#BCM110: Moral Panics and Group Presentations


Moral Panics – often related to the role of/concern about young people


Concerns about children and the media often linked to Stanley Cohen’s concept of ‘moral panic’.

Corporate paedophilia: Sexualisation of Children in Australia

Recent moral panics in Australia:

Stoner Sloth


Wear it Purple/Gaybe Baby


Safe Schools



By the end of today’s class you should have:

-settled on a topic.

-Decided how you will break this into parts – so you can start working on your individual research reports over the break.

– figured out what each of you will do over the break – both for your research report, and for the group.

– figure out what each of you will have prepared by next time you meet.



Group presentation on 1 media issue that you have researched, including the following:

-An overview of the issue and why it’s of significance

-An account of how the issue has been addressed with appropriate examples drawn from a range of media sources

-A discussion of what has been included or overlooked in the media presentation of this issue and how this might be addressed in theory or practice (Assignment 2: Group Presentation Sheet, Moodle).

So  – what do we mean by a media issue? Something happening in the media (coverage) or something the media is doing (trends) … or something else?


Which media issue? How to choose?

– Could either work from choosing the topic that most interested you? Or something that’s happening in the media that you have followed with interest?

Weekly topics:

-media effects and anxieties about these

-content analysis and cultivation theories

-reading images – representation- semiotics-connotations

-ideology and interpretation

-ownership and control of the media

-the role of the mediated public sphere

-the concept of the moral panic


#BCM110: The Media Industries and Ownership

7-11-2010-reupertandhomerimpson copy


This week we will be examining Media Ownership.

1. Media ownership in Australia is extremely concentrated (this explains the situation in 2013) – a more updated version here discussing recent changes to legislation in Australia, impacting ownership.

2. Fears about media ownership being concentrated in the hands of the few can be traced back to the 1930’s and Hitler’s use of propaganda

3. In modern society there is an additional cause of anxiety for democratic societies – anyone with an internet connection and/or a camera can make and spread propaganda, which is then picked up and spread through mainstream media channels.

4. Look at these images of headlines from The Daily Telegraph (owned by News Corp/Murdoch) – what ideologies are present?

sundaytelegraph-20130901-350           kick_this_mob_out








5. There are also issues regarding the moral conduct of the media –  News of the World Scandal


Blog post for the week:

Your blog topic for this week is all about media ownership and why it matters.

Who ‘owns’ and/or ‘controls’ the media you use to access your ‘news’?Why does this matter?

What trust do you have in your news sources?

Or taking what you now know about media ownership:

Does Beyonce matter? 


Recommended Reading: (log in to UOW library for access) McCutcheon and Pusey Media Moguls or Moneymen?


Resources on this week’s academic skills:

Critical thinking and writing

Giving peer feedback 

#BCM110: Representation and Interpretation


This week’s topic is Representation and Interpretation of texts.

For this week, we will be learning how to decode images using Semiotic theory.



Simple Explanation – Signs, Signifers, Signified



How images can cause controversy – what meanings might this image have for different audiences?

Ideology Explained


Equinox Campaign – an example of a complex image


ACTIVITY: In pairs, interpret one of these images as a practice for this week’s blog post:

This week’s blogging assignment:

-Locate an example of a complex image

-Discuss the denotation (what is there) and the connotation (what it means)

-Is it possible to read this image in more than one way?

Recommended reading – Semiotics for beginners

Time management and procrastination

The attention span myth? 

Time management and procrastination – these apps could help

#BCM 110: Media Audiences



Unpacking Media Effects Theory: What does media ‘do’ to audiences, rather than what does the audience do with media?

This episode of The Simpsons (where Marge crusades against cartoon violence) is a good example of a satirical rendering of a serious media issue. This is an example of a media text you could discuss in your own blogs.

This week’s reading is ’10 things wrong with the Media Effects Model’ by David Gauntlett. You can find this on the BCM 110 Moodle site under Week 2.

Topic for blog post this week: Describe a time when you were part of a media audience. How did the experience make you feel? What was useful or pleasurable about this experience? Were there any negatives?

Link to Tutorial Slides

Another source which may be useful to you:  how violent media (video games) are blamed for real violence.