Social Media Revolution

Jean-Francois Lyotard suggests we all located in circuits of communication; we all occupy ‘nodal points’ to which messages are transmitted, and from which we re-transmit them. Interference with the message, however slight, changes the content, or the place of the addressee and has the capacity to alter in the process the power relations it was designed to reaffirm. 

Catherine Belsey: Poststructuralism: A very short introduction p.98

‘Look Up’ – A spoken word film for an online generation.

TASK: Watch this short clip below and make a note of at least 5 useful statistics in your book that you find interesting or revealing.


News, Gossip, News Values & Perspectives

Image result for obama“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not — and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in soundbites and snippets off their phones — if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.”

President Obama 

follow this link for more information about this quote

Image result for fake news

Fake News &  Corporate control

Look at this ppt News, Gossip, News Values & Perspectives and

  1. draw up a table that contrasts ‘News v Gossip’
  2. Write up your understanding of Traditional News Media and
  3. Define News Values
Theoretical Perspectives

Look at the 5 different perspectives set out at the end of the ppt.

  • Research around these people and their ideas.
  • Make notes in you book.
  • Discuss

Look at this video ‘Don’t be fooled by fake news’ but then compare such ideas on the manipulation of new media with the recognised theory that traditional media has always been a source of ‘manufacturing consent’

‘Manufacturing Consent’

This links to the theory proposed by Noam Chomsky known as ‘the manufacture of consent’

Go to this page from the Guardian newspaper and make notes about the reasons given for Wikipedia putting out an unusual blanket ban on The Daily Mail.

Wikipedia bans Daily Mail

Make notes from the powerpoints below:

The Post-Truth Age

One particular news organisation has been closely connected with Donald trump – Fox News:

Fox News +Trump

The spreading of fear, hate and loathing of Muslims can be defined as a Moral Panic:

Stanley Cohen and Moral Panics

Read the following and make 5-10 bullet point notes and at least 2 quotes from each.

Does this video show an eerie if depressing vision of the future? What elements are / will become reality? What will remain a fiction?

Extension Exercise:

Read the article below particularly towards the end ” . . .  it is clear that we are living through a period of dizzying transition” to see how technology is changing journalism and truth: 

Also, look at this article (and follow some of the links) to understand how information / news (in this case around climate change) is manufactured:

Making News: Brave New Worlds

Follow the link above and listen to this Radio 4 documentary and answer the questions below. If the link is broken go to Depts\Media\Students\Year 13\Critical Perspectives\Question 2 and click on the audio file Brave New Worlds.

Image for Brave New Worlds


Brave New Worlds

Episode 3 of 3 Duration: 28 minutes

First broadcast: Tuesday 16 April 2013

Journalist and broadcaster Steve Richards presents a three part series examining the News. From bulletins to rolling news and citizen journalism – what News was, what it is now and what it will become.

What makes something News and something else not? Is the News a public service, a cycle, an entertainment built on sensation, a constant rush of ‘breaking’ news or a form of national communion and shared belonging? Driven by changes in technology and in news culture itself, and as the news cycle becomes ever faster, the question of what News is also concerns how we consume it and who ‘we’ are becoming as a result.

The series talks to reporters, journalists, editors, news producers and experts including Jon Snow, Alistair Campbell, Adam Boulton, editors Sarah Sands and Ceri Thomas, Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes), Ed Stourton and psychotherapist Adam Phillips.

Episode 3 (of 3): Brave New Worlds
Steve Richards looks beyond the official news cycle to explore what news might become as informal outlets continue to multiply, digitally and online, and as revolutions in technology underwrite the very content of news: the rise of the citizen journalist, the phenomenon of pre-emptive news and the relatively new psychic disorder of news ‘addiction’.

Produced by Simon Hollis
A Brook Lapping production for BBC Radio 4.

QUESTIONS (no. 7 is the most important and will help you develop a good answer to the exam question)

  1. What do you think top/down news reporting is / (was)?
  2. What do you think the term ‘technological determinism‘ means?
  3. Who is Charlie Becket? What features characterise news as a service industry?
  4. Who is Jon Snow? Why  does he think this is the Golden Age for new journalists?
  5. How important is Twitter for the news? Give examples and use key language and terminology.
  6. How are politicians using new media to promote thier own interests, ideas and policies
  7. How does Twitter empower ordinary people and as such disempower traditional media institutions? What are the consequences of this change.
  8. Define the terms: ‘ democracy of news’ & ‘citizen journalist’.
  9. What will be lost in this new era of news gathering?
  10. Now look at the post below which is a Ted Lecture from Paul Lewis which will provide you with two case studies, which you can use for your exam preparation / exam essay and help you to understand the concepts of ‘crowd sourcing’ & ‘citizen journalism’.

Extension exercise:

Read this article about how the new media agenda is affecting the our institutional understanding of news production, consumption and advertising:

Making sense of Media & Politics

Some theoretical ideas and approaches that you should find useful in your A2 exam taken from Making Sense of Media & Politics by Gadi Wolfsfeld

Making Sense of Media & Politics

The powerful, it turns out, still have the upper hand . . .  (but) . . . even the most powerful lose control  . . .
 Political Movements & New Technology
According to Gadi Wolfsfeld there are 4 goals for Political movements to successfully use new media (page 1 of H/O)
      1. Mobilize supporters
      2. Make an impact on traditional broad (cast) media – known as AMPLIFICATION
      3. Influence public opinion
      4. Impact on real politics

wolsfeld diagram

Read pages extract from Making Sense of Media and Politics
(and) Highlight any relevant ideas, quotes, facts or information that help you to understand the four points above. To help you structure your notes think about the following:
  1. What are the benefits of new technology?
  2. What types of new technology and activities are discussed?
  3. What is slactivism?
  4. How many stories from peripheral media such as blogs make it to traditional media outlets?
  5. What is the difference between broadcasting and narrowcasting?
  6. What are TANS / transnational communites?
  7. Would the use of new technology by terrorists groups be seen as non-democratic?