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News as an Ecosystem: Shifting Perspectives for Citizen Journalists. Media Ecology Association Conference Mexico City, June 6, 2007 Christine M. Tracy Eastern Michigan University. What is news? . Google News (May 24, 2007) . Driving Research Question.

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News as an Ecosystem: Shifting Perspectives for Citizen Journalists

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News as an Ecosystem: Shifting Perspectives for Citizen Journalists

Media Ecology Association Conference

Mexico City, June 6, 2007

Christine M. Tracy

Eastern Michigan University


What is news?


Google News (May 24, 2007)


Driving Research Question

“If the origins of modern communication had been, in critical respects, liberal and democratic, how then had the media developed along lines that were so deeply in tension with those ideas?”

Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communication


Critical Approach to American Media System

Articulated by:

  • Upton Sinclair-Brass Check

  • Chomsky & Herman-Manufacturing Consent

  • Robert W. McChesney--Rich Media, Poor Democracy


It is clear what the problem is..


The news and information delivery system in the U.S., a.k.a. “The Media” is

STRUCTURALLY FLAWED.


Formulating an Answer and a Model: Key Premises

1.If the problem with the American media system is structural, then no amount of critical analysis or research into effects will solve the problem.

2. We cannot expect a media system to serve democratic ideals when those ideals are not evidenced in society.

3. Individual citizens are consumers as well as producers of information: each of us is responsible for the information we consume.


Preview of Today’s Discussion

1. Rationale for an ecological model of news.

2. Theoretical foundations of the model:

a.Teilhard de Chardin’s Noosphere

b. Kaufer & Carley’s Communicative Transaction

c. Bowman & Willis’s Emerging Media Ecosystem

d. Hiler’s Blogosphere

3. Introduction on an ecological model

4. Examples of participatory and citizen journalism

5. Future directions


Teilhard's “Diagram of the Sphere”


Kaufer & Carley’s Communicative Transaction Model


Bowman and Willis’s Emerging Media Ecosystem


Hiler’s Blogosphere


Decentralized.

Features audiences as active participants in the consumption, creation, and dissemination of news.

Features a bottom-up, emergent, peer-to-peer social network.

Features news unfiltered by a mediator.

Publishes than filters.

Values conversation, collaboration, and egalitarianism over profitability.

Maintains Journalism’s underlying principles.

Features consumers as innovators.

Source: We Media, Bowman & Willis

Characteristics of the Ecological News Model


What does this model look like?


Campbell Laird’s Vision


The In-process Ecological Model


An Individual News Model


Examples of Citizen Journalism


Use examples to refine the model


Another “participatory” example


Examples…sharing the story…


Some Challenges

Revenue generation and shifting from owning to sharing the story.

2. Capital must come from popular organizations (Chomsky).

3. Requires an ideological shift: news generation and dissemination perceived as a dialogue and network of ideas and information (not a commodity.)

Some Questions

What is the individual’s (or consumer’s) relationship to existing news and information outlets?

How do individuals affect existing and emerging outlets?

Future Directions


Paper and presentation available at

www.ninthmuse.org/research.html

Christine Tracy

Eastern Michigan University

Ctracy1@ninthmuse.org

Ctracy1@emu.edu


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