Friday, 2 March 2007

A response

From Mike Mason
Dept of Media Production
University of Lincoln

Having seemingly killed the email exchange on MeCCSA stone dead with my suggestion (which was not really my intention) I feel obliged to take up your hospitable offer and post something here. Symptomatic of the theme of this discussion I thought I had to first set up a Google account - followed by a Blogger account. Setting up the Blogger account led to me automatically creating a blog page (called Frappant - which was the first unused title I came up with).To the point - having read both your posts I sense the frustration but feel that the picture is lacking tonality. I'm well aware of distrust and even hostility from some colleagues at even the mention of the internet, let alone the evil Wikipedia/YouTube/MySpace conspiracy, but most are pragmatic and have a reasonably keen sense of what's been happening over (at least) the last ten years. The curriculum has been evolving - as have approaches to delivering it, despite a whole range of constraints on time and resources as well as increasingly intrusive (and usually unrealistic) productivity demands handed down from above. The notion that 'Media Studies' (whether 1.0 or 2.0) as some monolithic entity that can be defined by a narrow set of parameters doesn't match my experience of a terrein with vastly different and ever changing vistas at every turn of the road. The infusion of many different viewpoints emerging from a wide range of concerned areas - Literature, Sociology, Linguistics, Fine Art (Practice & History), Aesthetics, Economics, Philosophy, Law, History and more - have meant that it's no easy task to pinpoint characteristics of 'Media Studies' as a discipline or even as a cohesivee subject area with a strongly defined identity. If anything the inevitable conlicts that arise from such a cross-disciplinary mish-mash are one of its greatest assets that save it from stagnation.We know some areas of the media are changing (although not all - and not as drastically as has been suggested) but there is much of 'the old' that remains, just as there is much of 'the new' that is destined for a very short shelf life. In my mind the diversity on which the study of the media is founded will cope with this challenge as ably as it has managed to cope with the decades of change that went before.Apologies for errors - I hate typing in small boxes.