Understanding Online Audio-Visual Content: : A European Initiative, Media Literacy and the User

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Recent debates about media literacy and the internet have begun to acknowledge the importance of active user-engagement and interaction. It is not enough simply to access material online, but also to comment upon it and re-use. Yet how do these new user expectations fit within digital initiatives which increase access to audio-visual-content but which prioritise access and preservation of archives and online research rather than active user-engagement? This article will address these issues of media literacy in relation to audio-visual content. It will consider how these issues are currently being addressed, focusing particularly on the high-profile European initiative EUscreen. EUscreen brings together 20 European television archives into a single searchable database of over 40,000 digital items. Yet creative re-use restrictions and copyright issues prevent users from re-working the material they find on the site. Instead of re-use, EUscreen instead offers access and detailed contextualisation of its collection of material. But if the emphasis for resources within an online environment rests no longer upon access but on user-engagement, what does EUscreen and similar sites offer to different users?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Pages28-41
JournalMedia Studies
Journal publication date2012
Journal number6
Volume3
StatePublished

Research areas

  • media literacy , online , archives, digitisation, television , Europe

ID: 2596999