Archive for September 6th, 2008

Reading 3: “Media Work” by Mark Deuze

I just posted the PDF of this chapter on Blackboard. It’s more academic than anything else we’ll read this semester, but it’s worth your time digging through some of the knotty concepts and terminology.

So, why are we reading this?

As Mark Deuze writes in the preface: “The aim of the book is not only to prepare media students to become competent media practitioners, but to also enable students to become competent citizens in a media-saturated ‘hyper-reality,’ where meaningful distinctions between public and private life, work time and non-work time, local and global, or lived and mediated reality are fading.”

We’re living at a time when our ability to make effective use of media—digital media—is becoming increasingly important, in virtually all institutions and all walks of life. Whether or not you plan to be a journalist after graduation, knowing how to function in this digital culture is critical. As we’ll see, so often journalists and news organizations go digital but without any cultural competency, and wonder why no one responds to their efforts, while websites like Craigslist continue to draw loyal users by the millions.

So we want to develop an understanding of some of the aspects of this culture … such as:

–How we develop relationships with our media.

–How we apply to mediated experiences the same conventions as we do in in-person or otherwise “real” encounters (where does the virtual end and the real begin?).

–How are notions of collectivity and community being redefined as people find new ways to connect and collaborate via social media?

–How are consumers pushing back in trying to more fully control the flow of media threatening to overwhelm them?

Look for these ideas and others in this reading, and connect them with trends in your life. What else in this chapter speaks to you about the way in which digital media and digital culture are changing the way we live, work, and play (for better or worse)?

Please respond before class Wednesday.


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