I have posted and tweeted a lot about ‘Kony 2012’ today and felt that it would be pertinent to provide an overview of where I stand.
I am neither for or against ‘Kony 2012’. I am however, fascinated by the way the video has gone viral, turning into a living, breathing ‘Internet Meme’. I am currently teaching a unit in Postmodern Media to my A2 Media students; the video and evolving debate provides an excellent case study.
In discussing this with my students, I wanted to encourage them to approach the video with the same criticality that we apply regularly to media texts. From the outset it was clear that many of them were already doing that. I wanted to remind them that before they buy into something, it is important to verse themselves in the facts and as many opposing perspectives as possible. Then they can make ‘informed’ choices.
I am in no doubt that Joseph Kony is a bad person.
I am in no doubt that ‘Invisible Children’s’ intentions are sincere.
I do have some concerns about them though, most significantly how they use the money that is donated. And I am skeptical of the video they have produced. As a media artefact it is an excellent lesson in framing, editing and mediation; having been exceptionally well constructed. It is easy to see why so many people have been moved by it.
Ultimately, I think that ‘Kony 2012’ is an important reminder of the changed world we are living in. Social Networks and New Media Technologies are having a huge impact on society. As such, digital literacy (IMO) should be an integral part of the school curriculum.