Role of the Professional (Q.4).

The popular use of new screen media has changed the role of the professional opening a direct line of contact for politicians, activists, celebrities and even companies like movie studios to convey their message be it, promotion, protest or art.

For the 2016 American presidential election social media was a valuable asset utilised by all presidential candidates during the race. President Donald Trump is infamous for his twitter activity posting at least one tweet a day. He now holds two twitter accounts after he created a new profile in January when he took office as president. From viewing both of his profiles it is evident he is well versed in the language of new popular screen media categorising his posts with hashtags and hyperlinks. Many of his most recent posts are centred around the dismantlement of Obama’s health care system in favour of a new system.

trump.jpg

It’s not just professional individuals using social media to engage the public with popular media/culture to promote themselves, multinational corporations are using the same screen culture to promote their content/products an example of this is universal pictures Ireland who use their Facebook page which has under 200,000 likes. Universal use their Irish page to share trending topics  often heavily linked to one of their properties which are relevant to Irish people so as to attract consumers. Universal shares trailers of its upcoming movies coming to Irish cinemas on its Facebook page changing the way in which we consume movie trailers as just over ten years ago the only place to see trailers was either on home video or in theatres.

Universal

Activist groups often use references to popular culture as a means to spread their message. Peta (People for the Ethical treatment of Animals) for instance linked a video of the liberation of a lab monkey to the 2017 film Okja a story of a little girl who ventures to save her friend the giant pig Okja from slaughter which was critically acclaimed and seen worldwide by millions. This was a very efficient technique of propagating their animal rights agenda to the public.

okja

 

 

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Progressive/Regressive Media (Q.1.)

social-media

Today it may be far too early to concretely determine if social media is progressive or dangerous. Social media is everywhere in todays world and is used by millions of people worldwide whether their sharing photos sending messages or just wishing someone happy birthday. Social media has its dark side such as stalking or cyber bullying but because in my opinion it fuelled revolutions in the middle east during the Arab Spring in 2011 I accept that social media has aided in changing the world for the better.

The Arab Spring began in late 2010 when dissatisfied youth Mohamed Bouazizi burned himself alive in protest against Tunisia’s authoritative government for the countries high youth unemployment and weak economy. Bouazizi’s extreme demonstration was the catalyst for widespread revolt against Tunisia’s government which soon spread to the countries neighbours Morocco, and Libya in particular where protest escalated to war and eventually the toppling of its dictator Gadaffi. The wave of social and political unrest spread from North Africa to the Gulf states and the Middle East to countries like Syria and Yemen who are both still being ravaged by civil war as a result of the Arab Spring uprising 5 years ago.

arab spring map

Through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, activists were able to communicate enabling them to recruit and to assemble themselves for mass protests. The hash tag #sidibouzid became the viral rallying banner of revolt in Tunisia on twitter which later began to trend across the globe. Social media carried the message of revolution across the Arab world and although media blackouts were incurred in Egypt it did not stop the momentum of the revolution which overthrew the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt-Women-Protest-Arab-Spring

The Arab Spring was an event which inspired the people of the planet that they can strive to change how they live in society by connecting and co-operating with others online where in the real world this maybe impossible in countries where human rights are infringed. The Arab Spring evolved how we use social media and since then politicians use it to directly address the public or activists use it to spread their message like in the yes campaign during the marriage equality referendum.