week 3 – journalism in digital world – th

Framing Question: How are digital technologies, like blogs, changing how consumers get news and opinion?


  • Lecture/Discussion – Peg Achterman
  • Lab


Possible Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you prefer to get your daily dose of news and how have your preferences changed over time?
  2. If you prefer to get your news online, which websites or blogs do you frequent and why?
  3. How do you think the demand for personal, in-the-moment news could change the quality of news?
  4. What are the benefits of allowing individuals to comment on articles online? What are the drawbacks?
  5. Considering there has been a cycle in American history of news going from small scattered sources (19th century) to major corporate sources (20th century) to once again smaller and more diverse sources (21st), what, if anything, could cause the eventual demise of blog-style reporting?
  6. How important is it that a friend recommend a news item (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.)?

Lab: YouTube

In this lab, we will embed a YouTube news clip from 1981, a clip that foreshadows the way we get our news today.


  1. Find an interesting YouTube clip
  2. Copy the URL to the clipboard
  3. Embed the URL using this shortcode syntax: 

Lab Assignment:
Create a new blog post that embeds this news clip from 1981 (give it a clever headline – not “lab assignment” for example!) – and categorize it as assignment

It should look like this:


  • I’m asking for your help in tracking assignments by having you post your links to a group Google spreadsheet. Reminder: If you did not get the invitation to the Google spreadsheet, please let me know by email. The subject line of the invitation is com495-fall2010-student input.
  • By Friday, please indicate on our digital sign-up sheet what weeks you are interested in leading discussion as well as what you think your topic will be.
  • By Friday, please post (to your blog) some ideas for your project so that I can give you feedback and so that we can brainstorm in small groups on Tuesday. This is the first of several milestones for your project. Students tell me that it helps them to plan their time when there are regular milestones.
  • By Monday, your first analytical subject matter/generic post is due. It is an analysis of WordPress themes (the designs of two students above and two students below your name on the student list). Details from Tuesday:

    Design Analysis
    Examine the theme choices for the two people “above” and “below” your name on the student list (total of four). What are the similarities and differences in the designs? How easy is it to read the posts? Why? Which theme (design) do you like the best and why? Be sure to link to each of the four blogs! Next week, we’ll talk more about design principles.

    This is your subject matter post for week 3.

    Due MONDAY at 6 pm.


  • Each week: reading reflection (post to your blog) is due Tuesday. Please: no more titles like “weekly reading.” Practice good blogging technique and write headlines that are descriptive, that highlight the focus of your writing.
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