Reflecting. Reflection… Reflektor.

First of all, don’t look for any connection between the song and this post. There isn’t any beyond the obvious references to, well, reflection. I just decided this post needs a soundtrack.

 

I’m going to be going through our topics in a rather haphazard manor, I fear. Our topics are all intrinsically linked and I don’t feel justice can be done by addressing each one as it appeared to us chronologically. I’m just that little bit outrageous, like wearing a hat under a helmet.

Speaking of outrageous…

The connotations and denotations of text, particularly images, was something we were all at least subconsciously aware of. Our minds processed and appraised millions of images millions of times before our “The Image Cannot Lie” topic. Our brush with semiotics and the Frankfurt School, however scant, brought conscious analysis and allowed us to consider that alternate minds viewing the same text can see completely different pictures. I used the example of Ahmed, a Syrian caught up in a bloody civil war, as my example and tried to assess a view opposed to mine. I attempted to draw a comparison of two opposing views from two completely different contexts as a way to demonstrate the process. The exercise and the post helped me form a personal understanding of the topic. Success. Plus, I managed to dodge any controversy that may have been caused by my views or the image I used…

With the way that information (and outrage) can spread, it’s something to be a little proud of. Sure, I’m not at attention grabbing as Obama, but I like to think I could have provoked at least a little discussion about a public sphere. I chose a twitter picture, a selfie, of Obama and a baseball player used as advertising as my text. The reaction, debate and backlash that resulted was my topic, serving well (I do hope) as an example of the discussion that a mediated public sphere can facilitate and even nurture. I found the “selfiegate” example especially interesting, not just because it allowed to get this picture, but also because the platform that propagated the debate (twitter) was the origin of the source material. Platforms supporting prosumerism (shout out to the BCM112 crew) and an example of a media feeding a media.

Feeding? The media feeds us and we need to watch what we eat. This was the core piece of advice I garnered from our media ownership topic. It is safe to say that we were all aware of media ownership and it’s negative implications. I mention this in my post for the week and try to extrapolate my way to both poles of the spectrum to highlight the dangers of total media control. It’s terrifying stuff, you should probably freak out.

Moral Panic, our latest topic. The case study for the week, the supposed sexualisation of children, was demonstrated to be a product of the media. Something that begins with a legitimate story is sensationalised by certain media outlets for commercial purposes and, in a process described as ‘cannibalising’, re-released with added layers of sensation. This results in greater attention and revenue for certain media operators. In the case study, parental insecurity about the perceived susceptibility of children is manipulated to great effect for commercial gains. Tut, tut. It’s hard to blame parents, though, children are so easily influenced…

… As the Media Effects Model explains and proves. My final point, our first topic, was the one that I was the most confused about. Is the media influencial? Yes, of course. Does it change core behavioural patterns or induce violence? No. Where is the line drawn? Somewhere in between. What I took from this was that the Media Effects Model is severely flawed and that we needn’t worry about the media transforming everyone into murders. That said, we must continue to study actual media effects into the future to determine if any negative effects (however mild) exist. So I can go back to playing violent games? You really should study instead.

So far, the BCM has been incredibly interesting and educational. If the next four years are anything like the last two months, I’m excited.

 

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