Part of the 2012 Sustainability Lecture Series
Social Ecology Doctoral Program at the University of California, Irvine
CUSA Transformational Media Lab
Better Living Through Mediatization
Although media has been engaging and inspiring audiences throughout its history, new information and communication technologies have opened up a whole new set of opportunities for media to serve as an agent for social change. Technologies such as online social networks, geospatial information systems, and collaborative content creation are changing our conceptions of both media and social action. Mediatization refers to a social and cultural process of media influencing and being influenced by the individuals, communities, and systems in which it is embedded. In the past decade, we have seen new forms of media creation, distribution, marketing, and engagement. Social action campaigns are utilizing a broad array of strategies to engage the public through media, including action kits, community screenings, school curricula, and extensive use of social media platforms. Transmedia campaigns combine new technologies with traditional movement strategies such as rallies, protests, and lobbying efforts, creating a new form of civic engagement about which little is known. A new form of media is emerging that includes the public as both consumer and producer and has the ability to engage individuals, communities, and societies at a level previously unfathomable. This presentation will explore this new world of media, with a focus on issue-based film, transmedia action campaigns, and participatory movements. Implications for environmental and social justice issues will be addressed.