While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter, and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.
Shirky says that before the Internet and social media, over the past 500 years, there were only four periods where media changed enough to warrant the label “revolution.” Research these revolutions and create a visual way to represent their key features. Do you have a guess about what the next revolution might bring? If so, add it in!
As social media enables citizen reporting and greater interaction between news organizations and their audiences, the boundaries of journalism and ideas about what constitutes news are changing. Explore this phenomenon by conducting a survey about people’s attitudes and behaviors related to news and journalism. How do people define what’s “news,” and where are they getting their news (sources, devices)? How do people define “journalism”? What impressions, if any, do they have of citizen journalism? Resources to get you started include:
TED: Paul Lewis: Crowdsourcing the news http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_lewis_crowdsourcing_the_news.html
Online Journalism Review: “The pros and cons of newspapers partnering with ‘citizen journalism’ networks” http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/gstorch/201002/1826/
and its reply, “The pros and pros of ‘citizen journalism’” http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/stverak/201003/1830/
UT's Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas “Both Wall Street Journal, USA Today finding ways to use social media site Pinterest for reporting” http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-9011-both-wall-street-journal-usa-today-finding-ways-use-social-media-site-pinterest-reporti
TED: Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/clay_shirky_on_institutions_versus_collaboration.html
TED: Clay Shirky: How cognitive surplus will change the world http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world.html
Foreign Affairs, From Innovation to revolution: Does social media make protests possible? (Mar/Apr 2011) [point-counterpoint between Shirky and Malcolm Gladwell] http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67325/malcolm-gladwell-and-clay-shirky/from-innovation-to-revolution