Participatory Mobile Media Projects as Academic Practice

  • Jenny Weight RMIT
Keywords: participation, participatory video, social media, mobile phone, tablet, PAR


Participatory media projects are a burgeoning ground of academic, activist, artistic, and educational activity.  Using networked mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets to enable media production and dissemination through social media, people are producing and publishing media about any conceivable subject.

Media producers and academics engaging in these practices are actively intervening in social processes and relationships, and a new range of obligations may arise from that intervention.  Research from various social science disciplines about participatory projects may help us think through various ethical and political issues surrounding these practices.

However, media academics require not only a different skill set, but also a different approach to media research.  To date, academic approaches to such practices have often been driven by technological innovation rather than a consideration of social and communal creative practice.

This introductory paper introduces various ethical and practical issues, and ponders the ability of the research community to adapt to the new techno-social paradigms.  Some of these conundrums are discussed in relation to a small project that the author has been involved with.

I briefly outline a research strategy based on Participatory Action Research (PAR), called Participatory Media Research (PMR), as a way to conceptualize these engaged media projects as research.

Author Biography

Jenny Weight, RMIT

Jenny Weight is a researcher, teacher and maker from RMIT University in Australia. Her current research and creative practice focus is on the reinvention of ethnographic video for social media contexts.  She is the Program Manager for the Master of Media at RMIT.

How to Cite
WeightJ. (2014). Participatory Mobile Media Projects as Academic Practice. The Journal of Creative Technologies, (4). Retrieved from