Curating a Digital Commonwealth: Translating Citizen Media from Practice to Theory


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Slides from Researching Social Media conf (#rsmconf) at the University of Sheffield ESRC Festival of Research on 4th of Nov. Details of conference here:

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Curating a Digital Commonwealth: Translating Citizen Media from Practice to Theory

  1. 1. Digital Common Wealth Curating a Digital Commonwealth: translating citizen media theory to practice @jennifermjones
  2. 2. Established Narratives
  3. 3. The Olympic Games is a media platform with an assumed dominant narrative; the IOC, Games organizers, sponsors and athletic federations attempt to defend the narrative against counter narratives…a problem for the Olympics is that there is some ambiguity over the ownership of the Olympic Games platform and the narrative. Who owns it? Is it the IOC, the organizing committee, the host city or nation, or the sponsors?" (Horne & Whannel, 2010, p762) the likelihood of a spiral of silence emerges, in which fringe minority voices get less hearing and are gradually brought into conformity…the hegemony of the privileged over web content and values will marginalise less powerful groups as it has in other media (Real, 2007, p182)
  6. 6. Small, alternative or citizen media offers space for the digitally empowered citizen to break stories, become media makers and storytellers of the now, archived as an historical record
  7. 7. #citizenrelay used a hybrid media environment, including blogs and social media, to mobilise, organise and discuss issues pertaining the Olympic Torch Relay
  8. 8. Small media, citizenoriented
  9. 9. Immediacy Speed, of communication and representation, is a prominent feature of the accelerated mega event spectacle, creating challenges of narrative control and management for event owners and corporate sponsors alike
  10. 10. • WHAT DID WE DO?
  11. 11. Networks and connectedness The project intentionally adopted a decentralized and distributed structure, where heterogeneous actors could network and amplify their messages through a shared communication platform
  12. 12. locality A commitment to a more bottom-up, placespecific agenda was built into the recruitment of volunteer reporters from four regions of Scotland and investment in a mobile community media centre (a minibus) to help support citizen media makers in each locality
  13. 13. Empowerment mass media and institutional gatekeepers are being circumvented by citizen reporters and commentators who provide first-hand, realtime coverage and non-hegemonic interpretations (Bakardjieva, et al, 2012),
  14. 14. participation digital infrastructures offer citizens new channels for speaking and acting together and thus lower the threshold for involvement (Bakardjieva et al, 2012: i)
  15. 15. Next Steps • Towards #Glasgow2014: Significant year for Scotland (Referendum, Commonwealth Games, Home-Coming) Use of mega-event narrative to provoke and capture wider discussions relating to social and political discourse. • Community Media Practice: Focus on developing techniques and skill-based training support that can be offered to those who take part in initiative. • Capacity building: Strengthen and grow with relationships established during #citizenrelay to map network of ‘community media hubs’ across Scotland.
  16. 16. Creative response to the Commonwealth (Games) from across Scotland, involving diverse range of individuals/communities ! Community!media!clusters! 1!community!media!cafes!and!digital!storytelling!workshops! ! Schools!programme!! 1 !in1school!digital!storytelling!workshops!with!primary!and!secondary! Digital Common learners!in!Scotland s!32!local!authori;es! Wealth ! Crea;ve!voices! 1 !documentary!film,!crea;ve!wri;ng!and!! community!songwri;ng!around!! UWS!campuses! !
  17. 17. Concluding thoughts ample space within the saturated established media landscape for citizen-owned and led initiatives, based on the philosophy of a low threshold for involvement using everyday digital technologies, effective coordination and amplification of key messages participatory media practices can help establish new collectives which are sustained beyond mega event spectacle in more complex media environment, citizen media need not simply oppose the established media but instead co-exist, occupying at different times each other’s traditional spaces and using similar newsgathering and distribution techniques
  18. 18. Points to consider • Access to content, people and stories, provoking data from target communities • Visualising and coding content/data - telling research stories with social media content • Archiving in context, 2014 as rich resource for researchers - but also empheral
  19. 19. Digital Common Wealth Curating a Digital Commonwealth: translating citizen media theory to practice @jennifermjones