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 or subject matter to produce projects on, students are encouraged to look for the small stories, the ones that might ‘fall between the cracks’, ones that mainstream media may not notice. Indeed, why should students engage in the kind of stories that are covered by mainstream media? They have large resources to throw at these subject areas in terms of personnel, technology and finance. Students are very unlikely to add anything new or original 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 notion has been confirmed a number of times, when some projects did receive mainstream attention, precisely because they were not ‘hot’ or ‘high-profile’ topics. For example in Sept. 2014, the Mrs. Daly documentary was featured on RTE’s (Ireland’s main TV station) Nationwide programme, during a prime-time evening slot. Another two theses (video documentary) projects were shown in cinemas and both won awards. So, it is beneficial for students to be coming up with original ideas for projects. Anyone can copy or mimic mainstream media, it doesn’t require originality. However, I believe it is beneficial for students to be encouraged to come up with their own unique ideas that can contribute to our pool of knowledge, and particularly in regard to the lesser well-known aspects of  society.

X-Projects & X-Students
The ‘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.

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, seeking a range of projects to be undertaken.

General News or Events
Please note that the site is a repository for student projects – hence ‘Media Ark’, and for occasions where I receive requests for extra-curricular projects. 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 the public, student bodies, or even ex-students on a regular basis. The reason is that I have found that most students keep up-to-date on various social issues, competitions, media developments etc., 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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