Eyeing A1

A look at newspaper front pages from around the country

Archive for the ‘Class discussion’ Category

Is ‘I Live Here’ journalism?

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I don’t consider ‘I Live Here” journalism. It’s great non-fiction, but not journalism. There was research done and the telling of stories, but to be considered journalism there needs to be other sources than just the victims.

That doesn’t mean, however, journalists can’t learn from the presentation of ‘I Love Here’ and how to get similar emotional effects out of their readers.

Words and black and white pictures aren’t going to cut it anymore. There are reasons newspaper subscriptions are dwindling, which obvious reasons are the availability of news on the Internet and other mediums. Newspaper companies are using the Internet, but aren’t making money. Many of the pay-wall sites haven’t done well, which is well documented.

How can newspapers (and when I say newspaper, I don’t change mean the physical paper) change?

I found ‘I Live Here’ engaging and that’s what newspapers need to do to engage the readers.

I think too many newspapers don’t think of presentation enough. They are more concerned with just cramming as many words into ever-decreasing pages. Visually, to me, that’s unappealing. It’s proven by the fact that I rarely look at the newspaper that is delivered to my home. I still pay for it. I like knowing I have the option for the paper because I still prefer looking at the physical paper to a website.

However, if I knew a newspaper changed its presentation, I would be interested in looking at it to see what was different.


Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The Ugly of Old Spice

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After reading this blog post on “Why does Jack Bauer drive a Toyota?” I went to You Tube to look at more Old Spice commercials.

While there are certainly racial undertones to many of the Old Spice commercials, I think the sexist attitude is more prevalent. Everything the Old Spice commercials represent is about being a man. This commercial, for example, is all about being a man and how Old Spice will make you so manly, it will actually grow hair on your body.

Old Spice Commercial.

That is manly.

The video on linked blog post implies that women want manly men. Men who will lavish them with gifts and jewelry, men who are handsome and in great shape and men who are, as noted, “hung like a horse.”

But the commercial isn’t talking to women despite the beginning saying it is. The commercial is geared toward men and it wants men to look at themselves and see women aren’t allowing them to be the man that they want to be. The commercials are speaking for women by saying, “what we really is for you to be manly, which is actually my type and not what you are.”

Doesn’t this go into the whole ‘no’ means ‘yes’ problem?

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Looking at roles given to women

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Last Thursday in class, I thought we had one of more the interesting discussions when we talked about the passage we read in Visual Culture on Gendering the Gaze.  Briefly, the chapters discussed that as viewers we need to get passed the voyeuristic tendencies when watching movies. Additionally, the only time women really care about films is when they can relate to the female lead.

Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” argued that men are usually the protagonist and woman are merely objectified by the male gaze.

We can look at every big action summer blockbuster type of film and this still seems true. In Transformers, you have an average-looking make protagonist who needs to save humanity with a ridiculous good-looking woman, who falls for the guy.

Here’s a screen cap from the movie:

What does that have to do with the plot? Absolutely nothing and that’s part of the problem many of these writers are saying.

One of the movies that was brought up in class was Tomb Raider. There you have a strong female lead in Angelina Jolie, but still the producers of the film padded Jolie’s chest to give her a D-size bra. According, to an interview done with Jolie, she is already a C and the video game character is a DD. So, this was a nice compromise.

Mulvey states in he essay – which is from 1975, by the way – “The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.”

Thirty years later, most movies have no moved beyond that attitude. Even when women have strong leading roles, for the most part they objectified for the male viewer.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Mrs. Doubtfire will kill you

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It takes about an hour for me to get home from class every week. I like to rehash what happened and perhaps think of the upcoming project. This week, I only had one thought as I drove home, “I can make anyone think whatever I want.”

We watched several mashed up movie trailers, which made horror movies seem like romantic comedies and a popular trilogy turn into a story about homosexual love. Each one of these trailers was convincing, and if you never saw the movie prior, would completely believe the implications of the trailer.

This leads into our next project where we are going to take the Super Bowl commercials and archival footage from the 50s, 60s and 70s to create a point about gender, race or anything within society.

Initially, I thought I would do the video on how sexist the commercials were. I remember watching the Super Bowl with my agape rather than laughing at was supposed to be funny commercials. The one commercial that was supposed to be controversial – the Tim Tebow pro-life ad – was one of the least offensive commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.

But what happens if I move away from that thought. What if I make a video that invites people to think that women ARE evil. There’s a reason men, apparently, feel emasculated in 2010.

After all, if you can make it seem Doc Brown and Marty McFly are in love with each other, I can make anyone else believe anything I want.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Atlantic City’s homeless – revisited

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Here’s a slideshow of the pictures for Atlantic City’s homeless.

Here’s an example of some of the photos:

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Why Atlantic City? And, where is the fun?

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Atlantic City is a shithole. There’s no easy way to say it. Yet, everyday thousands of people come in and out of the city to gamble, shop and eat.

I am one of these people. I love Atlantic City. I play poker at night while talking to people I wouldn’t normally meet. Enjoying myself and winning money has a way of making me forget about what goes on outside of the casinos.

The crime rate is bad. The government is corrupt. Everyday The Press of Atlantic City has a new story about something negative of Atlantic City.

And, still we keep coming back.

I chose to take pictures of what is outside of the casinos because I want people to remember there are still people who live here.

I drove through Atlantic City one night (chaperoned) and looked for places that were downtrodden. It was difficult. The first place I visited was the where the last supermarket was in Atlantic City. The IGA. I laughed when I took this picture because the supermarket closed in 2006, but there is a sign on front saying ‘Coming Soon.’

It’s not coming. In fact, another supermarket may never come for a year or more.

However, this wasn’t the first photo I chose to show. I went with the beach. I went with serene and calm first because that’s what people want to see and think about when they and that’s when I led into the rest of the photos. Every other photo depicts something run down, and often, with something that gives a positive image.

Think about the photo with the Irish Pub. There is a closed, boarded building next door and the rest of the block looks the same. One good and one bad, but which way is that block headed. Sadly, the rest of the block is headed towards empty lots and closed buildings. The Irish Pub is one of the last few remaining businesses on that block.

Living near Atlantic City all I hear about is how the casinos have to change their image to make the city more of a resort for tourists. But what about the residents? What about the people who have live here? There are homeless walking the streets and living under the boardwalk. There are empty lots where viable business stood and had people working.

Instead, the only thing growing in Atlantic City is the casino by Revel Entertainment. Even that has it’s issue because it was given tax breaks and homes were taken away by eminent domain. Atlantic City is more for the tourists than the residents.

The captions were very important and I had to think about what I was going to right to ensure I would get my point across. The interplay between them needed to be perfect because without them, the reader could easily see the good side or even miss some details of the photos altogether.

I hope you enjoy Atlantic City as much as I do.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 11, 2010 at 3:10 am

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Changing the meaning of photos

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During class this week, we went through photos Bill Wolff took while in Mexico. Different groups were created and were given titles to relate to each photo. Even though many of the groups used the same photos, they all meant something different based on the caption written by the group.

Here are some of the photos that were used.

This exercise was a good lesson to think about when doing our upcoming project.

Here’s one of the photos that I may use in the project.

Let’s play with captions.

1. A man looks out over the dunes into the water, thinking about his girlfriend situation.

2. A man checks on his cats that live around the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The first caption doesn’t even make mention of the feral cats living around the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Instead, the reader is focused on the man and him gazing off.

The second caption makes you notice the cats now, in addition to the food and plates set out for them.

What kind if caption can you set up and how can we change the meaning of the image?

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm