“They (consumers) are fighting for the right to participate more fully in their culture, to control the flow of media in their lives and to talk back to mass market content.” This is what Jenkins argues in his article on media convergence (2004: 37). Big media companies might have ruled the industry once, but if we look at the last couple of years, it is the ‘consumers’ who decide which potential newsitems really become news. When Jenkins writes about the clear distinction between consumer and producer, one can argue that this isn’t the case (anymore?). I am a consumer, but I’m also a producer. Both roles can be fulfilled through for intstance social media.
The question is, is this a good or a bad thing? I think it’s both. In this way ‘the public’ is able to make news. When looking at the disappearence of Dutch girl Anne Faber for instance, lots of people shared the facebook message of her boyfriend stating he was unable to reach her. The attention this case got from social media reached the newspapers. Eventually this caused the Dutch army to help with the search.
But consumers being producers also have a bad side: fake news. A small example when looking at the recent events in Las Vegas fake messages were spread about the perpetrator of the shooting. Most through social media and popular websites. And with this example, the consequences are’t even that shocking.
I wonder what Jenkins things about this entanglement of the traditional media/news roles and what she things about the pros and cons.
Jenkins, Henry. “The cultural logic of media convergence.” International journal of cultural studies 7.1 (2004): 33-43.