Blog Reflection.

Throughout the process of studying BCM288, I have come up with a range of topics which provide me with a comprehensive knowledge about transnational media and culture. In this blog, I will briefly summary my understanding achieved from the course.

First of all, I have understood the meaning of this field of study to media audiences. This is the era where communication is so developed that people are no longer want to stay solely within their native culture and network anymore. Beyond that, they want to approach a range of different cultures and perspectives. Therefore, it is witnessed that different types of media with various content and origins are being enjoyed by audiences with diverse backgrounds. MasterChef, an Australian series creating a huge wave in India or If you are the one, a Chinese dating reality show being famous in Australia are several dominant examples. This phenomenon sets the foundation for ‘intercultural communication’, in which media content is able to approach a massive and diverse amount of audience by conveying universal values. It is understandable because according to Rohn 2009, universal values ‘can be detached from any culture’.

mca4_ten_rd
Credit: Photobucket.

Secondly, knowledge about transnational culture and media is also beneficial for media producers. Due to the fact that audiences are looking for transnational media product, producers have to seek ways to satisfy that demand. As a result, cooperative events such as film festivals are established to provide producers with chances to meet, interact and exchange ideas (Stringer 2001). These kinds of events also promote co-production, which can be understood as the collaboration of producers to create hybrid products once they have achieved a common understanding. Film festivals varies from large and broad events namely Cannes, Berlin or London film festivals to small and centralized ones in Busan or Istanbul. Moreover, co-production can also attract government’s investment on cultural and media industries as producers are able to show their potential by working together (Kwon and Kim 2013).

palais-des-festivals-de-cannes
Credit: 48hourfilm.com.

Finally, I am taught to overcome barriers to be a part of cosmopolitanism. According to McLuhan 1964, with the help of technology and the Internet, the world is transitioning into a ‘global village’ where global citizens communicate across barriers. Stated by Waldron 2000, cosmopolitanism is when “all human beings belong to a single community”. Therefore, the Internet and other digital communication tools are providing me with not only opportunities but also responsibility to know, sympathize and support what is happening around me in a large scale. Wider news coverage about world issues raises the awareness of people about being more updated to be able to realize, understand, maintain what is good and fix what is not.  Virtual cosmopolitanism is a great movement for young people to turn social media practices, which used to be considered daily activities, into something really meaningful by broadening their network, achieving cultural understanding and forming new ‘third cultures’ (McEwan and Sobre-Denton, 2011).

global-village-aiesec-surat
Credit: wslr.org.

To conclude, studying BCM288 allows me to understand the importance of transnational media and culture, which is essential to me as a person and in my future career working in the field of media. The subject raises my awareness that although there are still gaps and challenges in co-production or media piracy, the benefits of being actively engaged with intercultural practices to be a cosmopolitan and a global citizen are still significant.

References:

Kwon, S H and Kim, J 2013, ‘From censorship to active support: The Korean state and Korea’s cultural industries’, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 24(4), pp.517-532.

McEwan, B and Sobre-Denton, M, 2011, Virtual cosmopolitanism: ‘Constructing third cultures and transmitting social and cultural capital through social media’, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 4(4), pp.252-258.

McLuhan, M 1964, Understanding media: The extensions of a man, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.

Rohn, U 2009, Cultural Barriers to the Success of Foreign Media Content, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, Germany.

Stringer, J 2001, ‘Global cities and the international film festival economy’, Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context, pp.134-144.

Waldron, J 2000, ‘What is cosmopolitan?’, The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 8, no. 2, p./pp 227-243.           

 

Advertisements

Media piracy: on the bright side.

It is obvious that in order to create high quality media content, the producers have to spend a lot of time and effort on the work. Therefore, they are deserved to receive in return what is respective with their dedication, in terms of both materiality and mentality (Karaganis 2011).

coverinbox2
Credit: The American Assembly.

Currently, media producers are struggling with a phenomenon when their products are being distributed in a massive amount, at a low cost and most importantly, without their awareness and permission. This is what is defined by Karaganis 2011 as ‘media piracy’. ‘Media piracy’ is more likely to happen in developing countries where policies against copyright infringement are not as effective as that in developed nations. Furthermore, even in developed countries, media piracy still exists in the form of consumer goods in grocery stores, especially those of immigrants. For example, in Australia, it is totally possible to buy un-authorized DVDs with a relatively low price in, for example, Asian or Indian grocery stores (Athique 2006).This notion is serious in the way that media content is made available at a much lower price than what the producers want and the money earned is not going into their accounts.

2011-09-12-piracy-of-music-films-books-6501
Credit: WordPress.

However, this situation can also have a bright side. According to Karaganis 2011, ‘high prices for media goods, low incomes and cheap digital technologies’ are the main reasons leading to media piracy. As mentioned before, media piracy is more popular in developing countries, where have lower living standard so people have to spend their little earnings on many expenses, which makes official, copyrighted media products something too luxurious.  Therefore, the question is: “Do people have unequal right of consuming media content because of their different circumstances? “. In this way, media piracy brings about the ‘mentality’ return (mentioned above) to producers as it promotes media circulation and distribution by giving chances to more audiences to consume (Jenkins 2004). This argument is reasonable in the way that without exposure, or audiences, media content is just worthless regardless of the quality because no one realizes or even knows about it. Therefore, media piracy can be considered a trade-off for media producers.

internet-piracy-intro
Credit: MakeUseOf.com.

On a whole, if media producers want to create high quality, not just ‘high grossing’ products, this is what they want to achieve. With a larger amount of audiences, media producers and their products are more likely to be known and recognized. This explains why nowadays more and more artists are choosing to distribute their products publicly on digital platforms for free. Latest hits or music videos with high quality are released online requiring no fees for audiences. In this way, media producers promote their reputation both in number and scale, which can earn them money in return from advertising activities or concert.

References:

Athique, Adrian Mabbott 2006, ‘Bollywood and ‘grocery store’ video piracy in Australia’, Media international Australia, no. 121, pp. 41-51.

Karaganis, J 2011, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, Social Science Research Council, United States of America.

Jenkins, H 2004, When Piracy Becomes Promotion, MIT Technology Review, viewed October 24th 2016, <https://www.technologyreview.com/s/402969/when-piracy-becomes-promotion/&gt;.

 

 

 

Familiar strangers

One of the most memorable cinema experience of mine is when I and my brother went to see the second movie of the Transformers series named ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. We are both big fans of this series and watching them on the release day is kind of our ritual. Back to that summer day of 2009, we were so exciting to know the next part of the story that my brother had to try so hard to get a pair of tickets on the debut day. However, my class clashed a bit with the cinema schedule and I did not inform my brother about the problem. Therefore, we had to leave for the cinema, which was 20 minutes driving from our house, a little bit late. My brother is a really disciplined person so of course he was a bit annoyed by the freaky little brother, me. Combining with the fact that we did not want to miss any second of the movie, he was driving a little bit quickly than normal (not speeding anyway). When you do something in a different way than your habit, something will get out of control. As a result, he unintentionally crossed the red light and a police officer stopped us. We had no choice but to spend an extra 20 minute working with the officer about the incident and when we arrived at the cinema, the movie was about to start. I can undoubtedly say that my brother would have killed me if we had came late but fortunately, we came just in time. One interesting thing is that on our way to our seats, the guiding aisle lights turned on following the rhythm of the film’s theme music, which excited my brother and made him forget the idea of killing me, which enabled me to stay here right now writing this blog. The film was not as good as our expectation, and the fact is that I remembered nothing except for explosions end explosions. I have not watched it another time anyway.

188857
Transformers director Michael Bay

My cinema memory can be looked at the view of Hagerstrand’s three constraints (Corbett 2001) as follows: First of all, about the capability, we had to struggle significantly to get to the cinema on time from the case that my brother had to drive faster than he usually did to crossing the red light to compensate the amount of time late due to my clashing class. Secondly, the ‘coupling’ constraint can be related in terms of my miscommunication with my brother about the clashing class. If I informed him in advance, he could manage to deal with the problem such as ordering a pair of tickets at another time that fit us. Finally, to explain the ‘authority’ constraint, I might think of the foul that my brother committed. When the red light is on, ordinary drivers have no authority to cross the line to keep moving. Another relation can be if we did not have the tickets, we were not allowed to enter the cinema.

thvyb8l

The above explanation leads me to discuss about the viability of cinema. Looking at the difficulties that I and my brother suffered, the cinema is so uncomfortable. In order to go to a movie, audiences have to arrange their time, think of their dressings, travel over distance, order tickets to fit their schedule and so on (food and drinks in cinema are also expensive). However, what compensates for all those drawbacks is the experience cinema brings about. Besides bigger screens, louder sounds or better resolution, we also enjoy sharing our attention with others. That experience is called the ‘joint attention‘, which promotes our relationship to socio-emotional development (CoPA 2007). For example, true Marvel fans when watching the movie Deadpool will realize several Easter eggs  (Cooper 2016) that only true fans like them can understand. When all those fans get excited about understanding the hidden gem in a scene, they all say ‘Ohhhhh’ simultaneously and that is when they feel connected to strangers. This experience is the value that keeps cinema alive.

Reference:

Cobertt, John 2001, Torsten Hӓgerstrand, Time Geography, Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, viewed September 24th 2016, <http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2t75b8sj#page-1&gt;.

Cooper, T 2016, 12 Deadpool Movie Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed, Dorkly, viewed August 26th 2016, <http://www.dorkly.com/post/78352/deadpool-movie-easter-eggs-you-might-have-missed&gt;.

CoPA 2007, Joint attention and social referencing, Community of Practice in Autism, viewed August 26th 2016, <http://www.infantva.org/documents/CoPA-Nov-JointAttentionSocialRefer.pdf&gt;.