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Backgrounder: Media Censorship in China

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Backgrounder: Media Censorship in China
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

The Chinese government has long kept tight reins on both traditional and new media to avoid potential subversion of its authority. Its tactics often entail strict media controls using monitoring systems and firewalls, shuttering publications or websites, and jailing dissident journalists, bloggers, and activists. The severity of media censorship grabbed headlines in early January 2013 when Southern Weekly, a liberal-leaning paper based in Guangzhou, staged a week-long confrontation with the government after local propaganda authorities rewrote a front-page pro-reform editorial. Google’s battle with the Chinese government over Internet censorship in China, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s awarding of the 2010 Peace Prize to jailed Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, have also increased international attention to media censorship in the country. At the same time, the country’s burgeoning economy has allowed for greater diversity in China’s media coverage, and experts say the growing Chinese demand for information is testing the regime’s control.

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U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014

October 23, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014 (PDF)
Source: Adobe

Key Insights

New record for total online video consumption

  • 38.2 billion−Online video (free access) achieves a record number of videos watched, up 43% year-overyear (YOY) to 38.2 billion.
  • Smartphones overtake tablets−Device preference swings back toward smartphones, with share of access via phones up 59%. (Q2 ‘13 versus Q2 ’14)
  • 25.8% ad growth−Ad growth follows as viewers now watch more than two ads per video start, a 25.8% growth YOY. (Q2 ‘13 through Q2 ’14)

Online TV growth accelerates in 2014

  • 388% YOY growth for online TV video consumption
  • 85% unique visitor growth−2014 has seen a surge in monthly unique viewership growing 85% over the past six months, up 146% YOY.

Political Polarization & Media Habits

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Political Polarization & Media Habits
Source: Pew Research Journalism Project

When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014
Source: Nielsen

Fall is here, and the falling temperatures remind us that the holidays are fast approaching! So what are topping people’s wish lists this year? For gamers, it depends on the device.

“Destiny” recently took the gaming world by storm when it was released last month, and now it tops the list of the most coveted games on the PS4. Meanwhile, perennial crowd-pleaser “Call of Duty” holds the top spot for Xbox One with “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and “The Sims 4,” the new entry to one of the biggest franchises of PC gaming in recent years, tops the list for computer gamers. The two new versions of Nintendo’s popular fighting franchise “Super Smash Bros.” top the lists for Wii U and 3DS. Finally, the building block empire of “Minecraft” tops the list of titles for Vita.

The No. 1 coveted games illustrate a trend we see among the top 10 anticipated games across devices: People like what they know. Apart from “Destiny,” the only other new properties in the top 10 for any of the six platforms examined were “Watch Dogs,” the fifth most anticipated title on Wii U (the title released earlier this year for PCs and PS and Xbox platforms, but is releasing in November for Wii U), and “Freedom Wars,” the sixth most coveted title on Vita. Even “Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed” (the third most wanted Vita game) is technically a sequel, though the original title released only in Japan.

Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVES:
To assess desensitization in parents’ repeated exposure to violence and sex in movies.

METHODS:
A national US sample of 1000 parents living with at least 1 target child in 1 of 3 age groups (6 to 17 years old) viewed a random sequence of 3 pairs of short scenes with either violent or sexual content from popular movies that were unrestricted to youth audiences (rated PG-13 or unrated) or restricted to those under age 17 years without adult supervision (rated R). Parents indicated the minimum age they would consider appropriate to view each film. Predictors included order of presentation, parent and child characteristics, and parent movie viewing history.

RESULTS:
As exposure to successive clips progressed, parents supported younger ages of appropriate exposure, starting at age 16.9 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.8 to 17.0) for violence and age 17.2 years (95% CI, 17.0 to 17.4) for sex, and declining to age 13.9 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.1) for violence and 14.0 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.3) for sex. Parents also reported increasing willingness to allow their target child to view the movies as exposures progressed. Desensitization was observed across parent and child characteristics, violence toward both human and non-human victims, and movie rating. Those who frequently watched movies were more readily desensitized to violence.

CONCLUSIONS:
Parents become desensitized to both violence and sex in movies, which may contribute to the increasing acceptance of both types of content by both parents and the raters employed by the film industry.

Hat tip: PW

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media (PDF)
Source: Michigan Technological University (Keranen)

Posttraumatic stress and PTSD are becoming familiar terms to refer to what we often call the invisible wounds of war, yet these are recent additions to a popular discourse in which images of and ideas about combat-affected veterans have long circulated. A legacy of ideas about combat veterans and war trauma thus intersects with more recent clinical information about PTSD to become part of a discourse of visual media that has defined and continues to redefine veteran for popular audiences.

In this dissertation I examine realist combat veteran representations in selected films and other visual media from three periods: during and after World Wars I and II (James Allen from I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Fred Derry and Al Stephenson from The Best Years of Our Lives); after the Vietnam War (Michael from The Deer Hunter, Eriksson from Casualties of War), and post 9/11 (Will James from The Hurt Locker, a collection of veterans from Wartorn: 1861-2010.) Employing a theoretical framework informed by visual media studies, Barthes’ concept of myth, and Foucault’s concept ofdiscursive unity, I analyze how these veteran representations are endowed with PTSD symptom-like behaviors and responses that seem reasonable and natural within the narrative arc. I contend that veteran myths appear through each veteran representation as the narrative develops and resolves. I argue that these veteran myths are many and varied but that they crystallize in a dominant veteran discourse, a discursive unity that I term veteranness. I further argue that veteranness entangles discrete categories such as veteran, combat veteran, and PTSD with veteran myths, often tying dominant discourse about combat-related PTSD to outdated or outmoded notions that significantly affect our attitudes about and treatment of veterans.

A basic premise of my research is that unless and until we learn about the lasting effects of the trauma inherent to combat, we hinder our ability to fulfill our responsibilities to war veterans. A society that limits its understanding of posttraumatic stress, PTSD and post-war experiences of actual veterans affected by war trauma to veteranness or veteran myths risks normalizing or naturalizing an unexamined set of sociocultural expectations of all veterans, rendering them voice-less, invisible, and, ultimately disposable.

UK — Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014
Source: Ofcom

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as detailed information about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The report is a reference for industry, stakeholders and consumers. It also provides context to the work Ofcom undertakes in furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.

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