Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog 8: Those who own the media create your reality. Who creates your reality?

Due Date: Thursday, May 1
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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog #7: Where do you get your news?

Due Date: Sunday, May 27
Word Count: At least 400
Links: At least 2

Before you write, you should take this quiz from the Pew Research Center. Take note of how you did compared with the rest of the country.

I got them all right, so take that.

You've spent the last 10 days being exposed to news that comes from sources you don't typically consult. You've hopefully learned something or evolved in your way of thinking about news in general.

When you think back on your experience, what conclusions can you come to about;

  • The purpose or biases of your news source,

  • The point of news,

  • The importance of news,

  • Your attitudes toward news,

  • Whether you'd keep looking for news,

  • Where people should look for news,

  • or anything else.

Once you've thought about your own reactions, take a stab at one of the questions you came up with as a group at the start of last week. What meaningful conclusions can you come to?

Why does news matter?

Why is news so depressing?

Why is “cute cats” news?

How much of news is entertainment?

Who defines news?

Are you better off if you’re up to date on news?
Are you worse off knowing?

Why are there so many places to get news, why not narrow it down to five?

Does anything change when you’re looking at news?

How does news make you feel?

How does it benefit you?

How can you make others better through your knowledge?

Why do we get so interested in things that are none of our business?