Oh Trump

So in “the olden days” a public sphere was of a very simplified explanation, people talking (often turning to debate) about anything relevant at the time, positive or negative, even controversial. Back then there wasn’t ease in input, mostly due to stereotypical boundaries e.g. social class, but also because of the way in which they interacted (predominately verbally), but oh how times have changed! With the introduction of the new and improved mediated public sphere, thanks to the  internet, anyone is free to say anything no matter where on earth they come from. A really relevant and rather recent instance, would be the fact that Donald Trump was running for president (spoiler alert: he won).

Boy were those hard times, not only because of the fact that DONALD TRUMP was RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?!,  but the amount of “input” which was exerted everywhere online, when I say everywhere I mean EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t miss it, and aside from the endless memes (examples below), parodies and comedic interpretations, there was serious talk, interaction and debate on the issue and outcome.

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During the election, everything Trump ate, wore, said and most importantly TWEETED was highly scrutinised and for good reason too. Lets just say the public sphere was going absolutely crazy for Donald Trump and for the majority, not in a good way. Many debates like the one below were broadcast on what you would call a mediated public sphere provided by a public service broadcaster. Q&A are a very organised example of freedom of expression, who usually provide a fair balance of opinions, but from the captions at the bottom of the screen which reveal the audiences majority answers to a question (based on the topic), it was not balanced in this case.

The Q&A known for its professional more tamed version of freedom of expression was nothing compared to social medias such as Twitter, where there was no holding back on opinion. Twitter is a much more widespread instance in which people can literally say whatever is on their mind, no matter where they are in the world, compared to the very localised, Q&A. In my opinion Twitter is the best depiction of the mediated public sphere in relation to the Donald Trump’s election saga, and the best part is, it still hasn’t stopped, take a look below:

 

Everyone is a journalist?

This weeks talk was based around the fact that the once passive consumers of legacy (old) media are becoming active producers of content between themselves, through the “newly” developed social sphere. These social spheres allow for more decentralised discussions which have a many to many circulation rather than one to many source.

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Citizen journalism is defined by the oxford dictionary as “the collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet”. Often the simplest form of citizens journalism is undetected by its producers, acts such as sharing posts, thoughts and “witness” footage of events on social medias like Facebook, Instagram and predominantly Twitter makes you an unofficial “journalist”. Contrary to these accidental citizen journalists are those who participate in websites such as “4chan” one of the more well known citizen journalist websites which aim to spread confidential information, with voluntary citizen journalists and their evidence so to say.

However, the real question is, can unauthorised and unedited public occurrences really be classified as journalism?

 

Fake News

 

The internet is a major enabler of talking trash, but perhaps some of this “information” is notable. There has been so much more opportunity for people to speak their mind and rather than be told, they are telling, listening and reciprocating, differing opinions and views, with the help of these symbols (all gathered from my personal social networks):

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Now that the general public has power to speak their mind on issues, there’s the potential for the “real news” to be outed on their lies. Rather than a “one to many approach” as in  most legacy media, a “many to many” approach on social networks allows for communication between millions of sources providing validation from all over the world creating power in numbers, which for large media corporations is highly intimidating.

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Anonymous Facebook Page

The first screen clipping of a user run Facebook page with over 7 million likes, informs users of news, not mentioned on mainstream media, compared with CNN one of the biggest culprits of producing so called “fake news” which focuses on one sided views.

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CNN News 

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Who owns what we view?

Topic of this week: Who is it that runs the media we intake on a daily basis? Is there many players or just a single higher power? To be honest the “who owns the media” topic has never really been one of interest, perhaps relating to my age? So I have basically taken this weeks post as a kind of “research task”  to benefit my personal understanding, I will be focusing on my local media and who their stories are influenced by.

Starting with print media, the most personally familiar written media outlet in the Illawarra is the Illawarra Mercury. Originating as a newspaper the Illawarra Mercury now reaches approximately 70,000 residents daily, through their website, mobile app, Facebook and of course its original printed format. I have also come to find that it is owned by one of the two major players in newspaper media, this being Fairfax Media.  *As seen in the below Youtube clip, the media has a way of swaying its viewers to believe that THEY are the ones who control what they watch, however is the timeline of news updates on devices, in the clip above evidence which portrays almost “brainwashing” ideals of the media? Thats a thought?!*

 

During this weeks tutorial we uncovered a web of information directing us to levels of media ownership, looking something like this:

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Evident, is a large concentration of activity directed towards the Murdoch name, aka Rupert and his son Lachlan. However from what I could gather on this chart their influence didn’t necessarily affect the localised information I was receiving, but rather media players such as Kerry Stokes, Bruce Gordon and the Fairfax Media Limited were. Upon further investigation I found that Bruce Gordon, owner of the WIN Television Network, a network founded in Wollongong had actually “gained control” of the network from Rupert Murdoch. This led me to wonder, did the “2 out of 3” law have anything to do with Rupert Murdoch’s withdrawal from our network and will the possible abolishment of this law lead to regained control of our media by the Murdoch name?

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I believe, if there is a change to this law there is a risk of bias opinion on all forms of media, especially if this power is in the hands of Rupert Murdoch, who is well known for “abusing his media power” and incorporating personal political opinion. Will the following stats need adjusting?

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The most confusing concept

This weeks “confusing” lecture was in essence a bunch  of the new age of craft (digital craft) and since we have been “crafted” to overthink, we did just that, overthought the meaning the content, not taking into account that the medium is the message?   The drastic innovation of craft is one of flexible nature, virtually we can be, do or make anything we desire and often very unconsciously (hint:our major project/DA), we are all crafting online?!

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The process has everything to do with why it is considered a craft. An example of this would be Hatsune Miku, she is the result (or rather an ongoing digital craft process). Hatsune Miku herself started as a sketch, this is previously where the craft was done. The process of creating a digital craft e.g. Hatsune Miku, incorporates prototyping by not only one original creator but all habitants of cyberspace. Digital crafts make for infinite processes, they require experimentation and the introduction new forms of art (Gitch Art), anything you create you craft.Continuous crafting calls for communication of a message but more is gained from the process then the result, that is why the internet and digital craft is infinite. I think???

My VERY basic attempt at glitch art:

Interpretation and Perspective

You know that feeling when you see an image and for a second you see one thing and then after a double take, you acquire a completely different perspective and it takes on this whole new meaning? Well this my friends is a complex image. These complex images are constructed with a combination of semiotics, interpretations, and an ideology. All very elaborate terms, but when broken down and applied reveal how their relationship can have an affect our perspective compared to others who see the same image.

Take this image for example:

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The obvious first impression or signifier component of semiotics in this image, would be supposedly a woman standing or hiding behind a black book. Upon further inspection or thought the signified component or connotation is developed.

For instance my connotation on this image is as follows, women in particular those from Middle Eastern backgrounds (gathered by her dark eyes and skin tone) hold masses of knowledge (symbolised by the book) but are perhaps restricted from expressing or contributing this by religious ideals. The fact that the book is black and covers her face up to her eyes can also be a symbol for a burqa, further emphasising the suspicion that the subject is of a middle eastern ethnicity. Also noted is the fact that like black masking tape, the book/burqa is acting as a physical barrier for her expression. However, another individuals semiotics may lead to varied connotations influenced by ideology, in their opinion the person may not be of middle eastern appearance or even a woman for that matter, their idea may have a larger focus on either one component or the other rather than a combination. The addition of minute details such as the word “UNICEF” in the bottom corner may highly sway their perspective also . My connotation  also has an overshadowing of negativity, mainly influenced by the dark colours in the extract, whereas there is a possibility that someone can shed a positive light on the same extract. The varying perspectives on components of the image are those which contribute to the complexity of the image.

Upon further research into this extract and the creator, I have gathered that the image was a UNICEF campaign which had the slogan “more education for girls in islamic countries”. I feel that the reason the creator presented this slogan in such fine print is to initially give the audience a chance to establish their own connotation and really consider all aspects of the image to deliver his eventual message.

Isn’t it intriguing how the mind can have such varied interpretations of the same image, while still communicating a meaningful message?

 

Media, Medium, Message

Marshall McLuhan interpretation of the phrase “the medium is the message” states that, “it is the medium itself that shaped and controlled the scale and form of human association”. Basically, the communication of the medium, is achieved when the message is put aside and the medium is acknowledged,  a more informative and all encompassing context is revealed. Interestingly, McLuhan had accidentally on purpose named his book “The Medium is in the Massage“, the title of the book has informative characteristics even without the contents inside, readers question McLuhans reasoning and is there something more he is attempting to portray?

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Upon further thought the connection between  a message and the way in which it is presented became clear and more localised. From the wise words of our lecturer himself, “the medium frames your perspective”, in an example he mentioned the way a lecture hall design has an impact on the way students engage and learn. Mediums are also seen as “any extension of ourselves” in a way messages are being presented to us, and by us continually. Something as simple as your clothing, e.g. graphic t-shirts have a written message but communicate more about our person. So basically anything is a  medium and we are constantly unconsciously intaking information without a message.

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