Weight: 40% of final mark. Length: 2500 words.
In this assignment, you are asked to examine how â€˜single, dispersed actorsâ€™ — Means that A person can represent a group who share same opinions (Mancini 2020) in the digital media space — citizens, journalists, entrepreneurs, social media users, or others — engage in online narrative struggles around a complex global, regional or country-specific problem.
(My chosen problem is Gender Inequality) Potential complex problems may include, but are not limited to the following: the future of journalism, gender inequality, fake news and misinformation, racism, digital platform regulation, media trust, inequalities within the Global South, social progress, media leadership, human rights abuses, precarious work, the COVID-19 pandemic, cosmopolitanism, migration, climate change, decolonization, digital access, democracy, ending poverty & hunger, food sovereignty, economic and social development in Africa, or cognitive justice.
Take a moment to think: what problem interests you?
This assignment is supported by the Week 8 to Week 12 seminars and you should engage with these learning materials to guide the development of your assignment. The materials include discussion and exemplars of master narratives and counter-narratives in the media, journalism and debates around soft power strategies, the new contours of international media power, digital platforms, cultural cosmopolitanism and leadership in international media.
To develop your response, you are required to choose one particular type of â€˜single dispersed actorâ€™ (Mancini 2020), present their specific point of view on the complex problem, and then create a counter-narrative, alternative narrative or defensive master narrative in response. (My chosen narrative is Counter-Narrative)
For example, citizens wanting freedom who tweet their opposition to mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns, a point of view which you challenge by creating a new alternative narrative telling the story of front-line health workers.
Or digital platform entrepreneurs’ calls for stronger regulation of the internet around harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability, a proposal which you systematically scrutinize and unpack, before creating a counter-narrative based on whistle-blowersâ€™ revelations about companies seeking profit over the safety of their users.
Or ‘self-branded’ journalists who dismiss and disparage teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (e.g. calling her a ‘global warming guru’), a claim that you emotionally disarm with a counter-narrative telling the story of what young people in your country are doing around climate action.
Or social media users who find themselves entangled in the constant flow of online anti-refugee and racist interactions, yet believe technology is neutral, a view that you explore and link to the digital platforms self-branding, before creating an alternative narrative around how communication technologies are vulnerable to bias and abuse.
Your assignment should address, but is not restricted to, the following elements:
Snapshot of â€˜single dispersed actorâ€™ (Mancini 2020)
Actorâ€™s framing and point of view on the selected complex problem
Actorâ€™s media strategy for engaging online public opinion and/or responses to online public opinion
- Your framing and point of view on the selected complex problem
Your response (e.g. defensive master narrative, counter-narrative or alternative narrative) and rationale for choice of narrative type.
- Your suggested media strategy for engaging online public opinion on your response.
Your assessment of this specific narrative struggle as a means of changing peopleâ€™s thinking about complex global, regional or country specific problems.