Jenkins’ Challenges

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Media Education Landscape: Jenkins’ Challenges

Henry Jenkins

American academic and media eudcation commentator: Henry Jenkins

Jenkins ‘White Paper’ (Jenkins et al 2007) is largely celebratory in terms of the participatory opportunities of digital media and interestingly draws attention to the cost of non- progressive media education, that is one that fails to confront three challenges that seem to address who, what and why?:

  • The Participation Gap – raising issues of (in)equality of access to technological skills and contemporary cultural repertoires
  • The Transparency Problem – the need for adequate media literacy programming
  • The Ethics Challenge – problems associated with changes to current ethical standards and social hierarchies

Creative media production is no ‘silver bullet’ but its non-hierarchical and improvisatory processes are well placed to: wade through the ‘gap’, rather than bridge it; meddle under the bonnet of the ‘problem’, as well as appreciate the bodywork; tackle the ‘challenge’ by offering an engaging route to “decentre” (Buckingam, 2003:152), to appreciate other perspectives and to an awareness of complex online social mores through personal investment in and distribution of their own media texts.

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