Global Crises and Global News

Global Crisis = Global News

When it affects a global audience, it is necessary to faciliotate an international spread of information dissemination. it is also important to ensure that certain cultures are not left behind based on contraflows laggin or the view points held on Ethonocentrism. It is trhough global crisis that factos such as clashing civilisations should be cast aside as the topic or issue at hand conflicts a party much larger.

In this topic, ‘voice for the voiceless’ becomes apparent, as, as much as many parties would like to see equality in perspectives give, the fact of the matter is that often news channels only provide a spotlight on the ‘welites’ of society consditioning.

There is also the issue of false baslance whereby a topic is opened for disccion with unequal balance or perspective allowed where it is not required or needed.

In particular the issue of Global warming and the controversy that surrounds the tiopic. There is a swarm

How the topic of global warming and climate change is experienced internationally is a highly mediated topic, with vast differences on public opinion, speculation and presentation of information. This then leads to the question, for these vast differences to occur, is there the arrival of false balance and if so how can this be rectified? In terms of voice for the voiceless – in terms of westernised communities harbouring stronger and wider news capacity, there is a certainty that people groups will go un-heard and swept aside

mouth-tapeThe way in which a topic is discussed and presented to the public will influence two factors: The first, how it is interpreted an identity is facilitated as well as changing the education and therefore understanding of the wider public. Therefore understanding and social acceptance of a topic will be greatly swayed and misinformed.

Who has a say in this public debate and what kind of weighting their position is given should, in terms of social factors and influence levels, be determined based on education, qualifications and abilities to discuss in an open format. Instead, in this ‘debate’ for climate change, ideologies that are presented are based off opinion and speculation with unequal weighting of importance being granted, lowering the believability of the specialists information.

However, in this scape, where so many societies and social groups have already accepted that climate change is a fact and therefore action needs to be take, should the “debate” of such a topic still be in the air? Espcially when this kind of reporting and dissemination of information only leads to further confusion in the public domain.

I propose that the need or space for debate ends, and instead a conversation is facilitated by which education is provided.

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What’s the actual story being reported?

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With the many hundreds of avenues in which news can be received and reported, there is a confussion, a cloudiness that surrounds the news world. This is due to forms of reporting, means in which news is disseminated and ways in which audiences are indulged and created. There is also the concept and difference between WHAT is news and what MAKES news. These two identities clearly distinguish the motives and alliances of news outlets, allowing audiences to make an informed decision on which perspective is being presented.

News also goes through a form of gatekeeping, whereby it is selected as newsworthy, is then chosen to go into a selected news channel and then is  presented in a particular way for a certain audience. Differing news stories are weighted based on merit of response they will facilitate.

The concept of a packaged truth

Creating an us against the approach, local news going against the standardised contraflows of information, is it blocked?

News is a transient element. An event will not be news forever, instead it will slowly (or abrublty) movie into the history category, in which excitement about the event is drastically lessoned

News story – often becomes just that, a focus on the VoicelessSmRGB[1]story and not a focus on facts. a narrative of an event with characterisation, climax and apparent resolution

News will also make use of images in order to enhance viewers attention and evoc an emotionl response in order to sell further news, or create excitement and involvemenet.

It is important to understand or to question the perspectives placeds on thise involved in a news story, in terms of how are the viewers positioned to precieve them as an individual or cultural group? Quesitoning also how cultures are presented, as an us and them approach, or the weaker people group needing our support, are they given a voice in the story or are they simply reported upon?

There are also the two R’s – relevance and rarity: If the story is occurring in the now and entices attention, or if it relating to a local issue, then it will gain much higher regard than a segment that may focus on other cultural issues outosd eof national borders. The second R stands for rairtity, with a story that is either not often reported upon or heard about taking the foreground of news platofrms. it is important to note that through this reporting can be sensationised and not hold an even stature of what needs to be displayed and what does not

Often news reporting is skewd and does not focus on all parties involved, instead highlighting the elite within an event, this could be political parties or faces, ‘experets’ and support avenues rather than those wjho are directly invoveld. The elites purpose is to create a bridge bweten the story and the viewer, to inform and persuade and potentially prodived expert knowledge.
References:

UOW, Week 9 Lecture Slides, BCM111 – International Media and Communications, Who counts in global media

Dramatic Television is Elementary my dear Watson.

As mentioned, it is a complicated task for Comedy to more across cultural borders, even with expansions of culture through globalised contraflows. However, do the same rules apply for Dramatic Television? Firstly, it is important to evaluate the worth of each text and whether it can appropriately be moved into new contexts. Secondly, there must be some form of identifiable attribute, whether in circumstance or a continuation of characterisations. Thirdly, how easily or willingly are spin-offs created and does this add value to the overall dramatic concept.

One key example of countless successful adaptions of Drama is Sherlock Holmes, both in character and in storyline, this story-hood has been used time and time again with no inventions, takes and perspectives being highlighted anew in each. The success of the concept is based on a number of principles:

  • There is an innate Englishness – a quality withheld in most (if not all renditions)
  • There is great diversity in topics and ability for character expression
  • Being crime and detective drama allows a format to flow easily into new contexts and cultures

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There are two seasons currently battling it out for top “Sherlock Holmes”, one being American CBS ‘Elementary’, which follows a standard Americanised police drama process, while still developing characteristcation and exploring limits of Sherlock that previous texts did not investigate. The second text is ‘Sherlock’, the BBC’s mini series that continues most original features from the book into their highly British drama. In both these texts, the success of dramatic television is highlighted: relationships and personalisation supporting an international communication.

It is also important to note what these texts create, a pop culture and international following. Audiences, now no longer bound to simply being an inactive audience, can facilitate the spread of information. As seen in the video above (a fan made content, fanfiction), interaction is used as an expression of content, of being involved and of progressing a story further. There are countless avenues for audience to partake in, this being known as participatory culture. One place in particular FanFiction, facilitates an online conversation bridging international waters, bringing together audiences to share in one experience similarly to when the show itself is consumed.

This is another strength of Dramatic television; audiences are no longer bound to an expression portrayed by the producers, instead they can add to the story, ensure it remains culturally sound and relevant.

 

References:

Asher-Perrin, E (2014) ‘Battling Super Sleuths: The Awkward Case of Elementary, Sherlock, and Building the Better Adaptation’ Tor.com, available online at  http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/02/battling-super-sleuths-the-awkward-case-of-elementary-sherlock-and-building-the-better-adaptation

Penny, L (2014), ‘Laurie Penny on Sherlock: The Adventure of the Overzealous Fan base’ newstatesman.com, available online at http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/01/sherlock-and-adventure-overzealous-fanbase

 

Lost in Translation: Comedy in a Global sense

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In order for comedy to be successful in any cultural circumstance, it must firstly be understood in terms of language or context, secondly there must be some kind of break in behaviour or language that audiences can understand and relate to and thirdly what kind of cultural exclusion exist to allow or prohibit an individual form included in the joke (Turnbull, 2010, p. 96). Each culture, due to societal values, language and expectations hold a different form of appreciation for comedy (here). However, with Australian TV and comedy being a new-ish industry, our exposure to a wider content of comedy allows for a broader appreciation of other cultures humor. This is not always the case for other audience groups however.

thge-dAn example is the Office, originally an British comedy that, due to its success and wide reach wasthen remade with and American cast. Initially the new adaption stayed close to the original concepts, however, they found greater success the further the moved away. This series found success due to the differences in the adaptions but also because of the core concept of the show: it wasn’t commenting on specific ‘had-to-be-there’ culturally functioning.

This then asks us to highlight a potential cultural failure in a global sense: Kath and Kim. The Australian show took audiences by storm, receiving an average 1 mill viewers per week (2002). It was through the crude references to Australian slang and just plain cringe-worthy attire that made an Australian audience want more; mostly because the pair felt like our estranged, awkward family. The point of the show was to demonstrate a purely over-the-top expression on Australian culture and it for that reason that international audieces simply did not get the joke. However, once again seeing the success the show received, American producers decided to create their own version of the ‘terrible-two’. The format was simply put, a flop, simply due to that fact they were scared to actually make the actors the butt of the joke. There was too much glitzy and glamour and not enough “It’s noiice, it’s differen, it’s un-ewe-sual.”

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There is however a way in which comedy can travel successfully across cultural borders and that is when the subject matter and contexts are easily espressed globally. It is for that reason that the 1984-1994 Australian comedy “Mother and Son” gained international recognition as well as numeroius adaptions. Focussing on the relationship between an aging mother and her doting son, the series was relatable to many despite language barriers as it did not rely on cultural factors, but instead an intrinsic human nature.

To see how hour in general gets lost in translation check out this article by kwintessential UK.
References:

Turnbull, S. 2008, ‘It’s Like They Threw a Panther in the Air and Caught It in Embroidery’: Television Comedy in Translation, The Australian Teachers of Media Inc, St Kilda.

Turnbull, S (2010) ‘The long tail of mother and son: the transnational career of an Australian situation comedy’. Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 134, pp. 96.

Clash of the Titans: Who is right and who is wrong?

clash of civilizations

As mentioned in previous posts the effect of globalisation has impacted cultural, technological spheres. In this, power is presented to new emerging powers, these newer demographics are referred to as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). It is also necessary to highlight that with this growth and intense spread of information and cultural influence a clash will occur. This is known as the Clash of civilisations vs Media flows.

The very basis for a clash in civilisations comes from a basis of differences in both cultural understanding and technological advancement/acceptance. The very view of this notion is negative however as it places emphasis on the boundaries and the distance, enhancing stereotypes shown in global news and film.

However, enabling this global identity, and not challenging or facilitating a change will not support a stable condition for many reasons, but the most important being that it fails to acknowledge media flows and how they facilitate this concept.

  • The reason the clashes appear, is strongly related to the identity of globalisation- in that more material and content is spread to a wider audience, disseminating an idea or identity to new cultures that are not familiar with an idea.
  • It is also due to the differences in techno and ethnoscapes between cultures, with some adapting or changing more readily than others, hence there are inequalities across borders and misunderstanding of perspectives.
  • A clash will occur when one culture is firmly grounded in the belief that humans are ‘cultural’ beings and cannot move outside of their territory. It is needed in order to define and differentiate them. (Grilo, 2003, p.158)
  • It will occur when there are anxieties surrounding a culture

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The beside image is a screen shot from the Youtbue Video, ‘Stop the Clash of Civilisations’, and at its heart, this is what the video seeks to challenge. It identifies that across borders there are innate similarities between societies as much as the media pushes for cultures to believe they are worlds apart.

However, there is the idea that certain societies are creating the clash, deliberately. As seen in the following video, by one culture holding the identity that they are superior, there is no space left for growth and collaboration of ideals.

There is a flip side to this debate however, with the identification of Media Capitals which do not simply look at the differences in cultural identities, but looks at similarities. It explains that contemporary tv is no longer a tangiable, cultural element, it is not bound to a fixed location and thererfore breaks conventional structures of flow. This flow comes from centres of development, whether that be production, content, financing or distribution of these programs. Media Capitals are a site for mediation, a location for the complex channels to interact and information to flow. It is for that reason that a pattern emerges with new formats circulating around these locations creating a mass culture. In line with the identity presented in one of my past blog “Hollywood who?” through utilising a movement of contraflows, Asian industries are shifting values away from a Westernised ideological space developing a stronger take on the war against civilisation clashes.

References:

Grillo, R.D. 2003, “Cultural Essentialism and Cultural Anxiety”, Anthropological Theory, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 157-173.

YouTube 2014, ‘Clash of Civilisation Summary’, Accessed 14th of October 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWwCvds7xNk

The movies are my culture.

global-cinema

Culture and cultural identity is no longer held solely in the societies people and practices just as it is no longer recognised purely on internal features. Instead, through movement of film production, content and people, the perceptions are being shaped globally. It is both possible for cultures to represent not only their own through film, but also a demonstration of others through incorporating the means of both Cross-over and Transnational Cinema characteristics.

Cross-over cinema is an encompassing term that describes how a films entity, from production, to casting to marketing, is supported from many areas in the globe. It is through this that text is shaped into a new hybrid culture, changing the reception of texts in both production values and consumption reach. In the case of Slumdog Millionaire (2009), as mentioned in my blog post ‘ Hollywood Who?’, was a film that at its very heart was an international film, however, in this case it is being recognised as a success globally, on its own merit and not in a sub category of ‘international film’. Cross over cinema can only purely be successful when the films identity is not bound by cultural identity, but is instead accepted within foreign environments.

Transnational cinema is an intrinsic weave between narrative and aesthetic qualities that connect to more than one cultural identity and community group. In this a hybrid of cultural content is created that moves across cultural borders with greater ease. These texts types are viewed as a platform between opposing cultures, as they bring together differences using them as feature elements.

These two identities, cross-over and transnational cinema can work together as one identifies the processes of an international community involved in film conception, production and support, while the other focuses on a more intrinsic value that identifies influences on subject matter and core elements.

The final concept is Diasporic Cinema being born out of a fractured and constantly moving and globalised environment. “Thus this category of film is neither linguistically nor culturally monolithic.” Which then leads to the question of whether diasporic texts are new genre of international film that breaches boundaries and blurs lines.

The three notions highlighted here, although similar carry out in different ways. Depending on which area of film is being discussed and in which manner will determine which concept will be highlighted. It must also be assessed how film and television shape cultural perceptions, disseminate stereotypes and enhance a constant lack of understanding.

The above video is a conversation of film and perceptions from a selection of culturally diverse students in a America. It explores how interpretations shape cultural identity and what factors come into play. A number of themes highlighted include:

  • Perpetuated stereotypes through repetitious news segments
  • The role of women in Western and Eastern societies
  • The identity of men and their need to protect
  • The showcasing of vast textual discussions to ensure well-rounded global identities

One key point raised in the clip was “Just because something is unflattering doesn’t mean it is illegitimate. This is an Egyptian director and he wishes to show us this facet of his country … it places a little bit of responsibility on the viewer to look at this, absorb it and then develop questions.” Film is used a supplementary avenue for discussion on international expression. However with an increased access to content through movements of contraflows, it is important for producers to be aware of the spread and to ensure their content does not feed an illegitimate facade.  It is through this that culture is projected to a wider audience and it for this reason that producers must be careful, or at least aware of what they disseminate.

 

References:

Film Reference 2014, Diasporic Cinema, Accessed 13th of October 2014, http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Criticism-Ideology/Diasporic-Cinema-DIASPORIC-FORMATIONS-IN-CINEMA.html

Khorana, S. 2013, Crossover cinema: cross-cultural film from production to reception, Routledge, New York

 

 

Hollywood who?

In an increasingly globalised environment, industries such as film entertainment have the ability to flourish due to the expansion of channels and growth of audiences. With this growth new identities for film industries are shaped, namely the influences and the format of production. Through the introduction of Nigerian film industry Nollywood, the past 13 years have shaped a new method of film production, acceptance and quality. It is also through the giant film producer, Bollywood that cultural implications and explorations of producers are increasingly being challenged by Indian qualities. It appears the world scene of film is drastically shifting away from a Hollywood dominated environment and instead becoming far more dynamic. However with these developments, what factors in a seemingly stable industry will occur?

“It is argued that Asian film production centers will increasingly exploit cinematic contraflows that draw upon structures of hybridity to meet increasing demand for globalised content within globalised distribution networks”. (Schaefer, 2010, p. 309)

Cultural hybridity is a creatively self-conscious movement by local film agents to combine cultural elements from their home and abroad in order to appeal and gain the attention from a wider demographic. With the emerging popularity of this concept it is important to recognise the effect this will have on future film production in a global sense (i.e. assimilation of similarities leading to loss of identifiable cultural elements). This created content is known as a hybrid mix and therefore, as it moves across borders, influence of cultures are shifted in terms of modern and traditional elements. These contraflows,  are the shifting direction of cultural influence and the acknowledgment that no longer is power held solely in a Western environment.

Avatar-blue-man_640x960_iPhone_4_wallpaperimagesrdueAs an example, James Cameron’s film Avatar (2009), Hollywood’s highest grossing film to date incorporated central Ancient Hindi concepts throughout the film, causing critics to question the role various cultures play on the development of films. This then brings the identity of Bollywood to the foreground, raising the question: Does Bollywood stand the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the film making industry? While Bollywood has already been warmly welcomed by European, African and Middle Eastern audiences, North American acceptance has been slower. However, more recently there has been signs that the Bollywood ‘culture’ is engaging with American audiences and culture. Through elements such as music, dance and costume culture an Indian influence is very prevalent as well as these same elements being incorporated into pop-culture advertising.

As a final thought, it is important for those involved in creating culturally diverse films (and with that the cultural hybridity) to question whether co-optation or appropriation is occuring. Co-optation (link to an interesting socio-cultural article), whereby a newer or weaker culture is overtaken by one more powerful occurs when there are pressures for assimilation (further reading: Hollywood co-opting the Sundance Film Festival and the effect that has on independent film industry). In this case, the phenomena of ‘Bollywoodisation’ could be argued to be a case of co-optation by the West with questions of who financially benefits from the use of the Indian culture. On the other hand, but using similar processes is the act of appropriation where certain cultural elements are explored in new contexts without original contexts being altered. In the case of Slumdog Millionaire (SDM) – 2008, directed and written by the English, but co-directed, set and filmed in India, cultural elements are at the heart of the film. The film is not a Bollywood production and only uses certain ‘Hollywoodised’ factors from a typical Bollywood film yet it is still regarded by some parties to be a Bollywood film.

“It is completely a Bollywood film. The story is very Indian and so are all the actors. Hence I was offered to do Slumdog Millionaire”  Anil Kapoor upon being asked if SDM is a Bollywood film.

That is the centre of International film and cultural hybridity. It is ideological spread: there are core elements and factors that are shared that in turn develop and shape. These will then be used to question the place and role of different content and feature industries, but in the end, the environment of globalisation leads to mix-up of cultures and identities.

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References:

Schaefer, D.J. & Karan, K. 2010, “Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows”, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 309-316.

United States History 2014, History of Hollywood California, Accessed 10th of October 2014, https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.u-s-history.com%2Fpages%2Fh3871.html&ei=fXM4VIbaHseB8gXUsYHQDA&usg=AFQjCNGIppmt4EeDzM-sp8jJr03XomMaGA