I’ll have journalism infused with pop culture please….

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Dan Berkowitz poses the question, regarding pop culture and journalism, “How do these two media forms infuse each other?”. While considering my answer I realised there may not be one yet.

New technology has been giving audiences and professionals interactive ways of getting information out there and as a result is reshaping both journalism and pop culture spheres. While they both expand and change individually they are also crossing over and in turn assisting the expansion of the other. Many years ago it would have been easy to define journalism as professionally published  writing, produced by a trained and experienced individual, but how accurate is this definition today?

 Blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, nowadays journalism can be as short as a 42 character post or a citizens photograph. If this is the case the previous description  of journalism is inadequate but redefining the age old industry proves difficult. There is a constant debate over what characteristics make writing journalism and it often comes down to a matter of opinion. What is evident though is the power audiences have gained in the journalism arena since transitioning from a passive to an active position . The London Bombings of 2005 was mostly documented by commuters who were on their way to work and news networks and newspapers relied on these first hand experiences for their professional reports. 

 We can see that pop culture is directly affecting journalism and the ways in which it is now perceived and accepted by the general public. Pop culture reflects the masses, and social networking allows people with similar interests to connect and  select what they want to see, read and listen to. It has in turn allowed journalism to expand due to the niche markets the internet allows us to access and has produced a new area of pop culture.

As they infuse each other in todays society would pop culture and journalism suffer without the other? 


♦Berkowitz, D, 2009, ‘Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape’, Journalism, 10:290, last accessed 25/03/14, http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/10/3/290.full.pdf

♦Till, F, 205, ‘Citizen journalists’ move to centre stage after London bombings’, The National Business Review’, last accessed 25/03/14, http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/citizen-journalists-move-centre-stage-after-london-bombings


Time for some reflection…

It has been a very interesting experience writing a blog on media audiences due to the fact that I myself am part of the audience. The concepts of public and private space and the role that media plays in those arenas leads to constant questioning and evaluating of the society we live in. Addressing topics such as cinema, television, and our reliance on media allows us to ask the questions we didn’t even realise we had and many times I realised that I fit quite easily into the typical outline of a generation Y media user.

I set out to write my blog in a format that would attract people of the same generation and who think very similarly about media such as the use of Facebook or the culture of fandom. My main aim was to make my audience question these concepts just as I was and to take time to consider why we participate as an audience the way that we do.

In terms of my readership it took me a while to link my blog with other social media in an effective way. From the beginning I opted to use Twitter to tweet when I had written a new blog post encouraging followers to have a read. I found this method to not have the success I had hoped and decided to use Facebook instead. Although I was late to use this platform after a single status asking my Facebook friends to check out my blog on media audiences my statistics in comparison to my previous ones sky rocketed! Instead of having the occasional one or two views I received 22 and also received feedback from people that enjoyed the read. In future I will make sure to use Facebook as a way to capture the attention of the audience I am trying to reach and use their feedback in my posts.

Connecting with other student’s blogs allowed me to broaden my own ideas and become part of their audiences as well. The topic of media audiences highlights how broad the media world is and how many interpretations can be drawn. The blogosphere is an example of how audiences are using media in the digital age that we live and how active we really are. The opinions and views that I started with have dramatically changed and expanded through the course of this topic and it has encouraged me to stay online and get more involved. We all have a voice and now is the perfect time to let your ideas and opinions be heard. This can also however have negative effects and there is definitely a balancing act that occurs in the world of social media.

On reflection I feel that my writing and the way I processed information to draw conclusions developed positively and I learned how to reach the audience I wanted. Media audiences will continue evolving and I might just stay online to question it as it happens!

My name is Lauren and I’m a phonaholic

Me and my friends using mobiles for all sorts or reasons. antisocial or social??

Me and my friends using mobiles for all sorts or reasons. antisocial or social??

Let me start by asking you one simple question…..Where is your mobile phone right now? I think its pretty fair to assume that the majority of you don’t even have to look away form you screens as your phone is probably so close you can see it through your peripheral vision! The mobile phone is not simply a technological device that we have integrated into our everyday lives but for a lot of us it IS our life or at least the digital version of it.

My mobile is oh so much more than just a phone! It is:
My phone
My music player
My bank
My camera
A game console
My Inbox
My social life-Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsap, Viber, Snapchat
My alarm clock
My diary
and even my guitar tuner

Simply put I would be lost without it and I don’t think I’m the only one! So how are audiences using their phones in public spaces? The worlds connectivity has been dramatically enhanced by these devices and as a result society in general has adopted a much more shared and open dynamic.

Citizen journalism is one action brought on by mobile devices that interests me for several reasons. It shows a shift in power, as audiences become active and crucial participants in events and disasters. The London Bombings of 2005 were seen to highlight this change as James Owen commented at the time that the ‘media commentators say the London bombings mark a “tipping point” in the news-gathering process’. All photos that day came from everyday commuters not the professionals. Citizen journalism also broke the news of Chinese earthquake Sichuan in 2008 when it was first reported on micro blogging site Twitter. Technology blogger Robert Scoble commented ‘I reported the quake about an hour before CNN or the major press started talking about it’. A mobile phone allows events to be recorded, documented and shared within seconds of them occurring and police now rely on the publics personal pictures and videos to solve or find answers to events such as the recent Boston Bombings.

But there is always a downside and on debate.org several people commented agreeing that we are too reliant on our mobile phones. CamelCavalry says ‘we’re losing skills’, dinglepuss2 comments ‘nobody (including myself) knows how to do anything on their own anymore’ and Anonymous ‘thinks we are losing contact with other humans’.

So what do you guys think? Do the benefits such as citizen journalism weigh out the negatives? Or are we simply too reliant on our beloved mobile phones?



Hodge, K, 2010, ‘10 news stories that broke on Twitter first’, Techradar, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.techradar.com/au/news/world-of-tech/internet/10-news-stories-that-broke-on-twitter-first-719532

 Moore, M, 2008, ‘China earthquake brings out citizen journalists’, The Telegraph, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/1950212/China-earthquake-brings-out-citizen-journalists.html

Owen, J, 2005, ‘London Bombing Pictures mark New Role for Camera Phones’, National Geographic, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2005/07/0711_050711_londoncell.html

Debate.org, 2013, ‘Are we too reliant on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets?’, Debate.org, last accessed 27/09/2013, http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-we-too-reliant-on-mobile-devices-such-as-smartphones-and-tablets


Screen Time!

In a previous blog ‘Past VISION of the TELE’ I spoke about the differences in TV viewing culture between my childhood and my Dad’s. The dynamics of how television is watched and perceived in the household has changed constantly over the years. However audience’s attitudes towards television have not just changed in the private space of the home but it has expanded to our public spaces as television and digital screens have become prevalent in our everyday lives.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.09.54 AMLeif Dahlberg writes a compelling piece titled  ‘Digital screens in public space. Advertising, actors, and the remaking of place’ written in the style of a travelogue of his time in Beijing and Shanghai. He observed and documented every time he encountered digital screens and what their purpose and reach was in terms of audiences. From the airport, to the taxi’s, streets, railway stations and buildings Dahlberg seemed to always be near some form of digital screen however in many cases he observed that they received little attention from passers.

If his observations are an accurate reflection of mass audiences response to digital screens in the public space it would appear that they are pointless. However I think we consume more than we are aware of as humans and therefore even though we may feel as though we are not engaging with the content on public screens it is likely that on some level we are.

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Angelan states that ‘large public screens have rapidly become a symbol of contemporary urban development projects across the world’. This comes from the article Public Screens and the Transformation of Public Space, which delves into the introduction and evolution of digital screens in public. ‘Historically, the first generation of large public screens in sites such as Times Square, Manhattan and Shibuya, Tokyo had a predominantly commercial orientation’ but Angelan goes on to highlight the new screens emerging and how ‘this capacity for the public to utilize new media to alter the ambiance of large-scale urban space is historically distinctive’. A question that I found particularly compelling asked ‘can activities such as public space broadcasting or public space media art contribute to new forms of ‘public intimacy?’

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In my opinion we are constantly developing immunity to the constant injection of media content into our everyday lives and therefore we may become more comfortable with engaging and consuming content on digital screens in public spaces. While I find the idea of digital screens on the back of public bathroom doors slightly unsettling we really have no idea where this media to audience relationship is going to end up.

Dahlberg, L, 2009, ‘Digital screens in public space. Advertising, actors, and the remaking of place’, last accessed 19/09/2013, http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6/papers/Dahlberg.pdf

Angelan, 2008, Public Screens and the Transformation of Public Space-Scott McQuire, Nikos Papastergiadis & Sean Cubitt, Refractory, last accessed 20/09/2013, http://refractory.unimelb.edu.au/2008/03/06/public-screens-and-the-transformation-of-public-space/

Is media content the new rum?

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Let’s raise our flags, polish our wooden legs, fix our eye patches and sail the seas of media content, you may be unaware but chances are there is some form of treasure on your laptop, smartphone or iPod, is yours the latest Romcom or Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball?

Most of you reading will be confident in saying that you would never steal a car, or a handbag, yet most of us are stealing on a daily basis. Online and media piracy for many people is simply daily practice as we sit in the comfort of our own homes with our own media devices. At no point does the process feel illegal but Ahoy me hearties we are all law breaking Scoundrels.

Michael Bodey’s article ‘Online piracy appeals most to those who are better educated‘ focuses on recent research regarding the demographics of Piracy in Australia, which found the richer more intellectual Australians are the biggest pirates of them all! The results found 30% of ‘pirates’ earn over $100,000 a year, so if piracy isn’t about money is it about convenience?

Ramon Lobato broke piracy into ‘six faces’ including piracy as free speech and piracy as resistance. It makes you stop and think about your reasons for piracy…convenience or money? Thorin Klosowski wrote on Life Hacker about his personal experience with piracy and why he gave it up. He discussed the complexity that initially existed when media content first became available for download online. Companies such as Apple took a long time to make online media purchasing quick, easy and simple and in the meantime piracy became common practice. With inline purchasing now easy why is piracy still so popular…is it simply now just a bad habit?

But the issue is much broader than just downloading a movie; it extends into the creative areas of remixing and reproducing content. The blog Everything is a Remix, explores the extent to which creative content is reused, remixed and resold. Imagine if Hollywood didn’t use books, comics or existing movies when developing its films. No Batman, Notebook, Lord of the Rings or Disney…..what would our childhoods have been like? I personally think remixing old story lines or bringing stories to life is a creative practice to be celebrated as long as it recognises the original creator and identifies as an interpretation or remodel of existing material.

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There are fine, blurry lines when the word copyright is thrown into the creative arena but as long as we aren’t flat out selling someone else’s work and labeling it as our own we should embrace the remix and get creative. It’s hard to know whether piracy will ever be stopped and I don’t agree that it necessarily should be. Whatever the future may bring, it looks like piracy won’t be going anywhere anytime soon….

It’s a pirate’s life you see!


Bodey, M, 2013, ‘Online piracy appeals most to those who are better educated’, The Australian, last accessed 11/09/2013, ://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/digital/online-piracy-appeals-most-to-those-who-are-better-educated/story-fna03wxu-1226660999120#

Everything is a Remix, last accessed 11/09/2013, http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/

Klosowaki, T, ‘Why I stopped Pirating and Started Paying for Media’, Lifehacker, last accessed 11/09/2013,  http://lifehacker.com/5990525/why-i-stopped-pirating-and-started-paying-for-mediaThe

Lobato, R, 2008, ‘The six faces of piracy: global media distribution from below’ In R. C. Sickels (Ed.), The Business of Entertainment (Vol. 1): Movies (pp. 15-36), Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, last accessed 11/09/2013, http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/R/D91T82J25X5RAP6JVQ1FA72PCKMSA19G6YIPCN4XE5K7PES73U-01041?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=93134&local_base=GEN01&pds_handle=GUEST

What tickles your FANcy?

Staying up until midnight at the age of 12 so that I could be one of the first people in the world to own and read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince means that I have to put my hand up and say ‘I am a fan’. We all are even if we aren’t aware of it! However these days the lines between fan, stalker and obsession are sometimes blurred as social media and the Internet allows us to feel much closer to our idols than we actually are.

Lucy Bennett writes about the research she has done in relation to media fans and how this audience interacts with the content of their choosing. Lucy took a closer look at Lady Gaga’s fan base and explores the close relationship that artists can now have with fans through media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. These platforms allow fans to feel connected and important especially when they are given nicknames such as Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, Miley Cryus’ Smilers and Justin Bieber’s Beliebers.

With outlets such as Twitter, fan bases can feel personally connected and often get very protective, tweeting abusive comments to competitors or those who share a difference of opinion. So have some fan audiences become a tad extreme? There is loving something and then there is LOVING something and certain fan behavior can definitely be unhealthy such as the #CutForBeiber hoax that astonished and horrified plenty of people worldwide.

Lucy also refers to the evolving audience, as I mentioned in my post ‘Lighting the Way’ where you no longer need to be at a concert to be involved, as fans have created different types of audiences allowing them to engage how they like with the media they enjoy.

Just between us I’m a massive fan of home and away…. What are you a fan of?!

* Bennett, L, 2013, ‘Researching online fandom’, Project Muse, cinema journal vol.52, http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/journals/cinema_journal/v052/52.4.bennett.html

*Shepherd,T, 2013, “‘Cutting for Bieber’ becomes trend in wake of pop star’s alleged drug use”,News.com.au, last accessed 6/9/13, http://www.news.com.au/national-news/cutting-for-bieber-becomes-trend-in-wake-of-pop-stars-drug-use/story-fncynjr2-1226549411210#ixzz2eInmQ0Qi

Are audiences content?

Wherever media goes so do the critics and we are all culprits when it comes to voicing the negative effects media can have. We live in a world almost dependent on digital technology and media but there is no way that any of us are going to admit it…no media is the bad guy and every person is likely believe that media has no effect on them unlike the rest of society.

An article on Revision World explores the history of media effects research giving examples for both sides of the debate which ultimately come down to whether we perceive audiences as active or passive. Being a media student my view is that audiences in todays world are very much active and engage with nearly all forms of media across numerous platforms. However the article points out some interesting concerns about media usage and of course violence is the main given.

Moral panic has often arisen over fears that children who play too many first person shooter games will ultimately end up being violent and angry however it is extremely difficult to even attempt to measure the accuracy of such claims. I do agree that we are very much products of our environment however there are many people who can shoot people for 30 minutes a day on their xbox and never hurt a fly. The panic arises when violent teenagers are found to also play such games and a cause-effect relationship is assumed.

While the media effect debate goes on there is also the concern that audiences are changing due to media and that an anti-social generation is developing. This concern is greater among the older generation who remember what times used to be like and compare how they enjoyed films and television. It is hard for them to understand why teenagers these days are so obsessed with the internet and smart phones but these teenagers and a large majority of university students have been brought up in these media spaces and aren’t aware of the place media used to once have.

I think that for every pro there is usually a con and whether its a particular medium or usage of media that concerns you, you are probably an advocate for another. Media has changed audiences and the spaces in society but isn’t that evolution? what do you guys think?

Revision World, ‘The effect of media content on audiences and society’ last accessed 29/08/13, http://revisionworld.co.uk/a2-level-level-revision/sociology/mass-media-0/effect-media-content-audiences-and-society