All posts by juliajeanross

The Future of Media

I believe that the media industry will continue to grow and expand as the years go on. There’s no denying that it consumes many people’s lives. In the U.S. at least it’s extremely hard to get away from it. For example just being a college student, your required to have a laptop, grades and many assignments are posted online, registering for classes is online, so no matter how hard you try you have to stare at a screen for at least the four years you’re here. It’s very hard to predict what the new next big thing is, because media trends feed off of each other. Who would have thought that vampires would become cool? But after the book series Twilight made into the movies, it became a huge phenomenon that sparked the television series “Teen Wolf” and “Vampire Diaries” which were related to vampires/mystical creatures. Same goes for the “Hunger Games” book series made into movies, now we see other trends of “utopian” worlds playing out in books and movies.

I can’t predict what the media will be like in the future, only that it will continue to expand just as it has in the past. If people are worried about future generations being too consumed by the media than it is our job to teach them what we feel is important; our traditional values/morals, that what you see on the internet/television is not always real, and to help guide them through these understandings.

Fantasy Video Greetings E-Cards, 2010

Fantasyvideogreetings.com is an entertainment website that produces what some people would say pretty controversial and risqué videos and commercial. They are also linked to the “Go Daddy” adds. Just by scrolling through FantasyVideoGreeting’s Facebook for less than a minute you can see a large amount of pictures of only women in “skimpy” clothing, there are also some videos/adds. If you’re interested in viewing the Facebook page heres the link. They produced this commercial to be put in the 2012 Super Bowl, but it was rejected.

As you can see this add was pretty sexist.  The commercial starts out with a wife cleaning and complaining about taking care of the kids and her day. This portrays women as the “stay at home & clean/take care of the kids”  stereotype. The wife has her hair up, looks tired, and is wearing  what looks to be like comfortable cleaning attire. The husband is shown glancing around his wife trying to see the T.V., not really caring about what she is doing or how her day was etc. only caring about the football game he is trying to watch. This portrays men as uncaring, and the stereotypical “jerk.” Which may be true for some, but we all know is not true for all.  The commercial then continues with him “switching the channel” which appears to be him turning his wife “off” and an attractive young women appears on the screen handing him a beer. It then goes on to show another women who say they’ll do their own “half time show” for him. Both women were wearing clothing showing way more skin than the wife, and it is pot raying young single women as sort of sex objects. His fantasy was for his wife to stop talking, and to be handed beer with some hot girls while watching the football game, and that’s what the fantasyvideogreetings provided for him. The goal of this advertisement is to show that whatever you want can be provided to you in a fantasy video format, which is exactly what he got.

 

 

 

The Cleveland Kidnappings

Between the years of 2002 and 2004 a man named Ariel Castro kidnapped three women. A 21 year old Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry who was taken a day before her 17th birthday, and a 14 year old named Georgina DeJesus. They were all kidnapped after accepting a ride from him. He then drove them to his home, lured them in, and held them captive in his home home. The women wrote diaries expressing their anger, and speaking of forced sexual conduct, anticipating abuse, dreams of escape, and how they felt like they were treating like animals. They were only fed one meal a day and were allowed two showers a week at most. Castro had also impregnated Knight about 5 timed but had induced miscarriages each time through starvation and beatings. In December of 2006 though, Amanda Berry gave birth to a daughter while inside the house. DNA testing has been done and the father is in fact Ariel Castro. In May of 2013 about a decade after their kidnappings, Berry and her 6 year old daughter were found in Castro’s home. After escaping with the help of some neighbors Berry called the police. Police officers then entered Castro’s house and the Knight and DeJesus were then saved. Castro was then charged with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, 2 counts of attempted murder, and other charges totaling 937 counts. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, plus 1,000 years with no opportunity for parole. After serving only 34 days in prison, Castro was found dead due to suicide.

The entire case, especially Castro’s suicide sparked a l lot of reaction on twitter and other social media outlets. With each step of the case gatekeeping, and citizen journalism were involved. People often kept up with the status of the case, and would tweet their opinions. For example one tweet written by @TheReeealDirk said “Ariel Castro found hung in his prison cell… best news I’ve heard in a while.” You can see some other tweets found here. These citizens are involved in their own gatekeeping because they decide the amount on information they want to put out there involving this case, they can be opinionated, and they can post it in whatever means they feel appropriate.

The victims are also taking their own part in citizen journalism. They have set up their own website which you can find here, with information about themselves, how their life is now, answer frequently asked questions, and a link to follower their twitter account. Their twitter account can be followed at @clevelandkidnap and have 9,568 followers. On the website you can check up on old news from the case, over 200 videos you can view, interviews, and much more. There is also information about Michelle Knight’s book “Finding Me” which is set to be released this May. Citizens can also share these stories, pictures, or videos through their twitter or FaceBook.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_kidnappings

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/504045/20130906/cleveland-kidnapper-ariel-castro-kills-himself-twitter.htm#.Uv5EB_1Ocb1

http://www.clevelandkidnappings.com

 

Morality: Ratings and Warnings

Regulation for morality can cause a lot of debate among people. In May 1995, Bob Doyle (presidential candidate at the time) gave a speech on how he believes the entertainment industry is disruptive to children. He went on to say, “One of the greatest threats to American family values is the way our popular culture ridicules them. Our music, movies, television and advertising regularly push the limits of decency… We must hold Hollywood and the entertainment industry accountable for putting profit ahead of common decency.” What he means by all of this is that the entertain industry is making family values seem less important, and putting violence, sexual content, crude language etc. as more important in their productions, solely because they will make a higher profit.

One of the biggest problems involving this issue is what is considered morally acceptable to one person may not be considered morally acceptable to another person. So the bigger questions are: How do you find a balance to make the majority of people happy when everyone is so opinionated, and how do you stop the entertainment industry from producing explicit material when they are making a large profit off of it, and the people are demanding it?

To try to solve these issues a few ratings systems were developed. The film rating system is a form of industry self-regulation that was established by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the ratings created are meant primarily to help parents decide whether or not a film is appropriate for their family. An anonymous panel of citizens representing a national cross section of parents would implement the new rating system by a process of majority vote. The system categorizes the ratings as:

G: General Audiences, nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.

PG: Parental Guidance Suggested, parents urged to give “parental guidance”. May contain some material parents might not like their young children to view.

PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned, Parents are urged to be cautious, some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

R: Restricted, Contains some adult material, parents urged to learn more about the film before taking their children with them.

NC-17: No one 17 & under admitted, clearly adult, children are not permitted.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required the development of a rating system for television programming along with the establishment of standards for blocking programming based on those ratings. In 1997 the NAB, the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), and the MPAA collaborated in producing the ratings system. Programs aimed at general audiences either TVG (general audience), or TVPG (parental guidance suggested), TV14 (unsuitable for children under 14), or TVMA (intended for mature audiences), the system exempted news, sports, and unedited motion pictures on premium cable channels. In 1998 additional ratings were added to create the “age-plus content” system: FV (fantasy violence) in the TVY7 category, V (violence), S (sexual situations), L (coarse language), and D (suggestive dialogue) in the remaining categories. The FCC also required that as of January 1, 2000 all new television sets must be equipped with the V-chip, capable of blocking programming based on the ratings system.

The people who benefit from this rating system are the TV viewers because they have a good indication or the kind of content that each movie or show is going to have, thus allowing them to make decisions on whether or not their family should watch it. The entertainment industry is hindered from this ratings system because they now have to base the content of their production around these ratings and their target audience.

Personally I think the ratings system was a good idea, it allows for viewers to have a heads up approach of what they’re going to watch and to make the decision if it is appropriate for the people they are with to watch it as well.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company 

It would be very difficult to go throughout your life without hearing the word “Disney”. In terms of revenue the Walt Disney Company is one of the largest multinational media conglomerates in the world. This company filters into our lives through television, movies, music soundtracks, websites, all different kinds of apparel, theme parks, and vacation destinations. The Walt Disney company continues to become more powerful through its globalization in Latin America, China, Russia, India, Japan, the Middle East, and Africa. This company became incredibly popular through its entertainment value that attracts people of all different cultures, ages, and genders.

Ownership Map Full ownership map can be found here

Film and Theater

  • Touchstone Pictures
  • Marvel Entertainment
  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Pixar Animation

Music

  • Disney Music Group
  • Hollywood Records
  • Walt Disney Records

Television

  • ABC-Owned Television Stations Group
  • ABC Family
  • ABC Studios
  • A&E Television Networks
  • The Biography Channel
  • Disney Channel Worldwide
  • ESPN along with ESPN.com and ESPN360.com

Publishing

  • Hyperion Books
  • ABC Daytime Press
  • Mirimax Books
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • Disney Digital Books
  • Disney Global Book Group
  • ESPN The Magazine along with ESPN Books

Parks and Resorts

  • Adventures by Disney
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Disneyland Resort in Paris (51%), Shanghai (43%), Hong Kong (48%),
  • Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Walt Disney World Resort

Others

  • The Baby Einstein Company
  • Club Penguin
  • Disney Consumer Products including apparel, accessories, fashion, home, food, health, beauty, and toys.
  • Disney Interactive Media Group
  • El Capitan Theatre
  • The Muppets Studio
  • UTV Software communications

Disney’s take over of ESPN is considered there biggest horizontal integration, because the company doesn’t form a part of the production process of any Disney productions. Their take over of ABC however is considered there most major form of vertical integration because the TV network forms a place where Disney can broadcast its productions, and advertise their merchandise.

To conclude this I believe the thing The Walt Disney Company does best as such a huge conglomerate is feed off of its own synergy. They use their connections to other large companies as an advantage and a way to make profit. For example any movie Disney produces creates an unbelievable amount of advertisement for other companies. These advertisements would include the toys sold in stores and with kids meals, promotion for radio stations and movie cinemas, t.v. channels, video/computer games, virtually anything you could possibly think of. They target the public in multiple directions from multiple places and that is why they are and will continue to be one of the most successful companies world wide.