Diasporic Media.

If you are like me and have never heard the term Diasporic or Diaspora before reading it here I have provided a definition curtsey of Dictionary.com

“Any group that has been dispersed outside its traditional homeland, especially involuntarily, as Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade”.


So from this definition several examples of ‘Diaspora’ all over the world come to mind, including but not limited to; The large Irish populations of the Boston area, Chinatown is many many of the worlds major cities and even the British prison ships coming to Australia over 200 years ago might have been considered diaspora in the early years. And more recently large populations of Lebanese migrants in Western Sydney and the Greek population in Melbourne.

So how does this relate to media?

In the readings by Myria Georgiou the author discusses the urban cities of the western world and how many people from many many different backgrounds live in such close proximity and how national groups often find areas of the world like cities to re settle with others from the same part of the world. This best example of this is as, as previously mentioned, Chinatowns. The author suggests looking at certain cities for the best examples rather than countries; this is because where countries might give a sense of nationalism, the city can be dissected into neighborhoods and impoverished shanties next to skyscrapers like those which can be seen in Rio and Mumbai. Because these global cities host some of the worlds largest media organizations, the high levels of migrations and national groups can help to define what is shown in the media, therefore changing media landscapes through mass migration.




Globalization of Media



Media Globalization! The concept of international integration, exchanging world views and dissolving cultural boundaries. One of my favorite aspects of globalization is is cosmopolitanism as put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes.


Diogenes is credited as being the first to claim he was a “kosmou Polites” meaning citizen of the world or global citizen. The key components of cosmopolitanism as Diogenes saw it were that all people were equal and should all be helping one another, questioning the need for any sort of class system. Another key concept in cosmopolitanism is that a person’s interest in other human beings should not be limited to those within the borders of their own country. Diogenes also questioned the need for any form of governing body, suggesting that if everybody was equal and helping each other than no government was needed. The final part to cosmopolitanism that I have been exploring is that if you are aware of somebody in a situation worse than your own, you now have a responsibility for that individual. Thousands of years after Diogenes died; his ideal of a cosmopolitan society still lives on. However similarly to in Diogenes’s time society as a whole has yet to embrace it.

This is where facebook and the internet enter the fray. . In Ancient Greece it could take weeks or even months to get a message from one party to the next. Also things like how many people were alive, where everybody lived and their living conditions were unknown. However in 2014 the internet is so widely available that 34% of the world can use it. That 34% makes up over 2 billion people, a figure many times larger than the entire population of the planet in Diogenes time. With the use of the internet, facts and figures about poverty, war, and dictatorships are readily available at the click of a button. This, according to Diogenes and cosmopolitanism, makes everybody with access to the internet responsible for everybody else. So how can Facebook help?
Of those 2 billion plus people on the internet, over 1 billion of them are on Facebook (Tam, 2013). A social networking website launched 2004, that lets you chat, share photos and videos and interact with people from all over the world. Thus severely decreasing the amount of time and effort it takes to communicate between Brazil, Nigeria or Cambodia for example. As well as increasing communications options around the world Facebook has also served as the platform to advocate against social injustice, promote equality and raise awareness of poor living conditions around the world. To top this off, every Facebook user is equal. With the same rights to share, add photos and contact people. Thus making it a perfect means of cosmopolitan education.

A final thought to leave on: Facebook may be more like ancient Egypt than ancient Greece; in the internet, we have a modern Library of Alexandria at our fingertips, yet we choose to worship pictures of cats.



Internet world stats, 17/02/2013 “internet world stats: usage and population statistics,” viewed 26/05/2013, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
Tam, D 2013, “Facebook by numbers: 1.06 billion monthly active users,” viewed 26/05/2013, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57566550-93/facebook-by-the-numbers-1.06-billion-monthly-active-users/

Race Ethnicity and the Media.

For this week’s blog I will be touching on work I looked into for the first blog about Arab depiction in the media as well re-visiting Jack Shaheens 2006 documentary “Reel Bad Arabs”


Since Hollywood begun negative depictions of minorities, ethnicities and racial groups has existed in all sorts of forms. From the Japanese neighbour in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Vietnamese savages in any number of war films. The “bad guys” in Hollywood has been changing with US relations; The Japanese and Germans, the Russians and Vietnamese, always changing to fit the feelings of Americans at the time. However, one negative stereotype that has remained since Hollywood’s inception is the Bad Arab character.

In the 2006 documentary ‘Reel Bad Arabs’ author and former CBS Middle East consultant, Jack Shaheen, states that over 300 Hollywood films, nearly twenty five percent of all Hollywood films, depict Arabs and Muslims in an unfair and negative way. Even Children’s films like the critically acclaimed Aladdin, beloved by western children for over two decades begins with the line: “Where they cut off your ear, If they don’t like your face, It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home”.

Because of this popular depiction people in the western world are beginning to believe that all Arabian people are barbaric savages and it creates a very negative feeling towards people of Islamic faith or Middle Eastern ancestry.

Do you think that Hollywood is creating a negative stereotype or reinforcing an existing one?

Gender and the media.

Gender equality…Does it exist?

A subject which shouldn’t be such a discussed or contested topic; not because it isn’t important but because it should not be an issue. There shouldn’t be a need to discuss inequality between genders because it should not exist!
Differences in pay for doing the same job, greater employment opportunities for men, and more cultural freedoms are just a few of the things that need to be addressed in terms of gender inequality.

But it goes much deeper and much darker than just pay brackets; when women in India are afraid to be in public spaces for fear of being raped, even the most misogynistic people should know that something has gone terribly wrong.

However I am not going to talk about this today; no today I will be highlighting the injustices which the Australian media offered to the countries first ever female Prime Minister. Was Julia Gillard really treated that poorly by the Australian media? The short answer…Yes she was!

Julia Gillard was once regarded by some as one of the best political minds in our country, in her time serving as the minister for education, employment and social inclusion as well as being the deputy Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd however is known as a micro-managing, short-tempered and overly controlling PM. And yet “K-Rudd” was a media Darling while the now former PM was the woman our country loved to hate. “Julia Gillard is hated even more than your average Prime Minister, and your average Prime Minister is already hated quite a lot”-Ben Pobjie.
The first argument in favour of the mistreated Gillard is the lack of common courtesy shown to her by the Australian media and public. Former Prime Minister Gillard was very rarely afforded the respect of being addressed with her full title, or even her full name. John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Paul Keating and even Tony Abbot are addressed with their last name whereas Ms Gillard was more often than not simply referred to as Julia. Not a fitting or respectful enough for the Woman running our country. The media also focused on her shortcomings and forgot to mention all the good she did, like attending the funeral of King Sihanouk of Cambodia, while most other world leaders (also in the country for a summit) didn’t bother themselves to make an appearance.
Secondly Julia Gillard had to put up with criticism about almost every aspect of her appearance, certainly more so than any other previous PM. Sure John Howard got a bit of stick for cultivating eyebrows that could be seen from space and Kevin Rudd was labelled a “pudgy faced nerd” on more than one occasion. But that’s nothing compared to almost endless list of knit-picking the media felt necessary to point out about our first ever female PM. Julia Gillard should have been hailed as a giant leap forward for our country, The first female PM, a step in the direction of equality. Instead she was criticised for the way she dressed, the way she walked, the way she talked, the size of her nose and the colour of her hair. Heck, even Germaine Greer, the voice of feminism in the 1970’s, took a cheap shot at the size of Ms Gillard’s derriere.
And thirdly the name calling and low blows Julia Gillard received were not just uncalled for but quite often down right horrible. Ju-liar, was one such nickname received for doing a U-turn on her promise not to introduce a carbon tax. However John Howard seemed to escape such name calling when he did the same thing with the GST. But childish name calling aside, blatant attacks on the PM’s personal life by the media crossed the line. None more so than Alan Jones suggestion that Gillard’s father died of shame, following the untimely death of her father in September 2012. A disgusting suggestion which shouldn’t be uttered about the vilest of humans let alone the Prime Minister of Australia.
In conclusion the media’s treatment of Julia Gillard was indeed over critical in almost every way. From the lack of respect in addressing her title, to the constant emphasis on her appearance and focusing on her shortcomings. Julia Gillard should have been treated like the brilliant minded pioneer she was instead of the scapegoat she became.

Maybe some people are regretting the way that played out now that we get Mr Abbott?

How to inform without informing; ‘Aesthetic Journalism’

Aesthetic journalism; how to inform without informing?
How does one inform without informing? Through aesthetic journalism
Art has existed for almost as long as humans have and in many forms; from the mud paintings on cave walls to the monolithic structures reflecting the empires for which they represented. Art was not just in the paintings or monuments but the very building of society, especially in religious buildings like some of Europe’s most recognisable churches. However following Martin Luther’s publication in 1517 the secularization of art begun to take place, leading to art being not only creative but a source of reliable knowledge; informing without informing. One of the earliest forms of aesthetic journalism was Johan Moritz Rugendas, who produced paintings and drawings depicting scientific findings on his visits to Latin America.
More modern examples of aesthetic journalism include the 1974 ‘No Lies’ cinematic interview designed by film student Mitchell Block. In the piece a man turns a camera on a young woman who, unbeknownst to the audience is actually an actress, and begins to ask her questions until she breaks down and confess to being a rape victim. This was presented with no introduction from the director and many believed it was a piece of ‘direct cinema’ which “revealed the making of the film to reflect the subject of the film itself”.

Another form of Aesthetic journalism is ‘Culture Jamming’; which is the act of using existing media such as billboards, bus-ads, posters, and other ads to comment on those very media themselves or on society in general

A recent example of ‘culture jamming’ was seen in 2010, UK graffiti artist and activist, Banksy, wrote the opening sequence to an episode of The Simpsons entitled ‘moneybart’. The sequence gives a very sombre feeling to everybody’s favourite yellow cartoon family and commentates on Fox’s use of Korean workshops to produce their shows. This semi satirical and yet bleak opening manages to inform audiences about Korean sweat shops while still introducing the credits; and therefore almost not informing at all.



MACQUEEN, K. (2010), AESTHETIC JOURNALISM: HOW TO INFORM WITHOUT INFORMING BY ALFREDO CRAMEROTTI. The Art Book, 17: 62. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8357.2010.01137_14.

The Future of Journalism; progess or peril?

The future of journalism!
Is Journalism really dying?

“The faltering economics of the news gathering industry has left journalism in a climate of fear” (Carey et al 2012).
But should it be fear or opportunity that shines through in the changing world of modern journalism?
Journalism and journalists have long been the gatekeepers of information; deciding what the public hear and don’t hear. But now we have the opportunity, in a changing media landscape, to transform the position of journalists. Instead of the gatekeepers of information journalists now have the ability to lead a conversation and facilitate discussions instead of lecturing the public.
The up rise of less-traditional-social-media such as twitter and blogging have given rise to a much easier and far more widespread form of public participation and citizen journalism. Couple this with most major newspapers incorporating at least an online element and journalism is now a two way street. As Domingo Et al quote through Bruns, 2005 and Jenkins, 2006: “The borderline that separates professional journalists and their audience seems to be blurring”.
But does this mean, as Carey et al. stated, that we should be afraid? Or as Tom Fielder said: that this could be the “best ever time to be a journalist”

When used correctly these technological advances have the potential to do so much great work and inspire tremendous acts of citizen journalism. The best examples of this are the Egyptian and Syrian revolutions which used new media such as facebook and youtube to create uprisings of citizens and topple governments.
However there is a negative side as well such as the citizens of Boston using twitter to conduct a witch hunt for the wrong person in the aftermath of a bomb going off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Tell me where you think the future of journalism will take us?

Where’s Sam Jackson when you need him?

Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him?
Maybe we should be calling Samuel L Jackson instead.

Samuel L Jacksonhttp://www.1031jackfm.ca/tag/samuel-l-jackson/

The US television show, 24, which aired suspiciously quickly after the events of September 11 2001 is a thrilling, yet shallow cover up of blatant pro-america, pro-freedom propaganda. In the article, ‘Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him’ many Politicians use the scenarios shown in 24 to justify the use of torture in exchange for protecting freedom, democracy and the flag.

24, however, was not the first time Hollywood made a movie to justify American military action, or to get the population behind the troops. Just look at Casablanca, one of the most celebrated films of all time. It was paid for by the US military as an attempt to sway the population to a pro-war stance; it worked.

The year 2000 saw Hollywood A-lister, Samuel L. Jackson star in the thrilling war/court drama, ‘Rules of engagement’.

In this film Jackson plays a Vietnam War veteran and Marine commander, Colonel Childers, who gives the order for his troops to open fire on a crowded square of angry protesters in the Yemen. The crowd was trying to invade the US embassy. From that point on the film is set in and around a court hearing for Jackson’s character, as the US military try to make him a scape goat and save their own skin. Special attention is shown to Col. Childers service record, his deeds in Vietnam and the scene where he takes down the American flag to protect it before sending it away in a helicopter. Noam Chomsky uses this film in his Documentary ‘Real Bad Arabs’ to highlight a way in which the people of Yemen were portrayed as terrorists.

2010 saw Jackson in another role, special agent H of the FBI in the terrorism thriller ‘Unthinkable’.

The title itself is left open to two possible yet different interpretations; would you do the unthinkable to protect your country? Or what if the unthinkable were to happen to your country? Amid the graphic torture scenes, moral struggles and serious acting cheesy lines such as: If this bomb goes off there won’t be a constitution” serve to reinforce the implications which surround the film.

The whole story could be a way for Hollywood to justify the homeland defence laws of the USA which allow indefinite detention of a citizen suspected of terrorist activity. Or it cold just as easily be a film to remind the western world of the way it felt following September 11.