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Alan Carroll Media

This is my blog. There are many like it but this one is mine.

Newsworthiness

 

Back when TV news consisted of a half-hour-long digest of the day’s events, media outlets were a much more discerning about what they reported on. In 1965, Galtung and Ruge developed a list of factors that influenced whether or not a story was published. These largely fall into three categories;

Impact: How big is the story and how out of the ordinary are the events? How sudden was the event and are there any negative effects?

Audience Identification: Does the event impact the viewer in any way? Has it happened to people from their own country? If not, has it happened to an elite power in the world or a well-known figure, such as a celebrity?

Pragmatics of Media Coverage: How quick are the media to report on the story? Does the story build on something that is already in the public consciousness? How does the story fit in with the rest of the broadcast? Does the story need to be replaced with something more relevant?

Today, in the modern, 24-hour news cycle, news broadcasters have an abundance of time to fill and struggle to keep viewers’ attention. This can be seen in the clip above. The reporter is clearly fed up with reporting on, what is essentially, nothing. However, his bosses have identified this story as something that the public wants to know about and so, he has to stay.

Owenspencer-thomas.com. (2017). News Values – Owen Spencer-Thomas. [online] Available at: http://www.owenspencer-thomas.com/journalism/newsvalues.

 

Paxman Interview

For this week’s class, we had to analyse the content of the above interview to determine whether or not there is any bias on the interviewer’s part.

Is the interviewer maintaining a stance of ‘formal neutrality’ or can we see some form of bias?

I think that, for the most part, Paxman maintains a stance of formal neutrality. His questions simply ask for Howard’s comment on what is already out there. The only place where I feel his true opinions come through is when he uses the phrase ‘wouldn’t a reasonable person conclude

How are the questions being answered by the interviewee(regarding language being used, is it conventional)?

At the start of the interview, I feel that he comes across as slightly defensive. Right away, he veers off from answering the question onto a statement that none of this came from his campaign. On the other hand, he also starts off very well in that he chooses his words very carefully and seems well-rehearsed but not necessarily to the point that he seems disingenuous. He is experienced in public speaking.

Once Paxman begins laying into him, though, Howard’s composure begins to slip. His tone of voice shifts to a more intense tone and he struggles to maintain control of the interview.

Has the interviewee answered the specific question that has been asked?

Howard does answer most of the questions put to him but, when Paxman lures him into the trap regarding making false statements, he begins to deflect the questions and when Paxman repeats the question about threatening to overrule Derek Lewis, he continually reframes the question to say what he was not entitled to do and not what he actually did.

What approach is the interviewee using, if any, to avoid providing an answer to a specific question?

Howard reframes the question to be about what he was or was not entitled to do and not about what he did do as Paxman was asking.

Is the interviewer allowing this to happen (violation) or are they pushing for an answer to a question?

Paxman repeats the question about sixteen times with Howard refusing to answer. However, by refusing to answer the question directly, he has answered. It becomes obvious to the viewer that Howard did indeed threaten to overrule Lewis.

Can we see the use of language within the interview being influenced by the perceived social context of the ‘target audience’?

This interview was originally broadcast on BBCs Newsnight programme. The target audience for this show is well educated and aware of the political landscape. The language used is clear and, to an extent, formal.

 

CA1 – Circuit of Culture

As part of my Media Discourse and Analysis module, I need to watch and discuss a piece of news and analyse it’s preferred meaning. To do this, I will use the ‘circuit of culture’ model of media analysis. This consists of five aspects; Representation, Identity, Production, Consumption and Regulation.

The piece I have chosen to analyse is BBC Newsnight’s report detailing the impact of tightening border controls across Europe in response to the Refugee Crisis.

Representation
The footage is narrated throughout The piece opens with footage of a crowd of refugees chanting in protest outside of a metal fence. The footage is shot from the other side of the fence giving the impression that these people are outsiders looking to get in.

Next, there is a clip featuring an interview with Andrew Bett, Director of the Refugee Study Centre in Oxford, where he describes how certain routes have been closed off to refugees.

Then there is a graphic comparing the numbers of migrants in 2015 (1,000,000) to the first ten months of 2016 (341,000). The map then focuses on the Greek/Balkan route which the narrator calls the ‘main route’ and states the number that has crossed this route since the route closed (200,000). The narrator then points out the other routes used using drawn on arrows on the map.

Next, we see crowded ships full of refugees, highlighting the sheer number of people this affects. We then cut to a video conference interview with Leonard Doyle of the International Organization for Migration, who describes the legal issues that the refugees can encounter, which include being exploited for cheap labour.

The last section of the report features criticisms of Europe’s response to the crisis, with 6,243 having been successfully relocated within Europe, falling far short of the promised 160.000 figure.

Identity
The report was produced by the BBC which is Britain’s state-funded broadcaster.

Production

The language used throughout the report serves to dissociate the viewer from the human impact of the crisis. What is immediately apparent is the BBCs use of the word ‘migrant’ to describe these people. The BBC has come under criticism for the use of this term instead of the term ‘refugee’, which is the preferred term in use by the UNHCR.

The footage used of ‘migrants’ seen behind police patrolled wire fences, creates a barrier between them and the viewer. The narrator makes a reference to the migrant issue being ‘successfully contained’. This phrasing brings to mind the kind of language used to describe the effects of a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, rather than when dealing with actual people.

The segment featuring the map and the routes used by refugees brings to mind a post-game analysis of a football match. I feel that this somehow trivialises the issue and perhaps the use of smoother graphics would be more appropriate.

The final segment featuring the criticisms of Europe’s response to the crisis could be seen as a pro-Brexit piece, painting Europe as a poorly-run organisation who doesn’t keep its promises.

Consumption
The video was uploaded to BBC Newsnight’s official Youtube channel on October 25th, 2016. Newsnight is the BBCs top current affairs programme and is broadcast every weeknight, typically at 10.30p.m.

Regulation
The BBC would be under the regulation of the national broadcasting standards agency, Ofcom and their own governing body, the BBC Trust.

Bibliography
BBC – Governance framework – BBC Trust. (2017). [online] Bbc.co.uk. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/governance_framework.html [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

BBC regulation. (2017). [online] Ofcom. Available at: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/ofcom-and-the-bbc [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Du Gay, P., Hall, S., Janes, L., Madsen, A.K., Mackay, H. and Negus, K., 2013. Doing cultural studies: The story of the Sony Walkman. Sage.

Refugees, U. (2017). UNHCR viewpoint: ‘Refugee’ or ‘migrant’ – Which is right?. [online] UNHCR. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/55df0e556.html [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Request BBC use the correct term Refugee Crisis instead of Migrant Crisis. (2017). [online] Change.org. Available at: https://www.change.org/p/request-bbc-use-the-correct-term-refugee-crisis-instead-of-migrant-crisis [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

What’s happening with the migrant crisis? – BBC Newsnight. (2017). [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuTMs23H-mo [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

What is discourse?

If I were to excuse myself from our conversation and turn to blow my nose into a handkerchief, odds are you probably won’t think twice about it. However, according to some sources, this would be considered the height of rudeness in Japan.

The reasons behind this difference in acceptance is down to the cultural discourse. Asia has a history of disease that can be spread through saliva and mucus (SARS, Bird flu, etc.) so keeping a handkerchief full of snot in your pocket is a very bad idea. In these countries, they always use disposable tissues. They also tend to wear face masks to prevent the spread of disease.

Within the context of media, discourse refers to any of the factors which effect how a product is created and developed. How a media outlet reports on an event depends on many different factors. If a report on a natural disaster mentions some political issue that the affected country was facing, we have to ask why that was mentioned. Is it relevant to the disaster what was going on in the country’s government, perhaps through some state funding certain precautions could have been taken. Or, is the outlet painting the country as a victim of an oppressive regime in need of outside help.

 

Japan Explained FASAQ. (2008). Why is it rude to blow your nose in public in Japan?. [online] Available at: https://japanexplained.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/why-is-it-rude-to-blow-your-nose-in-public-in-japan/.

Quora.com. (2017). What do the Japanese do when they have a runny nose? – Quora. [online] Available at: https://www.quora.com/What-do-the-Japanese-do-when-they-have-a-runny-nose [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Reality

According to Google, the definition of reality is “the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” This definition speaks to the topic of our class. How do we define reality? How do we know that what we see with our own eyes is what is really happening? Some scientists have even debated the notion that our entire universe is a computer simulation.

On a much smaller scale, the media is what stands between us and the rest of the world. In this hyper-connected world, our perception of the  As such, it is their duty to present the world as it is and not to

According to Boorstin (1963), how the media presents us with information can be categorised into three types of events.

Genuine events: These are events that would happen whether the media reported on them or not. For instance, traffic accidents and natural disasters are genuine events.

Media events: These are events that have been interpreted and re-presented to the audience in a way that incites a certain response in the viewer. For instance, natural disasters are genuine events but how the disaster is framed by news outlets are media events.

Pseudo events: These are events that have been orchestrated by the media for the purpose of promotion. For instance, press conferences are organised through media organisations with the intent to gain press coverage for an event or product.

Astronomy, S. (2016). Is the Universe a Simulation? Scientists Debate. [online] Space.com. Available at: http://www.space.com/32543-universe-a-simulation-asimov-debate.html.

Boorstin, D. (1963). The image, or, What happened to the American dream. 1st ed. Harmodsworth: Penguin.

Garber, M. (2016). How Americans Put Reality on Life Support. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/12/the-image-in-the-age-of-pseudo-reality/509135/.

Procrastination

Procrastination is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I believe it comes from a need for instant gratification rather than putting the work in to achieve something. I have a lot of assignments that I need to be working on (this blog included) but I find it difficult to focus on one thing for too long.

Procrastination is the bane of my existence. Interestingly, that phrase comes from the middle english word ‘bana’ meaning slayer. It is often used in conjunction with plant names, such as wolfsbane, which is a highly poisonous flower that has garnered a great deal of notoriety in mythology as a deterrent against werewolves. The concept of the werewolf in Western and Northern Europe is strongly influenced by the role of the wolf in Germanic paganism, the most well documented form of which is Norse mythology…

Sorry, I’m getting a little off topic. Where was I? Yes, procrastination. It can be very frustrating when I’m trying to get work done and my mind starts to wander. You could be researching aspects of online bullying and, two hours later, find yourself reading about the nutritional value of naan bread

I think procrastination is a human trait and not necessarily indicative of technology’s impact on us. Though it doesn’t help. If I didn’t have the internet, I’d probably get a lot more done. Then again, I also probably wouldn’t know that Julius Ceasar was once kidnapped by pirates.

Bitcoin

Digital payments aren’t something that is alien to a large percentage of the population. Credit and debit cards are being used more and more over cash. Even payments made electronically are becoming the norm. Services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet allow customers to pay using NFC by passing their phones over card machines.

It’s not that far a leap to a future where all currency is digital. I think the question is one of security. Or, at least, the perception of security. More and more news stories are cropping up about hackings and network security that serve to scare the public out of trusting technology.

I, Phone

cyborg

ˈsʌɪbɔːɡ/
noun
  1. a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.

Each of us has access to, literally, a world of information at our fingertips through the use of a piece of technology that, for a good percentage of us, is rarely off our person. We augment our use of this technology through wearable accessories, such as smart watches or bluetooth headsets. We are interconnected at a level that is unprecedented in human history. All thanks to technological enhancements.

We offload a lot of our minds to these devices, also. We no longer engage our minds to figure out the answers to questions when we can just Google it. We photograph everything and store it to be recalled later so that our memories remain accessible 24/7, saved on an external drive. We can contact practically anyone on the planet, instantaneously, by speaking their name out loud.

It could be considered that the dominance of mobile technologies throughout our everyday lives has brought us ever closer to a world where humans are no longer considered 100% organic.

Planning to develop, personally

I have spent a great deal of my life not knowing what I wanted to do. I left school and went straight into working in my father’s shop, selling carpets and furniture. I hated it! I hated every second of it, but, I didn’t know what else I could do.

I suppose the main thing holding me back was fear. Fear of failure. Fear of opening myself up to new experiences. Fear of judgement. Probably my biggest fear was that college would be just like school and I hated school too, so I never pursued it.

I first became interested in editing when I came across a movie retrospective video on youtube. The actual video is blocked for copyright reasons but here is another from the same user.

I really connected with the combination of music and visuals to create a certain mood. I decided to teach myself how to edit like that. I became obsessed with fan created music videos based on tv shows and eventually got around to creating some of my own.

I feel like this is a career I would like to enter and would thrive in.

Strengths

I have decent enough skills with editing software. They’re not perfect but, I am highly motivated to learn what I can about it.

Weaknesses

Time management. This is my main issue. With college work, it’s not so bad because I have solid deadlines to meet. For personal tasks, where I have no one watching over me, things tend to get out of control.

Opportunities

Completing this degree will give me an advantage in the industry. The reason I chose multimedia instead of film was to have a range of skills not just in film.

Threats

I tend to lack self-confidence. I can feel as though, pursuing creative endeavours are not the best use of my time and could be spent dong something more ‘productive’. I’m not entirely sure where this thought process comes from.

As for what comes next, right now, my next goal is to finish this college year with a high quality project to display at Fís. This is what’s occupying my mind at the moment.

Over the summer, I’m hoping to secure a job to replenish my funds and keep my mind active. In my down time, because I haven’t had much hands on experience with editing software this year, I’m going to create a few more videos that I have ideas for.

I am planning on returning for fourth year. Since the majority of the work involved will be theory based, I will be teaching myself how to use additional software packages that editors are expected to know, such as After Effects and Speedgrade.

Also, I’m going to put myself out there more. Not just professionally but socially. I have a tendency to seclude myself.

After fourth year, hopefully I’ll have made some connections within the industry that will help me secure a job.

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