Abstracts of research papers published in Media Watch January 2014 Issue.
Visual Proof: Identifying a Pattern in Photographic Coverage of a Social Movement
Michael B. Friedman
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA
This study compared the photographic news coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests from two competing New York City tabloid newspapers on opposite sides of the political spectrum, the New York Post (conservative) and the Daily News (liberal). The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any differences in the photographic coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests between the two media outlets. A content analysis was conducted to detect and confirm any statistically significant differences in photographic coverage. Results showed that the differences in photographic coverage were significantly different suggesting that each media outlet may have presented the photographs to express a specific opinion of the protests. The study also determined that social proof is a useful theory for detecting a pattern of selection in photographic coverage of a social movement.
Articulations of Gender Ideology: A Discourse Analysis of Online Public Comments on the Delhi Gang-Rape on Firstpost.Com
Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune, India
On December 16, 2012, a 23 year-old girl was brutally gang-raped by six men, including one minor, on a moving bus while her male friend was assaulted in Delhi. Both of the victims were attacked with an iron rod and the girl was severely injured and later died. The media was quick to hype cringe-worthy comments made by people in the limelight. The discourse around status of women in the society, patriarchal norms, gender sensitivity and umpteen related constructs became the content of comment threads on various web pages. The articulation of these discourses on a digital medium is both conflicting and intriguing. This paper will attempt to conduct the discourse analysis of the comment threads on few websites that posted updates around this mishap. Since the online medium gives people the advantage of anonymity which may not otherwise be available to them in the public sphere, the constructs of identity and ideology become even more critical. This research paper will attempt to identify the dominant discourses, analyse their ideological context and the potential and the role of digital media in these constructions. Does the digital media ecosystem reinforce the hegemonic ideologies or does it provide the space for liberal and alternative ideologies? Do perceptions of gender and sexuality assume fluid meanings or get re-negotiated in the digital media context? This research will attempt to use the discourse analysis of the web comment threads around the brutal mishap to discuss and analyse these questions.
Connect to Conspire: Scope of Social Media in Gorkhaland Statehood Movement
All India Women’s Conference, Darjeeling, India
The recent ‘Gorkhaland movement’ offered a story in contrast to the previous movement of the mid-eighties which had lasted for over 22 months and had resulted in the death of over 1,200 people. This time it lasted for slightly over a month and highlighted by the death of a youth who immolated himself in a busy public square. Both were fired by the imagination of a people in their ideological “search for identity.” But how were the two different? Social media played a big role and Facebook, Twitter and other blogspots became war zones where battles were fought and enemies vanquished. An interesting form of communication in which people voiced dissent by locking themselves up inside homes in the Ghaar Bhitra Junta movement was seen. Leaders made use of the social media at a time when the administration had shut down the broadcast of the local channels. It makes a good study in mob-mobilisation and cyber-psychology. Twenty-seven years ago, during the previous movement when internet was unheard of, people had resorted to ingenious means of communication. This paper will try to bring forth the contrast and the changes that new Information and Communication Technologies have brought in social movements.
The ‘Rise of the Rest’: Schumpeter’s Theory of Creative Destruction in the Age of Digital Media
Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
The advent of ICT brought about a process of industrial mutation that, clubbed with the recent economic turmoil, has seen markets, businesses and managements focus on mobility, ubiquity and entrepreneurial innovation as survival strategies. This paper analyses the fall of the media moghuls against the rise of the twitteratti; it argues that we are at the edge of a blast wave of consumer-driven change, one that is tight on performance but loose on tactics; it focuses on the paradox of digital convergence on the one hand and content diversity on the other. How can we best define the role of mediated communication in its multiple technological avatars? Is it becoming a God of Small Things, particularly where social justice is concerned? Or is it just another instance of cultural imperialism? Is it confirming or challenging the public service orientation of the media? Is it creating tipping points that shift relationships among social, financial, and political systems? Or is it becoming a Tower of Babel in the name of alternative voices and discourses? – are the other specifics addressed. Given the global interconnectedness of media today, the paper primarily seeks to take Schumpeter’s theory of Creative Destruction out of the purview of economics alone and link it to the larger issue of change as the new constant for our next evolutionary leap– as cyborgs.
Technology Synergy Eco-System between HD Video DSLR and New Social Media Platform
Gary Chong Khin Jin & N V Prasad
School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia
This paper will engage with the concept of a ‘technology synergy eco-system’ which blends together the two core elements of HD video DSLR and the new social media platform to determine, if this could actually be a potent formula for the emergence of a potential alternative virtual cinema. This alternative virtual cinema has both connotations as a medium of transmission of a certain film to the masses and also elements of film techniques in terms of aesthetics and etc. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that in this current day and age, we can see that the social new media has impacted practically every facet of society. The question beckons then, what about cinema? Does the level of interactivity in which the social new media provides, combined with the affordability and ease of using a HD video DSLR to produce videos with high production values and cinematic quality nuances serve as a precursor to the trends and patterns which might lead up to an alternative virtual cinema? With these exciting questions in mind, it is of great interest to us as modern day filmmakers, in exploring and giving an exposition into this subject matter, to deconstruct the elements and see if the possibility is viable or merely an idealistic notion.
Culture and Globalisation: The Indian Creative Industries
Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad, India
The processes of globalization have stirred different cultural practices resulting in cultural homogenization where local cultures are merged into a single macro cultural domain. This macro cultural domain is a result of the fusion of different cultures that have given the local cultures a new order and form. Here the local cultures seem to have lost their own identity and representation. Furthermore, due to the ambiguous nature of the global cultural flow other cultures that are in local or national form have sought to find their space among the chaos of global culture. Similar effects have been felt in the creative industries due to the proliferation of globalization further causing an air of change in the creative content and production. Hence, this conceptual study will look into two cases of Bollywood cinema and Indian rock music both facing an ongoing tension related to content creating ambiguity and imbalance, among its (content) creators and audiences.
Escape and Re-Colonization of Waka Waka: Shakira’s Performance at the 2010 World Cup
MARK GOODMAN & DANAE CARLSON
Mississippi State University, USA
Mississippi State University, USA
In 2010, Waka Waka was chosen as the anthem for the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, and Shakira, a well known vocal artist, was appointed the task of performing. The lyrics of the song present a message of world unity. But, a semiotic reading of the official video presents a different interpretation. This paper examines the conflicts between Waka Waka’s lyrics and its cinematography, while delving deeper into its underlying colonialism.
Role of Wikis in School Education
Indian Institute of Management, Indore, India
The main agenda of this paper is to provide a review of literature on the role of Web 2.0 or social software tools particularly wikis in school education because it is an under-researched area. Though it is a versatile tool to leverage the information in multimodal environment, including video, sound, animation, as well as, static text and image it has not been actively used in the context of school education especially in the Indian context. Today’s educators are hesitant in using the web 2.0 technology because they feel overwhelmed by the range of choices it offers. The paper tries to evolve framework that can be employed to use wikis. It examines the issues that have surfaced from the review especially those that affect pedagogy due to adoption of web 2.0 technologies. The advantages of wikis to students, educators and institutions as well as the challenges that accompany such initiative and the host of problems that need to be addressed in using wikis in school education is enumerated. This paper incorporates the analysis out of the review and highlights the different pedagogical roles of web2.0 technologies with reference to communication, innovation, and collaborative learning and challenging the imagination of children. The analysis answers the concerns of academicians about the inclusion of web 2.0 technologies and the findings can influence learning and teaching strategies in various echelons of education. The paper integrates the perspective by consolidating a variety of literature sources from academic publications, recent Newspaper and magazine reports on social network sites and commentaries and views on social media itself. A major limitation of this paper is lack of empirical evidences in the Indian context for rigorous analysis and does not analyse the reason for this paradoxical situation.
Revisiting the Contours of Media Education: A Study in the Indian Context
Kapil Kumar Bhattacharya
Centre for Journalism & Mass Communication, Visva-Bharati, India
Media education should not be merely about making media professionals. It should rather be about enlightening the citizens. The problem lies in the basic approach to media education which is essentially considered to be a vocational course. This approach in itself results in segmentation of the students from the very beginning. While all students of political Science do not end up becoming politicians and all students of Sociology do not end up becoming sociologists, Media Education, unfortunately, is essentially projected as a subject whose primary focus is upon producing media professionals. However, just as the primary focus of teaching political Science and Sociology is creating political and social sensibility, the primary focus of teaching media education should be creating media sensibility/ awareness among the youth of the nation as the media has emerged as a force to reckon with in today’s scenario. Thus, they need to be aware of the powers and functions of the media so that they may judge the stance taken by the media in regional, national and even the international affairs. This paper shall strive to throw some light upon such issues through both theoretical and practical approaches such as content analysis and surveys.
Cultural Diversity in Television Advertisements in Entertainment Channels
University of Mumbai, India
Social attitudes towards multiculturalism can be checked by measuring representations of ethnicity in television advertisements. The current research conducts a quantitative content analysis of television commercials. The researcher first recorded the frequency of representation of characters from varied culturally diverse backgrounds in television advertisements and then examined the nature of role portrayals on the basis of religion and skin tone of the characters. The sampling technique used is purposive wherein advertisements broadcasted during prime time of two leading entertainment channel—Star Plus and Colors were recorded and analysed. The criteria for selection of units of analysis in ads was that all the characters selected had at least one line of dialog or they appeared on screen for at least five seconds.
The Dialectical Cinema of Tomas Gutierrez Alea: Insights for Indian Cinema
One cannot hope to create meaningful popular dialectical cinema by accusing mainstream cinema of being vacuous, of having sold out to the lowest denominator, or of functioning as a narcotic for the masses. Neither can opposing mass aesthetics or desire for delusion swing the other extreme where ‘meaningful’ cinema gains only from its purported opposition to mass-cinema, forcing the viewer into a discussion he might be resistant to. Lastly, a medium of mass consumption cannot be successfully co-opted under the program of ‘instruction’ alone. I believe traditional methods of trying to qualify cinema by framing it within an oppositional paradigm of form and content are absurd, as they are both intertwined. The journey from mass amusement to mass instruction or of belonging to a niche group is doomed from the beginning. Rather than trapping the viewer into a debate, cinema can explore its potential better by drawing him into a contemplation and discussion about the film, in other words, making him a more participative, meaning-making entity.