Discussion and study questions

Networked Ch 1

1. What is networked journalism and what are networked publics?

2. How was the first (1991) Gulf War covered (including what is the CNN effect, why did Cheney call it the “best covered war”?, and how control of the narrative was a achieved)?

3. What is the high modern period of journalism and what were the historical, cultural, economic and political conditions that spurred its existence?

4. What is objectivity and how did it come about as a professional norm and what biases come along with it?

5. How was the 2003 Iraq war coverage different? (How was control of the story lost?)

6. Why look at tech and journalism as “culture”?

7. What are the various models of journalism described and what are the ultimate goals of the elitist democratic, the deliberative, and the pluralist model?

8. What does it mean to expand the sphere of legitimate debate?


1. What does Schudson mean by journalism and how does he define it?

2. What are parajournalists?

3. He says news is a common locus of for 3 facets of cultural exchange: 1) information as cause; 2) news as amplifier; and 3) frames. What does he mean by each? 

4. What’s the difference between bias and framing?

5. What are the distortions associated with the quest for objectivity?

6. What does Schudson see as the main problems with journalism?

7. Why does he say political news demeans rather than enhances public life?

8. What is the public sphere and how does it relate to journalism?


1. Journalism is often criticized for not giving enough context. Why does this have a praticularly acute effect when it comes to stories about race?
Pew research on The Evolving Role of News in Twitter and Facebook

2. What specific types of networked journalism is he engaged in?

3. What does a race beat matter, according to Coates?

Networked Chapter 2 and Rosen Article 

1. Why are news outlets reluctant about the changing role of audiences/publics?

2. What was the debate between Lippmann and Dewey about?

3. What are some of the various ways notions of the public and its relationship to news are changing? (and what examples does the chapter give?)
4. What does it mean to say that News is no longer “naturalized?” (p66)
5. What are some of the benefits of audiences joining the conversation?
6. According to Jay Rosen, who are the people formerly know as the audience?  

1. Both Twitter and Facebook have the same portion of users getting news (63%), but there are differences in their news distribution strengths. What are these differences?

Stijn Debrouwere's Fungible 
1. What does Stijn Debrouwere mean when he writes that journalism is being replaced?
2. And what’s his hypothesis about why young people don’t care about news?

1. Why does Bell say Facebook is eating the world?

2. What two significant things have already happened that we have not paid enough attention to?

 3. Bell argues that there are three alternatives for commercial publishers. What are they ?

Chapter 3 Networked

1.     What were some of the first personalized news services and how did they work?
2.     Why were the invention of blogging and social media platforms so significant to news?
3.     How did early social networking online (like The Well and Geocities) differ from the social networks of today?
4.     What are APIs and why are they important for news?
5.     How are NGOs making news differently than traditional journalists?
6.     How are the roles of journalists changing?

United States of Secrets

Part 1

What prompted the establishment of the NSA secret programs?

What justifications did officials give?

What prompted Cheney to say to Hayden “make me a shopping list.”

What do these secret programs do?

What did Jack Goldsmith say the programs were violating?

Why were the personal stakes so high?

What happened in John Ashcroft’s hospital room?

How could Bush not have known what was going on and why did he ultimately shut down the program?

According to Bill Keller, why did the NYT not run the story of the secret programs in 2004? Why did they end of running the story in December 2005?

What impact does the FBI target of suspected leakers have, besides ruining the lives of these individuals? (This is not necessarily answered in the film, think in terms of the role of whistleblowers and journalism in democracy.)

What is FISA?

Where does Obama stand on prosecuting those who leak classified information?

On what charges was Drake prosecuted?

Part 2

What was the final straw for Snowden, according to Greenwald?

Why did the US government ask Gellman not to turn over the names of nine companies?

What’s the PRISM program?

How would you characterize Obama’s answer about secret programs at the press conference (in which he says NSA is not looking at content)?

What does Snowden say his motivations were?

Who is Mark Klein and what is the significance of his story?

Why are telecom companies “faithful handmaidens of the government,” according to Tim Wu?

What’s an NSL letter? 

How does the private sector engage in surveillance? How did they lay the groundwork for the government surveillance?

What does the FBI love Facebook?

What was Barton Gellman’s impression of Snowden?

What does it mean to say that we’re "living behind one-way mirrors"? What are the downsides to this reality?

Citizen Four

The extraction of private information about Americans without our consent troubled Snowden, but what were some of the other things that went on at the NSA that he felt were not right?

Why did he defect and leak all of those documents?

Why did he go public and announce that he was behind the leaks?

Who were some of the other whistleblowers profiled in the film and what did they do to pave the way for Snowden?

How is journalism portrayed in the film?

Chapter 5 Networked
1.     Why is journalism an essential public resource?
2.     What new forms of accountability journalism are being developed?
3.     What new forms of community building are emerging?
4.     What does is mean to say there are “new truths”?
5.     How does the book argue we can strengthen networked publics?

6. Why are net neutrality and copyright reform central to journalism and a strong networked publics?  

   Networked Chapter 4

1. What’s do the terms satire and parody mean?

2. What does satire and parody have to do with journalism?

 3.What was the Jon Stewart appearance on crossfire so popular and what did it signify?

4. What is ironic citizenship? And do what to you think of it as a concept to help explain engagement today? 

5. What is the appeal of satire and irony?

6. What’s the spectacle?

Data Journalism

1. What is data journalism?

2. What are some examples of it?

3.What is open data journalism and what are its benefits?

4. What does it mean to say transparency is the new objectivity?

5. Why does data journalism matter?

6. Why does data transparency (in data) matter?

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