@BCUMedia Research Seminar: Citizen Media: From Theory to Practice


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Slides from presentation to Birmingham City University Media School with Prof. David McGillivray on #citizenrelay and Citizen Media Theory and Practice.

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@BCUMedia Research Seminar: Citizen Media: From Theory to Practice

  1. 1. #citizenrelayCitizen Media:Translating Theory toPractice@dgmcgillivray @jennifermjones
  2. 2. EstablishedNarratives
  3. 3. The Olympic Games is a media platform with an assumeddominant narrative; the IOC, Games organizers, sponsors andathletic federations attempt to defend the narrative againstcounter narratives…a problem for the Olympics is that there issome ambiguity over the ownership of the Olympic Gamesplatform and the narrative.Who owns it? Is it the IOC, theorganizing committee, the host city or nation, or thesponsors?" (Horne & Whannel, 2010, p762)the likelihood of a spiral of silence emerges, in which fringeminority voices get less hearing and are gradually brought intoconformity…the hegemony of the privileged over web contentand values will marginalise less powerful groups as it has inother media (Real, 2007, p182)
  4. 4. Small, alternative or citizen media offersspace for the digitally empowered citizento break stories, become media makersand storytellers of the now, archived as anhistorical record
  5. 5. #citizenrelay used a hybrid mediaenvironment, including blogs and socialmedia, to mobilise, organise and discussissues pertaining the Olympic Torch Relay
  6. 6. Small media, citizen-oriented
  7. 7. ImmediacySpeed, of communication andrepresentation, is a prominent feature ofthe accelerated mega event spectacle,creating challenges of narrative controland management for event owners andcorporate sponsors alike
  8. 8. • WHAT DID WE DO?
  9. 9. Networks andconnectednessThe project intentionally adopted adecentralized and distributed structure,where heterogeneous actors couldnetwork and amplify their messagesthrough a shared communicationplatform
  10. 10. localityA commitment to a more bottom-up, place-specific agenda was built into the recruitment ofvolunteer reporters from four regions of Scotlandand investment in a mobile community mediacentre (a minibus) to help support citizen mediamakers in each locality
  11. 11. Empowermentmass media and institutional gatekeepers arebeing circumvented by citizen reporters andcommentators who provide first-hand, real-time coverage and non-hegemonicinterpretations (Bakardjieva, et al, 2012),
  12. 12. participationdigital infrastructures offer citizensnew channels for speaking and actingtogether and thus lower thethreshold for involvement(Bakardjieva et al, 2012: i)
  13. 13. Next Steps• Towards #Glasgow2014: Significant year for Scotland(Referendum, Commonwealth Games, Home-Coming)Use of mega-event narrative to provoke and capturewider discussions relating to social and political discourse.• Community Media Practice: Focus on developingtechniques and skill-based training support that can beoffered to those who take part in initiative.• Capacity building: Strengthen and grow with relationshipsestablished during #citizenrelay to map network of‘community media hubs’ across Scotland.
  14. 14. Concluding thoughts ample space within the saturated established media landscape forcitizen-owned and led initiatives, based on the philosophy of a lowthreshold for involvement using everyday digital technologies, effectivecoordination and amplification of key messages participatory media practices can help establish new collectiveswhich are sustained beyond mega event spectacle in more complex media environment, citizen media need not simplyoppose the established media but instead co-exist, occupying atdifferent times each other’s traditional spaces and using similarnewsgathering and distribution techniques
  15. 15. #citizenrelayhttp://www.citizenrelay.net