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Media News Stories

May Day 2016

May Day

The popular perception of May Day is the traditional wash out signifying the continuing wait for the British summer to feature some sun. Given the personal evidence, I was forced to accept this narrative.

Seems that there was very little coverage of the traditional Union May Day protest. Could this be because there was not rioting but a large and peaceful show of solidarity at a time when the layout leader is being vilified?
We even had more coverage of the spiritual / new age Beltane traditions.
But very little of the British Union march in London. They feature “Form around the world” coverage but oddly none from their home country.
We appear, more and more, to have a skewed media portrayal of English “Culture” through a very staid lens. What does this say about the Mass Media in general, and the demands of the audience? What can we deduce about the Grand Narrative from these (admittedly very selective) examples?

…And we are back.

I really haven’t felt like commenting for a long time. For a variety of reasons I have been far too busy; mainly staring open eyed and unblinking in my disbelief at the Leveson enquiry.

So, I have picked up my jaw, put on my “I told you so” T-shirt am now joining in the fray to try to figure out what the hell has gone on here. Firstly, remember Vince Cable? He got sacked for saying he didn’t like the Murdoch empire. That made him not impartial. Fair enough. So why is Hunt still in post? He was in constant contact with BskyB and has admitted that some of the information was illegal. He also blocked competitors, meaning that the BskyB bid was pretty much a monopoly bid.

The Con-Dem’s are pretty much neck deep in this now.

It would appear that all of these major players really don’t know what is happening. Rupert Murdoch really didn’t seem to get that he is implicated in Blackmail, as well as invasion of privacy and stealing information. He really doesn’t seem to get that his company broke the law. Cameron has suspended the ministerial code for Jeremy Hunt:In effect, he is saying that the ministers are above the law too. Never mind Media Ethics, this is just unethical on every level.

From an educational point of view, this is the party that hates Media Education: Chris Patten once described media studies as “Disneyland for the weaker minded”. The whole investigation into Media Ethics is showing it is the business mind, not the creative mind, that is at fault. Cameron, Hunt, Murdoch et al are all, at heart, business people – they sell stuff for money. The whole concept of a “rogue journalist” has gone. Management gave the order, and made sure it was carried out. Strikes me that if they studied the subject themselves, they might not now be being roasted in such a public way across all the media they claim to control.

Digital Economy Act not fit for Purpose?

Filesharing prosecutions will face serious problems, says judge | Technology |

Judge Birss QC has decided that you cannot attach an individual to an IP address. This is nothing new, as most torrent software actually adds fake IP addresses into the lists anyway, so the issue of using an IP address to prosecute someone for illegal file sharing has been fraught for quite some time. Read the rest of this entry

Short Films

Short films: Meet the directors who grab your attention and don’t let go | Film | The Observer

Mail protests X-Factor Sleaze Storm by printing the best bits

Update: as of 20th April, Ofcom agrees with me!
The X Factor cleared over Rihanna and Christina Aguilera dance routines | Media |

X Factor sleaze storm grows: TV watchdog to act after thousands protest over lewd prime-time scenes | Mail Online

ITV faces a huge backlash after thousands of viewers protested about lewd performances on the X Factor final.

Critics called on media regulator Ofcom to launch an inquiry into why ‘disgusting’ routines were shown before the watershed.

The performances by U.S. pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna could have broken Ofcom’s broadcasting code which seeks to protect children from sexualised content.

And I must say, they have some rather nice photos to show “bums hanging out”. Interestingly, it has an issue showing this between 7 and 9pm on TV, but not at any time during the day if in print.

The Mail really needs to look at the difference between”sexualised” content and “Sexual” content. Sexual is the kind of thing we see in a Sex scene – watch “Sexarama” if you are confused. Sexualised, however, is refering to sex without showing it – and I think you will find this is what Mumsnet (the “experts” behind this complaint) are complaining about at the moment – High heeled shoes for toddlers, “Porn Queen” T-shirts for 12 year olds etc.

While I support this protest and agree with the “let children be children”, being prudish about a tame set of dancing in a family show that is no more suggestive than any other dance / ice skating / performance in general shows an element of prudishness. This is not something that will help the main argument – the overt sexualisation of children.

A few pointers – beside the misunderstanding of the two terms, it doesn’t matter how many people complained. And Never, ever, let the Daily Mail attempt to discuss Offcom’s role. It will just end in tears.

Snapshot of Indian TV

India’s ‘vulgar’ reality TV shows judged too real for viewers | World news | The Guardian

When someone is called impotent on Indian TV, It leads to a death – if it happens in England in ends in serialisation of their Autobiography in The Sun. However, Indian culture is such that there is an expectation of morals in the media. Within the last decade, we have seen fire-boming of the film “Fire” because of the main story about two women in love. Other films have been censored by the Bollywood system – why deal with a serious issue in a serious way when you can throw in a song and dance routine? Read the rest of this entry

Amazon Film Studios: Camerons Vision come true?

Amazon sets up movie studio ‘without gate guards’ | Film |

Amazon announce the setting up of their own Film making enterprise, a completely pluralistic exercise that has been tried before with little success. The idea is to let the public decide what films they want to see, and therefore what should be made. But this is just a mini version of the Hollywood system (What’s selling today? Quick! Make more of them!) It doesn’t work on a small scale, in exactly the same way it doesn’t always work on a large scale. Read the rest of this entry

Doc/fest write up.

Sheffield Doc/Fest: how the documentary got democratised | Film |

Copyright vs public domain – How many people really don't get it?

Cooks Source: US copyright complaint sparks Twitter and Facebook storm | Media |

…”the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!”

This is a view we have to fight as teachers, and it is fascinating that it also exists in an apparently experienced publisher. I am used to it in 16 year olds, but the storm that has kicked off since ‘Cooks Source’ copied an article wholesale has proved that not everyone is falling into this trap.

Obviously, the extreme other end is Rupert Murdoch who doesn’t want anyone seeing his copyright material (see various rants against aggregators, like Google – who then link to the original article on the original site). Lessig would argue that his centre of the road approach of Creative Commons is a way to let people ‘try before you buy’ – and it’s very existence is to hold a line directly between the ignorance of free and the obfuscation of paywall.

While I don’t condone the cyber bullying that has occurred, it is bloody funny.

Guardian Best of Flim Genre Lists

The best films ever, by genre | Film |
The greatest films of all time: download the data, as a spreadsheet | News |
The romance 25 | Film |
The crime 25 | Film |
The comedy 25 | Film |

Links to Genres will be added over the next week.