Entry 1: Introduction

This is a blog created for our class Media Cultures. The main purpose of this blog is to record our research on the essay topics given to us before making a start on the essay.

For my first blog entry, I will be reviewing each of the essay questions briefly. Following with my preferred question for the essay in the upcoming entries.

The questions given in the brief are listed below:

1. Compare the advertisement of a local brand in different language editions and demonstrate how semiotics can reveal the differences and similarities between them.

This question, in my opinion, is likely focused on the miscommunication in media, and how semiotics can bring the message across clearer to give viewers a better understanding of the advertisement. The topic could possibly lead to some great research, but I will have to understand this, and the other topics, further before choosing any of them.

2. Explore the ideas of modernism and postmodernism in action films made in the last thirty years. By textually analysing your chosen films, discuss how the ideas are presented and understood by the audience.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of action films so if I were to choose this question for my research blog, it would be a little tedious for me. But on the bright side, I would have to chance to explore these modernism/postmodernism films that I usually wouldn’t.

3. Examine the role of women in local or regional fashion-based traditional mass media. How are women represented? Do they relate to everyday ideas and attitudes of women?

The role of women in fashion-based ads usually varies depending on the style of fashion they’re portraying. But how are women represented? Well, they usually have an unrealistic expectation of women in general. There’s a lot of controversy going on nowadays about women being photoshoped in magazines. This is definitely a question that I need to research more on.

4. Compare and contrast a series produced locally/regionally to a thematically similar one produced in the West (America/Europe). What values and attitudes are being portrayed? How are they being portrayed and do they reflect reality?

So far the television series (that I know of) produced locally are usually quite traditional or at least portraying something related to the typical Malaysian lifestyle. While series produced in the West have a broader genre. The values and attitudes shown definitely carry a wide range of contrasts. Thinking about this question doesn’t seem to spark any fascination inside me either, but I might consider giving it a chance if something eventually clicks in my head. Who knows.

5. Trace the career of an icon in the industry related to your major. Analyse the significant phases, work, and personal qualities that propelled this individual to his or her acclaimed status. Did any institutions contribute to his success or failures as well?

This question might require me to personally contact the inspiring individual in the industry, which is exciting and difficult at the same time. It might not be easy trying to get a hold of them or even researching their work in detail. I’m sure most of these admirable icons have a great sense of appreciation for their past institutions. I’m not too sure how this essay will eventually turn out to be, but if I were to pick this particular one, I have a feeling it will be along the lines of a full-on interview.

6. Critically examine the popular usage of digital cameras, Photoshop, or Instagram, and its impact on professionals in the creative industry.

When I first saw this question, the first thing that caught my attention was Instagram. Because there are a lot of arguments about how Instagram is “ruining” photography. Maybe because it seems like everyone with a smart phone can be considered as a photographer nowadays, but I disagree. There are a lot of things that goes into photography that most people don’t usually see. It doesn’t just happen with a click of a button. Right now, Instagram has a huge impact on society, including professional photographers. So this is an interesting topic to explore, mainly because it relates to our daily lives.


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