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Media Literacy and the Meta-Narrative

Discuss the rise of self-referential, "meta" narratives in contemporary film and television, and the links to the rising media literacy of consumers. Considering the introduction of media education in schools, particularly on English syllabuses, how has the audience’s understanding of media conventions and tropes affected the writing of media?
In the UK in particular, English education in schools now has mandatory coverage of media writing. People are growing up with a knowledge of story structure, tropes, and genre conventions. This is leading to a rise in films and television which make deliberate nods to these conventions. Some examples: Community (TV series), Deadpool (Film), Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Film), Black Mirror (TV Series), Spaced (TV Series).

  • It's a little vague, maybe through some definitions to help clarify? – Andi 1 year ago
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  • This is a really fascinating topic! You make a good point that "meta" narratives assume that the audience is knowledgeable about that form of media, including the tropes that constitute it. But this topic is a little broad. I would suggest picking one form of media (tv, film, books, etc.) and finding examples of meta narratives and then compare their critical and popular reception. Then, the audience's understanding of meta conventions and tropes could be more acutely analyzed. I would really like to read an article about this! – Eden 1 year ago
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  • The central idea is an excellent one, but defining forms of media will help give structure and clarity to your central aim. For instance, how do you specifically define “meta-narrative?” Does it refer to specific tropes and story-telling conventions, or is there something more to mention? Highlighting the odds and ends of these terms will help flesh out the article. Consider also the effects of online fan activity in pushing creators to cater to those interests, even to the point of altering story threads to avoid being predictable. – James Polk 10 months ago
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  • What this article needs is specifics. Giving examples of the so called "meta" narratives and literacy might give some context to what you are talking about instead of simply generalizing. – thestorydude7 8 months ago
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Published

Television Shows and the New Fan Base Responsiveness

An unprecedented level and frequency of communication between television show cast/crews and fans on twitter, at cons, in polls, and generally online has begun to influence some shows’ creation.

You have Hannibal’s Hettienne Park responding in a letter to fans upset at her character (an Asian-American and Jewish woman detective) was killed off. You have all levels of fanservice and queer-baiting. You have Bryan Konietzko announcing "Korrasami is canon." You have Supernatural and Arrow keeping on and creating huge roles for characters once fated to die off (Castiel and Felicity respectively). But sometimes, for art or for format (e.g. Netflix series premiering a season at once cannot adjust), the shows do not bend.

My question is, do you think this new level of responsiveness can be called, overall, good or bad? If so, which? What types of shows are expected to be open or closed to fan suggestions? Have any surprised you? Also, more examples and especially counter-examples are very welcome.

  • I also think something to be taken into consideration is the affect fan interaction has on the business side. Does greater fan interaction increase the size of the audience? Do these fans also purchase merchandise to show their dedication to the show? – MichelleAjodah 5 years ago
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  • The interaction between cast/crew members provides even more for the fans as they get more content via what cast/crew share and connection as questions are answered and feedback is given. But I can see some problems that usually come with social media having a negative effect, such as some voices getting heard more than others' or people jumping on bandwagons. – LaRose 5 years ago
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  • It is probably important to recognize that the Internet does impose a greater sense of responsiveness and involvement, due to the competition steadily arising from Internet based entertainment. YouTube and other services intend to drive the television audience away from that media, and grant the audience the kind of ability to achieve this concept. It may be a good idea to pair this with your topic to emphasize what kind of outcome television may have with its audience. – N.D. Storlid 5 years ago
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  • There is something dystopian about this, recalling the gladiatorial thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision. It also recalls the chariot race riots of Constantinople in 532 when fans nearly killed Emperor Justinian I. Sometimes fans can be so fanatical. – Tigey 4 years ago
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