Readings & Schedule

Schedule and readings are subject to change. Some readings will be assigned to a sub-set of students to read and lead discussion.

The reading reflection is not a summary or abstract of the readings. Rather, it is a reflection on the ideas and concepts raised in the pieces. Use this post to explore the materials for the week and think about how they might contribute to your future work or outlook. Length: 300-450 words + two open-ended questions at the end of the post. Reading posts are due at 9 pm Monday.

week 1 – social and technological context (th 3 apr)

– Who are we and why are we in this class?

– What does the world of journalism and politics look like in an digital age?

– What are social media? What’s the impact on journalism and politics?

– Technologies: WordPress, blog categories

  • Read before Thursday: Dispatches From Blogistan (D.F.B), Forward, Ch 1
  • Other Resources:
    • WordPress Tips

week 2 – social and technological context (tu 8 apr, th 10 apr)

– From Thomas Paine to Blogs (and points in-between)

– A brief history of the Internet and blogging.

– Blogging: definition, features and forms.

– Technologies: RSS, Bloglines

week 3 – journalism in a digital world (tu 15 apr, th 17 apr)

– Why are newspapers and broadcast outlets on the Web?

– Why are politicians and governments on the Web?

– How are digital public different from traditional media publics?

– Technologies: Twitter, GoogleMaps

week 4 – journalism and social media (tu 22 apr, th 24 apr)

– What are social media? How have they changed the relationship between media outlet and audience?

– How might journalists use or create networks to support their work? How does crowd-sourcing work?

– Technologies: “tags” (folksonomy),, wikis

week 5 – blogs as citizen journalism (tu 29 apr, th 1 may)

– What’s the difference between”personal” journalism and “news”? What’s an “act of journalism”?

– Newspapers go hyper-local (what’s that?)

– Technologies: Newsvine

week 6 – social media and politics (tu 6 may, th 8 may)

– 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

week 7 – moving beyond the blog: podcasting, Flickr and YouTube (tu 13 may, th 15 may)

– What is the impact of NetVideo on politics and mainstream newspapers?

– What is the role and future of the multi-media journalist?

Technologies: YouTube,,, Flickr

week 8 – the legal environment (tu 20 may, th 22 may)

– Ethics, copyright and other laws

– Should political/news bloggers have a code of ethics?

– Technologies: Creative Commons License

  • Everyone: D.F.B, Ch 12
  • Everyone: W.T.M, Ch 11, 12
  • Two individual readings
    • (1 – Nicole B) Blood, R. (2002). Weblog Ethics. In The Weblog Handbook. Perseus Books Group.
    • (2 – Khairun) Lessig, L. 1999. Chapter 1 and 5. Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. New York: Basic Books [eReserve]
  • Other Resources:
    • Newkirk, C., Forker, T. (2007, January). Does YouTube’s Bright Past Mean a Cloudy Future? Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal; 19, 1. Retrieved 25 April 2007 from ABI/INFORM Global. [eReserve]
    • Templeton, B. (2004, October). “10 big myths about copyright explained.” Personal website.

week 9 – how technology shapes the world (tu 27 may, th 29 may)

– Why networks matter

– What is the role of computer code in shaping social processes? How is this related to politics and what are the implications for journalism and those who practice it?

– How do financial pressures shape news and public service?

week 10 – convergence and the future of journalism (tu 3 june, th 5 june)


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