Posts Tagged ‘sammycooper’

Tutorial Posting 9 (Semiotics)

May 15, 2009

Lukin argues that journalists use grammar to inconspicuously shape the meaning of texts. Further arguing that it is necessary for audiences to understand these processes and their effects in order to interpret how the facts of the story have been presented. She believes the importance of this knowledge to the general public is heightened with increased war reporting in order for them to understand how the facts have been angled by journalists and therefore what is actually happening.  


The article explores different grammatical voices and grammatical processes revealing how each alters the audience’s perception of the facts.


Grammatical Voice – There are two types of grammatical voice: middle voice and effective voice. The former, Lukin explains, eliminates the catalyst which produced the event. For example ‘Emergency line advice ‘ignored’’ (Sydney Morning Herald headline). The latter includes both active and passive voice. Active explicitly states the ‘external agent’ which triggered the event. For example if the headline had read Victorian government ‘ignores’ emergency line advice.  Whereas passive voice provides the option of explicitly stating or merely implying that there is an ‘external agent’. For example if the headline had read emergency line advice was ‘ignored’ by the Victorian government or emergency line advice was ‘ignored’. These minor grammatical adjustments alter how the audience is positioned toward the event and its catalyst.


Grammatical Processes – Lukin focuses on the process of Nominalisation. This is the process of converting a part of speech usually a verb into a noun which enables the author to create an ‘agent’ which is intangible removing a human cause.  An example of this process is the Courier Mail headline ‘Mother mourns for twin girls killed in Woombye car crash’ this statement eliminates a human cause for the event, who crashed the car, instead naming the ‘car crash’ as the catalyst. This uses the facts to alter the position of the audience, who feel sympathy for the mother but do not lay blame at the person who instigated the crash rather at the event itself.


This article is particularly relevant in today’s media driven society. The grammatical forms which not only newspaper journalists but also television and radio presenters implement in order to express the facts are key to how the public understands major events. The reporting of numerous current events such as the financial crisis, the Queensland floods, the Victoria bushfires or even the recent rugby league scandal involving Mathew Johns exemplify this issue.



Lukin, A ‘Reporting War: Grammar as Covert Operation’ From ‘Dissent’, p 14 – 20, 2003

Fraser, Kelmeny and Martin, Hannah ‘Mother mourns for twin girls killed in Woombye car crash’ From ‘Courier Mail’, May 10, 2009

Collins, Sarah-Jane and Cooke, Dewi and Rood, David ‘Emergency line advice ‘ignored’’ From ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, May 15, 2009


Week 8 Media Audiences

May 8, 2009

Haddon’s core argument within the text ‘Research Questions for the Evolving Communications Landscape’ argues that it is necessary to investigate mediated communication in general and analyse their relationships with other communication technologies in order to gain a greater understanding of audiences communication practices.


The key concepts explored to further this argument are the limitations of object study, the historical context, factors influencing audience choice and the long term dynamics between audiences and mediums.


Haddon argues that to fully understand communication related practices researchers must explore the boundaries of the communication technology that is being researched. This theory can be placed in the context of the audiences’ use of email. Researchers should consider who is provided with the email address and how the consumer moderates their usage. Other factors such as the types of communication (i.e. language style and content), and practices such as having multiple email addresses for differing purposes should also be considered.


The historical contexts of mediums are explored through their continuities. Haddon contemplates whether mediums which appear brand new are really technologies evolved from older forms of communication. Haddon argues that information surrounding the old mediums usage can be used to explain the patterns of use for the current medium.


The different factors which influence an audience’ choices is argued in the text to be another crucial aspect of investigating communication technologies. This can be illustrated when analysing the decisions surrounding why a person may choose to use a mobile phone. For example there may be social expectations surrounding the medium as well as the features which the technology itself offers (i.e. mobility, storage capacity, personalizability and the amount of people it allows its user to simultaneously communicate with).


The long term relationship between audiences and particular mediums is explored throughout the text. Haddon argues that it is necessary to understand why people may choose move to new technology or remain with older communication devices and why people may move toward using newer technologies despite first being presented with difficulties.  The text explores ideas such as changes of circumstance, societal changes, increased and varied options and promotions as well as the movement of entire social networks from one medium to another.


I agree with Haddon’s argument as there are many reasons which certain people choose to use specific communications mediums which effect the information which is collected by researches. For example there are many external factors which contribute to my younger brother’s use of his mobile phone and MySpace. These relating to the key concepts discussed by Haddon in particular factors influencing his choice such as the technological capabilities of each medium and the fact that these mediums are predominately used in his social network.


Haddon, Leslie ‘Research Questions for the Evolving Communications Landscape’ From Ling and Peterson, Eds, ‘Mobile Communications’ Springer, 2005, p 7-22

Tutorial 4 (The Doubling of Place)

April 3, 2009

‘The doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ Moores argues that media including modern technologies such as the internet pluralise space. Consumers of media are not just in their physical location but, a virtual location which they occupy with other users.

In order to explore the creation of space Moores examines its relationship with time; both the dailiness of media and public events. Dailiness is examined through the work of Scannell who explains that it is the routine and cyclical scheduling of media programs in relation to certain times of the day i.e. breakfast which allow media to become a natural aspect of our daily routines. It is the programs that we watch each day that allow us not only to be in our living room but experiencing the world of the characters in a soap opera or the devastation of a natural disaster on the news. Major public events broadcast particularly highlight media’s ability to ‘double space’. As seen in the example shown by Moores (Princess Diana’s funeral) people stop their routine or ‘time’ altogether, this interruption of routine enhances the importance of the event. The broadcast enables people to experience the entire event, be there, as well as in their living room. The atmosphere surrounding the event also creates a sense of community; viewers feel as though the whole world is watching.  

Moores focuses on the concept of social relationships through technology throughout the text. He explores the internet, particularly chat rooms, as seen through his second case study where a virtual setting on the internet is created for people to talk to others who they may never have physically met. Moores notes that all these people are in separate physical places whilst simultaneously being together in a virtual space on the internet. The telephone is also examined as a technology which facilitates social relationships where the person on the phone is not only in their physical location but in a bubble with the person on the other end.

The doubling of place through technology is a key feature of modern society. Internet games such as World of Warcraft are a clear exemplification of Moores’ argument. The game is able to create a virtual world launching its users into another place other than their physical location, where they are able to form social connections with other users. The game incorporates itself into the routine of its users who often try to play for a specific amount of time at a certain time each day. The amount of users and the formation of larger social networks reveal the prevalence of the game and the significance of Moores’ argument that media, including electronic media have the ability to pluralise space.

Moores, Shaun ‘The Doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ From Couldry and McCarthy ‘Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age’ Rutledge, 2004, 21 – 37