Storify Report | Citizen Journalism

Here is the link to Assessment 3 for Journalism 102.

https://storify.com/debsyUOW/contemporary-journalism-a-citizen-s-eye

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Week 11 Module

The journalist I have chosen to analyse is Nine Network Foreign Correspondent Peter Stefanovic, his work inspires and interests me as I am interested in the same field in which he works.

This particular journalist frequently uses twitter to promote and collaborate news stories for his designated audience of followers. Working for channel 9, Peter Stefanovic primarily refers to news programs on the network. Despite this, his twitter maintains a respectable level of content relevant to trending news stories around the world. Social media is a large part of any journalist’s professional line of work, as it can provide insight into news stories from behind the scenes, and it can also foreshadow news programs the particular journalist is reporting on (perhaps coming up at a later date). Stefanovic countlessly uses his twitter to promote the work of his other colleagues from the nine network in particular; such as Leila Mckinnon, Ben Fordham, Tom Steinfort and Peter Overton. This is primarily through retweeting and mentioning using their twitter handle – which ultimately gives them further exposure and accreditation to the public. Despite this, Peter Stefanovic’s Facebook account was absent from any of my findings. This may be due to the desire to avoid bad publicity or to ensure privacy.

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Week 7 Module | Photographers who inspire me

Three Photographers that inspire me:

Christopher Anderson
Born in Canada, 1970 however later grew up in West Texas. He became famous for his work with Haitian refugees that were trying to sail to America, a boat which sank in the Caribbean. This work marked the emergence of his ‘emotionally charged’ style which has characterised his photography for nearly two decades. This style largely focuses on person and place and majority of his work emphasises the despair experienced by people in troublesome areas such as the war torn middle east. In one sense however, he looks to empower people who are experiencing these hardships to portray them more meaningfully through use of light filters and low angle shots. A number of his photo albums portray demonstrations, rebellion and protest; an issue he evidently feels very strongly about, which is a passion I too share.

Erich Hartmann

A German based photographer born in 1922, Erich Hartmann similarly attributed a great deal of his work into empowering individuals through the use of his angular perspective. The height of his career centred around German troops in World War II, and he effectively conveyed stories of camaraderie and mateship from non allied viewpoint. Despite this, he also focussed a large portion of his work in the United States particularly after 1960. One of his most prolific signatures of work is the use of distorting photographs to entice audiences to interpret meaning as an individual. Motion blur also is successful in adding an element of obscurity to the photograph, as well as the concept of a part of a journey as the image is only a flicker of a larger story. Being an early based photographer, the majority of his work is in black and white, the effect of this however is very successful when considering the context of his photographic work. His focus is very similar to Anderson which  consistently conveys a link between person and place.

Jim Goldberg
Goldberg is another photographer who continually impresses through his effectiveness in conveying significant depth and meaning of individuals through photographic representation. His work reached it height through the late 1980’s and through the the 1990’s however continues to work as a successful photographer today. His portrayal of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our time.   A majority of his work juxtaposes stereotypically upper class and wealthy people with their polar opposites, the poor and underprivileged. It is through this he became well known in the 1970’s and continued to use this line of work as his signature throughout his career. His connecting of people to place is very powerful in the majority of his working portfolio’s, where his contrast seemingly empowers the poor and highlights the at times ‘overwealth’ of those on the other end of the spectrum. He does this through angle’s and light filters which portray a vastly different image of perceived sterotypes.

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International Education | Building Foundational Bridges

With diversity, problems can arise. WIth ignorance, these problems are fueled. But is it fair to suggest our educational system, particularly tertiary education, is not as welcoming and considerate of foreign students as it should be? Marginson suggests that “International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be’’ despite the fact that international education accounts for being Australia’s fourth largest export. (Marginson 2012)

The influx of international students in the last two decades is a reflection of how communication is becoming more globalised and readily available, allowing students to travel abroad whilst still immersing themselves in a somewhat familiar and welcoming culture. Despite this, Marginson suggests that whilst most international students are willing to communicate, interact and learn from local students, local students ‘are not interested’ further proving his aforementioned theory that international education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be (Marginson 2012). The most obvious reason for this lack of communication can be attributed to the language barrier that exists. Kell and Vogel suggest that international students may lack confidence and find it difficult to understand the local students (Kell and Vogel 2006). Despite this there is interesting evidence to suggest that more focus is necessary when analysing the way local students initiate communication with international students, as there is often an expectation that it is the duty of the international student to “assimilate into our very ethnocentric culture” (Marginson 2012).

A sample of international students in a focus group study conducted by Kell and Vogel identified that international students “felt that Australians did not want to get to know them” and that the Australian students who were indeed the ones who struggled with the communicative processes. (Kell and Vogel 2006)

Marginson argues that a profound ignorance is displayed towards international students, and that we as a country hold ethnocentric views towards international students (Marginson 2012). These views primarily consist of a misunderstanding of why it is foreign students travel to Australia for study. The most common misconception comes through the belief they want to be ‘more Australian’ or more ‘like us’ whereas the most logical reason for traveling for education is to create new opportunities and challenges whilst still embracing and retaining a sense of culture and identity in a newly establish environment. An argument Marginson argues for this point of view, stating that “International students are not merely motivated by self interest, but a desire for the collective and individual good” (Marginson 2012).

Universities tend to embrace international students by ensuring there is adequate support for foreign students in regards to effective language and communication skills. It is these programs which are designed to lessen the burden on international students by providing them with skills to allow them to thrive in an at times intimidating environment. If local students are able to embrace similar principles and learn how to accept different cultures and communicate with foreign students, it ultimately leads to a healthier environment for all students within the tertiary education system.

References:

1) Marginson, Simon. ‘International Education As Self-Formation’. 2012. Lecture.

2) Kell, P., & Vogl, G. (2006). International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes. In Everyday Multiculturalism Conference Proceedings Sydney: Centre for Research and Social Inclusion.

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Transnational Film and Cultural Appropriation

Transnational Film is primarily seen as a result of globalisation, whereby western films aim to incorporate aspects of eastern cultures to appeal to a more diverse audience. The result of this is a more connected and understanding cinematic experience, however Rogers argues that the ongoing influx of Transnational Films has led to a gross misunderstanding of other cultures due to the ‘Americanisation’ of eastern cultures (Rogers 2006).

This amounts to the rise of ‘contra flows’ as argued by Schaefer and Karan, shifting the cultural influence to the Global South and ‘blurring the boundaries between the modern and traditional cultures (Schaefer and Karan 2010).

Through this influence arises the highly controversial phenomena of cultural appropriation within transnational cinema. Cultural appropriation is defined by Rogers as the adaptation of a cultures symbols, traditions, rituals and genes by members of another culture. Through this he criticises the use of cultural appropriation in film declaring that it is used in the “assimilation and exploitation of marginalised and colonised cultures” (Rogers 2006).  The misrepresentation of cultures in transnational cinema comes from both a lack of understanding and respect, perpetuating in largely negative cultural stereotyping.

Through this comes the debate that cultural appropriation infers superiority of one culture over another, and whilst Johnny Depp’s Lone Ranger was apparently aimed at celebrating and appreciating Native American culture – he only succeeded in angering Native American communities, adding to the list of movies that accounted for cultural misrepresentation.

tonto-and-the-lone-ranger-19942-1366x768

Aspects of globalisation are more prevalent than we believe, and it is not uncommon to be subjected to cultural appropriation in seemingly acceptable social situations. Simply wearing a Native American costume to a themed party can be deemed offensive as quite rightly members outside of that community are not deemed as worthy or understanding enough of the culture to associate with this symbol. The same principles apply in movies which incorporate cultural appropriation, and can lead to gross misrepresentations and interpretations of customs and beliefs within this culture.

Other examples include:

Babel

Apocalypto

Slumdog Millionaire

When cultures are misrepresented for the purpose of Hollywood entertainment, it can lead to anger within native communities that feel as though they have been undermined and exploited, with a lack of justice and dignity served to their ancestry. Rogers alludes to how Western cultures see themselves as ‘superior’. Furthermore he argues that the appropriation of the elements of a subordinated culture by a dominant culture often come without substantive reciprocity, permission and/or compensation (Rogers 2006).

Whilst this truly is a fascinating debate, there isn’t a lot more than opinion that separates what constitutes both morally and ethically correct film in this context. Whilst the intention of innumerable Hollywood films including the aforementioned blockbusters, there is no comprehensive way that what is depicted is any true reflection of the cultures that have been represented. It is important to be sensitive irrespective of what side of this debate you are on, so the final question I pose is;

What side are you on?

References:

1) Rogers, R. A. (2006), From Cultural Exchange to Transculturation: A Review and Reconceptualization of Cultural Appropriation. Communication Theory, 16: 474–503.

2)Karan, K and Schaefer, DJ (2010) ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, 6: 3, pp. 309-316.

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Actually, the world isn’t flat | Globalisation at a second glance.

Common misconceptions about globalisation revolve around the notion that it is a complete, unified and dynamic movement which seem-lessly connects the world on a universal scale. Whilst O Shaugnessy argues “globalisation is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information” (2008), economist Dr Panjak Ghemawat believes “we are not even close.” He insists the world is not a large and unified market, rather one of many small interconnected entities, with varying degrees of openness to one another. Through these ideas he suggests that even the most open of economies are closed, and that we live in a world of semi-globalisation at best.

The coining of the phrase “the world isn’t flat” in this instance is metaphorical for Dr Ghemawat opposing the idea that national borders do not in any way limit the opportunities for trade, economic growth and communication between countries. Ghemawat refutes the idea that there is a single global economy, instead arguing on the basis of various economic measures and indicators, suggesting “nations are much more disconnected than we imagine” (Harvard Business Review’s  2011). It is in this respect, the world is not a flat and one dimensional entity, rather an intricate and diverse mixture of culture, economy and technology – a delta between perception and reality in a not so hyper-connected world.

TEDBlog analyses key statistical information on which Dr Ghemawat uses to reinforce his claims that suggest our world ‘isn’t as globalised as we think’. In a TED talk delivered by Dr Ghemewat, he strongly opposes the influence of globalisation on global interactions, believing there are limited interactions between countries and economies.

Of the telephone minutes placed in the world last year, only 2% were made across nations, whilst online calls made through platforms such as skype accounted for that statistic to rise to 6%. Despite this rather underwhelming statistic, The Harvard Business Review recounts that a random survey of 400 people estimated the statistic to be around 30%. The same review claims that whilst most of us assume there is significant human movement between countries as a result of immigration, only 3% of the worlds population are first world immigrants – contrary to the same survey which estimated this percentage to be over 2o. Dr Ghemewat believes the most prolific evidence for lack of globalisation is evident through educational systems, where only 2% of all University students across the world are studying in a foreign country, which can result in a lack of dialogue and effective communication between countries in regards to future technological advancements.

Furthermore, foreign aid accounts for only 1% of funding in the United States, whilst Americans greatly overestimate the interactions that their country has established with nations from overseas, with samples of people believing the budget for foreign aid would account for upwards of 25%, believing 10% should be the bare minimum to ensure a good rapport with developing or under privileged nations (World Public Opinion).

It is interesting to note how the aforementioned issues relate to the ‘scapes’ of globalisation, and whether or not Dr Ghemewat’s claims are valid and more importantly relevant to globalisation in the future. By referring specifically to aid work, communications and education – the statistics challenge the nature of the ethno, techno and financescapes within globalisation. Whilst it is unclear that individuals are unaware of the apparent presence (or lack thereof) of globalisation and how it is applicable in a modern society, it is interesting to observe statistics highlighted by Dr Panjak Ghemewat in his aforementioned TEDtalk. Despite his claims, Dr Ghemewat remains neutral and encourages people to do their own individual research to make their own informed opinions on the matter of globalisation.

References

O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J, 2008, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 458-471.

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Variety is the Spice of Life

https://storify.com/debsyUOW/variety-is-the

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