Why Ethnography?

Audience measurement as a practice assists broadcasters and advertisers in determining who is listening, rather than how many people are listening. Audience measurement revolves around knowing who’s watching, listening, interacting and engaging with content posted online, or content airing on television or the radio. It therefore measures how many people are in an audience, particularly in relation to radio listenership and television viewership, and also web traffic on websites.

As consumers of media, we are moving away from traditional mediums and are instead seeking for other alternatives. In particular, the rapidly evolving online media environment has provided consumers with the ability to access and engage with media a wider range of devices, platforms and mediums. This has resulted in an increase in consumers watching television programs via the Internet and on mobile devices, rather than on the television.

Due to this shift, there has been an increasing desire by broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies to have accurate, consistent an detailed information about TV audiences. As billions of dollars are spent every year on TV programs and commercials, it is vital for broadcasters and agencies to obtain reliable data and discover what it is the audience wants.

Ethnography can be defined as the study of social interactions, behaviors and perceptions that occur within groups, organizations, teams and universities. I will admit that at first I was confused as to what exactly this meant’. The central aim of ethnography is to provide rich, holistic insights into people’s views and actions, as well as the nature (that is, sights, sounds) of the location they inhabit, through the collection of detailed observations and interviews.

The concept is a branch of anthropology which involves trying to understand how we live our lives. Rather than traditional market researchers whom use specific and highly practical questions, anthropological researchers visit the consumers homes in order to observe and listen in a non-directed way. An example of a company who utilize this research as a key strategy to their organizations success is Intel. The goal is to see peoples behavior on their terms, not ours”. Whilst it can be argued that such a method is in-efficient it allows the organization to understand what meaning the product holds in the consumers lives.

When considering this research method and applying it to the television industry I could not go past Gogglebox.

For those of you who have never heard of Gogglebox I almost feel sorry for you as the show is hilarious! Even my nan laughed, and my nan never laughs. Gogglebox is a new reality television program that is based on a UK series that watches people watch TV. This new reality program is not about “TV” but rather family dynamics and human emotion. It allows individuals to see into seeing television that is watch how individuals look and feel whilst watching television itself.

The big problem that the Television industry faces is not only is online streaming and reality television taking over our desire to sit and watch a soap it is although everyone is now able to produce content rarely people produce content that audiences want. Therefore, moving away from numerical data and rating to determine what needs to stay and what needs to and to ethnography will prove beneficial for all audiences and the future of the television industry.

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Then & Now

Right now, I’m sitting too close to the heater- So close that I’ll probably burn myself if I sit here much longer. But I don’t want to move because I’m so comfortable and my phone charger reaches the wall so perfectly that I can still use my phone whilst listening to the sweet sound of Ricky Martin on The Voice. I don’t know why I’m watching the Voice to be honest I don’t vote, I don’t even know any of there names but if I change it I’ll get crucified by my Mum. The women who is laying on the lounge next to me with one hand clenched on her iPad and the other lifting her cup of tea up and down as she plays trivia crack yet claims she is watching this show. Welcome to my lounge room and the way in which I experience watching television most nights.

The television has evolved into one of the most important and reliable forms of communication due to its ability to reach mass audiences worldwide. Along with this the television is able to inform individuals about global events and news, educate people on various topics, and of course provide entertainment. It therefore has revolutionized the way in which individuals receive information and the way individuals understand the world around them. My mother’s childhood memories of television were very different from mine and I’m sure my child’s will be very different also, so I fired a few questions at my Mum about her television itself and her experience and much to my surprise she put down the god damn iPad down.

It was a wooden cabinet with a small screen and it had maroon and cream dials on it with an indoor aerial that sat on top which looked like a set of rabbit ears with curly wire. It was a small and it was second hand as it belonged to my nan who gave it to us in 1964. screen and it was actually second hand when we got it and it had belonged to my mothers grand mother so we got it in 1964. 

We were living in Seven Hills at the time in a small home. We had one lounge and a lounge chair both facing the television but I used to sit on cushions a lot of the time because I had four younger brothers. I remember I used to watch the same show everyday, The Magic Circle Club. I loved it and would rush home from school every afternoon just so I could watch it. Friday nights were different though I wasn’t allowed to watch it because it was on too late and Mum and Dad would watch “adult shows” but having the room closest to the lounge room I’d keep my door open and sneakily watch.

 I have so many memories of watching tv when I was a child but the one that stuck with me the most was the time my brothers broke it playing a game. Back then, the tv took a while to cool down because they would get so hot. My little brothers played a game called post man and letterbox because the TV had slits down the sides. They would grab letters, pencils and combs then say “HELLO POSTMAN!” and then put everything into the slits. One day the TV broke… It was so funny when the repair man arrived he found melted combs all over the tubes and well that was the end of that game!

I grew up with a completely different way of interacting with television. With four people living in my household we somehow ended up having six televisions. Although I was one of those kids that did dancing, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, netball, karate and of course playing in the street I was still obsessed with watching TV. My morning ritual included eating vegemite toast and watching Cheese TV shows such as Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Rugrats before racing out the door to ensure I wasn’t late. At some stage however our television was dominated by the rise of reality television. That’s probably why I find myself watching The Voice right now.

Due to a now diverse market Television is continually evolving. From my mothers experience soap operas and dramas were trending whereas now people are more inclined to watch things that are sequential and that they can really get involved in such as reality television and live sports. We are looking at a movement towards streaming and watching things on demand as seen through the phenomenon of Netflix. When considering the future of television and its programs one question will continually remain. What next?

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Holla BCM240

Hey there!

Allow me to introduce myself, for those of you who do not already know me my name is Hannah Swan. I am a 20 year old, third year student at UOW and I am studying a Bachelor of Communications and Media studies – Bachelor of Commerce majoring in both marketing and advertising and human resources!

I cant believe its been over a year since I last blogged… Bare with me my blog needs a complete makeover but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of it and post something that is actually worth reading each week. You would think being a BCM student I would have blogging down but really I’m still a rookie.

Like any other individual my age I spend most of my time online whether its binge watching a TV series on Netflix, sourcing new music on sound cloud and iTunes, keeping up with what’s happening in the world or buying clothes, a lot of them.

Since the awkward age of 14 I would have to say I have been obsessed with social networking in its different forms. Some of my fondest memories in year 7 include running home from the bus to sit on msn and webcam talking to the people I had just spent the last 6 hours with. One day msn and I broke up and I moved onto someone better, Facebook. Looking back at my own Facebook profile makes me laugh and cringe at the same time, the way in which I use the site has changed dramatically over the years from updating my status literally every time I did something or was with someone to now only really checking in or uploading photos that just don’t make the cut on my Instagram. Ah Instagram, another love of mine. To be honest when I first heard of Instagram I didn’t want to download the app as I thought it was ridiculous and hated taking photos. These days I find myself wasting all my data on the app and constantly scrolling through my phone to see which photo from the weekend I should upload… you can judge me, I’m judging myself but I know I’m not the only one. The evolution of media has most certainly changed me as an individual, what was once a shy girl now stands a confident young lady… just ask anyone who has me on Snapchat.

That’s just a little about me and where I find myself within the media space.
Until next time, x

Peace out x

 It’s scary to think that this time last year I was finishing my hsc and now I am finishing my first year of Uni. I have thoroughly enjoyed my university experience so far as I have met a lot of new people and learnt a lot of new things. However, now another session of blogging has come to an end. I have found the topics within this subject interesting as most of the topics we looked into I did not have any knowledge of prior to entering this subject.

 

Throughout this semester my favorite topics would have been hip hop as well as media capitals (my group presentation). Being a dancer and having an obsession with Kanye West I was fond of Hip Hop as because I have grown up around this topic I had a general understanding however I found it interesting looking deeper into the foundations and evolution of hip hop from then to now. Although our group found it hard to find a lot of information on media capitals as it is a tricky topic I found some of our findings fascinating especially in terms of reality television and just how many countries have their own version of Next Top Model. Not only were some of our findings unique I also was able to gain a better understanding of media capitals in terms of they exactly are, who Australia is dependent on and ultimately the future for media capitals and just who will obtain the power.

 

 Overall BCM111 has furthered my understanding of International media and I have certainty gained a lot from taking this subject. I can’t say 8:30 tutorials will be greatly missed but it has been a great experience and I look forward to seeing what next semester holds.

 

 

 

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Truth

Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information” according to the United States Society of Professional Journalists. The term false balance is the superficial balance that provides the audience with both sides of the story present. This can also be informational bias as journalists present a particular issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints. However just because it is stated that a report is balanced and provides equal information does not mean that both sides of the story are in fact equal or furthermore accurate.

 

Journalists have profound ethical responsibilities when covering stories and issues both expansive and critical, much like climate change. These journalists are not only reporting these concerns during a time where their own line of work is changing, but also during a time of profound global economic and financial uncertainty (Ward 2009). This type of uncertainty is compounded by the ongoing threats of divisive wars and terrorist activities, which in hand confounds journalist’s approach to these expansive and critical issues (Ward 2009).

 

What has been considered as a major challenge to the free flow of information, the commercialisation of media has resulted in news becoming a commercial product. As the concentration of media ownership is increasing, the level of freedom and independence of news and differing views is reducing. In some nations, powerful corporations are becoming major influences on mainstream media. This in particular has caused a reduction in diversity and depth in content that is being presented to mass audiences.

 

News Glorious News

New values are considered to be common guidelines or criteria applied by media outlets in order for them to determine how much attention they will give to a particular story. They are in fact fundamental to understanding new production and the choices that editors and other journalists face when determining what is deemed to be newsworthy and what is not. There are seven news values which focus and direction information into appropriate categories these include: composition, continuity, cultural proximity, elite references, negativity, personalisation, rarity and relevance.

In the modern world media outlets all really just want to obtain audiences and therefore keep them entertained. In order to do so media outlets have turned to celebrities and their news as being the forefront of the media. However, this creates the criticism of news values as today the focus is on celebrity based news and quite often real world issues are overlooked simply because they are not seen as “entertaining” as hearing about somebody like Miley Cyrus twerk it.

Whether we choose to accept it or not celebrity news has in fact become an important feature of the media. What has been described as a major shift in contemporary journalism, celebrity news has transformed from an array of print and television outlets, into a category of content found across various media channels. The demand for celebrity news is constantly increasing; therefore media outlets will do whatever it takes to acquire the latest and most sensational story.

Jai Ho.

We live in a world that is evolving rapidly, so is the nature of film industries in terms of production and distribution. We now see the emergence of transitional film industries as a result of the shift in global film cultures, breaking down the traditional geographic barriers. Both transnational and global film industries are hybrids of numerous cultures, nations and creative minds, therefore producing a melting pot of representations and interpretations. 

 

Due to an increase in number of films that attract international markets, films that are being produced can no longer be identified with a specific nation. Today films are shot in numerous countries, therefore mixing both local and global elements to appeal to audiences trends and tastes (Shaefer & Kara 2010). As well as this, film industries are also becoming more reliant on multinational cast and crew, and other resources available to them.

 

One example of a transnational film is Slumdog Millionaire’. A movie set both set and filmed in India followed the story of a teenage boy who appears on “Who wants to be a Millionaire” – an American originated program, therefore Western. Western culture was evident in the film and it wanted to target Western audiences through references such as a classic tourist scene being shot at the Taj Mahal.

 

Not only is the Indian film industry thriving off movies like Slumdog Millionaire but it is also inspiring top USA film directors to bring more of the Indian culture and experience into the western world of America.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvckpV_ZKt4

 

 “Asian film industries, particularly those of India and China will wrestle control of global film flows from Western dominace”. The film is a great illustration of the way in which India as well as China are challenging Hollywood’s current hegemony.