Thursday, August 29, 2002

Fan Friction

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recognizes the existence of TV-related fan fiction, juxtaposing '80s mainstay "Remington Steele" with the InterWeb in the lead. MIT media mind Henry Jenkins is quoted in the piece, which indicates that reporter Sonja Lewis did her homework, and she nods to fan fiction's pre-InterWeb past... as well as the seamy backside of slash fiction. Overall, the feature is fair. It doesn't belittle the authors, recognizes the social networks that fan fiction can help solidify, and intersperses fan fiction excerpts throughout the piece.

Interesting timing, because I stumbled across a "Gilmore Girls" fan fiction site yesterday, as well as a site detailing the legal action taken by 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. against another TV fan site. Why don't the networks realize that fan sites have value as promotional tools? Why clamp down on something that only shows how dedicated and engaged your audience is? Why nix the free publicity?

Thanks to I Want Media.