Discussion of themes

In our group research, we collaborated to explore the main aspects of what many consider to be the “new age of journalism,” as it makes the transition from traditional to digital formats. Some main points that are presented in our discussion include:

  • Blogs
    • Blogging has lead to the growth of a more personal and informal style of writing as compared to traditional journalism. Many bloggers have taken to online blogging websites to discuss a variety of topics from a more personal standpoint.
  • Citizen Journalism
    • With the advent of new technologies such as camera phones and open-sourced blogging, the power of the press has increasing been put in the hands of everyday citizens over the last several years. Although mainstream news outlets are still trying to adjust to this new power dynamic, there are some excellent examples of how citizen journalism has made the industry more accountable, local and omnipresent.
  • Journalism Then and Now
    • From its golden age to the high-tech, shifting industry of today, journalism has undergone a series of important changes over the last century. Many of these changes were driven by new technologies that have since come to dominate the way news is gathered and distributed today.
  • New Media Formats
    • News sites also need to have aesthetically pleasing digital formats, something even the best of news organizations seem to struggle with.
  • Online Business Models
    • The pull away from print and the loss of advertising has left news organizations to have to discover new ways to make a profit, and news organizations have approached the issue in many different ways.
  • Online Video Journalism
    • With the transition of newspapers from print to digital formats, many print publications have begun producing videos to enhance their overall news coverage. These videos are produced similarly to news packages that are used on network news broadcasts, but are made specifically as web content. This allows for greater variations in the length of a video story as well as the quality, when compared to a video package meant for air.
  • Social Media and Journalism
    • Facebook and Twitter have become two of the most-visited websites on the internet. They provide platforms for instantaneous news gathering and sharing, and the speed can be both advantageous and disadvantageous. We will discuss how news organizations utilize social media outlets to enhance their coverage. We will also examine how social media is affecting, both positively and negatively, the field of journalism through new online platforms, increased accessibility, and other positive changes.

What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative, constantly mutating research tool. By giving almost anyone the ability to edit its content, a wiki allows for facts to be quickly updated, refined and made most appropriate for use. Wikis typically have no moderators, and rely on source citations and outside links to ensure accuracy, breadth and depth. Like any wiki, this one is not meant to be an all-inclusive primary source; it is simply meant to provide concise, accurate, easily accessible background information with links to more comprehensive primary sources. It is the starting point for any serious or casual inquiry into how journalism has changed in the digital age.

Given the nature of a wiki, we welcome any suggestions for editing or expansion. If you are interested in becoming a part of this wiki, please comment on one of the pages and we will send you an invite.

“Student Wikipedia Use Policy” by  Alan Liu, English Professor, University of California Santa Barbara

“Students should feel free to consult Wikipedia as one of the most powerful instruments for opening knowledge that the lntemet has yet produced. But it is not a one-stop shop for reliable knowledge. lndeed, the term “encyclopedia” is somewhat to blame. Because it is communal, dynamic, and unrefereed, Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia of knowledge. It is better thought of as a combination of encyclopedia and ‘blog.’ lt is the world’s blog.”

Educational Philosophy and Collaboration

In chapter 9 of “A New Culture of Learning,” Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown outlined how education has changed in the digital age. In chapter 7 of “DIY U,” Anya Kamenetz also explored this topic. Much of what they touched on reflected how our group approached this wiki-project. Our group approached this project much like these three authors described in that we drew from our interests, education, and experience, and used a highly collaborative approach in reaching our goal: a wiki with substantial information on the topic of journalism in the digital age.

Our group drew from our outside knowledge of the subject which was quite extensive as all four of us are highly interested in journalism. This interest in our topic further helped us learn as Kamenetz said, “In order to be successful in any educational program, the first subject you have to study is yourself.” We were able to further succeed in our topic because we have all taken formal journalism classes and had the ability aggregate information from open sources. In addition, some of us have experience with journalism and were able to bring our own self-learning into the project.

In addition, we each set out to cover the topics and subtopics we divided between each other. In dividing the topics, we allowed each other to focus on what aspects we were most interested in.  Also, all of us gave input into the platform we would use (ultimately: WordPress) and the overall design. Throughout the process, we continually kept in contact through meeting at the end of class and utilizing a Facebook conversation between all four of us. Even though topics were “assigned” to each person, we all gave input to each other in the forms of suggesting examples and places to go for further information. This was especially helpful as we often found how much our topics overlapped and we were able to share information to benefit each other’s sections.