Welcome to a blog that is essentially an experiment, a requirement for the “New Media: Theory & Application” class in the master’s of communication program at The University of Texas at Tyler. Having said that, I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a while. So, I guess I can say the class made me do it, but I’m looking forward to participating in the blog.
In situ will focus on New Media and how it is changing journalism, politics, and the larger society. Each week, I’ll post the required written reaction to our class readings, along with other, more general comments on New Media.
About the name
In situ means “situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position,” according to Dictionary.com. In archaeology, an artifact is “in situ” if it has been uncovered but has not been moved from its original place of deposition. As Wikipedia puts it, “An artifact being in situ is critical to the interpretation of that artifact and, consequently, to the culture which formed it. … An artifact that is not discovered in situ is considered out of context and will not provide an accurate picture of the associated culture.”
Understanding New Media and its impact requires quite a lot of context and interpretation. That’s what this blog is primarily about.
About the blogger
I worked in newspapers for about 20 years as a reporter, copy editor, and editor. I was a copy editor and editor for the Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram and the health/medical reporter for the Longview (Texas) News-Journal, where I also covered nonprofit social service agencies, and federal courts.
My first newspaper job was as a news assistant II (essentially a proofreader) on the copy desk of the Dallas edition of The Wall Street Journal. That was a part-time job; at the time I was a full-time graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in archaeology. The Ph.D. escaped me, but I used the skills I had learned at the WSJ to get a copy editor’s job at the Midland paper.
For the past nine years, I have been the science writer for an academic medical center in East Texas. I write news releases, pitch story ideas to journalists, and, since about five or six months ago, write and post items on the academic medical center’s Facebook page and Twitter account. I started the master’s program in communication at UT Tyler in 2008. I hope to finish my thesis and graduate in 2012.
I’m really an old media person — I love newspapers — but I’m intrigued by the New Media. Times are changing, and I don’t want to be left behind.