Enjoy(ed) It

It’s hard to believe the semester has ended and with a few exams I’ll be on to my senior year. But this semester has been one for the books. I’m not sure if I can accurately depict everything I gained from taking Prof. Robinson’s Current Issues of Mass Communication class. But I’ll try to do my best.

We started the semester off with 4 main points:

  1. Human communication has changed through the ages and will continue to do so going forward.
  2. Sci-fi writers are better at predicting the future than experts because leaders in the industry or business are primarily focused on protecting. (I took this point to heart leading up to my final project my watching some clips from the Jetsons).
  3. Every generation grows up with a different form of media on the rise.
  4. Young people always play key roles in inventing new media.

We then talked about current issues that ranged from sexism in media to network neutrality to the decline of print journalism.

And we finished out the year looking ahead at what’s to come. A challenge because, well, we’re talking about the future. It’s easier to analyze what’s currently happening in media or past trends and events that brought us to this point in time. But to deeply and critically think about what media and journalism will look like in 10 years — that’s an entirely different ballpark.

As to point number 4 from the list above, Prof. Robinson firmly believes that our generation is the vehicle of change for mass media. I believe that’s why he challenged us to think deeply about the future. He’s provided us with a chance to be on the forefront of the curve. I’ve taken classes where I’ve had to analyze and think about Plato and Aristotle or work my way through a complex piece of legislation. But never before have I been forced to critically think about the future of a particular entity over a course of four months. I have to say that it has changed the way I think and process new information for the better.

Prof. Robinson set up the class as a means for us to engage in lots of self-teaching, doing so by giving us a diving board to leap from into particular areas of mass media. This blog, while challenging to maintain at times, has become a place for me to both conceptualize my thoughts and improve my writing.

As a fellow strong believer in networks, Prof. Robinson demonstrated the benefits of growing and interacting with your network multiple times throughout the semester. He even used his network to publicize our work, which led to my debut on a major journalism outlet in a Josh Benton piece for Nieman Lab — a personal highlight of my semester.

But as the semester comes to a close, I’m finally ready to attach my name to some predictions regarding the future of mass media and communication.

Here are a few of my takeaway points from the semester:

– Newspapers may die, but journalism never will.

– Social media will become a mass media in itself and become further incorporated into the internet.

– Speaking of the internet, the Internet of Things is coming and it’s going to be pretty cool (more on that in my video).

– I now agree with Prof. Robinson that Google and Facebook are taking over the globe. Both companies are looking to hook the whole planet up with internet and in doing so will gain even more power. However, while I reference Facebook taking over journalism in my video, it’s not something that I’m condoning or want to happen. I just think there’s a strong chance more of our news will be housed there. 

– Periscope is only the beginning for the cross between live streaming video and citizen journalism. In the future, we’ll be able to combine all of the eyewitness streams into one video feed for a real-time experience of what’s going on. 

– Storytelling wins every time. Tell a good story and you can find a good audience. 

Last but not least, thanks for one hell of a good semester, Prof. Robinson. I’m proud to call myself one of your students and also one of your friends.


Clay Sutton


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