Posts Tagged 'new media'

Old and New Media

By Steve Byers

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that we need to change our thinking about media— let’s quit talking about “old media” and “new media” because it’s just “media.” A fascinating report from the public relations field really strikes home how journalists are both relying on digital media and using it for publishing purposes, whether they are working in a print field or now.

Here are a couple of points from the report, which you should read in depth, although there is a nice summary at Crisis Comm, a thoughtful emergency management blog:

−Journalists are leaning on social media for obtaining news. The figures are startling, 47 percent of journalists get new from Twitter and 35 percent from Facebook.  I use “startling” only in the sense that we haven’t thought about this because I find myself using social media for much of my news. I do prefer blogs rather than Twitter or Facebook only because I’m a news geek who likes news in depth.

− The study reports that journalists say online channels for their news content are more important than print. Many print publications are monitoring digital postings and using their number as part of evaluation processes. Both Twitter (54 percent of journalists use it to disseminate news) and blogs (54 percent) are very popular.

Finally, a comment unrelated to the study. The growth of digital really came home to me − a journalist whose career was mostly in print with some radio/TV−when I found myself quoting an “emergency management” blog. First, I discovered it totally because of digital media. Second, I found myself valuing the information more than its source − in other words, I had total trust in the news value of information that was created for the public relations industry.

The old barriers have totally gone, at least for me.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. Read his blog from the college’s backpack journalism workshop in Cagli, Italy this summer at

Celebrity Culture and the New Media Landscape

By Steve Byers

We talk a lot about how new media is reshaping the entire media landscape, offering users a host of new venues. One of them is offering direct access to celebrities where fans can find their own news.

It also offers celebrities the opportunity to shape their messages, and more and more of them have moved into the direct news route with their sites spreading views, news and, often, direct sales of products. For example, sports celeb Mark Cuban (a millionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks)  has long offered his views on all sorts of things directly, via Twitter and his website.

It was almost inevitable that Charlie Sheen—currently the hottest name in the blogosphere—would open his own site, and with the announcement that “ is finally in the hands of its Warlock owner,” that opportunity became a reality.  It promises to be fun to watch, although I’m not sure how much solid information will be added to the global intelligence cache.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor of Journalism in the Diederich Colllege of Communication at Marquette University.

Painting with Pixels: Artists Embrace iPad as Creative Tool

By Jennifer Janviere

Ever since its launch early this year, the iPad has been lauded as a breakthrough in digital content delivery technology. Now it seems that the revolutionary device is quickly taking on a new role: that of creative conduit.

The champion of this movement (or at least the most famous spokesperson currently) is British artist David Hockney, a longstanding and influential member of the world art community.  The 72 year-old artist has been known throughout his career for embracing technology and combining old techniques with new media. Hockney recently adopted the iPhone as his new sketchbook, and soon afterward transitioned to the iPad due to its larger display screen. Using the “Brushes” app, Hockney simulates finger painting on the device’s screen. In the few months since he began using the iPad as a canvas, the artist has created a collection of hundreds of digital paintings.

Hockney attributes his fascination with creating art on the iPad to its tactile user experience. He has even admitted to becoming so caught up in the digital painting process that he occasionally catches himself wiping “paint” from his hands, forgetting that he’s actually painting with pixels.

A show of David Hockney’s iPad-produced digital paintings titled “Fresh Flowers” is currently on display at the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris until the end of January 2011. His glowing, back-lit images have been compared to stained glass in appearance.

From this writer’s perspective, it’s exciting to witness the creative community beginning to embrace new media and technology as vehicle for expression. While digital art has been around for awhile, the media still holds many untapped possibilities. I’d like to believe that we’re at the forefront of a movement that makes the process of artistic creation more accessible and approachable to the general public, while opening up new ways to create and display work. As respected figures like Hockney embrace such versatile devices for artistic exploration, hopefully many others will follow.

View images from Hockney’s digital art show online at

Jennifer Janviere is a multimedia specialist and instructor in the Diederich College of Communication.

A Week at Aarhus University/Aarhus Business Institute, Denmark

By Robert Shuter

Robert Shuter (far right) with people from Aarhus University, DenmarkAarhus is the second largest city in Denmark—a beautiful community on Jutland Island, about a half hour by plane from Copenhagen. Sponsored by two business schools in Aarhus, I  was distinguished guest lecturer for a week and spoke at Aarhus Business Institute and Aarhus University Department of Business. Both schools are keenly interested in culture and communication—as are many European business programs—and the Danes and  Swedes have been big fans of intercultural communication. Why? Since both are small countries —about five million in Denmark and 9 million in Sweden—they have to export their products globally, and that means understanding their neighbors in Europe, Asia, and even the U.S.  As a result, they take culture and communication very seriously and realize that without effective intercultural relations, the European Union—consisting of 27 Western and Eastern European nations—won’t reach it’s goal of becoming one, unified Europe.  So why invite me to Denmark to lecture for a week? Continue reading ‘A Week at Aarhus University/Aarhus Business Institute, Denmark’

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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