“Black Jails” in China?

The Chinese media has leaked that there are “Black Jails” in China. CNN reports that a state-run weekly confirmed the “black jails” although government officials say otherwise. The Human Rights Watch has launched an investigation, however, if the Government is in on this, who’s to say we will find out if it is true or not? The only way we will find out is through the first outage itself, the media.

Is the Chinese media moving away from a government ran media to a westernized one? Has the Chinese media turned in to one of agenda-setting and framing? The media has taken a stand and are showing and exposing the stories they believe they see fit. As the first to speak of it, the media has framed this story of “Black Jails.”

As China’s media becomes more westernized, who knows what else what happen or leak out to the public? It’s an interesting road ahead.

December 1, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

NBC vs International News

For my International PR class, we were assigned a World News project. Each member of the group had to watch a different full hour of news on a given channel (mine was NBC) for a full week. After all of the moans and growns we realized we were stuck in doing this project.key_art_nbc_news

I settled in to watch my 5am news on the local station, WSAV, on TiVo of coarse (there was no way I was waking up at 5am). While we were watching, we were supposed to record any international news presented, besides stories on the war.

Wait a minute, my week just passed by and I did not have one international story written in my notes. This was not because I did not watch the show or that I did not take notes, I did all of the above. There was not one international story broadcasted.

world-mapAfter reviewing notes with my group members, we found they had the same problems. The only way to find international news was by going online.

Then it hit us.. this was the point of the assignment… to show us how little international news is out there. Below are the theories we believe to be present in our television media today.

Those theories include, but are not limited to:

Censorship: the suppression of speech. Could the media not be relaying information just because they believe it is harmful, sensitive, or objective?

Agenda Setting: the media’s influence on audiences by their choice of what stories to consider newsworthy. Does the media believe that only U.S. and war related stories are news worthy?

Cultivation: the public’s dependence on television. Should people be looking for news elsewhere, other than television?

Ethonocentrism: the belief that one’s country is better, or more important, that others. Is our country full of itself?

Lesson learned: Don’t believe everything the TV is telling you. You have to reach beyond the TV set and find your own information in order to stay in touch with the world.


November 10, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a French movie film about a man, Bauby, who suffers a massive stroke and lapsed into a coma after a car accident. The man is aware of his surroundings, but he cannot move except for the blink of his eye (and some head movement later on). We are able to hear his thoughts but he cannot speak. His speech therapists tries to communicate with him through the blinking.diving-bell

As we hear more of his thoughts, we find out that he was the editor-in-chief ELLE magazine. A few days later, the eye doctor comes in and sews up Bauby’s  right eye so that it would not get infected. Bauby does not want this, but cannot communicate against it. Unable to talk, Bauby learns to communicate through blinking. His speech therapists continuely repeats the french alphabet in order of how often a letter is used. Bauby blinks once for yes and twice for no. Through this blinking system, Bauby wrote an autobiography or a memoir of his life.

This movie was hard to understand and keep up with at times, but I really enjoyed the story behind it. The audience of this film was different groups of people from different from different majors. Much of our international PR class was there, with diversity not necessarily from looks from opinions (especially with our discussion afterwards).

I don’t believe it was so much that this story represented one culture as it did one life. This could have happened to anyone, it had nothing to do with his culture. Something that really stood out to me was when they were putting the phone in his room, although he could not speak. When the men laughed, the nurse made it clear to not talk about him as if he was not there, they could ask him themselves. This made me really think about how sometimes people with disabilities get overlooked when they are still real people that can make their own decisions.

mathieu-amalric-and-marie-josee-croze-in-the-diving-bell-and-the-butterflyI don’t know if I would watch this movie again, but I would consider reading the book, since books are usually better than the movie. Having to listen to it in French was a little unnerving. I am not used to that, but it is such a beautiful language and I do know bits and pieces of it from high school, it was kind of cool.

Overall, I think this event was great. It was a movie that opened people’s eyes, not because of his culture, but because this could happen to anyone.

November 10, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

Tred Vidas

Last Tuesday, I attended “Tres Vidas” in the Performing Arts Center at Georgia Southern University. This show was a champer music theatre piece that was put on by the Multicultural Student Center here at Georgia Southern.image002

Tres Vidas consisted of a Core Ensemble with a Cello, Piano, and Percussion. Actree Desiree Rodriguez took on the single acting role. Her powerful voice and character dedication allowed the show to succeed.

Rodriguez, a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, played the roles of Frida Kahlo, Rufina Amaya, and Alfonsina Storni.

The audience of the show was sparse. I don’t believe there was much publicity. It seemed to be about 20-30 students including the annoying guy behind me that typed on his lap top the entire time.

My favorite part of the show, I have to say, is when Rodriguez played Frida Kahol and talked about American parties. My fiance and part spanish and it is so true that they are so much more relaxed at parties and get togethers. Parties we have in the United States and sometimse so fake and everyone just smiles and pretends to like each other.

Rodriguez’s voice was amazing, although for most the songs, I had no idea what she was singing about; I was still captured by the beautiful language. Because of this, I would reccommend for them, next time, to maybe put the words of the song in the program. I guess that is how it feels when someone of a different culture steps into my culture and does not understand what is going on.

For future performances, I would consider they shorten the program a little. There were 3 seperate acts (for the 3 different women) and sometimes it grew a little tiring. However, if I had the chance to hear Rodriguez sing again, I would definitly love to hear that.

November 4, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

Diversity… or not

I have always heard the word “diversity” but had never given it much thought until recently.Diversity,%20races,

I was walking through our student Union the other day with a friend when he said to me “you’re not diverse.” What? That was random I thought. “You’re a white, blonde christian female, so your not diverse,” he said. I was quiet after that but those words kept resonating in my mind.

I understand that the strive for diversity started from integrating blacks and whites as well as people from other cultures and relgions. However, times are changing, and as a white, blonde christian woman, I consider myself diverse.

The defintion of Diverse in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “differing from one another.”

I am different. I may look like the average white blond girl on the outside, but on the inside, I have my own opinions and my own thoughts and that makes me different from others.

Besides, times are changing and sometimes when I walk into the room, I have been the only white blonde.

This past summer, I visited my boyfriend’s family in California. His mom’s side of the family descends from Spain and they definitly look the part. All of them have dark tans with dark brown hair and some even speak spanish. During his family dinner, I was the only pale skinned blonde in the room. Does that make me diverse and them not? No.

We all are different in some way and unless you for some reason cannot think for yourself, you ARE diverse.

Next time someone tries to tell me I’m not, I’ll have a better response.

October 27, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

“The French love to Argue”

Today, October 20, in my international PR class, we had a guest speaker via Skype. Elizabeth Albrycht “skyped” in from Versailles, France.guest speaker

Albrycht has been living in France for 6 years and has been working in the PR world for almost 20 years, in which she even owned her own agency. After moving to France, Albrycht decided to get her masters and began teaching.

Albrycht now works at ISCOM in France where she teaches International PR as well as English in a class mostly comprised of french students. “France has one of the most difficult times with English,” Albrycht said. She also teaches at Paris School of Business in which she has 17 different countries represented in her PR and business disciplines classes.

Across the aboard, Albrycht believes that all people want to be communicated with, to be treated as an individual and with respect. She also believes that people hate feeling helpless.

Albrycht’s advice was that it is really easy to get tripped up on cultural differences and what is obvious and feels right to us doesn’t always translate. She advises that we use individual approaches as well as collective approaches. Stategies and tactics differ from country to country.

An example she gave of France is that, in the US, she was considered left wing, but since French labels are different, she considers herself a right wing there.

france-flagAn interesting fact she told us is that France is one the of top countries for blogging, which she believes is attributed to the thought that the “French love to argue.”

Most people that the French hate Americans, but Albrycht sees it as a love/hate relationship.

Another interesting fact she told us is that although gifts are not accepted as business deals in the U.S., they are accepted in France, under strict rules. This gifts could include things such as a plane ticket.

Overall, it was a very interested topic. I enjoyed hearing about the small details that differ from country to country that you usually don’t think about on a day to day basis. I would love to hear about more of the details about France or any other country in the future.

The whole skype effect was very cool too being my first experience with it.

October 20, 2009. International PR. 2 comments.

From U.S. to Romania and back

TibiFor my international PR class we were assigned to interview a non-U.S. citizen. I interviewed Tibi Galis. Tibi works for the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing genocides around the world.

Tibi is 29 years old and currently resides in New York City. However Tibi was born and raised in Romania and completed part of his education in England.romania-location-map

For my interview, I was most interested in Romania since I have not learned much about it before. Here are a couple of the questions I asked:



1. What has surprised you most about the cultural differences between Romania and the U.S.?

Tibi: The community and society. You don’t know your neighbor here. People here talk about how they relate to others but they have no true connections. In Romania, you have lots of close connections.

2. How does the media operate in Romania compared to the U.S.?

Tibi(in his wonderful british/romanian accent): For TV, the format is slightly different. There is not so much difference between public and private. There is a lot more focused on international news. Language is made accessable to everyone and there is not as much reality tv. Newspapers talk more to college educated people.

3. How to Romanians respond to media?

Tibi: Romanians are less active when it comes to responding to political news. The news emphasizes the bad and people get scared and insecure.

4. Do Romanians communicate primarily through speaking or body language?

Tibi: They use lots of body language, more than here. They still speak, but body language is very present.

5. What advice would you have for anyone visiting Romania?

Tibi:  Speak to lots of people and engage with the locals.

I have had the pleasure of having many conversations with Tibi and love to hear about the history of Romania. Tibi experienced the change of a communistic culture first hand and there is not better learning experience than a true testimony. I love hearing his stories of his culture growing up (and not to mention, I don’t mind listening to his accent either).

In the end, I think experiences such as these make us more diversified as a person to communicate and listen to other’s cultural backgrounds. I welcome anyone else with an interesting story with open ears.

September 29, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.

That’s not a Stereotype… That’s True.

On Thursday, September 24, Dr. Sun-A Lee guest spoke at my international public relations class. Dr. Sun-A Lee works at Georgia Southern University in the Child and Family Development department. Dr. Lee is from South Korea but graduated from the University of Arizona.

The first thing I have to say is Dr. Lee was and still is probably the best guest speaker I have ever had. After giving us facts about immigration and the world population she confronted us head on about different cultures.

Dr. Lee explained the the whole existence of cultures comes from the act of survival. From cultures we talked about ethnocentrism, racism, prejudice, and stereotypes. The best part of Dr. Lee’s was that she was not shy when it came to talking about stereotypes within her own culture or stereotypes that she had of Americans. stereotypes

It was a breath of fresh air to hear someone so direct and honest talking to us. She broke down barriers and kept us entertained throughout the entire class period.

September 27, 2009. International PR. 1 comment.