As a revolutionary personal publishing platform, blogging and new participatory communication technologies are providing a challenge to the current traditional media ecosystem and top-down news production and delivery. This course closely examines the impacts of blogging technologies, peer-to-peer technologies, and other related forms of decentralized participatory technologies on mainstream media, citizen and community publishing, and online journalism. This course will trace the historical development of such new communication technologies as blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasting, social bookmarking, and video blogging, examining highpoints in their evolution through times of disasters, wars, terrorism and political campaigning. These new participatory technologies will be positioned within the emerging information technologies that have afforded their rapid diffusion as personal and public publishing platforms. Throughout the semester, we will pay strong critical attention to the symbiotic and sometimes antagonistic relationship between citizen/participatory journalism and mainstream journalism, placing emphasis on how new technologies empower audiences, alter the mainstream media’s practice of journalism, and shift the hierarchical business model of news production, dissemination, and consumption in the interactive, digital age from top-down production to bottom-up emergence.
As a course designed to introduce students to the main areas of citizen blogging, students will be required to actively practice different forms of blogging (text, audio, video, photo) through individual and class blogs. Students will not only be expected to regularly blog, but to demonstrate a practical understanding of how these Web technologies alter the practice of all fields of journalism in this new digital age.
Upper-division standing is required.