5 A’s for Media Literate Citizenship ACCESS to media AWARENESS of media’s power ASSESSMENT of how media portray events and issues APPRECIATION for the role media play in creating civil societies ACTION to encourage better communication across cultural, social and political divides.
Appreciation • How can we appreciate the necessity of media’s role in civil society? • How do the subtleties of a media culture influence our social reality? • How do the media build identity? • How can we appreciate diversity through understanding media? • What are the new ways media are empowering citizenship?
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Media help us build identities around products, messages, ideas, cultures, and communities…understanding these connections can help cultivate an appreciation for the necessary role of media in our lives and our democracy.
APPRECIATION 1 – SOCIAL MEDIA AND NEW CIVIC DIALOG “Just as moveable type raised the value of being able to read and write even as it destroyed the scribal tradition, globally free publishing is making public speech and action more valuable, even as its absolute abundance diminishes the specialness of professional publishing” (79)
Partly Because of our Increasingly Mediated lives… • 53 Hours Per Week with Media in US (Kaiser, 2010) • Over 8 Hours a day average engaged with Screens (Ball State Study, 2009) • Estimated 5-8 billion Google Searches per month today (Google) • 6 Billion minutes a day are spent on Facebook globally every day (Facebook)
Paradoxes of the Information Age • Multiplicity of voices | Multiplicity of “realities” • Information richness | Information fatigue • Citizens who know more facts | Citizens who have less truth
Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues. They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.
Three Traits to Social Media 1. Concept (art, information, or meme). 2. Media (physical, electronic, or verbal). 3. Social interface (intimate direct, community engagement, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication, or other physical media such as print). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media
Industrial vs. Social Media • Reach - both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and enable anyone to reach a global audience. • Accessibility - the means of production for industrial media are typically owned privately or by government; social media tools are generally available to anyone at little or no cost. • Usability - industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. Most social media does not, or in some cases reinvent skills, so anyone can operate the means of production. • Recency - the time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long, compared to social media (only the participants determine any delay in response). • Permanence - industrial media, once created, cannot be altered, whereas social media can be altered almost instantaneously by comments or editing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media
Shifting Information Flow • Sharing • Cooperation (Production) • Action (Collective) “Ridiculously easy group-forming matters because the desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic human instinct that has always been constrained by transaction costs” (54).
“It isn’t just that our communication tools are cheaper; they are also better. In particular, they are more favorable to innovative uses, because they are considered more flexible than our old ones. Radio, Television, and traditional phones all rely on a handful of commercial firms owning expensive hardware connected to cheap consumer devices that aren’t capable of very much” (Shirky, 77)
“Communities of Practice are inherently cooperative and are beautifully supported by social tools, because that is exactly the kind of community whose members can recruit one another or allow themselves to be found by interested searchers” (101)
Convergence Culture Two principal trends: the tendency of modern media creations to attract a much greater degree of audience participation than ever before, to the point that some are actually influenced profoundly by their fanbase, becoming almost a form of interactive storytelling; and the phenomenon of a single franchise being distributed through and impacting a range of media delivery methods.
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE “…the ability of virtual communities to leverage the combined expertise of their members. What we cannot know or do on our own, we may now be able to do collectively” (Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 27) “What holds a collective intelligence together is not the possession of knowledge—which is relatively static, but the social process of acquiring knowledge—which is dynamic and participatory” (Jenkins, 54).
Collective Action “Collective Action, where a group acts as a whole, is even more complex that collaborative production, but here again new tools give life to new forms of action. This in turn challenges existing institutions, by eroding the institutional monopoly on large-scale coordination” (Shirky, 143)
Convergence Communication • All or no Mediated communication? • Digital Migrants vs. Digital Natives? • Digital Divide to Participation Gap? • Networking or Voyeurism? • Stronger community or weaker community? • More expression or more exposure? • Democratizing or Fragmenting?
“Print not only forces editors to make unnatural decisions, it layers symbolism onto the length of topics…In the Britannica, length is a symbol of importance. In Wikipedia, length is a manifestation of interest and passion, even if only of a single person.” (207-8)
Exercise some unused mental capacities • Vanity – Making a mark on the world • Do a good thing (nonfinancial motivation) (Shirky132-3) “The Internet is the first big communication network to make group communication a native part of its repertoire…[it offers] the flexibility that allows people to design and try new communication tools without having to ask anyone for permission” (157-8)
“An Article is neutral when people stop changing it ” “The trust we place in Britannica enables us to be passive knowers: you merely have to look a topic up to find out about it. But Wikipedia provides the metadata surrounding an article—edits, discussions, warnings, links to other edits by the contributors—because it expects the reader to be actively involved” (142).
Looking at New Perspectives for media and group collaboration
New structures for knowledge “…knowledge exists between the contributors. Social knowing changes who does the knowing and how, more than it changes the what of knowledge” (144).
How do we understand the CONNECTIONS among social media and our communities?
How is the Future Changing our Modes for Communication? • Investigation vs. Aggregation • Social Mapping our Civic Worth • Remix / Repurpose / Repackage • Realizing all we don’t read • Collective Action, like all media action, is both good and bad • It’s about credibility, not authority • Finding the Civic Through line of it all • IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TOOLS!
appreciating media’s necessary role in the future of civic society • CONNECTING Skills to Citizenship • CONNECTING Analysis to Production • CONNECTING Culture to Creation • CONNECTING Responsibility to Empowerment • CONNECTING communities, media, and citizenship
Will the future tools for media bring the world together in new “participatory” ways…? When we change the way we communicate, we change society. The tools that a society uses to create and maintain itself are as central to human life as a hive is to bee life” (Shirky, Here Comes Everyone, 17)
Who are the story tellers that will lead us in a digital age? How will they work? And who will they work for? Kevin Sites in Yahoo’s Hot Zonehttp://hotzone.yahoo.com/
Will collective intelligence change how much we know? “…the ability of virtual communities to leverage the combined expertise of their members. What we cannot know or do on our own, we may now be able to do collectively” (Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 27)