Patrice Riemens on Thu, 26 Aug 1999 19:07:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Dominique Wolton: "Internet is not a Media" (debate afterwards/ END)

For three weeks after CM's conversation with Wolton, there was some debate
in the (virtual) columns of Liberation's multiMedia supplement & site,
most coming from Patrick Thomas, a young research fellow at Montpellier
university. Thomas (expectedly) accuses Wolton of being an exponent of the
traditionalist top-down culture and contrasts the mass media with the
'self-media' made possible by the Net. Quote: 

"The changes for the better that may be expected from the development of
these self-media are numerous: a catharsis, and thus a civilisatory
effect, which stems from being able to handle a mean of expression as a
remedy against social violence; a mending of the gap between generation,
and more specifically between the school system (which is largelly
text-based) and the youth (the Lego, zapping generation); development of
new forms of knowledge which enable a getter understanding of the rational
and the relational; dissemination of a world-wide culture and language
that for once, would be a collective creation, and not that of one caste." 

He concludes that, with the Net, Wolton's mass audiences finally can
answer to the mass media. 

Wolton's reply, one week later, was disapointing, of the "let-me-explain-
it-again-since-you-did-not-understand" variety. Upon which Thomas came
back and stressed the "new language" being developped on the Net, and
contrasted the notion of 'filter' (maintained by a hierarchy) with that of
'interaction' (as a horizontal collaborative endeavour). Dominique
Boullier, a communication professor from Compiegne Campus joined the fray
with an interesting rejoinder well subsumed in his formula "Certain
aspects (services) of the Net can be defined as media. Other not at all." 
I liked most his comparison with the postal service, that inescapable, yet
under-researched parallel institution to the Net (its current jittery
passage from etatic public dispensation to free enterprise commodity

URL: & use the search facility entering

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