Media studies has long been cast as the classic “Mickey Mouse” subject. Now, at a time of widespread cuts in the academy, scholars in the field have launched A Manifesto for Media Education, a web-based project designed to fight their corner.
“We hope to achieve greater clarity about our subject,” explained Jon Wardle, director of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University.
“Should media education be about serving the jobs market, reflecting society back to itself or holding power to account? And since the media are now central to our lives, should they be studied in a separate discipline or right across the university syllabus?”
To get the ball rolling, Mr Wardle has co-authored an initial statement noting that the project comes at a time when media education appears to be flourishing.
“Applications to media courses in the UK have never been higher,” it says. “In Southeast Asia, media education is now a legislated aspect of schooling in a number of countries, and in the US various foundations are making millions of pounds available for academics to investigate the nation’s media literacy.”