Without making light of the events that have made it one of the biggest stories of 2014, it’s safe to say that Ferguson, USA has become an invaluable case study in social media’s impact on journalism and activism.
Tag Archives: social media
As media studies students, you’ve no doubt encountered the concept of commodification. It refers to the tendency to regard items, ideas, services etc in terms of their monetary worth, rather than for any other sort of value. In mass communication, the concept is applied to media messages and, as McQuail points out, audiences themselves, both of which can be primarily (if not exclusively) regarded as revenue sources by media owners.
One of the recurring themes in our class is the idea that social media removes the barriers to entry in mass media, affording audiences access to the tools of media production and distribution that were once only available to those with much greater resources. However, this more leveled playing field has not changed the realities of commerce. If anything, it’s intensified the monetisation of media.
Judging by the nature and scope of some of the project ideas I’ve received so far this semester, it’s clear that a lot of you are enthused by the opportunity to create something. To put your work, and thus part of yourself, out there, and control a tiny piece of this vast mediasphere. To connect with an audience of people who you can both teach and learn from. Good! That’s the perspective you’ll hopefully gain or maintain by the end of this course. More than any other medium, social media is about empowerment.
Empowerment, however, can be a double-edged blade.