I began this blog as a means to collect digital media stories for myself and my students and as a space to reflect upon media studies in a digital era. So far I've mainly used it as a link archive but I've decided to change that to turn it into more of a blog and emphasise my reflections on the discipline. I'm continuing to follow every major digital media story, all of which will be tagged on Del.ici.us under the name Willmerr: clicking on this link should take you there: http://del.icio.us/Willmerr
I invented the term 'Media Studies 2.0' in order to suggest that the discipline needs upgrading for a digital era. Media studies was a product of and reflection of the broadcast era, historically focusing upon a limited range of forms (print, cinema, radio, television), studied using a limited range of theories and methods, employing categories reflecting broadcast era patterns of production and consumption. I argued that this media studies needs to be upgraded for a post-broadcast era. An entire revision of the field - its organisation, key topics, theoretical sources, understanding of history and technology and relationship to other fields - is now required. As discussion of digital media has filtered into all other disciplines and as many of the key contemporary texts are being produced outside our discipline with little or no reference to it, this revision is essential if media studies is to remain relevant. It may already be too late: many of our students are outstripping their lecturers in their knowledge and navigation of the digital ecology and the discipline itself hasn't even noticed how much is happening, devoting itself to endless semiotic analyses of the latest film or fashionable TV series and giving questionnaires out to 'audiences', unaware that the 'audience' is already a category of the past... Time to change the discipline. Time to catch up with the present.
I'm Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea. I teach digital media and cyberculture, media theory, media history and popular music and mass media. I'm the author of 'Baudrillard and the Media: A Critical Introduction' (Polity, 2005) and co-editor of 'Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theory' (Routledge) as well as numerous articles on media theory and history. My main interest has always been theory - especially the work of Baudrillard, McLuhan, Innis, Virilio, transhumanism and the philosophy of technology - but over the past few years I've become increasingly interested in digital media and the ongoing transformation of everyday life. I published an online essay 'Media Studies 2.0: My Thoughts' explaining my views on this and its implications for the discipline and I'm currently working on a new introduction to Media Studies.