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 

So you’re going to SWX for the first time

Bristol, Journalism, Media

So I was in my university house the other day thinking of somewhere I could write other than my blog. I also thought what on earth am I going to write about.

I came across The Tab, a place for university students to write whatever they choose, about almost anything.

Choosing a popular club in my university hometown, the controversial city of Bristol, I ended up with this.

My story on the tab – http://thetab.com/uk/uwe/2016/02/23/youre-going-swx-first-time-4629

 

I WANT DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S VOICE

Journalism, Media, Visual Journalism

Africa, BBC 1, 6/2/2013(!), 2100hrs

  • Amazing birds-eye views of the African landscape
  • Authentic wildlife representation
  • David Attenborough’s script matching what is shown on screen, giving depth and quality 
  • Direct mode-of-address to the camera from David Attenborough, encouraging that sense of relationship
  • Nice NATSOT during ‘Afirca’
  • Natives/locals speaking, giving reality and sense of place to the programme

The structure of ‘Africa’
Different elements (e.g., talking heads, observational etc.) the programme contains. 

‘Africa’ is almost 100% observational. Birds-eye shots of the African landscape, extreme-long shots and wide-shots, long-shots of the animals whilst they are interacting with each other and moving across Africa. There are extreme close-ups of lions which seem like they’re in slow motion and very beautiful to watch, especially if you appreciate wildlife.

Similar to news package elements in the way that an audience can receive information from watching ‘Africa’. Not only is the programme aesthetically pleasing, the factual information about predators and their prey is interesting.

This documentary has less talking heads than a regular news package, since you see David Attenborough address the screen directly as if he is talking to you, and then an African native who is describing how fulfilling it feels to capture a lion. With the direct mode of address though, it seems as though you are having a conversation with them through the screen, something that is satisfying when you’re watching something on Television; especially for me, since it feels like you’re more involved in what you are viewing.

There appears to be a narrative, since the member of the African tribe who talks of hunting lions has a change of heart throughout the sequence. During this, we are shown lions messing around together, a pregnant lion and so on, and then the tribe member talks of how he began to feel guilty after hunting, and now instead of doing what used to fulfil him, he now admires the lions in their beauty. Along with other warriors, he becomes what is described as a “lion guardian.” Instead of hunting lions, they’re protecting them.

A nice aspect of ‘Africa’ is the inspirational music that is occasionally played behind the voice-over.

David Attenborough as a structuring device

David Attenborough has such a calming voice. I want it. He is a soul who explains interesting things with delicacy whilst at the same time achieving the objective of providing something that is stunning yet informative – in the sense that he doesn’t make an audience question what is on the screen.

You see Attenborough interacting with the African natives, a really nice touch to the programme, since this makes it easier to recognise his interest and curiosities towards their way of life. I think this gives flavour to ‘Africa’. It is nice to see a relationship between the two – especially when the conversation seems more like a relaxed conversation than an interview.

David Attenborough gives direction and sequence to ‘Africa’, as a structuring device. It seems as though he breaks the programme up and gives it more depth by what he says and the way he speaks. His tone of voice is easy to listen to and his hand gestures are the perfect tool to keep an audience captivated.

After watching this episode of ‘Africa’, I have learnt about the change in warrior’s behaviour towards the lions. Traditionally, the lion the warrior hunted took the name of the lion. Now, the lion takes the name of the warrior who protects it. David Attenborough describes this as “21st century conservation in action” and I found it lovely to watch.

This also reminds me of how much I really want to go to a wildlife conservation to see so many different animals. I have only ever been to Bristol zoo and Barcelona zoo and even though Barcelona zoo was utterly breathtaking, growing up I have gained more knowledge or could you say awareness as to what goes on in these particular environments and now I do not necessarily agree. I would much rather see animals in their natural habitats, where instead of being forced how to live and what to do, they are free to be free. 

Plus, cubs are so cute!!!! I want to hold one.

Thanks for reading!

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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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FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG

Journalism, Media

I had to do a blog post on this book. I recently purchased it due to it being on a recommended reading list for one of my university modules, and I had to read it right through.

I was just sitting at my dads house with my grandfather and whilst doing my work I had to just stop focusing on my essay, so that I could get to finishing this book.

I HAD TO JOT DOWN A FEW NOTES 🤓

These quotes basically made me wake up and smell the coffee (in terms of technology) –

The underlying idea was to use technology to connect people who share interests and activities across political, social, economic and geographical borders. A less lofty version was to create virtual spaces in which people could search for friends, relationships and business or employment opportunities.

Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a ‘neutral network’, a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform.

Unlike many other social-networking sites, Facebook started from a real space other than from a virtual one. In this case it was a well-delineated community consisting of people whose email addresses ended with @harvard.edu and who for the most part lived and worked in close proximity to one another. The site expanded by incorporating other elite communities – initially from Ivy League universities and then from other higher education institutions, but in each case it was building on the fact that the incoming members belong to real communities. In that sense, Facebook was building on the observation by Boyd and Ellison that ‘what makes social network sites unique is not that they allow individuals to meet strangers, but rather they enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks. This can result in connections between individuals that would not otherwise be made, but that is often not the goal, and these meetings are frequently between “latent ties” who share some offline connection.

Imagine the amount of businesses that wouldn’t have been set up if it wasn’t for the Internet’s capabilities allowing them to connect with each other? I love thinking about this.

Page 106 –

The Internet has been such an enabler of innovation.

There’s a talented individual with an idea that can be realised in software – which, after all, is pure ‘thought stuff’ – and the ability to write it.

Mark ZUCKERBERG. Thanks for Facebook. You genius.

There’s a distribution system – the Internet – to which anyone can have access without having to seek permission or pay an entry free.

Amazing. Blogs, YouTube, Twitter, the creation of a network than can make you the worlds youngest billionaire.

Very little money is required in order to realise the idea and launch it to the world – often just enough to pay for web-hosting in the first instance. The result is an environment where the barriers to entry are incredibly low.

Good stuff.

108

Once upon a time, to listen to a radio station you had to live within a certain distance of its transmitters or to have sophisticated receiving and aerial technology. Nowadays I can listen over the Net to thousands of foreign stations, including Raidio na Gaeltachta, the Irish-language station based in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, near where my father was born and many members of my extended family live.

And on top of these first-order surprises we’ve seen a raft of others – like Wikipedia and Facebook – which are themselves the consequence of the open, permissive nature of the World Wide Web that Tim Berners-Lee built. In that way, the openness of the original architecture has effectively incubated other surprise-generating machines. And the chances are that it will go on like this for the foreseeable future.

112

The motto of YouTube is ‘broadcast yourself’; and people do, on a vast scale.

The emergence of ‘the networked information economy’.

Blogging – “the superiority of online discussion.”

Just as bloggers attend to traditional media, reporters read blogs, and it was the persistence of the story in the blogosphere that finally persuaded the big guys of US journalism – particularly newspapers like New York Times and the Washington Post – to reopen it.

News as an ongoing conversation page 134

A new species has arrived, and exciting species are having to accommodate themselves to the newcomer. And vice versa. 

135

Illustrates the dangers for traditional media of ignoring the online world – of underestimating the collective intelligence of its audiences.

As I read that last quote ^, (I’ve decided it might have to be the last one I jot down on here because this is the only time I will let reading distract me from blogging ;), I’m laughing, since because I’m blogging, I am not ignoring the online world.

I would find it pretty hard to ignore it, as a matter of fact, but wouldn’t you?

Even though what I have said about this book is limited, since I kind of hot overwhelmed with the amazing quotes included by intelligent John Naughton (apologies), it really IS worth the read! It’s absolutely incredible for us souls who are growing up in a generation so involved with immense technology.

From the printing press to Facebook, there is so much to learn. I’m happy to say that I am one with an open-mind about our technologically advanced world. If you are not willing to learn, what are you?

You can buy this book here!!!! > http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Gutenberg-Zuckerberg-Really-Internet/dp/0857384260

Download the kindle version here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gutenberg-Zuckerberg-Really-About-Internet-ebook/dp/B006PI6TEW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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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