Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

PRESS INFLUENCE proof of media effects?

Media effects are a controversial topic, hotly debated in academic circles and widely (mis-)applied by pressure groups from both left- and right-wing positions.

Conservative, right-wing politicos, media and campaigners love to lash out at sex and violence in film, music, games and TV, often essentially applying the near-century-old hypodermic syringe model which argued there's a direct link between media content and the views, attitudes and behaviour of those exposed to them.

Despite being the topic of many, many 1000s of academic studies, there still has been no definitive evidence for this. If it were true, why doesn't every Michael Bay filmic violence fest produce millions of new psychopaths roaming the streets? Why hasn't the best-selling Grand Theft Auto series lead to millions of crazed drivers mowing down pedestrians?

There's also the problem of selectively ignoring news content seen as favourable to conservative, right-wing views: graphic (so-called; it's an ideologically loaded term) coverage of terrorist atrocities (with ideological judgements on the scale of importance of lives based on skin and geography), glorifying coverage of military ventures, supposed 'smart' bombs and all.

The left can be just as censorious, seeking restrictions on free speech where this might undermine minorities or the less powerful groups in society. An overlap can be seen with attacks on sexual content as exploiting women and creating negative social attitudes.

On the press, the left, including the commentator linked below, take a more structural approach: the political economy branch of media academic theory.

This focuses on ownership and industry structures including distribution (and concentration of ownership). Chomsky's propaganda model is a classic example.

The article below produces a decent piece of evidence to back argument made, that UK public opinion on political parties and leaders is shaped by press coverage under the direction of non-resident billionaire owners bitterly opposed to any left-wing policies, especially crackdown on tax avoidance, that threaten their comfortable existence and corporate interests.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

PRESS Facebook not IPSO for S*n slurred MP


Saturday, 8 April 2017

FILM MPAA R transferred to court case

Weinstein Company appeals against R-rating for transgender film 3 Generations https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/apr/07/weinstein-company-r-rating-transgender-3-generations-lgbt?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 2 April 2017

WEB 2.0 Has it killed off press influence?

It's tempting to read such stories as the academic report into 'dark money' (illegal, especially foreign, funding that may also exceed strict UK voting laws) that swung the Brexit campaign and threatens to leave the UK with a shamocracy like the US, where politics is dominated by who can gather the biggest (corporate) donor cheques.

That would be to ignore the role of the press within this social media, often fake news, campaigning. Getting stories planted in newspapers confers legitimacy, and once done, reporting their coverage reinforces the original point. Any later retraction or correction by newspapers won't undo the impact and influence of lazily inaccurate or ideologically inspired reporting.

Chomsky includes source strategies in his propaganda model; dark money, often from millionaire or billionaire individuals (including media magnates), not just corporations, spend fortunes funding (and disguising their links) think tanks and research groups who provide seemingly authoritative quotes on the points of view they want to push, and pressure politicians into following. This is a subsidy for the media, making it cheaper and easier to gather 'news', with think tank reports themselves becoming news stories and opinion pieces.

Can IPSO regulate this? In short, no; it already fails to adequately cover the global nature of most UK 'national' papers, many of which have more foreign (especially US) readers than British ones!

‘Dark money’ is threat to integrity of UK elections, say leading academics https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/01/dark-money-threat-to-uk-elections-integrity?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 26 March 2017

WILD WEB Soul Searching over ads and publisher status

A longer post will follow.

While the centuries old NoTW folded in days following an advertiser boycott, the current growing campaign after The Times exposed Google's profiting from ads linked to hate-speech, racist videos doesn't threaten the colossus Google, but has fatally undermined it's crucial claim to NOT be a publisher, simply a means of finding, sharing publishers' content.

Facebook likewise is part of this global digital duopoly starving the print media (other industries will surely follow) of the oxygen of ad revenue whilst profiting hugely from 'sharing' their content, with a compliant US government backing them but an increasingly hostile EU, and national governments within it (not least Germany and Holland), putting up roadblocks to this runaway train.

How's that for a grab bag of mixed metaphors?!

Are we finally reacting to the disruptive supremacy of Facebook and Google? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/26/finally-reacting-disruptive-supermacy-of-facebook-and-google?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

ADVERTISING Web giants taking 99% of new ad revenue, Guardian relies on donations

By April 2019, we hope to be supported by the equivalent of 1 million members, who will help secure the Guardian’s future in a tough commercial environment. Advertising conditions remain highly treacherous, with advertising in the Guardian — which helps pay for our journalism — down £11m this year. For every new advertising dollar spent in the US, 99 cents is now taken up by Facebook and Google.

Thank you for your support, which is more important now than ever https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/mar/13/thank-you-for-your-support-which-is-more-important-now-than-ever?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Friday, 10 March 2017

LIBEL TWITTER Hopping mad at cost of tweet defeat


Thursday, 2 March 2017

FILM IRAN Up in arms over uncovered Oscar presenter

Iran news agency gives Charlize Theron a polo neck in altered Oscars footage https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/mar/01/iran-news-agency-charlize-theron-polo-neck-oscars-asghar-farhadi-salesman?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 26 February 2017

WEB 2.0 Crowdfunded StopFundingHate targets tabloid advertisers


WEB 2.0 Media giants faking online following

A bizarre but significant twist - with pressure to show a strong online footprint growing in relation to declining print and linear viewing figures, it seems falsely boosting the numbers may be a common strategy.

There is much dispute over how papers calculate online readership, and similar arguments over online viewing figures (with YouTube's changing policies seeing huge drops in published figures for many channels and uploads).

According to one source at least the mainstream corporate media have also engaged in using specialists to set up 100s of 1000s of fake social media accounts to create a false sense of engagement ...

AND to campaign against their critics, something that Chomsky and Herrman's near 40 year-old classic, Necessary Illusions, with its radical propaganda model, would recognise as flak (one of the five filters they argue systematically removes counter-hegemonic content from mainstream media discourse, or at least undermines it).


Saturday, 25 February 2017

CHINA Live lyrics checked: Metallica Master of Muppets


WEB 2.0 Citizen journalism Guardian of truth with unregulated press

More about this when time permits, but in short: another example of the failure of formal (self-) regulation leading to alternative action online (see Prescott's successful tweet against Sunday Times made-up quotes, completely ignoring PCC/IPSO but getting swift action).


Monday, 6 February 2017

LIBEL GLOBALISATION Bend it like Beckham: UK injunction sunk by Euro papers

Publication of hacked David Beckham emails renders injunction worthless https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/06/hacked-david-beckham-emails-renders-injunction-worthless?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

WEB Top shelf Instagram led by murky Mail

Snapchat cracks down on risque images and fake news https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/24/snapchat-cracks-down-on-soft-porn-and-fake-news?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger