I’m watching the horrifying videos of the Tsunami rolling over Japan, and thinking about the Culture of Convergence: Some Media Studies experts define “convergence culture” strictly as a “convergence” of different genres of media: a website that embeds a video that was originally filmed and broadcast on TV, or a podcast that includes video, or a blog that embeds a pdf and an audioclip, etc. This definition of “convergence” follows the traditional view of “intertextuality”: it is strictly about the relationship bewteen texts.
However, other Media Studies experts see “convergence culture” as a phenomenon that goes beyond objects and includes people: the “convergence” of individuals through Digital Media interactivity. It might be interesting to explore the relationship between empathy and New Media in times of disaster.
Check out the Pulitzer website for archived winners of the Pulitzer Prize in photography and consider how New Media might affect our ability to empathize with others:
(© 2005, The Dallas Morning News/Irwin Williams. via Pulitzer.org)