57% of American teenagers are media makers

From Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture : Media Education for the 21st Century.


What does it mean to live in a world where 1 in 5 people are bloggers? That’s the world we are entering according to a report of the MacArthur foundation. And it certainly tallies with my own experience of working with teenagers. It can only represent a massive step forward for humanity on every level. But so many of the current generation of creators that I talk to welcome this news with skepticism and dismay. “They can’t be any good” or “How do I make a living with so many people working for free?” Well suck it up people. There’s a generation coming through who think of the creative skills previously owned by an elite of professional creators as nothing but the basic entry criteria to life in a participatory culture. And that means rethinking every single assumption we have about how our creative industries work. Take copyright as a singular example. What is the purpose of enforcing copyright on your book when there are so many books being written that they become as common place as speech? You may as well enforce copyright on your status updates.

Read the full MacArthur foundation report.

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Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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