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

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.

The Internet, Changing our Lives

A few weeks ago we were asked to ask someone older than us; our mum, dad, grandparents, whoever and discuss with them what television was like for them when they were growing up. So for this weeks task I returned to my mother and bugged her to answer more of my questions this time, about what her households access to the internet was like.

She was unclear on the exact time that internet became a ‘thing’ when she was younger and my Mum is quite young  but to the best of her knowledge it was some time when she was in high school that dial up internet was first introduced into the world. Of course computers were around but internet, a way to get ‘online’, the world wide web, it was brand new and interesting and apparently just the coolest thing ever.

Sure the internet is pretty cool now, but for many of us internet has always been around. Yes, of course I still remember having dial up internet but my whole life I’ve always had that access to the internet and growing up with school assignments etc. Having the internet made it all that much easier to do these things. When I asked my Mum about this sort of thing when she was younger she said that that’s what the library was for. Instead of just Googling it, she used textbooks and searched the library for the right thing.

She also said she didn’t have the internet at home when she lived with her parents, it wasn’t until she moved out that she had the internet in her home. It just wasn’t something that they needed when she was living at home. When you compare that to what its like in homes now, the internet is in almost everything we do at home, of course we have WIFI now and instead of it taking several minutes to get online we can be online in seconds.

We use the internet to stream Netflix to our TV’s, the WIFI allows us to scroll through our Facebook Newsfeed at home without using all our data, our computers use the internet to do anything online or even back-up our computers to the cloud.

The internet has changed not only these things but even the way we consume television, that television space talked about a few weeks ago, its become a lot different because of the internet. It was not an immediate change but gradually over time it has changed the way we consume television. Even right now as I write this post I’m streaming Netflix to my television. I don’t very often watch television with my family in the way my mum would watch television with hers. Each member of my family has a seperate Netflix account and we watch what ever we want but never together. That kind of closeness that my mother felt to her family watching television is not something my family feels when we watch television together.

The internet has become a big part of our world, even 20 years ago let alone when my Mum was younger it was never as big of a part of her world as it is ours. It has all changed so much and is changing so many of our spaces in not only our households but just everywhere, it is well and truely changing our lives. For better or for worse? You’ll have to be the judge of that.

Stop. Collaborate and Listen

Ethnography is the scientific description of peoples cultures and their customs, habits and mutual differences. And as Luke Lassiter suggests ethnography is by definition collaborative. Although in he discusses two different forms of ethnography; reciprocative and collaborative. This weeks main focus in the lecture was on collaborative ethnography.

Reciprocation Ethnography entails an act of return, a giving back for something received. In the ethnographic process, this sets up a model of exchange where one thing granted yields an appropriate reciprocal response.

Collaborative Ethnography is an approach to ethnography that deliberately and explicitly emphasizes collaboration at every point in the ethnographic process, without veiling it. Collaborative ethnography, then, is both a theoretical and a methodological approach for doing and writing ethnography. The most advantageous point to collaborative ethnography would be the creation of a better understanding of peoples’ cultures.

An example of collaborative ethnography is reflecting, sharing, discussing and getting a better understanding of the culture of others by reading the blog posts of our peers from last weeks task about how television media was watched and consumed in the homes of a member of their family. Whether it be the stories of their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles any linkage between qualitative research to paint a larger portrait of a particular culture or idea is all collaborative ethnography.

My blog for last week was centred on the consumption of television by my mother and her family when we was a child and after reading some of the other posts by people it was clear that things I discussed with my mother were also similar to some of the things others discussed with their chosen interviewee. Even from my own experiences watching television with my family, I have experienced all these similar feelings of nostalgia and connection to my family through us watching television together. Realising these similarities by reading these similar stories is also collaborative ethnography.

All this collaborative ethnography made it very clear that television played a much larger role in homes than just another piece of entertainment technology. The television played a role of a physical space where families bonded and enjoyed each others company. By personally participating in some collaborative ethnography is has really helped me have a deeper understanding of the concept of collaborative ethnography and also understand peoples feelings and attitudes about television in the past.

University of Chicago, 2005, An excerpt from The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography, University of Chicago, viewed 11 August,<>

Memories of the Television

I had a conversation with my mum about what TV was like for her as a child and growing up. My mum grew up in the Sutherland Shire with her 2 brothers, sister and mum and dad. When my mum was growing up colour television was already in homes and had been for two years. So unfortunately she had no cool stories of what it was like to experience black and white television and the development of television media before the colour TV.

When I asked her about what memories she had of watching television and the television in the house while growing up with less than 30 seconds hesitation she replied with a smile on her face “What do I remember about television as a child? Mostly I just remember that because we only had one television and I was the youngest, I never got to choose what we watched and because our television had a clicker to change the channels instead of a remote I was always the one who always had to get up to change the channel”.

Television played a bigger role throughout her early childhood than it did as she grew older and spent much more time outdoors and with friends. So although the TV may have not have played a big role while growing up it definitely played a significant one and she has plenty of memories that in one way or another involve the household television.

My mum recalled weekends, particularly early Saturday mornings, being the only way she was able to choose what was watched on the TV and so on these mornings she would get up and sit on her beanbag on the floor of the rumpus room and watch the morning cartoons until the rest of the family got up. She told me as a child she remembers watching a lot of old school Play School but as she got older her favourite show became Danger Mouse. She was excited to tell me that recently a reboot of the show had started to air for a new generation of children.

She recalled fondly sitting with her siblings some days after school when they weren’t sent outside to play and watching television till their dad got home and then choosing what to watch became his decision from then onwards. From MacGyver to M.A.S.H in my mum’s words she had to ‘endure’ it all because if she wanted to watch television that was what she watched whether she liked it or not.

Finally, I asked her if there were any moments watching television that she remembered particularly and instead of answering with what I expected would be her response with something like watching her first Olympics, she replied “I do remember when I was about nine and the whole family sat down and watched a movie called The Emerald Forest together. I can’t remember what the movie was about or anything that happened in it, but I just remember sitting around with my family and watching”

Not only has the television itself become incredibly different in relation to size, shape and quality but the ways people as a family experience television has changed as well. I know in my home personally, it is very rare that I sit down with my family and we watch TV together, having a TV in my room ensures I always get to decide what I watch and thanks to the remote I never have to get up from the comfort of my bed to change the channel.

Me-dia Space

When asked “where are you in your lives now?’ during this week’s lecture it really hit close to home for me. This has been a question on my mind for quite a while now. About to turn 20 in two weeks I have found myself having a, what I would only call a ‘quarter life crisis’ for no reason at all. But as I get closer to a new decade and having to officially accept that now I am an adult and I have to act like one, I realised the furthest I’ve been from home was the schoolies trip I went on 2 years ago instead of the European vacation I dreamed about, I worry about the little amount of money I have every time I check my bank account and pretty much if it was something I could think and worry about, I did, I over-thought about it until every possible outcome was thought about.

But in this current point in my life what have I experienced while being in a ‘media space’? Well for starters I am constantly on my phone, no matter how hard I try I can’t put it down. I’m addicted and when I’m not using it its always in my hand or always within 30cm of my person. When I wake up in the mornings it’s the social media rounds: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter. Five minutes later ill check again just in case something new has happened, even though it’s likely it hasn’t. Then I’ll go about my morning but no later than 30 minutes later I’m back checking my phone again. If I go longer than three hours without checking Facebook, I consider it to be a huge accomplishment for myself. For me, personally, doing this, every morning, afternoon, thirty minutes, whatever the time makes me feel connected me with the world, to my friends, to the celebrities I follow on Instagram.

Where ever I go during the day I’m always connected to the media space in one way or another. I’ll be on my computer while I’m at uni, on my phone while I’m walking to my next class or waiting for the bus back to the train station. The only time I can think of when I am truly disconnected from the media space is the 8 hours of sleep I get at night if I’m lucky. My degree requires me to blog, tweet and be a part of this media space constantly, although I don’t think that if I weren’t doing my degree I would be less involved in the media space as I am now. Perhaps we’ve all become to consumed in our media, only talking to each other via text or when our main form of communication become tagging our best friends in memes on Facebook. We are all constantly in a media space and we all have our own experiences.


Research Proposal

Reality television has gradually taken over a vast majority of all programmes on television today. There is more dating, renovations, cooking, singing and auction hunting than ever on our televisions then there was when reality television first became popular in the early 2000’s. Since the explosion of reality television in Australia, the population has watched twenty four complete strangers enter a house for three months with no outside communication on Big Brother, teams compete to prove their kitchen rules and a bachelor simultaneously date twenty five women to find his future wife.

According to an article published on in January of 2015, the author Colin Vickery calculated that between channels Seven, Nine and Ten an estimated 1500 hours of reality television made within the country alone would be broadcast to Australians last year. This is before the addition of reality shows from other countries including shows such as Geordie Shore from the UK and Duck Dynasty or Keeping up with the Kardashians from the US.

While the overall appeal of reality television has declined in Australia over the years, with the cancellation of Big Brother and the low ratings of renovation show House Rules last year, many Australians are still obsessed. Everyone loves to indulge in a bit of reality television, it’s a very common guilty pleasure for many all around the world and even though it’s rare that a grown man will openly admit that they love a bit of Real Housewives, we all do it! Personally, I love Keeping up with the Kardashians. It doesn’t matter if I watched it last week and at the end thought that was the most wasteful forty minutes of my week, I just can’t get enough, I’m back again the week after ready for more! I have that curiosity to watch week after week so I can truly keep up with the Kardashians.

But how accurate and fair are these shows at representing the real reality that we experience every day? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that some if not most reality television shows are scripted but to what degree are the other reality shows you can’t tell are scripted, scripted? These questions have always been a curiosity of mine and so it was decided they were going to be the main focus of my research project. The primary question I will propose is ‘is reality television a good/fair representation of reality and how much to a degree do you think reality television is scripted?’

Using the cancellation of Big Brother and how viewers lost interest over the years when it became very obvious how scripted the show really was and singing show The Voice which currently seems to be unscripted and has real rewards for contestants when the show finishes as case studies I will investigate my proposed question using various research tools.

A majority of my research will be conducted as qualitative data through the use of surveys, focus groups and interviews where open-ended and closed-ended questions will be asked to other students from the University of Wollongong to gather the information necessary and relevant for my project. Questions will include those such as whether students believe reality television is a good and/or fair representation of reality and also how much of reality television today is scripted. I will also ask participants what shows they believe are and aren’t scripted that are currently on television including those from other countries and why they think reality television is scripted instead of letting shows play out like real reality.  Privacy of participants will be protected throughout my primary research and nothing will be disclosed without the participant’s permission beforehand. The option of anonymity will be available and not all question asked of participants will be compulsory to answer if uncomfortable with sharing answers.

Ultimately through my research I am aiming to determine what makes reality television so appealing to viewers, if viewers realise their favourite show might be completely false, made up and nothing like reality and why certain reality shows are scripted but others aren’t and if shows are scripted to what degree.


Vickery, C 2015, ‘Aussie viewers will be swamped with more than 1500 hours of reality TV shows in 2015’,, 26 January, viewed 21 March, <>

Rupel, D 2016, ‘How Reality TV Works’, Writers Guild of America, viewed 21 March 2016, <>

Adalian, J 2015, ‘The Boom Days of Reality TV are Over’, Vulture, viewed 21 March 2016, <>