Action News from Apply Daily ( By Ann, Ivan and Cherry)

Action news from Apple Daily

There is a new trend of animated news report in Hong Kong recently which call “動新聞”. It is a kind of video that using an animation to present the news and is first launched by Apple Daily on November 16, 2009 in Taiwan. It is a realist animation to explain news from Taiwan Next Media Interactive Limited production platforms in mobile phone and internet network.

By using the attractive animation and the “kuso” voice over, audience will surely be fascinated by this kind of action news. After this new type of animation news reaches a huge success in Tai Wan, Hong Kong also imports this kind of news report by Apple Daily and also it is popular in Hong Kong recently. I think why this type of animation news can be so success because of some reasons. Firstly, all of these animations were made in a very short period because of the timely requirement of the news. Complementing with the animation and the text, it will let the audiences have a clear understanding of the whole picture about the incidents and cause an immersive feeling.

Also, that animation news will not only place on the official homepage, but also put on another internet network just as the Youtube which is a very popular channel via internet. By placing the animation news on the Youtube, those youngsters who don’t like to read newspaper can also assess the news more easily rather than to buy a newspaper or visit the official homepage of Apply Daily. Moreover, they can easily share this animation news through Facebook and Twitter with their friends. As a result, more and more people can assess to this kind of animation news widely.

Apart from the high usage rate of Youtube, Youtube also have a special function which is attractive for the audience. It is the discussion function. By having discussion function, audience can express their feelings and opinions of the news. And Apple Daily can analyze the opinions and discussions and do some following actions such as having some special or designated topics on the issue.

However, the action news from Apple Daily also stirs up a lot of controversy and complains. As we all know, Apple Daily frequently reports local gossip news and they often prominently reports sensational news not only on their newspaper, but also on the Apple action news. A lot of people think that the action news is so realistic and bald. Apple action news describes the suicide, crime and brutal event tremendously. It makes those audiences feel in person and anxious when dealing with some sexual assault and domestic violence topic. In Tai Wan, Apple action news has even been punished 500,000 yuan NT by Taipei City Government because Apple action news does not have any classification measurement on the action news.

As we all know that internet is a kind of new media, I think that Apple Daily can utilize the multifunctional features of internet and reporting news not only in visual channel, but also the auditory channel which is a good try. I hope that they can invent more new media in the future.

Week 8 – Karen, Janice, Vanessa & Yannie

Theoretical Reflection: Ideology, Hegemony, Media Representation

Apart from the significant others, such as parents, siblings, relatives, friends and teachers, mass media are the other major channels from which individuals may get to know about their communities, countries and even the world. Similarly, people’s beliefs, values and norms are mainly acquired from education and built upon the interpersonal communication and social activities with the significant others. In addition to laws and even some religious ideas with various nations, people are guided to establish their own systems of ideology which they undoubtedly follow without any questions. Yet, as mass media also play a critical role in shaping and modifying our value judgments about the globe and ourselves, hegemony has to be taken into account in this issue. Meanwhile, we should pay attention to motives and thoughts of the ones who stands behind the curtain, controls and directs the mass media.

According to ideas of Marx and Gramsci, it is obvious to understand that attitudes and behaviors of the subordinate classes like the general public are controlled under the hegemony of the ruling classes with strong political and economic powers. This kind of influence from the ruling classes can even be recognized as manipulation or brain-wash when some certain ideas are heavily disseminated into grass roots’ minds. Just take the media coverage about the Iraq war during George Bush’s administration over the United States as an example. Before the invasion of USA, there were frequent messages shown in TV to remind the Americans that Iraq illegally possessed weapons of mass destruction and intended to harm USA. Images, texts and narration of those clips kept connecting to the 9/11 attacks and portraying Iraq as a leading terrorist state. However, there was no broadcast about weapons of mass destruction done in Iraq by the force of USA. Additionally, according to Rendall and Broughel’s analysis, sources advocating the pro-war messages occupied 70% while materials about anti-war merely occupied 3%. Based on such media coverage, the Bush administration successfully justified the invasion of Iraq and gained lots of Americans’ support for the war. Although Robert McChesney, one of the activist scholars in the US media industry, admitted that it was just a fraud the US news media had participated in, it demonstrated how hegemony exactly worked in the so-called democratic government. While some people out of USA might not find the US invasion ethical, the Americans might do so and believe in their government as it shaped the Americans’ minds with their authoritative status and powers in manipulating the media.

Through the media, people are unconsciously receiving a variety of messages which are mostly in favor of the ones with political and economic powers every day. We can learn about the fundamental values and norms from family members and friends, but we may not able to comprehend the world from them at the same time. We, therefore, often rely on mass media, as known as the Internet, TV, radio and etc. to broaden our horizons since we may not experience the real world in person. Unfortunately, ideas of how the world is and should be, again, are greatly influenced under the hegemony of the ruling classes. From personal experience, Disney cartoons are channels which deliver some particular perceptions to people and even create bias. In some of the well-known Disney princess stories, people with unfavorable appearances are portrayed as bad guys with evil thinking, the black males are always fierce and engage in violence, the black females and Arabians are usually associated with sexual affairs. These are the elements which people, particularly children, would unconsciously receive and then use to shape their cognition towards the globe. This example then leads to the matter of media representation as shown below.

According to Stuart Hall, media representation first indicates the way in which meaning is given to the things depicted through the images shown on the media. Second, it stands in for people to take the place of where the subordinate classes cannot be, but the ruling classes can be. Let’s focus on Stuart’s first definition. Since the Walt Disney kingdom is one of the largest scaled multi-national corporations, its cartoons and movies can extensively travel all over the world and reach a huge scope of audiences. While enjoying a fun and entertaining cartoon, audiences especially children should have no idea to beware of those hidden perceptions and deliberately rooted motives which might go against minorities or races. Consequently, the possible outcomes of such a media representation can turn into people’s imbalanced impression and bias towards the minority groups. More significantly, it might even create cultural prejudice and hatred among various nationalities.

It is true that people may be able to spot the gap of representation one day when they discover the difference between how the media represent things and how the things are in reality. It will likely to be happened when an individual has acquired a certain level of knowledge and witnessed how the world truly is in person. After discovered the distortion of subjects by the media, he might start measuring those previously received values and beliefs, and adjusting his initial attitudes and behaviors. Since it is a common struggle that each single metropolitan may go through, it is not absolutely negative to people as it encourages them to think and act critically. Still, people should keep an eye to the motivation and rationales behind politics, significant social and economic affairs when the government or dominant corporations are looking for support.

Robert W. McChesney, “The Political Economy of Media: enduring issues, emerging dilemmas”, Monthly Review Press. 2008, p.105 - 106

Steve Rendall and Tara Broughel, “Amplifying Officials, Sequencing Dissent: FAIR Study Finds Democracy Poorly Served by the War Coverage”. 2003.http://www.fair.org/extra/0305/warstudy.html

Karen, Kason, Man, Winnie: Week 6 "Gordon Brown"

Top News: Gordon Brown

Recently, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has become one of the hottest politicians globally because of a newly released publication, The End of the Party. Written by journalist Andrew Rawnsley, the book discusses the anecdote and daily life of Brown, talks about the development of New Labour (the party that Brown belongs to), and even reveals something little-known of the party’s power. Some questions are stirred while reading this news event. After the book came to the public, many criticisms and bad comments of Brown aroused. We believe the book involves the issue of occupational integrity, or called professional ethics of journalists. It concerns about how the use of specialist knowledge should be governed when professionals are providing a service to the public.

Rawnsley’s The End of the Party claims that Brown is choleric and often assaults his subordinates who made minor mistakes. This book has already aroused the international publics’ attention before its publication. But the credibility of it should be the main concern. Most of the sources of this book are declared to be coming from the interviews and confidential conversations with the heart of the power rather than the firsthand contact with the people involved. The trustworthiness of the book has also been decreased, since it is difficult to prove the accuracy and objectivity of the statements of the interviewees.

Apart from its credibility, we should query about whether the author has invaded the privacy of the Prime Minister, as the book is presenting the working attitude and situation of Brown. Should a professional journalist reveal the personal livelihood of the Prime Minister? We have a reservation about that. Brown is a politician; thus, the general publics are interested in his daily life. Definitely, it is very newsworthy publishing a book about him. However, it may infringe the privacy of Brown.

Moreover, the writing intention of Rawnsley is another interrogation point. The author proclaimed that this book provides the definite account of the rise and fall of New Labour, and is even entitled as “The End of the Party”. We wonder whether the book can objectively cover the anecdote of Brown or not. It is not suspected that everyone can have an in-depth study and evaluation on a specific party, organization or even an issue if one does not obtain any personal stance and is being objective. Therefore, before we believe in what we have read, we should critically examine the background of the author in which whether he belongs to the opposite party and/or if he has received some interests from the opposite power.

Additionally, journalists have the power to influence the thinking and action of the general public by writing articles with their opinion. Almost everyone knows that the General elections of the UK will be held in two to three months later. With Rawnsley choosing to publish this book at such a sensitive time, it may possibly give rise to an argument that someone would like to affect voters’ opinion and attitude towards the New Labour or Brown.

Meanwhile, the UK Channel 4 News has interviewed Brown about two weeks ago. In the interview, Brown emphasized that he had never hit anybody in his life and declined the censure from the book. This interview gives the public a chance to study the case from different angles, as well as a chance for Brown to defend himself. As many media report news with bias, frames or with only one specified angle, the audience is advised to connect with different angles of news sources.

We also observed that there is a common problem in journalism. First of all, in order to arouse more attention from the public, reporters are more likely to write their “news” with exaggeration. For example in Hong Kong, Apple Daily reported Brown’s case with Apple Action News, illustrating the scene of Brown hitting his colleagues, and reporting the case as if the reporter has witnessed the scene first handed.

Therefore, we recommend that audiences should query different news. They should especially focus on the judgment to the reported information, which will influence the receiver to have different perceptions within an issue. Also, audiences should not believe in a specific newspaper or news reporter, since the news may guide them to easily believe in what is reporting.

Meanwhile, another aspect being analyzed is ideology. A common perception of a leader is stable, calm, and peaceful, as portrayed by the media. This perception is normalized by the mass media, influencing the public to accept that this is what a leader should resemble. The truth is, if the media had not defined what a “leader” is like, a typical person would not have any clear concept of what a leader should be like. Thus, when it is revealed that Brown is violent, temperamental, and unable to control himself, this incident becomes an infringement and rupture towards our perceived ideology. We would start to question whether an ideal leader is allowed to do such violent actions. We grasp this news as shocking, disturbing, and abnormal. But at the same time, it is exactly what made this event newsworthy.

In conclusion, we do not doubt that the claims made from the book about the Prime Minister of UK, Gordon Brown, and the bully censure are facts or not. The evidences being reported may be true, but at the same time, we do not know whether Andrew Rawnsley had purposefully framed his book, concealing un-supporting facts, and violating the integrity of a professional journalist. But we believe that if all journalists follow their codes of ethics, and the audiences have the ability of critical thinking, the mass media may possibly have a healthier reporting atmosphere in the future.


Channel 4 News:


Apple Daily Action News video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxJoMIFDTSs