Proseminar – R. Yagiz Mungan

Digital Games as an Interdisciplinary Creative Process

R. Yagiz Mungan visited IU Telecom today and gave a presentation for the Media Arts & Sciences Speaker Series. Mungan described his interest in the intersection of art and research as it applies to gaming, interaction  sound, music, and architecture. His belief is that games are simply another artistic medium–like the painter’s canvas or the illustrator’s paper. Because of this perspective, Mungan applies Wagner‘s term Gesamtkunstwerk meaning total work of art that is the amalgam of many art forms in his study of games.

Mungan is currently finishing up his MFA in Electronic and Time-based Art at Purdue University. Recently, he completed a project named Breezes of… It is a game-based installation that toyed with the idea of escapism. In the game, Players explore a virtual tropical environment. External to the game, a real-world pinwheel spins depending on orientation and wind in the virtual environment. See a video of the installation below.

Proseminar – David Weaver & Lars Willnat

David Weaver & Lars Willnat

Are U.S. journalists really that different? A comparative look at the norms and values of journalists around the world

21st Cen. Journalists Book Cover

IU Journalism professors David Weaver and Lars Willnat presented findings from their soon-to-be-released book, The Global Journalist in the 21st Century, for IU Telecom’s T600 Proseminar. The presentation provided information gleaned from a massive survey of nearly 29,000 journalists from around 40 countries. The survey covered topics on demographics, perceived roles of journalists, and ethics surrounding journalistic methods. In sum, David and Lars found that U.S. journalists are notably different from journalists around the world. Compared to international averages, they are more likely to be older, male, married, and college educated. US journalists are more likely to endorse the occupation’s watchdog role and emphasize quick reporting. Finally, they are more likely to condone badgering sources, using personal documents, and undercover employment to find stories.

Interestingly, the findings don’t reveal if countries are becoming more divergent or similar along the aforementioned topics. However, most countries endorse quick reporting and objectivity and believe that protecting sources’ identities is an important ethical boundary.

Proseminar – Huub Evers

Huub Evers

Media accountability and transparency in Europe: First results of a comparative study 

On this Friday the 13th, Huub Evers from Fontys University of Applied Sciences shared his trans-European research project, which is part of mediaACT. One of the primary goals of his research was to evaluate the strength of accountability  and self-regulation that occurs in journalism on and offline. I found his information on online accountability most interesting. He described that contemporary online journalism often asks journalists to maintain professional profiles, provide links to sources, and be sensitive to consumer’s feedback via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, in surveying 1,732 journalists, Huub found that they tend to be ambivalent about accountability instruments (e.g., press councils) and they believe that consumer criticisms are largely misinformed due to their lack of expertise.

Huub’s research that began in January 2010 will continue until the Summer of 2013. The final goal is to submit policy suggestions to the European Union aimed to strengthen self and press regulation.

Proseminar – Gunn Sara Enli

Gunn Sara Enli

Social Media and Election Campaigns 

In a uncommon, long-format presentation, Gunn Enli from the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Olso shared her preliminary analyses surrounding twitter and the upcoming 2012 US election. Specifically, her research team investigated what characterizes the dynamics between social media and mainstream media in political agenda-setting, and how this dynamic impacts the relationship between national and global public spheres.

Gunn justifies her research suggesting that social media changes the nature of political communication and is a new area for power negotiations and agenda-setting. Her findings imply that twitter is now used by all candidates but the typical user is a young, republican. Moreover, rather than using social media to interact with others, politicians tweet to broadcast favorable messages or attacks on rivals. Interestingly, Gunn’s team also found that journalists act as gatekeepers of information on twitter, as they only follow and popularize the political elites.