BCM 332

Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes

I have a friend who has travelled the globe. She has got down and dirty in small villages in Nepal, she has danced the night away in Paris and has helped to develop schools for orphan children in Cambodia so they can end their poverty cycle.

What a legend! Right? Well, maybe not. She may have been doing more harm than good.

The rise in voluntourism has lead to individuals – such as Daniela Papi, founder of PEPY and advocate for clever travel – to question whether we are perpetuating a vicious cycle or doing real, honest work.

Voluntoursim is a term that refers to the use of “discretionary time and income to travel out of the sphere of regular activity to assist others in need” (Bailey & Fernando 2011, p.407).

According to Bailey & Fernando 2011,

“these trips satisfy one’s longing for adventure while providing valuable services to the communities they visited.”

I applaud these kinds of people for their selfless nature and wanting to go and lend a hand to less fortunate communities.

But, the issue I have – and agree with Daniela Papi in this – is that there is the “white hero-fixation” about going overseas and helping those less fortunate than I, “we have a tendency to swoop in when times are tough, patch it up and fly out again”.

I interviewed Daniela Papi in 2013 and she stated that we need to change the way we see voluntourism, “wealthy travellers to think they have a “right” to help people just because they are wealthier. Instead, they have to earn that right, and learn how they might be able to help, by being the students of the communities they visit, rather than the teachers.”

Papi established PEPY – Promoting Education, emPowering Youth – in Cambodia after her time volunteering there. The organisation aims to promote youth to venture overseas and volunteer however, they must fully understand the communities they are helping. Moreover, there needs to be an initiative for skilled workers to go overseas to these communities in need and educate the locals on how to build buildings or teachers going over to train local people to be teachers.

I say this in the hope that by doing this, we can perhaps create a community that does not need to rely on the aid of foreigners but are somewhat self-sufficient.

References:

Bailey, Andrew W., Fernando, I.K., 2011, ‘Decoding the Voluntourism Process: A Case Study of Pay It Forward Tour’, Journal of Experiential Education, vol. 33 issue 4, pp. 406 – 410

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DIGC 202, Media

Money For Nothing and Your Tips For Free

Being somewhat of a traditionalist and a budding journalist, my ideal job would be one where I write and produce content for an audience that does not spend 99.99% of their day in front of a screen. Meaning print either for a newspaper or magazine because who does not love the smell of a new magazine or the crumpling of a newspaper. However, I know this is somewhat unrealistic as “we are in a paradigm where the former consumers are now also the biggest producers of content” (Mitew, 2014) and this means that as a journalist, I must compete.

Or do I?

The world of blogging began in 1999 – three years after the Spice Girls released Wannabe – and the publishing world became worried. This is due to blogging destroying publishing’s extrinsic and intrinsic values. Blogging does not have any barriers to entry  such as large production fees, meaning that anyone, anywhere with access to the Internet is able to establish a blog and write for a world audience. Furthermore – as Shirky (2002) suggests – print publishing acts as a filter. Blogs however, have no filter and you are able to offer whatever you like, your opinions on current events, a draft novel, fan-fiction, even your ridiculous pictures of your breakfast. But does this make them a journalist or professional writer? Well, no according to Clay Shirky.

The same can be said about blogging making people believe they are writers since 1999

The same can be said about blogging making people believe they are writers since 1999

 

Shirky (2002) points out that the fact that mass professionalism is an oxymoron, as professionalism implies a small group of people; blogging on a large scale is simply mass amateurisation as he suggested. But mass amateurisation  has its perks as niche markets are now accounted for through blogging as traditional media cannot provide for all markets.

But do not discount traditional media just yet, it still has its place. I believe that the fundamental argument for traditional media in this case is that it provides an overview on a myriad of topics, in one, simple design that is highly accessible. Therefore it caters for a mass market where niche markets – by definition – cannot. Moreover, traditional media still has more authority and authenticity when it comes to breaking major stories as well as providing primary information for its audiences. Many audiences look elsewhere for clarity on major issues away from traditional media on blogs such as Global Voices which has earned its credibility over many years.

Overall, blogs yes are wonderful as they enable individuals to have a voice and share that voice on a larger scale. However, blogs are magnificent for gaining further insight and tips for free for individuals and journalists – in cases such as citizen journalism – but my future, I believe is still in tack for now.

Sources:

Shirky, C 2002, “Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing” in Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet, accessed August 30, http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html

Mitew, T 2014, “The Attention Economy and the Long Tail Effect”,Global Networks, University of Wollongong, accessed 31 August 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCnVnLYPoi0&index=14&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j%20

Picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DxGXgW8gs1Y/UGn_y6YzTiI/AAAAAAAAACg/DY5hR4mHjy0/s1600/inta.png

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BCM 240

Champagne and the Cinema

empty_cinema_room_by_malypluskwiak-d38x4pp

 

The experience of being in a room filled with people who want to see the same film at the same time as you used to fasinate me as a child. I would sit there eagerly waiting for the lights to dim, the first boom to sound and slurp the last bit of my drink – yes I am that person who finishes everything before the adverts. But going to the cinema today, is a whole other experience and it has a lot more to offer.

In 1969, Torsten Hägerstrand (p.50) developed three constraints known as: capability, coupling and authority constraints. The first constraint, capability, asks whether a person can get to the destination. The second restraint, coupling, asks whether an individual can get there on time. And finally, authority constraints asks the question of am I allowed to be here?

So when the task of going to the cinema was a requirement for uni – something my friend could not believe – I jumped at the chance to sit and stare at a screen for an hour or so. I thought about Hägerstrand’s constraints throughout the entire planning and execution process and it became clear how difficult it was to plan the night out. Firstly, capability; I am able to drive and my friend who joined me lives about six minutes away and the cinema is a short ten or fifteen minute drive. So far, I have aced Hägerstrand’s theory. Secondly, coupling; my wonderful, beautiful friend who has so many great qualities is notorious for being late and last night was no exception. We were planning to get to the 6:30 session for A One-Hundred Foot Journey but ended up arriving at the cinema at 7pm and after speed buying overpriced drinks, we ran into the dark cinema where the majority of people rolled their eyes and groaned as we wiggled through to our assigned seats as the cinema was absolutely packed. Finally, authority – am I allowed to be here? The cinema is a public space despite it being a temporary space, and we were both over 15. Two out of three is not bad.

But can this form of cinema exist in the next four, five or ten years?

Well, maybe.

One potential selling point that the cinema has is that it is an opportunity to leave the house without having to leave comfort which is a pretty good trade. But these cinemas in London, are really setting high standards. Electric Cinema  on Portobello Road in London, offers different forms of seating – from standard cinema chairs to plush, velvet and leather armchairs. Ummm, yes please! Or if it is something more upmarket and fancy then the Edible Cinema offers themed food and drinks, “each guest is supplied with a tray of numbered boxes containing mini cocktails and bite-sized tasting menu tailored to specific moments in the film.” The most popular is Romeo & Juliet – of course.

The Electric Cinema offers the luxury that one would experience at home

The Electric Cinema offers the luxury that one would experience at home which is why it is a popular cinema in the central London area

But the mere, humble cinema that we see in Australia is not going to survive the next few years. According to Schwartzel and Fritz (2014) in the U.S., box office revenue increased 17%  in 2013 but that is not due to attendance rather the increased price which went from $7.96 to $8.13 – which is small compared to Australia where a student ticket will set you back $13.50. Moreover, the number of tickets sold fell to nearly 11% between 2004 and 2013.

So the cinema may not last any longer than a few more years. That is unless they introduce something that will make it more than just a movie on a screen. A Capulet Cocktail anyone?

 

Fritz, B & Schwartzel, E, 2014, ‘Fewer Americans Go to the Movies’, Wall Street Journal Online, viewed August 30, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303949704579461813982237426

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