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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 8. Conclusion


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· 8 ·


After a detailed analysis of the stated and enacted curriculum of the online journalism course under investigation, the present chapter will first summarize findings and discussions in the previous three chapters in order to answer the research question posed in the study. Section 8.2 and Section 8.3 will share theoretical and pedagogical implications of the present study. Section 8.4 will point out the limitations of the study while the last section will propose suggestions for future research in the field of online journalism education.

Research Question: How Could the Digital-Literacies-Informed, Genre-Aware Framework of Online Journalism Course Analysis Inform Journalism Education?

The research question of the present study is motivated by the research gaps in the online journalism (education) literature. Existing literature on online journalism tends to focus on one or two dimensions of online journalism, such as its occupational ideologies, institutional routines of news production, distribution and publication, conventionalized technological techniques, or ← 285 | 286 → online news genres. However, in comparison with the ideological and institutional dimensions of online journalism, online news genres did not receive adequate attention in the literature. When some studies used the notion of genre, the concept of genre itself has not been given a clear definition as it is used interchangeably with words such as “story” and “format,” while others drew on genre theories in organization studies and emphasized the institutional and technological aspects of online news storytelling rather than the generic structure...

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