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We are all immersed in a complex and pervasive media culture, which makes it particularly difficult for us to recognize the complex relationship between media and society: how what we see, hear and read is in some ways the product of our society and its particular political, economic, and cultural shape, and how it also shapes our understanding of ourselves, our community, and our world. And at the moment, our media culture is undergoing a series of transformations – as new forms of entertainment, new venues for political debate, and new models of journalism emerge online, and as the established producers of media struggle to adapt to the challenge.
This course will interrogate how the cultural landscape has changed in relation to media and information technologies, how broadcast media and traditional publishing are converging with networked computing, and what implications these changes may have for society, politics, and culture. It will focus on cases drawn from new, information-based media – online news, blogs, Wikipedia, YouTube, search engines, social networking applications , etc – but will examine them so as to understand the underlying relationship between media and society.