The Essay ‘Plan’

And I use the term ‘plan’ very loosely here, as I was en route to the Paramore gig when the details of this task were outlined. Of my essays that have been completed throughout my entire academic career, I have never thoroughly planned one down to every minute detail… and to be fair, it’s worked out pretty well so far. So, what do we know?

We know I’m doing question one, which sings something to the tune of:

The context of current media production is that user-generated content of little real value or worth is eclipsing more traditional forms of media production.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

I’ve been answering this question in one form or another in pretty much every module I’ve done on this course so far, so it seems the logical choice. If you have been reading any of my posts, you will probably be familiar with my ‘Pirate Media’ theory at this point. Generally, this theory is that TV production is getting cheaper, with formats making cheaper and cheaper production values; and opposing this is the internet and it’s user-generated content, which started cheap, but is slowly having better and better production values. TV goes down, internet goes up. Eventually, the two will meet in the ‘middle’ (ie: when shows on the internet are as good as those on TV). This is the moment that all broadcasters are bricking themselves over.

So there’s one point, and we also have convergent media points, and how the internet and the TV will converge, thus allowing rise to ‘Pirate’ TV channels, which will be able to broadcast unregulated content to the masses. Perhaps satellites will become weapons of sorts for media distribution of the future (ie: who control the satellites above control the broadcasts). Cinema, radio, and everything else will converge on this link, which will not really be considered the internet as we know it (in other words, a separate form of media), but rather redefining the term ‘media’ itself, with all forms of media in the world flowing through it.

To these answers, I can do a simple run-through of the usual applications of key concepts we learned last year (ie: relate the question to audiences, institutions, genres etc). This is not to mention a current assessment of the pros and cons of the way things are now, and the way I predict things to be. I have been asked to find out what I need to read, but I’ll be predominantly using the internet for this essay, as the resources are easy to access, and are altogether relevant to the answer of the question (though just how you ‘harvard reference’ a website is anyone’s guess). All things considered, once I know how I’m going to start my essay (which for me is always the hardest part), then I should be well away. I have plenty to talk about, and if I write it in a stream of consciousness rather than from an intricate plan, the topics tend to smoothly make transitions from one to the other (however, this method does also increase the risk of me blabbing about irrelevant stuff). Oh well – that’s what the workshops are for!

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