Communications and Media

Surveillance culture in China

1. Choosing a debate: Surveillance culture in China
* Document your news feed/media consumption for a few days, to see what is being discussed ‘on your own radar’. Which posts, memes, blogs, vlogs, articles, etc. appear to you or are recommended to you about a current debate in the field of new media? Keep track of the topics you come across for (at least) 5 days.
* Based on what you have seen and what you are personally interested in, choose a current issue related to new media.
2. Choosing two trade unions of your choice
* Choose two organisations of a different nature (e.g. a governmental body, either national or international / a commercial company / an NGO). The two organisation should have a clear distinction in their priorities. You are encouraged to think of organisations that are not on the list, too. Keep in mind that they should have some interest in the issue you selected. How do you expect their position on the chosen issue to differ or overlap?
* Investigate whether the organisations already have a stated position or policy on your topic.
Map out the issue within both realms:
• (Professional) media coverage
How has the issue been covered in different newspapers, industry publications, (online) magazines or television? Search for items discussing your topic in different ways and for different audiences. Include sources focusing on e.g. business, technology, politics/international relations, art & popular culture, civil society, and other angles on your topic. Collecting a variety of formats, such as opinion pieces, background articles, news items, or interviews will help you find more relevant information. This means that you do not simply look at the first 20 Google results, but that you create a comprehensive overview of the media coverage. Sources in other languages that you speak are also allowed.
Analyse your sources in order to get an overview of the overall debate. In an annotated bibliography of at least 20 media sources, describe different media companies’ takes on the issue. Are the developments presented as a solution or as a
danger, or are they simply explained in an impartial way? For each source, (1) indicate their position in the debate, and (2) list the main arguments used to support that position.
Two advisory reports, one for each organisation. +/- 1.000 words each.
Based on the interest each organisation has in the issue, what position and/or action
do you recommend them to take on it? Assume the role of an employee, and outline the major developments, challenges and viewpoints in the field of your topic.
You base this on the information you found in the media coverage and online debate.
You are allowed to use additional academic literature for fact checking. You then advise the organisation
(1) what position to take on within the debate, that fits their goals (and those of their audience/stakeholders), and
(2) what action(s) they should take in line with that position. Think about any economic, social, political, legal, or
ethical interests the organisation might have and take those into account in your recommendation.
Consider what is within the power of the organisation;
introduce a new policy,
publish a public announcement or denouncement, encourage their constituents to do something, make certain investments, launch or retract certain products, etc.
Repeat for the second organisation, and incorporate their different priorities.