Violence in the Media: Shovel Girl

Ok for the record, I am actually not happy with sharing this video because it disgusts me but I figured if anyone reads this and doesn’t know what I am talking about they will know.

This is the full video of “Shovel Girl,” a girl that gets into a school yard fight over a boy and the fight ends with her getting hit with a shovel. Friends gather to video tape the fight that is horrible. One girl gets hit repeatedly in the face and cries. To be honest, I don’t blame the shovel.

http://www.break.com/video/girl-fight-shovel-battle-full-version-2606850

This fight went viral and even the Washington Post is laughing about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/05/12/what-were-talking-about-when-we-talk-about-shovel-girl/

: BREAKING: Huzlers is reporting “The Shovel Girl” Miranda Lockwood has died.” my last name isn’t even Lockwood u fuck heads

Even CNN tweeted this about the death of Shovel Girl Hoax: The girl retweeted it. Not only has she become a pointless celebrity but what is this saying to people? This is what fame is. Two girls fighting over a boy and its praised. Both of them were punished for the fight but “shovel girl” is a celebrity for fighting. CNN and the Washington Post are only two media sources I saw. There were many more and this happened a couple months ago. Violence is awarded in the media.

Shoot a Picture or a Gun: Which is Worse?

We discussed how hard it is for a news photographer to not get involved in the situations they are shooting, no matter how hard. Reporters and photographers are to remain objective to every situation but some get involved because they believe it is the right thing to do. So what to do? Do you take the picture and go? Do you take the picture first and then help? or do you lose the picture and help first? Maybe war may be easier to stay out of the way but how about a starving child? Could you just photograph them and walk away? One picture I saw brought tears to my eyes.

 

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Under this award winning picture, the caption said “A pained stare, plastic ties and muddy, shoeless feet. In war, everyone is suspect. After a short firefight in Sayyid Muhammad, these men were rounded up, stripped, interrogated and later released.” 

The look in this man’s eyes is directly to the camera. Now you can say this is staged. His face is clear and clean and he is looking at the camera, but what if it wasn’t?

What if he was looking at the photographer for help? In this moment, did the photographer know that these men would later be released? This man is looking to the photographer as his last hope, and he took a picture of him.

He isn’t a human anymore. He is a picture, a job, an award, a situation. This concept dehumanizes people.  One question our book says to ask is, “Am I acting with compassion and sensitivity?” I say no.

To Catch a Predator

In this show, Chris Hansen pretends to be underage children on the internet to catch predators that are grown men that are seeking sexual relations with children. In the show, he publicly exposes them. This gets in to two issues: the right thing and privacy.

The weird question to ask is if predators who are seeking to sexually molest children get a right to privacy on the internet. Chris Hansen would say no.

 

I’m doing this show to expose people for what they really are. If someone murders another person privately, an investigation would still take place. My privacy is still in tact in saying that I get the right to be a fake child over the internet just as much as they get to be a predator. Does internet privacy justify their crimes?

People tell me that it is illegal to have people on camera that do not consent to being on camera and I just tell them that it is illegal for men to molest children without parental consent. That usually shuts them up nicely.

Its almost like no matter what people tell me about my show, that my argument will always win. Are they really trying to justify this crime to me?

Other people think it is wrong for me to profit from this, that crime isn’t something to make into entertainment but I ask them what the news today is. How can people tell me that this isn’t newsworthy? How? It creates awareness. Just because I have exposed only a handful of predators doesn’t mean this isn’t out there. The fact that I still have a show says that this is still a problem and growing. Protect your kids from the dangers of the internet! These people are out there and the cops don’t get every one.

Network

Gil Scott-Heron sings that “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The film suggests that might not be the case, as do recent revolutions in the Middle East. Comment on how you think the media can strengthen or weaken a revolutionary message or cause.

The thing that first came to my mind was CNN and their reporting of nothing. Jon Stewart points out a funny fact in these two videos that CNN has a habit of reporting nothing.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/qyndx7/this-is-cnn-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/jon-stewart-cnn-mh370_n_5025661.html

The news goes crazy at the sign of tragedy because they know they have to report it. This year was the one year anniversary of the Boston Bombing and there was great coverage of the victims saying that they are more than what happened that day. But the video CNN reported of that day was nothing to be proud of.

It is completely wrong to say that when the revolution happens, it won’t be on television. If we can show nothing, we will show that.

The media makes news, it doesn’t report it.

In the Movie Network, Heale says this and its the best quote:

Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers… This tube is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, and this company is now in the hands of CCA – the Communication Corporation of America, the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome God-damned propoganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network?

Case Study 3-E: Breaking Through the Clutter: Ads that Make You Think Twice

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This is a case study written by Fritz Cropp IV from the University of Missouri. In this case study he writes that controversial ad campaigns for Benetton, the Italian Clothing Company. Benetton had a knack for controversial ads that included most social issues. His ads about AIDS and dead babies certainly raised awareness of his company, all the way to the Vatican. Benetton loved it. He said that it “looked reality in the face.” He claimed to get away from “traditional advertising in the belief that it has no power and no value anymore.” While many were outraged, his company boomed. in 2000 they began the “We On Death Row” campaign where they actually photographed and interviewed prisoners on death row. They did this to show “the realities of Capital Punishment, and nobody will think that the death penalty is a distant problem as the news makes it seem.” Due to this campaign, many vendors cancelled their deals with Benetton and even led to boycotts. Other advertisers were also appalled at the sight because using dying men to increase sales is wrong. In the end, Benetton was never really hurt from this campaign. The ethical issues that this campaign dealt with was that Benetton didn’t tell the murderers’ victims’ families about the campaign or the murderer’s families either. Should they have known in advance? And also selling merchandise by men on death row. Was this a social statement or a marketing strategy? Is that ethical to be either? The thing that bothers me personally is that showing these men, known murderers, is kind of showing them off. They are already getting the death penalty for what they did, and now they get to show off to the world who they are. Publicizing men being proud for horrendous actions is what immediately came to my mind. Although their efforts at Benetton gained so much publicity, as a company, is that all they wanted to be associated with? If you think about it, they can never change gears to a new campaign. They are known for this and if they tried to do normal advertising, I don’t think anyone would like it because they expect to be shocked. Image

Ethical News Values

For news, there is a basic book of guidelines they follow that ensures they have written a well-rounded news story, but most have never read it. They probably skimmed a couple pages to get the gist of it. Among these guidelines are a list of words or qualities that define the news. We’ve heard them all before : Proximity, Timeliness, Conflict, Consequence, Prominence, Rarity, Change, Action, Personality and so on. In these things that are deemed newsworthy, it is up to the reporter to decide the ethics of the situation. The book covers that, too.

As a Communication major, I understand that the traditional way of covering news has become a joke. Covering news in general has become something we joke about when discussing paparazzi, or the way people gather news. ImageImageImage

But it’s news and writing about what is happening is essential as long as there is someone to read it, and its valuable.

Ethical Values are Accuracy, Confirmation, Tenacity, Dignity (don’t worry, I’ll explain), Reciprocity, Sufficiency, Equity, Community, and Diversity. Some of these values overlap but the way society has changed, these values have changed to. So lets get down to each one.

Accuracy

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Accuracy obviously means to gather the correct information for your story. How successful has that been?

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Ever heard of the phrase, “Act now, apologize later?” Or how about, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission?” These aren’t just phrases. These are policies for journalists. When has covering the news turned into bias, lies and following it up with “whoops” been considered a professional media? That answer is today. Does that make it any less valuable to us as consumers? No.

Confirmation

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This means to write articles that are able to withstand scrutiny inside and outside the newsroom. The fact that most stories don’t today in itself has become newsworthy.

Reciprocity

This means that the reporter will take a “do unto others as you would have done to you” approach. In the end, we are all human and we should treat each other as humans. Its pretty simple, if you don’t want this to be said about you if you were in this situation, then don’t say it about them. This is a hard concept today because people think, “I’m not in this situation, I will never be and that news.” If journalists don’t report these things, they miss out. As sad as it may seem, our society is attracted to bad things happening to bad people and to good people for that matter. We hate seeing good things happen to bad guys, but not every story in the news be about good things happening to good guys. That’s not very newsworthy. Reciprocity is almost dead in journalism because we think we are simply covering a story, no more no less and people shouldn’t take it personally.

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Equity

This is probably my least favorite news value. Unfortunately when these were designed, they were made with the best ideas in mind. Equity means to be on a level playing field of equal opportunity. All sides of the story have been told. It’s the quality of being fair and impartial. This is not in our society anymore unless its used negatively. Most people will fight and put all their words out there and worse case scenario, they publicly apologize. Equity is thrown in to make sure that they have an equal chance. It brings people on the lowest level so people who work hard will have to sink down to those who don’t to make a level field. These two pictures describe our society best.

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Community

How does the community benefit from this story? The community benefits from the phenomena of “twerking” because….. it doesn’t. Mainstream media has almost ruined each and every one of these news values. Most stories as far as hard news goes, benefits the community. We need to know if Tyson chicken had an outbreak in e coli or if a person kidnapped a child near your house. But mainstream media has a way of saying that is everyday news and it is.  We have weird standards now.

 

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Diversity

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Diversity is something in our society that I think has gotten better, but for another reason why we suck, see my last post. America is the most diversified nation in the world, in most people’s opinion. We have come a long way to being a nation of equality although we still have to fight everyday for people’s rights. As a reporter, Diversity means to have all parts of the audience in the story which sounds very hard to do, but not impossible.

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Tenacity

Is there depth to a story? Have they gone the extra effort. Again, this concept has become few and far between but there are some news stories, blogs, and articles that go in depth and deep thought. These intellectual and beautiful stories are my favorite and even ones that go into why people are the way that they are in mainstream media. Its a good break from the generic stories we hear all the time.

 

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Dignity

Has the reporter treated the story and people in it with respect? Respect is a term used loosely or just a concept most fail to grasp. It goes hand in hand with reciprocity.

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Sufficiency

Does a reporter have enough sources to cover this story? This is one of the most important elements of a story and its good that it is still important today. This is a good message for all journalists.

 

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In the end, as long as you stay true to yourself, you will be fine. I wish reporters today would stay true to more of these values, at least in mainstream media. But then it wouldn’t be much of a story in most standards today. What do you think?

In Response to Abbi’s “America The Beautiful” Commercial

When looking at other blogs, Abbi wrote in her blog —> http://abbiemclark11.wordpress.com/ about the “America The Beautiful” Coca-Cola commercial. For anyone who doesn’t remember, here it is. 

A DAY WITH ABBS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs

I didn’t understand this commercial when I first saw it. It aired during the Super Bowl this year and apparently got a lot of hype. Frankly, the people opposed to it are ignorant and closed minded in my opinion. 

The commercial showed different scenes of different races, ethnicity and cultured people doing things they loved while “America, The Beautiful” played behind it. Different parts of the songs were sung in other languages. Scenes included a diversity of people doing a variety of things that they chose to express themselves. With all these different people and different things, one thing remains (or two), America and Coca-cola. It was a strong message and a good one. Abbi shows in her blog that it follows the TARES test for Advertising which are 

  • Are the Ad claims truthful?
  • Is the claim and Authentic one?
  • Does the ad treat the receiver with Respect?
  • Is there Equity between the sender and the receiver?
  • Is the ad socially responsible?

She explains that this advertisement passes with flying colors. But apparently people were still offended. 

Tumblr post : http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/75447787843/speak-english-racist-revolt-as-coca-cola-airs goes into detail about the extent in which people on Twitter showed their outrage. 

Some pictures they included were: ImageImageImage

Apparently “English” means bad grammer and rude people. They were outraged with the fact that the song was sung in other languages. What is the definition of America??

“A landmass in the western hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama. The continent was originally inhabited by American Indians and Inuits. The northeast coastline of North America was visited by Norse seamen in the 8th or 9th century, but for the modern world the continent was first reached by Christopher Columbus in 1492.”

America is the very definition of being made up by other people. Christopher Columbus, who they learn about in AMERICAN history, is Portuguese. Having a soldier get offended for being American from other languages says a lot about his character and its people like this that give America a bad name. It’s supposed to be a free nation and we don’t need other countries, we have plenty of people that hate members in their own country. 

I believe that these people are ignorant and close-minded. 

Extra Gum Origami Commercial

In Advertising, we mostly see ads that make us feel a certain way. Captain Morgan commercials, along with many other alcohol ones, make us feel daring and adventurous. Clothing ads make us want to look sexy and fun. Food ads usually make us hungry or laugh. It takes a lot of thought in designing a message to go with a product. One factor to consider is ethics.

Is it ethical to put this ad out? Does it harm someone? Is it truthful? Is the claim an authentic one? Does it treat people with respect? Is there equity between sender and receiver? Is the ad socially responsible? These questions come from the TARES Test of Ethical Persuasion. TARES stands for truthful, authentic, respect, equity, and socially. For class we were supposed to find an ad that passes this test.

The ad I chose was the Extra Gum ad about the origami paper birds out of gum wrappers. I thought that the story, message and ad placement flowed beautifully. Here is the commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La3b_1F8h_4

This ad conveys a message without saying any words. The only words used in the entire thing is Extra’s slogan, “Give Extra, Get Extra.” This commercial isn’t selling gum. It’s selling relationships. In this particular commercial, it is a father and a daughter’s relationship. We follow them through the years of the daughter’s life and the different phases she goes through. The first scene is her learning. She learns something new (origami birds) from her father. This goes into the second scene with them playing. She plays like any child would. The next scene is her and her father on her birthday. Here she is Growing, another year older and the paper crane is out of sight to them. The next scene shows them at a game together, when she develops a personality of likes and dislikes from what her father has shown her. Next she is at the beach but she is stressed as a teenager. She does homework and listens to her headphones while on a relaxing beach day. Her father teaches her appreciation of the world around her by getting her to look away from the books for a second at the bird. The next scene is her taking a piece of gum from her dad as she leaves with her friends somewhere. She is independent and doesn’t necessarily need her dad to teach her anymore. Then she learns sadness, whether from a boy, or a bad friend or anything and her dad brings comfort. The bird symbolizes her dad who has always been there for her. On the biggest day for a child’s life, her father packs her things up for her to leave for college. She has learned all she has needed to learn and she doesn’t need her father anymore, he thinks. He drops a box filled of paper cranes he made her all her life. The message is that even though time will allow us to change, we will learn and we will grow, we take away what we’ve learned and the people we love and keep them with us forever. All her life, her father gave her his extra love and care. She gave it back.

When people think about gum, without this touching commercial. You don’t exactly think of the enjoyment you get out of it. Gum usually is shared. Whether you accidentally open a pack in class and people flock to you, or you open it for others to enjoy, gum is always shared. It creates a relationship. Extra sold us a relationship, not gum.

Is the ad truthful? Yes. He built a special relationship with his daughter. Everyone has a father, whether they are here or not. Most people have someone in their life that they had a relationship like this with. People associate with growing. People learn, grown, change and move on with many things in their lives. Some go to college and some move away. These are true experiences that people do daily.

Is it authentic? I think yes. It isn’t the fact they enjoyed extra gum, its the relationship they built out of the paper that became special. It’s basically saying a lot can come from a stick of gum. It’s a conversation starter or a new possibility. People long for these feelings and relationships. Who’s to say they can’t happen?

Does the ad treat the receiver with respect? Yes. If you give a little, you get a little. It’s selling a good feeling. It’s treating others kindly for no reason. It shows us the good in people and how we should respect them.

Is there equity? Of course. We are sharing kindness in a society based on this message. No one is below one another or higher than. We are all the same people in the same world looking to survive. Why not do it together? Why not do one thing for someone to brighten their day? It’s about sharing and creating relationships. It’s purpose is equity.

Is it socially responsible? Yes. There is not one bad thing in this commercial. People will experience sadness and children will grow. It shows a father looking out for his daughter and being there for her. He does this in a world where absent fathers are a rising problem. He had a responsibility to take care of her and she had a responsibility to learn and love him for everything he’s done. It was a pure and beautiful relationship they sold us.

Ads like this one can be absolutely beautiful. This is one of the most popular commercials in the past year. I have seen it shared numerous times. They did advertising right and I’m seeing more commercials like this everyday. People are finally understanding it, and they told us that with gum.

The Story

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Shot by Richard Drew

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Shot by Pulitzer-Prize winner, Stanley Forman

These two photos are stomach-turning images of people falling to their deaths in two scenarios in the United States. The Falling Man was a man falling to his death from the World Trade Center on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The second image is of a woman and child falling to their deaths after a faulty fire escape broke in Boston.

In both instances, we are witnessing the end of people’s lives. The older woman and the man are falling head first looking at their inevitable end. You can see in the background the image of the buildings and windows passing behind them looking that much more defenseless. In both images, the reason for their deaths are pictured falling with them. 

Looking specifically at the picture of the woman and child, we see that this was not intentional. The way that they are seen positioned in the picture is one of fear. They are spastic and scared and in their final state of free fall and panic. They are not the only things falling. With them falls the fire escape that led them to this incident along with potted plants. One thing that makes this picture so horrifying is that we can clearly see the child’s face. It almost appears that the child is looking at the camera. It doesn’t make it some person anymore because you can see into the eyes of this child before their death. We have room to create a story about what they could have been thinking in this moment and it is horrible and sad. The child is so helpless that it appears to not even make an effort to save itself and it really can’t. The woman is falling face forward as if she was looking for options to save them before she falls. Her position appears to be a final desperate attempt to survive this. 

When looking at the image of the Falling Man, we see a calm simplicity in suicide. His position is quiet and sound as he makes no attempt to flail or move in any sporadic gestures. His death was planned. We do not see any distinct facial features so the story comes in the mystery and sadness of this man’s life. As we see him giving up hope in his final seconds, we sort of want to give up hope as well in both images. His arms are behind his back and he is looking at the ground awaiting his end. 

It’s hard to decide which would be worse but both situations are ones we would never wish to see ourselves in. In both cases, there was really nothing either photographer could do. The isolation of the man makes it appear worse but in all actuality, there were many people doing the same thing. The woman and child were isolated because they were together, falling from the same place. 

When the topic comes up as to whether it is ethical to publish these images, I say yes. These people, just from a picture, are getting a tragic story told but it is their story told. The falling man was part of one of the worst tragedies in our nation’s history. He was faced with a choice that many people faced that day and he chose what he wanted to do. Without this image, 9/11 wouldn’t be less tragic. With this image, he gains a story and a voice for people of that day. He is a face for those not pictured and people could see his side and grieve with him not only for his life but with the tragic day of our nation.

The woman and child get a tragic story told as well for accidents. As they fall, they fell with a desperate hope of living through it. It is a slap in the face to us to realize that these things happen and to not take anything for granted. We sympathize with their fear and it gives us a small and similar feeling in the pit of our stomachs to see their lives ending and how we feel so much sorrow from seeing them, and their faces.

Tragic things in life will happen and they often do and we need to notice them. Giving these people a tragic story in their final moments also helps people to appreciate their lives that are completely unknown to us. We will never truly know how they felt in this moment or their lives before this but we sympathize with them. Its tragic and sad but it is a part of life, a horrible part that we face daily. We can’t ignore it.