Research? What?

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Research is a word often used by people such as students in universities and researches in the industries but the real thing is, everyone does researches. When you’re searching for a recipe, you’re doing a research. When you’re browsing through Asos for the latest fashion feature, you’re doing a research. We do research, all the time! Research simply means “looking for information about something.” (Berger, 2014) By doing research, we get to choose from choices we find and these are called everyday research. Students like us in universities do not do everyday research however, we do scholarly research. The difference between scholarly research from everyday research is it is more systematic, more objective and targets the knowledge of an individual on a subject. (McCutcheon, 2015)

There are steps to be taken in order to conduct a systematic scholarly research:

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Scholarly research can again be broken down into Qualitative research and Quantitative research. Qualitative vs Quantitative.

If I had to choose on aspect to research on, I would choose to do a research on how media and especially social media impact the way of thinking and how they shape adolescences these days. We cannot deny that we are not slightly attached to our Facebook, Instagram or the television as it now plays an alternate route for getting information, news and updates about the world besides our social life. I believe the breakthrough of social media and the development of the media content has brought many advantages and improvements in our lives but without a doubt there are also detrimental circumstances.

I would want to look further into how media alters one’s perspective and attitude. An example would be how and why media have such a great impact on one’s body image and how do we prevent it from further destructing adolescences.

“Magazines and television are often blamed for portraying an ideal body image that causes people to question their looks and lose confidence in themselves. But what about the role social media plays in moulding attitudes to the way we look?” – BBC News 

 Issues starts to rise that may influence one’s mental and physical state such as jealousy, hatred or in some cases one might feel not up to par physically, compared to their friends on social media. Thus I would like to research on how and why media, especially social media, transform, alters or affects one’s mind and attitude.

Hopefully I’ll get this right! Or I might change my options as soon as I’ve found another interesting topic to search on.

 

 

References:

Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, in Media and communication research methods : an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32

McCutcheon, M. 2015 ‘What is media research?’ powerpoint slides, Research Practices in Media and Communication BCM210, University of Wollongong, viewed 17th March 2015.

Roxby, P 2014, ‘Does social media impact on body image?’ BBC News, viewed 18th March 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29569473&gt;

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Global Media and Global Warming Coverage

“Seek the truth and report it” says Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ). It’s that easy right? Climate change and Global Warming is an uprising issue for years, even in school, we are all educated and well informed about the harm and damaged that global warming might caused and how to prevent global warming from taking place. As specified by Bud Ward (2009 pp. 14), “in news reporting, it’s a common ethical that journalist cannot be both observers and participants in a situation that is reporting.” It is also mentioned that journalists are giving ‘false balance’ in reporting on climate change and also the discovery of physical and earth sciences.

 

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The Youtube video and the picture above explains Kiribati and how does climate changes affects the residents and the island itself.

“The people of Kiribati, a group of islands in the Pacific ocean particularly exposed to climate change, now own a possible refuge elsewhere. President Anote Tong has recently finalised the purchase of 20 sq km on Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000km away.” (Caramel L, 2014)

The saddest part of Kiribati is that news coverage is not focusing on the important point. In fact, the horrified situation where the rising of sea level caused by global warming from advanced and highly populated countries are not broadcasted dispersedly. Residents in such places contribute very little to climate change, yet are vulnerable to rising tides (Foundation for World Arts, 2011). Concrete and established amount of coverage on climate changes should be emphasised all around the world to create awareness and involvement to how can we reduce global warming and help the voiceless and victims of the future tragedy. 

 

References:

Caramel, L 2014, ‘Besieged by the rising tides of climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji,’ The Guardian, 1st July, viewed 13th October, <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/01/kiribati-climate-change-fiji-vanua-levu&gt;

Foundation for World Arts, 2011, Water is Rising – Kiribati, viewed October 11 2014, http://www.waterisrising.com/content/kiribati

Ward, B. 2009, ‘Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty’, in Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, vol. 9, pp. 13-15

 

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Translation gone wrong? Or is it just different perceptions?

This post would be similar to the previous topic but we will be focusing on drama and how it successfully (or unsuccessfully) engage the audiences over various cultures, nationality and location.

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The original teen drama, Skins, was British and encompasses the lives of teenagers that are almost graduating from high school in Bristol. Its interesting storyline (for me at least) comprises such controversial but realistic issues such as adolescent sexuality, drug abuse, dysfunctional families, bullying, mental disorders such as eating disorders and death. 

 The reason why I love Skins (UK)

 

Skins US was a remake of the original British Skins in North America but only lasted for a season. It was adapted and broadcasted on MTV but it did not connect with the American audience as it was allegedly generating controversy in its content in the United States. “Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped,” said MTV in a statement.

Both Skins had the almost exact storyline but why is it accepted and lasted for 7 seasons in the UK but only a season and then abandoned in the US? UK and the United States are culturally different in some ways as portrayed in the show by the way the cast speaks. Vulgarities are lesser used or is censored in the US version compared to the UK version. It is a realistic show that tries to tell the truth about teenagers and how they live their lives and it’s probably a little more unacceptable to the eyes of the American viewers that they find it controversial and inappropriate for young viewers.

Thus, Skins is a perfect example of translation gone wrong in TV dramas for the suitability of the Americans. Of course, not all remakes are unacceptable by another culture as globalisation has allowed the expansion of understanding a certain culture and their conjunctures. For example, Sherlock and Elementary as mentioned in the class lecture.

 

References:

Hibberd, J 2011, “MTV cancels controversial ‘Skins'”, Entertainment Weekly, weblog, 9th June, viewed 20th September, <http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/06/09/mtv-cancels-skins/&gt;

Obias, R 2013, “15 failed American Remakes of Foreign TV Shows”, mental_floss, 10th May, viewed 20th September, <http://mentalfloss.com/article/50381/15-failed-american-remakes-foreign-tv-shows&gt;

Penny, L (2014) ‘Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase’ New Statesman, available online at
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/01/sherlock-and-adventure-overzealous-fanbase

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Comedy and comedians can be offensive?

“Humour, and thus comedy formats, most drama, relying as it does on some unavoidable specificities of character and place, and of course the vast bulk of news and current affairs, remain stubbornly resistant to exploitation in a multiplicity of markets” (Cunningham and Jacka 1996: 249) The ever occurring problem for comedy is that different individual interprets and perceives the joke differently. On the other hand, the translation of the joke through a comedy show might also be lost in meaning or misunderstood by different individuals.

The first example I’m going to use is a viral YouTube clip from a TV show called “The Offensive Translator” by Catherine Tate, an English comedian that worked on a comedy series called The Catherine Tate Show.

 

The geographical and cultural references and also the audiences’ taste might be the dominant reason why most comedy is lost in translation or it is being perceived as offensive and stereotypical. From the YouTube video, it is obvious that the CEOs from different backgrounds were offended by their facial expression and body language when Catherine Tate as Helen Marsh “tries” to translate English into various languages.

Audiences may find it offensive and racist too as she speaks in a way that stereotypes the way of other culture speaks. For example, when Helen Marsh tries to speak in Italian, she uses the hand gestures that is clichÊ and stereotypes how Italian speak (in a rude way). It is the way how Helen Marsh mimics the tone and sound of a certain language in a culture that appears as a joke and funny to certain audiences while it might spark awareness between audiences that find it offensive.

 

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The second example will be Kath and Kim, an Australian television comedy that is character driven. This show was remade in an American version in 2008 but only lasted for 17 episodes and the show was cancelled after. What’s the reason of its major success in the UK and Australia but failed to translate for American audiences? Is it because it failed to capture the translation of suburban spirit and humour were not captured by the American audiences? (Idato, M 2014) The answer is yes.

There were successful international adaptions made by UK’s comedy, The Office and Columbia’s Ugly Betty but unfortunately not for Kath and Kim. So does Americans do not get the joke? Or is it NOT funny at all? (Turnbull, S 2014)

“Comedy after all, is a cultural and social practice that is both shaped by and contributes to historical conjunctures; it pivots on contested and ambivalent relationships to power; it constitutes a repository of symbols that can be drawn on to indicate how, where and why people place themselves” (Medhurst, A 2007)

 

References:

Idato, M 2014, “Kath & Kim on Hulu in the US after remake failed”, The Sydney Morning Herald: Entertainment, 12th September, viewed 19th September, <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/kath–kim-on-hulu-in-the-us-after-remake-failed-20140912-10fuhm.html&gt;

Turnbull, S (2004) ‘Look at Moiye, Kimmie, look at moiye’: Kath and Kim and the Australian comedy of taste’. Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 113, pp. 98 – 109

Turnbull, S (2014) “Television in Translation Week 7”, Lecture slides, BCM111 International Media and Communication, University of Wollongong, viewed 19th September 2014, <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/287087/mod_resource/content/1/BCM111_Week7.pdf&gt;

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Media capital: spatial flows towards Hong Kong

I believe Hong Kong is one of the biggest and lucrative city in the world as it is portrayed as one of the developed Media capital along with Hollywood, Chicago and recently India. Its rising velocity and volume of multi directional media flows are being reassessed to the periphery world system (Curtin, 2003). It is because of its transnational cultures that emerged throughout the history of Hong Kong that provided a chance for scholars to examine Hong Kong as a media capital.

There’s a history behind the success of Hong Kong as one of the media capital in the world. Because of its central position in the Chinese diaspora, the city continued to prospers as a nexus for financial and trade relations between China and the rest of the world and act as a dominant city in the world thus being applicable as the major media capital. As the country grows bigger while more and more immigrants move into Hong Kong, this goes as far back during the World War 2 where people sought sanctuary. This emphasises why Hong Kong is a media capital as it is culturally diverse itself and allows the smooth flow of trans-cultural media.

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Television Broadcasts Limited, also known as TVB, commenced broadcasting wireless for the first time in 1967 in Hong Kong. TVB now is one of the largest commercial Chinese television broadcasting industry in Asia. This is also because places such as Taiwan, Singapore and Bangkok attracted diasporic audiences that is far beyond Hong Kong’s territory (Leung and Chan, 1997). TVB especially their drama series are widely and frequently broadcasted in countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia. I grew up watching TVB shows with my grandmother, from those antique giant TVs to flat screen HD TVs and after migrating to Australia, I am still watching TVB dramas streamed online on my laptop. What I’m trying to say is that it’s viral and absorbed in many countries and it began to start a trend.

Just like Hollywood and the Western culture, Cantopop (Cantonese popular music) is now one of the dominant aspect in the music industry and is big business in Asia as its blockbusters are always at the top of the charts or artists on newspapers and magazines. “And, while Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and Justin Timberlake are all big business in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing, Edison Chen, Gillian Chung and Andy Lau are much bigger business.” (Boland, 2014) Cantopop not only topped charts in Hong Kong but are also viral in places such as Malaysia and Singapore where Cantonese are practiced.

Emergence of media capital is one of the impact from globalisation as a concept that empirically grounded the analysis of temporal dynamism and spatial complexity of the global media environment. (Curtin, 2003)

 

References:

Boland R. 2014, Cantopop- What is Cantopop?, gohongkong.about.com, viewed 15th September 2014, <http://gohongkong.about.com/od/historyandcultureofhk/a/Cantopop.htm&gt;

Curtin, M  2003, “Media Capital: Towards the study of spatial flows”, International journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no.2, pp. 202-228.

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Crossover Cinemas.

As i was growing up, watching movies at least once a week on the television became a routine. I’ve watched movies of various productions that are in different languages that includes English, Mandarin, Cantonese and some Malay films as i grew up in Malaysia. We had many varieties of the type of movies that are broadcasted in different channels. (Perks of being multilingual) From Hollywood blockbusters to Korean dramas to Hong Kong actions movies, I’ve seen most of it to be able to deduce that cultural crossovers and similarities are present in some of the films. This happened recently and simultaneously with the emergence of globalisation.

According to Khorona, crossover cinema is described as “an emerging form of  cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualisation and production and hence manifests a hybrid cinematic grammar at the textual level, as well as crossing over in terms of its distribution and reception.” (2014) Globalisation has allowed the cultural mix to occur in the world’s cinema. This can be seen through the similar storyline or the other version of the film in a completely different language by other film industries. In this case, the movie called Shutter was originally a Thai horror film that was broadcasted in 2004 was remade in English in 2008 and in Hindi in 2010.

The remake of the film in different countries in different language allows worldwide views and it’s definitely plays a better role than just reading off the subtitles. Just like Hollywood films that crosses national boundaries to be broadcasted to other countries all around the world, other film industries does the same too. This crossing over also reinforces the point where it allows viewers all around the world to understand and perceive one’s culture and also it’s differences. For example, as we all should know now that Slumdog Millionaire is assimilated from a reality TV show called Who wants to be a millionaire

 

References:

Khorana, S 2013, ‘Crossover Cinema: A Genealogical and Conceptual Overview’, Producing a Hybrid Grammar, pp. 1-7.

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Bollywood VS Hollywood

Hollywood is known as a physical place in Los Angeles, California and also not forgetting it is also represents the American film industry. On the other hand, Bollywood represents Hindi-languaged film industry that is based in Mumbai, India and it’s not a physical place like Hollywood. These two film industries are entirely different from where it embarked but today, similarities can be found between these two film industries.

Cultural hybridity as mentioned by Ritzer (2007) is the main reason where the local and global cultural production are self-consciously combined and homogenised. Bollywood began in 1899 while Hollywood started a decade later in 1910 and was told that some Hollywood movies are a “copycat” from the Bollywood plots and scenes and I cannot deny. As from Appadurai (1996) mentioned that global mediascapes has influenced the production of films around the world and contributes to cultural mixing. This is also supported by Thussu (2006) where “the boundaries between then modern and the traditional, the high and low culture, and the national and the global culture” are blurred by the shifting of cultural flows.

Hybridisation with the Asian contra-flow including the Chinese and Hong Kong industries are emerging dominantly in the US. This can be seen through the cross-cultural films in movies such as Rush Hour and The Medallion staring Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan where they incorporated the Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu).

On the other hand, ‘Bollywoodisms’ have been incorporated into plenty of American media and films. Examples can be seen through the British film Slumdog Millionaire (Boyle, 2009)  staring Dev Patel that was co-directed in India itself. Somehow, Hollywood worldwide’s revenue is so much higher than Bollywood’s. This is because Hollywood films has a global coverage and are broadcast in most countries whereas Bollywood films are mostly shown in India and East Asia itself only but somehow Bollywood has higher vieweship compared to Hollywood.

 

 

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To sum it all up, no matter Bollywood or Hollywood or any other film industries, the industry itself has went through a profound transformation over the years to suit the audience’s preferences.

References:

Schaefer, D and Karan, K (2010). Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows, 6(3) pp. 309-316

o’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J. (2014). 10 Hollywood movies you probably didn’t know were a direct copy of Indian films. Available: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/10-hollywood-movies-you-probably-didnt-know-were-a-direct-copy-of-indian-films/484753-79.html. Last accessed 24th Aug 2014.

passionate_ashu (2011) Bollywood in Comparision with Hollywood. Hubpages.com, weblog. Last accessed 24th Aug 2014.

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