Media Constructs Reality: News Coverage of Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase Slanted Heavily Towards Business Interests

 

 

An analysis by PressProgress (Source) of dozens of news articles covering the province’s recent minimum wage increase reveals Canadian newspapers overwhelmingly privileged the perspective of businesses over the perspective of Ontario’s low-wage workers.

 

 

Three-quarters of all news coverage (75%) between December 31, 2017 and January 4th, 2018 greeting the new minimum wage – including news reports, opinion columns and editorials – directly quoted or cited figures from business owners, bankers and corporate lobby groups.

 

 

Despite a body of credible research from academic sources showing minimum wage increases have clear economic benefits and 53 Canadian economists endorsing the policy, half of all news articles (50%) failed to list any economic benefits whatsoever from raising the minimum wage.

Instead, headlines were dominated by misleading claims of job losses and anecdotes from small business owners.

Full article  HERE

Keep in mind the Mass Media Principles when evaluating any type of media text , journalism, advertisement, cinema, television, music & video,magazines, novels and factual reportage, and any social media.

 

 

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Bots & Trolls

A clear explanation of how bots and troll are used to influence political outcomes and societal tensions. This is how social media platforms are effectively used to identify target audiences and market social upheaval within a country.

If the screen does not appear in the blog post, click link to view in a new tab.

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005414346

You can not Step into the Same Meme Twice

An Internet meme is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet.

It most commonly takes the form of an image, frequently an animated or still image macro  . Hyperlinks, video, websites, and hashtags can be used as internet memes as well. Catch phrases, slogans, logos, sometimes including an intentional or unintentional misspelling can become memes on social media platforms. These small movements tend to spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct email, or news sources. They may relate to various existing Internet cultures or subcultures, often created or spread on various websites, or blogs, and other social media communications sites. Instant communication through digital devices facilitates rapid multiple word-of-mouth transmission .

The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads.

Internet memes are a subset of this general meme concept specific to the culture and environment of the Internet. The concept of the Internet meme was first proposed by Mike Godwin in the June 1993 issue of Wired.

A meme is an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture — often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.

The self-replicating and mutating component of memes in a digital mass media environment means that memes can change dramatically in their intent and original message. A recent example of this shifting intent is Pepe the Frog, which was hijacked and given a racist intent by those in the extreme American right .

Because Mass Media conveys intentional and unintentional messages, and visual fields of information are highly susceptible to context clues and placement, internet memes are fluid in meaning and intent. With their highly visual content and digital text environment being so flexible in layout and incorporating layers of information ( audio, colour, size, shape, and animation ), internet memes can change meaning much faster than regular language. So, as Heraclitus might say, you can not step into the same meme twice.

 

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For more information & insight on memes see Project 3: Exercise 4.3 – Memes.

For a more alternative creative expression approach to memes see my Implied Spaces post, What is the Meme-ing of This

Constructed Reality & Unintended Messages: Visual Context

Mass Media constructs reality.  Placement of text and visuals  builds associations & context. This in turn conveys messages, both intended and unintended, which contribute to values, beliefs & ideologies.

Links to actual articles:

Trump’s London visit still uncertain after call with May as tensions continue

Some clownfish have no personality, Australian study finds