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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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This book comes out of my first interdisciplinary research project that bridges educational linguistics and journalism. My greatest debt is to all the instructors and students who made the book possible by lending their time and support to my project. Without meeting in person ever before, the instructors kindly responded to my emails of research inquiry and agreed to shoehorn me in the media lab where the weekly classes on online journalism were conducted. It was their warmth, friendliness, and open-mindedness that pulled me through the anxious, self-doubting period as a novice classroom ethnographer. Being a participant-observer in class, I was deeply touched and inspired by their commitment to professionalism as both experienced journalists and journalism educators. All the student informants have spared precious time out of their busy schedules during and around the examination weeks of the semester to participate in my research interviews. Their reflexive engagement in both the interviews and coursework brought along an abundance of insights about the emergent and ever-changing field of journalism education in response to soico-technological innovations.

Nor would the book be possible without the funding support for research posgraduate students sponsored by the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong, and a research faculty startup grant sponsored by the Fundamental ← xvii | xviii → Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (JJH3152034, Fudan University, Shanghai).

As the book is developed on the basis of my doctoral dissertation, I owe a great deal to Professor Angel M. Y....

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