Tutorial Week one (Media Studies 2.0)

In the article “Media Studies 2.0” Gauntlett explores the changing relationship between media and audiences. Arguing that the rapid devolpments in technology particularly the internet have shifted from the traditional ideals of an audience which receives information unqestioningly to an audience which is able to have a more immediate and significant relationship with the media; criticing the stories and even creating them themselves.

Gauntlett’s core argument is supported through multiple key concepts in the article:

  • Technology  – The development of the internet with sites that allow people to create their own publications (movies, photos and blogs) immediately portraying their personal opinions and understandings. This technology has shifted the audience from the position of the voiceless public who are spoken to and represented by large media outlets to individuals who all have the ability to actively participate in the creation of news.
  • Academia – Gauntlett argues that the reality of this shift in the relationship between the media and its audience is evident in the changing ways media studies is being taught which he labels “Media Studies 2.0” . A greater emphasis is being placed on technology in most courses.  The once imperative expert readings and correct methods of interpreting media are now accompanied with encouraging students to explore the general public’s understanding of the media through the internet. Students are also encouraged to be creative and develop their own ideas and opinions of the media.

The change in the relationship between audiences and the media can be clearly felt in most households including my own where the use of the internet is daily. We use more and more web sharing sites and are able to comment and express our own personal opinions; proving the reality of Gauntlett’s argument. Despite the obvious positive aspects of the audience becoming active members of the media. i.e. The publication of several different points of view from people of varying backgrounds allowing for a broader understanding of current news stories there are negative consequences. There is no need for any of the people who create these sites to conduct any research enabling them to publish any article free of responsibility for the legitimacy of thier work. It is with this in mind that we hope the future will find a balance where aspects of traditional thinking converge with ideas from the rapidly developing modern media.

References:

Gauntlett, D. “Media Studies 2.0” http://www.theory.org.uk/mediastudies2.htm

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