Walter Lance Bennett
POL S 552
Examination of current topics in the theory and practice of political communication.
Topic: Digital Media and Politics
Description: The ways in which we communicate and organize politically are changing rapidly with the development of digital media technologies. This course explores the importance of digital media in contemporary politics with primary focus on political participation and political organization. The course will balance theory, methods, and case studies (primarily focused on elections and forms of collective action such as protests and social movements). The readings and discussions address important theory and empirical findings a rapidly changing field. Discussions will extend beyond the classroom to include a class blog that will enable us to continue exploring earlier topics as the course progresses, along with posting links and resources to illustrate and challenge the class material.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Topics include: changing media systems in the digital age; the future of journalism and public information; internet and the public sphere; internet and elections; participatory media and civic identity; networked publics; digital networks; interactive features of election campaigns; collective action, protests and social movement organization; and methods issues involving measuring organizational properties, content distribution and effects.
Texts: Michael Delli Carpini & Bruce Williams: The End of Broadcast News: Media Regimes and the New Information Environment (selections from an original manuscript not yet in print - provided by the instructor).
Henry Jenkins Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York University Press, 2006)
Class assignments and grading
Assignments: 3 synthesis papers aimed at defining key issues and research possibilities for each topic.