The emergence of the techno-elite audience and free/open source content : a case study on BBC Backstage

Lin, Y 2012, 'The emergence of the techno-elite audience and free/open source content : a case study on BBC Backstage' , Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 9 (2) , pp. 597-613.

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This paper, through a case study on the BBC Backstage project, argues that the continuing convergence of media and ICT sectors has encouraged a powerful elite audience group to emerge – what I term “techno elite” in this paper. The techno elite usually has access to the latest knowledge and cutting-edge hardware, and is equipped with good skills of manipulating, configuring and re-configuring digital tools. When free/open source data and content are made available, some people in this category have the competence of re-purposing, re-using, re-interpreting and renovating the data and content and (re-)generate values of the original data or content. This process can be quite innovative and sometimes result in unexpected and incalculable values. Drawing on discourse analysis and ethnographic fieldwork data, this paper will narrate the story of BBC Backstage, how it came about, how it engaged with the techno elite, how it envisioned the roles of the techno elite in participatory media. The concept of 'techno elite' will be illustrated and defined through examining the collective practices of the techno elite in this BBC-led project, looking at how they engage with free/open source content and data to re-create content and values. This practice-based perspective (on collective 'elitist practices') will avoid a static and categorical definition of an elite audience group and serve as a more robust analytical technique for understanding the roles of contemporary elite audience in today's convergent, distributed and networked media industry. The paper will conclude with some provisional findings about the potential influence of this emerging elite audience group, the opportunities and challenges emanated in light of the changing media landscape.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1749-8716
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Salford
Depositing User: Dr. Yu-Wei Lin
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2012 13:51
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:46

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