As climate changes, will the media too?

Climate Change

Climate Change

In the perfect world, media would report on the issues that were in societies best interest. They would adequately report on issues that represent them in a light that that is true to how they are in reality, and they would tell the straight out truth regarding current issues.

But we are not in the perfect world. And it appears mainstream media are not doing these things. Lets take climate change for example.

sustainability_2009_climate_change1

Impact of Global Warming

It is understood globally that climate change is a pressing and concerning issue that needs to be dealt with now, with a majority, or 97% of people believing that is the case. Now, 97% is nearly everyone, yet the media continues to portray the issue of climate change as a heated debate, giving that impression of 50/50 believes and non-believers, which is completely inaccurate to actual beliefs.

 

While most media code of ethics states that to fairly report, opposing views are needed to give accidence an entire scope of the issues being presented . This is what happens in most cases to do with climate change, one climate change expert, and one climate change sceptic. Now although this is abiding by these guidelines is it representing climate change in a way that is true to how climate change is? That half of the people believe in it and half of them don’t? No, it’s not. And in these cases it appears that the media are not accurately representing issues to their audiences.

 

 

 

Recently, at the UN Climate Summit in New York, numerous country leaders gathered and all discussed the impending issue of climate change. At the summit, president of the United State, Barack Obama gave an impressive speech about climate change being everyone’s responsibility. However, it was not this impressive speech made by one of the worlds most influential men that was reported and watched internationally, it was this speech made by Leonardo DiCaprio. During this time, 25 blocks in New York’s Cities CBD was taken up by one of the largest climate change protests ever to be seen with more then 400,000 people turning up, yet there was not one single bit of coverage watching the event.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

This begs the question, why is the media not reporting on these issues. Who is it running the media and what reasons do they have for not reporting on such important issues?

 

The value of a news story

MH370 Global News

MH370 Global News

The development of technology and globalisation itself has enabled local news to become a part of the global news. Stories, interviews and correspondence can be shard and compared with other international media outlets enabling issues to be discussed globally.

But you have to ask, what are the news values of global news? What makes news go global?

When reporting on global news, it’s clear that the value of the stories is shaped by a number of things. Relevance, Rarity, Continuity, Elite References

 

The disappearance of international flight MH370 earlier this year was an event that made font page news globally because the event contained all values stated above.

The event involving people from multiple countries who disappeared on the flight, including passengers from Australia, makes the story relevant or worthy of reporting in the home countries of people involved, and in this instance, a number of countries.

Rarity of an event was one of the biggest values that made this story worthy of international news. The rareness of an international flight’s disappearance as well as the mystery and suspicion circulating around it became a leading factor as to why this story captured the attention of the global press.

As rare plane disappearances have captured international attention in the past, the continuity that once before stated that the topic of a plane disappearance was new worthy, continues through to the 2014 MH370 flight disappearance worthiness of news.

 

 

Besides the event itself, global news continued to circulate around MH370 significantly important or elite people, such as the Malaysian prime minister, President Barack Obama and in Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded to the disappearance of the flight. Whether it was addressing the families of missing passengers or publicly announcing to send out forces to help fin the flight, this continued to circulate the MH370 story in global news because of its values of Elite references.

 

It is clear that whether it is set in stone, or is just an understood set of criteria, what makes global news it often decided in whether if fits into these news values.

Breaking Bad, Breaking Borders

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

Drama is defiantly seen as one of the most popular genres for television series around the globe, with crime dramas usually making up a majority of what we seen on TV.

So, it’s interesting that the American smash hit TV show, Breaking Bad, a crime drama from the perspective of the bad guy, rather then the police became one of the most popular dramas across the world. With five series starting in 2008 and finishing in 2013, the drama about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher with terminal cancer, with a special needs son and a pregnant wife who turned to producing and selling meth to make sure they are supported after he dies, is watch by millions across the globe from the US to Canada, England, Spain, Australia, New Zealand (Dredge 2013), and many European countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The show even broke into the Asian market with a fan base of over 10 million in china (Brown 2013) and a large fan base in India.

The first and only adaptation of the show was announced eight weeks in to the first series. Metastasis, a Spanish version of breaking bad that was to be set and based in Columbia was being made simply for the benefit of the large South American audience and large Spanish speaking population in America.

Metastasis was however a near exact replica of the original show only making a few subtle changes to make it the adaptation culturally appropriate for Columbia.

Metastasis vs. Breaking Bad

Metastasis vs. Breaking Bad

This can be seen in the main character Walter White becoming Walter Blanco in Metastasis, with Blanco being the Spanish word for white (Terrero 2014a). It is also demonstrated in the change from Breaking Bad’s iconic white RV that was used as a meth lab was substituted for an old school bus in Metastasis. This change was made due to the fact that RV’s aren’t common in Columbia and a bus would be culturally, more likely (Terrero 2014b).

Metastasis - Bus

Metastasis – Bus

Breaking Bad - RV

Breaking Bad – RV

 

It is clear that there has been no intention to dramatically stride from the original show or plot which begs the question, why has this show received so well in so many countries without plot change?

There are a number of reasons but the most obvious is that is it rare in most countries to get a TV drama that is from the perspective from the bad guy and to see their reasons for committing the crime. This story gives a fresh and complex insight into committing crime, which is new and intriguing in any country.

The second is the emotion evoked with the story that a high school teacher who is going to die, with a disabled child and a pregnant wife and doesn’t have money to support them once he’s gone goes to all lengths to provide for his family no matter what it takes. This notion suggests a kind nobility by him producing meth, which in most countries would be considered bad, yet the sympathy conjured by the act creates a new look that challenges most cultures views, again then making the show a new, different and incredibly popular around the world.

 

References 

 

 

Brown, W 2013, ‘China watches ‘Breaking Bad”, Tea Leaf Nation, Viewed 21 September, <http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/09/why-millions-of-chinese-are-also-watching-breaking-bad/>.

Dredge, S 2013, ‘New Breaking Bad series already a global hit… for BitTorrent downloads’, The Guardian, Viewed 21 September, <http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/13/breaking-bad-bittorrent-downloads-piracy>.

Terrero, N 2014a,”Breaking Bad’ Spanish remake: Top moments from the new Walter, Jesse’, Entertainment Weekly, Viewed 21 September, <http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/04/02/breaking-bad-spanish-remake-metastasis/>.

Terrero, N 2014b, ‘Spanish ‘Breaking Bad’ remake ‘Metastasis’ vs. the original: What’s new? PHOTOS’, Entertainment Weekly, Viewed 21 September, <http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/06/08/breaking-bad-spanish-remake/>.

Where is the comedy?

Australasians are accustomed to seeing a variety of different countries TV shows on our television screens with most of our shows coming from the US and the UK. Along with our own programmes, it appear that Australian culture is diverse enough in its views and understanding of other cultures that we are able to understand and enjoy the humour that is portrayed through these programmes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

However, when it comes to the US, it appear that they do not respond to other countries humour quite the same way, which in most cases, results in them recreating a television series in order for their society to understand the humour.

The successful television programme The Office originally from the UK, has been adapted by the US and in its own way, its own brand new TV series, renaming and re-imaging the main characters in order to reinvent the successful UK version (Turnbull, 2010, p114). As the show furthered from the original UK version, the show became increasingly popular with American audiences. Again, raising the question as to why wasn’t the UK version, and its humour understood or liked by US audiences? This is answered be Susan Purdies Comedy Theory 1.

Comedy theory 1 explains that comedy is dependent on a set rules, either language or behaviours, that are usually put in place by cultural, social and political contexts. The humour is then created by these rules being broken.

However, in order to see the humour, you first need an understanding of the rules being broken.

In the case of the US not understanding other cultures humour, it could be accounted to the lack of influence the US has from outside cultures, that gives them no idea about their social, cultural and political comedy rules being broken. Which in turn results in them not finding the humour funny, because they haven’t understood the humour at all.

US Office Vs UK Office

US Office Vs UK Office

This theory, explains why, as the US doesn’t take to other cultures Comedy Television quite as well as we do in Australia. And it’s due to lack of exposure. Without it, there is no understanding of the social, cultural or political rules being broken from the culture their viewing, meaning no humour can be noticed.

 

References

 

Turnbull, S 2008, ‘‘It’s Like They Threw a Panther in the Air and Caught It in Embroidery’: Television Comedy in Translation’, Metro Magazine, vol. 1, no 159, pp.110 – 115.

Hong Kong takes on media

Hong Kong - New Media Capital

Hong Kong – New Media Capital

Media capitals, in general, are metropolises, which are the main producers and distributors of media content that is used across the globe. Globalisation has resulted in new Media Capitals to develop and dominate, as cities that have an ever increasing economic, and cultural flows become major players in media content production.

Traditional media capitals such as America are starting to become less prominent with a rise form places such as Japan, India and China, with one of the most prominent new Media Capitals Hong Kong.

With a growing economy, large population and in a country that leads the way in production of media technologies it comes as no surprise that Hong Kong is now seen to be developing large amounts of media for consumption for not just China but other part of Asia.

Hong Kong develops just about all kids of media from Film, Magazines, Television Programs, Radio and even it’s own new genre of music known as Cantopop is being produced in Hong Kong and distributed across not just China but across a lot of Asia.

 

 

 

Hong Kong is also the largest producers of Online Media in all of Asia moving it further up the ranks of leading Media Capitals.

As Hong Kong continues to develop and media content production increases it appears that it is beginning to reach a wider audience around the globe.

Cinema crossing Continents

Memoirs of a Geisha - Movie Cover

Memoirs of a Geisha – Movie Cover

Globalisation has caused a number of changes within entertainment industries but none more so then film. As mentioned in previous blogs as Hollywood and Bollywood as seen to be influencing one and other, a new genre of film known as “Crossover Film” has emerged.

Crossover film is film that crosses border in that, it will heavily stick and portray another culture throughout the film, but is in fact made for another audience.

It can cross cultures from not just the setting and actors depicted in the film but the Production, Hybrid Cinematic Text, Distribution, Reception.

 

An example of this is seen within the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. This move although a Hollywood film, was filmed in Japan and in the US, acted by Japanese actors, spoken in Japanese at times and was used traditional Japanese elements, and was based off an actual Japanese story.

Crossover film strives to be receptive in multiple countries and areas in the world, which was achieved with Memoirs of a Geisha as it was received internationally from Western Cultures to Eastern including China and Japan.

The Film works so well as a crossover film, as it takes a story and a stetting that is so traditionally Japanese yet depicts the struggle women faced in a male dominated society as well as a struggle to find love. This theme is one that’s used in film all over the world and is extremely relatable probably being one of the reasons it translated so well in numerous countries.

A New Bollywood

Bollywood

Bollywood

Here in Australia, it’s fair to say that Hollywood films dominate our market. Yet it would come to a surprise to many that while Hollywood generate the most money for their films, other film industries such as Bollywood and are the largest producing film industries in the world (Ghosh, 2013).

Bollywood, which in India simply refers to the Hindi film industry (Bennington, 2013, p. 8), is the largest film industry in the world producing an entire 1000 feature films and 1500 short films in 2011 (Redfern, 2013). The productions often differ form Hollywood films lasting around 3hours per film, are romantic love stories that always have a happy ending and most famously they are song and dance films that exhibits important parts of the Indian culture.

With an industry so large, and globalisation becoming prominent in the world, it comes at no surprise that Bollywood films are beginning to gain recognition and fan base in places outside of India, some being the US, the UK and the Middle East, West Africa and Prague (Fry, 2011).

Beyond this, a larger shift appears to be taking place, within not only Bollywood but the Hollywood film industry too. Globalisation which is enabling both industries to develop fan bases in other parts of the globe is also inspiring a change within the industries as we see what is termed “Hybridity” to occur between the two industries.

Hollywood in recent years has been using aspects of Bollywood film to incorporate into some of its major films (Schaefer & Karah, 2010, p.311) examples being Slumdog Millionaire, Bride and the Prejudice, Monsoon Wedding and Avatar. None of these movies are Bollywood films, yet express Hindi culture and take strong elements from traditional Bollywood films.

 

Bride and the Prejudice

Bride and the Prejudice

Hybridisation between industries goes the other was for India as well. The movies seen below, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, is an Indian produced film yet has clearly moved away from traditional Bollywood styles of filming, and takes on a modernised Hollywood feel.

The cross between cultures is evident throughout the film with dialects switching from Indian to English frequently. In another scene, a dancing number depicts the film challenging traditional Bollywood values by incorporating a dance that appears to be a mix of Hollywood hip-hop as well as traditional Bollywood.

Is it evident that global film industries are having a greater impact on one and other as globalisation occurs across the world.

References

 

Bennington, M. 2013, ‘Inside Bollywood’, The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 89, no. 1, pp. 28-45,8.

Fry,S 2011, ‘Bollywood’s Global Faces’, Saudi Aramco World , Viewed 24 August, <https://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201102/bollywood.s.global.faces.htm>.

Ghosh, P 2013, ‘Bollywood At 100: How Big Is India’s Mammoth Film Industry?’, International Business Times, Viewed 24 August, <http://www.ibtimes.com/bollywood-100-how-big-indias-mammoth-film-industry-1236299>.

Redfern, R 2013, ‘3 Countries With Booming Movie Industries, That Are Not the U.S.’,  Arts.Mic, Viewed 24 August <http://mic.com/articles/54609/3-countries-with-booming-movie-industries-that-are-not-the-u-s>.

Schaefer, D & Karah, K 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 309-316.