Thursday, 11 March 2010

Who's the daddy?

I recently stumbled across the winter 09/10 issue of Media Education Journal , which contains at least 4 blog-worthy articles that perked my interest. I decided to condense them into one manageable blog.

First is cover star and cultural icon Jeremy Kyle and his enormously popular daytime show. Last year, The Jeremy Kyle Show was accused by Manchester District Judge Alan Berg of being a “human form of bear baiting”. He went on to say, “It seems to me the whole purpose of The Jeremy Kyle Show is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people who are in some kind of turmoil. It is for no more and no less than titillating members of the public who have nothing better to do with their mornings than sit and watch this show.”

Having recently been on paternity leave, I was surprised to find this show compelling and addictive viewing on a daily basis. The article goes on to describe how using certain camera angles, strategic shots of audience members and Kyle’s interview technique can manipulate the viewers sympathies and provoke appropriate outrage when necessary. As a former part-time viewer, I found the article an interesting insight into the production of the show, but I’m also shocked as to how easy it was to be taken in by these techniques.

Also in this issue are part 1 of an article on the quality of the contemporary American drama series, with a particular focus on the show Dexter (for those who don’t know, a retelling of Jeff Lindsay’s excellent Darkly Dreaming Dexter) – about a sociopathic serial killer with an ethical code, an article on the Batman franchise and it’s ever growing popularity (despite the best efforts of Val Kilmer), and lastly, an article on the advertising of Irn Bru and how it’s become a Scottish cultural icon.

All very interesting reads whether you’re an aspiring media studies student, or like me, just watch a lot of television.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Do they mean us?

What do you think of when you hear the words pen-pusher? Bowler hat? Pinstriped suit? Gold-plated pensions? Yep, it's the public sector, or civil service, which includes the National Library of Scotland. It's striking how the image of the public sector or civil servants hasn't changed much over the years; we're still seen as "pen-pushers" (or even bowler-hatted penpushers!)

The Cabinet Office has a list of mythbusters on its website for those who wish to learn more...

Monday, 8 March 2010

Today is the Festa della Donna!

On the 8th of March the International Women’s Day is celebrated widely around the World. The history of this celebration brings us back to the 8th March 1857, when, in the United States, a strike led to the death of a group of female employees and the formation of the first Women’s Union in the U.S.
In 1945 (when the Italian Republic was born after the Fascism) the Union of Italian Women declared that March 8th - also known like "Festa della Donna"- should be dedicated to the celebration of womanhood across the country. Men and women offer a bunch of yellow Mimosa (the yellow spring flower you can see in the photo above) to all the important women in their life. It is an important moment of the year that gives the chance to talk and discuss about women’s rights and their role in society.