Friday, February 26, 2010
I first gave a brief overview of the history and founding of the Tribune Company. I went over a few of the major events and changes that the company went through. Then I talked about the laws of censorship and the First Amendment, about how even though we have "freedom of press" that is is not an absolute guarantee in the United States. There are still rules we must abide by. I talked about how the Tribune Company more specifically takes what they do or do not publish into consideration and their "company values." Overall the Tribune Comanpy has made good decisions in what they put their name on and have done well in providing the people with information they need. I also went over the issues of convergence. Let's face it, not many young people are interested in reading the paper and since information is available for free online why would anyone pay to read it? The Tribune Company has always been leaders in convergence, they started early on by investing in printing technologies that would allow for them to have color pictures on their front cover and in the comic strips. They have also gone ahead with the trend of putting their information online like other companies have done. They still do however face money issues, they put more and more advertising in their papers to make money and have taken up other parts of the media world. They now own several radio and television stations, websites, and even the Chicago Cubs. To sum up my presentation I talked about the success of the Tribune Company. They own several well known papers such as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday.
I proposed the discussion question, "do you believe that "the truth cannot be libel," as said in the Zenger trial? Or is any information that hurts someone libel, even if it is the truth?" to the class. One student brought up the recent Tiger Woods scandal, I thought this was the perfect example. His personal life of cheating and divorce is brought up to the public, even though it is true, what does this really have to do with his sports career? He is a professional golfer and that is all he should be known for in my opinion. His personal life really shouldn't be brought up, much less cost him his career. Just because he made some bad decissions it doesn't mean he is now a bad golfer. There is however another side to the debate, should we know if a political leader did such a thing or was maybe caught drinking and driving? Events like these show the morals of a person and we do need to know the morals of our leaders. It helps us to know what sort of decissions they would make for us. This question could easliy be debated either way.
To answer the quesion of the week, "What are the constraints on free speech and the First Amendmeny for the news industry?" I would say that although we have the freedom of press through the First Amendmeny, libel, defamation, and any invasion of personal privacy cannot be published.
I would encourage you to check out the Tribune Company's website, http://www.tribune.com/. I found it to be a very interesting and to really look at the company's values and how they respond to limits on censorship.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I first began my lecture in giving the history of ITU and the different sectors that it controls. As well I described how this was a union based organization that tried to receive new countries to work towards a goal of being able to transfer information across border without breaking any laws.
To answer the discussion question of the week on how globalization shape media products and industry? I feel that as new different forms of telecommunication products are being developed, each country needs to be able to keep up with one another so that they do not fall behind in the race of communications with other nations.
One of the questions I asked in class was about the different problems ITU and ITSO could face and it was brought to my attention that the main problem is that not everyone is going to want to the same policy makeup as the nation beside it causing them to disagree on certain subject ( such as trans-border information). Another point brought up is that the dominating countries do not feel the need to attend such policy making assemblies causing it a problem in all the votes they receive.
So the main focus of the case study was to help find organizations that help link the globe together in policy making to help increase the global media market we live in today so that people around the world can communicate with one another fast and easy.
For more information I would look into:
International Telecommunication Union- http://www.itu.int/en/pages/default.aspx
International Telecommunication Satellite Organization- http://www.itso.int/
Sunday, February 14, 2010
As the world’s businesses began to adopt new technologies and media outlets to increase their global status and overall revenue, the film industry joined in on the action. The film industry is an icon of globalization due to its ability to adapt, compete, and identify what it needs continue as a competitor. All of these skills are the result of its grasp on international resources thanks to technology, something I believe my peers agreed with. To articulate my point with real-world examples, my case study focused on the American Film Industry while narrowing upon a singular film company, the Walt Disney Company, to offer examples as to how globalization has had an impact on marketing techniques.
Luckily, one of my discussion questions sparked some debate in the classroom. It questioned whether or not the industry was an invading medium upon foreign cultures and societies. Several students agreed that the film industry is indeed dominating other countries by buying out international directors and writers while all along pushing its beliefs upon the viewers. Others debated this thought and stated that due to America’s diverse audience it is only natural for it to share its milieu of ideas around the world. This isn’t so much an invasion on culture as it is a spreading of multiple cultures through one medium.
One student brought up an issue regarding Bollywood’s presence in the international film industry. She inquired upon whether or not it would soon be able to compete with Hollywood and why it wasn’t of the same profit level now. I answered that what lies behind the issue is not only a lack of cultural understanding on behalf of Americans but also the inability for India to affectively market its mono-cultural films here in the States. The professor piped in with the fact that India has a strong sense of cultural proximity with regard to their products, something I wish I had mentioned in my own presentation.
The general topic of the week was over globalization and its impact on media. The other two presenters of the day brought up the issues of satellite and music media. All three of us agreed that globalization, the internet, and several other sources of media today have led to the exponential spread of our mediums of choice. It has also affected the way they work, target audiences, and are accessible.
The links I am posting are the journal articles I used to study the history of globalization and Disney, my focused film company of choice.
History of Globalization by Duncan S. Bell: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3569574
Cartoon Planet by Yoon and Malecki: http://icc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/19/1/239
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
On Thursday February 4, I gave my presentation over the Federal Communications Commission, how they control and regulate the media, and how they shape media laws and policies. Specifically, I focused on what current issues the FCC is facing, and where it is headed for the future. I browsed a few articles to get other scholarly opinions on the FCC, but the main sources I used in my research were the official FCC website, http://www.fcc.gov/, and the textbook, Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology. Both of these sources had great information on the FCC.
In introducing the FCC to the class, I began with presenting a brief history and background of the FCC, and discussed what exactly they do within the media industry. I also briefly covered the history of the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, etc.) as it is the fundamental piece of legislation that backs up all current and future laws and policies on media. I went on to discuss the goals of the FCC, and some of the current issues they are facing today. One of the biggest issues the FCC is currently dealing with is working to regulate the competition in the market after the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. I also focused on controversies that the FCC has faced in recent years.
Out of the discussions questions that were raised during/after my presentation, the one I found most interesting and contemplated the most was , ‘Who controls more of the media - Private institutions or the government?’. This was a very relevant question even in the beginning stages of this project when I was researching my topic. I believe that the government (and organizations within it such as the FCC) definitely controls more aspects of the media. Even though private institutions make most decisions within their company, the government will always control how the content displayed in some way. No media company will ever be able to have free reign of the industry, and that’s what this question really made me realize.
I encourage you all to check out the FCC website, and particularly the ‘Reboot’ page http://reboot.fcc.gov/ - there’s lots of interesting blog posts and stories on how the FCC is changing and improving. I think this is really relevant to the class, especially since we also use a blog to post ideas!
Monday, February 8, 2010
During the previous lecture I gave a presentation regarding the nature and relation of American privacy to modern security measures. During the lecture I talked about the different generally accepted definitions of privacy and free speech. I also discussed the historical basis for the rights generally enjoyed by Americans. My main sources for the presentation material were The Jurist: Legal News & Research, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation article: Bill of Rights in Action. This argument is a perfect example of the question of who controls the media. It raises the question as to whether or not the media is really a free form of expression.
During the presentation I described several ways in which the PATRIOT Act have threatened various freedoms and liberties which are supposed to be protected by the Constitution. I touched on the fact that the PATRIOT Act has made provisions for striping rights and liberties when the federal government deems it necessary. While the Constitution specifically made sure that freedoms would be protected these freedoms have been threatened in the post 9/11 world. Terrorism is still considered a very real threat. As such the Bush administration took steps that it deemed necessary to protect America and American citizens.
The research I did lead to a very interesting discussion following my presentation. I was surprised to learn that some of my classmates believed that the government had already had vast powers of surveillance before the PATRIOT Act. Our discussion lead me to conclude that this is a result of either a paranoid idea of the government or of a thought that the government is already very involved in the various aspects of citizens’ lives. Since most people do keep at least some kind of close contact with the media it makes sense that everyone would have some kind of opinion about the media and government control.
One idea which I did find particularly interesting was that of one student who said that he was generally trustful of the government and did not succumb to an idea of paranoia in regards to the federal government. This student outlined the fact that he doesn’t do anything that would merit the federal government to look into his affairs. I pointed out that while that may be the case the fact the government has the ability to look into his affairs underneath the PATRIOT Act is what I find unsettling.
Overall I have enjoyed the process of preparing my case study. I learned a lot and feel like I am more aware of the different aspects of government surveillance. In conclusion I just have one question to pose to my fellow students. In light of the aspects of the PATRIOT Act which I have brought to light, who do you think really controls the media? And who do you think controls your intake of media, and who is able to access your media output?
Monday, February 1, 2010
I presented on Thursday, January 28 on views of how Google’s practices as a business my show monopolistic behaviors to where critics and competition may make the accusation that the company is becoming a monopoly. Within the introduction I clarified what a monopoly was as well as the other kinds of ownership patterns. I further discussed Google Inc.’s use of convergence with their products and services that they offer their consumers.
I decided to bring out Google’s search engine competition to complete the point that if there is even ONE other competition for a company in the same market, then it is obviously not a monopolized industry. I did further discuss that “Google” is now a verb, since 2006, and it is simply catchy. A question from the audience that afternoon asked what “Google” meant; the term “googol” is “a number that is equal to 1 followed by 100 zeros” according to Dictionary.com (an Ask.com branch service may I add). This concept was perfect for the Stanford University students; it was their goal and mission to make their search engine have an almost infinite amount of information that would become easily accessible to the general public.
I was able to connect Dr. Campbell’s earlier presentation regarding similar concepts in the theme of my presentation as well as my fellow peers’ view on certain aspects. One of them asked me a question as to if I dug around in Google “cashing in with data mining”, a certainly new concept to me. For those who don’t know what that is—“data processing using sophisticated data search capabilities and statistical algorithms to discover patterns and correlations in large preexisting databases; a way to discover new meaning in data”, found at http://wordnet.princeton.edu/. I still haven’t been able to dig in this deeper but the student implied selling what people individual search for and essentially what the public is interested in. I do not see this in a bad light because for all the services that are free to us as web browsers I don’t see it as a problem if Google decided to let other companies know what we as consumers are looking for. This process could make a company more efficient in narrowing their audience to those who are interested in, and the consumer may save a lot of time also. But I also understand that privacy can become a real concern as well.
My time was cut a little short due to being the guinea pig so I’d like to hear some of the feed back from you guys if you wouldn’t mind:
1. Do you feel that Google has the power to become a monopoly?
2. Do you think that Bing (Powered by Microsoft) could catch up to Google’s status as a search engine?
3. What other avenues can you see Google Inc. taking on?
Thanks and Gig ‘Em
During the previous lecture I provided a case study structured around Apple’s ipod in order to better grasp the concept of Diffusion of innovation. My main source for the composition of the theory was the theory as it was presented by Everett M. Rogers. The ipod makes for a great example of the diffusion of innovation as it can easily be used to illustrate the stages, characteristics, and spread chart of adaptors of the innovation.
During the presentation I described each the stages, characteristics, and adaptor categories to the classroom and used the history of the ipod since its inception in 2001 to illustrate each case. Not only did this introduce the concept of diffusion of innovation to the class but along the way we answered the question of the week which was “How does media convergence influence new media markets?” The ipod is an exceptional piece of technology what started out as a simple MP3 player has now been revolutionized by the demands placed on it by the consumer. No longer is an ipod just a player of music but rather it is a video player, a running counter, calorie counter, and a video game holder along with many other interesting applications that can be added to it. Through the diffusion of innovation the ipod has received more money and popularity and is now able to reap the benefits of converging different forms of media into one bit of technology. This media convergence, made possible by the diffusion of innovation has influenced the market by creating a greater demand for technology that is increasingly more complex and diverse in media styles. The success of the ipod is an example of how media convergence can lead to a domination of the market as the ipod is the leader in its class of MP3 players for the sole reason that it does more than just play music.
Keeping this in mind I pose the following discussion question for my fellow students to ponder….
Is the Diffusion of innovation theory a valid theory for describing why a product or idea spreads (or doesn’t spread) throughout society?