexpected part is the purpose of the media, a perfect example of this was the “First Kiss” video which showed people who were apparently random strangers having their first kiss. Well in the most heartbreaking turn of events, partly because I’m gulible and partly because it was just too adorable for words, it was a marketing campaign. For a clothes company. My faith in humanity has been destroyed.
Everything is marketing! Not even the art form of the short film is safe!
All of this bombardment of media issues needs to be evaluated by people in order to teach them to take everything with a grain of salt, to be highly critical of the things they are seeing and evaluate which category they fall into. As Edgar Allan Poe said “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
In teaching people to form and hold they’re own opinions you are teaching people to essentially decipher the bullshit of marketing and journalism. In this world that may be the greatest skill a person could have, to be able to look past the headline and see the objective side of something. One could argue of course that is a skill no human could ever possess because we are subjective creatures.
Week 5. Aesthetic Journalism.
The old adage goes that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force him to drink, aesthetic journalism forces people to essentially drink from the fountain of current affairs.
We have spent the last few decades telling people that they cannot trust the media yet we demand that they be completely informed of all the issues that encompass the world around them (and the occasional international issue which is of course the latest water cooler topic at work).
Where can the people find reliable, unbiased news? Turns out they probably can’t. The idea of aesthetic journalism is giving the facts, completely raw data and leading the person to draw there own conclusions based on their ideals and past experiences. Art is also more likely to illicit an emotional response, which can be used if the artist is aiming for a reaction from the viewer.
The red shoes campaign was aiming to bring attention to the plight of domestic violence sufferers. It took red shoes (whether the creator choose red as a feminine colour, to represent blood or to show passion is an interpretive to the viewer) and placed them around Italian cities.
The installations forced Italians to take note of the struggle of societal culture of domestic violence and actually consider the violent suffering of the victims of violence.
Week 4. The future of Journalism
The results are in. The media industry is going through its own Hurricane Sandy and it could spell the end of several of our most precious industries.
Newspapers, television and radio are all suffering mass losses thanks to the uncharted and rough waters of the of new and innovative medias being introduced every day.
A New York Times study from October 2012 reported that 53% of baby boomers said they read news papers however that number plummets as you ask younger generations. Only 32% of generation x read newspapers and only 22% of millennial’s said they a likely to be found perusing the pages of a hardcopy newspaper. It’s all digital now – 44% of Americans own smart phones, 22% own tablets and there digital news consumption rates have never been higher.
One could argue that the problem isn’t the digitalisation of news media, after all is that not a cheaper long term solution than printing millions of pages of newspapers every day? The environment is considering sending a thank you letter to Apple (arguably the instigator of the smart revolution) thanking it for making digital news accessible wirelessly at any time. News organisations however seem to be almost reluctant to give themselves the opportunity to innovate, research has shown that early adopters “recieve less of a benefit than later adopters do” (Lievrouw 2002, Rogers 1962, 2003). The industry are scared. Why put their already dwindling money into something that there competitors are going to benefit from more than they are? It would seem that the around large gap between the news and technology fields is becoming almost cavernous in size.
John V. Pavlik, 2013, “Innovation And The Future Of Journalism,” Digital Journalism, 1:2, 181-193,