Archive for September, 2009

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In case you wanted to review from last Thursday, here it is …


Convergence culture

Class: Over the weekend, you’ve read the introductory chapter to Henry Jenkins’ book “Convergence Culture.” In the comments section, please tell us about your overall impression: What does the blending of production and consumption, of professional and amateur, through the digitization of media and the tensions that creates … well, what does it all mean, exactly? What does it mean for media industries at large? Journalism in particular?

I’d like to see you all step it up a notch in your blog comments on the readings. Remember that I’d like you to be analytical—that you should approach this with the eye of a critic, forming an opinion about what you’ve read and using evidence from the reading to illustrate your point. Got it?

I’ll look forward to reading these Monday night.

p.s. Bonus points if you visit Henry Jenkins‘ blog!

The history of the Web, and why it matters


Before we can understand online journalism and its many forms and functions, we have to understand the Web itself. That means not only grasping the technical terminology and general architecture—which you got from the “Journalism 2.0” reading last week—but also digging a little deeper into the very ethos of the Web. That’s prerequisite. To “get” Web journalism, we have to get the Web.

So, let’s start with a little history. Watch:

Now: Who invented the Web, and why? What does the Web’s very makeup—its structure, its linking, etc.—have to do with big-picture issues regarding how we communicate, on a mass scale and in an interpersonal way? Should we care? Does any of this matter for journalism? (OK, that’s rhetorical. But why does this matter?)

Bring some of those questions as you jump into this piece from Vanity Fair. It’s a long but rather interesting history of the medium, as told by the key players themselves. Try not to get bogged down with names and dates; I’d rather you skim that stuff and instead focus on the larger (and perhaps more subtle) issues at work here—the socio-cultural elements and implications of the Web’s development during the past 50 years. What are some of the takeaway lessons as we think about rebooting journalism for the 21st century?

As always, please respond by 8 p.m. the night before class—in this case, by Wednesday night.

p.s. We don’t have time to watch all of “Download: The Story of the Internet,” which aired on the Discovery Channel last year, but a couple of clips are useful, such as this one on social networking:

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September 2009
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