CFMS PhD attends course in France on “The Journalistic Field, Media, Culture and Participation”
CFMS PhD student Chikezie Uzuegbunam recently attended a fully funded PhD short course on "The Journalistic Field, Media, Culture and Participation" in Paris, France, organised by The Norwegian University Centre in Paris, NUCP, and the University of Bergen, Norway. The course, which ran from 24-28 October, is dedicated to bring together emerging and senior scholars to debate key dimensions of participation, both in regards to traditional audiences and to the new forms of digital collective actions. It concentrates on participatory dimensions of audiences, interactions with both the media (for instance journalism, news, social media) and with forms of expressive culture (for instance film, music, computer games or television drama).
The course requirement consisted of lectures by experienced faculty in the field, submission of essays by students, review of fellow student essay, participation in discussions and oral presentation of the essay to the audience and Q & A on the presentation.
Uzuegbunam was the only African and black participant to attend the course. Among other things, he took away from the course that studies in media participations among various audience segments is an interesting field of study, but there are traps inherent in it. “For one, this may breed notions of normativity and relativity. Participation is socially selective. There are many missing voices. There are dominant and passive actors. The dominant ones are the ones who are more out there with their activities and those are the ones we mostly encounter when we want to study participation. There is increasing need to explore differences in offline and online participation modes among audiences, in addition to other forms of unmediated forms of participation among citizens in society,” he said.