What draws us to study media? As an undergrad, I was drawn to major in journalism because I saw it as a profession in which I could contribute to the exchange of information. I viewed it as an opportunity to make a difference in my community. And I would argue many journalists have a goal of providing as much objective information to their audiences as possible, but many times other outside factors—advertising, ownership, and even demands from an editor —affect the final product. Wanting to get beyond the surface of that issue is partly what drew me back to study mass comm. at the graduate level. I think we also have to recognize that these questions are only becoming more difficult as the lines between traditional forms of communication—newspapers, magazines, broadcast, etc—and nontraditional forms in this era of online journalism are blurred. What do we consider news? Does the classification of “news” even matter anymore? Regardless, how news has been classified over time is an important consideration. Its definition largely stems from the media and the norms surrounding each medium at a certain place in time. One of the articles (“The advent of media”) for this week does an excellent job summarizing media at different points in time and with emphasis on outside factors that influence how messages are disseminated. This will be an excellent piece to keep in mind as we move forward in looking more in-depth at these questions throughout the semester.
Welcome to the section blog. Think of this as a forum for any thoughts, ideas or questions you have on class material. It can be a supplement for our class discussions and a place to share related materials you find online. I think you will also find it a useful study tool for conversing with your classmates. See you in class!