Sunday, September 2, 2012

Seminar 1 instructions


We will have our first seminar this coming week, on Thursday Sept 6 from 15-17.

Half the class (family names starting with the letters A-K will meet in seminar room L31. The other half of the class (family names starting with the letters L-Å) will meet in seminar room L41

Instructions for the seminar:

1. Go to Bilda. Download the 6 pdf files in the "Seminar 1" folder (Bilda/DM2571/Documents/Semianar 1). Check out the cool US magazine covers that I scanned (each file covering a decade from the 1920's to the 1970's).
- What patterns/genres/recurrent themes can you find in the covers? What is the "essence" of magazines in general or specific genres as reflected in these covers?
- Apart from the similarities, what instead are the differences between the covers from different decades? Can you identify any trends; something disappearing and/or something else appearing? What? Why do you think that is?
- Who reads these magazines and why? What functions do magazines have and what needs do you think magazines satisfy (this is hopefully something we extrapolate from and build on later in the course)?
- What are the similarities and what are the differences between magazines back then (30-90 years ago) and magazines today? Do feel free to walk into Pressbyrån or 7-Eleven and check out their selection of magazines sometime during the week!

3. Read these four short texts about magazines and the challenges they face today. One text hails paper as durable (a durable business model), another predicts the imminent death of paper. Some see digital channels (web, tablets) as being opposition to paper, others see them complete each other. One text predicts the imminent death of "complex business models". All texts are trying to figure out "what is next" in the (magazine) publishing industry:
- "Non-news is good news: The threat of the Internet has forced magazines to get smarter". The Economist, June 2012.
- "New business models: The Economist Group's digital strategy". The Economist Group, June 2012.
- "Wondering how far magazines must fall". The New York Times, August 2012.
- "The collapse of complex business models". Clay Shirky (blog), April 2012

4. Prepare for the seminar by (based on the instructions above and your analysis of the materials) writing down the one or two most interesting and insightful thoughts you have as you go through the material. Please write around 200 words (that is around half a page of text - 150-250 words is also ok), print your text on paper and bring it to the seminar. Don't forget to write your name on the paper as your submission is proof of your attendance at the seminar!


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