84707 - DIGITAL JOURNALISM

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The rise of digital environments as relevant arenas where news are produced, distributed and consumed is having a disruptive impact on journalism in term of professional practices, business models and role in society. The course addresses these transformations from the perspectives of media companies, individual journalists, other professional and non professional news producers, and citizens. A comparative perspective is adopted in order to show whether and how different media systems have adapted to digital challenges. At the end of the course, students: - are familiar with main theories related to digital journalism; - can take position within the debate on contemporary information ecosystems and democratic life; - can elaborate hypotheses on how social media environments are transforming newsmaking, news delivery, as well as audience habits; - can identify the emergence of new and diverse actors within news ecologies; - are familiar with case histories related to companies having –at different stages of their life- undertaken the digital path; - can use a selection of tools for digital newsmaking; - can argue about practical and ethical implications related to opportunities and challenges offered by digital newsmaking (e.g. big data visualization, fact checking, debunking of false information).

Course contents

The course is organized in three different modules:

Introduction to (digital) journalism studies

In this module the main theories related to current transformations in journalism ecosystems will be presented. Different approaches characterizing digital journalism studies will be discussed and the state of the art of research at the intersection of information, communication and society will be reviewed.

The hybrid media system: changing paradigms in production, consumption, and societal roles

In this module we will address in first place implications of recent transformations in Western media systems for democratic life. We will also consider how the "hybrid media system" is transforming newsmaking, news delivery, as well as audience habits. Finally we will focus on the emergence of new and diverse actors within news ecologies and on the implications of this phenomenon for the definition of journalistic field(s).

Taking digital journalism seriously: ethics, practices, and tools

This module will address ethical concerns and practical challenges related to opportunities and risk offered by digital newsmaking (e.g. big data visualization, fact checking, debunking of false information)

Readings/Bibliography

Students attending classes are required to study the following texts:

1) Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (Eds.). (2016). Rethinking journalism again: Societal role and public relevance in a digital age. Taylor & Francis.

2) A list of essays and articles provided by the instructor on class 1.

 

Students not attending classes are required to study the following books:

1) Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (Eds.). (2016). Rethinking journalism again: Societal role and public relevance in a digital age. Taylor & Francis.

2) Chadwick, A. (2017). The hybrid media system: Politics and power. Oxford University Press. (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10)

3) Usher, N. (2014). Making News at The New York Times. University of Michigan Press.

N.B. Students not attending classes are required to write the instructor to define a dedicated program more in details BEFORE starting exam preparation.

Teaching methods

The course will be based mostly on taught classes, but will also feature in-depth discussions on issues suggested by the students. Academic guests and practitioners might give invited lectures on specific topics related to the course.

Assessment methods

90 minutes written exam. 50% of the grade will be based on multiple-choice questions or questions with short answers; the other 50% will be based on open-ended questions.

Assessment method might vary in accordance with the number of students enrolled.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint presentations, web videos, data visualizations, and practical exercises (a more specific list of teaching tools will be defined in coherence with the number of students attending the course)

Office hours

See the website of Augusto Valeriani