Strictly for BCM310

Growing up from a girl child into an adult takes a lot of efforts on both sides; the parents and the girl. A girl child goes through a lot of scrutiny and has to abide by set rules and regulations. Daughters are considered to be the one to hold the values and prestige of the family, they are always subjected to limited and closed- watch movement, do the house chores, have more restrictions than boys on media programme choices, even when they grow into an adult, they are still bound by their parents until they get married. This is an everyday ‘torture’ that a girl child goes through day in day out in some part of Africa and South Asia.

This growing process might seem simple and right for every girl child, but what they go through is an example of oppression and gender inequality.  The boys are the lucky ones, they do not have to go through all the aforementioned when growing up, they live their lives the way they want. Maira (2002) stated that parents of second-generation immigrants of South Asian heritage adopt double standards on the gender of their children which is favourable to the boys than the girls, (Cited by Durham 2004).The girls are deprived of liberty to do what they feel like doing and often times, they have to bury their dreams in order to satisfy their parents expectations.

This act of depriving them of their rights to live freely is known as oppression. “Women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity”, ( Bcm lecture notes 2014). They lose the identification of their sexuality along the line and would find solace in media contents to discover who they really are and what they are capable of doing, as specified by Durham (2004), the media and popular culture helps adolescent in identity formation and the discourses on sexuality are important to sexual development and understanding among adolescents.

Girls in diaspora are more exposed to gender inequality because most countries are multi-racial, thus the parents would seclude them so that they would not mix or be exposed to the western culture as there are vast differences in the cultural characteristics. When a girl decides to discover her identity within transnational, there are more harm because  discovering identities among people that are not related in culture, language, way of life might pose a bigger problem at the end of the day especially when the information is been sought through the media. Durham (2004) posited that diasporic media flows contribute to the development of transnational identities and it de-territorialises communities. The girl might be exposed to things she is not supposed to, things that contradicts her culture and jeopardises the expectations of the parents on her; expectations of being pure and chaste before marriage, Gillespie (1995) explained that family honour ultimately depends on the chastity of daughters among South Asians (cited in Durham 2001).According to Stratton (1998), “multiculturalism cultures, produced by individuals in their everyday lives, merge, creolise and transform as people live their lives, adapting to and resisting situations …. taking pleasure in other people with whom they come into contact” (cited in Dherer 2001).

In the long run, the expectations of the parents could be shattered because they failed to give a clear distinction on what path is right and wrong to the girl, all they did was impose their own rules on her, which she could not find who she really is in and decided to seek for herself in the different races available. The aftermath might result in teenage pregnancy, lesbianism etc. which could have been averted if proper orientation about sexuality and exposure to the ways of life was granted during the girl’s earlier stage in life.

It is a good idea to lay some rules for a girl child but in this fast moving world of globalisation, children are to be informed about the necessary things before they find out by themselves through any other means (movies, social media, peers etc.). Teaching daughters how to behave, uphold the standards of the family as well as learning how to prepare different dishes should not stop parents from allowing them discover themselves. Oppression must be eradicated whatever form it comes in and equal opportunities should be granted to the male and female children.

Discrimination, segregation, sexism are forms of oppression. It is time we stop girls’ and women’s oppression for a better future of the children, the parents and the world at large.

 

References

BCM310 2014, Emerging Issues in Media and Communication; Towards Intersectional Approaches. Accessed 05/06/2014.

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/225439/mod_resource/content/1/Topic%2011%20Towards%20intersectional%20Approaches.pdf

Dreher,T, (2001),’Intersections: a transdisciplinary approach to media, identity and place’,Australian and New Zealand Association Conference Proceedings.ANZCA,pp.1-11. Accessed  05/06/2014.http://ro.uow.edu.au?cgi?viewcontent.cgi article=1525&context=artspapers

Durham, M, 2004, Constructing the “New Ethnicities”:Media, Sexuality, and Diaspora Identity in the Lives of South Asian Immigrant Girls Critical Studies in Media Communication.Vol. 21, No. 2, June 2004, pp. 140–161.Accessed 05/06/2014. http://www.nabilechchaibi.com/resources/newethnicities-csmc.pdf

 

DIASPORIC FILM MAKING

 

“I believe my film changed race relations in this country from an ‘us and them’ culture to more of an ‘us and us’ culture. The proof is right here in the Royal Mail collection,” Chadha Gurinder . (Director of Bend it like Beckham movie).

Quote from:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-05-26/news/50099238_1_gurinder-chadha-royal-mail-beckham

Over the past weeks, a lot on the emerging issues in media and communication has been discussed, ranging from gender misrepresentation, media single stories, globalisation among others. This week, emphasis will be on Diasporic media. It is a trending phenomenon that media misrepresent countries, religion, race and people; on these misrepresentations are stereotypes formed which makes immigrants face discrimination and stereotypic comments whenever they are out of their homeland to some other country.

Diaspora means “to scatter”, which can be translated to be the spread of people from their homeland to other countries. These people sometimes have to encounter race hate or race violence by their host country because they (host country) have been exposed to single stories about the particular race, people or country from the media. Also, immigrants often find themselves among people who perceive them to be wrong which make them to search for people who hail from the same country with them so that they can form a group in order to support one another, this group is what is referred to as the ‘ diaspora group’, Georgiou (2003).

In order to protect themselves and the integrity of their different cultures in another country, these groups opt for a diasporic media which may be in form of a social networking group, television or radio programme, even space in print media to discuss issues and enlighten the populace about their culture. The most popular media is in film making. We see a lot of movies especially Hollywood having people from different races as cast. In a way, they are promoting unity or trying to penetrate the market (country) of the invited casts featured.

Diasporic media has the potential to increase the confidence of these immigrants in their communities and make them familiar with the host country. It also provides them an avenue to access participation actively in media production, Cottle (2000), (cited in Bcm 310 lecture notes 2014). The existence of diasporic media provides a platform to transmit cultural beliefs and values. These groups share common interest and a sense of belonging in a larger community spreading beyond national boundaries, Georgiou (2005).

Bend it like Beckham (2002) is an example of how diasporic media is used. The film which was directed by Gurinder Chadha, a British film director of Sikh Indian origin, features the hybridisation of two different groups; the one she came from (India) and the one she settled into (United Kingdom). Riggins (1992), posited that diasporic media often serve as a meeting point for traditional and the hybrid where they translate and represent various ethnicities in the discourses, (cited in Georgiou 2003), which allow them to break out of the clearly defined boundaries.

Even though Bend it like Beckham combines Indians and the British as casts and can be perceived as just a comedy movie but inherent the storyline are lots of reflections on the different cultural characteristics of the Indians and British.

Other than the fact that the Indian culture was well represented, it also boost the economy of the United Kingdom as Karim (1998) explained that in many instances they (Diasporas) are participants in international economic activity.“Bend it like Beckham raised the profile of Britain in India, south Asia and the far East. It suddenly placed the west London town of Southall on the international tourist map”, Economic Times (2008).

The movie depicts to the fullest the expectations each culture has on daughters. The interesting part of the movie is the fact that the girls, Jess and Jules stood firmly on their decisions to achieve their dreams. Despite the hindrances both parents pave on their paths, they worked together to achieve a common goal. The cultural characteristics of the Indians- traditions, ways of life, dressing and religion are evident in the movie.

The coming together of two girls from different nationals to achieve a common goal presents how beneficial it would be if nations of the world join hands to work together. Hopefully, the coming together of different cultures in movies will eradicate race hate and violence and open our eyes to the better side of each country.

If countries of the world can bend their rules just like Jess and Jules to achieve their dreams, the world will be a better place.

 

“Sometimes, to follow your dreams… you’ve got to bend the rules”!

 

 

 

References

BCM310 2014, Emerging Issues in Media and Communication; Diasporic Media. Accessed 29/05/2014. https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/222076/mod_resource/content/1/Diasporic%20Media.pdf

Georgiou, M 2003, ‘Mapping Diasporic Media across the EU: Addresing Cultural Exclusion’. Key Deliverable: The European Media and Technology in Everyday Life Network, Accessed 29/5/2014.  http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EMTEL/reports/georgiou_2003_emtel.pdf

Georgiou, M (2005), Diasporic media across Europe: multicultural societies and the universalism–particularism continuum. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31 (3). pp. 481-498. Accessed 29/05/2014. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/25590/1/Diasporic_media_across_Europe_(LSERO_version).pdf

Karim, K 2008, From Ethnic Media to Global Media:Transnational Communication Networks Among Diasporic Communities Accessed 29/05/2014. http://www.transcomm.ox.ac.uk/working%20papers/karim.pdf

The Economy Times, 2008, Bollywood fans boost tourism in Britain. Accessed 29/04/2014. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2008-05-01/news/27720983_1_bollywood-map-bollywood-fans-tourism

 

The world has turned to one that individuals get to see, hear and also relate no matter how far they are to one another. This is made possible because of globalisation. “Globalisation is the ways in which technologies can overcome global distances, so that some people live in a world that seems borderless” (Bcm 310 lecture notes, 2014). This description of globalisation pinpoints to one thing which is technology.

The advent of technology has opened rooms to see vividly what is happening at the other side of the world in terms of economic situation, politics, food, fashion, preferences and culture; countries are thus imitating other Western countries in terms of the aforementioned.

My discussion will be on how the Indian culture has been affected by technology in the media realm using Bollywood as a point of reference. Bollywood industry has experienced technological advancement that it has started importation of technology from abroad as well as undergo training abroad particularly from Hollywood, Pillania (2008).

The above explanation can be used to buttress my points in the sense that since Bollywood has much interest in getting technological support and training from Hollywood, there will definitely be cultural imperialism. No wonder i see Hollywood in the Bollywood of the 21st century. Back in the days, Bollywood movies would always have story lines that portrays the Indian culture to the core, the scripts would show the collectivism of families which is a cultural characteristics of India. I would see the Bahu’s(daughters-in law) always wearing sarees with their wedding chains around their necks and with vermillion in their hair partings. The kids are always brought up to respect their parents and they always show this by touching the elders’ feet. In short, they value their traditions and culture so much and never failed to transmit it to the world in their movies.

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Photo credit: Google.com

“…..the last two decades as a consequence of globalization, revolutions in ICT and significant increase in the size of the Indian diaspora, filmmakers in Bollywood have been making films keeping the diasporic audiences in mind”, Assisi (n.d). This is the more reason the scripts have elements of westernization. Bollywood script writers and producers keep the audience outside of India in mind when planning to produce any movie because they would want to meet up with their preferences; hence, they come out with movies that seldom depict their culture.

Whenever i watch Bollywood movies now, i cannot but ponder what globalisation has done to Bollywood; a culture i tend to cherish is becoming scarce in the movies. The media that is supposed to be a medium for transmitting cultural heritage which children would learn from has turned to that which the children learn other country’s culture from. What i see in Bollywood of today is different from what it used to be, i see wives in skimpy clothes, no wedding chain nor vermillion on their head. In fact, the rates at which the actresses expose their bodies’ surpass that of the western culture that they emulate.

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Photo credit: Google.com

Notwithstanding, the local television stations like Zee TV, Star TV and Sony TV still show series that is centred on their cultural values and most of the series are even transmitted in some parts of the world for Indians living across globe and Indian series lovers like me.

In a bid to meet up with the people outside of India, the scripts are also written with combination of English and Hindi. So it is rare to see a Bollywood movie having pure Hindi as the language being spoken, except in some very few movies which are probably the core traditional stories are Hindi being spoken without mixing it with English. Sinclair and Harrison (2004) acknowledged that many researchers have found out that there is a peculiar merging of Hindi with English words which they called “Hinglish.”.

Chatterjee (n.d) stated that Bollywood has become an entertainment sector with a worldwide market where big international companies like Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Columbia Pictures are investing in. This is also a reason the scripts are written in a way that would make the movie industry penetrates countries worldwide. Bollywood directors now select international settings and also feature actors from other countries in their movies. Examples are crook, shot in Australia; My Name is Khan, shot in US etc.

Bollywood is now famous across globe, having viewers all around the world, it has boost the economy of the country in some way since the country is now well known and the industry produces the largest number of films in the world approximately over 1000 movies annually. Rani ( n.d).

No doubt that globalization has increased viewership of Bollywood movies but it has affected the cultural aspect in the scripts and has made Bollywood become ‘westerndianised’.

 

References

Assisi, F, (n.d), Planet Bollywood, Bollywood Culture Binds Global Indian Diaspora. Accessed24/05/2014.http://www.planetbollywood.com/displayArticle.php?id=051806123941

Bcm 310. lecture notes, 2014 Accessed 21/05/2014.https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/219955/mod_resource/content/1/Topic%209%20Globalisation%20and%20Media.pdf.

Charterjee,S n.d Globalisation in India: Effects and consequences. Accessed 24/05/2014.http://www.daldrup.org/University/International%20Management/Globalization%20in%20India.pdf.

Pillania, R, The Globalization of Indian Hindi Movie Industry Management Development Institute, India. Accessed 24/05/2014.http://www.fm-kp.si/zalozba/ISSN/1854-4231/3_115-123.pdf.

Rani, P (n.d),Impact of technology on creative industries: A study of the Indian film industry Accessed 24/05/2014.http://eprints.manipal.edu/78288/1/search_paper_final%5B1%5D.pdf.

Sinclair, J, Harrison, M, 2004, Globalization, Nation, and Television in Asia: The Cases of India and China. Online vol.5 (1) pg 7 Accessed 24/05/2014.http://tvn.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/5/1/41.full.pdf+html.

 

“Unfortunately my perception is one that has been greatly influenced by the media. First thoughts that arise are those of; chaos, hunger, famine, and poverty. Also, danger in every corner due to so many predators. However, upon further introspection i remember that the media is just another capitalist business and that negativity sells more than positivity. I would love to visit Africa and experience first hand”. NOEL ROJO (2013) TED CONVERSATIONS

We all live in a world where the media control our thoughts and change our perceptions. Be it the traditional media or new media, we are made to see information across the globe but such information are what the media wants us to hear. Have we ever taken our time to scrutinise the news we get from the media to know if they are the proper representation of the race, country or religion? Why should we bother, especially when the news come from a reputable broadcast or print medium whose responsibility is to provide the masses with factual and accurate information? Permit me to say this, the media is the greatest medium used in spreading stereotypic information because they disseminate information of a part to represent the whole populace which is not a total or actual representation of the race, country or religion of discuss.

Misrepresentation can be said to be a false statement of facts, which can form the basis on which the masses change their reasoning and perception on the subject of discussion. For example, Africans are represented generally as slaves because their ancestors worked as European slaves during the colonial rule, Pakistanis as terrorists and also Arabs as terrorists and murderers, linking it with the 9/11 incident in the United States. “Arabs are currently seen as terrorists and murderers according to the Western media. Mistrust and abhorrence have become American common feelings towards the distorted image of Arabs”, Aman (n.d).

Enacting such information in movies, novels, storybooks etc. is demeaning to the populace of the countries which make them to face stigmatisation whenever they are out of their country to another foreign land. This is happening because of the single story that the media has passed across; using few to represent the entire population. Since we trust the message they pass to us so much, we react when we come in contact with the people of the race, country or religion.

Listening to a single story beget misrepresentation on which stereotypes are developed, likewise reacting on the basis of a single story is more like a judge pronouncing his verdict after listening only to the plaintiff but ignored the defendant’s side of the story. Can the judge be said to be fair and upholding justice? No! That is exactly what single story does to us, it distances us from the truth. As individuals who have all the facilities to information, we should ensure that we listen to balanced news and not just what the media wants us to believe.

Adichie, (2009), during her TED talk highlighted that the danger in being exposed to single story is that one would not be able to think or judge rightly and would always see the weaknesses and be ignorant of the strengths of the country, religion and race. She discovered that a single story would not justify her judgement as a writer, so she took it upon herself to view information in a balanced way so that she would have a proper representation of whatever she intends to write about.

A lot of misrepresentation can be seen in Hollywood movies where other races are considered inferior and are given only minor roles or even villain roles. Aman (n.d) lamented that Arabs are stereotyped to be wealthy, barbarians, uncultured, terrorist and religious fanatics which can be seen in movies like Not Without My Daughter and True Lies, but what was represented is only a misrepresentation of the Arabs because they are very cultured and value their families.

In ‘12 years a slave’ movie (2013), a true story of Solomon Northup an African American based in New york, we can assume that the slave traders believed that nothing good could come from an African than to become a slave, even though Solomon was a happily married man with kids, also doing great and derive pleasure in being a violinist, he was deceived, sold into slavery for a whole twelve years; an indication of the level of misrepresentation inflicted on the Africans.

To eradicate hatred and misrepresentation alongside stereotypes that we have been living with over the years about a particular race, religion or country, we need to stop listening to a single story so that we can see the better side of them. Also, we need to mix together, welcome and appreciate one another so as to build relationships and make the world more enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

References

Adichie, (2009), TED Talk: ‘The Danger of A Single Story’. Accessed 13/05/2014. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.

Aman Y (n.d), Academia.edu,Misrepresentation of Arabs in the Western media. Accessed 15/05/2014.  http://www.academia.edu/216124/Misrepresentation_of_the_Arabs_in_the_Western_Media.

TED Ideas worth spreading 2014, TED Conversation.

Accessed 15/05/2014. http://www.ted.com/conversations/17208/if_you_have_never_been_to_afri.html.

 

 

 

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At one point in our lives, we must have believed some sorts of stereotypes either about an individual or a group of people. Often times, ethnicity, race, sex or gender fall into being stereotyped. Individuals do not form stereotypes, media does and it gradually turns to be a universal belief. Media plays a very important role in passing out generalized information to the public which in the normal sense is not the actual representation of the sects. Stereotypes are widely circulated ideas or assumptions  and not facts. They are generalizations which is created and applied based on what the media intend to pass across to the audience. Stereotypes are mostly disseminated through popular culture and literature. Forslid and Orlsson (2010) concluded that both play a very crucial role in public sphere as it influences public debate and public life. Media feed the publics with their interpretation and perception of what they wish to pass across without thinking of what effect it would have on the individual or group.

Gender is the most prevalent stereotyped issue. The society believes that it is paramount for a man to work while the woman can just be a support, they can forgive a woman that does not have a job, since her other office is somewhere in the house.  They believe it is the duty of the husband to provide for the family while the woman must make sure the house is clean, and take care of the kids. If reverse is the case in a home and the society gets a glimpse of it, they would accuse the wife of casting a spell on the husband. All these are happening because of the stereotypes we are all exposed to.

Gender inequality can be seen in most of Disney movies where the kids are made to believe that princesses’ (which is a representation of every girl) must be beautiful, hardworking, depend on the parents and at the end of the day find a handsome young man (preferably a prince), get married and live happily ever after; which in the real world might not be as juicy as it is presented. On the other hand, the princes are the strong, energetic, most handsome, go-getter, promising and the hero. The real world representation means that women are very fragile and would not be able to do or achieve anything without the men (hero).

With the release of the 2013 Disney animated movie ‘Frozen’, girls are given an opportunity to prove that they can do what the boys can.  Anna, the princess and heroine, was deprived of love and freedom at a tender age because of the death of her parents’ as well as the fact that her elder sister Elsa has been confined to her room because of her magical powers which has hurt Anna though unknowingly when they were young.

These sisters lived a life of isolation and loneliness to the extent that they do not see the sun rise or set. Fortune smiled on Anna when it was time to crown Elsa as the queen of Arendelle, the doors and windows of the palace were ordered opened after many years of remaining locked. Anna, seeing this happened was so excited and in the course of her moving around the palace bumped into Hans, prince of the Southern Isles. Both found out they have same things in common and decided to get married which Elsa disagreed on. This made her angry and her secret magic was obvious to the guests. Seeing this happened, Elsa left the palace so as not to hurt anyone. Anna also left the palace in the care of Hans and set to find her sister.

My emphasis here will be on Anna who though is a princess, displayed a lot of courage, maintained a go- getter attitude and even though people told her that her sister was the one that wanted to kill her, she was still willing to sacrifice her own life to save her sister from death. Disney surprised a lot of people with this movie putting into consideration the way Anna was presented as the hero.

Gender inequality also occurs in newsroom whereby women are not well represented when it comes to  involvement or holding positions like their men counterparts. Steiner et al (2014) explained that “they (women) remain concentrated at the lower echelons of the profession while men continue to dominate top management positions in the newspaper, radio and television industries”. Women are getting discouraged to go into practicing journalism at the end of their universities studies because they do not seem to have a voice in the profession. Reinerdy (2009) explained that even though women supersede men in colleges and universities of journalism, they are still not getting the equal right as the men.

PEW (2005)  in a study, concluded that women’s’ voices are been silent because they are not well represented as news sources and also as reporters. Out of 30% of sources been used for news report, only 1 is a female, which means most likely, women’s stories go unreported and also, Matters for America survey (2013) in a study on American journalists discovered that women occupy only 38% in the newsroom.

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Taken from http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/06/25/stagnant-american-newsroom-diversity-in-charts/194597

 

Since women are not well represented as men in every spheres, their achievements and success stories go unreported and are limited to their husbands homes while the men are celebrated and listed among the world most successful.

 

References

Forslid, T., Ohlsson, A ., 2010.Introduction:Literary Public Spheres, Culture unbound, Journal of current cultural research, (online), vol 2 ,pg, 431, accessed 8/5/2014, available at: http://www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se/v2/a25/cu10v2a25.pdf

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/213950/mod_resource/content/1/Gender%20and%20the%20Media%20.pdf

Reinardy, S, 2009, ‘Female Journalists More Likely To Leave Newspapers’, Newspaper Research Journal. Vol. 30, No. 3pgs 4-1. Accessed 8/05/2014. http://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/bitstream/1808/11241/1/Reinardy-NRJ30-3.pdf.

Steiner, L, Fleming, C and Chambers, D,2014, ‘Women and Journalism, Routledge Taylor and Francis Group London and NewYork. Accessed 8/05/2014. https://www.blinkboxbooks.com/#!/book/9781134496198/women-and-journalism.

BATTLE OF THE TITANS

Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing a lot of things on the emerging issues in media and there was no day during the lecture that we would not mention citizen journalism. This is to say that the act is now becoming a common practice across globe, which has posed a great competition to the mainstream media. I felt so elated to have the guest speaker Ms. Citi who has been practising  journalism since the past eight years in our midst during the last lecture; it is good to hear from the horses’ mouth what the industry faces when it comes to competing with citizen journalists.

Citizen journalism is defined as citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing and (distributing) news and information” (Bowman & Willis, 2003, p9) cited by Jack (n.d). Going by this definition, we can conclude that citizen journalists do the same work as the professionals.  Often times, citizen journalists are faster to  report news than the traditional media because they do not have to go through any editor before publishing their information, they believe they are the editor as well as the reporter. It is easier to get the information transmitted via new media with the help of the internet.

Looking at another definition of citizen journalism by Rosen (2009), it says “When the people, formerly known as the audience, employ the press tools in their possession to inform one another”. This definition highlights the fact that citizen journalists make use of the same equipment to gather information as the professionals; they interview, record and even take pictures but use social networking sites as their medium. It makes the job very challenging for the professional journalist to meet up with the audience wants in terms of immediacy.

Gradually, the traditional journalists are nursing it within themselves what the future of their job holds. In-house, they have to go through a lot to persuade their editors to make their stories see the light of the day, while outside, the citizen journalists have already published the news and the publics are already talking about it. Due to this fact, citizen journalists are gaining a lot of grounds in satisfying the publics in terms of news and information. The public has also resorted to different social media to get enough information from the citizen journalists.

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Picture credit: Google images

An example of the role that citizen journalists play was what happened in Syria in 2012. The people of Syria relied on citizen journalists to give them report on the suicide bombing in 2012. Despite the fact that it was a very bad news that affected a lot of citizens, the traditional media failed to report the hot issue news but were transmitting other regular programs instead.   syria

Picture credit: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/30/246712.html

“We hear of a bomb through Facebook or receiving calls from family and friends to check if we are alive, but we carry on with our broadcasting through TV and radio without acknowledging the fact that we just lost a dozen of Syrians if not more … instead the news is reported in the outside world, where a better job is being done of reporting about what’s happening in Syria,” said the unnamed Syrian journalist.                                   AL ARABIYA NEWS (2012)

Citizen journalists do not have to hide anything, they say it as it is without fear and also delivers at a high speed rate, all thanks to the internet and social networking sites. There is no need to go to go to the newsroom to vet or gatekeep, once there is information; it can be transferred to the audience straightaway.

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Picture credit: Google images

There is no doubt that there are still loop holes when it comes to citizen journalism,except for  some freelance journalists who to a certain extent are trustworthy because they write for different media and  have their facts but majority are roadside journalists who just got fortunate to have what it takes to gather and publish information.

Irrespective of whatever advantages citizen journalists have, can we really rely on them for accurate and credible information putting into consideration that we cannot trace the source? Do they have the training, experience or skill that is essential to gather and report news just like the professional journalists? Do they have any guiding principles or ethics they operate with just like the professional journalists? How sure are we that the news they spread is real and it would not cause panic and uproar to the state of the nation?

These are my concerns.

 

References

Jack ,M, (n.d), The Social Evolution of Citizen Journalism , Gordon Sinclair Award Essay. Canadian Journal of Media Studies, Vol. 6(1) 95. Accessed 24/04/2014. http://cjms.fims.uwo.ca/issues/06-01/jack.pdf.

O’Neill,K,J, Al Arabiya News 2012,Syrians turn to citizen journalism as state media fail to perform. Accessed 24/04/2014. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/30/246712.html.

Rosen,J, A Most Useful Definition of Citizen Journalism.Press Think, ghost of democracy in the media machine. Accessed 23/04/2014. http://archive.pressthink.org/2008/07/14/a most useful d.html.

Once again, i would be discussing about the public space of imagination; not on literary and pop culture but on the different creative ways by which we can ‘inform without informing’.  According to my understanding the statement means how we can communicate our ideas to people be it about the environment, culture, economy etc. without opening our mouths to say anything but present it through our artistic creativity to make people talk about it.

Every economy strive so hard to develop creative cities, which attract the citizens and even tourists to keep trooping into the country and at the same time benefits the economy. This group of people that render the creative arts are called ‘creative class’ according to Florida (2005), (cited by Cramerotti 2009). Florida describes the creative class as those whose occupations ranges from the core creative artists and software designers, referred to as the creative professionals. An example of creative cities can be the Bollywood movie industry. The combination of dance (creativity in the dance moves or steps), songs (they do have some really touching songs that pierce through the soul), display of their cultural festivities in movies like the holi festival (festival of colour) and Diwali festival (festival of light).These  have made them succeed in attracting a lot of people to know about them all over the globe.

To be creative is within an individual, you just have to let it out of you so that people can interpret it the way they understand it to be. The creative minds are always inspired by the things that are ordinary to the rest of the world but it looks extra ordinary to them and they present it to the publics in a way that it leaves them awed. Andy (2011) says that creativity is a situated activity, not a universal one, and what seems creative to a person might just be ordinary to the other. So, it takes another creative mind to identify a creative art and really translate and appreciate what it communicates.

Creativity must contain elements of aesthetics; this is what makes it attractive and seen as something different from the normal.  Cramerotti (2009) suggests that aesthetics should be a process whereby our sensibilities are opened to the diversity of the forms of natural and man-made environment, and convert them into tangible experience.

Cramerotti (2009) describes aesthetics journalism to be something that involves artistic practices in the form of investigation in social, cultural or political circumstances. A professional or citizen journalist can present information to the people without words through pictures; picture they say speaks louder than voice. It is now left for the publics to debate on the message the picture is passing across to them in their own different ways.

Creativity can therefore be seen in verbatim theatre, where we tend to replicate what had happened in the past e.g. The Passion of Christ movie. Nobody was there during those times but due to what was read, people came out with the movie. Creativity can also be reflected in festivals, arts works (painting or sculpturing) and fashion.

I would concentrate more on the fashion aspect using the great Alexander McQueen’s works. McQueen was a designer who loved showcasing his creativity in his designs. He described fashion as a vehicle to convey or express complex ideas. He would always leave the publics debating about his collections.

 

Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5gY5DXrb48

Alexander McQueen;s spring/summer 2005 collection ‘ It’s only a game’.

In the video above,he did not only designed the costumes of the models, but he presented them in a creative way, portraying them to be chess pawns, using lighting effects to represent the chess board on the floor. Is this not creative? But i can bet it that some of the publics would not see anything spectacular in this formation that is because we perceive and understand things in a different way.

After McQueen’s demise (r.i.p), Sarah Burton took over the company and showcases collections as well. During one of the exhibitions, she showed some new designs which generated a lot of comments from people, good and bad; some said they missed McQueen’s creativity while a lot of people commended her sense of creativity. The comment that got me laughing is when one person said he could only think about this , (candy floss) in one of the collections (sure he is referring to the pink dress below).

alexandasr thouht about fashion

Picture credit: http://jezebel.com/5891369/alexander-mcqueen-for-aphrodites-in-search-of-clam-shells/

 

The person says and i quote “Im sorry guys, but thats all i kept thinking about”.

alexandar new fashion show

Picture credit: http://jezebel.com/5891369/alexander-mcqueen-for-aphrodites-in-search-of-clam-shells/

 

All in all, every creative work will always generate multiple public sphere imaginations depending on the public’s perception about it. I think a person can be tagged creative only when people can be awed by his works.

 

 

 

References

Cramerotti, A, 2009,Aesthetic Journalism: How to inform without informing.Intellect Uk.  Accessed. 15/04/2014. http://thinkingpractices.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/cramerotti-aesthetic-journalism.pdf.

McQueen, A,2011, Savage Beauty. Accessed15/04/2014. http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/about/.  

O’Donnell, M, 2014, Media spaces Cities, Festivals and Installations ,BCM310, lecture notes. Accessed 14/04/2014. https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/206997/mod_resource/content/0/Media%20spaces.pdf.

Pratt, A. C. (2008). “Creative cities: The cultural industries and the creative class.” Geografiska Annaler Series B-Human Geography 90B (2): pp107-117. Accessed 15/04/2014. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/cmci/people/papers/pratt/Creativecitiestheculturalindustriesandthecreativeclass.pdf. 

Sauers,J,2012, Jezebel, Alexander McQueen, for Aphrodites in search of slam shells.

Accessed 15/04/2014.

http://jezebel.com/5891369/alexander-mcqueen-for-aphrodites-in-search-of-clam-shells/.

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