Binge Drinking Laws perpetuate Underage Drinking in Dangerous Environments

STUDENTS from the University of Wollongong have conflicting views regarding the State Government’s proposal for a law that could send parents to jail for up to 12 months if they allow minors, not being their own children to consume alcohol within their homes.

While the students agreed that underage drinking is a significant problem within the Illawarra area, many thought that the harsh conditions of these laws would not control underage drinking, but rather lead the youth to drink in more dangerous environments rather than that of a home where adults are present.

“Underage drinking cannot really be avoided, it happens everywhere! If they can’t drink in a controlled environment of the home, they will just run into the parks and other dangerous environments to consume the alcohol, and the problem will just become even worse!” stated psychology student, Sarah Smith.

Students were also questioning whether it was fair that parents took the responsibility for minors drinking behaviours, and believed that underage drinking could be better controlled if youth were faced with harsher penalties.

Bob Brown, a father of two teenagers, stated that “If minors want to drink, they will drink. Laws that do not affect them will not make them stop drinking. It has to be specifically impacting on their own lives, being that if they drink, they cop the blame.”

Emily Hunter, a Bachelor of Medicine student also agreed that underage drinking has to be controlled and that it’s the society’s responsibility as a whole to be a part of the stop of underage drinking.

“Something definitely has to be done. The risk of 12 months imprisonment may actually be the answer to deterring parents to allow minors from drinking, therefore hopefully putting a stop for underage drinking for good!”

NOTE: Names have been changed due to privacy reasons


Media Blog Reflection

The issues regarding Body Image have constantly been a predominant aspect within the media, being both in detrimental ways that has become a factor of causing eating disorders as well as the media conveying body image in a positive way that has perpetuated the idea of healthy living. Over the past 12 weeks of being enrolled in BCM110, I have been researching and evaluating a variety of media platforms that have conveyed the issues that relate to Body Image and this has significantly helped me to better understand the media principles and aspects discussed in the BCM110 course.

The internet has become a public sphere where people have been able to voice their opinions and Habermas (1991) commented on this saying that the public sphere “may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people coming together as a public.” This media principle of the public sphere has been relevant whilst researching Body Image, as the internet has become a place where the public is able to converse and voice their opinions about the issue, conveying the concept of the public sphere.

The public sphere of the internet has allowed users to become prosumers, being that they are not only consumers of the media, but they have now become producers, continually producing and voicing out their own opinions, which has made a significant influence on the issue of Body Image. Whilst researching this issue on the internet, I have found a lot of information and statements that are reporting on Body Image in a way that would be detrimental to its audience, being with the example of Ninemsn and the way that it portrayed singer/actress Rihanna in which you can read here. In evaluating this article in particular as well as a multiple of other internet articles in which relate to body image, I have concluded that because of the use of hot buttons that have motivated people in reading the article, a result has been that it can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health, and depending on a person’s emotional state, it can lead to eating disorders.

Since the 90s, eating disorders have been commonly reported on within all aspects of the media. During these 12 weeks of evaluating and following the different ways that the media has conveyed the issue of body image, especially relating to eating disorders, it was not surprising that I found many campaigns and articles that seemed positive to its viewer. These positive articles and campaign such as The Butterfly Foundation hosting a “Ladies Long Lunch” found in the Blacktown Sun Herald, which promoted having a better self esteem, was an example of this and I found that this would have extremely beneficial effects on individual members of the audience.

The media principle of the individual was another important aspect of the BCM110 course and whilst evaluating the issue of Body Image in the media, it resulted in a clearer understanding of the concept of the individual. The individual has an important role to play in the media’s perpetuation of healthy living, as they control how a certain article or campaign is taken and whether or not it is beneficial to the overall society. The individual’s role is also increasing because of the availability of new technologies that have promoted the concept of prosumerism, as well as the phenomenon of citizen journalism.

An organisation that has emerged as a result of citizen journalism is ‘Pro-ana,’ which is a group of individuals that are ‘for anorexia.’ The internet is a common platform where this organisation mostly confides with the use of images and statements which they call ‘thinspo’ or ‘thinspiration.’ The media has reported on this issue a multiple of times, and in a multiple of ways through television reports, news articles and also in magazines, but this organisation continues to thrive despite the negativity that surrounds it because of the media. This issue can be found on my blog post here.

The issue of Body Image, regarding Pro-ana has caused a stir in society because of the way that the audience thinks that it is a moral panic. The concept of moral panic was learnt about in BCM110 and is a media generated movement that sees something as being a threat to society, and in this case, relating to Body Image the moral panic was about the organisation being ‘pro-ana.’

Overall, in producing these eight blog posts over the course of the BCM110 subject, I have been able to significantly expand my knowledge about the media as well as the society which I live. I have been able to learn more about the media’s role in perpetuating an issue in society, as well as the benefits and detrimental impacts that it can have. A significant part of my learning during the BCM110 course was to be able to critically discern media not only in relation to body image, but in a range of circumstances. In conclusion, the BCM110 subject has been very beneficial to my learning outcomes, and it will significantly help in future references.

BCM112 Reflection

During my experiences writing and engaging with the blogs relating to the concepts of convergent media studies in BCM112, I believe I have been able to gain and develop different skills that would be extremely influential in engaging better with the cours. The blogs have also given me a platform which has enabled me to be a part of the participatory culture, as well as becoming a ‘prosumer.’

One of my best blog’s being, “I Got the Power,” I evaluated how the role of the audience has changed, and how the ‘prosumer’ has become a prevalent part of the online society. I also used a range of sources to understand the concept of citizen journalism, in a more in depth way which I became quite interested in. This overall made the quality of my learning much more influential and beneficial to my studies.

In week eight, I wrote a blog titled “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” which focused on how the audience has changed into a participatory culture, allowing for the new ‘remix culture’ to become a more significant aspect of today’s society. This particular blog was one of my best entries, as I significantly evaluated and was engaging with the subject matter, by writing a clear and focused discussion. Another justification of this blog is that I did my own research to further analyse what had been spoken about in the lecture, which also helped me to understand the concepts that had been discussed within the lecture, as well as the reading.

Another effective blog post which I wrote was “Citizen Journalism, in week nine because I conveyed the different issues surrounding citizen journalism, in both an objective and critical way that analysed the negative and positive impacts of this new phenomenon of citizen journalism. I also used a multiple of sources, which also validated and supported the information in which I was evaluating.

Overall, I think that the blog posts allowed me to create my own opinions about the concept of citizen, and participatory culture, which also helped me to engage and be productive, both within future lectures, as well as in the tutorials.

The Troll

Citizen’s have become more and more involved within the world wide web, and as I have previously blogged, citizen’s have become ‘prosumers’ and a part of a participatory culture where they are able to have a strong voice within the public sphere. This ability to broadcast any message over a multiple platforms has not only had positive effects, but also has caused the concept of ‘trolling’ where creators are being abused because of the information and views that they were ‘encouraged’ to voice.

Trolling becomes apparent when ‘humour’ and jokes go that little too far, and social network has made this phenomenon of trolling much easier to access. Over time, this discrimination has not aimed at any particular group, but instead, the ‘trolling’ has plagued the internet in a multiple of areas which has been extremely detrimental to internet users, causing negativity to be lurking around every corner.

In this week’s BCM112 lecture, the internet based trolling named as ‘misogyny’ being the harassment and abuse of females over the internet, was discussed. This type of trolling often was directed at those who, for some reason, did not ‘fit in’ with the ideas surrounding being ‘sexually attractive.’ Trolls, relating to misogyny aimed to pick on women, trying to create an emotional response to occur, which then fuel the trolls to retaliate even further.

Although trolling has occurred because of the freedom which has risen within the internet, I do not think it is the blame for its occurrence, but rather it is the user who has the power to stop the occurrence of trolling. The user is the ultimate gatekeeper of trolling and I think that more people should be aware of the ways which trolling is able to be stopped.

Rather than a user retaliating against this trolling behaviour, users need to be aware of the other ways to handle it such as a delete of a certain comment or even using the ‘well known’ report button.

Overall, everyone has their rights within social media platforms and it is critical that the ‘prosumers’ now are aware of these right as well as ways in which they can maintain them.

Citizen Journalism

Click image for photo source.

When evaluating citizen journalism and the implications that it has on the institutional news media, as well as on the perpetuation of information, I am reminded of Pierre Levy’s quote [stated below.] This quote conveys the concept of collective intelligence and the way that society has transformed into a participatory culture, where every person has the right and ability to be a ‘prosumer.’ It also conveys the idea that putting all the information that a person knows, with the information that another has, the content produced becomes more useful.

“No one knows everything, but everyone knows something”.

– Pierre Levy

In my previous blogs, I have reported on the ways that citizen journalism has evolved as well as the way that it has given access to those who were once ‘voiceless.’ Citizen journalism has been extremely useful in that the majority of footage and information is firsthand and in most cases unedited footage, where a person has been ‘at the right place, at the right time’ and this can be seen in this video here. This footage is also likely to have, if any, little bias which also contributes to the overall reliability of this footage.
There are many positive implications that citizen journalism has had on the institutional news media, as in many cases, footage and information that a citizen has found, whether it be a photograph, a video or even a blog entry, these mediums have been used by professional journalists to portray a more in-depth perspective to a story which they are reporting. This aspect of collective intelligence significantly conveys how citizen journalism and institutional media have used the information that they know, to create something more reliable, supporting Levy’s initial quote.
Another aspect of citizen journalism, which is also discussed by Henry Jenkins in this article, is that the two forms of the media are able to provide multiple perspectives of the one story, which then allows the story to become more compelling to each individual member of the audience. This aspect of citizen journalism also allows for the perpetuation of a news story to become more progressive. For example, if a formal news report does not appeal to them, a member of the audience is not limited to that one form, and is able to research it through other mediums and platforms that citizen journalism has allowed for.

Overall in critically reviewing this concept of citizen journalism, it is very important that society embraces their new roles, so that, as a result, this participatory culture can continue to be effective both within the audience’s own micro societies, as well as positively influencing the wider macro society as a whole.

“We sing, we dance, we steal things.”

“We SING, we DANCE we STEAL things”

In this above quote, the singer Jason Mraz uses the issues surrounding copyright and the notions of ‘remixing’ in a way that really emphasises how it has become a part of the ‘norm’ and the way that commercialism is able to continually grow today. This quote is stating that ideas, whether it is from a song, a dance, basically from anywhere, ideas are continually being transformed to create newer and better things because of the increasing influence of technology on its audience today.

Technology has been a significant influence on the rise of this ‘remix’ culture and is increasingly encouraging the audience to participate and be a part of something that could never be done before, allowing access to so many other people’s thoughts and ideas that ‘remix’ is almost inevitable. Audiences are no longer just ‘passive receptors’ of content but instead are continually pushing the boundaries to become ‘pro-sumers’ (combination of the words producer and consumer) demanding more rights and freedom to manipulate content in attempt to create something even more distinctive to themselves and the culture in which they live emphasising the idea that:

“The sharing of culture is constitutive of the culture itself.” (Stalder, F 2008.)

Remix, or ‘mashups’, even though they have become such a popular aspect have raised concern about copyright and the legality of using past content to create something of the future and whether or not a ‘remixer’ has freedom to distribute their remix without breaching multiple laws regarding to copyright. Professor Robert Merges, a lecturer at Berkeley Law University in California, believes that copyright laws should not be changed in relation to remixing and mashups because of the many complications that would incur if there were to be one, and the evaluation of his comments can be seen here. There would also be no way to significantly monitor every type of remix, because most ideas have already been thought of, in theory making everything to being a remix. The benefits of technology and the way that audience have become a collective audience has allowed for ideas to be built upon, thus creating an idea that is more influential in a society. Voltaire states the idea of originality perfectly, and I support the claim that;

“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.”

Lessig also comments on this phenomonen of the remix culture, and states that any establishment being where the original content first came from, has the direct right to their content and has the power to penalise users who may ‘steal or abuse’ their work. Lessig also evaluates the way that the remix culture may actually be extremely beneficial to both society and the original work, as it creates an insight to the world, that the first artist may not have seen before, therefore enabling a more stronger, maybe even more emotional work to be produced and put forward. It also may be extremely benefical in keeping an audience appealled and interested in the work, and this variation may even “prevent the viewer from wandering to another channel” (Lessig). Also remix can also be beneficial in being that “It touches social life differently. It gives the audience something more. Or better, it asks something more of the audience. It is offered as a draft. It invites a response. In a culture in which it is common, its citizens develop a kind of knowledge that empowers as much as it informs or entertains.” (Remix Culture).

Rather than establishments focusing on the negatives of this remix culture, they should get on board and become more aware of how this phenomenon may actually be beneficial to them. What do you think of this remix culture? Should copyright laws be in place to prevent remixes from happening or is it a positive aspect of today’s society? Let me know what you think.

Image Source

Google Images


So multicultural

I am not sure how this happened but thankyou so much for your views and follows! I will keep trying to make interesting and informative posts for everybody!!

It is not nerdy to be a nerd!

The concept of ‘coolification’ (Raewyn Campbell 2012) has been rapidly growing nowadays, where the idea of the ‘nerd’ is becoming what is considered to be ‘cool.’ Nowadays, the style of the nerd is not only being advertised by more people including celebrities being bombarded in platforms such as magazines and on the internet but has also become a more accepted stereotype in the society today.

Due to technology and the way that media has been able to undergo convergence through the flow of content across multiple channels, the views and opinions surrounding the ‘nerd’ has significantly been altered. Technology today plays an extremely important role in the community, being that nearly everything is either controlled or associated with a form of technology, that, newsflash was created by these first nerds, once associated with negativity but now having a huge impact on not only our technological lives, but also in other areas such as with the ‘geek chic’ style and fashions.

Take a look at Steve Jobs, the creator of many Apple products such as the Mac computer, iPhone and the iPad, for example. He is a nerd and his net worth is about 7.8 billion dollars and is still rising. Also above this, Jobs is extremely famous that now people are aspiring and are increasingly inspired to be just like him.

Well, why has this change occurred? How did these once uncool, bullied and outkasts of society suddenly become the people that we are all aspiring to be? Money! While ‘jocks’ and other sorts in the 80s and 90s were teasing and ridiculing ‘nerds’ sitting behind computer screens, nerds were doing much more, and this has significantly influenced society much more today. These nerds were pushing forward their ideas both of and on the online community, collaborating with other nerds over the net to produce better computers, ipads, androids and many other products that we now take advantage of today. These nerds were creating something BIG, and as a result have become extremely rich and famous because of their smart and ‘nerdy’ ways.

It is now not nerdy to be a nerd.

Image Source: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/napoleon-dynamite/images/117734/title/napoleon-dynamite-photo



Transmedia storytelling

Remember when we were young, and we were told stories passed down from generation to generation, read stories from picture books and watched video’s on a pixilated screen that seemed to create such entertainment for us all. Storytelling in fact has been a part of the society for thousands of years, and has been through a continuous evolution, transforming nowadays into the idea of ‘transmedia’ storytelling which I was made aware in this week’s BCM112 lecture.

Transmedia storytelling refers to the presentation of one story across a multifaceted flow of different channel, allowing the audience to both understand and engage with a story in a more significant way.

Transmedia has allowed the audience to become a more active part in the media, as they are able to interact with the many extensions that may have resulted from a particular story, allowing them to become ‘prosumers.’ Take for example, the phenomenon of J.K Rowlings series of ‘Harry Potter.’ Harry Potter begun as a series of books, but over time has evolved into films, internet sites, games, comics and many more. Like many other films and books that have become a part of transmedia storytelling, it encourages a wider audience so that those who may not like one medium will not become limited to knowing a story as they are able to access another form of the story across a different medium. For example, if a person did not like reading and did not want to read the Harry Potter series, they would still be able to access the series through watching the films.

Another important aspect of Transmedia, is the way in which it perpetuates a narrative to completely be told and understood by the audience because of the range of forms that the narrative is being conveyed, a stronger, more detailed message is able to be a result if the audience participates in a range of these forms.

Transmedia storytelling has also allowed multiple markets which has increased its original revenue, clearly being extremely positive to its original market of the book. Nowadays, productions all over the world are not limited to relying on books and films to earn their money, as they are able to market on so many other mediums to publicize and generate the original content both before and after a particular story has come out.

Overall, the idea of transmedia storytelling is quite beneficial for the media and society nowadays so that more and more people are able to become significantly involved in the society and media. What about you, what do you think about this new way of storytelling?

Image Source: http://www.newmedici.com/2010/06/21/the-reboot-of-transmedia-content/


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