2. As Diane Winston explained during her opening remarks at the Forum, Evangelical Christians have been key innovators in their use of emerging media technologies, tapping every available channel in their effort to spread the Gospel around the world. I often tell students that the history of new media has been shaped again and again by four key innovative groups — evangelists, pornographers, advertisers, and politicians, each of whom is constantly looking for new ways to interface with their public.
3. Anyone who wants to understand how niche media works in this country needs to understand what’s going on in Christian media. It’s hard to call Christians a subculture when most studies suggest that the vast majority of Americans claim some religious faith and most claim to belong to some mainstream Christian denomination. Yet, because the most hardcore members of these groups feel alienated from much of commercial popular culture, they have created their own alternative cultural sphere — producing their own television programs, films,music, games, magazines, comics, you name it. We can learn a lot by studying the strategies by which this alternative popular culture is produced, distributed, and consumed, often depending heavily on viral marketing to get the word out without having to rely on mainstream media channels.
When Christian music started to get big in the 90’s and then went mainstream in the 2000’s, I took notice to the impact of Evangelican culture on popular culture. Love that Henry Jenkins is covering this topic.
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