Week 3: Ecology & Your ‘News’

The ‘news’ is a slang or colloquial terminology that has gripped society since time-began, it is what we as humans crave: the finding out of information you were not aware of previously, that no one else knows or is of significant relevance to your life; for whatever reason. Whilst you would be already aware of this concept, it is important to acknowledge the role ecology plays in how we as consumers receive, filter, interpret and form opinions on the ‘news’ we obtain.

The role of ecology, as a representative of the relationship that exists between individuals, cultures/theories and actual media events plays a significant part in how we hear/read/receive the ‘news’ in the 21st Century. Or alternatively as Strate observes:

“It is the study of media environments, the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs.” [1]

[Lance Strate, “Understanding MEA,” In Medias Res 1 (1), Fall 1999.]

Therefore, the following examples of FoxsportsNews Channel Online and social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), are prime examples of where  ecological processes has impacted on the ‘news’ we receive, as a result of the technological advances that now afford consumers/viewers to decide what they do and do not hear, read or watch.

Visiting extra context/watching recorded bulletins – Foxsports news:

When Israel Folau swapped codes from the National Rugby League (NRL) to the Australian Football League (AFL) the FoxsportsNews Channel chose to broadcast the live press conference on their website and on their TV Channel; as it was a method of communicating a  massive piece of sporting ‘news’ to those for whom this was of major relevance. This example is evidence of ecological processes in action because viewers of this press conference have likely chosen this medium based on a filtering decision stemming from their feelings, perceived benefits or beliefs that this event is significant; which is facilitated by the technological modes of communication that are now available.

Foxsports live press conference (Israel Folou): http://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/israel-folau-walks-away-from-rugby-league-to-join-gws-and-afl/story-e6frf33l-1225920757979

Social Media: Twitter

Shaquille O’Neal’s Retirement Announcement:

Shaquille O’Neal’s public announcement of his retirement is highly pertinent in demonstrating how Twitter can be utilised as a ‘news’ platform because in this instance: the player has been able to break the story of his own retirement. Further, in this case also the receivers of this ‘news’ have been affect by ecological processes because they have chosen to be ‘followers’ of this public figure. (Shaquille O’Neal has some 4.035million Twitter followers).

Therefore, the examples of mediums provided above illustrate the effect of ecology on our media consumption because we now can choose the genre of ‘news’ we receive, in these examples Sports ‘news’, and what content or topics we wish to access. Based on this presence of choice or filtering that now exists it is clear that key influences on ecological process like behaviour and cognitive reasoning are having an increasing affect on how consumers get their ‘news’; whether it be a traditional form like a paper, a social media update or the accessing of online content. Thus, the following excerpt by Milissa Deitz is highly relevant in our understanding of how ecology impacts on the ‘news’ which is ultimately affected by our own conscious behaviour, habits and interests:

“…what distinguishes media ecologies from naturally occurring ones is the way we can consciously intervene in them.” [2]

[1] What is Media Ecology? –  Author Not Stated, <http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/>, Last Updated: 2009, Last Visited: 11/03/12

[2] The New Media Ecology. Milissa Deitz, Last Updated: 23/12/10, Last Visited: 11/03/12. <http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11410&page=2>

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