Today’s students are both consumers and producers in a participatory media culture of Facebook, YouTube and other online formats that bear both similarities and differences to traditional films, television and other professionally produced programming. This article describes the challenges of translating media education principles that were successfully utilized with broadcast media examples, to students’ personal images uploaded to and created for UGC sites. Findings from a three year study that successfully employed professional media samples are compared with anecdotal descriptions from a participatory media assignment created to update the Culture, Race & Media, course through a website-based curriculum http://www.cultureraceandmedia.com. Readers are encouraged to contemplate the critical implications of today’s new media and to question how to frame media education relative to UGC and participatory media.

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