chapter  15
Contexts of new media practice
Pages 12

T he practices of new media are always, necessarily, embedded and contextualised,by which we mean that new media practice comes out of, and relates to, a giveninstitutional and cultural arrangement. This is true for all of the ways in which the individual becomes involved in new media practice, as well as how new media products are met. The context provides a framework of meaning for the activities of production and consumption. The context is the means by which the practices can be valued by an individual and/or group. The context, therefore, not only has a shaping role in how new media practices are understood and valued, but also stands in a determining relationship to the practices themselves. The contexts of new media can be understood abstractly in terms of certain types of context, wage labour for example, as well as concretely in the local and specific character of any one context, such as working on the Guardian picture desk, or in a small new media company in south-west England. The context of practice helps to explain the purposes of production, why practice is organised as it is, and the role of individual practitioners.