BCM240 Week 9: Them’s the Rules

This week in BCM240 we’re thinking about how media audiences are regulated, or regulate themselves. The term ‘media dinosaurs’ comes up in at least one of the readings, because one of the ways in which regulations on media usage have been imposed is by older forms of media seeking to impose controls – through courts and legislation – on newer forms.

Media Dinosaurs

Media Dinosaurs don’t innovate against failing business models even when the end is nigh (source)

On formal regulation, Family Guy has a great video contrasting things that can and cannot be said on television. [NSFW]

Celebs preach safe bingewatching

Sex and censorship in early cinema

Cell phones rules to save your relationship

The role of classification systems is not necessarily to prevent things from happening on screen, but to protect business by allowing things to happen that give the least amount of offence possible to those who are likely to complain. As such, industry codes taught producers to work between the lines and audiences to read between the lines so that ‘at-risk’ audiences wouldn’t be influenced but others would get the joke. Think about the role of double entendres in shows like The Simpsons.

Some questions

  1. What are the social rules around mobile phones?
  2. If everyone is using mobile media devices in the home, are ‘media rooms’ defunct?
  3. What is the global impact of FCC rules (like those alluded to by Family Guy) on non-American audiences? Do our regulators have the same power?
  4. How do big media reviews like the Finkelstein Review (Australia) and the Leveson Inquiry (UK) impact media regulation in the longer term?

Blog posts this week

  1. What rules and regulations about the use of the media in specific contexts (at home/in public) have you encountered?
  2. Have these been enforced or not?
  3. What social anxieties or moral concerns do they reveal?
  4. What business practices do they protect?
  5. How do these rules and regulations relate to space

Remember, there are no blog lectures in weeks 10-12, but there is one in week 13.