Catégorie : The NECS2021 Conference Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies (hosted by the University of Palermo, 7- 13 June 2021)

From Education to the Promises of its Objects: Discursive Migration of a Symbolic Framing

We have formulated together an observation according to which a majority of discourses expressed in the public space about the media, about their productions or about the practices attached to them, put at stake a series of key paradigms, which end up forming a common horizon of recurrent values: independence, impartiality, transparency, emancipation, participation, reflexivity (2). These paradigms expressed in the discourse on media – whether this discourse is carried out by journalists, or by media education actors – form a network of media meta-categories that interact with each other and seem to activate a series of preconceived delimitations (true/false, legitimate/illegitimate, transparency/secrecy, passive reception/critical activity).

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Media Education Reloaded: From Mediagenic to Media Praxis

My starting point is a rather pessimistic viewpoint on Media Education: since the main goals of this discipline are now integrated into the very logic of the media themselves, what else can be expected from Media Education? In other words: since values such as “emancipation”, “transparency”, “participation” are now what define the core of legitimate discourse on media and in media, which critical perspectives could we still provide as media scholars, without being suspect of undermining the noble project endorsed by this discourse, in the very name of Media Education? Of course one could have a more optimistic, but maybe lazier, interpretation, which considers that the job of Media Education is actually done, and well done, by the media themselves, and that there is then nothing more to worry about. Let’s try to be neither pessimistic neither lazy.

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The Promise of Transparency

The principle of transparency (1) has become an imperative in the communication of organizations — whether they are commercial or otherwise (Catellani et al. 2015). Media organizations are no exception and that’s why, as we have seen, fake news treatment appears so often as an exposure or an enlightenment. And this could be observed in the media The Conversation (2) that brings together journalists and scientific experts to guaranteereliable information — in accordance with the slogan “Academic rigour, journalistic flair”. However, this claim for transparency must be considered critically — not to deny the real value of a wide spread of the academic expertise but to discuss its issues.

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