TELEVISION AUDIENCE IN DIGITAL ERA: RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES

Defined mostly as anonymous and homogenous mass consuming the content from the small screens, in theoretical discussions, television audience has passed the long way from being defined as passive observers, i.e. mere recipients of the messages in the initial researches, through active interpreters who use television to satisfy certain needs and to the latest predictions about “viewsers” as active, individual creators of programmes in the context of new digital era. Development of new information technologies that lead to digitalization of television and convergence of the media environment has placed the demand on audience researcher to find new theoretical perspectives, not only related to the “activity” of television audience, but also related to redefining the very meaning of television and its various uses. The paper presents and analyses these theoretical contributions to understanding of the reception side of the digital television.

THE CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT/OF ART IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL MEDIA

The digitization rush has left the hypertext as a computer-generated text in its wake. The broadening of the hypertext concept brings us to the possibility of a new interpretation not only of artistic practice, but of the theory and politics of that practice, correspondingly. When the sign (iconic, indexical, symbolic) became “fundamental” for thinking, the status of knowledge changed. With artistic practice as an example, that can be seen in the reconstruction/destruction/deconstruction of a work into a text and of the text into a hypertext. The rhetorical figures of the hypertext bring about a new hermeneutics of the code. The code, as a mode of linking lexias (units of reading), past traces of the archive or the database, translates the entire Gutenberg Galaxy into a Hypertextual Galaxy. The event of remedialisation or the digital McLuhan, reminds us that an artistic practice has always been an emphasized (hyper) process of virtualization and of creating the artistic as a media/discursive construct. The hypertext thus becomes a broad platform for reading/writing both in science and education on the one hand, and in literature, film, visual arts, theatre, fashion, nutrition and photography on the other hand. The work of art/text/hypertext can also be viewed as a paradigm in the construction of knowledge.

NEW HYPERTEXTUALITY IN LITERATURE: READING, EVALUATION, EDUCATION

Tense but fruitful relationship between literature and technology springs from the impression of writers and literary scholars that their activities are irreconcilably different. However, literature and science are not the worlds apart, since many critics nowadays resort to explaining narrative experiments and revolutionary representational practices in literature as attempts to come to terms with the theories of Einstein or Heisenberg. The paper examines revolutionary changes brought by digital technologies into the realm of reading, writing and textual interpretation, with the introduction of hypertext. The application of informational technology in reading, writing and teaching literature is impossible without understanding the theory and practice of hypertext. The Internet as a research tool in teaching literature and literary studies in general changes the book, since it ceases to exist only as a printed text and part of the literary canon, and turns into a hypertext which offers new strategies of research, elaborated in the paper.

EDUCATION FOR MEDIA IN THE NEW TECHNOLOGICAL AGE – CHANGE OF DISCOURSE

The media are no longer a “mirror of society” but constructors of social reality and manufacturers of consciousness. The new technological age gives a strong stimulus to this transformation which further marginalizes the point and cognitive value of the message. These technologies emphasize the technological aspects, sensations of the new, spectacles of the form and the design, which are becoming a purpose in itself. Adding to all this the already observed concentration of information and the difficulty in content selection, the training for media usage and their maintenance on the socially acceptable and constructive level becomes a highly important topic. At the same time, the concepts of “the media education” and “education for the media” oscillate in their implications, alternately going back and forth in their meaning. This paper is trying to determine the evolution of the idea about correlation between the media performance and the educational process, in which at least two approaches are possible: the ability to increase the level of knowledge with the help of the media and the need for gaining skills in order to handle the digitalized media so they can be used to full potential.

DIGITAL TOOLS AND THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION

The approach to contemporary digital media technologies has two general orientations – “techno-optimistic” and “techno-pessimistic”. The author takes a middle position and tries to bring together the arguments of the humanistic philosophy of education and media theory. New media influence our perception of reality and ability to articulate that perception, and thereby shape the reality itself. The educational system includes new media through the “media education” and its application as educational technology. The main postulates of this article are: (1) digital media technologies are not the purpose, but a tool in the educational process, (2) those tools influence changing of the educational process characteristics and (3) the specific purpose of humanistic education process is not lost despite those changes.

HOW MUCH DO WE USE DIGITAL LIBRARIES

This paper seeks to highlight the spectrum of electronic services offered by modern libraries, and the need for the creation of “digital offers” guided by the standards of library efficiency and effectiveness. When we talk about digital libraries, evaluation studies are very rare due to a number of reasons. Usage is just one of the criteria to evaluate digital libraries, and it includes usage patterns, usage statistics, and user studies. The ultimate goal of the evaluation of digital libraries is to determine to what extent and in what manner they affect the processes of learning, education, cultural development, research, preservation of national heritage, collective and personal identity. As the world is still expecting reliable criteria for evaluating the digital library, the positions from which we are waiting make all the difference. In Serbia, an environment that didn’t manage to introduce all the possibilities provided by the Internet, either in terms of e-government, e-commerce, or of e-education, libraries have launched major digitization projects and stepped in front of the needs of our society which is not ready/educated/trained/used to digital resources. The way out of this situation must be sought in strengthening of the information society, of its technical and technological, legal and regulatory assumptions, and also those assumptions related to information literacy of citizens, their awareness of how human knowledge is organized, how to find the right information and how to use it effectively to improve the quality of one’s own life.

MEDIA LITERACY AS A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR UNDERSTANDING NEW MEDIA

Digital media technologies allow new communication channels through which one can quickly find necessary information on the one hand, and on the other hand upload information of relevance. Both download and upload are quickly and easily available to everyone worldwide. It is interesting to compare the Internet with an “information buffet” from which the user takes as much information as necessary and whenever necessary. Such information may be used for the purpose of informing, educating, entertaining or business when there is no other efficient and quicker way. People and markets are linked. From the time in which the information and news were in the possession of a small number of people, we have arrived at the stage when the information is in the hands of most. We are now in the era of social media which helped create a most diverse content and exchange between a large number of Internet users, replacing the one-to-many process with a many-to-many process. Two-thirds of our waking state is lived with the media or the media in combination with another activity, whereby the media people gradually influence our perception of the meaning of life. Researchers warn of the impact of media depending on the degree of media growth and the need to create an institutional basis for introduction of media education into regular education programs.

THE DEFEAT OF EDUCATION IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

It can be argued that the system of higher education in Serbia is currently at one of its lowest points since its establishment in the nineteenth century, if measured by comparative European and even regional standards. Among the most important reasons that brought higher education in Serbia to this situation are the lack of interest on behalf of the State to get seriously engaged into the problem of education and its quality, as well as a very high corruption which established a unique model of (pseudo) “market education” which in many cases does not fulfill the very elementary academic, scientific and ethical standards. This can have very serious consequences toward the entire society, resulting in the lack of well-educated professionals (which is directly related to the faster and more successful social/economic development) and leading, potentially, to very serious problems in functioning of the democratic procedures, values and institutions, together with the erosion of the civil society. At the same time, one also witnesses to the unfortunate attempt to diminish those aspects of higher education that affirm critical thinking, not only in the developing but in the developed industrial countries (in Europe and USA) as well. In such a situation, the role of new technologies becomes critical on a global scale, since the way we use technological innovations (e.g. internet) defines to a significant extent the possibility of real education today (i.e. affirmation of critical thinking, our ability to access relevant information etc.) and the outcomes of the entire educational process.

HOW MUCH KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DIGITALIZATION OF TV BROADCASTING HAVE THOSE WHO SHOULD PROMOTE IT TO THE PUBLIC

This paper presents the results of a field research about the level of knowledge and familiarity of journalists of Vojvodina’s newspapers and radio stations regarding the digitalization of TV production and broadcasting. According to the “Regulations on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting of television programs and access to the multiplex in terrestrial digital broadcasting” (2011) the promotion of this process in public is an important element for its success. A key aspect of this is that not only reporters from state controlled television stations should have basic knowledge of, and interest in, this topic, but that other journalists (from local and regional newspapers and radio stations) do as well. Their public advocacy and preparation of citizens in local communities for the day when the television signal will fully switch to digital terrestrial broadcasting is very important. Initial digital broadcasting in Serbia began in March, 2012. The study shows that journalists of those media outlets are not empowered to take on the task set ahead of them.