mediaARK.com currently is a repository for media, and more specifically video content, produced by some of my Communications and Multimedia students within the School of Communications. Some content also comes via certain theses projects, which is also overseen by fellow colleagues within the School. Other occaisional content has been produced by myself for the School and featured under the appropriate categories (e.g. X-Students or School of Communications Research).

When choosing topics students are encouraged to look for the small stories, the ones that might fall between the cracks, so to speak. Why engage in the kind of topics that are covered by mainstream media? They have very large resources to throw at these subject areas in terms of personnel, technology and finance. Students are very unlikely to add anything new to such topics to any greater or lesser extent. Therefore they are encouraged to go after the kinds of stories that mainstream media would not, or are unlikely to cover.

This point has been proven a number of times for example in Sept. 2014, the Mrs. Daly documentary was featured on RTE’s (Ireland’s main TV station) Nationwide programme, during prime-time evening viewing. Another two theses projects were shown in cinemas and both won awards. So, there is a lesson to be learnt here.

What employers and/or clients are likely to want from graduates are ‘new ideas’. Anyone can copy or mimic mainstream media, but I believe it is good practice for students to be stretched to come up with their own unique ideas that can contribute to the broader knowledge of the world around us.

X-Projects & X-Students
For the sake of brevity, and a more modern take on ‘civic engagement’ (please see below), ‘X’ signifies projects undertaken by media production students, but which are extra(X)curricular to their modules. ‘X’ also refers to projects undertaken by ex-(X)students i.e. those who have left, but are now utilising their skills and knowledge within the media production industry. The latter, tend to be a valuable resource for networking and other opportunities within the media creation industry.

Civic Engagement
These ‘X’ projects form part of my efforts to contribute to DCU’s Civic Engagement strategy. I hope to foster closer relationships between the students that I teach, the subject areas that I teach in, and the various individuals, businesses, organisations and communities that approach me for a range of projects to be undertaken.

General News or Events
Please note that the site is a repository for student projects i.e. Media Ark, and for occasions where I receive ‘X-Project’ requests. I include the odd competition or event where students can submit work, such as their module project output. However, I normally don’t circulate other information, news items or requests from students on a regular basis.

I have found that most students keep up-to-date on media developments, including student and ex-student projects/issues/events via their own and other social media outlets. There is no point in duplicating similar work, as from experience it takes up too much of my precious time. So, I must respectfully decline such requests for the moment.

William Tuke
School of Communications,
Dublin City University,

E-mail: mediaark.com@gmail.com

Abbreviations used:
CS = Communications Studies
MMA = Undergraduate Multimedia
MMM = Postgraduate Multimedia

‘Old Keyboard’ icon © picstopin.com


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