Using an example of your own choosing, demonstrate how the process of mediatisation has shaped the development of a major event such as a revolution, humanitarian movement or global trend.
On February 12th 2012, Florida high schooler, Trayvon Martin was fatally shot dead by George Zimmerman who an unregistered Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for his gated community in Sanford, Florida. The Black Lives Matter Movement or #BlackLivesMatter was born in 2013 following the acquittal of Martin’s murderer, Zimmerman, who wasn’t charged for the hate-crime he committed against the unarmed young African-American. The BLM Movement describe themselves as “an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” as stated on their website. They fight against police brutality and racism against Black people especially Women, LGBT+ and Queer People.
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Mediatisation is a complex theory, however in this essay it will defined as, “a systematic concept for understanding and theorising the transformation of everyday life, culture and society in the context of the ongoing transformation of media” (Krotz, 2017). In simpler terms, mediatisation is the idea that that media shapes the discourse or processes of communication especially political communication as well as shaping the society in which this communication is occurring.
The reason the BLM Movement has been chosen to demonstrate the process of mediatisation and how it can shape the development of a major event is because this movement all started with a simple hashtag on the social media platform, Twitter. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” had been tweeted over 30 million times by September 2016 (Wortham, 2016). This statistic shows this movement was amplified by social media therefore, the process of mediatisation significantly shaped its development.
My key argument put forward in this essay will be that without the media the BLM Movement would not have reached such global headlines or gone as viral as it did. Therefore, to address the chosen essay question directly the process of Mediatisation was vital to allowing the BLM Movement to develop the way has since its inception in 2013.
- Define “mediatisation” in terms of this essay
- Give a brief explanation of what the BLM Movement is and when it was conceived
- Introduce key argument that the BLM Movement would not have been possible without the media in particular the hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter)
- Explain how this essay will show that the process of mediatisation was vital to the success of the BLM Movement
Paragraph One: (The BLM Movement)
- Very briefly explain the longstanding discrimination in the USA
- Define the key terms of Police Brutality and Racism
- Give statistic of:
- Between 2013 and 2019 – 2650 deaths from law enforcement
- Briefly explain how the movement came to be through the use of social media
- Give data about protests:
- From August 2014 to August 2015, at least 780 BLM protests occurred in 44 states
- Discuss how the Movement has changed and evolved from its inception to present day
Paragraph Two: (The Process of Mediatisation)
- Quote Hjarvard:
- “the media has become integrated into the operations of other social institutions, while they also have acquired the status of social institutions in their own right”
- Brief history on mediatisation
- Explain how this complex theory works in todays society especially in regards to social media and “trending hashtags” culture
- Finish paragraph by using statistic that:
- By September 2016, the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ had been tweeted over 30 million times
- This will lead into next paragraph on how the BLM Movement has been shaped by Mediatisation
Paragraph Three: (The Process of Mediatisation and the BLM Movement)
- Explain how it is evident from research that the BLM Movement and social media are intrinsically linked and this movement would not have been possible without the use of social media, primarily Twitter and ‘Black Twitter’.
- Show how the BLM was developed and shaped by the media, particularly social media
- Do this by including cited findings and research
- For example: those cited in the initial sources!
- Back these findings up by affirming that the key argument that the BLM Movement would not have been possible without Mediatisation
- Restate key argument that the BLM Movement would not have been possible without the media in particular the hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) which started on Twitter.
- Conclude that the process of mediatisation was not only significant but critical to the success of the BLM Movement
- Three Sources (not from Weekly Readings):
- Cox, J. (2017). The source of a movement: making the case for social media as an informational source using Black Lives Matter. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(11), pp.1847-1854. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2017.1334935
- Ince, J., Rojas, F. and Davis, C. (2017). The social media response to Black Lives Matter: how Twitter users interact with Black Lives Matter through hashtag use. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(11), pp.1814-1830. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2017.1334931
- Leach, C. and Allen, A. (2017). The Social Psychology of the Black Lives Matter Meme and Movement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(6), pp.543-547. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0963721417719319
Source from Weekly Reading:
- Krotz, F. (2017). Explaining the Mediatisation Approach. Javnost – The Public, 24(2), pp.103-118.
- Source from Weekly Lecture:
- Hjarvard, S. (2012). Mediatization: Theorising the Media as Agents of Social and Cultural Change. Matrizes, 5(2), p.53.
Other information cited in this Plan:
- https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/black-tweets-matter-180960117/ (30 million tweets statistic)
- https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=428 – Bureau of Statistics USA (2650 deaths statistic)
- https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/L2GSK6 (780 Protests statistic)
- https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/ (Black Lives Matter Website)
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