Who has control?

Rosen’s idea of an “active audience” is similar to last week’s blog concerning the expansion of the Internet. The Internet allows users to communicate with people and gives them the chance to express themselves. In the article, The People Formerly Known as the Audience, author Jay Rosen, describes the audience as those who use to be on the receiving end of the media system that ran in one direction, while the rest of the public listened in isolation from one another (Rosen, 13). However, Rosen claims that the public, who are known as the audience, are not in the same situation today because there is now a balance of power between big media companies and us. For example, big media companies were the only ones capable of owning printing presses, radio stations, TV, news papers, etc, but now we are capable of publishing our own blogs, podcasting, editing and distributing videos (YouTube), and editing the news. We also have the choice to play our own IPods over the radio, watch what we want when we want, and avoid commercials on TV and the radio. However, not everybody has access to the types of technology that allows us to do this. In Bird’s article, Are We All Produsers Now, she expands on Rosen’s idea, but rather calls us “produsers”, in which she claims that the public has the opportunity to become producer’s instead of simply consumers (Bird, 502).

 I support Bird’s argument in which the audience has become produsers rather then just consumers. For example, there are multiple social media sites, as well as sites that allow you to share photos, videos, and interests (DIY), which are very easy to access. These websites allow you to communicate, discuss, create, and share your own ideas on the web with millions of other people. A good example of this is YouTube channels, which allows you to create your own channel and post your own videos. Also, most of these websites allow you to link your content across all of your social media platforms. For example, your Instagram or Twitter allows you to publish your photos or tweets onto Facebook. Also, on Facebook you are capable of sharing different links that contain articles, videos, or photos from other websites.

 Although, the power of media is slowly shifting into our hands, we are still very limited. Big media companies own majority of the platforms that we use in our daily lives, which still allows them to have some control over there functions. For example, Twitter allows you to write only 140 characters each tweet and Instagram only has a like button instead of a love, like, or dislike. I have seen people say they wish they could like the picture more than once! Also, if something were to be published in the paper or on the Internet that the upper elite did not agree with they have the power to take it down immediately. In most cases, this would only happen if the story or video affects the bourgeoisie in a negative way. Another good example, is the ‘terms of service’ or ‘copyright’ policies, which gives companies property of what is posted or the ability to unable anyone from making money off of them. By participating in all these social media platforms and posting content it is giving the media companies what they want, which is more and more users spending more time on their networks. In that case, if they give us a little bit of leeway we will accept and continue to use their products. Over all, we are still only are the audience, but today we just have more freedom.

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