Can you believe it? Final year is just flying by at the moment. We are already four weeks into the year and in just under three weeks my first assignment needs to be handed in. But, I did it! I’ve gone straight from school, to sixth form, to university with no breaks and soon I’ll be out in the real world. But, while I’m back here pretending that’s not happening I’ll fill you in on this weeks classes. I’ve spent most of my time in the library this week so, I’ve been on top of getting work done. In fact, I’m here now catching up on blogging, deciding essay questions and soon I’ll be looking into privacy settings for social media sites.
I’ll start at the beginning of the week with Media Technologies as per usual and talk you through my week. When the notification came up to tell me the PowerPoint was available, I was already intrigued when it read ‘Power, Policies and Governance’. I have a confession to make-whenever we look at this part of a topic I’m always quite interested. I’ve never really understood, I just am! So, when I got to the lecture we first went through ‘housekeeping’ and by that I mean quite a few people had raised concerns so, the lecturer was settling us. Also, there was a change in the assignment grading which is another story entirely. Anyway, one we got past all of that, it was time to start the lecture which encompassed two videos and the introduction of two very influential people in creating a more open internet; Aaron Swartz and Larry Lessig. Both, I found out fight for freedom of speech, a change to piracy laws among other things. Unfortunately, Swartz is no longer with us but, Lessig who is the founder of something you all may have heard of; Creative Commons is still very much a political activist.
In one of the videos, he was presenting at a conference in which he told three stories and then by using those three stories, he simplified the idea of internet freedom and piracy and then brought it all together at the end. I was entranced by the way he did this, it’s such a genius way of teaching people to understand what is being said. Next, we went off to the seminar largely discussing project ideas and raising concerns.
Next, I had Moral Panics and we’ve started to look at case studies. This week it was the ‘video nastie’. This moral panic is based around the idea that particularly graphic games and horror movies inspire vulnerable groups to copy and re-create particular death scenes. For example, the Bulger Murder. We analysed the two apparent episodes of ‘video nasties’, the first appearing in 1984-84 before it disappeared an reoccurred in 1994. But, it’s not the lecture I want to speak about, instead its the seminar. Our seminar is always quite interesting because everyone joins in, they all have an opinion the subject. Overall, the discussion came down to our increasing de-sensitisation of horror movies, the idea that we know it’s fiction and not real even if the films nowadays are more realistic and the rising concern of the younger generation who are being brought up on games and screens. But, we could all agree on one thing there isn’t enough information out there to say there’s a huge link between the people involved in killings that re-create/are inspired by on-screen killings and scenes. However, we can’t disregard a tiny link but, we all thought there were other reasons behind why someone would commit such a gruesome act. Also, the fabrication of a ‘video nastie’ sensationalising the crime more than it needed. Giving it unwarranted attention.
On the same day, I also had a very productive dissertation meeting with my tutor. We decided to narrow down the episodes to four, found a few more articles for myself to look into and she assigned me to come up with sections for my dissertation to write under so, that it simplified the situation. So, my next few weeks will be watching New Tricks and Vera; two programmes I adore. It’s always good if you are going to enjoy your dissertation. Furthermore, she’s also my tutor for the year so she needs to know how I am in general and she advised me to go to careers which, I have already done. She thought I was an on-the-ball student! It’s been decided that I will research this semester thus, leaving me to draft and re-draft next semester. Honestly, I’m feeling very confident about this now. And as I asked, she’s setting me deadlines to get the assigned stuff done.
Finally, we had globalisation and the media. This week we looked at Latin America. It was interesting to see their media development because I always thought they were developing quite well however, in the lecture I found that was not the case at all. For the screening, we watch Storyville: Inside the Coup which is about Chavez in Venezuela and a Coup that was staged against him. It demonstrated how the use of the media was used to convince people he was bad for their country but, it was also used positively through him. He wanted his MP’s and himself, to use all the media. So, if you visit another place go on the local radio stations and get his message and ideas across. If I’m honest, I found myself entranced in this documentary and would watch it again!
Overall, it’s been such an interesting week. Next week is a sort of professional development week in which, we have to sign up to classes. I’ve signed up to three classes including a grad talk so, lets see how that goes and who knows it may give me and inkling of what I would like to do.