“Produser”, coming from the word “produsage” by Axel Bruns, is an appropriate term to refer to the relation between human and their use of media. A controversy about this has sparked, that whether people are more of a “product” or “user”, and how this approaches the media audience’s evolution.
Media audience has been long-time viewed as a passive receiver of information, in which makes them more of a product than user. They’re seen as gullible and easily hurt by the media, since they tend to believe everything from it. For example, in 2012, Donald Trump claimed that the POTUS, Barrack Obama, provided a fraudulent birth certificate without any evidence. This false claim still misleads a number of people till today, as Trump doesn’t acknowledge the documentation. Well, the public mightn’t be completely at fault for being deceived and we’ll talk about Trump’s cards in another post but it’s undeniable that people let themselves manipulated easily.
However, we must admit that, by the time, audience has become more actively conscious of what they consume from media platforms. They seek for the truth from various other news’ sources instead of instant belief. The recent case of the Kong: Skull Island’ film director Jordan Vogt-Roberts announced as the ambassador of tourism of Viet Nam is one of the few moments I’m proud of Vietnamese Internet users (To be honest, they’re often too dumb to have their sanity online). Although his movie introduced some scenes in Ninh Binh province, in which the authority and media assure that it can promote tourism of Viet Nam, it doesn’t persuade others as the movie is known for illustrating “white supremacy, sexism and racism”. The emphasis of the plot definitely wasn’t Vietnam and audience can only know if they read some side information about the movie but not watching it can help them figure out whether it’s fake or real scenes. Also, Jordan shows and later admits his little knowledge of Vietnamese culture. This time, the audience isn’t swayed (thanks God they don’t let their ego settles it!) by the thought of their-small-nation-is-on-air-with-many-Hollywoody-brightest-stars on a worldwide blockbuster but concerns about who represents their country and how an ambassador can bring their heritage to the world.
Media audience are produsers, who uses what they produce and vice versa. Unlike the past, it’s their choice now to use media or being used by it.
*NOTE: Isn’t Ninh Binh beautiful? Trust me if you saw the movie and thought it used special efects to create the scenes, you were wrong in the right way! And yes I’m advertising my country not the movie, you’re welcome 🙂