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This years new big TV show October 28, 2009

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It’s not often that we recommend a film or TV show for you to watch, but a new American musical comedy drama has recently caught our eye for a number of reasons.

‘Glee’ has been created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan and is currently airing on the Fox network in the states whereby its receiving very high ratings and is also dominating the itunes chart with weekly releases of the songs performed in the show.

So why would we dare to recommend a TV show filled with singing and dancing in the vein of High School Musical? Well, for one it’s very popular in the states, and as media students it would be useful to see how a show like this goes international over the next few months.

In addition, the show is a hybrid genre, and currently there’s nothing like it on TV. There’s issues of cross media convergence as the show builds on its popularity by releasing tracks through itunes on a weekly basis. As it’s also broadcast on the Fox network (which is owned by News Corp), keep an eye out for some coverage in The Sun when the show eventually makes it over to British shores.

Finally, the diversity of the cast provide no end of comment in the issue of representation. If you get a chance to watch it, consider the different ethnic groups involved in the club and how they’re subsequently treated.

Check out the youtube link below and if you can catch it on any streaming site, feel free to post your thoughts.



Some material from this weeks Advertising lesson October 20, 2009

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As so many of you missed todays session, below I the PowerPoint as well as some examples of the ASA’s adjudications.

Advertising regulation

ASA Case 1

ASA Case 2

ASA Case 3

ASA Case 4

ASA Case 5

ASA Case 6

Just one example of why the Daily Mail sucks October 16, 2009

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As I’m sure you’re all aware, I can’t stand the Daily Mail. And by the time you take your exam, you won’t either. Take this story about the “troubling” circumstances surrounding Stephen Gately’s death, whereby the writer begins to speculate that the lifestyle of gay men have more or less contributed to his death. The key quote is this one:

“Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one.”

We’re bordering on libel here folks – the writer fails to provide any kind of evidence which could back up the above quote. In addition, she then begins to rant on about the gay lifestyle, indirectly suggesting that had Gately not indulged in the hedonistic acts of the gay culture, then he wouldn’t be dead.

One wonders if, when faced with evidence (i.e. a post mortem examination which clearly states that Gately died from acute pulmonary oedema which is a build-up of fluid on his lungs), that writers for the Mail are that stupid that they feel it appropriate to then continue speculating and at the same time shove their clearly homophobic views down peoples throats. Great stuff for contemporary media regulation.

The Sun gives us an early election result October 2, 2009

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One of the biggest political stories of the year this one – The Sun newspaper has declared it is no longer supporting the Labour party and is now following the Conservatives (read the Guardian’s coverage here).

So what? I hear you cry. Folks, this is a huge deal which demonstrates just how influential newspapers can be. Let’s take a look at the past few elections. In 1992, on voting day, The Sun ran the following front page:


One could argue that this kind of propoganda hadn’t been seen since World War II, and the effect that it had on its reader meant that Labour did indeed lose an election that everybody thought they would win. So confident of their influence, the following day The Sun published this infamous cover:


Personally, I think it was the warning about what Page 3 might look like under a Labour government wot won it, but I digress. Fast forward five years to the 1997 general election and The Sun announces it’s switching its support to Labour, following an unparralled spin campaign from Labour. We were even treated to shots of Tony Blair playing his guitar and smooching with the likes of the Gallagher brothers. That’s right folks, Tony was hip, hot and happening, and a prime candidate for winning. And a win they did indeed achieve – landslide victory at that.

The more cynical amongst us would argue that The Sun switches over its allegiance the moment they realise who is going to win the election. Back in 1997, the Conservatives had been destroyed by years of Maggie Thatcher, and a replacement leader who had the charisma of a gnat. Unsurprising then that they were going to lose. In 2009 the roles are reversed, Gordon Brown stands little chance of lifting Labour out of the mess they’ve got themselves into, and The Sun is fully aware of this.

What does this say about audience effects? Are people who read The Sun unable to think for themselves? Should a newspaper be allowed to discuss its political leanings? Discuss folks, you will be using this story in your exam.

Moral panics PowerPoint October 2, 2009

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A2’s this is the PowerPoint from this weeks News lesson – News – tabloids and moral panics