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BLOG 12: The End is Nigh

As I was sitting at my laptop last night, refreshing Twitter and watching CNN, awaiting Obama’s announcement with breathless anticipation (okay maybe not so dramatically), it occurred to me how relevant the paper I researched for this class really was/is to my daily life. We talked about social networking technologies so many times throughout the semester and its implications for the news media and political communication. It was ironic, or maybe satisfying in its own way, when Twitter leaked the news of Obama’s big announcement a good 15 minutes before CNN even did.

That, I think, was the best part of this class–how extremely relevant the material and discussions were. The dissemination of political news, the evolution of satire, the effects of social media, and the changing structure of the political regime–these were all political and communication theories, in a sense, but they were also tangible theories; theories we could find real life examples to just by opening Twitter or turning on the news.

Materials-wise, I have to say that my favorite readings and lectures came from the Kennedy/Nixon discussions early on in the semester. Granted, I’m a bit of a history nerd and, as a Poli Sci major, a huge political science nerd as well. Still, seeing the differences between Kennedy’s campaign strategies and Nixon’s campaign strategies and then tracing the evolution of political campaigns and communications through today was not only rewarding for a nerd, but rewarding for someone who likes to think that politics has some relevance to her life. The information was new, to me, and the reading material was interesting and fresh, but I liked that it gave me a tangible timeline to draw from–background information on how political campaigns came to be the way they are today.

Relevance, relevance, relevance. I think in any good class, that is key, and even in discussing the history of political campaigns, the material we read and discussed was extremely relevant. I loved this!

On the other hand, there were differences I would have liked to have seen too, of course. The Sustein book wasn’t my favorite, clearly. But mostly, I wish we could have had more in-class discussions on some of the blog topics. I enjoyed writing and reading blog posts, but I feel like they could have really added perspective and good discussion to a class that almost encourages a Socratic-style seminar. I would have liked to have spent more time talking about current events, relating our discussions back to what we’re seeing in the world today (especially given that the Egyptian Revolution happened during the course of this class), and probing more into really interesting and unique theories like the Al-Jazeera Effect.

I won’t say necessarily that any topics were boring or irrelevant, because I think everything very naturally related to one another, and I greatly appreciated that. But perhaps next time, more discussion-based topics, rather than a discussion of the reading material, will make this class even more interactive, relevant, and fulfilling than it already is!

Thanks for letting me use this space to sarcastically remark about politics all semester! In return, have yet ANOTHER Obama manip. Thank god for Tumblr, really.

Nuz, out! xoxo!

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