The Issue with Global Issues in a Global World.

Global Crises!

This term it sounds pretty heavy right? It isn’t until recently that this term has become a regular term used by the world media. It isn’t because things within this day age are starting to go wrong, as Cottle (2011 pp78) states that;

Although crises and catastrophes with world-wide impacts are not of course historically unprecedented (consider, for example, the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, World Wars I and II, the post-war nuclear arms race and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962), proliferating crises across recent decades are increasingly recognized as ‘global’ in origins and outcomes – and variously reported in such terms within the news media.

Cottle 2011 goes on further to define what a Global crises is. He states that it can be classed as a crises whose origins and outcomes cannot be confined to the nation’s borders in which a de-territorializing world that has become largely interconnected, interdependent and in a flux.

With the way in which we generate and consume news and media is has allowed us to share and interact with crises that would have normally been confined behind oceans which I feel is a good thing. Today’s media is helping us become more aware of issues relating to the world in which we live in.

But can to much debate or reporting become a bad thing. Can it start having a detrimental affect on the debated topic at hand. I would have to answer yes. Take for example one of the most heavily reported and debated global issues in the last few years and that is the Climate change debate. Whether you believe in climate change or you don’t, you have got to admit that the whole scenario has become a bit of a farce.

As parodied in the video above, our experience of this global issue is highly mediated. It seems as though the wrong people are the ones in the media, putting forward their own beliefs/opinions.

Where are all the Climate Scientists?

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Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children!

In today’s society are we becoming to obsessed with sex? Are we becoming to obsessed with trying to make ourselves desirable to the opposite sex? And in turn are we robbing the children of today their innocence with bombarding them with all these highly sexualised images ranging from movies and TV shows to music and fashion? Well…. If I were answering those questions purely from viewing the above video I would have to answer, YES!

Wait a minute though… Is this threat on the innocence of children just society experiencing moral panic or is there legitimacy for this concern? Lumby & Funnell (2011) states that ‘moral panics constitute an intense site of debate about ideas that are grounded in belief systems and that are connected to embodied and visceral ways of knowing and to ideological systems of meaning.’ So this fear of pop culture sexualizing our children, could it be around societies ideal that a childhood is pure or a state of innocence? And is this ideal purely a fantasy that us adults like to convince ourselves to be reality.

The daily telegraph recently reported (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/raunchy-popstars-a-bad-influence-on-little-kids/story-e6freuzr-1226349392364) on a research study conducted by an academic from the University of South Australia who found that raunch culture is rampant among children, who are learning to pout and thrust by watching music videos. It was also found that there are direct links between what children watch on television and how they dress and behave. Wooaaahh….

Now I’m somewhat cynical of this moral panic around the sexualisation of children, I personally think that it is to easy to blame pop culture for the shortcomings of children today. Why aren’t we using this as a means of educating as apposed to not acknowledging the big elephant in the room? As Gilbert Herdt states:

Moral panics, can provoke authoritarian policies and heated debate in the short term, but over the longer term they are also capable of providing an opportunity to take the heat out of taboo subjects and of offering progressive social and political groups a window for lobbying for change. 

Ownership of Media within Australia

As Simone Murray details in her journal article titled ‘Think Global, Act Global: Corporate Content Streaming and Australian Media Policy’, the debate around media policy within Australia has been dominated around two major issues. They are media ownership reform and the local content provisions of the Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement. In this blog post I want to primarily focus on the debate around Media ownership within Australia.

Media ownership within Australia has become an evolving hot topic for governments over time. This is due to the blurring of the traditional boundaries. (Lee n.d.)
This thought is evident in which Murray quotes a Senator Helen Coonan who states that;

“It used to be that you could quarantine content you got through television or newspapers but now it’s being streamed in all sorts of ways.”

Why is there restrictions in place for media ownership within Australia? Especially when the major media players within this country is made up of just two corporations, Fairfax and News Corp. Considering that these policies had been developed prior to media becoming digitised the media categories included print media, radio and television it was restricted to just those that could afford to produce media for the traditional media categories. Now because of the technological developments around digital media, the barriers have been lowered around entry and productions costs to the point that almost anyone can become a media producer.

So can content now be considered so intertwined between newspapers, television, magazines, the Internet, radio that no one group dominates – or can hope to dominate? Murray states in which I feel has credence and that is media ownership convergence is currently to embryonic to demonstrate conclusively to governments that multi-purposing of digital content benefits the media sector as a whole, or even individual firms.


References

Lee, L n.d., New Ways to Explore Australian Media Ownership Opportunities and Threats, http://www.optimice.com.au/upload/Media_Ownership_Analysis1.pdf

Murray, S 2005, Think Global, Act Global: Corporate Content Streaming and Australian Media Policy, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no.116, pp.100-116