Audience Incorporated (Inc.): Youth Cultural Production and the New Media

Michael Hoechsmann

Abstract


Changes in access to technology have facilitated new conditions for young people to shoot, cut, and mix multimodal texts, and the emergence of the Internet as a "home theatre" for a global audience has enabled youth to communicate across borders and across the street. Alongside the outpouring of youth expression, a newly empowered youth audience has emerged as the newest actor in the mediasphere, helping to determine and create content and seemingly balance out increasing corporate control, the other major development in our mediascapes. In this article, I argue that differing conceptions of audience"”incorporated into the act of media creation"”produce different outcomes, that there are strong residual communicational and cultural elements in contemporary "participatory" media production, and that as young people are drawn into new forms of media practice, they draw substantially on a pre-existing repertoire of cultural meanings.

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