JOURNALISTIC LANGUAGE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES (UNIT B)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course, which is part of a research project that has been going on for three years now, is designed to give students the widest possible panorama of the new frontiers of journalism, considering the new scenarios introduced by the digital and ICT revolution.
Course contents summary
The concept of a future crisis in journalism is almost as old as journalism itself, and it could be the subject for a study on the permanence of rhetorical ideas in the profession. But over the last decade, certain changes in the arena of journalism suggest the possibility that we are facing a true paradigmatic mutation. These developments will lead to radical changes in the profession of journalism.
More specifically, the following factors are important:
1. The progressive digitalization of editorial content, so that an enormous volume of archive data is constantly available. This data tends to blur the differentiation between written and multi-medial content.
2. New technology (once again, digital) is increasing the facility with which the volume of content can be expanded, even when resources are limited (as in the case of television channels).
3. The consolidation of editorial companies, both vertically (in terms of production processes) and horizontally (in terms of the multiplication of the products offered). In the future, a publishing company, which will be more sophisticated from the financial point of view as well, will tend to ensure its presence throughout all possible channels of communication.
4. The increasing importance of advertising resources for all publishing companies, including those, such as daily newspapers, which for a certain period considered such resources to be of only marginal importance.
5. Changes in legislation which, in most Western countries, is moving towards the diminution of the rigid anti-trust barriers that had been constructed for the publishing market.
6. The personal computing revolution, which allows individuals from outside the sector to enter the market, at relatively low cost, by removing the obstacles that previously barred entrance. This also permits the development of non-profit publishing activities at relatively high levels of quality.
7. The development of the Internet has made it possible to publish a professional editorial product on-line virtually free of charge. This does not mean achieving large dimensions, but it makes it possible to reach a vast arena of spectators at virtually zero cost. These spectators can subsequently themselves take an active role.
8. The progressive convergence, from the point of view of supply, of various media – text and audiovisual content – onto a single medium: hypertext. From the point of view of demand, we can consider the progressively “cross-media” characteristics of the audience, whether these be readers, spectators, or, more in general, “users”.
Such considerations lead to the following developments (from the more specific point of view of journalism):
1. The chance to significantly and visibly increase the information technology resources available. It is difficult to understand the trend towards thematic specialisation unless one considers the enormous digital archives that are accessible on-.line in nearly all publishing companies. Such thematic specialisation, typical of contemporary journalism, takes the form of pages dedicated to a single theme, papers with an average of almost a hundred pages, endless talk shows, “instant books” and so forth.
2. The progressive trend towards audience classification. Considering the virtually infinite channels available, the demand for content specialisation is increasing continuously, even though the great general-information media remain essential vehicles and show no risk of disappearing.
3. The importance for journalists of thinking about their profession in multi-medial terms. For a time, it was thought that television was the dominant medium. Today, above all on the Internet, writing has reclaimed its position of importance, because it is used to organize content. At the same time, one notes t
1. Angelo Agostini: "Giornalismi. Media e giornalisti in Italia", Il Mulino, 2004
2. Angelo Agostini: "la Repubblica. Un'idea dell'Italia 1976-2006", il Mulino, 2005
3. Andrea Bettini: "Giornali.it. La storia dei siti internet dei principali quotidiani italiani", Edit, 2006
4. Milly Buonanno: "L'Età della televisione. Esperienze e teorie", Laterza, 2006
5. Fausto Colombo: "Introduzione allo studio dei media", Carocci, 2003
6. Giuseppe Granieri: "Blog Generation", Laterza, 2005
7. Giuseppe Granieri: "La società digitale", Laterza, 2006
8. Geert Lovink: "Zero Comments", Bruno Mondadori, 2008
9. Sergio Maistrello: "La parte abitata della Rete", Tecniche Nuove, 2007
10. Enrico Menduni: "I linguaggi della radio e della televisione", Laterza, 2006
11. Enrico Menduni: "Fine delle trasmissioni. Da Pippo Baudo a YouTube", Il Mulino, 2007
12. Marco Pratellesi: "New Journalism", Bruno Mondadori, 2004
13. Vittorio Sabadin: "L'ultima copia del New York Times", Donzelli, 2007
14. Massimo Scaglioni, Anna Sfardini: "MultiTv. L'esperienza televisiva nell'età della convergenza", Carocci, 2008
15. Carlo Sorrentino: "Il giornalismo. Cos'è e come funziona", Carocci, 2002
16. Carlo Sorrentino (ed.): "Il campo giornalistico. I nuovi orizzonti dell'informazione", Carocci, 2006
17. Riccardo Staglianò: "Giornalismo 2.0", Carocci, 2003
18. Tommaso Tessarolo: "NetTv", Apogeo, 2007
1. Chris Anderson: "The Long Tail. Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More", Hyperion, 2006
2. John Battelle: "The Search. How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture", Portfolio 2005
3. Yochai Benkler: "The Wealth of Networks. How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom", Yale University Press, 2006
4. Tom Fenton: "Bad News.", Regan Books, 2005
5. Dan Gillmor: "We the Media. Grassroots journalism by the people for the people", O'Reilly, 2004
6. Neil Henry: "American Carnival", University of California Press, 2007
7. Henry Jenkins: "Fans, Bloggers and Gamers. Exploring Partecipatory Culture", New York University Press, 2006
8. Henry Jenkins "Convergence Culture", New York University Press, 2006
9. W. Lance Bennet, Regina G. Lawrence, Steven Livingston: "When the Press Fail", The University of Chicago Press, 2007
10. Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searl, David Weinberger: "The Cluetrain Manifesto" Basic Books, 2000
11. Charles Madigan (ed.) "-30- The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper", Ivan R. Dee, 2007
12 Philip Meyer: "The Vanishing Newspaper", University of Missouri Press, 2004
13. Chris Paterson, David Domingo ( eds.): "Making Online News. The Ethnography of New Media Production", Peter Lang, 2008
14. Glenn Reynolds: "An Army of Davids. How markets and technology empower ordinary people to beat big media, big government and other Goliath", Nelson Current, 2006
15. Joseph Turow, Lokman Tsui (eds.): "The Hyperlinked Society. Questioning Connections in the Digital Age", University of Michigan Press, 2008
16. David Weinberger: "Small Pieces Loosely Joined. A Unified Theory of the Web", Basic Books, 2002
17. David Weinberger: "Everything is Miscellaneous", Times Book, 2007
The lessons include the use of slides and multi-media content. There will also be a course website (it will take the form of a web-log) on which brief summaries of the lessons will be published. This will enable students to compare and augment their notes.