Greenwald vs. Keller. Who is right?

A thought-provoking debate about the role of the journalist and the future of news. 

You don’t have to do it right away, but when we get to the week where we talk about encoding, I’d like you all to weigh in. I’ll remind you then. 



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Mini Virtual Ethnography of a Social Network

Choose a social network.

Spend 15-20 minutes looking at the content posted on that social network through the eyes of a dispassionate social scientist and jot down some thoughts.  What do the postings tell you about social norms in the culture you live in? What kinds of attitudes/habits/appearances/actions etc. are praised, tolerated, or labeled as deviant? Do you notice anything interesting in regardless to gender/race/class etc.? Comment on this post with a few thoughts about what you observed. 

This is obviously highly informal and unscientific, but maybe it will allow you to briefly observe through a different lens. 

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Annotated Bibliography Assignment

What *is* an annotated bibliography?

Pretty simple – essentially what you are doing is making notes on the relevant parts of the articles you will read for your literature review.  So, first , make a list of all your sources. Be sure they are formatted properly in APA or Chicago style. Next, You should summarize THE KEY FINDINGS of the studies you have read. Not every detail – the key findings, with special attention to findings that are RELEVANT to your topic. Some books or studies will be almost entirely relevant; for others you may have to find the most relevant parts. You should also answer, as appropriate:

  • Is it significantly similar or different from findings of other studies you read? How does it back up or refute your hypothesis/relate to your research question?

PLEASE WRITE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR RESEARCH TOPIC AT THE TOP. Your professor just *might* have forgotten it.

Yes, you can add more sources later, but you should have at least 10 now, made up primarily of academic journal articles.

This is somewhat informal in terms of formatting: Bullet points or short paragraphs fine.

Cornell has a nice guide and I sent you a sample via email.

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Thoughts and links from Toni

I listened to last week’s class and there was some time spent on Fox News…anyway, this I heard about this morning on a radio program and thought it was relevant to the video Bret showed…also relevant to our ongoing conversations about “web commenters.”   This kind of thing sort of makes me feel better—in that, there aren’t perhaps as many crazies out there as I thought, perhaps most of the crazies are being compensated for writing vitriol.  Professional ethics aside, that makes me feel better as a US citizen somehow knowing they are fake.


And conversely, this same radio program was talking about a Carol Alt health show that now airs on the Fox network.  She was an 80’s supermodel who is an advocate of a raw diet!   And I always thought of her as sort of a hippie—hence my surprise in her being the choice of host.  Perhaps “health” is now “sphere of consensus” topic…which I think is a good thing.



Lastly, this made me also feel better as a US citizen…the majority of Americans are in the center.  Yay!


Week 9: Media and Democracy

  1. Are we still Bowling Alone in 2013? Is social capital increasing or decreasing in the age of Facebook etc.? Relate Putnam to what you observe today.
  2. What do you think of public journalism?  How could you “do” public journalism effectively in today’s world…e.g. get readers more engaged in journalism and in the political process?
  3. Is the public acting more as an audience or a participant in the year 2013?  Anybody see any interesting applications in any of the readings to the 2012 election? How do campaigns use the media? 
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Week 7 Uses and Gratifications and the Active Audience

Please answer the following questions in a comment on this post. You can be brief, but please be thoughtful in your response and show me that you have done the reading. 

1.  How do you think newspapers could do a better job of fulfilling the kinds of needs modern consumers have? How might they utilize some of the research in this area? 

2.  Choose one media form you use regularly, whether it is radio, a particular app, a favorite TV show, a publication you read all the time, or whatever. What kinds of needs does it fulfill for you? How do those needs shape the way you use it and the way you feel about it? Do you see any media-related needs you have that remain unmet or aren’t met adequately by your current options?

Feel free to share any other insights from the readings.  

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Gender Bias in the News

Check out this piece by reporter Adrienne LaFrance. What do you think? 

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Paper Topic Assignment


Please be sure to address the following four items. These need to be turned in via email in a Word doc. 

  1. Your research question(s) and/or hypothesis.
  2. Theory or theories you think you will use
  3. Why this is interesting/important to you personally and/or our discipline in general. In other words, answer the “who cares?” question.
  4. Any questions you may have for me.

I do want you to write it out and turn it in even if talk to me about it informally.

May want to do a cursory search on Communication and Mass Media Complete NOT GOOGLE to see if this is a topic you can find something out about.


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Social Media Citations

This could be a useful reference for you in your academic writing. 

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