Friday, December 21, 2012

Group 8 / Politics and Popular culture

onvergence presentation final1Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Politics and PopularCulture 
  • By : Sara Q./ Fred/ Sara T./ Rodrigo
  • 2. What is Popular CulturePop Culture is the cultural activities orcommercial products reflecting, suited to, oraimed at the tastes of the general massesof people
  • 3. Presidents & Pop CultureRonald Reagan- first actor to become president
  • 4. President William ClintonBill Clinton- first president to play an instrumenton national televison
  • 5. Pop Culture Icon Barack ObamaShepard Fairey’s “Hope” posterMerchandise sales from his 2008campaign totaled $37 million Spent $6.7 million formerchandise in 2012 campaignvs Romney’s $1.7 million
  • 6. TelevisionSince the invention of the television in 1927, ithas become a hub for themes in popular culture
  • 7. Saturday Night LiveSaturday Night Live’s political skits on SarahPalin in 2008 had a huge impact on how peopleviewed the vice presidential candidate
  • 8. Controversial Politics in Social MediaFacebook’s usage of screening technology thatmonitors chats for words and phrases and usageof vulgar languageLouisiana state law requiring sex offenders to listtheir status on Facebook
  • 9. Photoshop for Democracy By: Jenkins The New Relationship Between Politics and PopularCulture draws a connection between grassroots fan Jenkins movements to the 2004 political campaign, examining how politicians and political activists have applied the tools and activities of fans to their own work. He uses this analysis to implicitly argue for a communal action that incorporates news media and entertainment. Referring to the 2004 campaign, Jenkins claims that “ Popular culture shaped how the public processed and acted upon political discourse” (219). Spring of 2004, a group called True Majority Action released a video depicting George W. Bush being fired by Donald Trump. The video was a compilation of video clips from The Apprentice, and instances where Bush has been on television looking shocked. True Majority Action was a group that strives to increase voter participation in the 2004 election, and support a progressive agenda. True Majority Action used competition to stir an emotion in consumers.
  • 10. Majority Action gave them a platform to express theirattitude towards Bush’s previous administration, which isan example of participatory culture.The increase in participation, collective intelligence, andmedia convergence shouldn’t be taken as a revolution byany means; it is a shift in the way the publiccommunicates in the “global” community. Throughexperimentation of technology, popular culture shapedconventional politics, parody news shows informed theyouth, all of which encouraged the entire country to takeaction.
  • 11. The Revolution will not be televised We are currently standing on the threshold of a new era in history, revolutionary events are occurring as we speak, by products of the participatory media culture we are all a part of. Jenkins quotes "The political role of the Internet is expanding without diminishing the power of broadcast media"(225). For example, This revolutionary invention in the history of convergence culture is called the "blog”, which is a form of personal and subcultural expression involving summarizing and linking to other social networking sites such as Facebook, or twitter and other outlets.
  • 12. Bloggers of course are not withouttheir own set of flaws. "Bloggersmake no claims on objectivity;they deal often with rumors or justpersonal opinions.Blogging may on one level befacilitating the flow of ideas acrossthe media landscape; on otherlevels, they are ensuring an evermore divisive political debate.Despite these thoughts, blogsmay single handedly be the mostinfluential tool in popular mediaculture as well as being thedriving force being grassroots ofcommunication.
  • 13. Fans, Consumers, CitizensAn example of “popular culture” would be the “30sec Bush video”contest, an effort to encourage people around the world to make theirpolitical voice heard; using their own creativity to explain why “Bushshould not be elected” (230).In a democracy, every citizen has their own say on the leader of thecountry. Therefore, activists, fans use Photoshop (a graphics softwarepackage) to manipulate images and create their political statements.These images were very powerful, since they often took a pop cultureidea and spun it to make a political statement. The ease of distributionthe internet allowed, made it possible for your voice to be heard acrossthe world.Photoshop Democracy became part of the “popular culture” becauseimages send a much stronger message across than words ever could.The “Photoshop” movement influenced young Americans to be moreconscious and involved in politics/
  • 14. Entertaining the Monitorial CitizenMonitorial Citizen: A citizen that is nolonger “fully informed” due to howcomplex and fast-changing the world istoday. This results in Media being themain source of information about specificevents going on around the world.
  • 15. “The Work of Art in the Age ofMechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin In this essay written in 1936, he argues that mass-production and mass-circulation would have a profoundly democratic impact. He claims that mechanical reproduction ruins the “aura” surrounding art works. Relating this to popular culture, he also claims that people would rather offer judgment on sports teams and Hollywood movies that on artworks in museums. “Does making politics into a kind of popular culture allow consumers to apply fan expertise to their civic responsibilities?”
  • 16. Pew Foundation Statistics (2004) & Jon KatzIn 2000, 39% of respondents regularly got campaigninformation from newscasts.In 2004, the same number had fallen to 23%.In the same period of time the percentage of people under theage of thirty who received campaign information from comedyshows had grown from 9% to 21%.This study showed that young people got information fromentertainment media instead of news media.Jon Katz : He argues that as early as 1994 young people felt that entertainment reflected their perspective on current events.
  • 17. The Daily showDuring the 2004 Democratic and RepublicanNational Conventions, Comedy Centraloffered more hours of coverage than otherleading news channels such as ABC, CBS,NBC.They claim that people that watch this showare more interested in the presidentialcampaign.Jon Stewart(The Daily Show) vs. TuckerCarlson(CNN’s Crossfire) Carlson apparently wanted Stewart to tell jokes and promote his book, but he refused to play that role. Stewart charged the news program with corrupting the political process.
  • 18. Playing Politics in Alphaville Alphaville One of the oldest and most densely populated towns in “The Sims Online” In 2004, after releasing the game online there was a great demand and the game quickly gained popularity. There was an online election to see who would control the imaginary’s town government. A 20 year old was running against a middle-schooler. Alphaville’s presidential elections attracted national and even international media attention. At the end the older guy won the elections but the newspaper “Alphaville Herald” published a transcript of an internet chat session that suggested that the election process may have been rigged from the very beginning. They came to the conclusion that even in play, American democracy felt broken.
  • 19. The Making of Citizens(2000) In this book, David Buckingham examines the factors that tend to discourage young people from consuming news. Children find the language of politics unfamiliar. They feel powerless in their everyday lives. They have difficulty imagining having political power.
  • 20. Vote NakedIn this final section of this chapter, Jenkinsfocuses on the connection that it will take forpeople to be comfortable with politics.He describes the “vote naked” campaign as away for everyone to be more fully engaged withthe elections.It is all about conducting the most public ofactions within the privacy of our own home.He concludes by saying that if we want to bridgebetween red and blue America, we need to findthat kind of common ground and expand upon it.
  • 21. The Politics of ParticipationIn 2004 Al Gore helped launch the cable networkCurrent.Its goal was to “encourage the active participation ofyoung people as citizen journalists.”In support of this network, Gore stated, “We are aboutempowering this generation of young people in the 18-34 population to engage in a dialogue of democracyand to tell their stories of what’s going on in theirlives, in the dominant medium of our time. The Internetopened a floodgate for young people, whose passionsare finally being heard, but TV hasn’t followed suit.”The network’s aim was to give young people avoice, and to democratize television.
  • 22. What is “Democratizing Television?” Jenkins suggests that to democratize television, (just one example ofmedia convergence), a network would have to be democratic in thefollowing: Content: focusing on the kinds of information that a democratic society needs to function Effect: mobilizing young people to participate more fully in the democratic process Values: fostering rational discourse and a stronger sense of social contract Process: expanding access to the means of media production and distribution The New York Times’ Marshall Stella said, “..television began as a one way street winding from producers to consumers, but that street is now two-way. A man with one machine (a TV) is doomed to isolation, but a man with two machines (a TV and a computer) can belong to a community.”
  • 23. Jenkins on ConvergenceConvergence doesn’t depend on any specific mediumIt represents a paradigm shift – a move from medium-specific information to information that flows across manychannels of mediaIt supports increased interdependence of communicationsystems, and at the same time, multiple ways of accessingmedia contentIt enhances the complex relationships between corporatemedia and participatory culture
  • 24. Despite the idealistic idea to “democratizetelevision” as a way to empower thepublic, convergence also just makes sensefor the media industry.Convergence creates multiple ways ofselling content to consumersIt cements consumer loyaltyIt changes the way people think of theirrelationship to media
  • 25. Questions1. How do you feel about your relationship withmedia and media convergence? Do you like beinguber-connected, or do you sometimes think it’s toomuch?2. How do you feel the Internet, namelyFacebook, Twitter and blogs affect your feelingsabout politics?3. What role do you think President Obamaspresence in popular culture played in winning himtwo terms in office?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Group 7 Post

Our group did a presentation about video games from its history to the many different ways the type of medium is used. Below is the powerpoint presentation we presented in class.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

semester project

 My semester project was inspired by my personal experience with stereotyping. I wrote a blog basically just venting about how the media keeps certain stereotypes going and the history of how some of these stereotypes about African -Americans came about. Since I have alot of feelings I figured writing a blog would be a good way to get my point across as direct and real as I can. For the future I would like to become a blogger on issues I feel are relevant not only to me but to others who may have the same interests or thoughts.I wanted to bring awareness of what the media is doing to our minds and the way we sometimes look at things. I also wanted to educate people on how these issues have effected society today and has been an issue since the age of media. I hope this project opens up some peoples eyes and think before they judge or say something ignorant and offensive.


 source 1
source 2
source 3
source 4

Thursday, December 6, 2012




The World of Media Magazine

I decided to do a magazine/newsletter, which I titled "The World of Media," where I talk about social media and how much of an impact it has on society. I didn't want to focus exclusively on the positive side, so I also talk about the negative effects that social networking sites and media has on humans. I specifically talk about recent topics that this world has experienced where media is the most influential factor. On the good side, I mentioned the Kony 2012 movement and how anyone can spread positive messages literally around the whole world to fight a cause. For the negative side, I focused on what happened a few months ago in the middle east as a result of a video titled The Innocence of Muslims. Many people died as a result of this short film that offended muslims worldwide and thats why I felt like it was my responsibility to talk about it.

Final Project

My final projects discusses how women have evolved and are represented in newpapers and in media. Women have come a long way since the 1800's in receieving the same rights as men. It has been, and still is today a constant stuggle to get women represented in newspapers and and reporting on topics that doesn't include food, family, fashion, and furnishings. Although, women have become successful in many fields that were once designed to be prone to men, women are still being pushed to the side when it comes to newspapers and the media. Women are still being told to write topics that interest women instead of stories that represent women. Topics that include sports, politics, and corporate business are more likely to be represented by a man than a woman. Even when women are writing topics that are supposed to interest to women, men are portrayed more than a woman is.

The media plays a major role in framing public opinion and debate on women, and giving them a more serious and adequate look in the newspaper would help society take women more seriously. Because women are pushed to write about health, fashion, and beauty, we are perceieved as not being capapble to report and write news stories.

In a 1997 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, it was determined that despite women’s social, political, and professional advances, women are still far “more likely than men to be shown engaged in appearance-related activities such as grooming or dressing” (p. 13). Women are also much “less likely to be shown wearing business clothes or a work uniform, and more likely to be shown wearing only undergarments” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1997, p. 13). The kinds of stereotypes perpetuated by the media, then, only serve to further cloud the reality of working women.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

post 4

It is hard to predict what the future of convergence will be. Everyday people are inventing new things. We see new ways of communication, new ways of storytelling, new ways of mass media, and new technology. We have witnessed a rapid advance in technology and in all the other forms mentioned above. Looking back just a couple of decades to the 70’s per say, we can see a community that lived without any cellphones, any portable computers, or any major internet websites. (those which we feel like we couldn’t live without today) Instead, all they had was radio and some television channels. Despite their restricted means, humanity was able to make it to the moon and back. According to Brad Meltzer the author of many best selling books, the iPhone 4 has more technology than the entire Apollo 17 did back in the 70’s. It is astonishing how in such a short period of time we were able to accomplish so much.

With the knowledge we have from the past, that I used in my previous example. I would say that in just a couple of years, our daily life will look like a scene from a SciFi movie. With the advances in the gaming industry we will probably be able to create surrogates like in the movie. We might be able to acquire such technology that will allow us to walk around like in a video game with a character portraying who we want to be. Of course besides it being fun, we have many benefits like everyone staying safe at home as well as hiding your true identity.

Furthermore, the gaming industry is also advancing in helpful ways. Despite the bad rep video games have, there is a great idea that can change the way kids learn in school that can potentially change the entire education system. New York’s school Quest to Learn uses game like learning strategies that with their research and method have proved to be effective. Perhaps in a couple of years the education system of the entire country can be like Quest to Learn. Doing this will allow every public school across the nation to adopt the same method, therefore making it fun and easy for kids to learn.

When we look at the way storytelling has changed, we see the progress in transmedia over the years as well. Today we get the same story over and over again. For example with the Pixar’s movie Cars kids can get the same characters they loved in the movie in t-shits, apparel, video games, books, and even decoration themes for parties. In the past actors in a movie were not even famous stars. In the future however, I believe that things will continue progressing rapidly as they have so far. If technology allows, we could be watching movies with a completely different experience than that we have today. Perhaps we can have life size holographics that allows us to interact as if we were characters ourselves. 

In order for us to get in the game of the future generations, we have to stay alert and in touch with the social media and all the new ways of communication that we have today and that we’ll see in the near future. In my opinion it is important for the media such as news reporters and journalists to start thinking of new ways to bring across to us what they want us to see. As we had discussed in class, with mass amateurization, journalism is one of those careers that might become obsolete because of everyone being able to deliver news in similar or better ways that the professionals can. We are able to do this in real time with tools such as facebook an twitter that allow for fast and easy communication. In addition, we are able to see and hear news and opinions of real and average people, instead of an exaggerated story, which we some times get with major news casters. 

Finally,  I would love to see a future where the entire universe is connected through such platforms as the internet. Most of all, I would love to live in a world where the media didn’t restrict or censor things from the rest of the world. These are stories that are of high importance and we need to see but they don’t feel the need to show. Lastly, I feel as though, while it is unclear and hard to predict what the future of convergence may be a decade from now, I believe at the same time we witness it everyday. Perhaps we are too close to see the bigger picture clear enough to realize we are the future.

Final Project - I,Pirate

For the past several years, Internet piracy has become a staple argument for many in the entertainment business and those people of power in the government. The very term, piracy, bears the notion of highly illegal activity. Those caught pirating or endorsing piracy are jailed 20+ years in prison and fined immense amounts to cover the losses for whatever was being pirated. Yet even with the high risks involved people still find the need to pirate online, whether it's music or software. So the question remains, with all the risk involved, why would someone go out of his or her way to pirate anything? What drives people to pirate music, movies, and software?
Through my video I document in an attempted humorous manner my own personal reasons on pirating and why I feel my reasons for doing so are also the reasons of many. I was personally drawn to piracy because of my own economic status growing up; I didn’t have money to buy what I wanted so I pirate it. What started off as something harmless and justified became an addiction that is still to this day very hard to give up. The following pseudo-trailer video offers a glimpse of what I talk about in the larger three part video on the subject of piracy.

I, Pirate   :D – Matchstick Picture Films ©2012


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Semester Project: The Adult Gamer

I created a video game blog where people could go to get information on their favorite video games. There are links to sites where you can  watch video game reviews or even purchase them. I added links to Google news, Apple, and Microsoft news. I plan on making daily post's on the blog and intend to do future video game reviews as they are released. With every post I submit, I share on Google +, and Facebook. I intend to generate revenue and turn my blog into a well known website. A few minutes after creating the blog I had already received over 50 page views. People who play video games possess  a desire to learn about the latest video games. People have been considered hardcore gamers and even casual gamers. My intentions are to bring video game news from around the globe and place it where its easily accessible all on one page. I intend for my blog to be a place where people can read my post's and comment  by giving their own opinions and feedback. Any platform that is capable of delivering an awesome gaming experience will be covered from HD Consoles to Mobile gaming like iOS and Android. The Adult Gamer is a place where guys and girls can go to get info about their favorite games.

Semester Project - Promotion of Transmedia Storytelling

Raj Minocha
Semester Project 

For my semester project, I made a video showing Transmedia Storytelling and the Society. How we as society are indirect Marketing guinea pigs and we don't even know. But as a society we don't take it offensive since most of the Transmedia Storytelling is all about pleasing the audience not harming them. The main purpose of the video is that I wanted to just promote Transmedia Storytelling since in my opinion I feel it is a great concept. Both the society and the storytellers are both satisfied, society gains pleasure and fun while storytellers gain revenue. 








Semester Project.: Trayvon Martin

Link to Magazine

With the advancement of technology, media has also grown. While some may find it scary, others find it beneficial;creating opportunity to shed light on situations like Trayvon Martin. He became pop culture, social media plays a important role as an acknowledging Trayvon Martin's death and how important his life was. In this magazine, it discusses media, Trayvon Martin and what the people think.

Audio of 911 callers

Staff, CNN Wire. “Timeline of Events in Trayvon Martin Case -” CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. <>.

Gray, Madison. “Judge Sets Date in Trayvon Martin Murder Trial.” NewsFeed Judge Sets Date in Trayvon Martin Murder Trial Comments., 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2012. <>.
Rudolf, John. “Trayvon Martin Case Spotlights Florida Town’s History Of ‘Sloppy’ Police Work.” The Huffington Post., 09 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. <>
Segal, Kim, George Howell, and Vivian Kuo. “Protesters Declare ‘I Am Trayvon Martin,’ but Who Was He? -” CNN. Cable News Network, 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <>.

Egypt's Rise with Social Media Outlet's / Post 4

Semester Project.

     It took the world by surprise as millions of Egyptians stormed into Tahrir Square. The images that filled TV screens were remarkable as Egyptians of all age groups and social classes were chanting in Arabic, “freedom and social justice.” These three words were not simple words. They come from thirty years of poverty, injustice, and a corrupt monarchy. Adding to the list of reasons to revolt. This educated youth and the growth of social media has helped Egyptians organize the amazing revolution. Egyptians are very connected with the world revolving around them. As the Internet began to flourish in Egypt, the youth started to spend a lot of time exploring the World Wide Web. The Internet opened many doors for them. Allowing them to connect to the world outside of EgyptFacebook and twitter were flooded by pictures encouraging people to engage in this massive protest calling for change and millions of YouTube videos were uploaded to the web. I chose to write about this since i am half  egyptian. I have lived in egypt for a while, and i  know what these people have been through, and i will always continue to inform the people more and more about this amazing country.

Link to my essay.


Post 4 :

I believe it will be hard and unpredictable to predict the future of convergence. Media industries are going through a huge shift of new media and pushing aside the old media. For example, the new media would be the rise of Internet, and media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, and online news. On the other hand, old media would be TV, broadcasting, radio and newspaper. Our society today is exposed to an entire different world full with new technological products that enable the consumers and audiences to easily access information they wish to have knowledge of through these new media outlets and Internet.

     According to Jenkins, “Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes depending on who’s speaking and what they think they are talking about”. Jenkins states how these technological advances of media are highly recommended by the public these days and can no longer live without them. The development of new media has affected how we society consume and use these devices, especially the World Wide Web. It does not only influence media products but also in the way they distribute their message and technology and how our society consumes and illustrates these technological changes. Convergence basically relies on distribution through digital platforms of media, and offers more approaches to people to establish different methodologies. Convergence also influences the basic reality being portrayed by the media; for example, images and videos are very easy to be manipulated and reshaped to the companies’ own representations of what they would like to disclose to the public. Furthermore, this is one of their techniques in shaping the societies ideologies and the way they think and understand these messages.
     The strong connection of this new media technology is taking over really vast.  According to Omar Merlo, and Simon McPhillips the author of Media convergence and the evolving media business model article, they both stated that, “Media owners acting as a conduit providing entertainment content to consumers, (2) Consumers paying for this content, (3) Companies being given access to the media owners’ audience in order to deliver commercial messages to them, and (4) Governments and regulators determining the parameters of the industry”. They both analyze how we foresee the rise of media, and how we involve all different aspects of media through advertising.  They state that advertising generates about 50% of profits for these production companies, which is huge revenue for these companies to help sell these advertisements for consumers to help media owners to provide a high income.

     Furthermore, I also want to relate how these new media channel and mediums help shape our societies ideologies. For example, the 2012 presidential debate and their ads for each contestant were really affecting. According to Gorman and Mclean, “ The Rise of the television helps explain the post 1945 decline of the press”(p 191). In this quote, Gorman and McLean give us a brief summary of how new media has taken over the press.  The new media is now focusing on both television news and advertising for revenues of Internet outlets, such as Facebook and twitter and other social media outlets we tend to obtain our information from and enjoy. The candidates themselves depend on these news outlets to help gather the largest number of supporters they can towards their campaigns and voting.  Media is becoming one large existing mainstream around the world, where now the majority of most
Americans during the 21st century get their political information online and from television networks.

     Gorman and Mclean discuss the reason why the press has declined. They argue that there has been a rise in production costs and expenses to imprint on paper, and a huge decline of people purchasing newspaper and magazines caused by its higher prices. Journalists no more have the ability to print many newspaper and magazines, since everything has been able to access online and though mainstream outlets on T.V, they now prefer to publish their stories and events online. The efficiency of these various media outlets has lead the audience to see a narrow side of the amount of information they consume each day.

     Having other countries see all what we publish or print online has given the world a bigger advantage to become more unaware of the accurate facts. Any person has the ability to write what they understand and unravel. Furthermore, each person decodes the information received to him/her in another form of understanding and interpreting of facts, which make Americans very diverse and different the way they ponder about reliable media outlets. The growth of public broadcasting, online streaming, and global media is becoming faster than ever, which plays an important role in transitioning these huge corporations and outlets to its main ideal, which is entertainment and leisure, and lacks most of the reality. In the end, I guess we will be seeing a broader view of convergence, but it is hard to predict what will be the upcoming outcome of these new technologies.

Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture. 
Media and society into the 21st century by Lyn Gorman and David Mclean.
Media convergence and the evolving media business model article. By : Omar Merlo and Simon McPhillips.