Mobile media

Reuters report states that mobile is becoming the no.1 device for news, and that it has risen from 2012-2016. The report states that social media hasn’t overtaken TV and online, but that it is rising at a steady pace which could infer it will eventually overtake TV and online ways of gathering news.

Report also states that majority of news consumers dominantly relies on traditional media outlets to stay informed, traditional news brands tend to do well in the mobile media. There is a tendency to stick to trusted brand materials. 

Video formats:

Youtube = full screen, Instagram = square, Twitter can be either or depending on if video was resized from being reposted. Also phone length portrait screen sizes becoming more popular on Twitter. 

Twitter content:
Politics, 37% 
Lifestyle and celebrities 27%
Health and education 17% 

Raw news videos 23%

Facebook:

Health and education 23%
Lifestyle and celebs 18%
Politics 15%
Business 18%

About 65% of Facebook videos are explanatory videos, videos with text and music playing over content. 

Instagram

Lifestyle and celebrities 26%
Politics 24%
Art and culture 18%

Tend to be testimonies or gifs. 

Youtube
Politics 20%
Health and education 20%
Business 20%

About 50% of YouTube is documentaries and long-form videos. 

Video publishing tends to decline towards the weekend on all platforms. 

Harvey Weinstein: A drop in the ocean or the beginning of a hopeful reform?

If you’ve been active online this past week you’ll have seen hundreds of damning articles about the now disgraced sexual predator and movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein. The allegations span a great range of time and severity, from dressing gown encounters in hotel rooms to claims of actual rape – they go back decades, right up to 2015. Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevigne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd are a few out of several names to come forward, with the latest woman to tell her story being Sophie Dix, who starred in The Advocate. Actor Colin Firth has expressed his regret in not taking the matter further when she confided in him about the horrific ordeal she endured, which ended in Weinstein masturbating outside a bathroom window Dix was hiding in. The originally damning and now infamous article was first published by the New York Times on October 5th, and is responsible for what is now a chain reaction of women finding the confidence to speak about the horror they endured in an exchange to keep their careers. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that thrives in all major industries, particularly entertainment. Rich white men who have never seen oppression other than in the films they produce, allowing their substandard, female subordinates to have a prosperous career in Hollywood so long as they salute to every unwanted sexual advance. This is completely and utterly unacceptable – there is no argument to be had, no other side worth hearing – only the side of the victims.

The current Tsunami of allegations begs the question as to why Weinstein’s perverse advances have been a topic rarely addressed. Nearly all of Weinstein’s victims received settlement payments to remain silent, but unfortunately there have been men free from bribery with the power to bring this to light much sooner than now, who have conveniently chosen not to – and with much less at stake. Ben Affleck and Seth Macfarlane are two massive Hollywood figures that you may have up until now viewed as a couple of the good guys. Rose Mcgowan, one of the first victims to come forward in the Weinstein scandal, sent out a tweet on October 10/17 which implies that Affleck was made aware of her encounter and chose to play dumb to the press when the scandal gained momentum. ”  “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie. ” 

The most unsettling element of this is that Twitter almost instantly shut down Mcgowans account, citing her tweet that said “Fuck you @BenAffleck” violated the community guidelines. This is something that should scare the hell out of us, as it is not to be taken lightly that a woman is silenced for speaking out about sexual assault in any circumstances, let alone a supposedly censorship free platform removing the voice of an actress of such reputation. Another frightening development is this leading to Affleck himself being denounced by actress Hilarie Burton, and being made to publicly apologise to her on Wednesday for groping her breast on an appearance on MTV’s Total Request Live back in 2003. 

I look at Ben Affleck’s example objectively, and for me, he shares the same category as Weinstein. He may not have carried out anything as depraved or as sinister as Weinstein, but silence equals complacency, and if you aren’t actively working to dissemble a problem like sexual harassment then you’re part of the issue. Seth Macfarlane has since apologised for the resurfaced video footage of a joke he makes at a 2013 Oscars event, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” he says, gaining laughter from the crowd. His comment basically means that since you five are nominees for best supporting actress, you no longer have to fear the end of your careers, or pretend to enjoy giving naked massages and blowjobs to an obese pensioner with a wife and five children. Basically, they’ve made it, and are free to develop their careers without the affirmation of more important men. Macfarlane has since said his comment came from a place of “loathing and anger” but this is questionable considering he slept on the matter for 4 years, and has only just decided to publicly care. 

My issue is not with people who have their entire careers on the line when faced with coming forward, I completely sympathise with the graveness of being presented with a situation that involves confronting one of the most powerful men in your industry. Colin Firth had more to lose in 1990 than Macfarlane in 2013 and Affleck in 2017, and what I cannot accept, is the silence of men equally as powerful. Affleck and Macfarlane have both apologised for being mute, one even had to apologise for sexually assaulting a woman himself. But what does this mean for women? How is it that Macfarlane can poke fun at Weinstein’s behaviour at an Oscars press event in front of hundreds, but cannot condemn or issue a statement of solidarity about something seemingly everyone in the industry knew about, gauged by the laughter received at his joke? 

I have seen such a positive response so far on social media, but one more thing I must address is male incapacity when it comes to tweeting something other than “this happened to someones mother, someones wife.” Yes, these victims are wives, mothers and daughters. But they are humans first and foremost, and only being able to care about female victims when presented with the roles they play in the patriarchy is unhealthy, and in 2017, unrealistic. We should care about them because they are humans who have suffered trauma at the hands of a sexual predator. Ben Affleck said “We need to do better at protecting our friends, sisters, co-workers and daughters.” Let’s protect women because they make up more than half of the population, less than 5% of film directors, 11% of writers and 19% of producers in the top 100 grossing films. We are a deeply underrepresented group of human beings, and we need people to care about us and take us seriously not only when our sexuality is of attractive benefit to men, or when our sexuality provides you with children and a family. We need to remind each other that our voices are equally as important as the voices of the privileged white men surrounding us, who will never ever know what it is like to spend a day of their lives oppressed. 

Filter bubbles and echo chambers

Since humans are naturally inclined to surround themselves with people whose opinions and ideas they themselves share, a problem is presented when we move our social lives online. There is a widely held belief that the friends we have on Facebook and Twitter don’t accurately represent the average popular opinion, thus splitting users into “echo chambers” where our thoughts and political opinions echo, reverberating onto our timelines and back into our minds. The filter bubble theory is similar, however explicitly refers to the issues surrounding search engine algorithms altering our search results based on previous searches, changing what could be unbiased to something biased that reflects previous searches. 

This topic has never as of yet been properly researched, and the brief studies conducted have been limited to Twitter or Facebook. There is also a consensus among rational thinkers that this is slightly blown out of proportion and exaggerated, a view I myself hold. In an article written by William H. Dutton for The Conversation, a study is conducted on search and politics across seven nations, and this paranoia is generally found to be overstated.

Politically-minded folk who are interested in the opinions of others, along with the internet savvy, have higher chances of feeding themselves a broader spectrum of information than polar opposite individuals. This also in my opinion depends on the kind of person you are – narrow minded people with the inability to listen to other ideas at a dinner table will obviously not want the same for their Facebook feed. Why should we be concerned about the type of information these people are exposed to? The theories assume that everybody on the internet is actually seeking to be more informed. There are many small-minded folk sat happy in filter bubbles and echo chambers, so let’s stop worrying about what they’re ingesting online. 

The changing landscape of digital journalism

Digital developments impact almost every aspect of journalism, from the way we read and distribute information to the way we type it out for our readership. It frightens some, and excites others – but we should be far from scared. 

Technological advances mean that almost every drop of information is at our fingertips. Platforms like Quora and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube all encourage us to be sharers of information, be it a short story or a selfie. We have the power to Google what we like, to pull up a Wikipedia article in seconds. But with the advantage of immediacy comes the ability to plagiarise quickly, distractions from notifications on the devices we’re reading on, and the inability of distinguishing between genuine news platforms like the BBC, and satirical media platforms such as The Onion. Sharing false news stories accidentally, and falling for fake twitter accounts is a massive issue in the digital world, however slip-ups teach us how to be vigilant in what we’re reading. Competition between news companies has always existed, but it now exists tenfold with the swipe of a finger – I personally see none of this as being problematic, as everything most move forward. We adapt and evolve, and we’ll learn to filter the real news from the false, and fierce competition I hope will inspire quality writing that stands on it’s own. 

Copeland park salvage sale is an overpriced hipster vortex

This weekend Peckham’s salvage yard sale took place in Copeland park. The rain was absent and the food vendors in full swing, there was even a giant uterus displayed proudly on a wall inside the Bussey building, constructed from coloured icing. 

Everything on sale was pre-loved and quirky – Beautiful faux furs, vintage Levi’s jackets and extravagant spinny chairs that looked like Wes Anderson props, all going for triple the amount any person with a functioning brain would hope to pay. “Come hunt for personal treasures, rummage for bargains,” Is what’s advertised on the event’s Skiddle page, but the only thing I found for less than £10 was a weird Abba looking shirt with cigarette burns on the cuffs. Intentional? Fashion? Who knows. 

The crowd seemed uptight in a way you would never find at the same event 300 miles North. Pretentious women who couldn’t look up from their phones to answer questions about what they were selling, weird obnoxious guys flogging cameras with minimal smiling and interaction with potential buyers. I found it all a little odd, but the behaviour matched their astronomical prices and although I found an incredible suede and sheepskin jacket for £90, I bagged an almost identical one on Ebay whilst sat eating a burger. Good food is always worth it, and the saving grace of the entire day was my beef burger from The Nines, a bar restaurant bang in the middle of Copeland Park hubbub. 

Notes

Headlines, depending on the publication..

  • Set out basics
  • Grab attention
  • Make a point
  • Raise a laugh

Hard news:

  • 6-8 words, basic facts
  • Present tense verbs/none at all
  • An adjective helps

Features/Reviews:

  • The headline can intrigue
  • Stand-first or opening sentence can explain
  • Let your mind wander

Too short and punchy can be confusing. Make sure puns are clear. 

Artist Antony Gormley exhibits “Inside” at the Southbank Centre

Renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley displays his provocative and heart rending Inside exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre, from September 21 2017 until November 15 2017.  The exhibition looks at the often ignored prison statistics, and the lasting effects of incarceration long after rehabilitation. Admission is free for this gripping and gruelling display of public art, selected from over 7,000 pieces of music, writing, paintings and poetry entered into the 2017 Koestler awards. 

Gormley’s Inside demands the attention and interaction of the viewer from entrance. There are headsets on walls and several of the sombre paintings are visual interpretations of the chaos of mental health behind bars. The voices of those reciting poetry are bleak and bona fide, an indication of why the event is recommended for over 16’s for its “distressing content”.

Speaking to an employee who wished to remain anonymous, he gave me an insight as to how different this exhibition was in comparison to Gormley’s display only a year earlier. “It’s really lacking the colour we saw with him last year, and it’s something I prefer to look at with art.” A seemingly critical response, perhaps referencing some of Gormley’s brighter work like his Angel of the North sculpture that overlooks Gateshead in the North East.