The paradigm shift relating to ‘passive’ audiences becoming ‘active’ has been a major and driving force behind the speeding up of media convergence. Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on the technological and industrial effects on convergence, however, this week has been the focus of the audience, or as Jay Rosen states, “the people formerly known as the audience.” I learnt that this has led to participatory culture and that the progress of convergence empowers audiences and allows new types of access and participation.
Ultimately, the power of communication is in our hands.
We are now living in a world where audiences and prosumers demand to be part of the conversation. As we’ve learnt how media has moved from analogue to digital, we see monologic media being displaced by dialogic media. We see information output being overtaken by conversation and where dialogic media allows information to flow from both ends resulting in an interaction with the message.
With the introduction of such digital media’s over the last decade especially, this dialogic media ideal has been supported and encouraged greatly by social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Skype. Skype allows the exchanging of messages between families, friends, colleagues and anyone else who wishes to engage in this form of communicative message process.
The internet is the domineering factor for the process of dialogic media and is done so by design, whereas once the old broadcast medium (monologic) for example radio, TV and newspapers, limited the capability the audience had with the information and message being received. These messages where filtered through gatekeepers, and were somewhat put under scrutiny before allowing to be published, maintaining quality and credibility.
But everyone wants to be heard, don’t they?
It’s interesting that as soon as a message is sent though a dialogic medium, many more possibilities arise for the prosumer. In this case, anyone can broadcast a message directly, with gate keepers weak or virtually non-existent. Although, we can see how these messages may become devalued and seen as less credible and of a less quality as a result.
The interesting subject came up with the example of Wikipedia. This is a public forum where anyone can post, edit and share content. I find this a good example as I regularly use this site as a starting point for many of my research assignments, although I question its validity at times as do others as an academic source. However, there is a team of volunteers who are monitoring gatekeeping software that identifies new information and changes to existing material. If incorrect, it will be taken down. Also there is a voting system in regards to whether content is kept or not. It’s an interesting medium to consider when talking about monologic and dialogic media in terms of the audience and how information is able to be collected and interacted with.
As I’ve learnt through such personal experiences and observations its apparent how technological convergence affects and shapes the role of the modern day audience in regards to the media. The relationship between media platforms such as YouTube, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., directly affects the audience as it encourages us to interact with content, a move on from the traditional monologic way on consuming content.