Media Convergence Indeed

Media convergence defined:

As stated by Henry Jenkins (2006) convergence is “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want”. (Henry Jenkins, ‘Welcome to Convergence Culture’, 2006)

By the Australian Communications and Media Authority (AMCA), media convergence is defined as “the phenomenon where digitisation of content, as well as standards and technologies for the carriage and display of digital content, are blurring the traditional distinctions between broadcasting and other media across all elements of the supply chain, for content generation, aggregation, distribution and audiences”. (ACMA, ‘Digital Australians’, 2011)

Media convergence to me:

My understanding of media convergence is based around both Jenkins’ and ACMA’s definition. Media convergence relates to media platforms, media audiences and media industries, and the cooperation between the three. Typical examples of media convergence involve the use of many media platforms at one time and the use of new media to access traditional media. For example, newspapers are readily accessible online via computers, phones, tablets etc.

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Media convergence demonstrated through books transforming to online e-books with ‘Kindle’

My typical night time…demonstrations of media convergence.

May I begin by saying that I had no idea such few people remained to watch live to air television. When I say that I spend ‘much too much’ time in front of a screen, that INCLUDES (dare I say it) LIVE TO AIR TELEVISION, which apparently is very ‘behind the times’ of me. This is an example of media convergence, as society has largely migrated from watching live to air television to media such as Netflix to watch what they want, when they want. I considered myself reasonably converged, however I can confidently say I find the idea of never having a television in your house and watching all programs on a new media screen to be mind boggling.

I considered my family and myself to be fairly converged (apparently less than I thought) however, there are demonstrations of media convergence within a typical night time within my home. This convergence consists of one television and several devices being operated at the same time. Media platforms such as television networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and news websites are being operated from several devices in one room. This is a demonstration of convergence as multi-tasking is allowed as a result of new media and cooperation between industries and platforms are relevant. I consider media convergence to be a primarily positive trend, however I do think that it poses the risk of certain members in society being ‘left behind’.

For more information on media convergence, see below.

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.
Emma.

Sources:

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It doesn’t matter who owns it, so long as I can use it for free.

Media ownership. Does it really matter who owns our media?
Do the owners of our media affect the way we use it?

 Confession:

I know of Mark Zuckerberg, and that’s about where my media-ownership knowledge ends… As previously mentioned (Blog Post No.1 ‘Why am I here?’) I spend much too much time in front of a screen, but to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have the first clue who owns majority of the media platforms I engage with.

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Australian Media Ownership- ‘Media interest snapshot’. [http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot]

Upon realisation…

It has recently been brought to my attention that majority of Australian networks are owned by a very small group of people and that ownership of Australian media has become very much a competition to gain the most ‘power’. Increasingly, Australian and international companies such as WIN Television and Fairfax Media are being controlled by figures who are already controlling many other large networks in Australia.

Large media ownership is demonstrated by Bruce Gordon, who owns roughly 15% of network 9, 10 and WIN, Australia’s three major regional broadcasters. This places Gordon at a high position of influence and power, as he can control what the population of regional Australia are largely exposed to and the perspective of the information they receive. Large media ownership in this context results both positively and negatively.

On a positive note, the majority of regional Australia are all being exposed to information from one perspective, which results in similarity of opinions on a national perspective.
On a negative note however, this also creates issues in bias and a lack of full perspective. If regional Australia’s networks were owned by largely different people, there would be more differentiation in the perspectives of the media being broadcasted, hence allowing the audience to gain a larger perspective.
This relates to Bruce Gordon’s large media ownership due to his large influence over the companies in which he holds steaks.

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Bruce Gordon ‘Most interesting man’ Meme

 On a larger scale however…

On a larger scale I think media ownership isn’t as big of an issue, as the media users do not often communicate directly with the owner of a media platform, as in Facebook for example.
(However, Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re reading, I’ll happily agree to be friends)

In summary…

I personally do not take much notice of who owns the media platforms I engage with, as I, like many others, have a mentality surrounding the idea ‘It doesn’t matter who owns it, so long as I can use it for free’. However upon realisation, I acknowledge that media ownership does play a large and highly influential role in today’s society.

For more information on media ownership in Australia, visit: http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.
Emma.

Semiotics, the science of signs.

This week, I was introduced to semiotics, which is simply the science of signs. Semiotics, brought about by linguist’s Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Peirce, assesses the study of meaning and different interpretations of texts. A sign is something which can be read or interpreted. It may be constructed from words or images, in order to convey a message. In today’s society, semiotics can create much controversy, especially when in regards to the media. Often, advertising sparks controversy, as the messages behind the sign somewhat differs the message behind the sign, as interpreted by recievers.

The below image is a perfect example of a meaning of a sign being dampened by the message that the sign with holds.
*And may I begin by saying…Really Woolies? REALLY???*

6392746-1x1-340x340Background knowledge…
S0, as demonstrated on the given sign, this poster was released by Australian supermarket giant ‘Woolworths’ on the 100 year commemoration of Anzac Day.
Anzac Day is a time to remember soldiers who fought for their country and show respect and gratitude for their sacrifice. Woolworths however, on the iconic 100 year anniversary, used this day to promote their business in an attempt to gain in a commercial manner. This was a highly unethical act by Woolworths and caused much controversy.

In the above image, signifiers are the words and the images. A signifier is anything that gives meaning to text. The signifiers in this image is an image of a soldier who fought for Australia in World War 1 and is being commemorated for Anzac Day and text phrases stating “LEST WE FORGET”, “ANZAC 1915-2015”, “FRESH IN OUR MEMORIES” AND “Woolworths”. This therefore creates strong emphasis on what is signified. In a sign, what is signified is the mental concept, I.e. what is evoked among the viewer upon reception of the sign’s message. In this text, much controversy struck due to the signified effects of this sign. Woolworths’ slogan is “Woolworths, the fresh food people” which is largely why this promotion was received in such an offensive way. Society felt that Woolworths had used the term ‘Anzac’ and the connotations surrounding the meaning, in an attempt to gain commercial benefit, and hence signified many negative views/opinions and backlash.

This image can be read and interpreted in many ways, although the most common interpretation was that Woolworths was conducting unethical use of the term “Anzac” and that this was unacceptable in today’s society.

As a result of the backlash and signified effects of this image, Woolworths was forced to remove this image from promotion within hours of it’s release.

Semiotics relate to the messages sent by signs everywhere and the science behind interpretations of those signs.

Until next time, thats this week Pinned.
Emma.

Media Anxieties

What are the current anxieties about media audiences and/or the media we are using?

Media anxieties refers to the problems or worries surrounding media. Anxiety is both a problem and a solution within the media. Often, media anxieties spur from a lack of understanding. However, much of the time media anxieties spur from negative experiences. Media anxieties range from issues such as cyber bullying, to child pornography, to online defamation.

There are many anxieties surrounding media audiences and the media we use. The main anxiety surrounding media audiences is the media’s high influence over its audience and the way in which it’s audience can be manipulated. This is a common anxiety among parents, as it is feared their children may misunderstand or misinterpret messages sent by media. Largely due to their young age and innocence, youth’s are highly vulnerable to online ‘trolls’, which further increases media anxiety surrounding media audiences.

Anxieties surrounding media audiences…

The influence of media on it’s audience is an issue which often sparks debate, particularly  when involving a young audience. Within society, it is a norm to be influenced by those seen to be in a position of power. (As timelessly demonstrated in the 2004 blockbuster ‘Mean Girls’.)

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*But back to a real life example that demonstrates influence*

Known to be one of the most famous demonstrations of media having influence over it’s audience is the ‘Red barn murder’ of 1827. The ‘Red Barn Murder’ created much controversy and sparked so much interest that the incident became a ‘Popular Culture’ of sorts, with it’s own audience attending and financing Broadsides, Plays, Vaudeville, Film and Music. Media audiences also demonstrate their commitment to media through paraphernalia, as largely demonstrated by the current series ‘Game of Thrones’ and trilogy ‘Happy Potter’.

Anxieties surrounding the media we use…

The media we use is also sparking many issues in society surrounding social skills. With the ever-increasing popularity of ‘Social’ media, controversy is being sparked as to whether younger generations are becoming more anti-social. The media anxiety surrounding social media encouraging anti-socialism is due to the fact that face-to-face communication is no longer necessary.

Another major media anxiety surrounding social media is online predators. It is a common anxiety among parents that their children are left vulnerable online, which creates the perfect opportunity for online ‘poachers’.
For an interesting documentary on the anxiety of online ‘poaching’, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTh2v_xCZ98

Media anxieties in my opinion are incredibly necessary and relevant in society, as they help control the limits as to which media influences it’s audiences.

Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.
Emma.