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.
Media Ecology Association Conference
Mexico City, June 6, 2007
Christine M. Tracy
Eastern Michigan University
“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
The news and information delivery system in the U.S., a.k.a. “The Media” is
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.
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
Decentralized. “The Media” is
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 & WillisCharacteristics of the Ecological News Model
Some Challenges “The Media” is
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.)
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