Digital Essay 2, Professional Identity, Audience, and Technology

Vanessa Fuller

Mobile Media

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


4 thoughts on “Digital Essay 2, Professional Identity, Audience, and Technology”

  1. The reason I chose to comment on the Pros and Cons of your essay is because your structure and argument are interesting for me to read. All your paragraphs are short and to the point. I like your writing style. I wish I could write that way. In the future I will try to be inspired by your technique in my own writing. Also, it was easy for me to follow your analysis of Goggin and Snowden’s chapters, and one paragraph seems to flow into the next. You did tackle the Prompts request of unpacking what Goggin and Snowden wrote in their pieces. And I liked your explanation of how the authors make their argument.

    It was interesting how you introduced the video example. The video made your point about how user-generated content produced by non-professionals looks the way it does.

    Here is some constructive criticism, you should have chosen the Digital Essay category in WordPress, but your essay #2 shows “Uncategorized.” You seem to be having trouble changing the category of your posted entries to the correct category. The “Instructions for all assignments” explain that we need to pick the correct area for each writing entry. “Change the category of your posted essay to: Digital Essay” (Shaw, Use WordPress). So don’t forget to change your category to “Final Project” for the final element of the class, if you need help I would be happy to show you the process.

    One correction to point out was in the second paragraph, you wrote the wrong information, Chapter 9 is “Time and Space” and Chapter 8 is “As it Happens.” Also, when paraphrasing, in-text citations should be used. The works cited list seems to need some work. You are missing embedded video, you used a video link. Would have liked to see some digital photos and hyperlinks that could have helped your argument.

    One thing that puzzles me is your ability to use a large selection of words in your writing. You have a vocabulary that is scholarly. People don’t normally talk that way, but it is certainly fine in college writing, for example, “Technology has always been a catalyst or at least a marker for journalistic expediency.”

  2. Hi Vanessa – here’s a great example of the connectivity of technology! I was looking up something related to my work and your post appeared in the search engine results. Thanks for taking my work seriously. I’m not sure if I can even begin to tell you what it means for an academic to know that someone, somewhere not only took the time to read an article, but also carefully considered it. But, that’s not the principal reason why I am responding. You rightly ask … why haven’t professionals better explored this route? I agree! I have argued, and continue to argue that media professionals and media organisations are often too slow and too conservative to respond to changes in technology. I believe this is because of the inherently conservative nature of the media as a business, and because the culture of journalism has professionally not been based on technical competency, but on linguistic competency through the practice of creating stories. Until relatively recently the production side of the media was completely separate to the editorial side – even in electronic/broadcasting media. Journalists produced the stories, but the newspapers were produced by printers, page designers etc. Sub-editors were somewhere between the two. In the electronic media camera and sound operators and producers were all separate and specialised professions. Digital technology has changed that, and subsequently many journalists do not appreciate or comprehend its capabilities, and that extends to the management of news and media organisations, many of whom are former journalists. You are living in a monumental period of transition that requires bold innovation and creativity. Judging by your post, I think you will do well as a media professional. Kind regards, Collette Snowden, Adelaide.

    1. Wow, I am truly grateful for your reply. I cannot help that I am 8 months late; this is my first time checking back to my WordPress. Your reply offers fresh and new perspective on connectivity for sure. Your delineation here is clear and helpful. You may very well be the first scholar I’ve read that has made direct contact with me. I realize only now how specific WordPress was to our academic efforts during the semester. I had not before thought about how much exposure these essays would possibly receive. Many things are coming together for me at this season in my life; my life itself mostly. I’m endowed with a new found seriousness, and relentlessness that will allow me to further my education and personal research. Though, Collette I must say, if based on this post you saw fit to tell me that you think I’d do well as a media professional, I am only furthered in my purpose and cause. Thank you. Well wishes, Vanessa Fuller, Philadelphia.

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