History and emergence of 'Media Studies 2.0'
Media Studies 2.0 is not brand new and has been hinted at by a range of commentators, and connectswith a range of phenomena that have been happening for some time. The above attempt to specify'Media Studies 1.0' and '2.0' is merely an attempt to clarify this shift. Its emergence was suggested, for instance, by comments I made in the introductions to the two different editions of
, back in2000 and 2004. In the first edition, under the heading 'Media studies was nearly dead: Long live newmedia studies', I said:By the end of the twentieth century, Media Studies research within developed Westernsocieties had entered a middle-aged, stodgy period and wasn't really sure what it couldsay about things any more. Thank goodness the Web came along.I argued that Media Studies had become characterised by contrived 'readings' of media texts, an inabilityto identify the real impact of the media, and a black hole left by the failure of vacuous US-style'communications science' quantitative research, plus an absence of much imaginative qualitativeresearch. In particular, I said, media studies was looking weak and rather pointless in the face of mediaproducers and stars, including media-savvy politicians, who were already so
about media andcommunications that academic critics were looking increasingly redundant. (The full texts are availableatwww.newmediastudies.com). I concluded:Media studies, then, needed something interesting to do, and fast. Happily, new mediais vibrant, exploding and developing
New good ideas and new bad ideas appear every week, and we don't know how it's going to pan out. Even better, academics andstudents can participate in the new media explosion, not just watch from the sidelines –and we can argue that they have a responsibility to do so. So it's an exciting time again.In the 2004 edition I reviewed these earlier arguments and noted that:Most of these things are still true: you wouldn't expect old-school media studies toreinvent itself within three years. But the arrival of new media within the mainstream hashad an impact, bringing vitality and creativity to the whole area, as well as whole newareas for exploration (especially around the idea of 'interactivity'). In particular, the factthat it is quite easy for media students to be reasonably slick media producers in theonline environment, means that we are all more actively engaged with questions of creation, distribution and audience.Soon after this book was published, the phrase 'Web 2.0' was coined by Tim O'Reilly. 'Web 2.0' is, asmentioned above, not a replacement for the Web that we know and love, but rather a way of usingexisting systems in a 'new' way: to bring people together creatively. O'Reilly has described it as'harnessing collective intelligence'. The spirit of 'Web 2.0' is that individuals should open themselves tocollaborative projects instead of seeking to make and protect their 'own' material. The 'ultimate' exampleat the moment is perhapsWikipedia, the massive online encyclopedia created collectively by its millionsof visitors. (Other examples include craigslist, del.icio.us, and Flickr).The notion of 'Web 2.0' inspired me to write the above sections defining Media Studies 1.0 and 2.0. Soonafterwards, I checked Google to see if anyone else had tacked '2.0' onto 'Media Studies' to create thesame phrase. This revealed an excellent blog produced by William Merrin, a lecturer in Media Studies atUniversity of Wales, Swansea, called 'Media Studies 2.0' and started in November 2006. The blog mostlycontains useful posts about new media developments. Thefirst poston the blog, however, makes anexcellent argument that Media Studies lecturers need to catch up with their students in the digital world.
Examples of Media Studies 2.0 in practice
Inevitably my own experiences spring to mind, as I have attempted to find new ways of exploringpeople's contemporary media experiences by encouraging creative responses. This began in 1995 whenI handed children video cameras to make films about their responses to the environment, instead of justinterviewing them (Gauntlett, 1997), and has continued through various projects, culminating mostrecently in the book
Creative Explorations: New approaches to identities and audiences
(2007), whichdescribes – amongst other things – my study in which people were invited to build metaphorical modelsof their identities in Lego.Other instances of Media Studies 2.0 would include:The title of the journal
(launched 2003), an 'audience studies' journal that manages toavoid calling them 'audiences' – in its main title at least, although the subtitle 'Journal of Audienceand Reception Studies' offers a perhaps inevitable translation into the language we are trying to getaway from;The forthcoming conference
, which seeks to undermine its own title byquestioning the traditional approach to people who 'produce' media and people who 'use' media;Joke Hermes's book
Reading Women's Magazines
(1995), one of the first texts to demonstrate thatMedia Studies tended to over-emphasise its own consumption models;Studies by Sonia Livingstone and by David Buckingham, in the past few years, which have rejectedpassive models of media consumption;
Media Studies 2.0 – Article on future of media studies b...http://www.theory.org.uk/mediastudies2.htm3 of 420/03/2012 18:23