“An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While “power to the people” may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the “demotic” with democracy…Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies.”
— Serra Tinic, University of Alberta, Canada
The ‘demotic turn’ is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the ‘ordinary person’ in the media today.
In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the ‘everyday’ individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through:
- Celebrity culture
- Reality TV
- DIY websites
- Talk radio
- User-generated materials online
Analyzing the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of ‘hot spots’ within media and cultural studies today.
Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratizing politics, this book examines its political and cultural function in media production and consumption across many fields – including print and electronic news, current affairs journalism, and citizen and online journalism.
It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.
Chapter 5: Revenge of the Nerds: Digital Optimism and User-Generated Content Online
Revenge of the Nerds: Digital Optimism and User-Generated Content Online
In the last chapter of Haunted Media (2000), his fascinating history of ‘electronic presence’ from the late nineteenth century to the beginnings of television, Jeffrey Sconce turns towards some of the current fashions in contemporary media analysis in order to demonstrate the value of a slightly longer historical perspective than had so far been customary in their treatment. Dealing with the ‘cyberenthusiasms’ of the late 1990s, as ‘cyberspace replace[d] television as postmodernity's technological dominant’, his account reminds us of what turned out to be a brief, if nonetheless lively, moment when the discussion of the postmodern implications of computer-generated ‘virtual realities’ and ‘virtual subjectivities’ were all ...