Final Project–‘My Story’ Assignment By: Pat Timlin

Narrated by Pat Timlin

In the fall of my Junior year I embarked upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when I participated in Loyola’s study abroad program at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. My experience in Thailand was amazing. The beauty of the country, the different places I got to visit, the food I sampled were all amazing; however, they were not the experiences that left the largest impact on me. Following my first week in Thailand I was taken aback by common sight of the children adults, and, handicapped who were left homeless and forced to beg on the streets of the enormous metropolis that is Bangkok. These images stuck with me, and inspired me to take action. I found an organization by the name of the ‘Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities in Thailand,’ and began to volunteer there a couple of times a week for the rest of my semester abroad. My time spent at CCD provided me with the most memorable memories of Thailand, and taught me more about myself and the world than I ever could have imagined. This is ‘My Story.’ The following video explains how I was motivated to start volunteering at CCD, what my responsibilities there were, and what I took away from it. Enjoy!

By Pat Timlin

 

Citations

1) http://www.ccdthailand.org/

 

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Final Exam: Question 1–By Pat Timlin

Patrick Timlin

Dr. Jonathan Lillie

CM-203-01: Final Exam

Summer 2012

From the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, newspapers served a crucial role in distributing not only the written word, but also political thought amongst American colonists. The colonists grew to value their freedom of expression in political pamphlets and newspapers and in 1791 the newly democratic state that recognized that freedom by adding the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby securing every American’s right to ‘Freedom of the Press.’ From that point forward the history of newspapers in America was unlike any other newspaper market in the world, due to the fact that “[…] newspapers and magazines developed in the United States with little government control, as opposed to other places in the world where censorship and government ownership are the norm” (King, Cook, & Tropin 317). From this era forward, the newspaper business has continuously evolved with the times.

In the early 1830’s, the Industrial Revolution and technological advancements such as the first cylinder press invented by a German by the name of Frederick Koenig, and steam engines (which were used to drive printing presses) which generated the ability of newspapers to increase their circulation. Newspapers companies began to experience significant growth because new technology and the low cost of paper products allowed them to mass circulate their papers for an extremely inexpensive price. This advancement also implemented social change, “[…] as mass circulation transformed newspapers into valuable businesses with large staffs, they started to be seen less as vehicles for one person’s opinions and more as providers of information” (King, Cook, & Tropin 319). This innovative period gave birth to objective journalism.  The invention of the telegraph and the Linotype machines also revolutionary. The telegraph allowed the fast and easy transfer of information to travel across great distances in small amounts of time, and the Linotype machine was able to fastidiously print entire pages of newspapers in no time at all. “The Linotype enabled newspapers to print several editions during the day” (King, Cook, and Tropin 320). The next major change in newspapers came about with the creation of newspaper chains.

            William Randolph Hearst began his change in San Francisco, then expanded to New York, and continued to acquire papers across the country until he controlled “[…] 30 papers nationwide, giving him enormous influence over public opinion” (King, Cook. & Tropin 320). Through their desire to increase capital by expanding their chains, Hearst and other newspaper publishers popularized the use of media conglomerates; a tradition that still exists today. For example, “Gannett, which is best known for publishing USA Today, has 84 daily newspapers and nearly 850 magazines and non-daily publications, and operates 23 television stations in the United States” (King, Cook, and Tropin 320). The creation of newspaper conglomerates also instigated social change. Immigrant communities, Native Americans, Women’s Rights groups, and anti-Vietnam War protesters are all examples of minority groups who established their own newspapers in order to unify their community and get their opinion out into the general public. However, although newspapers continued to provide Americans with news, they began to experience a decline in readership in the late 20th Century: a trend which has carried on to today. It eventually became more expensive for the production and distribution of newspapers, and they were eventually overcome by television and other forms of visual media. American began to lose interest in newspapers due to lack of stimulation and short-attention spans. The recession of 2008 and the popularization of the Internet also led to the decline in readership of newspapers. For example, newspapers used to generate significant profits from the advertisement of ‘classifieds’ in the back of the paper; however, the Internet site “Craigslist” facilitated a faster, concise, and more accessible version of classifieds that people could obtain for FREE and instantaneously. The two forms of convergence that newspapers and journalism were affected by were technological convergence and industry convergence (Class Notes). Additionally, the convergence of the Internet with news media has allowed viewers to obtain free information and visual media from social networks such as blogs, Twitter, and YouTube.

            Although newspapers have been significantly affected by convergence, they are still around today. They continue to suffer from a lack of readership, but they are now looking at ways in which they themselves can converge in order to increase their capital. One way in which they have done this is by experimenting with ‘converged newsrooms,’ hoping to do a better job at stimulating their audience. More importantly, they have begun to shift towards online journalism. Online journalism has been accessible via blogs and other free outlets (citizen-journalism online) for almost ten years now, but newspapers such as the NY Times and the Daily News have decided to move their articles onto theirs websites, requiring readers to pay a monthly subscription. These newspapers have taken notice of the power of citizen journalism and the effect it has on their business, so they modified their business models to the monthly subscriptions and began to encourage user participation/interaction. A look at the website for the Baltimore Sun is an example of the use of multimedia and user participation. They use videos like the one shown below in order to stimulate their audience, and they encourage users to discuss articles and news topics by ‘sharing’ their page with friends and family by using the Facebook ‘like’ button. Additionally, they have an entire tab labeled ‘Opinion’ where readers can discuss and interact with each other.

bs-md-msa-results-20120710,0,5093539.story

References

1) Currents in Communication: King, Cook, Tropin

2) Class Notes/PowerPoints

3) http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-msa-results-20120710,0,5093539.story

Celebrity Archaeology: Kanye West

By: Pat Timlin

ImageKanye West

Kanye West is a 35-year-old musician from Chicago, Illinois who is known internationally for his contributions to music, film, and fashion design. He is most recognized as being a musician, having released a total of five solo albums since 2004, in addition to three collaborative albums. He is critically acclaimed in the music world for his artistic ingenuity, and his talent has not gone unrecognized: he has been nominated for forty-three Grammy Awards since the beginning of his career, of which he has won eighteen. Aside from his work in the arts, West has also established himself as a well-known celebrity personality, known for his outspoken presence in the media. However, he has received criticism from the general public for using his platform in an arrogant and inappropriate manner.

West’s twitter account features significant activity. He has over 7,937,711 followers and tweets quite frequently, having tweeted over 1,600 times to his fans. After reviewing West’s tweets from the past week, it is apparent that he uses the social media outlet as a marketing tool for his music and personal brand. Over the last few days he has tweeted pictures of cover art for his upcoming album, links to his personal web page, and links to his recently released music videos in order to generate publicity for his products. Aside from using Twitter as a marketing instrument, West also uses ‘Instagram’ photos in order to divulge information about his personal life. For example, on June 12th he re-tweeted a photo (seen below) of himself and his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, wearing matching sneakers.

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This is not the first time that West has used Twitter to broadcast news about his relationship. Early this month, West received widespread disapproval for tweeting a semi-nude photograph of Ms. Kardashian. His twitter activity is highly indicative of his personal behavior: impulsive and brash.

West’s lack of discretion and incessant word-vomit bring to memory his behavior at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where he stormed the stage and chastised the audience for voting for Taylor Swift to win an award instead of Beyonce Knowles. Ultimately, his volatile behavior has led to a divide amongst his fans: those who support him, those who look upon him with disfavor, and those who can acknowledge his musical talent, but disapprove of some of his personal actions. The debate has carried over to the world-wide web, where fans have generated fan-pages such as “KW.US LOVE KANYE WEST” that both praise West for his musical genius and post updates about his personal life for fellow fans (http://kanyewest.us/). On the opposite side of the spectrum, West’s behavior, music, and use of social media have also generated negative responses, revealing the dark side of divulging so much information/opinions to the public. For example, public forums and pages have been created for those who wish to express their criticism of West, including on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Hate-Kanye-West/162559747088998)

Image2009 VMA’s

Whether or not Kanye West’s reputation has been helped or hurt by new media is difficult to determine. What is certain is that he has continued to experience enormous success in selling albums and generating widespread respect for his artistic talents. However, in today’s world, a celebrities use of ICT’s and social media outlets such as Twitter are crucial because they play a significant role not only in developing the public’s reception of that celebrity, but also in developing their brand and reputation. West has certainly succeeded in using Twitter as a marketing platform for himself and his brand. Yet, I believe it goes without saying that his occasional lapses in judgment and impulsive expression of his personal opinions have underlined his behavior at the 2009 VMA’s and has, thereby, hurt his reputation in the media.

LINKS

1) http://twitter.com/kanyewest/

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanye_West

3) kanyewest

4) facebook

Chapter 9 & “Birth of a Nation” Analysis

BY: PAT TIMLIN

“Stories are both the form and content of the media, and provide cultural links to the most ancient human traditions. The narrative form of the plot, characters, tension, development, and resolution entertains and informs audiences, anchors the media in literary and artistic traditions, spawns celebrities, drives advertising sales, recounts history, and encompasses the American ethos” (King, Cook, & Tropin 231).

ImageGuttenberg Bible

             Chapter 9: Communication as Storytelling begins by emphasizing the importance of narrative traditions in human social interactions. Storytelling is representative of the human need for interaction; our instinctual and inexplicable desire for social stimulation. King, Cook, and Tropin preface their argument on the benefits of storytelling in the media by citing Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, the Koran, the Bible, and the Talmud as products of great historical storytelling. They argue, “[t] he act of speaking implicitly means to have the Other present. Media stories put one in the present moment in communion with storytellers of the past, traversing time and space” (King, Cook, & Tropin 232). The text then goes on to list the benefits of the propagation of the printed word, but criticizes it as inferior to certain forms of media due to the fact that the printed word “[…] deprive[s] the tribal collective memory of the sounds and rhythms of the storyteller” (King, Cook, and Tropin 232).

The chapter then goes on to discuss the power of interpretation, delivery, and manipulation that is associated with storytelling in the sub-chapter, Truth, Fiction, and Lying. Mainstream media sources such as newspapers, newsrooms, TV, print news, blogs, and documentaries are all subject to ratings and profit margins that decide their survival. For example, “[…] many U.S. newspapers shed most of their newsroom employees and struggled to develop new income streams from the Internet to replace subscription and newsstand losses” (King, Cook, and Tropin 236). Additionally many mainstream media sources will manipulate stories or news in order to generate profits, as can be seen the “Great Moon Hoax” of 1835. By twisting the truth to fiction, they can draw in a larger audience. The chapter then concludes by discussing the four different types of storytelling techniques:

1)    Oral Histories: “Personal stories based on the spoken word […], a structured

form of storytelling used in truth-telling genres such as news, documentary,

and fiction based on fact”

2)    Screenwriting: “[…] describe only what is heard or seen by a mass media audience, refrain from elaborate descriptions or internal dialogue, and use present tense verbs”

3)    Genres: “[…] or story types, are comprehensive structures that provide whole frameworks of understanding to the mass media audience. They help audiences better understand media content with which they are interacting.”

4)    Transmedia Stories: “[…] stimulate curiosity about” a film or other form of media. (King, Cook, & Tropin 238-240).

The required reading The Good Lynching and the Birth of the Nation: Discourses and Aesthetics of Jim Crow is an essay written by Michele Faith Wallace that proposes that the film The Birth of a Nation reflects the storytelling and racial ideologies of the American South in the years after the Civil War.

Image

            The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 silent film made by D.W. Griffith was praised for its use of a new medium; however, it was also condemned for the racist prejudices it promoted. According to Wallace, “Griffith’s intention was partly to show the undeserved and unearned prosperity of blacks during Reconstruction […],” by portraying them as animalistic, uneducated, and uncivilized (King, Cook, and Tropin 247). It is very difficult to classify Griffith’s technique under any of the four storytelling techniques, but it is clear that he drew upon anti-black sources such as writings (novels such as The Clansmen), and probably some of the racist sentiments in the South at the time in order to produce his film. However, his film relates most to the sub-chapter Truth, Fiction, and Lying in Chapter 9. Griffith’s makes use of artistic liberty in order to present African-Americans in the way that he wanted them to be viewed. He was implementing both fiction and lies in his film in order to appeal to a Southern audience that perhaps shared his racist sentiments.

Image

            The concepts discussed in Chapter 9 can be applied to one of my favorite movies, Gladiator. Gladiator is a fictional film that is based on the storytelling traditions that have carried over from hundreds of years ago to the present day. The film loosely interprets some real-life individuals such as the Caesar Aurelius; however, it fictionalizes and dramatizes the experience of the main character, Maximus. It makes use of both oral and written storytelling relics that have been passed down over the years in order to formulate a audio/visual experience to entertain viewers. A second narrative, which I am not so fond of, was first a book and later became a movie and is entitled The Last of the Mohicans. While the film is extremely entertaining, and provides a large amount of accurate historical context, I feel that it does not do justice to the Mohican, or Native American, side of the story. Much in the same way that The Birth of the Nation criminalizes African-Americans, The Last of the Mohicans also criminalizes Native Americans and barbaric criminals who are instigating violent uprisings. I feel that the narrative fails to maintain the Native American perspective of the historical happenings.

 

 

Ad Analysis: Pat Timlin–Fiat 500 Abarth

Patrick Timlin 

Dr Jonathan Lillie

Ad Analysis

Image

Held annually, the Super Bowl Championship is world-renowned for the television advertisements it presents during commercial breaks. Corporations spend significant funds in order to produce memorable advertisements in an effort to generate a buzz about their products; a savvy business technique considering the fact that almost 200 million people watch the program. For my ad analysis I choice to critique an advertisement from the 2012 Super bowl produced by the Italian car company ‘Fiat.’ The ad is for the company’s new vehicle, the Fiat 500 Abarth, and is labeled Seduction

The advertisement begins with a professional, young male walking down a city street wearing business attire and glasses and carrying a sophisticated, coffee-based drink. As he walks along a tall, attractive young woman wearing high-heels and a fashionable dress draws his attention. The young woman is bending over adjusting the strap of her shoe in an elegant manner. Her beauty intrigues the young man and so he begins to blatantly stare at her as she fixes her shoe. The woman gradually becomes aware of his presence and turns around to meet his gaze, catching him staring at her. She immediately confronts him, chastising him in Italian, and even slapping him across the face. As she is confronting him the camera sweeps behind her to reveal a scorpion tattoo on the nape of her neck; interesting product placement, considering the scorpion is the emblem of the company. The ad takes an interesting turn as the Italian woman pauses from screaming at the man and begins to flirt with him. She even goes as far as dipping her finger into his coffee cup and gathering a piece of whipped cream and putting it in her mouth. Their gazes once again meet, and it appears as if they are about to kiss. The young man moves in to kiss her and as he does the young woman vanishes and is replaced by the Abarth 500, procuring a chuckle from the viewing audience.

            First and foremost, the fact that Fiat released this advertisement during the Super bowl makes it evident that they are trying to appeal to a male audience. An Italian company that was founded in 1899, Fiat is known to develop sleek, fashionable vehicles; and in 2009 they acquired the American car company Chrysler, probably in an attempt to appeal to the American market. However, there was one key problem with Fiat’s cars appealing to an American, male market: their size. Stereotypical, American car advertisements that are directed towards a male audience typically present their product in advertisements that portray the cars in a rustic, macho setting: thereby insinuating that the vehicle is ideal for young men. For this reason Fiat was faced with the difficult task of producing an advertisement that would make the Abarth 500 appeal to the male market. Their solution: objectifying the young, sexy, Italian woman in order to compare her to the petite-sized Abarth. By doing so, the male audience will correlate the young woman with the car, making them believe that by owning the car they will be in possession of something sleek and elegant, thereby appealing to the machismo mentality of usual car advertisements for men. Instead of owning a commanding, massive car that will generate attention from women, they can own a car that, in effect, is just attractive and exotic as any woman.

            Fiat is a company that specializes in automobiles, commercial vehicles, and auto parts. Yet, it is a corporation whose brand name has more of a presence in Italy and throughout Europe, and is far less well known in the United States. At the end of 2010 Fiat’s profits was exactly 73.44 billion pounds, and in that same year they made a profit of 992 million pounds. Annually, they output approximately 2,046,060 units; meaning mostly cars. Quite obviously, Fiat is trying to break into the American market and they most likely could appeal to a female-based market due to the petite structure of the car; however, they have had much more difficulty appealing to the male audience. They faced a sizable feat in appealing to such an audience so they chose to present their ad during one of the most watched programs in the world, the Super Bowl. This ad is one of their first major promotional movements in the United States and in order to comprehend their technique it is important to consider the fact that they are trying to break into a new market. The setting alone is also very revealing about what type of male audience they are looking to draw in: the city. They are attempting to appeal to young, economy-minded young men who are looking for fuel-efficient small cars that are well-suited for the tight parking spaces of a crowded city. The brand is clearly attempting to create a reputation for the company in the United States of an elegant, stylish car that can appeal to any owner. Regardless of whatever types of response that they will receive in this coming fiscal year one thing is for sure, the ad certainly lives up to its name: Seduction.

 

 Citations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat