Take media object: [login to view URL] and you apply your theory of public discourse to this object. The main questions that you want to answer in this presentation are: Did this medium help citizens in the ways that I suggested? What particular features or aspects of this news medium did (or failed to do) what I suggested? In your presentation, show the class the media object that you want to analyze, and then analyze several specific features that do or do not live up to your expectations for productive public discourse. Provide the class with a written analysis that you can use (or read) as a guide for your presentation. Use the following example as a template to guide your written analysis:
Citizens must be able to keep up with ongoing issues and events, so their public discussions will be informed and relevant. The BBC Breaking News Twitter feed ([login to view URL] (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) offers a steady stream of updates about events and issues that are getting attention from the major news media around the globe. The news feed does not prioritize or explain which events matter most. Instead, viewers get a stream of short descriptions and links to videos and other informational sources, allowing individual citizens to decide what deserves their attention and what should be discussed publicly. More importantly, the 140-character limit to the Twitter app allows citizens to see and digest a great deal of information by requiring that each tweet be brief while also allowing each tweet to link to other sources and more information if readers should choose to learn more about the subject.
Citizens must be able to decide for themselves what are the most important issues. The BBC Breaking News Twitter feed (like all Twitter feeds), allows users to “retweet” and to “like” certain tweets, so that individuals (not experts or journalists) will decide what is most important and what should be the subject of public discourse. Additionally, beneath each tweet are numbers showing how many times a tweet has been re-tweeted or liked. These two numbers (the number of retweets and likes) allows readers to see, at a glance, what most matters in public discourse.
Citizens must be able to talk among themselves, so that their opinions, their ideas, and their perspectives dominate the public discourse. The BBC Breaking News Twitter feed (like all Twitter feeds) allows users to “reply” to a tweet, thus sharing their ideas and communicating, on their own terms, with other citizens. Since Twitter, unlike other apps, does not filter the content that users see, readers are more likely to see content that they actively choose, and they’re likely to enter conversations with a variety of people from a range of perspectives.