What is the future for Media Studies when students often know more about media than their lecturers?


‘We know the discipline, the texts, ideas and arguments but many of our students surpass us in their knowledge, use and navigation of the contemporary media world’
– William Merrin, Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture

What is the future for Media Studies when students often know more about media than their lecturers? Is it necessary to upgrade the discipline to Media Studies 2.0, and is the traditional idea of Media Studies obsolete? Does the revolution in new media really give power to the people, or does it simply give greater power than ever to those who would control us?


The inaugural issue of Interactions: explores these and other questions relating to the study, teaching and impact of Media Studies and the media. Examining the case for and against Media Studies 2.0, Interactions includes articles by William Merrin and David Gauntlett, the chief instigators of the original debate about the need to upgrade the discipline. Arguing that Media Studies is grounded in the study of outdated broadcast media, and is increasingly out of touch with students’ own experiences of media, Merrin highlights ‘the absurdity of being a Media Studies lecturer when your students know more about media than you do’.


Meanwhile, in their article ‘Straw men or cyborgs?’, Jonathan Dovey and Martin Lister challenge Merrin’s assumption that current teaching of Media Studies is outdated, while David Gauntlett’s response to the articles expands on the ideas in his original 2007 piece ‘Media Studies 2.0’ that sparked the whole debate.

Other articles explore further aspects of how new media and technologies have impacted on Media Studies, from Joke Hermes’ analysis of how Media Studies 2.0 impacts on Audience Studies to Mark Andrejevic’s examination of the extent to which new technologies, as much as they appear to democratize the access to, and participation in, the media, actually serve to maintain current power relations, as users feed ever more detailed information about themselves to the corporations who hold this data, and thus collude in their own surveillance.


Explore the inaugural issue of Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture


Editor: Anthony McNicholas, University of Westminster
Associate Editor:  Tarik Sabry, University of Westminster
ISSN: 1757-2681
Online ISSN: 1757-269X
Published by Intellect, October 2009
Subscriptions: £33 (Personal)/ £180 (Institutional)/ £147 (Online only) (3 issues per year)


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Posted by James Campbell at 10:17 (0) comments
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