BCM111

Who Counts in Global Media (News Values)

When we think about news we often miss the most important questions of “what is news” and “what makes news? In the modern day, news is rapidly changing and this is mostly due to the global increase internet accessibility. Michael Schudson said that “everything we thought we once knew about journalism needs to be rethought in the Digital Age“ (Schudson, 2011). What flows through the media ranges from celebrities, to politics, events and even sport which accumulate what is considered a news story, although due to the media constantly wanting the audiences views we see them create ‘news values’ being the “implicit principles underlying the assessment of newsworthiness” (Chandler and Munday, 2011) and the way these selections occur within media before reaching viewers, based on what they believe viewers will be more interested in.

The news features include:

  • Being transient – the way news importance coincides with history
  • Pseudo-events – events arranged for convenience of mass media
  • Narrativisation – when stories are shaped into narrative form
  • Visual Imperatives – stories with “strong” pictures

The news values include:

  • Cultural Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Rarity
  • Continuity
  • Elite References
  • Negativity
  • Composition
  • Personalisation

With people now using the web to voice their opinions and knowledge, a social-media driven protest erupted across the Arab world in 2011 with a series of anti-government protests that occurred throughout the Middle East. The medias coverage in Australia being transient failed to report on the entirety of the event, yet rather reporting on smaller events in which Marshall states that journalists “need to follow up, they can’t just cover the big moments because this is a story of huge historical importance that will reverberate for years afterwards” (Lee-Wright 2012).

I believe that social media not only played a large part in the protests that occurred in the Arab Spring, but also influences the way generations today perceive and retrieve information on current and recent news issues. Rahmouni backs this up in certain aspects by stating the way “people are migrating to twitter feeds and other news aggregators that supply the news they want”(Lee-Wright 2012) whereas when interacting with either broadcasters or the press consumers do not get a choice.

References:
Chandler, Daniel, and Rod Munday. “news values.” In A Dictionary of Media and Communication. : Oxford University Press, 2011. http://www.oxfordreference.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/view/10.1093/acref/9780199568758.001.0001/acref-9780199568758-e-1866.
Khorana, S. Who Counts in Global Media? News Values. Lecture from ‘International Media and Communication’ at the University of Wollongong. 24th September 2014.
Lee-Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London, pp. 1-19.
Schudson, Michael (2011). The Sociology of News (2nd edition). p. 205.ISBN 0393912876.

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Television in Translation (Drama Focus)

Now we may ask how is it that drama is translated globally through the medium of television? Using the example of Sherlock Holmes we are able to view the many adaptations that have been created for it to appeal to different cultural audiences. 
Sherlock Holmes BBC Vs Elementary

The character of Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the novel A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. In the novel not much is revealed about Holmes life before he meets Watson, and he’s sort of a mystery himself until a few chapters in when we discover he is a detective. “The majority of the narratives occur from Holmes’ companion and assistant John Watson’s perspective” (Frew, 2014)

Sherlock was first aired in September 2010 and was created by Stephen Moffat and Marl Gatiss. It is set in contemporary Britain where all elements of the original story are maintained and original narratives are interpreted as much as possible. The show is set up as a mystery that can never quite be satisfactorily explained (Barra, 2012). Within the duration of the show the most important relationship in Sherlock’s life is the friendship he shares with Watson deemed as a “very deep, abiding and non-sexualised relationship” (Frew, 2014). Englishness is also apparent within the series adding to the show’s plausibility in regards to its older more British style.

Elementary is an American adaptation of Sherlock Holmes set in New York which first aired in September 2012 and was created by Johnny Lee Miller. Within the adaptation Holmes is portrayed as a recovering addict alongside his sober companion Dr Joan Watson, with the show set up to anticipate that the viewer can determine the solution to the mystery. It is comprised of both the well educated eccentric and Shakespearian classical English.

“Both texts reflect the culture from which they emanate” (Frew, 2014) we can see this through the adaptation of Doyles original text, the use of ‘Englishness’ reflecting the culture it originated from. I believe that most translations of television series will never be extremely accurate, and will change forms and elements in order to be understood for their specified culture.

References:
Barra, A. (2012). ‘Elementary’ vs. ‘Sherlock’: Why There’s Room for More Than One Holmes. [online] The Daily Beast. Available at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/29/elementary-vs-sherlock-why-there-s-room-for-more-than-one-holmes.html [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].
Frew, C. 2014, ‘Television in Translation: Drama Focus’, Lecture Week 8, BCM 111: International Media and Communications, UOW, 16/9/14

Television in Translation

Barriers which enable the translation of television need to be adapted or recreated to become engaging to a specific culture. There are a couple of ways of doing this: owners can sell the format and/or script for a TV show, so buyers can recreate a similarly styled show appropriated to appeal to a different culture or owners can export the entire show, unaltered.

As an example which I’m sure majority of students my age would be familiar with would be the series Kath and Kim but if you haven’t seen it, it’s a comedy series first broadcasted on Australia television in 2002 starring Gina Riley and Jane Turner. In 2008 the successful Australian comedy Kath and Kim was remade in the US starring Selma Blair and Molly Shannon although let’s face it the reaction failed, after all it was probably due to the fact that the original irony and satire conveyed throughout the series about the lifestyle of the Australian lower-middle class did not translate to the American lifestyle.

When adapting globalisation of television texts we must remember the cross-cultural differences such as the way “American and Australian humour demonstrates divergent interpretations of meaning and context” (Webb, 2014). Australians use niche and specific humour in the series through a daily situation of a dysfunctional relationship between a daughter and her suburban mother often derived from local referencing, costuming and mispronunciations we see “people making fun of themselves, and in America that does not work.” (AAP, 2008).

Although comparison between both the American and Australian versions reveal the mirroring of the plot structure leaves us at the underlying question of what elements of the show were successfully translated and what other elements weren’t? An interesting concept that lies within the series would be the character of Kim who in the Australian version “imagines herself as a horn-bag” (Turnbull, 2008, pp.159) wearing clothes revealing her ‘muffin top’ and the cultural humour of our language within Australian society using slang phrases and quotes such as “crack open the Tia Maria” and “manbags” (men’s satchels.
We can then but this in comparison to the American series where Kim is “slim, attractive and appealing” (AAP, 2008) where the storyline is more serious as the translation of satire is lost in regards to levels of rudeness rather than humour.

As I have grown up in Australia alongside my family, together we are able to laugh as we watched the series, interpreting the way it typically reflects the Australian lifestyle and our national identity. I found it interesting to explore the way texts lose meaning through translation and cross-culturally it is evident that local references and humour may not as easily be conveyed.

References:

ABC News, (2008). Kath And Kim ‘lost in translation’. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-11-13/kath-and-kim-lost-in-translation/204064 [Accessed 11 September 2014].
Turnbull, S (2004) ‘Look at Moiye, Kimmie, look at moiye’: Kath and Kim and the Australian comedy of taste’. Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 113, pp. 98 – 109
Webb, M. (2014). Television, Humour and Transnational Audiences | The Artifice. [online] The-artifice.com. Available at: http://the-artifice.com/television-humour-and-transnational-audiences/ [Accessed 11 September 2014].

Television and the Emergence of New ‘Media Capitals’

The concept of media capitals being “where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible”, commonly portrays cities like Hong Kong where dependence on historical, cultural and institutional relation “is an ongoing matter of negotiation, contention, and even competition” (Curtin, 2003). When discussing this term I immediately think in regards to America following the belief that media is a one way flow, due to the constant influx of shows such as Friends, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. With the media capital of the world traditionally Hollywood there are now many emerging ‘media capitals’ on the rise such as China and India, and who knows maybe one day they will overtake Hollywood.

Although my opinion on the matter has changed as I have further researched into the concept of  ‘media capitals’. I discovered the way in which Hong Kong has emerged as a new media capital due to Western popular culture slowly influencing traditional Chinese culture although Curtin states “it’s not really either” (Curtin 2003). Due to these Western influences Hong Kong’s television programs have then began emerging with the increase in advertisements, crime dramas, reality and Cantopop. With broadcast television arising in Hong Kong in 1967 by reflecting on cultural institutions and creative talent originally focusing on a local market before increasing to international. The first wireless television station to air in Hong Kong was Television Broadcasts Limited commonly known as TVB. This evolvement allows the mediated relations between the East and West to become developed due to the ever changing social dynamics and contribute to aspects of globalisation and hybridisation which are generated, creating a core allowing modern day media to interact.

Below is a Hong Kong Cantopop music video which we are able to determine the western influences, and the similarities and differences which occur cross-culturally. Cantopop originated in Western countries on radio and was widely accepted by Chinese people, but it was when it became connected to television that it mediated a complex situation between west or east, creating the hybridity and internationalism associated with it.

Hong Kong is now viewed in terms of a ‘new media capital’ in relation to its talent and resources, which created the stereotypical dominance of westernised Hollywood to be pushed aside. But when we think about all of this the other question forms, and with Hong Kong having limitations of the lack in financial support will they be able to compete with America and Hollywood?

References:
Curtin, M 2003, ‘Media Capital : Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’,International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, pp. 202–228.
Khorana, S 2014, ‘Television and the emergence of new media capitals’, powerpoint slides, BCMIII, University of Wollongong, viewed 19 September 2014.

Global Film (Towards Crossovers)

Crossover cinema plays an important role in the media that surrounds us today. By crossover cinema, it is meant an “emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualization and production” (Khorana 2014, p.2).” In terms of globalisation it refers to the cultural mix occurring in the worlds film industry that may be seen through a similar storyline, or different version of the film perhaps in a different language. Khorana states the way that crossover film ‘does not assume a Western audience at the outset but rather is forged from multiple cultural affiliations and eventually appeals to a range of viewing communities among whom the Western audience is only one possibility (Khorana 2013, p.6).

Some films which are recognised within Western society and are defined as crossover films include Bend it like Beckham and Slumdog Millionaire in which the inspiration of India has been reflected upon within Western culture and Japanese Horror inspired films such as The GrudgeAladdin and Mulan.

Using the disney film of Mulan as an example, we are able to see where the concepts of cultural adaptation and restoration, using globalisation and hybridisation to explore the encounters between American and Chinese cultures. In particularly the article by Xu and Tian highlights the way Mulan was based off the Chinese legend Hua Mulan and uses cultural legends to decipher this alongside the use of both gender and racial ideologies. It reflects on Higbee and Lim’s ideas in the shift towards a interconnected, multicultural and polycentric world through both the Eastern (view of collectivism) and Western (individualist) cultural clash which occurs within Mulan’s life. “Misinterpretation of this legend was inevitable when a company as big as Disney is producing films about foreign legends in order to attempt to reach a larger audience, nationally and internationally, that it produces as many films as possible to create a bigger profit” (Ward, 2002, p.96). It needed to respect Chinese culture whilst adapt to the Westernised culture.

Mulan Trailer

Hua Mulan Trailer

The modifications and remakes of crossover cinema are applied to create a better affiliation for Westernised cultures allowing worldwide views and achieving the understanding of the similarities and differences which may occur within perceptions of different cultures. Although if not the crossover is unsuccessful stereotypes and exploitation may occur creating offensive content towards a specific culture. The use of Mulan and the recognition of Hua Mulan as the basis of the film has influenced my understanding on the topic and has impacted upon the way I see crossover cinema on a global scale, through films that I may not have realised the translation within before.

References:
Khorana, S (2014) “Crossover Cinema: A Genealogical and Conceptual Overview,” University of Wollongong, viewed 27 September 2014, <http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2020&context=lhapapers>
Mingwu Xu & Chuanmao Tian (2013) Cultural deformations and reformulations: a case study of Disney’s Mulan in English and Chinese, Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27:2, 182-210.
Unknown, How Transnational Is Disney?, (2014). Multiculturalism. [online] Available at: http://673771.weebly.com/multiculturalism.html [Accessed 28 August 2014].

Global Film Beyond Hollywood

Bollywood and Nollywood On The Rise Above Hollywood?

Through globalisation the control of film industries has shifted from Western control towards more Eastern. We can see this grow through the film industries of Bollywood, Hollywood and Nollywood in which some aspects of these you may or may not be familiar with.

The creation of ‘Chindia’ (high level corporation between India and China) exploits Bollywood to promote India’s economic and political interests abroad. ‘Bollywood’ is the Hindi-language based Indian film industry which is now the second biggest film industry after Hollywood. It is comprised of many aspects of colour, dancing and signing with most films produced in Mumba. And with Nigera’s population living on less then a dollar a day would you believe they followed with the third-largest film industry in the world? Well it’s known as Nollywood as it’s comprised of mainly films relating to family, love and honour, AIDS, prostitution and oil, and about ghosts and cannibals which was inaugurated in Lagos. Nigeria is well-known for corruption, internet fraud, prostitution and oil but who knew that such country could be known for its film culture? Without even realising research has proved to me the extreme conditions in which Nollywood flims are produced with such low budgets and no government subsidies. Nollywood uses the approach of making the entertainment of its viewership as the primary focus.

With cultural hybridity (the crossing over or mixing together of two cultures), playing an important role in both film industries mixing cultures such as Indian and Westernised (Australia/America). We see this in Bollywood where the films are spoken in Hindi but elements of western culture such as clothing, drinking and rebelling are incorporated, and we reflect on Bollywood in the Hollywood industry as concepts such as traditional singing, dancing and religion are in the western film.

The example in which K.Karen and D.J. Schaefer used in the context of ‘Avatar’ in which Cameron’s mixed native-american themes with ancient Hindu concepts. Avatar borrowed India mythology in several aspects such as the blue skin that represents the colour that was traditionally used for depicting the religious avatars Rama and Krishna, the mimicking of old-Indian political traditions and foreign invaders and the main concept of Avatar’s thematic motifs being ‘seen as understanding’, similar to the central Hindu concept of ‘darshan’.

With inflicting consumption of film worldwide and the concept of globalisation, we are able to determine the influence of foreign films and the hybridisation of Bollywood and Nollywood in the western world. Through the readings and research I believe Hollywood will still play an important role in film today, but Bollywood and Nollywood will contribute to increasing the quality and structure of their films within the industry.

References: 
Huiqun, L. (2010). ‘Opportunities and challenges of globalization for the Chinese film industry’.Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 323-328.
Karen, K , Schaefer, D.J, (2010), ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of Popular Indian Cinema in Global Film Flows’, Global Media and Communications 6:309
Nigeria’s Silver Screen: Nollywood’s Film Industry Second only to Bollywood in Scale – SPIEGEL ONLINE. 2014. Nigeria’s Silver Screen: Nollywood’s Film Industry Second only to Bollywood in Scale – SPIEGEL ONLINE. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nigeria-s-silver-screen-nollywood-s-film-industry-second-only-to-bollywood-in-scale-a-690344.html. [Accessed 23 August 2014].
Okome, O 2007, ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, audience and the Sites of Consumption’ pp 1-3

International Education

“Education… is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Did you know the hardships in which international students face? The concerns and difficulties that are played upon them? I’m sure most of us who aren’t international students struggled in one way or another as we began our lives at university and because of just that alone, could you imagine what it feels like to be an international student?

With international students having high levels of motivation and determination to strive to do their best, they are faced with cultural competence and many difficulties such as language barriers, safety, security, exploitation in housing and employment, transport concession, visa and migration. Not only these but we also need to take into account their low-self esteem due to difficulties socialising with other students, homesickness and anxieties which students of a research program stated “that they felt the most anxious about listening and speaking in English.”

They struggle to maintain identity and characteristics from their home culture through the concept of acculturation assuming their host country is superior causing a struggle to maintain traditional aspects and beliefs from their ‘home’ country. International students also found ‘Australians’ hard to understand due to their excessive use of ‘slang’ (shortened words) such as university which is often referred to as ‘uni’ leading to confusion due to their use of formal English.

Many universities and educational institutes are striving to achieve a sufficient living environment for international students. Although as stated by Catherine Gomes who undertook research said that “international students who have local friends note that they experience less culture shock, feel less homesick and are generally more well-adjusted than those who have few or no local friends” although due to international students feeling like local students avoid interaction and communication with them, finding it hard to talk between each other until ‘the ice is broken,’ initiatives and ideas are now being proposed to try an establish a suitable and more comfortable environment. An example of this would be the idea of needing “to create inclusive orientation programs that foster interaction between local and international students.” The attempt to turn this into a positive experience now evolves.

References:
Kell, P and Vogl, G (2007) ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’ Everyday Multiculturalism Conference Proceedings, Macquarie University, 28-29 September 2006.
Khorana, S 2014, ‘Internationalising education – cultural competence and cosmopolitanism’ lecture notes distributed in International Media and Communications 111 at the University of Wollongong on the 13th of August, 2014.
Marginson, S (2012) ‘International education as self-formation: Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural experience’, Lecture delivered at the University of Wollongong, 21 February 2012.

The International Community

Globalisation: A friend or a foe? 

Globalisation is defined by O’Shaughnessy and Stadler as “an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterized by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity and interconnectedness and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.”

The world’s interactive system has recently exploded. From smoke signals and morse code, to the typewriter and the telegraph through to the mediums we have today such as telephones, radios, cable television, the internet and mobile phone, where’s the future going to lead us to? With educational systems constantly changing, more efficient means of travel evolving, with trade, economical and political issues a constant pressure amongst our daily lives we are forced into the ‘global village’ resulting in societies becoming threatened as they lose their senses of culture and identity therefore leading to a more homogenised culture. With barriers effecting the interconnectedness across the globe and the ways we pursue to overcome these, we therefore positioned to consider both the utopian and dystopian views that many vary across both societies and individuals.

‘The Global Village’ is a utopian view which refers to ‘imagined communities’ it reflects the positive aspect of globalisation and disregards the concepts of inequality and exploitation and rather perceives the nation as a “deep, horizontal comradeship.” For example growing up I have had access to many forms of online social media and forums which depict this instantaneous communication and as June Johnston states “The idea of the world’s cultures drawn together in a global village raises questions about equal representation, reciprocal sharing, enriched diversity, and mutual understanding”.

On the other hand the dystopian view refers to the ‘Media Saturation’ which basically states the way in which the media is constantly bombarded us information and access to the global community whether it be via television, magazine, radio or even advertisements. It reflects the way interpersonal communication is lost, and there is no longer that sense of emotion portrayed. Castell conceptualises this in terms of a ‘network society’.

Whether we can see it or not we are constantly surrounded by aspects of globalisation which influence our lives on a daily basis the short youtube film above displays aspects of this in which come into contact with and may not realise the impact they have on globalisation. With each individual having a different opinion on whether it’s a political, economical, social or even a corporate dictatorship there is no real way of escaping the constant evolution of technology across the globe today. This brings each society together almost instantaneously, although it may not always be accurate in terms of emotions, we are all drawn together through contexts such as the media or internet which idealise the “global village.”

References:
DIXON, V. K. 2009. Understanding the Implications of a Global Village. Student Pulse[Online], 1. Available: http://www.studentpulse.com/a?id=61
Khorana, S 2014, ‘BCM111: International Media and Communication’, powerpoint slides, BCM111, University of Wollongong, delivered 6 July 2014.
O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471