Global Warming and Media Warning

Global Warming you’ve all heard about. With the level of media saturation it gets, there is no escape from the constant reminders of our impending doom. But the question is do you truly believe in it, or is it all just another load of fear mongering hype?

According to some statics I got off of a news report on  television once 90% of scientists believe that climate change is real but still there is 1 in 10 American citizens who believe it isn’t. Why is this? well the answer is simple. The doubt that arises for Global Warmings existence is caused by a little thing called ‘False Balance‘. False Balance relates to the ethical code of journalism in which a journalist, for the sake of un-biased reporting, must always equally represent both sides of an argument. So theoretically for every journal article, newspaper headline or television documentary that exists about global warming there must be one that opposes it. Not that this is actual case might I add, I mean I literally just typed global warming into Google and out of the top 10 results that came up all of them were about the proof that climate change exists. It wasn’t until I moved on to the next page and saw the 11th result that I found an article opposing it.

At the risk of sounding like a nonbeliever worthy of shunning or worse death by climate change, I would like to take a moment to say that I am somewhat skeptical of Global Warming. Before you start attacking me, which believe happens when I say this in public, just let me explain. Our planet has always experienced massive climate adjustments long before people ever got involved.Take the ice age for example. This is just a theory though the fundamental reason for my skepticism is that it is just really hard for me to believe what I see in the media. Simple as that. What I continually read and hear about climate change seems to never be the opinion of experts but rather the rantings of a politician with an underlying political agenda or the sob story of a heartfelt reporter who conveniently cares more about single-handedly saving the environment with their hard hitting journalism, than actually providing real information.

So when it comes to believing I am a little hesitant and am actually supportive of being able to hear both sides of the story. At the same time though I cannot deny that the evidence is there, I mean I was at Soundwave this year for what was the ‘hottest day on record’ and let me tell you… It Was Hot!

I often think to my self that it is crazy to think that the level of pollution we generate globally each day can’t be having an impact on the environment. Anyway I could sit here and debate Global Warming with myself all day long, the point I am trying to make is more along he lines of… Is it a reporters job to follow a code of ethics at the risk of endangering humanity; by simply reporting un-biased facts that outline multiple perspectives or is it their role to (as Bud Ward suggests) ‘give voice to the voiceless’.
If we operate under he assumption that climate change is real, than yes it is the reporters job to spread this information and to stress urgency in order to initiate change; in which case the idea of false balance being used to deny reality is ludicrous and actually putting us in danger. However if we operate under the assumption that it is not than false balance is the only thing protecting us from falling victim to the fear mongering agendas of corrupt politicians and media journalists.

Television Lost In Translation

What makes a television show funny? In the case Kath and Kim, the reason why that show is so hilariously funny to us Aussies is because in some way or another we can all relate. Kath and Kim underneath all the exaggeration and vulgar stereo typing, actually gives a pretty accurate depiction of the typical, suburban, middle to lower class, Aussie Bogan lifestyle. While you yourself may be nothing like the characters on the show, I am sure that you know someone who is. Come on quit denying it.


So if the reason for the shows success here in Australia is because it is a satire of our own culture that allows us to laugh at ourselves,why did some genius out there think for one minute that the show would work well in America? Yeah that’s right I am talking about that abomination of a show that was the US version of Kath and Kim. That show was an instant flop and it is no surprise. The thing with comedy is that it differs from region to region and often can be lost in translation. Which was exactly the case with Kath and Kim. The reason for the shows failure was simply because it was putting humor shaped from an Australian context into an American environment. Americans had no relation connecting them  to characters and therefore did not understand the irony. For America their Kath and Kim needed to be more like Earl and Randy of My Name Is Earl because that is a satirical look into Southern Redneck America that US audiences can identify with.


A similar sort of thing happened with The Office. This was originally a popular British television show that, although was a major success in America, needed to be completely overhauled in order to do so. The dark self depreciating humor that is British black comedy would not have been popular in America. The show needed to change, It needed to be less realistic, more light hearted, more silly and not to mention more aesthetically pleasing (Sorry Rickey Gervais).



One thing that never ceases to amaze and frustrate me is the western need to alter Anime and target it to children. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been sitting in my room watching a Japanese Anime when my parents would suddenly burst in and say “Stop watching cartoons you are an adult”, at which point my reply is always “They are not cartoons they are Anime”. In Asian countries Anime is not made for children; it is for adults but for some reason when it is transferred into western culture it is always interpreted to be for children and is adjusted so accordingly.


This is another way television is lost in Translation. In order for shows like One Piece to be successful in America and Australia they have to be changed dramatically. First of all they have to be dubbed, this is horrible because by simply changing voice actors from serious actors to children’s cartoon actors you instantly loose the quality of the show. There is no real in depth emotion just silly, patronizing, child catering, shrieks and yells. Secondly the entire show has to be watered down, That’s right no gore, no violence, no accurate looking weapons and worst all no innuendos of any kind. In One Piece Sanji’s trademark  cigarette is changed into lollipop. To me it does not make sense for a mighty pirate to carry around a lollipop everywhere he goes and I think it is just insulting to the seriousness of the show.







media CAPITALS (see what I did there)

What do you know about other countries? for most of us our information is limited to what we see on television or what we read in articles. This gives us an understanding of the outside world that is little more than a mediated snapshot, However thanks to globalization and the rise of Media Capitals, the line between cultural borders is decreasing exponentially. Traditionally when It came to global influence there was no competing with the media monopoly that was old school Hollywood. Back in the 1930’s Hollywood produced around 80% of the world’s films. During that time and all the way up until the modern era of convergence, America had cultural dominance over the rest of the world. They had the largest film and television industry as well as the greatest scope of  cutural influence. Nowadays things are a little bit different, as Michale Curtin (the godfather of Media Capitals) suggests… “Although  Hollywood exports continue to dominate global entrainment markets, debates about transnational flows of television have moved beyond the media imperialism thesis to focus on deliberations about globalization”.

Prior studies that emphasized a one-way flow of US programming to the periphery of the world system are now being reassessed in light of the increasing volume and velocity of multi-directional media flows that emanate from particular cities, such as Bombay, Cairo, and Hong Kong.

Hollywood is now only third when it comes to sheer volume in film production. The largest film industry in the world today is India’s Bollywood, followed closely by Nigeria’s Nollywood. On top of this cities like Hong Kong are also producing up to forty thousands hours worth of television programming a year. Although these industries may not have as great a scope as Hollywood in terms of international recognition, convergent communication technologies such as the internet are rapidly blurring regional boundaries. We are beginning to see a media landscape where information is no longer linear but in fact multidimensional and because of this “political, economic and cultural phenomena overlap and collide, disrupting our prior confidence in holistic approaches to culture and society” (Curtin 2004).