Blog Essay Class 11

In “Journalism in the Global Age”, Josephi provided an overview of different theories regarding journalism.  With increasing access to technology and information, the current practice of journalism no longer fits into the theories of previous times.  In this piece, Josephi initially presents Carey’s thoughts on journalism and democracy.  According to Carey, non-democratic societies have information providers, not journalists.  This presumes that journalism is characterized by objective reporting which cannot be possible in places such as China where the state is presumed to control the news.  Merrill’s theories supported this, stating that while there is journalism in western countries, the rest of the world is information with little interpretation.  Furthermore, this is what global journalism is – facts without discussion or interpretation.  I think this makes sense as it can be difficult to interpret news or events from a global perspective as a journalist may not be aware of various cultural norms and ideologies.  An American journalist presenting news on political events in Nigeria or Russia will bring along his or her own biases and may misinterpret/misreport information or events.  Cultural competency will need to be addressed in moving forward with global journalism.

Hallin and Mancini in Josephi addressed the media systems patterns that we read about previously.  Again, it is noted that the Liberal model (which is the model the US fits into) is becoming the global norm.  Information-oriented journalism with commercial broadcasting appears to be what even some of the more traditional European media are shifting towards. The focus is no longer on providing information to elicit discussion to lead to social consensus, but is now on entertainment and consumerism.  Josephi then went on to discuss the Internet and its role in changing journalism.  With bloggers undermining the professionalism and the internet’s contribution to higher participation, we are left to wonder what will become of journalists.

Josephi concluded stating that a theory needs to be developed for parts of the world other than the US and Western Europe.  However, if we go back to the idea of no journalism without democracy, would it even be possible to develop such a theory for non-democratic societies?  Along those same lines, the “Media Ethics Beyond Borders” review provided an example of the immediacy of information spread via the internet as a way to show that the local model of journalism no longer applies and a focus needs to be placed on global media ethics.  However, could there be such a thing as global media ethics?  Are our societies similar enough to create something standardized?  Tom Patterson might suggest the internet has played a role in this.

Tom Patterson’s The Internet, Globalization and Media Future YouTube video reiterated much of what we have discussed throughout this course.  He provided pros (increased access) and cons (need to filter) of the internet.  He also introduced this idea of changing realities, which I found to be interesting and may support the possibility of global media ethics.  With the increase of citizen journalism across the world, we are more able to get the perspectives of say citizens on the ground in Egypt or Russia.  Instead of simply the controlled media we previously were exposed to, there is the possibility of greater cultural encounters which will serve to expand our individual beliefs and likely make us more understanding to other cultures.   With the internet’s ability to connect people across cultures, there will be an increase in commonality and values.  Rhee’s “The rise of internet news media and the emergence of discursive publics in South Korea” provides South Korea as an example of how the internet contributed to the democratic society.  The internet emerged as a new and major news provider.  Not only did it lead to increased expression of opinions and information gathering, but also discursive interactions even offline.

Jessie King

DQ: Who is best fit to create a global media ethics?  If it were up to you, of what would it consist?


Blog Essay Class 9

This week’s readings were centered on regime change and media; whether how the media has influenced regime change or as in the case of the text by Williams and Carpini, proposed media regime change.  And not just media, but communication.

As Darnton details in his historical account of the media in 18th century Paris, “communication systems have always shaped events”.  Whereas in Paris people used scandalous books, songs and gossip to communicate and spread messages about the King, flash forward and today we have social media.  In his closing lines Darnton wrote “media knit themselves together in a communication system so powerful it proved decisive in collapse of regime”.  Is this not similar to what happened in Tunisia and Egypt?

In the research roundup regarding the Arab Spring and the Internet, one source noted that 60% of the social media active in Egypt and Tunisia share views about politics online.  A majority of the research accounts proclaimed social media as an influential piece of the regime changes that occurred.  However, not all agree, as one referred to the internet as a “rusty bullet” and claimed that traditional media sources were equally if not more important, noting that the Iranian regime used the very social network people were using to recruit and unite, against those individuals.  While Facebook was often a primary source for updates, according to a source within the Twitter, politics and the public research roundup, Twitter is increasingly being used to shape political debates. Interestingly, the conversations on Twitter usually result from larger trends.  It appears to be a source for more opinionated feedback than other social media venues.  Either way, Facebook and Twitter are major news sources for youth, as nearly as many get information from friends and family through those sources as from newspapers or magazines.   Considering this, it’s really no surprise that social media is able to unite people.  There’s a sense of irony in all of this – increased social media use (which often occurs in isolation) is leading to people wanting to work together.  Perhaps because we spend so much time tuned into our gadgets, we are looking for a way to connect.

Darnton noted that when gossip or songs were spread throughout Paris, it wasn’t simply a transmission of information.  People sat and talked and discussed the information.  They grew the culture.  They created what Darnton called collective consciousness.  I don’t know that social media quite does this.  While Twitter and Facebook are designed for two way communication streams, dialogue and discussion doesn’t often occur, and when it does, it’s usually not equivalent to a face-to-face conversation.

Williams and Carpini suggest four qualities moving forward into a new media regime: transparency, pluralism, verisimilitude, and practice.  Transparency is knowing the source.  Who owns the company producing the message?  Are there alterior motives?  Sites like Churnalism are certainly helpful in this aspect.  Pluralism refers to diverse media.  It is important for the media to offer diverse points of view in order to provide a more accurate perspective.  I was unfamiliar with Blogrunner – great site for various news sources! Something that has been a bit of a new challenge for journalists (though it has led to more jobs, apparently!) is following up on accuracy of messages.  This is related to the quality of verisimilitude, the idea that sources take responsibility for the truth claims they make.  While viewers find audience videos to be more intimate and authentic, journalists can’t simply grab something from YouTube and air it.  They have to confirm the accuracy and then get permission to use the sources, two things that take time and manpower.  The final quality for a new media regime is practice.  Not only in the preparation sense, but also in actually doing.

Jessie King

DQ: How do you foresee a new media regime taking over?  Would you propose additional qualities to those suggested by Williams and Carpini?