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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.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=my+letter+to+christianity

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

Selfie: A Wellness Month: Official Harvard Study

A recent study at Harvard Medical School shows that “Selfies”

are more than just a technological photo frenzy.

Associates have found that the more people take “Seflies”,

the healthier they become.

The school released a photo-update

of their findings which has been shared below.

image

Notice the specimen’s discoloration

and sad express shown in exhibit A. She is clearly disgruntled.

Experts say it is the lack of control a person experiences

when having their photo taken, that is the primary difference in the

two sort of photography styles.

But when the same specimen was given an

iPhone 4 to take snapshots of herself, “Immediately

the power being transferred back to the subject,

promotes better health. (See Below)

image (1)

“It’s certainly a progressive experiment.” Professor X points out

that the photo above, being the specimens’ first taste of

Self-Expression, is brighter than the initial photo taken of her. (Note the smoothie

that ALSO comes with Selfie-Power.)

The color begins to come back into her world by “Selfie,” number three which

Professionals insist, “Is still a little dull.”

image (1)

(Selfie three)

Finally, by the end of the experience, the subject,

who opted not to be named for privacy concerns,

is vibrant and lively in her photos.

image

“Selfies definitely

have healing properties.”- Professor X, again.

There you have it folks, take those “Selfies,” and be on your way to wellness.

Jesus in Love Park, part 2

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, a messenger from Jesus appeared at LOVE Park in Philadelphia. A man who claims he is not religious, but believes there is a greater power. Dressed in robes he talked to ten students and it wasn’t until he confessed that he used to be an addict that the students engaged in the conversation. He preached of the positivity a belief could bring you. Sometimes in this day in age where bad news is a lot of what we hear, a positive message, and someone who wants to try to share joy is nice, as well as interesting. Some students paid more attention then others, some spoke with him and shared ideas, and others just walked away. When everyone gathered together again the messenger moved on to speak to others and share more of his thoughts.

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Jesus at Love Park

photo 5

On a casual Wednesday afternoon, Professor Adrienne Shaw presented a journalism assignment to her class. The class was to go out and find a news story. Little did she know, students found more than a news story.

photo 4

As students wandered the nearby area, they stumbled across Love Park. Love Park, known for it’s homeless population and popularity with skateboarders, had a special guest today. It was Jesus Christ, himself.

photo 3

He immediately went to work on the students; preaching and converting any lost soul that stumbled towards his path. Diligent and willing to forgive, Jesus has not lost a step.

photo 2

Some were ecstatic for having their sins forgiven. Some believed they had new life after this special encounter.

photo 1

Others were just too stubborn. Jesus’s return was nothing short of spectacular; fate brought Him and the students together on this special evening.

– Sam Wu, Sean Sullivan, and Matt Kacyon

Project Proposal: Blood Donation

The app I want to design will aim to help promote blood donation. I plan on going about it by incorporating different blood centers so that they can advertise their respective sites and benefit the health and wellness community as a whole. There will also be a section with an interactive mock questionnaire that will let people know if they are legally eligible to donate blood. However, the app will further relate to social justice by informing people that are not eligible why they cannot donate, and referring them to organizations that may be trying to update the blood donor laws to be fairer.

While the app has the potential to increase blood donation among people that might not be do so otherwise, I think that the social justice aspect could have a significant effect of the gay male community, a group that is not legally allowed to donate blood. As of right not, men who have had sex with men (along with women who have had sex with men who have had sex with men) since 1977 cannot donate, and there are groups out there that are trying to change that. My app could spread the word about their organizations and others like them, and mobilize people to make a change.

My field research made me realize how difficult it could be to find a general audience for my app, so I have decided to reframe it as an extension of the blood center themselves. People who are regular donors could use my app to find local drives, as well as keep track of their dates of eligibility through a personal profile feature. However, my field research also showed me that other general users would more than likely be alone, and therefore would be more likely to spontaneously donate if a drive is located near them at a given time. This may not attract a significantly large number of people, but anyone that has worked for a blood center can tell you that every unit counts, and most of the time, centers struggle to meet their quotas.

 

Aside from our class readings and discussions, my research will focus on apps related to health and public service campaigns. A few sources I have found already include:

Garcia-Gomez, J. M.-D.-C. (2014). Analysis of mobile health applications for a broad spectrum of consumers: A user experience approach. Health Informatics Journal , 74-84.

Hannabach, C. (2013). Technologies of Blood: Asylum, Medicine, and Biopolitics. Cultural Politics , 22-41.

Ho, K. (2013). Health-e-Apps: A project to encourage effective use of mobile health applications. British Colombia Medical Journal , 458-460.

Weber, K. &. (2012). Designing and Evaluating the Campus Organ Donor Project. Communication Quarterly , 504-519.

 

For the visual design portion of the project, I plan on utilizing PowerPoint to help explain my research and then design “screenshots” of what different parts of the app will look like. That way, my audience will have a concrete visual example of what I am trying to accomplish with my app and how that will be achieved. If something goes awry and I cannot complete the PowerPoint, I will go the old-fashioned route and (very) roughly sketch the screenshots onto different poster boards. This would ultimately have the same effect for the audience, though my artistic skills are not exactly stellar, so I’m hoping to find success with the PowerPoint idea.

 

There are just over four weeks until I will have to present my project to the class, so I will really need to stay on schedule in order to complete every portion

For the week of March 23, I will schedule my appointment with Kristina DeVoe to help guide the direction of my academic research. I will also go through the proposals of my fellow classmates, seeing if any of their ideas can help my adjust my own to be more successful.

For the week of March 30, I will be spending much of the time usually dedicated to this class completing my group project. However, I will also aim to analyze most of the articles that I have already found, gaining a strong foundation for my research.

For the week of April 6, I will have hopefully met with Kristina DeVoe, have found and analyzed a few more resources, and created a strong outline of my research to guide the final paper.

For the week of April 13, I will aim to have my final paper written so that the key concepts can be extracted for the class presentation. I will also start working on the visual design component.

For the week of April 20, I will finish my visual design component and have everything ready to present on April 23.

For the week of April 27, I will make any necessary edits to my paper and visual design as becomes necessary after my presentation so that the project as a whole can be submitted for a grade.

Project Proposal: Sexual Harassment app for Female Temple Students

Social Justice Topic:

The social justice topic I intend to address in my final project is sexual harassment.  The treatment of women in various places is not always acceptable or equal and should be of concern.  The app Not Your Baby has inspired me to make a similar app that is geared to women who attend Temple.  In the Human Rights Code (the Code) sexual harassment is defined as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome.” I’m focusing more on gender-based harassment, which is “any behavior that polices and reinforces traditional heterosexual gender norms” (Elizabeth J. Meyer, “Gendered Harassment in Secondary Schools: Understanding Teachers’ (Non) Interventions,” Gender and Education, Vol. 20, No. 6, November 2008, 555 at 555).  Many times women are embarrassed to tell someone or report incidents where they are sexually harassed.  Only one in ten incidents are ever reported to authorities.  Twenty three per cent of women experienced workplace sexual harassment with young women at highest risk according to a study in Canada.  Women who attend Temple should have a place where they can find comfort and advice after an encounter.  Not your baby app is incredible but creating an app for Temple would help women feel closer and connected.

Idea for an App design:

Speaking for myself, I encounter a form of sexual harassment almost everyday whether it is a street lingerer, construction worker, or guys on campus.  These demeaning remarks have an affect on me and I intend on preventing this from happening.  The app I hope to create is an app for Temple Women who have been sexually harassed or are in the process of being sexually harassed.  There are so many places this can happen and having an app associated with Temple can help prevent these instances from happening. I imagine it to be more like a Twitter or blog.  I plan on having multiple tabs in this app including: advice, places to get help, who to report these incidents to, and personal stories (can be anonymous) to view.  Women can choose to post what happened to them and others can comment on them with advice.  You can also say where this is happening like a city street, subway, on campus, work, center city, etc. which women who go to Temple can relate to.  I was also deciding whether to incorporate a map or not of Temple campus to pinpoint where these sexual harassments are happening.

I plan on studying apps like Not your baby and Hollaback to inspire me more on how to make my app as helpful as possible.  I hope this app will not only help a woman being harassed at a specific moment, but also prevent it all together.

How app design connects to my field research:

Although I did my field research at Starbucks on 15th and Market St., I did learn a lot of ways people use their phone.  In a lot of cases women use their phone to look busy and ignore remarks that are being taunted at them as they walk.  A phone can be used as a barrier or shield for a woman.  I realized phones are used very often for apps and communication.  Social media and other apps were constantly being checked.  Since the app I hope to create is social media based hopefully it can have that same affect.

Peer-reviewed scholarly articles I attend to use:

Light, A. and Luckin, R. (2008). Designing for social justice: people, technology, and learning. Opening Education. Retrieved from https://mobmed14.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/designing_for_social_justice.pdf

Fueller, Mary M. (1992). Sexual harassment: how to recognize and deal with it. Advanced Learning Systems. Retrieved from http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b1507938~S30

Friedman, Joel. (1992). Sexual Harassment: what it is, what it isn’t, what it does to you, and what you can do about it. Health Communications. Retrieved from http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b2061175

Ideas for visual design project:

For the visual part of this project I plan on making a video.  I want to ask females who go to Temple what they think about the app idea I have.  I would also ask them if they think this app would be helpful with sexual harassment incidents.  I think seeing females reactions and thoughts on this app idea would help me think of more possible ideas to better this app.

If I do not make a video I will make a mock up design of the app.  I would Photoshop a design and logo of the app, but I fully intend on making a video.

Concrete timeline for project:

I first plan on doing a lot of research on similar apps.  I plan on talking to females at Temple about sexual harassment and incidents they experienced.  I then will meet with Kristina Devoe about my sources and advice on writing the paper.  Then I will do research in the Paley library and online to get information on gender based harassment and app making.  Then I will write the paper and make the visual design part of the project.