Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog 7: Those who own the media create our reality. Who owns new media?

Due Date: Sunday, April 21
Minimum Length: 400 words
Minimum Links: 3

In class, we've heard many sources declare that traditional print media (newspapers and magazines) and perhaps even traditional broadcast media are dying fast and being quickly replaced by independent or locally-produced digital content. This week, let's think about the way that traditional print media and broadcast outlets are still exerting influence. I'd also like to see what you think about other dangers associated with this shift.

Barack Obama used Digital Media (blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook) to great effect during his campaign for presidency. His administration is also using digital methods to communicate with America and send messages to the world.

There are positives and negatives to the use of digital media as opposed to traditional sources. One of the most dangerous questions that has arisen is the question of Media Ownership. If something doesn't have to be newsworthy to become news, and if there are no gatekeepers to screen out biased content, and there is no consistent ethical standards for the content. At the same time, this could be closer to truth than traditional methods.

The people and places we allow to define our truths creates our daily realities. Who defines the truth in the age of Digital Media? Who creates our realities? The choices you make on a daily basis define your world.

Feel free to engage as many (or none) of he the following questions in your blog this week. A good blog post can come from answering even one of the questions or by posing your own.

  1. What role do you think traditional print media still serves?

  2. What danger is there when people can choose their sources and be exposed to only things that interest them?

  3. What do you think about the fact that government agencies and personnel can communicate directly and create their own media more easily than ever?

  4. How likely will you be to subscribe to a daily newspaper (local or state) or a weekly/monthly magazine when you're our of college?

  5. Does being exposed to a variety of ideas from unexpected sources - traditionally supplied in print publications - help a person be more literate? If so, how can you be sure you stay well informed about new things?

  6. What's the job of a reader in the digital age?

  7. Is Democracy in trouble when people stop reading traditional media? How can we protect our democracy in a digital age?

I bolded #6 because this is a question that is intriguing me a lot right now. Can readers actually own this new media, or are we just being made to feel like this so we accept it more easily? That doesn't mean that you need to answer this question. It's just what's on my mind.

This site, produced by the Columbia Journalism Review, gives you a comprehensive look at what media companies actually own. You can see everything they own and when they acquired it. For one surprising example, take a look at Time Warner and see how much of what they own is a part of your life.

Consider using some of this information in your blog.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blog #6: Design

Due: Sunday, April 14
More than 400 words
At least three links to sources with Synthesis included
At least 1 original design (the one we did in class for the 30 minute challenge counts)

During class this week, we spent most of our time talking about the importance of Play and Design in our lives, our society, and especially in Journalism and media. The presentations we looked at to base some of our discussions on are below.

Here are some questions to consider as you think about your blog:

  1. How do design elements affect a reader's experience with a publication?

  2. In what ways are you a designer?

  3. In what ways has design influenced decisions you have made?

  4. Write about a time that design has changed your behavior or your way of thinking.

  5. Write about a time when you solved a problem with design.

  6. How could you design a  solution to a problem you've seen.

  7. What have you realized about design that you hadn't before?

  8. In what ways does awareness relate to journalism?

  9. What rules have you constructed for yourself without knowing it that may be limiting your ability or awareness?

  10. How has the role of play changed throughout your life?

  11. What do you enjoy about school or your work?

  12. Explain how play influences motivation.

  13. What have you come to realize about the relationship between work and play?

Optional reading for smart folks:

Optional viewing for smart folks:

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

The Beauty of Data Visualization

Stunning Data Visualization

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog 5: A Good Story

Due: Sunday, April 7

Your task this week is to create something totally unique. You don’t have to link anything, find any outside sources, or process. Your job is simple, but it’s the most consistently challenging task for great journalists.

Go out and find a person with a story to tell and get a story from them. Pass that story along on your blog in the form of an extended quote. Challenge yourself to keep your post to only the quote and descriptions of their speaking.

You’re not allowed to do internet/IM reporting. This should be a quote you get as a result of a conversation.  Think about relatives, teachers, siblings, bosses, or just interesting people who will let you talk to them. You do not need to put the person’s name in your post if they aren’t comfortable with you using it.

The story could be sad, funny, nostalgic, powerful, or mundane. The most important thing is that you’re finding it and getting it down to share. Use your best judgment about what is appropriate to publish online and protect the identity of your source if the story is sensitive.

I can’t wait to read what you guys come up with.

If you want an example of people getting stories from people who they care about, listen to these excellent examples on StoryCorps.

If you want to know what StoryCorps is, check this out. There's also a great NPR story/audio about it.

If you would like to do your update an an audio file or video file, go ahead. I can help if you need it.