Blog post 6: Viral online media

Three articles are assigned this week. One is very short and NOT academic! It comes fromBuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti — so read it. Find all of the articles in the Course Schedule and the two journal articles on Ares.

Step 1. Read all three assigned articles (and make notes, as always).

Step 2. Find a case in which a media item “went viral” online. It can be any kind of media (video or any other). It can be commercial, advertising, news, p.r., or personal. Some things (often videos) go viral by accident. Other cases might be part of a deliberate campaign. However — NOT ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE. We all know that one. Also, NOT KONY 2012. That is also very well known. Continue reading


Some optional reading

From time to time I’ll post a reading recommendation. It will be related to the topics in this course. You may ignore it if you like.

Screen capture from page 5

This new report, The Politics of Media Development: The Importance of Engaging Government and Civil Society, comes from the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA). It’s a PDF and free to download.

Sign up for Fall 2015

Poster Fall 2015

This course examines the relationships between communication technologies and democracy, not only in the United States but elsewhere as well. New communication technologies, such as the Internet, will not automatically lead to or improve democracy, but they do contribute to changes in the society as a whole. We will examine how changes related to communication media might enhance or curtail so-called democratic freedoms, with a particular emphasis on the relationships among the media, the public, and the government in a democracy. Please note that the media include TV, Internet, printed publications, and more. NGOs (nonprofits) also play a role in communication in today’s democracies.

This is not a course in political communication.

Graduate students from outside the College of Journalism and Communications are welcome to enroll in this course.

This course requires multiple reading assignments every week. Most readings come from scholarly journals and will be provided via UF Course Reserves. There are 12 writing assignments in this course. The student’s grade depends on the ability to think critically about the assigned readings and to write clearly, correctly and well. Active participation in class discussions also contributes to the student’s final grade.

The fall 2012 semester has ended

This is the concluding post in this blog for 2012. This blog was used to run a university course completely from a free blog. Fall 2012 was the second time I ran the course this way (the first was in Fall 2010).

If you are curious about this course, please have a look at these links:

  • About This Course will give you a brief overview of the purpose of the course.
  • Required Work will show you what the students had to do.
  • All posts in the Assignments category will show you exactly what students had to produce each week in their individual blogs.
  • The first assignment instructed students to set up an individual blog for use in this course.

Most of the readings for this course were taken from academic journals, to which students had access via our university library. To see a full reference list of the readings, view the Readings PDF (2 pages, 78 KB). Some of these will be replaced when I teach the course in the future, but some will be retained.