All posts by shadowmtn58

The Future of Media

Not only have I learned a lot about the state of media within the past couple of months, but I’ve been trained to think more critically about what is going on around me in our new media culture.  Media is always changing, and it is very complex in its content and messages.  But, you can easily step into any current event happening around the internet or on TV or by picking up a magazine and analyzing it, either in depth or in a broader sense.  By doing this we can learn so much about how our society functions and develops, and allows us to predict how things will turn out down the line.

I think the new media culture has already proven that our lives revolve around how we communicate.  Social networks like facebook and myspace have shaped how we interact with friends, employees. and complete strangers! (hopefully not) we can display our beliefs and ideologies through pictures or videos we post to the internet, and news can be acquired quickly and efficiently.  Of course these can all be negative things too.  People come into contact with dangerous people through facebook, argue over controversial images, and are misled by false news reports.

Here is an article I found earlier today…http://www.today.com/health/when-thigh-gaps-attack-targets-photoshop-fail-goes-viral-2D79356844

Target has been photoshoping their models?! Who knew?!  It is hard to tell why people were surprised about this image.  Were they surprised that a model’s body was changed and posted to the internet, or surprised that Target let it be so obvious?

The point is… the internet IS whatever we make of it.  People are becoming consumers of media at a very young age, and because of that we have to take initiative to make it a safe and productive environment.  If future generations grow up with adults arguing on the internet about a woman’s image being manipulated for advertising purposes, it will transition and become a norm and eventually become a fundamental part of our society.  There are so many other things that we need to worry about as a society, and making this silly controversy the headline of a prominent website gives people the wrong idea.  Everything that is posted to the internet is a powerful message, it was intended to be a tool to help society progress.  But, when the wrong message is sent to the public, it becomes a tool of destruction rather than construction.

Carl’s Junior Controversy

Yes yes… I know a lot of people are discussing gender roles in media for this blog post.  But,  misrepresentation of genders in the media is becoming a huge problem, here’s why.

Most people associate the yearly Super Bowl game with lots of funny commercials.  Some people just watch the game in anticipation of seeing the ads.  After watching the game I usually go on youtube and look up what other people thought of them or watch “top 10” videos to find the really funny commercials I may have missed while dipping a hot wing.

What I found this year is surprising to say the least.  In the past several months/years, Carl’s Junior has been making commercials that advertise their sandwiches, and they all involve a model eating it in some sexual way that is supposed to make you want it, but with this ad they took a different approach, that I find to be even more disgraceful and just plain sexist.

So I know what you’re thinking.  How is this more degrading than the previous Carl’s Junior commercials?  When the higher ups at CJ heard that viewers were upset about this issue, they took a different approach on advertising their sandwiches, and this is it.  If you look at the details and ask yourself how they portray society, you will be surprised.  What is the purpose of the intro?  Why is there a lady coming out of a swimming pool wearing a bikini?  Her only purpose was to throw Terrell Owens a football and stare at him while he eats and talks.  Oh, did I mention she was wearing a bikini?

It wasn’t until seeing this on several top 10 lists that I realized the reason why this video was so appealing.  It contains everything advertisers think that football fans want.  Good manly food, the authority and confidence of a football player, and attractive women that sit at your side and make you look good.  Usually ads have to be funny or charming in some way to get onto a top ten list, but I don’t find this to be either.

In other words, the advertisers are using degrading and unrealistic images to stimulate the ideologies and beliefs of a stereotypical football fan.  The problem with this is that it is manipulation.  There are other ways of advertising that could be just as persuasive to the viewer without being so un-ethical.  Ultimately I think the consequences of this kind of advertising is just a big step in the wrong direction for equality.  There will never be complete race and gender equality as long as there are videos like this being created and broadcasted to the world.

Controversy over a robot?

It’s not every day you look online and see a controversial news article about a robot.  But, according to Propublica, there is a new robot called da Vinci designed to perform operations, and was backed by students of the University of Illinois who were paid to promote it.  Paul Levy, a former hospital executive mentioned seeing an add promoting the robot, but it had 12 students from the University featured on it.

ht_da_vinci_300x200_140214.png

Levy then went on to say that there was a note at the bottom of the add article stating that some of the members from the photo were compensated for the work they did for the company promoting da Vinci.  When Levy checked the University’s code of conduct, he found that this against it, and would create a bad name for the University.

Not only is this a controversial subject, but it is something that needs to be reached by more of the public.  With rapid growth in technological advancements happening all over our country, it’s difficult to keep everything in line and prevent unethical technology from being created.  Maybe this robot isn’t such a bad thing to a lot of people who see it as something that benefits society, but there are also a lot of people who see this as something that will lead us in the wrong direction.  Creating a world run by robots!

How does this relate to gatekeeping and gatewatching?  Levy owns a blog site called “Not Running a Hospital”, and created a post about this subject called “Time to Fire Somebody” in which he picks apart all the wrong made by this advertisement.  In the post, Levy states several University-wide restrictions on this act, and mentions that not all of the people in the photo were surgeons or even medical students.  Since Levy had previously worked at a hospital, he has some major credibility in this field.  The blog post is an example of gatekeeping.  A news event that could have gone ignored was shared by an experienced hospital executive and opened to the public to discuss.  The discussing of the events would be gate watching, because people who are interested in Levy’s blogs or career would most likely be into this controversy and discuss (or argue) about what could fix this dilemma.  To me, this is a good example of citizen journalism.  Someone who cares about the ethical status of medical research, and students following by their University’s code of conduct went out of the way to read the fine print and raise awareness on the issue.

http://www.propublica.org/article/when-a-university-hospital-backs-a-surgical-robot-controversy-ensues

Regulation In our Film Industry

Film regulation has been a big issue.  Not just recently, but since movies were first displayed in the 1890’s.  The most significant example that comes to mind is the controversy over the movie “The Birth of a Nation” made in 1915.  This was a movie about the Civil War.  It led to protests in the African American due to its “blackface” interpretation of African American slaves, played by white actors, and its “heroic” interpretation of the Ku Klux Klan.  There was a campaign to ban the film from public display but it was unsuccessful without proper media regulations in play.

In modern times, film production is in such a high demand that there has to be an effective way to regulate all the content that is being distributed to theaters and peoples’ homes.  Throughout the history of film, there have been several perspectives at stake making regulation an issue.  There are the filmmakers who want to express their ideas and concepts through the film they are producing.  Depending on the idea they are trying to get across, they may want to use explicit content to evoke a specific emotion in their audience.  Another perspective is the community.  Like I stated earlier, The Birth of a Nation was seen as offensive and oppressive to the black community because of the way it portrayed the Civil War slaves.  This can be said about any film, and all members of the community will have different views on what should be regulated.  Another perspective is the government.  The government focuses on creating regulations that will prevent filmmakers from making films that are too controversial, but also allowing them to express their interests into their films.

I think if the regulation was written by filmmakers we would see a lot of explicit movies.  Since now we have the CARA (Classification and Rating Administration) that adds a rating to every movie filmmakers would probably manipulate the ratings to favor their movie.  By this, I mean that they would give it a lower rating, making it more likely people would see the film, and more likely parents would take their children to see it.

In modern film I don’t see regulation as that big of a threat at the moment, I’m sure something will happen within the next 10-20 years that will re-ignite peoples’ interest in film regulation, but I don’t currently see it as something that needs a lot of work.  Since ratings are applied to movies, parents are able to see what type of content is in movies and therefore can make the best choice for what their children watch.  In a way it regulates it-self.  Filmmakers want as many people to watch their movies as possible, and if the movie has an NC-17 rating, it wont attract as much of an audience as a PG-13 movie, and might not even be shown in theaters.

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

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/film_censorship.cfm

http://www.mpaa.org/ratings/aboutus

Sony Corporation

Sony is a multinational conglomerate based out of Japan.  Sony has four different operating systems:  Electronics, motion pictures, music, and financial services.  But, Sony is most recognized for their electronic products like phones and TVs.  Sony currently holds the status as the third-largest TV manufacturer in the world.

Film holdings:

Columbia pictures

Screen Gems

Tristar pictures

Sony pictures classics

Sony pictures animations

Sony pictures studios

Sony pictures imageworks interactive

Sony pictures home interactive

Music holdings:

Columbia/Epic label group

RCA/JIVE label group

Provident label group

TV holdings:

Crackle

SET

SAB

AXN

Animax

Cinemax (Latin America)

Sony corporation is a conglomerate meaning that it is a corporation consisting of many different companies that run independently, and work in separate businesses.  Since sony is a conglomerate of many different areas of the electronics industry, they have more power because they can compete with other corporations in almost every aspect of electronics.  In addition to this, they own much of the software that is used on their devices, like Music Unlimited.  This is an example of vertical integration, because they are able to make two products in the form of one without having to pay another company to provide services for them.  According to a news article written last year, the electronics segment of Sony is declining, and it’s not as profitable for the corporation as the other segments like music, film, and even life insurance.

I was surprised to find that electronics was Sony’s biggest expense.  It seems like ever since I learned what Sony was, I always thought of them as a camera company that became a big TV manufacturer too.  Then I eventually realized that they owned a lot of other things that I had seen on my phone, laptop, or game system.  Although this article makes it seem like Sony electronics is doomed, I don’t think Sony would ever drop that aspect of the company.  It is too valuable considering its popularity, and how much the other companies they own depend on it.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/business/global/sonys-bread-and-butter-its-not-electronics.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=sony

http://www.sony.net

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