Jenkins: The Future of TV?

Categories: Reading Response

Jenkins’ article about the future of TV made me feel like I was supposed to be panicking about the uncertainty around the television medium.  Shows are on the internet, alternate reality games exist, DVR’s, Youtube, and Jay Leno Quotes… OH NO!

Okay, so maybe this is an exaggeration, but I still thought it was interesting how huge Jenkins made this shift of transmedia seem.  Are we even using televisions anymore? he asks.  I think that yes we are still using televisions and that yes the medium still exists even if we are taking it in in different ways, maybe everything is just a little more amplified.  Here is what I mean:

When thinking of classic television, the characteristics that I think of are “appointment watching” where people would rush to the TV set to watch their favorite shows at specific times.  While things like Tivo and Hulu have changed that practice, I think the emergence of social networks have helped to maintain the shared viewing experience that used to come from forced scheduling.  People watching Lost live so that they can tweet about it, or community screenings on second life are examples of this.  Another “classic television practice I think of is the TV guide.  While practically no one (except my mother) still reads TV guide, which used to be one of the highest read magazines, there are infinitely more sources for television watchers to read about shows, what is going to air, interviews with actors etc.  While the actual magazine is gone the ideas and practices have just expanded significantly with the freedom of the TV set.  Finally, I think of the idea of people having their favorite shows and forming practices around watching those shows.  Now more than ever uber-fans still have their favorite programs and have tons of practices (i.e. blogging, vidding, convention-ing etc) to go along with those favorites of theirs.

I agree that we may not be using the TV tube any more, but the practices of television are still alive more than ever

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