Summer School Day 8

After the one and only day off it’s back to the programme again. This morning starts with a workshop on Action Research in Journalism by Ebba Sundin which references the work of Jean McNiff. It’s the second time that action research has been discussed in this programme so we’re able to connect with the subject.

Tobias Olsson is next up with a lecture that is closely related to my research project What’s so ‘social’ about social media?: Critical reflections on the emerging media ecology of participation. I’d been looking forward to hearing his take on Social Media. In the lecture he discusses the ‘media ecology of participation’ and the notion of a ‘convergence culture’ as described by Henry Jenkins and the ‘co-creative environments’ of ┬áBurgess and Green. But then at this point Tobias asks us to remain critically aware of these ideas.

He asks us to reflect on three points. Firstly that what appears to be genuinely ‘social’ can in fact be produced by professional organisations as part of their marketing. Secondly, that here are in essence social and participatory features to most media. And finally that all media use is social.

After an expansive and clear explanation of these points he concludes that it is a long step from technological possibilities to social realities.

The afternoon lecture begins with a stimulating lecture by Bart Cammaerts from the LSE entitled Having a Laugh? Activism, Mediation and Protest Tactics. Annette Hill‘s Made to Measure: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Media Audiences workshop continues throughout the afternoon. This involves discussion and a workshop that explores the advantages of communicating with researchers from outside of your own discipline to help identify problems and develop new strategies.

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