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Multimedia News Storytelling as Digital Literacies

A Genre-Aware Approach to Online Journalism Education

Yang Song

New media has brought constant evolution to professional journalism practices and news genres. Online news practices challenge the occupational jurisdiction of journalism with a multiplicity of conflicting and competing journalistic ideals. In order to prepare journalism students to meet the demands of online journalism today, journalism schools have developed courses that emphasize journalistic practice on online news platforms and tools, such as Twitter,, Soundslides Plus, etc.

Drawing on the theoretical lens of digital literacies, Multimedia News Storytelling as Digital Literacies problematizes the emphasis on transmission of certain professional values and news formats without raising students’ critical awareness that there can be diversity of values. Methodologically, the present study proposes a genre-aware, semiotic-aware, critical framework that aims at analyzing digital literacies required and practiced by online journalists. It simultaneously encompasses dimensions of professional culture, professional practices, and abstraction of instantiated meaning making via multimodal semiotic resources.

Multimedia News Storytelling as Digital Literacies is ideal for courses in journalism and mass communication, curriculum studies, and digital literacies. The book is a valuable resource for online journalism educators, journalism students, and online journalism practitioners.

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Chapter 4. Methodology


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This chapter discusses the research methodology of the present study. In Section 4.1, the question of “what is a case” is discussed in relation to the research questions and the theoretical framework. Section 4.2 elaborates on the triangulation of four research methods, i.e., classroom observations, interviews, document/textual analysis and questionnaire surveys. The relationship among the methods is clarified in the same section while each of the methods is set out in detail in the subsequent sections (Sections 4.3 to 4.6). Section 4.5, in particular, gives an account of the analytical frameworks used to analyze the data collected by multiple methods, including critical discourse analysis and content analysis. Finally, the issue of research ethics is elaborated in Section 4.7.

Case Study

Although the notion of a case is “one of many basic methodological constructs that have become distorted or corrupted over time” (Ragin, 1992, p. 3), case study remains one of the most common methods in social sciences ← 113 | 114 → and educational research (Merriam, 2002). In the present educational investigation, the legitimacy of a case study will be justified in the following three aspects: (1) why the present study adopted a case study approach; (2) what the present case was; and (3) why and how the case was selected and accessed.

As is pointed out by Yin (2009), a case study is most suitable when “a ‘how’ or ‘why’ question is being asked...

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