My first taste of Virtual Reality

Blogger, Bristol, Journalism, Life, Media, Virtual Reality, Visual Journalism

One of my modules this year is Journalism Innovations, and it’s my favourite.

Before university, I had never heard about Virtual Reality, and so I think it’s very refreshing to have someone intelligent educate me on what it is, what it does, and what good it can do for journalism. In my opinion, there is nothing more appealing than to “learn something new everyday”, and I find so satisfying to learn new things in relation to journalistic practice and workflow. Even better if it’s in relation to technology.

Being so technology savvy, I immerse myself in all things technological on a regular basis. Disregarding the fact that I have grown up in a generation where people as young as four are addicted to iPads and able to use smart devices, I have always taken great satisfaction in learning about what’s going on in the technological world. I loved Tamagotchi’s when they were in, the gameboys then the Nintendo DS, grey play stations, my Xbox, and never forgetting the Nokia’s, Motorola’s and notorious iPhone 3.

Now I’m typing this blogpost on my Macbook Pro, my iPhone 6S is on charge and I’m speaking about how my university course involves the learning of topics such as Mobile Journalism, Robots, Drones and Virtual Reality. How technology has evolved.

MySpace, Bebo, and MSN have disappeared, leaving Facebook, YouTube and technological innovations to take the reigns.

“The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’. The definition of ‘virtual’ is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term ‘virtual reality’ basically means ‘near-reality’. In technical terms, virtual reality is used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.” (Curzon, J. 2016)

It’s incredible to think that virtual reality creates another form of escapism. It’s the mere fact that we can virtual spaces, places and features with reality and have it all feel very real. I used Google Cardboard in my first Journalism Innovations workshop on VR, and found it very fascinating considering it’s only what, £3.26 or something? For what it’s worth, you should definitely experience it – but I would be lying if I was to say that you’ll be taken to another world. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have your senses claimed by something that’s attempting to take you to another world. Do it.

To say that I’m so excited to see what’s to come over the next few years for VR. Virtual Reality headsets probably won’t be what every kid is screaming to have for their main present for Christmas this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were nagging for it next year.

Next week I’m going to the innovations lab and we get to use the expensive stuff. I can’t contain my excitement.

Have you used any VR headsets? Tell me what you think of VR, augmented reality, anything! Thanks for reading.

Rebecca x

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I’M GETTING BACK INTO WORDPRESS

Blogger, Bristol, Journalism, Life, Media

Hello there. It’s been a while. 

The whirlwind of being a twenty year old and a third year student of Media and Journalism is catching up with me! 

There’s so much to do in so little time, and only now I’m managing to learn how to prioritise. It’s going pretty well mind you, I feel like I actually know where I am going with my life for a change and as much as I act like I student, I feel much more mature now than I did compared to when I first started uni. 

I actually have 5 minutes to myself to sit and wonder, “when was the last time I wrote a blog post?” I couldn’t even answer my own question. After coming on to my blog and seeing the date of my last post, my mouth almost hit my wooden floor. I can’t believe how long it’s been! 

I can’t even think of anything interesting to write about right now, but it’s probably because I’ve had so much going on. Life can be sooooo crazy. 

Rather satisfied to return to the blogging world, although I do feel guilty when I think about the time I have spent not writing blog posts. I won’t blame university for that, because I do have to prioritise my degree 😉 7 months and I’ll be weeks away from graduating! How terrifying is that. 

I know that I really don’t have a following on here, but one day I’d love one, and I’m sure that if I try hard enough, I might get one! 

So expect a lot more from me on the blogging front, I’m going to try and make myself, my interests and most importantly, my writing seem interesting enough for other people to want to read it! 

Thanks for reading, I’m glad to be back. 

Rebecca x 

Imagined Communities

Blogger, Imagined Communities, Journalism, Life, Media, News

Benedict Anderson (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London, Verso, pp. 10-15.

p.20

It is difficult to define nation.

“Transformation in the history of Marxism and Marxist movements is upon us”

Everything contributes to what encourages how people think of a nation.

  • Its most visible wars are of world-historical importance
  • Recent wars between Vietnam, Cambodia and China
  • Regimes who independence and revolutionary credentials are undeniable
  • “None of the belligerents has made more than the most perfunctory attempts to justify the bloodshed in terms of a recognisable Marxist theoretical perspective.”
  • Sino-Soviet border clashes of 1969
  • Soviet military interventions in Germany (1953)
  • Hungary (1956)
  • Czechoslovakia (1968)
  • Afghanistan (1980)
  • According to taste – ‘social imperialism’, ‘defending socialism,’ etc., no one, I imagine, seriously believes that such vocabularies have much bearing on what has occurred in Indochina.” ???
  • “If the Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Cambodia in December 1978 and January 1979 represented the large-scale conventional war waged by one revolutionary Marxist regime against another.”

p.21

“The reality is quite plain: the ‘end of the era of nationalism,’ so long prophesied, is not remotely in sight. Indeed, nation-ness is the most universally legitimate value in the political life of our time.”

“Nation, nationality, nationalism – all have proved notoriously difficult to define, let alone to analyse. In contrast to the immense influence that nationalism has exerted on the modern world, plausible theory about it is conspicuously meagre.”

p.22

The 3 Paradoxes

  1. The objective modernity modernity of nations to the historian’s eye vs. their subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists.
  2. The formal universality of nationality as a socio-cultural concept – in the modern world everyone can, should, will ‘have’ a nationality, as he or she ‘has’ a gender – vs. the irremediable particularly of its concrete manifestations, such that by definition, ‘Greek’ nationality is sui generis.
  3. The ‘political’ power of nationalisms vs. their philosophical poverty and even incoherence. In other words, unlike most other isms, nationalism has never produced its own grand thinkers: no Hobbeses, Tocquevilles, Marxes, or Webers. This ’emptiness’ easily gives rise, among cosmopolitan and polylingual intellectuals, to a certain condescension.

“It is characteristic that even so sympathetic a student of nationalism as Tom Nairn can nonetheless write that: ‘”Nationalism” is the pathology of modern developmental history, as inescapable as “neurosis” in the individual, with much the same essential ambiguity attaching to it, a similar built-in capacity for descent into dementia, rooted in the dilemmas of helplessness thrust upon most of the world (the equivalent of infantilism for societies) and largely incurable.”

  • Unconsciously hypostasising the existence of nationalism”with-a-big-N”

Anderson, B. pp.22-22 (1983) speaks of how individuals within society have their own “image of their communion”, even if they don’t know the fellow members in their society. Without hearing of them or communicating with them, their perception of their society still remains.

“Or l’essence d’une nation est que tous les individus aient beaucoup de choses en commun, et aussi que tous aient oublie biendes codes.”

Or in other words… the essence of a nation is that all individuals have many things in common. This makes me wonder if it is these things we have ‘in common’ that unite us all and make a nation. Our nationalities might be what bind us to the notion that we can stand together, hand-in-hand, representing our countries, except, what about those who join us from other beautiful places in the world? How could that make us any less of a nation? To me, a nation is full of humans who take pride in being introvert about their nationalities, and have no shame in showing their attraction towards combining with people of different nationalities, no matter who they are or where they’re from.

Perhaps a nation is no more than what an individual(s) imagines it to be.

If so, let’s imagine our nations to be incredible.

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I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS ADVERT. CAN YOU?

Advertising, Barbie, Blogger, Journalism, Life, Media, News, Visual Journalism

 

So. A friend of mine shared this to Facebook, and being as nosey as I am, I had to watch.

If the caption didn’t captivate me enough, it was the still before starting that video in comparison to the ‘Barbie’ caption that really caught my eye.

If you have carried on reading this without having watched the video, you’re a cheeky bugger! 😉

‘What happens when girls are free to imagine they can be anything?’ 

Well, what they imagine becomes reality, of course.

Not only do I find it absolutely hilarious as well as mesmerising seeing the young girl act as a professor at the start of this advert, but I find it empowering too.

Make girls everywhere want to do this kind of stuff!!!!!

Seeing the people in their seats laugh put a little bit of doubt in my mind though, as it is clear they’re laughing at how the possibility of this happening is lower than Atlantis. But then I think to myself, I would probably laugh too. You don’t expect to go into university and have a child as your professor. Hypnotic to watch though.

In this advert we see young girls pose as a variety of things. First a veterinarian, then a football coach, we see a ‘business woman’ say how good her day at the office has been,  and a history museum worker. All in the space of 1 minute and a half. Excellent.

What it cuts to after those 90 seconds is the best, though. Just a girl in her bedroom playing with her Barbie dolls.

‘When a girl plays with a Barbie, she imagines everything she can become.’ 

You can be anything.

I remember myself with my barbies. I would nag and nag and nag for the next, newest Barbie. Then I would match every other annoying young child by cutting its hair. I WAS WASTING MY MUMS MONEY! I wanted to be as fabulous as a Barbie. Growing up led me to realise that you don’t have to look or be like Barbie to be ‘just as amazing as she is’ yeah, she’s blonde and slim, with big blue eyes and so on. But that doesn’t mean that if you don’t look exactly the same as her, you’re not as beautiful. That’s bullshit. 

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Do what you want to do for you!!!!!!

I love how the ad shows the contrast between the girl playing with her barbies and what she imagines herself as. A professor. Not a supermodel. Nothing wrong with supermodels, but I just LOVE how the professions the girls have been given here are the kind of professions you grow up in school wanting. I have always wanted to be a professor, (no lie), I still want to be one. (Well, I lie here, I wouldn’t mind going into advertising or anything that involves writing) but it has always been my plan, now my backup plan, to be a professor. Talking about myself is so boring, I’m bored myself now. SO MOVING ON….

The point is, just because a girl plays with a Barbie, it doesn’t mean she wants to be one. Imagination is such an extravagant thing, if you have a vivid one, expand it. To imagine the unimaginable is a very special thing indeed.

I feel that the only thing that could make this advert better, is introduce some young boys. Boys play with Barbies too!!!!!!!!!!! Boys and Barbies are cool.

Absolutely exceptional. Well done Barbie.

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CONVERGENCE

Advertising, Blogger, Journalism, Life, Media, News, Vlogger, Youtube, Youtuber

“The concept of convergence, that is the coming together or joining of previously discrete items, has taken on a particular set of meanings during the 1990s in the context of changes within the communications industries and their related technologies.”

Long before anyone had heard of the Internet, early home computer users could read their morning newspapers online.

 

“Imagine if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer, to read the days newspaper. Well, it’s not as far fetched as it may seem.”

To me, this video is mind-blowing. It perfectly depicts the evolution and revolution of the ability to read the days newspaper on a computer. Then I think of where we are today.

Not only can I download specific news apps from the App Store on my iPhone, rather than buying the newspaper itself, like such;

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But I can even filter my preferred publications on my ‘news’ app in my News folder on my smartphone. Like so;

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Regardless of the fact that we live in the 21st generation, where social networks are now a part of our ‘everyday’; the ability to do this still ceases to astound me.

Moreover, “The growth of mobile technology and methods of communication seen over recent years means there are significant challenges as well as opportunities for traditional news providers.” (BBC Trust, 2014, p. 20) So I got to thinking… What’s the use in still printing traditional news publications when they’re available at anytime and anywhere, on our technological devices?

Fairbrother (2008, p. 41) says, “The Internet is a great disintermediation tool.” Following it on with, “The success for YouTube has proved there is huge appetite for video consumption and the old style schedule driven broadcasting model has reached the end of its life.” It’s true. The internet is exhilarating to say the least. The list of the internet’s possibilities is also endless.

25 year-old YouTuber Zoe Sugg proves the impact importing videos to YouTube can have on your life. Having started her YouTube channel in 2009, she is now thought to earn £20,000 a month from advertisers alone.

 This video has received over 14 million views 

“It’s the beginning of the end with ‘take away TV’ providing the most convenient model for watching TV style content on multiple platforms where ever and whenever the audience wants to.”

In addition to content that is available 24/7, anybody has the ability to provide content to YouTube. The best thing about this?

 

Anybody can be a news provider.

Reference: ‘Convergence’ 2004, in The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies, Sage UK, London

Fairbrother, N. (2008) Broadcast TV is dead – (it just doesn’t know it yet). Journal of the Institute of Telecommunications. Professionals. 2, pp.41-46.

YouTube (2015) How well do we know each other? Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC6VNJ6jNKc [Accessed 29 November 2015]

Bernhard, G. (2015). TV News beyond the UK – Multiple dimensions of convergence. BA Media and Journalism [online]. Available from: https://my.uwe.ac.uk [Accessed 29 Nov 2015].

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Blogger, Bristol, Journalism, Life, Media, News

Without the right to express ourselves freely,

are we who we really are?

Freedom of expression makes me feel;

  • Substantial
  • Authoritative
  • Worthy
  • FREE

How does it make you feel?

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Freedom of expression regularly causes controversy within society. Is this what makes it intriguing? Not exactly. I find freedom of expression just as exciting without drama. Knowing that you as a person have the power to express yourself/your views freely should empower you.

The right to freedom of expression can unite a nation, more importantly a society. I believe that every individual should fight for what they believe in, given the right circumstance. It gives you strength. It makes you feel alive.

Is it good or bad that every individual is entitled to their own opinion? 

Well, that might depend on your own opinion.

In my perspective, it’s a good thing. A very good thing. Life would be boring if we all had the same opinion, wouldn’t it? I love listening to what other people think. Actually, sometimes I prefer listening to what other people think.

It is so refreshing and enlightening to hear someone say that they don’t like what you like, don’t agree with what you agree with etc. Unless you don’t have as much of a back bone as I do. I immediately think of Christmas. Why? Because myself and my four Welsh friends (I know that you’re thinking, ‘they must be very quiet’), Still haven’t put decorations up in our house. 1/2 think that it is too early and not to do it until December, but the other 1/2 think we should decorate ASAP, to make it feel like Christmas is coming. We all leave to go home by the 14th of December anyway, so I feel that if we are going to decorate we may as well do it now.

ANYWAY…. the point I was trying to make is that the time we could have spent decorating has been used for us to speak about how we don’t agree with each other. If you don’t ask people for the reasons for their expressions, you might miss the opportunity to learn new things.

We all love learning new things, don’t we?

Freedom of expression enables us to be who we are and gives us the chance to show others who we truly are.

Go us!

“Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the development of every man.”

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