Tag Archive: LAUsocial projects

Sooo…. What’s new media? Anyone? Oh yeh, I can hear pretty interesting stuff out there. New media or social media includes youtube,skype, facebook, twitter, blogging…. what else??? MySpace Digg…New Media led to the emergence of citizen journalism where each person regardless of his position or profession can have a say! It also increased the interaction between the audience and producer of the news event where more chance of  expressing different ideas is now possible with new media. The BBC started offering courses online for people willing to learn about it see this: http://www.bbctraining.com/newMedia.asp.

Part of lausocial class taught by Mr. Ayman Itani at LAU where we learnt about everything related to new media like blogging, tweeting, and live covering events and conferences, we had to do a project entitled “What Does New Media Mean to You?” As mentioned in my previous blog post, we had to interview three persons of different age groups and inquire about their uses of new media and in what ways it is affecting their daily lives.


Tala Bekdash:

She was influenced by her home environment where every family member has a facebook account. That’s why she registered for a facebook account. She is also cautious in using it. When strangers added her on facebook, she consulted her older sister. Part of the movie wasn’t there because after struggling hard to find a good video convertor in order to convert the video file recognized by windows video maker, I realized that half of the video wasn’t there. The missing part included asking her if her parents sit with her when using facebook. She said that nobody sits with her and that “I know what’s right and what’s wrong to do online”.

Caroline Hodroj:

Although she misunderstood the first question, she gave me an in depth perspective about the positive and negative effects of new media and she considered that its positive effects outweigh it negative effects. Although she focuses on the new media more, she still prefers getting the news from traditional media outlets.

Ahmad Shatila:

He doesn’t consider new media important and doesn’t use it very frequently although he has an iphone and maybe he isn’t aware that iphones are considered part of new media. He also said that the new media didn’t have much impact on his profession and he will definitely monitor his children when they’ll use the new media.

Similarities:Both Dr. Shatila and Ms. Hodroj responses were similar regarding the issue of one’s privacy with new media where they emphasized the fact that one has the choice to either reveal private things about him or not. They both prefer getting the news from traditional media outlets. Dr. Shatila and Tala Bekdash referred to importance of parental supervision when kids use new media. Tala Bekdash referred to an incident where she had to call her sister and consult her regarding strangers adding her on facebook. I found also that all use the new media mainly for entertainment and socializing.

Differences:Dr. Shatila aged 47 years old doesn’t use it very frequently while both Tala and Caroline use it on a daily basis. Among the three interviewees, Caroline Hodroj showed much enthusiasm and comprehension of the new media and its effects.

Techniques Used:

I used my phone to record and I regretted it later on because my windows video maker doesn’t accept the video file my phone has so I had to find a suitable video convertor. The first one ruined my audio. The second convertor didn’t give good quality picture. The third time I was fed up; I used a convertor that only converted half of my video. I missed certain significant parts of the video, but I was late then and I had no choice… Then I transferred them to my PC and I uploaded 2 of my videos (Dr.Shatila and Ms. Hodroj) that didn’t need significant editing to youtube and I started adding captions using Captiontube (http://captiontube.appspot.com/) and adding annotations as introductions and final credits and I published them. I enjoyed subtitling my videos and it was really easy to do. Tala Bekdash’s video needed editing and I previously said suffered from the conversion problem. I worked on windows movie maker and then I uploaded it to youtube and voila… The easiest thing was actually recording the interviewees and the most difficult part as you have noticed so far from my previous comments was the video conversion.

My favorite part of this project is actually having my own Youtube channel with videos that I’ve prepared myself although from a technical perspective, the videos weren’t that good. I think also that the unprofessional thing I did is that asking questions that my interviewees had hard time elaborating on. What I didn’t like about the project is the whole converting process that I mentioned above that was very annoying and because of which I lost significant parts of Tala’s interview. In conclusion, I consider this experience as a start for a real assessment of new media’s uses among the Lebanese. We, as lausocial class, could later on move further to conduct research about new media’s uses in Lebanon and people’s preferences and we could also engage in workshops dedicated for new media literacy.

I know that I was very late to submit my project, but it’s better late than never!

Here are the links of the videos in case the” video embed” thing didn’t work:

Tala’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOaGwvBsYVA     Caroline’s:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og0g784lrrw  Dr. Ahmad’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i27ZfFed54k

Media, especially the new media, is a crucial political and social networking tool that constitutes a potent element in shaping the culture, our lifestyles, and even the foreign policies. Political parties, social movements, religious organizations, and even extremist groups were quick to make use of this new information and communication media, the social media. Given its present day significance in international politics, its impact seems uncertain in the Arab world since the Arab world lags behind most of the rest in the world in using the internet. The “Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge” indicated that there were only 10 internet users per thousand of population in 2006 each in Yemen and Djibouti, 30 in Mauritania, 70 in Algeria, 80 in each Egypt and Syria, and 90 in Sudan …etc

Where do Arabs stand in relevance to use of new media? In my project “What does New Media mean to you?”, I’m going to interview three Lebanese people of different professions and age groups to see whether new media is part of their daily lives and their uses of it.

What make the use of the internet somewhat difficult in the Arab world are censorship and the tightened governmental controls. For instance, Facebook was banned in Iran and Syria. The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom (Samir Kassir Eyes) has issued its annual report on the issues related to the freedom of the media and culture, which the center monitored in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan in 2009. The report indicated that the media and cultural scene in Lebanon in 2009 was characterized by a mass layoff of journalists and that the Lebanese culture is still in the crosshairs of censorship. In my project, I’m going also to ask the interviewees about whether censorship of new media is an issue to them and what they are doing about it (if they have faced any situation like this).

The interviewees are:

–          Dr. Ahmad Shatila, 47 years old. He is a pediatrician and has a big family. He has a teenage girl Tala, 14 years old, Dana of 8 years old, adorable TRIPLET aged 6 years old, Yasmeen, Farah, and Mohammad, and the cute Tarek aged 4 years old! I chose him because first I would like to know how parents guide their children in using the new media. He has a facebook account and an iphome and he is aware of the new media.

 I would like also to ask him:

1- On the scale from 1-10, how do you rate your new media’s (i.e using facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr…) online activity?

2- How has the new media affected your profession?

3- Do you prefer getting the news from new media sources or from traditional media outlets?

4- Do any of your children use the new media? If yes, do you monitor them?

5- Do you think that one’s privacy is vanishing with the new media?


–          Caroline Hodroj, in her early twenties, is a journalism student at LAU. I chose her because she is in the field of media and she prefers getting the news from new media sources and internet rather than watching T.V. (Just found out that she likes the new media but prefers getting the news from traditional media outlets)

I would like to ask her:

1- On the scale from 1-10, how do you rate your new media’s (i.e using facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr…) online activity?

2- How has the new media affected your academic and social life?

3- Do you prefer getting the news from new media sources or from traditional media outlets?

4- Do you think that one’s privacy is vanishing with the new media?

5- Do you feel that there are certain limitations to your online activity and presence? What do you think about new media censorship? Does it exist?

–          Tala Bekdash, 8 years old. She had a facebook account when she was only 7 years old. She sneaks into her living room where the computer is and starts downloading games from the internet.

Tala Bekdash

I would like to ask her:

1-      How many hours do you spend using the internet/new media (facebook…) per day?

2-      Do your parents sit with you when you use facebook or when you download games?

3-      Do you prefer calling your friends by phone or chatting online?

4-      Do you face any privacy issues? Do your parents stalk you?

5-      How did your use of facebook affect your relations and communication with others?

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