Communication / Information Science 320 -- New Media and Society

 

Prof. Tarleton Gillespie
Spring 2008

Tues+Thurs 11:40am - 12:55pm
Warren B45

e-mail: tlg28@cornell.edu
office hours: Wed. 10-12, 315 Kennedy

TAs:
Dima Epstein: de56@cornell.edu
Catalina Toma: clt32@cornell.edu
Morris Xu: mx29@cornell.edu

synopsis
 

We are all immersed in a complex and pervasive media culture, which makes it particularly difficult for us to recognize the complex relationship between media and society: how what we see, hear and read is in some ways the product of our society and its particular political, economic, and cultural shape, and how it also shapes our understanding of ourselves, our community, and our world. And at the moment, our media culture is undergoing a series of transformations - as new forms of entertainment, new venues for political debate, and new models of journalism emerge online, and as the established producers of media struggle to adapt to the challenge.

This course will interrogate how the cultural landscape has changed in relation to media and information technologies, how broadcast media and traditional publishing are converging with networked computing, and what implications these changes may have for society, politics, and culture. It will focus on cases drawn from new, information-based media - online news, blogs, Wikipedia, YouTube, mashups, social networking applications, TiVo, video gaming, etc - but will examine them so as to understand the underlying relationship between media and society.

 

From the Cornell "Code of Academic Integrity":

"Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell student in all academic undertakings. Integrity entails a firm adherence to a set of values, and the values most essential to an academic community are grounded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others. Academic integrity is expected not only in formal coursework situations, but in all University relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of University resources. While both students and faculty of Cornell assume the responsibility of maintaining and furthering these values, this document is concerned specifically with the conduct of students.

A Cornell student's submission of work for academic credit indicates that the work is the student's own. All outside assistance should be acknowledged, and the student's academic position truthfully reported at all times. In addition, Cornell students have a right to expect academic integrity from each of their peers."

The full text of the Code of Academic Integrity can be found online at

http://web.cornell.edu/UniversityFaculty/docs/AIC.pdf

requirements
 

* the most important assignment is to complete all of the reading assigned; comprehension of the arguments is crucial to your success in this course.

* attendance is also required; attendance will be taken at my discretion. Attendance counts towards your overall grade. (10%)

* two "response papers" [Paper 1 and Paper 2] are due during the semester. For each I will state a "position" on some aspect of new media and its social implications; you will need to draw on the course readings to respond to, defend, or critique that position. (20% each)

* a final project, due in various forms over the last month of class and in its final form during exams, will involve the collaborative production of an online resource that pursues and expands upon one of the topics dealt with in the course. Details will follow. (40%)

* this will include a brief writing assignment by each student separately reflecting on the project. (10%)

Students can gain extra credit by either (1) serving as a research subject in a Communication research project announced in class; or (2) attending a relevant lecture on campus announced in class, email me two paragraphs about its relevance to the course. Doing either of these gains you 0.05 on top of your final course grade (on a 4.0 scale), and can be done twice.

 

materials
 

All of the readings are available online. If there is no URL listed, you can find the article in the course space on Blackboard.

useful resources
 

research groups:
Pew Research, Internet and American Life Project
"State of the News Media," from the Project for Excellence in Journalism

academic journals:

The Information Society
New Media and Society
Communications of the ACM
First Monday
Information, Communication, and Society
Convergence
Technology and Culture
Television and New Media
Cultural Sociology
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Media, Culture, and Society
Journal of Digital Information
Social Semiotics

periodicals:

Wired
Technology Review (MIT)
Atlantic Monthly
Discover
New York Times, technology news

blogs:

Farhad Manjoo, "Machinist," Salon.com
Clay Shirky, David Weinberger, danah boyd, et al, "Many 2 Many," Corante
Henry Jenkins, Confessions of an Aca-Fan"

= Group Projects =
 

what is the impact of new forms of advertising on society?

NexGenAds: the impact of new forms of advertising on society
Eric Chen, Alexander DeSimone, Amanda Li, Robert Xiao

Effects of New media Advertising on Society
John Afriyie, Joseph D'Angelo, Nicholas Indovina, Erica Southerland

Advertising Society
Eugene Chang, Rebecca Morrow, Christina Reda, Jonathon Yu

New Forms of Advertising (Communication 320)
Garrett Bernstein, Sami Greenberg, Kevin Mendel, Ian Ward

We think you're ADVERTASTIC!
Lindsay Bass, Caryn Ganeles, Andrew Shaughnessy

Facebook group: "New Forms of Advertising"
Brenda Cannizzaro, Katlyn Donoghue, Megan Hughes, Jackie Perez, Lacey Workman

Facebook group: "Impacts of Advertising"
Taryn Beverly, Brittany Forgues, Jessica Hadala, Jason Hartford, Brian Porrell

Impacts of New Forms of Advertising
Lauren Kramer, Nicole Leitner, Laura Miller, Olivia Oran, Marli Sussman

New Forms of Advertising and Society**
Julie Bai, Brandon Chiazza, Julia Dorce, Kristen Tauer

Facebook group: "New Advertising and its Impact on Society"
Janice Hurh, Garrett Huyler, Rommel Medina, Jay Pierce, Stephen Yanchuk

TA: Morris Xu

what is the cultural significance of amateur media production?

Facebook group: "Your 15 Minutes of Fame: Amateur Media Production in the Age of Web 2.0"
Lauren Fiumara, Stefani Negrin, Adam Paz, Joel Posner, Jason Shapiro

Cornell Comm 320: examining the cultural significance and effects of amateur media production
Tyler Armstrong, Kelly Camin, Rashaun Cheston Murrell, Ashley Downs, Amanda Hjellming

Facebook group: "Cultural Significance of Amateur Media Production"
Pamela Ahn, Micah Bell, Ashley Cummings, Collin Robinson

AMP320: a look into the cultural significance of amateur media production
Jenna Bromberg, Justine Fields, Peter Finocchiaro, Bianca Ghiselli, Ian Laiks

Facebook group: "Amateur Media Production and Society"
Peggy Fandrich, Chris Fontas, Lorraine Gregory, Derek MacKenzie

Guerilla Media: exploring the cultural effects of amateur production in the new media environment through scholarly resources, videos, and discussion
Neslihan Ergec, Catherine Murdoch, Teresa Peltier, Sumesh Thundathil, Jennifer Vargas

does new media tend to produce a shared, or a fragmented culture?

Cultural Implications of New Media: a blog examining the question of fragmented culture in the western world
Patrick Castrenze, Chin-Shan Lee, Grace Oh, Hauwa Otori

Facebook group: "Does new media tend to produce a shared, or a fragmented culture?"
Caren Carlson, Jovita Kwan, Alexander Lee, Xiangning Li, Tiffany Yu

Unifying and Dividing Effects of New Media on Culture
Robert Grue, Eric Haskel, Tommy Lei, Thomas Liu, William Smith

is there a problem with stereotypes in new media?

Facebook group: "Exploration of Stereotypes in New Media"
Jaime Churchill, Rachel Ginsburg, Jennifer Gottfried, William Halloran

TA: Catalina Toma

what is the role of new media in the political process?

New Media and Politics
Melanie Aliperti, Emily Cohn, Robin Kornet, Alexandra Reimer

Facebook group: What is the role of new media in the political process?
William Douglas, Austin Lord, Dean Strelau, Neil Wusu

Call Me Taft: the role of new media in the political process
Jonathan Baxter, Alice Choo, Cameron Hall, Jennifer Lesczinski

what is the significance of corporate power in new media industries?

Mediagirlz4's Weblog: What is the significance of corporate power in new media industries?
Lauren Clarke, Cristina Morales, Rolena Richardson, Nikki Rivera

Corporate Power in New Media
Brendan Gilbert, Ari Goldman, Eamon Kelleher, Colleen Krieger

what is the shape and significance of online journalism?

Facebook group "Online Journalism for Dummies"
Bryan Biello, Matt Manacher, Caton McKenna, Caroline Newton, Josh Perlin

how are new media changing what counts as reliable information?

How are new media changing what counts as reliable information?
Ed Dehm, Douglas Forster, Robert Jacobs, Matthew Rawding, Abena Oteng-Agipong

Facebook group: group "New Media Reliability (COMM 320)"
Peri Gutstein, Jeffrey Hertzberg, Bryce Klinesteker, Meg Risica, RJ Rowland

what are the implications of digital media for copyright?

Free Mickey!!!
Keith Bodin, Nzingha Ford, Scott Gorski, David Markowitz

what are the privacy implications of new media technology?

Facebook group: "Secrets of Online Privacy"
Jessy Berkey, Ashley Garvey, Elise Menaker

TA: Dima Epstein

 

= introduction =
JAN 22 ~~ introduction

 

supplemental materials...

JAN 24 ~~ new media?

Steven Chaffee and Miriam Metzger, "The End of Mass Communication?" Mass Communication and Society, 4.4 (2001)

supplemental materials...

JAN 29 ~~ society?

James Curran, "What Democracy Requires of the Media," in Geneva Overholser and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, eds., The Institutions of American Democracy: The Press (2005)
Raymond Williams, Keywords, "Media," "Society," "Culture" (1985)

supplemental materials...

JAN 31 ~~ what's new?
Carolyn Marvin, "Introduction" in When Old Technologies Were New (1988) [available in Google Books preview]

supplemental materials...

= the production of new media =
FEB 5 ~~ ownership, concentration, convergence

Mark Deuze, "Creative Industries, Convergence Culture, and Media Work" in Media Work (2007)
"And Then There Were Eight" [chart], Mother Jones (March 2007)

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB 7 ~~ case: Google

Elizabeth Van Couvering, "New Media? The Political Economy of Search Engines" [chapter 4 of dissertation in progress]
Ken Auletta, The New Yorker (January 14, 2008) "The Search Party: Google squares off with its Capitol Hill critics"
Google, "Mission Statement"

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB12 ~~ producers, consumers, users

Henry Jenkins. "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Grassroots Creativity Meets the Media Industry" in Convergence Culture: Where Old Media and New Media Collide (2006)
Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Where Do You Fit?" [survey] (2007)
Pew Internet & American Life Project, "A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users" (2007) [only the "summary" pp i-vi is required]

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB 14 ~~ case: YouTube
Henry Jenkins, "Nine Propositions Towards a Cultural Theory of YouTube" (May 28, 2007)
Henry Jenkins, "Astroturf, Humbugs, and Lonely Girls" (September 13, 2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB 19 ~~ advertising

Joseph Turow, "Audience Construction and Culture Production: Marketing Surveillance in the Digital Age," The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 597.1 (2005)
Frank Rose, "Commercial Break," Wired (December 2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB 21 ~~ case: the "long tail" and changing modes of distribution

Chris Anderson, "The Long Tail," Wired (December 2004)
Derek Kompare, "Publishing Flow: DVD Box Sets and the Reconception of Television," Television and New Media, 7.4 (2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

= new media and politics =
FEB 26 ~~ online journalism
Mark Deuze, "The Web and its Journalisms," New Media and Society 5.2 (2003)
Project for Excellence in Journalism, "State of the News Media, 2007" [yearly report]

supplemental materials...

examples...

FEB 28 ~~ newsblogging
J. D. Lasica, "When Webloggers Commit Journalism" (September 17, 2002)
Jay Rosen, "What's radical about the Weblog Form in Journalism?" (October 16, 2003)
Jay Rosen, "What's conservative about the Weblog Form in Journalism?" (October 17, 2003)
Jay Rosen, "Bloggers vs Journalists is Over" (January 21, 2005)

supplemental materials...

examples...

MAR 4 ~~ case: "daily me"?
Cass Sunstein, "The Daily Me" in Republic 2.0 (2007)

supplemental materials...

examples...

MAR 6 ~~ new media and democracy

paper 1 due

Benjamin Barber, "Three Scenarios for the Future of Technology and Strong Democracy," Political Science Quarterly, 113.4 (1999)

supplemental materials...

examples...

MAR 11 ~~ guest lecture: Dima Epstein, "Political discourse 2.0? WikiCandidate"
Zizi Papacharissi, "The Virtual Sphere: The Internet as a Public Sphere," New Media & Society 4.1 (2002)
Scott Wright and John Street, "Democracy, Deliberation and Design: The Case of Online Discussion Forums," New Media & Society 9.5 (2007)

supplemental materials...

examples...

MAR 13 ~~ political campaigns

Philip Howard, "Deep Democracy, Thin Citizenship: The Impact of Digital Media on Campaign Strategy," The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 597.1 (2005)
CNN/YouTube 2008 presidential debates [watch at least 4 clips from each debate]
Democratic debate
Republican debate

 

spring break

 

supplemental materials...

examples...

= new media and culture =
MAR 25 ~~ shared culture and fragmentation
Terry Teachout, "Culture in the Age of Blogging," Commentary 119.6 (2005)
Michael Bérubé, "Culture and Society" (June 15, 2005)
YouTube, "Top Ten Videos of 2007"

supplemental materials...

examples...

MAR 27 ~~ mediated spaces and individual experiences
Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch, "Information and Communication Technologies and the Moral Economy of the Household" in Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch, eds, Consuming Technologies: Media and Information in Domestic Spaces (1992) [available in Google Books preview]

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 1 ~~ case: the iPod
Steven Levy, "Personal" in The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 3 ~~ representation and stereotypes
Lisa Nakamura, "Race in/for Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet" in David Trend, ed., Reading Digital Culture (2001)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 8 ~~ guest lecture: Catalina Toma: "The truth about lying in online dating profiles"
David Buckingham, "Introducing Identity" In David Buckingham, ed., Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (2007)
danah boyd, "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life" in David Buckingham, ed., Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (2007)

supplemental materials...

examples...

= new questions: thinking about technology in the study of media =
APR 10 ~~ privacy and surveillance

Mark Andrejevic, "Introduction" in iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era (2007)
danah boyd, "Facebook's Privacy Trainwreck: Exposure, Invasion, and Social Convergence" Convergence 14.1 (2008)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 15 ~~ reliable information
paper 2 due

David Weinberger, "The New Order of Order," in Everything is Miscellaneous (2007)
Wikipedia, "Wikipedia"
Wikipedia, "Five Pillars"
Wikipedia, "Criticism of Wikipedia"
Stacey Schiff, "Know it All: Can Wikipedia Conquer Expertise?" The New Yorker (July 31, 2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 17 ~~ guest lecture: Dan Cosley: "inside Wikipedia"

Wikipedia, "Cornell"
Wikipedia, "talk: Cornell"
Wikipedia, "user: Chris the Speller"
Wikipedia, "Community Portal"

explore (at least) one of the following, based on your last name; bring to class a 2-paragraph synopsis: (1) what does this tool do, (2) why might it be of social consequence? This synopsis will be turned in as attendance
A-D: WikiScanner
E-H: WikiDashboard
I-N: Trust Color
O-Z: History Flow

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 22 ~~ copyright and DRM
Kieran Healy, "Digital Technology and Cultural Goods," The Journal of Political Philosophy 10.4 (2002)
Lawrence Lessig, "What Things Regulate" in Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 24 ~~ case: the remix

John Shiga, "Copy and Persist: The Logic of Mash-up Culture," Critical Studies in Media Communication 24.2 (2007)
Chuck Klosterman, "The D.J. Auteur" New York Times Magazine (June 18, 2006)

supplemental materials...

examples...

APR 29 ~~ guest lecture: Tracy Mitrano: "IT policy and the university"

Yochai Benkler, "Freedom in the Commons: Towards a Political Economy of Information" (2003)

supplemental materials...

examples...

= conclusion =
MAY 1 ~~ conclusion: what does "public media" mean now?

supplemental materials...

examples...

 

final project due during exam week