Thursday, May 10, 2007

Huxley, Orwell and Postman

I wanted to talk a little bit about this quote from the Neil Postman book Amusing Ourselves to Death.
Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not
prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally
imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to
deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people
will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their
capacities to think.

Remember, the paragraph and the book were written pre-Internet explosion. But I wonder how that quote relates to right now and what Postman, if he were alive, would be writing about the Internet and convergence journalism.

Let's talk about that a bit in today's class.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Last Class

For the final class of the semester, we will spend the first 45 minutes, looking over the videos you created and talking about the texts and coming up with some general conclusions about Convergence Journalism.

Then, I have a few people coming in to talk about convergence journalism and jobs in online journalism and how to get them.

We will start that conversation in the classroom and then continue it somewhere where food is available with those folks. (It is always a good idea to bring your resume on such occasions.)

Also, Steve Silva, a producer at and the founding editor of reluctantly can't make it to this class. But he has promised to send in his thoughts on landing an online journalism job. I will post those here when he sends them.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Final Assignments

To recap, final assignments:

1. Write a blog entry, summarizing your semester-long tracking of the blog you have been following. It should be a final critique with links, quoted material and your thoughts on whether or not you will continue to be either an active or passive member of its community. This should be between 500 ann 1,000 words.

2. You are doing a one-minute video journalism piece, with you in front of the camera, on whatever story you want to cover. You are working with a partner --Courtney and Owen, you are partners -- to help edit the script and shoot the video (hold the camera). Then you will post links to your videos -- each partnership will yield two videos -- on YouTube or somewhere else on your blog.

3. Read Smart Mobs Chapter 8 and Amusing Ourselves Foreword, Chapter 1 and Chapter 11. We will use this as the focus of our final class discussion.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Clampdown

The U.S. Army has decided to censor blogging from its ranks. Pre-approved blog posts? Whose job would that be? I wonder if that would be a fun job in some ways.

Monday, April 23, 2007

'So, What's the Mood on Campus?'

This is a very interesting column from Dan Radmacher, a Virginia-based writer, that asks some of the same questions we were thinking about in class about the quality of media coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Feeding the Beast

Journalist Amy Gahran gives tips on how to feed the blog beast.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Project 3

The third and final mini-project of the year is due in two weeks -- on May 3. That assignment is to pick a piece of convergence journalism on the Web and to critique that project, using multimedia to tell your story. That means you can use whatever elements of blogging, photojournalism, video, audio, podcasting or whatever other convergence journalism tools of the trade to tell your story.

If you want to borrow class equipment, let me know, and we will set up a sign-out sheet over the next two weeks.