Images speak to us. Not verbally, but through style, content, the worlds they construct, and the issues they raise.
The author or producer does not have full control of what message is conveyed. We bring our own experiences and associations to the images that the producer did not expect. Meaning can be totally different given the context or setting that the message is received in.
These are important things to think about, in respect to you audience, when producing content:
Age, gender, region, and cultural identity are examples of other possible factors.
Images are important to how we all construct our Ideologies. This is a process called Interpellation. This is important because it stresses how visually representing all aspects of life is essential in content production.
Hegemony vs Counter-hegemony
Ways to understand media:
Meaning is a message decoded from the content by the reader or viewer that is a direct result of the combination of what the author intended and the culture and ideology of the decoder.
Start before you even know who you are.
So, I got a ticket this morning. As a cadet I spend most mornings at the PAC doing PT. When the morning’s physical training concludes, it is common practice for everyone to go to breakfast. As a student that lives off campus, I drive to school every day and park in the only place permitted (for non-seniors) – the chapel lots. The walk from these lots to the dinning hall are pretty time consuming. So, if you’re in my position, you drive and park in the only available spaces near the dinning hall. This section is only listed as 30 minute parking. If I want to eat breakfast with my friends, it takes more than 30 minutes. Never the less I have been ticketed several times, some warranted and others (this morning) not. Thus, I have recently become inspired and more attuned to the problems with parking here at Furman. This issue applies to everyone. The lack of empathy for students among the ranks of the parking staff – as well as the parking situation in general – are issues that need to be addressed.
The Good: There are a lot of parking lots across campus in a wide variety of locations.
The Bad: Parking times are a maximum of 30 minutes next to dinning areas (Tone and DH). South Housing parking overflows every year. The University oversells permits for these lots, which forces many residents to park in the chapel lot. There is a lot right next to “SOHO” that is vacant year round due to it being closed to student access. The chapel lot is almost at capacity during class hours. Parking is enforced with zero grace extended. Non-time restricted lots are far away from the Trone Student Center and the dinning hall.
The Effects: (note that these are the opinions of myself and a few friends) It discourages students from eating on campus. Furman students begin to resent members of the police force. Inefficient use of lots results in almost max capacity parking
The conspiracy: Some students have voiced the concern that the Furman police officers collect a commission on tickets. A year ago a figure in the hundreds of thousands circulated through the student body. The theory is that Furman uses unfair parking policies to exploit money out of students. There is little evidence that I have seen that could hint at this being true.
While this conspiracy may not exactly have merit, it does reveal a sentiment of the driving population here at Furman. A proportion of the student nobody is unhappy with the way things are done. If you own a car while at Furman, avoiding getting a ticket is something you have to consciously think about every time you chose to get in your car. Furman’s current parking and enforcement policy seems to be inefficient and overly strict. It does not seem to be focused on serving the students. Solutions could range from easy to difficult, but any change would be welcome. On the easy side, the school could lengthen parking limits and increase parking access near dinning areas. While this would be a challenging and expensive idea, I believe a parking garage would do the university a lot of good as well. I know this post is not directly related to cars but it is something that effects every driver on campus.
I know this post is not directly related to cars but it is something that every driver should consider because it effects every driver on campus.
The growth of the the internet and the subsequent decline of print media has changed the way we get our news. Greater accessibility and more specialized content providers have made the internet the easiest way for consumers to get information. Strong internet journalism seems to have been on the decline as of late. With more and more opportunities for everyone to become their own source of news, the need for quality is paramount.
When writing online you become the journalist, the writer/reporter, the editor, and the publisher. For example, when writing this post I had to research my points, write a compelling blog post, edit it, and post it. My background is in Political Science so the majority of what I research and write is very academic in nature and very focused on stating facts and backing up an argument. Chapter 8 of “Writing and Editing for Digital Media,” by Brian Carroll provides some great tips to think about while producing quality content. As someone that is new to writing in a journalistic context, I have found these to be extremely helpful.
Here they are:
At first did not understand point number 7. I asked my self, “how can I only focus on being direct when writing?” I then released that Carroll is not saying write like robots, but be simplistic in approach.
This is a concept I had not thought of when looking for content. Crowd sourcing is a method of gathering content through videos, statements, photos, and other forms of audience/user produced media. Carroll points out that CNN created iReport (ireport.cnn.com), a site were individual contributors separate from CNN report on issues. This crowd-sourced model provides CNN with content without having to pay for it. Contributors are motivated by publicity rather than money.
Here is a youtube video that explains a similar application of this concept:
When reading chapter 9 of “Writing for the Web” by Lynda Fedler I became more aware of the importance of backstory and conflict in storytelling. If these things are not there, then why should the reader care. Every blog post is a type of story. Even my multimedia project, being more of an informative one, is still telling a story. With a combination of my personal voice and that of the other students (getting students personal stories about their cars – crowd-sourcing), I will need to find a way to implement both of these aspects into my posts.
In the reading from Brian Carroll, I learned that my multimedia project will likely use a thematic approach to story telling. Telling a story about students and their cars, by dividing it into individual pieces.