All posts by flynnk1114

The Future of Media in Society

Over the past ten weeks, I have learned a whole lot about the complex relationship between media and society and how these have developed along side one another over time.  One of the first things we learned about was how media companies operate and who owns these companies.  I was so interested to learn about conglomeration because I had not really thought of this before.  I had heard about big companies like Comcast and Walt Disney but never realized just how powerful these companies are.  One of the main reasons companies have gone through conglomeration is to make the maximum amount of profit they can.  I think in the future companies will continue to conglomerate with one another, because in the end, one could argue, their sole purpose is to make more money.  This in turn will lead to media content becoming more and more similar across the board, having more and more people derive similar opinions from the media

I think it is so interesting how much the media has changed, not just over the past 100 years, but also in my lifetime of 21 years.  Since the beginning of media, when people relied on their radios and newspapers to retrieve information, the way news is portrayed has definitely changed.  News today is very dramatized and exaggerated to help engage the public and catch peoples eye.  News is much more about drama than about actually explaining concepts in the media.  But in my lifetime, the media, specifically social media, has drastically changed and influenced my generation.  I remember when Facebook and My Space first came out in middle school and how new these concepts were to me.  Facebook now a day is a main source of communicating for many people.  For example, when I went abroad and phone usage was expensive, I relied on Facebook to communicate with the people around me as well as people back in the US.  Other forms of social media such as twitter, tumbler, instagram, pinterest, etc. have become extremely popular over the past 5-10 years.

All of these forms of media have had a huge effect on society and have caused people to become dependent on their phones and computers to 24/7.  When eating in a restaurant these days, you will often see younger people on their phones while older people are engaging more in conversation with one another.  Social media has and still is really changing the way people have a relationship with one another.  I think it has been good for people who have more of a long-distance relationship with a friend or family member but can negatively affect relationships of these who are located close to each other.

One of the great things about social media is that it has allowed for citizens to be more active in the news, expanding journalism. Citizen journalism has allowed for more diversity in the media from more voices being heard.  With all the new forms of citizen journalism, from blogs to wikis to you tube, more opinions and ideas are being spread around the world.  This will definitely continue to grow in the future and help keep diversifying the few opinions coming out of the conglomerates.

An example of how much social media and citizen journalism effects people opinions and ideas is from an article by Eric Mantion.  He explained,

“There have been some news stories not that long ago about movies, in which they thought some movie was going to do really well, but the early reviews off of Twitter on, let’s say, Friday night actually dampened how much people went to see it on Saturday and Sunday. It lowered the overall weekend. Even though there was a huge flush because the marketing was great, the feedback was, “You know, the movie was a B, B-minus,” and not as many people go.”

I think this quote really goes to show how much social media has grown and effects peoples’ opinions and actions.  Media will continue to grow and will continue to be one of the most important aspects in our society today.

Source

http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/social-media-future

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Go Daddy

Go Daddy

In this day and age, it is not hard to find a piece of online media, whether it be news, opinion or advertising that reinforces the common stereotypes in the world today.  Numerous commercials are racist towards ethnicities other than white people.  Online media also is extremely degrading to women, which in turn empowers men.

Go Daddy is a privately held company that is primarily an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company.  In recent years this company had been quite successful.  Go Daddy has not always been know for its success, but for the image it portrays through its advertisements.  Since 2005, Go Daddy started advertising in the Super Bowl, expanding its marketing to include sports sponsorships.

I have chosen a commercial by Go Daddy that very obviously degrades women.  In this commercial, a women who was previously a Go Daddy girl is getting a massage by a girl who thinks she wants to become a Go Daddy girl and tries to prove to her that she has the “moves” and the image to be one.  She strips all her clothes off and puts on a show and slaps her butt many times for the lady getting massaged.   This commercial is clearly showing the public eye the gender stereotype that women are portrayed as sex objects.  It is portrayed in a way that explains the goal is trying to sell sex.  The way the girl strips her clothes off for another girl on a massage table is clearly trying to get the male audiences attention through the use of sex.  At the end of the commercial the Go Daddy wanna be states, “just like Go Daddy.com I offer customer service with a personal touch”.  This ending line really speaks to the male population and almost makes them believe that if they get involved with Go Daddy’s company it comes with sex.  Obviously this is not true, but is it how they have caught numerous peoples attention, specifically during the Super Bowl.

These stereotypes presented create several consequences.  This commercial is not just degrading to women but it also makes America look bad as a whole, and continues the “selling sex” stereotype.  In history, men have been superior to women and in the modern age we, as in America as a whole, are trying to fix this image and create men and women as equals.  This commercial, although know men are in it, is speaking mostly to the male audience and portraying to them that women are portrayed as a sex objects and that it is okay to treat them as inferior.

After Go Daddy had released some very stereotypical and degrading commercials during the Super Bowl for a few years, they finally came to a point where their submissions were no longer getting approved.  In 2012, Go Daddy decided, “Now that people know who we are, they should know what we do” (Driscoll).  They are trying to revamp their marketing and actually show people Go Daddy’s capabilities.  I think it is great that their company is turning around and trying to showcase more of their offerings rather than call attention to women as sex objects.  They might actually make their advertisement relevant for what they do.

Link to Content:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev0r0MSf7kE

Additional Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/go-daddy-commercials_n_1593504.html

http://www.neboagency.com/blog/go-daddy-sex-shame-and-the-super-bowl/

 

 

 

 

CNN’s iReport

Throughout the history of journalism, gatekeeping has been a very prevalent process.   This process is how information is filtered for dissemination, whether it be for publication, broadcasting, the Internet, etc.  Gatekeeping can occur at all levels of the media structure.  For example, a reporter deciding when sources chosen to include in a story.  Gatekeeping can also be an act by an individual, such as someone deciding what information to include in an email or a blog.  Throughout time, gatekeeping has definitely become increasingly more difficult.  There is declining control over information flows.  One of the factors affecting the difficulty is gatewatching, which is a very important concept within citizen journalism.  Gatewatchers are people who curate and evaluate the existing news.  These people have direct communication between newsmakers and news users.

There are numerous examples of websites for citizen journalists such as Wikipedia, Blottr, Now Public, etc.  One that I think shows eccentric examples of gatekeeping and gatewatching is CNN’s citizen journalism iReport.  This initiative allows people from all around the globe to contribute pictures and video of breaking news stories.  Unlike a traditional news station, such as CNN, iReport encourages regular citizens to submit stories, photos, and videos related to any breaking news.  What is different about iReport is that these submissions are not edited, fact-checked, or screened.

This fairly new (as of 2006) initiative became extremely successful because it gave citizens the opportunity to report on events as they experienced them and became “Gatewatchers” themselves.  For example, before iReport was launched, it was difficult to obtain pictures, videos, and stories in the moments after the events had occurred.  The tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the 2005 London bombings were two huge events where it was difficult for professional journalists to obtain coverage of these tragedy’s as they happened. Here is a link to part of the initial iReport of the London bombings

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-500110

iReport is definitely seen as a resolution to this problem and has been successful since.  For example, in 2008, iReport generated controversy for a false report about Steve Job’s health and this caused Apple’s stock to temporarily drop.  This shows how influential citizen journalism has become and how difficult it is to gatekeep these days.

An important quote by Nicholas Lemann indicated “what proponents of internet journalism, like iReport are fighting against is ‘journalism in the hands of an enthroned few, who speak in a voice of phony, unearned authority to the passive masses.’  While some might agree with this statement, there is a reason for the existence of tools such as iReport; and in today’s face-paced world, there is a need for it too.”

Although iReport has been successful and has been a resolution for obtaining immediate important information, it also possesses some challenges.  iReport often offers no pay to contributors  including photo and video contributions.  These users are granted copyright to their work but they are often forced to relinquish control of who uses their work and where their images are shown.  This definitely is a drawback for the contributors and may make them not want to hand over their work but it helps the news stations use this info in the way they please.  iReport demonstrates that gatewatching and gatekeeping can be conflicting.  The citizen journalists of iReport are the gatewatchers but the information given, such as the Steve Jobs example, can sometimes be falsely portrayed and it is becoming more and more difficult for the gatekeepers to do their jobs, making these two conflict one another.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IReport#Criticism

http://thenextweb.com/media/2011/08/27/11-websites-citizen-journalists-should-know-about/#!vE2UA

http://ireport.cnn.com/

https://sites.google.com/site/uvanewmediaspring2009/ireport

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/08/07/060807fa_fact1?currentPage=1

 

 

Film Regulation

Blog Post #2

 Film Regulation

 Since the beginning of film, there has been much controversy about what you can and cannot put in a film.  For a long time now, filmmakers have been continuously trying to push boundaries and express themselves in their films.  The first films were viewed in a small theater known as nickelodeon (the name coming from the cost of admission and the Greek term “Odeion” which was a theater with a roof).  Overtime varies states began to set up censorship boards.  There is a heavy debate about these censorship boards because different people have different opinions on what should and shouldn’t be shown in a film or on television.

Film regulation took off in 1922 and still is very apparent today.  It started as just a list of topic that would be banned from film including slavery, sex hygiene and diseases, childbirth, etc.  “In this day and age, a kiss on film could last no longer than 3 seconds and couples slept in different beds” (Thornsburg, 2011).  It is so interesting to compare this to how movies are now-a-days. 

This censorship view of film began to crumble in the 50’s when the US Supreme Court ruled that films were protected by the constitution as “free speech”.  After this, Hollywood abandoned their strict code of film regulation and set up the ratings board that is still in use today. 

There are several sides to this argument.  There are the filmmakers who want to be able to make their film an “art” form and not have to think about the conservative crowd bashing their film.  There are the distributers who want to make money off of great films that may not appear appropriate to all people, and there are the viewers, who have different views of what is right and wrong to be in a film for all to see. The distributors benefit from all types of successful movies, as well as the filmmakers.  A filmmaker can make a very inappropriate movie his/her art form and distribute it for the world to see, benefitting from this.  On the other hand, viewers who don’t agree with the movies morals and values are then constrained by it. 

It is very interesting to look back and see how much the film industry has changed since the beginning of nickelodeon.  I my opinion, this debate is a balancing act.  Today, when renting or buying movies there are often two versions of a movie, the rated version and the unrated version.  This allows for a balance in film regulation, allowing views that like the unrated version to select it and views who like the rated to select the opposite. 

The future of film is not going to be easy with the government and parents trying to regulate content.  The hardest aspect for these parties is keeping adult content away from children.  The current rating system in theaters as well as rated vs. unrated movies will hopefully continue to be successful in this balancing act.

Sources:

http://voices.yahoo.com/film-regulation-censorship-7274840.html?cat=37

http://entertainmentlaw.uslegal.com/film-industry/film-regulation/

https://www.aclu.org/files/multimedia/censorshiptimeline.html

 

The Walt Disney Company

Blog Post #1

 The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company is an American multinational mass media corporation, which is headquartered in Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.  Walt and Roy Disney started this company, in 1923, first as an American animation industry, later diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel.  The company really became a conglomerate in 1986, taking on its current name of The Walt Disney Company.  Today it is one of the most successful companies in the world having divisions in theater, radio, music, publishing, and online media, etc.

“Ownership Map”

(The Walt Disney Company operates as five primary units and segments)

The Walt Disney Studios

(film, recording label, theatrical divisions)

-Motion Pictures

-Disney Music Group

-Disney Theatrical Group

-Disney-ABC Television Group

-The Muppets Studio

-Pixar Animation Studios

-Marvel Entertainment

-UTV software Communications

-Lucasfilm

 

Parks and Reports

(theme parks, cruise line, and other travel-related assets)

-Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

-Disneyland Resort

-Walt Disney World Resort

-Tokyo Disney Resort

-Disneyland Paris

-Euro Disney S.C.A

-Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

-Disney Vacation Club

-Disney Cruise Line

 

Disney Consumer Products

(produces toys, clothing, and other merchandising based upon Disney owned properties)

-Disney Store

-Disney Baby

-Disneystore.com

-The Walt Disney Catalogue

-Disney Educational Productions

-Disney Direct Response Publishing

-The Baby Einstein Company

-Disney Magazine Publishing, Inc.

-Disney Book Publishing, Inc.

-Disney Comics

 

Media Networks

-ABC Television Network

-A&E News

-ABC Family

-Disney Channel Worldwide

-Radio Disney

-ESPN Inc.

 

Disney Interactive

(includes Disney’s internet, mobile, social media, virtual worlds, and computer game operations)

-disney.com

-Disney Family Network websites

-family.com

-Kaboose.com

-babyzone.com

-amazingMoms.com

-babble.com

-Avalanche software

-Rocket Park

-Gamestar

-Starwave mobile

-Tapulous

 

When Disney was a starting company in 1923, they were nowhere near being a conglomerate.  As years past and they diversified into live-action film production, television, and travel the company really started to take off.  In 1995, The Walt Disney Company decided to buy Capital Cities/ ABC Inc. for $19 billion dollars.  The combined company brought together the most profitable television network and its ESPN cable service.  This merger also developed Disney’s Hollywood film and television studios, the Disney Channel, its theme parks and its repository of well-known cartoon characters and the merchandise sales they generate.

When Disney bought Capital Cities / ABC Inc., it became the first media company with a major presence in four distribution systems: filmed entertainment, cable television, broadcasting and telephone wires.  This merger if Disney and ABC is a great example of vertical integration because the members of the supply chain are producing different products and services that combine to satisfy the common need.  In the recent years after the merger, rival television producers found that they had fewer outlets for their programs.   There was concern about whether the concentration of ownership might dilute the public’s choices of programming.

The deal provided Disney with more opportunities to expand overseas.  This created synergy between the two companies, having a positive effect on both companies as they worked together to increase profit.  I think Disney’s history is an unbelievable story and it will continue to be for years to come.  After the merger, the company’s success didn’t surprise me at all.  The reason they are so successful is because of how merging with ABC brought them thousands of different connections and industries to work along side with.  The more connections the company has, the more ways they can connect with the public to make a bigger profit.

Sources: