Assignment Synthesis – News Consumers

The assignments in INFO 200 are meant to build on student knowledge of a community’s information behavior, understanding of peer-reviewed research articles and community-created resources related to the group, and a synthesis of our course content with findings about the community. Blogging and the other major assignments should provide content and insights for the successful competition of the research paper. Content can be remixed and re-used.

For example, this student work focused on News Consumers  as an information community illustrating the path from blogging, through the assignments, to a successful paper.

Thanks to SJSU student Michele Atwater for providing these assignments!

Community Description:

Blog Post #2: Describe the Information Community you are choosing to explore for the course and the research paper:

….Nonetheless, in continuing to further examine news consumers as a whole, let us concede that at least a few generalized characteristics become readily apparent. First, when considering the four key elements as outlined by Christensen and Levinson (2003) in the Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World, news consumers exhibit the following traits:

  • Affinity: News consumers all have a common interest for an angle of affinity in wishing to better understand the world around them. Therefore, they collectively search for data rich targets concerning the weather, local happenings, stock prices, global news, business updates, environmental changes, traffic patterns, police activity, neighborhood video footage, et cetera.
  • Instrumental: Next, a shared instrumental desire to seek out this wide variety of useful information via a multitude of low-tech and high-tech solutions propels the community to engage in collaborative information seeking activity. Whether that content be digitized, printed, audio-broadcast or televised, the interconnected curious community members strive to utilize the path of least resistance to quickly and easily obtain news-worthy information about their local and globally-ensconced environs in their busy day-to-day lives.
  • Primordial: Political affiliations or “deeply held shared beliefs” provide confirmation of the implied scope of this particular angle of community. In looking at the prospect of “tribalism” in the informational seeking behaviors of news consumers – an instinctual mode of comportment hints at contemporary tribes of opponents acting in a more primordial hierarchy of behavior. And their consequential adversarial activity harkens back to how ancient tribes might have engaged in a war-like manner of conduct when encountering other unknown groups to be perceived as threats – merely as a mode of survival. But when this archaic tendency is thrown into our contemporary existence, what impact does it have on the collective endeavor to achieve knowledge amidst this backdrop of entropic dissonance moving towards an end-goal of instant gratification for information gathering in the real world and virtual arenas?
  • Proximate: Finally, geographic considerations propel the information seeking community to engage in interactive goals of local and global proximity to include not only local towns and cities, but also worldwide interconnected destinations. Information seeking community members might opt to read a local newspaper in the morning before work, grab a newsletter at their place of business in the afternoon, and listen to a downloaded podcast on their smartphone or tablet onboard a plane later that evening in route to Amsterdam for a much-needed vacation getaway. Availability of reportage via print, media, and/or wi-fi access are contingent upon the resources on hand at any given moment in time within the respective locations.

See PDF for full post & references