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Media and Ideology

Mediated Reality
Media and Ethics
Gender Representation in Media
Race Representation in Media
Media as Check and Balance
Social Media



Daniel Siew 2014 Term 3
But First:
Mediated Reality
Unless one can have a direct experience of reality,
our perception of reality must be mediated in some
way often through the mass media

Especially so for social and political realities

In fact, we live in a mediated reality

Imagine how much power the media then holds
over us because effectively, our realities are
constructed by the media.
Mediated Reality = Alienation from Reality?
In USA:

99.5% of homes with electricity have TVs
95% watch some TV every day
Ave Home: TV on 8 hrs/day
Ave Adult: watches 5 hrs/day
(By age 6: more time watching TV than will speak to
father for rest of your life)
60 70% use television as the sole source of political
information
Functions of the Media (1)
1. Reporting the news the most
important function of the media

Question: what are the factors that
determine if an event / occurrence /
phenomenon / view is worth reporting
on?


Newsworthiness / News Values
News values are guidelines used by
media outlets to determine how much
prominence to give to a story or even
if a story is worth pursuing in the first
place
Quite obviously, different media outlets
favour different news values
depending on their agenda
Newsworthiness / News Values
Generally, these are the factors (non-exhaustive) that
make a story newsworthy:
1.Impact (how many people are affected?)
2.Immediacy (how recent is the story?)
3.Prominence (how well-known are the people
involved?)
4.Proximity (how close is the story to the audience?)
5.Conflict (is there drama involved?)
6.Bizarreness (is the story unusual?)
7.Currency (is the story currently being talked about?)

Newsworthiness / News Values
According to former Times and Sunday Times (UK)
Editor, Harold Evans, a news story
is about necessary information and unusual events
should be based on observable facts
should be an unbiased account
should be free from the reporters opinion

Is media neutrality, however, possible?

Media and Bias Partisan Journalism
Partisan Journalism involves carrying the viewpoints of political
parties.

Before the US Civil War, political parties actually subsidized the
operations of certain newspapers. The aim was obvious.

Partisan journalism is now less common and less overt because of
commercialization (whatever subsidies political parties can
provide are dwarfed by the revenue earned from
advertisements), and also adherence to journalistic ethics.

Question: Partisan journalism can encourage democratic
participation but it can also be said to cloud the judgment of self-
governing people. What do you think?
Sample Journalistic Code of Ethics (from
Society of Professional Journalists)
1. Seek truth and report it
2. Minimise harm
3. Act independently
4. Be accountable

Read: Code of Ethics in Full
Partisan Journalism in Singapore?

Question: Does partisan journalism
occur in Singapore in any form? What
evidence do you have to support your
view?
Partisan Journalism in Singapore?

Public Criticism of Singapore Press Holdings
-Chairpersons of SPH have been civil servants. Notable ones
include:
- S R Nathan (SPH Executive Chairman from 1982 1988): Former Director of
the Security and Intelligence Division and later President of Singapore
- Tjong Yik Min (SPH Executive President from 1994 2002): Former chief of
the Internal Security Department
- Tony Tan (SPH Chairman from 2006 2011): Former Deputy Prime Minister
and current President

Public Criticism of Mediacorp
-Mediacorp is owned by Temasek Holdings

Question: How fair are these criticisms?

Media and Bias Yellow Journalism
Yellow journalism is the deliberate use of hyperbole
and melodrama and even fabricated stories to sell
newspapers.

More information on Yellow Journalism:
http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/spring04/vance/yellowj
ournalism.html

Video Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0mjkLPvrQM

Yellow Journalism Today?
Sensationalism





Fabrication
Read: Jimmys World
Case Study: News of the World
Phone Hacking
Video Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZV
8LGnnGgU (22:44)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTip
-EOQIxs (16: 47)

Read: Phone Hacking Timeline
Media and Bias Interpretive Reporting
Interpretive reporting goes beyond the
basic facts of an event or topic to
provide context, analysis or possible
consequences. As opposed to
objective reporting, judgments are
made by journalists.

Read article on Robinsons MD stepping
down.
Functions of the Media (2)
1. Reporting the News
2. Entertainment

Video Clip: Little Britain
Overt or Covert Bias?
Overt bias is the open display of prejudice,
while covert bias is the implicit or hidden
display of prejudice.

Discussion:

Which do you think is more insidious /
deceitful overt or covert bias?

Which has the greater potential to influence
the audience?
Beijing, China, 4 June 1989.
Chechnya, May 1995.
Kuro, South Korea, 18 December 1987.
Covert Bias
Biases need not be overt they can
also be exposed through the use of
language words with connotations.

Can you think of ways in which writers
may subconsciously reveal their
prejudices?

Examples
Positive representation of self vs
negative representation of the other,
also known as Otherness.
Reporting certain views and
marginalising or leaving out others
prejudice is always reflected in the
facts we choose to highlight or ignore.
Foregrounding vs backgrounding

Hunks and Handmaidens
Read the article. What gender
ideologies can you glean from the text?

Hunks vs Handmaidens

What are the connotations for these 2
terms?
Subtitle comment
My sons learned early to make
lasagna then came puberty, and
damsels lining up to help.
Subtitle comment
My sons learned early to make
lasagna then came puberty, and
damsels lining up to help.

Note the assignment of blame:
puberty and damsels

Para 1
Suddenly, the family phone
recorder began to fill up with
breathless messages from what his
older brother referred to as
Rhetts Gidgets, flaxen-haired
surfer girls from a nearby beach.


Para 1
Suddenly, the family phone recorder began
to fill up with breathless messages from what
his older brother referred to as Rhetts
Gidgets, flaxen-haired surfer girls from a
nearby beach.

Note: adjectival descriptions, derogatory
terms

Gidget is a character created by author Frederick
Kohner (based on his teenage daughter, Kathy) in
his 1957 novel, Gidget, the Girl with Big Ideas. The
novel follows the surf culture adventures of a boy
crazy teenage girl and her surfing friends on the
beaches of southern California.

Para 1
Like fruit flies they appeared in dense
buzzing masses with exotic names like
Shaunna, Tiffany, Kendra and
Kimberly


Para 1
Like fruit flies they appeared in dense
buzzing masses with exotic names like
Shaunna, Tiffany, Kendra and
Kimberly

Note: dense buzzing masses and
previously, breathless
Theyre all the same, just with different
names.

Para 2
The waitress, an attractive Madonna
clone, went into great detail with him
concerning salad dressings, crust
types, cheese consistencies, toppings,
whether he wanted ice with his Coke,
did he live in the neighborhood, was
there anything else he might want

Para 2
The waitress, an attractive Madonna clone,
went into great detail with him concerning
salad dressings, crust types, cheese
consistencies, toppings, whether he wanted
ice with his Coke, did he live in the
neighborhood, was there anything else he
might want

Just clones, no individuality

Para 2
When he smiled and shook his head,
she floated off toward the kitchen,
totally forgetting to take my order.


Para 2
When he smiled and shook his head,
she floated off toward the kitchen,
totally forgetting to take my order.

Note: could this be the reason for
authors frustration?

Para 2
Next to my son, I had become
invisible


Para 2
Next to my son, I had become
invisible

Note: again, a clue explaining her
frustration. Appeal to pathos.

Para 3
Like most American moms, I had been
so blinded by the sight of my offspring
in ripped jeans and SAVE THE MANATEE
T shirts, and so deafened by numerous
arguments over the acceptable
decibel level of Beastie Boys CDs, that I
was slow to recognize my firstborn had
become heartthrob material


Para 3
Like most American moms, I had been so
blinded by the sight of my offspring in ripped
jeans and SAVE THE MANATEE T shirts, and so
deafened by numerous arguments over the
acceptable decibel level of Beastie Boys
CDs, that I was slow to recognize my
firstborn had become heartthrob material

Note: Positive representation of son

Para 4
Through some quirks of DNA, my ex-
husband and Itwo average
appearing adultsspawned genetic
celebrities: square-jawed, pearly-
toothed, mahogany-hair, 6-foot-5-inch
slabs of guy flesh whose casual glance
seems to turn many otherwise
articulate young women into babbling
Barbies


Para 4
Through some quirks of DNA, my ex-husband
and Itwo average appearing adults
spawned genetic celebrities: square-jawed,
pearly-toothed, mahogany-hair, 6-foot-5-
inch slabs of guy flesh whose casual glance
seems to turn many otherwise articulate
young women into babbling Barbies

Note: Positive representation of sons,
negative representation of the fruit flies.

Para 5
Wasnt the motherhood manifesto for
women of my generation to abolish
stereotypes?


Para 5
Wasnt the motherhood manifesto for
women of my generation to abolish
stereotypes?

Note: is she herself indulging in
stereotypes?

Para 5
Weve done our part to raise our sons
as full-fledged new team members
competent, caring individuals who
can do more around the house than
crush cans for the recycling bin and
put a new plastic liner in the garbage
pail.

Para 5
Weve done our part to raise our sons
as full-fledged new team members
competent, caring individuals who
can do more around the house than
crush cans for the recycling bin and
put a new plastic liner in the garbage
pail.

Note: so we are not to be blamed

Para 6
Both of my sons learned early to make
an edible lasagna Growing up in a
single-mom household for much of
their lives, they really had to carry their
weight domestically. And they did
for a while.


Para 6
Both of my sons learned early to make
an edible lasagna Growing up in a
single-mom household for much of
their lives, they really had to carry their
weight domestically. And they did
for a while.

Note: Again, so we are not to be
blamed

Para 7
Over the last few years, the boys
domestic skills have atrophied
because handmaidens have
appeared en masse

Para 7
Over the last few years, the boys
domestic skills have atrophied
because handmaidens have
appeared en masse
Cf buzzing masses

Para 7
The damsels have driven by, beeped,
phoned and faxed.


Para 7
The damsels have driven by, beeped,
phoned and faxed.

Note: rather pro-active for damsels

Para 7
Some appeared so frequently outside
the front door they began to remind
me of the suction-footed Garfields
spread-eagled on car windows.

Para 7
Some appeared so frequently outside
the front door they began to remind
me of the suction-footed Garfields
spread-eagled on car windows.
Desperate damsels

Para 7
While the girls varied according to
height, hair color and basic body type,
they shared one characteristic. They
were eager to help the guys out.


Para 7
While the girls varied according to
height, hair color and basic body type,
they shared one characteristic. They
were eager to help the guys out.

Physical differences, but mentally they
are all the same.

Para 9
She did not see the broader
implications.


Para 9
She did not see the broader
implications.

Read: dumb, not a big picture person

Para 9
He could clean his own room


Para 9
He could clean his own room

Note: But he isnt doing any of it, is he?

Para 10
My sons do not have to employ many
of the skills Ive so painstakingly taught
them during our time together.

Young women take one look at the
guys and stand in line to become the
chosen one


Para 10
My sons do not have to employ many of the
skills Ive so painstakingly taught them during
our time together.

Young women take one look at the guys
and stand in line to become the chosen
one

Note: blame assignment not on her own
sons

Para 11
This is not the way it was supposed to
be the reason I read 50 books on
raising males in the new world order.


Para 11
This is not the way it was supposed to
be the reason I read 50 books on
raising males in the new world order.

Note: the Bonnies spoilt it all for her?

Para 11
This is not the payoff I would like for
spending years in a support group for
single moms with sons.

Para 11
Ive done my part.

Note: patting her own back

What is she up to?

She faults the girls, but not the boys
She faults the girls, but not herself
She does not seem to consider the
possibility that maybe her sons are also
at fault
What is the motivation for writing this?

Bias can be hidden through:
Positive representation of self and
negative representation of the other
Deliberate emphasis of certain
information
Deliberate omission of certain
information
Specific choice of words
Racist Media
Video Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n63
_QJGjwag

Question: Do we encounter such racist
media in Singapore? How does
Singapore try to counteract against
these?
Functions of the Media (3)
1. Reporting the News
2. Entertainment
3. Checks and Balances against the
Government
Media as the Fourth Branch of
Government
The traditional three branches of government, as defined in
the American Constitution, are the legislature (makes laws),
the executive (enforces laws) and the judiciary (interprets
and applies laws).

The existence of these three branches allows the
separation of powers to reduce abuse of power.

The media is sometimes referred to as the fourth branch of
government because of its potential role to offer checks
and balances against the government, deemed to be
essential in the healthy functioning of a democracy.
Case Study: Wikileaks
Watch: The Fifth Estate

Discussion Questions (IN PAIRS):
1.Why were The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel so keen
on collaborating with Wikileaks?
2.In the publishing of the Afghan War Logs, evidently, The Guardian, The
New York Times and Der Spiegel were colluding. What concerns does
this collusion raise?
3.What were the instances of Yellow Journalism displayed by the
mainstream media in the film?
4.What were the instances of Yellow Journalism displayed by Wikileaks in
the film? Refer to the sample code of journalistic ethics.
5.Do you think that Julian Assange deserves to be prosecuted? Why? If
so, what for?
6.What parallels and ironies can you draw between our 2 case studies
Wikileaks and the News of the World phone hackings?

Social Media
Social Media is a term that defines the
various activities that integrate
technology, social interaction and the
construction of words, images, audio
and video.

New Media refers to a means of mass
communication using technology such
as the Internet.
New Media
Advantages:
-Immediacy no time lag
-Enables social interaction
-Multiplier effect
-All individuals can become part of news construction
Disadvantages:
-Unregulated
-Anonymity and less responsibility
-Reporters without training
-Reporters without access

Has New Media made Mainstream
Media Irrelevant?
Read: Why the news media became
irrelevant and how social media can
help