The sum of all things (Reflection blog)

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Okay so I’m here looking at the computer, drinking my coffee (as usual) and trying to decide the best way to sum up everything I have learnt from my blogs and other fellow bloggers too. So I’m going to start off with the journey

The journey of looking back at what I have learnt.  Well, surprisingly, from completing these six blogs I have gained a great deal and this has helped me understand the media and all its aspects much better. Basically coming into this course and then completing this assessment has definitely changed the way I think about the media and given me more insight. I loved reading everyone’s blogs and their different ideas about the subjects. Reading other classmates blogs helped me learn how to write a great bog. I enjoyed the process of creating my blogs and researching images or clips to emphasise my points. From this journey I can definitely say I’m no longer an amateur blogger (well, I would like to think that anyway).

The summarising of all my blogs

Out of all the topics, if I had to pick my favourite it would have to be the public sphere not only did I love talking about the child beauty pageants but I love when something in the media comes up and you just start these little debates with people at dinner time or when hanging out with your friends. I do enjoy a good debate (sometimes I get a little too into it).
When completing the blog about ‘who controls the media’, I was amazed to discover how much control some individuals have over certain aspects of the media, for example Rupert Murdoch.
The ‘Media effects model’ blog I found interesting as even though it was established that the media does not always have an influence over what actions people make it can still have slight influence in the way we see things.
‘The representation of images’ blog showed some very interesting advertisements (I did enjoy my advertisement of the pregnant nun) and it was interesting to read what other people interpreted from these blogs.

The end result

In the end, this assessment not only allowed me to expand my technological skills but I also gained more understanding in my course.

So I’m going to you leave you guys with this question… When it comes to media how much do you really know about it now?

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Beauty or Brutality (Toddlers and Tiaras)


Suggest how it might contribute to a debate in a mediated public sphere

Jurgen Habermas came up with the concept of a ‘public sphere’ in which he described it as a “social life in which public opinion can be formed and which is accessible to all”. This is seen as a part of democracy. The ‘mediated public sphere’ looks at the role of the media and popular media within the public sphere.

A popular media text that could contribute to a debate in the mediated public sphere is the TV show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ as it focuses on young children parading around in extravagant costumes, lots of makeup and big hairdos. This could influence a debate in a mediated public sphere as some people may find the concept very controversial and inappropriate. There has already been an example of a mediated public debate when the beauty pageants came to Melbourne, it caused conflict and a public debate with anti-pageant protesters on the steps of Melbourne Parliament House on May 25 2011. This will always be a debatable topic as there will always be individuals who support the child beauty pageants and there will always be those individuals who find them controversial.

The issues that may be raised are; that young girls are growing up too fast, its sexualisation of young girls and it may have some effect on their mental wellbeing. The show has contestants that are as young as 18 months old, most of the children experience spray tanning, waxing and other beauty products that are common for older women but not considered normal for children this could be just one of the issues raised within the debate. Some people may see child beauty pageants as harmless fun but the show places the idea of perfection and having the complete package as being the most important thing, this may possibly be an issue as it could affect the emotional well-being of children as they are socialised.

The show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ could contribute to a debate in the mediated public sphere as some aspects of it focus on issues within child development. Here is another clip that I thought might interest people. The TYT discuss about a contestant from ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ named Honey Boo Boo.

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Who is the King of the Media World? Does it matter?

Why does it matter who ‘controls’ the media? 

I read newspapers, magazines, I watch the news (sometimes) and I listen to the radio. These types of media are controlled by someone. Some people have a rather large control over media such as Rupert Murdoch. Why does it matter? It matters because media plays a large part in our society and with people being able to have this control that allows them to have greater influence over what is released in the media.

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There are ‘big’ companies and ‘powerful’ individuals who have complete control over the mass media but with the technology now available to everyone this allows people to have their own control.

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Otago Daily Times suggests this same point in their article ‘Controlling the media’, “Nowadays, virtually anyone with a computer and an internet connection can publish and spread news and opinion”.

If we have the one person controlling the media such as Rupert Murdoch this gives  him a lot of power and allows him to have the influence over what he ‘feeds’ to the audience.  However, in saying this, where does the control of the media stop? Is there a reason why certain countries have the control censorship on their media?

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These countries have strong control over their media as they choose what the media can put out, but this is not the case in all countries such as Australia. We cannot control what the media puts out, not even the government. So in saying that, is the media controlling the media?
It does matter who has control over the media, the more control one person has the more influence they have over the information that is put out.

Check out this sight for some pretty interesting statistics-


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Forgive me for I have Sinned


Advertisements are one of the most useful ways to get a point across or to promote something. The way we interpret signs in advertisements depends on our beliefs, values and ideologies. This is how we give meaning to the image and how it is represented to us. Signs are comprised of two things the signifier and the signified. When analysing images we start with the denotations of the image first then follow with the connotations.

Typing controversial advertisements into Google, I received a lot of interesting and sometimes disturbing results. As soon as I came across the advertisement I chose I knew straight away I wanted to do this one. Not only was it controversial it was also humorous.

The advertisement shows several signifiers within the image. We see a woman in a nuns outfit holding a tub of ice cream. The background and the colours used are dark and there is minimum use of engaging text. The way elements are positioned focus on the ice cream and the pregnant belly of the woman. The connotations of this image demonstrate a sinful vibe. The nun in this image is pregnant and is looking down at the tub of ice cream, the expression on her face shows lust for the ice cream. The advertisement is demonstrating guilty pleasure.
The text, ‘immaculately conceived’ can be both directed at the woman’s belly and the ice cream. It represents the fact that the nun becoming pregnant and the ice cream are both sinful acts. In the bottom corner of the image the text ‘ice cream is our religion’ demonstrates the ice cream as a holy figure.

Idealistically in society nuns are seen as pure and virtuous, this is not portrayed in the advertisement.



Are we just another bunch of zombies? (What is wrong with the ‘Media Effects’ model?)

Media is a big part of our society but in saying this just because we are so involved with the media does not necessarily mean that every action we have taken has been influenced by what we have read, seen or heard. Media is sometimes blamed for the violent acts of others. This is because we are surrounded by violent images on various forms of media such as computer games, television, the Internet, U-tube. The media effects model says this will influence our behavior and cause us to demonstrate what we see. A question we should be asking about media today is ‘Why media is blamed so much for what goes on within society?’ Just like in the article ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘Media Effects’ model’.

The effects model begins with the media first and then tries to connect a social issue to the media, rather than looking at the social issue first, then seeking to see if there is any influence and if so where did it come from. If you examine certain case studies like the Jamie Bulger murder, the two young killers grew up in environments that were surrounded by alcoholism, poverty, neglect and bullying. These were also contributing factors which led to the violent act.

In the article ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘Media Effect’s model’  ‘the effects model makes no attempt to understand meanings of the media’. The effects model automatically assumes and criticizes the media by repeatedly accusing media of endorsing violence within society. The ‘Effects model’ focuses on the point that the media presents the one concept which is violence.


“People who watch a lot of television are likely to be more influenced by the ways in which the world is framed by television programs than are individuals who watch less, especially regarding topics of which the viewer has little first-hand experience.”- Cultivation Theory,%20Culture%20and%20Society/Cultivation_Theory-1.doc/

Looking at the medium of television, I believe that media can influence our beliefs of what reality or the norm is. That is, it could make us believe that what happens or is portrayed on a show is typical of real life. A perfect example of this is when my American roommate shared information about America with me. I found myself comparing what she told me to how life in America is portrayed on television shows that I watch. Obviously many of the things I asked her turned out to be different to what I saw on these shows. Whilst I had the wrong impression of what America is like in reality, I never felt it influenced the way I behaved. That is, I did not try to emulate the characters.


Introduction-BCM110 Blog One



Welcome fellow bloggers to my first blog site ever!! This is all very exciting for me. My name is Elen McCabe I am a coffee addict, friendly, ‘Friends’ loving 19 year old. I am from Dubbo, I was born in Shellharbour and currently live at Campus East. This is my first year of University which is very scary and exciting at the same time. I am studying a Media and Communication degree and I have chosen Psychology as an elective. I am majoring in Advertising and Marketing.

I completed year 12 in 2011 and then took a year off from study and travelled to London, Paris, Nice, Italy (12 day contiki tour now this gave o-week a run for its money), Athens and Mykonos. I would love to return to London and either study or work there for a few years. My experience from travelling really gave me an insight into different cultures and I’ve now caught the travelling bug.

Back at home I would buy The Sunday Telegraph after work; this is probably one of the newspapers I find the most interesting. I have Facebook and like every other person I can get a bit addicted to it.

My dream job was always to work on the television show ‘Getaway’. I’m sure a lot of people had the same idea. Who wouldn’t want to be paid to travel? When I graduate I would love to go into the field of broadcasting or hosting a show.

I have the belief that if you work hard and believe in yourself that you can achieve the dreams and aspirations that you have. This quote from Audrey Hepburn exemplifies my belief:

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible”.