Monday, 3 November 2014

Media: Analogue & Digital

Media 1.0
Celebrates key texts produced by media moguls and celebrated well-known critics. Vague recognition of internet and new digital media, as an 'add on' to the traditional media. A preference for conventional ideas where most people are treated as non-expert audience 'receivers', or, if they are part of the formal media media industries, as expert 'producers'.

Media 2.0
Interest in the massive 'long tail' of independent media projects such as those found on YouTube and many other websites, mobile devices, and other forms of DIY media. Recognition that internet and digital media have fundamentally changed the ways in which we engage with all media. Media now more democratic through people making and connecting. The Million Dollar Homepage represents the liberalness of the internet - its impossible to regulate and has created a generation of unlawfulness in the media.

Interpretation of M.I.A. - Born Free

  • The images of the men violently attacking people is somewhat shocking but it overall seems normal - there are constant media texts showing this violence which is possibly why it looks normal (the audience are desensitised to this).
  • Yet the image of a child being killed is quite horrific as it isn't normalised at all in media.
  • Furthermore verbal abuse and nudity is not shocking as well, due to more and more media texts showing this content in the past decades e.g. music videos, films etc.
  • The violent abuse shown throughout is quite normalised in media as this extreme conflict is shown through many media texts e.g. films, video games, the news etc.

Audience Theory

There are three different ways of consuming media texts...
  • Primary Media - Texts that demand close and concentrated attention from the audience e.g. films in the cinema.
  • Secondary Media - Texts that provide a background for an audience who are often doing something else at the same time and are distracted e.g. radio and some TV programmes.
  • Tertiary Media - Texts that are consumed by audiences who are almost unaware of their engagement with the media e.g. advertising or radio stations broadcasting in shops.
Market - Liberalism Perspective
Audience preference decides what media texts are produced - this is determined by audience research and pre-testing. It stresses the power of audience over media producers. This links into the Uses and Gratification Theory where audiences seek surveillance/information, integration & social interaction, personal identity and diversion.

Political - Economical Perspectve
It views that media is produced to appeal to advertisers. The power of media organisations are open to abuse - promoting political parties etc. It stresses the power of producers over media audiences.

The Effects Theory
The passive audience soak up the empty promises of mass entertainment, becoming willing victims who both produce and consume the products of consumer capitalism. The audience are powerless to resist the effects of media messages. The constant attempt to 'prove' that media violence creates violent citizens (e.g. horror films, video games etc.) is based on this false premise.

Different Types of Readings
Preferred reading is the reading media producers hope audiences will take from from the text. Audience members from outside the target may reject preferred reading, receiving their own alternative message - an oppositional reading. Negotiated reading is when audiences acknowledge the preferred reading, but modify it to suit their own values and opinions.

Classic (or outdated) Models of Mass Media

  • Shannon and Weaver, 1949 - Basic Communication Model that some sends a message, it is sent through a channel and then it is received e.g. a telephone.
  • Galtung and Ruge, 1965 - Hypodermic Model/Effects Theory.
  • Blumer and Katz, 1974 - Gatekeeping the flow of information. Agents in gatekeeping are media experts, owners, editors, journalists etc, create agendas (e.g. news agendas) and then select and construct media information to fit the agenda. Nowadays gatekeepers can be friends and family. Uses and Gratifications Theory = use media for diversion, personal relationships, personal identity and surveillance.
  • McQuall and Windahl, 1986 - Two Step Flow Model - information is sent, it is assessed by 'opinion leaders' and is then carried on to everyone else.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Field in England (2013) Reviews

A Field in England received mostly favourable reviews. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote that it was a "grisly and visceral film"that was "exposed to the elements, shivering with fever and discomfort."  The newspaper even made a video review on YouTube - its channel has over 100,000 subscribers - and the reviewers found it 'engrossing' but it also "got on my nerves". Even so, they praise its innovative multi-platform release.

Most critiques have praised Ben Wheatley's directing style and take on horror contemporaries. Peter Debruge of Variety called it "a defiantly unclassifiable cross-genre experiment..."

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Reviews

The majority of X-Men: Days of Future Past reviews (that came from YouTube, blogs, E! News, MTV, and everyday people) were positive.

A variety of YouTube video reviews on the film have shown the movie to be quite good. Film reviewer on YouTube, JeremyJahns, who has a following of over 600,000 subscribers and is famous for his honest-to-real views, has given a largely positive opinion on the movie.

Furthermore, news websites and journals (from Rotten Tomatoes to The Guardian) have given the movie an above average-to-positive ratings. The public's opinions have leaned mainly near towards the 90% rating on the scales. Many have praised the movie and it has received critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes' consensus reads, "X-Men: Days of the Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest instalments."
However, in contrast, Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph rated the movie 2 out of 5, calling the plot "a curate's egg, thoroughly scrambled". Also, Simon Abrams (writing for the website of the late film critic Roger Egbert) gave the film a 2.5 out of 4; calling it a "visual driven and paint-by-numbers plot".

YouTube Mini Survey

  • I interviewed a group of people who have access to YouTube and broadband internet streaming in their homes. The purpose of this research was to find out the different reasons of why people go on YouTube at home. 
  • The sample I chose had the following demographic features: 9-15, 16-24 and 24-44 years old. 
  • In quantitative terms (looking at the simple facts about who is using what), I discovered that the 9-15 and the 16-24 age group use YouTube the most; whereas the 24-44 age group use YouTube less. 
  • The qualitative data I gathered was interesting as it showed, that half the sample use YouTube for diversion or because they subscribe to certain people. Few use it for advice/ education and the rest use it to watch viral videos & to listen to music. 
  • My conclusions from this small piece of research are that majority of young people use YouTube for diversion and/or to watch specific YouTubers and that older people tend to use YouTube for music and/or for advice/education. Personally, falling into the age category of 16-24, I used YouTube mainly to watch specific YouTubers, as well as to listen to music. The main YouTubers that I watch are: PrankvsPrank, Jimmy Fallon, sWooZie etc.
  • For the research to be more valid I would need to use a larger age group sample and a variety of people from different locations.