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JOUR 304- Final Proposal

Sep 19, 2023

Topics can be theoretically, practically, or, design driven.

Potential social media that students may want to study for their project and this list is in no way exhaustive:

  • Texting/Smartphones•YouTube•Flickr•Facebook/MySpace/etc•Twitter•Blogging•Google+•Instant messaging •Second Life •Digg/Reddit/etc •RSS •Wikis •SlideShare •World of Warcraft •Online games •Mobile applications

 Option 1 (non-design-based):

Students will write a 1000-word paper that describes a theoretical or practical question/problem related to social media and proposes a way to study and/or answer this question/problem. Final papers will have the following sections: (1) an introduction; (2) a review of related literature that highlights what other researchers have found related to the chosen topic; (3) research questions; (4) a proposed method, including how the research questions would be tested (e.g., surveys, interviews, usability testing, etc.) and sample questions; and (5) what the theoretical and/or practical implications of this study are expected to be. 

 Option 1: Students will produce a short final paper (1000 words) and deliver a 10–15-minute presentation on a topic related to digital media and journalism. Your paper will have 12-point font and a 1-inch margin all around. The paper and presentation should be organized as a more in-depth literature review of scholarly or media work on your topic. For example, if you choose “Social media and journalists,” your task is to summarize research on the topic, and how it has been used, as well as the norms, practices, and values. The strongest papers and presentations will advance an original argument. In the example above, what have scholars not asked about the relationship between journalists and social media? What are the questions journalists are not asking about the issue? Why should we value (or not) journalists making more routine use of social media in their reporting and what are the institutional, training, or practice barriers to them doing so?

Final Proposal

Topic: Successes, failure, and reliability of Social Media in the Black Lives Matter Movement


Digital Activism has changed the way social causes are garnering support from all across the world. Black Lives Matter as a movement has been able to generate a tremendous amount of support and impact because of Social Media. The manner in which Social Media has been used for sharing posts related to the issue and garnering attention on the various incidents has been impactful in causing significant changes. The rapid pace associated with the nature of Social Media has, unfortunately, also led to a lack of solid decisions related to the issues. This essay will analyze the various successes and failures of Social Media in the Black Lives Matter movement and find whether the forum of Social Media is reliable enough to produce a significant change. 

Proposal- This essay will analyze the impact of Digital Activism and the successes and failures it has produced with respect to Black Lives Matter. The essay will also address the Research Question ‘Is Social Media reliable in producing a significant change in the state of Black people?’

Plan of action- The analysis will be done with the help of Research literature done with respect to the topic in hand. The various sources dealing with incidents like the killing of George Floyd will be researched in order to understand the manner in which the trajectory of Black Lives Matter was influenced. The support the usage of Social Media helped to garner and, ultimately, the outcome it produced. 

Research Question- ‘Is Social Media reliable in producing a significant change in the state of Black people?’

Proposed Method- The methodology to procure the answer would be the analysis of the resources. The resources will be analyzed to understand the overall impact of social media on ‘Black Lives Matter’. The successes and failures will be understood with the aid of data presented by these sources. The data will deal with the trajectory of the Black Lives Matter movement and the manner in which it was influenced by Social media. The outcomes will also include the significant decisions that were induced by Social Media with respect to the movement. 

Implications- The implications of the outcomes would be a proper methodology in which Digital Activism, mainly social media, could be improved in order to produce long-term effects.


Digital Activism is a hugely influential tool, particularly Social Media. Social Media has been hugely influential in the propagation and popularity of Black Lives Matter. The various articles and posts shared on Twitter helped people to get educated about the matter without the usage of traditional methods. The reach of Social Media helps increase the engagement of the issue and makes more people involved and supportive of the cause. The shelf-life of the issue on Social Media and the seriousness of organizations associated with the cause is a huge topic of concern. Therefore, as a tool, it is unreliable for bringing visible change, but with proper developments, it can transform into a beneficial tool.

Resources needed- 

Carney, N. (2016). All lives matter, but so does race: Black Lives Matter and the evolving role of social media. Humanity & Society, 40(2), 180-199.

Brown, D. K., Mourao, R. R., & Sylvie, G. (2019). Martin to Brown: How time and platform impact coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement. Journalism Practice, 13(4), 413-430.

Wright, C., Gatlin, K., Acosta, D., & Taylor, C. (2022). Portrayals of the Black Lives Matter Movement in Hard and Fake News and Consumer Attitudes Toward African Americans. Howard Journal of Communications, 1-23.

Vitali, M. M., Presotto, G. C., Gizzi, F., Gomes, M. D. A., & Giacomozzi, A. I. (2021). # BlackLivesMatter: A study of social representations from Twitter. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 8(1), 1-19.      

Freelon, D., Marwick, A., & Kreiss, D. (2020). False equivalencies: Online activism from left to right. Science, 369(6508), 1197-1201.

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