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Framing: Egypt’s Revolution

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Currently, there has been much coverage over the call for reform in Egypt. From an American standpoint, this issue is being framed very carefully. Egypt has been one of our closest allies in the past, and our administrations have helped President Mubarak keep power.

When researching the happenings in Egypt, I actually found a lot of coverage on the White House’s views on America’s involvement. It was nice, because the coverage had straight dialogue from news conferences from Secretary Clinton and President Obama. The President said, “The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free and more hopeful,” but had no demands of the government. Obama was trying not to choose between protestors that clearly embody the need for democracy and a close ally. I think that this was more of a balanced look at the Egyptian reforms.

            Republicans, on the other hand, reported the situation in a different manner completely. I had to specifically look for Fox’s views on Egypt right now. Most shows have turned the issue into a warped sort of frame. The commentary was basically that it was either Mubarak or the Islamic fundamentalists, there was no in between the two. Logically, Fox was lacking. Coverage was all about the fear for us, as Americans. “They are jihadists,” was a pretty common phrase. Many shows were talking about Egypt as if it was the next step in the imminent apocalypse. Glenn Beck said something like “Europe is done.”  The fundamentalists are going to revolt in France or Germany? One lady said that this revolution could go from Tunisia all the way to Iran. It was said that Egypt hasn’t done terrorism yet, but could in the future. Beck talked about this being “September 10th”. It was all about scare tactics for Republican coverage.

            Democrats looked at the situation in Egypt more as a balanced event. Not to say that the Democrats were without bias. The coverage on MSNBC was more about how Egypt was going through a revolution, not unlike our own. Egyptians are protesting their government, after a particular incident that cracked down on the internet. MSNBC reminds the audience that at least half the population is 30 or younger in Egypt. I say democratic news was more balanced because we get to see more of both sides of the controversy. That at times the protest turned violent on both sides: tear gas and water cannons from the government, stones and Molotov cocktails from the people. We also see the middle ground more I think. There is the underground brotherhood of fundamentalists, but also the people who are just sick of the corruption. President Mubarak defended the crackdown on the internet, but offered some promise of reform saying he would fire his cabinet and replace them. MSNBC gave the view point that he has reshuffled his cabinet before, and for some this time it’s not enough.

            For more complete and balanced coverage on all sides, I would suggest less commentary and more facts. Our country already has to walk on eggshells because of our past involvement with Egypt, fear and doubt in democracy will do us no good. From a journalistic point of view, I think the White House was most effective in framing the situation, but could do with more backing. I think they should have included in more certain words what America is expecting from President Mubarak as well as how their reform/ revolt is an echo of our own.

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Categories: #9, Lynn's instructions Tags:

Lynn’s media diary

Wed:
9 – 12 phoned friend; texted SO (signif other); worked on class blog (unsuccessfully)
12 – 5 worked on setting up class blog & blackboard using laptop; emailed students; emailed grad committee
5 – 7 phoned SO; texted friend
7-1 read textbook, made notes on laptop, wrote ppt slides; got onto class blog & wrote comments on entries; used google images to research photos for ppt slides; looked at videos on YouTube for class
Thurs:
Overall reflection: mostly work-related; personal communication secondary; entertainment third. I would guess my uses of comm media are quite different from those of most people. My uses this day are also quite different than my uses were a week ago, however. Then, I was on vacation and doing a lot more interpersonal communicating to make arrangements and also doing more entertainment consumption than working. Even on vacation, the communication technologies enabled me to do work-related tasks like reply to student emails, finish writing articles, and look at possible video resources to show in class. I do not know what I would do without my cell phone or laptop.

Categories: #2, Lynn's instructions, Media diary Tags:

A Christmas Story

Ralphie visits Santa in A Christmas Story

Although I never owned a Red Rider BB gun and grew up in the 1970s rather than the 1940s, this film speaks to youthful Christmas joys and challenges like no other, and my family watches this classic every holiday season.

The film is an example of economic convergence because although it was produced by MGM/UA Entertainment,  Turner Entertainment acquired the rights to the film when Turner bought all of the rights to MGM/UA’s pre-1986 films.  With film costs of $4 million and a gross close to $20 million, the film was a moderate success initially.  It has since gone on to become a classic, at least in part due to television airings on Turner’s Superstation TBS, TNT, and TCM. The film gained such popularity that TBS began airing a 24-hour Christmas Story marathon on Christmas eve day in 1997, in addition to airing it periodically throughout December.  TBS reported 45.4 million viewers in 2005. Turner Entertainment became part of Time Warner when Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. merged with Time Warner in 1996.

The film is also an example of technological convergence as it has found expression across a variety of media.  The scriptwriter was Jean Shepherd, who gained fame as a radio personality on WOR-AM in New York in the 1950s, telling stories of his youth.  The script for A Christmas Story was based on several semi-autobiographical essays Shepherd had written about “Ralphie,” several of which had been published as well as presented in dramatic radio form, and some of which were in his novel, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Shepherd also provided the audio narration for the film.  Since 2000, an authorized stage play adaptation has been widely produced in the Christmas holiday season.

The film is also an example of cultural convergence.  It’s considered a classic film about a time in U.S. history, and companies such as Marriott have capitalized on its location in Hammond, Indiana by offering “A Christmas Story” packages to overseas tourists that include a visit to the A Christmas Story Comes Home exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center “located right next door to the hotel.”  On New Year’s eve this year, my family had to stop the car to see a brightly lit reproduction of the leg lamp in the window of a house in Buffalo, New York.  Now I want to check the going rate for the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window to complete my cultural experience of A Christmas Story.

Hello there classmate!

Thanks for being in Media, Film, & Journalism Studies 2210!  Our URL is MFJS2210.wordpress.com.  You can find more information about blogging on WordPress.com.

In class, you will need register for a wordpress blog. Go to WordPress.com.  Select sign up now.  You can create your own blog if you want, or else just sign up for a user name. Be aware that this blog is a public document, so choose a username that you don’t mind others finding (e.g., NOT your full first-and-last name, but please choose something that will allow your instructor and classmates to recognize you).

Once you have signed up, you’ll be listed as a Contributor on my Users tab, and I can change your role to Contributor.

Your 10 blog assignments are due here, so please keep track of the name you choose to blog under.

When you blog, please learn how to tag your blogs by number according to the number in the syllabus (e.g., #1, #2, #3).  But title it something catchy that fits the assignment or your reaction to it.  If you also tag by your name, we’ll all be able to keep track of how many you’ve blogged.  Remember you’ll need to submit 10 blogs for full credit for this part of the course assignment (but you can blog more often if you wish).  Also please choose the category so that I can keep track of who’s blogged on which topics.  Thanks!!

Categories: Lynn's instructions