Unit 10: Online Course Review

Overall this semester, I have enjoyed taking Emergent Media in Mass Communications as an online course. I think it is important that emergent media and media literacy are interpreted for ourselves, and a lecture class would not have given the freedom to do that as much.

I also enjoy the fact that I can do all my assignments right when they are posted, or have the freedom to wait until the very last minute to finish everything (this happened more times than not).

I think the best part about this class for me was the textbook. I really loved the reading materials and W. James Potter wrote the easiest-to-read textbook I’ve ever studied with. And, if I struggled with focusing on the reading, I could read the PowerPoint slides and watch the instructional videos instead.

Blogging has been an interesting supplement to this online course. I have one other class where we use blogging as a medium for doing assignments. I don’t necessarily think I will keep up this blog after these classes are done. In fact, I will probably delete this blog. However it is nice to know how to use WordPress, because I’m sure I will probably need to know how to use it in the future. I do understand how a professional journalist could use a blog, but I don’t think it’s the way for me to go.

One thing I didn’t like about this course was that the online instructional videos were hard to view sometimes. I could watch about 10 seconds at a time, and it would buffer for another 10 in between. I know that it was due to my internet connection, but it was a big inconvenience. One other thing I would suggest is to space out the assignments more. Some weeks we only had a quiz and other weeks there were five to six assignments. It can be pretty hard to complete six assignments in one week, especially when that’s only one class, and I have four others.

Other than that, I enjoyed the course overall.

10/10 would recommend.

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Digital News Analysis

The following is my personal analysis and comparison of the writing styles of two articles regarding a newly proposed bill in North Carolina.

LA Times: “After transgender bathroom battle, North Carolina looks to ban same-sex marriage”

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-north-carolina-same-sex-marriage-ban-20170412-story.html

The LA Times covers this story by first mocking the state of North Carolina in the lead paragraph, and then goes into more depth, showing a new bill proposed by three Republican state legislators that would go against a Supreme Court ruling. The LA Times shows quotes from other legislators, republicans, democrats, and scholars. They also include some statistics and poll results outlining the support of same-sex marriage in the state. They compare it to the Supreme Court rulings against segregation in public schools, and how the rulings were challenged for years afterward.

This story also states that the bill is not likely to pass, and that it will not even be discussed at the next hearing.

 

Washington Post: “North Carolina bill banning same-sex marriage again won’t be heard, House speaker says”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/04/12/north-carolina-bill-banning-same-sex-marriage-again-wont-be-heard-house-speaker-says/?utm_term=.6df49bc5adcc

The Washington Post article sticks to the facts of the bill. The article begins by saying that the bill is “dead on arrival,” letting the readers know that there is nothing to fear about this bill. The article then goes into more detail as to why the Supreme Court ruling will hold, and also goes into more detail about what the proposed bill contains.

After explaining what the proposed bill entails, the article takes a slight turn and goes on to discuss House Bill 2, the bill regarding transgender people using the bathroom of their choice, which was overturned recently.

 

Comparison:

The LA Times article was not necessarily opinionated, however any reader would be able to tell what stance the author was taking. The Washington Post article, however was very straightforward and very factual. By reading the Washington Post article, I would have no idea what the opinion of the author was. That is something that is important to me. I strive to write articles that are purely factual, especially when it comes to politics.

The use of quotes was also very different between the two stories. The Washington Post article had only a few direct quotes from two sources, and quoted the proposed bill twice, whereas the LA Times article was made up of about 50 percent quotes. Quotes are important, but the quotes in the LA Times article became almost unnecessary near the end.

The Washington Post article also used a few multimedia elements, such as photos, tweets and links, whereas the LA Times article only had one photo as the feature image.

In my opinion, the Washington Post article was written better than the LA Times article. The style of writing in the Washington Post article is what I would like to think my style of writing encompasses.

Online Journalism vs. Blogging

The Difference Between Hard News and Writing About Your Feelings

In this day and age, journalism is a gray area. People are finding it harder to discern fake news from real news, and real news from blogs.

Even less than 10 years ago, people who wrote blogs were basically keeping an online diary of their feelings and daily lives. The structure of blogging has changed drastically in that time, and while some people still use blogs in this way, others write exclusively about certain topics, one topic being news.

In my Online Journalism class, we discussed whether or not blogging could be real journalism. I believe the class consensus was a resounding “no,” except in special cases. In my mind, unless someone has written a story for a reputable news company and has posted it on their blog, it isn’t really journalism.

However, blogging isn’t the only thing that has changed in nature. Journalists have to adapt to their ever-changing environment as well. Newspaper writing came first, then radio, television, and so on.

The Importance of Adaptation

As the internet has revolutionized the way in which we receive our media, journalists have had to adjust as well. The days of a 24 hour news cycle are long gone. When something happens, it is the journalist’s job to get a story on the internet as soon as possible.

Journalists also have to compete much more with one another now. It isn’t enough to just get a click on a story. The real prize is found when readers read the entire story. This means the journalist has to have some tricks up their sleeve to keep the reader interested.

A journalist’s headline is by far the most important part of their article. However, in order to keep the attention of the reader, a subhead is also extremely important. A headline makes the reader click, and the subhead makes them read on.

Content in a story can only get you so far. You can have the best story on Earth, but if your headline and subhead is terrible, nobody will know.

 

 

Unit 3: The Social Media Discussion

Since the beginning days of the Internet, web pages have competed for our attention. This competition began to take a more rapid pace when social media sites started popping up.

Easily accessible laptops and smartphones with Wi-Fi and 4G-LTE connections have also made it extremely simple to connect to social media at any time or place. Continue reading “Unit 3: The Social Media Discussion”