Interview with Henry Jenkins

Dana Boyd interviews henry jenkins

From a culture of spectatorship to a culture of participation

‘Participatory culture is nothing more than fandom without the stigma’.

Media producers are losing control, they’ve got to get over it and get into the notion of collaboration – understanding that collaborating with fans increases the value and doesn’t detract from it. Media producers have to move from prohibiting fans to empowering and enfranchising them as producers of value. But its still a battle. Corporate control v Regulation v Fan Culture.

The battle over intellectual property rights needs to be fought by the fandom culture of remix, appropriation and transformation rather than the technological platforms like Napster which are often hard to defend against the accusation of piracy/theft. And nobody is defending fan fiction from the bullying of corporate interests.

There are new culture wars developing through legislation (DOPA – Deleting Online Predators Act 2006) in the US which denies access to social networking tools to kids at school in the name of protecting them from social predators (although research suggests that the social predator risk on social network sites is way overblown). 43% of kids in the US produce media. The legislation will force them to do so at home, unsupervised by teachers and librarians who could contribute to their media literacy. It confines the 47% of kids who would like to join this network of producers to learning how to do so at home – not only will education be less relevant to kids, but the risk to kids not developing the media literacy so important to reducing the risk to them of social predators will increase. It will also deny them the development of that kind of literacy which will increase their employability in the future knowledge economy.

The right to participate is under seige.

It’s under seige because of the politics of fear. Across the political spectrum it = mussle the kids – boys and girls. Girls in particular are under seige and their access to internet technologies is under threat. It’s fear-mongering.

Online democracy.

the language of politics changes over time (public to intimate) participatory culture gives us a new language – using a language of remix to talk about politics (see egs on blog). Democracy needs to be more than a vote once every 4 years – it must be a lifestyle like popular culture is a lifestyle.

To do that we have to change the language. We are more confident in our roles as consumers than we do in our roles as citizens – and that is a product of language. We have been disenfranchised as citizens by the language of the government and enfranchised into being consumers. See the chapter ‘Photoshop for Democracy’ for more on this. It’s the people’s editorial cartoon.

Why we shouldn’t ban wikipedia …

Knowledge as process or knowledge as product? The interest around wikipedia entries is the history of the debates and discussions that went on to create the entry. Also the idea of collaborative effort seems much better than Brittanica asking me to write an entry on my own. Historiography is visible on wikipedia in a way that it is not visible in national history textbooks which create knowledge with national bias.

This is great model for creating information. Understanding the processes of negotiation which lead to truth.

Centre for deliberative democracy – Stanford University (link doesn’t work …)

Dana Boyd; what is real on the web? The UNC Break up put out on valentines day had a phenomenal number of hits … 4 days later it turned out to be a hoax.

see also lonely girl 15

How do we teach media literacy in the mixed media environment of YouTube? See the MacArther work on media literacy.

Second life is a 21st century take on medieval carneval. It’s a chance for embodied theory making and exploration. Bring that back to the real world then you have value to it – we use L2 to reflect on L1 and applying that learning to L1.

How do we get low budget politics to a make big budget impact? It’s happening in film making but not in politics – that’s the challenge. Civic media must learn how to be viral.


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