Category: Media Policy

The ruthless pursuit of online ‘likes’ gives you nothing – UWP author says.

The ruthless pursuit of online ‘likes’ gives you nothing – UWP author says.

So declares Kane X. Faucher in a new Conversation post. With social media ‘we are presented with a digital Potemkin village, a constructed sham, where sharing and being social is secondary to numerical proof of social interactions’.

The post has made its way to Australia readers via ABC and to Canada’s National Post attracting readership now upward of 20,000 views – somewhat ironically for a post that argues we should pay far less attention to automated counters.

For more on the topic and positive steps that can be taken to counteract the harmful effects of approbation markers and social media status chasing see Social Capital Online recently publishing in UWP‘s CDSMS series.

 

Is the Gig Economy healthy?

Is the Gig Economy healthy?

That is the question posed in the fourth title in the Media Policy Brief series from the CAMRI Policy Observatory. In summary form it presents the results of a wide survey into mental health of musicians and patterns of work. It suggests that they and other creative industries workers’ may signal the growth of psychological issues for those operating under flexible working regimes and as automation continues to rise. Well-Being and Mental Health in the Gig Economy: Policy Perspectives on Precarity makes the case for considering the mental health outcomes for gig economy workers of policies affecting labour markets in the UK’s media and creative sectors. Authors Sally-Anne Gross, George Musgrave and Laima Janciute ask whether a more serious look at a universal basic income as suggested by the likes of Guy Standing is also called for. 

Using Open Access and a concise, easy-to-read format, this peer-reviewed series aims to make new research from the University of Westminster CAMRI media researchers available to the public, to policymakers, practitioners, journalists, activists and scholars both nationally and internationally.

 

Action needed on disfigurement in media

Action needed on disfigurement in media

Appearance, Discrimination and the Media is the third title in the Media Policy Brief series from the CAMRI Policy Observatory. This extract by the authors explains some of the background issues and why it has emerged as a growing concern. 

There is a range of examples where policy is linked with issues around appearance: following the vote by nearly one million people in 2016 in the UK Youth Parliament’s ballot, who pointed to ‘body image’ as one of the top ten issues, the Parliamentary Youth Select Committee held dedicated sessions in July 2017 to debate related concerns. † Internationally, several countries, including Italy, Spain and Israel, have legislated on underweight models.†† France – another country that has implemented similar laws aimed at banning the hire of extremely thin models – introduced mandatory health check requirements for workers in the fashion industry. The new French law also obliges the labelling of digitally altered images in tackling the propagation of unrealistic ‘beauty’ standards.†††These policy initiatives reflect the necessity of specific targeted measures to address looks-related prejudice and to make the principles of equality and diversity work in practice. Many of these problems originate in the prevalent culture of obsession with appearance, which has a number of harmful consequences. Body image-related concerns in their variety of forms often cause serious mental and physical health issues.†††† In the UK, disability hate crime offences increased by 101%, from 1,531 in 2014-15, to 3,079 in 2016-17. †††††  According to the Editors’ Code published by the Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO): ‘The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability’.

Additionally, the code states: ‘Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story’.†††††† Yet, people with a visible difference are systematically misrepresented in the media.

Using Open Access and a concise, easy-to-read format, this peer-reviewed series aims to make new research from the University of Westminster CAMRI media researchers available to the public, to policymakers, practitioners, journalists, activists and scholars both nationally and internationally.

† Garrisi, D. and Johanssen, J. 2017. Youth select committee inquiry: body image-related issues one of the young people’s top ten concerns.’CAMRI. The Policy Observatory. 10 July. Available at: https://camri.ac.uk/blog/Articles/youth-select-committeeinquiry-body-image-related-issues-one-young-peoples-topten- concerns/.

†† BBC France passes bill banning ‘excessively thin’ models. BBC News,18 December 2015. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ world-europe-35130792 (accessed July 2017).

††† Ibid; see also †

†††† Instagram ‘worst for young mental health’. BBC News, 19 May 2017. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39955295 (accessed July 2017); Media is fuelling eating disorders, say psychiatrists. BBC News, 22 February 2010. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/ hi/8528443.stm (accessed July 2017); see †.

††††† Kiteley, P. and Robinson, B. 2017. ‘Disabled children hate crime reports increasing.’ BBC News, 15 October. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41600137 (accessed November 2017).

††††††  ‘Editors’ Code of Practice.’ Independent Press Standards Organisation: https://www.ipso.co.uk/editors-code-of-practice/ (accessed May 2018).

 

 

China’s global media expansion reconsidered – major new WPCC issue

China’s global media expansion reconsidered – major new WPCC issue

A new WPCC issue re-evaluates China’s much debated ‘going-out’ strategy as it has developed. It extends the debate about China’s media expansion by focusing on the act of communicating the ‘going-out’ message and how it has been received by residents of Latin America, the USA and Africans studying in China.

Eleven contributions consider television news to radio, Twitter, the financial structures of Chinese internet firms alongside book reviews of publications on Chinese and global media politics offering new data and interview material as well as alerting readers to some of the most useful theoretical tools to develop understanding.

The issue is guest-edited by Vivien Marsh.

Media Policy Briefs Published by CAMRI

Media Policy Briefs Published by CAMRI

The University of Westminster Press has released the first titles of a new Media Policy Brief series from the CAMRI Policy Observatory that provides rigorous and evidence-based policy advice and policy analysis on a variety of media and communication-related topics. 

Using Open Access and a concise, easy-to-read format, this peer-reviewed series aims to make new research from the University of Westminster CAMRI media researchers available to the public, to policymakers, practitioners, journalists, activists and scholars both nationally and internationally.

The first titles are:

The Online Advertising Tax: A Digital Policy Innovation by Christian Fuchs

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things: UK Policy Opportunities and Challenges by Mercedes Bunz and Laima Janciute

An extended version of the first is available as The Online Advertising Tax as the Foundation of A Public Service Internet