A new essay co-written by Dr. Marc Steinberg and Dr. Joshua Neves, "Pandemic Platforms: How Convenience Shapes the Inequality of Crisis," has been published as part of meson press' open-access collection Pandemic Media.
Abstract: "This article examines how digital platforms responded to the COVID-19 crisis, showing how “pandemic platforms” exploit the present intersection of convenience and necessity. During the pandemic, platforms provide convenience-turned-necessity for stay-at-home consumers, even as platforms made use of stay-at-home orders to further exploit (and put at risk) their workforce. What we show are that convenience and risk are two sides of the same coin, shaping how platforms based on a logic of intermediation further entrench themselves during the pandemic. This requires media studies to turn its attention towards the logic of intermediation, organization, and pandemic mediations to account for the ways platforms exploit the current crisis to further entrench themselves via a combined appeal to convenience and risk."
About Pandemic Media: With its unprecedented scale and consequences the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a variety of new configurations of media. Responding to demands for information, synchronization, regulation, and containment, these “pandemic media” reorder social interactions, spaces, and temporalities, thus contributing to a reconfiguration of media technologies and the cultures and polities with which they are entangled. Highlighting media’s adaptability, malleability, and scalability under the conditions of a pandemic, the contributions to this volume track and analyze how media emerge, operate, and change in response to the global crisis and provide elements towards an understanding of the post-pandemic world to come.
A print edition will be available in December 2020.