55 – Three Little Pigs
For a while if you were to visit the YouTube homepage right now you would see the banner advert for the Guardian’s video entitled ‘Three Little Pigs’. It is a discussion of open journalism, as well as promotion for the Guardian itself. I think at the end of the day it was drawn up as a clever way to shake the dust off the news franchise, yet it also serves as a witty satire of the information exchange and of media saturation, moreover it presents to us (through familiar fiction) how open journalism involves us all.
Now for the traditional media outlets open journalism and social media is often something of a daunting prospect (as well as a prosperous one) because it signals the end of conventional consumption. This is totally relevant to everything I have been studying at Coventry University and every ‘Cov Con’ I have been to (If you are a regular reader you will remember the previously covered conclusions to my various ‘Cov Con’ experiences). Heck, even Charlie Brooker’s Drama ‘Black Mirror’ (which I also previously reviewed) looks at the issues of the ‘twitter generation’. Everything is pointing in anticipation at the speedy growth of social media, and the uncertain path we are traipsing down.
Everyone knows the lovable tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. But in this video the story is brought into the twenty-first century, or more accurately the twitter generation. The entire plot is jokingly subverted with the introduction of open journalism, which supposedly paves the way for the internet community to get to the bottom of a story for themselves. As Judith Townend said in a ‘Coventry Conversation’ on new media “Data validation is infinitely more useful to journalists and bloggers than finding a story.”
On top of this the video creators took the nursery story and threw in a few current affairs, such as recession, the housing crisis, and the ever delicate issue of British law. As a result the nursery tale becomes a controversial representation of the current political climate in Britain, as well as a representation of the ‘digital world’.
Social media is empowering, but it is also confusing, contradictory, and quite possibly exploitable. ‘Three Little Pigs’ does not sugar coat the digital generation. It presents the pro’s and con’s in a gritty, realistic yet enjoyable way. It’s the first advertisement I have seen in a long time that has left me with something to really think about, so regardless of what the Guardian were trying to achieve with this video, Kudos to them. It’s an ingenious video!
I couldn’t believe how related this was to the 180 module, and so closely tied in with the Coventry conversations on new media and journalism. I had to add this to the WunderKammer!