Looking back…

Looking back on the last 6 weeks of the BCM110 course, I have found many topics interesting. During one of our lectures we were asked to look at many big media companies and state who owns them, to my disbelief I discovered many were owned by the same people such as Gina Rinehart, Ruport and Lachlan Murdoch and bigger companies such as News corp and Fairfax media. Because of that activity I was prompted to research more and peoples views on who owns and funds such companies, using the example of Triple J Radio station which is owned by ABC and funded by the Australian government.

Last week we learnt about corporate pedophilia and how it influences Australia’s youth. It was important for me to realise that advertisements aimed at pre-teens and teenagers were anything but innocent, provoking concern on children’s health and their wellbeing. Similar to this, I researched the semiotics of a controversial ad aimed at obese children and at risk children in Georgia, USA. This advertisement created a harsh and hurtful message stating that “FAT PREVENTION BEGINS AT HOME. AND THE BUFFET LINE”, building a message of hate towards obese children and their parents, rather than inspiring them to be healthier or motivate them to change their lives.

I discussed how the media are blamed for issues that the media is not certainly solely to blame for. There are many contributing factors in one’s lifestyle disproving the theory that “Television makes people fat”. Television may be a contributing factor in lack of exercise and therefore people who regularly partake in watching television may be less healthy, but this may be a learned behaviour.

When learning about the ‘Public Sphere’ and using Q & A as an example, I struggled to understand and this lead to more research on the topic and who is excluded from the mediated ‘public sphere’ and ‘public sphere’, focusing on the minorities excluded such as women, children and some men.

On reflection I feel that I have adopted a new way of thinking about the media and how they express their ideas. I feel that I have learnt a myriad of information and that to improve I could continue researching these idea and staying up to date on media and politics to further my comprehension of these topics.

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Think of the Children!

Corporate Pedophilia was raised to the public’s attention in 2006 by the publication of two papers, firstly the The Australia Institute’s report, Corporate Paedophilia and The second paper, Letting Children be Children: Stopping the sexualisation of children in Australia, examined existing regulatory frameworks and offered a ‘range of policy measures that could reduce the risk of harm to children’, these papersprovoked discussion on the issues of sexualisation of children in marketing and advertising. The issues of concern were:

  • marketing targeted at children and young people
  • the sexualisation of children in advertising
  • the promotion of unhealthy body images in advertising
  • gender stereotyping
  • the promotion of consumerism targeting children, and
  • the privacy of children and young people where direct marketing is concerned”

Corporate Pedophilia is a metaphor to describe how the media sexualises children it “encapsulates the idea that such advertising and marketing is an abuse both of children and of public morality.” Before this paper was published this idea was indirect, with children only being exposed to such media through representations of teen and adult sexuality, for example through watching television (such a music videos) aimed at an older audience. Now the pressure for pre-teens to prematurely sexualise themselves in terms of appearance and behaviour is much higher, with direct forms and exposure of corporate pedophilia increasing.

This increase creates risks on our youth as they feel a need to conform to society’s, and thus the media’s idea of what a normal pre-teen or teenager looks and behaves. This can harm the children’s wellbeing, mentally and physically, create body dissatisfaction and encourages sexual behaviour at an earlier age, the children not knowing or understanding the repercussions and implications of their actions.

In attempt to reduce these risks, many countries have government funded reviews on the implications of corporate pedophilia on our youth, In Australia the review was prompted by these papers. The Commonwealth Parliament, Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communication and the Arts, Inquiry into Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media (2008) conducted a review in 2008. The aim of this was to examine sources of corporate pedophilia in Australia, review evidence both short and long term of consuming these sources and their influence on Australia’s youth and examine strategies to prevent the sexualisation of children in the media. “The inquiry was advertised and a call for submissions was made through national newspapers.

A number of organisations and individuals were directly contacted to contribute to the inquiry, including by giving evidence to the committee.” Almost 200 submissions and 900 letters were sent in as evidence, the committee concluded that children are a legitimate commercial market but acknowledged concern of the products and ways advertising is aimed at children. The key message was to parents, to help children make purchases and to be wary of was is marketed to them, parents and guardians having a pivotal role in how children engage in sexualised material.

References:

Children and young people in advertising. 2012. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/pdf/publications/brochures/children-and-the-media/Corporate-Fact-Sheet4.pdf. [Accessed 13 April 2014].

Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of children in Australia. 2006. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/DP90.pdf. [Accessed 13 April 2014].

Literature review: The sexualisation of children. Commissioner for children and young people. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/files/Literature%20Review%20-%20Sexualisation%20of%20children.pdf. [Accessed 13 April 2014].

Has Georgia gone too far?

Image

This image sponsored by Children’s health care Atlanta has pushed all the wrong buttons. Rather than a parent of obese children audience, the company has created a message directed straight to children of the United States who are obese or at risk of becoming obese. The text addresses the audience who can relate to Tina, the young girl on the left “You’re not” rather than she’s not or they’re not. In the same way, the image on the right states that fat prevention starts in the “buffet line”, which is not always correct. The images both use direct eye contact to demand the viewer’s attention, sparking feelings of guilt and embarrassment.

Is this sort of ad campaign suitable for the targeted audience? America’s youth have been addressed in the way previously used to scare smokers and prevent violence towards women. More recently, this technique has been used on Australia’s youth to educate them that One Punch Can Kill stating that a punch without gloves, can “end his life, and ruin yours” in order to prevent and/or decrease alcohol induced violence.

These images have very strong negative connotations towards the target audience and the obese, detonating a message of hatred, and operating as a sign of abuse and hatred towards the obese.

References:

Combining Children with Scare Tactics in Georgia’s Anti-Obesity Campaign — BagNews. 2014. Combining Children with Scare Tactics in Georgia’s Anti-Obesity Campaign — BagNews. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2012/02/combining-children-with-scare-tactics-in-georgias-anti-obesity-campaign/. [Accessed 23 March 2014].

Video: Danny Green: One Punch, Can Kill. 2014. Video: Danny Green: One Punch, Can Kill. [ONLINE] Available at: http://video.news.com.au/v/183695/Danny-Green-One-Punch-Can-Kill. [Accessed 23 March 2014].

Image: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2012/02/combining-children-with-scare-tactics-in-georgias-anti-obesity-campaign/

Caitlyn Ellender

What are the media being blamed for today and is this justified?

The media are blamed for countless effects on their consumers and audience. But can we blame the media solely as the cause for the effect on their demographic? Not always. As referred to in the theory “television makes you fat” this is not always the case. The media, specifically Xbox, has recently been blamed for the assault of a seven year old girl by her 12 year old brother after he watched hardcore pornography on the internet through the xbox console. Xbox has been dubbed to be able to access these adult sites easier than any other technology. It is said that the pornography the boy watched at a friends house led to “sexual discussion” between the boy and friends.

“Addressing the boy and his father, Judge Prowse said: ”Some of the others were telling you about what they had been doing, probably imaginary rather than real. Because of your immaturity you were not able to recognise it, that made you feel further behind the scene.” This proving that the media was not the only cause that provoked the boy to commit these sexual acts on his sister. “He [the judge] said “many people” would ask the question whether there was a link between the increases in ease of access to porn and the number of sexual offences committed by children on children.

Boy, 12, raped seven-year-old sister after watching porn on Xbox – Telegraph. 2014. Boy, 12, raped seven-year-old sister after watching porn on Xbox – Telegraph. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10673218/Boy-12-raped-seven-year-old-sister-after-watching-porn-on-Xbox.html. [Accessed 16 March 2014].
Caitlyn Ellender