NewsroomStudy at DITResearchIndustry and InnovationLibraryServices and FacilitiesFaculties and Schools
no file no file no file no file no file no file

Laura Kinsella

Laura Kinsella

P: +353-1-407191
Campus: Aungier Street

Research Topic: Media Literacy and Participatory Culture in Ireland

Whilst the focus of my doctoral research project is still in development, I aim to consider media literacy and participatory culture in the context of a globalised Ireland. Media scholar Henry Jenkins (2006) states that a participatory culture emerges as the world responds to the intensification of information communication technology, connecting a world-wide-web of networks, commonly referred to as the Information Society (Castells, 2009). However, the Information Society is a two-tiered party, stratified by race, nationality and gender, exacerbating and migrating social inequities to a digital platform. This stratification is referred to as a participation gap which is ‘the unequal access to opportunities, experiences, skills and knowledge that will prepare youth for full participation in the world of tomorrow' (Jenkins et al, 2006). At the heart of the participation gap is the question of media literacy (Buckingham, 2009), which the European Commission states is necessary for fully engaged citizenry in the Information Society. My practice-led research will set out to intervene in the participation gap debate in Ireland through a media literacy initiative using audiovisual ethnography. Significant scholarly research is currently being conducted across the areas of media literacy and participatory culture internationally, however, scant attention has been given to this topic within an Irish context. Ireland serves as an interesting case study as recent reports indicate that Irish youth fall below the EU average for basic digital literacy skills (Livingstone et al, 2011). This research draws from my MA dissertation in Creative Media at the University of Brighton, UK. Its central aim was to investigate how the Flip camera creates a more reflexive dialogue between researcher and participant transforming video ethnography through media literacy and participatory culture. Also in 2010, as part of my MA, I produced a sonic artefact contrasting voices of immigration to Ireland with songs of emigration from Ireland. I further directed and produced Solace - a documentary short about Irish Traveller women living in the United Kingdom, who had escaped from domestic and sexual violence and are living in exile from their community. Following this project, I was commissioned to produce Life in a Refuge, which details the entitlements, regulations and cultural sensitivities of Solace Women's Aid, the only specialist charity working with Irish travellers in the United Kingdom. Upon finishing my BA in media and cultural studies, I worked as visiting lecturer in a collaborative project between Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and the National Library of Scotland. I trained staff at the National Library of Scotland in audio-visual production techniques by hosting weekly workshops to develop online content for the Library's website with a view to engaging new audiences.


'The Flip University: Digital Ethnography, Collaboration and Marketing' (forthcoming, currently being reviewed by Nebula).

'How Media Literacy Can be Transformative to the Irish Education System, in T. Brabazon (Ed.), After Avatars, Trolls and Puppets: Community 2.0 and the Quest for Authenticity (Oxford: Chandos).


Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship.

Sarah Pink Prize for Practicing Media Research.
Fred Ingles Prize for Media Literacies.
Martin Mhando Prize for Documentary Feature Production.

Visiting Lectureships

Video Digital Production, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.


Food for Thought, Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh, Scotland (November).



top ^