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BYU New Media Symposium to Feature Guests, Professors Across Campus

Keynote speaker Mike Rugnetta will address the possibilities and positive use of new media

The Department of Theatre and Media Arts will celebrate the opportunities and potential found in new and emerging media with a one-day symposium in the HFAC on March 29.

The symposium, titled "Media of Today and Tomorrow," is open to all BYU students and will feature presentations, panels and workshops by guest speakers and faculty members across campus along with interactive displays and demonstrations.

After an opening reception with a first-come, first-served breakfast beginning at 9 a.m., keynote speaker Mike Rugnetta will take the stage to discuss the means and opportunity we have to connect and create with each other online for a better world.

Rugnetta is the creator of the PBS Idea Channel, which challenges viewers to think critically about media culture. He has gone on to host several other channels and podcasts and contribute articles to industry publications. He was among the first YouTube personalities to respond to viewer comments and foster community conversations on the platform, often employing memes and gifs to help illustrate potentially complex ideas.

"Mike is a good example of someone who is an educator and is interested in these ideas of media literacy and of thinking creatively with media, but has made an effort to bring those ideas to the public," said media arts professor and symposium organizer Benjamin Thevenin. "He's so in tune with media culture — he saw the potential to use YouTube to further conversations he felt were important, but in a way that was accessible and inclusive and made use of the fun parts of media culture."

Read more about the upcoming symposium on the College of Fine Arts and Communications website.