The aim of this section is to briefly map out the different kinds of media available (traditional and new media). Through exercises that you can conduct, this section addresses changing relationships between media and audiences while emphasizing the diversity and complexity of sources and positions in traditional and new media.
The relationship between information sharing, media and technology, whether in the form of papyrus, printing press, TV, or the Internet, has always been significant in shaping content, the roles of audiences and producers (journalists, editors, companies).
Traditional media (referred to as old media or legacy media) are means of communication, and expression, including TV, newspapers, radio, magazines, movies, music studios, books and other forms of printed publications (forms that existed before the advent of the Internet). Formalized distribution, content and interaction characterizes this form of media.
New media (referred to as social media) are means of communication, and expression, which use digital communication technologies. Relying on the internet these include websites, blogs, wikis, online newspapers and magazines, video games and social media. A defining characteristic is interactivity.
As part of new media, social media refers to a group of communication means dedicated to interaction, information sharing, and collaboration. Social media are characterized by users’ ability to create and share content.
Do a quick search online and identify at least three new media: microbloggs, wikis, social curation.
See this link on how microbloggs can be used in education: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7051.pdf
Together with one or more friends write down and compare answers to the following questions.
What are the different kinds of new media available?
Which ones do you use? Why?
How do you get access to these media? (At school, at work, at home, mobile)
Think of a media story that recently left an impression upon you.
Who told you about the media/story?
Who did you discuss with and how?
Did you read on the story, watch a video, comment or make a post (online, with friends, family?)
Do you feel your opinion matters? How? Why/not?
Did you feel well informed?
When do you feel well informed?
What similarities and differences did you notice between the different media?
The roles and relationships of traditional and new media appear to be constantly changing. This is particularly true of their approach towards audiences. The following is an exercise you can conduct in order to flesh out the similarities and differences between old and new media by focusing one roles played, people media talk about, and the audiences.
For this exercise you may want to form three groups (at least two people per group). Each group answers one of the question sets below (Group 1 – Media; Group 2 – Persons; Group 3 – Roles) and writes down the answers in the boxes provided. Take 25 minutes to discuss the questions and write down your answers. After all the groups have completed their boxes you can discuss together. Do you agree or disagree with the answers? What would you add? Would you phrase differently? How? Why?
This section looks at how investigative and awareness-raising reporting and stories are made. In addition, it offers exercises on the use of various sources (online research, video, reporting) towards gaining a fuller understanding, and more complete information, of particular issues. In short, it aims is to provide example of how we can become better informed, by also pointing to ethical issues in media.
Mapping Exercise: Critical reading
For this exercise you will engage in the critical reading of information and the interpretation provided in two articles focused on bullying in schools.
Bullying in schools is a problem that worries many parents, school administrators, and teachers. Most of all it endangers the physical and emotional wellbeing of those bullied, but also raises concern of causes, i.e. the physical and emotional well being of bullies themselves.
The media have also been engaged in pointing to the problem and raising awareness about the many aspects of bullying, including physical and psychological violence, mental heath, educational performance, institutional responses, etc.
For this exercise you can split into two groups, but two people can also conduct the exercise. One person/group reads Article 1 and the other Article 2.
Once you have read the article answer each of the questions below. Write down your answers.
Once you have written your answers the two groups/persons conduct a comparison. Go through each questions/answer and discuss ways in which the articles are the same or different.
For the end, discuss what you have learned from the exercise. Perhaps, you can write a blog about the exercise and your learning experience. See Section XX on how to write critically.
Mapping Exercise: Critical viewing
Watch Behind the Lines (link) an Innovations Lab Kosovo (?) production on bullying.
Here we can add a brief synopsis on the video.
Following the same steps outlined for the exercise about compare the articles and the video. Answer the same questions:
A large part of conducting research online, and of information provided by media (election polls for example) relies on quantitative research and data. For example, media continually track ways in which users (audiences, the public) use their platforms – what they read, what they buy, what they share – and use that information to generate data and products.
The same data helps shape marketing strategies, it effects how a medium makes information available/suggested to us, can shape political and other campaigns and how they target supporters, etc. Therefore skills in reading quantitative data are valuable and help to better understand how information is produced and presented. Otherwise, as an audience, we uncritically accept what is provided to us without our ability to interrogate information that is presented as fact.
Surveys and polls are used to generate quantitative (numerical) data, usually presented through graphs and tables. Interviews, desk research, ethnography, oral history, etc., are considered as qualitative methods, and generally are part of analysis provided in narrative form.
Much of media content relies on research either carried our by the specific media outlet, or research conducted by organizations, institutions, institutes, academics, etc. They all have particular perspectives and can provide diverging interpretations.
Data reading exercise:
See the following document:
“Action Document on Violence and Safety in Public Schools in the Municipality of Prishtina”
You can conduct this exercise alone or with a friend/class mate.
Choose any two graphs from the report and write your commentary. The following questions can help:
See the link: http://www.stopbullying.gov/news/media/index.html
Included are definitions of terms, facts about bullying, media guidelines, best practices, what to avoid, and recommendations for media.
Bullying: unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.
What to avoid:
Cited from the website, accessed on 12/08/2016.