Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Online Community Storytelling

Topic: How new forms of storytelling engage publics in new ways

Key Points:
  • Journalism becoming more collaborative due to technology that supports two-way exchanges—>“Journalism as multimedia storytelling and multi-genre material has likewise expanded and the news environment in its production and sourcing and distribution is less hierarchical and uniform.” (Russell 133)
  • Audiences have moved from“reading public toward writing public”—> everyone can now be a journalist because the rights and means to create news stories and opinion pieces are available to everyone.
  • Greater ironic citizenship—>due to increased “fake” journalism being comical while still providing important narratives it creates a very compelling approach for engaging the audience.
  • New possibilities opened up for the public—>journalism isn’t reserved for just journalists anymore “Fake news anchors, gossip bloggers, and amateurs everywhere unafraid of offending their subjects or burning sources and unconstrained by newsroom editors and publishers run hard with information made available on the web.” (Russell 136)
  • Building online communities expanding perspectives—>very strong and large user communities being built online around shared interests and topics, fostering interactive participation through commenting on new stories, producing their own stories, collecting narratives and comparing them to one another.  
    • Ex-Reddit, youtube, twitter, facebook, tumblr
  • Data Journalism—>allows for the public to actually see what all these numbers we have access to mean in physical representation and it increases collaboration and public debate. 
  • Digital Media outlets—>”improve the quality of journalism by using new tools such as the CSI-style verification of social media posts and by allowing the reader not only to comment but to correct articles,” (; giving transparency 

Specific Focus:
How online communities, more specifically blogs, provide a new platform of story telling for the public, resulting in very strong communities that engage and share ideas on all sorts of topics creating user communities as a central interest.

Blog Pros:
  • They create a place for people to not only read stories and opinions but to engage in meaningful conversation expanding perspectives
  • Active contributions
  • Engage younger audiences to speak about what’s going on in the world 
    • ex-Tumblr

  • Self-esteem—>”People feel accomplished when they contribute useful information to the online community…members can gain a feeling of being needed and appreciated by others.” (i-scoop)
  • Some members turn to blogs to attend community discussions for companionship. They can interact and discuss things they like and dislike about all kinds of narratives.—> “Online communities can give people a fresh group of people to talk to instead of the people they see on a daily basis.” (i-scoop)
  1. Are any of you active on an online community of some kind? If so, is there a specific reason you joined the community and have you learned or changed your opinion on popular stories/issues due to online discussion?
  2. Do you consider blogs a form of story telling?

Works Cited
Meade, Amanda. "Digital Journalists Have Great Chance to Develop Much-needed Transparency." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 05 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 May 2016.
Russell, Adrienne. Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2011. Print.
"What Benefits Can Online Communities Offer to Members?" ISCOOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2016.

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