Rhetoric & Composition I Rotating Header Image

Brainstorming remix projects

  • The playwright Arthur Miller said in an interview in 1961 that, “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” What does that conversation look like to you?
  • Page A1: what does it feel like?

Looking back at some of the context for the phone-less project: 

‘We no longer search for news, the news finds us.’

  • No matter where the students were from, the amount of information coming to them via their mobile phones or the Internet – via text message, on Facebook, Twitter, chat, Skype IM, QQ, email, etc. – is overwhelming; students are inundated 24/7. As a result, most students reported that they rarely go prospecting for “hard” news at mainstream or legacy news sites. Instead they inhale, almost unconsciously, the news that is served up on the sidebar of their email account, that is on friends’ Facebook walls, that comes through on Twitter. (Click here for more on what students said about ‘news.’)

What is ‘news’? To students, ‘news’ means ‘anything that just happened’ – worldwide events AND friends’ everyday thoughts.

  • Because Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and their counterparts are increasingly the way students reported getting their news and information, students were cavalier about any need for traditional news outlets, and in fact very few students mentioned any legacy or online news organization by name. Students wanted “news,” yes, but the term was blurred in their minds, as the same social network platforms that carry their personal news, also are the ways in which students get the bulk of their daily “hard” news, too. Rhetorically speaking at least, most students around the world didn’t discriminate between news that The New York Times, the BBC or Al Jazeera might cover, and news that might only appear in a friend’s tweet or Facebook status update. (Click here for more on what students said about ‘news.’)