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The Audio Media Revolution: The Influences of Podcasts on the Creation of Fandom, Fanon, and Collective Meaning Making


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Paper presentation for FSN-NA 2019

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The Audio Media Revolution: The Influences of Podcasts on the Creation of Fandom, Fanon, and Collective Meaning Making

  1. 1. LAUREN ROUSE | UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA THE AUDIO MEDIA REVOLUTION: the influences of podcasts on the creation of fandom, fanon, and meaning making
  2. 2. PRESENTATION OUTLINE DISCUSSION POINTS Podcasts The "Serial" Podcast Conspiracy Reddits Meaning Making through Fandom Lense
  3. 3. THIS PAPER ANALYZES COLLECTIVE MEANING MAKING FOR THE “SERIAL” PODCAST SUBREDDITS, R/SERIALPODCAST AND R/SERIALPODCASTORIGINS, VIA A CASE STUDY. To analyze how collective conspiracies are built on this reddit, the lens of transformative works and fanon from the fan studies discipline is applied. Fans who participate in writing fan fiction often create and change characteristics, plots, and settings, and develop their own understanding of the characters and worlds from the source text.
  5. 5. SERIAL AND THIS AMERICAN LIFE SARAH KOENIG, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST & HOST Premiered in October 2014 SEASON 1: THE MURDER OF HAE MIN LEE Baltimore, MD 1999 Adnan Syed, 18, accused of killing ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, 17 THE STORY IS NEVER AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS “He said, she said,” mistreatment of evidence, possible coerced confession of a key witness, accusations against Syed’s lawyer of throwing the case, accusations of Islamophobia & racism
  6. 6. In 2014, the subreddit devoted to the podcast drew more than 700,000 unique views a month (Dean 2014). The subreddit is still very active, and despite being devoted to all of the “Serial” seasons, season 1 is the most discussed Recent resurgence of information HBO docuseries on both the podcast and Syed’s case Syed received an appeal in 2018, but ultimately lost the case for a retrial Some postings are from new listeners, while others have tracked the story from the beginning r/serialpodcastorigins: a subreddit that tracks the rise of the fandom via Wayback Machine @rouselaurenc r/serialpodcast
  7. 7. Dean 2014 “‘I was just curious like everybody else.’ […] I can understand the pull. Investigative reporting, like storytelling, or like listening to stories, can become its own kind of hypnosis.”
  8. 8. KLEIN ET AL. 2018, 11 it is conspiracy narratives that are all-encompassing, pulling in a diverse group of people who may have little in common with one another, each of whom can find what they need in a fragment of the larger tale
  9. 9. CONSPIRACY REDDIT WHO ARE THE ALLIES? often times these communities ally themselves against the law enforcement, which “creates fixed memory and turns emotional narrative into rational evidence […]” By questioning the “creators’ claims of truthfulness,” Pâquet writes, these “audiences [sic] turn their empathy and fixed memory toward amateur online investigations,” which often escalates the untruthfulness of the communities and the statements coming from the communities.
  10. 10. DEFINTION a (fictional) investigator who does not personally visit a crime scene or interview witnesses; instead, he or she either reads the story of the crime in a newspaper or has it recounted by another person (think Mycroft Holmes in the Arthur Conan Doyle novels) PANTUMSINCHAI “rampant speculation and rumor-mongering, as well as false accusations and harassment of innocent suspects” FALSE ACCUSATIONS Boston bombers Bangkok bomber the "armchair" detective
  11. 11. "Receiving confirmation from the media and the police was enough to validate Reddit’s original claim. For Reddit, the stability of the network seemed widespread across various actants, yet, in reality, the network was an illusion." PANTUMSINCHAI 2018, 773 Instead of a robust network, the network was a loop, feeding into itself.
  12. 12. PARTICIPATORY CULTURE With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement With strong support for creating and sharing one's creations with others With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices Where members believe that their contributions matter Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).AAI | Pro X Henry Jenkins 2006
  13. 13. Participatory Culture MIRKO TOBIAS SCHÄFER (2011) Schäfer argues that "the success of popular Web 2.0 and social media applications thrives on implicit participation" (44). AXEL BRUNS (2008) The producer has several characteristics similar to those that fans posses: the produser exists in a community of other produsers, is part of a participatory culture, and collaborates through “intercreativity" (41). ADRIENNE MASSANARI (2015) It is not that individuals are no longer participating or creating or sharing; it is that we have come to understand that such actions do not necessarily encourage greater encouragement witht the world at large [...]" (168).
  14. 14. A DOCUMENT IN TEMPORAL FLUX "Even if a single author starts a wiki, that wiki functions through the interactive potential and actualization of the community that reads and writes on it. The wiki records each member’s interaction with the wiki, and files the collaboration with the community that contribute to the wiki" (Booth 2010, 92). R/SERIALPODCASTORIGINS AS A WIKI
  15. 15. DOXING & ANTIS THE DEMOCRACY OF A SUBREDDIT doxing, or the act of “online, public posting of private information, often in the form of documents (or “dox”), about a private individual” establishes cultures of “anti-like” rhetoric in the subreddits
  17. 17. THANK YOU! CONTACT EMAIL TWITTER @rouselaurenc @rouselaurenc