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Archive for the ‘Mass Communication’ Category

Communication Models

In Mass Communication on December 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

Definitions
Sender: the person or entity that sends the message
Receiver: the person(s) who receives the message
Encoding: the act of converting the information or message into a format that can be transmitted
Decoding: the act of organizing received data into useful information
Channel: the medium that is used to transmit the message
Noise: anything that is not part of the message that interferes with the transmission of the message

Example
Sender: Client
Receiver: Creative Director
Encoding: Client Contact
Decoding: Account Manager
Channel: Telephone
Noise: the Boss

Scenario
The above example is from my days of being an account manager in a catalog design house. Any time when we were working on a job, inevitably, the client contact would call me with directions or changes. Here’s what typically would take place: the client contact discusses with her boss (sender) what changes need to be made, (message) she (encoder)would then call me on the telephone (channel) to convey the message. While I, as the account manager (decoder), am on the phone with the client contact to digest the message, my boss (the noise) would usually watch over my shoulder to add his opinions, disturbing my concentration. After I organized all the information, my boss (the noise) would usually like to put his spin on it before I hand it over to the creative director (the receiver). In order to reduce the amount of noise, my creative director and I would then have a private meeting to go over all the changes and “delete” anything that my boss said.

Communication Model
The Shannon-Weaver model fits this scenario quite well.

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First Amendment

In Mass Communication on November 20, 2009 at 6:07 am

This week, we are to interview six people, two from each of three age groups, and ask them these questions:

1) If Congress were considering the following law, would you approve it or not?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2) Do you agree or disagree with the freedoms? Explain:

3) Which do you support, and which do you think are excessive or provide too much freedom?

4) Do you recognize this law?

I did not receive responses from everyone who I contacted, but the ones who did were:

  • Three females age 50 to 55, one client and two friends
  • Two females age 35 to 40, both are friends
  • One female age 22 who is a co-worker

All of the respondents would approve the “law” as stated. The age difference did not seem to form any kind of patterns in their answers. They all support the freedom we have in our country, two within the first group spoke quite passionately about it, the other interviewee from the first group and the two from the second group agreed that freedom sometimes break into violence and the government should have regulations in place to protect their citizens. All of my interviewees recognized that the “law” is the First Amendment, except one expressed that she did not understand what I meant.

I was not surprised about the answers that I received. The First Amendment was one of the most important laws of our country’s and most, if not all, people should recognize it. Two out of my six interviewees are married to members of government armed forces (a former Air Force member and a computer programmer at an Air Force base) and I expected them to be passionate about our freedom. I was correct on one of them and the other respondent sounded pleased with the freedom that we have here in our country, but was not quite as passionate as the other one.

Fairey Vs. Associated Press — Intellectual Property

In Mass Communication on November 11, 2009 at 6:33 am

Intellectual property is anything that result from intellectual activities, such as artistic creations, literature, scientific discoveries, and inventions. There are laws granting the owners time-limited rights to the use of his/her creation, protecting the owners (individual or business) from unlawful use of their creation by other parties and also to allow other parties to make use of such creation in certain manners. These laws do not protect the physical products themselves, but the intellectual portion of the creation.

The Fairey/Associated Press case centers around the agrument about Fairey referencing an AP photograph, taken by photographer Mannie Garcia, and produces his iconic “HOPE” poster and associated merchandise. In February this year, the Associated Press claimed that poster artist Shepard Fairey violated copyright laws by using one of the photographs by Garcia, created his poster art and maintained all the quintessential details of the image, and, the AP is, therefore, entitled to licensing fees and damages. In response, Fairey filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press and argued that his transformation of the art is protected until the fair use provision of the copyright laws. He also pointed out that he referenced a different image from the one that the AP claimed that he used.

Mannie Garcia claimed that he owns the rights to the image in discussion because he was never an AP employee. Instead, he’s a freelance photographer and he never signed the rights of his images to the AP. So, early July, he filed a motion to be admitted to be part of the defendents, siding with the AP against Fairey.

To further complicate this case, on October 16, Fairey admitted to the public that his initial claim of using a different AP image was false. He also admitted that, in order to conceal his mistake, he submitted different images to the court and destroyed some other ones. While the Associated Press reported that Fairey’s attorneys have withdrawn from the lawsuit, Anthony Falzone, one of Fairey’s attorneys denied it. Falzone said that they still believe strongly that the main issues are fair use and free expression, and they believe Fairey will win on both grounds. However, yesterday, Fairey successfully obtained permission from the court to switch his legal team, despite opposition from the Associated Press.

After researching several sources regarding the fair use doctrine, I found myself as confused as I was before the study. Perhaps it is because of all the legal jargons that I cannot understand; or perhaps the law is just so ambiguous that the court has to decide on a case by case basis, but here’s how I feel: According to copyright laws, reproduction of copyrighted materials may be considered fair if it’s used as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” In the case of Fairey vs. the Associated Press, Fairey’s posters and other related merchandise do not fall under any of these categories. If Fairey was to “reference” the said image for his own enjoyment in creating his art, I feel that it can be considered fair use. However, if he chose the image knowing that the resulting work will be used for commerce, it would have been necessary for him to obtain proper permission prior to using it in order to, if nothing else, cover his own basis.

These days, just about everything published is copyrighted. This is to protect the creators so other people cannot freely use or reproduce their hard work. At the same time, all artists get their inspirations from other people or their surroundings, but this doesn’t mean that we can assume it is appropriate to use someone else’s work. While the case is still going on and we have yet to find out how the court is going to rule in this legal battle, we should all keep this in mind when “referencing” other people’s creations. Or, better yet, create our own originals.

I used to work for a small design firm. Toward the end of my tenure there, we were to design a catalog for a new client. During our initial meeting, our client brought us their company and product information along with a competitor’s catalog for referencing. This catalog was formatting in a creative way that was unlike any other that we’d seen. My boss / creative director decided to copy the exact format of the competitor’s catalog and replace the information with our client’s. I remember feeling odd at the time but did not question but followed his directions. As soon as the catalog was printed and distributed, our client received a letter from the competitor, stating the violation of copyright laws and requested a cease-and-desist. I contacted my boss, my production director as well as our printer and they all decided to ignore the matter. Nothing happened between then and the time when I left the company, and I didn’t hear anything about it afterwards. I hope our client was able to resolve the issue with their peers without any legal trouble.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/04/ap-accuses-shepard-fairey_n_164045.html

http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/

http://markberkeygerard.com/?p=456

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content_display/photo-news/legal-news/e3i30319b161b10e5dc4f2cf70da19d7036

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/10/shepard-fairey-admits-to-wrongdoing-in-associated-press-lawsuit.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/10/shepard-faireys-lawyers-say-that-have-not-withdrawn-from-ap-case.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/11/judge-rules-shepard-fairey-can-switch-lawyers-in-ap-case.html

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Fiber Optic Cables and Mass Communication

In Mass Communication on October 30, 2009 at 6:23 am

Fiber optics is the transmission of light or images across short or long distances, and the fiber optic cables are strong, thin clear plastic rods that light travels through. The study of optical technology has been around since the French Chappe brothers invented the first optical telegraph in the 1790s. The consistent problem was always image quality loss.

Prior to fiber optics, there were copper wires and coxial cables. These technologies often carry static and they can take a long time to connect. Also, as our communication needs increased, we quickly reached the limits of these older technologies. After generations of studies and improvement, finally, in 1988, the first transatlantic fiber optic cable was laid. This new technology immediately formed the backbone of the global communications system, tremendously increased the capacity of the long distance telephone system, and fueled the growth of the Internet.

Sources:

http://www.beyonddiscovery.org/content/view.page.asp?I=2306

http://www.timbercon.com/History-of-Fiber-Optics/

Media and My Background

In Mass Communication on October 22, 2009 at 10:51 pm

The podcast from KUOW was quite interesting. I guess my biggest take-away is when Howard Finberg posted the question, “Twitter is new now, when does it become old?” And then Hanson Hosein replied to the host’s question regarding new media. He considers the term “new media” is redundant. Instead of calling all these digital media “new,” he simply calls them “media,” and radio, newspaper and the like “legacy” or “traditional” media. This statement totally agrees with what Howard Finberg was saying, all the different forms of digital media are changing so fast nowadays, keeping up with the platform is no longer the priority. What is more important is that the communication is no longer one-way and one-time only. Instead, it has become an ongoing relationship where messages are being exchanged constantly between the senders and the receivers. Therefore, we, as graphic designers, must be careful about what and how we communicate our messages, and not rely on the filter that we once had.

Having a print background, it is impossible to separate my experience with traditional media like print and photography. That’s how I entered and learned about the field. In fact, I am still having difficulties switching from print to web, and I believe that there will always be a place for print and photography.

The new media offer us great convenience. Whether one is a print designer, web designer, or, designer in any field, research is crucial in any project that we do. With the Internet, loads of information are right at our fingertips (literally), we just need to exercise discretion and be sure to use credible sources. What is more, being able to have instant communication with anyone anywhere tremendously improves productivity and reduces traveling costs. Like the pod cast guest, Howard Finberg, if the host didn’t mention that he’s actually in Florida at the time of the show, I would have never known.

2012 and the Mayan Calendar

In Mass Communication on October 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm

The movie 2012, produced by Sony Pictures, is based on conspiracy, politics and ideology. It is a mixture of action/adventure and science fiction, blending current events with ancient history, taking advantage of rumor about the world is going to end in three years. Scientists have been predicting catastrophic events like Planet X crashing into Earth, killer solar flare (the movie Knowing already used this idea), the possibility of geomagnetic reversal, etc. There is no concrete evidence that when exactly any of these events will happen, but many people have been interpreting the end of the last Mayan calendar as a warning to humankind.

The Mayas used a very complicated calendar system. Simply put, the first day on a Mayan calendar is expressed as 0.0.0.0.1 (where each digit goes from 0 to 19) and the 20th day would be 0.0.0.1.0. This is sometimes referred to as the Long Count Calendar. There have been debates, even amoung Mayan archaeo-astronomers, about when the Mayan calendar actually ends. Since they used the numbers 13 and 20 as the roots of their numerical system, the calendar may end on 13.0.0.0.0 (equivalent to our December 21, 2012), or it may continue on until 20.0.0.0.0. Either way, this only represents the end of a cycle and the beginning of another, instead of everything ending into nothingness. According to Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Florida, ancient Mayas considered reaching the end of a cycle an important event to celebrate. This leads me to believe that the Mayan calendar works very much the same way as our calendar today: every January 1st, we celebrate the dawn of a new year; the Mayas were the same way, only that their calendar cycle lasted 18,980 days (52 years of 365 days each). Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Communication and Mass Media Definitions

In Mass Communication on October 5, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Based on our class discussion, these are the definitions that I devised:

Mass Communication: the transmission of messages or information from the senders to the receivers (a broad audience) through the use of mass media.

Mass Media: Channels which are used by senders to communicate their messages to the audience.

For example, the Mac vs. PC television commercials (the medium) express that Macs are way cooler than PC’s (the message).

To further demonstrate these two concepts, I came up with this story:

Tyler was seven years old. One day, he saw his father working on the computer, different images kept popping up on the monitor. Tyler was fascinated and began to dream about having his own computer. He decided to write Santa to tell him that he has been a good boy all year long and he’d like a computer this Christmas. He wrote and rewrote and rewrote, until he was satisfied and mailed it off to North Pole. And then he thought, “what if my letter wasn’t convincing enough and Santa didn’t believe me?” He needed to assemble himself a group of lobbyists… Mom, Dad, Uncle Craig and Aunt Janne, cousin Dory and little Katie next door… the list goes on. One by one, Tyler wrote everyone he knew to ask them to write Santa, telling him what a good boy Tyler has been and that he should be rewarded with a computer this Christmas.

It’s Christmas morning, the long wait was finally over. Tyler jumped out of bed and immediately ran to the Christmas tree. There, he found a huge box with his name on the gift tag. He couldn’t wait and ripped the package open, and, viola!, a brand new computer. “It worked!” Tyler exclaimed! But wait, there’s another box that says, “Tyler” on it. What could it be? He opened it, and it was a book titled “Mass Communication.” He didn’t understand what that meant but the curious mind was determined to find out.

With the assistance of his parents, Tyler learned to use the computer, learned to use it as a resource to help him understand what this book was all about. With his continuous effort, he finally began to comprehend the message… that was his first experience of mass communication.

In this story, Tyler was the sender. He used letters as a mass medium to communicate to all the people he knew about his Christmas wish. When the receivers received the message, Tyler’s wish was granted. Besides the message that Tyler intended to communicate, another message was also conveyed to the audience — this boy has a business mind! Tyler’s parents received the message and communicated back the knowledge in the form of a book.

Examples of Mass Communication

In Mass Communication on September 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Team Name: Awful Dudes

All my Examples (part of our Delivery Method category):
opera, speech and public speaking, music, photography, semi form, print, instant messaging, theater, play, snail mail, color, email, twitter, blue tooth, morse code, writing and smoke signal

Five Examples: speech and public speaking, opera, print, photography, email

Throughout history, human beings have always liked to communicate with one another, using different means to spread their ideas or to gain knowledge. People gave speeches, wrote and performed operas, printed books and posters, all for communicating to the masses. Then came photography and, most recently, emails. These are all mediums that people commonly use to express themselves. Perhaps to pass on knowledge, perhaps to market a product or service, perhaps to express one’s opinions, but all with one goal which is to communicate. Read the rest of this entry »