Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Guy Debord was a writer who was part of a group called the “Situationists. They advocated found and fabricated “situations,” like the order of city streets or public protests. Any environment was a situation that needed responsible reaction. In 1967, Guy Debord created a book and eventual film called The Society of the Spectacle. It is the best known Marxist critique of mass media, released shortly before the rising consciousness of May 1968.
Society of the Spectacle starts by explaining that the world is an immense accumulation of images that sell capitalism. There is however a totalitarian control of all media, mainly through television, and now the internet. Mass media and advertising are owned by powerful people who sell the ideology of advanced capitalism in the way that religion was sold in the past. Debord actually sees the transition from Orthodox icons to propaganda posters to capitalist media.
“The spectacle is not a collection of images but a social relation mediated by images.”: The false reality of the spectacle is called “false consciousness.” Debord proposed that people now build relationships through the spectacle, meaning you may talk to someone about a movie, but never talk with them as a person.
Today’s media shows a fake reality in order to mask the capitalist degradation of human life.
The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: ‘What appears is good; what is good appears.’ The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply.
The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue about of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life.
The alienation of the spectator, which reinforces the contemplated objects that result from his own unconscious activity works like this: The more he contemplates, the less he lives; the more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understand his own life and his own desires.
The constant decline of use value that has always characterized the capitalist economy has given rise to a new form of poverty within the realm of augmented survival …
Media & Economics concerns the direction of resources to funding, advertising and ownership of media.
Just as American media dealt with television & politics before Europe, it should also be noted that America media dealt with commercial funding issues and subscription television before Europe. America was already dealing with "selling out" in the 1970's when the film Network appeared while Europe was still most state funded at the time.
In Papathanassopoulos' The Funding of Television in the Age of Digitalization, he describes that after deregulation in the 80’s and early 90’s, digital television was the next phase of socio-economic development. The result was more diversification and a more competitive market. While you see a delay in Europe behind the US in commercialization, due to the increasing globalization of technology, digitalization happens by a closer margin at comparable times.
European television advertising resulted in $30 billion in revenue in 1996. The Nordic countries have historically attracted advertising to print, as with Germany. Other countries emphasize TV advertising over print. Researchers speculate that advertising will play an increasingly small role in funding television. The increase seen in Europe simply corresponds to economic growth in general.
Italy and Spain ban alcohol ads on television and the Evin law of 1991 bans alcohol advertising in France on television and now the internet. Under the law, alcohol adverts are only allowed in the print media, on the radio and in sales outlets.
Television networks also make money through sponsorship, which is increasingly attractive to brands who want to associate with events. Barter is common for game shows, meaning backing the show with products and content direction.
The author suggests that pay TV will increase. The types include traditional, subscription to premium, and versions of video-on-demand. Spain and Italy were new in the scene but France was established with Canal +. France is the second largest pay TV in Europe.
With digital television is the fragmentation of audiences. This means advertisers must be more selective and can target groups. The economic climate effects both digital and pay TV which reduce in recessions. The author concludes with a long list of strategies to advance digital television, including packages and added value such as sports tickets.Finally he states that though digital television is a bigger market, there is more competition than ever.
Has supported film production, including David Lynch’s last 3 films
Began broadcasting in digital in 2005
Al Waleed is an entrepreneur and international investor, but does not have real political power within the House of Saud or in Saudi Arabia, he has amassed a fortune through investments in real estate, the stock market and businesses. He has never held political office. He has 17 honorary degrees and is an honorary citizen of Cannes and received the president’s medal of honor from Sarkozy.
At the approximate time that Al Waleed worked with Burlesconi, RAI was also backed by Al Waleed and Al Baraka bank for global distribution.
•Radio Televisione Italiana (originally Radio Audizioni Italiane)
•Founded in 1945
•State owned like the BBC, and dominates the market like the BBC against Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Sky Italia
•Funded by a TV license fee similar to the BBC
•Diversified like the BBC to include radio, terrestrial, digital, theme channels and reaching near by countries
•Averages 3 billion annually in revenue
The greater question that the author has is what is meant by the combined Italian-Arab expansion of media? Arab Radio Television is an Arab backed channel funded in Rome for distribution. Italian media is being supported by Arabs for global distribution and Arabic Media is being supported by Italians for global distribution. The result is transnational, geopolitical alliances that transcend traditional political systems like the UN. However the author notes that the countries were supporting distribution, not influencing content. Importantly understanding the relationship between Italy and the Middle East is part of understanding an enlarged Europe.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Kuhn writes, the trend on the part of politicians towards the mediatisation of their private lives has been amplified by the routinisation of the internet as a medium of political communication, and in particular by the spread of the ‘blog’ phenomenon. The blog allows a politician to bypass the traditional intermediary filters and gatekeepers of the mainstream news media. In terms of process, the production of blog content is fully under the control of the politician as source and so can be put into the public sphere unmediated. With regard to content, the nature of the blog allows for a mix of public and private information to be disseminated: politicians may not only give their views on public events, but can also control the release of more personalised information, including elements of their private lives if they so choose.