Last week we asked you all to look at two pieces by Andrew Sullivan about blogging and consuming information and media online and write a short blog post comparing them. Ed will discuss the pieces in the class on Monday October 10th.
Just in case you didn’t see the links in the slides from last Monday – the pieces we want you to read are:
I mentioned ‘Why I Blog’ before – it’s from a while ago, when Sullivan was feeling very optimistic and positive about blogging and ‘thinking in public’. In the second piece, which was published a couple of weeks ago, he takes a rather different view about online media…
Last week I asked you to start logging your media consumption and to think about how much of it was actually journalism. We’ll talk more about this on Monday during Session 2. One thing we will discuss is a deliberately provocative piece by Ralf Dobelli – Avoid News. The subtitle to the piece is ‘Towards a Healthy News Diet’ -Dobelli’s suggestion is that to move in that direction, you need to radically cut back on the news you consume.
He has also posted an FAQ to the piece, in the form of an imaginary interview with himself, in which he deals with objections to his idea. Have a read of both pieces over the weekend and we’ll discuss them in class on Monday.
One thing we might do today, to start things off, is look at a couple of ads for The Guardian. ‘The Three Little Pigs’ was done quite recently – in 2012 – and won lots of awards. ‘Skinhead’ was made thirty years ago – in 1986 – and also won awards, I think. Have a look at both and have a think about what the vision of journalism presented by each one and how those visions differ.
One of the things this module is designed to do is to get you reading/consuming more journalism. According to Felix Salmon, who used to blog about finance, journalism and online media in general for Reuters, most journalists don’t read widely enough, especially online. Have a read of his post Teaching Journalists to Read and think about what he says and whether you agree. It was written quite a while ago now – is it still relevant?
Another piece we will discuss in the first class is My Blog, My Outboard Brain by Cory Doctorow – this piece is over ten years old now – but is still relevant and interesting. Doctorow is an SF writer/online activist/blogger for Boing Boing. This is an early piece about what he gets from blogging.
One last piece we will look at is Why I Blog by Andrew Sullivan – a journalist who started blogging early and built his own mini-media business. This is a piece he wrote a few years ago, when he felt very optimistic about blogging. It’s fair to say he has changed his mind a bit now – and we’ll look at a more recent piece by him next week.