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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Reading resource: Chapter 8 Continuing Media Controversies

Summary

Media controversies were continuing issues of international mass communication. They started with telegraph system appearance and continued until today. Currently, imbalanced global information, as major media controversies, has been mainly discussed in some mainstream organization, such as WSIS which tries to free information, etc.

Western media has dominated global information market as they started first. They have done everything to promote the Western lifestyles, values and others they want to the whole world which caused a lot of problems for poor countries who lack media power, such as, cultural diversity, the digital divide, data protection, etc.

The internet brings up many new medias both extended and challenged Western domination. It has built a “digital divide” between rich and poor which set a new struggle to media control, but also offered platforms for more citizens to express their opinion that breaks the domination at the same time.

New items:

Media controversies are global issue. The organization of WSIS, Voice 21, WTO, G8 are connecting with these issues. The organization sounds powerful but lack of power. The call from those organizations cannot force media must do something. Internet set a new battle for media domination. The information of WSIS, include the background information, what it fighting for, the work it has done, and the relationship with neo-liberalism, etc. Also learn some academic scholars’ names that concerned with these issue: Hamelink, Pickard, etc.

Questions about this chapter:

As Western media has promoted the Western lifestyle and values for a long time, it seems a lot of people believed Western means better. Based this phenomenon, can internet breaks Western dominate finally? Or it just an extension of the real world?

The Organization doesn’t have power to ask media must do something, they can only set a rule or use their impact to influence the media. So, is the call from the organization has any power? Or will the call gives help to the voice of the third world?

Why Western media claimed they are objective and balanced, but never gave an opportunity to the media who may be grown to as influential as they do?

How Western media take the dominate place?

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By Emma Yang

HONG KONG – Journalists should avoid watered-down language which may cause misunderstanding among readers especially in describing details in sex crime reporting, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said Monday.

People don’t feel comfortable to talk about sex crime, so reporters are easily watered-down the language of the report, such as using vague words, etc., which may lead to horrible misunderstanding, said Sara Ganim, a crime reporter for The Patriot News.

In order to avoid misunderstanding, Ganim called for the usage of more specific words. Instead of saying an old man had sex with a boy, reporter could make clearer situation by saying an old man “forced” a boy to have sex with him.

In fact, to report a sex crime issue, journalist should draw a graphic picture to tell readers what the truth and what exactly happened to warn others.

“More information is usually better than less information,” according to Ganim at a forum of Pulitzer winners at a Hong Kong university.

But journalist should also aware to protect the victims and find the balance between the graphic reporting and victim protection, Ganim said, and those cost experience.

Ganim 24, the third-youngest person to win the Pulitzer, the top journalism award in the United States, for series local reporting about Penn State sex abuse scandal that involved a famous football couch Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile charity.

Ganim also recalled her another report named Swalara Township Man Accused in Assaults on Girls as a bad example of losing balance by using too much vague words, such as “A man forced a girl sitting on his hand,” “touch her more than 10 times,” “touch her and made her touch him,” etc. Those made readers really confused, Ganim said.

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Reading resource: Chapter 11 Reporting Foreign Places

Summary

Reporting foreign place means journalists report events which happened on foreign place to their own countries, and it may lead to double misreading which happened as both reporter and readers are hard to read distant context.

Journalistic misreading is one of the double misreading, it occurred due to six specific reasons from reporter’s side, mainly rooted in different context, and of carrying on biases.

But it also has some good effects. First, it means news can now come from anywhere; also, it provides even small governments with potential communications vehicle with global reach; third, journalists coverage of foreign places increasingly impacts on the governance of these ‘distant world’.

New items:

How important the capability of reading foreign context to journalists when they are reporting the foreign news. International reporting is to construct a window on the world to audience, in other words, we can say international journalists are very powerful that they’ve built the worldview of people all over the world. So journalists should try their best to avoid the biases and be objective, accuracy, balance and fair.

Questions about this chapter:

What is victim-villain discourse? What does binary opposition model mean?

Why should we have spin doctor? For what instance it helps shape the news?

With the pace of globalization, more and more citizen journalists appears, they do help a lot to introduce many issues, and i wonder are we still need the journalist who report the foreign place? Will the citizen journalist replace the foreign places reporting in the future?

Reading resource: Chapter 1: Whig press history as political mythology

Summary

This chapter tells story behind the press freedom in Britain, in the period of nineteenth century. And how people judge it.

Generally speaking, we believe the British press have attained its freedom around the middle of the nineteenth century which due to two bases. First one, the heroic struggle against the state, for instance, the abolition of the Court of Star Chamber, the ending of press licensing, Fox’s Libel Act and the repeal of press. Secondly,  the financial independence as the product of capitalist development of the press. And according to the New Cambridge Modern History, the financially independent press became ‘great organs of the public mind’ which empowered the people and made governments accountable, what’s more, it made vital contribution to Britain’s maturing democracy by becoming more responsible and providing the factual information needed for people to make balanced and informed political judgments.

However in this book, author brings out another saying that, the period around the middle of the nineteenth century, it will be argued, did not inaugurate a new era of press freedom and liberty; it introduced a new system of press censorship more effective than anything that had gone before. And that is the power of marketing. We may summary the phenomenal as relative freedom in absolute control.

New items:

It seems different scholars have different opinion about press freedom. The events that British people struggle against the state: the abolition of the Court of Star Chamber, the ending of press licensing, Fox’s Libel Act and the repeal of press.

Questions about this chapter:

Why they say “the progress of the press” was central to “the broadening of political liberty”?

What is free press? How to defined the free press? Is all press which has economic independence could be named free press? What elements should a free press has?

Is the “commercialization” of the press really occurred in nowadays? How do we deal with this situation? Is the time when press controlled by the commercial better or worse than the time when press controlled by the authoritarian?

photo by Emma

By Emma Yang

Hong Kong – Like every Sunday afternoon, Mabel Wong, one of tutors in JNMD Club, smiling, and waiting in front of teaching classroom in City University of Hong Kong for her students coming. “Ng Hou!” “Chui gen din young a?” every student come to Mable will have a short talk with her. “That could exam their level.” Wong said with wink-wink eyes.

JNMD Club is a non-register organization, or even not a real organization but a group with tutors and helpers shares the same interest and belief gather together for passing on love and care for foreign students who is new to Hong Kong.

The word JNMD is the Abbreviation of Chinese pronunciation of the phrase “land of Canaan” which appeared in Bible meaning the wonderful place. The founders of JNMD are a group of Christian who has been helped in Canada when they were studied abroad there, after they came back to Hong Kong, they planed to build a same wonderful place here to help foreign language students, mainly the mainland students as they are the largest students’ group, speaking Cantonese and get adapt to the Hong Kong society. To achieve goals, JNMDers arranged not only Cantonese classes, but also warm activities and speeches which related to student’s life and job seeking here.

“It is very lucky that I attended JNMD last year, and the tutors here help me a lot with the language studied and most important, they helped me to adapt to Hong Kong society which I do appreciate very much. So I came here this year as a helper. I hope I can help the new comers just like they helped me last year,” said Lucy, the helper in pink group – as there are too many students, JNMD divided them into color groups for group talking practice.

“I joined the club last year as soon as I hear there is such club existed,” Mabel said, “and after I join in my husband decided to join it as well.” Mabel is a English teacher in City University, and her husband Samuel Chio is a engineer, they are both Christian and do appreciate the aims of JNMD and thought it is what God tell them when in a position, try what you can to help others live a better life.