Saturday, 5 June 2010

MED104 - 1.1 Introduction: How does the media engage you? How do youengage with the media?

This week we were introduced to the unit and asked to watch the following video:

Did You Know 4.0

and read the following blog post by Henry Jenkins:

"Critical Information studies for a participatory culture (pt 2)"


and asked to discuss the following:

* Identify personal media use and preferences; survey group and classify according to entertainment, information, communication uses;
* How do views about recent developments in the media differ between students and friends/family/older generations/different cultures? Why?

I posted the following in response to the class discussion question:


I started working in IT in 1993 so I've been a bit of a geek for years now - my husband jokes that if it's not online then it doesn't exist in my world (although he's almost as bad). I read newspapers online and get other news delivered via email but I rarely read a "real" newspaper. I use Facebook for personal use, LinkedIn for business and a few different Twitter accounts for personal, business and now Uni, although I mostly use Twitter as a reader. Any holiday or show I've booked in the last few years has been done almost entirely online, and I do a fair bit of shopping online as well because I find it far more convenient. I also (naughty naughty!) download TV shows and watch them in my own time, rather than relying on the TV networks to actually run the shows a/ in a timely way after they're released overseas and b/ in the right order (one network in particular used to drive me insane by regularly showing episodes of ongoing series out of order). That being said, I don't want to sound TOO geeky - I still do normal offline stuff like shopping, travel, going to the footy and getting out with friends and family when I can. :>


As a rule though, most of my friends and family (ie. people aged 30+) haven't been as quick to adopt new media and even those that have mostly did so when those things became "mainstream". I remember when my daughter was born in 2003 and I was put in a mothers group, and I suggested getting everybody's email address - 3 of the 10 girls didn't have email at all and several others had it but rarely used it, or only had it at work and they weren't working at that time. Nowadays they all have email, broadband in the home and they're all on Facebook too, but I got my first email address in 1994 so I don't really see that as a quick uptake! My Dad is now hooked on eBay but that was largely because the Trading Post stopped printing - he does find it convenient but he still struggles with typing on the keyboard and would prefer to speak to people on the phone. So I think that while there are lots of changes happening with regard to "new media" and a lot of people find it interesting and exciting to imagine what might happen in the future, there are also a lot of other people who aren't interested and don't embrace change - so what people envisage and what actually happens are often two different things. :>
 
With regard to a response to Jenkin's blog post, I sent the following:

I found the first concept in this article, about fear, particularly interesting because I think that fear influences a lot more of what happens nowadays than it did in the past. I find it sort of ironic, when you think about the so-called freedom that the Internet has provided society in the last decade, and then think about whether the Internet has actually enabled the spread of "the politics of fear" as well. I found a good article here (http://cpd.org.au/article/fear-political-weapon-and-how-we-should-respond), written in 2006, titled "Fear as a political weapon and how we should respond" which gives some interesting examples. 


I'm trying not to drag this into every single discussion I have in my life nowadays (but it's tough because I'm so cross about it!) but the first example that sprung to my mind when reading Jenkins' blog post concerned the methods used by the current Australian government in pushing through their proposed internet filter, which I think is a great example of policy-by-fear. Jenkins referred to this exact thing when describing the group who questioned "sexual predator" myths. Virtually every speech that Senator Conroy has given in the last few months has included the term "child pornography" and he has even attempted to turn that phrase around on his opponents in the type of smear campaign that Jenkins describes. It seems to me that it's all a blatant attempt to scare as many parents into agreeing with him as possible, even though the proposed solution has been demonstrated to be technically unfeasible, will not result in a single arrest, and does nothing to actually combat the problem. So I'm very interested to see how it might all end up. :>
 
At this stage I'm not really sure what's required of this Learning Portfolio so for now I'll leave it at that!

Cheers,
Nicky
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