Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Essay 2 - instruction

Back when the course started, in the beginning of September, I wrote:

"You have to write an individual essay twice during the course; one in the beginning and one more right when the course ends. Writing these essays are compulsory."

The time to write the concluding second essay has now come. This essay replaces other forms of course evaluations. Do note that it is compulsory to write this essay and you will not get your course credits registered if you haven't written both essays (for those who for some reasons did not write the first essay, see further instructions below).



Please download and use the template that is available in Bilda ("Documents/FoM essay 2") when you write your text. Use your family name when you name your file ("Pargman essay 2") and upload it to the "drop box" that has been created exclusively for this purpose in Bilda ("Contents/Essay 2"). Do note that you can only upload the file formats .doc, .docx (MS Word) or .pdf to the drop box.

The deadline for handing in the essay is Sunday December 22 (16.00), i.e. ten days after the final presentation. Do note that English or Swedish is ok. If you miss the deadline, there is a new deadline on Saturday Jan 18 at 12.00 (officially last day of the autumn semester). The task below is neither very comprehensive nor time-consuming, but please do set some time off to sit down and reflect upon the course when you write the essay!

The essay consists of three parts:

1A. "Instead of a course evaluation".
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) best things about the course?
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) worst things about the course?
- What are your (perhaps two or three) suggestions for how to change/improve the course?
- What is the most important advice you can give to the students who will take the course next year?

You are of course allowed to posit more than three suggestions (etc.), but plese don't answer each question with just a few words or a sentence each. State your opinions and then exemplify, explain and back them up. We will not specify a set length, but do not just enumerate stuff without also including (at least a brief) explanation of each.

1B. "The project"

Taking into account that this is a project course, we are interested in creating structures for the project phase (Oct-Dec) that help project groups work with limited resources (primarily time) and still deliver high-quality results. Here are some questions to help you think about these issues (use the list below for inspiration, not as a checklist):
- How would you evaluate your project group's work effort? Are you happy with it?
- Was the work effort in the group more or less well distributed among group members or did some group members work a lot more or a lot less than others?
- Did you reach the quality you aimed/wished for in the allotted time and with the resources available? Why/why not?
- Did group members have similar priorities, or did you have different opinions about some (important) things? How did you resolve them?
- How much (or little) have you enjoyed working with your project group?
- Knowing what you know now, what could/should you have done differently during the project phase of the course?

NOTE: we ask this question because 1) we have little insights into the work processes of individual project groups during the last few months and 2) we want to learn more so as to be able to improve instructions and advice for project groups next year. Your comments might thus refer to "mistakes" or unfortunate decisions you made in your group as well as aspects of the course that could be improved in order to clarify and support the work of the project groups better.

1C. "Closing the circle"
Go back and re-read the essay you handed in at the beginning of the term (if you absolutely can't locate it, send a mail to Daniel Pargman who will find it and return it to you).

In that first essay (the instructions are here) you wrote about A) your "expectations and apprehensions" regarding the course and B) about your "relationship to news". What has changed and what hasn't since you wrote that first essay? Did the course live up to your expectations or did you apprehensions come true? Has your relationship to news changed since then or is it still the same?

Please write no less than 400 words (1 page) and no more than 1000 words (2.5 pages) on topic 1B and 1C together.

For those (few) who did not hand in essay 1:
I will anonymize and distribute eight different essays to you (making sure that none of them comes from any members of your own project group). Instead of 1C above, you will summarize these essays and furthermore see if you can find patterns that several students agree on (or important stuff people disagree on). I will send further instructions together with the essays. It might be the case that you will not be able to complete this task before Dec 23 (depending on how early or late you classmates submit their second essays and taking into account that I am on vacation in Argentina right now).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Final presentation jury members

We have four members of the jury for the final presentation. There will not be time for all members of the jury to express opinions about every group's presentation. In fact, my guess is that perhaps two members of the jury will be able to comment on each group's presentation and the comments might for the most part be feedback and opinions/reviews rather than questions (there is unfortunately not so much time for that).

These are the member of the jury:

- Ola Henriksson, Editorial project manager at Svenska Dagbladet (SvD)
- Kristina Bürén, Consultant in Digital Strategy & Management at Connecta
- Milad Hosseinzadeh, Ba(h) Dip.M.Arch - Architect, Entrepreneur and ex-guest teacher at KTH/Architecture
- Pedro Hernandez, KTH Media Technology master's student and STIMDI board member


About: Ola Henriksson is Editorial project manager at Svenska Dagbladet. He has been working as editor and news editor almost since the launch of digital news operations at Svenska Dagbladet. He has been deeply involved in several projects regarding the development of the news site SvD.se during the last seven years

About: Kristina Bürén is a Consultant in Digital Strategy & Management at Connecta - helping companies develop and implement digital strategies and build digital business. Kristina is also a board member at GotaMedia. She is specialized in mobile and digital media, digital media publishing strategies and media business development. She has nine years of professional experience from the Media Industry, and was up until this spring Managing Director at WAN-IFRA Nordic (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers). Kristina has studied Media Technology at KTH (me00).

About: Milad Hossainzadeh is an architect and entrepreneur who was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and partly in London where he received his Masters from UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture. He is currently based in Stockholm, working at the leading Scandinavian architectural firm White. He shares his time as a member of Urban Land Institute and working strategically with international relations within the field s architecture, urban design, business development and start-ups. As an architect, he has an interest in optimizing the power of cultural innovation and systematic root thinking.

About: Pedro Hernandez started his studies at KTH in the media technology program.  He is now a second year student of the Human Computer Interaction masters where he focuses on interaction design.  He was born in Colombia and has previously studied in USA and Japan.  He is a member of the board at STIMDI, a non profit organization where people interested in usability are gathered.  His next project is his master thesis which will be done at SVT (the swedish public service broadcaster), where he also works at the moment.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Grading - criteria for judging project groups' performance

We have updated the criteria for judging and grading project groups' work this year. This blog post will tell you what we are looking for. You can use the criteria below as a checklist of sorts.

This might also be a very good point in time to have a look at the course PM again since there is information about examination etc there.

Please note that the course formally consists of two parts:
- LIT1 (3 credits, pass/fail) - based on individual performance primarily during the start-up phase, BUT, don't forget that you will need to hand in a second essay at the very end of the course in order to get your grade reported (instructions will follow later).
- PRO1 (7 credits, A-E) - project work, see further below.

According to the course PM, each group SHALL at the end of the course:
- write a text/book chapter
- develop a design representation - "gestaltning" (the form most often chosen is a short movie, but other forms are also possible or positively encouraged!).
- present you project at the final presentation

Some of the criteria below are more relevant to the text, some to the design representation and some to the final presentation. Do also note that not just the results (see above) of your work will be judged, but also the process - "much like a bachelor's or a master's thesis" (course PM).

Criteria 1 - Process. Running work that you have done since you were divided into groups and starting with the project plan and finishing with your last weekly status report on Friday next week.

Criteria 2 - High quality text. The text (book chapter) should be correct and easy to read (worst-case scenario: a text that requires a lot of effort to be understood). The text should furthermore have a well-developed line of reasoning and analyze, reflect and argue for whatever it is you want to say (and it's a much better to say a few things clearly than to raise too many different issues that point in different directions). The text should be coherent and with no internal contradictions. To explain and exemplify is fine. To identify, categorize, differentiate, contrast, combine, modify, conclude (etc.) is better.

Criteria 3 - Creativity. Your project (your Big Idea) will hopefully have a lot of "innovative potential" ("idéhöjd"). To what extent is the results of your work innovative, original and perhaps surprising? Are you onto something interesting and have worked in a creative way to "solving" the problem/challenge of your choice? Does your solution meet real needs? Does the underlying idea raise the pulse?

Criteria 4 - Grounding. To what extent are the project group's results credible? Are your solutions backed up and strengthened by literature you relate to, empirical material you have collected or own experiences that are relevant?

Criteria 5 - Professional design representation. Your design representation (most often a film but other forms are also possible) should be characterized by a high level of professionalism and craftsmanship. Does you design representation communicate the concept (your Big Idea) well?

Criteria 6 - Professional presentation. Your presentation should be characterized by a high level of professionalism; you have to be able to clearly communicate your message (your Big Idea) to the audience. Was the presentation well structured, was it fun and did the presenter(s) do a good job? You should also be able to provide good answers to potential questions you get from the jury.

Criteria 7 - Credibility. How easy is it to understand your solution? Are your conclusions/solution believable and convincing? NOTE: your conclusions/solution doesn't have to be probable or even desirable, but it has to be believable!

Criteria 8 - Coherence. Does the text, the design representation and the presentation cohere and interlink? Do they support each other (or do they instead pull in different directions)? Can the results be regarded as a well-integrated whole where the sum is more than the sum of the parts?

Good luck!

/Daniel & Malin

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Offload trends to the book introduction

It will be boring if each groups start their respective chapter by writing a page or two about different trends they assume will happen during the next 10-20 years - especially if several group assume the same trends will happen (the rise of the mobile platform, crowdsourcing, filter bubbles, shorter attention span, something about serendipity etc.). 

You can thus "offload" these trends and this work to Daniel and Malin who will write the introduction to the book. See this blog post with info about trends that were picked up in the introductory chapter in last year's course ("The Future of Magazines / Magazines of the Future").

We have created a Google form where you can suggest trends that you assume will happen and that you would like Daniel and Malin to write about - instead of taking valuable space in your own chapter to write about these things.

The form for offloading trends is available here

Do note that there are also group- or project-specific trends that you should hold on to and write about in your text - what we are talking about here is more general "background" societal/economic/technological trends that you have reason to suspect that also other groups will assume.

We have a tight schedule for writing the texts for the book, so you will unfortunately only have until Thursday midnight (Nov 21) to submit your suggestions. Daniel and Malin will review them on Friday and hope to be able to get back to you on Friday with information about which trends we will "pick up" for the introductory chapter. That will hopefully make it possible for you to write good "transitions" between the book intro and your own chapter. 

Do note:
- For the sake of simplicity, please designate one person who is responsible for your group's text
- This is the person who should have the final say in all matters relation to your text. This person should probably not be the person who is already your project leader.
- This is also the person who should come to the "work seminar"/"writer's workshop" (send one representative per group) in the beginning on next week. We have preliminarily decided upon Mon 25 or Tue 26 - the exact date will be decided upon at tomorrow's lunch meeting with the coordination group.
- Please have this person be the only person from your group who uses the form to suggest topics to offload (so there will not be mix-ups and confusions).

Good luck with your texts!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mid-crit schedule

- The mid-crit will be held in Q1 between 09.00-16.00. We will have outside guest critics - please impress them by being on time!
- Each group has 30 minutes for their presentation + questions and discussion. Please use 10 minutes for your presentation so that there is plenty of time left for discussions.
- Send all presentation material (Powerpoint/Keynote slides) to Victor Olsson (vaiov@kth.se) in advance. The deadline for sending your material to Victor is Thursday Nov 7 at 20.00. Large files can be shared through a public dropbox instead of by mail.
- Please also bring your presentation on a USB memory stick and/or a laptop computer (as backup).

Executive group member Victor Olsson is responsible for the mid-crit (he will be the master of ceremonies on Friday - Daniel will concentrate on being a critic). 

We have put together a schedule for the mid-crit presentation as follows:

Block 1
  • 09.00-09.30 GISMO - Geographical Information Systems for Media Orientation (was Interactive visualization of news) ("Get a grip on global news")
  • 09.30-10.00 You've got bias (was Manipulation and bias online and offline) ("Everything is biased - we show you how")
  • 10.00-10.30 Responsive news (was Individualized news) ("Have it your way")
  • 10.30-10.45 BREAK
  • 10.45-11.15 Newsify (was The future of audio) ("Get serious - Get Newsified")
  • 11.15-11.45 Future of Ads ("Not intrusive but exclusive")
  • 11.45-11.50 Wrap-up/concluding words (Daniel)
  • 11.50-13.00 LUNCH BREAK
Block 2
  • 13.00-13.30 Gossip (was News aggregators) ("Emotional news")
  • 13.30-14.00 ScreenWorld - Rise of the Second Screen ("Breaking into the future")
  • 14-00-14.30 Crowdopolis (was Citizen journalism & crowdsourcing news) ("We live it, we watch it, we report it")
  • 14.30-14.45 BREAK
  • 14.45-15.15 DEAFining news (was Broadcast new/public news) ("DEAFining the future of news")
  • 15.15-15.45 The Morticians (was Death of Reading) ("Quality news beyond the written word")
  • 15.45-15.50 Wrap-up/concluding words (Daniel)

If you have any questions about the schedule or other practical aspects around the Friday mid-crit event, please pose them to Victor (vaiov@kth.se) with a cc to Daniel.

Mid-crit information

The mid-crit is getting nearer. Here is some important information.

The lecture hall Q2 is booked for the whole day, i.e. Friday Nov 8 between 9.00-16.00. A detailed schedule will follow immediately after this blog post.

As has been mentioned before, we require your personal individual presence for half the day at this event

We have divided the 10 project groups into two blocks with 5 groups each and you should listen to all the presentation in your block. For further information, see the detailed schedule in the following blog post.

If you take another course which collides with this event, it is my firm belief that you should prioritize this course over the other course on this one occasion. Do note that Nov 8 is the one and only occasion between Oct 18 and Dec 11 when you are required to be someplace special at sometime special in this course.

As to the event itself, each group will have around 10 minutes to pitch their basic ideas and also to brag about all the work you have done this far (read literature, interviewed hotshots or ordinary people, done focus groups, surveys, drawn sketches, built mock-ups or prototypes, brainstormed a storyboard for a movie etc.). Each group will, after their presentation, have another 20 minutes reserved for feedback and discussions about their work.

At the mid-crit, you should thus concentrate on presenting:
- Your group's fundamental ideas, concepts, logic, business models, scenarios, vision etc.
- Describe work you have done in the group to support your ideas, concepts, vision (etc.) in terms of reading literature, collect materials etc.
- Please also say a few worlds about your ideas for a "design representation" that demos/visualizes your concept and that you will use during the final presentation (see further the course PM) 

Do note that the emphasis is on the soundness of your concept and your ideas. A successful presentation and a benign reception can be seen as a go-ahead to continue your work on the path you have (already) taken. Another alternative is of course that you get feedback that encourages you to veer some from the direction you are heading in (ranging from timid suggestions and fun ideas to forceful "recommendations" that you most certainly should take into account after the mid-crit).

We have invited three external guests ("guest critics") for this event - see below. They will listen to each group's presentation/pitch and then ask questions and discuss your work. Students from other groups are of course also welcome to chip in to comment or ask questions!

Do note that this is the premier occasion for you to get an idea about what other groups are doing in the course. Perhaps you will realize that there is a need to coordinate your work with the work of another group (for example if you overlap, or if there is a "natural" progression or fit (or contradiction) between your topic and that of the other group). This might also have implications for the order in which we will schedule groups to present their projects at the final presentation (Dec 12).

Our three external guest critics for this occasion are Åke Walldius, Milad Hossainzadeh and Ola Henriksson:

About: Milad Hossainzadeh is a young architect and entrepreneur who was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and partly in London where he received his Masters from UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture. He is currently based in Stockholm, working at the leading Scandinavian architectural firm White. He shares his time as a member of Urban Land Institute and working strategically with international relations within the field s architecture, urban design, business development and start-ups. As an architect, he has an interest in optimizing the power of cultural innovation and systematic root thinking.

About: Ola Henriksson is Editorial project manager at Svenska Dagbladet. He has been working as editor and news editor almost since the launch of digital news operations at Svenska Dagbladet. He as been deeply involved in several projects regarding the development of the news site SvD.se during the last seven years 

About: Åke Walldius is a researcher in Human Computer Interaction at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He earned his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at Stockholm University after having worked for 20 years in video production and information visualization. He is team leader for the Socio-technical Practices team at the Media technology an Interaction design Group and is an appointed expert in standardization. His main interests are socio-technical visualization, genre analysis and design pattern composition and use. Åke has been responsible (2008) and co-responsible (2007, 2009, 2011) for the course Future of Media at the Media technology programme at KTH.

Monday, October 28, 2013

One time only extra hand-in for all groups

As was discussed in last week's meeting with the project leaders, and as has been announced on this blog, each group has to provide some extra information this week only. We need this to be able to set up a website that will look as good as last year's Future of Magazines website.

On top of the ordinary weekly status report that you should upload on the course companion blog on Friday, you should thus also hand in/post a separate blog post with the following information:

1) The name that you have finally chosen for your group.

2) A short tagline, a phrase that suits your project theme and that adds meaning to it. It could also be an inspiring question/statement/proposal such as "What if...", "In the future...", "We will...", "Our dream is...". Some catchy examples from last year (The Future of Magazines) were "As long as it makes sense", "Discovering magazines has never been easier", "The future is made by you, not for you". Here is some more info about last year's projects (click on the images for info about individual projects).

3) A short summary/pitch (around 40-100 words) about your project. See examples from last year's projects here.

4) A large picture - choose a picture that you think represents your group and the subject you will explore (for example a logotype or a photo that captures a feeling of relevance to your project). The image should be 2000 * 1125 pixels (breadth, height). It's possible to provide a larger picture but the proportions have to be the same (16:9). See examples from last year's projects here.

5) A small picture (500 * 500 pixels). It's possible to provide a larger picture but the proportions have to be the same.

You might feel it is slightly premature to state/pitch what you will do, but the goal is to get a wealth of materials handed in so as to be able to mix and mash something up that can convey a theme and a feeling for promotion/ad/elevator pitch purposes - for example in an attempt to get sponsors to the final presentation!

The deadline for this "extra" hand-in is the same as for the next weekly status report, i.e. Friday Nov 1! 

Instructions for the weekly status report!

Each group should post a weekly status report on the course companion blog. Every course participant has previously gotten an invitation to contribute to the blog.

Do note that except for the weekly status report, you will in a short while be asked to provide some extra information about your group. This info will be used to present the course and the project groups on the course's soon-to-be-created public face - the homepage futureofmedia.se. More info will follow in a separate blog post soon.

Here are the instructions for the weekly status report.

Deadline: Please submit your weekly status report every Friday with the exception of Fri Nov 8 (mid-crit presentations). 

Content of each weekly report:
  • Group name. 
  • What we have done. What you (your group) have done during the previous week (since the previous weekly report)
  • What we will do. What you will do next (next step(s) in your project)
  • Problems encountered. Either within the group or in relation to you plans and "external" entities. 
  • Changes in the project. "Evolution"/change of direction of your project (optional). If you have altered or changed the direction of your project (compared to the project plan or to previous status report) - please tell us why.
  • Resources. We encourage you to also append other materials, for example a photo of your work process, a drawing/diagram you have created or a link to some excellent resource you have encountered (a text or a video for example). 
  • Other. Whatever you feel is important or necessary to add to the status report. 

Comment: As stated before, not just the final results, but also the process is important in the course. Please see the weekly status reports not only as us (teachers) examining you (students), but as your opportunity to tell us (and impress us with) what you have done lately in your project group, as well as a backchannel to point out obstacles and problems you have encountered.

If you encounter problems that hinder you to progress in your work as a group, do not hesitate to get in touch with Daniel and Malin as soon as possible so that we can set up a meeting.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hand-ins this week (Fri Oct 25)

To clarify things that have been communicated previously (including at the coordination meeting with all the project leaders yesterday), me and Malin have asked you to hand in the following things this week (today!):

- A revised project plan. We met and discussed your project in the beginning of the week. We think that every group needs to revise their project plans after those meetings (some groups more, other groups less). You should hand them in by mail to Daniel and Malin today at the latest (half the groups have already handed in their revised project plans).
- A short summary of your project. The summary should be "handed in" by publishing it on the new blog that you have all been invited to. That means that you can have a look at what the other groups aim to do in the project. It will be especially interesting for you to find out if your group is "close" to what another group will work with. If you are, you should consider talking to the other group about this. It is ok to overlap some and you might even find synergies (linking up or building on some part of what the other group does), but you shouldn't totally overlap and risk doing the same thing (solve the same problem, suggest the very same solution etc.) as another group.


at the meeting with the coordination group yesterday, we decided that the short summary (above) should be a text that also people outside of this course can understand. The plan is to use your summary in the website that the executive group will put together to inform about the course and to advertise the final presentation to people in the news industries in an attractive way. For your 300 word summary, you should thus aim at stating what you will do in your project; what is your big idea? What will you look into and how will you do it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Project plan review meetings (Mon-Tue Oct 21-22)

Me and Malin will meet each group for 30 minutes on Monday and Tuesday next week. All meetings will be held in the seminar room 1635 (house E, top floor).

You should spend the time until then discussing and elaborating your project plan. You can choose to send it to us (Daniel and Malin) beforehand by mail or to bring two printed copies of your project plan to the meeting. Here is the schedule:

Monday Oct 21:
- 13.00 Broadcast news/public service
- 13.30 The future of audio
- 14.00 The future of ads
- 14.30 Citizen journalism & crowdsourcing news

Tuesday Oct 22:
- 09.00 Individualized news
- 11.30 Manipulation and bias online and offline
- 12.00 Interactive visualization of news
- 15.00 Death of reading
- 15.30 News aggregators
- 16.00 The second screen

Lecture 20 - Fri Oct 18 (13-15) - Swartling

Time and place: Friday Oct 18, 13-15 in lecture hall D2.

Title: "Project TEAM work"

Guest: Anna Swartling, Usability architect at Scania CV AB

Talk: Successful project depend on a well functioning project team. But what does that mean in practice? At this lecture, we will examine and discuss these issues together. We will primarily focus on team work, leadership issues, communication and conflict management.

Comment (from Daniel): This is a lecture that has nothing to do with news, but all the more to do with creating successful project groups (and thereby successful projects) during the project phase. This is a lecture where everyone should listen up and pay close attention to what Anna says. You fail to do so at your own risk as this might increase the chance that your project group won't pan out the way you want - and with detrimental effects on your satisfaction about your project, about the course, and perhaps also about your grade. Do remember that everyone in a project groups gets the same grade - so being able to "debug" any problems in the project group can be vital both to your wellbeing and to your resulting grade from the course. Furthermore do note that KTH uses the whole spectrum of the available grade scale - you are in no way "guaranteed" to receive A's or B's or indeed even C's or D's just because you manage to hand in something (rather than nothing) at the end of the term.

About: Anna Swartling is currently working at Scania, one of the premier truck and bus companies in the world. She has a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from KTH. She has long experience of team work and leadership from a variety of different positions and businesses, including KTH school projects, team manager, project manager for computer systems development projects as well as being an actor and a director in theater productions, chairman of several boards and research projects.
Literature: Read Scott Kim's text "Interdisciplinary cooperation" which is accessible in Bilda (Administrative/Literature/131018 Kim.pdf). Although the text specifically treats the difficulties of computer scientists cooperating with graphic designers, the lessons are applicable far beyond this specific case.

Lecture 19 - Thu Oct 17 (15-17) - Hossainzadeh

Time and place: Thursday October 17 at 15-17 in lecture hall D3.

Title: "Exception = Exceptional - alternative futures through big picture thinking in a creative process"

Guest lecturer: Milad Hossainzadeh, Ba(h) Dip.M.Arch

Talk: What happens to an idea when approached from different angles and different cultural views? Is there a limit on how radical an idea can be? What then are the social, cultural, behavioral, economical, political, technical and ecological consequences?

This lecture will explore how lateral and root-thinking can highlight an exception and expand our perception of what is possible to bring onboard into a concept. In order to push forward, we will expose the consequences of the exception and create temporary realities where we allow for a critical discussion to take place. The lecture aims to involve debate and discussion as well as spontaneous questions, so feel free to jump in...

About: Milad Hossainzadeh is a young architect and entrepreneur who was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and partly in London where he received his Masters from UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture. He is currently based in Stockholm, working at the leading Scandinavian architectural firm White. He shares his time as a member of Urban Land Institute and working strategically with international relations within the field s architecture, urban design, business development and start-ups. As an architect, he has an interest in optimizing the power of cultural innovation and systematic root thinking.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lecture 18 - Mon Oct 14 (10-12) - Picha Edwardsson

Time & Place: Monday October 14 at 10-12 in lecture hall D2.

Guest lecturer: Malin Picha Edwardsson, PhD student in Media technology

Title: Carbon footprint of News Publishing

Talk: This talk summarizes the most important trends within the media development and discusses what environmental impact different media channels have today. Important questions regarding the future of media will also be raised, such as What will be the environmental impact of emerging media channels? And is it possible to create a sustainable media sector in the future?

About: Malin Picha Edwardsson has a licentiate degree in Media technology from KTH, and has previously worked in the media industry both as an editor and as a project manager with questions related to digital development and emerging media. She is currently working on her PhD with focus on scenarios of the future of news and environmental aspects of emerging media consumption trends.
Literature (attached): 
- Picha Edwardsson (ed) (2012), "Carbon footprint of news publishing", Wan-ifra research report: Shaping the future of news publishing. Available in Bilda.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shortlist for project topics!

Below are the topics you can choose to form project groups around. There are 20 topics in the list below and 47 students taking the course (excluding the executive group). I expect 10 or 11 groups to come out of this process (with 4 or 5 members in each group). Go here to specify what your 1st, 2nd and 3rd hand choice for project topics is!

DO NOTE: The deadline for specifying your preferences is Thursday night. I will work on putting the project groups together on Friday and you will get to know the results at seminar 4 (Monday Oct 14 after lunch). If you do not specify you preference, I will assume that you are equally interested in all topics and you might end up wherever!

DO NOTE: It is possible to form two project groups around the same topic if there is overwhelming interest in a specific topic. These two groups would initially have to work together to carve out two different and separate directions in which to take your respective projects. It's ok to overlap - but not too much!

I wrote a relatively long blog post about the Future of Media group formation process on my personal academic blog last year; "How should student project groups be put together?". Scroll to the last part of the blog post if you just want the basic facts. Read the whole text if you also want to know the reasons for not allowing students to freely choose who to work with. By all means also have a look at a second blog post I wrote last year about students' ambition, grades and the work load in the course; "Student project groups - ambitions and grades". 

Do also note that the topics below are only to be seen as starting points - the project groups can develop, change and bend the descriptions below in any direction you think is interesting as well as pick up aspects of topics that were left behind during the two brainstorming seminars.


1. Citizen journalism & crowdsourcing news
What is the future of citizen journalism? How could we all make it work? What would the advantages/disadvantages/implications be?

2. Individualized news
We will have 100% customized and individualized news in the future! How will this come about? What will the implications be (for technology, for behavior, for society, for democracy)?

3. Interactive visualization of news
Mash-ups of news events, maps, comments, discussions and video - what will the “whole package” look like in the future?

4. The medium is the message
How does the news medium shape the news? How does technology reshape that reshaping? What news “fit” newspapers, radio, TV and evolving digital channels? (example: an event is not “good news” on TV unless there are moving images capturing the event.)

5. News and background knowledge
How can the most recent events be combined with the offer to know more about the background of a news event? How can the very latest events (news) be combined with deep knowledge of underlying forces (history) through new technologies?

6. The future of censorship
Many countries suffer from censorship. Will recent and future technological developments help or undermine censorship? China, but also the US (Manning, Snowdon) comes to mind as well as Wikileaks etc.

7. The future of digital paper
Is there a future in-between paper and screens? What does that future look like?

8. News habits of the future
Examine present (“advanced”?) news habits (perhaps of a specialized group) and extrapolate to the future. What at the news habits of the future? How do new technologies enable new behaviors and habits?

9. News aggregators
Are news aggregators, rather than publishing houses the future of news? Will Google, Buzzfeed and Reddit choose news for you rather than DN, Aftonbladet and SvD?

10. Manipulation and bias online and offline
It can be argued that beyond pure censorship, media (newspaper, radio, tv) always “manipulate” the news in different ways when choosing, preparing and producing them. This can perhaps be avoided on the internet by combining multiple sources about the same event. Or do new technologies allow for ever-more-devious manipulation and bias online than what was ever possible offline? But filtering can on the other hand also be seen as a service (performed by software or an experienced editor). See further the concept of “filter bubbles”.

11. News-by-algorithms
Will algorithms replace editors? Can algorithms (perfectly?) match your personal preferences with news content? What would the implications for news be if Amazon produced your newspaper (“people who read… also read…”)? Nicklas Lundblad mentioned “Knowledge taste networks”. What are they? How will they work?

12. Filter bubbles and serendipity engines
Information overload (a bad signal-to-noise ratio) -> filtering -> bias, “filter bubbles” -> serendipity engines. Is this a picture of the future? Is something missing? Are the implications for the most part positive or negative? What will come next? What are the implications for news (and for democracy, for media’s “watchdog” function etc.)?

13. Räntekartan+
Ola and Olle from SvD talked about databases + powerful journalism + political power/reach (“data journalism” is the name of an ongoing research project at Södertörn University). Räntekartan (“The interest rate map”) was inexpensive to set up and had many beneficial effects for SvD. So, what comes after Räntekartan, Hyreskollen etc.? What’s the next project? Envision it and make it come true (conceptually)! Will “data journalism” be followed by “big data journalism”?

14. News and geography
Kristiansen/Schibsted preached that geography matters online in a variety of ways. Blocket is local, you buy stuff locally so advertising is always local too. What is the future of nearness and geography in an Internet-world without borders? What news are global, what news will be local and what does the interface between them look like? What is the role of geography of the future of news?

15. The future of ads
Kristiansen/Schibsted talked about intermediaries and the increasingly complex ways that publishing houses, media agencies and advertisers “meet” today. What is the future of ads (in a post-cookie world?)? Will ads be voluntary and what would the implications then be for newspapers and/or news?

16. The second screen
Kristiansen/Schibsted talked about the second screen, the screen you have on the side when most of your attention is focused on the first screen (the TV for instance). What is the future of the second screen in the future of news? 

17. Death of reading
Aftonbladet does a lot of TV production online nowadays. Is this part of a trend where text is substituted by graphics, images, audio and video? What will news look like after we stop reading them? What happens to concentration, patience and reflection as well as ability to accept and think about new ideas and impressions? How will it affect the quality of news? What is the connection between reading and (quality) news?

18. The future of broadcast news/The future of public service
What is the future of broadcast news? How will TV and/or radio news evolve in the future? Will everything migrate online or will we still have analog broadcast? How will broadcast news adapt and what will it look like? This topic could also be connected to the future of public service (e.g. for example Swedish Radio, Swedish Television, BBC, National Public Radio etc.). 

19. The future of audio
A lot of emphasis is placed on text on paper or screens or on moving images, but what about pure audio in the form of radio or podcasts? What is the future of the human voice and intimate storytelling that is delivered right into your ears (perhaps while you jog, or do the dishes, or take the bus)? Does radio/audio have a "news future" and if so, what does it look like?

20. Smart home news network
With AI in the home, news selection and consumption could be customized. Develop a vision and a scenario for the Smart home news network (or something). How could The Future of News be married to AI in the home environment, what would the outcome be?