How Has a Seminar about News Media Impacted my View on the Topic?
I was already quite interested in news and news criticism before this semester’s seminar named “Inside the News Media”. I was regularly looking for the newest updates of a bunch of newspapers on facebook, watching critical tv and internet formats, either investigative journalism or political cabaret, and trying to figure out how to see things from different perspectives. However, this seminar changed the way I was looking at news and I definitely think it has broadened my horizon. It provided me some interesting background knowledge of how media and jounalism work.
Furthermore these blog posts we had to do every second week — besides putting me under pressure — helped me to improve looking for topics and writing about them. By doing critical comments the other weeks we could see what some of the others were writing and put ourselves in the position of (lay) critics. This seminar put me into the position to write (about a topic I like) in a foreign language on a regular basis, and even feel like that could mean something to others as it was published on this very website and read by more people than just my tutor (in didactics we learn that the outcome of our future students need to be relevant to them by being accessible and and also relevant to others, and this is just how it should work, I think). I think I, unfortunately, have not had anything comparable in other seminars.
So but how did all of this actually change my perception of media? As a start, knowing some basics about media theory, e.g. Chomsky’s propaganda theory, influenced how I perceived news. I was already trying to get to the bottom of news reporting before, but on a different level. Since I learned about some of the backgrounds of reporting, I started looking for more reasons of why specific news were published in particular TV programs or newspapers. Could it be that there is some kind of political or economic agenda behind it? Is this just a piece of churnalism? What is the authors personal opinion? Am I reading/watching this out of my echo chamber? Do I properly reflect my views? (Btw, what comes just now to my mind is that my personal favorite topic, the credibility of news and the rise of hoaxes, trolls, and conspiracies, was not really examined, although I think this is becoming increasinlgy important).
Also my routine to look onto my facebook and youtube news feeds changed. Since I had to find topics for my blog I viewed every article or video concerning its suitability to become part of m next blog. Now I have a lot of bookmarks of sources which I considered possibly adequate to write about. Up until now I have really enjoyed selecting this seminar (apart from it beginning already at 8am). I hope I will take some time in future to continue writing on this lovely website about the endless topics to come.