Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why this class is not just for future Journalism & Mass Communication majors

The tools and concepts of "media fluency" are not just for prospective majors in Journalism & Mass Communication, or Communication Arts, or English.  They're critically important to environmental, economic, and political issues of all sorts, as described in a brief New York Times blog post by Nick Bilton today:
When I set out to report at the World Economic Forum, I imagined it might be difficult to find technology-related stories. It turns out, I was a tad wrong. I would have had more luck finding a snowless Alpine mountain in the winter than finding people discussing a topic that did not involve technology.
After a year that has included the social media-fueled protests of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, global Internet privacy legislation and billions of dollars in technology stock offerings, tech and social media have not only entered the building, they are the walls holding it up.
Even the 102-page program guide for the World Economic Forum, where business, political and intellectual leaders gather each year to talk and frolic, has more references to technology and social media than any of the nerdiest Silicon Valley blogs I read daily.
 Do any of you discuss new media in non-media courses here at UW-Madison?


  1. I am currently in a psychology class and even though we don't normally talk about new media in class, I can see how it could be linked together. Many researchers are probably trying to decide if new media like smart phones are making people more anti-social? They may also look at the generation that grew up with computers to see if they will be less social in the long run and not know how to have effective communications, or if that possible effect is really from kids growing up in more divorced family households? There are many questions that psychology research is going to look into and try to answer as people become more involved with technology and less involved in face-to-face interactions to see how it affects us.

  2. Similar to Kim, I am in a class that doesn't normally focus on technology but on occasion, will bring up the topic. Currently, I'm in a class called RP & SE Working with Disabilities. We learn about people with disabilities and on numerous occasions we have talked about the new technology that is helping disabled people in their daily lives. Individuals that cannot speak properly now have computers that they type into that speaks their words for them. The new technology presented in motorized chairs helps a numerous amount of people who are handicapped. Several examples like this are shown in class, and reflect on how helpful new technology has been to people.

  3. This blog post appealed to me right away specifically because I am not a Journalism & Mass Communication major, and I chose to take this class because I find it to be extremely significant for various other reasons. In my sociology class, called American Racial and Ethnic Minorities, we discuss the way media interacts with society in terms of its influence on our ideas about racism and the like. Furthermore, we have discussed media's role in politics and how political figures can use media to attract people of different race and ethnicity. Aside from my courses in school, however, I have found and continue to find that what I learn in this class about media fluency can be applied to all other spectrums of my life. Media is taking over the world, and I believe that at this point in time, one must understand all of its odds and ends in order to be successful in any future endeavors.


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