week 6 – social media and politics

Posted on 6 May 2008. Filed under: Class Notes |

This week’s guiding questions:
– What has been the traditional role of journalism in relation to US politics? How have journalists carried out that role?
– What is the impact of social media on politics, especially political campaigns?
– What is the “proper” role of the political blogger and online pundit?
– What are the dangers of disintermediation?
– Technologies: Facebook, MySpace

Note: Grade Link is in blogroll!
updated 6 May

(1) Reading Discussion (your questions):

Student Readings (KC, WhitneyT late)
(1 – Nicole C) Howard, P. N. ( 2003). Digitizing the Social Contract: Producing American Political Culture in the Age of New Media. The Communication Review (6). 213-245. (pdf)

(2 – KC) Johnson, E. (2006). Polibloggers and the Politics Press In America. Reconstruction 6.4.

Read (count off- half the room comments on each) : Jason and WhitneyT

  1. In what ways does group think exist in the world of journalism?
  2. How can voters be better prepared to analyze information requested for and presented by political campaigns on online social media networks?
  3. Why is a “hierarchy of trust” online so important? Why do we need to assign levels of credibility to one commenter over another – corporate spin is covered under the 1st Amendment, so why should bloggers/journalists be so upset about it?
  4. How can you tell the difference between a “troll” and a “regular” blogger/commenter?

Small group discussion – assign a recorder to post summary to this blog post (someone who hasn’t posted already!)

(2) Word Press Tips

  • Setting off quotations
    <blockquote> …text…</blockquote>
  • Managing comments
    Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion -> “enable” Allow people to post comments on the article
    Dashboard -> Comments -> “Awaiting Moderation”

(3) VoteAbsentee.us

  • Create WetPaint accounts; join the wiki
  • Groups
  • How do you think you’ll find the secretary of state’s website for your states? Talk about possible content (pairs, then larger group)
  • Complete template for one state by Thursday

(4) Peer Interaction
Respond to the ideas in the reflection. Comments assessed on relevance, integration of course material/personal experience, timeliness, courtesy, voice. Due Thursday.

(1 – Kendra) Carroll, B. (2004). Culture Clash: Journalism and the Communal Ethos of the Blogosphere. In L.J. Gurak, S. Antonijevic, L. Johnson, C. Ratliff, & J. Reyman (Eds.), Into the blogosphere: Rhetoric, community, and culture of weblogs.
Respondents: KC, Lorin, Sammi, WhitneyB

(2 – Faith) Outing, S. (2005, June 13). The 11 layers of citizen journalism. PoynterOnline.
Respondents: Khair, NicoleB, Sara, Jason

(3 – Whitney B) Yeon-Jung, Y. (2003, Sept. 17). OhMyNews Makes Every Citizen A Reporter. Japan Media Review.
Respondents: Faith, Jessica, Kendra, NicoleC, WhitneyC,

(5) Thursday Agenda


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3 Responses to “week 6 – social media and politics”

RSS Feed for Social Technologies, Media and Politics Comments RSS Feed

Lorin, Nicole B, Nicole C, Faith

Groupthink exists in every aspects of journalism, for instance, the WMD debates, most of the major media echoed what the government said without checking if that was right.

Bloggers will then become a source of filter and fifth estate to check groupthink.

Question #2:

Voters seek out online networks to reinforce their previously decided ideals.It is comforting and natural to gravitate towards opinions similar to oneself.

For undecided voters, these online networks may have more of an influence over decision making practices.

Response to Question 3:

When reading keep in mind, often times “trolls” may not believe what they are saying they are just to mix things up and cause some trouble, need to differentiate who the trolls are vs. who we can really trust online. By putting a corportate spin on bloggers words, the meaning that the blogger was trying to get acroes are being distorted from their original thoughts. The corporate world spins it the way they want to spin in. Blogs are supposed to be a space for freedom of expression and to get out from underneathe the man. The corporate industry uses blogs as a form of marketing, and takes the pieces that are going to make the most money.

By: Sara, Samantha, KC, Jessica

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