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Lecture 3

MDSA01 - Lecture 3.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Michael Petit

MDSA01 – Lecture 3 Prof’s Speech - Purple Assignment tips - Critical thinking - Engage in analysis - Fundamental – vocabulary expansion - Apply theories to specific situation - Support thesis through logic and examples - “you are the theorist applying the theories” Slide 2 – Marxist Analysis - Totalizing claim – 100% material - Marx – historical materialist, believes in materiality as a driving force of the way humans structure their society o But not the only belief – some believe that ideas are also a large part of Marxism Slide 3 – Theory - What is theory? - Critical theory, electron microscope - Electron microscope lets us see things that could not otherwise be seen - Electron microscope images are not in colour - Theory shows us things we otherwise would not see - Prof‟s lens headband – distorts vision, frames him so that he can only see one perspective - Theory is a toolkit – you get to wear the lens, which will help you see things you would not otherwise see, but it also distorts other things Slide 8 – Organizational Analysis - Marxist looks at economy - Now – how do organizations affect what we see in the media Slide 9 - The media critic who adopts an organization approach or perspective is interested in the precise ways that the structure of an organization and the processes it undertakes mutually influence one another within an organization - Together with Marxist analysis – provides a bigger picture, but both of them are not the full picture, just like any theory can never give us the full picture - One way to get at that relationship is to analyze the communicative practices that occur within organizations - One such organization – University of Toronto o Code of student conduct – organizes us in terms of behaviour – literally, tells us what to do, and more importantly, what not to do o Woodle – creates word cloud – larger words appear more often in a body of text o In student code of conduct – university is the largest , the singular most used word in the document, and therefore the most important  Which means – they care more about the university than they do the students, care about their reputation more than the students (i.e. when students plagiarize, it affects that reputation) Slide 13 – I. Organizational Analysis - Organization – a system (network) or ordered relationships and coordinated activities directed toward specific goals - Often, when entering the work world, we will be part of an organization whose goal is to provide a product (service/material) that will get sold, for profit - Structure = form or the underlying framework of an organization o A. hierarchy – relationship of roles  Someone has to be at the top – in university – president, other organizations – CEO o B. specialization – division of an organization into units  E.g. department of arts, culture, and media o C. formalization – an organization‟s substance; what it does  i.e. formal standards Slide 14 – Structure + Process = Organizational Culture - 1. Performances – productive and purposeful displays that include: o A. Rituals – things engaged in or a regular basis  Frosh week is a sort of ritual  Attending lecture  Reading, assignments, exams o B. Sociality – codes of etiquette  Written and unwritten o C. Politics – specific and different types of politics within any organization  Often, the humanities and science students are in competition with each other in university o D. Enculturation – bring newcomers into the organization  i.e. guest speakers who speak of events on campus Slide 15 - 2. Narratives – stories we tell ourselves about ourselves - 3. Textual – written documents and texts that an organization produces o i.e. course policies - 4. Management – how an organization is directed or managed - 5. Technology – the environment in which one does one‟s work within organization o University environment – very digital - A media critic can take on any one of these characteristics Slide 16 - Conventions – the norms that govern the technical and creative choices that members of an organization make o i.e. use of blackboard - Professionalization – the process by which an individual with free will and choice is transformed (i.e. socialized) into an ideological subject (i.e. a professional) whose behaviours and actions reaffirm one‟s status as a professional - Conventions arise in part from Professionalization. Conventions are: o 1. Motivated – develop out of a pragmatic need o 2. Shared – shared by others o 3. Naturalized – “the norm” “just the way it is”  Norms and standards  Sometimes hiding behind norms and standards is problematic because they may need to be objected to o 4. Resilient – “that‟s the way we‟ve always done it”  Now you can‟t dump the idea of professionalization because you‟ve created it o 5. Directive – they direct specific action – “do it this way” Slide 17 – How is professionalization established? - 1. Training - 2. Hiring - 3. Evaluation and promotion - 4. Recognition and awards - 5. Professional societies Slide 18 - Occupy wall street - Example of the media discussion of the story - First coverage the NY Times did - When this story started, sent an arts reporter to cover it – suggests that the organization saw occupy wall street as a not-so-serious issue Slide 19 - Sardonicky – musings on politics and popular culture o Very sarcastic Slide 20 - Video o Occupy wall Street o Cop went over to protestors, sprayed them in the face and walked away - NY Times sends arts reporter to cover the story, while events like this take place - Example of organizations communicating amongst themselves, uphold professional standards, and often those standards get in the way of good coverage Slide 21 – Case Study: the news media - History of newspapers o A. broadsides – overtly political; opinionated o B. muckraking and yellow journalism – sensationalist; no sense of social responsibility;  Of the 19 century o C. professional codes – developed in the 20 century o D. “objectivity” – the reporting of facts in an impartial manner – often criticized as “he said/she said” journalism Slide 22 - Jay Rosen – media critic - he said/she said definition o does not serve readers well Slide 24 - “News is produced (like any other commodity) not discovered (like knowledge”. Underlying all news production is – The Profit Motive o News is a commodity - News Gathering Conventions o 1.The “what” of news:  a. newsworthiness = the “hole” of news that needs to be filled every day o 2.The “where” of news = the “whole” of news  a. journalistic beats – where news is expected to occur  affects what gets reported  journalists may hang around downtown and miss it if something happens at UTSC  b. news agencies – corporate organizations that have multiple sources  c. punditry & press releases – prepackaged; image management Slide 25 - Charlie Brooker – How to Report the News o Making fun of news report conventions o Why is the News constructed this way? Profit motive is a part of it o Organizations are not as passionate as individuals, so we end up with news as seen in Brooker‟s video Slide 26 – News Reporting Conventions - Political: left vs. right o A propaganda model of the news, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky o “The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News”  Liberal media – taken on as an argument  Systematic model  Mainstream media – represents elite interests and serve those elite interests in a way that can be described as a propaganda function  Past 10-20 years – research shows that media are extraordinarily subordinated to external power – when you have that power, best technique is to ignore that discussion and to eliminate it by asserting the opposite
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