Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Synthesizing and Reflecting

Bringing It All Together

The discourse conventions specific to the Internet have shaped how people see the Chicago Olympic Bid, among many news topics, in numerous different ways. Methods such as blogging, audiovisual, and new sites bring their own take on the topic through sounds, visuals and written texts. For example, individuals who post to YouTube may use sound effects or background music to drive their point and push readers to feel a certain way. Another, newer, form of media that assists in spreading news is blogging. The casual conversations of blogs may lead readers to have a more relaxed approach to the topic. This type of media also allows for a more carefree and opinionated portrayal on said topic.  As for news sites, we have discussed the alteration of picture and headline size. 

These alterations between websites potentially show the importance of the topic to each source. Also, the location of the news piece (i.e. homepage or under a separate link) varies greatly between the news sites. In our case, the closer in distance to Chicago, the heavier and more dynamic the coverage. Chicago was so focused on the city itself that the coverage of local media surrounding Chicago were put to the back burner. This coverage being from local nightly newscasts, and papers like the  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

One of discoveries about the topic that was left out of the conversation of the media we analyzed for the Chicago Olympic bid from the Internet news sources, including the all-telling blogs, was the very strong possibility that Chicago would not win the bid.  In fact, if we looked at what might have been the deciding factor in Rio winning the bid was that they pitched the fact that South America had never hosted an Olympics while Europe, Asia (Tokyo along with Chicago was cut in the first round) and North America had.  The media focus was mostly on President and Mrs. Obama and others pushing for the bid.

The media focused on whether the President should be investing energy in the bid; what the loss would mean, etc.  It was a real lack in objective analysis by the media about whether the bid would come to fruition.  This led up to the reactions to the loss.

In all, the Internet can display a topic on a much broader scale than any other medium.  This is because there are many sites that allow any person to be a media communicator.  For one, blogging is a common way for one person to get their point of view out on a subject.  In the case of the Chicago’s lost Olympic bid; blogs can show us what real people think about the ruling.  Perhaps they are a resident of Chicago who is glad that the Olympics did not come because they do not like the mayor, Richard Daley.  Or, maybe the blogger is a native of Indiana, who would have loved to go see an Olympic game in their neighborhood.  The point is that there are a million voices that can be heard through the Internet; so it can bring more viewpoints to the table and shape the way receivers view the topic.  Also, the many blogs can easily show what the cultural context of the receivers is.  They will tell their mind on what they thought of the Olympic bid and how different producers brought the information to them.  Many could note, as one YouTube member did in one of our earlier videos, that FoxNews portrayed the Olympic bid and its failure differently than other media producers.

Final Reflections

In regards to this project, the group faced many difficulties and advantages with communicating over the Internet. These hurdles have allowed each of us, as members, to find personal routes to conquering said tasks. Whether that be meeting in person due to lack of time, swapping cell phone numbers, or defaulting onto email as a different writing convention. Regardless, we found ways to complete the topic on time without losing much information amongst the group. We all somehow managed to stay on similar route.

The selection of the topic was not a difficult task. Due to a last minute time crunch and not finding similar times to discuss the topic, one idea was presented, and we collectively chose to work with it. Also, the currency of the news topic allowed for the group to easily find information. Since the topic was based out of Chicago, we also felt a certain closeness and interest in the topic.

If there were a few things we would change about using the Internet during this assignment, for one, we request it would be over chat. Chat allows for a quicker and easier way for communicating rather than waiting for a new post or email to arise. Also, being more familiar with Blogger and the means of posting information, formatting, and inserting videos, pictures, or hyperlinks would have been more beneficial for everyone in the group. Not knowing this information can be discouraging. Finally, having separate blogs for each group would have made this project easier to follow. Having to scroll through the work of everyone in the class just to get to our groups information for reference was a bit of a pain. Allowing us to format our own blog also would have allowed us to personalize the postings more.

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