Another time, another place : archival media content as temporal consciousness and collective memory
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Internet-based video streaming services have arisen in the past decade not only to provide new ways of engaging with current media content, but also with media content of the past, including news archives, movies, and television shows. This ability to “dial up” the mediated past almost at will with a broadband Internet connection suggests new ways for viewers of such content to use it in constructing temporal consciousness, which refers to how someone experiences and perceives time; and temporal frameworks related to the online content. Likewise, online media archives can be used in the formation and preservation of collective memory. Utilizing a targeted focus group study of 18-30-year-olds and their reactions and memories triggered by viewing selected archival news and entertainment content found online, the study contained within this master’s thesis proposes to explore elements of online media archives that might assist viewers in building a type of mediated temporal consciousness – time awareness and structuring through the consumption of media content – as well as collective memory. Consideration of these possible effects may better define the social value of media archives and their accessibility to future generations of potential viewers. Additionally, qualitative investigation of these concepts can help us to understand more about the mind’s ability to connect media content with personal experience and memory, as well as understand more about new media’s sociological and psychological significance as a depository for archival content. Without a method of preserving and presenting archival content, especially pre-digital content on aging, decaying source materials, large periods of time and history represented through news and other media content may become irrevocably lost.