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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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1

Media Studies

Diagnostics of a Failed Merger

Geert Lovink

ABSTRACT

According to Geert Lovink, there is no such thing as a “visual culture” that connects film, television, video, and new media. In this chapter, he argues that this mistaken belief has led to the naïve notion that we are all working on the same project, “the media.” In fact, Lovink argues, humanities-based “media studies” has never had a grip on new media and Internet education. The idea that media are all about images is contradicted by the reality of computers that run on code. A deep institutional confusion holds that new media are ultimately subordinate to the old content-based broadcasting industries and their outdated revenue models. This essay argues for a long overdue goodbye to the convergence tendencies within media studies departments in favor of full autonomy of new media initiatives. The purpose of critical research into digital technologies is not to rescue the film and broadcasting industries but to develop concepts for the ever-expanding digital realm itself.

Am Anfang steht das Ende, sonst wäre das Neue das Alte.

[Every beginning starts with an end, otherwise the new would be the old.]

(Radikal magazine, March 1984)

The question of how to interpret the Internet and new media is too important to be left to university course managers. Humanities-based “media studies” never had a grip on new media and Internet education. Nor did it shape the new media field by being at the forefront of early-adopter ...

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