Television and Film Regulation in Australia

The television and film regulation in Australia is stricter than in most countries. Things such as Netflix, everyday television shows and films aired in Australia are edited by the powers above in an attempt to save shield the Australian public from possible things that might offend or upset. But I think most people would agree that this is just a major inconvenience for the viewer.

Certain television shows and films are only shown on paid for television like Foxtel and if the show is ever shown on free-to-air television scene too graphic or inapproriate are cut out sometimes causing confusion in the storyline of the show or movie. This is never something that paid for television does they play the content of the show or film as is, unedited.

Just the other day I was watching Pulp Fiction on free-to-air television and a huge chunk of the movie involving drugs was cut from the movie and it just skipped a head at least 5 minutes. Fair enough if the movie was playing at a time when children could have seen the movie, but this was at 11 at night, no need for edited content.

Australian Netflix also has far more less content than American Netflix, there are hundreds of shows on the American Netflix that aren’t available in Australia. YouTube is another media platform with regulations, certain videos are only available in certain countries.

All this media regulations mostly come from media anxiety. Subjects of the rules of regulations are usually vulnerable groups such as the working class and children, who are supposed to be most likely to be negatively affected by the media.

Regardless of all this, don’t you think we should all be able to access the same content all around the world? Why should one country not be able to access something that another can, we’re doing the right thing and not illegally downloading and pirating so why should Australia miss out?

I Have No Attenti…. Oh Look a Puppy!

This weeks blog task was to set up a small informal test that allows me to see what happens to someones attention of multiple media devices and report and discuss what I observe. And as I wrote this post while at chilly Tumbarumba near the Snowy Mountains I didn’t really have the materials or people around me to conduct a test like this so, I decided to test myself.

Media devices are a constant distraction for me, just the other day I was so immersed in my phone texting back my best friend that I slipped walking out of my boyfriends driveway and almost fell into the creek next to his house. Hilarious yes but really is an excellent example of how little I pay attention to things around me especially when media devices are involved. The same goes for almost everything I do; when I watch TV unless whatever I’m watching fully grabs my attention, I’m playing on my phone or computer or chatting away. At uni one minute i can be intensely listening to a lecture, the next I’m scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, texting my friends back or checking my Instagram feed. My main problem is media device distractions when it comes to me doing any kind of assessment for uni. I can never just and purely focus, I’m always being distracted by my phone or laptop.

So my test for myself was this, Ted was playing on the television and I set myself the task of watching the whole movie from one ad to another  – trying to include not getting distracted during ads – and trying not to let anything around distract me, then when if I made it through to one ad, I tried to do it again. If I got distracted I noted what distracted me and how many times I would get distracted and for how long I was distracted instead of watching the movie.

As expected I could not go the whole movie without getting distracted. But I found that everything was distracting me. I’m not sure if it could have been because I had seen the movie before, that I just wasn’t interested, that I was focusing so hard on not getting distracted by anything that everything distracted me or really it could have been a number of other factors or a combination of them all.

My phone was a huge distraction for me, I can get to everything on there. I can text, get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, everything. Next my computer became the distraction and pretty much for the same reasons as my phone. After doing this DIY attention test it also became obvious to me that Facebook is sucking up SO much of my time and is one of my major distractions.

I’m hoping to work on these things in the future and reduce the amount that I get distracted by things and hopefully apply my new found attentiveness to important things like while watching uni lectures.

Preliminary Proposal for Ethnographic or Narrative Research Project

So as of right now I am not sure at all specifically what I want to do for my Research Project for BCM240. To be honest i hadn’t even properly thought about it until earlier this week, having been so preoccupied in other subjects assignments and trying to keep up with lectures and class work etc.

I know I would like to do something involving television as this kind of media is something I am quite interested in and perhaps my vast unnecessary knowledge of TV or TV shows from spending far too much time watching TV – whether it be binge watching or procrastinating doing things that are far more important – will come in handy for something and I can proudly tell my Mum all that TV watching wasn’t for nothing.

My project will have a particular focus on how the audience of a certain TV show or perhaps multiple TV show’s engage with said show and then how they engage with this media on other types of media such as social media including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or personal blogs. I realise this might be a bit of a broad research topic and I will work over the next few weeks to rein it in and make it a more specific and simple topic to research.

I would like to know and learn more through this research about how the audience uses different social media after having consumed a certain show. For example, if they didn’t particularly like an episode do audience go online and voice their dislike for the episode or vice versa for an episode they see as good or even excellent.

I’m aware that certain television shows such as Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars all have an audience that are all very loud online. Although these two shows possibly have two very different audiences as the shows are VERY different, both shows share a common factor of how their audiences use their voices online. Audience’s of the show use the social media online to voice their opinions, discuss theories, vent, post fan art and all kinds of other similar things.

For my ethnographic research project on this topic I will observe those who voice opinions online, collect surveys and maybe even hold a focus group. All research conducted will be ethical and permission will be sought if needed from participants of any surveys or focus groups so that I can use the information I receive from participants in a final write up of my findings.

I have not decided yet if the final write up of my findings will be publicly posted online on this blog or if I will use a different format such as a video on YouTube or a Prezi in all cases again permission will be sought.

As I am still uncertain on all the details of my research project any suggestions or help would most certainly be welcome 🙂

 

Personal Devices and Public Spaces

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So have you ever seen someone walking around fully immersed in their phones or really any kind of personal device completely oblivious to what’s going on around them? Maybe, like myself, you’ve seen someone so preoccupied with their phone they’ve almost run into a pole and then you’ve had to try really hard not to laugh and look like a complete weirdo sitting alone at a bench at uni?

Well maybe you don’t have a story that specific like I do but we’ve all done it, and if you say you haven’t then either you’re like my 65 year old Grandmother and technologically impaired or a liar or I mean maybe you’re one of the very few left that can restrict themselves to just walking while walking, it’s hard I know. Personally I feel like sometimes people who always walk around on their phones or other devices constantly are missing out on life around them and sometimes poles right in front of them.

Recently with the release of Pokemon Go this has become a more increasingly prominent issue especially at the university. As my boyfriend has told me, there a SO many Pokemon at the uni and Pokestops and all of that, but not knowing anything about Pokemon and having it all explained to me I can see now why people might be paying more attention to their phones while walking around the University.

For this weeks task we were asked to take a photograph of someone using a personal device in a public space. Unfortunately  I wasn’t able to get a picture of anything like that, the photo I took was from a bench across the duck pond. It’s not totally clear – I was trying to avoid looking like a complete weirdo, alone and talking a picture – but the picture is of other students of the University of Wollongong sitting on the grass outside building 67, playing on their phones, working on uni work, listening to music. All doing something on their personal device in a public space.

Of course there are a number of laws and ethics that come into play when taking photos of people in public that need to be taken into consideration especially for this task. In a photo such as mine, the privacy of those in the photo is kept in tact as you cannot specifically identify anyone in the photo, but in other cases if the face of a person is clear and can be identified then their privacy rights are breached if you do not have their permission. When taking a photo think of it this way, if you were the one having the picture taken of you against your knowledge would you like it?

Laws regarding the privacy of others when taking photos include things such as not being able to take photos of people at the beach or in some schools but lots of this just comes down to being ethical and the people taking the photos to choosing to do the right thing at the end of the day.

 The Arts Law Centre in this weeks readings talks about this as well as the other limitations and rules that should be used and followed when talking pictures such as respecting people to making sure you get a persons permission before taking their photo particularly when the images involve children or going on private property.

So whether you’re using your phone in a public space to take pictures, play Pokemon Go or simply just texting always think about whats going on around you. Make sure to watch where you’re walking and most importantly be mindful of the privacy and rights of those people around you who could be pictured when you’re taking that aesthetic photo for your Instagram.

My Cinema Experience

So this week we got to go to the movies to write this post, the movies you guys. How is that homework?!

So for the second time, I went to see Suicide Squad with my boyfriend who was unsurprisingly more than happy to be dragged along. Overall it was a successful trip to the cinema, but that could have something to do with the fact that it was a Tuesday night and there was about 10 people in total in the entire cinema. But everyones idea of a successful or unsuccessful cinema trip is different.

I personally love going to the movies late on a weekday. It’s quite, theres no one chewing loudly behind me or asking stupid questions to the person next to them about the movie who has seen just as much of the movie as they have and do not know the answer, no one is kicking my seat and most importantly I don’t have to sit next to someone I don’t know for an hour and a half who’s arm is on my arm rest as well as their own.

But I also like the feeling of a full cinema, the excitement in the room to watch the movie, the chatter among movie goers before and after the film, that kind of movie experience whether it be a premiere at midnight or just one of the first days the movie is out its something everyone experiences and its never quite like any other movie experience.

To get to the cinema can sometimes be difficult, many things can get in our way and Hagerstrand identifies three categories of constraints, limiting an individual to perform any actions they want, thus influencing actions of people.

  1. Capability(can I get there): referring to the limitations on human movement due to natural causes. We are only capable to do what we can, managing space and time; thus those with cars and faster public services have a ‘spatial- temporal advantage’ over those who don’t. (Corbett, 2001).
  2. Coupling(can I get there at the right time?): refers to the need ‘to be in one particular place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people’ (Corbet, 2001). Our schedules and path must link and plan with another’s in order to participate in a task.
  3. Authority(am I allowed to be there?): referring to the laws and rules that are set in place; restricting one from their actions.

For myself these three constraints came into play for my cinema visit. A capability constraint was could we get there in time, a coupling constraint would be did we have a way to get to the cinema and an authoritative constraint were we allowed to be in the cinema for example, was there an age limit on the film.

The cinema experience is something I don’t think is going to disappear anytime soon. So many people still love and enjoy going to the movies and having that experience, and no matter the price I think that its going to be an experience they pay for time and time again.