The public sphere is seen as a vital part of media and communications; it has created a ‘coffee shop’ for ideas to circulate, in which citizens would debate on common concerns throughout society, challenging ideologies.
However, in today’s society the public sphere has become more meditated with the increasing use technology. People are now taking the ‘coffee shop’ to the world of binary, using media and its platforms to debate upon concerns and issues. Due to this shift, it’s changed the way we look and value particular issues circling today’s society. Creating more controversy on whether issues can be seen as trivial or commercial.
There are many campaigns, which have been trivialised, and commericalised through the use of media coverage that in turn has changed the way we empathise with these issues. It is through more open media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that have created a wider spread communication amongst the audience in attempts to mediate the public sphere.
The HeForShe campaign looks to create equality for both men and women.
This campaign highlights the strength of the mediated public sphere, ultlising Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to create a following for its cause reaching a mass audience. The HeForShe Campaign has used the face of well-known actress Emma Watson, which reaches an even wider audience given her stature within the public sphere. But having the access to the information on the campaign at our finger tips through such well established media platforms, has meant its issues has reached the public sphere on a new level. As can be seen through the YouTube videos below, but also through this article, which strikes further debate into the campaign, further alliterating the wider audience, which each media platform has created.
It is said that social media is a powerful tool and has a great deal of effect on everything we do at every stage of our lives. But it can also be an indicator to what we see relevant and worthwhile to discuss and debate upon within the ‘coffee shop’. It is something that gets converted into either being trivial or commercial. We’ve seen a campaign that could be considered as commercial but what makes an issue trivial?
An example can be seen through the recent announcement of One Direction’s Zayn Malik was to leave the popular hit group in order to lead a “normal life”. This is a perfect representation of a trivial issue, this was created through the mediated public sphere, being blown-up and commercialised before anyone had anytime to notice what was even going on. There was a ridiculous amount of media time dedicated to this story, a story that had little worth within the public sphere but had made its way to the centre through its mediation.
The strong influence of social media has changed the way we look at the public sphere, creating a divide in what we believe is commercial and trivial.
Turnbull, S, 2015, ‘BCM110’, Lecture 5, Media Mythbusting: Big Brother is Watching You, University of Wollongong, delivered March 31 2015
HeForShe, 2014, HeForShe Campaign Video, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZptgM-jhZo>
Karim M, 2014, He for she, TNS – The News on Sunday, <http://tns.thenews.com.pk/he-for-she-un-campaign-for-gender-equality/#.VS-ZO6X6lfN>
HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Coversation With Emma Watson On March 8th, 2015 (ANNOUNCENMENT), YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzz0N9lTw8c>
HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Conversation With Emma Watson on Internatioon Women’s Day 2015, YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ-2qkgJ0Xk>
Fahy, C, 2015, Hysterical One Direction fans spark self-harming fears as disturbing hashtag trends on Twitter after Malik quits, The Daily Mail Online, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3011449/Hysterical-One-Direction-fans-spark-concerns-self-harming-disturbing-hashtag-trends-Twitter-Malik-quits-chart-topping-boyband.html>
Brooks, D 2010, ‘Riders on the Storm’, The New York Times, 4th February, p.21.