Reflections on the New Media Issues Course
The summer semester flew by and it’s amazing how much I got out of just 4 weeks of classes. The new media issues course at Texas State University is part of the new media concentration and fit in very nicely with the others courses in the curriculum. It was interesting to take the course last, after taking all of the application-based classes because I had a solid understanding of the context of some topics we discussed.
The material for the class discussion I led was surprisingly enjoyable. In his article entitled, Social Science Research Methods in Internet Time, David Karp brought up some great points about the faux-paus of the industry. For example, he pokes fun of the media for calling “nearly every US election since 1996 ‘the Year of the Internet’” Karp 2012). My discussion centered around research methods for new media and I almost regret not learning about this topic earlier for some prior research assignments in grad school. Our final paper for the class was actually based on one of the articles I discussed.
The class discussions were very relevant to what I am most interested in in the world so I almost felt as if it was just an on going casual conversation with friends.
The most eye-opening unit we discussed was the issues with gender and technology section. Women are a minority in tech, yet the actual work involved with tech does not have a gender bias. I think this is due to societal pressures and expectations for women and the class almost gave me a sense a motivation to go out and break that mold.
Final Research Paper
As I previously mentioned my final research paper in the class was based on a study by Tami Tomasello of East Carolina University. My classmate Brittany Black and I continued Tomasello’s study on new media research trends. In a study that spanned from 1990-2006, Tomasello used the diffusion theory as a base to analyze trends in Internet-based research. In our study we tweaked the analysis slightly to focus on just research in 2012 that was published in New Media and Society. We found similar trends in Tomasello’s study, but also that there were new terms emerging in research. Some of these terms included YouTube and video. We also found that some of the most frequented words found in Tomasello’s study were in essence dying out in research. For example virtual appeared in Tomasello’s study 4.9% of the total words in the sample while we did not find a single instance of it. For more on our research see our presentation below:
I bid adieu…
The new media issues class was a great way to end my experience at Texas State. I have such high hopes for what Cindy Royal, Jacie Yang, John Zmikly, and whoever else who joins the new media team will do for the Journalism and Mass Communication department. In an industry that moves so rapidly, I feel the program has done a great job with keeping up and looking ahead to what is to come. After this new media issues class I am confident that I can hold my own in a new media conversation even if it is with a bunch of “brogrammers.”