The Reflection



These past few weeks have been extremely interesting and have taught to think critically and actively discuss the issues that arise when learning about the media. The media, so vast, we have internet, radio, newspaper, television and social media just to name a few. The whole aspect of media and technology with a Utopian view such as I have or dystopian view as many older generational people do. I see the positive values that media has, keeping us connected, entertained and informed or learning that others may have a dystopian/negative view on media, finding it dangerous and manipulative as ‘we’ the audience were once seen as gullible and influenced by what we are told. The simple communication process of media has been a big issue as it can often lead to controversy or panic in the media. The sender encodes the message > receiver decodes the message but we all interpret things differently based on our culture and values  and the message is not seen the same way, where our connotations for things can cloud what we are actually seeing (denotation).  The Idea of who controls our media sources is a major factor when analysing media, people like Rupert Murdoch who own popular newspapers like ‘The Daily Telegraph’ are feeding the public their ideologies and pass on propaganda on how  societies should be governed. Diverse media ownership is becoming less but media usage and production has increased greatly. The idea of the public sphere by Jurgen Hobermas which was a place to discuss ideas and events in the current world was for the elite or men who owned land has transformed into the current mediated public sphere where ideas and controversial topics have been put out for everyone to connect with with shows like Q & A allowing the audience to becoming a participator, no longer is it just broadcast media we have social media to share our thoughts on all issues in the public sphere.


The Simpsons Sphere

bcm110 it began in 1989, twenty five years ago it has become a pop culture phenomenon. Its more than just a sitcom about a dysfunction middle class nuclear family, it has made a major change in the mediated public sphere. As many 1980’s sitcoms were generally very conservative, had good morals and were extremely family friendly, the Simpsons become the show that pushed the boundaries. The show although animated is not set entirely for children, it had dealt with real adult issues for example Homer and Marge’s marriage came issues of sex, cheating/affairs, separation & conflict, financial issues, self esteem issues, emotional issues and communication breakdowns, I could go on and on. The show heavily uses stereotypes, and as seen in the infamous ‘Australia’ episode which portrayed us Australians as backwards and dimwitted due to our descendants being from British convicts. This is where issues arise in the mediated public sphere as it can begin to offend cultures or people of a certain race and as seen in The Simpsons there are many stereotype characters from Apu the Indian convenience store clerk to Ned Flanders the good Christian neighbour. ned-flanders-harry-potter-620x798 Some say can be it can be offensive to their culture others say its looking at their culture with a satirical approach, it all depends on how you view the message. Other than domestic and family issues The Simpsons has a lot of satirical humour on political issues and propaganda. It pokes fun at the government system and at Fox News as we saw in the week 4 lecture and their influence to try and control our ideologies and values. All in all The Simpsons has influenced or should I say created a generation in the mediated public sphere where controversial issues can be acknowledged using humour, stereotyping and good old self awareness.

This image used for the opening gag caused controversy for its use of Asian sweatshop workers

This image used for the opening gag caused controversy for its use of Asian sweatshop workers

Who ‘Controls’ the media? and our Digital Legacy


The Media is so vast these days, we use it constantly, it is absolutely everywhere. Social networks are primarily how I get my information, my entertainment and my socialising. I find I am consistently checking Facebook, probably almost every hour, sometimes more. It got me thinking who controls this media source I am regularly using? Is that their intention to draw me back again and again? To structure my life the way that they want?

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, at the press confere Well firstly facebook was partly founded by this guy, Mark Zuckerberg, who is the CEO and has a 30% stake ownership giving him the most control over Facebook and its more than 1.2 billion users.  Facebook allows us to interact with through our profile, our profile tells us who we are, the facts we put up along with the photos we share and the status’s we make tell a story of our character. This social network has caused controversy over addiction issues, self-esteem issues and anti-social behaviour (social networking causing us to be anti-social)

I read an interesting article where a 16 year old girl had died and her family wanted to access her Facebook account in order to get any photos or messages before it was shut down and in their US state the legislation hadn’t passed allowing family members to access private information stating it violated the ‘terms of service’. So her family could control her physical legacy after death but her digital one would be lost for forever. It begs the question who controls our digital remains when we are gone? and is this social network controlling our lives? digital-legacy-1-505_031212033216

So where the bloody hell are you?

One of the many advertising photos used to promote tourism in Australia

One of the many advertising photos used to promote tourism in Australia

In what was meant to be one of Australia’s best advertising campaigns turned out to be the most controversial. The advertising at a cost of $180 million was created to make an ‘in-your-face’ approach by questioning “so where are the bloody hell are you?” which didn’t translate well with other countries. Watch video below

The purpose of this ad was to bring more foreign tourists to Australia, by presenting them with a unique holiday experience, showing off our wonderful landscape, our rich history, modern cities and overall diversity, by using a larrikin and laid back lifestyle which Australians are known for (e.g. man says “we’ve poured a beer for you”). The question “so where the bloody hell are you?” was meant to be a sort of catch phrase and easily remembered like Paul Hogans “have a shrimp on the barbie” ad campaign in the 1980’s which today still well known today for its Australian context.

In Australia it looked harmless and looked to be a success, the rest of the world however perceived it quite differently.  It was banned in the UK due to the words “bloody hell” as well as Canada and parts of Europe and Asia. Some nations even said its subtle reference for alcohol drinking was reason enough but primarily it was found that people  found the words too offensive and inappropriate for national television which made it more controversial. Australians who are known for their cheeky sense of humour we’re trying to play on that were now being conceived as rude and immature.

Was this intentional? did we want countries to think we are immature? Of course not. All we tried to do was challenge tourists to a one in a lifetime holiday using our authentic “Australian-ness” but turns to be a big miscommunication and a clash of cultures.

What are the media being blamed for? and is this justified?


Social Media is the interaction and exchange of communication across media platforms and networks. In fact I’m currently communicating through social media, blogging ofcourse! Social media has a big usage from “teenagers” which is a relatively modern term, and is believed to be invented by the media itself as there was no such thing as a “teenager “till about the middle of the 20th century. Hard to wrap your head around right?

50's teenagers at milk bar, what else did they do back then?

50’s teenagers at milk bar, what else did they do back then?

Since it has existed social media has a “dystopian” view, especially from older generations and has copped a lot of blame for problems such as eating disorders and body issues, sexting and privacy (e.g. snapchat) and cyber bullying just to name a few.

One big issue on social media to arise only early this year is a game called “Neknominate”. Yes I can hear the sighs already. It is a game where someone skulls a large amount of alcohol on video and nominates mates to out beat them within 24 hours. If the nominated do not participate they are harassed and tormented (cyber bulling comes in).
It has been prominent on social networks such as Facebook and twitter as well as YouTube and the role that these media platforms have had have come into question of ethics and responsibility especially after 5 known deaths due to this excessive drinking game.

Should these social networks have removed the videos?

Should they have placed warnings?

Is it just old fashioned peer pressure?

I guess it goes back to Bandura’s ‘Social learning theory’ that we as humans learn from others behaviour and by watching these “Neknominate” videos our environment, emotions and cognitive abilities are all main factors in our decision making and the media really is just a way of sending the message but cannot be entirely blamed for what is our own actions. Or can it?

The Beginning

me this semester

^me this semester..including the vodka

Hello, my name is Thomas and this is my first blog post!

I live in Wollongong and I am 22 years old, so not exactly fresh out of high school but literally feels like it was yesterday..give or take 5 years! So I would definitely describe myself as somebody is happy to give anything a go!

When I left high school in 2009 I knew straight away that I wanted to work in media and because I am a huge movie fanatic (and live through quoting) I did a TAFE course in Screen & Media. It saw me doing all sorts of work from screenplays of zombie love stories to 3D animation of a fruit bowl (tedious work..tedious) but I had some hilarious times and made some awesome life long friends.

After that course I wanted time off to work and “discover” who I am..sorry for the cliché but its semi true so I did a bit of travelling and got a job in retail and have been there ever since..well now. I decided 2014 would be there year I finally start my degree and do something substantial…not that catching youth stealing on late night shopping isn’t substantial but now it’s time to focus on a career I’m passionate for.
I can’t wait for what this year brings, the learning, the hardwork and all the laughs too.