Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blog #3: Choice

Due: Thursday, March 24
Word count: 450 or more.
Minimum number of links: 3 actual sources, not just definitions.

People are customizing their news sources, clicking on only stories they want to read, and deciding where they get their news from on an individual level. One one level, this is a great thing. People are more involved with news than ever before, and that means that people are more likely to read news.

On the other hand, this means that people can choose to ignore news that they don't like or topics they simply don't want to hear about. This could create problems.

The following video talks about this Paradox of Choice. If the video won't load, go here.

What do you think the right balance is?

There are certainly things people need to know, but we know that not all people will choose to listen to it. How do you break through the culture of choice when there are important issues to be heard?

How do you break through the issues of 140-character attention spans and give people something other than a headline. We all blogged about how the truth is a lengthy process, but we rely on summaries and headlines more than ever.

We expect doctors to do what's right for our bodies or mechanics to do what's right for our cars based on their expertise, training, and experience, however, we may not give that same permission to editors or publications.

Are people capable of making good information choices for themselves?  Are we losing something by replacing magazines and newspapers with digital content? Is confirmation bias a real problem, or is it even an issue at all?

How to you still give people a choice while also making them knowledgeable, informed participants in the global culture and a democratic society? Or, is that even desirable?

Potential Additional Questions:

  • What kind of choices do you make about news? How does that impact your view of the world? Choosing "No" to news is also a choice.

  • Do you believe what the old folks say about online news being bad for people? Were things better when we had fewer choices? Or, is this world of choice something great?

  • Barry Schwartz argued that too many choices lead to paralysis. Do you think that applies to news coverage? If this is true, what should a person do to stay up-to-date on news coverage, narrowing choices down without falling victim to confirmation bias? Maybe Barry is full of crap.

  • Whose fault is it when people make bad choices about news?

  • What's the difference between allowing people to customize their news and encouraging confirmation bias?

  • Does "He-said-she-said" Journalism encourage the propagation of unpopular opinions or is it balance?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Blog #2: The Future

Due date: Friday, March 11
Minimum words: 400
Minimum links: 2 (Link to at least your project and one other group's project for the 2 links)

As you and your group work to create a newspaper, news system, device, or media outlet that can survive the next ten years, you’ll be asking important questions and coming to some conclusions about the state of newspapers.

Remember, you don’t have to answer all or any of these prompts.

From your experiences brainstorming for this project;
  1. What have you come to understand about newspapers right now?
  2. Are you finding any "good news" about either the present state or the future of news?
  3. What are successful outlets doing that others aren't?
  4. How do you think the job of a reporter is changing? How will it continue to change?
  5. What are the main struggles you had making a newspaper people would buy and advertisers would support?
  6. What are newspapers (or any news agency) going to struggle with in the near future?
  7. What are you basing your ideas for the future on?
  8. What are your main conclusions about the future of news, reporting, and/or news creation?
Embed your group's project and PowerPoint and write a reflection on it as a portfolio entry.

Include visuals if possible. Take pictures of your designs, export your InDesign project as a jpeg, embed your Google Presentation, or save your Illustrator or PhotoShop files for the web and upload them to your blog.


  • Write about what you did, the things you learned along the way, what you think you did well and what areas you still have for improvement.
  • What would you do differently if you could do it again?
  • How can it be applied to future projects and layouts?