Month: September 2014

Who Truly Counts In Global Media: The Value of Life

News is the very foundation by which society is able to find out information or events on local, national and international scales. Though it is surprising that as a Western society, our news broadcast focuses a lot of time and resources on events that only directly affect us. After this week’s lecture and having done some further research, I have since decided to focus on the idea of death on the news and in the media and the unsettling ideology that ‘all life is precious, sacred and equal, but as far as our media and politicians are concerned, some is more precious, sacred and equal than others’. This, I believe, is a great problem evident in contemporary global media and something which needs to be addressed. Stephen Romei, the Australian newspaper’s assistant editor, in charge of the foreign affairs pages, has written an article on what he terms ‘the cynical calculus’ of news values, arguing that how is it possible that ‘one Australian is worth five Americans, 20 Italians, 50 Japanese, 100 Russians and 1000 Africans’. Interestingly …

Investigating Television In Translation: Drama Focus

Sherlock Holmes has been distributed worldwide, being part of the public domain. As a result of this, Conan Doyle’s famous character has appeared in countless books, television shows and even Hollywood blockbusters and continues to pop up here and there! Now typically, many of the adaptations include the same characters, however cultural differences and variations have still been implemented. This is evident in the show inspired by Sherlock Holmes, ‘Elementary’. Set in New York City, a geographic alternation to the original tales, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) resides as  recovering addict, and is being sponsored by his sober companion, Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Lui). It is this original relationship which eventually develops the connection between Holmes and Watson, with Watson ultimately becoming an apprentice of some sort to Holmes. It is interesting however, that Watson was chosen to be played by a female in this American adaptation. Within this relationship there is no sexual tension and more of a common understanding and respect, which seems to be admired by American audiences. Such a casting choice adds …

Comedy In Translation: Hahahaha! Wait…what?

Alright, look at moiye. Look at moiye. Laughter and comedy do often tend to bring people together, but only if both parties find what they are witnessing to be actually funny. It can be argued that comedy can only truly be successful when the actors are the right choices for the characters and if the audience actually understands the cultural contexts of the comedy. It is argued that comedy ‘plays an absolutely pivotal role in the construction of national identity, because it invites us to belong by sharing the joke’ (Turnball, 2008, p. 10). When looking at Australian comedy, no stars shine brighter than those of Kath and Kim. This Australian comedy has been perceived by most Australians as being hilarious, with the nation growing to love these two monstrous personalities. The humour and sarcasm of the show was widely accepted throughout Australian society. Australian viewers thoroughly enjoyed the irony of the show, though this was all lost in translation when the American version of Kath and Kim was aired. Karen Brooks ultimately argues that ‘the …

Media Capitals: Move Over USA.

What are our media capitals? Well, in our reading this week, Michael Curtain defines media capitals as ‘locations where complex forces and flows interact, they are neither bounded nor self-government entities’ (Curtin, 2003). Now with this definition in mind there was one country in particular which sprang to mind as being a leading country in relation to global media capitals – the United States of America. For myself, many of the television shows I enjoy are American, many of the global media entities that I know, watch or read are American and realistically this all makes sense with the worlds’  largest media cooperations being based within and around the USA. Though through more research and my growing understanding of the concept of globalisation, I now know that there are other international media capitals emerging, such as Hong Kong and India, both becoming key players in the distribution of media content worldwide. Furthermore Curtin explains that these media capitals are ‘places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible’ (Curtin, …