Announcing All-New Site

Thor, your MCDM crier here. Announcing for your literary and visual pleasures my final project for Evolution & Trends in Digital Media, Spring Quarter 2011.


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Is Wikileaks’ Julian Assange a Journalist?

The moment U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning’s leaks of classified data to Julian Assange were published online for the world to see on Wikileaks’ website, the debate over who is (and who is not) a journalist became inevitable.

When Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson signed into law a reporter’s shield bill which took effect on July 1, 2010, he did so with near unanimous votes of both legislative branches of state government and armed with the following legislative definition of a journalist: Continue reading

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Even the Town Crier’s confused: Politicians losing control of their messages

Close your eyes for just a moment and pretend I’m your town’s crier.

Given how loud my laughter can be, it shouldn’t be that big a stretch.


Why have politicians since World War II gradually ceded control of their messages?

Clue: Digital media are playing a role.

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Extra Credit Reflection: IM trumping E-mail? Not so fast!

As one with fairly mild symptoms of obsessive compulsiveness – as much a blessing as a curse – I find myself more able to focus on starting and finishing tasks in one sitting. If I need to avoid the temptations of instant messaging (IM) by text, tweet or laptop, I simply “silence” everything or turn it off.

But of course this is much simpler for me to say because I don’t yet invest much time utilizing expanded choice of content – the perceived attributes of which Dimmick and Albarran (1994) defined as gratification opportunities. This construct was first introduced by Dimmick and Wallschlaeger (1986) who eventually identified “traditional uses and gratifications framework in examining motives for media use” (Lo & Leung, 2009). Continue reading

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With Friends like Facebook, Who Needs…? ‘Like’ Extra Credit!

“It is like socializing without being social.”  –Debatin et al., 2009

Seven words is all it takes to define this generation of Facebook users – of whom I am one. Intellectually it seems shallow, but it feels so right from a convenience standpoint.

Ah yes, convenience.

When Illinois Governor George Ryan stunned the nation by commuting the death sentences of every person awaiting execution in his state eight years ago, he made passing reference to the remarkable convenience of carrying out such justice – expressing personal feelings of guilt over at least a dozen wrongfully convicted death row inmates.

In short, this wildly disproportionate analogy does succeed in driving home the point that convenience should not and does not equal common sense. Continue reading

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Reading Reflection: Corporate Control of ‘Boob Tubes’

As if it were the week before last, I remember my dad coming down with the flu and heading to bed late in the afternoon. It was still an hour until that evening’s Christmas program at church, so mom told my brother and me to watch TV.

Nothing good was on, but we watched some dumb show ‘til it was time to go.

It had started to snow, but my mom let me drive Tom to church even though I’d just gotten my driver’s permit. Halfway through the program, an usher walked up to the balcony and said we should go to the hospital right away. Continue reading

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Theoretical Framework for Media Owning ‘The Message’

Posit: The evolution from television’s Edward R. Murrow era to a romanticizing of print journalism during the Watergate scandal to virtual saturation of digital media interaction has ultimately caused all but the savviest politicians to lose control of their key message.

Vannevar Bush theorized in our COM 546 readings that a mathematician is not someone who manipulate figures; rather a person of “intuitive judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs” (Bush, As We May Think, Atlantic Monthly, 1945).

Of politicians, of course, the same is true. Continue reading

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