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Posts Tagged ‘mcphail’

We began Friday afternoon by reviewing an event that took place earlier in the week. It was a debate linking to the launch of John Mair‘s new book Mirage in the Desert? Reporting the Arab Springto be released on 26th of October. One that we were offered to attend but unfortunately due to previous work commitments I was unable to.

By reviewing what they talked about at the book launch we were able to touch on a few key issues regarding global media and communication.

Initially we were asked what are the practicalities that journalists face when covering controversial overseas issues?

The answer to this brought up several points.

·      It is necessary to keep sending media out to war torn places when there are already so many on the ground?

·      Should the focus of the stories be on the families and the people rather than how many bombs have dropped?

·      It is imprtant to provide background information rather than opinion.

·      Safety comes at a high price when journalists are following tanks and troops.

·      Thr fiscal price to send these people away is so high when it includes camera crews, satellite mobiles.

We also looked at what theories we can apply to these points.

·      With so many different, often opposing press and broadcast teams reporting the competition may lead to a downfall in the standards of reports i.e. BBC vs Sky vs ITV (John Mair’s notes highlighted these Commercialisation aspects)

John Mair has written a collection of books inspired by Coventry Conversations

·      The idea of embedding a journalist in a troop can lead to problems because no writer will write negatively about a troop they are travelling with. This could lead to the press not being trusted and kicked off the tour.

This work led to a discussion and some in class research about how athe media can seemingly lose a war. When you look at research of the Vietnam war, one point that crops up is how the US press played such a heavy role in reporting every negative detail of what went on. Some theorists believe that despite the US winning the war, it was shown to have been lost through the eyes of the media that the US lost the war.

The second half ot eh lecture was reviewing the tasks set the week previous. I personally looked at McPhail’s Global Comunication (2005) and reviewed this to the class but this week I have elected to look at Media Concentration Options for Policy by Trapper and Meier in McQuail and Siune (1998).

In addition to this I have begun focusing on our homework assignment for this week about who owns the media in my country. A review will be posted later this week.

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As part of my Global Media and Communciation module I’m looking at Global Communication – Theories, Stakeholders and Trends McPhail (2006).

Global Communication proves and interesting read

McPhail proves to be quite a controversial and potentially obnoxious writer is some respects. Certainly in the opening chapter ‘Global Communication’ the book takes on the viewpoint of the United States and how the media marketplace changed post-9/11. Quite often it is implied that the exact same changes in media systems and reporting practices were executed in the United Kingdom and the rest of mainland Europe.Whilst many practices may run parallel the countries discussed can be quite different.

Throughout chapters 1 and 2 there are some fine points made but the view that NWICO (New World Information and Communication Order) seems to be the only alternative to the free press systems that the US prefers needs further investigation. While NWICO’s values may indeed be outdated, there needs to be other theories explored as the current Westernised free press system may indeed be unfair to the ‘peripheral nations’.

There have been attempts to implement profitable mediums in less developed countries with little success, and a lot of this has been due to more traditional systems in place being unable to support the required change to perform at a high level. There are also such problems as some nations resisting these practices due to the current print press working as it is and there being strict rules against free opinion, particularly in countries that may still be ruled by dictatorship. In these cases Development Journalism is instilled as many of these countries believe they can ‘catch up’ to leading nations by doing so

.This may be a good point to explore. McPhail highlighted a quote by a US economist Walter Rostow “Moderizations occur when necessary conditions for change are established”. If a country doesn’t require or need to catch up to the modern technological advances that pervade Western media then why should they? These countries will slowly build their own media systems up to the point that they will be good and ready to take on a new challenge.

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My first sit down seminar with Fred Mudhai was rather an interesting one. We mainly discussed the course and the breakdown of it.

It seems I will be doing two assignments; a project essay and a group presentation.

The presentation will be about a country’s media policy and systems, I will cover one and my partner (as yet to be discovered) will study another. Then we shall come together to compare the two countries and put forward a presentation.

I am interested in 3 countries currently, the first being the UK: I have come to realise that although I am coping well and learning as I’m going I still don’t know a hell of a lot about the media policies of Britain. I am slowly getting through McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists (2007) as recommended by Marcos Young and I’m sure I will have a better understanding of common law and practices by the end of the year anyway.

So part of me thinks the US would be very interesting as I could see myself working in the US and I am generally interested in their media policies as some of it seems to be so much more heavily influenced by the government (or at least some of the major corps do), so I would enjoy that one quite a bit.

Another one I would take great interest in is the Czech Republic. I would be keen to study the change in journalistic freedoms this former Soviet occupied state has seen since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and I doubt there are too many people considering covering Central Europe.

A lot of my decision will be based who I am partnered up with. I will consider some more then get back to you. In the meantime I have LOTS of reading to do for this module and I’ll be writing about Global Communication – Theories, Stakeholders and Trends McPhail (2006) shortly. So don’t go anywhere, we’ll be back after this short commercial break.

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