Open Post

First of all I would like to say how much I have enjoyed this module and its relevance to studying journalism and other media studies. The presentation exercises were engaging and so was my seminar leader. Deadlined blog posts/reading responses were an extremely effective way of keeping up to date with work in comparison to media and society last semester where laziness prevailed and everything got left until last minute in addition it also helps to build up a portfolio of work which can be used time and time again.

Personally I found the audience participation section interesting – showing how social media has given the public the power of participating and voicing their opinions in politics and other social matters, which links to Habermas’s theory of the public sphere. Audience participation allowed me to look into citizen witnessing during the London riots of 2011. There was a collaboration between journalists and citizens which helped provide information on further riots and hotspots, it also allowed for the public to actively engage in filming scenes of riots, capturing still photos on their phones providing journalists with materials to make a story. Obviously the press aren’t wanted by those who are rioting to protect there identification so news cameramen were scarce, this gave birth to almost a new type of reporting journalism – the live blog. Live blogs allowed the public and news reporters to report on what’s going on without the use of cameras so information was still being fed directly from the riots.


YouTube and the CCL

YouTube is probably the most well known of sites which allows you to listen, watch and upload free content such as music and video. However just recently YouTube has introduced a copyright detecting mechanism called the Creative Commons License, too the annoyance of me and others who love free music.

Basically all music/videos that have not paid the fee set by YouTube or have infringed  copyright laws in some way were deleted from YouTube. So all the free music I was lapping up has gone.

To use materials you have to ask for authority or pay the fee, which is something like ten dollars a month. This was created to prevent people from making a profit of a piece of music or video which isn’t theirs, so this means that YouTube would gain a greater a profit and so would those who did the work. Online TV programmes YouTube doesn’t adhere to regulators like Ofcom or the Watershed adding more freedom to uploadable content – which is one of YouTubes greatest attractions and advantage over its competitors.

The obvious advantage of YouTube using the Creative Commons License is that money or recognition goes to the rightful owner or producer.

A big limitation for me is that I can’t listen to everything anymore, sad times.

Visibility Online

With the rise of social media, now being more apart of our lives than ever before it is pretty difficult to remain private all the time – use of personal photos, email addresses and of course your name. Even when your privacy settings are on its highest, someone, somewhere can see who you are and exactly what you are getting up too.

First of all to make a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account you must cough up some of your personal information such as an email address, your name and date of birth, this is obvious because you are making an online persona. However you may set privacy settings high, which means not anyone will be able to check you out online BUT these social media platforms now have your personal information so are you really that private? The most used information social media platforms will use if the email you have given, either they will email you a notification like Twitter or simply try advertise or promote a new service they are offering.

In the modern world people even use others personal information such as photos and the name to come across as you – this is sometimes known as Cat-fishing and often used by those who are not happy with their own identity. In some cases this can have serious consequences on you and those who are committing what might be fraud.

Mostly the internet and social media is used safely and for only good reasons.

However what I find worrying some respects is how future employees may look through your old Facebook status or tweet which wasn’t particularly appropriate and judge your outside persona as being unprofessional in some manner. I personally believe that your personal life should not interfere with professional life but I do agree that this is a good way to completely make sure the candidate is right for the job. A wise alternative to offer an employer would be LinkedIn account, so your private life can stay private and you can concentrate on a professional persona.

Communities Online.

x box

It’s been rather a long time since I last played X Box or consoles alike in an online community, in fact the last time probably was way back in year 9, a 14 year old me sat in front of a TV hid away in my bedroom all night. X Box and Playstation have an online feature, meaning you can chat to other gamers around the world not just your friends, it also allows you to compete against each other, in particularly with EA’s Fifa.

I remember talking to all sorts of people online, especially when as part of a clan competing against others, mainly quick scope sniper matches on Call of Duty. However more recently the online community has changed, with gamers making YouTube videos on game walkthroughs or just simply playing the game but at a high level. These people have gained a fanbase and even made money from such videos, so this has therefore thrown them into a new online community, sharing videos and gaining a fanbase online.

Many of these people who have become friends actually meet up in real life, at events like conventions or game releases.

Who would of thought you can become friends with a stranger playing the same game as you?

Citizen witnessing.


Citizen witnessing/participation – During the London riots of 2011 Twitter provided a means of communication between the public and journalists, providing real time reports from the scene. More importantly Twitter enabled other users to provide constant feedback to trouble hotspots or where was next. In my opinion this links to Habermas’s theory of the public sphere, quite a lot.

The collaboration between journalists and members of the public, helped refine the coverage and pin point where trouble was brewing so a reporter could be first on the scene and tell the story from the beginning. However at times information could be fraught, due to some news being reliable and some unchecked, which was a means for spreading panic. Along with the public helping journalists uncover a story, social media was also used by thugs participating in the rioting/looting as to wear to meet or target next. When participating in such a fast moving story, journalists have to be extremely careful in what information is worth pursuing and what is false. Gaz Corefield – journalism student, “speed accuracy and collation from the ground, sifting between rumours and facts. Debunking false rumours, where we felt confident to do so”. This blog claimed huge hits and became a very trustworthy source of information, during an event that was so prone to rumour.

Another way in which the public actively engaged in this matter was through live blog streaming, this was used in particular by The Guardian, which gave a different edge to reporting. Obviously journalists can’t be everywhere and now being an online nation, this offered the chance for the public to post videos, still photos and even add to the blog themselves.

Pirates are back – Convergence

First of all, convergence is where something like a newspaper can now be read online or even watched through a video. More directly i’d like to talk about the music industry. Through the ages we’ve gone through listening to music on radios, vinyls, CD’s and now online platforms such as iTunes. A huge breakthrough was Steve Jobs creating iTunes which overtook the Sony Walkman.

“iTunes was a development of technology – hardware, software, and design – intricately intertwined with a changing user experience and a restyling of content” (Jose Van Dijck). This meant it was an easier more enjoyable customer experience as people no longer had to walk to the shops to get their latest music but could download from home. However due the internet evolving ever so rapidly, users began to stream music for free, therefore ripping off the hard work of artists and producers. Sites such as Limewire and Napsters were key players in this fraud like scheme.

Recently, due to falls in CD purchases and iTunes sales, artists are now loosing out on money, the music industry was so famous for. Artists are now forced to tour for long periods of time just to gain fame and of course the money. Van Morrison was, quoted “The bigger venues you have to do for financial reasons” through watching an interview you can see that his sales in CD’s and other materials has flopped and being forced to carry on gigging even at an old age. But hey he’s a rockstar right? More recently too Kanye West has refused to sell his work to iTunes stating “He will never sell his new album to iTunes, download on Tidal”.

Thankfully original vinyls and remakes are becoming more and more desirable, for that original sound, saving old school artists such as Van Morrison. Convergence has proved to be very useful making my life and everyone else’s easier but obviously everything has negatives.

This can also be seen with the film industry and pirate films.



Super fun Web Theory…

Judging by my title you can probably tell i love to read about Web Theory or i’m just being sarcastic, the latter option being more likely. However once i got stuck into Robert Burnett and P.David Marshall’s “Web Theory: an introduction” i found it very relevant to the module – network and society and gave me further knowledge on just how technology has changed, everything.

As stated by Negroponte (1995) “Schools will change to become museums and playgrounds for children to assemble ideas and socialise with other children all over the world”. This is somewhat true, no, schools haven’t became museums but children socialising with others all over the world is very real especially with social networks such as Facebook. It’s crazy to think that all this is possible due to technology such as the internet, fifty years ago or so, this simply couldn’t of happened.

With this reading we also see technology but in a different sense. Sky scrappers provided an image of both progress and the future, New York famously known for it’s towering buildings is a prime example of this with the Empire State Building and The Twin Towers. “The continuing race to have the tallest building is a testament to how technology expresses the future in its present forms” (Burnett, Marshalls). This can be seen with Dubai now booming with cash and showing the world just how powerful they have become with the rise of the world tallest building “Burj Khalifa”.

Finally Burnett and David Marshall introduce an idea that links back to the previous module and that is the idea of a public sphere (Habermas) and how “the internet provided the means to make a more active, engaged pubic that would allow a new era of truer and greater democracy”.