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Why we focus on the Creative Industries?

The internet and by extension, social media, has democratized the production and consumption of knowledge. And there has been no world epoch in which knowledge workers have risen to the forefront of the economy as in this present era.

The creative industries aka cultural industries aka creative economy aka orange economy, refer to an expansive swath of disciplines involved in a broad range of economic activities which focus on the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information.

The UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) describes the creative industries as:

“those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”

(DCMS 2001, p. 04)

 

The department then goes ahead to recognize nine sectors as constituting the creative industries:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Design: product, graphic and fashion design
  • Film, TV, video, radio and photography
  • IT, software and computer services
  • Publishing
  • Museums, galleries and libraries
  • Music, performing and visual arts

In his 2001 book, The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas published by Penguin, John Howkins avers that the creative industries is made up of: advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, R&D, software, toys and games, TV and radio, and video games (Howkins 2001, pp. 88–117).

Other euro-centric scholars like David Hesmondhalgh, seek to limit the sectors that make up what he prefers to call the “cultural industries” as advertising and marketing, broadcasting, film, internet and music industries, print and electronic publishing, and video and computer games.

His focus, as he argues in his 2002 book, The Cultural Industries, is on industries that create “texts”‘ or “cultural artefacts” and which engage in some form of industrial reproduction (Hesmondhalgh 2002, pp. 12–14).

Lash and Urry are more concerned with the core characteristics of the creative industries and they make the point in their book Economies of Sign and Space, published in 1994 that each of the creative industries has an “irreducible core” concerned with “the exchange of finance for rights in intellectual property”, (Lash & Urry 1994, p. 117).

From the foregoing, it is safe to summarise that the creative industries or creative economy is used to define sectors that are ideas and intellect driven with technology as enabler for making profit.

And as Nigeria witnesses a rash of these industries, The TMTR Training Room believes that the time has come to properly define, study, curate and provide a pipeline of skilled practitioners who can help codify their practice and define the sector.