Children and the media , do they mix ?

The debate on media and children is a tricky situation to discuss, there so many issues and concerns that typical fall around the idea of children and the media. Those being the concerns of the representation of children in the media which can cause ‘moral panic’ in today society including:

  • -The alleged sexualisation of children in the media
  • -The commercial exploitation of children
  • -Sexuality and the media
  • -Art and pornography
  • -And just the normal debates about childhood.

In this blog post I will be focusing on the issues of “moral panic” the idea that children are being represented in the media in the forms of sexualisation and raising the question whether the media is to be blamed for children losing the innocence of childhood? Today children have access to all sorts of media and technology, which is beneficial for commercialism, which is getting the blame for the loss and corruption of childhood innocence (Thierer 2010). Thierer (2010) explains that as commercialism increases and as more children see adverts, TV shows and magazine children are seen as ‘fair game’ for marketers. Research suggests that an average of 250,000 American children and adolescents are at risk of commercial exploration each year stated by Estes and winter 2001 (cited in Bang &Baker & carpinteri & Hasselt 2014,p.1).

But what of sexulisation of children, do you think that society is taking this to far?

“Sexualisation of children is typically understood to mean that children are depicted or treated as sexual objects or that sexuality is being inappropriately imposed on children through media, marketing or products directed at them that encourages them to act in adult sexual ways” (Commissioner for children and young people, 2012). In the UK it is stated by Commissioner for children and young people (2012) that there are guidelines that marketer and the media have to follow including that children should be shown in natural poses in a childlike environment, these guidelines also make it clear that images on clothing marketed to children must be age appropriate and that sexually suggestive, derogative or demanding slogans must not be featured. But what do you think? Do you agree with the above guidelines should children just be shown as children. For me I must agree, children these day are being exploited and encourage to buy, think and even dress in more of an adult way, to produce a certain image or representation to their market. According to The Sydney Morning Herald (Reist, 2012) children are absorbing distorted messages about their bodies, sexuality and gender roles because of the advertising standards “its been called the adultification of children, where sexualizing messages combine with the commercialization of childhood to constrict the childhood years”(Reist, 2012) For example sexualized adverts that target children.

Here are few example or sexualized adverts:

This advertisement of Dakota Fanning was banned to be published for being depicted as “sexualizing children”. By the provocative placement of the perfume bottle and the age of the model. But even the heading: Oh Lola! Seems to be adding to the whole sexualisation of this image. What do you think? Is society going over the top with this image? Or do you agree that the advert for marc Jacobs perfume is indeed playing with the idea of sex sells.


Here is another image of a young girl who is being sexualized in an advert. She is Cleary seen dressed in an sexy adult dress, the fact that they chose to show her sitting in this position exposing the cut in the dress which shows off her thighs and legs, is partially seen with adult model poses. But should a child be depicted in this way? Or should we be trying to make them look more like normal children, innocent?

As Always, all the best



  1. Reist , MT 2012, ‘Sex sells , but we’re selling out our children’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9th April, viewed 15th April 2015,
  1. Commissioner for Children and young people 2012, issue paper Sexualisation of children, Commissioner for children and young people Western Australia, viewed 15th April 2015,
  1. Thierer, A 2010, Kids, Media,Commercialism and Moral Panic, The technology liberation front, weblog post , 7th June ,viewed 15th April 2015, <>.
  2. Bang, Brandy; Baker, Paige L.; Carpinteri, Alexis; Van Hasselt, Vincent B. 2013, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, e-book, accessed 15 April 2015, <;.

How can a You-Tuber who is well-known celebrity be part of the public sphere

How can a You-Tuber who is well-known celebrity be part of the public sphere? Can they create debate in a mediated public sphere?

But what exactly is the public sphere? According to Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory, Buchanan (2010, p.392) describes the term public sphere was a concept depicted by Jurgen Habernas (1951) a term “for any realm of social life in which public opinion can be formed”(Buchanan 2010,p.392). He furthers this by explaining that the public sphere comes into being when citizens can express their own opinions on general or public topics in which can create “critical debate”, where access is granted to all citizens.

Knowing the definition we can establish how the public sphere is highly mediated in today society, because of the many ways in which the media can provoke debate not just in one public sphere but many (Turnball, 2015). Certain media text such as newspapers, Advertising, radio news and the Internet are just some examples of a mediated public sphere.

The Internet plays a huge role in the media, as it is a place where information can be accessed quickly but also is a great example of a public sphere where discussion and communication take place. Social media give a new meaning to the theory of public sphere it allows more people to participate, discuss and evaluate information they receive on mediated sites. “There are bloggers and Facebook activists who enthusiastically engage in online activism” ( Fulya Sen 2012, p.490).

Through the well known celebrity Russell Brand who is the author of a website and a YouTube account called trews. He expresses his concerns and his own ideas about today society focusing on topics such as the media and politics. Though what makes his website a public sphere is that Brand encourages discussion on the topic he arises in his videos, where comments are left by his viewers sparking debate and expressing their views and even replying to the comments that are left.

 “With controversy comes questions and Brand deals with this by having a separate video where he reads out viewer comments and answers them in his own unique style. As the show has developed, Brand has started to introduce professionals who bring their expertise along with them and help to create a more reliable and substantial show.” (Souter-phillips, 2014)

But does he contribute to the debate in a mediated public sphere?

I believe he does, from his videos to website, Russell Brand has managed to provoke many debates on his public sphere. Even The Guardian newspaper Has written about Russell brand videos in particular to the topic of “Are Refugee Australia’s and our Collective responsibility?” With references to Rupert Murdoch.

He raises his own questions and uses quotes from news articles; TV shows to create debate about the issue at hand. Thus creating a spark for fellow comments and interaction.

A response to the video:

A viewer called kitty Thatcher (2015) has responded to the video of Russell brand on “Are Refugee Australia’s and our Collective responsibility?” This video demonstrates to us how Russell brand is contributing to the idea of a mediated public sphere. By creating discussion and de boning the lies that may be web if we were only just to read one analysis from a mediated sphere for example a newspaper.

Reference list

  1. Buchanan, I 2010, ‘Public sphere’, Dictionary of Critical Theory, vol. 1, Oxford university press, New York
  4. Ideas sourced by: Turnbull, S 2015, ‘Media myth busting: Big Brother is watching you’, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delivered 31st March 2015

As always all the best ,

Chelsea x

Lets talk Media talk …

Lets talk Media talk …

Does it matter who ‘owns’ the media?  Does it make a difference? The media is a huge vast system but who actually owns the media in Australia?

Before looking at this topic I knew I didn’t know the answer to the question above but after researching the topic its hard not to care and here why!

There are several Key corporate owners in Australia who have a massive influence over our media outlets. These being the names of 1.Bruce Gordon who controls the regional television network WIN TV, which according to SBS (Goncalves, 2013) informs us that the network reaches more “than 5 million people across Australia” 2.Rupert Murdoch (a name you must of heard before) who owns most capital city newspapers,  owning 23% of the newspaper in Australia According to SBS (The Conversation, 2013) 3. Gina Rinehart shareholder in Fairfax, channel 10 and the mining industries 4.Kerry stokes who has a key stake through channel 7 5. Lachlan Murdoch who is majority shareholder in Nova, channel 10 and Fair Fax. 6. James Packer a significant shareholder in channel 10, Consolidated Media and recently Foxtel According to SBS (Goncalves, 2013).

Knowing all we do about these key players in our media do you think it matters who owns them? Does it make a difference?

 This is a troubling discussion, as you need to understand what implications can happen when people like above do control and own our media. By studying media ownership we can understand how these key players can control our media, which more then often can, became biases in the information they send us. According to Doyle (2002, p.13) one of the main dangers to concentration of media ownership is that they can have a political influence on our viewpoints or our values by  dominant media owners. They can contest to our ideologies, which is usually causes ideological conflict (Turnbull, 2015).By using our ideologies they can control us in a certain way. They can create their own ideas about society serving the interest of those in power. In this way the media can become such a powerful tool. They can usually do this by using the idea of propaganda. “Which is a form of persuasion used to influence people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours”(Manzaria & Bruck, 2014), this can been evident In the recent election for government, where propaganda was used. You may not have realised it but they did play some part in the way you chose to vote, by using TV commercials to sway the way you think about them and their competition. “Propaganda is so powerful because everyone is susceptible to it” (Manzaria & Bruck, 2014)


A good case study example when looking at ownership control is Rupert Murdoch . He has been known to use his newspaper and social media to promote and favor a political party, the liberals. Using the front page of The Daily telegraph to declare  that (Flew & Goldsmith, 2013) “Finally you have a chance to kick this Mob out”. SBS (Flew & Goldsmith 2013) goes on to mention that News Crop sells 17.3 million papers a week , that means he is reaching 17.3 million of us with his views and beliefs . You can even look at the phone hacking scandal of 2011 (Turnbull, 2015) with the buying of  the police and the PMs Thatcher. This is such a scary thought that the media can control people that we elect and trusted. This case study gives us a great example of just how powerful the media can be and still is to this day.

So does it matter who owns the media and does it make a difference? I would have to say plainly that yes it does, the media is one powerful tool and even if we don’t want to admit it they do control vast amount of things in our lives, even if it just changes one way we think about a certain issue in society. But what do you think? Does it matter who owns our media and does it make a difference to your life?

Here is a few videos you might be interested in watching 

As always, all the best



  1. Doyle, G 2002, Media Ownership: The Economics and Politics of Convergence and Concentration in the UK and European Media, SAGE Publications Ltd. (UK), London, GBR.
  2. Flew, T & Goldsmith, B 2013, Comment: Does Murdoch own 70 % of newspapers in Australia?, SBS, viewed 30th March 2015, <>
  3.  Flew, T & Goldsmith, B 2013, Rupert Murdoch – The Daily Telegraph, image, SBS, viewed 30th March 2015, < >
    1. Flew, T & Goldsmith, B 2013, Rupert Murdoch – twitter, image, SBS, viewed 30th March 2015,;
    1. Goncalves, R 2013, Factbox: Who owns what in the Australian media, SBS, viewed 30th March 2015,
    1. Manzaria, J & Bruck, J 2014, Media’s Use of propaganda to persuade people’s Attitude, beliefs and Behaviors, Ethics of development in global environment, viewed 30th March 2015,
    1. Turnbull, S 2015, ‘media myth busting: information just wants to be free’, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delivered 24th March 2015



Understanding the media myth busting “the image cannot lie” – looking at the signs

When studying images we tend to look at what the image is saying or representing. But how do we read a complex sign? . This is where the theory of semiotics takes place, the science of signs. By understanding this theory, we can break down what an image or the representation of an image is trying to illustrate. We look at three main points:
The sign – anything that contains meaning
The signifier – things that give meaning
The signified – what is evoked in the mind.
By understanding these principles we can depict a meaning of the image, though the more information you get about the image the more the image changes out of context as you tend to relate the images and the signs to something you previously already known. Though the same image might not mean the same to someone else, Roland bathes goes on to mention this in is famous essay about semiotics ‘the mythologies’. He states that one person can read an image differently cause of their own understanding and knowledge on the topic compared to someone else who might have different information, they see things differently. So what does this have to do with the media? Well advertisers use connotations to make their own interpretation, use their shared knowledge, Myths and ideologies, to enable a image to represent an idea. Though how a person interprets these sign differently can depend on their based ideological position.

Alright so this post was meant to be about me having a go at looking at a complex image and discussing the dentation and the connation. So ill get back to tack:
My image chosen is an advertising campaign used for Dettol hand sanitizer

emily stank , 2012 , Dettol – whose hands are you holding  , Advertising  poster , wordpress

The Signifier: Are the public bus and the hanging hands

The Signified: Is the feeling the image creates, a sense of Grossness and filth
So looking at the dentation we know that this lady is the main focus of this add she appears to be on a public bus, cause there is people present in the background, but what we notice is that their isn’t any rope handles but instead is replaced by human hands. But what does this all mean? (The Connotation) this idea of germs is what may come to our minds.
We require on our pervious knowledge to interpret this ad. Though the signified message or the denotation is more clear when we read the words down the bottom of the image. This can also be example how we can depict the meaning of an image as we gather more information. That it is representing the brand Dettol hand sanitizer, in fighting germs.
Though could you read this image in more than one way?
That depends, if we where to just look at the image and not the writing below. I guess you could gather another interpretation based on your pervious knowledge of the sign. But in this case it’s hard to gather two meanings.

references :

ideas sourced by : Turnbull, S 2015, ‘Re-thinking the role of media’, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delivered 10 March 2015.

Lets play the Blaming Game

Lets play the Blaming Game

What are the current anxieties about the media? In today society with on going supply of new technologies the media world has been expanding itself. Though this does not come without it’s own issues and concerns. There are current anxieties that have arisen because of the media involving topics such as, bad human behavior, health problems, anti- social behavior, consumerism and cyber bullying. But should we blame the media or should we be partly blaming ourselves? Think about it aren’t we the ones who chose to do the “good” or the “bad”, shouldn’t we also gain some of the blame? , As humans we ought to know what’s right and wrong by now. Yes the media has effect on us in what we chose to believe and not believe in our society. But with every new media form they bring their own positive and negative effect on society. Take the example of fashion magazine covers, they have been huge concern for the wellbeing of young females in they way they look at their body image, thus bringing new anxieties to their audience. Should this be blamed on the media? If we are chosen to look at a magazine cover over a period of time particularly a female that the media represents as beautiful, our society will start believing and having self-doubts about themselves, in that aspect I think the media is to be blamed .But we all know this topic to be a very sensitive subject in our society.

Another anxiety concern that has been mentioned throughout society and the media is the effect the media has on human Behavior. For example the idea of Children watching television shows or video games, which demonstrate violence. Is the child going to pick up on this bad behavior? Not necessarily. Its our job as humans to know the right and wrong in our behavior, yes the media or video games might display violence but it is us who chose to act on our decision and emotions. If the child is taught this from an earlier age, maybe we wont be so concerned. Though looking at the negative effect it can have on a child, maybe over the time they will become familiar with the behavior and will not see the difference anymore. Maybe in that case the media is to blame?

Is the media to be blamed for our health issues? Though we can easily blame it on the media for encouraging us to watch TV shows and just to lounge around which is making us lazy, its just as easily to blame it on ourselves. For aren’t we the ones who know the facts about health related problems, but yet we continue to not change our daily lives, or limit ourselves on how much time we spend using such devices instead of doing regular exercise that our body needs. Finally is anti-social behavior and cyber bullying an effect caused by the media? This is an on going anxiety concern as social media and new technologies are taking over our society. Are they to be blamed for our behavior? Or again is this a behavior we chose to display? Maybe it’s a bit of both; we have a new system that we have never had before a new object of desire, a different way of communicating to each other that can easily be translated wrong, from the sender to the receiver. So who is to blame the media or ourselves? Or is it just easier to blame our recent anxieties on the media then to find the real cause.


Ideas sourced by : Turnbull, S 2015, ‘Re-thinking the role of media’, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delivered 10 March 2015.


Introducing myself to the world of BCM110 , week one

Howdy there I’m chelsea and it nice to be typing to you !
How to introduce myself ?, well lets see . i think dot points are in order

– Im 19 years old.
– Born overseas in the nation called South Africa . Though i was considered a citizen of United Kingdom and held on to this identity until recently two years ago i became an Australian , which was due to me attending uni . so now I’m a true blue.
– i succeeded in buying a dog over break , the beautiful skye.
– I try to be organised but we all know thats not my strong suit.
– wishes she can wear pj’s to uni everyday but knows she shouldn’t.
– I’m a second year student who recently just got accepted into studying a double degree , why i chose to do this to myself who knows. But its all very exciting stuff. So my official title I’m studying is a Bachelor of Creative Arts (graphic design) and a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies.
– extremely passionate about photography , Art and history.
– For an art student , I’m a horrible drawer .
– im afraid of christmas beetles
– If i where to add up how many hours I’m on the internet it would be close to at least 12 + hours.
– im a expert day napper
– you will probably catch me hailing for a 3rd person for free car pool , don’t deny it you have tried it , or you will . desperate time calls for desperate measures.
– i live for coffee

So thats me , until next week BCM110
signing off … Chelsea 🙂