Key Concept 7: #K12Media

08 Nov

As we continue in our ongoing special series of #K12Media chats; this week’s discussion will centre on Key Concept #7: Form and content are closely related in media. Last week we discussed Key Concept 6: Media have social and political implications. We looked at Twitter and began to think about how social media changes our interactions socially and politically. There will certainly be overlap as this week we will think more deeply about the relationship between form and content.

For a refresher on the concepts:

7: Form and content are closely related in media.

Each medium contains its own codes and conventions, and will create a representation of reality that reflects the language specific to the medium. What are some of the tensions we can explore between form and content? How do they interact? How does form limit or extend content or vice versa?

Hot Topic 1: Stories

It can be argued that our concept of the world, the associations and memories we make, depend heavily on stories. From the earliest conversations, to hieroglyphs, from the stage to the screen, stories are probably the most important way that we communicate information through generations. So how does a medium change the story? How are stories changed or adapted for different media? If we tell a story while recording the audio and then play it for someone, does the story change? How so? What about video? Let’s take a moment to think more deeply about the fundamental changes that have occurred in storytelling and perhaps explore some of the new ways in which stories are shared. What is the future of the story?

Hot Topic 2: Gossip

“You know you love me, xoxo… Gossip Girl”

The tagline of one of prime time’s most popular television shows for young adults has inspired this topic. Gossip and rumours, true and false have made and broken reputations. A whisper, a note passed in class, a text… what is the effect of the medium on this enduring pastime? How has the popularity of “entertainment news” gossip changed how we as society see and participate in gossip? Communities and governments have had to scramble to deal with issues like bullying, slander and libel and they are beginning to realize just how complicated the interaction between the medium and the message really are. This topic will delve deeper into the guilty pleasures, entertainment value, social interactions, positive and negative consequences that can come from gossip, in all its forms.

Hot Topic 3:  Photography

Susan Sontag said “Photographs, which fiddle with the scale of the world, themselves get reduced, blown up, cropped, retouched, doctored, tricked out.” (On Photography)  Since the advent of photography, our view of the world has reached an immediacy that wasn’t previously possible. Distant places are as familiar to us as our local neighbourhood. Camera work has always been about careful selection and placement of images for greatest impact. Digital cameras now make the changing and editing photographs even more seamless. How do form and content relate in photographs? Is the meaning within  a photographic image “read” in the same way when the audience is aware of some or all of the digital changes that have been made?  Does changing/editing a photograph reduce its documentary quality? How do we use photographs differently in an age where most of the pictures taken are never printed in tangible form? How does this shift affect the way that we think about photography and the documentation of memorable moments?