Digital Utterances: adaptation, education and cross-platform practice.

This source preferred by Richard Berger

Authors: Berger, R.

http://www.bfm.ee/web/?lang=en&page_id=457

Start date: 26 March 2010

Since the publication of the Graf report into the BBC’s digital provision in 2004, cross-platform practices and ‘360 degree content’ have been part of media policy and practice in the UK. This is now reflected in the many courses and modules that seek to analyse and understand such practices, but which also aim to prepare future creative professionals for such a connected world.

However, this paper will argue that media education is still a discipline which naturally falls into medium-specific silos – film studies, television studies, etc. Media and cultural studies education in the UK is so diverse that any curricula will be skewered toward a particular media, which I will argue shapes critical perspectives of cross-platform practice; the broadcast studies theorist will always view cross-platform practices through the historical and theoretical lens of television.

Writers such as Paul Levinson and Henry Jenkins, via Marshall McLuhan and Roland Barthes, have been assembled by educators as tools to understand cross-platform practice. But the focus here has always been on technology. This paper will propose another model.

Using case-studies from the UK, this paper will argue that a study of texts, in particular the process of adaptation, will reveal the connections that now exist between texts and the practices that have informed them. If media educators and learners alike can appreciate that a media text constitutes a discrete digital utterance - an utterance which connects to all other utterances - then cross-practice ceases to be bound to medium specificity and technology.

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