The Digital Utterance: A Crossmedia Approach to Media Education
Authors: Berger, R. and Woodfall, A.
Editors: Ibrus, I. and Scolari, C.A.
Publisher: Peter Lang
Place of Publication: Frankfurt am Main
This chapter draws on Bakhtin’s term ‘heteroglossia’ to help sketch out a new conception of crossmedia practice, which while recognising distinct media as ‘utterances’, also celebrates a renewed dialogism between them. We will suggest that media that were once seen as separate, have always been intimately connected, and that a study of the texts produced by this connectivity (such as adaptations and paratexts) can illuminate complex interactions.
Recent developments in digital media have resulted in a great deal of crossmedia innovation. With shifts towards synchronous media consumption, and its immersive multi-attentional possibilities, through to transmediality, and the way it reshapes both producer and user practices, crossmedia extends the very idea of ‘media’; in many ways, it could even be said to have become textual itself.
These changes have significant pedagogic implications, with a medium specific view of media being myopic and limiting in what it can offer students in an increasingly crossmedia world. Media education privileges existent academic silos, and curricula are therefore skewed toward a particular medium. We will suggest this distorts critical perspectives of crossmedia; a film studies scholar for example will view crossmedia through the historical and theoretical lens of cinema, yet cinema as an industrial practice now revels in its crossmediality. Even those that recognise the collapse of the normative media paradigm (e.g. Bennett et al. 2011) expend their energies discussing industrial or audience transformations, yet fail to acknowledge the need for parallel changes in media education. Drawing on current industry practices, this chapter will call for a new pedagogy which allows for a position whereby crossmedia events are not seen as an array of loosely connected and interrelated texts, that are examined within now outmoded academic silos, but as a type of ‘digital heteroglossia’ where different media are seen as ‘utterances’ (or voices).
Preferred by: Ashley Woodfall