~W6~ A sexualised conclusion

Through the past few weeks of  BCM110, we have covered a range of aspects within media such as,

Is the media to blame?, Semiotics Рthe reading of sings, Who controls our media? And The Public Sphere.

You will find that these themes are key components and together, they give you the tools to fairly analyse issues within the media, seen through whether or not children and teens are being sexualised (Snow 2013) by the media.

The Blue Lagoon

A favorite movie from my childhood was the¬†1980’s version¬†of the¬†“The blue lagoon”. It stars 15 year old¬†Brooke Sheilds and 19 year old Christopher Atkins who play¬†two teens that had been¬†stuck on an island together since¬†childhood who then faces the struggle of little education and¬†the emotional and physical changes of puberty.¬†At¬†the time, and still today, the movie was¬†deemed controversial for sexualising¬†children (McMurran 1080) as both characters were predominately naked throughout the film.

Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields - The Blue Lagoon (1980) ♥

Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields – The Blue Lagoon (1980)

The Blue Lagoon – Chris Atkins

Brook Sheilds – The Blue Lagoon


In all the times¬†I watched this movie,¬†my young mind had never once found the teens¬†to be arousing, provocative or sexualised. If anything¬†it showed their innocence, much like a¬†child when they¬†run around in the nude, not knowing any better. So now that¬†I’m older and of¬†bout the controversy this movie caused, it makes me wonder, was the media really making them look sexualised, or is society¬†just looking at them sexually?

This is where topics from previous weeks come in.

As mentioned above, we can question is media to blame? My previous blog ¬†had another¬†representation¬†of¬†children in the media, looking at whether media was¬†causing teen pregnancy through¬†the glamorisation of it.¬†It was discovered that¬†factors¬†within¬†society like education (Jones 2008)¬†can¬†promote this,¬†and the media just reports what’s already happening in society. So as a young person, I did not find these children sexualised from the same media, it can be said that possibly it’s factors within society contributing¬†to people finding it sexualising?

The Blue Lagoon

Then we can look at semiotics and signs. Through¬†Sisley’s controversial ad “Fashion Junkie” we looked at the semiotics of signs a sign¬†being¬†anything that conveys a message¬†through signifers and the signified (Berger 2014). It was concluded that signs can read differently to anyone based on a number of factors, but¬†personal¬†ideologies are the ending key in how we interpret a given message. Throughout The Blue Lagoon, the¬†signifier being¬†the naked bodies signified “sexualisatoin” to a broad audience, but realistically a naked body as seen¬†in art or even a baby doesn’t¬†t have to be seen as sexual. This proves the audiences watching the movie perceive it as sexual due to their preconceived¬†ideology that says any naked body of this age is sexual, then yes they are viewing it sexually, they will find it¬†seuxalised.

The Blue Lagoon

Thirdly we can look at who is controlling the views out there. As seen in the my blog who controls or media, our society has concentrated media control and the controllers often pick and choose information to be published in order to sway public views for personal gain. This¬†proves that who controls our media is important because through concentrated media, media controllers are publicising¬†their own personal ideologies over numerous media outlets (McKnight 2012)¬†, in turn unfairly swaying the minds of the readers, and in this instance, have created and spread an ideology that the young naked bodies, such as those in The Blue Lagoon,¬†are sexual making them viewed as”sexualised”.

All in all, these themes flow through all topics within the media, however none of these themes or topics would even come to light if it wasn’t all brought together by the Public Sphere, an area where¬†audiences come together to discuss issues within society (Adut 2012).¬†and as proven in my last blog, can be the place for societal change. Issues around¬†children within media are a big debate in the Public Sphere, just as the Sexualisation in The Blue Lagoon was, but through looking at the topics I¬†believe society has viewed the an unsexualised Blue Lagoon sexually though the pressure of media circulated ideologies¬†.



Adut, A 2012, ‚ÄúA Theory of the Public Sphere‚ÄĚ,¬†Sociological Theory,¬†vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 238-262.

Berger, A 2014, ‚ÄėSemiotics and society‚Äô,¬†Society,¬†vol¬†51, no. 1,¬†p.¬†22-26, viewed 21 March 2014, Springer Link database, item:¬†1936-4725.¬†

Jones, A 2008, Scenes of a sexual nature, viewed 14 March 2014,

McMurran, K 1980, Too much too young?, viewed 13 April 2014,

McKnight, D 2012, Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch: a study of power in the media, viewed 28 March 2014,

Snow, D 2013, Stealing the innocence of children, viewed 13 April 2014,


~ W5~ When the hunter becomes the hunted!

Within society, we have found ourselves for centuries coming together, usually with people of similar interests, to talk and discuss current aspects of every day life and can usually do so in a manner that bears no judgement. These days, with bonus outlets of media; social networks, blogs, forums, YouTube and even online newspapers, there are more places then ever before for people to gather, discuss and share opinions. These places are known as the Public Sphere. The Public Sphere is a key area in modern day society becoming the place of voice for thousands, usually tackling subjects that interfere with our ideologies toward life, or topics that touch on modern day anxieties (Adut 2012). 


Melissa Bachman Dead Lion - H 2013

Melissa Bachman – Sport Hunter

Last year, Melissa Bachman, a sporting hunter, made news headlines and filled social networking feeds around the globe after the above photo went viral. The photo of this beautiful but dead lion killed in the plains of South Africa for the pure joy of “spot hunting” saw hot debates arise in the Public Sphere with people expressing their¬†disgust of this woman¬†and the¬†sport. But,¬†as the public sphere is open to all, there were also¬†a fair amount of¬†people in support of the hunter, defending the sport and this photo (Adams 2013). This discussions radiated dramatically within the Public Sphere as it played on the ideology of most that we should¬†no long live in a world that allows¬†game hunting.

Ricky Gervais humerous reaction to Melissa Bachman’s hunting photo

Reaction within the Public Sphere to Melissa Bachman’s hunting photo

The Public Sphere went on that saw debate over who is to blame with some blaming South Africa and not Melissa Bachman (Moosa 2013).

melissa bachman

The caption to the hunting photo

Melissa Bachman, before the¬†international lime lite from this photo was already a big figurehead in the world of sport hunting with a website¬†http://www.melissabachman.com/, and even had hunting TV shows¬†Winchest Deadly Passion¬†and The National Geographic Channel series ‚ÄúUltimate Survival Alaska‚ÄĚ (Kenneally 2013).¬†However, once the photo was¬†viral, the Public Sphere allowed for the public to come together and share their upset, enough that the Public Sphere became the birthing ground of a viral¬†petition for¬†her TV shows to get axed, followed by success when¬†Ultimate Survival Alaska was dropped by The Nation Geographic (Couch 2013).¬†

Beyond that,¬†the petition grew bigger demeaning from nearly half a million¬†people that she also be banned from South Africa. And then if that wasn’t enough, recently the Public Sphere centralist the point which saw audiences from over 50 countries, organise a marching protest again the hunting of lions (Bekhechi 2014).

Melissa Bachman/Facebook

Melissa Bachman – South Africa Hunt


So from Melissa Bachman uploading this one photo onto Facebook, the public share is a place powerful enough to see  hundreds of thousands of people around the world gather and become a place of unity and debates about no longer just Melissa Bachman, but the entire existence of game hunting and hunting laws in South Africa.



Adams, S 2013, Female hunters express support for lion killer Melissa Bachman and explain their love of blood sports, viewed 3 April 2014, <http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/melissa-bachman-female-hunters-olivia-2851506>.

Adut, A 2012, “A Theory of the Public Sphere”,¬†Sociological Theory,¬†vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 238-262.

Bekhechi, M 2014,¬†Time to end ‚Äėcanned hunting‚Äô of lions: it’s nothing more than a violent recreational activity for wealthy, bored individuals, viewed 3 April 2014, <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/time-to-end-canned-hunting-of-lions-its-nothing-more-than-a-violent-recreational-activity-for-wealthy-bored-individuals-9195428.html>.

¬†Couch, A 2013, Petition Asks That TV Hunter’s Show Be Dropped After Lion Kill Controversy, viewed 3 April 2014,

Kenneally, T 2013, Lion Huntress Melissa Bachman Targeted With New Online Petition, viewed 3 April 2014, <http://www.thewrap.com/melissa-bachman-protest-winchester-deadly-passion>.

Moosa, T 2013,¬†Lion hunter Melissa Bachman isn’t the problem. South Africa is, viewed 3 April 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/23/melissa-bachman-lion-hunting-internet-backlash>.




~W4~ Fairfax no longer Fair Facts


don't trust the corporate media

Don’t trust the corporate media

Who controls the media within Australia? And does it matter?

Well yes, yes it does.

Most would say the government controls the media, and although the government controls the regulations of media ownership, there are actually a handful of individual business men and women who own and control broadcast  media, making Australian media ownership amongst the most concentrated in the world (Donovan 2011). Rupert Murdoch, son Luchlan Murdoch,  Kerry Stokes, Bruce Gordon and Gina Rinehart, just to name a few, each have money invested into multiple broadcast media outlets, with many of them co investors into the same companies.

This lack of diversity¬†is¬†a problem because these people¬†have private, commercial and political interests and use their control over the media to make sure these interests are addressed above all other news, in turn ignoring¬†¬†journalistic and editorial independence (Pusey & McCutcheon 2011). Further more, these opinions and interest are published over¬†numerous media outlets, ¬†leaving Australian audiences with less alternative sources to use to make their decisions (Donovan 2011).¬†Why? ¬†Well, they own the lot.¬†It becomes undemocratic when the only sources of news published is¬†not in the best interest of the public, but in the interest of the media figureheads’ personal agenda.

This notion has recently been seen with billionaire¬†mining giant¬†Gina Reinhart’s further grab at shares within Fairfax Meida (McKnight 2012). Fairfax Media produces a plethora¬†of news stories for various media outlets such as newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald, ¬†radio and magasines throughout Australia and New¬†Zealand. With previous shares already invested in Chanel 10, this new move makes¬†Reinhart the largest shareholder of Fairfax Meida, putting her¬†nearly at a point of complete ownership. This begs the question of what¬†news will be publicised¬†for their audiences if she has complete control.

subverting democracy .....

The New Media

Rinehart’s¬†aim to¬†takeover of¬†Fairfax means she will have control over what ¬†editorials are published and allow just those thatexploit her¬†own personal¬†ideologies in effort to influence audiences (McKnight 2012), all in aid to her mining company and the mining industry. For example,¬†over matters like¬†taxation, land access, low cost labour, and an anti climate change movement and much much more.

Gina & Rupert have an agenda

Although¬†some may argue this,¬†Gina Rinehart has already demanded 3 board seats (Simpson 2012),¬†the right to make editorial decisions and the¬†right to fire and hire editors within¬†Fairfax (Holgate 2012). She¬†also wishes to¬†change the Charter¬†of Editorial Independence (Norrie 2012), an agreement that protects the integrity of journalists, in order to have more say in what can and can’t be published. The fact that she wants this kind of power sends an alarm bell ringing and proves¬†she has an agenda. This supports that she¬†is willing to sacrifice news that is in the public’s best interest and instead, only allow bias publishing that favour her personal gain.

So, with Fairfax Media contributing news to a large majority of news outlets around Australia and New Zealand, and with the threat of Rinehatrs rein over published stories, it is clear that diverse media ownership is important and that it should not be in the hands of solely the elite.



Donovan, D 2011, Concentrated Media Ownership: a crisis for democracy, viewed 28 March 2014, <http://www.independentaustralia.net/article-display/concentrated-media-ownership-a-crisis-for-democracy,3259>.

Holgate, B 2012, Rinehart seeks editorial influence at Fairfax, viewed 28 March 2014,<http://www.afr.com/p/business/companies/rinehart_seeks_editorial_influence_GVsqimYyw8lxZFIcL7XuZP>.

McKnight, D 2012, Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch: a study of power in the media, viewed 28 March 2014,

Norrie, J 2012, MPs warn Rinehart against editorial meddling at Fairfax, viewed 28 March 2014,

Pusey, M, & McCutcheon, M 2011, ‘FROM THE MEDIA MOGULS TO THE MONEY MEN? MEDIA CONCENTRATION IN AUSTRALIA’,¬†Media International Australia¬†(8/1/07-Current), vol. 1, no. 140, p. 22-34, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 March¬†2014.

Simpson, K 2012,¬†Rinehart’s Fairfax battle gets personal, viewed 28 March 2014,

~W3~ Addicted to Fashion

What is a sign? A yellow and black metal shape on the side of a road… well yes. But in the terms of semiotics – the study of signs, ¬†a sign is anything that conveys a message (Berger 2014).

Semiotics looks into a number of ways we read signs with the most distinctive factors being the signifiers and the signified. The signifiers of a sign is the content you can see within it, it will never change and it will be the same for anyone who reads it. What does change, is the message that the sign has portrayed to audiences known as the signified. The Signified will be read differently by each individual depending on their age, gender, past experiences,  religious beliefs and predominantly the ideologies they hold toward aspects in life.


Sisley – Fashion Junkie 2007


The¬†image above is an advertisement for the fashion label Sisley’s¬†Fashion Junkie campaign in 2007 which¬†caused a lot of controversy¬†being deemed inappropriate due to it’s drug references.

When looking at signifiers, the most obvious things are the two women holding straws in an all black room, leaning over a bright white dress and a credit card covered in powder with the text, “Sisley Fashion Junkie” right in the centre of the image. These simple signifers were specifically¬†chosen to give a signified message that¬†the the clothing brand¬†¬†Sisley’s products are¬†as addictive and high fashion as cocaine.

With the minimal use of signifiers how did this campaign receive such an outcry?

The answer can be concluded using ideologies and in this case, the specific ideologies around fashion culture. This image largely taps into the wide spread idea that the high fashion industry is largely involved with drugs and partying. With this ideology that ties the fashion industry to drugs already in the minds of most viewers, and the preconceived knowledge that Sisley is a high fashion brand, audiences are able to construct a message from just a few simple signifiers.

The use of the¬†colour and representation plays a massive role in the ad, with the (in context) models, in a completely dark room has¬†connotations¬†to¬†the “dark side” of the fashion industry and the struggle many models face with ¬†partying and drug use.The contrasting pure white Sisley¬†dress again evokes the representation of pure white cocaine, a substance associated with people with money and who like to party.This is then enforced by signifier ¬†the credit card covered in white powder, again linked with the ideology that they are used¬†to chop cocaine.

The final signifier, tying it all together is the use of the text. Sisley, as mentioned above, promotes¬†the brands name. It is the¬†text,¬†“Fashion Junkie” ¬†that combines the notion of fashion and addictive drugs that relates it to the¬†brand, giving it the idea you can be addicted or a “junkie” to this fashionable label.

All in all, the use of ideologies plays a massive role into the way we perceive images. If someone who has never been exposed to any of these ideologies were to view this, their interpretation would not be the same.

Here are some more controversial adds from Sisley.

Sisley, Sisley Clothing, Sisley, Print, Outdoor, Ads

Sisley Ad

Sisley: Fashion Junkie, 2

Sisley: Fashion Junkie, 2

Berger, A 2014, ‘Semiotics and society’,¬†Society,¬†vol¬†51, no. 1,¬†p.¬†22-26, viewed 21 March 2014, Springer Link database, item:¬†1936-4725.¬†


~W2~ The Blame Game

Does TV make us fat? It’s a question we’ve all heard and probably most would agreed with.

tv and weight gain

TV and weight gain

We as humans naturally find ourselves pushing blame of¬†events or state of affairs considered to be undesirable¬†onto anything¬†or anyone else,¬†with¬†new¬†technologies and media being immediately held responsible.¬†¬†This idea of blame being any one else’s fault but ours¬†can be known at the “not me” notion.

Today with TV and online media being ¬†such a large part of our every day lives it’s easy to see how we can blame Media for our issues, but, is it really the Media’s fault?

Recently, there have been issues regarding the spike in teenage pregnancy and it’s been extremely exploited in the Media as well. So, are they to blame? They have glamorized this issue through TV shows such as “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.”¬†With the Media displaying such shows, are they to blame for actually causing the increase, or is it just mirroring what is already happening within society?


Teen Mom

Teen pregnancy isn’t a new issue, teen pregnancy¬†has been going on for years. In fact, it was once a norm for¬†women to be married with children by the age of 20, so to put the blame on¬†Media today¬†seems a little skewed.

So what other reasons could there be?

Youth are often reminded about “safe sex”,¬†but in this day and age, parents and caregivers are¬†avoiding talking to their children¬†and informing them of¬†physical and emotional consequences that come with sex.
This idea that¬†youth and parents aren’t¬†discussing sex show a massive hole in which the¬†lack of knowledge, understanding, and education, teen pregnancy could rise.

Another aspect of¬†teen pregnancy can be what is classed as a teen. It is said that many “teen” pregnancies of women aged 18 and 19, legal adults, chose to get pregnant due to being in a stable¬†relationship. Now yes, they fall¬†under an age classification of¬†“teen” but as legal adults, what makes their choice to have a baby any less legitimate then an adult of the age of 25?. It can be thought that these 18 and 19 year olds were having children due to their place in their relationship, not because teen Mom had an influence on them.

So, even though media is seen to¬†display¬†teenage pregnancy,¬†the issues shown is¬†made clear that it is just a reflection of what is already happening within society and isn’t to blame.



Banks, S 2012, Has Teen Pregnancy Always Been Taboo?, viewed 14 March 2014,

Cohen, E 2012, Stop Playing the Blame Game, viewed 14 March 2014,

Jones, A 2008, Scenes of a sexual nature, viewed 14 March 2014,

Keller, J 2013, The Internet Made Me Do It: Stop Blaming Social Media for Our Behavioral Problems, viewed 14 March 2014,

Schroeder, E 2008, Blaming TV for teen pregnancy is a convenient excuse, viewed 14 March 2014, <http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/blaming-tv-teen-pregnancy-convenient-excuse-article-1.339238>.

Why do teenagers really get pregnant?, viewed 14 March 2014,


W1 ~ An Introduction

Hi All,

So I’ve never blogged before, nor have I ever considered it so here goes.

I’m Lauren a first year here at UOW, and like most other people on here, I’m studying a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies.

This is actually not my first year out of school, nor is it my first time starting Uni. As young  lass fresh out of high school at just 18, I was poor and still pretty clueless as to where and what I wanted to be. All I knew is I desperately wanted to get out of Orange, my small home town of the past 14 years and go and see the world.

So with no savings ruling out travel, I made the decision pack up move up to Sydney (Bondi to be exact) to try to figure out who and what I wanted to be. I also started a Bachelor of Business Management at The Hotel School Sydney through Southern Cross University.

After a year of being in the University world whilst working and being (sucking probably a better term for it) financially independent and meeting a ton of amazing people in the process I was finally becoming aware to all of the other opportunity out there. And it was at this point I realised that Communications and Media was the path I wanted to head down and that is how I’ve ended up here writing this blog for #BCM110 & #BCM112.

Ok so something actually about me.

-I have tattoos

-I love Bondi, I can;t wait to finsh my degree and move back there.

РI love art. looking at it and making it, I love to draw, I love pens, inks and watercolor and I love pottery and sculpture.

– My all time favorite artists is Caitlin Hackkett followed by Kate Shaw, see below

Ballpoint pen, watercolour, coloured pencil & micron pen on hot press watercolour psper

“A Flightless Bird” by Caitlin Hackett

Ballpoint pen, watercolour, coloured pencils, gesso and gold acrylic on paper

“Forget me Not” by Caitlin Hackett

China Syndrome – Kate Shaw. Acrylic and Resin on board x 3

-I love animals, particularly whales.

-I still cry when I watch the lion king.

-I’m a firm believer in climate change.

-I have a strange fear of jelly or any other food that has a wobbly consistency.

Anyway. Here is my first post. I will try to improve as the semester goes on.

Chao x