Week 3: Tasks 9, 10 & 11. Online Regulation

News is expensive! and people expect it for free! News broadcasters and papers have, like the music industry before them, lost control of their distribution!

Here is our last case study. Social Media regulation, but in this case there is no regulatory body! Except the social media platforms themselves!

The problem stems from one significant difference between social media and our previous case studies. Social media companies are global organisations. So, whilst it’s relatively easy to regulate adverts and news within the borders of a country, global regulation is highly problematic.

The other essential issue which prevents social media companies from being regulated is, are they a publisher or are they a platform?

Essential watching: A quiz from Mrs Cobb to follow – See Task 10 below:

It is impossible to regulate these American companies who have the protection offered by Section 230 of the American Communications and Decency Act 1996, which states platforms cannot be prosecuted for content posted by their users.

what has been the impact of this? Fake news? Hate speech? Racism? A divided society and weakened democracies?

Here is an opinion piece from Jennifer Cobbe in The Guardian, in which she explains how Facebook and other players in the, “surveillance economy”  have challenged the democracy we take for granted. It suggests:

“We need to confront their surveillance business models, their increasingly central position in digital society, and the power they now hold as a result.”

“As a result, some platforms’ algorithms systematically recommend disinformation, conspiracy theories white supremacism, and neo-Nazism.”

“At a minimum, behavioural advertising should be banned; other, less damaging forms of advertising are available. The algorithms platforms use to recommend content should be heavily regulated.”

A counter argument

As with news regulation, this is not a cut and dried argument. After all should we be allowing our governments to decide what ‘Truth’ should be available to us online?

The video below offers a counter argument to those demanding online regulation and quotes 17th century poet John Milton:

“Truth and understand are not such wares as to be monopolized and traded by tickets or statute, better to let truth and falsehood grapple”

He is suggesting we should not muzzle what we believe to be false or fake news, but allow argument and debate to flourish and in that process truth and greater understanding will come out.

Task 9: Watch the 2 videos and make notes – Social Media and Content Regulation/Don’t Regulate Social Media: 1 hr

Task 10:  Answer the questions on the Newsnight video ‘So Should the Internet be regulated?’ and submit the answers on the sheet in Classroom – SUBMIT TO CLASSSROOM: 1 hr

Task 11:  Internet Regulation – THE GREAT DEBATE. See classroom for instructions –  SUBMIT ON CLASSROOM ON CLASS SLIDESHARE: 2hr.

Week 2: Tasks 7 and 8: Media Regulation: Freedom of Expression and Press Regulation

Here’s Mr Gregson explaining the content of this post

So why is freedom of speech considered to be such an important human right?

Well, to answer that we have to go back to The Enlightenment and the birth of America…

You need to remember that the early American settlers were refugees, who were fleeing from religious persecution and tyrannical monarchies. They were looking for a very different system of government, that was:

‘Government By The People, For The People and Of the People.’

So they started to codify these beliefs in a Bill of Rights, which was then amended a number of times. These amendments were designed to state, in law, the fundamental freedoms of the American people.

The very first amendment was to protect freedom of speech and freedom of expression, because after all, if you are a tyrannical church or monarch, the best way to oppress your subjects is to ban different point of view and kill those who hold them.

So the first amendment states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So, freedom of the press, in it’s purest form, is about protecting the freedom of the citizen, it’s about the right to hold the powerful to account and is essential in any enlightened democracy!

The question we need to ask in Media regulation is:

Should there be limits to that freedom if that freedom cause harm to the individual?

Because, whilst it’s all very well to hold politicians to account so that we can vote, with full knowledge of the facts, should my freedom of expression extend to saying what I like, about who I like? After all, we do all  love celebrity gossip and the popular tabloid press makes money because it gives us what we love…

Here is a cartoon from Private Eye which draws attention to our collective hypocrisy in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana in a high speed car crash in Paris, when she and her new boyfriend were trying to get away from the paparazzi (press photographers) chasing them on motorbikes.

Then there was The News of The World, Milly Dowler and the Leveson Inquiry

Watch this video, from the BBC, which explains the story of how journalists from News of The World hacked the phone of a missing girl, Milly Dowler, and in doing so broke the law and invaded the privacy of Milly’s grieving parents.

This sort of law breaking was a new low in press ethical standards and there was an outcry for more regulation of the press and the actions of journalists, who would do anything to get a story.

So the government launched an inquiry, a debate, in front of a judge (Lord Leveson), who needed to advise the government on a new law to regulate the press.

So, where does this leave us? The assertion that freedom of the press to uncover stories should have limits? Well many editors and journalists go back to that principle at the top of this post, that a free press is essential for enlightened democracy:

They argue that if  we limit journalists from uncovering genuine news stories, such as The Panama Papers or the scandal of The Catholic Church coving up the behaviour of priests who were molesting children. The film Spotlight show not only how the story was uncovered, but the degree to which some powerful people tried to kill the story and stop it being published. Well worth a watch… here’s the trailer.

Press Regulatory Bodies – Old and New

The British Government at the time did introduce a new regulatory body. They ditched the regulator  the Press Complaints Commission, a model whereby the papers regulated themselves. And introduced our next case study…  IPSO, who introduced a new Code or Practice for editors, which is enforceable in law if they break it.

Here is the last video. Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, who refused to sign up to IPSO, explaining what this now means for freedom of the press in the UK, which he asserts has now been eroded and the dangers of that for our democracy and the ability of journalists to hold the powerful to account.

“In Britain, we have a free press; it’s not a pretty press, but it’s free!”


Task 7: Monday/Tuesday: Make notes on the above – 1.30 hr
Task 8:  Wednesday/Thursday/FRIDAY: Padlet presentation of Case studies – see classroom – 1.30 hr

This week you will be researching some more of these stories where the press has overstepped the ethical line and bought harm to individuals. Think Caroline Flack. However, we should also look out for stories where journalists were heroes, and bought corruption to light and held the powerful to account. Think Prince Andrew.

Week 1: Tasks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 + 6: Media Regulation – Introduction/Tasks

Listen to Mr Gregson introduce this penultimate module for the exam.

Task 1:

As usual the tasks for the week will be laid out here and will correspond to classroom and MILK.

  • Task 1: Listen to Mr Gregson’s intro to Media Regulation – make notes – 30 mins
  • Task 2: Who are the main regulators? Complete the worksheet – 1 hour –
      • TO SUBMIT CLASSROOM:
  • Task 3/4: Who are the ASA?  Listen to presentation, study the infographic and read the notes on its history – make notes and learn the key terms from the glossary – 1 hr.
  • Task 5: Why have these adverts been banned?  –  1 hour –
      • TO SUBMIT CLASSROOM:
  • Task 6: Summative Task: 500 word submission  – 1.30  hr. –
      • TO SUBMIT CLASSROOM:

Task 3 + 4:

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY MISSION STATEMENT:

  • Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful
  • What the Advertising Codes say (in summary):
    • No advertisement should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
    • Marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied that are capable of objective substantiation.
    • Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such.

Notes on its history.

Key terms and glossary of definitions about regulation/adverts.

 

 

Week 1 – 26/1/21 – Postmodern Media – the tricky questions

And we’re back…….

Task 1: (Monday) Should have completed and submitted ‘What makes a media text postmodern?‘ essay to classroom for feedback – submission by Monday 25th January – 1 hour.

Task 2:  (Tuesday) Listen to Screen Castify on the trickier questions – see above – 15 minutes.

Task 3: (Tues/Weds/Thursday) Complete essay plan for a trickier question – this will be in classroom on a google presentation with your name on it –  submission by end of Thursday 28th January – 1 – 2 hours.

Task 4:  (Friday) Redraft your Postmodern essay that will hopefully have been returned to you – 1 hour.

Task 5:  (Start of next week) Listen to the screencastify when your teacher will present the best essay plans. A great resource for nearer the exam and the mock (whenever they will be) – 30 mins.


We will be revisiting TV drama next week with the aim of you completing an essay by the end of the week.

Good luck and be in touch by email if you need any help.

Mrs C and Mr G

 

 

Nosedive (Brooker 2017) – Text 2

This episode is on Netflix.  Watch it with the notes to hand.

This episode of Black Mirror, called Nosedive, really spotlights the world that we live in: the simulacra, the hypereality and the consumer culture that surrounds us.

It is made in a postmodern fashion, using intertextuality, parody, pastiche and focuses on a world of hyperreality, simulacra, consumer culture and hegemony. 

Jameson and Baudrillard would applaud the fact that it is poking an accusing finger at POMO times but they would also lament the fact that it uses so many POMO devices to get the message across (then again why wouldn’t it?). 

Lyotard meanwhile, would be sad that society is going this way with no enough people questioning or challenging the grand narratives but he would applaud Brooker for bringing the issue to light.

Remember to analyse the text, not just for examples of POMO media according to Jameson, Baudrillard and Lyotard but in relation to the over arching ideas of: postmodern media alters the relationship between text and audience; it plays with time and space and also challenges the conventions of representation.

Listen to the above analysis of the episode and watch it in class with your teacher.

Here is an interesting review on it.

And another one.


Analysis in table form of Nosedive – ALL THE NOTES, QUOTES YOU WILL NEED TO USE NOSEDIVE AS ONE OF YOUR MAIN TEXTS IN THE EXAM

Extra ideas about Nosedive in table form.

CLASSROOM HAS LOTS OF RESOURCES AS WELL – PRETTY ONES!

Chained to the Rythmn – Text 1

 

Postmodernity and the Katy Perry Video

Newstatesman article with examples and ties in with Nosedive!

Student analysis on Chained….

POSTMODERN MUSIC VIDEO ESSAY Katy Perry- Chained To The Rhythm is an example of a postmodern music video, it was released February 10th 2017 and was featured on her new album ‘Witness’. The video was produced by Max Martin and Ali Payami and was directed by Mathew Cullen. Music videos can be postmodern through a number of factors which may be featured in the music video, these include irony, intertextuality, pastiche, parody and fragmentation.

There are a number of artists in the industry today who portray postmodernity throughout their videos however Katy Perry’s video to her new song stood out the most and gave me a number of postmodern factors to talk about. Firstly, postmodernism is a way of thinking about culture, philosophy, art and other meanings. However, in relation to media postmodern media rejects the idea that any media product or text is of any greater value than another and that the distinction between media and reality has collapsed and we now live in a ‘reality’ defined by images and representation. In relation to my case study, the video features intertextuality and is mainly reference the political issues currently taking place is the US.

The first scene in the music video is people walking into a theme park called ‘Oblivia’, seeing as the video is highly political it is believed ‘oblivia’ is meant to mean ‘oblivious’ and is suggesting that people are unaware of the political problems current. Another scene which stood out was a sign stating ‘The Great American Dream Drop’ which clearly has reference to the American Dream and suggests that society today has made it harder for people to achieve the Great American Dream whereas before people were able to work hard and in return receive this big dream everyone wished for. One scene also has intertextual reference to the Disney film Sleeping Beauty where the female character cuts her finger on a sharp object in this case a rose thorn, this scene is portraying a message to the audience that although something may look good it will always have a negative side effect. The next two scenes have a very obvious reference to political issues and President Trump. There is a scene featured in the video of characters being thrown over a wall into another area we do not see, to me this clearly has reference to Trumps promise policy of building a wall between two countries and may be the singers way of mocking his promise. Another scene sees a sign stating ‘bombs away’ with bombs flying all in frame of the camera, this highlights the threats beings thrown between the US and Korea and suggests the singer is trying to get these issue across to her audience to spark debates and see if any solutions can be found to resolve the problem.

To conclude, postmodern music videos like this one are good to cause debates and get opinions across to an audience although some may be seen as controversial however it allows an audience to think about issues they may not realise are a problem which could spark a positive or negative reaction.

Music Videos – More ideas about Intertextuality/self reflexivity/parody/pastiche

Music Videos are often examples of postmodern media, not only because their place as a recognised art form has come about in the postmodern era but mainly because they evidence a range of ideas about what makes a text postmodern.

Intertextuality

  • Pastiche – use of a previous text as the basis for the whole music video – in the style of
  • Parody – making fun of a previous text
  • Homage and Quotation – sampling
  • Weaponised intertextuality – those deliberate Easter Eggs – we will look more closely at Ariana Grande and This is America as a detailed texts later in the term.

Bricolage – a melange, mixture of styles – cartoons, animations, dance, drama, acting, documentary, other footage.

Self-referential – this is a music video (think of Katy Perry winking at the end of xxx) – let’s draw attention to its own construction.

They manipulate time and space – flashbacks, incomplete narratives usually present and they often challenge the grand narratives (more on this later) – there is not always a happy ending, a dominant male, success after working hard for a living.

Play with the relationship between audience and text – breaking the 4th wall and there is often a presumption they are culturally competent, deliberately playing with their expectations.

Play with the distinction between reality and representation – the artist is often an actor in the narrative?

They blur the lines between high art and what is considered low art.

Examples:

See how many intertextual references you can see in this Taylor Swift video. You do have to be a bit of a Taylor Swift fan, as it refers to all her previous videos, songs – cultural competence the order of the day.

The 1975 are a really interesting band. The approach their music with a wry sense of intellectual cyncism and often end up evidencing postmodern trends in their work.  Here is Matty Healy talking us through his music videos.

Here is one example in full.

This music video is self-reflexive.  Draws attention to itself in a shameless way.  Pokes a finger up at celebrity culture – he ‘ribs’ himself about his celebrity lifestyle.  Read this Article for more background.

And this is what happened at the Brits in 2017. Not strictly a music video but it evidences a self-referential nod towards the music industry.
This is a little old now but it shows a self-referentiality but it also points the finger at a wider postmodern scope i.e. the idea that people are lost in their hypereal worlds, unaware of their real lives and surroundings.  We will look more at this later.

Top 10 Music Videos inspired by Movies: they are all examples of how music videos pastiche, parody previous texts. Again, you have to be culturally competent to ‘get it’ but you could also argue it is singers being lazy and unimaginative – why not just copy someone else’s art?

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/all-movie-references-ariana-grandes-thank-u-next-video-1165490 – all the references in the video about movies and think of all the references to her various partners – all require cultural competence and a knowing nod towards all those intertextual references.

 

 

Music Videos – so postmodern

As a media art form, music videos are often conduits for various elements of postmodern culture. Sometimes they also, point a self-accusing finger at themselves for doing so and sometimes the videos and lyrics are about postmodern society too.

 

 

Andrew Goodwin, a renowned media theorist sums up the postmodernism of music videos:

  1.  Blurs high art and low art – it is media for everyone with no boundaries.
  2.  Abandons/challenges grand narratives – incomplete narratives, no sense of resolution, rejection of the overarching ideologies of society/history – love conquers all, men are the breadwinners, god is the answer etc.
  3. Intertextuality – borrows from other texts; deliberately, unknowingly, alludes to, knowing nod to – all of which fits with Jameson’s ideas on ‘nothing new, a flatness’ or as he puts it ‘blank parody’.
  4. Loss of Historical reality – pastiche and intertextuality blur history and chronology so that conventional notions of past, present and future  are lost in a melange of images, all of which appear to be contemporary.

 

We will be studying in depth some current music videos, one of which you should choose to focus on as your 2nd media text in your essay (the other one will be Nosedive, Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker).


Music Videos are often examples of postmodern media, not only because their place as a recognised art form has come about in the postmodern era but mainly because they evidence a range of ideas about what makes a text postmodern.

Intertextuality

  • Pastiche – use of a previous text as the basis for the whole music video – in the style of
  • Parody – making fun of a previous text
  • Homage and Quotation – sampling
  • Weaponised intertextuality – those deliberate Easter Eggs – we will look more closely at Ariana Grande and This is America as a detailed texts later in the term.

Bricolage

  •  a melange, mixture of styles – cartoons, animations, dance, drama, acting, documentary, other footage.

Self-referential

  • think of Katy Perry breaking the 4th wall at the end of Chained to the Rythmn – let’s draw attention to its own construction.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE relating to Music Videos and Postmodernism

  • They manipulate time and space – flashbacks, incomplete narratives usually present and they often challenge the grand narratives (more on this later) – there is not always a happy ending, a dominant male, success after working hard for a living.
  • Play with the relationship between audience and text – breaking the 4th wall and there is often a presumption they are culturally competent, deliberately playing with their expectations.
  • Play with the distinction between reality and representation.
  • They blur the lines between high art and what is considered low art.
  • This is a little old now but it shows a self-referentiality (this is a music video that we have constructed) but it also points the finger at a wider postmodern scope i.e. the idea that people are lost in their hypereal worlds, unaware of their real lives and surroundings.  We will look more at this later.

Scattergun examples

Remember, intertextuality is apparent in a wide range of media texts, not just music videos, adverts or music.

Here are some more examples that will help evidence, and illustrate texts that Jameson would critique as being flat and unoriginal.

Try and find your own examples from your own film and TV consumption. There are loads of examples out there and the more you can evidence your ideas in the exam and support your two main texts, the better.


Are we losing our sense of historical reality as a result of postmodern media? Does blur high art and low art.

TOWIE AS SHAKESPEARE


A recent mini series on BBC 3 highlights the absurdity of the Vloggers we are all so involved in on youtube. Using mockumentary (bricolage of documentary and parody) it highlights how the industry works.  Lots of self-reflexivity as it shows that it is making a documentary on Vloggers but also shows how highly self-reflexive Vloggers are (shows the sound boom, shows the camera, includes the outtakes and how they bend, play with representation through editing, post production and distort time and space etc).  It is subtle because you have to be in it, to get it i.e. culturally competent to get the nuance references and jokes.

A postmodern take on a postmodern phenomena! Great example of how postmodern media plays with time, space and the audience.

Have a look at it – it made me laugh, especially Episode on Health and Beauty.

Useful article on mockumentaries.


And another mockumentary currently on TV, really does run the risk of completely skewing our understanding of history. It parodies the documentary tropes but also parodies the intellectuals associated with dissecting history for the ‘sheeple’.


Self reflexive? Authentic? Presenting the pretence?  Some youtube vloggers reflecting on the self-reflexive nature of their presentations. Fake/Real/Authenticity – is that possible?


The Big Short – breaking the 4th wall, self-reflexive

Good scenes.


Weaponised intertextuality is now almost a well recognised convention of modern movies. Do you think this is a good move and how does it manipulate the relationship between text and audience?


A really interesting analysis of The Lego Movie and why it is a postmodern film.

The Lego Batman Movie 

Postmodern? or post-postmodern?

Reasons by The Lego Movie is a postmodern masterpiece

Try and find your own examples from your own film and TV consumption. There are loads of examples out there and the more you can evidence your ideas in the exam with up to date examples to illustrate your debate, the better your mark will be.


It seems hard to escape the postmodern ‘flatness’ that Jameson argues is prevalent in postmodern media texts of today.

Kingsman – postmodern or just cynical?

 

Deadpool – you either love it or you hate it!  (see what I have done in terms of a postmodern quotation?)

Deadpool – postmodern and loads of other ideas about postmodernism

 


It’s all connected – movie links across the genres


And finally, it’s nearly Easter so why not celebrate and see how many Easter Eggs you can see in these Pixar clips – this is now an interelated universe of ‘knowing nods’ to their brand.


Postmodernism Theory Recap

There is a lot of competing ideas and concepts in Postmodernism and we have bombarded you with many of them over the last week.

It is time to review those ideas and summarise the key concepts from our three theorists:

  1. Jameson
  2. Lyotard
  3. Baudrillard

You be writing you first essay soon with the title:

With examples describe what makes a media text postmodern.

You have been assigned a document in Classroom, which asks you to complete some sentence stems, which require you to describe the theories proposed by those three cultural theorists.

To help you recap your should review the following resources, from previous lessons:

Jameson – Handout

Lyotard – Handout

Baudrillard – Handout (39&40)