Convergence Culture – Henry Jenkins

Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways.

Remix culture this semester has been viewed in a positive light, just as long as the legal implications are avoided. However, in the case of Bert is Evil, Henry Jenkins argues that the media can take things way to far. For example, something as simple as Dino Ignacio’s digital collage of Bert from Sesame Street next to Osama Bin Ladin.

This case of Bert is Evil is a classic example of convergence across media platforms. It started out on the television show Sesame Street, it moved into Photoshop and then to the world through the internet ending up being captured by CNN and into the living rooms of people around the world. With the growing concept of prosumers, anyone can create and send intended messages to the world. The accessibility to this image on the internet encouraged consumers to view and share the image which only increased its popularity. The power of the internet seems to be underestimated. Prosumers tend to forget that something that appears funny to some, can be quite offensive to others, especially with the whole world viewing your content.

Convergence represents a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content. When viewing remixed images like Bert is Evil, people put their own opinions and associations between the two in the image. This allows the process for people to form their own ideas and can become influenced by these intended political messages. Each of us constructs our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media flow and transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives.

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