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J611 Mass Communication & Society

School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
Fall 2018

Key information
Instructor: Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism
Office: 201 Allen Hall
Office hours: 1pm-2pm Monday, 2pm-3pm on Thursday. Other times by appointment.
Telephone: 541-346-7643 (voicemail). SMS/Text 541-972-5531 from 9am-9pm.
You can also email or DM me on Twitter @damianradcliffe
Class Time: 18.00 – 20.50, Monday 137 Allen Hall
CRN: 16975

Course Background
This class will look at the rapidly changing media landscape, with an emphasis on mass communication
platforms and mediums, examining how the transformations unleashed by the digital age are impacting
traditional media business models and mainstream media behaviors.

We will explore market trends (including market and consumer data from the United States and
elsewhere), as well as how media companies and policy makers are responding to changes in business
and advertising/funding models, alongside changes in content consumption and creation.

In doing this, students will be exposed to some of the recurring issues and themes which will underpin
their wider graduate study in journalism and communication.

You can find out more about this in the detailed class schedule outlined on the following pages.

Course objectives
• To deepen your awareness of important media issues and the intellectual traditions behind

• To heighten your understanding of the role of media in democratic societies, and their influence
on public opinion, policy and belief.

• To increase your sensitivity to the personal and societal impact of media.

• To broaden your appreciation of communication studies.

• To nurture critical thinking grounded by clear analysis and expression.

Learning outcomes
Whatever your specialism (Journalism, Advertising, Media Studies etc.) this class will equip you with a
richer understanding of the wider contemporary media and business world, and what this means in
terms of changes to mass communication and its impact on society.

In class and our assigned reading, we will deliberately go wide – and shallow – on a lot of different
topics, exposing you to a wide range of ideas and developments which you can explore in more detail
in a) your group project and b) further studies at UO. You will have lots of opportunities, through your
own reading, to go deeper on the topics and subject areas which you know already interest you.

Through this approach, by the end of term, students will be able to:

1. Understand and describe some of the major strategic challenges being faced by news and
other media outlets, particularly related to: business and revenue models, audience behaviours,
as well as distribution and content innovation.

2. Demonstrate examples of your own written research and analysis in this space.

3. Know where to look for relevant industry information/data/analysis.

4. Have a working knowledge of current industry, research and policy “hot” topics – as they are
developing in the United States and in other societies and markets around the world - which
can inform your future research and class work.

Learning Methods
These will include:

• Class lectures and discussion
• Out of class assignments (reading/listening, review and analysis)
• Group projects and in-class presentations
• In-class tasks (discussions, research development, pitching etc.)
• Writing-up your key takeaways from our classes on a personal blog/journal

Estimated student workload
This 4-credit workshop includes one class a week + assignments to be completed outside of class.

Assignments to be completed outside of class will include: reading, preparation of in-class presentation
materials and papers, keeping a journal to track your learning and analysis from the class, as well as an
end of term assignment; reflecting on a major mass communication and society issue of interest to you.

Some of this work will run concurrent with other tasks, so you will need to manage your time accordingly
to balance competing workloads from this class and others.

Graduate Courses
Graduate students are expected to perform work of higher quality and quantity than undergraduates,
typically with forty hours of student engagement for each student credit hour. Therefore, a 4-credit
graduate course would typically engage students c. 160 hours.

For graduate students, with 30 hours of class time (10 weeks at 3 hours per week), readings and
assignments account for another c.100 hours of your time this term.

How this class works
Much of the learning from this class will derive from you.

1. Students will work in groups of four to undertake a project exploring an emerging issue/topic in
this space. They will share the findings from their research and analysis with the whole class.

Where possible, you will work in groups based on shared interests and academic programs.

2. You will each present conclusions from your industry and wider academic reading to the group
(twice in the term).

3. Students will support each other by sharing their written reflections with one another, each
week, based on our class discussions and reading.

4. They will also lead in-class discussions based on these reflections.

Each student will work with a partner, once in the term, to lead our discussion on the previous
weeks reading and in-class lecture.

Typical format for class

Hour One Reflections on reading homework (this week) and discussion in class (last week)

- In Weeks 2-9 inclusive, this will be led by two students from the class

Hour Two Discussion of the main topic for this week

Hour Three Assignment of homework
“What You Need To Know” (group presentation and discussion on latest developments)
Look ahead to next week

Weekly task schedule
Task Deadline Who Frequency

Weekly journal: reflections 5.59PM, Sunday Everyone. Once a week (Weeks 2-9)
from class and reading.

Individual entry for “What You 11.59PM, Sunday Groups of 4 Twice during term, ahead of
Need To Know” Google Doc. presentation and discussion
(1 x Weeks 2-5 + in class the next day.
1 x Weeks 6-9)

Attendance of classes, and completion of assignments - on time - is essential. Miss the first and/or
second class of the term, and you will be asked to withdraw.

Non-attendance and/or failure to complete work on time, will result in an F for that task.

Please notify me, in writing and with as much prior notice as possible, if you must miss a class or if work
will be delivered late.

If you miss a class and you haven’t notified me beforehand, then I expect you to get in contact with me
ASAP to explain your absence and to agree the best way to catch-up on what you missed.

You should treat attendance in class like you would a job – you wouldn’t miss a shift in the newsroom,
or a day in the office, without telling your supervisor. Please treat this class – and your classmates –
with the same level of respect.

This means:
• If you are sick, let me know as early as possible. Not after class. Or an hour before.
• No, you don’t get class off if it’s your birthday. Or your roommates birthday etc.

Office Hours
My office hours each week are 1pm-2pm Monday, 2pm-3pm on Thursday. We can always meet at other
times by appointment.

Do use those times to drop by to talk to me about assignments, ideas for improving the class, feedback
on the things you like, or anything else you want to discuss.

The class may well challenge some of your assumptions and ideas about what you want to study, and
how this shapes your future career plans, so by all means come and talk these through with me.

Outside of my regular office hours, I’m happy to schedule additional meetings with students.
Email me, or pop by my office, so that we can arrange a time to chat.

Our classroom is an active learning space. It is an arena for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

This means that you need to be comfortable pitching ideas, sharing your growing expertise, receiving –
and giving – feedback, and treating everyone in the room with due respect.

Active participation is vital and expected. It is worth 15% (25% with attendance) of your grade.

More details on these elements can be seen in the assignments section of this syllabus.

You’ll be given a brief for each assignment with clear directions of what’s expected and by when. Please
see the assignments section on Canvas for this.

However, an overview of the key tasks can be found below:

Writing, Analysis and Critical Thinking

Personal Blog: Each week (Weeks 1-9) you will write a reflection on what you have learned that week.

Entries will be submitted by 5.59PM on Sunday each week, via Canvas.
Reflections should be 800 - 1,200 words.

Your journal is a key way to keep track of your learning this term, therefore it is worth
45% of your grade for the term. Each entry is worth 5% of your grade.

They will be graded as Complete/Incomplete – meaning all students get full marks if an
entry is submitted.

However, if entries are substandard (i.e. if you’re not really bothering), I will talk to you
about this and reserve the right to mark you down.

Note that entries will also be shared with other students, as a way to share your
perspectives and inspire one another. This is another reason to make them good!

Your reflections should include:

▪ Looking Back: Your takeaways from our conversations in class that week.
▪ Looking Ahead: Thoughts on our assigned reading.
▪ Latest News/Research: Lessons from your own reading that week (with links).

To do this, you will need to set up a blog on WordPress, Tumblr, Medium or another
publishing platform of your choosing. If you’ve never done this before, here’s some tips:

You will submit the URL for each entry twice:

1) In the assignment section, where it will be graded.
2) In the discussion section for that week, so that others can review your entry.

Failure to submit an entry is an automatic 0 points / incomplete for that task.

Pro Tips:
• Make your online journal engaging to look at. Use images, sub-headings and other
visual cues to break up the text and make it interesting to read/look at. How many
websites do you read that are just plain text? Exactly.

• Always hyperlink to the research, developments and articles you are sharing. In the
digital age, hyperlinking should be standard. If you’ve shared – or summarized –
something interesting, make it easy for the reader to go to the original source. The best
way to do that, is by linking to it.

• Make sure your blog has a title. Even if it’s just your name and this class.

End reflection: At the end of term, you will publish an extended reflection (1,200-1,500 words)
expanding on a topic, theme or idea that we discussed during term.

This may be an idea you’ve not previously written about, or one that you have – but
which you add to, showing how your thinking and reading has helped your thinking to
evolve further. You will also publish this to your blog.

Your reflection can focus solely on your own opinions and insights.

You are welcome - and encouraged - to include a new interview/s (with subject matter
experts) as part of this submission; as this may make it richer.

Your reflection is not an essay. Stylistically, write as if this were to be published on an
industry website, akin to the ones you are reading this term.

Where possible, I’ll try and get your best pieces from this class published, too.

This is worth 15% of your grade for the class.

Group Project

Forecasting: A key focus of this class is looking back at where we have come from, and what is
happening now. The group project aims to build on this by:

1) Looking down the line at the potential impact of emerging issues/developments

2) Breaking out of our North America bubble to look at issues in other markets and/or
to look at the potential global impact of emerging media and technologies.

You will be split into 4 x 4 groups. Each group will:

• Write a 10-15 page briefing document on the topic you have agreed with the
class. This will capture, what’s happening now, what might happen in the short-
medium term and the potential long-term (10+ years out) impact.

• Present their findings to the class + lead a discussion on their work.

You will be assigned your groups in Week 4. Where possible, you will work in groups
based on shared interests and academic programs.

In Week 5, each group will pitch two topics that you want to explore.

As a class we will select one, and together we will workshop your approach and the
questions you will address.

You will present your findings in Weeks 8 + 9.

This is worth 10% of your grade for the class. Each student in the group will be
assigned the same grade.

(However, you will be asked to assess the contribution of each group member – only I
will see this assessment – and if this highlights that a member, or members of the team,
have not been pulling their weight, you can expect to be marked down.)

Examples of topics you might explore include:

- Deep dive into understanding Media & Society in China
- Deep dive into understanding Media & Society in India
- The future of mobile
- The future of social media
- The impact of automation (on media jobs, consumption habits and content offers)
- Tackling disinformation – lessons from outside North America
- Privacy in an “always on” age
- How wearables will impact advertising

New Industry/Academic research + developments

“Info-Share” A key feature of the class will be our regular “Info-share” sessions, where students will
share a key story/developments with the group that they have come across through
their own reading.

You will each present, and lead a short discussion on your reading, twice in the term.

Each student will select – and share with me – the names of two different industry
sources which they will commit to reading throughout the term.

Through this exercise you will be responsible for helping your peers to improve their
knowledge of the latest industry developments. It is also important to get into the habit
of reading and keeping across these types of sources.

I recommend selecting one source which is in your existing wheelhouse and another
which is outside of your comfort / knowledge zone, so that it introduces you to
something new.

I will share a list of recommended reading sources on Canvas / Medium. A provisional
list of 41 sources – which covers more than the URL might suggest - can be seen here:

You’re welcome to add additional sources to this list, such as specific academic journals
or other websites that you wish to study/monitor instead. Just agree them with me first!

In the last hour of class each week (Weeks 2-9) four of you will share something
interesting you’ve read/learned in the past week. This will be in the form of a
roundtable discussion, and you’re welcome to pull up slides/videos, and other content
to help illustrate the learning you wish to share.

To aid the discussion – and to keep a record of what we have discussed/learned – prior
to class, each student presenting that week will write a paragraph in a shared Google
Doc – with links to the development you are going to discuss.

You need to complete your entry by 11.59PM the night before class.

Failure to submit an entry is an automatic 0 points / incomplete for that task.

Note: I’m a stickler for formatting. I’ll create default sizes for headlines, body text, links
etc. Please stick to this so that the document is uniform.

Blog/Journal You won’t just share findings from your industry / research reading twice a term when
it’s your turn to be part of the “What you need to know this week / Info-Share” session.

Each week you’ll also include two takeaways from your own reading as part of your
journal reflections.

When/when I can, I’ll also be tweeting out your recommended reading during the week,
so make the suggestions + takeaways good!

Grading Tasks/Weighting (subject to revision/changes)

Activity Tasks % of Points

Writing, 1. Personal blog reflections (Weekly x9, submitted Weeks 2- 45% 450
Analysis and 10, based on what you learned in Weeks 1-9. )
Thinking (Worth 5% each, score 0 for any missing entries)

2. Extended end of term reflection (Submitted Week 11) 15% 150
60% 600

Group 3. Briefing and Presentation 10% 100
Project 10% 100

Participation 4. “What you need to know this week / Info-Share” 2.5% 25
(Google Doc/ and in-class discussion) > twice in the term X2 X2
(2.5%/25 points each). (5%) (50)

5. Class Participation 10% 100
15% 150

6. Attendance 10% 100

TOTAL 100% 1,000

As you can see from the above, a key focus of this class is based on your analysis of the assigned
reading, and your active participation in discussions related to this.

The majority of your time outside of class will be spent reading.

Overall Grades
This course is graded for all students. The following chart applies to graded assignments and the final
grade. Note that grades will be posted to Canvas.

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

≥93% 90 87 83 80 77 73 70 67 63 60 59-0

How Grades For Written Work + Class Presentations Will Be Determined

Category A B C D F

Strong lead: Vivid, telling Provides Essential Not a direct Factual
Informative detail. essential information lead and/or error(s).
hard information. but lacking important
(summary) clarity, information
news lead or conciseness missing.
compelling and/or detail.

Essential Who, what, 5 Ws covered Essential Essential Does not tell a
information where, when and but story not information information story.
covered. why organized provided but missing and/or
answered. clearly with disorganized. disorganized.
Story / most
Analysis important
logically information
organized. at the top.

Appropriate Strong use of Appropriate Quotes and Quotes or Quotes and
use of quotes quotes, with best use of quotes attribution attribution attribution
and quote high in and provided. missing missing
attribution. story. Attribution attribution.
provided when

Clear and Clear and concise Basically clear Thorough Writing style is Unintelligible.
concise writing. and concise. editing inappropriate
writing. Appropriate needed to for a news
writing style (i.e., meet story.
Appropriate short paragraphs, standards.
writing and/or descriptive detail,
analytical active verbs, no
style. first-person).

Factually Mechanically 1-2 minor 1 major error 2 major errors Fatal flaws:
accurate. sound, no errors. errors. Style such as a and multiple Factual errors,
Correct inconsistent. fragment, minor issues. misspelling of
grammar, run-on, proper names,
spelling and comma splice, multiple
punctuation. or more than grammar,
two minor spelling errors.

Other factors which also come into the mix:
• Layout, formatting, for digital submissions. Have you used this to your advantage?
• Are you telling a story I’ve not heard before?
• Does your story have the X-Factor (it can be solid, but does it zing?)

Course Schedule and Assignments
This schedule is draft and is subject to amendment. Please keep an eye on Canvas for the latest version.

Note, this is a fast moving space. New policy developments, industry announcements and initiatives, as
well as research, emerging every week.

Because of this, readings will be confirmed in each class for the week ahead. The reading homework
identified here should be seen as indicative only. It will be added to – and refined – as required.

Reading contains a mixture of sources including: articles from the popular and trade press, more
industry focused – yet rigorous - research (e.g. from Pew, Reuters Institute, The Conversation etc.)

We also have one book – I will provide copies – to be read through the term. It’s very accessible and
topical, bringing together many of the themes from this course. Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased
Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech (2017), is written by SOJC alum Sara Wachter-Boettcher.

To accommodate different learning styles, where possible, most weeks, I’ve also tried to include one
video/podcast too.

Week Date Activities

1 Monday Introductions. Expectations. Why this matters.
24 Sept.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

Where are we now? A recent history of changes to media and society

- Digital Disruption - recent changes to the media landscape.

- Current media habits.

- Digital Society - impact on behaviors and relationships > what’s

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Special journal assignment: Media diary

In the next week, pick a typical 4-6 hour period (one where you are not sleeping)
and keep a record – you’ll need a notebook – of what media you consume and
when. This includes every time you check your social feeds, notifications etc.

Observe from this, how much time you spend on your phone, Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, etc.? How does this compare with “old media” i.e. reading
books, magazines, newspapers? What about watching TV shows, Netflix?
Listening to the radio, or Spotify? Did you watch a movie at the cinema or
streamed? Where did you consume this content? Do your best to log all of it.

• What do you consume?
• Where do you consume it?
• Did anything surprise you?

Now, for the next 4-6 hours, do your best to avoid accessing any media. That
means no social media, television, books, or music. Turn your notification off.

• How did it feel?
• How did you spend your time?
• How long did you last? Did you cheat?

Note: You may need to tell parents, partners etc. you’re doing this, in case they
try to reach you and wonder why you are not responding. And obviously do
respond to emergencies!

NB: To help with this assignment, you can also try some of these phone usage
tracker apps, but I personally find them a bit hit and miss:

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.

Reading (NB: most of these pieces, except the Predictions report are quite short)

• Technically Wrong, Chapter 1: Welcome to the Machine (p.1-12)

• Special Report from the Economist (July 2011)
o The end of mass media - Coming full circle
o Bulletins from the future, by Tom Standage
o How newspapers are faring - A little local difficulty
o Making news pay – reinventing the newspaper
o Social media – the people formerly known as the audience
o WikiLeaks and other newcomers - Julian Assange and the new wave
o Impartiality - The Foxification of news

• Watch it while it lasts: our golden age of television, by Ian Leslie, Financial
Times Magazine (August 2017)

• Are the New ‘Golden Age’ TV Shows the New Novels?, by Adam
Kirsch and Mohsin Hamid, New York Times (February 2014)

• What constitutes the Golden Age of Television, and is this it?, by Jeff Ford
(Fox Networks), MIP blog (October 2017)

• ‘Mad Men’ at 10: The Last Great Drama of TV’s Golden Age, by Sonia Sraiya,
Variety online (July 2017)

• 7 reasons you should pay attention to podcasting, by Damian Radcliffe,
Digital Content Next (May 2018)

• Experts Weigh In On The Future Of Advertising, by Giselle Abramovich, (September 2018)

• Key trends shaping technology in 2017, by Monica Anderson, Pew Research
Center (December 2017)

• Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions 2018, by Nic
Newman, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (January 2018)

• The UK Communications Market 2018: Narrative report (pages 14-27), by
Ofcom (the UK Communications Regulator) Tl;DR version (August 2018)

• Watch/Read: Mobile Is Eating the World, 2016-2017 version, Benedict
Evans, Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) Also available as a 30 min video

Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
2 1 Oct.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

The new digital overlords

- The power of platforms and the new gatekeepers.

- Silicon Valley: changing perceptions of today’s tech titans.

- Social Media - issues/opportunities for brands, advertisers and news.

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 2: Culture Misfit (p.13-26)

• Americans’ online news use is closing in on TV news use, by Jeffrey
Gottfried and Elisa Shearer, Pew Research Center (September 2017)

• Americans’ complicated feelings about social media in an era of privacy
concerns, by Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center (March 2018)

• Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook, by Andrew
Perrin, Pew Research Center (September 2018)

• “Facebook is eating the world,”, by Emily Bell, Columbia Journalism
Review, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia
University (2016)

• The Platforms & Publishers Relationship, 2018 – transcript of panel with
Google, Facebook, Huffington Post, New York Times and the Reuters
Institute, hosted by the Tow Center at Columbia University. Read also
the Executive Summary of this report Friend and Foe: The Platform Press
at the Heart of Journalism also published by Tow. (June-July 2018)

• Should platforms be regulated? A new survey says yes. by Sam Gill,
Knight Foundation (August 2018)

• Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology
Firms, draft White Paper by U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, published by
David McCabe, Axios, in “Scoop: 20 ways Democrats could crack down
on Big Tech,” (July 2018)

• Zuckerberg-Chan To Do List, by Eric Newton, Innovation Chief at Arizona
State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass
Communication, Medium (March 2018)

• “Six or seven things social media can do for democracy,” by Ethan
Zuckerman, Director Center for Civic Media at MIT, Medium (May 2018)

• How Duterte Used Facebook To Fuel the Philippine Drug War, by Davey
Alba, BuzzFeed News (September 2018)


• Social Media use in the Arabian Gulf, SOJC Demystifying Media series,
with Sarah Vieweg, User Experience Researcher at Facebook (5 min
video + short written Q&A, podcast 18:35 mins, 2017.)

3 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
8 Oct.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

New actors and the old media establishment

- How old media companies have adapted (or not); strategies, economics
+ content.

- Digital born entrants: Who are they? What do they do?

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 3: Normal People (p.27-48)

• What is happening to television news?, by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen and Richard
Sambrook, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (April 2016)

• 'Forever old? Why TV news is losing younger viewers, and what can be done
about it', by Ben Tobias, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
(September 2018)

• Overview and Key Findings of the 2018 Report, Reuters Institute for the
Study of Journalism, Oxford University, by Nic Newman (lead author, Digital
News Report 2018.) Read my Tl;DR take for What’s New in Publishing.

• The problem with real news — and what we can do about it, by Rob
Wijnverg, Founder of The Correspondent, Medium (September 2018)

• The Outline and the curse of media venture capital, by Matthew Ingram,
Columbia Journalism Review (September 2018)

• Netflix overtakes Disney to become most valuable US media company, by
Edward Helmore, the Guardian (May 2018)

• Netflix's history: From DVD rentals to streaming success, BBC Newsbeat
(January 2018)

• Vice Media was built on a bluff. What happens when it gets called?, by
Reeves Wiedman, NY Mag, June 2018 (See also: The cult of Vice by Chris Ip
for CJR in July/August 2015)

• Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook, by Andrew
Perrin, Pew Research Center (September 2018)

• Listen: Pick a podcast from the Media Voices archive, to hear how an
old/new media company is addressing digital disruption, or a discussion
of wider issues such as advertising, diversity or another topic that
interests you. Includes US, UK, European and international companies.

(Search by topic, view the full list of podcasts chronologically on iTunes)
Note: interviews usually start 15-20 minutes in after discussion of the latest
industry news.

4 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
15 Oct.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

Show me the money: making media pay

- The financial landscape and realities.

- Innovations from branded content, to sponsorship, memberships,
paywall etc.

- New players, VC’s, Hedge-Funds, Philanthropists, Foundations.

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Assignment of groups for group project + distribution of rubric

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 4: Select One (p.49-76)

• Advertising is obsolete – here’s why it’s time to end it, by Ramsi Woodcock,
University of Kentucky, The Conversation (August 2018)

• Project Feels: How USA Today, ESPN and The New York Times are targeting
ads to mood, by Lucia Moses, Digiday (September 2018)

• Does Facebook Really Work? People Question Effectiveness Of Ads, NPR
(September 2018) (3:41 mins if you wish to listen to it instead)

• Old media giants turn to VC for their next act, by Eric Peckham, TechCrunch
(September 2018)

• Here is BuzzFeed’s first pitch deck to investors in 2008, by John
McDuling & Zachary M. Seward, Quartz, (April 2015)

• Lessons From The Early Pitch Decks Of Airbnb, BuzzFeed, And YouTube, by
Lydia Dishman, Fast Company (November 2015) NB: try and read the
original post, not just the PDF, as this includes links/embeds to the decks.

• The Bezos Effect: How Amazon’s Founder Is Reinventing The Washington
Post – and What Lessons It Might Hold for the Beleaguered Newspaper
Business, by Dan Kennedy, Northeastern University, Shornstein Center at
Harvard (Spring 2016)

• Funding the News: Foundations and Nonprofit Media, by Matthew Nisbet,
John Wihbey, Silje Kristiansen& Aleszu Bajak, Shornstein Center at Harvard
(June 2018)

• Beyond the Article, Frontiers of Editorial and Commercial Innovation, by
Kevin Anderson, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (2017)

• Watch: Pick 3 x video case studies featuring different publishers and media
organizations from around the world in this series from Reuters.

Each video is only a few minutes long, most of them focus on revenue, but
there’s also videos on experiments with audio, developing talent and more.

5 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
22 Oct.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

Group pitches for research topics

- Group and class work to develop RQ’s.

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 5: Delighted to Death (p.77-100)

This week, apart from the above, select your own reading and research based on
your agreed Group Project.

6 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
29 Oct.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

Policy, Inclusion and Societal Impact

• Digital inclusion/exclusion, remedies, why this matters. Solutions.

• Societal Impact

• Activism, enabling technologies (digital inclusion, but also content e.g.
investigative reporting), digital openness (Government, Wikileaks etc.)

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 6: Tracked, Tagged and Targeted (p.101-118)

• The Real Threat to Economic Growth Is the Digital Divide, by Rana
Foroohar, Time (January 2014)

• The Unacceptable Persistence of the Digital Divide, by David Talbot, MIT
Technology Review (December 2016)

• Exclusive: The Mayor of Seoul’s vision for payments & inclusion, by
Medha Basu and Chia Jie Lin, Gov Insider (September 2018)

• The White House Startup, Led By Matt Cutts, Is Changing Government
One Fire At A Time, by Savannah Dowling, crunchbase news (September

• Social Media Use Continues to Rise in Developing Countries but Plateaus
Across Developed Ones, by Pew Research Center (June 2018) – see also
the full report for more on digital divides.

• When local papers close, costs rise for local governments, by Dermot
Murphy, Columbia Journalism Review (June 2018)

• How Facebook Has Flattened Human Communication, by David
Auerbach, Medium (August 2018)

• YouTubers are not your friends, by Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge,
(September 2018)

• How search engines are failing suicidal users, by Lucas Chae, Fast
Company (September 2018)

• Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so

miserable?, by Alex Hern, the Guardian (September 2018)

• Many Facebook users don’t understand how the site’s news feed
works, by Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center (September 2018)

How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump. By
Zeynep Tufekci, MIT Technology Review, (August 2018).

Watch: How NGOs blur the line between PR, Journalism and Advocacy,
SOJC Demystifying Media series, with Dr. Matthew Powers, Assistant
Professor in the Department of Communication, University of
Washington (November 2016). Running time: 55 mins.

7 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
5 Nov.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

Emerging Issues

- Data - the role of analytics, Ad Tech, recommendation engines,
algorithms etc.

- Trust - erosion and strategies to rebuild.

- Emerging Markets - lessons from China, South Korea, Japan and Africa.

- Emerging Behaviors - digital natives, digital youth, the future of voice

- Media Literacy

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 7: Algorithmic Inequity (p.119-146)

• Here’s what Americans say it will take to rebuild their trust in the media, by
Chrstine Schmidt. Nieman Lab (September 2018)

• Why don’t people trust the news and social media? A new report lets them
explain in their own words, by Ricardo Bilton, Nieman Lab (November 2017)

• Threats to Journalists in India: Journalism in the Age of Intolerance and
Rising Nationalism, by Furquan Siddiqui, Reuters Institute for the Study of
Journalism (2017)

• On the frontline of India's WhatsApp fake news war, by Soutik Biswas, BBC
(August 2018)

• Letter to the German Press, (observations on journalism in Germany and
differences from the USA), by Jay Rosen, NYU (September 2018)

• Alex Jones Said Bans Would Strengthen Him. He Was Wrong, by Jack Nicas,
New York Times (September 2018)

• Fake news. It’s complicated,” by Claire Wardle, Shornstein Center, Harvard
University (2017)

• A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A New ICFJ
Learning Module, (PDF) by: Julie Posetti and Alice Matthews for ICJF /
International Center for Journalists (July 2018)

• Listen: How Journalists Can Rebuild Trust, SOJC Demystifying Media series,
with Joy Mayer, Trusting News Project (June 2018) Running time 25 mins.

• Listen: Stories by, through, and about algorithms, SOJC Demystifying Media
series, with James T Hamilton, Stanford University and SOJC’s Seth Lewis,
(January 2018) Running time 22 mins.


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.

8 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
12 Nov.
Group Project Briefings (Part 1)
Presentations & Class Discussion:

- Group 1: Topic TBD.

- Group 2: Topic TBD.

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 8: Built to Break (p.147-172)

• This Media Startup Is Beating the Competition With a Newsroom Run by
Robots, by Shoko Oda, Bloomberg (May 2018)

• The world’s most prolific writer is a Chinese algorithm, by Douglas Heaven, (August 2018)

• Bots and the future of automated accountability, by Nick Diakopoulos,
Northwestern University Asst Professor of Communication & Tow
Center fellow, Columbia Journalism Review (September 2018)

• Detecting ‘deepfake’ videos in the blink of an eye, by Siwei Lyu, University at
Albany, State University of New York, The Conversation (August 2018)

• How artificial intelligence can detect – and create – fake news, The
Conversation, by Anjana Susarla, Michigan State University (May 2018)

• Implications of Voice for Marketing Purposes - A Market Snapshot Report,
IAB, May 2018

• From search to smart speakers: Why voice is too big for media companies to
ignore, by Damian Radcliffe, Digital Content Next (June 2018)

• Presentation: Media Manipulation, Strategic Amplification, and Responsible
Journalism, Dana Boyd, talk given at at the Online News Association
conference in Austin, Texas. Read it here, or watch the video from 16:00 tp
59:11 followed by a Q&A (September 2018)


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.

9 Monday Group reflections on previous week – led by 2 x students.
19 Nov.
Group Project Briefings (Part 2)
Presentations & Class Discussion:

- Group 3: Topic TBD.

- Group 4: Topic TBD.

“What You Need To Know” (group “Info-Share” x 4 students)

Look ahead to next week.


• Technically Wrong, Chapter 9: Meritocracy Now, Meritocracy Forever and
Chapter 10: Technically Dangerous (p. 173-200)

• 25 Years of WIRED Predictions: Why the Future Never Arrives, by David
Karpf, Wired (September 2018)

• What can we do for journalism?, by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Reuters Institute
for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford (September 2018)

• Stop Being Loudspeakers for Liars, by Dan Gillmor, Medium (June 2018)

• Dear Journalists, The War on What You Do Is Escalating: To fight back,
work together, by Dan Gillmor, Medium (August 2018)

• It’s Time for the Press to Stop Complaining—And to Start Fighting Back, by
Chuck Todd, The Atlantic, September 2018

• Presentation: Ten Year Futures (slides + video, runs for 24 mins), from
Benedict Evans (December 2017)


Weekly journal: reflections from class and industry reading.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: 4 students each week.

Group Project briefing paper
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: Everyone.

10 Monday Group reflections on what we have learnt this term – ALL
26 Nov.
Main Topic
Presentation & Class Discussion:

What’s next? Looking ahead and reflecting on lessons from the term

- What’s already here: bots, drones, voice, augmented and virtual reality.

- The revolutionary stuff: machine learning, robots, big data and the
future of work.

- The next 5-10 years. What can we expect? And what does this mean?


• 2019 Journalism, Media and Tech Trends Report, Future Today Institute,
(September 2018) Read the summary; skim per your interests.

+ Select your own reading and research based on your end of term reflection.


End of term reflection.
Deadline: 5.59PM, Weds, Week 11. Who: Everyone.

Individual entry/paragraph for “What You Need To Know” discussion.
Deadline: 11.59PM, Sun Who: All.

Course policies
As outlined above, in line with UO and SOJC policy, this is mandatory for this class. I don’t expect to have
to chase you up about any absences. Be proactive. Treat me, and this class, as you would do a job.

You are expected to be in class, be on time, and stay through the end of class.
Attendance will be taken promptly at the beginning of each class session.

We’re meeting from 6-9pm, which is dinner time for many of you. So, you’re welcome to bring food to
class, just be respectful of other when eating!

Because there are so few class periods, any unexcused absence will result in a one-letter-grade
deduction (per such absence) from your overall course grade.

If you have an emergency or a University-approved reason for missing class, please notify the professor
in advance and provide documentation; otherwise, absences are assumed to be unexcused.

The University of Oregon seeks to create inclusive learning environments. If aspects of this course result
in barriers to your participation, please notify me as soon as possible. You are also welcome to contact
Disability Services in 164 Oregon Hall at 346- 1155 or

Basic needs
Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who
lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is
urged to contact the Dean of Students Office (346-3216, 164 Oregon Hall) for support. Furthermore, if
you are comfortable doing so, please let me know about your situation so I can help point you in the
right direction for assistance.

Crisis Center
The University of Oregon Counseling Center provides students with confidential telephone crisis
intervention 24/7. The number is 541-346-3227.

Open inquiry, freedom of expression, and respect for differences are fundamental to a comprehensive
and dynamic education. SOJC is committed to upholding these ideals by encouraging the exploration,
engagement, and expression of divergent perspectives and diverse identities.

Discrimination of any kind, disrespect for others, and inequity in educational opportunity are not
acceptable. Students, faculty, and staff are expected at all times to maintain the School of Journalism
and Communication’s high standards of ethical and compassionate conduct.

Please see me if you need help or have any questions.

Academic integrity
The U of O policy on academic dishonesty will be observed throughout this course.

Plagiarizing and/or cheating will result in an automatic failure of the course.
To avoid this, you should read: Careers can – and
have been – destroyed as a result of breaking these rules. Don’t be foolish and make the same mistakes!

Technology – submission of papers and use of laptops and phones.
All weekly reflections, your group project, and end of term reflection should be uploaded to your blog
with the URL for this inserted into Canvas.

For the two extended papers, your group project, and end of term reflection, papers should also be
uploaded so that they can be reviewed and graded through the “Track Changes” function in Microsoft
Word. (I’ll download these, add comments and then repost to Canvas.)

With a few exceptions (see below), electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones, and tablets, are
not permitted. This may seem harsh, but it’s for the good of the learning environment.

Numerous studies have found that technology’s benefits are often outweighed by the distractions they
create (for you and people around you).

Similarly, multiple studies have also shown the value of making written notes. I encourage you to keep a
written notebook for this class.

Exceptions to this ICT policy include in-class activities that require devices to look things up—which may
happen occasionally – and the group presentations. But you should feel no obligation to bring a device
to class for that reason; you’ll always be OK without one. (You can email group presentations to me, for
example, in advance, and you can run them from my laptop.)

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please let me know.

If you want to know more about anything mentioned here, or anything which you think is missing, then
please do not hesitate to email me! (or pop by Allen Hall 201) at any time.

Additional Course Information: Accreditation Guidelines and Goals
The national accrediting agency for journalism education has required that all accredited journalism
schools assess student mastery of 12 core values and competencies that every graduate of a journalism
and mass communication program should possess.

According to the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), all
graduates, irrespective of their particular specialization, should be able to:

1. Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, for the country in
which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located, as well as receive instruction in and
understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right
to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in
shaping communications;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as
appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance
and impact of mass communications in a global society;

5. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;

6. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of
truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;

7. Think critically, creatively and independently;

8. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications
professions in which they work;

9. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions,
audiences and purposes they serve;

10. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity,
appropriate style and grammatical correctness;

11. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;

12. Apply tools and technologies

Instructor bio

Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon, a fellow
of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, an honorary research fellow at Cardiff
University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

He is an experienced digital analyst, consultant, journalist, and researcher who has worked in editorial,
research, teaching, and policy positions for the past two decades in the UK, Middle East, and USA.

Damian writes a monthly column for CBS Interactive (ZDNet), and What’s New in Publishing, and is a
semi-regular contributor to the BBC Academy and Huffington Post. He previously wrote regular columns
for Digital Content Next, MediaShift, and TheMediaBriefing (the last two are publications which have
now closed) and IJNet. His journalistic writing and analysis focuses on digital trends, social media,
technology, the business of media, and the evolution of journalism.

His experience encompasses roles at The Local Radio Company, BBC, the NGO Volunteering Matters,
Ofcom (the UK communications regulator), and Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications
Technology (ictQATAR). He has worked across all media sectors (commercial, public, government,
regulatory, academic, and nonprofit/civil society) and platforms, from print and digital to TV and
radio broadcasting.

Radcliffe has written, spoken to, or provided consulting services for a wide range of industry and
academic organizations, including:

Abramis Academic Publishing, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, BBC Academy, BBC Media Action, BBC
Monitoring, BBC World Service, Carnegie UK Trust, Cass Business School, Centre for Research on
Communities and Culture, City University London, Cognizant, Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), The
Conversation, Digital Content Next, Eyewitness Media Hub, FJUM (forum journalism and media,
Vienna), The Guardian, The Huffington Post, IBC Content Everywhere, IJNET,, JustHere, Media Development Investment Fund, MediaShift, Middle East Broadcast
Network, NESTA, Nieman Lab, Northwestern University in Qatar, nuviun, Online Journalism Blog,
Qatar Today, Street Fight, TEDx Reset (Turkey), TheMediaBriefing, The Reuters Institute for the Study
of Journalism at Oxford University, Routledge, What’s New in Publishing and Your Middle East.

He has chaired sessions, provided training and spoken, at events around the world including: in the USA
(New York, Portland, Philadelphia, Colorado Springs, Chicago and Washington D.C.), the UK (London,
Edinburgh, Oxford, Cardiff, Belfast, Bristol), Europe (Paris, Strasbourg, Vienna, Barcelona, Istanbul,
Amsterdam, multiple cities in Germany) and the Middle East (Doha and Dubai).

Find out more about him on his website. Follow him on Twitter @damianradcliffe