Digital Essay 2
April 20, 2014
Professional Identity, Socialism, and Technology
Upon analyzing the arguments made by Snowden and Goggin respectfully, my thoughts on how mobile communications distributed by user generated content has infiltrated media, are too defined by my own questioning of the field’s professional identity as it relates to technological definitions of social interaction.
Snowden and Goggin’s explore the manipulation of journalism as a medium and profession. In particular the cellular adaptation of the camera as a feature, including audio/visual components, is cited as a catalyst for how both journalism and social interaction has changed. When the camera, as a data recording feature is coupled with the usage of internet applications, it has social and professional implications.
In Collette Snowden’s article, Time and Space in Play she explores vital aspects of mobile media technology in terms of news propaganda. The main aspects of the article necessary to acknowledge include audience’s understanding and mimicking of professional news reports, journalism as a medium undermined by social media/citizen journalism, as well as their general access to a larger scale at a faster rate than media broadcast professionals.
Within Snowden’s explorations of the aforementioned aspects, she chips away at the heart of journalistic identity as it relates to technological advancement. Technology has always been a catalyst or at least a marker for journalistic expediency. For example, when large news broadcasting organizations relied on the privacy of “tickers,” to develop news stories, these organizations had only to mind their individual interests. News sources had to present victims in news, and cover the stories as contextually as possible to obtain and maintain news credibility. Snowden identifies the mass accessibility of converged media as the tick that not only obscures journalist’s views of self-identity, but is responsible for how news divergence is expelled and consumed.
Goggin explores convergence as the coupling of stand-alone mediums into one particular cell, namely cellular mobile devices. This is important to consider as technology again has always been a factor in journalistic advancement. Overall it is proven that ubiquity and accessibility trumps and defines social behavior and professionalism.
A gaze into corporate news organizations will exhibit their use of social media as they appeal to average citizens for material. This being so because “average citizens” wield newsworthy data in which professional news outlets must assess, analyze, present commentary on, edit, and authenticate materials. Professionals once considered and utilized the average citizen’s opinions and accounts as the basis for their journalism because they were able to contextualize events accordingly. They undermined the ability for these same citizens to once have the ability to tell their own stories.
My particular arguments or questions derived from either author include prodding at professional identity in journalism, redefining the role of citizenship in news, and identifying gapes in journalistic assessment of audiences. For example as it relates to news professionals underestimating citizen usage of advancements in mobile technology, it is evident that professionals did not consider how integral audio/visual components are to the development of a news story, or it’s audience’s ability to create and indulge in its own media sphere subsequently.
Goggin acknowledges this space in his article. This space where non-professionals may assert information without thoroughly contextualizing information is precisely where the infringement of journalistic privilege begins. I too acknowledge that at some degree news reporting and journalism was some sort of privilege. However the fault as far as I can identify is precisely where the accessibility and potential to spread stories via mobile media infiltrated. News writing professions always had the handicap of not being “fast enough to report,” however they’ve always held the advantage of producing content that was not only informational but influential.
In Snowden’s article she cites other authors that identify a space in news reporting where consumers have to decide whether to tune in or out of material based on its soft or hard qualitative content. These sources go on to present that such content an occurrence can be manipulated/identified. My argument then is that if news professionals are left with the space in which to either supply hard or soft news expeditiously, which, according to the citations made by Snowden, creates a space that allows the audience to make a follow-up, then why haven’t professionals better explored this route?
News currently explores the audience as suppliers of news and members that ought to consume commentary or analysis, only to later on assume that it’s all they can handle, proceeding to comment on audience ability to asses information. If news contextualized information with a follow-up approach, then perhaps so many professionals would not be on the ropes about their professional identities.
However I must mention that technological advancement, available to public media sphere or not, does not completely dictate technologies role in professional identity. As Snowden explores digital editing and the teams that compile to promote news coverage as up-to-the-minute as possible, proving that technology doth provides new roles within the professional news sphere.
The following video was bought to my attention by a student of Temple University’s African American Studies Program. His synthesis of the content frustrated his thesis studies, where as a media studies pupil, I was able to provide content and explicit assessment of audience commentary. Would I suggest viewing this video to anyone conducting major religious studies? No. Simply because this video based on its creator, its methodology to meet an audience, and lastly it’s content all lean toward its lack of credibility. It is however a decent example of how when non-professionals step into a professional or at least public sphere, are capable of soliciting and appealing to individuals that are impacted by its content.
Note the language by the individual producing this concept, it’s lack of professionality, it’s high number of viewers, and the commentary provided. Technology, mobile technoglogy, specifically that with access to a large and speedy scale as the internet, has implications upon social interactivity. Where once news was considered a professional field, any person(s) with adequate audio/visual components can create and disseminate media with no journalistic background necessary.
Snowden, Collette. (2012). “As It Happens: Mobile communications technology, journalism, and breaking news,” in N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds), The Mobile Media Reader. New York: Peter Lang. P. 120-134.
Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 8, 143-161