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Emma Clifford Media

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Creative Practice

Production Diary

November 2016

With my idea set in stone: An ad campaign aimed at disabled people getting a job or being employed in the media industry, I began more research into what kind of Ad campaign I was going to produce.

Idea’s for my ad campaign:

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I jotted down many ideas that I thought were relevant to today such as could I do a government campaign? Could I do an ad campaign based on an awards ceremony like the Oscars (due to the campaign of black actors, could I turn this around to disabled actors?) Could I do an ad campaign based for a magazine and include profile case studies and interviews? I thought about how successful each sort of campaign would be. I thought about whether people like to read ads or look at ads.

In order to make up my mind, I researched different types of online ad campaigns and different policies adopted by the government.

I looked at what the government was doing to get disabled people into employment. Here I learnt that more disabled jobseekers, cite employers’ attitudes (42%) as a barrier to work than transport difficulties (37%). This shows me that attitudes towards disabled people in today’s society are negative. Could this be because of Media representation or lack of understanding and knowledge. I also learnt that more than 25,000 disabled people have moved into jobs, training or work placements through the government’s package of employment support over the past two years and the government’s specialist disability employment scheme, Access to Work, helps more than 30,000 disabled employees and entrepreneurs get or stay in work each year. Research shows that around half (45%) of Access to Work customers would be out of work if they did not receive support through the scheme. This was helpful in looking at how the government are helping disabled people in today’s society. I also looked at ways in which different disabilities may need different communication.  There are so many different disabilities and each one may require different accessibility. This was helpful to me so I can include all disabilities in my ad campaign or at least consider all disabilities, such as:

  • visual impairments – audio, audio description, Braille, Moon, telephone
  • learning disabilities and literacy difficulties – audio, audio description, easy read, easy access, Makaton, subtitles
  • hearing – British Sign Language, Makaton, subtitling, textphone, SMS
  • co-ordination difficulties – large print, audio, audio description, telephone

I learnt how younger generations may benefit from text messages or social media campaigns rather than posters or leaflets. This research was very beneficial in giving me ideas for my campaign in regards to a clear, simple message thats easy to follow and accessible for all types of disabilities.

In order to relate my ad campaign to the film industry, I looked at the UK GREAT campaign.

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This campaign used  15 actors, writers, directors and producers to appear in the ads, from Bafta winner Olivia Colman to Oscar-nominated John Hurt, producer Tim Bevan and ‘Star Wars’ director George Lucas showing how celebrities have more of an impact on society than people we know. The campaign worked closely with government and industry bodies such as VisitBritain, DCMS, Bafta and the BFI. I liked how the ads were simple yet effective with the union Jack flag. The ads related well to the theme of Great Britain. The text was all in the British colours of Red, white and blue.  However, none of these ads feature  people with disabilities. To further research BFI, I looked at 2011’s report on how film contributes to the culture of the UK. The report highlighted that films affect culture and give people an insight into different culture and backgrounds and are able to teach us about different traditions and religion. It also stated how high percentage of audiences were affected by what they saw in films implying disability and poverty etc and how perceptions are changed. However there was no direct mention on how film affects the disability culture or how we can change people’s perceptions of disability in film.

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Diagrams from the BFI 2011 Report proving how a high percentage, agree films make you think about issues that don’t affect them and how films give an insight into other people’s lives but these findings don’t reflect any change on the representation of disability in society.

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What is really interesting with this report states that society want to see different representations of culture and society yet films about disability are rarely seen and even fewer films feature disabled actors.

Comedy is one of the most watched genres showing that comedy is a great way for people to learn about different things but also comedy acts as icebreaker in tackling the barriers non disabled people when it comes to talking to a disabled person. To research this further I looked at SCOPE’S ‘End the Awkward’ campaign.  Being comedic does not necessarily mean using a subject such as disability and offending the disabled community for comedic value. Removing the fear is the biggest step towards educating members of society about accepting disability and I hope my campaign helps to do this too.

A couple of examples I really liked for the ‘End the Awkward’ campaign were ‘what not to do in a job interview’ and H.I.D.E.

I looked at Channel 4 and how they are focusing on disability as part of their charter. This is good because they are encouraging disabled people to get into work within the media industry and in doing so, getting disability talked about within the work place and the media industry. Channel 4 recognise there is lack of representation for disabled people. Further to the work channel 4 are doing with disabled people, I looked at ad campaigns for the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.

What I like about these ads is the text that goes with them. It is comedic but not in a pitiful kind of way. It draws the audience in. It makes you want to watch the games to see if they will indeed win or fail. The ads have very minimal information on, just a logo and some text but they are very effective in getting the message across. Channel 4 have stuck with the superhuman theme to represent disabled people. However some disabled people find this insulting as highlighted here from primary research I got.

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I will have to be careful in my ad campaign that I don’t offend anybody.

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Likewise, I like these ads for the Canadian Paralympics. They are simple yet effective and the text highlights everything that needs to be said. The text makes the audience think about disability and makes you think about your opinions.

In order to research ads of a comedic value I researched US Campaign ‘Think Beyond the Label’ I think it was important to look at disability campaigns across the world as each country has different cultural and social attitudes towards disability. I had already found the ‘Hollywood’ doesn’t favour physical disabilities in its films so it was interesting to look at employment.

I really liked the comedic value of these ads. Somehow using comedy takes you away from the stigma that disabilities are bad and evil and shouldn’t be talked about. The black and white images mixed with colourful information works really well together. I like how these ads are set in the workplace and have not used disabilities in a literal form but rather made comedic disabilities such as ‘Pattern deficient’ or ‘Rhythm Impaired’ Being about to laugh about a disability somehow makes it much more easier to talk about and even though disabilities are mentioned literally, the viewer is still able to relate them. The information the ads provide are very informative and useful. These ads were not aimed at the media industry but it gave me some great ideas on how I could incorporate the media industry into my ads rather than the office!

Other comedic ads I found included this one:

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Again I like the message this one gives off, crossing out the Dis and highlighting the able. The image is very eye catching as there is a disabled woman, with a body different to what is perceived as a models body covering most of the ad. She is made to look sexy and promiscuous which is not what culture and society perceive of disabled people. For my critical studies essay I researched how culture and society had trouble accepting that disabled people could enjoy social activities such as sex and becoming parents and this model is both. Similar to most of the ads I have looked at, all the subjects are placed in front of a white background. All the viewer needs to focus on is the subject in the ad and nothing in the background.

I also looked at another US  campaign promoting access for voters with disabilities depicting physically disabled individuals with the slogan “He/She has issues.” While this is the first thing to catch the viewer’s eye, upon closer look these “issues” are revealed to be things like the environment, immigration, women’s rights, and the economy. These ads play on stereotypes and hint at prejudices surrounding the disabled by showing disability in a normative way – one man is in a wheelchair, another walks with a cane, and one woman has a guide dog. At first glance, the viewer may think the “issue” is the person’s disability, when the purpose of the ad is to say “Yes, I’m disabled, but this is not my only issue, and may not be an issue for me at all. My disability should not inhibit my rights.” The ad raises awareness of the challenges faced by disabled individuals but also reminds us that the label “disabled” is just that. Campaigns like this one, as Dean Spade points out, work in concert with the disability rights movement, which “is about pointing out that disabled people are capable of equal participation in, but are currently barred from participating equally by artificial conditions that privilege one type of body or mind and exclude others.” While these ads give off a good message, I find them to be quite depressing and dull. The dark background and sad faces of the subjects give me the impression that this is how society view them, as stereotypical ‘sad’ people who have nothing to live for.

In order to end my research, I also looked at Scope’s previous ads   and Channel 4’s Malteaser ad, to look at how disability is perceived in moving image ads rather than print ads incase I decided to expand my ad campaign to moving image ads also. This was useful as I was able to look at interactions of actors and the story the ads were telling. If my campaign was to expand, it could be shown on social media sites and places such as cinemas to reach a wider audience.

Looking at all of these ad campaigns have given me some good ideas on how I want to present my campaign. Hashtags have become a way for people and brands to create conversations, to interact with friends, and to promote their products to massive amounts of new users. This is why I am calling my project #IAMABLED so it can be interactive on social media sites as well as in poster form. The hash tag is very positive and something everyone can relate to disabled or not. Many big brands have benefited from successful hash tags in the past to advertise their brands or products.

The next step I took was to look at leaflets and text. I googled text font in ad campaigns to look at different and creative ways of using text.screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-18-26-32screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-18-26-51screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-18-27-22screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-18-27-38

All of these ads worked with well crafted typography that has the power to capture attention, instill emotion and reinforce the brand message. However it is not the type of font I want to use for my project. These fonts are too visually exciting whereas I want simple font that gets the message across. There is no need for my font to be exciting as it may take the viewer away from what’s really important on my ad which is the disability. I found that many designs had two fonts,  one headline font and one body font. This could be a combination of two font weights, color variations or two entirely different fonts. I found that:

  • Fonts must be easy to read
  • Display faces are designed specifically to be used in large formats, such as in headlines
  • Text or body faces are designed specifically to be used in large areas of copy and are meant for longer passages of reading.
  • Contrast is achieved by the use of space and color. Dark text on a pale background is favorably for blogs and books because it provides the viewer a better reading experience for longer blocks of text. Colored type should be reserved for headlines and display text.
  • Using the same typeface makes it easier for customers to recognize your brand.

I also searched different types of leaflets to get an idea of layouts and designs and which ones I thought were effective.

I really liked the design of the two leaflets above. The first is colourful and bold and straight to the point. Its eye catching and I think this type of leaflet would appeal to society today. It seems fun and easy to read. It uses all the same fonts on every leaflet so you know it belongs to the same brand and although every leaflet is about something different, the use of one bold colour and a shape gives identity to the brand so the audience know who it belongs to. The second leaflet is much ‘busier’. There is a lot of information on there. What i liked most about this leaflet was the way in which the typography is used. Using two different colours to spell out a word within a word, in this case ‘One audition’  and ‘I Rise’. The use of triangles give that rising to the top effect as they look like mountains. All of this iconography, reflects the dance school and makes the leaflet easy to understand if you share the concepts of this school or enjoy dance. The title  text is all in capitals highlighting the importance. I could use the second leaflet as inspiration for my leaflets  by using a different coloured font to spell out another word within the word DISABLED.

A leaflet I didn’t like was:

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I thought it was very bland and stereotypical of a work training brand. It doesn’t make me want to read it and I associate it with an older, managerial audience even though it is aimed at students. This type of leaflet would not appeal to my audience at all. The use of the shapes and colours do not entice you and do not give a good impression of what future career prospects may be.

I also went out and gathered some leaflets from public places to look at the layout.

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The leaflet above is set in a similar way to what I want to do with mine. Its a simple design. The front has a simple design, is colourful enough to catch attention and theres not too much info to read. The back is full of information such as websites and logos and the middle lies the relevant information of the subject. Its easy to read, on a clear background and easy to follow. Theres no energetic text or anything that draws the eye away form what’s in the leaflet.

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The other leaflet I look at that I  liked was a leaflet aimed at a disability. This was useful in showing me the sorts of information i should include. The language in this leaflet is much more complex, but that is because it is dealing with a disability so there are many medical related terms. The inside is full of interesting and helpful information but like the other it is easy to read and follow. The back is again, filled with contact information, websites and an hashtag so people can interact on social media. Also similar to the first lifter, subheadings are of a different colour to the main body text so the questions you want to ask are highlighted. As this is a charity leaflet, there is also information about what the charity does to help. This is also useful to me as I can include information on different organisations within the media industry that help disabled employers such as SAG (Screen Actors Guild that deal with actors rights across the USA)

From all the research I gathered, I was able to draw up a project proposal which can be found in the creative practice tab menu.

December 2016

To coincide with my schedule on my proposal, I booked out equipment for the first days shoot on 09/12/16 and also booked for the second day shoot on 13/12/16.

I had confirmation of a total of 6 actors coming in and all had been given times to arrive. 4 were coming in oscann 09/12/16 and the remaining two on 13/12/16. I had managed to get all the props I needed from my prop list other than a megaphone but this wasn’t a big deal as I did get a clapperboard for my director’s shot. I was a little worried with how I was going to get a shot that represented an editor, as although I had a MAC and a trolley, I wasn’t sure if the props I had gotten for my ‘partially sighted’ actor would be obvious enough in the shot or for the audience. Due to unavailable studio time as studio’s were fully booked, I was unable to do a rehearsal shoot to prepare. I had permission release forms all printed out ready to be signed by my actors and I made sure my assistant knew not to touch the hot bulbs on the lights when we were in the studio so she wouldn’t get burnt. I was starting to feel a little reluctant about shooting on a white background and wondered if I should change to green screen so I could add in my own backgrounds as I was starting to worry the props I had got, which were very minimal, wouldn’t be enough to give the impression that the actors were working in the media industry. I decided that I would shoot each actor on a white background and on a green background and decide in the editing process which I preferred.

09/12/16

The first days shoot was scheduled for 9am – 1pm. My first actor was coming at 10am so me and my assistant got all the props together and took them up to the studio. I sorted the props out into piles of which I would use today and which ones could be left until the next shoot on the 13th. I was able to set up the lighting  and camera independently, however I did get a little help with the light meter to ensure I wasn’t over exposed!  I spent a good 15 minutes taking test shots of my assistant during set up as I changed lighting frequency and camera position to fit in with the wheelchair prop. I set the camera (Canon 60D) up on a tether cable so I was able to view my shots straight away on screen rather than waiting until I had downloaded them from the SD card. This was great as it meant I could re-shoot straight away if I needed to and stopped time wasting of my actors and also meant I could do a bit of editing there and then to soften images or change the contrast etc in Adobe lightroom as I was there with the actor so could see if it was the look I wanted. Overall the shoot went very well. The background was nicely lit and not over exposed. The props worked fantastic. The white background worked so much better than I imagined it would so there was no need to take the shots using green screen as well.The actors all arrived prompt and were happy with their shots. I got the release forms signed and got all the shots I wanted.  When it came to changing the camera position due to the wheelchair being used, I was able to set it up quickly and accordingly and didn’t keep my subjects waiting around.

Above: Setting and testing the exposure by changing the frequency of the lights.  

Here’s all my shots from today’s shoot.

13/12/16

This shoot didn’t go as expected. Firstly, due to unforeseen circumstances, I only had the studio for an hour and half, and my last two subjects didn’t show which meant I had to go and find two volunteers. The downside to this was it took up valuable shooting time.  This taught me that I need to book out studios and equipment and do photoshoots well before the deadline as if I had started my shoot two weeks before, I would have had plenty of time to rearrange. As I was panicking as I was short of time I just couldn’t get the lighting set up the same as I had it on the first day shoot so the background looked more grey than white. However I got the shots I needed and will see what I can do in regards to the colour in editing.

Here’s all my shots from today’s shoot:

I wasn’t quite sure what would work best for my actor, standing up or sitting down, so i did both. In the end I decided that my actor would be an amputee and this worked much better stood up and the tag line for the ad worked better too.

Overall, I thought the two day shoot went well. I learnt a lot about equipment and getting the right shot. I worked with new equipment such as umbrella lights, light meters and air remotes. I can confidently set up the equipment needed in the studio and adjust lighting so its closer to the floor or high above the subject.  Other than the adjustments I could have made to the shoot schedule, I feel like I stuck to my schedule well.  I set out to expand on my knowledge of photography and learn new skills and I have done just that. I learnt how to create a composite shot and created an ad campaign all in two months. I am pleased with my progress.

The 7 images I decided on were:

Now I had all of my shots, I could begin the editing process. Using Adobe Lightroom, I used the adjustment brush to lighten my background and make it white rather than grey.

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This was a quick and simple way to highlight the white background. I have never used Adobe Lightroom before so this was a simple task that was quick. I did this process to all of my images. Clicking the soft proofing box I was able to see where the highlighter was needed as the areas I had not touched showed up in grey. This helped me a lot and saved me a lot of time, as when I transferred this images onto photoshop I didn’t have to readjust my background.

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Once I was happy with the backgrounds of all 7 of my images, I transferred the files to photoshop. I Changed the resolution to 300 as I wanted the best print quality I could and the size was 12cm x 16cm. I also put the background in Horizontal. As my backgrounds were sorted on Lightroom, all I had to do was input my text and logos. I decided to use Helvetica bold font as Helvetica is one of the most recognizable typefaces in the world. I thought it was expressive enough for my ads. I also used red font. This was because red is bold, energetic and lively and that  symbolises strength, confidence and power which I wanted for my ads. I used a HD BFI logo from google. However I couldn’t get a HD logo of the DDA (Disability discrimination Act) so used another one which again wasn’t HD and unless small became pixelated.

I really like how my posters turned out. They were simple yet effective. I included the campaigns hashtag and kept the same typography, colour and layout throughout each ad so they had consistency and the audience will know they belong to the same campaign.

When doing the leaflets I kept to the colour scheme of red. However this time I changed the font to Century Gothic to change it a little. I kept the same designs and the tag lines so my leaflets will be recognisable. My leaflets didn’t work out the way I wanted as I have no experience with the software, indesign and couldn’t fathom it out so I did them on Word, which means they are a little basic. I would have liked to have play around with the text and create something more visual but Word doesn’t allow that. I think the celebrity interviews work well with the leaflets and I think they would be successful. The great thing about my idea is, it can be expanded and rolled out into other creative industries and not just the film industry.

In order to test the theory of hash tags and how successful they could be, I posted my hash tag #IAMABLED on Twitter and Facebook to see the reaction it got.

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Although it wasn’t a huge success right now, it did attract comments and likes showing me that hashtags are indeed a good way to interact. Social Media is relevant to today’s culture and society and will mean my campaign can reach a whole new audience and even go worldwide.

Semiotics & Symbolism

This lecture was about Semiotics, symbolism and Allegory. Before this lecture I knew about semiotics and symbolism in films as I had previously studied it, however I had no knowledge of the term Allegory. I learnt that allegory is a form of extended metaphor with underlying meanings that have moral, social, religious or political significance. An allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. E.g. The Statue of Liberty is a statue in its physical form but has other meanings such as liberty, freedom and welcoming.

We were told to go away and look at Plato and his film Allegory of the cave to get an understanding of philosophy and his film with two different meanings. After further research I learnt that the film has a narrator that describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them, and give names to these shadows.The shadows are the prisoners’ reality. The narrator explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not reality at all, for he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the manufactured reality that is the shadows seen by the prisoners. The inmates of this place do not even desire to leave their prison; for they know no better life. Watching this film gave me a better understanding of allegory.

03/10/2016

Today we had a visit from a photographer Sacha Ferrier, whose work is showered with symbolism. The focus of Sacha’s work is grief. In particular the human desire – perhaps, imperative – to search for some kind of relief or explanation, often beyond the seemingly rational or intelligible. Sacha is great at using metaphor’s in his work, so his work shows you something but makes you think its something else. Sacha bases his work on David Bailly  self portrait. The idea is his paintings are meant to be read from left to right and the symbolism is the painting starts at youth and as you progress right, the symbols change to death. This can clearly be shown on the painting below.

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Left – Youth                                                 Right – Death

Sacha’s work is very similar to that of Bailly in that the images can be read from left to right and are filled with hidden symbols.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-18-04-07Pronken 111 – 2014 – Sacha Ferrier.

I learnt from Sacha’s visit that not all painting’s and symbols are culturally understandable. If people don’t share the same concepts and understandings then they don’t share the same understandings.

The signified is the concept or the meaning, indicated by the signifier. It may not be a ‘real object. The thing signified is created in the perceiver and is internal to them, going back to different cultures having different meanings attached to the same objects. Such as the word Sick. To most it is a negative word, a disgusting word but in todays youth sick means awesome, amazing! Whilst we share concepts, we do so via signifiers. Colour is often used to signify certain things especially in films and photography such as the film 6th sense, it is very dark and red signifying the afterlife. The Godfather has an orange tinge to it which is a sign of immediate danger.

The sixth sense  1999                                   The Godfather 1972

 

To further our knowledge in the signifier and the signified, we looked at colours and what they signify to us.

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After doing some work on colour and what colour signifies we then went onto looking at images to see what signs and symbols we could find, or least what they were meant to represent. We looked at a 2004 print from a Stellar Artois Ad.

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We also looked at Storm Thorgerson painting – First floor from 1993.

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And looked at Phillip Lorca Dicocia photo of ‘Eddie Anderson, 21 years old, Houston Texas, $20 – 1991.

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Looking at all of these images made me look at images different to try and construct a meaning. It showed me that every sign has a different meaning but unless we share the same concepts, we wouldn’t have the same understanding of signs. It was a very educational lesson looking at different signs and meanings and looking at if the meanings and understandings we took from the image were those intended by the photographer/artist.

The last task this lecture on symbolism involved was us getting into groups and taking photographs showing symbolism. Each of us were to be the ‘photographer’ and find ways of showing meaning and symbolism in the photo’s  we took. The letter I was given was ‘O’ and the word I had was ‘time’. I tried to look for unusual ways to photograph a letter ‘O’ and so photographed a light. By changing the aperture and ISO I was abled to create a letter O that I thought was quite symbolic. For time I just photographed a watch. The idea was for time to be stood still but I am not sure it gave off the full meaning I wanted it to. Other letters our group had was ‘J’, hence the photo of a smile, we thought showing joy was a good way to symbolise the letter ‘J’. This task made us really think about meaning and how to create meaning in images.

o    passing-of-time                                    The letter ‘O’                                                  The passing of time

j                                                                                                         The letter ‘J’

After looking more into symbolism and semiotics I don’t think this is an area I want to base my critical studies essay on. Although linking signs and semiotics to disability could be very interesting,  I feel I would enjoy looking at censorship or representation more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Representation Lecture.

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19/09/2016.

In todays lecture we learnt about one of the topics we could further our knowledge on in order to construct a critical essay. Today we learnt about ‘Representation’.

Representation is an area I have experience in as back in first year, I studied the ‘representation of women in Horror films’ and so have already gained a lot of knowledge on what representation is.

Representation is an area I enjoyed studying as it is a complex issue and changes as culture and society changes so is always relatable to today’s culture and society. Representation is one of the areas I am looking to base my critical essay on to further my knowledge and understanding of a different subject in representation.

Here’s what I learnt (or was reminded of!) in todays lecture:

  • Representation connects meaning and language to culture.
  • Representation is an essential part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of a culture.
  • Representation involves the use of language, of signs and images which stand for or represent society.
  • Representation is a mediated process – Encoders and practitioners act as gatekeepers or filters. This means that we are always seeing someone else’s version of a particular subject and should remember we may not be seeing the reality of a situation. Things are usually added or left out purposefully so the message of the encoder is the one the audience receive.
  • Everything in the Media is constructed.
  • Representation takes many forms, such as radio segments, newspaper articles, photographs, film and television.
  • Media representation may seem realistic but remember it is constructed!
  • For representation to be meaningful to audiences, there needs to be a shared recognition of people, situation, ideas etc.
  • All representations have ideologies (hidden messages) behind them. ‘Certain paradigms are encoded into texts and others are left out in order to give a preferred representation’ – Levi Strauss 1958
  • Representation is how stereotypes are constructed.
  • Representation can also be influential to gender/ethnicity/class etc.

I know from past experience that one of the textbooks that will help me further my knowledge and understanding of representation if I choose to pursue this area is Stuart Hall’s Representation book.  

I have already decided the topic I am going to focus on is disability. This is an area that I believe is poorly represented in the media at present and is a subject that is becoming more widely talked about. As it is an issue that affects me personally, I know I will enjoy researching this matter more. An idea I could expand on using this area of study is:

The representation of disability in the media.

Further research material from todays lecture can be found here: ideology  orientalism

 

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