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Free Essays

Free Media Essay: James Bond

“Pussy Galore”, “Honey Rider”, “Plenty O’Toole”, “Xenia Onatoppe”, “Octopussy” and “Solitaire”: All of these names have something in common in that they are all the provocative names of James Bond girls and symbols of an extreme form of the “Male Gaze” as coined by Laura Mulvey: the passive recipients of a specifically male gaze embodied by the extreme masculinity of James Bond[1]. Neuendorf et al, in a study which examined 195 female characters from the James Bond films, sum up the “bond “formula” which has been the catalyst for one of the longest running film franchises in movie history:

“Espionage, innovative gadgets, alcoholic beverages, fast cars, a demonic villain and a plethora of attractive women were instrumental in moulding the “Bond formula” that matriculated from print to celluloid… The ongoing appeal of the fantasy world represented in the Bond films relies heavily on attractive female counterparts to the Bond character”[2].

I have chosen the films of James Bond to examine using Laura Mulvey’s “Male Gaze”. While the films from Dr. No up to Casino Royale would seem to be obvious demonstrations of what Mulvey might refer to as a “patriarchal unconscious”[3] hard at work and cultivated from the novels of Ian Fleming, the last Bond film, Quantum of Solace, has seen a minor revolt against the use of females as passive objects of sexuality. This revolt, albeit in a minor fashion and still, as we will see, framed against a powerful formula which has endured for over half a century, makes the James Bond of Daniel Craig a worthy object of study. The adoption of powerful and partially non-sexualised female characters in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace represents a significant step towards Mulvey’s answer to the subordination of women through the lens of the male gaze: the destruction of cinematic pleasure[4]. This case study will also look at some more typical James Bond films such as From Russia with Love and conclude with why these films, so often the very epitome of patriarchal agendas and repressed women, are moving towards what many have perceived to be a feminist approach in Quantum of Solace which does not conform to the traditional James Bond formula[5].

Laura Mulvey first coined the term “Male Gaze” in 1975 with her seminal work Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema[6]. Mulvey uses psychoanalysis as a weapon to analyse the roots of patriarchal control within the pleasures of cinema. Her analysis is centred on the image of women as the castrated “Other” to the imaginary self of man the escape of which can only be accomplished by voyeuristic or fetishistic mechanisms. The female image acts as a signifier and is, in the words of Mulvey, “bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his own fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of woman still tied to her place as a bearer, not maker, of meaning”[7]. The spectator, equipped with the “privilege of invisibility”, can observe without being observed and are drawn into the illusory world of looking at female characters through a male gaze which is constructed by the film maker and filters down even to the hands of those cameramen who are shooting the film: all are complicit[8]. In this world of sexual imbalance, in which the spectator is male[9], the pleasure derived from observing has been split between “active/male” and “passive/female” where the male gaze projects the fantasy upon the female form[10]. From here Mulvey’s analysis splits visual pleasure into two parts: a voyeuristic pleasure and a narcissistic pleasure. For the former Mulvey derives inspiration from Freud’s look at scopophilia[11] as a way of taking people as objects and subjecting them to what is described as a “curious and controlling gaze”[12] in the private world of the auditorium. The distance between the audience and the screen serves to reinforce the feeling of being a voyeur[13] and Mulvey’s analysis seals both the audience and the film within a “hermetically sealed” auditorium which serves to expose and highlight their fantasy of voyeurism[14]. On the latter Mulvey observes:

“The cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking, but it also goes further, developing scopophilia in its narcissistic aspect. The conventions of mainstream film focus attention on the human form. Scale, space, stories are all anthropomorphic. Here, curiosity and the wish to look intermingle with a fascination with likeness and recognition: the human face, the human body, the relationship between human form and its surroundings, the visible presence of the person in the world”.

As many theorists have noted[15] Mulvey’s analysis in this aspect are very much inspired by Jacques Lacan in developing his theories of the pivotal moment of a child’s self recognition in the mirror in the formation of ego and self. Mulvey find’s a resonance between screen and mirror, fictional characters and the child’s self and the ability of both to shape the ego. This resonance is particularly strong when considering the ability of cinema, in the words of Mulvey, to both deprive us of and augment our egos: a dichotomy which Mulvey identifies with “that pre-subjective moment of image recognition” first propounded by Lacan in children.[16]

The active/male and passive/female divide referred to above is important only as a spectacle and not as a driving force of the narrative as Mulvey observes: “The presence of women is an indispensable element of spectacle in normal narrative film, yet her visual presence tends to work against the development of a story line, to freeze the flow of action in moments of erotic contemplation”[17]. The image of women so constructed provides a neat mirror between the desires of the male characters in the film and the spectators in the audience. Using strong male leads is a quintessential ploy by Hollywood and for Mulvey allows the spectator to identify with this more perfect version of self. A male movie star, for example, creates the action and commands the screen space in a way the passive female is never allowed to. Cinema is unique, in Mulvey’s theory, in building the way a woman is looked at into the spectacle of the film itself as opposed to, for example, strip-tease where a spectator’s gaze is still very much under his/her own control. The distinctiveness of film derives from the ability to snap a person’s attention to a particular part and allow “a perfect and beautiful contradiction” to crystallise[18].

At the end of her famous article Mulvey opines on the possible answers to the patriarchal nature of cinema but concludes that the real answer is to destroy pleasure:

“Women, whose image has continually been stolen and used for this end, cannot view the decline of the traditional film form with anything much more than sentimental regret.”

So what place does James Bond have in Laura Mulvey’s male gazeThe applicability of the famous franchise to Mulvey’s theory is at first sight so compelling it would be no surprise to find out that Mulvey developed all her theories from a single viewing of Goldfinger. As outlined above Bond films have a certain tried and tested formula which, in the words of Neuendorf, serve to reinforce that which Mulvey sought to destroy:

“Western society’s patriarchal, individualistic culture is demonstrated in Bond films. For example, the lead character, James Bond, promotes stereotypical, sex-typed male attitudes, especially when interacting with women. In the Bond world, Bond single-handedly takes on any “bad guy,” saves the world and always gets the girl.”[19]

The ability of Bond films to dehumanise women is well exemplified in From Russia With Love. In this film two gypsy girls must fight for the affections of the same man and ultimately end up in Bond’s bed with the prospect of a sexual battle having to take place before either of them can be worthy of his attentions. It was these films in the 1960s (From Russia With Love was 1963) which exemplified what Yan calls “tittilation” and no more with the most excruciating example being “I think he’s attempting re-entry” in Moonraker[20]. As feminism spread its wings in the 1970s the Bond women seem to shrink in terms of character depth. The femme fatales then underwent an independent phase, often bestowed with PHD’s but this was, in Yan’s opinion, just a divertion from real subordination[21] and the 1980s and 1990s followed the formula with few exceptions.

The Daniel Craig era of Bond films have produced a different kind of Bond: grittier, tougher and with less of the traditional formula which had relegated the franchise under Pierce Brosnan. Peter Bradshaw sums up the plot but the story, much criticised, takes a back seat to the role of women[22].

The female characters serve both to reinforce and destroy the traditional view of Bond women as being surplus to plot requirements and subject to Mulvey’s “male gaze”. The two female characters, Strawberry fields and Camille[23] represent such contrasts as to be compelling. While Fields, working for the CIA, succumbs to Bond in a 1960s throwback fashion with the usual witticisms and appears in a trenchcoat like “some sort of MI6 strippogram”[24], is typical Bond fair, Camille is arguably an equal of Bond and driven by a desire to avenge the rape and murder of her sister and mother. She does not succumb to Bond at all and importantly the actress has said that her character does not exist because of Bond but exists in her own right. Using Mulvey’s analysis this character advances the story and doesn’t simply provide a spectacle in the way that Strawberry Fields undoubtedly does.

In conclusion the Bond films of the Daniel Craig era present a somewhat confusing picture of women: at first glance conforming to a tried and tested formula which is simply the quintessential expression of the male gaze and a formula born of the 1960s and Ian Fleming, but at a deeper glance is indicative of a move away from the patriarchal grip on cinema and tried and tested female submission. The character of Camille, in the same vein as Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale, is a plot driver and offers hope that the moment for a female James Bond is close:

“Camille shows that Vesper was no lucky one-off. Fields shows that not everything has changed and that the same speculation must exist for “Bond 23” on whether the next film will have a realistic female lead or something more formulaic.”[25]

Bibliography

Balducci, Temma (2010) ‘Gaze, Body and Sexuality: Modern Rituals of Looking and Being Looked At’ in Kromm & Bakewell (eds) A History of Visual Culture: Western Civilisation from the 18th to the 21st century Berg: Oxford & New York

Bradshaw, Peter (2008) Guardian Film Online accessed on 28th March 2011 and available from:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/oct/18/jamesbond1

Kuhn, Annette (1994) Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (2nd ed) Verso: London, New York; Penley, Constance (1989) The Future of an Illusion Routledge: New York, London

Mulvey, Laura (1999) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ in Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings pp833-844

Neuendorf et al (2009) ‘Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s

Portrayals in James Bond Films’ in Sex Roles vol 62 pp747-761 see also Brosnan (1972), Dodds (2005) and Pfeiffer and Worral (2000).

Quantum of solace script: accessed on 28th March 2011 and available from: http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/q/quantum-of-solace-script-transcript.html

Sherwin, Miranda (2008) ‘Deconstructing the male gaze: masochism, female spectatorship, and the femme fatale in Fatal Attraction, Body of Evidence, and Basic Instinct.(Critical essay).’ In Journal of Popular Film and Television vol 35 issue 4 p 174

Stacey, Jackie (1994) Star Gazing Routledge: London and New York,

Thornham, Sue (1997) Passionate detachments: an introduction to feminist film theory Arnold: London, New York, Auckland;

Yan (2009) from Lucire website ‘ Releasing from Bondage’ accessed on 28th march 2011 and available from: http://lucire.com/2008/1030ll0.shtml

[1] Balducci, Temma (2010) ‘Gaze, Body and Sexuality: Modern Rituals of Looking and Being Looked At’ in Kromm & Bakewell (eds) A History of Visual Culture: Western Civilisation from the 18th to the 21st century Berg: Oxford & New York

[2] Neuendorf et al (2009) ‘Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s

Portrayals in James Bond Films’ in Sex Roles vol 62 pp747-761 see also Brosnan (1972), Dodds (2005) and Pfeiffer and Worral (2000).

[3] Mulvey, Laura (1999) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ in Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings pp833-844

[4] Thornham, Sue (1997) Passionate detachments: an introduction to feminist film theory Arnold: London, New York, Auckland

[5] Yan (2009) from Lucire website ‘ Releasing from Bondage’ accessed on 28th march 2011 and available from: http://lucire.com/2008/1030ll0.shtml

[6] Thornham, Sue (1997) Passionate detachments: an introduction to feminist film theory Arnold: London, New York, Auckland; Stacey, Jackie (1994) Star Gazing Routledge: London and New York, Kuhn, Annette (1994) Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (2nd ed) Verso: London, New York; Penley, Constance (1989) The Future of an Illusion Routledge: New York, London

[7] Mulvey, Laura (1989) Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema in Visual and Other Pleasures Macmillan: Basingstoke and London p.15

[8] Stacey, Jackie (1994) Star Gazing Routledge: London and New York

[9] And females are compelled to look through a males lens with their choice of either adopting a masochistic stance or adopting the gaze and becoming “spectatorial transvestites”. See Sherwin, Miranda (2008) ‘Deconstructing the male gaze: masochism, female spectatorship, and the femme fatale in Fatal Attraction, Body of Evidence, and Basic Instinct.(Critical essay).’ In Journal of Popular Film and Television vol 35 issue 4 p 174

[10] Mulvey, Laura (1989) Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema in Visual and Other Pleasures Macmillan: Basingstoke and London p.41

[11] Freud, Sigmund Three Essays on Sexuality

[12] Mulvey, Laura (1999) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ in Braudy & Cohen (eds) Film Theory and Criticisms: Introductory Readings : New York: Oxford Uni Press pp833-844

[13] Stacey, Jackie (1994) Star Gazing Routledge: London and New York

[14] Mulvey, Laura (1999) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ in Braudy & Cohen (eds) Film Theory and Criticisms: Introductory Readings : New York: Oxford Uni Press pp836

[15] Thornham, Sue (1997) Passionate detachments: an introduction to feminist film theory Arnold: London, New York, Auckland; Stacey, Jackie (1994) Star Gazing Routledge: London and New York, Kuhn, Annette (1994) Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (2nd ed) Verso: London, New York; Penley, Constance (1989) The Future of an Illusion Routledge: New York, London

[16] Mulvey, Laura (1999) ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ in Braudy & Cohen (eds) Film Theory and Criticisms: Introductory Readings : New York: Oxford Uni Press pp836

[17] ibid p.837

[18] Ibid p.843

[19] Neuendorf et al (2009) ‘Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s

Portrayals in James Bond Films’ in Sex Roles vol 62 p 759

[20] Yan (2009) from Lucire website ‘ Releasing from Bondage’ accessed on 28th march 2011 and available from: http://lucire.com/2008/1030ll0.shtml

[21] Yan notes wryly that even the self-employed Octopussy, steward of a huge empire, still succumbed to the Bond formula in the end.

[22] Bradshaw, Peter (2008) Guardian Film Online accessed on 28th March 2011 and available from:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/oct/18/jamesbond1 – He observes: “In theory, he is out to nail a sinister international business type: Dominic Greene, played by French star Mathieu Amalric, who under a spurious ecological cover plans to buy up swaths of South American desert and a portfolio of Latin American governments to control the water supply of an entire continent. As Greene, Amalric has the maddest eyes, creepiest leer, and dodgiest teeth imaginable.”

[23] Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko respectively

[24] Bradshaw, Peter (2008) Guardian Film Online accessed on 28th March 2011 and available from:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/oct/18/jamesbond1

[25] Yan (2009) from Lucire website ‘ Releasing from Bondage’ accessed on 28th march 2011 and available from: http://lucire.com/2008/1030ll0.shtml

Categories
Free Essays

Free Media Essay: Mobile TV – Has its time come?

Mobile TV: Has its time come?

The first mobile television was a pocket sized device with a 2-inch Cathode Ray Tube screen called Microvision or MTV-1. The device retailed at a price of ?100 was sold to the public in January, 1977. The first mobile TV was developed over a period of 10 years with a funding of ?1.6 million from the British government. The debate about mobile TV has undergone tremendous changes since the days of MTV-1. The most important of these changes is the proliferation of mobile phones. Today, there are close to 5 billion mobile users in the world (International Telecommunication Union, 2010). The proliferation of mobile phones has meant that mobile TV today is synonymous with TV on mobile phones.

Mobile TV offers great potential to engage the audience in new forms of entertainment and interaction thanks to digital convergence. When the television operators are facing increasing competition from content delivered on the internet, mobile TV offers a new distribution channel for the operators. The advent of 3G networks and devices has addressed the issue of mobile TV technology to a large extent. Governments have realised the benefits of better telecommunication infrastructure and are investing great sums of money on improving the same. By the end of this year, 940 million people are expected to be using 3G services. Some countries like United States, Norway and Sweden are also offering services on 4G networks (International Telecommunication Union, 2010). More than 3 decades after the first mobile TV device was commercially sold, has the time come finally come for mobile TV?

The author wishes to explore the potential for mobile TV in the context of the information age. The author considers the social, technological and economic aspects of mobile TV in doing so. The research essay is organized into the following sections: market for mobile TV, technologies for mobile TV, challenges for mobile TV, role of information systems and opportunities for mobile TV. The final section includes discussion and conclusion.

Market for Mobile TV

In order to understand the market for the mobile TV, the author first considers the usefulness and utility of mobile TV from the end users perspective. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) proposed by Davies (1989) is a well respected model for determining the acceptance and the usage of a technology. Jung et. al. (2009) have applied TAM to study the consumer adoption of mobile TV. The author wishes to use TAM on the same lines. Technology Acceptance Model proposes that ease of use and usefulness of a technology predict its usage. Two central concepts of TAM are Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use. Perceived usefulness is the degree to which a person believes that a particular information system would enhance his or her job performance. In this case, mobile TV is the information system and the user is seeking entertainment in the form of watching mobile TV. Perceived ease of use is the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort.

The traditional broadcast media allows users only to be consumers and enables a one way communication: from broadcaster to the user. On the other hand, social media, enabled by Web 2.0, makes the experience more engaging by allowing the user to participate in the production of new information and combine different streams of entertainment and information together. In this respect, mobile TV can be very useful for the end user in many situations. Mobile TV makes entertainment more interesting and engaging. Mobile TV serves as a personal entertainment device, offers closer interaction with TV and also caters to the needs of people who want on-the-go entertainment. More than 5 billion people have experience with using mobile phones and 1.4 billion households have TV (International Telecommunication Union, 2010). A large number of users are experienced in using both TVs and mobile phones and as a result, the ease of use of mobile TV can be considered to be similar to that of mobile phones and TVs. Mobile TV has the potential to gain user acceptance and create a new market as can be seen from its usefulness and ease of use.

Mobile TV provides a new distribution channel for the broadcasters. With mobile TV, users can watch TV on the go. This will increase the time spent watching the TV and might bring better advertising revenues to the broadcasters. Mobile TV enables the broadcasters to capture more data on the usage and user preference. This will not only enable broadcasters to charge users based on usage, but also enable them to customize programs to meet user needs. Mobile TV also provides a new revenue generation opportunity to the telephone service providers, who can provide digital TV as a value added service on their networks.

Mobile TV has the potential to be a win-win opportunity for the users, broadcasters and telephone service providers. In the next section, we will explore the technologies that make mobile TV possible and its challenges.

Technologies for Mobile TV

The technologies associated with Mobile TV can be classified under 3 categories for analysis: Networks, Devices and, Content and Functionality.

Networks: Mobile TV is one of the applications of 3G networks, which has a user base of 940 million people. Though both underdeveloped and developing countries are heavily investing in telecommunication infrastructure, it is still some time before 3G networks reach the scale and coverage of traditional TV networks. Networks supporting 3G are also not capable of providing high quality TV content to mobile devices.
Devices: Mobile TV brings a number of challenges to mobile phones. The main challenges are: Memory, Power Consumption, User Interface and Processing Power.
Memory: Mobile TV demands higher buffering requirements and as a result larger memory capacity.
Power Consumption: The power consumption of phones supporting mobile TV will be higher than that of other phones. The devices should support long lasting batteries. The devices should be light weight and dissipate heat correctly.
User Interface: The screen should be much larger in phones supporting mobile TV.
Processing Power: Phones supporting mobile TV must have better processing power. As image and video processing applications are very process intensive.
Content and Functionality: It is important to consider the kind of content users want to view on mobile TV and additional functionality that they demand. Studies have shown that typical mobile TV usage to be less than 10 minutes (Knoche & McCarthy, 2005). Users have complained of loss of visual detail and legibility of text as main problems. These issues might spoil the movie watching experience. New experiments are being tried out to modify the traditional TV content to suit the mobile TV. For example, episodes of some TV programmes have been remade into mobisodes to suit viewing on mobile phones. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences instituted a new Emmy awards category for such programmes, which are meant to be viewed on computers, mobile phones, PDAs and other portable media players (Carey & Greenberg, 2006). Users treat mobile TV as a wireless multimedia device rather than as a TV (Sodergard, 2003). As result, users might expect search, book marking, recording and editing functionalities to name a few.
Challenges for Mobile TV

In 2005, South Korea became the first country in the world to offer TV on mobile phones (Paulson, 2006). Since then a number of broadcasters and operators have tried to offer mobile TV. The early forays into the mobile TV space were met with failure. In UK, British Telecom launched their mobile TV offering in September, 2006. It however closed down in the first year of its operation. Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland of Germany and 3 of Italy also met with the same fate.

The early forays failed due to a number of challenges and some of these challenges are relevant even today for mobile TV. Some of these challenges have been highlighted above. Firstly, people want to watch TV on a big screen. Though the screen size of the phones has increased over the years, it might not be enough. Secondly, consumers are happy watching low quality video when it is free ex: on YouTube. But, consumers want high quality video when they are paying for it. Even with 3G networks, the available capacity is not enough to deliver high quality video content. TV content is transcoded and optimized before it is delivered to mobile phones. The process of transcoding and optimizing takes some time and as a result broadcasting live events poses a big challenge. Thirdly, there is currently less mobile TV content available with the broadcasters and hence, the telephone service providers are unwilling to form partnerships with them. Without these partnerships it is not possible to attract more users to adapt mobile TV.

Role of Information Systems

Information System has a critical role to play if mobile TV has to become a reality. A well conceived information system can bring benefits to all the three parties: users, broadcasters and telephone service providers.

Users: Users will be able to analyze their TV usage and pay for individual shows instead of entire channels. This might result in significant cost savings to the user and at the same time force the broadcasters to produce good quality content and content that matches the user preferences
Broadcasters: Information Systems will help the broadcasters to track the usage and learn about user preferences. This will help broadcasters to produce targeted and customized content. Broadcasters will also be able to push targeted advertised. Targeted advertising has the potential to generate large revenues for the broadcasters. Broadcasters will also be able to provide better user experience by collaborating with telephone service providers and integrating their TV offerings with internet.
Telephone and Internet Service Providers: Telephone prices have come down drastically and service providers are looking at new revenue streams. Considering that a trillion hours of time is spent every year on watching television in the United States alone (Shirky, 2010), mobile TV offers an exciting revenue stream to the service providers. Information Systems will service providers to collect and monetize data, and also to cross sell and up sell their products. Comcast allows free web content to mobile phone users in its Sprint network and up sells premium content.
Opportunities for Mobile TV

Many organizations like Nokia and Cisco (Cisco Systems, 2010) believe in the potential of mobile TV. News Corporation, one of the largest media houses in the world, has made available its popular music channel, Channel V, on mobile phones (News Corporation, 2009). The Chairman of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, has said that mobile TV is central to his company’s success in the age of digital journalism (Murdoch Says Mobile TV Is Key to Future, 2009). A number of developments contribute to the mobile TV opportunity. They are:

New business models are being experimented with. Comcast in the US allows subscribers to watch TV on 3 devices. It can also allow mobile devices.
New media and communication devices being launched are erasing the boundaries between laptops and mobile phones. For example, Samsung’s tablet PC Galaxy combines phone-like communication features with TV/ laptop like screen. Such devices are addressing many challenges that were highlighted above for mobile phones.
Expansion of 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) networks is expected to deliver better quality video and audio.
Content is being rethought for mobile phones. Mobisodes discussed earlier, is a good example.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has approved a new standard that allows high speed data transfers, compatibility with the worldwide web and international roaming for the third-generation (3G) IMT-2000 mobile phone systems. This announcement is going to accelerate the development of new and faster devices and networks.
Conclusion

Traditionally TV was as a family entertainment device intended to watch TV programs with family and interact with them. Mobile TV changes this idea and makes TV viewing an individual act. Individuals treat mobile TV as a wireless multimedia device rather than a TV (Sodergard, 2003). Therefore, if mobile TV has to be successful, it has to compete not only with traditional TV, but also with internet services offering video/ movie on demand. Mobile TV currently faces a number of challenges in reaching the masses. But, from the positive developments in terms of technologies, business models and collaborations explored in this essay, the author is cautiously optimistic that mobile TV will reach its expected potential in the near future.

When TV was first introduced to the world in 1920s, it was a small screen device. In the following decades, many portable TV devices were conceptualized and some implemented. Given the development of new devices fostering digital convergence, the improving communication infrastructures and the user preferences, it looks like the small TV is set to make a comeback in the form of mobile TV. The improvements in the communication networks, technical innovations and new business models definitely point in the direction of mobile TV. Has mobile TV’s time comeIn the author’s considered opinion, it definitely looks so.

Bibliography

Carey, J., & Greenberg, L. (2006). And the Emmy Goes to….A MobisodeTelevision Quarterly , 3-8.

Cisco Systems. (2010). Mobile TV Services. San Jose: Cisco Systems.

Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly , 319-340.

International Telecommunication Union. (2010, February 15). Press Release. Retrieved December 06, 2010, from International Telecommunication Union: http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2010/06.html

International Telecommunication Union. (2010). THE WORLD IN 2010: ICT Facts and Figures. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union.

Jung, Y., Perez-Mira, B., & Wiley-Pattona, S. (2009). Consumer Adoption of Mobile TV: Examining Psychological Flow and Media Content . Computers in Human Behavior , 123 – 129.

Knoche, H. O., & McCarthy, J. D. (2005). Good News for mobile TV. Wireless World , pp. 1 – 8.

Murdoch Says Mobile TV Is Key to Future. (2009, December 01). Retrieved December 06, 2010, from Broadcasting and Cable: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/391233-Murdoch_Says_Mobile_TV_Is_Key_to_Future.php

News Corporation. (2009, June 04). CHANNEL [V] Goes Mobile in Hong Kong. Retrieved December 06, 2010, from News Corporation: http://www.newscorp.com/news/bunews_24.html#top

Paulson, L. D. (2006). TV Comes to the Mobile Phone. IEEE Explore , 13 – 16.

Shirky, C. (2010). Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. London: Allen Lane.

Sodergard, C. (2003). Mobile Television – Technology and User Experience. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Categories
Free Essays

Free Journalism Essay: Media Audience


1.0Introduction and Aims

New technologies are a poisoned chalice for newspaper journalists and their audiences: at once equipping journalists with the resources they need to compete in the 21st century but at the same time threatening their very survival and forcing newspaper insiders to contemplate what Robert Rosenthal, the former Managing Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, called: “the greatest upheaval our industry and the institution of journalism has ever faced” (Beckett 2008, p.9). I have chosen newspapers as the basis of my inquiry into new technologies because it is a medium which some have observed to be in terminal decline due to flat lining circulations (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 2010), merciless redundancies (Beckett 2008, p.27) and of course the rise of online journalism and new technologies (Bardoel 1999, p.379), one aspect of which is User Generated Content such as Youtube or Twitter where the audience is both a user and a producer of content (Birdsall 2007, p.1284). Web 2.0 technology has forced many commentators to reassess the ways in which both audience and audiences are understood (Nightingale 2011, p.7).

We currently live in a time when both print and online newspapers exist side-by-side and in some respects we have our feet in both the last remnants of the industrial wave of technology and what has been identified by some commentators as the “information society” (Toffler 1980). Two related aspects of the decline of newspapers is the rise of online journalism and the advent of citizen journalism enabled by new technologies and symbolized by the Korean online newspaper OhmyNews. The specific focus of the secondary research and this report is citizen-journalism and User Generated Content (UGC) and their effect on media audience theories with comparison to newspapers and the traditional models of audience research which describe common features: “vertical, top-down, passive, one-way flow of information” (Birdsall 2007, p.1284). UGC comes in many different forms of course and, although as pointed out above Web 2.0 has forced many commentators to reassess media audience theory (Nightingale, 2010 p.7), there is a lack of scrutiny of citizen journalism in media audience theories. This report hopes principally to correct some of this imbalance.

The aim of this report is consequently to understand whether the traditional understanding of the media audience applies to UGC and online journalism and if not, which theory can best be applied to them without falling foul of “technological determinism” (Bardoel 1999, p.386). The core structural components of audience theory, adopting the words of Nightingale (2011), can be distilled to firstly the active passive dimension and the micro-macro dimension. Both of these dialectics can explain UGC to a large extent and the work of both Nightingale (2011) and Jenkins (1999) will both be examined to see if new media and UGC can be located within present theories of audiences and indeed whether the term “audience” is still a useful term: will the death of newspapers also bring about the death of the traditional passive audience (Lievrouw & Livingstone, 2006, p.27 Valdivia, 2005, p.353)?

2.0 Context

(a) Traditional audience theory and definitions

It is Nightingale’s (2011) analysis of the two dimensions of audience theory which is adopted for the purpose of this report and have been described usefully by Littlejohn as firstly a tension between “the idea that the audience is a mass public versus the idea that it is a small community,” and the tension between “the idea that the audience is passive versus the belief that it is active” (1996, p.310). This dual framework is a useful starting point for understanding what is now commonly perceived to be the old model and the new interactive world of UGC (Nightingale 2011, p.191). The traditional model is recognized as being one-directional and it is McQuail who produces a classic definition: “the audience concept implies an attentive, receptive but relatively passive set of listeners or spectators assembled in a more or less public setting” (McQuail, 2010 p.391). When offering a definition for audience theories McQuail puts forward three criteria: people, medium or channel, the content of the message(s) and time (Ibid). McQuail himself concedes, however, that Nightingale’s definition is best suited to the new media environment and implicitly acknowledges that his own definition is becoming redundant in the face of diversity. Nightingale’s definition runs as follows and embraces audience interactions:

“Audience as ‘the people assembled’…audience as the ‘people addressed’…audience as ‘happening’…audience as ‘hearing or audition’”. (Quoted from MacQuail 2011, p.399).

(b) UGC and the decline of newspapers:

According to Allan (2006) it was a speech made by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 2005 which heralded the death of the newspaper, at least in its paper and ink format, in the irresistible current of new technology. As noted above there are many explanations for the demise of the print newspaper but chief among them are flat lining circulations (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 2010), merciless redundancies (Beckett 2008, p.27) and of course the rise of online journalism and new technologies (Bardoel 1999, p.379). User Generated Content (UGC) has, in the opinion of some, shifted the balance of power between consumer and the media by enabling the public to become more intimately involved with the process of deciding the content of news (Kucuka & Krishnamurthy 2007). According to Redden & Witschge (2011) however, there has been no such fundamental rebalancing to the consumer or even to the audience as ultimately it is the editor and the journalist who retains control. This approach is echoed by the experience of OhmyNews in citizen journalism where editorial control is retained (Kim and Hamilton 2006 p. 542).

According to Bevans (2008), UGC is any news related material produced by the public via the internet. UGC has enabled a very radical form of reporting to flourish: citizen journalism. This is a very new concept and as such there is a lack of analysis but the term first surfaced during the Indonesian tsunami and has grown rapidly ever since. Guardian blogger Neil Mcintosh saw this as a pivotal moment:

“… for those watching this small, comparatively insignificant world of media, this may also be remembered as a time when citizen reporting, through the force of its huge army of volunteers and their simple type and publish weblog mechanisms, finally found its voice, and delivered in a way the established media simply could not.” (Guardian Unlimited News Blog, 4 January 2005).

3.0 Methodology

I have focused on existing research and scholarship for this report and have drawn sources from the leading theorists in media audiences as well as those commentators who described the death of print newspapers and the advent of UGC and citizen journalism. I have drawn the sources widely from books, journals and websites. I chose this methodology because I felt that small-scale empirical research would be unsatisfactory in firstly giving any kind of indication of whether or not present theories of audiences can be applied to UGC which is absolutely crucial to the focus of this work. The conceptual difficulties behind adopting any kind of surveys or any kind of qualitative research would be manifest and would have to be conducted on a much larger scale than a report of 2,000 words can allow. Furthermore this particular issue is one which can only be understood with a comprehensive look at past scholarship on media audiences. As pointed out above many commentators shy away from technological determinism in hailing a new epoch and so try to explain UGC in terms of existing audience theory.

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Free Essays

What role has been played by the media in US political contests?

In democratic societies the media has traditionally played the role of intermediary in electoral contests, disseminating information from political campaigns and candidates to the voting public. However, some political scientists believe that, in contemporary US elections, the media act not merely as a medium through which campaign information is filtered, but as a agent which shapes the campaign agenda and influences voters perceptions of candidates.

Introduction

This essay discusses the various roles which the media play when reporting on elections in the United States. It traces the changing perceptions of the role of the journalist and media, from the theory of the fourth estate to the practise of agenda-setting within a partisan media organisation. The rise of social media within election campaigns allows candidates to become the medium, connecting with voters directly.

Media Role

In The Fourth Branch of Government, Cater described the role that reporters and the media play in the political system (quoted in Cook, 1998). He believed reporters were a ‘recorder of government, but also a participant’ (Cook, 1998:1). Cook himself saw the media as a political institution in its own right, without whose interaction with the other branches of government (executive, legislature, judiciary), democracy could not function. The relationship between media and government is, Cook believes, a ‘co-production’ and the reporter ‘a key participant in decision-making and policy making’ (1998:3). The political news media themselves see their role as that of the Fourth Estate, a collective watchdog which holds government and politicians to account and plays an educator role in keeping citizens informed about the key issues shaping their economy and society. At no time is the media’s role as instrumental as during an election campaign. As Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt (2008b: 111) point out, ‘the media’s role as an intermediary is most evident at election time, when the media are the primary conduits for information on the campaign’.

In the US, the commercial media play a dual role during political contests – as well as scrutinising the behaviour and policies of candidates, it carries paid-for political advertisements. These adverts constitute a significant source of income for news media: the Campaign Media Analysis Group estimate that $2.6bn was spent on political advertising during the 2008 Presidential election. The media, especially television, therefore also plays a commercial role in US elections. The commercial nature of the candidate’s relationship with media affects the coverage given to candidate’s campaigns, with media bias or partisanship now prevalent within most major US media outlets (DellaVigna and Kaplan, 2007). Broadcasters such as CNN and PBS, along with print and digital media such as The New York Times, Newsweek and The Huffington Post are perceived to have a bias toward Democratic candidates, while news media such as FOX, The Washington Post and Time magazine give more favourable coverage to Republican candidates.

Between the 1940s and 1970s, there was a widespread assumption that citizens voted along predictable, partisan lines, and therefore media reporting of campaigns had little or no impact on election outcomes (Lazarfeldt referred to by Finkel, 1993). The decline of partisanship in US politics since the 1960s (Abramson 1982, referred to in Finkel 1993) has seen this theory of minimal effects replaced with a belief that media can influence and change voter orientation (Finkel 1993). This acknowledgement of the influence of media has led to renewed focus on the role the media plays in elections. Shaw has highlighted the distinction between the media as medium and the media as agent (2001:16). In the 2008 primaries, for example, it is widely believed that the Democratic-leaning media forced John Edwards out of the nomination race, while advocating the candidatures of both Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. In such cases, the role of the media as agent becomes apparent. Stromback and Dimitrova, after conducting a comparative content analysis of election coverage in selected Swedish and US newspapers, concluded that while Swedish media focused on campaign issues, US media treated political contests as more of a ‘strategic game’ or ‘horse-race’ (2006: 132). Their contention was that the media had come to see a political race almost as a sporting event, prioritising trivia and personalities over the substance of policy and ideology. Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt challenged this view however, when they analysed data from media coverage of the 1992 presidential election. Comparing issues covered by the media to issues the public professed to care about, they found a very tight convergence between the issues relevant to media, candidates and the general public (1998a). McCombs (1997) explains the rationale behind this finding. He believes that the media play an agenda-setting role by giving greater prominence or ‘salience’ to certain issues. Once in the public domain, these issues capture the public’s attention. In this way the public agenda and the media agenda have tended to converge toward a consensus.

Comscore, a US company which monitors the digital world, confirmed in a recent report entitled The Digital Politico that digital media is now a ‘formidable platform’ for political campaigns (2012). While campaign finance teams continue to spend more on TV and Radio advertising than on digital, activities such as social media (in particular Twitter), digital advertising and paid search are playing an increasingly prominent role in US elections. The use of social media as campaign strategy has given candidates more opportunities to set their own agendas and communicate directly with the electorate. Farnsworth and Lichter contend that these ‘unmediated speeches, advertisements and internet web pages … qualify as the more substantive, more useful and more accurate forms of campaign discourse’ (2007:6).

Conclusion

The ideal of the media as a watchdog on power is still relevant to some extent, as many media outlets do hold candidates to account through scrutiny of campaign finances or probing of a candidate’s commitment to a policy. However, the commercial nature of media and cable television in particular, means that media organisations have become increasingly partisan. Most political scientists today agree that the US media influences the campaign as a political agent, and is no longer just a medium through which the public receives news and analysis.

Bibliography

Cook, T.E, Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution, University of Chicago Press 1998

Comscore Inc., 2012, The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Elections, April 30 2012

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A, Huckfeldt R. 1998a, A Test of Media-Centered Agenda Setting: Newspaper Content and Public Interests in a Presidential Election, Political Communication Journal, Vol 15, Number 4, 1 September 1998 pp 463-481 (19)

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A & Huckfeldt R. 1998b, Partisan Cues and the Media: Information Flows in the 1992 Presidential Election, American Political Science Review, Vol 92, Number 1, March 1998

DellaVigna, S & Kaplan E. The Fox News Effect, Media Bias and Voting, Quarterly Journal of Economics 122 (August 2007)

Farnsworth, S.J & Lichter S.R, The Nightly News Nightmare: Television’s Coverage of Presidential Elections, 1988-2004, 2nd ed. 2007 Rowman and Littlefield

Finkel, S.E, Re-examining the Minimal Effects Model in Recent Presidential Campaigns, The Journal of Politics, Vol 55, Number 1 (Feb 1993) pp 1-21

Roderick P.H & Shaw D.R 2001, Communication in US Elections, Rowman and Littlefield

Stromback J & Dimitrova D.V 2006, Political and Media Systems Matter, A Comparison of Election News Coverage in Sweden and the US, The International Journal of Press/Politics, Fall 2006 Vol 11, Number 4, pp 131-147

McCombs, M, 1997, Building Consensus, The News Media’s Agenda Setting Roles, Political Communication, Vol 14, Issue 4, pp 433-443

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Free Essays

What role has been played by the media in US political contests?

Abstract

In US political contests, the term media can apply to a range of items that vary from newspaper articles to attack advertisements. This essay examines the role played by the free press- television news and newspapers- and traces the role that free media has come to play in the results and courses of US Presidential elections, refuting, in the process, the position that free media, and the press, acts as passive intermediaries between candidates and the voters.

Introduction

Protected by The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which reads ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’, free media, especially the press, through dissemination of opinions, facts and analysis of events concerning Presidential candidates and their campaigns, has come to play a large role in the results and courses of presidential elections. Although Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt (2008:111) have argued that ‘the media’s role as an intermediary is most evident at election time, when the media are the primary conduits for information on the campaign’, the common recognition that the press acts as part of the ‘Fourth Estate’, a term originally coined by Edmund Burke (quoted in Carlyle, 1841) to acknowledge the noticeable influence of the media upon politics, suggests that the role of the press and media far exceeds the simple passivity of intermediation that Dalton, Beck and Huckfeldt suggest is media’s primary role during an election.

Role of Free Media and the Press in US Presidential Elections

Even in the initial stages of an election, prior to official party nominations, the press can begin to directly influence public knowledge of the candidates through the frequency and detail in which the candidates are mentioned. Name recognition, in the early stages of a campaign, is of vital importance and is directly effected by, and dependent upon, the media. Ramsden (1996) notes that the victor of the 1984 New Hampshire primary, the relatively unknown Gary Hart, succeeded because he convinced the press, through intense and unprecedented amounts of canvassing, that he was a more viable candidate for the nomination than his opponents John Glenn and Walter Mondale. As such, the media concerned themselves more with Hart’s campaign than with the campaigns of Glenn and Mondale, both established Democrats, and simultaneously increased Hart’s name recognition and the viability of his claim. This media attention added momentum to Hart’s campaign and ultimately allowed him to challenge for, but narrowly lose, the Iowa caucus, and to win the New Hampshire primary by ten percentage points. Although Hart eventually succumbed to the financial superiority of Mondale, and to questions concerning the vagueness of his policies, his victory in the New Hampshire primary, over an already established Democrat, is testament to the power of the media and to the influential role they play even in the early stages of election campaigns.

After candidates have officially received party nominations, the role of the media shifts slightly from effecting the nomination to effecting the course of the nominees’ campaigns. Although many believe that the bias of individual press and media networks can effect public opinion, Robinson (1996:101) instead argues that ‘whilst the media can play an important role in changing voters’ perceptions, information, attitudes, and even behaviour’, it is more often the case that media bias simply reinforces, rather than dislodging or replacing, preconceived notions and opinions. Further, Della Vigna and Kaplan (2007: 2) have observed that it is often the case that ‘right-wing voters are more likely to expose themselves to right-wing media, giving an impression that the right-wing media persuades them’ and as such, media-bias and the partisan opinions of the press, in terms of long term impact, has little contribution towards changing the political opinions of the public.

Instead, free press, to some extent, controls the course of the campaign and decides whether it become a horse-race or an issue based campaign. Whilst the media can turn campaigns into horse-races, reporting polling numbers and statistics, making the story less about the ideologies, policies and ideas of the candidates and more about their viability and chances of success, it can also, as Ramsden (1996) argues, act ‘as a spotlight’ for issues (66). Ramsden’s suggestion that media acts as spotlight for issues and ideology, which is itself more in keeping with the spirit of democracy than reporting election campaigns as horse races, argues that the media has the power to select, and cover, certain issues and topics that are not at the top of the campaign’s political agenda and to reposition them as central to the campaign. As Page (1996:22) notes, ‘a large body of evidence now indicates that what appears in print or on the air has a substantial impact upon how citizens think and what they think about: e.g., what they cite as important problems’, and it is this guidance towards ‘important problems’ that allows the media to shape the campaign paths of the candidates.

The public, in general, become more politically active and aware during campaign time (Riker, 1989), and, as Wood and Edwards (1999:328) note that “the public’s familiarity with political matters is closely related to the amount and duration of attention these affairs receive in the mass media”. In a sense, the press and free media are somewhat able to dictate and influence the agenda of presidential elections, and to choose which issues are central to the debates and campaigns. Ramsden (1996) cites President Jimmy Carter’s victory over the incumbent President Gerald Ford, in which Carter’s inexperience could, and perhaps should, have played a large role in deciding the outcome of the campaign but was largely ignored by the public because the media did not make it a concern, in order to demonstrate the control that free media can exercise over topics and issues during campaigns.

Conclusion

Therefore, whilst the media may hold a negligible amount of power to convert and transform the public’s political opinions, the real power of the media, or the free press at least, in an election, lies in its editorial, or ‘spotlight’ role. By choosing and highlighting which areas of policy, issues or character concerns receive attention, the free press are able to guide the public towards matters which could determine both their opinions and, as a result, the outcome of the election. Thus, within a political campaign, however undemocratic it may seem, the press and free media are strong and active political agents that can change and dictate not only the agendas and issues during an election, but to some extent, the result itself.

Bibliography

Andersen, K. (1984) A Wild Ride to the End, Time Magazine

Carlyle, T. (1841) On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. The Echo Library, 2007

Dalton R.J, Beck P.A & Huckfeldt R. (1998), Partisan Cues and the Media: Information Flows inthe 1992 Presidential Election, American Political Science Review, Vol 92, Number 1, March 1998

DellaVigna, S & Kaplan E. (2007) The Fox News Effect, Media Bias and Voting, Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Gerges, Fawaz A. (1999) Shaping Opinion. Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2: pp. 104-106

Page, Benjamin I. (1996) The Mass Media as Political Actors. Political Science and Politics, Vol.29, No. 1 pp. 20-24

Ramsden, Graham P. (1996) “Media Coverage of Issues and Candidates: What Balance is Appropriate in a Democracy?” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 111, No. 1. pp. 65-81

Riker, W. H. (1989). Why Negative Campaigning is Rational. (Paper presented at the annualmeeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, GA)

Robinson, John E. (1976) “The Press and the Voter.” Annals of the American Academy of Politicaland Social Science, Vol. 427. pp.95-103

The Constitution of the United States, Amendment I, (1791)

Wood, Dan B. and Edwards, George C. (1999) “Who Influences WhomThe President, Congress, and the Media.” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 93, No. 2. pp. 327-344

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Free Essays

The Role of the Media in US Political Contests

Abstract:

In contemporary US elections, the media is not only a disperser of information, but an active participant in the shaping of politics with an astounding influence on the outcome of political contests. With an increasingly partisan press it is important to understand the influence the press can exert on us, and we on them. In order to gain such understanding this essay explores the relationships between political candidates and the press, that relationship’s impact on election outcomes as well as the media’s ability to shape political agendas. The result is a circle of influence where all three; public, media and politician, can influence each other, but the media is the only player who swings both ways.

Introduction:

This essay will concern itself with the way in which the relationship between the agents of media and the political candidates themselves affects the role the media has played in US political contests after TV became a leading medium. It will also argue the extent to which this relationship has the power to set and change political agenda as well as shape the opinions of the voters.

The Media’s Role:

According to Cook (1998) the media is not only an intermediary in politics, but a political institution unto itself, and the reporter ‘a key participant in decision-making and policy making’ (1998, p.3). The impact of the media is most evident during election time when it becomes clear that the traditional view of the media as mere watchdogs and recorders of government (Cater, 1959) is not a sufficient label.

The media’s role in US political contests and how it has changed over the last decades can be traced through two main aspects that shape the presence of politics in the US media and vice versa. These are as follows:

1) Political commercials.

2) Political media consultants and subjectivity.

Firstly, let us look at the impact of political commercials. Gordon and Hartmann’s research suggests that ‘advertising is capable of shifting the electoral votes of multiple states and consequently the outcome of an election’ (2012). Advertisement thus becomes crucial to a political campaign, possibly at the expense of the political message.

During the 2008 presidential elections, Obama spent nearly twice the budget of McCain on broadcasting TV commercials during the presidential election (Scheinkman, Mclean and Weitberg, 2012). Similarly, in 2004, the Republican National Party outspent the Democrats by approximately the same margins (Federal Election Commission, 2005). At the beginning of the Democratic primaries in 2007, Obama’s TV advertisement budget exceeded that of Hilary Clinton’s by almost $2,000,000 (Healy, 2007). In all cases, the biggest spender on TV commercials won the election. In 1972 however, McGovern lost the Ohio presidential primary to Humphrey despite spending more on his media campaign (Weaver, 1972). This pattern suggests a link between the volume and quality of advertisement in the media in a majority of the cases, and the political message seems a secondary concern.

Not only commercials, but also the reporters and news themselves can be used to influence voters if fed the right information. Suskind claims that political consultants ‘have produced a new kind of candidate – attractive, well-connected and docile – attractive enough to come across on television, well-connected enough to bring in the kind of money needed to buy television time and docile enough to tailor words, and even ideas, to a consultant’s instructions’ (The New York Times, 1984). Suskind also argues that consultants limit the way the press can cover their candidate and thus manipulate the coverage to a certain extent.

Both in commercials and in the role of the consultant, TV is a central channel of communication because it is an ideal arena to present an image or political persona, rather than an ideology. Consequently, the politician himself can become more important than his politics. The image of the politician presented through the media can generate economic support, which in turn generates more press, with an electoral win as the ultimate outcome. In this way, the media is crucial to the economy of politics.

Diana C. Mutz argues that in addition to the impact of political advertisement, the sheer volume of information generated by the ever-expanding media machine can influence elections by increasing the risk of so-called “biased assimilation of information,” meaning that people end up choosing only news sources that reinforce their own preexisting political opinions (2006). Thus voters are not exposed to enough diversity in information to allow them a fully educated choice in who to vote for. Muntz’s argument suggests that the media was therefore more of an objective intermediary when it was a less influential one as it paradoxically accommodated the full picture better.

The pendulum of influence swings both ways however, and the issues the media chooses to focus on outside election time can shape the agenda and electoral platforms the candidates will run on during the political contest. According to research, the media focuses more on the elections themselves as a horserace and concern themselves less with political issues (Ridout and Smith, 2008).

What the news outlets report in the years between the political contests however, can hugely influence what the voters will deem important when deciding on their candidate. In the 1972 presidential election, McGovern ran on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam, a huge issue devoted a lot of news coverage over several years. Obama’s 2008 campaign suggested more government involvement in the country’s welfare in the middle of a global economic crisis that saw a decline in capitalist ideology in the US. When Bloomberg was elected Mayor of New York in 2001, one of the key themes of his campaign was that with a city reeling economically after 9/11, it needed a mayor with business experience. Because big news is generally also big issues to the public at large, how much of the press is devoted to these stories can decide how much the public cares, and in turn how much the politicians should care.

Conclusion:

The perception of the media as an observer of the political world is still relevant to some extent, but the role of influencer and arbiter between the public and the politician has superseded it. Not only does the media provide an outlet for politicians to filter their agenda through, but the press can also contribute to shaping those agendas though selective news coverage.

Though political consultants are becoming increasingly important in controlling the media, the explosion of social media heralds a shift in the public consciousness. With more access to political figures and more bloggers outside the news institution opining about political candidates, the role of the media seems destined to change again, and according to Comscore the change is already upon us in the 2012 elections (Comscore Inc, 2012).

Reference List:

Cater, D., 1959. The Fourth Branch of Government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Comscore Inc., 2012. The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Elections. April 30 2012

Cook, T.E, 1998. Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Federal Election Commission Press Office, 3 Feb, 2005. 2004 Presidential Campaign Financial Activity Summarized [online] Available at: http://www.fec.gov/press/press2005/20050203pressum/20050203pressum.html [Accessed on 20 August, 2012].

Gordon, B.R. and Hartmann, W.R., 2012. Advertising Effects in Presidential Elections. [PDF online] Available at: www.columbia.edu/~brg2114/files/AdEffects.pdf [Accessed on 20 August, 2012]

Healy, P., 2007. Iowa Saturated by Political Ads In 11th-Hour Bid for Undecided. The New York Times, 28 Dec. pp. A1, A21.

Muntz, D.C., 2006. How the Mass Media Divide Us. In: P.S. Nivola and D.W. Brady, eds. 2006. Red and Blue NationCharacteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. pp.223-248.

Ridout, T.N. and Smith, G.R., 2008. Free Advertising: How the Media Amplify Campaign Messages. Political Research Quarterly [e-journal] Volume 61 (4),

pp.598-608. Available through: JStor [Accessed 20 August 2012]

Scheinkman, A., Mclean, A. and Weitberg, S., 2012. The Ad Wars. The New York Times Online [online] 23 May. Available at: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/advertising/index.html

[Accessed 20 August 2012].

Suskind, R., 1984. The Power of Political Consultants. The New York Times, 12 Aug. p.SM32

Weaver Jr., W., 1972. Ohio Vote Will Test Value of Media Campaign. The New York Times, 2 May. p.30.

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Free Essays

What role has been played by the media in US political contests?

Abstract

The media has often played a significant role in political campaigns. Media coverage can contribute to the way a candidate is viewed in the eyes of the public, a fact that became even more prevalent during the 2008 U.S. elections with the introduction of ‘New Media.’

Introduction

The following essay is an examination of the media’s role in US political contests. It will look at the rise of the celebrity politician in the 2008 general election whilst examining the importance of new media, old media and the virtues of the public appearance and perception of politicians. The essay will end wondering if media coverage in the 2012 election has begun to slide.

Main Body

The 2008 presidential race was particularly media saturated and the public perceptions of the candidates were often shaped by the media. As stated by Halperin & Heilemann it was “as riveting and historic a spectacle as modern politics had ever produced” (2010:IX) and received “wall- to-wall media coverage” (2010:IX). The Media had a bigger role in the 2008 election than simply following events though as it gave birth to, or at least brought to maturity, the idea of the celebrity politician, as witnessed by the twin phenomenon of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Halperin & Heilemann note that a smear campaign against Obama was thought up by McCain adman Fred Davis who said they should, with reference to Obama’s celebrity, “turn that against him. Big CelebritySo’s Britney Spears! So’s Paris Hilton!” (2010:330). The eventual ad was called ‘Celeb’ (Halperin & Heilemann, 2010) and it led to the first chink in Obama’s armour with the media. It is interesting to note that later on when Palin was chosen as the running mate on the republican ticket there were fears in the McCain camp that the same type of campaign could be used against her (Halperin & Heilemann, 2010), illustrating that this type of coverage, and the way political campaigns use the media, can be a double edged sword.

New Media played a significant role in the 2008 election. Canavan states the Obama campaign was “aided by an acute awareness of mimetic branding and viral marketing” (2010:14). Schudson observes “in 2008 the “new media” played a newly prominent role” (2009:6). The use of new media in the Obama campaign was an important part of his strategy. Canavan writes that the Obama campaign produced “half a billion dollars from three million people over the Internet” (2010:15). This shows that the proliferation of new media in the 2008 general election, and the use of it by the candidate who most visibly signified change, was a huge coup, certainly at least where donors were concerned.

What of traditional media thoughDo the news networks or the press still play a role in US political racesThe answer, at least pertaining to the 2008 race, is an unequivocal yes. The deeper question though is how these institutions actually affect the outcome of an election. In terms of the 2008 election it must be concluded that they played a massive part. Halperin & Heilemann note that almost every political entity in their book has a scene where they complain about the way they are being represented in the press, even Obama (2010). But it would seem that much of the press wanted Obama to win as they would ignore infractions made by him that they would not consider for other candidates, as noted by Halperin & Heilemann when, after being jabbed at by Obama in a debate, Hillary Clinton complained to her aides “can you imagine if I’d made a crack like that?” (2010:180). Halperin & Heilemann go onto say “the press would have guillotined her on the spot” (2010:180).

Street asks the question of whether the media’s role in political races is a good or a bad thing. He writes “reliance on television as a medium of communication tends to shift the criteria by which politicians are judged and by which they operate. Television’s intimacy, its use of close-ups and one-to-one conversations, focuses attention on politicians’ ‘human’ qualities. The result is that populist empathy rather than elite leadership becomes valued” (2004:6). Street also notes however that aesthetics and the way candidates are perceived in the media can be an important part of a political contest because aesthetics and perception can provide a notion of the candidate’s character and that is an important aspect to consider when entering the voting booth (2004).

Now that the political world is observed by both new and old media, it is interesting to note how the two have played their part so far in the 2012 election. As far as new media is concerned, the interest certainly seems to have waned. Journalist Susan Delacourt observes “The 2008 presidential election that brought Barack Obama to power was probably a “watershed” for social media…an apex that probably won’t be reached again in the current U.S. campaign” (2012). The current election seems to have passed by old media in many ways as well. Matthew Stieglitz wryly asks of the 2012 election “that the media bring its election coverage to something bearing a resemblance to news, and that people become informed. If the issues mentioned above are any indication, this country would be better served with a populace that spends time debating politics instead of debating the cancellation of Jersey Shore” (2012). Maybe the politics just as aren’t as interesting to a media that can now observe the politics of reality TV stars personal lives…and don’t need a press pass to do it.

Conclusion

As you can see, historically media has played a big part in the political landscape and has helped to shape people’s views of the candidate, whether through highlighting their proposals or simply believing in the character of the person they have shown on TV. In 2008 media coverage of the election seemed to reach a critical mass, in both old and new media, but both have now begun to contract somewhat.

Bibliography

Heilemann, J. & Halperin, M., (2010), Race of a Lifetime, 1st Edition, the Penguin Group, Great Britain

Canavan, G., (2009) ‘Person of the Year: Obama, Joker, Capitalism, Schizophrenia.’ Politics and Popular Culture. [online] Available at: http://www.c-s-p.org/flyers/978-1-4438-2259-6-sample.pdf [Accessed 12th September 2012]

Schudson, M., (2009)’ The New Media in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign: The New York Times watches its back.’ Javnost-the public. [online] Available at:

http://www.journalism.columbia.edu/system/documents/270/original/javnost-nyt2008.pdf [Accessed September 13th 2012]

Street, J., (2004) ‘Celebrity Politicians: Popular Culture and Political Representation.’ The British Journal of Politics & International Relations. [online] Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-856X.2004.00149.x/pdf [Accessed 12th September 2012]

Delacourt, S. (2012) ‘Is ‘new’ media becoming old hat in the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign?’ The Star. [online] Available at: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1227281–is-new-media-becoming-old-hat-in-the-2012-u-s-presidential-campaign [Accessed 12th September 2012]

Stieglitz, M., ‘Dear American Media: Step Up Your Game.’ Politics 365. [online] Available at: http://politic365.com/2012/09/07/dear-american-media-step-your-game-up/ [Accessed September 8th 2012]

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Free Essays

Differences in Media Advertising of The Coca Cola Company across cultures

Introduction

This Report has been carried out in order to assess the difference in media advertising of Coke, an exclusive product of The Coca Cola Company in Nepal and the UK. There are various approaches and marketing theories used in advertising through different Medias. In both of the countries, they follow entirely different theories in promoting the communication regarding the product. There are various factors such as cultural, social, geographical, demographical, political effect directly to the model of marketing communication.

Background:

The product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced “excellent” and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once “Delicious and refreshing,” a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed. (Anon., 2011)

The above images show two completely diverse type of advertising, in two different countries. One in the left is from Nepal which shows the Coke is available at Rupees. 5 (?0.05), whereas in the right side, from the UK which represents Coca Cola as a romantic cold drink. The advertising plan has been allocated and implemented in such a way, so that the target audiences of each of the country get influence to use the product. This is how the consumers perceive the advertising in both of the countries, which are totally distinguished from each other.

Marketing Communication process

Above is the marketing communication model which implies how the communication flows from a sender to a target audience (Receiver). It clarifies how the process works when the communication executes from another source to another. Initially, when a sender intends to send a message, the messages get encoded so that it can be presented through some media to the receiver. Then, as the media presents the message in encoded format through the media there emerges some noise which affects all the components of the communication process. As it passes by to the receiver then a receiver decodes the message as per his/her own perception. The receiver acts as how the messages have been perceive by him/her. The impact goes to the sender as upon the results being achieved or not, through the behaviour of consumers.

The coca cola companies in both of the countries follow the same process to undertake the marketing communication, just the matter fact is about the way the consumer perceive or ways of decoding the encoded messages. Like in UK mostly the messages focuses on attracting consumer through standardised messages, whereas in Nepal, still tries to centralise consumer through other beneficial issues. Below images show the differences in the adverts between UK and Nepal.

Pinpoint View of Marketing Communication model of both of the countries. Nepal vs. United Kingdom

Sender: – Source who intends to spread the message, the marketers of the Company BNL[1] (Nepal) vs. CCE[2]. (UK).

Encoding: – The effective way to create message to influence consumer. Marketing Department (Nepal) vs. MD[3] or Agencies (UK) do encoding.

Noise: – the elements that restrict to perceiving the message is noise. A distortion created by annoying or non-acceptable adverts.

Message/Media: – The real information about the product intended to be seen by the consumer. Like Newspaper, radio, TV, pamphlets, holding boards, shutter (Nepal) vs. Internet, moving billboard, TV, vehicles etc. (UK).

Encoding: – How the target audience perceive the message, influential or un-influentialLike Coke has gone (Financial) cheaper (Nepal) vs. Coke is (emotional) romantic to have (UK).

Receiver: – Final Consumer consuming or not consuming the product as per their perception towards the decoding. Laborious/hard worker to get refreshment (taking Coke just as a cheaper cold drink) in Nepal vs. consumer as to get relax from all stress and get into emotional part of life.

The response Models for above Advertisement

So far the theories of IMC[4] is concerned the basic model which can be assess for these two different types of advertising, are “Hierarchy of Effects” model, AIDA[5] Model, Innovation Adoption Model and Information Processing. These entire four models pass through different stages i. e. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral. The “Hierarchy of Effects” model is about how consumers change through a gradual procedure as they perceive marketing messages that lead them to forward an action to take decision, whereas AIDA concerns with attention, interest, desire and action towards it. There are three stages of every model, which shows how a consumer reacts or responses towards a particular marketing advertisement. Below the diagram show how the models pass through each stage.

While the above theme advertising of Nepal and UK are concerned, when a consumer sees the advertisement, he/she firstly it builds up the mind being rational to take the product as which in AIDA model can be attention, in hierarchy of effect it is awareness/knowledge about it, in innovation adoption it is awareness/adoption and where as in information processing it is presentation and attention. Every model has in first stage is to recognizing the product. Secondly, the stage which is called affective which starts affecting the mind of consumer like as per AIDA model it generates interest and desire to have or not to have it, in Hierarchy of effect model there emerges linking, preference and conviction towards the product. The last stage is the behavioral stage, consumer forward the action to buy or not to buy in all the models a consumer does the decision.

Figure 5 Marketing Communication Response Models

Coca-Cola Marketing Mix

Marketing mix is the mix of four elements that have been developed in order to market a particular product. As per marketing theory, there are basically four elements named as 4. These are four elements that contribute to assess the market situation to up market the product.

Mar. MixCountryNepalUnited Kingdom
Product (Design, Packaging, Eco-friendly, SafeNormal handy bottles, plastic bottles, can is rarely used.Cans, rarely use of bottles, Pet plastic bottles.
Price (Reasonable, Affordable, pricing strategies)Reasonable/Affordable for the bottled but extremely high for cans, price differs from region to region.Reasonable and affordable
Place (Channels, Media)Local shops, Distributors, retailers direct from bottling company.Super markets, off license, streets shops.
Promotion (Public Relation, Sales promotion, Advertising, Sponsoring sports, on the spot monetary valued prizesSocial service/sports events sponsorship, coupons, discounts, eco-friendly advertising.

Figure 6 Marketing Mix Snapshots

Coca-Cola SWOT Analysis (Nepal)

Strengths:

The strengths of a business or organisation are positive elements, something they do well and is under their control. The strengths of a company or group and value to it, and can be what gives it the edge in some areas over the competitors. The following section will outline main strengths of Coca Cola

Being a market leader, as Coca Cola is a key to their success as it boosts reputation, profit and market share.
Competitive pricing is a vital element of Coca Cola’s overall success, as this keeps them in line with their rivals, if not above them.
Keeping costs lower than their competitors and keeping the cost advantages helps Coca Cola pass on some of the benefits to consumers.
Coca Cola’s marketing strategy has proved to be effective, helping to raise profiles and profits and standing out as a major strength.
Coca Cola’s innovation keeps it a front-runner in Beverages Manufacturing Company as it is regularly turning out new patents/proprietary technology.
Experienced employees are key to the success of Coca Cola helping to drive them forward with expertise and knowledge.
High quality machinery, staff, offices and equipment ensure the job is done to the utmost standard, and is strength of Coca Cola.
Coca Cola has an extensive customer base, which is a major strength regarding sales and profit.
Coca Cola’s reputation is strong and popular, meaning people view it with respect and believe in it.
Being financially strong helps Coca Cola deal with any problems, ride any dip in profits and out perform their rivals.
A strong brand is an essential strength of Coca Cola as it is recognised and respected.
Coca Cola has a high percentage of the market share, meaning it is ahead of many competitors.
Coca Cola’s distribution chain can be listed as one of their strengths and links to success.
High quality products/services are a vital strength, helping to ensure customers return to Coca Cola.
Coca Cola’s international operations mean a wider customer base, a stronger brand and a bigger chunk of the global market.
Coca Cola’s position in the market is high and strong – a major strength in this industry as they are ahead of many rivals.
Supplier relationships are strong at Coca Cola, which can only be seen as strength in their overall performance.

Weaknesses:

Weaknesses of a company or organisation are things that need to be improved or perform better, which are under their control. Weaknesses are also things that place you behind competitors, or stop you being able to meet objectives. This section will present main weaknesses of Coca Cola

Coca Cola’s R&D work is low and insignificant, which is a major weakness in Beverages Manufacturing Company as it is constantly creating new products.
Not having an effective marketing strategy seriously hampers the success of Coca Cola.
Over pricing, setting too high prices for Coca Cola products/services makes them uncompetitive, which is a major weakness.
The lack of business alliances is a major weakness for Coca Cola, as they will struggle to get deals, favours and partnerships.
Coca Cola’s lack of innovation limits its success, as there is no forward thinking.
Good companies need loyal employees, but Coca Cola has a poor relationship with staff which affects performance.
Online presence is vital for success these days, and lack of one is a limitation for Coca Cola.
Coca Cola’s underdeveloped distribution chain has a marked effect on performance as it affects the distribution of their products/services.
A limited customer base is a major weakness for Coca Cola as it means they have less people to sell or market to.
Coca Cola’s weak supplier relationships also have an adverse effect on success, as it cuts ability to negotiate.
Absence of Governmental support
Price Difference geographically.

Opportunities:

Opportunities are external changes, trends or needs that could enhance the business or organisation’s strategic position, or which could be of a benefit to them. This section will outline opportunities that Coca Cola is currently facing.

Coca Cola could benefit from expanding their online presence and making more money from online shoppers/internet users.
The changes in the way consumers spend and what they buy provides a big opportunity for Coca Cola to explore.
The growth of the Beverages Manufacturing Company industry is an opportunity for Coca Cola to grasp.
New market opportunities could be a way to push Coca Cola forward.
Coca Cola has the opportunity to enter a niche market, gain leading position and therefore boost financial performance.
Reaching out into other markets is a possibility for Coca Cola, and a big opportunity.
Grasping the opportunity to expand the customer base is something Coca Cola can aim for, either geographically or through new products.
Forming strategic alliances and joint ventures is an opportunity for Coca Cola to maximise profit and gain new business.
Coca Cola has a number of highly skilled staff, which is an opportunity for them to explore as expertise of their staff can help Coca Cola to bring the business forward.
Structural changes in the industry open other doors and opportunities for Coca Cola.

Threats:

Threats are factors which may restrict damage or put areas of the business or organisation at risk. They are factors which are outside of the company’s control. Being aware of the threats and being able to prepare for them makes this section valuable when considering contingency plans and strategies. This section will outline main threats Coca Cola is currently facing.
Consumer lifestyle changes could lead to less of a demand for Coca Cola products/services.
Tax increases placing additional financial burdens on Coca Cola could be a threat.
Change in demographics could threaten Coca Cola.
Regulations requiring money to be spent or measures to be taken could put financial or other pressure on Coca Cola.
Changes in the way consumers shop and spend and other changing consumer patterns could be a threat to Coca Cola’s performance.
Not keeping up with changes in technology could be detrimental to the future of Coca Cola as they could slip behind their rivals.
The actions of a competitor could be a major threat against Coca Cola, for instance, if they bring in new technology or increase their workforce to meet demand.
Price wars between competitors, price cuts and so on could damage profits for Coca Cola.
A slow economy or financial slowdown could have a major impact on Coca Cola business and profits.
Rising costs could be a major downfall for Coca Cola as it would eat into profit.
Coca Cola could be threatened by the growing power customers have to set the price of their products/services.
Structural changes in the industry could be a threat for Coca Cola.

Coca-Cola SWOT Analysis (UK)

The following SWOT analysis looks at Coca Cola UK which is operating in Beverages Manufacturing Company industry. The analysis shows Coca Cola UK’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT analysis will give you a clear picture of the business environment Coca Cola UK is operating in at the present time.

Strengths:

The strengths of a business or organisation are positive elements, something they do well and is under their control. The strengths of a company or group and value to it, and can be what gives it the edge in some areas over the competitors. The following section will outline main strengths of Coca Cola UK.

Being a market leader, as Coca Cola UK is, is key to their success as it boosts reputation, profit and market share.
Competitive pricing is a vital element of Coca Cola UK’s overall success, as this keeps them in line with their rivals, if not above them.
Keeping costs lower than their competitors and keeping the cost advantages helps Coca Cola UK pass on some of the benefits to consumers.
The services/products offered by Coca Cola UK are original, meaning many people will return to Coca Cola UK to obtain them.
Coca Cola UK’s marketing strategy has proved to be effective, helping to raise profiles and profits and standing out as a major strength.
Coca Cola UK’s innovation keeps it a front-runner in Beverages Manufacturing Company as it is regularly turning out new patents/proprietary technology.
Experienced employees are the key to the success of Coca Cola UK helping to drive them forward with expertise and knowledge.
High quality machinery, staff, offices and equipment ensure the job is done to the utmost standard, and is strength of Coca Cola UK.
Coca Cola UK has an extensive customer base, which is a major strength regarding sales and profit.
Coca Cola UK’s reputation is strong and popular, meaning people view it with respect and believe in it.
Being financially strong helps Coca Cola UK deal with any problems, ride any dip in profits and out perform their rivals.
A strong brand is an essential strength of Coca Cola UK as it is recognised and respected.
Coca Cola UK has a high percentage of the market share, meaning it is ahead of many competitors.
Coca Cola UK’s distribution chain can be listed as one of their strengths and links to success.
High quality products/services is a vital strength, helping to ensure customers return to Coca Cola UK.
Coca Cola UK’s international operations mean a wider customer base, a stronger brand and a bigger chunk of the global market.
Development and innovation are high at Coca Cola UK with regard to their products/services, which is a sure strength in its overall performance.
Coca Cola UK’s position in the market is high and strong – a major strength in this industry as they are ahead of many rivals.
The online presence of Coca Cola UK is strong, meaning it is ahead of many competitors.
Supplier relationships are strong at Coca Cola UK, which can only be seen as strength in their overall performance.
Socially Active participation

Weaknesses:

Weaknesses of a company or organisation are things that need to be improved or perform better, which are under their control. Weaknesses are also things that place you behind competitors, or stop you being able to meet objectives. This section will present main weaknesses of Coca Cola UK.

Online presence is vital for success these days, and lack of one is a limitation for Coca Cola UK.

Opportunities:

Opportunities are external changes, trends or needs that could enhance the business or organisation’s strategic position, or which could be of a benefit to them. This section will outline opportunities that Coca Cola UK is currently facing.

Looking at export opportunities is a way for Coca Cola UK to raise profits.
Grasping the opportunity to expand the customer base is something Coca Cola UK can aim for, either geographically or through new products.
Expanding into other markets could be a possibility for Coca Cola UK.
Health conscious production

Threats:

Threats are factors which may restrict damage or put areas of the business or organisation at risk. They are factors which are outside of the company’s control. Being aware of the threats and being able to prepare for them makes this section valuable when considering contingency plans and strategies. This section will outline main threats Coca Cola UK is currently facing.

Regulations requiring money to be spent or measures to be taken could put financial or other pressure on Coca Cola UK.
Price wars between competitors, price cuts and so on could damage profits for Coca Cola UK.
A slow economy or financial slowdown could have a major impact on Coca Cola UK business and profits.
Rising costs could be a major downfall for Coca Cola UK as it would eat into profit.
Substitute products available on the market present a major threat to Coca Cola UK.
Health Issues like (Obesity, Diabetic)

Marketing Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Market segmentation is the categorization of a market into various groups of customers with specifically same wants and product/service necessities. In another word, it is the categorization of a huge market into recognizable and specific groups or clusters, in which they all have the same wants and behavior and action as per the marketing initiatives.

The diagram above shows how the STP process acts. The market information lets STP process to grow and to analyse the real situation to go further, after which a marketing decision can be undertaken. In Segmentation the process market information leads to identifying similar groups of customers when if research is done then the group can be divided into different groups like male/female, aged group, regional group etc.

Market STP in Nepal

The Nepalese market for Coca Cola, in general, practice group marketing advance with product variations in the past. The socio-economic transformations and growth in Nepalese economy and political system have made Coca cola marketers conscious of market segmentation. The marketing strategies of Coca Cola have reinforced this awareness.

Market Segmentation:

The points below clarify the way of market segmentation of Coca Cola in Nepal.

Non- organized: – Market segmentation in Nepal, in general, is not backed up with organised research. Previous practice, premonition of organization and competitor’s strategy has manipulated segmentation.
Variables for Segmentation: The variables mainly used for consumer market segmentation are:
Geographic
Demographic
Psychographic
Behavioural
Be short of Information: Nepalese Coca Cola marketer lacks broad information about consumer characteristics. They have a tendency to look upon marketing research as a “improvident cost”. This has guarded the helpful assessment of market segments in terms of their magnetism and correctness. Risks are not correctly measured.
Government procedures: – Government policies in Nepal are not very sympathetic in marketing. They do not look upon any business as contributors for improvement. Boundaries of movement of goods and controls have downcast market segmentation.
Be short of moral concern: – Ecological and wellbeing concerns are, in general, unnoticed for market segmentation in Nepal.

The above points clearly point out that the notion of market segmentation is at first stage in Nepal. However, the importance of market segmentation is likely to enhance in the years to come.

Targeting:

Nepal

As per the segmentation of Coke in Nepal, the targeting has been done as per the variables as below,

Geographic: – Who lives in plain areas, where the temperature is likely to be high in all season. In central region where half of the year remains hot in temperature.
Demographic: – The people aged between 16 to 40 years, who have average level of income, who work hard, especially males and having less of family member.
Psychographic: – People who are literate and can understand the brand name of Coke are targeted.
Behavioural: – As per this segmentation the targeting goes on to the group of people who involve in the cultural and ritual who are likely to use the product in their ceremonial. In this segmentation, people who have habits drinking chilled soft drinks are targeted.

Positioning;

Market positioning is done in accordance to the brand recognition in the market. It’s the tendency of consumer of what and how they see the company, which can some under any high end, middle end or low end of position. While positioning has to be done in order to keep the company to a distinguish position to keep the corporate image. There are some variables that have to be considered in order to position in market. The variables are pricing, quality, service, distribution and packaging. The diagram below shows the market position of Coca Cola in Nepal, comparatively to its closest competitor PepsiCo Nepal.

Figure 8 Market Positioning in Nepal (Source: – PPT)

As per the diagram and the data available from the sources Coca Cola stands in the left hand side and in the middle, which means it has a good quality having reasonable price where as its closest competitor Pepsi Cola stays as in the middle of the crossed line, which means it has same price but having bit down in quality. This is assumption taken by the economic analyst of Nepal beverages market.

Market STP in UK

The United Kingdom has approximately, around per capita income of $ 36,298 in 2010, where people are in large numbers of buyers and sellers. In general, it can be said as the living standard of people is quite high in term of economic scale. Market segmentation is easily done in respect of geographic, demographic, behavioural and psychographic variables.

Market Segmentation

By dividing a category into segments, businesses can identify different groups of consumer wants. It is then possible to design products to meet those requirements. Each segment within the overall range of Coca-Cola meets specific consumer wants. Coca-Cola GB carries out extensive market research to identify consumer wants in every segment of category in which it operates. For example, market research analysis of the demographics of consumers in Great Britain revealed a growth in smaller households. The appropriate product response was to produce 1.25 liters share-size bottles. A study of occasions when people drink sports drinks showed the importance of making it available in leisure centres. Other research showed that the famous original Coca-Cola glass bottle is best targeted at restaurants and special party occasions. Market research into where specific products are consumed influences the design of pack types e.g. a 2 litre bottle for family consumption at home and a smaller 500ml bottle for consumption ‘on the move’. (The Time 100, 2011)

Variables:

Geographical: – Geographical wise Coca cola has segmented almost all region, city, town centres, and counties.
Demographic: – Especially, in this variable, mostly the consumer divided as per their age, gender, race, religion, family size, nationality, income etc.
Psychographic: – This segmentation includes the factors like activities, interests, perception, values, attitude etc.
Behavioural: – This factor relates with the behaviour of consumer. So, the segmentation is done as per quality, economy, service, looks, Heavy user, and moderate user, light user, Regular, potential, first time user, irregular, occasional, Hard core loyal, split loyal, shifting, switches, readiness to buy, Holidays and occasion stimulate customer to purchase, Attitude toward offering.

Targeting

The market targets in the segmentation are

The entire region, town centres, where people are in crowd.
Male female both aged between 18 to 40 years.
People who are mostly involve in sports.
Heavy user, regular, ready to buy and consumes in occasion are targeted.

The figure above has been extracted from a researching website, which reveals the difference between two products. Here, the figure shows the difference attitudes relating to Coke and Pepsi and overall high rating goes to Coke, Which means in market consumers have keep Coke in top level more than its closest competitor Pepsi.

Figure 10 Coke vs. Pepsi War, Source : – (Free Web Space, 2011)

This figure also has been taken from a forum, which has a voting survey. The concluding report shows the Coca Cola brand has a good position in the market. So, the market positioning of Coca Cola in UK stands in a top position.

Marketing strategy

Philip Kotler discussed five issues of marketing strategy in his 9th edition of Marketing Management. They are as follows

Differentiating and Positioning the Market Offering
Developing New Products
Managing Life cycle Strategies
Designing marketing Strategies for Market Leaders, Challengers, Followers, and Niches
Designing and Managing Global Marketing Strategies

Marketing Strategies Nepal

The marketing strategy for Coke is phrased “Refresh the market place” which includes : A robust consumer response system to address any consumer concerns, Ideas, suggestions – either on product and its quality or on stock supply – maintenance of equipment etc. All consumer concerns are dealt with in a fair timely and friendly manner, so as to satisfy them and resolve their concerns. Marketing and advertising communications are focused on (point-of-sale), radio, TV, hoardings, truck backs. Emphasis is also placed on consumer price to enforce compliance. Marketing communications and advertising are customised to suit to local sentiments – social, religious, ethnic. Innovative package and pack sizes are offered to give better value to consumers and ease of storage to retailers. Price and packs are introduced in a format that is affordable to all segments of society.

Marketing Strategies UK

The CCGB is highly aware of health, environment and community and have a theme of responsible marketing. The responsible marketing means in the sense of how and to whom it targets it market. As taking into account its assumption following are the point wise theories of it.

Offering large choice of beverages
Ensuring marketing values remain focused around positivity and optimism.
Responsibly acting and highlighting traditional and non-traditional Medias.
Continuing being a part of broad coalition to promote healthy diet and physical activity.
Transparency in all activities that concern about the company.
Socially active in sponsoring under-privileged people and sports related issues.
Not targeting or inspiring children to consume the drinks that may leave impact in them through television.
Fulfilled local and community laws that prevent children to be impacted through television who are less than 16 years, following the restriction that has been set by OFCOM’s limiting advertisement.
Working with independent consultant to monitor the activity of all advertisements.
Don’t have any connection with early schools in terms of advertisement.
Always aware of advertising where there is large number of under aged children becomes the audiences.
Publicity and Offering low calorie or sugar in cinemas, leisure parks and any other dine in restaurants, which encourage consumers to have healthy drinking.
Not at any cost the company is ready to offer or accept offer where the audience becomes children under 16.
Continuing to listen to the parents’ concerns about impact of online marketing to children who are under 12.
Online rewards as promotion is execute with age verification.
Encouraging parents to use the parental controlling software to control their children.
Using own industry leading template to assess suitability of digital campaigns and web sites.
Advertising

Advertising Medias in the United Kingdom

Active Marketing Media (Television,)

Semi Active Marketing medias (Offline)

Online Marketing

Sports and Physical activity Marketing

Targeting community to take part in sports related events and activities for healthy and fit life, e. g sponsoring any particular games, Olympics, world cup, European cup and community matches etc. Even in secondary school, the company is highly active in providing the resources to motivate the scholars to participate in physical and sports related activities.

Advertising Medias in Nepal

As Nepal being a developing country, it can use the minimal benefit of technology. It uses radio, newspaper, television, billboards, shop’s shutter and pamphlets. The most famous advertising offline media in Nepal is painting in the doors, walls, shutters. As below is the image of it.

There is a trend in people of whom property is been targeted to have such advertising. The marketer/advertiser has to paint whole house instead of permitting to paint the advertising. Even if a marketer wants to put a billboard in anyone’s house, the house owner demands to top-up one storey in the building for him/her. It’s totally diverse kind of trend that Nepalese marketers are facing right now which the marketing communication is processing.

Product Life Cycle

Figure 13 Product Life Cycle along with Service Offered, Source: – (Anon., 2010)

The graph above shows the life cycle of product having different stages. These stages explain the various status of product marketed or sold. It is not just limited to the volume sold rather also includes the brand image, corporate image of the product. Below the graph there are service offered in the different stages of product life cycle.

While introducing a product there has to be a good product management, designing, development plans, testing and deployment.
Secondly when it comes to the growth level of a product life cycle, there the focus has to be initiated towards customization, enhancement, versioning, implementation and deployment and testing to penetrate the market of the product. In this stage, every company has to suffer a lot, because the success depends upon the labour and effort done in this stage. Like as going through the Nepalese market of Coca cola, we can find it is still in growth level because it has not reached in every household because of poor infrastructure and lack of marketing integration.
Thirdly, the maturity level, when the product gets sustained to up front the market. The market penetration has been fully achieved. Like in UK the data shows that Coca Cola market is in maturity stage as it has now focusing on research and development, product differentiation and still testing is going on for further expansion and diversification.
Lastly, when the product gets fully mature in terms of product life cycle it tends do decline because of lack of research and single taste. So, the appropriate measure to rectify is to re-engineering, maintaining and supporting technically.

Online Strategies

Online Marketing strategies

Coca Cola in UK is the top soft fizzy drink, which holds almost about the half of the market share of its kind. Though the trend can be seen like, there are some certain strategies, which is still avoiding it to reach its overall objectives like grow in sales, market share, brand value, corporate value. The world, as it is changing towards the technological tendency, likewise the business has to bend. There are lots of opportunities for the company to follow online strategies to upfront the market. Creating a strong Google ad-words, which is called search engine enhancement, can be a good example. Online advertising can promote and leave impact of the brand in the social community sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype etc.

Figure 14 Online Marketing Strategy

In Nepal, People mostly uses chatting sites like yahoo and MSN where BNL can promote Coke.

Customer Relationship Management: IDIC[1] Model Approach

Identify, Differentiate, Interact, Customize (marketing model)

The IDIC model of marketing suggests that business should take initiatives in order to build closer one-to-one relationships with customers, which are

Identify
Differentiate
Interact
Customize.

CRM[2]is engrossed upon the improvement of a customer-centered business behavior. This behavior is devoted to sustain customers by addressing and delivering brand image and value in compare to the competitors.

Salesforce, an online CRM portal does a good practice of CRM as an IDIC model. The Gartner competency model

The vision of CRM: – Leadership, Social worth, Value Preposition
CRM strategy: – Objectives, Segments, Effective Interaction.
Customer Processes: -Customer life cycle, knowledge management.
Valued Customer Experience
Organizational collaboration
CRM information: – Data Analysis, One view across channel.
CRM Technology: – Application, Architecture, Infrastructure.
CRM Metrics: -Cost to serve, satisfaction, loyalty, social cost.

Figure 16 CRM Value Chain, Source: – (Anon., 2010)

The figure above shows the CRM value chain, which implies the keeping of customers with highly interaction and align it with profitability.

The coca Cola company in Nepal has not yet applying such kind of strategy as customer relationship management whereas the Company in UK uses different strategies for customer relationship management.

The way to manage customer relationship is to use the portals such as sales-force to keep up with the latest changing behaviors of the customers. It assists to update the knowledge and field of existing and prospective customers to the company.

Conclusion

This report intends to find the difference in advertising media between two countries. The countries in this report have been chosen as Nepal and the United Kingdom. The report, so far, concerns and points out the totally diverse process of marketing communication. Moreover the factors like country’s economic status, matters in consuming the Coke in average in both of the countries. While going through the various marketing models of communication, response models, marketing mix analysis, STP process, product life cycle, advertising media, trends, SWOT analysis, IDIC model of customer relationship management. The reports conclude that these two countries have different approach in meeting its consumer and prospective consumer. Moreover, Nepalese market tends to be creating the market whereas UK market focuses on attracting and keeping the current customers. So far the PLC implies about these two countries Nepalese market are highly proactive within growth as it is in introduction phase of the product, whereas UK market is in maturity stage and developing towards the research and development. Advertising media used in Nepal if getting out-dated as UK’s advertising media are technologically advance. Nepalese market STP process are totally based upon its classical theory because the company doesn’t get the government and legal support, whereas UK’s STP is based upon recent research and marketing approach. The online strategies are passive in Nepal as its developing and the trend has not yet been developed. UK’s online strategies are implementing day by day to life up the brand image. Overall, the report exhales that Nepalese Coke marketing is predominated by the perception of the people of the country having the GDP (per capita income) is about app. $410 and on the other hand the UK consumer have the perception of consuming Coke as a top brand.

Recommendation

Some of the important recommendations are as follows:

There should be and correct feedback from the distributers on the actions of retailers, which will assist to develop their competency and reliability.
As already discussed about online absence of marketing strategies in Nepal, it has to overhaul the strategies that lead towards up fronting of market.
There should be extra attractive and fascinating and active participation towards social activities to strengthen the brand. As a part of public relations
Coke should step up serious initiatives towards health concerns of consumers in Nepal.
Online advertising in Nepal has to be started to penetrate in among young consumer.
Coke in UK has to be active in all the online promotional activities to attract the consumers.
CCGB and CCE should start more aggressive marketing of its Coke as they have very good growth and future prospects while there is not much growth in the carbonated beverages sector.
BNL should start a campaign to persuading government to provide it the support to penetrate the prospective market.
Bibliography

Anon., 2007. James O Malley. [Online] Available at: HYPERLINK “http://jamesomalley.co.uk/blog/category/coke/” http://jamesomalley.co.uk/blog/category/coke/ [Accessed 3 April 2011].

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Free Essays

The communications media used in the educational system

1. Executive Summary

This report examines the means of communication at universities. A brief definition of communication will be given initially, followed by a description of the means of communication currently used in universities. The report then focuses on e-learning, examining the method and the blended distance course. Within the distance course will examine the synchronous and asynchronous method. So those will be presented this vantage and disadvantage of e-learning compared to the traditional teaching method, being concluded that the e-learning is essential to the educational system and recommended the implementation of distance education at University of Westminster

2. Introduction

The communications media used in the educational system has been suffering major changes in recent times. The traditional method has been complemented or even replaced many times by the current method where e-learning has been outstanding. E-learning can bring great benefits to the educational system, complementing or being another option for those who do not have the opportunity to attend the traditional method. The aim of this report is to examine the communication system used on the educational system is special on higher education, focusing on the e-learning method. Firstly, it will talk about the means of communication, secondly the traditional teaching method, third on the e-learning and finally will present the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning compared to traditional teaching methods.

3. Communication

The definition of Communication is given by Collins English Dictionary (2009) as “the exchange of information, ideas or feeling.” Communication can be classified and divided in different ways. According to Gallegher (2010), communication can be one-way or two way communication; verbal and non verbal, and also says that the communication can be inter or intra communication.

3.1. One way communication and two way communication.

One way communication occurs when there is no feedback or interaction during the communication. Two way communication occurs when the recipient asks clarification and interacts with the sender

3.2. Verbal and non verbal

The verbal communication occurs when there is the use of words and can be written or spoken. Examples of written communication are: newspapers, posters, advertisements, books, while some examples of spoken communication are: speeches, discussions, lectures and presentations. Non-verbal communication uses other means that is not through writing or speaking, such as facial expression and body language.

4. The means of communication in the educational system

The means of communication used in the educational system has been through major transformations following the technological advancement. According to An evaluation of students, the traditional method of teaching in the UK and in most of the world is characterized by one-way transmission from the lecture to the student, which refers to the teacher-center model of teaching, where information is transmitted to the students through the knowledge of the teacher, without much questioning by the student. However, this method has been changed, and the aim of the educational system has been supporting the activities of students rather than simply convey information. According to Gibbs (1995:1) student-centered method, encourages “learner activity rather than passivity; students’ experience on the course, outside the institution-and prior to the course, process and competence, rather than the content where key decisions about learning are made by the student through negotiation with the teacher ‘. The growth of this new method of teaching has as a major factor, the implementation of e-learning by higher education institutions.

5. E-learning

According to Clarke (2004), E-learning is a general term that covers different methods which have in common the use of Information and Technology of communication, and may be as a complement to a traditional course as well as an online course where teachers and students do not meet. The term e-learning is the result of a combination occurring between the educations with the help of technology. The e-learning added new meaning to apprenticeship and blew up the possibilities in disseminating of knowledge and information to students and, at a fast pace, opened up new horizons for the distribution and sharing of knowledge, making it also a form of democratization of knowledge for the layers of the population with access to new technologies, giving them the knowledge available, anytime and anywhere.
With the development of web technology, the processes of interaction in real time became a reality, allowing to the student to have contact with knowledge, with the teacher and other students, through the media technological

5.1. Blended-Learning

This is a new method that has been growing in popularity, which is based on e-learning as a complement to studies in the classroom. Clarke (2004:120), defines blended learning as “the integration of e-learning approaches with more traditional methods”. As an example of this method we can mention the Blackboard used by universities.

5.2. Distance courses

The training and continual updating of knowledge and skills of human resources are now a crucial element to achieve an effective and efficient performance. The application of information technology and communication to the area of training led to the creation of a new mode of apprenticeship: the distance course. According to Mealy and Loller (2000), Distance Education (DE) occurs when education is provided without the student and the institution being on the same physical location.With the distance course the student starts to having time to learn at their own pace, with the assistance of a tutor, without losing the ability to interact with other course participants.

5.2.1 E-learning synchronous and asynchronous

5.2.1.1Synchronous

There are two distinct ways of teaching through distance learning: Synchronous and Asynchronous. Synchronous is when teacher / tutor and student / trainees are in lesson to the same time. Can be cited as an example of resources synchronous phone, chat, video conferencing and web conferencing. Through web conferencing, the teacher ministers the classes and students can hear the contents transmitted by the teacher. Thus, students may also ask questions and discussions. This is the model that most closely resembles the traditional teaching. “The concept of classroom is extended to distance learning through the use of technology.” Mealy and Loller (2000:20)

5.2.1.2. Asynchronous

In asynchronous e-learning, teacher and students are not in class to the same time. According to Mealy and Loller (2000), the main feature of this method is that the student can participate in the study schedule that suits you. The teacher also is not limited to a specific schedule and can answer questions or participate in discussions at different times of the student.
The big difference in asynchronous e-learning is that time is “elastic” giving greater flexibility to the students in their learning, research and study.

5.3. Advantages and disadvantages of e-learning compared to traditional methods

5.3.1. Advantages

According to Remenyi (2005), the three main benefits of e-learning are: Reducing the impact on the environment, quality education affordable and Convenience and flexibility for the student

5.3.1.1. Reducing the Impact on Environment
There is no need of traveling; resulting in diminution of pollution reduces the use of papers thereby contributing to the environment

5.3.1.2. Quality education affordable

Through e-learning, great teachers can share their knowledge without physical barriers, political, or economic, thus reducing the cost of education making it more affordable,
– The student can study at a respected university, out of state or even country, e-learning takes the social and physical barriers by giving everyone the same level

5.3.1.3. Convenience and flexibility for the student

The materials are more accessible, depending on the method, can be available 24 hours 7 days a week, with no need for change in lifestyle. The student has the opportunity to create a personalized pace.

5.3.2. Disadvantages

According Remenyi (2005), the three major disadvantages related to the E-learning is the lack of interaction between student and teacher, the lack of interaction between students and the need for basic computer skills.

5.3.2.1. Lack of interaction between student and teacher

The tutor has a higher difficulty in judging the level of acceptance, understanding and retention, since it is not possible an immediate response from the student.
There is a need for a higher level of motivation and higher autonomy of learning than classroom training

5.3.2.2. Lack of interaction between students

Depending on the method used e-learning, such as the course distance, because there is no participation in the classroom, there is no socialization among students, which can lead to negative outcomes such as lack of ability to work as a team.

5.3.2.3. Need for basic computer skills

Need some experience in using computers and Internet usage, also some appetite for the use of technology

6. Conclusion

With the increasingly widespread use of new information technologies and communication, it becomes essential the adoption of these in the teaching and apprenticeship. The process that performs this learning environment is called e-learning. In eLearning, flees to the traditional model of teaching, the learning process is student centered, which can build its self-education course, interacting with the available content according to their learning needs in a way flexible, how, when and
wherever you want, being the teacher / trainer the catalyst developing this process.
In eLearning, the papers the teacher / trainer and school / university are not being replaced. What changes is its function, no longer educational agents, to be partners in apprenticeship. Therefore personal contact is not unappreciated, but become more interesting.

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Free Essays

A study into how Western and Middle Eastern Media manipulated public perspective during the Iraq War.

CHAPTER ON INTRODUCTION
This investigation was inspired by an introduction to the theorist Noam Chomsky and his contributions into the theory behind propaganda. What initially grabbed my attention was how his theories focused on public perspective in particular. After being exposed to parts of Robert Greenwalds’ documentary ‘Outfoxed’ I was shocked to learn how powerful and influential the Fox media network has become in engineering the public opinion of America in order to validate the Iraq Invasion. As a result I acquired a full length copy of the ‘Outfoxed’ documentary and after learning some of the techniques that Fox News used I questioned how Fox were able to get away with such outlandish comments and obviously false claims. It made me think that perhaps here in the UK the public may have been subjugated to similar techniques and to ask whether they have any similar effects upon the British public. It also impelled me to investigate whether the Middle East experienced any side effects of British and American (Western) propaganda.

My dissertation plans to investigate whether Western Media has a greater control than that of the Middle East over the distribution of knowledge. By investigating what information is considered newsworthy, we will see the public directed through a certain thought process and there will be evidence to suggest that media networks’ attempts to promote certain political opinions have been successful through the implementation of Chomsky and Herman’s ‘Propaganda Model’ and its filters. This dissertation also plans to investigate whether or not the media outlets (Both private and state owned) in the Middle East are less governed or restricted when it comes to worthy content when reporting issues and topics that concern the Iraq war, in comparison to the western media moguls such as Sky News, CNN etc.

The main objective of the investigation will be to discover whether or not the techniques sourced by Chomsky and Herman in their Propaganda model have successfully infiltrated through both Western and Middle Eastern media networks. In addition to this, I aim to provide an insight into which media system [West or Middle East] is most successful at manipulating the public in order to preserve a degree of power. Through research and analysis this investigation will aim to verify which techniques are implemented by the media to maintain a level of control over the public.

Whilst coordinating the research for the Literature Review it became apparent that the BBC were seldom mentioned in the run up and aftermath of the Iraq War in terms of their involvement with propaganda and covering up the truth. The value of this investigation aims to demonstrate that the BBC, among other media networks, is in reality abusing a trust with the global public by embracing the methods and techniques of Chomsky’s Propaganda Model. Sky News is a global network also owned by Rupert Murdoch. Will Murdoch exercise and apply the techniques of Fox News to Sky, or does he allow for Sky News to remain independent and therefore more objective in its reporting of the Iraq War?

CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman assembled the propaganda model and its five filters; Monopolisation of the media, the role of advertising, the incorporation of expert testimony, how and why flak catchers are employed by the ruling elites and the utilisation of dichotomisation. These filters established by Chomsky and Herman will allow me to establishes the basis for a comparison of case studies and witness if and how these filters are expended.

2. MONOPOLISATION OF THE MEDIA:

The media are run and owned by powerful private corporations aiming to sell their products to the masses. As a result the media becomes corrupt; information considered important is elected and tailored so that the public believe they are being relayed information that is truthful, factual and genuine.

ROLE OF ADVERTISING: This is the main source of income and profit for the media; Private corporations conducting business with other private corporations. They come together and determine what material goods we need, what campaigns we should support, ultimately they decide what is good for us and what is bad.

EXPERT TESTIMONY: This filter implies that expert testimony given derives from the specialised class or those who work for the specialised class. Their opinion has already been formed to correspond with the question at hand. These experts appear to be in a position of neutrality; however they are employed by the private corporations. Therefore how can the outcome remain unbiased?

FLAK CATCHERS: Flak is a term used when individuals, whom Chomsky speaks of, question those in power; it’s the individual versus the whole apparatus. In other words the so-called ‘Big Guy’ will use his power and other resources to find information that will silence the individual.

DICHOTOMISATION: This particular filter allows for the media to create an Anti-Terror threat. By establishing an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ complex the media are able to whip up society, for example to get the public to agree with any foreign adventures. Dichotomisation within the media is a powerful tool and one which can turn out considerable levels of subordination of the masses. The ‘potential enemy’ or greater evil can be portrayed in a manner deemed appropriate by the private corporations.

The propaganda model focuses on the inequality of wealth and power and with these filters they fix the premises of discourse and interpretation.[4] In Chomsky’s book ‘Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda,’ he draws attention to what he terms ‘Spectator democracy;’ reminisant of Walter Lippmann’s concept of ‘the manufacturing of consent’ where the bewildered herd are persuaded into agreement with what that they once deemed inconsequential. The idea behind ‘the manufacturing of consent’ functions on the basis that “the common interest elude public opinion entirely” (Media Control, p.15) and managed by a “specialised class of responsible men” (Media Control, p.15) who decide how society is organised.

Our choices and opinions are already formed and decided for us, we are led to believe however that we have been given the choice. To maintain power the specialised class must create “necessary illusions,” (Media Control, p.20). In the section headed ‘Engineering Opinion’ Chomsky ignores the notion of how the public in general are pacifist by nature especially when it comes to Foreign Adventures, so in order to encourage interest and support “you have to whip them up” (Media Control, p.30) The most common technique used to marginalise and distract the public is to exploit fear. By frightening the public, those in power can restrict public organisation and terminate any articulation of sentiment opposed to whatever those in power deem necessary. To persuade the public, ‘necessary illusions’ are required. Instead of the public focusing on economic or educational crisis within one’s own society Government creates a sense of fear. Actions are justified because it is for the greater good; “aggressors cannot be rewarded and aggression must be reversed with the quick resort to violence.” (Media Control, p.56) Arguably it is hard to legitimise violence when abstracted from historical circumstances.[5] Focus on moral responsibility of individuals to pursue questions that the elite media are responsible for sets major frameworks. Here those at the top of the media industry, for example Rupert Murdoch, decide what is newsworthy and how it is filtered out to newspapers, radio and TV to local media outlets. Those in power find it “necessary to completely falsify history.” (Chomsky, p.35) By using propaganda the specialised class is able to “restore sanity, […] a recognition that whatever we do is noble and right” (Chomsky, p.35) thus making it easier to silence the herd rather than listen to it.

1.1 ‘Outfoxed!’

‘Outfoxed’ is a documentary that looks at how right wing, Conservative media empires are exposing Chomsky’s fears of ever-enlarging corporations that control the public and create profit for Rupert Murdoch and his corporative allies. It is Greenwalds’ response to Chomsky and Herman’s filter ‘flak catchers.’ For a country that is run by private enterprise “media is the nervous system of a democracy […] if it is not functioning well, the democracy cannot function.” (00:01:24) What Fox News Channel (FNC) has managed to create is fear. Everything at the FNC is dictated, monitored and constrained to the beliefs of right wing- Bush Administration- Republicans and the techniques exercised by news broadcasters and journalists manage to eliminate any real element of Journalism or Truth. As a consequence the American Public were exceedingly manipulated and generated into a state of fear through motivated and exploitive techniques. These techniques and themes are by no means objective and as a result those members of society exposed to FNC lose any sense of perspective; becoming the ‘bewildered herd’ Chomsky fears we shall all become. FNC are notoriously famous for their controlling techniques; is ‘Murdoch’s war on Journalism’[6] becoming a global characteristic. But are those in the media who reject Murdoch’s war still able to remain objective or do they succumb to the powerful elites who would cease to profit if objectivity was allowed.

The techniques highlighted in ‘Outfoxed’ help detect instances of opinion control and social influences from other media networks. Techniques include Hosts or Journalists of a network speaking over their guests, preventing an alternative opinion, most damaging to the public. This technique could be classified as flak catchers and/or dichotomy. Journalists and Anchors represent the ‘big guy’ imposing and abusing their power over guest speakers creating an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ persona. Clips and sound bites originally used for hard news are later filtered across to other news segments to influence viewers into thinking what is being reported is hard news when in fact it is entertainment; a form of advertising. In order to include opinion without having to prove it as fact or provide expert testimony, journalists would exercise the phrase “Some people say” (00:18:00) mainly to convey a political opinion. Pre-approved consultants [expert testimony] represent a biased and unbalanced coverage at Fox News Channel; 87% of guests who appeared on the news who legitimised the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were representatives from the Republican Party.[7] Society was denied alternative perspectives. Another technique used to ‘stir the masses’ was the use of motives, icons and themes that appeared on the media networks and used to motivate and organise Chomsky’s ‘bewildered herd’ by converting everything against the Iraq war to an act of terrorism itself instilling fear in viewers who become scared to voice or seek alternative opinion or information and so accept the popular allowing for unquestioned support of Government policies. It is clear that Rupert Murdoch has adopted Chomsky and Herman’s filters of propaganda and has applied them to Fox News Channel to impose Republican and Bush Administration’s policies onto the public as being the right choice.

1.2 Rich Media/Poor Democracy

According to the ‘integration’ model[8] of broadcasting the media “could be treated as a natural monopoly and in the belief that this sort of structure could uphold the ‘public interest’.” (Negrine, p.233) Negrine states that the socio-political nature of a media network will vary across national boundaries and as a result becomes associated with a particular political party or government to project particular interests and values onto the ‘bewildered herd’. ‘The Media/Democracy Paradox[9]’ establishes that the powerful elites “have established Global Empires and generated massive riches providing news and entertainment to the peoples of the world […] independent from Government control.” (Rich Media, Poor Democracy, p.1) However McChesney discovers that “the wealthier and more powerful the corporate media giants have become, the poorer the prospects for participatory democracy.” (Rich Media, Poor Democracy, p.4) Now according to Chomsky, the blame does not lie solely upon the media giants; it is the public’s responsibility to question the intentions and structure of news claiming its apparent democratic disposition. Machesney also implies that News is now nothing more than entertainment as forms of distraction. While we know that the Fox News Channel is guilty of such endeavours it will be interesting to see if any other media network are guilty of using such techniques in order to maintain and persuade the ‘bewildered herd’.

1.3 Al-Jazeera News

Al-Jazeera is the result of Qatar’s democraticisation process and “apart from being the first 24-hour Arab satellite news network, Al-Jazeera has turned the tables on state controlled Arab media.” (Changing Realities, p.2) Controversial issues, levelling criticism at “both religious and political officials and challenged official pro governmental Arab versions of event [,]” (Changing Realities, p.2) Al-Jazeera’s motto “The opinion and the other opinion” certainly draws the attention of society to the reality of misinformation supplied by state controlled TV whilst remaining “in touch with the ‘Arab Street’ and play a role in shaping Arab public opinion.” (Changing Realities, p.2) Al-Jazeera has become a focus point of both the Western and Arab criticism as well as Al-Jazeera’s credible reporting and reporters have been banned from countries, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and anti Al-Jazeera campaigns have been launched to combat the networks’ freedom of expression on their reporting of news.

Before Al-Jazeera, media in the Middle East was mainly state controlled. If we look at Iraq as an example we can see clearly how the media can be manipulated and presented as “an omnipotent propaganda machine […] entrusted with the task of nurturing hatred[10]” (Bengio, p.109) The media was used as a watchdog and contributed “significantly to its survival and longevity […] and depicted the entire information machine” (Bengio, p.110) Owing to heavy restrictions in place, Iraqi media “would by no means be permitted to serve as a platform for airing opposing views or criticism of the Ba’th” (Benigo, p.110) regime. Saddam Husayn restricted the media by “modelling them on the worst totalitarian examples of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.” (Bengio, p.110) This type of model makes it relatively easy to manipulate the media with political agendas generating a highly effective propaganda machine. This makes it easy for a government to engineer public opinion with ease by introducing the complexity of creating an enemy. If state control limits and restricts the masses sources of information then the public have no choice but to ‘believe’ what they are being told; “the picture which the public received of the ‘other’ was one-dimensional and black and white […] the subjection of the media to the totalitarian Ba’th regime ensured total adherence to this line.” (Bengio, p.112- p.113)

Where Al-Jazeera differs is they have a choice on what they report – to a certain extent. They have the same opportunity to report on Middle Eastern events as state media. Al-Jazeera, however, have the capability to report events from an alternative perspective, giving the public masses an alternative opinion and the power to choose for themselves. With state-owned media Democracy and free expression are almost nonexistent and up until the Iraq War “the political system in Iraq, and with it the media and the intellectuals, remained as far removed from democratization and the peace process as ever.” (Bengio, p.118) Free expression and democracy has lead to the production of Al-Jazeera, but it is these elements which restricts the news network to certain countries as more often than not Al-Jazeera struggle to adhere to specific Arab regimes and their political messages. To try and understand what restrictions both Western and Middle Eastern media networks had to face during the Iraq war journalist Jon Snow looks at how the media was organised and supervised.

1.4 ‘The truth about the war.’

‘The Truth about the War’ is a documentary, which explores how heavily managed the media was during the Iraq War. What John Snow reveals is that after the Coalitions’ “shock and awe”[11] techniques to capture Baghdad, the world saw “two versions of this war being reported, and which one you saw depended on where you lived.” (Snow, 00:03:32) Al-Jazeera would report on the “brutal reality of civilian death” (Snow, 00:03:27) while viewers in “Britain and America saw a different war.” (Snow, 00:05:56) A BBC Documentary special on Al-Jazeera[12] looks at the TV station’s coverage of the war in Iraq and the difficulties they face. What we learn from this documentary was that Al-Jazeera reporters were not embedded with the coalition armies and therefore were able to gain footage, knowledge and reports that were not restricted or released by the British and American Military. As such they had a greater freedom when reporting but clearly suffer with Chomsky’s western “Flak” catchers. (Al-Jazeera Special 00:24:13) As a result “Its position as an Arabic channel caused [it] to be both ostracised by coalition and intimidated by Baghdad,” (Al-Jazeera Special, (00:01:01)) because the majority of the Al-Jazeera report’s highlighted errors made by coalition forces and presented it to a global audience. In the West, “Al-Jazeera has become associated with pictures of dead coalition troops and video-postcards from someone who might be Osama Bin Laden,” these images advertise the Middle East’s efforts to create an enemy out of the west generating an indication of dichotomy, “A perception for some is that the network is implicated in the subject matter of its reports. ” (Al-Jazeera Special, 00:00:40) these associations are implemented in an attempt to silence[13] Al-Jazeera and the truth about “the real war.” (Al-Jazeera Special, 00:27:00) Al-Jazeera’s response was that “Al-Jazeera are not creating, just reporting!” (Al-Jazeera Special, 00:24:20)

CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY

3. METHODOLOGY

I plan to investigate what techniques the media use to influence and construct public opinion. This dissertation will take a more qualitative approach to the investigation. This is because qualitative research in the words of Rudestam “uses sampling which is idiographic, focusing on the individual or case study in order to understand the full complexity of the individual’s experience. From this perspective, there is no attempt to claim an ability to generalise to a specific population, but instead, the findings are relevant from the perspective of the user of the findings.” (Rudestam, p.92)

I intend to research the media’s reports from before, during and after the Iraq War (2003) in order to distinguish and understand what effects this had upon Western Society and Middle Eastern Society. In the literature review many examples of media controlling techniques came from Fox News Channel in America and Al-Jazeera from the Middle East. Therefore it would not be practical to use reports from these two networks as their techniques have been examined in detail and we already know the effects they projected onto society. What I would like to find out is whether other news media networks are guilty of adopting a similar propaganda style and techniques and if so, what implications does this present to society.

I plan to analyse a series of case studies (published articles) then compare them to find the similarities and differences between the West and the Middle East. Articles from each network will be taken from the each of the years 2002 (Pre Iraq war), 2003 (During Iraq war), and 2004 (Post Iraq war).

One definite network to be examined will be the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as they were one the main competitors with Al- Jazeera, for supplying the British public with information during and after the war. Whilst organising the Literature Review it became apparent that the BBC were seldom mentioned in the run up and aftermath of the Iraq War in terms of their involvement with propaganda and covering up the truth. What I aim to demonstrate is that the BBC are in reality abusing a trust with the British or even Global Public by adopting methods from Chomsky’s Propaganda Model and a system of techniques similar to those of Fox News. Another network to be observed will be that of Sky News, a global network owned by Rupert Murdoch. Will Murdoch exercise and apply the techniques Fox News are guilty of using to Sky, or does he allow for Sky News to remain independent and therefore more objective in its reporting of the Iraq War?

One media network I have decided to look at is a newspaper called Arab News. Arab News is privately owned and a Saudi Arabian based publication but reaches a global Arab audience via the internet. I interviewed a journalist, Yusra Ahmad, who has previously worked for state-owned media in Egypt and Kuwait; pre and post revolutions. While her expertise is not specifically related to the Iraq War in particular, she may be able to offer information on the restrictions placed upon the media in the past. I will then hopefully be able to compare any methods or techniques used by state-owned TV during times of war or civil unrest, and then apply it to how the private media operates during similar times such as the Iraq war.

So the networks I intend to research and investigate are the BBC News (UK), Sky News (UK), CNN (US) and Arab News (Saudi Arabia). Each Report has been taken from the networks online archives. The Interview questions are based around the material from the Literature Review composed in a manner which will allow me to investigate Government/State-owned media in the Middle East. The questions will cover the advantages of state control of the media as well as the disadvantages, If Governments have full reign of the media or do they conform to regulators as Western Media do. As the interviewee has prior commitments a face-to-face interview was not feasible. Instead she was happier to conduct the interview via email. I have bracketed ‘Middle East’ in the questions as the questions were answered in regards to Egypt or Kuwait but it still gives the opportunity to allow for examples from alternative countries if the interviewee has the appropriate knowledge to do so.

Ideally this type of investigation would require an in depth analysis of all the media from the West and then compare it to all the Media from the Middle East. However it would take a great deal of man power to research all publications and broadcasts from before, during and after the Iraq war. One major limitation of investing Middle Eastern Media is that State controlled media, and many of the privately owned networks are presented in Arabic. This Language barrier may prove a hindrance in this investigation. Coalition occupation is still in progress, therefore in determining a date for case studies cornering the end of the war I decided to analyse articles published one the one year anniversary of when the war started.

CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND FINDINGS.

4. ANALYSIS: DECEMBER 2002.

CASE STUDY-1 ‘U.S. Moves towards Iraq War Footing.’ (BBC) (20/12/02)

The first piece of information we are presented with is an image of an army tank with the caption “all the way to Baghdad” advertising the realisation that war is in fact inevitable. The image does not represent the possibility or war; it more or less confirms it. Justifications behind the manoeuvring of large deployments of US troops was to convey the message of how the West “longs for peace [,]” the BBC conveys to the British public that these measures are necessary to ensure that ‘peace.’ The BBC here are highlighting government policies and encouraging the public to support them.

Actions of the US are deemed non- peaceful and to support this, the BBC provides its public with a statement from Iraq that encourages them to question why is it that “even before [the UN] were able to read and analyse [Iraq’s’] declaration they said it had gaps in it.” How can anyone know was has been submitted without reading or analysing the material first?

In this report the BBC attempts to remain unbiased, the public are provided with an up-to-date summary progress of war. The BBC fails however to provide an equal amount of perspective from Iraq’s point of view. If the BBC are only providing the public with limited sources than the ability to make an informed decision becomes difficult.

CASE STUDY-2 ‘Massive Seaborne Invasion.’(SKY)(22/12/02)

Sky’s audience are immediately informed of Coalition plans to conduct “a massive seaborne invasion” and that America has already “launched its biggest desert manoeuvres.” It is Sky’s personal opinion that America as a country of action and that Britain is one of planning. This technique is reflective of Murdoch’s network Fox News where America is always presented in a positive manner and that action is favoured over thinking; act now, think later. This relates to Chomsky’s filter of dichotomisation as America is presented as one thing, while Britain is presented as something else.

As “the source said that a major invasion of Iraq from the gulf would be the first stage in any ground war [,]” the audience are lead to believe that this testimony comes from an expert on war strategies. “The Source” is again reminiscent of Fox’s ‘Some people say.’ It could be assumed that the source Sky speaks of is the same source who released the MoD statement but the lack of clarification makes it difficult for readers to comprehend and so left to presume that the source is expert testimony.[14] Like the BBC, Sky News is providing a limited knowledge for the public restricting their ability to make an informed decision.

Again expert testimony from the Prime Minister Tony Blair that Britain is taking “all the necessary preparations” for the “possible war with Baghdad [,]” is Sky’s way of telling its audience that the word ‘possible’ is irrelevant, why else would sky waste time on reporting in detail of all the precautions being taken, such as the deployment of troops, and that both America and Britain are in actual fact ready for war. It becomes clear that Sky is manipulation its audiences to support the invasion into Iraq via a simple play on the word ‘possible.’

What is interesting is that Sky never once discusses the supposed WMDs Saddam is hiding. The closest Sky gets to this topic is the US State of Defence’s call for more weapons inspectors. However the call for inspectors is not confined to simply Iraq but directed towards the whole of the Middle East suggesting that all Arab Countries pose a threat against the West. Clearly Sky has adopted Chomsky filter of Dichotomisation, clearly indicating the Middle East is a threat to Western society, and a possible enemy for the West. This generalisation is also evident in Blair’s previous statement concerning the “war with Baghdad.” The war is against the totalitarian regime Saddam enforces on his people and the possibility of WMDs, but here the war is against ‘Baghdad.’ This manipulates audiences into believing that the Middle East is a potential threat, not just Saddam.

Sky inform audiences of recent weapons inspections of an old nuclear facility, chosen, I believe, because of the association between its name ‘Al- Qa’qaa’ to the terrorist group ‘Al-Qaeda’ who have been linked to Iraq on many occasions.[15] With links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda it is not surprising that the Middle East becomes synonymous with terrorism for a western audience instilling fear into society. This article does not provide audiences with hard fact or reason as to why the West must go to war, instead what the audience receives is how advanced plans are to invade Iraq which ultimately contradicts Tony Blair’s’ statement of the “possible war.”

CASE STUDY-3Brutish and Loud.’ (Arab News) (22/12/02)

Arab News depicts America as speaking with “only one diplomatic voice these days, and it is brutish and loud.” Characteristics usually associated with the playground bully are now bestowed unto America, promoted as being a biased country towards Iraq and the Middle East. Arab News, like the BBC and Sky News, has adopted Chomsky’s filter of Dichotomy. By illustrating America as the enemy it creates a clear wedge between the Middle East and the West. The Arab audiences receive an unmistakable derogatory depiction of the West as a bully suggesting that Arab audiences and members of the public should not succumb to the demands and wants of America and Britain; that they are the enemy.

Arab News presents its audience with a hypothetical situation where they are asked whether they believe America would prove to be helpful, then encouraged to follow suit that “one thinks not.” Arab News persuades its audience to conform to the dictated belief that “US justification […] is the more specious.” The message is clear; Iraq will be betrayed because the US themselves are guilty of “betraying their basic contempt for the [UN] organisation.”

The hypothetical situation is very similar to how the West pushed the possibility that Saddam was hiding WMDs. Both Medias seem to focus on possibilities rather than definite outcomes. Both Western and Middle Eastern media’s seem to project the notion that these possibilities are highly likely, conjuring an image of something to fear. This message is directed to the mass public of the Middle East that any Arab country may be “just as quickly [discarded] like a Kleenex when [their] purpose has been served.” The Arab audience are stirred into support by this statement; to be submissive of this message would be an act of desertion against Middle Eastern culture and society.

Arab News intimates to its audience that America is a country of “slavishness” and incapable of recognising the right choice for “one [should] wonder about the sanity of US foreign policy-makers [that] seems to be reaching a level of blinkered unsubtly where […] sound causes are drowned out by [America’s] brutish roar.” America’s methods of Democracy are illustrated to the public as “[kicking] down doors rather than stoop and turn the handle.” Public opinion here is clearly being engineered to thinking Bush is a Bully, not the saviour he makes out to be.

This article is filled with copious amounts of propaganda, and if had been directed solely to the Iraqi civilians then perhaps it could be viewed as a severely corrupt way to boost civilian morale. It is directed to all Arabs in the Middle East leaving no doubt that Arab News attempts to influence the public directly in belief that the West are an enemy to fear.

CASE STUDY-4

‘Iraq welcomes ‘American Intelligence’ to weapons hunt.’(CNN)(23/12/02)

CNN here uses Iraqi perspective and official Iraqi statements to inform a western/American audience that the argument over suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) indeed has two sides. The BBC and Sky News both fail in offering audiences an adequate amount of alternative perspective. Their reports remain highly one-sided. By trying to remain as objective as possible without offending or questioning American patriotism, CNN are able to inform a western public that “Iraq has already disproved” claims of WMDs and yet Bush is still insisting that Iraq is lying. This information calls the public to question US intelligence and recognize areas of doubt; CNN can provide the data and all the public ‘can see for itself’ the facts allowing them to contrast an individual opinion.

CNN identify that Iraq believes “the United States and Britain are the only players in this macabre game against Iraq,” and this is reminiscent of the how western media’s attempted to impose power over their Middle Eastern competitors[16] once the war began. CNN purposefully construct statements to show how the Bush Administration “has accused Iraq” and nearly all of these accusations are “speculated” rather than confirmed where as Sky News present America and Britain as doing the right thing. CNN are clearly attempting not to impose a particular or common belief onto the public unlike Sky or Arab News.

CNN have given a fairer and equal coverage to Iraq and have allowed their voices and opinions to be heard. However once focus is turned to America’s opinion we find that “the united States has accused Iraq of failing to account for material that can be used to grow such biological agents such as anthrax,” and then the programme proceeds to list a number of deadly biological weapons leading the audience to believe that Saddam is a leader who personifies ‘the axis of evil.[17]’

Fox News Channel has been found guilty of sourcing a high majority of expert testimony from the Republican Party in the lead up to the Iraq war and throughout. If one looks closely at CNN’s guest speakers and spokespersons we find three opinions are sourced from the Democrat party while only the one Republican spokesperson. While CCN do offer a more objective report of the war the fact that their expert testimony is limited to a particular political party.

4.1 ANALYSIS: MARCH, 2003.

CASE STUDY-5 ‘Analysis: U.S ‘Shock and Awe’ Tactics.’ (BBC) (21/03/03)

Schifferes states that the aim of such tactics was “to break the morale of the Iraqi Military.” And yet later are informed that in order for the ‘Shock and Awe’ tactic to succeed it is “civilian morale” that must be broken. All that is being analysed is the theory; we hear of “sophisticated weapons”, of how US military are humanely and safely negotiating terms of surrender with Saddam’s soldiers. In reality Iraqi civilians are being killed and suffering from the bombing, only one sentence at the start of the article addresses the definitive act of the air raids in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities; this has been “long-awaited” suggesting that what western society has expected and wanted has finally happened. Schifferes goes on to ‘analyse’ how this is a “psychological campaign aimed at ensuring quick victory.” Here audiences are directed to believe that in order to achieve quick victory this ‘Shock and Awe’ tactic is a necessity; the most intelligent and therefore logical choice. Western audiences are told that Iraqi civilians will only be psychologically harmed as opposed to physically harmed via air raids, bombs and explosions.

The BBC in this article glamorizes the art of war. The detail and focus on the technological advances in weaponry is devised by Schifferes as the “Smart War” and talks of the “sophisticated weapons” that will “maximise their effects while limiting collateral damage,” with the aid of “global positioning satellites.” No theory is discussed in relation to the specific psychological effects of such a “Campaign,” is this to stop the public questioning the reality and destruction behind these tacticsIt is a reasonable assumption considering the word count given to describing the success of previous ‘Shock and Awe’ tactics and yet no analysis is given to the psychological effects of previous casualties of such campaigns.

CASE STUDY-6 ‘Operation And …Or?’(SKY) (24/03/03)

Sky focuses its attentions to the US Military’s employment of the ‘Shock and Awe’ tactic as did the BBC. What is initially seen as criticism towards the military actually turns out to be criticism aimed at the lack of activity. The public are reminded that they have been waiting eagerly for action that never came and how “it looked as though the Iraqis had the upper hand.” Just by the generality “Iraqis” presents this war as Coalition versus Iraq, not Coalition versus Saddam’s totalitarian Government, Soldiers, or the Ba’ath regime. Again, Sky are guilty of creating sense of dichotomy only this time instead of using America and Britain, it is now the West versus the Middle East. This act of dichotomy creates a wedge between a western public and a Middle Eastern public with only allows for fear to grow.

Presented with an Image of a US Tank with the caption “Ground Troops push on” advertising a sense of determination and courage illustrates how patriotic troops are conveying to audiences they too should be patriotic. As the BBC presented the masses with the notion this was to be a ‘Smart War,[18]’ in terms of the weapons to be used, Sky reverses this notion by offering its audience particular background knowledge on the ‘Patriot;’ a weapon that while effective in previous wars is not up to standards to deal with Saddam’s forces. Elites such as Murdoch support the war and have a lot to gain from it[19] and obviously do not wish to address the question ‘why are we at war?’ So instead Sky construct a report looking at how weapons may not be up to standards transmitting to the public that if the West are to be victorious then troops should have the necessary weapons to ensure rapid victory.

Sky encourages their audience to “think of the following” – they begin to engineer the public though process. The article focuses on “the fact much of the equipment used by Americans has been pre-positioned in the Gulf region ever since the 1991 Gulf War.” Only the final and brief paragraph that addressed the actual ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign, Sky’s response was “words do fail:” no details as to the success of the campaign, no information what so ever is given. Reminiscent of Arab News’s ‘one thinks not[,]’ Sky proceeds to engineer opinion again stating “one has to think that almost regardless of the intended effect on elements of the regime there […] was actually an exercise for other countries: this is what an angry United States can do it could be you next.” This message I believe is directed to an audience that oppose the war, the US is presented as a fearful agent of power and that cooperation is best.

CASE STUDY-7 ‘Iraqis Puts on Brave Face as War Starts.’ (Arab News) (21/03/03)

This article looks at victims of the ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign. We are given a place, a time, a subject and their age creating a firm image in the audiences mind setting the scene so they are able to establish an emotional connection to the articles content, creating the opportunity to gain the perspective of the Iraqi public. This report certainly focuses more on the reality of war; the “wailing sirens,” the “bombardment” of the air raids, the “scared” 10 year old boy Sameh Mohammed who fears the “attacks” certainly presents a more coherent image of the war. The Reality Arab News points to is how civilians of Iraq have suffered under Saddam’s rule and now fear suffering at the hands of those who claim to be helping.

Nakhoul informs a Middle Eastern audience that while despite the requirements of Religion, “Washington had warned a strike could come any time from 4:00 am in Baghdad.” This does not present the Western agents in a favourable light. Arab News incorporates a quotation from an Iraqi taxi driver, Abu, 50, as a representative of the Iraqi public, successfully capturing a common public response to the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign; people began to shout “Allahu Akbar” meaning ‘God is Greatest.’ It is important to note that Religion plays an important role in the Middle East and often used to keep the public in line.[20]

Their second reaction was to pray “for the safety of our country and our people and [curse] the filthy Bush.” A clear propaganda message; in order to be like Abu Arab News readers must have faith, pray for the safety of country and countrymen and not succumb to the bully like methods of ‘the filthy Bush.”Abu tells his fellow citizens that “Nobody accepts that his country is attacked” a personal opinion, and one that should be at the foreground of the public mind.

Arab News is guilty of Propaganda, clear messages are repeated, “They do not frighten us,” “they won’t be able to scare us;” while this could boosting public morale as a response to the ‘shock and awe’ campaign Arab News source multiple Iraqi civilians with quotes such as “every day will be worse than the other. It will be a long war because America wants to achieve its goal.”

CASE STUDY-8

‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign underway in Iraq’ (CNN) (22/03/03)

CNN also reported on the ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign, but unlike the BBC and Sky, CNN are careful not to elude the truths of war. Immediately the audience are informed of the necessary information; where, what time, what happened and as a result a clearer picture is instilled into the Western audience’s perspectives. No divergence to theory behind tactics or attention focused around the standard of equipment.

CNN manage to provide an up-to-date summary of what has led to the implementation of a ‘campaign […] intended to instil “shock and awe” among Iraq’s leaders.’ The only input of personal opinion seems to come from CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer who “reported that in 30 years of experience, he had never seen anything on the scale of Friday’s attacks on the Iraq capital.” This if anything only helps to paint a more informative picture of ‘the real war.’[21]

Information is clear, concise and relevant. One section that coincides with the other western networks is the false enlightenment that Saddam and his supporters ‘were finished.’ According to Arab News Saddam ‘will fight to the last drop of blood and will not surrender [.][22]’ While it does reflect similar interests Sky and the BBC, CNN are careful to inform audiences that this particular information has been “speculated” not confirmed.

One term used to refer to the war is ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom[23]’ but again CNN are careful to alert this term “comes as a Coalition effort [of] force [.]” Yet the article concludes with an “effort to keep the peace in Iraq” which leaves audiences more understanding and considerate to the efforts being undertaken by the west to guarantee this peace.

4.2 ANALYSIS: MARCH, 2004.

Case Study-9‘Worldwide protest marks Iraq War’(BBC) (21/03/04)

According to the BBC the protests that were held worldwide were to “mark the first anniversary of the start of the Iraq conflict.” By terming it the Iraq ‘conflict’ it manipulates an image of mere disagreement rather than aggressive combat. The BBC also draws attention to current security violations in Britain[24]which stresses to a Western audience the lack of organisation of the government[25] especially when the country is fighting the war against terrorism.

Images of ‘peace’ signs are reported by the BBC to highlight the global public’s want for an end to the Iraq war. The image of ‘peace’ is reminiscent of previous articles of the BBC; Case study 1 examines the reasons for war was to indeed guarantee global peace. BBC evidently emphasize to a Western audience that ‘peace’ has not yet been accomplished.

The Australian and Italian Prime Ministers are both portrayed as culprits of the Iraq war[26] and that they have been too easily influenced by the superpower nation of America. Iraq saw no protests to mark the anniversary of the start of the war because ‘Correspondents say the majority of Iraqis {…] resent the occupation of their country.’ ‘Correspondents’ appears vague and fictional because of its lack of credibility; a technique frequently implemented by Fox News Channel to construct and engineer public opinion. This time the BBC has influenced the public to be opposed to the Iraq conflict, a very different approach to its covering of events pre-2003.

Bush’s statement exposes the reasons why occupation cannot be surrendered as ‘any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence and invites more violence for all nations.’ This statement allows the public to envision themselves as the determination of force Bush expels to ensure victory over Iraq are indeed the characteristics of a Bully.

Case Study 10 ‘Bush: We Must Destroy Terror!’ (SKY) (19/03/04)

Sky picks up exactly where the BBC ends: the same quotation from Bush and his campaign to fight the war against terror in which he says, “Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence and invites more violence for all nations.” This certainly strikes an element of fear in the audience. Sky relays to its audience the message that if efforts in Iraq are to be abandoned than violence shall follow, if an individual disagrees with this message they would be considered to condone violence, terrorism and ultimately unpatriotic.

Sky affirms Bush’s call for all “civilised nations” to fight together against this threat. This re-establishes the dichotomy between the West and Middle East, proving that by creating an ‘us’ and ‘them’ complex, terror is still at large. In this particular use of dichotomisation the Middle East is cast as the outsider from the civilised world promoting the notion that occupation in Iraq is vital.

Sky acknowledges and adopts Bush’s manipulation of the terms “killers” and now instead of terrorists, Sky refers to them also as “killers.” “Killers” implies a more vicious and unruly enemy, an enemy that now poses a greater threat. Sky does not provide a response from Iraqi spokespersons denying the opportunity for them offer an opinion. Instead Sky deflects its audiences’ attention to the current terror attacks in Spain[28] which confirms the terror is still an on-going battle and those responsible are “killers [who] will be tracked down and found […] they will face their justice.”

Case Study 11 ‘Peace Activists hold huge Rallies.’ (Arab News) (21/03/04)

Arab News refers to the peace protests calls for a “demand [to] end occupation in Iraq” promoting the belief that the whole of the Western world agree that occupation in Iraq should cease and war was the wrong decision. This endorses the opinion that has been relayed to the Middle East since 2002; that the US and Britain went to war without public consent. This illustrates to an Arab audience that Western Publics have no faith or confidence in their own Governments and so neither should Iraq or any other Arab country. On reflection, ‘Arab News’ is only verifying what they have promoted all along, that Western interference is defective to the Arab culture and that it is they (the Coalition) who are the enemy.

Arab News is careful not to offend the Western Public; after all it is not they with who are angry. However, Western Media have not often reciprocated this respect, the Middle East public have been generalised as terrorists and as a result innocent civilians have had to suffer. This creation of doubt towards the Western Governments is confirmed by accounts where the West overlooked the desires and needs of its own societies to pursue personal agendas. By referring to how the Western publics perceive the actions of their leaders again confirms previous opinions of Arab News that the West had no just cause or relevant support to go to war with Iraq, slogans sported by British protestors demand an “Anti-Bush, Anti-Blair, Anti-war everywhere” approach to Government and Military actions, and “no more lies” is the least the public deserve.

Arab News pays closer detail to the amount of protests, the countries and cities in which they took place and how many protesters were said to have attended. Be providing the facts and figures behind these anti war protests allows for Iraq and the Middle East to witness the genuine support from the West, affirming that the resentment is towards those who hold power, the ruling elites.

Case study 12

Clarke: Rice should have done job before 9/11.’ (CNN) (25/03/04)

Over a year has passed since America launched its attacks on Iraq and the focal point of CNN’s report aims to address ‘a blame game.’ Everybody seems to be pointing the finger, but the finger is not pointing at those responsible for the Iraq War; for Occupation is still ongoing, therefore the finger is pointing the audience to the subject of the possible prevention of the 9/11 attacks leading to the Iraq War could have been. According to CNN’s expert testimonies[29] the events of 9/11 could have possibly been prevented, just like Bush and Blair believed Saddam could possibly have WMDs and that war was a ‘possibility.’[30]

The American public are told that the mistakes made by the Bush Administration would not have happened under the governance of the Clinton Administration. CNN are thus presenting Bush and his Administration as incompetent.

Reading the article was almost like watching a debate. CNN are ‘flip-flopping[31]’ between Clarke’s opinions to the White Houses’ opinion and by flipping ‘180 degrees from everything else’ it becomes confusing for the audience. The ‘facts’ are all jumbled to make it more the article more exciting. However it is apparent that CNN are siding with Clarke as they are guilty of advertising his success to public.

“several [other] media interviews this week and […] a public hearing before the commission investigating the September 11 attacks[,]” and the apparent “maelstrom after this week’s release of his book, ‘Against All Enemies,’ […] he accuses Bush, Rice and other administration officials of not paying enough attention to Al – Qaeda’s threats before 9/11 and then diverting attention and resources from the war on terror in Iraq.” CNN is informing its audience of a book, written by an expert that will provide them with the evidence that they (the public) have been deceived.

4.3 INTERVIEW WITH YUSRA AHMAD:

The relationship between state-owned media and private media in the Middle East is one which encompasses high levels of detriment towards the public. If private media “brings to light many of the issues the governments in the Middle East try very hard to keep under wraps[,]” then private media’s, such as Al-Jazeera, discovered that “many who voiced concerns regarding the destiny of their country etc were taken off air, arrested, detained and basically shut down.”[32] Those who object to this act of silencing have no choice but to comply with the policies dictated to them or otherwise leave their jobs[33] because state-owned media “[has] such a stronghold of information.” Media in the Middle East is “simply an extension of the government and if it [isn’t] it was put in its place by the government.”

In terms of constructing the ‘necessary illusions’[34] to control the masses, it becomes apparent that state owned media do not have to manipulate the news content to achieve the desired outcome, instead they simply “fabricate much of their stories in order to provide support for their government.” By fabricating stories the public are left with no other choice than to presume what is being relayed to them is true. State-owned media maintain control by instilling fear into the publics’ perspective as “fear mongering is very big in the Middle East.” The main technique to implanting fear in the public is achievable through religion because “Religion plays a huge role within [Middle Eastern] society [,]”[35] and it is widely believed that in the Middle East “you can’t fight the fear of God.” Case study 3 highlights how this technique is used by the media to unite the public into support against the West.

For countries where state-owned media was once dominant it is apparent that new media find it hard to function effectively. Once governed by totalitarian governments “the people [in the Middle East], for the first time in their lives are learning how to debate, […] they were never allowed opposing opinions [and] they are still working on understanding the essence of democracy.” These uncertainties within the public allow for state owned media to again “spin their angles of “Western Zionist agents” trying to infiltrate [the Middle East].”

Censorship in the Middle East is still unconfined, even for private media. Many networks are unable to print or broadcast anything “remotely political, sexual, religious or otherwise controversial.” Private media however are able to get away with a lot more [as] they are usually owned [or] backed by big families.”[36] This act of monopolisation provides evidence to the high levels of corruption within Middle Eastern media. The terror attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq War have unfortunately “[provided] more leverage” for state-owned media as it manufactures the perspective that the western authorities are attempting to manipulate the Middle Eastern public, if the public “were left to freely voice their opinions, demand change, they would be providing the West with the control they so eagerly desire over the Middle East.” By promoting the west as an enemy, via Chomsky’s filter of dichotomy, it creates the threat that in Middle Eastern culture ‘anyone demanding change […] would be labelled a “western agent” fulfilling a “western agenda.”’

The interview revealed that “an important faction of the media […] in the Middle East is Social Media.” By removing a “reliance on governments” ordinary members of the public can become their own journalist or reporter,[37] “it [becomes] a free for all.”

CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION

Based on the analysis of the case studies and interview I am inclined to believe that it is Middle Eastern Media who have the greater control over the distribution of knowledge. This conclusion is based on the evidence that state-owned media in the Middle East is highly fabricated and even those networks that are private still must adhere to highly restrictive government policies which in turn limits opinion and perspective for their public. While western media must also adhere to rules and regulations, audiences are presented with unlimited opportunities to seek alternative opinions. The BBC appear to remain objective but it is clear that they helped manufacture public consent for the Iraq war as they fail to provide adequate information from an assortment of diverse perspectives, therefore limiting public perspective. Sky and Arab News however both seem to endorse government and political opinion compelling audiences to the medias desired opinion. CNN is the only network that appears to remain impartial, rarely presenting information in a prejudice or limited manner.

Analysis of the case studies and the interview disproved the belief that Middle Eastern Media are less restricted than their western counterparts. It is difficult for Middle Eastern media to provide alternative perspective as anchors and journalists fear for their lives as past examples have shown that Middle Eastern governments will go to any lengths to silence the opinions that contradict their policies and ability to control the masses.

The Middle East does not have to make an effort to manipulate public opinion or create the necessary illusions to do so as they rarely questioned. Western media however must work harder to manufacture public consent, meaning that manipulation must be accomplished through the implementation of Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda filters through the media. The main filters used by Western media to manufacture consent for the Iraq War include Dichotomy, Expert Testimony and Advertising. Dichotomisation was the main technique used by western media to create an element of fear within society. By establishing the impression that there is an ‘us’ and ‘them’ western society witnessed clear fractioning between religion and race. Arab News also primarily used dichotomisation in order to create an enemy of the West, an enemy which threatened Middle Eastern Culture. Western media are more favourable to using Chomsky’s ‘expert testimony’ filter in order to manufacture support from the public. Expert testimonies allows for the assumption of legitimate knowledge when in fact experts are pre selected in order for testimony to ensure the success of the desired outcome. Sky and CNN both are guilty of providing pre selected testimony, however CNN do provide alternative opinions and perspectives within the reports for their audiences. Sky on the other hand exhibits a strong alliance to the policies and perspectives of the right-winged Republican Party and the Bush Administration. It proves that media moguls, like Rupert Murdoch, impose personal opinion into the news causing society to follow a specific perspective.

This investigation attempted to clarify the BBC’s role through-out the Iraq war. The BBC are careful not to commit themselves to a particular perspective however, the BBC are lacking in alternative perspective or expert testimony, they do not provide the service required by the public to present all sides of the story. The BBC are guilty of incorporating the necessary illusions into their reports, in case study 1 it is clear that BBC pushes Blair’s notion that this war will guarantee ‘peace’ in the world deflects attention away from the reality and destruction of the war. BBC condones this by neglecting their duty to provide alternative opinion.

Analysis also provided the evidence that suggests Religion is an exceedingly effective way to generate fear for ‘you can’t fight the fear of God.’ Middle Eastern media exploit the public’s faith thus inhibiting the opportunity for the public to question the media and governments motives and limiting the possibility of alternative opinion. Religion itself is not a filter for Chomsky’s propaganda model, but it becomes evident society can be controlled, manipulated and maintained by the ruling elites by merging religion with policy it condones a governments actions as just and beneficial to society.

It is clearly evident that there was in fact “two different versions of this war”[38] but what is learnt from these two different perspectives?

5. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anthony, Ben. ‘Al-Jazeera Special’ Documentary, (19.06.04)(Napier University Library)
Briggs, Adam et al. ‘The Media: An Introduction.’ 2nd edn, Edinburgh, Pearson Education Limited, (2002)
Chomsky, Noam. ‘Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.’, 2nd edn,New York, Seven Stories Press, (2002).
Chomsky, N and Herman, E. ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.’ London, Vintage Books, (1994).
Egorova, Y, and Parfitt, T. ‘Jews Muslims and Mass Media.’ Bengio, Ofra. ‘In the Eyes of the Beholder: Israel, Jews, and Zionism in the Iraqi Media.’ London and New York, Routledge Curzon (2005).
Greenwald, Robert. ‘Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.’ Documentary, (2004). http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6737097743434902428#
Kitty, Alexandra. ‘Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.’ ‘Base on the documentary Film Sensation.’ Disinformation Company Ltd, New York, 2005.

Categories
Free Essays

Copyrights law of television industry in different countries (U.K and India) and its fair use in media business.

Abstract

This report explores most of the criteria of Copyrights and its vast area which protect creativity, invention and artists’ originality by laws and regulations about intellectual properties. A large number of researches depict different kind of rules and their implementation for healthy business environment in media industry (Television) in different countries such as UK and India. Where appropriate information about Intellectual property and copyright gives full knowledge about report, as well as other side way of these properties’s fair use helps to understand media and its creative environment. Discussion and background research are influencing conclusion with their logical elements and issues. Key point such as definitions, area of law, types of intellectual property, differences between constitutions affect topic very well and discover a wide range of knowledge.

Introduction

Creativity is a major part of invention and every artist and inventor tries to save his/her invention. Every kind of intellectual property needs appropriate law for its protection by misuse and fair use. Wilson L. (2005, p.8) states that ‘‘Most people realize that copyright protects works of art like poems and short stories, photographs, paintings and drawings and musical compositions. It may be less obvious that copyright protects more mundane forms of expression, including such diverse materials as advertising copy, instruction manuals, broachers, logo designs, computer programmes, term papers, home movies, cartoon strips, and advertising jingles’’. In this quote writer clearly mentioned safety issues and area of creative work. In this report we will be discussing about this kind of intellectual properties which use in television industry. As well as according to this quote we understand that copyright is a unique way to protect creative works such as books, music and different kind of art and commercial work. Non commercial work and commercial work has categorised in intellectual property law according to there use, In simple words we can say that copyright laws prevent artistic work from unauthorised use. This report informed about different kind of copyright laws in different countries, behalf of this some important questions such as how to prevent creativityFair use of creative works on Television Industry, Which parts of television area comes in intellectual properties?

Television Industry always works on wide range of new inventions and creative ideas where intellectual property is a necessary part of this media industry. Although matter is about new T.V shows, concepts, technologies, music or advertisements every part of this industry reflect copyright and its law. Many inventors already had given brilliant creative, entertaining and profitable ideas to media industry which still works for other companies and television channel for their profit via fair use, so it is very important issue to protect this kind of art. A Television company have different facts such as it is a commercial industry, advertisement technique, democratic organisation or institution, a medium between government and organisation, cultural visualisation technique. It is bigger than a thinking of business. While its only a source of entertainment for viewers on the contrary it is a big system which belongs to monetary term

Copyright and media have a unique connection which makes a wonderful business environment. Journalism, media, cable and broadcasting industry, advertisement agencies and their software’s, videos, music etc. every part of television have a interesting fact about laws and terms and condition. Fisherman A. (2004, p.2) said that ‘‘The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to protect works of authorship by enacting copyright laws. But it is up to Congress to actually write the copyright laws and decide on the details of what should be protected and for how long’’. According to this statement we can understand that copyright and intellectual law system generated in U.S via Congress and copyright issues also have some eligible time period, every kind of intellectual property which relates to television and its factor have a different time ratio according to its type and sources.

Research

Rights and Power

Matsuura, Jeffrey H (2003, p.9) shows that ‘‘Copyright law provide ownership to the creators of the original works that are fixed in tangible form. It grants those creators several fundamentals right to use for the work they create. One of those right is the right to create copies of (duplicate) the work. Another of those rights is the right to distribute the work. Copyright law also grants the creator of an original work the right to perform or to exhibit the work publicity’’. Quote indicate that In television companies a producer or director have right of his copyright video to make copies for public display, video and soundtracks of video, distribution CD for profit by rent or sale as well as digital transmission etc. On the contrary Matasuura, Jefferey, H (2003. p.98) states that the video industry avoided many content right battles that confronted their print and music industry colleagues in the early days of the internet. In part, the delay in encountering those issues was caused by the relative scarcity of consumer access to broadband capacity adequate to support high-quality digital video content distribution. With time, however, that respite for the video content industry is ending and thus the relative good fortune of the digital video content industry is rapidly fading. The video industry now faces many of the same difficult rights management issues that the other media industries are already attempting to resolve. The same challenges as control over content in digital form that the print publishing and music industries have faced for several years are now confronting the television and motion picture industry’’

Collections

One of the valuable limitations according to television copyright is the fair use techniques and valuation, every subject have to know about the fully terms and conditions about copyrighted product such as video or programme theme. There is only one copy can be copy and distributed but only when they don’t use it for profit and make the copy available to the general public. On the other side it is not possible to get another copy from copyright holder.

Infringement and Strategy

CREEBER (2008, p.49) illustrate that ‘‘The USA, one of the biggest producers of media distributed – often illegally – around the world, passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998 in an attempt to control unauthorized downloading of intellectual property. In 2001 the European Union (EU) crafted the EU Copyright Directive along similar lines. Many other nations also adopted such legislation, but in some areas of the world, most notably China, digital piracy continues with abandon.’’ the site explains more about the concept of which procedures would be ideal to apply to a particular piece of research. Participant observation, direct observations about copyright implementation period in different countries. Its clearly shows that copyright system implementation had a very important issue which protect creative work by media people and stop the unfair use of intellectual property. Althought some countries have not participated in this mission but gradually after a period country realised that they need a particular law for this problem. According to a internet news on Indian television website writer said that ’’The Anti-Piracy Coordination Cell, constituted by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the support of the HRD Ministry and the industry, will coordinate the efforts at combating the menace of piracy across sectors. Such a cross-sectoral initiative will lead to a synergized approach to a common and increasingly menacing problem’’ the statement informed that Indian government also participating gradually to remove piracy and unfair means in indian media. Any one who try to get profit by unfair means will be taken seriously by Indian judiciary.

Although every country implement laws and regulation to remove piracy from intellectual property but one question is still remaining that ‘‘ How others can fair use of creativity of genuine work and which kind of duration and laws they have to follow ?’’

Anything which use for social, cultural or political benefit and affect harm to copyright owner it comes to infringement. Specially when its not permitted. To avoid claims of piracy while we try to consider anyone else work we always beware that protect our self to become a piracy victim. We should aware and use a checklist before fair use of anyone work. For example we must research about the work and its background, we should get knowledge about works creator and his/her demands and authority belongs to work, some time if we use any kind of video or soundtrack we have to pay royalty amount regarding use of genuine work where on the contrary author or director of work provide NOC without any monetary terms. Media and television have a very complicated and deep amount of lawful information. Different catogry of fair use have different options such as if we want to use a broadcasted video or footage for public or social or culture related task we have to confirm its limitations and conditions for this statement Wilson L, (2005, p.71) believes that ‘‘ There is no definite boundaries between fair use and infringement, because no general rule defining infringement is possible – remember, the infringement evaluation must be made by weighing particular circumstances’’. It states that copyrights for intellectual properties specially in broadcasting system and cable tv is very strange. It is very necessary to get appropriate permission or license for fair use. Here the major point to understand is that difference between permission and license, use a particular stuff or work without monetary terms comes in permission and other side if we have to pay some amount for use works of someone else it comes in license section and similarity in both is that both depends on particular duration such as works area duration, time or date till then work can be use etc. One of the very good example is case study of international TV formats trading in the absence of IP protection where states that ‘‘The format is not necessarily reliant on legal protection. It certainly helps there is a degree of perceived legal protection but the industry at large is aware of how dubious that protection is’’ this statement basically describe about piracy and legal dimensions where a particular new invented TV show copied by different copycat producers. In this article there is a brief example has given about famous TV Show Pop Idols or American Idols which produced in different countries by various method such as Indian idol in India etc. Producer said that it is theft to make the same programme with few changes where concept and theme are quite same.

Internet Television Rights

New age and digitalization is making new innovative ideas of entertain audience where television become the part of life everyone’s other side some digital companies was ready to adopt a new television technology ‘‘internet streaming television’’ which provide all visuals of live streaming and recorded programmes on internet. Although was really creative innovations but intellectual property law and their law also quite different for this kind of technologies. Kretschemer M (2007, p.101) illustrate that Broadcasters, cable TV operators, content programmers, and television set manufacturers all agree that even if the digital transmission and interoperability issues are settled, the quandary over internet piracy and the possible distribution of high-definition content on the internet still needs to be resolved. Every procedure has a different evaluation according to its process if genuine director or producer allow his /her work to copy on internet by other websites then might be it’s a extrea profitable for them because in this case they can get royallity or other kind of amount such as license fees for there work, but if they have any contract or sponsorship with any company or label then contract paper decide the laws value for original creator.

REFERRENCES :

Wilson L (2005). fair use and use by permission. 1st ed.10 east 23rd street New York: Allworth Press.8

Wilson L (2005). Fair use free use and use by permission. 10 east 23rd street New York: Allworth Press. 71.

Attorney Stephen Fishman (2004). The Public Domain. 2nd ed. CA Nolo,: Berkeley. 2.

Matsuura, Jeffrey H (2003). Managing intellectual assets in the digital age . Boston: Artech House. 9.

Matsuura, Jeffrey H (2003). Managing Intellectual Assets in the Digital Age . Boston, MA : Artech House. 98.

CREEBER (2008). DigitalCulture: Understanding New Media. ENGLAND: Open University Press. 49.

n/a. (2010). Govt aims to align Indian Copyright Laws with global standards. Available: http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k10/oct/oct118.php. Last accessed 14th march 2011.

Kretschemer M & Singh S. (2010). Exploting Idols. A Case study of international TV format trading in the absence of IP Protection. 1 (1), 15.

Castaned M. (2007). Television & New Media. The Complicated Transition to Broadcast Digital Television in the United states. 8 (1),

Categories
Free Essays

A management report addressing the impact of the restrictions and limitations of Iran Press Law upon press and online services of the country; focusing on the Articles of the Press Law and recommendations based on the most up-to-date media development and global standards of liberty of expression

Introduction

From what worldwide perceptions assume, media content and media operations could considerably impact countries vital aspects such as economy, culture, and political matters and importantly people’s opinions. Such as most of the media organisations around the world, Iran’s media and press organisations are regulated by law, but reverse the most of them, these regulations occurred through a specific Islamic Law, which managed by the government. The rules and regulations are strong power in the hand of the country authorities to influence and to shape decision-making process and outcomes in the country.

This matter shows that the Press Law of Iran1 – hereinafter (the Press Law) is one of the most considerable aspects across the country to be debate, argued and reconsidered in order to coordinate it with the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Freedom of Opinion and Expression, which Iran also has agreed with it the National Union. Just in parenthesis, it has been shown that, Freedom of Expression, which has been known as a universal right and has been ratified for all people of the world, is not an absolute fact in the most countries including Iran. Consequently, it has been considered that both global law and Iran’s law Constitutions recognise that the freedom of expression may be limited although any restriction must stay in strictly defined parameters.

The rules and regulations of Iran Press Law, which has been ratified on March 19, 1986 and its executive by-law January 31, 19871, are evidently used as some strong social tools to prevent the private media organisations to involve the social or political issues in the country. The intended conditions and punishments exist in the Press Law has reversed the impression on the press owners, journalists, reporters and bloggers and stopped them of being involved in any social issue. Indeed, it has dramatically impacted these groups to stop disclosing or criticising religious, judicial or political leaders or authorities.

In this essay some of the particular layers and levels of the Articles of the Press Law such as Limitations and Authorisations1 will be discussed briefly. It will reveal that it is quite complicated to split up the Fundamental Regulations from the main body of the Press Law; the religious – political rules that are impacting not only the main body of the Press Law but also the abstracted content of the Article 19; Freedom of Expression. Also, it will identify that some dissonant parts of the Articles of the Press Law; Chapter 4, Articles 6 & 7 1 that are including several explanations, may suites the mentioned exact statements above. The Articles of the Regulation will be quantified variable from different angles and point of views, such as the media industry players’ perspective and / or from the country rulers and politicians’ point of view.

Eventually, it will discuss that the Press Law fails to amend key provisions in the original Law, which are at odds with international standards. For instance, according to the Press Law the government; the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance and the Press Supervisory Board, controls the Press Council but press and media has not efficient right to criticise the government authorities. More over, There will be some suggestions and recommendations on some of the existing fundamental rules of the Press Law with a sight to convey these laws into a way with the most up-to-date media development and global standards of Liberty of Expression; some international standards on freedom of press law regarding media regulation such as what is running in the UK and then suggesting them to Iran Press Law authorities for a slight reform.

Media and Press Law Background in Iran

Many People believe that writing about the Press Law of Iran (media Law in general) and its link with the freedom of expression is considerably a complex matter. It is somehow true. WhyBecause it is mainly, a closed limited restricted context. The digital media and broadcasting firms are in the monopoly of the government and far less susceptible to change. Television and radio are totally administrated and direct by the government and no one allowed establishing a private broadcasting company, television channel or radio station. It is difficult to access to the foreign sources of news from inside the country and people get their foreign news form satellite TV channels; in an illegal state, which banned by the government; satellite TV channels are shown in Iran since 1995. Previously, Iranians used to listen to the foreign news via radio, SW1 and SW2 views. There is a highly restriction to prevent people bring any foreign publications into the country. Reading, watching and listening to the foreign media contents are banned and illegal.

The Press Law is very restricted and the role of the media is limited within the society. Not every context can be published because of the high level of penalty and punishment such as custody, whipping, and banning of media outlets, which are typical sanctions for all type of crimes including press crimes. In fact, lack of objective criteria and clear definitions in the Press Law caused to applying individual action in the most of legal punishments by the governmental characters. There is an inappropriate use of the Revolutionary Court and the issuing of written orders by the Executive about what material can be discussed in the media in general. ”Iran: State Media Control Extends To Provinces, Airwaves”3.

On the other hand, it is not possible to publish an article that than immediately the situation does not change and leaving the writer in the undesirable state of being irrelevant. When printing article published on the topic years ago, footnotes should be added to describe the atmosphere of the past time being discussed. This unstable state of affairs is caused by a lack of democratic press law in Iran.

As this assignment is being written, the social situation in the country is transforming. Some believes it towards more restrictions status and some says it is going to be better and obtain more freedom. The Press Law of Iran specifies that government official who obstructs the freedom of the press in publishing articles beneficial to the public good would be liable to litigation. In this way, the issue is how to define, and who defines, public good.

In fact, Iran historically, has broken down on the press because of high speed and hard laws and decrees. “The media is accountable to Islamic Law and heavily censored by the ruling religious clerics. Conservative Iranians believe that Islam should be the rule of law in all of Iran: men and women cannot associate in public; the press cannot criticise government leaders who are also religious leaders; and other religious tenants must be upheld in social, cultural, and political arenas. Theoretically Iran offers constitutional protection for the press, but the lengthy Press Law outlining the purpose, licensing, and duties of the press shows the true limits placed on journalists. The Press Law details a long list of DON’Ts for journalists, preventing free publishing under threat of punishment, which is also detailed in the Law.”2

Nevertheless, there are several papers publishing in Iran every day. Currently, around 3.5%2 of Iranian has access to the Internet and online media, which are mostly the fastest and the most reliable services to connects, to the world and receive information and news (in case of availability and do not be block by the authorities). All the broadcast services are state, which are the most popular source of news in the country.

There are some considerable number of news agencies in Iran, such as The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iran Labour News Agency (ILNA), Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA), Pars and Mehr, which mostly are independent but impacted buy the self-censorship or limitation of the legislations that is the largest concern in the media in the country. Many of international news agencies and media companies’ representative have been ban, without connected telecommunication, jailed and / or terminated during their regular job in Iran by the government authorities due to the fact that exactly is religious statements. “Over the past three years, Iran’s conservative judiciary has banned about 80 newspapers and magazines”. 12

It is believed that few journalists can see enough logic to take the Press Law of Iran genuinely. On the other hand, preoccupation with the law could linger and attempts to changed or amend it may repeat.

Issue Analysis

Politician’s interferences: Formerly, it has been mentioned that the government manages Iran’s media and press organisations, which are regulated by a specific Islamic Law. Due to this operation the government has an incredible control on all media segments. “Many pro-reform publications have been closed and reformist writers and editors jailed. The conservative judiciary has also campaigned against the liberal media. (BBC)” 9 This is absolutely a complex statement in Iran because media is an interesting object to control the society and remained as an authority in the country. For instance, there are numbers of reports that uploaded and broadcasted form Iran official press for Iranian and the world that has criticised the other governments’ policies negligent, while there are numerous issues in the country itself to be judged and criticised. ”The authorities in Iran are reportedly making new plans to disrupt broadcasts from abroad after earlier efforts failed to stem the tide sufficiently” (BBC) 10. Considerably, regulation of the media in Iran presents imparts particular issues known as Politician’s interferences that gradually caused to censorship and limitation for the Media organisations. “Government jamming of ‘phone systems and the web encouraged rumours to grow and left many Iranians feeling uncertain” (BBC). 8 Although officially, the Press Law contains express provisions forbidden censorship, executing the Right of Freedom of Expression in the country needs that the politicians refrain from interferences.

Plenty of obligations / illegal or impossible: One of the other issues through the Press Law is that the government keeps the media highly under controlled by either employing loyal / apathetic staffs or making the work of independent and oppositions journalists and publications illegal or impossible. “ILNA reports that Mohammad Ali Ramin, head of the Press Supervisory Board announced today that Bahar newspaper has been banned for “publishing items contrary to reality” and “creating doubt regarding major issues such as the elections. “He also added: “questioning principles of the Islamic Republic” and “slandering countries official bodies and organizations” amongst the other reasons for the closure of Bahar“ (Payvand.com). 11 Chapter 4 of the Press Law places plenty of obligations on the press and online medias to limit the press or online services on reporting current affairs or news: “Limits of the Press: Article 6: The print media are permitted to publish news items except in cases when they violate … codes and public rights as outlined in this chapter, Note 6: Disclosing and publishing classified documents, orders and issues or disclosing the secrets of …private proceedings of courts of justice and investigations conducted by judicial authorities without legal permit“4This means neither state nor private press and media are not allowed to discuss and / or open any case or report against judicial authorities to consider their activities. This is including political and religious authorities as well.

The State and private media: Regarding this issue as the discussion has been open in the previous paragraph it has been highly debated that there should be an article into the Law to give the right to the State Press and / or private media to enable them to consider the judicial, political or even religious authorities crimes, which all are highly restricted by the Law now. “Iran has tightened controls on the internet, ordering thousands of political and pornographic websites to be blocked…State domination of Iran’s media has been undermined in recent years as Iranians increasingly turn to the internet and satellite TV channels run by Iranians abroad.” (BBC News) 12 How ever giving the right to the private or the States media itself will be another issue in the country within the media decision makers that in what condition they are allowed to use this power and how can they inter to the details of a case. ”Iranian bloggers have reacted with anger and scorn to a new law requiring them to register their websites and blogsites with the authorities. It is being seen as the latest attempt by the Iranian government to control the media.” (BBC NEWS) 13 “Note 6: Disclosing and publishing classified documents, orders and issues, or, disclosing the secrets of …private proceedings of courts of justice and investigations conducted by judicial authorities without legal permit“4

Censorship: “The authorities exercise technical controls (filtering, limiting bandwidth) and implement legal and regulatory curbs. Censorship extends to political and human rights sites. Blocked sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube. Bloggers and online activists have been arrested.” (BBC NEWS) 14Due to a mass pressure put on the media and a long-term censorship, restrictions and limitations, it is now a big step to ensure the people of the country that the right of media, including Freedom of Expression is highly respected in the country and the people’s right would be implement. It should be pointed that the media are involving a self- censorship, which it might be a consequence of a long term and duration of violence and punishment to the media peoples such as journalists, editors, writers and reporters by the government in the country…Iranian authorities have arrested about 20 online journalists during the current crackdown.” Iranian authorities have recently clamped down on the growing popularity of weblogs, restricting access to major blogging sites from within Iran” (BBC NEWS). 15 Following these considerations it is now a new issue that how to suggest to a semi religious semi military government to apply some articles including freedom contents to the main Law.

Impact of the Articles

Impact on the Public Opinion: The Articles has a negative impact on the media sectors as well as an indirect impact on the public opinion. It has a significant impression on the authorities attitude as well, which makes them to feel and show up immaculate and extraordinary person. Keeping people apart from the facts, which is running underneath of the current affairs caused a large influence on public beliefs that leads them to absorb their original media contents form international broadcasting and press agency rather than local media. When public needs to be involved with the most crucial facts of the country they usually are not covered at all.

Media Independence: In order to promote multiculturalism (Iran has an ethnically diverse population) and supports the right of freedom of expression, even in a total religious multi ethnical country such as Iran, it is essential that the media be permitted to operate independently from government, which is not. Media became a tool in the politicians’ hand for stabling their statues and positions in the country. As they have legally the right: ”Article 29: The Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance must avail of competent and qualified centers for examination of specialised publications.4” Deprivation of being permitted to operate independently suspected people that the media’s responsibility, which is to serve them and to protect their right is not operating. In this case public generally feels that they have not sufficient access to the right ideas and opinions therefore are not able to share their interest and decide with others for instance whether to say YES or NO to any assumption referendum or policy in the country. Especially, when a public matter such as making relationship or business with the other countries or more importantly an international issue such as energy consuming is debating.” Iran Press Law, Chapter 4, Articles 6, 6.Disclosing and publishing classified documents, orders and issues, or, disclosing the secrets of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic, military maps and fortifications, publishing closed-door deliberations of the Islamic Consultative Assembly or private proceedings of courts of justice and investigations conducted by judicial authorities without legal permit; Iran Press Law, Chapter 4, Articles 6, 7. Insulting Islam and its sanctities, or, offending the Leader of the Revolution and recognized religious authorities (senior Islamic jurisprudents);”6

Key Element: Independence and freedom roles as a key element, which can magnificently impacts the media managers’ perspective. When deprivation of freedom of expression happened it does not allow the media managers to implement their main duty in the society. For disclosing the private proceeding of the courts of justice and investigations conducted by judicial authorities without legal permit, they need authority and freedom otherwise they lose their sense of loyalty to the society and convert to some mechanical programmed machine that their main duty is to distribute some classified tabloid news for promoting an specific idea or individual, such as what exactly happening in the country. Deprivation of freedom for Media Managers, Journalists, Correspondents, Editors, and the other professionals in the media industry is such as cutting the verse of caring blood to the brain of a body. As the main duty of media is keeping the society informed of what is happening in the reality then it supposed to be executing in an international accepted procedure.

Strategic Implications and Recommendations

Implications of the self-regulation: The suggestion in general is an global supported proposal, which has been stated by several high commissions of deferent developed and developing countries such as the USA, the UK, Denmark and South Africa for the print and media. They all believe that self-regulation such as what is running in the BBC is one of the best structure for promoting well standards of consideration aspects in the media industry and could be a helpful implacable format for Iran media as well. ”President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made known his opposition to the use of “banal and Western” music and the need to promote Islamic values.” (BBC NEWS) 16

Public Authority: The other option, which may work for Iran as well, is the Public Media Authority. If self-regulation because of any foundation or problem does not work for the country a public authority may work perfectly for the country media law; the Press Law. It should be considered that changing a general idea or core culture of a society may not happening during a night or even an era so implying any new method needs basic social willingness and awareness about what is going to happened in the country. In fact, living in democracy needs practicing then applying the general concept of the idea. Having the freedom of expression and implicating authority in public media makes great evolution. This type of media rules enables the media executives in a public sector to act such as eye and ear for the people of the country and feeling always responsible about the impression steps or actions in the country. “Noting that the technical and economic developments, which lead to the expansion and the further complexity of the sector, will have an impact on the role of these authorities and may create a need for greater adaptability of regulation, over and above self-regulatory measures adopted by broadcasters themselves; -Recognising that according to their legal systems and democratic and cultural traditions, member states have established regulatory authorities in different ways, and that consequently there is diversity with regard to the means by which – and the extent to which – independence, effective powers and transparency are achieved; (Council of Europe)”5

Protection Against Interference: In case of implementing any case of the two above mentioned methods as a general content for the Press and Media Law in the country, it is essential that these public authorities to be protected. They are active as formal regulatory powers over the country media and need to be protected against interference; especially they should be protected of political or economical type problem and issues. “The European Court concluded that there had been an interference with the applicant company’s freedom to impart information and ideas and that this interference had not met the requirement of lawfulness under the European Convention. The Court noted in particular that a procedure, which did not require a licensing body to justify its decisions, did not provide adequate protection against arbitrary interference by a public authority with the fundamental right to freedom of expression. (Council of Europe) ” 15

Freedom for State Media / Protecting social profit: It is highly suggested – especially for the broadcasting sectors and online, which at the moment are totally state media – to format either rules and regulation based on the Article 19; Freedom of Expression, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which are implying in the plenty of developed or developing countries such as the UK (the BBC), or the USA (the CNN), Denmark, South Africa or France or format a specific authority for the State Media in general. An independent media regulatory structure enables the States Authorities to inter to the cases containing social benefits in other to protect the social right. It should be mentioned that people and authorities in such a system should be protected by the impact of the criminal characters.

Self – regulatory professional bodies: It is recommended that the Press Supervisory Board and the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance be replaced by an independent self – regulatory professional bodies free of State controls and in which membership is voluntary from a high level of academicals performance experience with educational achievements in law or journalism field. “Article 10: The Press Supervisory Board shall consist of devoted Muslims who possess the required scientific and moral competence and are committed to the Islamic Revolution as follows:”6 In particular the role of the Press Supervisory Board for the press legal affairs and examining application for press licenses and competency in relationship with media firms in Iran should be abolished. “Article 11: The Press Supervisory Board is responsible for examining applications for press licenses and the competency of the applicant and the managing dirctor.”6

Removing Articles, which makes confusion to implementing the law: Although this recommendation does not contain the meaning of removing the article, which is abolishing insulting, it is suggesting that articles 7 & 8 of Chapter 4 should be abolished to do not make confusion in order to leading and allowing press to criticise religious authorities (senior Islamic jurisprudents). “Chapter 4: Rights of the Press 7. Insulting Islam and its sanctities, or, offending the Leader of the Revolution and recognized religious authorities (senior Islamic jurisprudents); ?8. Publishing libel against officials, institutions, organizations and individuals in the country or insulting legal or real persons who are lawfully respected, even by means of pictures or acricatures;”6

Press communities voluntarily, rather than government control: Eventually, as it is mentioned Iran Press Law established the committee for Suspension of the Press within the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance to monitor the press and brings charges, it is recommended that any suspension or press council should be established by the media and press communities voluntarily, rather than by law and it should not be subject to government control. The scale and range of its duties and power should be explained and it should be requited to conduct its duties clearly. They way of choosing the member of this type of committees should be clearly emphasised.

It should be mentioned that all the analysis, argues and recommendations on the Articles of the Press Law that have been brought here, are concerned from this point of view that the human rights and democracy in general and the Liberty of Expression in particular are not just some Western concepts and are not incompatible with the Islam as a religion. In deed, it has concerned the possibility of executive activities for media industry players to work in the current atmosphere; meanwhile it offers a framework for outcomes and common objective to unify disparate areas of legal activity.

References:

1- The Press Law of Iran, http://www.parstimes.com/law/press_law.html

2- http://www.pressreference.com/Gu-Ku/Iran.html

3-http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1071740.html

4- http://www.parstimes.com/law/press_law.html

5- https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?id=393649&Lang=en

6- http://www.parstimes.com/law/press_law.html

7- http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

8- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8101299.stm

9- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/790877.stm

10- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4762827.stm

11- http://www.payvand.com/news/10/apr/1183.html

12- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3019695.stm

13- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/syndication/6252737.stm

14- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/790877.stm

15- https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1599533

16- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4952078.stm

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Examine the use of stereotyping in the media and evaluate if they impact on people

Introduction

The judgments we make about people, events or places are based on our own direct impressions. But for most of the knowledge, we rely on media. The media actually re-present the world to us. However, the media only shows us some aspects of the world, ignoring the rest. So basically, the media chooses what is to be shown and what is to be discarded (Andrew Pilkington and Alan Yeo (2009)). . In this essay, I will explain what stereotypes are and primarily give an example of a famous men’s magazine called ‘nuts’ and explain how these stereotypes are created by print and the digital media and what are their impacts on people.

Stereotypes can be defined as an exaggerated belief about an individual or a group based on their appearance, behavior or beliefs. Though our world seems to be improving in many other ways, it seems almost impossible to emancipate it from stereotypes. Today, the media is so powerful that it can make or break an image of a person and also can change the views of the audience.

‘Gender refers to the cultural nature of the differences between the natural biological sexes of male and female’ (Long, P & Wall, T (2009)). Gender is perhaps the basic category we use for sorting human beings. The media mostly portrays men as strong, masculine, tough, hard and independent while women are shown as fragile, soft, clean and mostly ‘sexy’. Whatever the role, television, film and popular magazines are full of images of women and girls who are typically white, desperately thin, and tailored to be the perfect woman. The representation of women on the print and the visual media mostly tend to be stereotypical, in terms of societal expectations (mediaknowall.com).

These days, most of the fashion magazines are full of white girls with large breasts and small waist. Beauty ideas are commonly represented in such magazines. The appearance of the women in these ad’s focus on every little feature of a woman which includes the darkness/lightness of the skin, the eye colour, the appearance of the hair, how her nose is shaped, if she has luscious lips and various other physical traits, so basically it tells us a woman should look perfect (edubook.com). One will see a white female with pouting red lips and the very petite body that resembles a thirteen-year-old girl. The extremely artificial women and the heavily photo-shopped pictures in these ad’s create a norm and make those women who look differently, feel insecure of who they are and make them feel as if they are less of a woman, for example they tend to over represent the Caucasian, blonde with bright eyes, white complexion and a petite body. This is an unattainable beauty for most women, which has caused many to develop issues such as eating disorders, depression and the very much talked about these days, anorexia.

Ferguson (1983) conducted a study of young women’s magazines and found that they promote a traditional idea of femininity. They promoted the idea that girls should aspire to be beautiful in order to get a husband (Andrew Pilkington and Alan Yeo (2009)). It is true that some women might want it but in most the cases they learn it from their mothers or the media. For instance, girls should wear pink and boys should wear blue, this is another stereotype, which is in our heads since we were children.

Most of the people think that these magazines promote self- improvement, but in reality, it has caused self-destruction of women. When a popular news-show host Greta Van Susteren moved from CNN to Fox, she not only had a makeover but she went under the knife and changed her face to appear younger and more “beautiful”. When her new show, ‘On the Record’ got on air, her hair was changed and she sat behind a table so that the viewers could see her short skirt and legs (media-awareness.ca).

A good example of this representation is a magazine claiming to be UK’s no1 lad magazine, The ‘Nuts’ magazine. It presents women in a stereotypical manner. This may be because the magazine editors believe that sex sells. In addition men’s lifestyle magazines have also accepted the fact that sexually objectified women sell more magazines, which I believe is somewhat true these days. In order to attract male target audience, Nuts promotes pornography as it is very pornographic in its content, as such it has increased the use of female stereotypes ” as sex objects” that is. Every Nuts magazine cover has a pretty woman with beautiful assets, possibly with her arms stretched out, posing on the front page. With ‘NUTS’ written in Red, which denotes or classifies passion or heat (Branston& Stafford 2010) and also denotes love, lust and sex. The women are also shown posing in a sexually manner. This to portray them as sexual objects and inferior to men and make them stand out on front covers, they are dehumanized as only parts of their bodily features are mostly shown to the audience, and enforcing the idea of that women are to be looked at and have no physical or emotional feelings. The way women are depicted in Nuts magazine are stereotyped as sex objects, fulfilling the buyer’s dream, women depicted with good looks and no brains as all the women in the magazine has one thing in common, they are all very beautiful.

In the television industry, men are shown as dominant while women are shown as passive. The television industry can easily tell a woman that there is something wrong with her. Her hair isn’t straight/curly enough, her skin isn’t white enough or even maybe her teeth aren’t white enough (quchronicle.com). Millions of women across the world are working as doctors, lawyers, teachers and journalists. It’s not their job to be perfect; no matter what the media might try to make them believe. A popular American sitcom ‘bewitched’, even though the main character Samantha was a woman but she was shown as a dependant, typical suburban housewife.

Various advertisements, not just those in women’s magazines, have created numerous unfair stereotypes towards women. Take for instance women in beer advertisements. Although beer advertisements are not typically in women’s magazines, they depict how women should be represented in society. In these ads, women are often seen as just an attractive background prop, which clearly show us that is only to attract men to the product.

Mostly, the magazines represent only one type of woman who is only seen to be a decorative individual. In these magazines, women are hardly represented as successful, working, independent individuals, which is the reality these days. They’re shown as unsuccessful good for nothing individuals who depend on their husbands for everything. The pressure that the mass media has put on women and femininity has caused numerous individuals to go through drastic measures to change how they look, since they have made only one type of woman seem normal. These representations have become a window to gender relations in our society, which has reinforced the depiction of women that society has had for years. Women’s magazines in no way should make only the tall, thin, and young feel beautiful and should begin representing women in a more realistic view.

To conclude, the mass media is at complete fault of the representation that many individuals have of women. They have been seen as over-sexed individuals who are made to do housework and raise children. There are very few magazine ads that represent women in the workplace or as independent individuals. These stereotypes are even though somewhere changing but it’s almost impossible to completely demolish all the stereotypes related to women.

Bibliography:

Media Awareness Network. (2010). Media Coverage of Women and Women’s Issues. Available: http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_coverage.cfm. Last accessed 28nd April 2011.

Andrew Pilkington and Alan Yeo (2009). Sociology in focus for AQA A2 Level. 2nd ed. Britain: Causeway Press.p99-112.

Branston, G & Stafford, R (2010). The Media Students Book. 5th ed. London: Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. 22.

Harper, S. (2008). Stereotypes in the Media. Available: http://www.edubook.com/stereotypes-in-the-modern-media/9200/. Last accessed 2nd May 2011.

Long, P & Wall, T (2009). Media Studies- Texts, production and context. Italy: Pearson Education Limited 2009. p82-85.

Wilson, K. (2010 – 2011). Gender and Media representation. Available: http://www.mediaknowall.com/as_alevel/alevkeyconcepts/alevelkeycon.php?pageID=gender. Last accessed 1st May 2011.

Wright, M. (2005). Stereotypes of women are widespread in media and society. Available: http://www.quchronicle.com/2005/02/stereotypes-of-women-are-widespread-in-media-and-society/. Last accessed 4th May 2011.

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Youth crime is a moral panic and an exaggerated response based on media representation of news stories about youth

Introduction

Is youth crime a moral panic or a moral crisis, many people will have different views however what view does the media haveThe media tend to represent youth crime as a moral panic within society to create a stir and gain the public’s attention. I will be addressing how the media show this representation by analysing certain headlines and cases, which caused such controversy involving youth crime. Since the existence of youth crime the media use this particular offence as a catalyst of creating a moral panic within the community. I will look at the words they used and how they layout the news to create this moral panic and how exaggerated a story can become with help from the media.

Moral panic can be defined as the intensity of a feeling expressed in the population about a certain issue that appears to threaten the social order of society (Jones 1999). Youth crime can be defined as “Juvenile delinquency” this refers to children generally under the age of 18 years old who behaves in a way, which is against the law. Majority of legal systems recommend specific actions for dealing with these youths, e.g. young offender’s institutes or detention centres. In the United Kingdom youth crime is generally summarised as young teenagers involved in anti-social behaviour and knife or gun crime. Youth crime has risen drastically in the past years. One major moral panic that occurred from youth crime was the Jamie Bulger case is 1993 which caused a massive uproar in society which resulted in the Criminal Justice and Public order Act 1994, therefore supporting the idea moral panic can be healthy for the society.

What is moral panic?

A moral panic refers to the reaction of the public based on a belief that a group poses danger to the society; they distinguish this particular group as a huge threat to their social values and culture (Encyclopaedia 2011). Stanley Cohen created the term moral panic in 1972 for recounting the media coverage of Mods and Rockers in the UK during the 1960s. Cohen describes moral panic as a “condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests” (Cohen 1973:9). He also states that those who create the moral panic due to having a fear of an threat to prevailing social or cultural values are referred to as “moral entrepreneurs”, where as those who are seen as a threat to the social order are defined as “folk devils” (Cohen 1973:16). Moral panics are seen as incidents that involve arguments and social tension and therefore disagreement is difficult because the problem is represented as taboo (Kuzma 2005). The media are representatives of “moral indignation”, although they are not fully engaged with the controversy, reporting the fact is enough to produce concern, anxiety and panic (Cohen 1973:9). Goode and Ben-Yehuda, voiced theories that moral panic consists of five characteristics. The first one they recognised is the concern that the behaviour of the group e.g. youth crime is most likely to have a negative impact on society. The second characteristic is that if the hostility towards “youths” increases, they will eventually become “folk devils” therefore creating a division (Cohen 1973:16). The third is a form of consensus although concern is not nationwide; there should be global acceptance that the youths pose a threat to society. The fourth characteristic is formed up of disproportionality and the action taken is disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the accused group. The final and fifth characteristic is volatility; moral panics are highly volatile and tend to disappear as quickly due to a lack of public interest or other rising news reports (Goode and Ben-Yehuda 1994:57).

Media representation of youth and youth crime

Different types of media representations include radio, newspaper, magazines, websites and news channels they are all exclusively involved in spreading and broadcasting news directly to the public. How they represent the news is specifically up to them however they have a drastic impact on how the public view it as well as they are the main influence on people’s emotions and opinions. Furedi explains that moral panics tend to begin “at times when society has not been able to adapt to dramatic changes” and such changes lead to those becoming concerned and to express their fear over what they see as a “loss of control” (Furedi 1994:3) The media tend to concentrate on representing youth crime in both a negative and positive way, they show hatred and anger towards the youths who commit the crimes as well as sympathy and condolences on the youths who are victims of youth crime therefore this sways a person’s opinion due to the contexts of the news. An example of this is the case of Stephen Lawrence in 1993; the Daily Mail newspaper issued a cover branding all five suspects as “murderers”, challenging them to sue the newspaper for libel if they were wrong. The headline read “Murderers” and accuses these men of killing, it quoted “If we are wrong, let them sue us” (The daily Mail 1997). The paper’s front page provoked a wide range of different reactions. Many members of the public applauded it for stepping in where the law had deliberately failed; others were alarmed at such an obvious case of “trial by media” and responded by asking what if the five suspects had been black, not whiteMedia representations of youth concentrate mainly on violent crimes and report particular examples of juvenile offenders. The media see it as their duty to remind the public that behind the headlines there is a large number of youths offending in the criminal justice system. When they represent youth crime the media concentrate on how they come across to the public and their main duty is to make the offender apologies and to express remorse for their actions.

Media representation on Moral Panic

The way the media represent moral panic has to be done in a precise way as what they show has to impact people’s views and opinions drastically. Newspapers tend to start with a catchy headline to grab attention and to cause controversy. An example of this is the headline the Daily Mail issued on the murder of teenager Ben Kinsella, they quoted “T.V stars brother stabbed to death as he begged for help”, instantly people are drawn to this by the words T.V star and begged for help and are immediately overcome with compassion and interest. Another example is the Evening standard website headed their article with the title “guilty: Animals who killed Ben Kinsella”, anyone who reads this instantly have the image that these youths are animals and killers and have immediately made up their opinion on the youths involved in the murder. It’s questioned what these examples of newspaper headlines have in common, and what relevance and significance do they create for individuals. Its been said that they are all illustrations of an ‘episode, condition, person or group of persons’ that have, been ‘defined as a threat to societal values and interests’ the term Cohen established as ‘The Moral Panic’ (Cohen 1972: 9).

Conclusion

The main motions of these created moral panics (e.g. Jamie Bulger case) are provided by the media when submitting their representations, they express moral panic as anger rather than fear, these particular panics generally have a variety of outcomes e.g. justice or disappointment. It can be seen that the moral panic the media create can benefit the public in a positive way helping society wake up and create change, as shown from the Ben Kinsella’s murder many members of the public used his story to build youth crime charities preventing knife crime and helping stop young teenagers turning to crime. When examined many moral panics follow Goode and Ben-Yehuda’s five characteristics of how they are showed although they also stated a additional two characteristics with Cohen that state these two developments inform the individual that society is in the control of a moral panic and the creation of ‘folk devils’ and a ‘disaster mentality’ (Cohen 1972:140 in Goode & Ben-Yehuda 1994: 28). This comes with help from the media and they are the main influence in helping spread this moral panic without the media not many members of society can become involved with the creation of a moral panic. This is shown in the Stephan Lawrence case this terrible act was characterised modern British society ignoring the fact figures have shown such murders are extremely rare. Although it was not that this particular murder was a ‘symbol of nineties Britain’ but the media’s reaction to it (Bradley 1994: 1).

Bibliography
Bradley, Ann (1994) ‘A Morality Play For Our Times’ (Living Marxism issue 63).
Cohen, S. (1973). Folk Devils and Moral Panics. St Albans: Paladin.
Furedi, Frank (1994) ‘A Plague of Moral Panics’ (Living Marxism issue 73)
Goode, Erich and Ben-Yehuda, Nachman- Moral Panics: Social Construction of Deviance: Oxford Wiley-Blackwell publishers (1994).
Hough, Mike and Roberts, Julian. “Youth crime and youth justice”: the policy press (2003).
Jones, M, and E. Jones. (1999). Mass Media. London: Macmillan Press.
Kuzma, Cindy. “Rights and Liberties: Sex, Lies, and Moral Panics” (2005).
The Daily Mail- “murderers” (14 February 1997).
The Daily Mail “T.V stars brother stabbed as he begged for help” (June 30, 2008).

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A foreword of a book on mass media laws and regulations

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION:

Syed Sajjad Ali Shah, Former Chief Justice of Pakistan said in a foreword of a book on Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Pakistan that:

“All over the world, the citizens’ right to acquire knowledge and information is increasingly being proclaimed and recognized as a fundamental right. The international human rights instruments as well as national constitutions and laws, acknowledge and safeguard this right”

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC MEDIA?

Any channel of communication which serves different functions such as a wide range of entertainment or mass appeal and communicating news and information and advertisement messages through electronic medium is called Electronic media.

The duty of media is to communicate massages from advertiser or vendors and serves it as a product or services to the consumer. Types of media include print, electronic, outdoor and direct mail. Print media refers to magazine and news paper where as electronic media are usually referred as broadcast media that are radio and television including cable.

BACKGROUND OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN PAKISTAN AND UK:

In 1964 Television was first introduced in Pakistan. The only channel at that time was Pakistan Television (PTV) that lasts just for few hours everyday from evening till midnight to the viewers. The Channel introduced as a corporation of the state, where the government of Pakistan appointed its board of directors. The managing director was also appointed by the Government of Pakistan but with the approval of the boards.

The Early channel includes STN, which was awarded by monopolistic contract with a private company called Network Television Market (NTM).

In 1990 PTV was stroked by the financial mismanagement that causes a vast amount of debt and because of Hindi channels the rapidly reducing popularity among the viewers also reduced their advertising revenue.

Pakistan Electronic Media is now regulated by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). It was established under PEMRA ordinance of 2002. The same month after establishment PEMRA issued 29 Radio licences for new private radio stations.

The duty of this authority is to regulate and facilitate the private electronic media, and to improve the standards of information, education and entertainment and to expand the choice for the people of Pakistan including current affairs, news, religious knowledge, arts and culture and as well as science and technology.

Where as in 1932 right before 32 years when television was first launched in Pakistan, BBC launched the first television channel in UK called “THE BBC TELEVISION SERVICE.” The BBC was sponsored by the public money build up from a TV licence fee collected from all UK households who had a television set. This fee was mandatory for all; failure to pay the fee was punishable by prosecution causing a fine or imprisonment. Until ITV was launched in 1955 BBC television service had a complete monopoly in UK.

ABSTRACT:

Training and development come under the umbrella of human resource management. This research will help analyse the current frameworks by human resource executives to improve training and development within Pakistan media industry and as well as look at the barriers facing by human resource department over the coming year and techniques for overcoming them.

This research is a comparative study of training and development strategies in UK and Pakistan media Industry. With the purpose to look into the topic, I will compare and relate the techniques of UK media Industry with Pakistan media industry as how UK media industry deals with such kind of situations.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Training and development refers to pass on or to enhance the specific knowledge and skills of an employee. Training and development is essential to advance the current and future performance of the employee by boosting the ability of an employee to perform better through learning and training.

Training usually offers to the operatives on the other hand development programmes are for the employees on upper level or positions.

The Primary aim of training and development is to help the organisation reach its goal by increasing value to its key resources that is the employee of the organization. By training the employee we can enable them to perform well and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities.

The Basic aims of training and development are:

It develops the ability of the employee and advances their performance.

It helps to meet the organization with the future needs of human resource by help the staff to grow within the organization.

And it also reduces the learning time for the employees and make sure that they become completely proficient as quickly and economically as possible.

It has been seen that most of the researchers mainly focused their investigation on the role and responsibilities, role conflict and role ambiguity and some extent on the training and development programme, but this piece of research reflects the study of how training advance the level of understanding of the employee to their job and also how it helps in their career development.

The main objective of the research is to look in to the developments in this important field of human resources particularly in electronic media industry in United Kingdom and Pakistan. Further to this we also look in to the organisations working without training and development department in some organisations.

RESEARCH OVERVIEW:

The goal of my research is to find out that how training and development can help improve the knowledge and skills of the employee within the organization especially in Pakistan electronic media by comparing it with the UK electronic industry mainly focus on the broadcasting media.

The first chapter of my research will help to introduce the analysis of the study and also why it is useful to investigate further into this topic. The aim and objectives of the research study are also included in this chapter.

Chapter two highlight the critical review of literature. The literature review will be divided into two major parts

(1) Organizational theories

(2) Training and Development.

Chapter Three will cover up the research methodologies used for the research area.

Chapter four will examine the data collection and analyse the types of information of the collected data.

The Fifth Chapter will conclude the research and will suggest some advice and emphasize the limitations of the study.

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW:

A critical and in depth evaluation of a previous research is called Literature Review. It examines a wide range of literature concerned with the employee motivation which has major importance for organizational matters such as Training and development.

The themes provided the framework based on:

1. Organisational theory which relates to employee in an organization

2. To designed the development strategies to reward and distinguish the employee input in television channels.

We will look in this research how these set of organisational theories and approaches relate to understand the topic of research.

ORGANIZATIONAL THEORIES:

Dugan the famous Author said in 1985 that “training and development is alive and well and growing. In fact, it has grown to be a part of a much larger arena.”

There are so many approaches to training and development by so many authors my research will mainly focus on the Classical Approach, The human relation approach, and the contingency theory.

I will give a brief introduction of all of these theories in my research.

THE CLASSICAL APPROACH:

The Standard model to the organizational plan and management in the classical approach were based on the assumed basic numbers, which are written below.

To be operated and structured there is at least one best approach for all the organizations.

Classical approach was based on the legal managerial power and rule of law.

We know financial reward is the best way to motivate employee to work and we will also examine what are other ways of motivating employee and get their maximum use.

THE HUMAN RELATION APPROACH:

The Third step in the development of modern management was the advancement in the attention to the human factors which has become known as the “Human Relation School of management.”

It was introduced in 1930s as a response to the negative view of human nature suggested by the classical approach and against the mechanistic view of organization.

Human Relation approach talks about the emotional behaviour of the people that people are more emotional rather than economical rational beings, where as organizations are cooperative social systems rather than mechanical ones; and also that organizations are composed of informal structure, and rules as well as formal procedures and practices.

CONTINGENCY THEORY:

This theory was first come in to view in the 1960s as a rejection of the “One best way” approach. There are many types of the contingency theory. It is a set of behavioural theory that argues that there is no one best way of organising or leading and the leadership approach to one situation is not necessarily suitable to others.

The Four most important suggestions of Contingency theory are:

• There is no one best way to manage the organization.

•The plan and aim of the organization should be according to the environment.

•Effective organizations not only plan according to the environment but also fit between its subsystems.

•The organization should be properly designed and the management style should be suitable both to the tasks and the nature of the work group if the organization wants to satisfy its needs and requirements.

ROLE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

According to Casse and Banahan (2007), “the different approaches to training and development need to be explored.”

Training in an organization is mainly consisting of two parts:

1- Internal Training

2- External Training

INTERNAL TRAINING:

Internal training means a training session organised within the house by human resource department or giving training to a particular department by a senior staff or talented employee as a resource person.

EXTERNAL TRAINING:

The training which is arranged outside the organization by training institutes and consultants are called external training. Both the trainings are very essential as it helps preparing staff for greater challenges.

THEORITICAL CONCEPT OF TRAINING:

When the planning of a learning programme become a major concern, the theoretical concept of training becomes more significant. It helps determining the area where there is a space for further improvement and the training is required to achieve the goal. For any organization it is important to design the objectives and framework of training to achieve its corporate goal.

There are countless theoretical concepts I will include few of them in my dissertation to make it clear to understand the objective of my research. I will try to briefly explain those concepts in my research proposal.

Systematic training cycle is a stage based activity which begins with Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

Jill Bowman & John P. Wilson, (2008)

Jill Bowman & John P. Wilson, (2008) point out two definitions regarding (TNA)

• “Analysing training needs provides a focus and direction for the investment an organization has to make in its people”.

• Need for training exists in organizations when particular weaknesses need to me overcome by the application of systematic training. Therefore, before commencement of actual training session, it is very important to identify the training needs first.

Jill Bowman & John P. Wilson, (2008)

The systematic training cycle has three stages.

1- Training Design

2- Training Delivery

3- Evaluation

Any training programme in an organization has to be designed first once it is designed it needs to be implemented. Implementation is overwhelmed with certain problems such as managers at the first place are more action oriented but suddenly they get busy to engage in the training efforts. Secondly availability of the trainer who also knows the philosophy and objective of the company is difficult. And also scheduling the training programme around the present work is another problem.

The final stage of the training and development programme is the evaluation of the programme. Evaluation of the programme helps determine the result.

These set of classic theories and approaches will make the research topic more clearly for readers and how these relate to each other in media industry.

CHAPTER 3

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.

The core task for any researcher to complete its research is to analyze the problem and to select that which research methodology to follow. It is a challenging endeavour and causes difficulties if the most suitable methodology is not selected.

TYPES OF RESEARCH:

1- Primary Research

2- Secondary Research

3- Qualitative Research

4- Quantitative Research

PRIMARY RESEARCH:

In Primary research a researcher collects the data which doesn’t really exist. It can be done through surveys, questionnaire, interviews and observations.

SECONDARY RESEARCH:

Secondary research is to examining the existing data, it may be the mixture of information acquire by different authors and scholars and a summary or collation.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH:

Qualitative research tries to find out the “WHY” not “HOW”. It is about investigating the issues, answering the questions and understanding phenomena.

The main methods uses in this research are observation, interviews and documentary analysis.

It seeks to explore people’s attitudes, behaviours, value system, and lifestyles. It also focuses groups, in depth interviews like many other approaches but qualitative research also involves the analysis of any unstructured material including customer’s feedback forms, reports or media clips.

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH:

Quantitative research technique enumerates the data by applying different mathematical and statistical methods. Quantitative research includes surveys and customers questionnaires.

It is about knowing the opinion of the people in a way so you can produce an appropriate fact and statistic to guide you in making decision for future.

You can only get the reliable statistical result by surveying people in a fairly large numbers and also ensure they are representative sample of your target market.

CHAPTER 4

DATA ANALYSIS:

At first the data may appear to be a mass of confusing, unrelated, accounts. But by

Studying and coding (often I code the same materials several times just after Collecting them), the researcher begins to create order (Charmaz, 1983: 114)

In Data Analysis researcher gathers a raw data and organize it so that useful information can be extracted from it. Raw data can be in variety of types including measurements, surveys, and observations. In data analysis process, the raw data organised in a way which will be useful. For Example, The result of surveys may b tallied so that we can see that how many people answer to the surveys and how they response to the questions.

Data Analysis is an important step of the research process. The aim of data analysis is to define the qualitative and quantitative data that provides learner to develop knowledge and skills in data analysis. It also supports the development of critical appraisal skills by considering the critical review.

COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

In this stage I will try to analyze the primary data which I will collect from different television channels. I will try to collect data from BBC and Pakistan television channels including GEO TV Network, Express News and AAJ TV. I will also do the surveys and make the questionnaire for the employee working in electronic media industry and also a separate interview questions for HR experts associated with the industry. I will also analyze the data and the information collected through surveys by focusing on the objective of my research and will try to analyse them in a very systematic way, it is very important as it will help me to draw a valid conclusion and clarify the aim and objectives of my research.

TIME LINE FOR DISSERTATION:

A dissertation is an extensive piece of academic writing. The timeline make sure that every step is completed at a given time. For successful achievement of a dissertation there has to be a time line.

Month 1 Month 2 Month 3

TASKS

Preliminary Research

Define research questions/objectives

Work on methodology and finish rough drafts of methodology

Library Work

Preparing Questionnaires, and survey questions

Refine Dissertation Methodology

Write literature review

Write Introduction

Research paper writing

References and Bibliography

Polish format of research proposal

CHAPTER 5

CONCLUSION:

This research adds value in quite a lot of ways; firstly it contributes a better understanding on some vital attributes of Training and Development specifically in Pakistan and UK electronic media Industry. Secondly it provides insight the attitude and behaviour of an employee in the organization and why they need training.

The aim of this study is to investigate the role of training in the efficiency of an employee, in how the training gives confidence to perform there desire task in their routine work.

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Examination of Twitter and how social media can be used by businesses rely on immaterial labor

Abstract

Nowadays the main trend on the net is the rissing numbers of Social media Appilications, which all have a common factor. They all depend largely on the users-generated content in simle terms the users of the application. Users create the websites. The process of creating and adding content is a way of working which Italian autonomists call immaterial labor. An example of a social media site that is filled by ‘immaterial labor’, is Twitter

Not only individuals use social media websites such as Twitter, companies also are active on Twitter. The site is increasingly used as a marketing tool, companies see the value of sending tweets to followers, twitter is becoming very important in companies marketing mix.

There are books which addresses the ways you can reach potential customers on Twitter and there are even courses learning companies using Twitter effecitelve and as effecient as possible. Yet there is no clear one way process for the companies to use or to follow. Actually use of twitter by companies can not be described in one particular method. The purpose of this dessertetion is to examibe the certain ways Twitter can be used by businesses and how enterprises could rely on immaterial labor of their “followers”

Introduction

Social media websites are in a rising trend. Each year a new website/application will be lauched on the internet.

Tamar Weinberg describes Social Media in his book The New Community RulesMarketring on the social web as ‘anything where users can participate, create and share content’[1]‘ such as profile sites like Twitter and Facebook and collaborative sites such as Wikipedia and many other blogs.

The rising number of social media Initiatives on the web, are resulting in rising numbers in user generated content. Many of the Social Media sites are largely filled by content supplied by the users. This – the delivery of content – is an example of immaterial labor.

Immaterial labor is performing labor which has not to be the right idea of working, but yet there is an certain value generated. An simple example of immaterial labor is posting a message on a social media website. You create a certain value in form of information regairing a certain subject. Other users may or may not use youre provided information.

Twitter is a popular appilication of social media. This site is filled by its users. People with a twitter account are able to to post short messages about anything. The message should be decent and cant harm others in anyway. Twitter is very strict with this. A person with twitter account can post messages about thire current situation, what are they doing now, what they are thinking and they can also alert other twitter users . Reply from other twitter users is common aswell, this is called re-tweet in twitter terms.

Many companies discover the power of Twitter. Since its foundation in the Netherlands alone there are hundreds of companies already using twitter, companies such as Holland international, America express and many more. Companies which are using twitter are actively approaching potential customers each in their own way, because twittering is a relatively new form of information transfer, there are few standardized methods on how it can be done. Thus many companies devise their own ways using Twitter into their marketing strategy. In some approaches trying to fit twitter into the marketing strategy the immaterial labor of other users have a big impact on the company and its marketing strategy.

The purpose of this dessertetion is to examine the ways Twitter is currently being used by companies.

DEELVRAAG

In which ways companys use twitter to spreak their messages?

How are companys using the willingness of there followers to perform immaterial labour.

Before the analysis a further explaination of immaterial labor is neccesarry.

the theory of Lazzarato and Terra Nova about immaterial albour will be discussed in theoretical framework aswell as the terms social factory and free labour will be the main themes in theoretical framework. After a clasification of the case study the different ways twitter used by companys will be analyssed and disccussed

Finally, an formulation or the writers own criticism of the idea of free labor, by stating that the emphasis is strongly on the exploitation of immaterial labor

Research Methodology

This dissertation will be based mainly on the qualitative analysis.

In which ways did twitter change the ideas about marketing.

Marketing op internet

Internet is still not yet fully integrated marketing tool by many companies. The reason is because Internet and the digital world in relative terms are fairly new, developments are followed up quickly, making it very difficult for marketers to perform on a certain development, something new seems interesting until a new features is added. The Internet is a momentary medium, you can’t predict it, what today is a must for companies can be changed rapidly. Through this turbulent nature of the Internet, some companies are not really convinced to invest in this relative new media. Instead of this they try to use the so called old media like television, radio, newspapers etc.. This gives them a certain guarantee.

Yet there are already companies that see the value of the Internet as a marketing tool. There are many advantages.

Advertising on the Internet: the range is large and the costs are relatively low. Moreover, if something is advertised on the Internet companys can precisely track how many people see a particular ad, who clicks on it and many more features. The possibilities are endless. With the rise of Social Media. Profile web sites such as Facebook and Twitter increase the possibilities for companies to invest in Internet even more. For example, companies can be in touch with individuals on the social network, with almost no costs involved.

Marketing in Twitter

In a full page e-article in the Handelscourant ( Dutsch business newspaper) of april 2nd, 2011 an interview with businessman Jelle Van der Doorn: “Companies that are not use Twitter are doomed. ” In this article Van der Doorn explains, with the arrival of Twitter the trend on social media is developing very rapidily. In one of the many handbooks that have been written about Internet marketing Twitter is explained as follows:

Twitter is best described as a micro blogging service. The principle of Twitter is letting know what you are currently doing. This is done using a text message that can consist of up to 140 characters. Such a message is called a Tweet in Twitter-terms. People who follow you see the Tweets which you write. Interestingly Tweets are often adopted by other people twittering creating a modern fuss/hype that often creates more widespread than the traditional media.

Who, exactly, is using Twitter these daysA gadget-addicted tech geekA twenty-something born-to-be-wiredSomeone who has nothing better to do all day than post mind-numbering tweetsOf course not! These days Twitter crosses a wide swath of people from all walks of life.[2]

This “fuss/hype” will prove to be relevant to companies wanting spread the message to as many people as possible. A detailed expalnation about this topic will be done in the case study fouded in theoretical framework.

While Twitter was created for individuals to socialise, Twitter appears to be very interesting for companies aswell. Especially as a platform for marketing, since Twitter is increasingly viewed by companies as an interesting marketing tool. There are conferences about Twitter, there are courses organized and there are books with tips on how to best use Twitter for your business. A recent publication on this issue from Hallis Thomases first book, she removes the prejudice about tweeter and explains why companies need to use twitter/

Who, exactly, is using Twitter these daysA gadget-addicted tech geekA twenty-something born-to-be-wiredSomeone who has nothing better to do all day than post mind-numbering tweetsOf course not! These days Twitter crosses a wide swath of people from all walks of life.[3]

What Thomases could not know when writing her book is the fact that on April 15, 2010 an anouncement would be done by official Twitter Congress announcing that at that time there were 105 million Twitter users and 300,000 users joining twitter every month.

Also interesting to mention is the fact that Twitter.com had a traffic of 180 million unique visitors/viewers each month. The number of users are still increasing.

Thomases then provides that Twitter is still in development:
Twitter’s full versatility has not even been tapped out yet. It seems like every few weeks, another innovative use of Twitter comes to light.[4]

Literature review

Immaterial labour

Producing Tweets on Twitter is a form of work described as immaterial labor by Italian autonomists. Sociologist and Social Theorist Maurizio Lazzarato gives as a definition of immaterial labor: labor producing informational and cultural conent of the commodity.

Theorist Maurizio Lazzaroti makes a distinction between the informational and cultural content. As explained in these terms, he indicates that the informational content is related to the workflow of the workers.

Nowadays, in the modern world, the labor are increasingly following the automated work processes trend meaning machines replace human labor. More ‘work ‘ is done on or by the computer and there is less hand work. Examples of occupations in this manner include journalist, bank employees, and many more.

What these professions have in common is that they produce nothing physical. Both the form of work and the final product is intangible. The cultural content is related to the nature of the work. Lazzarato describes the cultural content of immaterial labor as a collection of activities that are not immediately seen as ‘work’, but are actually are. An example is creating a public opinion, or measuring cultural standards.

A characteristic of immaterial labor in both the informational content and the cultural contemt is the increasing importance of the individual subjectivity of the worker in employment. This in contrast to employment in the period of Fordism, where a strict separation between people who believed and those who performed was highly measurable. For example if you were a employee working in factory, you just had to produce and not think.

Nowadays labor is more focused on factory without walls Tronti describes this term as the social factory. He means that the whole society has become a kind of factory. The process of production is not only done in factories, but “production ” is decentralized. Products are not only mad in factory.

[…]the whole of society becomes an articulation of power; in other words, the whole of society exists as a function of the factory and the factory extends its exclusive domination over the whole of society.[5]

The information flow on the Internet can be used to understand what is meant by Social Factory. With the rise of the Internet and the digital economy, labor is decentralized. People do not longer work in one place. Society and production facility become one, making the difference between work and leasure activity very low.

People use their free time to work. During working times they can do things as a consumer buyinm products from internet.

The boundary between work and non-work is no longer clear. People can be employees, the producers, while being a consumer at the same time. A clear example is freelance. They work during their free time, or they have free time during their work, the difference between ‘work’ and ‘non-work “has largely faded.

Another characteristic of immaterial labor described by the Italian autonomists is the idea that consumption no longer leads to destruction. Earlier, during Fordism, the life cycle of produced goods was simple. Something was produced and was then consumed. During the process of consuming the product was – and some products more slowly than others – destroyed. Today, consumption lead to a new form of production. Lazzarato writes:

The particularity of the commodity produced through immaterial labor […] consists in the fact that it is not destroyed in the act of consumption, but rather it enlarges, transforms, and creates the “ideological” and cultural environment of the consumer. This commodity does not produce the physical capacity of labor power; instead, it transforms the person who uses it. Immaterial labor produces first and foremost a “social relationship”.[6]

The consumption of something does not automatically means the end product. If you consume information as a consumer this leads to the production of new information. Examples of cases involving consumer consumption which leads to production of new information can be seen on popular websites that use popularity ratings. On the video site YouTube, for example, you can track how many people have looked at some clips. After viewing a certain clip the view rating will rise in this way youtube can produce best viewd clips day/week/month/year. So when you view a clip( consumption) you produce information ( +1 in viewed ). With this information websites such as Youtube, Twitter and many more can make money by offering this most viewed clips as a potential market for a promotion tools. A compnay knows exactly how many people will see the advert if they play a advert before this popular clip. The popular the clip(youtube example) the more a company has to pay in order to promote the products.

Companies are not the only ones who are broadcasting on Twitter. Company are partly dependent on other Twitter users. These other twitters will retweet information to the other users in positive or negative way, They also can ask question regaring certain products/services.

Twitter users can also simultaneously produce and consume information. Through Retweet (RTs) making a new Tweet from a ‘old’ Tweet. For example company A offers new kind of holiday packages Tweeter A consume the information and Retweets on the old tweet regarding the package holiday by mentioning other compnays offering same/better services( Producing new information while consuming the old one) Consumption on twitter leads to production.

Describing Lazzarato’s theory of immaterial labor in previous chapter, producing content for the Internet – such as Tweets on Twitter – can be seen as immaterial labor. However, it can also be seen as what Terranova appoint in her article: ‘Free Labor’. This type of work is characterized by two things, first, the work with no money in return( free as costless), and secondly its not an forced work, people do it because they like it (‘free’ as volentary). Especially in the early days of the internet, this form of labor was very popular. People were building communities and sites filled with certain content. Now the proportions are slightly different

In the overdeveloped countries, the end of the factory has spelled out the obsolescence of the old working class, but it has also produced generations of workers who have been repeatedly addressed as active consumers of meaningful commodities. Free labor is the moment where this knowledgeable consumption of culture is translated into productive activities that are pleasurably embraced and at the same time often shamelessly exploited.[7]

Content produced by individuals on the Internet, have been shamelessly exploited by large media companies. These include using content of their visitors to get more people on their website.Having more visitors, means more revenue from advertising.

Indirectly the work of indivuals using free labor will be used to make money. Video Site YouTube.com is an example of a website which works this way. The site consists of movies made ??by individuals. But the only ones who are making money are the owners of YouTube, Google. Later in this dessertetion an further analyse of operating principle exploitation of “free labor” wil be discsusses.

Finding and discusions

To explore ways Twitter is used by companies for marketing and selling purposes and to analyze how they make use of the immaterial labor of individual tweeters, a more detailed description of number of ways twitter is use by company will be described in this chapter.

This will be grouped in the ways company use twitter and in each sub section a feed back will be created to notion of immaterial labour.

Firstly there is a clear distinction between two major ways Twitter is used. Some forms of Twitter use are clear, but its usually one direction, others are seen as a dialogue, two sided. Companies that use Twitter as a one-way marketing tools are most similar to old media, which only broadcast.Tweets are broadcasted or Tweets are read, the information transfer is one way here. Other companies are more interactive. They respond to tweets of others, mix with poeple in online conversations and answer questions.

Twitter als one-way marketinginstrument

Company use Twitter in the same way as they are using the “old media” like television, radio and print: as one-way instrument. It is intended to deliver a certain message through the media to the end consumer. Companies hope to get the attention of customers, because attention can lead to revenue. The concept of attention is defined in management terms as;

? […] focused mental engagement on a particular item of information. Items come into our awareness, we attend to a particular item, and then we decide whether to act’.[8]

Eventually companys hope offcourse that customer will recognise the product and decide to act on it and in many cases buy the product. With the concept of audience commodity Smythe explains that people are actually working, while not being at work, they are employed by the advertisers. On television, on the streets and now the Internet, they are constantly exposed to information and ads. It also deals with audience: ‘because audience power is produced, sold, purchased and consumed, it commands a price and is a commodity’.[9]

As everyone now easily own contents and information on the Internet because of the easy use of putting information online, there is more information than you can pay attention to as an individual. Attention has become scarce, demand is greater than supply. This is the reason for companys to employ special people who can highlight the companies products/advertisement on the Internet.

all kinds of different platforms are used here: websites, advertisements, virals and social media.

According to media scholar Andrew Keen the era of social media and in general the rise of Twitter has been charctarised by attention economy, “Twitter’s ascent marks the end of the Web 2.0 period (1999-2009) and the beginning of […] what i would call the “attention economy”. “He argues this view by stating that Twitter is all about attention, people want to be followed by many people as possible and like it when their message are viewed by many twitter users.

Many Company use twitter to ask the opinion of the audience, trough the broadcast model ( from 1 sender to many recievers). Example of twitter account using this method are; John Lewis, Social party, bbc channel and many more. Examples of Tweets used by these companys are;

As a MemberoftheJohn lewis you will get10% discountonourcosmetics! Besidessavingyourpointsformore fun stuffsoon‘

‘Reminder: TonightonChannel 2, 22:50 pm TheBattle ofBrussels. Dexterat 23:00hoursonchannel. 3andat 23:20hoursCannesFilmJournalon channel. 1!

What really highlights this tweets is the use of the so called old patron of broadcasting. Message ahs been transmitted by 1 sender and has been received by many receiver, there is no further interaction.

Twitter as a source of news/ people opinion

Twitter can be used as a medium to broadcast a certain message, similar to the ‘old’ model of broadcastting like television. But Twitter can also work in other ways; for instance, it can also be used as a source for other media. This is shown by the example of the BBC broadcast following the egypt situation on 15/03/2011. In this broadcast the preliminary results are reported, there was reporting from the country, and the results were analyzed. So it was a “traditional” report analysation. BBC also used a seperarte part of the broadcast by reading some interestting tweets, in a so called BBC Cube ineternet. Internet Editors talks about certain interesting tweets twittered by other people rergarding the situation in egypt.

What was new however, is that there is a cube ‘internet’ was broadcasted. Internet Editor Jerome Johnson talked about the tweets send by twitter user regrarding egyptian revolts.

Johnson and BBC use tweeter as a medium to get the people opinions about certain objects and information. Italian autonomists would describe this as Twitters general intellect.

When the workers are freed from spending all their time at the assembly line, new forms of subjectivity and knowledge arises – the general intellect – creating […] ‘mass intellectuality’, a “repository of knowledges indivisible from living subjects and from their linguistic co–operation”[10]

The idea of ??general intellect is originally originated from Marx, who predicted the development towards a capitalist system where the subjectivity of the worker and his knowledge would increasingly be a major aspect.

The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it.[11]

BBC is not the only news channel using twitter in broadcast session. In a news report of CNN tweeter plays a important role for a very long time now. Both on the website of CNN as in the news bulletins on TV CNN refers to Tweets. On television the internet editor reports the news, while he treats a specific item on its display, tweets are being sended by the general twitters regarding this subject the CNN internet editor trys to highlight and report couple of interesting tweets sended by twitter users.

A good example of such an item is in Haiti after the earthquake in January 2010. Because of tweeter many local haiti people could describe the situation in haiti in tweeter sending tweets to BBC as a video link, or text comments.

According earthquake expert Earle Twitter is a ideal social medium to collectively share experiences with each other. Increasingly tweets are being reported before major news channels gets the informations regarding a certain event. Also in the case of Egyptian revolt, Tweeter was the first internet medium to highlight this issue. Many tweets were sended by eye witnesses to BBC, CNN and any other news channels explaining the current situation in egypt.

CNN took advantage of that by implementing this idea to the main CNN website now yiu can read tweets on cnn website in a so called eyewitnesses reports, this is a great idea for people who dont have a twitter account.

CNN is monitoring tweets and other messages from people in Egypt and reports from those who said they have been in touch with friends and family. CNN has not been able to able to [sic] verify this material.[12]

Example of a Tweets sended by a anonymous tweeetwer user to CNN :

Felt that, loud and clear. We’re in Cap Haitien. House (really the whole world) shook for about 30 seconds” — From Twitter user firesideint (Luke Renner) at 5:20 p.m. ET

Just experienced a MAJOR earthquake here in Port au Prince – walls were falling down. – we are ALL fine – pray for those in the slums” — From Twitter user troylivesay in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at 5:24 p.m. ET

The remarkable thing is that CNN uses Twitter as a source of eyewitness testimonys rather than a platform with views of the people, as did the BBC during the broadcast on the Egyptian revolt. A feature that CNN and the BBC have in common is usage of immaterial labor of the individual tweeters.

Twitter users tweeting message at home in their free time and on their own initiative, create value for the news channels, without actually felling being a employee and perfomring a certain task. This fits the description that Lazzarato gives on immaterial labor, the idea that the immaterial labor does not feels like “real “work.

Terranova would argue with the fact that CNN is exploiting the information gained from tweeter users, because CNN uses the information gained from tweeter in theire news report without actually rewarding in monetary terms or in any other ways the author.

Information Broadcasting is a way for CNN to make money, because they get more viewers if they provide good news coverage. The information they get from Twitter, they use that for the same viewers. CNN is creating value from the information on Twitter, without providing the original author something in return.

Compared with traditional journalism is that in this new form of journalism, opinions and knowledge of the people – in short, the wisdom of the crowd -plays a a greater role before the rise of Twitter.

Before the rise of tweeter the opinions of ‘normal people’ only were dealt within television programs which were easily accessible. In news reports the opinions were only given by correspondents, reporters and social elite.

Non only news channels gained valuable information on tweeter, the faaous free newspaper Metro actually encourage people using tweeter and sending interest tweets to the editors.

Metro mentions Twitter in their section ‘Tweet Week’: ‘the modern readers’ letters section. Tweets about the metro and replys regarding certain inetersting questions are put here.

In this way of using twitter it is clear that the idea of immaterial labor is characterized by the notion that production does not lead to destruction, but to new consumption. Especially in the example of the metro this is really highlighted. The first act of consumption, reading a magazine leads to the production of tweets containing their views on a particular article.

The editors of the Metro are consuming – reading – and react on this by publicing a certain section on this. Finally the readers consumer it again by reading the section of the magazine.

Twitter to create a hype

In the two previous ways of using Twitter, the message was always one sided: companies use twitter as a form of advertising on the Web, the message is send to large group of people or companiies use messages from individual Twitter users for themselves, opinions or news value that can be used by other media.

But Twitter can also be used in complex ways. Companies can offer both their (advertising) message to send to their followers, and immediately ensure that Twitter users spread the certain message to others in different ways such as re-tweets or face to face advertising.

When a company wants to distribute Tweets they want to be ensured that their message gets to as many people as possible. To circulate the company name and message as much as possible, the companies are largely dependent on the willingness of individual twitter users to perform immaterial labor. This immaterial labor takes form of re-tweets, company A send information to the followers, the followers re-tweet( resend) the message to other tweeter users. This is form of a immaterial labour.

For some companies, the purpose of their activities on Twitter is to create a hype/buzz around their companys name or product. Creating a hype or a buzz is a powerfull marketing way to advertise. Instead of trying to send a certain message to each potential customers many customers use a hype marketing, by trying to achieve a situation when customers promote the companys products by sending messages to each other. Research shows that 78% of consumers believe other consumers when it comes to companies and products, while only 14% of consumers find advertising reliable. Hyping or buzzing is explained by as Thomas Jr. as buzzing. ‘[…] the amplification of initial marketing efforts by third parties through their passive or active influence’ .[13]

“Buzz or hype is a form of face to face or worrd to word advertising. According to Grewal this is an important source of information for consumers. Face to face influence how people think about a product. It also appeared that word-of-mouth advertising has more impact than information which is printed, and generally considered as the most reliable form of advertising.

An example of a company that has unleashed a so-called buzz, is the Donald Duck magazine. Since early February 2010, they created fictitious accounts on Twitter for some Duck city residents, like Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck and Mickey Mouse Twitter. Through these accounts, they put out story lines and let them Duck city Residents interact between each other. Meanwhile the figures are followed by thousands of people. According to editor Jim van der Weele the participation of Donald Duck on Twitter a great success and many of their messages are beein re-tweeted.

Also newsworthy messages can spread rapidly on Twitter using the immaterial labor of tweeters. A recent example is from Green lands 28 September, 2011. Then there was the official Twitter account of the Green lands festival reported the following:

The requalir tickets to the grean lands festival has been sold out, however the combo tickets are still available, visit greenlands.nl for further information [14]

A day later, there was a mistake made ??at the ticket sales, according to the following tweet.

THERE WAS AN ERROR IN TICKET SYSTEM: 10,000 CJP MAPS WERE DOUBLE LOCKED. THEY ARE NOW AVAILABLE AGAIN. SEE SITE # LL10[15]

This tweet was re-tweeted by nearly 100 people, who all had their own followers.

The effect was noticeable within one day the remaining 10,000 tickets were sold out. Because of twitter Green lands tweet was spread to huge potential customers base.

Because of all of those tweeters – voluntarily and on their own initiative – the message was sent by Lowlands of their followers, they made ??sure that many tickets were sold. To some extent, they created their value so geretweet Lowlands. This can be seen as a form of exploitation from Lowlands seen. The organization used the “free labor”of their followers to make money on ticket sales. They all reported benefit from the willingness of their followers to do work, in this case the tweeting of information to their followers.

According to the popularity of adding feature ‘# fail’ in Twitter. A company can be discussed by individuals in tweeter in positive or negative way. If people are unhappy with a company, Twitter is a popular medium to discuss those complaints.

Such an addition, which is called hashtag, are been used by tweeter users when they are not happy with a certain information.

On the night of 25th January 2011 when the egyptian revolt took place. Many tweeter users where unhappy with the information provided by certain news channel. People found that this news channel did not provied accurate news, and let it know toeach other. There were many negative reports about this news channel in Twitter. Due to the immaterial labor performed by tweeter users and, even those who criticize others’ re-tweet, this certain newschannel recived a bad reputaion in Twitter and was described as poorly news channel. There was a negative buzz about the broadcasting and provided information.

Tthese three examples shows you can not control, direct or change the ‘buzz’ and ‘being buzzed ” as a company. The buzz can be an unforeseen side effect for companies.

Companies using twitters users network

A famous addition in tweeter is the “Please RT. This stands for ‘Please Retweet. This means that those who send the Tweet ask all the readers to re-tweet the message to theire followers.

This can be a very easy way to get your message read by many people. Author and media expert Erwin Blom experienced this when he lauched his new book”Handbook Communities’ in twitter with posting comment asking his followers to retweet his message about his new book. On his site he writes what happened with his message:

I have a small base of 6,000 followers. Within that group the message was re-sent sent by many other people. This so-called re-tweets made ?it ?sure that my message did not only reched the people who follow me, but it also reached a majority of my followers followers.

In recent 8days [sic] a small number of 959 tweets was placed regarding the Handbook communities. Through Tweetreach I have calculated that I reached a audience of 117,497 people[sic] with no marketing budget, no traditional media, simply through the power of the network. With a Tweet and mouth to mouth advertising, more than one hundred thousand people have been reached!

Word-of-mouth advertising that Barnes is talking about, or so called word to mouse exists only because of the immaterial labor tweeter users perform. Some of the 6000 followers of Blom performd labor by re-tweeting his message to there followers. Those people obviously do not feel this as ‘work’, they did almost nothing. Yet they created value for the writer, and also indirectly for the publisher and bookstores.

But there is another aspect that emerges here, by using Twitter Blom generated value from the network of people. Because of the people who re-tweet post to all their own networks of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, the information can spread widely. If people would not have such network, the message would not reach many people had so the message would had little value. This network of acquaintances Bourdieu described as “social capital”:

“The total existing of potential resources arising from the possession of a more or less institutionalized sustainable network of relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition […] that each of its members is a so called spine in the collective capital.

Using Twitter you generate value from the contacts people have between each other their social capital is utilized. Hardt and Negri suggest that instead of the assembly line in the factory now the network has become the organizational model of production.

Another interesting fact of using users twitter network, shows us that it actually pays off to have a large social capital, in this case in the form of many followers. Reporter GeenStijl TV Rutger Castricum tweeted on february 18, 2011:

Buy youre tickets from trnsavia, GREAT DEALS

A few minutes later a re- tweet from Rutger,

Haha, my holiday pack to ibiza is free, just before my first message transavia called me to put

tweet Buy youre tickets from trnsavia, GREAT DEALS on my porifle page and re twet to all my followers, in exchange they prmoised me free holiday to ibiza, GREAT.

At that time Rutger Castricum had 8617 followers, the Transavia advertising was already seen by rutgers 8617 followers.

Airline Transavia knows popular people will have a large amount of followers thus there social capital is fairly high.

Transavia used his popularity in their advertising campagne. As the second Tweet show, they sought contact with Rutger Castricum and asked him to post the first message on Twitter. Transavia asked rutger castrcum to perfom immaterial labor.

Rutger Castricum did not think putting a tweet as “performing labour”, but still he perfomed labour which adds value to transavia.

ListenRead phoneticallyBesides, in this case Castricum had a reward in a from of – a free flight – from transavia. But this is very uncommon in twitter world. Allmost all the immaterial labour perform on twitter is with no reward in any forms.

Generally people are tweeting without asking anything in return. This fits the description of Terra Nova ‘Free Labor’. At the moment when people produce something, such as information or knowledge, it can be exploited by large companies, who basically earn money by immaterial labor supplied by individuals. Terranova explains this as follows:

If knowledge is inherently collective, it is even more so in the case of the postmodern cultural economy: music, fashion, and information are all produced collectively but are selectively compensated.[16]

Companys are the actual earners earning money from immatrial labor perfomred on the net. People themselves often get nothing in return. This may be one reason why companies are active on Twitter. Firstly, there are many individuals who can help others with a certain message to get, and secondly it costs a company no money, they use the “free labor” of tweeters.

Twitter as helpdesk

Many people use Twitter as a guide or help desk. All the random questions of all kinds of subjects can be found on twitter. The reason why twitter is such a good source media is because , among others twitter has a very large amount of people using it. It appears that there is always someone who knows the answer to a certain question. Basically this is the idea of “wisdom of the crowd, ” or collective intelligence. In science, there is a disagreement about the usefulness and quality of collective intelligence. According to Surowiecki, the mass has a greater intelligence compared to isolated individuals. With more people you have a greater degree of knowledge. Twitter is an ideal medium for information, because with the increased mass there is a great knwldege to be found.

A famous feature in Tweeter is the co salled daretoask. People who have a question, put in the # daretoask in their Tweet question. people wanting to answer a certain question can search with the # daretoask option. In this way, Twitter can be seen as a place where demand and supply of information meets each other. The reason why this certain way of twittering has become so popular is that it is very easy to tweet your question. You type in the question, you press ‘send’ and within a few minutes you can expect some asnwers from other twitter users. Answering questions is immaterial labor, as it happens in people’s leisure time. It does not feel like work, but despite that there is something produced, people produce information for each other.

Some companies have recognised the simpliltiy of twitters option as a question and answer for consumers . This is reflected in accounts of companies like T-Mobile, UPC and KLM. The Twitter Employees of these companies provide – paid – immaterial labour and webcare. According to Social Media expert Blom, webcare can shortly be described as “Listen. Monitor what’s being said about you and respond, explain, help ‘.

When in december 2011 the coldest winter in recent years hits Netherlands and in other parts of Europe allot of travellers stranded at airports around the world and it was chaos at airports. KLM received many questions over the phone and could not initially provide good service. The company decided to deploy social media, and it started to help people through Twitter and Face book. On their Twitter account www.twitter.com/klm they answered questions, provided information and tried to help people by getting them a replacement flight. The employees of KLM web care performed immaterial labor on Twitter by putting information on Twitter and interact with their customers.

After the situation was stable again, People started twittering positive tweets about KLM and their service.

KLM basically did not use the immaterial labor of those other tweeters, rather it was an unforeseen consequence of their service. But the principle remains the same. When a company provides a good service this can be twittered by individual tweeters. The immaterial labour they perform provide a positive buzz and name recognition, and so it added value to the company

Other forms of twitter use

As described in prvious chapter Apart from the five main ways twitter can be used by companies.

Twitter can also be used in many other ways. The main reason why this dessertetion focuses on the main five reason as described above is becausse of the extensive use of the intangible work of individual tweeters in above mentioned forms of twitter use by companies.

For some companies selling is not the priorety. Slightly more than half of European companies keep an record about the brand image over past years, to effectively measure this many companys choose to use twitter, 45 percent of EU companies are using social media to improve interaction between the company and the customer. And with the rising number of talk shows using twitter as a enetertaiment source, its important to remark briefly the other ways of twiiter use by companies.

Celebrities

Famous celebrities were largely the reason for the popularity of Twitter worldwide. When a celebrity twitters a interesting information all the major talk shows and or magazines will use this in there broadcast and or magazine as a entertainment source for potential customers.

Politicians

There are also politicians who twitter, some even very fanatic. The leader of Groen links ( Dutch politician party) , Femke Halsema, is very well known politici who use twitter. She has about 50,000 followers Femke Halseme does not use tweitter only discusiing Politics but she is also using it for private life. Its a new trend for politicians people to talk about there personal life in twitter.

Twitter Actions

Companies like Dell and United Airlines have such a large number of followers that they offer special promotions on twitter. United Airlines promotes several airtickets to different destination only for the United airlines followers on twitter, they do this to get more followers, which will mean a well known image in future. One of the tweets United airlines wrote;

‘Canada Tware! Floridians… looking to get out of the sunHead up north with our Canada Tware! See details @ http://tinyurl.com/yexolla’[17]

The word tware is a combination between Twitter and Fare. Meanwhile it has become a familiar term in Twitter world. Computer manufacturer Dell claims to earned over 6.5 million U.S. dollars in 2009 with twares.

From Free Labor to Voluntary Immaterial Labor

Much has been written about the exploitation of labor by companies in today’s digital economy.

In the article “Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation” Petersen gives a list of examples of the different ways social media websites make money based on the immaterial labor of their users. Also writers like Terra Nova and Scholz emphasize that everything at work is performed on social media sites operated by large companies. Terra Nova does that with her notion of Free Labor and Scholtz suggest that:

[…] forty percent of all web traffic is concentrated on ten websites […] Most of these sites owe their popularity to the wealth of content generated by the visiting net publics that spend significant amounts of time on these very, very few sites thus creating wealth for a handful of corporate owners.[18]

this a very pessimistic way of economic thinking which is too much focused on the commercial activities of the companies making money on immaterial labor on the Web. It may well be that money is for individuals who work, but the approach of theorists described above one-sided view. A Marxist Analysis of Free Labor on the Internet as Schultz describes, implies that ther is a underlying plan behind Twitter for companies to earn money. Petersen also implicitly says that when he talks about the emergence of Web 2.0 “in ITS early commercial stage, the Internet Proved bad at selling commodities, but really good at creating opportunities hype and economic bubbles.

Something else was needed though, and subtler forms of creating surplus evolved in Web 2.0’.[19] In the case of Twitter it seems unlikely that there is such a “preconceived plan” because individuals are rather using twitter than companies. Only recently companies have discovered the power of Twitter, and only recently they use it for their marketing.

Petersen concluded in his article by saying that we need to find a new theory of work. A theory on one side exploitting and includes the idea of free labor, and on the other side it also takes into the consedaration that people can experience the joy of contributing to certain sites. both factors are important in research into contemporary social media.

However, doing qualitative research on twitter and twitter users, then it is more efficient not to involve exploitation side. The emphasis in the Schultz, Petersen and Terra Nova analysis is they focus too much on the capitalist system behind collaborative initiatives on the Internet. To research the motives of people who are active on Twitter, it is relevant to talk about an form of work that has nothing to do with money.

In that kind of research or analysis its irrelevant who makes money from the labor perfomred by people on a certain website, that is rather a conseguqnece that a cause. Most people are not twitterin because they want to make money: Twitter is completely independent of the capitalist system of profit and earn money for individuals. In Empire Hardt and Negri say that “[]t he cooperative aspect of immaterial labor […] from the outside [is] imposed or organized, as in earlier forms of work was. […] This fact has reservations about the old notion which labor power as “variable capital ” is considered, ie, as a force that is activated and made ??coherent only by capital. “This, they indicate that the initiative for example to twittering comes from people themselves. It has nothing to do with the question whether companies persuade people to do work for them.

People are twittering because they like it or find it useful to get in touch with each other. In my opinion the term Free Labor can be deleted free labour implies an economic relationship between the employer and the employee. If you perform ??Free Labor, you work for free for companies who make money out of youre free labour. Therfore in my opinion lazzaratos theory about Immaterial Labour, would be more accurate if its called voluntary immaterial labour. Twittering by individuals is totally voluntary, it has in terms of individual twitter nothing to do with economic relations. Voluntary Immaterial labor is seen as a form of immaterial labor in which there is no need to think about which individuals and businesses to earn money somewhere. The immaterial labor perfomed by twitter users is done because they like it as a time killer or because it helps their social life in some way.

According to Wilson and Musick work that has be done voluntarily – voluntary work – is characterized with three things. First, it is a productive act, something is produced. This may be a physical product, but can be knowledge or care aswell. Therefore human capital is required: knowledge, skills and experience. Secondly, volunteering is always been a certain degree of something collective. With Several people a goal is aimed. Therefore the social capital of voluntary immaterial labour of importantce. Finally, voluntary work is where people often assume to show their ethical side.

They want to do something good, and also show it to other people. Cultural capital have s certain importance in this case. This term comes from Bourdieu. He describes that any act of consumption is associated with showing your taste. In everything you consume you indicate what your preferences are. This also applies when you consume youre free time. By showing how you consume your free time, you give actually describe what kind of person you are. Wuthnow suggests that when someone does something voluntarily, he or she also immediately shows one of his/hers charactaristics for example as someone who does something voluntarily. “This allows the volunteer to see a sympathetic person. Doing Something voluntary in this case can contributae to someone status and prestige.

In this way, Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital help in finding the reason why people are twittering. These people do not naively stupid, ignorant that they are operated by companies, but using Bourdieu’s term is to argue that people are twittering their identity to propagate. That they want to show that they are good at the time, for example, or that they are engaged.

In this way, Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital can help in finding the reason why people are twittering. These people do not twitter because of stupidity, now knowing that they are exploited by companies, but using Bourdieu’s term it is clear that people are twittering to improve their identity. For example to show that they do care.

In this analysis it is important to distinguish between the side of the business and the fact that content on the Internet has been exploited on the onehand and the reasons for poeple twittertinf on the other hand. These are two completely different aspects of Twitter, and can not reflect on the motives of someone to twitter with an constantly thoughtin the mind as a Marxist voice is telling you about “shameless exploitation”.

You cant only associate twitter with volunatry immaterial labour, many social webiste such as Facebook, MSN and many more can be associated with volunatry immaterial labour. When a facebook users post a comment on his friends home page, this has nothing to do with the economical relationship, not between the two users and also not between the user and the company, its volunatry imaterial labour.

This dessretetion is not a result from a naive view of the commercial world. Its completeley logical that companies wants to make money from volunatry immaterial labout performed on twitter by users. I just believe that contuniously retain to the Marxist notion of Free Labor, sientist and researchers cannot researcg and analyse to the motivations of thosewho perfrom immaterial labour.
Conclusie

Twitter is used in many different ways by different companys in their marketing campaigns there is no general way how Twitter can be used for a company, it seems that each company must figure out which way works best for them. What many companies have in common though is the fact that they are partially dependent on the willingness of their followers to perform immaterial labor. As is sometimes asked to re-tweet a message, by sending it to each other and sometimes tweeters deliver information or content to media companies.

Alot is written by Italian autonomists about immatrial labour, this includes labor which is characterized by the idea that the worker dont see the work as a job, it does not feel like labour.

The reason for this is because nothing physical has been produced, however it is more the production of information and the cultural aspects. The main characteristis of immaterial labor is the increasing difficulty to distinguish work time and leisure. Terranova describes free labour as perfomring labour while not getting a reward in financial and or any other terms. Inherent to Free Labor, the assumption is that companies earn money by the labour that has been performed.

In my opinion it is not always necessary to approach labour in this way. In fact, when you’re constantly aware of the fact that others make money from your work, it possibly reduce the enjoyment people can have while performing an voluntary work on the internet. I therefore recommends to discuss voluntary labor, when research has been done into the user side of Twitter. This term is not about capitalist relations between workers and companies and it instantly shows the reason why people do participate in Social Media platforms, because they themselves want to do this. Apart from that I do think that the notion of free labor may be retained. In other cases it is still relevant is that labor is exploited.

For a further investigation it may be interesting to examine whatever the reasons are people twittering. To investigate this, my idea of voluntary immaterial labor can useful. With an investigation in that direction it can alsodive more content to this term, to cllasify different forms of voluntary Immaterial labor. It is also interesting to see in further research how twitter can be sued by compnays in detailed way. Does it really generate money, such as computer maker Dell claimsAnd what way I have described above works best for businessin business this can be an interesting issue.

Reference

[1] Graham, Paula. ‘Web 2.0 and why?’. Fossbox. Slide 5. 18-5-2010

[2] Thomases, Hollis. Twitter Marketing: an hour a day. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, 2010: p. 39.

[3] Thomases, Hollis. Twitter Marketing: an hour a day. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, 2010: p. 39.

[4] Thomases 2010: p. 87.

[5] In: Cote, M. ‘The Italian Foucault: Subjectivity, Valorization, and Communication’. Politics and Culture, 2003, issue 3. 13-4-2010 .

[6] Lazzarato 1996: p. 4.

[7] Terranova 2000: p. 37.

[8] Davenport, T.H., J.C. Beck. The attention economy: Understanding the new currency of business. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2002: p. 20.

[9] Smythe, Dallas W. ‘On the Audience Commodity and its Work’, in M.G. Durham and D.M. Kellner (red.) Media and Cultural Studies. Key Works. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001: p. 256.

[10] Petersen, Soren Mork. ‘Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation’. First Monday, Vol. 13, Nr. 3 (3-3-2008). 21-4-2010 (Italics van de auteur, citaat komt van Dyer-Witheford, Nick. ‘Cyber–negri: General intellect and immaterial labor,’ In: T.S. Murphy and A.K. Mustapha, red. Resistance in practice: The philosophy of Antonio Negri. London: Pluto Press, 2005: p. 142)

[11] In: Virno, Paolo. ‘General Intellect’. Vert. Arianna Bove. Generation Online, 2001. 22-4-2010

[12] ‘Haiti Earthquake. What we’re hearing’. 13-1-2010. CNN. 16-3-2010

[13] Thomas Jr., Greg. ‘Building the buzz in the hive mind’. Journal of Consumer Behaviour. 2004, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p 64. 17-5-2010

[14] bron: http://twitter.com/rapid_razor_bob/status/9782685646

[15] bron: http://twitter.com/rapid_razor_bob/status/9785482413

[16] Terranova 2000: p. 42.

[17] Bron: http://twitter.com/UnitedAirlines/status/11104848684

[18] Scholtz, Trebor. ‘What the MySpace generation should know about working for free’. 3-4-2007. Collectivate.net. 25-4-2010

[19] Petersen, 2010.

Categories
Free Essays

The role of social media as marketing tool for tourism in kenya. case study: kenya safari and tours.

INTRODUCTION

With two thirds of the global internet population visiting social networks, businesses are increasingly utilizing these platforms to engage with clients and other businesses, don’t get left behind!

Social Media is an extremely effective form of marketing which can be used to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty, customer service, and lead to increased sales. It can be used to present a business brand to millions of people worldwide.

Social media is not just for large corporations, small businesses can also reap the benefits of implementing a social media campaign and therefore for many businesses, social media is just one more buzz word they have to wrestle with. However, social media isn’t just a buzz word and it’s not going away social media can have a profound effect on almost any type of business. (http://www.housingea.co.uk/an_introduction_to_social_media_for_business)

Coming together with the Web 2.0 phenomenon, the birth of social media is busted out in new marketing era. It is becoming a hot topic for its huge influences. The existence of social media earns the attention of people by making them from being passive consumers to active producers in terms of sharing and contributing via networks (Anderson 2008, 63).

That is explanation why most companies today are thinking of applying social media into their business. Its advantages to and effects on organizations, however, have not been recognized accurately in comparison with other marketing tools.

Using social media as a marketing tool in tourism industry adds profound value to the new media trend. How tourism companies gain the benefits from social media is a worthy phenomenon to be researched

1. Scope of the study/backgrounds

Strategies of social media marketing in an organization are the main factors that contribute to a well-being of the most companies operating in business and customer markets. This is because the use of social media in marketing their products and service create customer awareness. Hence in most situations the customers tend to prefer to the services that are mostly satisfied with.

Planning a successful use of social media marketing strategy involves linking a company mission and business strategy to marketing decision and programs. In the current situation the case study company is using the social media marketing in marketing their tourism company and therefore it important for us to understand how the company is planning its operation and what are the current benefits of the company resulting from the use of social media marketing.

Social media marketing strategy in an organization defines how the organization uses the social media tools such as facebook, twitter and YouTube to achieve a marketing objective for the organization. The social media strategy implements and supports higher-level strategies and provides markets and customer information which is used for development and adjustments of the organization business strategy. the current approach being used by the case study company on the use of social media marketing shows that the company strategy is not fully implemented hence the company needs more decision on how to maximize the available marketing opportunities to win many customers depending on the improve strategy that they are heading to in terms of using social media marketing to market their company. The scope of the study will create proposals on how the case company can utilize social media marketing principles to achieve an effective market for their company. The outcome of the implementation of the suggested social media marketing principle and strategies will allow Kenya safaris and Tours to allocate enough resources strategically, and maximize market opportunities through the use of social media marketing which will increase the company reputation and increase profits of the company.

1.1 Research context

The theoretical part of this research will include various aspects of social media marketing strategies. The research was conducted in a co-operation of case study Company known as Kenya Safaris and Tours. Kenya Safaris and Tours have an office located in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and several reservation and booking in different countries. Kenya Safaris and tours is a company owned by the Ministry of tourism in Kenya and the company is specialized in offering tour services to individual customers and corporate customers traveling to Kenya

A qualitative approach was chosen in writing this research. The first part of the research will present the theoretical background followed by the company case company introduction and analysis

1.2 Purpose of the study and research question

Most companies operating in the tourism industry in, Kenya are either locally or foreign owned with majority of the companies having trying to adapt the use of social media marketing in marketing their company products and services. The fact that Kenya is destine to be a popular tourist destination has attracted large number of tourist all over the world. Therefore the introduction of use of social media marketing in advertising the companies across the planet is seen as a possible improve in the Kenya tourism industry. Though the companies doesn’t implement the use of this social media marketing correctly in regardless of the profit they earn by using it.

Therefore the research will try to investigate and generate strategies which will assist tourism companies in developing an effective use of social media strategies. The proposal discussed includes implementing major social media marketing strategies and other minor strategies to help the Kenya Safaris and tours achieve its business and organizational goals.

The final result of the research will present a social media marketing strategies which if implemented will result in Kenya Safaris and Tours gaining a competitive advantage in Kenya tourism industry. In theory, the research will try to contribute and generate new ideas from a holistic approach which may be of help in positioning and attaining competitive advantage by implementing social media marketing strategies. Therefore based on this information the research question for this thesis is work:

1. To find out how tourism companies are integrating social media into marketing so as to boost awareness and generate excitement about tourism destination?

2. What has the adoption and integration of social media strategies done to market tourism?

1.3 Limitation of the research

In this section the main concept are introduced and limitation for the research are presented

It is necessary to highlight assumption and various limitation of the study. The main focus of this study is business to customers. The objective was to prepare a social media marketing strategies that would serve the entire customers whom Kenya safaris and tours plans to appeal to during their period of operation. Social, media marketing strategies that can assist the case study company appeal to cooperate customers have been briefly analyzed in the empirical section. The limitation of this research affects how social media marketing strategies are examined and how an effective social media marketing strategy can be implanted.

The theories used in this research content have an international character. Although relating to marketing strategies , the research emphasize social media marketing strategies which concentrated only on matching companies offering the tour facilities to its customers’ needs. The technological aspect of information systems and application that are used in the social media marketing context are out of the scope but are only discussed briefly in terms of the value they can deliver to Kenya safaris and tours. It also essential to highlight that this study is not an effort to solve one specific aspects of developing a social media marketing strategies in details, but rather a research that would contribute to knowledge about various aspects of social media marketing.

1.4 Structure of the research

The research consists of six sections and the diagram in figure 1 illustrates the various sections it contains. Section 1 includes an introduction and background information of the research; the theories relevant for the research problem are presented in section 2 and 3. Section 4 entails a description of the methodology approaches chosen for the research. The case study (Kenya Safaris and Tours) company is presented in section 5. Sections 6, 7 and 8 include the empirical research and the discussion concerning the case study and the final conclusion is in section 9. The figure bellows shows how the research was planned and conducted and the linkages in the various sections

Figure1; structure of the thesis

2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

2.1 The evolution of social media in marketing business

The use of social media evolution in marketing business has become fundamentally transformative and is rapidly evolving the architecture of business, communications, and the dissemination of information and influence. To understand what marketing exactly means it define as a process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return (Kotler & Amstrong 2010)

Today, there are businesses that engage in social media and those that do not. Those at least experimenting with the formidable, yet shifting landscape of intelligence and communication are learning how to adapt and connect in a new world of conversation, networking, and influence. Those that have yet to evaluate the opportunities and advantages for socialized marketing, service, sales, and branding will find it increasingly difficult to learn, adapt, and magnetize customers, prospects as well as their influencers.

As markets evolve, consumers gain a greater sense of adeptness and perspective. They too learn and adapt. In the process, individuals and the authoritative communities they form, possess a more sophisticated understanding of media literacy, community support, and prowess in new media communication. Consumers have choices and they’re increasingly practiced through natural selection. . (http://www.briansolis.com/2010/01/the-evolution-of-social-media-and-business/ (accessed 1 April 2011)

Then along came the internet and growing rapidly. Unlike the traditional marketing of mass media, internet broadens the scope of marketing in wider range of audiences. It overcomes the limitations of geography and time zones to send the marketing message very fast to target segments. In today‘s life, when customers are no longer being passive in access of information, the use of social media creates opportunities for both businesses and individuals to find their new audiences. Customers become more communicative and better in control than ever. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 19) The changes of marketing are mentioned in the figure below;

Figure 2; Social engagement spectrum (Armano 2009)

Through the social engagement spectrum showed in figure 2, we can see that marketing is experiencing a profound shift from lower engagement to higher engagement level. If the traditional marketing and tradigital marketing are push‘, then it becomes ?pull‘with social media nowadays. Even tradigital marketing is more interactive with users but it is lacks engagement of customers whereas social media empowers customers to participate in the online community by using social networking sites, for example. It does not mean anymore the technology only but social engagement with people has become a core factor. Thus with higher engagement, it leads to an increase in demand of niche markets, creates new opportunities in the emerging marketplace. (Anderson 2008, 57)

2.2 Social media overview

In this section the author gives an overview of social media and its impact on marketing definition and related concepts.

2.2.1 Web 2.0

The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0 (accessed 27 March 2011)

Goossen (2008) in an interview with Klein suggested the key concepts of Web 2.0 are the harnessing of social networking, collective intelligence. It more concentrates on the data collected through computers rather than its own technological factor (Klein 2008).

Web 2.0 is here today, yet its vast disruptive impact is just beginning. More than just the latest technology buzzword, it’s a transformative force that’s propelling companies across all industries toward a new way of doing business. Those who act on the Web 2.0 opportunity stand to gain an early-mover advantage in their markets (Musser & O‘Reilly 2006).

2.2.2 Social media

According to B&C (2010), the term “social media” is widely used nowadays. The first time it appeared was in 2004, after LinkedIn created its social networking application. The applications primarily an online technology tool to allow people to communicate easily, utilizing the Internet to share and discuss information (B&C, 2010). According to Zarrella (2010), social Media is defined best in the context of the previous industrial media paradigm. Traditional media such as television, newspapers, radio and magazines are one-way, static broadcasting technologies. Zarrella (2010) argues that magazines and newspapers are distributing expensive content to consumers while advertisers pay for the privilege to insert their ads into the content.

Readers, in turn, have no possibility to send the editors instant feedback in the case they disagree with something. New web technologies have made it easy for anyone to create, and most importantly, to distribute their own content. A blog post, a “tweet” on Twitter, or a YouTube

Video can be produced and viewed by millions virtually for free. Advertisers do not have to pay publishers or distributor’s huge sums of money to embed their ads; now they can create their own interesting content that viewers will flock to (Zarrella, 2010). Also, Weber (2009), states that traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers are providing one-way communication; while social media, on the other hand, allows everyone to publish and to contribute in online conversations. He defines social media as “the online place where people with a common interest can gather to share thoughts, comments and opinions”.

He further states that social media consists of social networks, such as Facebook, branded web destinations, like Amazon.com and ebay.com and companies, such as IBM and Dell. Additionally, Palmer and Koenig-Lewis (2009), define social media as online applications, platforms and media which aim to facilitate interactions, collaborations and the sharing of content”. The social media is a new world of unpaid media, created by individuals and companies on the Internet (Weber, 2009). According to Zarrella (2010), social media comes in many forms:

blogs
micro blogs (Twitter)
social networks (Facebook)
media-sharing sites (YouTube)
social bookmarking and voting sites (Digg, Reddit)
review sites (Yelp)
forums
virtual worlds (Second Life) Palmer and Koenig-Lewis (2009) also divides social media into the following key categories
Blogs– Comprising individuals or firms online journals that are often combined with audio or video podcasts.
Social networks– Applications allowing users to build personal web sites accessible to other users for exchange of personal content and communication.
Content communities– Websites for organizing and sharing particular types of content.
Forums/bulletin boards– Sites for exchanging ideas and information, usually around special interests.
Content aggregators– Applications allowing users to fully customize the web content they wish to access.
2.2.3. Benefits of social media

Social media marketing experts underscore the advantages of using social media for marketing as the ability to reach a wide audience, two-ways communication, accessibility and viral effect. Social media marketing promises to improve promotional efforts significantly. One of the major advantages of social media marketing is the ability to reach a wide audience breaking down geographic boundaries. Historically communication with others was limited by geographical boundaries and the current technological of the era. Today’s social media technologies enable nearly everyone to reach a global audience for interpersonal interaction and exchanging information (Hank, 2008).Web 2.0 encompasses tools and platforms that enable people from different part of the world to be connected and to exchange information with each other

2.2.4 Social media optimization

Social media optimization (SMO) consists of more narrowly defined activity than social media marketing. Varagic (2008) described social media optimization as a process of optimizing one‘s sites/ blogs to be higher presence in social media searches and sites, more easily linked by other sites and more frequently discussed online in blogosphere and other social media.

Social Media Optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogosphereand special blog search engines to understand this work the diagram below shows how various key social platforms are linked

Figure 3; key social media platforms (source; virtual project consulting 2010)

2.3 Word-of-mouth and social media marketing

Word of mouth is a pre-existing phenomenon that marketers are only now learning how to harness, amplify, and improve. Word of mouth marketing isn’t about creating word of mouth — it’s learning how to make it work within a marketing objective.

That said, word of mouth can be encouraged and facilitated. Companies can work hard to make people happier, they can listen to consumers, they can make it easier for them to tell their friends, and they can make certain that influential individuals know about the good qualities of a product or service.

Word of mouth marketing empowers people to share their experiences. It’s harnessing the voice of the customer for the good of the brand. And it’s acknowledging that the unsatisfied customer is equally powerful.

Word of mouth can’t be faked or invented. Attempting to fake word of mouth is unethical and creates a backlash, damages the brand, and tarnishes the corporate reputation. Legitimate word of mouth marketing acknowledges consumers’ intelligence — it never attempts to fool them. Ethical marketers reject all tactics related to manipulation, deception, infiltration, or dishonesty.

All word of mouth marketing techniques are based on the concepts of customer satisfaction, two-way dialog, and transparent communications. The basic elements are:

Educating people about your products and services
Identifying people most likely to share their opinions
providing tools that make it easier to share information
Studying how, where, and when opinions are being shared
Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals

In order to deepen the understanding of social media marketing and word-of-mouth marketing, a comparison is provided in the Table below

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) Social media marketing (SMM
Relies primarily on influencers to spread the word.Spreads by itself through the social web and relies on passing message along from person-to-person.
Requires excellent product or service influencers can use, be excited about and pass along.Message must be outrageous, entertaining or provide exceptional value to attract attention and be passed along
Generates brand-awareness and sustained website traffic.Not always relevant to the brand
Engages customers long-term through the product life-cycle.Usually generates a short traffic spike.
Online and offline (15 – 20% online).Online only.

Table 1; comparison between Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) and Social media marketing (SMM) (Rijk 2007)

From Table we can see most clearly the differences between the two types of marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing is based on the drastic involvement of user and empowers the ?influencers’ who play the role of opinion-making leaders spread the word about your products and services both online and offline whereas social media marketing makes interaction merely online through social media channels.

Word-of-mouth Marketing Association (2010) has suggested different subcategories of word-of-mouth marketing techniques such as buzz marketing, viral marketing, community marketing, grassroots marketing, evangelist marketing, product seeding, influencer marketing, cause marketing, conversation creation, brand blogging and referrals programs. Brief explanation is given below;

Buzz Marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.
Viral Marketing: Creating entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion, often electronically or by email.
Community Marketing: Forming or supporting niche communities that are likely to share interests about the brand (such as user groups, fan clubs, and discussion forums); providing tools, content, and information to support those communities.
Grassroots Marketing: Organizing and motivating volunteers to engage in personal or local outreach.
Evangelist Marketing: Cultivating evangelists, advocates, or volunteers who are encouraged to take a leadership role in actively spreading the word on your behalf.
Product Seeding: Placing the right product into the right hands at the right time, providing information or samples to influential individuals.
Influencer Marketing: Identifying key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others.
Cause Marketing: Supporting social causes to earn respect and support from people who feel strongly about the cause.
Conversation Creation: Interesting or fun advertising, emails, catch phrases, entertainment, or promotions designed to start word of mouth activity.
Brand Blogging: Creating blogs and participating in the blogosphere, in the spirit of open, transparent communications; sharing information of value that the blog community may talk about.
Referral Programs: Creating tools that enable satisfied customers to refer their friends

(http://womma.org/wom101/2/ (accessed 27 March 2011)

3. SOCIAL MEDIA AND TOURISM

3.1 The different forms of social media

Social media websites come in a wide variety of ‘flavours’, which are all broadly based around the premise of personal interaction, creating, exchanging and sharing content, rating it and discussing its relative merits as a community. In today‘s consumer‘s life, social media have reached the position where very fast-evolving growth and its overwhelming coverage in digital media scene have been recognized. More than 70% of companies have already used social media and many are unresisting of social media‘s increase. Social media is approaching to a large number of active Internet users all the time by its variety of platforms which provoke online customers’ interaction, facilitate the content creation and sharing (Bloomberg BusinessWeek 2009).

Ryan and Jones (2009, 157-169) have developed a list of social media forms which is based on relatively their primary functions.

Social bookmarking

Soacial bookmarking allow users to ‘save’ bookmarks to their favourite web resources such as pages,audio, video, whatever and categorize them using tags labels that help you to identify and filter the content you want later. The idea of social bookmarking services is to stimulate the users to manage their bookmarks using tags instead of having them in the browser-based systems of the computer‘s folder. This also makes them easy to share with friends, colleagues or the world at large, and the tag-based organization means no more cumbersome hierarchical folder systems to remember. Just choose a ‘tag’ and you’ll be presented with a list of all the bookmarks labelled with that tag.

Behind the scenes these sites anonymously aggregate the data submitted by all of their users, allowing them to sort and rank sites according to their user-defined tags and popularity. One favourite social bookmarking site is delicious.com

The advantage for using boomarking in marketing is that it create an exposure to your business through its useful content it makes it easy for visitors to bookmark your pages by providing’ Share this’ links or icons encouraging them to do just that you can harness the social element of these sites to improve your reach, and get valuable, targeted traffic in return. The tags applied to your pages by people who add them to social bookmarking sites can help search engines and visitors to gauge what your site is about more effectively. This can boost its perceived relevance and authority for particular keywords, which can in turn help your search visibility. (Ryan & Jones 2010, 158)

Social media submission sites

Social media submission sites are made for submission and discussion of articles about online marketing, are rather like social bookmarking sites only instead of saving personal bookmarks users submit articles, videos, podcasts and other pieces of content they think the broader community would appreciate. The more people who ‘vote’ for a particular content item, the higher up the rankings it rise. Submissions that get enough votes end up on the site’s home page, which can drive significant traffic. As well as the votes, of course, there also tends to be a lot of discussion and debate on these sites, which means they can offer tremendous insight into the way people think and react. Some favourite social media submission sites are Digg (www.digg.com) and Reddit (www.reddit.com), and niche sites like Sphinn (www.sphinn.com)

There are many advantages of social media submission sites such as amplifying the visibility, traffic and online. If a company have the articles or content rise high in those social media submission sites, that company will get a significant traffic and loyal. Besides that, the opportunities for a company to reinforce its profile and a perceived position within online community are at hand. If you keep on with anything relevant and compelling by joining into the submission and online round-table discussion, audiences will start to pay attention to you, trust you and gain perception of your brand or service. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 159)

Forums and discussion sites

The advent of forums and discussion sites comes at very early in the days of Internet development. Some of most popular discussion boards come up such as Yahoo Groups and Google Groups. Those groups are created with public or only-member access which allows users to post messages and to discuss within the forum. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 159)

Forum and discussion sites are used for many reasons in marketing for example

Forum and discussion sites are used for many reasons in marketing for example

Get closer to your customers: Checking out what consumers are talking about in forums is a great way to find out what makes them tick. The more you can learn about your customers, the better prepared you will be to engage with them in a meaningful way.
Raise your profile: Contribute to the discussion, offer help and advice, and demonstrate your expertise. Pretty soon people will start to respect and trust your contribution to the community – and that can do wonders for your online reputation and profile.
Nip bad things in the bud: By participating in forums you will be able to spot potentially negative comments or conversations relating to your business or brand and be proactive in resolving them before they escalate
Media sharing sites

Media sharing sites are incredibly popular it allows communities of members to upload, share, comment on and discuss their photographs. YouTube (www.youtube.com), Y! Video (video.yahoo.com), MSN Video Soapbox (video.msn.com/) and others do the same for video content. The sites typically allow you to make content publicly available or restrict access to the people you specify, to send content to your ‘friends’, and even to ‘embed’ (seamlessly integrate) the content in your blog post or website for others to find it, distribute it and discuss it. Some favourite media sharing are Flickr (www.flickr.com) and Picasa Web Albums (www.picasaweb.google.com)

Marketers use media sharing site for analyzing the popularity of items on content submission sites and reading the user comments, you can gain insight into your target market’s likes and dislikes and can incorporate that into your own content creation. These sites are the ideal vehicle for rapid distribution of your own digital media content. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 160)

Reviews and rating sites

They allow users to review and rate companies, products, services, books, music, hotels, restaurants – anything they like. They can be stand-alone review sites, like Epinions.com (www.epinions.com), Reviewcentre.com (www.reviewcentre.com) or LouderVoice (www.loudervoice.com), or a review component added to a broader site, such as the product rating and review facilities on e-commerce sites like Amazon (www.amazon.com)

Review and rating sites rely on advertising to generate revenue and therefore offer advertising opportunities for businesses either directly or through advertising and affiliate networks. Even if people aren’t rating your business directly, you can still get valuable information on these sites on what’s working for consumers and what’s not within your particular industry with the use of review and rating sites. It also helps in posting reviews about your business, that sort of feedback is pure gold reinforcing what you’re doing well and pointing out areas where you can improve for marketing the site is a research free tool. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 162)

Social network sites

The purpose of those sites is to allow users participate in a social network by creating their own profile and connecting with friends or other contacts within network or inviting friends and real-world contact to joint into the online community. So, there are vast numbers of users engaged in the social network sites. It is an online meeting platform for people for creating the content, sharing them with others, and interacting with the like-minded people easily (Ryan & Jones 2009, 162).

Talking about social network, some popular sites have come up such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and LinkedIn, which attain most attention on the stream of social media marketing.

Social network sites are best places to look for advertising chances based on analyses of users’ profile information. Controversies around the benefit of advertising in social network sites still take place. However, it is undeniable that the advertising is trendy on those sites. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 162)

If a company offers customers transparent information and stimulate their interest in products or services, the long-term relationship is created online and offline. The company should keep eyes on customers and let the influencers within the online community to promote the company‘s brand.

Podcasts

Podcasts are, in many ways, just the rich media extension of the blogging concept. A podcast is simply a series of digital media files (audio or video) distributed over the internet. These can be accessed directly via a website or, more usually, are downloaded to a computer or synchronized to a digital media device for playback at the user’s leisure. They tend to be organized as chronological ‘shows’, with new episodes released at regular intervals, much like the radio and television show formats many of them emulate. Users can usually offer their feedback on particular episodes on the accompanying website or blog. Some fovourite podcast are Podcast.com (www.podcast.com), Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com), Podomatic (www.podomatic.com) and even Apple’s iTunes (www.apple.com/itunes) offer a convenient way to find, sample and subscribe to

podcasts of interest.

Podcasts can be a valuable channel to reach target market. Unlike mass media, this social media platform open the new way for companies to be digital conscious players. Companies can create own podcasting services which provide podcasts to prospect customers. Initially, if customers are less tech-savvy, they prefer to view now or listen now with nothing to install or register. However, if the customers find the content compelling and right for them, then they will subscribe the company‘s site. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 165-166)

Micro-blogging

Micro-blogging is a relatively new craze that’s sweeping through online early adopters, and looks set to explode as more people embrace social media and learn of its existence. It is essentially a short-message broadcast service that let’s people keep their ‘friends’ up to date via short text posts (usually less than 160 characters). Some favourite micro blogging sites are Twitter (www.twitter.com) is the biggest player in this space, Google-acquired Jaiku (www.jaiku.com) and Pownce (www.pownce.com). The real value of micro-blogging isn’t necessarily in the individual posts; it’s in the collective aggregation of those mini-posts into more than the sum of their parts. When you receive frequent, short updates from the people you’re connected to, you begin to get a feel for them, to develop a better understanding of what they’re all about, and to feel a stronger connection with them.

Micro-blogging is efficient in improving customer service. On micro-blogging sites, a company can share the information about products and services very quickly. People can post their opinions, which can be positive comments or complaints. Those are like instant feedback for the company to analyse, resolve any mistakes and to improve customer service managing system

Wikis

Wikis are online collections of web pages that are literally open for anyone to create, edit, discuss, comment on and generally contribute to. They are perhaps the ultimate vehicle for mass collaboration, the most famous example, of course, being Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), the free online encyclopedia. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 168-169)

Wikipedia has become the largest encyclopaedia in the world with more than 3 millions articles in English, reaching the visitors number of 68 million every month. In comparison with Encyclopaedia Britannica – an English encyclopaedia published by experts, Wikipedia has surpassed to be the leader in this field (Wikipedia n.d).

Wikis for marketers

The concept of using wikis as a marketing tool is a very new phenomenon, and their value may not be as readily apparent as with some other forms of social media. However, they are a powerful collaborative tool and, with collaboration between companies and their customers in the ascendancy, look out for increasing use of wikis by innovative organizations in the very near future.

Build a strong collaborative community of advocates around your brand: Wikis can be a great way to encourage constructive interaction and collaboration between people inside your organization and people outside it. Consumers begin to feel ownership and connection with a brand that encourages, facilitates and values their contribution. That ownership evolves into loyalty and then advocacy: powerful stuff from a marketing perspective, especially when you consider that these contributors will often be online influencers who will go on to sing your praises on other social media sites.
Harness the wisdom of the crowd: How much talent, knowledge and experience do you have inside your organizationProbably quite a lot but it pales into insignificance when compared to the massive pool of talent, experience and expertise you can access online. Retired experts, up-and-coming whizz-kids, talented amateurs, undiscovered geniuses – they’re all out there. Wikis give you a simple, powerful and compelling way to draw on and capture some of that collective intelligence. Why not harness a wiki, for example, to help refine the design of your products, come up with your next great marketing campaign, define a more efficient business process, produce and/or augment product documentation, develop a comprehensive knowledge base – or anything else that might benefit from a collaborative approach
Blogs

In the space of a very few years the widespread popularity and adoption of the blog as a medium of self-expression and communication have caused one of the most fundamental shifts in the history of modern media. Barriers to entry have come crashing down, and easy-to-use blogging platforms have liberated millions of individuals, giving them access to a global audience. People all over the world are using blogs to report local news, vent their frustrations, offer their opinions, share their visions and experiences, unleash their creativity and generally wax lyrical about their passions. Bloggers read each other’s posts, they comment on them, they link to each other prolifically, and the best of them have a massive following of avid and loyal readers. These readers go on to elaborate on what they’ve read in their own blogs, and spread the word through their own online social networks. Some fovourite blogs are (www.blogger.com) and WordPress

(www.wordpress.com)

Blog is becoming an important component in the business arsenal too, adding a personal component to the bland corporate facade, helping companies to reach out and make human connections in an increasingly human online world. Blogs also helps to show customers a personal side to your business, give them valuable information they can use, provide answers and improve their overall experience of dealing with your company. (Ryan & Jones 2009, 164-165).

3.2 Definition of tourism

Although many of us have been “tourists” at some point in our lives, defining what tourism actually is can be difficult. Tourism is the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes.

Tourism is a dynamic and competitive industry that requires the ability to constantly adapt to customers’ changing needs and desires, as the customer’s satisfaction, safety and enjoyment are particularly the focus of tourism businesses

3.3 Marketing and Promotion of tourism in Kenya

There is need to change the image or perception of Kenya in overseas markets which has been adversely affected by negative publicity, whether warranted or unwarranted. The Kenya Tourist Board shall be strengthened to continue its key role in promoting and marketing Kenya both internationally and locally. Key policies include the promotion of up market eco-tourism and wildlife safaris; gradual move away from low value package or mass tourism; the diversification of tourism products and markets; and the promotion of regional and domestic, as well as international, tourism. Emphasis shall be placed on obtaining a precise understanding of customer needs, and developing and delivering the products that customer’s desire. The policy endorses the following broad strategies for development of tourism from international, regional and domestic markets:

3.3.1 International Tourism

The main objective (once the current market recovery initiative is completed) is to establish Kenya as the destination of choice in Africa for international visitors. Destination marketing shall be spearheaded by Government through the KTB in partnership with the private sector. The main means of achieving this objective shall be to:

Differentiate Kenya with a distinct market image and positioning in target markets as a quality safari and coastal destination offering a rich diversity of culture, adventure and activity experiences;
Build on the new Kenyan brand image in a manner that reflects the diversity of the tourism product and that has a strong and distinct appeal in the marketplace
Maximize the impact of scarce marketing resources of the government and private sectors by aiming at concentration rather than dispersal of marketing efforts;
Target new segments in established source markets and core segments in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Asia;
Effectively carry out joint marketing with appropriate partners, particularly with the Kenyan private sector, airlines, KWS, exporters, regional operators; and other tourism and conservation organizations;
Establish overseas offices in key markets and employ marketing representatives through the Kenya Tourist Board on an agency basis in subsidiary markets;
Work closely with EAC partner states to jointly market complementary products and to facilitate multi-destination tourism within the region;
Make full use of, and adapt to, the opportunities afforded by internet and niche marketing to influence consumers and travel agents, and to increase the marketing reach of Kenya in new emerging and niche markets;
Encourage the making of documentary and feature films in Kenya as a highly cost-effective means of increasing destination awareness; and
Support the establishment of a sustainable funding mechanism for tourism marketing and development;

The Task Force (comprising line Ministries and private sector representation) which has been appointed by Government to address media responses to matters relating to terrorism threats and their implications for tourism shall remain in place in order to ensure consistency in Government media communications and to avoid sending inappropriate signals to the generating markets.

3.3.2 Domestic and Regional Tourism Markets

Domestic and to a lesser extent regional tourism have sustained the operation of many hotels, lodges and other tourist facilities during recent difficult periods. The marketing strategy recognizes the importance of these markets, and the need to allocate adequate resources and budgets for the promotion of regional and domestic tourism.

3.3.3 Domestic Tourism

Kenya’s tourism products attract visitors from all over the world. However, most Kenyan nationals have not been able to experience the same attractions due to financial constraints, lack of tourism knowledge coupled with a paucity of programmes and packages that would enable nationals to participate in domestic tourism. Strategically, the domestic market (comprising Kenyan nationals as well as foreign nationals living in Kenya) shall be further developed to form an enduring foundation of the demand for tourism facilities and services, and not just a temporary palliative during times of difficulty. Focusing on tourism awareness education, public relations and publicity, Government shall take a proactive role in promoting domestic tourism to nationals and residents of Kenya as a core strategy. It shall forge linkages between the industry and national and resident domestic segments through ongoing tourism awareness educational campaigns aimed at the local population; sensitizing tourism suppliers as to the value of domestic tourism; and encouraging the development and promotion of tailor-made products, programmes and packages specifically for domestic tourists.

3.3.4 Regional Tourism

Tourism practitioners shall also be encouraged to recognize the importance of, and pay increased attention to, attracting visitors from other parts of Africa to Kenya by developing and implementing specific strategies and action plans aimed at nationals and residents of neighboring countries. Particular attention shall be given to promotions to those African countries with which Kenya has good air links and to which Kenya can offer complementary – rather than similar – products.

3.3.5 Cruise Tourism

Government shall seek to re-establish Kenya’s role and position in Indian Ocean cruise tourism by encouraging KPA to develop improved cruise ship and passenger reception facilities at the Port of Mombasa. It shall also encourage KPA and other stakeholders to actively participate in the Cruise Indian Ocean Association; attend Sea Trade and other cruise industry trade exhibitions, particularly with a view to attracting North European cruise lines to winter in the Indian Ocean using Mombasa as a homeport; and join together in targeted marketing to individual cruise lines. Government shall also encourage and support measures to re-establish cruise tourism on Lake Victoria. (http://www.tourism.go.ke/ministry.nsf/doc/Final_Draft_National_Tourism_Policy.pdf/$file/Final_Draft_National_Tourism_Policy.pdf (accessed 21 January 2011)

4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES

The objective of section (section 3) is to explain how the research was conducted detailing the methods used and evaluating reliability and validity of the research.

4.1 Research approach

Due to nature of the study the study a qualitative research approach was used to examine the study. A qualitative method as pointed by Strauss and Corbin (1998) allows respondents freedom of expression, opinion, views, and arguments that might not have been attained explicitly through other approaches. Qualitative research according to Collins and Hussey (2003) also helps the researcher to discover different aspects during the interview and investigates answers in details

“A major strength of the qualitative approach is the depth to which explorations are conducted and descriptions are written, usually resulting in sufficient details for the reader to grasp the idiosyncrasies of the situation.”

“The ultimate aim of qualitative research is to offer a perspective of a situation and provide well-written research reports that reflect the researcher’s ability to illustrate or describe the corresponding phenomenon. One of the greatest strengths of the qualitative approach is the richness and depth of explorations and descriptions.” Myers (2002)

Main Types of Qualitative Research

Case studyAttempts to shed light on phenomena by studying in-depth a single case example of the phenomena. The case can be an individual person, an event, a group, or an institution.
Grounded theoryTheory is developed inductively from a corpus of data acquired by a participant-observer.
PhenomenologyDescribes the structures of experience as they present themselves to consciousness, without recourse to theory, deduction, or assumptions from other disciplines
EthnographyFocuses on the sociology of meaning through close field observation of sociocultural phenomena. Typically, the ethnographer focuses on a community.
HistoricalSystematic collection and objective evaluation of data related to past occurrences in order to test hypotheses concerning causes, effects, or trends of these events that may help to explain present events and anticipate future events. (Gay, 1996)

Table 2; Types of qualitative research methods (James Neill 2006)

4.2 Data collection and Methods

The data used in the analysis was gathered from two main sources. As discussed by the Saunders et al. (1997), for a research to be considered a valid and accurate, both primary and secondary sources of data have to be used

4.2.1 Primary sources
4.2.1.1 Interviews

Primary data was collected in form of interviews with industry experts who comprised of ministry of Tourism in Kenya and established Tour operators in Kenyan Safaris. All discussions were recorded during telephone conversation. The data was then transferred to a Microsoft Word document in order to avoid omitting information or ambiguous errors. Also to ensure that the right information was retrieved over the telephone, the respondent requested copies of the answered as email attachment. The preliminary questionnaires and information was sent prior to the interviews with background information to formalize the respondent in the research area. The duration of the interview was approximately forty-five minutes per respondent

4.2.2 Secondary sources

4.2.2.1 Text books

Text books are written by different professionals and academic staff. They mainly do not have a specific reference to a certain areas and few of them are recently published however, the merit of using text books is that they basically contains generals ideas and a researcher can compare different authors on different topics

4.2.2.2 Newspapers and related journals

The journals used were current or archives. Newspapers contain information researched by journalist who might be biased. Attention was paid to newspapers articles used. Journals have more tendencies to be biased even though they are more practical in orientation. The journals used in this research were mainly in electronic format and downloads via the internet.

4.2.2.3 Past research

Past research constitute research conducted by other students in the past years. In the this researcher, past research was used mainly to gain ideas on how past research was conducted and format of the research

4.2.2.4 Electronic sources

Internet contains the most updated information about the area of researcher. Even though the internet has much information regarding the researcher area, Collins and Hussey (2003) argue that researchers have to be careful that they do not become victims of information overloads where they can spend long time searching for irrelevant information from the internet. The internet was used to retrieved up-to-date information as well achieves relating to the researcher areas. The researcher was aware of information bias and information overload as the main disadvantage of using the internet. As a result of this, Web address from newsgroups, companies’ Web pages and established search engines were the only ones used.

4.2.2.5 Reliability and Validity

Collins and Hussey (2003) argue that four experiments are commonly used to establish the quality of a case study research. The four experiments are constructed validity, internal validity, external validity and reliability. As Collins and Hussey (2003) elaborate, reliability and validity are critical issues in qualitative research since the measures of the reliability may offer procedures rather than end results. Validity in the same way should focus on extracting rich data from explanations and analysis. Internal validity tests concern explanatory cases studies in which only the study with casual relationships is studied. From the results of the discussion of this case study, the study is explanatory by nature which means that internal and external validity tests are not relevant to and thus not applied.

The case study consists of tour and Travel Company categorized under the tourism sector. The study is reliable and the data of this study is based on the data was gathered from the interview

5. CASE STUDY COMPANY

The case was selected because the aim and the objective of this study was to find out how the social media outline the market place situation and the marketing strategies and programmers that would help the case company achieved its business and organization goals. Apart from that, the researcher knows more about case company and the research was needed since the case company had not utilized the available social media strategies in marketing their company.

Kenya safaris and Tours is a travel and tour company providing tour operation services in Kenya. The company was founded in early 2006. Being a Kenyan company, Kenya Safaris and Tours reservations staffs have extensive first-hand knowledge of the country to assist and advise the customers in designing their holiday itinerary. The company provide the following services to intervals customers and business customers: luxury tours, chauffeur-driven and self-drive car hire, hotel and lodge reservations ,conferences, facilities, camping safaris mountain climbing, beach holidays, water rafting and gorilla safaris. In addition, the company is able to offer their customers tailor-made services upon request.

6. EMPIRICAL RESEARCH

The main results that were achieved discussed the importance of a social media in an organization and the factors that contribute to a successful social media marketing strategy for the case company. Since the case study company is still new company the information obtain from the research was used to develop the following paragraphs that constitute the case company use of social media to realize its marketing trends and objectives.

6.1 Background information

Kenya Safaris and Tours began operations on 15th January, 2006 and provide safari adventures, sport and travel packages to planning to travel or going for holidays to Kenya. The Kenya Safari and Tours majority of customers are from Europe and the United States of America, though the highest numbers of customers are particularly from the United Kingdom. The founders and employees of Kenya Safaris and Tours are experienced travel-industry professionals and passionate about what Kenya Safaris and Tours promotes and offers.

6.2 A glance at the Kenya tourism

Kenya recorded the highest number of tourists’ arrivals ever at 1,095,945 tourists as at 31st December, 2010. This was a 15% growth compared to the 952,481 experienced in 2009. This figure excludes the cross border tourists’ arrivals which could add up to another approximately 700,000 tourists once the results are fully tallied by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

The 2010 Tourism performance has surpassed the 2007 record by 4.5 percent the later being the best recorded year in terms of tourist arrivals and earnings. “This performance is impressive and is optimistic to achieving Kenya’s vision target of 2 million international tourists by 2012
the sector has earned $1.8 billion in terms of revenue earnings within the same period. This is the highest tourist revenue ever recorded and it represents an impressive growth of revenue by 18 percent compared to the 2009 revenues.

The Kenya tourism board said the performance was impressive and the sector has shown great resilience in spite of thelocal and global challenges. The board accrued the impressive performance to aggressive marketing in the new markets and efficient utilization of the resources available.

Kenya Tourist Board has continued to reposition the destination since 2009 as a high value for high spending tourists and this is paying good dividends. The table below gives a complete Kenya tourism statistics for visitor arrival and departures by purpose of visit

ARRIVALSDEPARTURES
Year/HolidayBusinessVisitors in 00HolidayBusinessVisitors in00
QuarterVisitorsVisitorsTransitTotalVisitorsVisitorsTransitTotal
1996795.7100.555.8952785.799.259.5944.4
1997820.8103.756.2980800.5101.157.5959.1
1998804.8101.772.3978.8744.394.066.2904.5
1999686.986.8101.9875.6672.985.091.9849.8
2000746.994.4107.4948.7746.593.7106.4946.6
2001778.298.3138.51,015772.297.0103.5972.7
2002728.892.1152.6973.5742.093.2134.1969.3
2003732.686.6163.3895.99744.693.4153.6991.6
2004684.0182.1219.11,085.2606.6164.1198.4969.1
2004885.6246.4162.21,294.2856.2255.8147.91,259.9
20051,063.2206.179.81,349.11,027.1201.671.61,300.3
20061,087.5226.2137.21,450.91,077.9219.5116.81,414.2
20081,278.5242.2130.91,651.61,232.0232.3124.61,588.9
2009936.1109.462.01,107.50891.7108.965.21,065.8
20101,061.2180.698.41,340.21,064.9169.397.41,331.6

Table 3; Visitor’s arrival and departures by purpose of visit (source; ministry of tourism Kenya)

6.3 Results on the company’s market analysis

6.3.1 Market summary

The research found that the travel and tourism market is generally categorized Business and leisure travel are always grouped together. The tourism market is however separated into domestic and international tourist. Domestic tourist comprise individuals from the specified country who purchase holiday packages in their country where international tourists comprise individuals from other nationalities purchasing holiday packages in other countries apart from their country. In Kenya, domestic tourist account for approximately 23% of industry revenues with international tourist accounting for 77%.Business travelers are usually divided into two categories, the medium-to-large corporate account, and the small independent businessman. Leisure travelers are classified according to the types of packages they purchase, income, or age.

For Kenya safaris and tours, the company has four primary safari travel groups that constitute, adventure, special-interest, honeymoons and sightseeing (short safaris) expeditions, high-income travelers, budget-conscious travelers and families, students and seniors

In Kenya tourist industry, adventure safaris travel generate approximately ˆ0.3 billion of the approximately ˆ0.5 billion- annual industry revenues. ˆ 0.1-0.15 billion of these revenues is accounted from UK markets. Based on these and other figures, Kenya Safaris and Tours estimated UK safaris travel, markets to be worth approximately ˆ 100 million annually.

6.3.1.1 Market demographics

Kenya Safaris travel is categorized under the leisure travel category. Safari travel is sub category of leisure and can be further sub categorized into long and short adventure travel. Both long and short adventures might involve physical and athletic activities. Long adventure safari activities, as then name suggests, generally involve long duration of traveling in the wildness where short safaris activities are always short in duration and cheaper compared to long safaris.

Safaris travelers are more likely to be new couples or old couples. Kenya Safaris and Tours’ primary customers are married couples, ages 25-35 with children and household income over $ 50,000. Kenya safari and Tours is panned to be located in the UK.

The Wild animals in the natural habitat, beautiful scenarios and sunny beaches attract many safari-oriented individuals. Per capita the UK has more people than any other nation who actively participate in, the Kenya safaris, such as mountain climbing, hunting safaris, honeymoons packages etc. These are the people in Kenya Safaris and tours market. Kenya Safaris and tours should focus on the sale and promotion of safaris travel primarily to individual through the use of social media. And social media marketing strategies so has to be more successful

6.3.1.2 Markets needs

Kenya safaris travel activities are a specialized products and first- hand knowledge of these activities are necessary in order to effective promote and sell them. Many potentials customers are unsure of the location they wish to reach. Part of the value associate with travel agencies is knowledge they posses about destinations. Customers depend on the agency to provide them with sound advice for a competitive price. Kenya Safaris and Tours should be confident in its ability to do so. Kenya safaris and Tours can safe the customers’ time and money and help to ensure that customers are satisfied with their vacations-

6.3.1.3 Market Trends

One notable trend in the travel industry is increased deregulation. Deregulation has increased competition and the need for differentiation. In many cases, the price of airfare and other travel –related services has dropped. Additional include the limit of agency commission by many of the larger airline, increases in adventure travel, and the reduction of profit margins. The UK markets contributed the highest number of tourist to Kenya and this trend is predicted to continue.

6.3.1.4 Market growth

The Kenya tourism industry is growing. Reasons for this growth include a government initiative to promote the industry in foreign market through the of social media adverts for example the Magical Kenya on BBC news adverts., 5% annual domestic economy improvements has increased business which in turn boosted domestic business travel agencies.

6.3.2 SWOT analysis

The following four sections of the SWOT analysis was obtained from the interviews contacted on the case company and are the most relevant issues to Kenya Safaris and Tours successful operation. From the research it can be outline that Kenya Safaris and Tours strengths include its management, experienced staff, marketing knowledge and targeted focus. Kenya Safaris and Tours should capitalize on these and other strengths to take advantage of opportunities and manage treats. The Kenya Safaris and tours weaknesses are primarily those inherent in a growing venture are discussed in one of the following sections.

6.3.2.1 Strengths

Strengths in this perspective are an internal capability or factor that can help support the organization in achieving its objective. Kenya Safaris and Tours strengths are

Management: Kenya Safaris and Tours manager has a successful record in this industry. His experience and the network of valuable connections he has developed should contribute to Kenya Safaris and Tours’ success.
Location: Kenya Safaris &Tours is ideally located. Kenya is a popular destination with safari enthusiasts who make Kenya Safaris and Tours target audience profile. The company is also located in the UK which accounts most of the highest numbers of safari travelers to Kenya.
Experienced staff: Kenya Safaris and Tours team is experienced in the travel business and in adventure safaris. Most members have over three years experience. Moreover, the members are willing to spend extra time and effort to build a successful business. In addition with the intangible benefits derived from succeeding in an independent endeavor, Kenya Safaris & Tours is ready to offer profit sharing and potential partnership opportunities to its employees.
Popularity of safari travel: safari activities are very popular, and Kenya safaris and tours is aware that the popularity will continue to grow, Many of the safaris activities such as mountain climbing, honeymoon safaris, and game viewing, have had family connections for many years where families tend to go for safaris after they have been recommended by members of the family who have been on safari.
6.3.2.2 Weaknesses

A weakness is an internal capability or factor that may hinder the organization from achieving its objectives or effectively handling opportunities and threats. Kenya Safaris and Tours weaknesses are:

Start-Up status: Kenya Safaris and Tours is a start up business where most of start up companies tends not to perform well.
Limited personnel: Though Kenya Safaris and Tour staff are exceptional, but from the research it shows that the workers had to work long hours with little pays.
Financing: Preliminary estimates of sales and expenditures suggest that Kenya Safaris and Tours will remain financially stable. However, unforeseen expenditures or poor sales will threaten company’s cash position, which will be partially vulnerable during the introduction of social media marketing into the company’s operation
6.3.2.3 Opportunities

Opportunities are external circumstances or factors that Kenya Safaris and Tours can attempt to exploit for higher results. Kenya Safaris and Tours opportunities are:

Growth market: The Kenya tourism industry is growing 8%annully, and preliminary estimates suggest that the UK market is part of that growth rate.
Potential to achieve sales from the UK market: As Kenya Safari and Tours establishes to gains financial stability; it can begin to market its services in other markets. The company plans to begin this effort via a World Wide Web campaign (Internet) as this will help to diversify its communications efforts through the use of social media marketing
Potential to become a premier provider: from the researcher it can be argued that Kenya Safaris and Tours have the management and staff to produce a top-quality service.
Vertical integration: The potential to integrate services and add branches exist.
6.3.2.4 Threats

Threats are external circumstances or factors that could inhibit Kenya Safaris and Tours’ performance if not considered. Kenya Safaris and Tours threats are:

Internet and price competition: when airlines were deregulated, price competition increased. Further, the internet has provided a sales medium for business that competes on price and has also given consumers the ability to plan and arrange expedition for their own benefits. Thus, the traditional agency has greater competition.
Local competition (existing and potential): There are no agencies in the UK region that specialize solely in Kenya safari travel. However, most of the travel agencies can book a safari expedition to Kenya. More over, additional Kenya safari travel specialists may follow Kenya Safaris and Tour’s lead.
Economic downturn: The strong Kenyan domestic economy has been good for the travel and tourism industry continued growth is anticipated. However, unforeseen or unanticipated economic recession would threaten Kenya Safaris and Tours’ existence.
6.3.3 Competition

In the travel industry, as in other industries, there are large national chains, small home-based businesses, providers on the internet, etc. Membership numbers of travel-related associations give some indication of participants in this industry.

The Kenyan Association of travel organization (KATO) reports 500 members in Kenya, most of which are small businesses. In addition, there are many agencies not affiliated with these associations but with one or more of the approximately 30 industry associations in competition in the country. Kenya Safaris and Tours have approximately 15 travel-industry associations in the country. Kenya Safaris and Tours have approximately 30 immediate competitors in the UK the main direct competitors in UK include:

Thomas Cook: A German based in major towns in the UK, Thomas Cook is the most well- known and popular travel agency in the world. The company has provided safaris travel packages over the years and has successful integrated travel agency services and safari travel activities. This offers the company complete control over the entire packages. Thomas cook have the advantages of an established reputation, high-quality trips, economies of scale, and strategic alliances. However, their packages are expensive and appeal primarily to a high-income clients; they also rely on agencies in Kenya to provide services on their behalf unlike the Kenya safaris and Tours which deals directly with its clients

Kuoni travel: The Swiss firm is traditional agency and has been in the business for more than ten years. They have gradually expanded towards becoming a holiday travel specialists even though it offers holidays in 634 countries. Kuoni‘s strengths are experience, reputation, and financial stability. Weakness may include high personnel, fixed dates and lack of a clear plan for future growth.

Samoik safaris: was established in 1980 as a successfully Kenya safari specialists. The company is Kenya- own based in the United States of America. Samoik has positioned itself through successful marketing communications especially through the use of social media and management combined with high-level services. However, the company has added other countries to its destinations which means Kenya Safaris and Tours is the only travel agency offering safari packages to Kenya destinations alone in the UK markets

6.3.4 Services

Kenya safaris and Tours is a full-service agency and sell standard travel agency goods and services, including airfare and travel packages. Additional include assistant with Visas. Providing access latest technology equipments and supplies, and superior offering that includes access to better than average activities, accommodation, and entrainments. The value added for Kenya Safaris and Tours offering is its knowledge and expertise, competitive rates, and specialty focus on adventure travel, which translate into increased satisfaction for the customers

6.3.5 Kenya Safaris and Tours keys to success

For Kenya Safaris and Tours to operate successfully the company has to effectively segment the UK safari travel market and other safari travelers, successfully position Kenya safari and Tours as Kenya specialists in the UK, communicate the differentiation and quality of the company offering through personal interaction and media and develop a repeat-business of loyal customers

6.3.6 Kenya Safaris and Tours critical issues

For Kenya Safaris and Tours to operate successfully the company needs market growth projections for the Kenyan tourist industry and for Safaris travel to be accurate, national economic conditions which are favorable to the travel industry, should not experience decline in the next five years, international conditions remains favorable for services providers and the company should be capable to produce effective , targeted communications that promote the benefits and adventure travel and Kenya safaris and Tours specialty and focus.

7 MARKET ANALYSIS AND STRATEGIES

7.1 Marketing strategy

From the research, Kenya Safaris and Tours’ goal of the business is to create and keep customers. The company’s marketing strategy will reflect this goal as its builds its reputation in the UK region. Though Kenya Safaris and Tours operate in the travel industry, it will provide much more than travel. Company’s customers are thought to spend 50 weeks of the year in an office. Kenya Safaris and Tours offers people the ability to go for holidays and remember how much they love the challenge and excitement of a safari. Kenya Safaris and Tours will promote the benefits and safari travel. These benefits include excitement, personal experience and lots of fun. Kenya Safaris and Tours will also promote the benefits of its services. These benefits include saving time and money, and confidence in successful vacation.

Kenya Safaris and Tours is a travel agency that specializes in Kenya safari travel. The company provides consulting and customized travel arrangements and packages. Kenya Safaris and Tours mission is to become the foremost provider of Kenya safari travel packages to the people of United Kingdom. Company employees and owner are safari enthusiasts, as well as safari travel-industry professionals. Kenya Safaris and Tours seeks to connect Kenya safari travel newcomers and veterans with services providers, adventure activities, and accommodation that match the client’s desires and budget level.

7.1.1 Marketing objectives

Kenya safaris and Tours marketing plan hope to achieve an, annual growth rate of at least 10%, promote Kenyan safaris travel activities through strategic alliance with hotel, department of Kenya tourism board, and other foreign own travel agencies, archived 45% of sales through the internet thus becoming the market leader of safari travel provider in the UK region.

7.1.2 Target market

Target market involves targeting one segment with one marketing mix. It helps the organization understand one segment of customers rather than spending organization resources across multiple marketing activities for multiple segments. From the research, Kenya Safari’s and Tours aim to target the following groups:

Couples and individuals safaris adventure travelers: This is the customers group that meets the demographic profile for safari travelers. They are age 25-35 married and with household income greater than $ 40,000.
Group’s adventure travelers: These are groups that belong to some travel organizations and always as a group to different destinations.
Corporate adventure travelers: Kenya Safaris and Tours will target UK business in an attempt to secure corporate accounts

Kenya Safaris and Tours should plan to focus its initials efforts on the safari travel market in the UK regions. As Kenya Safaris and Tours grow, market efforts can be expanded to other markets. The major purchasers that match Kenya Safaris and Tours target market are located in urban areas within big UK cities.

7.1.3 Positioning

Positioning helps create a compressively distinctive position for a service in the minds of targeted customers. For individuals and corporate clients who wish to participate in safari travel, Kenya Safaris and Tours should be positioned as the premier safari travel agency in the UK regions. Kenya Safaris and Tours experience with enthusiasm for safari adventure travel should be displayed in the exceptional services, value, and advice it provides for the customer. It is however that the company understands that positioning is a decision to; make frequently since markets and customers are not always the same and the company must be prepared to reposition its services if necessary for desirability and deliverability

7.1.4 Market mix

Kenya Safaris and Tours must allocate the promotion budget over to the five promotion tools: advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales force and direct marketing. It is however important to note an organization, can spend more on some promotion tools if is perceived that the specified promotion tools will have a major impact compared to other promotion tools.

Kenya Safaris and Tours should employ a wider advertising communications and promotion to achieve its marketing goals. Research on the demographics of Kenya Safaris and tours target market suggest that the most effective communication will be come through advertising in several specialty publications and via local media. In addition, direct interaction or promotion at shopping malls, Exhibitions and other should be part of the company’s marketing mix.

Kenya Safaris and Tours sell travel agency goods and services including airfare and travel packages. Additional services will include assistance with tourist visas applications to Kenya, providing access to latest technology equipment and supplies, and a superior offering that includes access to better than average safaris activities, accommodations, and entrainment. The value added of Kenya Safaris and Tours offering is its knowledge and expertise, completive rates, and specialty focus on Kenya safari adventure travel, will mean increased assurance and satisfaction for the customer. The company’s initiative to focus on Kenya safaris adventure travel was made because economic indicators suggest that an increased demand for Kenya n safaris adventure travel services exists. The UK region does not have solely Kenyan safari adventure travel specialists, and members of the company team are experienced and enthusiastic about safari adventure travel activities. It is hoped that this enthusiasm will be communicated to the customers and Kenya Safaris and Tours experience will result to satisfaction and repeat business.

The concept of integrated marketing communication suggests that a company has to blend the promotion tools carefully into a coordinated promotion mix. Companies within the same industry differ greatly in the design of their promotion mixes. Organizations mainly use promotion strategy to communicate with their customers and other stakeholders. During Kenya safaris and Tours first year of operation, the company will hold and opening events and organize several programmer. At the opening event the company will provide with literature information about trips and activities. Negotiations with Kenyan department of tourism and hotel in Kenya have begun and additional promotion will likely occur through these strategic alliances. Specialty rather than national publication should serve as media vehicles for Kenya Safaris and Tours advertising. Local radio station could also be used for promotion purpose. Personal selling could also occur, through telemarketing should be avoided. Kenya Safaris and Tours plans to occasionally station personnel in location around UK and other parts, such shopping malls. The organization’s goal is to develop personal familiarity between its employees and the community.

7.2 Kenya Safari and Tours analysis on the use of social media

The company’s results on the use of social media from different aspects as mentioned and analyzed below.

7.2.1 Social media for Kenya Safari and Tours

According to the research answers, applying social media is quite a new thing for the tourism enterprises in their business. Most of these tourism enterprises include only one to three persons taking all of business operations. Therefore, new ways of marketing might be a challenge for them. Knowledge, time and capability to use social media are factors should be taken into account. In addition, the use of social media in tourism businesses depends on firm‘s target group which is one of the most important elements in marketing.

The research went further by stating that social media can accomplish the traditional marketing. Nowadays more and more people found information on internet and decided to book a hotel after reading many complimentary comments about it for example. Therefore, social media reaches the customers faster and targeted. The results obtained suggested three social media sites for the Kenya Safari and Tours and these are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter

Furthermore, in a new era of online communication social media has influenced on consumer behaviour. They are empowered more than ever in making purchasing decisions. Social media let people speak out loud their thoughts on something they had interacted with. They turn out to find social content from social media outlets to plan of their travel.

Consumers increasingly read feedback of other travellers and compare the prices of service offering because they felt trustworthy of the peer‘s opinions. This changes significantly way of business. It means when your company receiving a lot of negative feedback on social media site, then you sure losing your customers.

7.2.2 Advantages and disadvantages

Applying social media in business particularly in tourism enterprises does bring advantages and disadvantages in use.

From the research it shows that if the tourism business has the knowledge and capability of using social media; it will give a cheap way of marketing especially for current and topical things such as offers, events and packages

It also shows that social media is very fast in reaching customers with large scale of influence. If a company can realize influencers within the online community and stimulate them to brag about the company‘s brand then it will certainly earn attention from the customers.

Customer service is mentioned as an advantage of social media. It is very easy to interact with customers through social networking site. Whenever they raise a complaint about your company, you will get back to comfort your customers at anytime without geographical obstacle.

The feedback also shows that social media helps in finding out who are leading in the market through their comments on these social platforms. Understanding of competitors can be also examined. Moreover, it is useful to predict the trend of customers on what they like and what they expect from the company.

After finding out the advantages of social media it is important also to note its drawbacks. Social media are considered effective in approaching customers and spreading information really fast with huge impact. It is one of its advantages but also its disadvantage. If bunch of negative comments arrive to the company‘s social media site or any misrepresentation is spreading very fast which will definitely ruin the company‘s image and getting out of control. Because of that, keeping track on customers is required to be implemented. However, it is considered as time-consuming and the results of marketing through social media do not come out after one or two days but taking months or even years. The research also stated that when a tourism company considers using social media as their marketing strategy, should improve skills of staff.

7.2.3 Social media target customers for Kenya Safari and Tours

The research also establishes to find out the target customers that the tourism business can reach through social media and it shows that customers‘age is very important thing. Younger and middle-aged people use information technology, not older people. However, target customers are determined depending on what the company is selling. If you are selling group packages for senior citizens, I think that social media is not the best way for marketing.

7.2.4 Social media site for Kenya Safari and Tours

A company profile is evaluated as one of most important attributes. The information providing on social media sites helps to increase more selling. From the interviews different opinions were obtained on how tourism company‘s profile on social media sites should have in order to attract visitors and to get higher engagement from them. The responses from the interviews were dominated by two following suggestions:

In the company‘s social media site, it should especially have current and topical news and offers. Up-to-date information is welcomed by travelers because it plays as information sources for their traveling plan.

Besides that, packaging is one of the major option and agreat way to drive attention of customers towards the company‘s social media site. Packaging is a concept of services and accommodation combination. For example, the company offers a sale of holiday tour including airfare and hotel accommodation without booking separately from different websites. This is also an effective way to get high possibility of reservation of target customers for those packaging services.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA SUGGESTIONS FOR KENYA SAFARIS AND TOURS

8.1 Determining an objective

In any business, a marketing objective plays an important role to outline what is to be accomplished by the company. Setting an objective is to determine an effective marketing strategy which in turn brings the best outcome.

Objectives of using social media might be to build awareness, to increase website visits, to increase ranking on search engine or to attract potential customers. According to analysis on other chapter, author suggest the objectives in the case of Kenya Safaris and Tours are improving the local residents’ awareness as well as people from other parts of Kenya, attracting a stable number of new customers and increasing website traffic. The reasons of setting those objectives are explained as following:

Majority of visitors coming for safaris are from local municipal and they form as visit groups.
In order to expand the image of Kenya safaris and Tours, taking care of visitors from different places is necessary to accomplish.
Getting new customers to raise the service‘s sales is important.

8.2 Appropriate social media tools for Kenya Safari and Tours

The primary research is shown under two different points of view of social media users and a tourism specialist. The responses of answerers had described the customers’ needs and expectations of social media use. Moreover, the expert recommendations helped to choose appropriate social media outlets for Kenya Safaris and Tours. Making sure to apply the right social media channels is a decisive factor because not all social media tools are suitable for all business lines, especially in the tourism sector.

The appropriate social media tools for Kenya Safari and Tours is shown in the table below. The list can be change according to the changes of marketing objective and marketing strategy at certain periods.

Social media channelDescription
FacebookA social networking site was founded in 2004. It allows people to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos. The site has more than 19 million members.
WikipediaWikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit the content. The site attracts nearly 78 million visitors monthly as of January 2010. This site is recommended because it is one of the largest reference websites people come to search for information.
YoutubeYouTube is the world‘s most popular online video community

Table 4; List of social media tools for Kenya Safaris and Tours (Author’s own construction)

An online search on Google was conducted to research whether Kenya Safaris and Tours have its official profile or related-upload articles on the above social media channels. The results were shown that the company did have its profile on Facebook and other social media sites however very basic information was uploaded. The information of the company on Facebook site is copied the same as on other social media sites making no differences and attraction to the audiences. Consequently, the profile of the company should be improved on Facebook. Writing new related articles in Tripadvisor and uploading photos and videos are being considered as next steps for Kenya Safaris and Tours to consider

8.3 Attracting visitors and strengthening the social media objectives

More fanpage or higher rate of visitors to the social media sites of Kenya Safaris and Tours means more people are being attracted by the company. It thereby helps to raise the traveller‘s awareness of Kenya Safaris and Tours.

The content on social media sites is requisite for its site traffic increase. From the received answers of the interview, many opinions are given. The visitors of the Safaris are expected to see travelling tips and lots of photos besides basic information. In addition, the social media site of the company should not have old photography and exaggerated text but being a space in which people can freely talk about what they think of Kenya Safaris and Tours or even anything about travelling experiences of them.

The author opinion, Kenya Safaris and Tours should provide on its official Facebook of online virtual tour which give a lively insight into the Safaris and attract new visitors.

Strengthening the social engagement of people on the social media sites of the Safaris can be accomplished through different ways. On Facebook, Kenya Safaris and Tours may increase the contribution of the visitors by organizing a contest for unprofessional photographers, for instance, with the Safaris-related themes. This not only satisfies members on Facebook with such good photographs but also gives chances for people getting to know about Kenya Safaris and Tours. Kenya Safaris and Tours should also create its account on Flickr and upload those received photographs on the site, and direct the link to other social media sites.

Effectively social media is a new way of marketing for tourism companies. However, it is unable to deny that traditional still plays a very important role in marketing strategy of a business. Therefore, even making the presence on social media site but Kenya Safaris and Tours should use the local networks to connect with people around has this will also helps to promote the company’s safaris package and also the Kenya Safaris and Tours should make sure that all the infrastructure leading to all safaris places are in good condition as this will also raise the number of people going for safaris.

CONCLUSIONS

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and better customer service and therefore the aim of this thesis was to find out the importance of using social media in marketing tourism.

It is also to address the opportunities for Kenya Safaris and Tours in Kenya for applying social media in order to achieve its business goals. The research question was, therefore to find out how tourism companies are integrating social media into marketing so as to boost awareness and generate excitement about tourism destination.

The use of social media in advertising Kenya Safari and Tours boost awareness and generate tourism destination to various safari visitors. Social media is made up with various platforms of social media submission sites, media sharing sites, forums and discussion sites, review and rating sites, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, micro-blogging and wikis. All this social media platforms contribute a lot in marketing tourism business as well as boosting awareness about various destinations that the company offers.

Rapidly growing social media have influenced the online consumer behavior. Particularly in tourism, travelers are on their own initiative when coming to information searching and purchase decision-making. In the general view of tourism business, social media is being embraced in relating to marketing and service, consist of identifying and attracting new customers, increasing brand awareness and connecting with customers.

The qualitative research showed the users of social media have not understood these social media channels very well and still restrictive in the use of social media for tourism purposes. The most familiar tool is social networking site Facebook. Some others were mentioned such as Wikipedia, YouTube, and Twitter.

The thesis comes to the conclusion that the use of social media in tourism businesses, especially in tourism sector encompassing both advantages and disadvantages. The target customers of social media outlets are determined depending on what kinds of services the tourism companies are offering. However, the young people are considered as the main users of social media channels while old people hesitate to try new technology.

When applying social media in marketing Kenya Safaris and Tours there are some recommendations should be considered. Firstly, there has to be setting up an objective for Kenya Safaris and Tours what it wants to receive from social media. The objective might consist of increasing the local awareness, attracting new customers and improving Kenya Safaris and Tours official website traffic.

To benefit the social media outlets with positive return Kenya Safari and Tours should also attract more visitors to its social media sites and stimulate their engagement by posting up-to-date information or organizing any online activities for customers and finally the writing of this thesis work was a great learning experience for the author a lot of knowledge concerning the concept of using social media in marketing tourism was acquired while writing the thesis.

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Categories
Free Essays

New Media Audiences and Technologies

Introduction and Aims

New technologies are a poisoned chalice for newspaper journalists and their audiences: at once equipping journalists with the resources they need to compete in the 21st century but at the same time threatening their very survival and forcing newspaper insiders to contemplate what Robert Rosenthal, the former Managing Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, called: “the greatest upheaval our industry and the institution of journalism has ever faced” (Beckett 2008, p.9). I have chosen newspapers as the basis of my inquiry into new technologies because it is a medium which some have observed to be in terminal decline due to flat lining circulations (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 2010), merciless redundancies (Beckett 2008, p.27) and of course the rise of online journalism and new technologies (Bardoel 1999, p.379), one aspect of which is User Generated Content such as Youtube or Twitter where the audience is both a user and a producer of content (Birdsall 2007, p.1284). Web 2.0 technology has forced many commentators to reassess the ways in which both audience and audiences are understood (Nightingale 2011, p.7).

We currently live in a time when both print and online newspapers exist side-by-side and in some respects we have our feet in both the last remnants of the industrial wave of technology and what has been identified by some commentators as the “information society” (Toffler 1980). Two related aspects of the decline of newspapers is the rise of online journalism and the advent of citizen journalism enabled by new technologies and symbolized by the Korean online newspaper OhmyNews. The specific focus of the secondary research and this report is citizen-journalism and User Generated Content (UGC) and their effect on media audience theories with comparison to newspapers and the traditional models of audience research which describe common features: “vertical, top-down, passive, one-way flow of information” (Birdsall 2007, p.1284). UGC comes in many different forms of course and, although as pointed out above Web 2.0 has forced many commentators to reassess media audience theory (Nightingale, 2010 p.7), there is a lack of scrutiny of citizen journalism in media audience theories. This report hopes principally to correct some of this imbalance.

The aim of this report is consequently to understand whether the traditional understanding of the media audience applies to UGC and online journalism and if not, which theory can best be applied to them without falling foul of “technological determinism” (Bardoel 1999, p.386). The core structural components of audience theory, adopting the words of Nightingale (2011), can be distilled to firstly the active passive dimension and the micro-macro dimension. Both of these dialectics can explain UGC to a large extent and the work of both Nightingale (2011) and Jenkins (1999) will both be examined to see if new media and UGC can be located within present theories of audiences and indeed whether the term “audience” is still a useful term: will the death of newspapers also bring about the death of the traditional passive audience (Lievrouw & Livingstone, 2006, p.27 Valdivia, 2005, p.353)?

2.0Context

(a) Traditional audience theory and definitions

It is Nightingale’s (2011) analysis of the two dimensions of audience theory which is adopted for the purpose of this report and have been described usefully by Littlejohn as firstly a tension between “the idea that the audience is a mass public versus the idea that it is a small community,” and the tension between “the idea that the audience is passive versus the belief that it is active” (1996, p.310). This dual framework is a useful starting point for understanding what is now commonly perceived to be the old model and the new interactive world of UGC (Nightingale 2011, p.191). The traditional model is recognized as being one-directional and it is McQuail who produces a classic definition: “the audience concept implies an attentive, receptive but relatively passive set of listeners or spectators assembled in a more or less public setting” (McQuail, 2010 p.391). When offering a definition for audience theories McQuail puts forward three criteria: people, medium or channel, the content of the message(s) and time (Ibid). McQuail himself concedes, however, that Nightingale’s definition is best suited to the new media environment and implicitly acknowledges that his own definition is becoming redundant in the face of diversity. Nightingale’s definition runs as follows and embraces audience interactions:

“Audience as ‘the people assembled’…audience as the ‘people addressed’…audience as ‘happening’…audience as ‘hearing or audition’”. (Quoted from MacQuail 2011, p.399)

(b) UGC and the decline of newspapers:

According to Allan (2006) it was a speech made by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 2005 which heralded the death of the newspaper, at least in its paper and ink format, in the irresistible current of new technology. As noted above there are many explanations for the demise of the print newspaper but chief among them are flat lining circulations (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 2010), merciless redundancies (Beckett 2008, p.27) and of course the rise of online journalism and new technologies (Bardoel 1999, p.379). User Generated Content (UGC) has, in the opinion of some, shifted the balance of power between consumer and the media by enabling the public to become more intimately involved with the process of deciding the content of news (Kucuka & Krishnamurthy 2007). According to Redden & Witschge (2011) however, there has been no such fundamental rebalancing to the consumer or even to the audience as ultimately it is the editor and the journalist who retains control. This approach is echoed by the experience of OhmyNews in citizen journalism where editorial control is retained (Kim and Hamilton 2006 p. 542).

According to Bevans (2008), UGC is any news related material produced by the public via the internet. UGC has enabled a very radical form of reporting to flourish: citizen journalism. This is a very new concept and as such there is a lack of analysis but the term first surfaced during the Indonesian tsunami and has grown rapidly ever since. Guardian blogger Neil Mcintosh saw this as a pivotal moment:

“… for those watching this small, comparatively insignificant world of media, this may also be remembered as a time when citizen reporting, through the force of its huge army of volunteers and their simple type and publish weblog mechanisms, finally found its voice, and delivered in a way the established media simply could not.” (Guardian Unlimited News Blog, 4 January 2005).

3.0 Methodology

I have focused on existing research and scholarship for this report and have drawn sources from the leading theorists in media audiences as well as those commentators who described the death of print newspapers and the advent of UGC and citizen journalism. I have drawn the sources widely from books, journals and websites. I chose this methodology because I felt that small-scale empirical research would be unsatisfactory in firstly giving any kind of indication of whether or not present theories of audiences can be applied to UGC which is absolutely crucial to the focus of this work. The conceptual difficulties behind adopting any kind of surveys or any kind of qualitative research would be manifest and would have to be conducted on a much larger scale than a report of 2,000 words can allow. Furthermore this particular issue is one which can only be understood with a comprehensive look at past scholarship on media audiences. As pointed out above many commentators shy away from technological determinism in hailing a new epoch and so try to explain UGC in terms of existing audience theory.

4.0 Findings and Analysis

I will present the findings and analyse UGC and citizen journalism from the two dimensions elicited above from Nightingale’s (2011) framework:

(a) Active passive dimension

The most obvious manifestation of this dialectic where the audience is deemed to be passive is media effects research which is concerned with the negative effects of media upon the consumer. Jones & Jones (1999) use the example of War of the Worlds when a radio broadcast induced panic in a huge number of radio listeners who passively bore the message without, for example, questioning its meaning. On the flip side of the coin active audiences have been well documented with Robert Fisk arguing as early as 1987 that meaning is fluid and not fixed (1987, p.14). The uses and gratification theory, which focuses on what the audience do with the message itself, was articulated by Katz, Gumler and Gurevitch (1974) and also falls under the umbrella of an active audience as classically understood. Nightingale notes that the significance of this research is not just the emphasis but the reversal of the sender-message-receiver model (1996, p.8).

But what place do interaction and participation haveNightingale argues that both of these signifiers of UGC are underneath the active audience aspect with the latter encompassing participation both “in” and “through” the media. Mass media are traditionally seen, by contrast to new media, as being good for representation but terrible for participation (Peters 1993, p.566). The participation of non-professionals in the production of media output and decision making comes under the “in” of Nightingale’s model while broader issues such as self-representation in public spheres come under the “through” aspect. This latter aspect is very much a part of the Habermassian public sphere: “a network for communicating information and points of view” (Habermas 1996, p.360). The “public sphere” is where the mutual clash of arguments lends validity to democracy and importantly the web 2.0 and UGC has created an army of producers who both use and create and are, in the words of Friedman, “empowered” (2005, p.9). The implication of this empowerment in a virtual space which is governed by no one nation or company is profound for audience research:

“The result is that participatory media technologies that allow for the creation and distribution of user-generated content overturn traditional notions of all-powerful news media that define and restrict a largely passive audience. In other words, traditional power dynamics that separate sender and receiver are shifting and blurring.” (Anthony & Thomas 2010, p.1283).

(b) Micro-macro dimension

This dimension, described by the tension between a mass public and a small community (Littlejohn 1996), a micro dimension and a macro dimension, has many constituent parts to it but what is consistent is that the old mass media thinking which has the audience as an unreconstructed mass is redundant when considering new media and its highly interrelated small communities, each with their own “values, ideas and interests” (1996, p.311). The model, represented by a triangle and first created by Bardoel (1995), has a so-called “meso-level” in the middle which, according to Nightingale (2011, p.197) is very rare and leads to “a definition of the audience as an organized audience”. Labour Unions, cultural groups and political parties are all within this “meso-level” of organization while at the top there resides the traditional mass media and at the bottom the new forms of interactive communication technology (Bardoel 1999, p.386).

(c) Analysis

It is clear that UGC and citizen journalism can be located within these traditional theories and it is not necessary to fall, in the words of Bardoel (1999, 385), into the trap of technological determinism. This is backed up by Redden & Witschge (2011) who assert that the balance of power has not shifted fundamentally towards the consumer or the audience and finds resonance with Nightingale who also argues that UGC can be located without problem within existing audience theory: “If we look at the passive-active dimension of audience theory, it is hardly a surprising conclusion that UGC remains very well embedded within this debate” (2011, p.204). As we have seen the active strand hides the participation and interaction which is the hallmark of UGC and it is possible even to see that passive elements hidden in UGC such as those who simply spectate (ibid p.205). Regarding the second dimension it is also no surprise that UGC can fall within its boundaries. Nightingale (2011) uses the concept of blogging to highlight the fact that the blogosphere is considered to be a community. Further analogies can be drawn with, for example, the “facebook community” (Guardian website, 2011). Can the same be said of citizen journalismThere is certainly a community of citizen journalists but going too far and saying that such “journalists” are completely active in formulating the stories is illusory as journalists, even at OhmyNews, still retain ultimate control over the process as gatekeepers (Kim and Hamilton 2006 p. 542).

Conclusions

(a) Main Conclusions

In conclusion it is premature to say that UGC has ignited a new communication revolution: traditional theories of audience research are able to fit new media under their wing and this suggests that the new relationships will not replace older communications relationships but add to them albeit resulting in a more crowded spectrum.
Citizen journalism is a rational extension of UGC but to say it truly empowers citizens is illusory as journalists retain ultimate control.
Although traditional print media is in decline it is by no means certain that citizen journalism will replace it but rather complement it: the death of newspapers has been exaggerated.

(b) Gaps in the research

There is currently a significant lack of research concerning UGC and a lack of understanding of citizen journalism. Ideally future research would interview members of these communities to establish how truly independent and participative they are to establish where they are on Bardoel’s pyramid (1995).
The term “audience” is redundant. A more convincing etymology needs to be divined in order to move forward. As Lieuvrow notes the term is too broad, too individualistic and too material (p.8).
UGC and citizen journalism are still in their infancy and so future research should wait until they are both established in society.

Bibliography

Books

(1) Allan, Stuart (2006) Online News Berkshire Open University Press

(2) Atton and Hamilton (2008) Alternative Journalism London SAGE

(3) Bardoel (1999) ‘Beyond Journalism’ in Tumber, Howard (ed) News: A Reader Oxford uni press: worldwide

(5) Beckett, Charlie (2008) SuperMedia: saving journalism so it can save the world Blackwell

(7) Fiske, John (1987) ‘British Cultural Studies and Television’ in Allen, Robert (ed) Channels of Discourse chapel hill: University of Carolina press

(8) Friedman (2005) The World is Flat Farrar, Strauss and Giroux: worldwide

(9) Habermas, Jurgen (1996) Between Facts and Norms Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

(10) Jenkins, H. (1999) ‘The Work of Theory in the Age of Digital Transformation’ In T. Miller and R. Stam (eds.), A Companion to Film Theory. London: Blackwell, 234-261.

(11) Jones & Jones (1999) Mass Media Macmillan

(12) Katz, E., Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1974). Ulilization of mass communication by the individual. In J. G. Blumler, & E. Katz (Eds.), The uses of mass communications: Current perspectives on gratifications research (pp. 19–32). Beverly Hills: Sage

(13) Kucuka & Krishnamurthy (2007) ‘An analysis of consumer power on the. Internet’ Technovation issue 27 pp47- 56.

(14) Lievrouw & Livingstone (2006) Handbook of New Media Sage: London, California & New Delhi

(15) Littlejohn, S. W. (1996). Theories of human communication, New York: Wadsworth.

(16) McQuail (2010) 6th ed Mass Communication Theory Sage

(18) Redden & Witschge (2010) ‘A New News Order?’ in Fenton, Natalie (ed) New Media, Old News Sage: London, California, New Delhi

(19) Toffler, Alvin (1980) The Third Wave Bantam Books USA

(20) Valdivia (2005) A Companion to Media Studies Blackwell: USA, UK Australia

Journals

(21) Antony and Thomas (2010) ‘This is Citizen Journalism at its finest’ in New Media & Society issue 12 p.1280

(22) Birdsall, William F. (2007) ‘Web 2.0 as a Social Movement’ in Webology, Volume 4, Number 2, June, 2007

(23) Hamilton, James W and Kim, Eun-Gyoo , (2006) ‘Capitulation to capitalOhmyNews as alernative media’ in Media Culture & Society Volume 28, Number 4, July 2006 pp 551-560

(24) Peters, J.D (1993) ‘Distrust of Representation: Habermas on the Public Sphere’ in Media, Culture and Society issue 15(4) pp 541-71

Websites

(25) OECD report on “the future of news and the internet” viewed on 13 December 2010 and available at:

http://www.oecd.org/document/48/0,3343,en_2649_33703_45449136_1_1_1_1,00.html

(26) Mcintosh, Neil Guardian Unlimited News Blog, 4 January 2005 retrieved on 1st February 2011 and available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2005/jan/04/blogsnewplace

Categories
Free Essays

The term ‘climate change refugee’ has received considerable interest from policymakers and media in the past few years, but recently many researchers have been highly critical of its use. Explain this debate through reference to a particular developing country case study of your choice

Abstract

Climate change impacts have been the subject of increasing attention both in the academia and media. A number of scholars have pointed to the increase in climate change induced migration. Despite the popularity of the climate change refugee concept, scholars have in the recent years been highly critical of its use. Most of the criticisms have been based on the fact that climate change victims are not covered under international refugee law. Existing legal frameworks such the 1951 refugee covenant and UNHCR Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement do not provide this group of people with sufficient protection.

In this regard, this paper critically debates on this highly contentious issue, while making reference to Bangladesh as the case study. Whilst the paper argues for the recognition of such persons under international law, it raises concerns that possible extension of the 1951 ‘refugee’ definition could result in reduced support for refugees. Nonetheless, the paper argues for the need to develop new legal recognition of climate change victims which should resonate with a sense of global responsibility and accountability

Introduction

Climate change has become a subject of public debate in recent years, both in academia and in the media. It has also become an issue of great concern for the international community (Piguet 2008). Over the past few years, there has been an increasing attention on climate induced migration, both from policy-makers and the media. The climate change – migration nexus has received considerable interest especially given that almost every year, millions of people across the globe flee from their ancestral homes due to natural hazards and extreme weather situations (Durkova et al. 2012)

Research further indicates that anthropogenic climate change is likely to result in large-scale population displacements over the coming years (McLeman 2011). Myers (2002) study indicated that by mid-century, climate change disasters will displace another 200 million people. Other estimates have suggested large-scale population displacements of up to 1 billion people. However, these estimates are not based on statistical and empirical evidence and it is arguable whether the current displacements that are taking place are attributable to climate change (McLeman 2011)

Whilst the climate change – migration nexus has received considerable interest over the past few years, more recently researchers have been highly critical of the term ‘climate change refugee’. Most of the criticisms have been based on the fact that climate change victims are not covered under international law. There is no legally binding mechanism that protects climate change victims (Naser 2012). With regards to this, the following paper critically debates this highly contentious issue, while making reference to Bangladesh as the case study.

Climate change – environmental vulnerability nexus

The climate change – environmental vulnerability nexus is well established with impacts ranging from drought, to rising sea levels to extreme weather patterns (Pinto-Dobernig 2008). Many people are adversely affected by extreme weather patterns, which often result in their displacement. Scholars have used a range of terminologies to refer to such persons displaced by natural disasters that are climate related. In most of the terminologies used, either ‘climate change’ or ‘environmental’ have been used as a prefix. ‘Environmental refugee’ has in the past been very popular and has been used to describe the plight of victims displaced as a result of environmental change (Piguet 2011).

However, with the growing concerns over the impact of anthropogenic climate change on people, a more precise term would be ‘climate change refugee’. This term has recently gained increasing attention with academics, scholars, policy makers and world leaders using it to refer to people displaced by climatic factors such as glacier melt, rising sea level, cyclones, floods and drought (Naser 2012). Today, 9 of every 10 natural disasters witnessed result from anthropogenic climate change. In fact, the number of recorded climate change disasters has doubled over the last two decades from 200 to over 400 per annum (Ammer 2009). It is also predicted that by the end of the 21st century, there is likely to be an increase in hydro-meteorological disasters such as floods and hurricanes, and slow-onset disasters such as droughts.

Whilst Myers (2002), points out that the term ‘environmental refugees’ encompasses climate refugees, authors such as Biermann & Boas (2008) and Docherty & Giannini (2009) have stressed the need to address climate change refugees in particular. These authors argue that the term ‘environmental refugee’ fails to specify climate related migration.

In light of the current debate about the use of the term ‘climate change refugee’, estimates have shown that a large number of population have been adversely affected by climate change disasters. According to estimates by the UNHCR, climate change induced displacement in 2009 amounted to 36 million people (Durkova et al. 2012). Future estimates also point to the possibility of having a further increase in the number of climate change victims. Estimates by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) indicate that by 2060, Africa alone would have over 50 million people displaced by climate change disasters.

In fact, the number of people displaced by climate change disasters has been found to be far greater than those displaced by war atrocities. As pointed out by the International Federation of Red Cross, climate change – induced displacement far exceeds displacement induced by war, persecution and other atrocities (Durkova et al. 2012). These estimates of future climate migration indicate a terrifying figure and calls for an urgent need to address these concerns.

Case study of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a prime example of a country that has had a vast majority of its population migrated following climate change disasters. Since the 1950s, between 12 and 17 million climate change victims in Bangladesh have been migrated to Assam and Tripura in India (Shamsuddoha & Chowdhury 2009). Estimates further indicate that more people are yet to be displaced due to Bangladesh’s vulnerability to climate change. However, available data on the prospective number of Bangladeshi expected to be displaced in future differ considerably.

Meyers (1994) estimated that up to 15 million Bangladeshi may be displaced by the end of 2050. That is, if nothing is done to slow global warming. A recent study by Brown (2004) showed that more than 40 million Bangladeshi would be displaced if there is a rise in sea level by 1 metre. Another study by Akter (2009) which examined the historical trends and future occurrences of climate change disaster such as floods, droughts, cyclones and riverbank erosion showed future displacement of 49 million, 63 million and 78 million Bangladeshi in 2010, 2015 and 2020 respectively.

Despite the inconsistency in available data on climate induced displacements in Bangladeshi, it is clear that the situation is worsening and that there is need for urgent action. However, a key challenge in the international community has been the contention surrounding the term ‘climate change refugee’.

Critical analysis of the concept “climate change refugee”

Criticism over the use of this term extends as far back to the work of early critics. In the early 1990s, Bilsborrow (1992), McGregor (1992) and Suhrke (1994) raised their oppositions to the use of the term. Bilsborrow (1992) argued that the term ‘environmental refugee’ or rather ‘climate change refugee’ afforded primacy to changes in physical environment whilst overlooking other factors that might be playing an important role. Further, McGregor (1992) argued that the term denied the migrant ability to endure changes. In a similar vein, Suhrke (1994) criticized this term for the manner in which it characterized all forms of movement as refugee-like. Suhrke (1994) argued that it undermined the legal terminology ‘refugee’ as defined in the United Nations Refugee Convention.

Whilst these criticisms have continued to influence debates to date, it is important to note these authors were not able to prove outright irrelevance of environmental refugee hypothesis, (currently known as ‘climate change refugee’). Of major concern to these authors was the assumed relationship between the changing environment and the patterns of mobility. With regards to this concern, it can be argued that these authors were opposed to its application and not its existence (Morrissey 2012). In fact, Bilsborrow (1992) offers a suggestion that the term be used discerningly to describe only climate induced migrants as opposed to being scrapped entirely.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) strongly argues against its use on the basis that it is not recognized under international refugee law (Shamsuddoha & Chowdhury 2009). According to the definition put forth by the 1951 UN refugee convention, a refugee is any person who:

“owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country (UNHCR 1992, p.25).”

The key word here is ‘persecution’ based on membership of a certain group, race, nationality, or political group. However, we may argue that the environment can act as a tool for harming people, and hence can be considered as ‘persecution’ and thereby fall under the refugee convention. That is, forcing someone to live in areas struck by climate change disasters is a form of persecution (Williams 2008).

Whilst the above point does certainly have some academic relevance, it remains highly speculative. Even if we are to adapt the most liberal approach in interpreting the convention, it may not be possible to find a space for ‘climate change refugees’ especially given its narrow definition and applicability (Morrissey 2012).

A further criticism is that majority of climate induced migration takes place within the country. That is, most of the involuntary migrants will be internally displaced persons. Yet, this group of persons is not covered under the refugee convention. In this regard, Cooper (1998) argues for an expanded definition that includes any person who is forced to flee owing to degraded environmental conditions that is life threatening and is outside of the boundaries of his country. Cooper (1998) also provides another way through which the expansion of the conventional refugee definition can be achieved. That is, by means of regional agreements. Two prime examples of such definitional expansion are:

The Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (Cooper 1998: p.496).
And, the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees (Cooper 1998: p.496).

Both of these agreements addressed the plight of people forced to move by events that are ‘seriously disturbing the public order’. As Cooper (1998) points out, it is precisely this definition of “a situation of seriously disturbed public order” that could change the status quo and allow those vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change to be included in international legal framework. Although these two treaties did not address issues of climate change disasters, it clearly showed the insufficiency of the convention in addressing reasons of forced displacement.

The emergence of the ‘climate change refugee’ phenomena and the increase in displaced victims challenges the definition of refugee status laid out in the existing international legal framework. Given the changing world and the dangers of climate change displacement, the definition laid out by UNHCR in 1951 may need to change in order to accommodate the new situation and adequately address the emerging crisis.

Further, if we are to assume that victims of climate change are not refugees, then the burden of forced environmental migrants would fall unfairly on the poor economies. As such, there is need for amend the convention in order to guarantee victims of climate change disasters the necessary international protection and support (Williams 2008). However, there are concerns that an expansion on the definition of ‘refugee’ could further weaken convention and lead to a decline in protection afforded to refugees (Durkova et al. 2012). There is a concern that possible extension of the definition could result in reduced support for refugees. Nonetheless, we argue for a need for a new legal recognition for climate change victims.

The existing international legal framework seems to have no place for such persons. First, there is still no internationally accepted term for describing such persons. And second, there is no legally binding mechanism for protecting and providing such persons with support. Despite becoming a growing global concern, this group of persons is still not recognized in the international legal framework (Naser 2012).

It is sad to note that the UNHCR sacrifices the lives of victims of climate change for the sake of a conventional refugee. For this group of persons to receive the necessary legal support and protection under international law, either the 1951 UN refugee convention is amended or a new international protective status developed.

UN and EU approaches to ‘climate change refugee’

In the recent years, however, there has been a progress towards addressing the issue of ‘climate change refugees’. For example, in December 2010, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) created an Agreement on Long-Term Cooperative Action (Durkova 2012). This agreement would see the inclusion of climate-related displacement into national plans and international cooperation in order to arrive at a global solution.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has also had to revise its Common Policy on Asylum and Immigration (Durkova 2012). Further, in 2010, the union submitted a Stockholm Programme which dealt with issues of climate change and population displacement. However, there seems to be no coherent policy approach to addressing this issue at the EU level. Despite the lack of a common EU instrument, this group of persons may receive protection within EU’s legal framework. In particular, the Temporary Protection Directive may provide such persons with temporary protection.

However, a particular problem with the directive is that it fails to take account of slow onset environmental changes. Moreover, only four member states recognize the need for protection of asylum seekers affected by climate change disasters (Durkova 2012). This shows that there are still no harmnonized protection statuses at the EU level.

Whilst there is a consensus to seek for a solution for climate induced displacement at the international level, the response is still far from adequate. The main problem has been the normative gap in legal framework and institutional gap. Whilst the UN has tried to respond to burning issues, there has been difficulty reaching a solution due to different approaches by members (Durkova 2012). At the EU level, there is no coherent and harmonized legislation that addresses this concern.

Nonetheless, the EU could play a proactive role in addressing this issue. Whilst the UN has no plans of revising the 1951 Refugee Convention, it seeks to find integrated approaches to addressing this issue. The EU could help with this by forging a cohesive regional response to climate change displacement.

Conclusion

It is clear that the contention surrounding the term “climate change refugee” remain unresolved. Existing legal frameworks such the 1951 refugee covenant and UNHCR Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement do not provide this group of people with sufficient protection. Linking these persons to IDPs seems more politically motivated and is a way of avoiding the obligations and responsibilities under UNFCCC.

On the other hand, such persons cannot be termed as refugees in the legal sense that there ought to have been evidence of persecution and fleeing from ancestral homelands on grounds of race, nationality, religion war or membership to particular social and political groups. In this regard, victims of climate change disasters are in need of new legal recognition. There is need to put in place a new international protective status in order to accord persons displaced by climate change disasters with the necessary legal support and protection.

Reference

Ammer, M., 2009. Climate change and human rights: the status of climate refugees in Europe. Ludwig Austria: Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM)

Bates, D.C., 2002. ‘Environmental refugeesClassifying human migrations caused by environmental change’. Population and Environment, vol.23 (5), pp. 465 – 475

Bilsborrow, R. 1992. Rural poverty, migration, and the environment in developing countries: three case studies. Background paper for World Development Report. Washington: The World Bank.

Biermann, F. and Boas, I., 2008. Protecting climate refugees: the case for a global protocol. Environment Science and Policy for Sustainable Development

Boano, C. and Zetter, R., 2008. Environmentally displaced people: understanding the linkages between environmental change, livelihoods and forced migration. University of Oxford, Refugees Studies Centre

Cooper, J.B., 1998. ‘Environmental Refugees: Meeting the Requirements of the Refugee Convention’, Environmental Law Journal, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 480 – 529.

Docherty, B. and Giannini, T., 2009. ‘Confronting a rising tide: a proposal for a convention on climate change refugees’. Harvard Environmental Law Review, vol.33

Durkova, P., Gromilova, A., Kiss, B., Plaku, M., 2012. Climate refugees in the 21st century. United Nations.

Farbotko, C. and Lazrus, H., 2012. ‘The first climate refugeesContesting global narratives of climate change in Tuvalu’. Global Environmental Change, 22 (2), pp.382-390

Flautre, H., Lambert, J., keller, S. and Lochbihler, B., 2013. Climate change, refugees and migration. The Greens

Hartmann, B., 2010. Policy arena: rethinking climate refugees and climate conflict: rhetoric, reality and the politics of policy discourse. Journal of International Development, 22, p.233-246

McGregor, J. 1994. ‘Climate change and involuntary migration: Implications for food security’. Food Policy 19 (2): 120-132.

McLeman, R., 2011. Climate change, migration and critical international security considerations. Switzerland: International Organization for Migration.

Morrissey, J., 2012. ‘Rethinking the ‘debate on environmental refugees’: from ‘maximilists and minimalists’ to ‘proponents and critics’’, Journal of Political Ecology, vol.19.

Myers, N. 2005. Environmental refugees an emergent security issue. 13th Economic Forum, Prague.

Naser, M.M., 2011. Global governance to climate change migration: in search of recognition in international law.

Naser, M.M., 2012. ‘Climate change-induced displacement: definitional issues and concerns’. Journal of Environmental and Energy Law, vol.2 (1)

Piguet, E., 2008. New issues in refugee research: climate change and forced migration. Research paper No. 153. Switzerland: University of Neuchatel

Piguet, E., 2011. ‘The migration/climate change nexus: an assessment. Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 30 (3), 1-23.

Pinto-Dobernig, I., 2008. Climate change and migration: improving methodologies to estimate flows. IOM International Organization for Migration

Shamsuddoha, M. and Chowdhury, R.K., 2009. Climate change induced forced migrants: in need of dignified recognition under a new protocol. Bangladesh: Equity and Justice Working Group.

Simms, A., 2002. ‘Should the UN actively embrace the concept of environmental refugees‘The Ecologist, Vol. 32, No. 3, April, pp. 18 – 21.

Suhrke, A. 1994. ‘Environmental degradation and population flows’. Journal of International Affairs 47 (2): 473-496.

UNHCR, 1992. Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. UNHCR

Williams, A., 2008. ‘Turning the tide: recognizing climate change refugees in international law’. Law & Policy, vol.30 (4), pp.503-525

Categories
Free Essays

Issues in Researching and Developing Media Projects

Introduction

One of the main problems associated with mass communication is the social, cultural and psychological effects of media content and use (Perse, 2001, p. 1). It is therefore important to fully understand the effects in which the media has upon popular culture in order to advance positive effects and mitigate negative ones. Accordingly, it was evidenced by Young (1999, p. 82) that modern society engulfs its members by consuming and culturally assimilating masses of people via the media, education and through participation within the marketplace. Mass media products thus articulate ways in which they believe the world should be by adopting various ideological approaches. However, as pointed out by (Croteau and Hoynes, 2003, p. 192); “there is no singular ideology that is promoted by the media.” Instead different perceptions continue to be expressed, although critical accounts of mainstream ideologies do not appear to dominate society as well as those that tend to represent the social world. Nevertheless, “when people watch international news, they pay as much attention to street scenes, housing and clothing as to the commentary which accompanies the pictures from foreign lands” (Thompson, 1995; p. 176). In effect, society is subjected to social inclusion as a result of the portrayals of the media, which will be exemplified by analysing three different texts from media/popular culture and considering how these relate to broader issues of ideology.

Main Body

The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception (Horkeimer, M and Adorno, T. W. 1944, p. 41).

Horkeimer and Adorno’s text provided an excellent illustration of how society is influenced by the ideological perceptions portrayed by the media. Accordingly, it was made clear that popular culture today is widely the result of the production of standardised cultural goods such as; television programmes, radio programmes, magazines and films. These goods were thus considered to have been used in a way that manipulates societal values and beliefs. Consequently, it was believed by Horkeimer and Adorno that all mass culture is identical and that cultural goods are simply used in order to create ideologies “to legitimize the trash they intentionally produce” (Horkeimer and Adorno, 1944, p. 42). These so-called industries are therefore only created in order to generate income and do not have regard to the needs of society. Not all agree with this view, however, and instead it has been argued by Fiske (p. 19) that popular culture does represent the needs of society: “Popular culture is not consumption; it is culture – the active process of gathering and circulating meanings and pleasures within a social system.” Accordingly, it was believed by Fiske that culture could never be described in terms of buying and selling commodities regardless of how industrialised culture became since culture is active process that is established from within. Essentially, whilst Horkeimer and Adorno believe that culture can be created from commodities, Fiske clearly disagrees and instead argues that popular culture is developed and advanced by the people within a society and that it is not created by the culture industry.

The writings of Horkeimer and Adorno do relate to broader ideological issues nonetheless, which is evident from the fact that the media and cultural productions are capable of changing individual perceptions of race. Thus, whilst race was a major problem for many years, the ways in which the media portrayed race began to change which ultimately altered individual attitudes. This is widely due to the fact that “ideology is a key factor in the maintenance of oppression, but even more important is its successful dissemination” (Spears, 1999, p. 34). Because ideology consists of a set of ideas that are considered the ‘norm’ individuals tend to follow these and if mass communication portrays an ideology in a certain way, it is likely that the majority of society will alter their beliefs in accordance with this. An example of this can be seen in relation to rap music which has been exploited by the media for a number of years. Thus, whilst this particular type of music may not have been welcomed in previous years, it has become apparent that this is now a normal part of society and mainstream music videos thereby rely upon video imagery that “reinforces the increasing use of an urban sensibility in music, television and films that exploits a mediated understanding of black, urban aesthetics” (Fitts, 2008, p. 211). Arguably, whilst racial stereotypes are still prevalent through mass communications, it is palpable that the media can influence and change societies way of thinking.

Media Ownership: Concentration and Conglomeration (Deveraux, E. 2007, p. 87).

Deveraux discusses the ownership and control of the mainstream media in her text in order to determine the social, cultural and political implications the increased awareness of this has. Consequently, it is evidenced by Deveraux that those who control and own the media do play a large part in popular culture today since they create various ideologies that subsequently influence the ways in which we think. Despite this, it has been pointed out by Deveraux that “significant information inequalities persist in the age of media globalization” and that “all human societies continue to be divided into ‘media haves’ and ‘media have nots’” (Deveraux, 2007, p. 87). In effect, this seems to suggest that increased media does not necessarily mean that individuals have greater choices since the media ultimately control the perceptions that are to be portrayed. Consequently, there is a lack of diverse information that is provided by the media which fails to reflect the needs of society as a whole. This is supported by the views of Croteau and Hoynes (2003, p. 195) when it was made clear that; “the creators of media content have often reproduced the inequalities that exist in society based on race, class, gender and sexual orientation.” In addition, rather than merely reporting the existing inequalities of society, the media tends to alter media content to reflect the views of themselves which tends to be white, middle and upper class men.

This leads to a great deal of media prejudice and it seems as though a broader perspective of society ought to be portrayed in order to give a true reflection of ideology. Arguably, Deveraux attempts to highlight the problems associated with media content and illustrates that there are broader ideological issues that tend to exist. This is because, the views of those from a certain race, class and sexuality are not being conveyed, which leads to a great deal of societal inequality. Unless the perspectives of the media are broadened, it is likely that social inequalities will continue to exist. In addition, even though the internet is more widespread in this new digital age, those of the minority are still not having their voices heard despite the different ways in which opinions can be conveyed online. This was recognised by Whibey (2012, p. 1) when it was pointed out that: “Studies have shown that online participation varies with income.” Hence, it was stressed that individuals of a higher income were more likely to blog. Whilst this may be due to a lack of internet connectivity it is evident that the ideologies of the minority are not being represented. In addition, even where the minority do blog, it is unlikely that their views will reach the mainstream, which again signifies how the media is being controlled by a certain type of person.

Antonio Gramsci and Hegemony (Long, P. and Wall, T. 2009, p. 285).

Long and Wall believe that ideology is no longer considered relevant in today’s society. Accordingly, they believe that despite media perceptions as to how individuals ought to live their life, the constant changes no longer make this possible. Therefore, the ideological theory no longer represents society as it once did: ideology is not static and is subject to change – how we live and what we believe is different from the society of Marx’s day” (Long and Wall, 2009, p. 287). In accordance with this, it is therefore believed by Long and Wall that the media can no longer influence societal values and beliefs in the way that they could. This is very important in order to eradicate gender, class and racial biases which the media appear to have created, yet whether this means that the media no longer have an influence on society is doubtful. This is because, mass communication products will continue to influence the ways in which we think about things whether consciously or subconsciously and as asserted by Kenix (2010, p. 1); “Media both perpetuate identities to the public and are receptors of an ideology created and sustained within society.” It was also added that; “Media do not only send ideological messages out to the public but media systems are also interwoven into the ideological framework of society. Media also have their greatest influence on individuals over time.” Consequently, provided that the media continue to expose certain ideologies, it will eventually become embedded into all societies regardless as to whether it was disapproved of or not.

This is because, regardless as to whether the media are a desirable influencer, it is clear that they shape individuals values and beliefs within modern society. Whilst attitudes may have changed over the years, the media is still the most powerful product which ultimately controls ideology through the perceptions in which it creates. This leads to much inequality, though “there is a widespread recasting of the ideal role of the state” (Garland and Sparks, 2000; p. 186). In order to prevent the media from influencing society in a way that leads to inequality, it is vital that public bodies “have a crucial role in helping people fulfill their potential and removing the barriers that hold people back” (White Paper, 2009) in effect, social inequalities must therefore be eradicated in order to tackle such media inequality. Thus, whilst Long and Wall make it clear that the media does significantly influence popular culture, they are still of the belief that ideologies are no longer relevant in today’s society. If these contentions are accurate, it would seem as though the underlying issues surrounding race, gender and sexuality are simply the result of individual perceptions. Consequently, it is evident that the relationship between the mass media and popular culture is still pertinent in today’s society, though the media do not have the same influence over individual values as they may have had in the past. Although this is considered important in preventing inequality, it seems as though the mass media should have a broader perspective on life as prejudice is still being conveyed.

Conclusion

Overall, it is manifest that there are significant social, cultural and psychological effects of media content and use. This is widely due to the fact that modern society is largely influenced by the ideologies that are created by mass communication. In addition, whilst different ideologies continue to be promoted, only certain values reach mainstream society. This leads to a great deal of inequality and illustrates how the media are capable of dominating the social world by conveying their own views and opinions. In Horkeimer and Adorno’s text, it became apparent that popular culture is swayed by the production of standardised cultural goods and that societal values and beliefs are thereby manipulated as a result of this. It was also made clear that cultural industries are only created in order to generate income for those that are most likely to profit and that the true needs of society are not being provided for. Whilst many will disagree with these points, it is palpable that the media can influence and change the ways in which society thinks. This is also due to the fact that the owners and controllers of the media are usually white middle and upper class men who communicate their own beliefs and values into everyday settings. Hence, media content does not hold a broad perspective, which ultimately leads to inequality as only certain issues are being dealt with. Because of the constant changes in society, however, it is believed by Long and Wall that ideologies are no longer relevant, yet given that the relationship between the mass media and popular culture is still very much existent it is likely that ideologies will still influence society.

References

Croteau, D. and Hoynes, W. (2003) Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences, Pine Forge Press.

Deveraux, E. (2007) Understanding the Media, Sage Publications, 2nd Edition.

Fiske, J. (2010) Understanding Popular Culture, Taylor & Francis, 2nd Edition.

Fitts, M. (2008) Drop it Like its Hot: Culture Industry Labourers and Their Perspectives on Rap Music Video Production, Meidans: Feminism, Race, Transitionalism, vol. 8, no. 1.

Garland, D., and Sparks, R., (2000). Criminology and Social Theory. OUP Oxford.

Horkeimer, M and Adorno, T. W. (1944) Dialetic of Enlightenment, Vesro Books.

Kenix, L. J. (2010) Alternative and Mainstream Media: The Converging Spectrum, [Online] Available: http://www.bloomsburyacademic.com/view/AlternativeMainstreamMedia_9781849665421/chapter-ba-9781849665421-chapter-008.xml?print [07 January 2013].

Long, P., and Wall, T., (2009) Media Studies: Texts, Production and Context, Longman, 1st Edition.

Perse, E. M. (2001) Media Effects and Society, Psychology Press.

Spears, A. K. (1999) Race and Ideology: Language, Symbolism and Popular Culture, Wayne State University Press.

Thompson, J., (1995). The Media and Modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

Whibey, J. (2012) The Trend of Class, Race and Ethnicity in Social Media Inequality, Journalists Resource, [Online] Available: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/gender-race/the-trend-of-class-race-and-ethnicity-in-social-media-inequality [07 January 2013].

White Paper., (2009). New Opportunities: Fair Chances for the Future: The Guardian, Socialism in one ClauseThe Government’s proposal to tackle inequality, [Online] Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/blog/2009/jan/13/equality-socialexclusion [07 January 2013].

Young, J., (1999). The Exclusive Society: Social Exclusion, Crime and Difference in Late Modernity. Sage Publications Ltd.

Categories
Free Essays

How important a contribution does the media make to American democracy?

Abstract

The contribution of the media to democracy in the United States of America is undoubtedly essential for the proper functioning of the democratic process. Without the media the fundamental principles on which democracy is based, such as accountability and transparency would be sadly ignored as there would be little engagement with opposing schools of belief and contradictory accounts and arguments. This paper seeks to explore the role played by the media in democracy in the U.S in order to highlight the importance thereof in a democratic society. The paper concludes that although there is some measure of accountability needed to ensure responsible journalism, the importance is too great to attempt to quell the voice of the media as a public accountability mechanism.

Introduction

The role of the media in any democracy is multifaceted with as many advantages as disadvantages. Central to the concept of democracy is the idea of participation by the public in the relations of the state in order to effect change and allow the policy decisions to reflect the will of the majority (Goodhart, 2011). The media plays a role in a number of ways. At an abstract level, the media enforces inherent foundational principles of democracy such as accountability and transparency, which ensure that in a theoretical sense, the model of democracy to which the state subscribes is upheld in the truest form possible particular to the idiosyncrasies of that country. At a ground level, the media provides widespread information to the public so to as engage the general population on the issues of state and doing so whilst exposing the public to a variety of political information rather than the viewpoint of the ruling party or dominant ideology as decided by democratic election. It goes without saying that in times of political election, the media has come to play an increasing role in the decision making process for the lay man who generally will only be exposed to this information through media outlets due to issues of apathy and a general ambivalence towards politics. In the case of the United States, the media arguably plays a larger role than any other similarly sized democratic country with widespread dissemination of information through a variety of media outlets such as traditional print media, to digital media in the form of broadcasting and most recently the widespread phenomenon of social media and internet presence. This paper seeks to explore the importance of the contribution made by the media to democracy in the U.S. In doing so, it will explore the importance of the media as an accountability mechanism both providing reactive information and encouraging a proactive stance on communication by the government. The paper will further go on to explore the particular power of the media in U.S democracy and in doing so analyse the appropriateness of the media in this role. This will conclude with a discussion as to the potential detrimental effects of heavy media presence in light of media bias, inflammatory practices, and the growing trend of unreliability in the media and irresponsible journalism. Through this exploration and analysis, the importance of the contribution to democracy made by the media will be determined in order to reach a conclusion as to the suitability of this kind of public accountability for the purposes of furthering American democracy.

Foundational Principles of American Democracy

Regardless of political ideology, there are a number of foundational principles on which democracy is based and with regards to which the media plays an important role. Amongst these principles are transparency and accountability. In recent years, since the economic recession of 2007/8, these principles are becoming increasingly more important These concerns garner global public concern for the administration of government with regards to policy making and implementation which was brought to a head with this economic collapse and the subsequent unveiling of a plethora of questionable policy decisions for which there was little transparency of process and even less avenues for accountability (Stromberg & Prat, 2011). Transparency and accountability are two concepts that are not exclusive to democracy, nor politics generally. These two principles are inextricably linked in terms of democratic pursuit, as democracy is based on the ideology of having a government elected by the people for a greater representation of public opinion and therefore a government that is more representative of the current state of affairs in the country generally.

With the need for democratic accountability and transparency becoming of unprecedented importance, the former skepticism of the American people at the level of intervention by the government needs to be reformed (McKay, 2009). The role of the media is pivotal for mediating the relationship between the general public and the government in two ways. The first relates to the role of the media as a government ‘watch dog’ (Francke, 1995), which is a common denominator of many democratic countries. In these scenarios, the media disseminates information to ensure widespread coverage of political happenings, generally brought on by the absence of such adequate communication by the state itself (Ibid). The second role of the media is inherent in this as it compels the government to be more consistent with the communication with public, as this allows a certain measure of control. It is no secret that often media sources are biased, inflationary and unreliable (Knight & Chiang, 2008). Greater cooperation with a suitable standard of communication therefore will ensure that the correct information is relayed to the public and will allow the state a certain measure of control over the information which is made available. In doing so, therefore the media plays an important role in upholding democratic principles on which the American democracy is based. The role of the media in American democracy understands the fundamental truth of having freedom of speech and civil rights as base foundational principles of a political system and simply put, this truth is that accountability and transparency are unavoidable in the pursuit of a well-functioning democratic state (Welch & Nunu, 1996).

The Power of the Media

Jean Adriane Voltaire famously said that with great power comes great responsibility and in the case of mass media in the U.S, this statement could hold no greater truth (Payandeh, 2010). The forming of public opinion around that of the media in its various forms is common place in most democracies, however particularly prevalent in American society due to the commonality of following of common forms of pop culture. Therefore accessibility of the state to the public through media is at an all time high. Democracy as a concept does more than foster ideals, it advances public interest (Kono, 2006). The perception therefore that the media creates of the state will have a direct impact in the advancement of the interests of the public. The need for accountability of the media is as a result as important as the accountability that they are projecting onto the state, as reckless journalism can have a potentially devastating effect on public perception of state practices and policies (Penenberg, 2009). The basis for this power stems from the mainstream place of the media. It means that the media has the power to engage the apathetic voter and because there is little motivation for any further engagement, the opinion of the apathetic citizen will be replaced with the consistent supply of information given to this voter by these media outlets. Indeed, it has been opined that this power to engage minority groups and voters that would otherwise not engage in democratic process has the potential to change the landscape for democratic elections in the future for leaders representative of a minority, such as African-American groups and women as seen in the 2008 national elections in the U.S (Wagner, 2010). This power is arguably of greater benefit than disadvantage to the democratic process, as it encourages some kind of political engagement from otherwise apathetic voters (Mattson, 2003). This must however be carefully contrasted to the potential detriment of such engagement, particularly if these opinions are based on false account of fact. Presumably however the deciding factor in such a balancing act would be in the reform of the general attitude towards governmental practice as a generational effect. It can be argued that this engagement with the public by the media is superficial however will foster an attitude of inquisition of the general person towards affairs of the state which may only be of relevance to later generations however can be seen as a long term solution to combating apathy (Gurevitch et al, 2009). The importance of the contribution made by the media therefore, not only has a short term effect on democratic legitimacy, but has equal importance for the survival of responsible and accountable democratic process in the future.

Provision of a Variety of Political Communication

One can conceptualize a scenario where there was no media intervention in the communication of political affairs to the general public. In this scenario, the ideology of the dominant party or leader would be the only opinion forwarded as official government communication. This however is not consistent with democracy as an ideology of political functioning. Whilst arguably this scenario represents one reductio ad absurdum, it highlights the value of the media as essential for public communication in a responsible democratic process, as it provides a variety of opinions from a range of sources to the general population (Mutz & Martin, 2001). The provision of information in this way has the effect of allowing a holistic view of the political happenings of a country. Although interestingly, the evolution of new media has had somewhat of a counterintuitive effect. The evolution of media currently in the U.S sees loyalty amongst certain outlets to various political leaders and political parties. This is compounded by the fact that social media has allowed citizens to tailor the way that they receive information, so that there is no unauthorized exposure of any kind of information without the explicit approval of the person receiving that information (Ibid). The obvious effect of this evolution means that voters are able to receive information from biased sources without the inclusion of any contradictory opinion, and despite the potential for divergence of opinion from that which is being received, because the voter will not ever see the alternative opinion, there is the potential for formation of generally biased opinions towards or against certain groups, leaders or parties.

Despite the potential detriment that this bias may present, it still maintains an inherent value for accountability of the state. By providing citizens with some basis for political opinion, the media is ensuring that citizens are not only informed, but done so in a way that creates groups of differing opinion which will inherently lead to debate and accountability mechanisms through support or discontent (DESA, 2006). Moreover which, the nature of democratic process and political strategy means that opposing groups of ideology will continuously be campaigning for accountability of their opposition and in doing so will hold those groups to account through transparency and debate (Gurevitch, 2009). The evidence of such strategies in the U.S is clear as there is a large reliance on the media by the dominant parties, Republican and Democrat, as a means to rallying political discourse between the public, the government, the international community and other interested parties. The importance therefore of the contribution made by the media to democracy is exemplary, as even if a scenario where the government had adequate means of communication with the public, the media provides a holistic view of the system without prejudice or concern for public image thereof. In doing so, the media continues to uphold and enforce the fundamental tenets of democracy.

Conclusion

It is clear from the examination of the role played by the media that there are fundamental advantages and disadvantages in the positioning of the media as a mediator between the state and the citizens of a country. This is particularly evident in the case of the U.S due to an overwhelming reliance on the media as a means of public accountability. The importance however of the contribution made by the media to democracy as an ideology on which the state is run is inexplicably valuable. Despite the potential for media bias, reckless journalism and inflammatory practices, there can be no enforcement of principles of accountability and transparency on which democracy is based without the presence of the media in all the traditional and evolved forms. As a means of general education and engagement with the public, the media is the easiest and most effective means of gauging public opinion and rallying voter support in times of election. The antithesis of democracy is apathy and the value of the media in combating this apathy through the reach that it has to younger generations, as well as disengaged minorities and misinformed majorities positions the media as an essential contributor to the furtherance of democracy in the United States. It can therefore be concluded that despite the need for accountability mechanisms for the media to ensure responsible journalism, there is a greater need for the use of these outlets to ensure continued and potentially greater success of democratic process in the United States.

References

Davies, J. & Trounstine, J. (2009) ‘Urban Politics and the New Institutionalism’ in Susan Clarke, Peter John and Karen Mossberger (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics, Oxford University Press pp. 51-70

Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2006) ‘Public Administration and Democratic Governance: Governments Serving Citizens’ United Nations Secretariat ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/98

Francke, W (1995) ‘The Evolving Watchdog: The Media’s Role in Government Ethics’ The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 537(1), pp. 109-121

Goodhart, M. (2011) ’Democratic Accountability in Global Politics: Norms, not Agents’ The Journal of Politics, 73(1), pp 45 – 60

Gurevitch, M., Coleman, S. & Blumer, J. (2009) ‘Political Communication –Old and New Media Relationships’ The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 625, pp 164 – 181

Knight, B. & Chiang, C.F. (2008) ‘Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements’ National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge: NCER

Kono, D. Y. (2006) ‘Optimal Obfuscation: Democracy and Trade Policy Transparency’ The American Political Science Review, 100(3), pp. 369-384

Mattson, K. (2003) Engaging Youth: Combating the Apathy of Young Americans Toward Politics. New York: Century Foundation Press

McKay, D. (2009) American Politics and Society 7ed. Chicestor: Blackwell Publishing

Mutz, D. & Martin P. (2001) ‘Facilitating Communication across Lines of Political Difference: The Role of Mass Media’ The American Political Science Review, 95(1), pp. 97-114

Payandeh, M. (2010) ‘With Great Power Comes Great ResponsibilityThe Concept of the Responsibility To Protect Within the Process of International Lawmaking’ The Yale Journal of International Law, 35, pp. 468 – 515

Penenberg, A.L. (2009) ‘Ethics, Law and Good Practice’ in Journalism Handbook for Students, New York: NYU

Stromberg, D. & Prat, A. (2011) ‘The Political Economy of Mass Media’ [online] Available on: [Accessed 25 August 2012]

Wagner, A. (2010) ‘Reviews / Recensions: Hillary Clinton’s Race for the White House: Gender Politics and the Media on the Campaign Trail, Regina G. Lawrence and Melody Rose, Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010, pp. x, 277’ Canadian Journal of Political Science, 43(3), pp 792 – 793

Welch, G. & Nuru, Z. (2006) Governance for the Future: Democracy and Development in the Least Developed Countries Geneva: United nations

Categories
Free Essays

Social Media And Marketing

Abstract

The growth of social media has brought about numerous changes in the way companies perform their responsibilities. With modern changes in the way people communicate, there is a need for businesses to embrace modern technology in undertaking their activities which were traditionally performed by other means. A company’s marketing requirements are necessary if a company has to achieve the required market share or target sales. For a company to be successful, its marketing must be performed correctly by qualified employees who understand their responsibilities as well as the goal of the company.

Introduction

The belief by RasGas that the company has good employees, and that its performance is tied to the ability to retain and attract qualified workforce, has allowed the company to implement and develop the most effective and up to date recruitment strategies. These are based on appropriate methods that suit the company’s staffing needs (RasGas 2012).

The recruitment team has taken a strategic role of supplying talent. The team has contributed to a highly attractive employment as well as compensation scheme development. The impact of this is that RasGas has been put in a competitive position where the labour market is challenging. Qualified employees with talent are likely to join the company because of the good reputation it has. An employee development project is being developed steered by the managing director with the aim of carrying out the following tasks. Succession planning, personal career development plans, an approach to appraise performance and develop careers. The philosophy aims to set the pace program for employee development (RasGas 20122012).

Use of Social Media in Recruitment

The use of social media for recruiting has become a powerful tool in recent years with recruiters searching for employees using social media sites while employees are searching such sites to check for new job postings. Employers are using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to attract qualified employees because there is a belief that social media can exceed the key factors that makes the difference between an average recruiting tool and a dominant tool. Though social media is a complicated tool for hiring, it has unrivalled capabilities. The cost implications of using social media are far lower than other forms of media tools used for recruiting purposes. Since the visitors of social media have not intentionally visited the sites in search of job postings, it is possible to get paramount employees (“Social Media” 2012).

The following are the main factors that make a social media suitable for recruitment; a huge and varied audience of ideal users with a large number of qualified prospects, all of the social media audience will be dominated by working, working and not necessarily searching for a job as well as the unemployed and that RasGas can make use of this to search for the best talent in potential employees before deciding on a given employee (Headworth 2012).

It enables the shifting of workloads to others and the employees of an organisation would be useful in selecting and relationship building. Social media can help in relationship building through the development of trust and social interest. Messages through social media are mostly authentic in nature compared to other forms of media such as emails that may contain spam. Within the social media, accessibility is easier because there is widespread of mobile phones and personal computers, all with access to social media sites. Messages favoured by the target audience can be sent in the form of multimedia messaging. Quality recruitment can be achieved while using social media at low costs compared with other forms of recruiting media. It is therefore possible for RasGas to acquire the best, whilst facilitating the lowest capital thus saving on the company cost structure to increase profits (“Social Media” 2012).

Marketing and Social Media

Marketing can use social media to capture the most talented and brightest people in order to achieve high sales for RasGas liquefied natural gas. By using social media the company can select and recruit sales people all over the world reducing costs associated with such activities if the company decided to use other media. RasGas, with its international operation, requires that employees with varied cultures are employed. They must have the required skill to increase the performance of the company in different countries where RasGas sells its products. To increase the market share of RasGas qualified, as well as talented, employees must be engaged in line with the company’s goal of recruiting trained employees. By applying the best recruiting policies, the company is in a position of retaining the employees by employing candidates who are self motivated and ambitious towards increasing their sales (“Social Media” 2012).

Types of Social Media that can Be Used by RasGas

RasGas can use the following social media in its objectives of recruiting and retaining the best. Referral hiring has been enhanced by social media where recruiters have access to a wide range of talent through referrals by employees on social media. Employers pay bonuses to employees who refer suitable candidates to them (Liska 2012).

Recruitment marketing through social media has enabled employers regardless of their size to access a large pool of data. The investments by prospective employers are lower alongside a reduction in time and other resources. Employers are able to access social media for attractive career pages with a rich and dynamic content. Recruiters can attach blog articles, photos or even embedding videos top create an engaging career content. Facebook delivers the widest talent pool compared to other social media. With a large number of subscribers, throughout the world, RasGas can make use of this platform to recruit the best employees possible. Facebook has a very large engagement of users who are both potential and non-potential employees making it possible for RasGas companies to identify talent more easily. RasGas can utilise the Facebook timeline that displays personal information as well as up to date professional qualifications to hire potential employees (Liska 2012).

RasGas has an option of using Google + which is growing at a very fast pace. Google + enables users to maintain professional and personal lives, all in one place. Like other social media, Google + has a large following of professionals whom RasGas can find valuable in their recruitment. Google + is actively competing with Facebook with its unique hangouts feature that taps into video interviewing making it possible for RasGas to interview potential employees who are based in other countries. Google + also has circles that allow recruiters to message candidates and influencers (Liska 2012).

Another form of social media that can be used by RasGas is Twitter which has grown in terms of features revenues and users. Having a following on Twitter, RasGas can grow its Twitter followers and get potential employees from this following. Employment officials from RasGas can be directed into other recruiter accounts making it possible for the company to recruit the best. LinkedIn is another form of social media that RasGas can facilitate in search of talent, however it is experiencing immense competition from other social networks like Facebook and Twitter and it offers a platform for more talent within a company (Liska 2012).

Conclusion

RasGas, being an international company, is required to adopt modern cost effective means of achieving its goals on maintaining the best employees in the company. Marketing play an important role in ensuring that the company’s products reach the market while at the same time making sure that customer expectations are met by the company through continued improvement. This can only be achieved through a potentially good workforce that is correctly trained and maintained. The global economic conditions of the world are changing fast and companies need to maintain a competitive advantage over their contenders if they want to survive.

Bibliography

Headworth, Andy, 2012. Smart Social Media Recruitment Strategies, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May, 2012].

Liska Jindrich, 2012. Social Recruiting Trends in 2012, [Online] Available at : [Accessed 8 May, 2012].

“Social Media: the Most Powerful Recruiting Tool Since the Telephone,” 2012. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May, 2012].

“RasGas Careers” 2012. [Online] Available at: http://www.rasgas.com/rg/L_2.cfm?L2_id=3 [Accessed 8 May, 2012].

Categories
Free Essays

Culture, ideology, politics and economics are linked in the output of media organisation in way that is true for no other sector of capitalist enterprise

Introduction

Although some might believe otherwise, the media is not a neutral or objective institution. It is rather a disputed space that can be manipulated to serve certain interests. McNair (2007:103) affirms that “culture, ideology, politics and economics are linked in the output of media organisation.” This statement is especially true of the UK newspaper industry. McQuail (2008:7) also argues that power structures social relationships and that this has an effect on the way the mass media is organized. Both historically and presently the influence of the media can be observed. Newspapers promote certain ideologies, create and reinforce cultural patterns, and greatly influence views on politics. Media products that are made for mass consumption are often controlled by a handful of wealthy owners. This is very similar to what Karl Marx calls the ‘bourgeoisie’ or the owners of the means of production. They are in control of factories and the livelihoods of workers. However, in much the same way, media production serves the interests of the few, and not those of the masses. The ruling class often determines the content of widely distributed newspapers. In support of McNair, I will argue that media output is very closely linked to culture, ideology, and politics, in a way that is advantageous to those who own the means of production. In order to show this, I will discuss all factors (culture, ideology, politics, and economics) in relation to each other and analyse the influence that the newspaper industry has had historically on political, economic, and cultural affairs. The paper will mainly look at 18th century, 19th century, and present press and media output in Britain.

Critical Analysis

The struggle over control of newspaper content is also an economic struggle between the bourgeoisie and the workers or the lower classes. This is a conflict that mirrors the Marxist notion of class struggle. Starting as far back as the 18th century, the UK ruling class has fought to destroy radical newspapers of the time, such as Poor Man’s Guardian, Twopenny, and Republican. The aims of the radical press were to promote class organisations through the development of a critical political analysis. Class organizations and unions were meant to earn workers better wages and more rights. Thus, by developing radical newspapers, the working class sought to improve their economic condition. This is an example of the struggle between the aristocracy and the workers who were criticising corruption and the repressive taxation which was impoverishing them (Curran 2010:13). Here, politics is also interrelated to the media and to economics. It was only through adopting a critical political analysis that workers could advocate for their rights. On the other hand, the politics of the right (or the wealthy owners) represent their economic interest of keeping the wealth and control of the press in the hands of few.

The emergence of more progressive publications in the early 1800s showed how the ideology of the ruling classes was in opposition of radicalism. Their politics served to prevent the workers from gaining more control of the media output. Between 1830 and 1836 there was an increase in circulation of radical newspapers. In London alone, the readership grew from half a million to 2 million. Dr Philmore, a member of Parliament, complained that “these infamous publications […] inflame working people’s passions, and awaken their selfishness, contrasting their present condition with what they contented to be their future condition- a condition incompatible with human nature, and with those immutable laws which providence has established for the regulation of human society “ (Curran 2010 : 14). In other words, the rich believed that it is their right to maintain their social and economic standing. In response to radicalism, they sought to pass regulations that would control the media output. This implied that they could promote the views that would benefit their own economic and social condition. As already seen, those who can control media output use this resource to promote their ideology, culture, and politics. In this way, they also maintain their wealth.

In order to silence the voice of radical newspapers in the 1800s, the government decided to introduce the stamp duty, which meant that publications were redefined to include political periodicals. Curran and Seaton (2010) also note that during those days, the government sought to increase press taxation. This was to ensure that those in charge of the press are wealthy men of high social standing. Curran and Seaton explain that the reason behind stamp duty was “to restrict the readership to a well to do by raising the cover price; and to restrict the ownership to the propertied class by increasing the publishing cost “ (Curran and Seaton 2010:11). This shows how economics plays a big role in restricting those who do not have the necessary means from promoting their own ideology, politics, and culture. The example clearly illustrates the link between economics, culture, and politics that McNair talks about. It also portrays, once again, how those who own the means of production can promote the ideologies that benefit them.

Over time, those who were financially in control of the media used this to their advantage and slowly began to take radicalism out of the picture. It became the norm that only those who have enough capital could have a say in politics and influence the ideology of the masses. In the late 19th century, when some control methods failed and stamp laws were repealed, the press establishment embarked on a “sophisticated strategy of social control”, where the radical newspapers were replaced by apolitical, commercial publications, read by mass audiences and controlled by capital (McNair 2009:87). According to McNair (2009), the radical publications of the end of the 19th century had either been forced out of existence, moved right politically, or become small specialist publications. As newspapers became cheaper and the market expanded, capital investment and running costs increased beyond the capacity of radical publishers. Thus, radical voices were once again silenced. This shows that the output of news is greatly influenced by the ownership and capital, as only the wealthy are powerful enough to determine the course of media production.

Currently, it can be said that media output in the newspapers is still dependant on who owns the enterprise, what are their politics, and what kind of ideology and culture they want to promote. Oftentimes, the output does not necessarily reflect the truth, but rather takes the form that is best suited to serve the interests of the few. It is not uncommon for stories to be censored or even not published at all. To illustrate this, Anthony Bevins (1997:47) argues that “Journalists cannot ignore the pre-set ‘taste ‘of their newspapers, use their own sense in reporting the truth of the any event, and survive. They are ridden by news desks and backbenches executives, have their stories spiked on a systematic basis, they face the worst sort of newspaper punishment –byline deprivation.”

Conclusion

The history of newspaper publishing in the UK shows that economic interests influence media output immensely. I have argued that, historically, culture, ideology, politics, and economics are all interrelated influences on the content of media. In order to show this, my paper has looked at historical events that have had an impact on the course that the media (especially newspapers) has taken during the past few hundred years. Starting with the 18th century, the press has been a battlefield between the rich and the poor. Radical newspapers fought to have a say in politics. Unfortunately, those who had more wealth and invested more capital were the ones able to take control of the press. With the control of the press also came the promotion of certain ideologies. The ruling class favoured the politics that went against the interests of the workers. Politicians and capitalists alike strived to protect their standing. The stamp duty is an example of measures that they were taking to ensure that radical media output does not grow enough to influence political views. Even though this measure did not last, the effect that commercialization has had on newspapers and media output, in general, is still evident. Those who own media corporations prefer an apolitical and commercial approach. Over time, the voices of workers with radical demands have stopped being heard in the mainstream media. Moreover, even the practices of journalists nowadays are influenced by this approach to media as a profit driven enterprise. The relevance of stories is often determined based on commercial appeal and sensationalism, rather than facts. Stories can be censored and facts hidden. Economics, as well as politics are mainly to blame for these developments. McNair (2009) sums up this interrelationship perfectly through his work. The fact that politics, economics, culture, and ideology play a big role in determining media output is undeniable. Although this is unlikely to change in the near future, it is important to know whose politics and interests influence what we read, hear, and see in the media.

Bibliography

Curran, J. and Seaton. Power Without Responsibility : Press, Broadcasting and the Internet in Britain. Routledge, Abingdon, 2010.

McNair, B. News and Journalism In the UK . Routlege, London, 2003.

McQuail D. Mass Communication. SAGE, London, 2008.

Tumber H. News : A Reader. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999.

Wahl-Jorgensen, K. & Hanitzsch, T. The Handbook of Journalism Studies. Taylor & Francis, Abingdon, 2009.

Categories
Free Essays

Cultural representation in the Media

Abstract

The relationship between the media and culture has long been a topic of controversial debate. This study addresses this concern by evaluating two United Kingdom media outlets coverage of the same event throught the lens of cultural and ideology. With indications of continuous forms of societal influence and impact, the evidence in this study is a mix of case study and academic review. The results demonstrate a wide acceptance of cultural and institutional manipulation on the part of the media mechanism, with a clear recommendation to seek several separate reports of the same instance in order to feel fully informed. This study has the potential to be relevant to cultural and international integration studies.

Introduction

In our world of mass communication, media have made a very special place for itself in our lives. Representing cultures utilizing mass media such as television coverage, newspaper reporting and the technological advances of the internet has made communication among nations possible, yet, unique to each separate region and culture (Schaffner, 2008). Media plays a very significant role by allowing each separate population to experience the travails of the international community, through the lens of understandable context. Yet, the very nature of each of the unique cultures impacts the way in which the same event may be examined by the competing forms of media coverage (Schaffner, 2008). Base attitudes and approaches will differ depending on the societal expectations of the consumer population.

This analysis will begin with a examination of the translations of an excerpt of Saddam Hussein’s trial by the Daily Telegraph and The Independent in 2004. Assessing the individual approach of each of these outlets will lead to a credible analysis of how these media approaches were used for different purposes. Following this segment, the study will turn to the role of translation in the production of news articles as well as the underlying dissemination of information.

In the end, this study will have examined past practice, present implementation and future potential with the stated goal of determining the impact that cultural representation has in the media.

Past efforts of Cultural Representation in the Media

Every nation in the international arena possesses a media outlet that allows for a form of large scale communication (Venuti, 2012). Utilizing this media access allows for a wide range of critical national and societal initiatives to be widely disseminated among the relevant populations. The mass media play an important role in mediating between politicians and the general public (Venuti 2012)).This point illustrates that a main channel for political information to reach the intended target is from a form of modern media. The ability to read, view or listen to a report of the topic is commonly preferred to attending the actual event itself (Schaffner, 2008). The ability to compact information in a manner that can be quickly and easily digested by the consumer is a demonstration of the innate value of any form of media. However, the quality of the media content varies due to the translator, producer and consumer expectations relevant to that particular outlet (Schaffner, 2008).

Both culture and media thrive on an inclusive relationship with the population (Zlatar, 2003). The underlying value that exists in the media outlet lies in their ability to reach the populace. The lack of a product that appeals to a large section of the target population lowers the value of the media outlet. Due to the increased drive to integrate on a global level cultural values and differences are increasingly visible and have the potential to impact every aspect of any media operation (Zlater, 2003). Language is the primary method that the media outlets reach their target audience, making the role of translator essential to their form of reporting (Zlater, 2003). News outlets and the process of interviewing people depend on the selection of translator and linguistic competence and preferences (Cecilia, 2009). When broadcasters speak foreign languages translation and interpretation are both crucial, and culturally influenced in the process of conveying the message (Zlater, 2003). The responsibility for correct translation and dissemination is entirely dependent on the knowledge, ideology and integrity of the media outlet.

The UK media outlet the Daily Telegraph and The Independent in 2004, have each provided two culturally varied translations of the same context. Varied approaches to the same account in the media are an illustration of cultural representation and societal values as understood by the individual organizations (Schaffner, 2008). This is the very concept that creates the perception of differing media reports regarding the same series of events.

Modern cultural representation in the Media

“The media has, in fact, been called the fourth estate” (Schaffner and Bassnet, 2010). The speed in which a message has the ability to reach as wide an audience as possible determines the values of the media outlet (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). As the world wide culture has embraced innovation, technology has vastly increased the ability of the various forms of media to express their product. The accuracy and strategies of the translation are important in every case, whether it is in print, on screen or online with the media’s ideological and political leanings reflected in their product (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). Yet, taking account the political background of the resource and the media itself, there are cultural factors behind the translation and dissemination of information (Bielsa, 2007). While translation is nearly invisible in the media reports this does not mean there is cultural impartiality in the process of translation.

Modern studies of media and their associated translation of material have grown significantly due to the role this mechanism serves in bridging gaps between cultures (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). Media enables communication across languages as well as the capacity to promote independent populations mutual understanding. The relation between media and translation occurs in a wide range of contexts such as the press, TV or the internet (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). Translation in every individual culture is a critical element in the media dissemination process that involves the direct interaction and understanding between cultures. News agencies commonly employ translation and select translators without knowing his or her ideological background (Magder, 2004). The quality of the translation in reporting news need to be taken into account by the news agency and the media due to the potential obstacles that can be created (Magder, 2004).

Analysis:

The media is argued to be viewed through a cultural perception (Bassnet, 2004). Each news item presented by the mass media, in any form, is only their unique representation and interpretation of the event, not necessarily the full or complete picture. Each person, reporter or journalist will experience the event in their own manner, producing their work according to their innate understanding (Bassnet, 2004). Utilizing the spoken word, literature and cultural instruments this unintentionally biased information is passed on to the consumer through the news outlet. The journalists and those who work to gather the information and eventually produce news are professional, yet, each person and organization is subject to their own ethical and value standards based on their cultural heritage (Bassnet, 2004). A priority must be placed on clear translation in the production of international news. This is an indication of importance for not only the translation functions, but also transferring the news across linguistic and cultural boundaries (Bassnet, 2004).

In order to assess this concept this study will take the two examples of the translated excerpt from the trial of the former dictator of the Iraqi regime, Saddam Hussein. These passages have been translated, edited and then published in the Daily Telegraph as well as the Independent in 2004. Translation plays a fundamental role in the transfer of news around the world and at the same time different definitions of the translation are being used by both layperson and experts (Bassnet, 2004). This is a demonstration that items from one language cannot easily being replaced into another. The translator is transferring the meaning between languages, and cultural clarity is not always present as this process unfolds (Bassnet, 2004). The news reporter often includes non-practical parts or culturally biased elements of a story during the process of translation in order to meet the expectations of the consumers. The often varied and often diverse opinions present in the mass media indicate a need for universal ethics standards.

The first edited transcript of the first court of the dictator Saddam Hussein which is published in the Independent:

The Independent, 2 July 2004:

The judge opened proceedings by asking Saddam for his name.

Saddam. Hussein Majid, the president of the Republic of Iraq.

The judge then asks his date of birth.

Saddam: 1937

Judge: ProfessionFormer president of the Republic of Iraq?

Saddam: No, present. Current. It’s the will of the people.

Judge: The head of the Baath party that is dissolved, defunct. Former commander and chief of the army. Residence is Iraq. Your mother’s name?

Saddam: Sobha, you also have to introduce yourself to me.

Judge: Mr Saddam, I am the investigative judge of the central court of Iraq.

Saddam: So that I have to know, you are investigative judge of the central court of IraqWhat resolution, what law formed this court?

The judge’s response could not be heard.

The Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2004:

Judge: Are you the former president of Iraq?

Saddam: I am Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq.

Judge: (to court clerk): put down “former” in brackets.

Saddam: I am the president of the republic so you should not stripe me of my title to put me on trial.

Judge: You are the ex-leader of Iraq and the ex-leader of the dissolved armed forces. Were you the leader of the Ba’ath party and head of the armed forces?

Saddam: Yes. I’ve introduced myself to you but you haven’t introduced yourself to me. So who are you.

Judge: I am a judge of the criminal court of Iraq.

Saddam: So you repress Iraqis under the orders of the coalition> Do you represent the American coalition?

Reading both edited transcriptions that had been published in in the competing British newspapers in 2004 prodcued several interesting questions. To what extent do these printed versions differWhat cultural factors play a role in this differenceWhy are they different in terms of information and the structure of the question The first version, which is published in the Independent, says that the judge’s response could not be heard, while in the second version the judge is clearly heard giving instruction to the court clerk. This attention or lack of attention to detail is an indication of cultural awareness (Bassnet, 2004). After the event was over, the translator’s text was compared to the official transcript which illustrated that information was missing and that this text did not contain every element of the conversation. Bassnett (2004) states that during the hearings and sessions the translators are busy producing their own versions. This is an indication that media outlets are heavily dependent on the transcripts of the translator. This point of influence on the part of the translator is very important, as each cultural interpretation depends on the message (Bassnett 2004).

Further in the event the judge asks for his mother’s name, but in the Daily Telegraph this point is not mentioned. How far we should trust the translators and the subsequent reporting by the mediaThis process of questionable translation is common in a country similar to Iraq which contains different religions and political backgrounds (Bassnett 2004). The ability to find a quality person to fill the role of translator is difficult due to the cultural affiliation to inherent differences in the views of their associated political parties.

Another notable difference between both versions, and cultural approaches, is that the person in the first version is a powerful judge that refers to Saddam’s role as a former chief of the army, while in the second version the same concept is approached as a form of a question. This is a clear demonstration of cultural separation due to the interpretation of the event by the separate media outlets (Bassnett 2004). Each news agency has different policies, conventions and styles in their production of news which highlight these differences. Within every individual organization will be an understanding that is based on information passed between cultures (Bassnett, 2004).

The cultural differences become more visible as we read, with more transcripts available in Appendix A. According to the Independent, Saddam refused to sign the documents and both he and the judge were quarrelling about that. The Daily Telegraph reported this same set fo occurences differently. This is direct cultural reflection of the mood the readers expected to see and the willingness of the outlet to accomodate this (Bassnett, 2004). The Independent approached this in a more adversarial nature, while the Daily Telegraph sought to portray Saddam has more approachable. Moreover, Saddam’s remark in his final comment with the guards that was not recorded in the Independent version is a further indication of the cultural dissemination of information based on the demands of the readers (Bassnett, 2004). The remark in the Telegraph enabled a sense of pity to be communicated culturally, while the absence of this element in the Independent eliminated this.

Discussion

Despite the fact that we have two different English translations of a transcript in a court session that took place in Arabic, different edited and translation processes have taken place based on the cultural ideologies (Bassnett, 2004). The strategies of the translation that were used for the Independent are more likely to be culturally foreign to the UK as well as much more complex. Due to the nature of the associated readership, this outlet documents the many challenges that Saddam made to the judges, detailing the adversarial nature of the proceedings. Conversely, the culture associated with the Daily Telegraph expects another variety of reporting, a kinder and wider approach to the story.

The version of the same set of events in the Daily Telegraph is shorter and domesticated, a hallmark of the method in which the populace absorbs information (Bassnett, 2004). Saddam in this version does not appear as a former dictator but like a simple man who addresses the judge through his answers and attitudes. Saddam uses (would) which is a question word that often begins a lot of questions and ask for something. This is a direct representation of the cultural influence present in the writing; the underlying effort is to portray Saddam as demonstrating a gentle quality in the courtroom by saying “I am not interfering with your responsibilities”. This is a form of outreach that is directly related to the cultural need to empathize with Saddam (Bassnett, 2004).

The role played by the translation of material in international news provides the link between politics and the media in both cultures (Bassnett, 2004). The elements revealed by the media outlets will be utilized to galvanize the populace in one form or fashion, thereby driving the governmental approach. Media reports about political events are always forms of re-contextualisation, and any re-contextualisation involves transformation and translation (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). Each of the separate cultures will have a unique interpretation of these elements. Cultural difference commonly occurs when a text is shifted for obscure political purposes or the translator attempts to skew the meaning in a way to serve the affiliated party. This form of cultural bias by the translator may have a great impact in the transfer of the meaning and the gist of the discourse and the message, thereby creating substantial obstacles (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010).

Each of the media outlets as well as the underling cultures approaches the aspects of reporting and journalists’ ethics as an intensive research need (Schaffner and Bassnett. 2010). Subjectivity and loyalty to the source text and ethics has a direct impact on the quality of media products, yet the quantity of each component rests in the values of the culture. This fact reflects the desire for the news agency and media outlet to maintain cultural and national credibility at every level (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). This is achieved through the accurate portrayal of world events through the lens of the associated cultural expectations. The international community depends on the media in terms of gaining information about the political state and cultural values and all socio-cultural norms (Schaffner and Bassnett, 2010). Yet, every story must be interpreted utilizing the known population variables that lie behind each writer.

In countries where governments interfere with the freedom of the press and sometimes the lack of freedom of expression occur, the media cannot broadcast and work independently (Poyatos, 1997). The culture of a nation will be familiar with the limits, thereby creating an unspoken form of boundaries. This regulatory environment can become another impediment to the accuracy of the translation (Poyatos, 1997). As news about a country is published in various newspapers some adjustments and reshaping is done due to the oversight environment, culture and ideology. A possible solution for this condition would be to create an environment in which no government should intervene into the media affairs and media should be totally independent (Poyatos, 1997). However, the values of the writers, publishers and readers will have to be taken in to continuous consideration.

Public relations professionals help to shape news content in national and local news media, based on the values of the consumers (Fletcher 2006; Franklin 1997). Due to the changes in political situations and relations between countries the news content might not be addressed exactly in every case, as illustrated by the Telegraph and Independent study. This is a reflection of the cultural constraints that must be taken into account for each individual nation in order to continually meet each unique regional need (Franklin, 1997). Freedom of the press does not mean the independence of any media channel; governments and the population are responsible for laying the foundation for a fruitful relationship between media the freedom of expression.

In Conclusion

Translation plays a fundamental role in the transfer of different types of news around the world. The veracity of the translation and truthfulness of the translator are matters of primary concern. The societal values and cultural differences of the authors, editors and organization are exposed with every article or broadcast. From the perspective of translation studies this lack of cohesiveness is an issue and has the potential to have substantial ramifications both politically and culturally.

The relationship between culture and media is one of inclusion, very much related to each other. In addition, media confers the capacity to reach a large audience in a manner that is efficient and effective. Mass media has, and will continue to have an impact on every person in each nation in the form of Internet, printing papers, Televisions and radios. The information and news passing between different cultures via the media are reshaped, reinterpreted and then republished. Therefore, transforming media representations entails a new way of thinking about media practice.

Media as a communication tool should be situated as institutions that allow for cultural development and the protection of cultural diversity. Further, mass media institutions need to be aware every aspect of the cultural contraints and expectations of the underlying society. Yet, in the end, as in all things, it lies with the reader, viewer or person subject to the media report to judge independantly the veracity of the opinion.

References

Bassnett, S. (2004). “Trusting reporters”: What exactly did Saddam sayThe Linguist, 43(6).176-178.

Bielsa, E. (2007). “Translation in global news agencies”. Target 19(1). 135–155.

Wadensjo , C ? (2009). “Clinton’s Laughter: On Translation and Communication in TV News”. CTIS Occasional papers (Maltby. Ed.) Vole 4

Fletcher, K. (2006). “A Fine Line between Journalism and PR in Media”

Franklin, B. (1997). “Newszak and News Media”. London

Magder, T. (2004). “Transnational media, intercultural trade and the idea of cultural diversity”. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 18 (3), 380–397.

Poyatos, F. (1997). Nonverbal communication and translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Schaffner, C. (2008). ‘The Prime Minister said …’: Voices in translated political texts”. In: SYNAPS Fagsprak, Kommunikasjon, Kulturkunnskap 22/2008 (University Bergen), pp. 3-25.

Schaffner, C. and Bassnett, S. (2010). “Political Discourse, Media and Translation” Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Venuti, L. (2012). The Translator’s Invisibility. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Zlatar, A. (2003). “The role of the media as an instrument of cultural policy, an inter-level facilitator and image promoter”: Amsterdam & ECUMEST Association, Bucharest.

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Free Essays

The power of social media in political communication

Research Question

To determine the impact of social media on the way that political institutions and organizations communicate to the public including the unintended impact of social media on political communication.

Research Objective

The track the evolution of social media use in political communication both as intended by those disseminating the information and the unintended impact of having such assessable communication methods for the general public.

Significance and Context of Research

Increasingly in political communication, social media has been used as a primary method of disseminating information, gathering information and testing public opinion. Indeed certain countries continue to use these methods as a primary means of lobbying support. However, not only does it present enormous benefit to political organizations, it also presents a unique opportunity to the public combating abuse of power and an increased awareness and accountability. Some research even goes as far as to suggest that the impact of social media has enhanced the citizen participation in democracy increasing the commitment thereto. In the age of social media as a primary means of communication, the role and impact of this on political communication is boundless and significant.

Methodology

The primary method of research will be the analysis of different systems of social media usage. There is some literature written on the topic, examining different facets of the social media usage in political communication and this will serve as a useful indicator of the ways that social media is used in political communication. Thereafter, individual case studies on various methods that have been employed to great effect need to be examined. In other words, by examining how different political organizations have used social media to their advantage. The sources of these case studies will be evident in the literature written on the topic. How the organizations use social media and the effect that it has will be the primary focus of the research. The effect of social media usage will include the benefits on participation as well as the disadvantages relating to sensationalism and accuracy.

References
Clay Shirky (2011) ‘The Political Power of Social Media’ Foreign Affairs, 90(1), p28-41
Erik Qualman (2009) ‘How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business’ [online] Available on http://www.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uct.ac.za/uploads/corpLearn/pdf/bbs_socialnomics.pdf [Accessed on 7 July 2012]
Erik C. Nisbet, Elizabeth Stoycheff, & Katy E. Pearce (2012) ‘Internet Use and Democratic Demands: A Multinational, Multilevel Model of Internet Use and Citizen Attitudes About Democracy’ Journal of Communication, 62, 249–265
Henry Farrell (2011) ‘The Internet’s Consequences for Politics’ [online] Available on http://crookedtimber.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ARPS.pdf [Accessed on 7 July 2012]
John C. Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger, Justin M. Grimes (2010) ‘Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies’ Government Information Quarterly, 27, 264–271
Michael J. Magro, (2012) ‘A Review of Social Media Use in E-Government’ Sci., 2, 148-161
Wenfang Tang and Shanto Iyengar (2011) ‘ The Emerging Media System in China: Implications for Regime Change’ Political Communication, Special Issue [online] Available at http://myweb.uiowa.edu/wenftang/p/scanned%20publications/Tang%20and%20Iyengar%202011.pdf [Accessed on 7 July 2012]

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Free Essays

For small businesses, does the reality of using social and new media in marketing live up to the promise? A qualitative study amongst business owners in the UK

Abstract

The area of emerging technology and marketing has become an topic of increased debate as the potential to reach more consumers and provide real savings for small business is created. This study assesses the impact that emerging communication technology has had on the marketing efforts of small businesses in the UK.

1 Introduction

1.1 Research Topic

This study assesses the impact that emerging communication technology has on the marketing efforts of small businesses in the UK. In order to properly evaluate each element, this study uses a survey given to several owners and operators in the UK coupled with a case study centred on the small business in the London area to provide evidence for industry and cultural assessment. These factors will be used to illustrate detailed components of operation and implementation for small businesses in the UK. With a focus for identifying distinct themes in the survey results, this research seeks to combine working experience with social expectation to provide an illustration of potential opportunity.

1.2 Objectives

1) Assess technological impact on small business
2) Evaluate how communication technology provides opportunities for growth.

1.3 Research questions

1) What are the challenges faced by small business in marketing?
2) Can improved consumer outreach improve revenue?
3) Does new technology offer a competitive edge for small business?

2 Review of Literature

2.1 Small Business Challenges

Marketing is an essential element of small business strategy (Safko et al, 2009). With a clear need to remain in the consumer eye, marketing has the potential to make or break any small business (Qualman, 2009).

2.1.1 Current Methods

Current methods of marketing include television, print and word of mouth (Qualman, 2008). Further, any advertising must be local or regional, facing increased cost (Safko et al, 2009).

2.1.2. Emerging methods

Internet and communication technology provide social media, online content and increased consumer exposure for small businesses(Berthon et al, 2012; Fischer et al, 2011;Weinberg et al, 2011). Networking and comprehensive data bases encourage consumers to look deeply into a small business, providing ample opportunity for revenue growth.

2.2 Small business Competitive Strategy and opportunities for growth

Using technology to reach consumers, aids outreach as well as provides a new and growing market for any business (Baird et al, 2011).

2.3 Spending and Consumer Outreach

Modern methods of marketing require crucial funds that could otherwise to other areas of a small business strategy (Wienberg et al, 2011). This increased leeway provides opportunity for reinvestment in the infrastructure.

2.4 Working Theory

Using a thematic survey approach provides critical evidence to any working research (Perri et al, 2012). Combined with an assessment of the case study using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, establishes the likelihood of adoption and implementation (Hofstede et al, 2010).

3 Methodology

3.1 Approach

This study is best approach with the Qualitative, Interpretivism process (Perri, 2012). Initial evidence will be provided using a survey given to between 100-150 respondents creating data that will be assessed using a thematic, coding approach (Perri, 2012). Case study is based on the small business sector in London, UK which provides government facts and official figure (Perri, 2012). The evidence is combined and evaluated using the thematic coding to identify themes in the material followed by a Hofstede analysis to provide useable examples of impact and improvement.

3.2 Research Strategy

Qualitative research based on surveys and case study (Perri, 2012).

3.3 Data Collection Instruments and Methods

Survey and questionnaire coupled with a modern case study taken from online databases, official sites, journals and books.

4 Analysis

4.1 Case Study of Small Business in London, UK 2010-2014

4.1.1 Thematic analysis of surveys

Identifying themes that relate to the positive or negative experience of technology use in marketing (Perri, 2012).

4.1.2. Hofstede’s Cultural dimensions evaluation of case study and surveys

Provides a working cultural understanding as to why or why not small business owners are embracing new technology opportunities (Hofstede et al, 2010).

4.2 Discussion

5 Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

5.2 Recommendation

6 References
Baird, C. and Parasnis, G. (2011). From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), pp.30–37.

Berthon, P., Pitt, L., Plangger, K. and Shapiro, D. (2012). Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business Horizons, 55(3), pp.261–271.

Evans, D. (2008). Social media marketing. 1st ed. Indianapolis, Ind.: Wiley.

Fischer, E. and Reuber, A. (2011). Social interaction via new social media:(How) can interactions on Twitter affect effectual thinking and behavior?. Journal of business venturing, 26(1), pp.1–18.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. and Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N. and Christodoulides, G. (2011). Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands.Industrial Marketing Management, 40(7), pp.1153–1159.

Qualman, E. (2009). Socialnomics. 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Safko, L. and Brake, D. (2009). The social media bible. 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Weinberg, B. and Pehlivan, E. (2011). Social spending: Managing the social media mix. Business Horizons, 54(3), pp.275–282.

Weinberg, T. (2009). The new community rules. 1st ed. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

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Free Essays

Title Critically discuss the ways UNICEF engage media techniques in their communications’ strategy.

Introduction

Communication strategies are designed to help governmental and non-governmental organisations communicate effectively to meet core objectives. In the new digital age, communicating through the media has become an effective way of targeting audiences and persuading them to act by either providing support or giving money (Goodman and Hirsch, 2010: 2). The non-governmental organisation (NGO) UNICEF provides an example of how the effective use of persuasive media techniques in a communications strategy can help to generate capital and support. UNICEF uses a number of different techniques, which all help to raise awareness of the objectives that are trying to be achieved (Dijkzeul and Moke, 2005: 673). With particular focus on children, UNICEF is able to communicate with audiences to obtain humanitarian assistance. A higher degree of financial independence is acquired and subsequently used for humanitarian and development activities (Dijkzeul and Moke, 2005: 673). It is unlikely that such assistance would be obtained without the use of various media techniques. This essay will critically discuss the ways UNICEF engage media techniques in their communications’ strategy.

Media Techniques and Political Communications

The main objective of most media messages is to persuade or encourage the audience to believe or do something (MLP, 2014: 1). In doing so, a number of different techniques are used to grab the audience’s attention and to establish trust and credibility (Erwin, 2014: 104). One technique that is used by the media is the use of direct quotations from identified sources. This makes the reader believe the story being told and is often used as a powerful motivator to encourage the reader to act, for example, by giving money or purchasing something (MLP, 2014: 1). Where direct quotations are used, it is more likely that the message being conveyed will be successful received as the audience will believe what is being said. Such techniques are referred to as the “language of persuasion” and are essential media literacy skills (Changing Minds, 2013: 1). This was recognised by Lippmann who believed that persuasion had become a “self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government (Denton and Kuypers, 2007: 1). Persuasion is thus a way of creating consent from individuals about a particular premise and is capable of modifying political communications in a very influential way. Unless communications are persuasive, it is doubtful that they will be effective since persuasion is the main communication tool that is required by the media. Governments use persuasion as a means of obtaining consent from the messages being conveyed, also known as political communication. Political communication is considered to have the following four elements; 1) short-term orientation; 2) based upon specific objectives; 3) primarily mediated; and 4) audience centred. Political communication is not exclusive to the political world as non-political actors also use this type of communication as a way of communicating messages to the public. This is generally done by organisations that have a political objective such as; non-governmental organisations (NGO’s).

An NGO is an organisation that is separate and distinct from governments and profitable businesses. Although NGO’s can be funded by governments and businesses, they are usually set up by ordinary citizens to further an agenda (Welch, 2000: 1). Whilst the agenda’s of many NGO’s will differ, the methods of communication that are used will be similar in that they will all seek to effectively communicate their objectives to the targeted audience. The primary objective of most NGO’s is to ensure that human rights are being fully protected. Although NGO’s from different jurisdictions will not always have the same goals, they will still be structured in a similar manner. This is because NGO’s generally seek to promote human rights worldwide, which requires them to co-operate with governments and the United Nations (Wong, 2012: 37). NGO’s are also important in helping to bring public interest matters before the courts (Wadham, 2001: 1). The mass media is a useful tool that allows political communications of NGO’s to be effectuated, yet social, cultural and psychological problems are usually associated with media content and use (Perse, 2001: 1). It was stressed by Young that modern society engulfs its members through the media, education and participation within the marketplace (Young, 1999: 82). The media is capable of articulating beliefs by adopting various ideological approaches. It has been said by Croteau and Hoynes that the media do not promote a singular perception of ideology and instead communicate a number of different ideological perceptions (Croteau and Hoynes, 2012: 154). They noted that social ideologies are more domineering of society than mainstream ideologies because of the fact that people pay as much attention to street scenes, housing and clothing as they do to the commentary when watching international news (Thompson, 1995: 176). Arguably, it is clear from these assertions that the media is extremely powerful in influencing the minds of individuals, which is why it is a form of communication that is commonly used by NGO’s to further their agenda’s. The media is capable of shaping an audiences subjectivity through the representation of ideological belief’s. NGO’s thereby benefit from using media techniques to persuade their targeted audience to act in a certain manner.

The media is extremely powerful in persuading the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of society through the use of propaganda. Propaganda is a form of communication that influences an audience to act based on a particular agenda. Propaganda is used as a means of generating emotional responses to messages that are produced to influence societal attitudes towards a particular cause or position. NGO’s often use propaganda to fulfil their objectives and are thus considered effective cultural propaganda disseminators (Cull et al; 2003: 193). NGO’s have been considered politics of the poor on the basis that they represent political ideologies (Karim, 2001: 92). Political ideology is a set of ideas which represent the objectives, expectations and actions of a political party. A broad range of belief systems exist within different political parties and have generally been acquired from doctrines, ideals, myths, principles and social movements. Ideology is a system that is made up of values and beliefs “regarding the various institutions and processes of society that is accepted as fact or truth by a group of people” (Sargent, 2008: 2). Political ideology therefore comprises the views of political parties on how the world should be. This allows political parties to allocate social values (Easton, 1971: 129) and determine what is considered an ‘ideal’ world. There are different views and opinions of ideological theory, though ideology is largely driven by competing groups in society who strive for hegemony (Hall, 1997: 13). Hegemony happens when the most dominant in society promotes, through the media and culture, a set of ideals that members of that society must conform to (Allan, 2004: 6). This is beneficial for NGO’s who use the media to establish an ideological perception of the rights in which they are trying to protect. In deciding whether certain behaviours conform to society, the set of ideals that have been created within that society will need to be considered by the media when deciding what messages need to be conveyed. Many believe that this is unfair and problematic as ideology only serves the interests of one segment of society over all other segments (Curra, 2000: 6). This prejudices many parts of society as certain groups may not benefit from the established ideals that are created. As pointed out by Brown et al; ideology may only be beneficial to certain ethnic groups, genders or religions (Brown et al; 2010: 9). This does not provide an accurate reflection of the whole of society and whilst ideals are necessary in helping people to identify what is right and wrong, it seems unacceptable to segregate certain parts of society. This may, however, be necessary when protecting the rights of certain individuals. Political ideologies are subject to further critique on the basis that they do not consider the needs of modern society (Stankiewicz, 2012: 408), yet as pointed out by Selinger; “There is no politics without ideology” (Selinger, 1975: 99). In effect, this appears to demonstrate that all political communications will have some element of ideology as moral judgements will be contained within them. Effectively, the objectives of NGO’s will be based upon ideological beliefs and will mostly have a political objective. An example of this can be seen in relation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is an NGO that provides humanitarian and development assistance to mothers and children in underdeveloped countries. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) created UNICEF on the 11th December 1946 to provide food and healthcare to children that had been affected by World War II.

Although UNICEF is not operated by the government, it like many other NGO’s largely relies upon governmental support and political communications. NGO’s have, for some time, relied upon the mass media to expose violations of human-rights and encourage governments to put pressure on those found to be abusing them (Thrall et al; 2014: 3). This is intended to discourage human rights abuses from taking place and to help the perpetrators be put to justice. The effectiveness of this is arguable, though it seems as though greater support is being acquired by the likes of UNICEF as a result of this. Since the advancement of modern technology UNICEF is now able to establish new communication strategies for channeling information politics via the internet (Chadwick and Phillip, 2008: 3). It is arguable whether the strategies that are being undertaken by UNICEF are effective in persuading audiences to support their cause, though it seems likely given UNICEF’s use of the media. The media is largely proficient in influencing society of certain ideological perceptions through television programmes, newspapers, magazines, films and radio programmes (Long and Wall, 2009; 285). These forms of communication are used in a way that manipulates societal values and beliefs and will continue to influence the ways in which we think about things whether consciously or subconsciously (Kenix, 2010: 1). Not only does the media send out ideological messages to the public but media systems have also been intertwined into society’s ideological framework. This highlights the power of the media in shaping individuals values and beliefs within society. UNICEF’s campaigns are mainly in the form of mass media, radio programmes, posters, street plays and localised outreach (UNICEF, 2014: 1). Because of this, a wider range of support will be acquired. UNICEF is reaching out to a broader audience, which will generate a huge amount of support and funding that would not otherwise be available. Arguably, it is imperative that the media techniques being used in UNICEF’s communications strategy are effective in helping to shape ideological views on the rights of children. UNICEF is an advocate of children’s rights and so it is necessary for UNICEF to communicate how these rights are being violated and what protections need to be in place. This will help UNICEF to gain support and the message UNICEF is trying to put across will be better received by the public.

Communications Strategy

The communications strategy of UNICEF is vital in strengthening human development and avoiding missed opportunities. An ineffective communications strategy will generally yield poor results and stifle the development of UNICEF (UNDP, 2014: 1). UNICEF’s targeted audience will not receive the message that is being portrayed. This will prevent UNICEF from developing, which will impact its success.. Effective communications are important skills NGO’s need to survive and be successful (KDID, 2013: 28). To make an impact, UNICEF will thus be required to use effective means of communication to ensure that their views and opinions are heard. In doing so, they will most likely face a number of difficult challenges because of the fact that it has become increasingly difficult to deliver to society complex humanitarian crises. It is also difficult to explain to society who is involved in certain humanitarian crisis’ because of how widespread they generally are (ICRC, 2005: 673). A huge amount of NGO’s currently strive for media attention, thereby highlighting the need to have effective communication strategies in place (Thrall et al; 2014: 19). UNICEF must adopt a coherent and credible approach when conveying public communication so that its message can be heard. It has been said that in order to understand political communication, one must understand how consent is created (Denton and Kuypers, 2007: 1). UNICEF will thus be required to communicate messages in a way that allows consent to be obtained, which will need to be included within the communications strategy of UNICEF. A good communications strategy will help to certify good organisational branding and positioning, which will help to attract staff, donors and volunteers (KDID, 2013: 28).

Successful branding through media communications will put an NGO in a desirable position within the community, which will help to garner support and belief from the public. This will require NGO’s to be completely transparent so that the messages in which they are trying to put across can be clearly communicated (Thrall et al; 2014: 19). Unless UNICEF adopts a transparent and clear approach, it will be difficult to gain support and belief from the public (Lilleker, 2006: 4). Public support is, however, crucial to the implementation of change (Rabinowitz, 2013: 3). Without public support, it is doubtful that UNICEF would be as successful as they are. It is debatable what the best techniques for gaining public support are, though an effective communications strategy that takes into account UNICEF’s agenda and identifies points that will require persuasive communication will most likely prove successful. It is important that the communications strategy identifies the approaches and tools that are needed to make a particular event more effective. In developing a communications strategy, it first needs to be established what UNICEF is trying to achieve. Subsequently, it will then need to be considered what communications objectives will most likely support the objectives of the project (McManus, 1994: 58). The communications objectives of UNICEF will be those that are capable of being reached through various means of communications. Such objectives will also need a target audience. This will require UNICEF to consider who they are trying to reach. In reaching out to the target audience, UNICEF will need to develop appropriate messages which highlight the relevant issues; the actions that needs to be taken by the target audience; and the benefits of such action (KDID, 2013: 28). Once this has been done, UNICEF will then have to consider how these messages will be delivered. Different methods of communication will be considered depending upon the type of event that is being promoted such as; media conferences, social media, interviews, marketing, advertisements and news stories.

Given that UNICEF targets underdeveloped countries, it is likely that difficulties will be faced when considering the political objectives of various countries. Political communications are likely to vary from one country to another, which will create a number of problems. An effective communications strategy will seek to address these difficulties, though it will remain arguable whether they will prove sufficient in achieving certain objectives (Thrall et al; 2014: 19). In Africa, for example, the media seems to control those in power by reporting to citizens. Whilst this demands a degree of institutional independence from the political system, it has been said that there is actually a “clear interdependence between the media and political systems” (Windeck, 2014: 17). Information from political systems is usually exchanged for coverage in the media system and vice versa. The media consequently rely heavily on the supply of information from politics, whilst political bodies rely on the media to spread their messages and objectives (Windeck, 2014: 17). Political communication is an important tool in the political process, and will continue to influence politics. In effect, the political communications of certain countries will be driven by cultural and political factors, which may be difficult to overcome. Female genital mutilation is one area that UNICEF continues to campaign against, but is faced with many political objections from countries where FGM is prevalent; Asia, the Middle East and some parts of Africa (Gaber, 2007: 219). UNICEF are resultantly required to implement a strategy that is capable of strengthening the political commitment of governments.

UNICEF’s Communications Strategy

There are three components of communication that are used by UNICEF to garner support and funding. These are; advocacy, social mobilisation and behaviour change communication (UNICEF, 2008: 7). Advocacy is used to inform and motivate leadership so that a supportive environment can be created. This will allow the objectives and development goals of the program to be achieved. Social mobilisation seeks to engage support and participation from various institutions, social and religious groups, and community networks. It is intended that the development objectives of UNICEF will be maintained through the use of social mobilisation and that greater demand will be generated. Behaviour change communication involves face to face discussions with a number of individuals and groups to motivate, inform, plan and problem-solve. It is anticipated that by using this technique, the objectives of UNICEF can be met (UNICEF, 2008: 7). Various conceptual models are used by UNICEF to implement communication including ACADA, P-Process and COMBI. The ACADA (Assessment, Communication Analysis, Design, Action) model is frequently used by UNICEF to use systematically-gathered data to link communications strategies to development problems. The P-Process model, developed by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs (CCP), is used for the strategic planning of evidence based communication programmes and contains the following five steps; 1) analysis, 2) strategic design, 3) development and testing, 4) implementation and monitoring, and 5) evaluation and re-planning (UNICEF, 2008: 7).

The COMBI model uses a ten step process for communication planning, which are; 1) overall goal, 2) behavioural results/objectives, 3) situational market analysis, 4) results strategy, 5) plan of action, 6) management structure, 7) monitoring, 8) impact assessment, 9) scheduling, and 10) budget (UNICEF, 2008: 7). All three of these models seek to establish an effective communications strategy by analysing the different approaches that can be taken and considering the necessary steps needed. Analysis is integral to an effective communications strategy as it will enable any underlying issues to be identified and thereby dealt with accordingly. UNICEF undertakes a comprehensive analysis comprising of; the situation, the programme, the participants, the behaviours, and the communication channels (UNICEF, 2008: 7). The situation section describes the issues that are being addressed by UNICEF such as; child poverty, disease, malnutrition and trafficking. This is based upon data that has been collected from local knowledge, programme documents and research. The data highlights the underlying social and cultural issues by demonstrating what changes need to be made to social structures and practices. The programme section is designed to establish where the objectives of UNICEF can be achieved by communication. The participant section establishes what people are required to achieve UNICEF’s objectives. The behaviour section focuses on setting behavioural objectives and analysing the behaviours or practices that have been selected for change. Finally, the communication channels section considers the available communication channels that are applicable in achieving the objectives. Once the analysis has been completed, UNICEF will have identified the participants, behaviours and channels of communications that are needed to encourage audience participation and accomplish its goals (UNICEF, 2008: 7).

In order to ensure that the objectives of UNICEF are being met by changing the attitude and behaviour of individuals, knowledge alone will not be sufficient. Instead, a supportive environment will also need to be established (UNICEF, 2008: 37). Therefore, whilst the communications strategy of UNICEF will need to instil knowledge into the community so that support can be acquired, a supportive environment will also need to be created. This will involve creating policies that improve access to services and by using leaders that help to promote social and behaviour change amongst various members of society. Resources will also need to be allocated for the programme activities that are to be carried out and positive change will be effectuated by using a combination of communication techniques. UNICEF believes that communication goes way beyond providing information to the targeted audience and instead argue that communication is vital for development (Dijkzeul and Moke, 2005: 673). UNICEF has therefore set up a development programme, also known as C4D, which aims to engage communities through understanding people’s beliefs, values and social and cultural norms (Lenni and Tacchi, 2013: 16). This is achieved from listening to adults and children, identifying issues and working out solutions. This is considered a two way process that allows individuals to share knowledge and ideas through the use of various communication techniques that empower communities to take action in improving the lives of children (Lenni and Tacchi, 2013: 16). Advocacy is one technique UNICEF engages in its communications strategy, which is the “act of supporting a cause to produce a desired change” (Save the Children, 2014: 1). Advocacy is capable of influencing governments to effect change by communicating with the media, elected officials and influential leaders.

Advocacy is able to encourage leaders to implement various changes such as; legal reform, policy decisions, addressing social and political barriers, and altering funding priorities. Advocacy efforts being used by UNICEF occur at global, national and sub-level and seek to influence the decisions of policy makers as well as political and social leaders. This is done through the creation of an enabling policy and legislative environment and by allocating resources appropriately to create and sustain social transformation (UNICEF, 2011: 1). For example, in 2010 when polio resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there existed a lack of awareness of the disease and how it could be prevented. Influential leaders, such as Marco Kiabuta, did not believe that the vaccination of polio was necessary. After a number of debates with community mobilisers and leaders Kiabuta came to realise just how vital a vaccination was. This example demonstrates how effective communication techniques can make a huge difference in implementing change and possibly saving lives (UNICEF, 2011: 1). Advocacy is used by UNICEF to target political, business and social leaders at national and local levels. It is not used simply to create mass awareness but is also used as a means of generating change and leading to a specific action that is to be taken (UNICEF, 2010: 20). UNICEF uses advocacy to inform and motivate appropriate leaders to create a supportive environment by changing polices, speaking out on critical issues, allocating resources and initiating public discussion. Communication is a powerful tool, which is why it is important for various media techniques to be adopted by NGO’s such as UNICEF. Social mobilisation is another method of communication that is used by UNICEF to enlist participants, community networks, and religious groups to strengthen participation in various activities. This helps to engage and motivate partners and allies to raise awareness of UNICEF’s development objectives through face-to-face dialogue. Partners and allies subsequently work together to target audiences and convey certain messages. Social mobilisation is used as a way to facilitate change through a range of players that are engaged in interrelated and complementary efforts (UNICEF, 2012: 1). An example of this can be seen in relation to the training community health workers in Madagascar received from UNICEF. The health workers were trained to provide outreach to families on various issues including, hand washing, vaccinating children, and not defecating in the open (UNICEF, 2012: 1). This is clearly an effective communication technique that is used by UNICEF as it allows certain individuals to be trained up so that they can pass their knowledge onto others. This has a domino like effect and will enable the views of UNICEF to be conveyed to a wider audience than that which would have been possible through advertisements alone. Social mobilisation is therefore an effective way of spreading messages to targeted audiences and helping to achieve the objectives of UNICEF, which is to provide assistance to mothers and children in underdeveloped countries. Behaviour change communication is another method that is used to address knowledge, attitudes and practices that are linked to programme goals. This is done by providing participants with “relevant information and motivation through well-defined strategies, using an audience-appropriate mix of interpersonal, group and mass media channels and participatory methods” (UNICEF/INDA, 2012, 1). Behaviour change communication strategies focus on the individual to effect change. In order for behavioural changes to happen on a larger scale, social change communication needs to be employed. This technique helps to define and address social influences in life and is currently being employed by UNICEF through the Social Ecological Model framework” (UNICEF/INDA, 2012, 1). The media techniques that are currently being used by UNICEF do appear effective in helping to persuade audiences to provide support. The more UNICEF does to spread its message, the more successful UNICEF will be in achieving its aims.

The Meena Communication Initiative in South Asia gives an example of how mass media and interpersonal communication is used to enhance the self-esteem and self-worth of children by enabling them to become familiar with life skills that are essential empowerment tools. The programme is primarily school based and is centred around a nine-year old girl called Meena who seeks to fight against the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS (UNICEF/INDA, 2012, 1). A radio station called ‘Meena Radio’ was launched in 2010 to communicate with children, their parents, educators and community leaders. This provides an effective means of communication and provides a platform for UNICEF’s political beliefs to be heard. It is intended that the radio station’s audience will be persuaded to act so that the voices of children and communities can be heard through the power of communication. This helps to promote child survival, development, protection and participation (UNICEF, 2014: 1). It is clear that UNICEF uses a number of different media techniques in its communications strategy to achieve its objectives. Without the use of such techniques, the voices of children and communities would not be heard and UNICEF’s message would not be delivered to its intended audience. It has been said that UNICEF “raises considerable funds and carries out strong communication on its own through its national committees, press centre and media team” (Dijkzeul and Moke, 2005: 683). This signifies the importance of having an effective communications strategy is in place as it can generate a significant amount of funding that would not otherwise be available. UNICEF also uses high profile figures to be its ambassadors who have been considered a highly effective in persuading society (Stromback, 2011: 42).

Conclusion

Overall, an effective communication strategy in an important tool for helping governmental and non-governmental organisations communicate effectively to meet core objectives. Given that UNICEF relies on voluntary donations from members of the public, government departments, charitable trusts and event organisers, it is important that they are capable of successfully communicating their objectives. In doing so, they will be required to persuade or encourage their audiences to provide support or funding so that UNICEF’s end goals can be achieved. Given that UNICEF uses a number of different media techniques in its communications strategy, the approach that is currently being undertaken does appear workable. The media is a powerful tool in the art of persuasion, which is what UNICEF needs in order to survive. The use of media techniques will help to raise awareness of UNICEF’s objectives and obtain humanitarian assistance. It is unlikely that such assistance would be obtained without the use of various media techniques, which is why UNICEF’s communications strategy does appear largely effective.

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Free Essays

A critical review of literature on the importance of social media in branding

1.0 Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of both literature in social media and the intended research. It offers a platform that would enable the reader understand the need for this research and also provides a gist about recent developments both in the industry and in research circles with respect to social media branding.
The rapid development of technology and the reach of such technologies at affordable costs have revolutionized the way businesses operate. The World Wide Web and the Internet are being used by millions of people today. These technologies have led to a paradigm shift in the way communication happens and most business reputation and presence in a market is more driven by ‘social media’. (Tuten, 2008)
It can also be noted that the shift and focus on social media has been drastic and many businesses were caught off-guard. However, the use of social media has created opportunities for online marketers to be able to engage with customers that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to using traditional methods. This reach though has posed many challenges to businesses that started looking at social media like other traditional media like magazine or television thus causing more gaps rather than bringing them closer to the customers (Qualman, 2012). On the contrary it can be said that more and more retailers and business are becoming increasingly aware of the social media and are waiting to exploit the potential that social marketing offers (Olivas-lujan, 2013)

1.1 Background

Spend on social media by the businesses are on the rise. Recent study by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) shows that in the first half of 2014 in the UK alone, there has been a rise of 53% in the spend on social media by businesses with a total contribution of ?242.5 million (Somerville, 2014). Another study by IAB on FMGC sector consisting of more than 4500 survey responses and 800 interviews showed that 90% of the customers would use social media to refer the brands to peers, 4 in 5 customers would buy products that have good social media coverage and 83% would be willing to try products that are popular in social media (Anon, 2013).
Similarly, a research conducted by Mass Relevance that provides social media curation platform to clients found that 59% of the consumers will more likely trust a brand that has presence in the social media and 64% of the consumers interviewed have already made purchases based on social media presence and reviews (Chaney, 2012). Appendix 1 shows the social media advertising effects on consumers (Source: Neilsen Survey: Anon, 2012)

1.2 Motivation

From the above, it can be understood that social media has a profound impact on the consumers’ choice of brands and that it is key to engage effectively with customers. There is a lot of literature that discusses about the social media impact on consumers, why businesses should engage with customers, exploiting social media to provide value add etc. The main aim of this research is to look into various key researches in this area and to provide a critical review on the literature. The critical review aims to see if:
The problems are identified clearly
The literature provides a balanced view
There are gaps in the literature

1.3 Research Process

The success of the research is admittedly determined by measuring the extent to which each of the research objectives is met. The following steps are followed during this research to ensure its success. These steps are as follows:
Firstly, a background into the research and its motivations is given. Following this, the key literature in this area is thoroughly investigated. This is intended to ensure that all aspects of the research are identified and that the challenges or gaps in the current literature are clearly understood.
Next, the literature is critically analysed to see if the problems are identified and if it provides a balanced view of the topic. It also looks into the research methodology to see if the methods used are consistent with the qualitative and quantitative methods and also checks for what has not been provided.
Finally, this research concludes by providing a conclusion that is supported by evidence presented in the literature. It also makes recommendations where appropriate.
In summary, this chapter has provided a brief overview of the research, addressed the key challenges or gaps in the literature and justified the need to conduct this research. This chapter has also set the background and motivations for the research in order to enable the reader to better understand the subsequent chapters. The central question for the research has addressed here, and the reader now also understands the problem statements that have led to this research.

2.0 Literature Review

This research discusses about social media and its effect on branding and consumers. But what is social mediaThe term social media can be defined as “ Many online tools that allow people with similar interests to share information, learn from others, or network in an open process. The information found on these sites is commonly referred to as ‘user-generated content’, which means anyone is able to post with minimal restrictions or oversight.”(Wilson, 2010)
Drury (2007) discusses how marketers of various businesses can effectively engage in social media marketing. The paper gives a fairly comprehensive view on what social media is and the role of marketing in social media. It discusses about how social media can be monetised by the marketers. The paper lists out opportunities that can be tapped for commercial benefits and also emphasises on the mobile marketing strategy and describes the success criteria for measuring success. The paper however has the following drawbacks:
It is very much general and has no qualitative or quantitative measures to define the success criteria.
It gives a good overall picture but it would have been better if the context of the paper was more towards assessing the impact or the Return on Investment (ROI) of a specific sector or business. It lacks specific examples and also does not mention any strategy for implementation or even list challenges that organisations face while implementing good strategies for social media marketing.
Michaelidou et al (2011) in their research discuss about social media marketing’s impact on small and medium B2B brands. They discuss in detail the adaption of social media networking as a marketing platform to be able to achieve the brand objectives and also the perceptions around the barriers of using social marketing networks. The research paper makes use of email surveys to understand the usage of social media by small and medium scale businesses that operate in the UK and the main drivers that motivate SMEs to adapt to the new channel of marketing. It clearly states the motivation of the research, giving appropriate background to the research and the method used for the research is depicted concisely. The research analyses the findings from the email survey and discusses the methods used for analysis. It provides a broad range of information and also clearly identifies the shortcomings in the business implementation of social media networking practices. It discusses how these pitfalls can be overcome and provides details for further improvement areas and scope for additional research in the future. The drawbacks of the paper are:
Sample size: The sample size of the survey could have been more and also various other methods for obtaining the review could have been used. This would have ensured that the B2B base was thoroughly covered.
Focus: The focus is on B2B businesses alone. It would have been interesting to see the results if the research was extended to B2C as well for small and medium scale enterprises.
Some researches focus specifically on skills gap in digital marketing within specific industries. One such research concentrates on the communications industry (Royle and Laing, 2014). The research discusses the need for having the necessary skills in digital marketing arena and stresses on the growth and popularity of digital/social media marketing. The research explores the various gaps in the industry for digital marketing with a specific emphasis to communications sector and provides a best practice guide for the industry. It details the challenges that organisations face while implementing social media marketing and discusses the need to have evaluation criteria and metrics to critically analyse the success of social marketing strategies and campaigns within organisations. The paper talks about the key challenges that businesses face while trying to merge traditional marketing practices with that of social marketing. The rationale for the research is clearly mentioned and the literature review is comprehensive. The conceptual framework is clearly detailed and the methodology used for developing the framework is precise. The research makes use of focus groups and interviews to be able to gauge the skill gap in the industry. The drawbacks of this research are:
Limited sample size: The research could have used more samples to be able to analyse effectively the findings. Given that the research has already narrowed down by industry, it would have been good to get a more detailed view of the industry and a larger sample would have facilitated this.
A study by Harvard Business Review (Edelman, 2010) discusses how the internet and the social marketing has changed not only the way businesses operate but also how consumers choose their products. It takes the reader through the funnel metaphor which was earlier being used by marketers to understand how consumers choose their products and how this has moved to a more open-ended approach whereby consumers no longer follow a methodical approach of selecting products. It stresses how important it is for brands to be able to connect with the consumers and studied the consumers’ decisions across five different industries namely automobiles, skincare, insurance, mobile telecommunications and electronics in three different continents. Based on the results of the study, it proposed a four-stage model that focuses on today’s consumers using social media for advocating products and also purchasing based on the reviews and advocacy received. The research takes the reader through the entire customer journey and tells the businesses what it should not focus its energy and resources on. Providing statistical information about various surveys enables the businesses to identify the key areas that it should concentrate on to be able to build a good brand image online. Though the research is comprehensive it lacks in the following:
Framework: It does not suggest what needs to be done and a framework for implementing those. The key focus is on what not to be done and it leaves it to the businesses to work on the best strategy.
Sample size and analysis: The research does not disclose the sample size or indicate clearly the analysis method used to come to the conclusion.
This section worked on identifying key research in the literature and also provided a critical review of each of the researches identified.

3.0 Conclusion

Though there is a lot of literature on various aspects including but not limited to effects of social media on small and medium scale enterprises, identification of skill gaps in social media with specific emphasis to certain industries, general study on implementation challenges, perception of social media on businesses, barriers to adaptation of social media by businesses etc. it can be found that there is not much literature that specifically talks about a common framework for adapting to social media marketing along with the challenges that businesses might face and the evaluation criteria. Similarly while most of these researches make use of one or more methods for data collection, it is not very comprehensive. There is a gap in the current literature in terms of data collected from a wide range of sources using a bigger sample set. Given that technology has enabled a higher reach to customers, it would be good to get a larger sample to be able to effectively analyse the results. In many cases, the limitations of the research scope could be worked on to be able to get more information on the above mentioned areas. In short, it can be said that the social media marketing and the research around it are yet to attain the maturity level and there is a lot of scope for research that would aid businesses to effectively handle and manage social media marketing concerns and overcome challenges in a seamless and stress-free manner.

4.0 References

Tuten, 2008: Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 world, Greenwood publishing group.
Qualman, 2012: Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business, John Wiley & Sons
Livas-Lujan, 2013: Social Media in Strategic Marketing, Emerald Group publishing limited
Somerville, 2014: 18 Digital Marketing Trends you may not have heard about, The Fresh Egg blog accessed at: http://www.freshegg.co.uk/blog/18-digital-marketing-trends-for-2014
Anon, 2013: IAB Social Media Effectiveness Research, IAB UK accessed at: http://www.iabuk.net/research/library/iab-social-media-effectiveness-research
Chaney, 2012: Brands should use social media to engage consumers, amplify messages and promote trust, Digital intelligence today accessed at: http://digitalintelligencetoday.com/brands-should-use-social-media-to-engage-consumers-amplify-messages-and-promote-trust-survey-says/
Anon, 2012: State of the Media, The social media report, Neilsen
Wilson, 2010: Social Media and Small Business Marketing, University Business Printing and press, USA
Drury, 2007: Opinion Piece: Social Media: Should marketers engage and how can it be done effectively?, Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice
Michaelidou et al, 2011: Usage, Barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands, Elsevier
Royle and Liang, 2014: The digital marketing skills gap: Developing a digital marketer model for communication industries, Elsevier
Edelman, 2010: Branding in the digital age: You’re spending your money in all the wrong places, Harvard Business Review

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Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism

Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism

“The types of questions investigated in mass media research are virtually unlimited” (Roger and Dominick 2006:5). Going by Roger’s statement, it is practically impossible to limit mass media research subject areas. Given that a research work can never be perfect, hence, the limitations of a research open the scope for further research work in the subject area. Here we have collected a number of original dissertation topics in mass media and journalism. dissertation topics in mass media and journalism usually address several ongoing practices in the field of journalism.

However, it becomes difficult if the researcher focuses on a vast subject area for example the world cinema, which is a generalised topic and has no specific target. Hence, ideally it is suggested to narrow down the target and focus on a specific research question, which is a crucial part of research work. The biggest challenge in this field would be to get hold of participants and interviewees. Given media signifies a practical approach mainly rather than theoretical, hence, a media research depends a lot on whom we are interviewing which can range from a common man to a minister. The following ten categories are just some of the subjects that can be covered and not an exhaustive list.

1. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Journalism/ News – Dissertation examples

1.1 Representation of women journalists in the media. How are women journalists treated across the world and their limitations?

1.2 Newspaper readers pay unnecessarily for ads in which they are not interested, but newspapers can’t do without advertisements. Is there an alternative?

1.3 Night life and how it affects the youth in developed countries-a journalistic research. Night clubs, pubs, strip clubs, discotheques and its impact upon the teenage section of countries likeUSAandUK(You may refer to other countries as well).

1.4 Does the media industry follow Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda modelRefer to different countries and how they practise journalism.

1.5 Journalism and showbusiness: where does truth based and objective journalism stand today with the practice of infotainment based reporting worldwide?

1.6 Paparazzi, yellow journalism, and tabloidism- is this the future of journalism?

1.7 Political chaos in India. How would the current political turmoil in the UPA government affect its ties with neighbour countries?

1.8 A research of local media in Britain – choose a particular media and its representation of a particular community issue; what were the impacts for the local community?

2. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Film/Cinema – Dissertation examples

2.1 Bollywood and its profit margins. How Bollywood has changed India’s cultural economy?

2.2Hollywoodor Bollywood- which is biggerHow does the industry turnover contribute to the world market?

2.3 Is French cinema a national or global cinema?

2.4 South-East Asian films and other emerging film markets on the global arena. Threat to Hollywood?

2.5 YashRaj films and its overseas business over the years. Examine how the major Indian production houses like the YashRaj films have a hold worldwide?

2.6 What makes USA and UK the major business hub of Indian cinemaAn analysis of Indian global film market.

2.7 An examination of 3D technologies in cinema- its emergence and worldwide acceptance.

2.8 The music industry and its billion dollar profit. How does Pop, Rock, Classical, RnB, Bollywood music influence a nation’s economy?

2.9 How foreign collaborations and its competitive advantage proved beneficial for the film industry over the yearsFor example Slumdog Billionaire?

2.10 Indian cinema Vs Bollywood. Is Indian cinema not a part of Bollywood?

3.Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – International journalism – Dissertation examples

3.1 United Kingdom visa norms and its impact on the country’s economy. What can be the possible plans and strategies to cope with the massive monetary loss and tackle recession?

3.2 China has been the most efficient country in practising public diplomacy. Do you agree?

3.3 Globalisation and its impact upon the businesses of developing countries; specifically refer to India- a developing country facing economic slowdown but still a major player in the world market.

3.4 Stagnating economy of the United Kingdom. How can a developed country facing constant recession be safeguarded against the downfall of the nation?

3.5 Anti-Islam stance of the United States; even celebrities are not spared. The anti-Islam video has created fuss all over. How does this affect the image of Muslims in other countries?

3.6 How efficiently does the United Nations response to an emergency or crisis situation in any nation Examine how the UN practices propaganda, public diplomacy and psychological operations in controlling these situations.

3.7 Formation of media finally took shape during the Gulf War, the Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo conflictDo you agree?

3.8 Psychological operations and propaganda are crucial to Iraq and Afghanistan’s nation building process?

3.9How does war reporting and the role of a journalist affect in forming or destroying the image of any nation?

4. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Political and investigative reporting – Dissertation examples

4.1 Critically analyse the UPA government’s functioning ahead of the parliamentary election in India in 2014.

4.2 Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots and its impact on the future of India?

4.3 Corruption is synonymous with politics. Do you agree?

4.3 Power of America-what has made the USA the ultimate ruler?

4.4 Can there be any solution to Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq’s negative image worldwide(or any other country of your choice). Examine the role of mass media in fostering stereotypes and establishing images.

4.5 Politicians and political parties have lost their ideological drive. They are now driven by the goal of marketing/selling their ideas to the public. Do you agreeChoose a particular country.

4.6 Call centres are creating numerous jobs and helping the unemployed section of the society. This would be impossible without the assistance of media and journalists. Do you agreeSupport your answers with examples.

4.7 Creating adequate jobs and education system are still vague promises made by politicians in many countries. Probe into the realities of developing countries?

5. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Business journalism – Dissertation examples

5.1 Go Green- How would you go about promoting an online store for green leafy products/clothing to appeal for green revolution?

5.2Fashion portal- how does the world of fashion dominate business market todayAn analysis of business market of major countries.

5.3 Develop a social networking site and formulate ways to compete with popular sites such Facebook and Twitter.

5.4 Emergence of social networking sites and e-commerce. Examine how it changed the concept of business over the years?

5.5 3G countries and their contributions to the world economy. Analysing each of the countries growth rate and where it would stand by 2050. What are the implications?

6. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Developmental journalism – Dissertation examples

6.1 Dowry system and other dogmatic practices still prevalent in modern India. Examine media role in this issue and its implications upon development.

6.2 Primary education is still a distant dream for many countries. Research of the underdeveloped countries where the illiteracy rate is rising. Examine the role of media in tackling these issues.

6.3 Poverty, hunger, malnutrition still haunt the regions of Africa. What is the practical solutionHow can mass media contribute to alleviation of povertyExamine particular region/regions/countries in Africa.

6.4 Female Condoms-the latest discovery; discuss in-depth on how to go about promoting it. Discuss the risk factor of introducing it among the conservative societies.

6.5 Women molestation/rape is rampant now in India, are the officials listeningExamine the role of mass media in tackling the issue.

6.6 Is education/economic reform the way to transform a developing countryExamine the role of media in education promotion as a path to economic development.

7. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Media discourses – Dissertation examples

7.1. An examination of the role of media discourses in facilitating ethnic conflict. A case study / systematic review of the Bosnia Conflict.

7.2. The role of media in foreign policy: can mass media discourses influence foreign policy and why(The CNN effect).

8. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Online media – Dissertation examples

8.1 Can the web media revolution make the print media extinct?

8.2 Examine the role of social media in the Arab uprising. Was it the facilitator of peace or conflict?

9. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism – Animation – Dissertation examples

9.1 The film/advertising industry is incomplete with animation. Do you agree?

9.2 The world of cartoons and serious business. Analyse some of the cartoon giants and examine how they transformed a child’s play into billion dollar business.

9.3 The world of animation-both in theory and practise-you may also make a short animation film of your choice.

10. Dissertation Topics in Mass Media and Journalism Advertising /Public Relation/ Corporate communication/ Television production – Dissertation examples

10.1 Media and advertising: Can media exist without advertising?

10.2 Public Relation and journalism: Are public relation professionals more satisfied than journalists?

10.3 Even big production companies cannot do without the PR industry, put forward evidence to prove.

Tips

Journalism/mass media requires more of a practical approach and even if any topic is theoretical, it is better to conduct interviews, surveys or other practical tests to be on the safe side.

Harvard style of referencing applicable everywhere. Charts/ diagrams/ statistics add credit to the investigation. Some specific media sites like Media, Culture and Society and European Journal of Communication might be useful.

Don’t forget to check out our most popular dissertation examples in mass media and journalism Free Essay – our site Essay

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New media study

The emergence of highly advanced technologies resulted in new methods of communication, including visual and image-based communication, through which businesses and their respective target market interact. Thus, it is highly important to understand the underlying concepts and theories behind these emerging methods of communication and optimally utilize them. For this reason, I would like to take up New Media Studies in DePaul University. As an advertising graduate who currently specializes in creating designs for a marketing firm, the program can surely help me develop sophisticated conceptual designs and advance my career.

As I a native of South Korea, coming to the United States to study and establish a career has aided me in developing a profound understanding of diverse cultures and societies with this country’s multicultural population. Moreover, I was also able to obtain a deep grasp of the market and the media.

I took up advertising in the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago where I was able to acquire a basic understanding of the meanings behind images and designs and their impact on the public. This university also taught and honed my skills in producing conceptual designs. Thus, my academic background and experience serve as a solid foundation which would be really helpful when I become accepted to the New Media Studies program.

After graduation, I worked in CMO Graphics as prepress artist and helped the company create design solutions for its clients. After a few months, I started working for Point B Communications and contributed in providing marketing and advertising solutions for its various clients through brand-building. My experience with them has further enhanced my skills in graphic design, fine arts, and layout design. My working experiences have enlightened me about the true meaning of design. I believe that design is important to express the way an artist feels and turn this emotion and vision into an image or design.

Despite the diversity of knowledge and skills that I acquired through my academic and work experiences, I realized that there is still so much that I have to learn. For this reason, I decided to apply at DePaul University and take up Master of Arts in New Media Studies. Through the program, I would like to achieve this goal and objective: to learn and improve my skills in a variety of areas such as writing, digital design, and media-related studies.

One of my objectives that I would like to realize through the New Media Studies program is to improve my writing skills and learn how to change my writing style so that it can fit any category, whether it is for technical, professional, or creative purposes. It is also one of my objectives to further develop my abilities in creating digital media and design which I can use in making more advanced advertising design concepts. Learning more about media representation would also be advantageous for me as my work mostly deals with visual images and design. I believe that it is highly important to understand the public’s impression of these images and designs on the public so that I can produce design concepts that will have a positive impact on them.

I chose to study at DePaul University because it offers the New Media Studies courses exclusively at night to accommodate working adults such as myself. With the courses provided at night, I would be able to attend classes and focus on my studies without worries. The program is also flexible enough to teach me technicalities and advancement in the new media field. Hence, if I become accepted to this program, I look forward to the fresh new ideas that I will gain which I would definitely apply to my current job.

I also selected DePaul University because I believe that it can offer me the best academic experience and instill the knowledge and skills that I need through the New Media Studies program. With this university’s rich and wider resources, highly acclaimed professors, cultural and educational diversity, I would most certainly achieve personal and career growth. I believe that attending a school where diversity is present plays a large role in bridging cultural gaps and settling the differences. Through this, I would be able to further nurture my understanding of various different cultures. Furthermore, the New Media Studies program of the university can guarantee absolute learning experience and offer me the best career opportunities and help me attain success in my chosen field.