What is media aesthetics? How can we bring theory to life?
As Herbert Zettl, the author of Applied Media Aesthetics says: “Consciously or not, we make aesthetic choices every day. When we decide what to wear, or clean up a room so that things are put back where they belong, or choose what flowers to put on the dinner table – we´re engaging in basic perceptual and aesthetic activities. Even the every day expression “I know what I like” requires aesthetic judgment.
As journalists – we need to go beyond every day reflexes and choices and approach the stories we´re doing with perspective. We need to develop a heightened sense of vision and learn how to give such vision significant form so that we can share it with our readers, viewers, our general audience.
Applied media aesthetics helps you in this formidable task. If not communicated effectively, significant vision subsides into insignificance.
The text book Applied Media Aesthetics by Herbert Zettl focuses on these major areas:
1) applied media aesthetics: definition
2) applied aesthetics and contextualism
3) context and perception
4) the medium as structural agent
We will study the theory as set out in the syllabus, and then put it to use in our multimedia final term project by doing street reporting.
Finally, I would like to add: Do not be frightened by the phrase “media aesthetics” – it is a fancy name for the visual elements you need for mass media journalism.