Intro to Comm Interns: Fall 2021
 

Assignment 2C: Annotations

The IDH has become increasingly concerned about the use of algorithms in employment decisions.  (I.e., they got robots deciding who does -- or doesn't -- get hired for a job.)  The IDH Research Division has already started this project -- with NCU Prof. Marci Exted and Creighton University Prof. Tom Freeman -- but we want to know what you all think.  (And create some community education videos and assets.) 

For Assignment 2C: Start researching the problems with employment algorithms in the context of (a) factual unreliability; (b) bias (race, class, gender, ability, age); or (c) the problems with replacing human hiring decisions with algorithmic decision-making.  Give us the five best annotations you can make – from five different articles – that we can use to create materials for our legal researchers.

Note: The IDH will be delighted if someone figures out how religious discrimination could be a factor in employment algorithms.

Here is an example of assignment 2A:

 

Here is an example of assignment 2C:

Once completed, your TA will put the class's Assignment 2C submissions here so you can use them with the Kairos Project Assignment.

Kairos Project Assignment

The IDH has two existing clients -- Indiana University and the Anti-Defamation League -- who want educational content on algorithmic discrimination.  (One for high school students and one for communities.) 

You are going to assist us with 2 video assets: An infomercial segment and a Robot Court segment. Both will be about employment algorithms.

Infomercial:
Follow the instructions provided on Moodle.  Please remember to keep it in the genre of an informercial testimonial.  (Look back at the examples in the Axis of Facts, Bias, and Storytelling videos.) 

Here's two good examples from the on campus class.  (But they are re-shooting to make them sound more "infomercial-ly."  Remember to say "Thank you IDH" or "Thank you Axis of Facts," etc.")

 

Informercial Example One   Example Two:

 

Hints:
 

  • Use a piece of specific employment algorithm technology that you already researched for Assignment 2C. 

  • If that doesn't work, read through your online colleagues' Assignment 2C research to find a particular piece of facial recognition technology that creeps you out.


 

 

Robot Court:
Follow the instructions on Moodle.  But --- to help you out -- the on campus kids are giving you their research on employment algorithms.  (Your TA will coordinate this.)

Hints:

 

  • Make sure you've watched the Robot Court video.  

  • We make some of these funny (for high school students) and some serious.  Either way is fine.  Just pick you tone and stick with it.

  • The campus students suggest that you use talking points instead of a script.

  • Be sure to cite 1-2 pieces of evidence.

  • An example is here.

  • Robot Court Zoom backgrounds are here.

  • Instructions/Advice on Robot Court backgrounds and recording is here.
     

Teams: Your TA Will Set These Up

  • Facial Recognition I:

    • Arguing Against Employment Algorithms (Axis of Facts): TBD

    • Arguing For Employment Algorithms (Axis of Facts): TBD

Extra Credit Assignment 4A: Annotations

Hello Online Students:

Follow the Assignment 4A instructions on Moodle.  For your assigned question, submit 3-5 annotations (from Strossen's book) that answer your question.

***Thank you for your work on this.  Your TA will put your annotations here.***
 

Harms:

  • How do hate speech laws – designed to protect minorities – sometimes hurt minorities?

  • Do hate speech laws create liberal “snowflakes”?

  • How have hate speech laws backfired in other countries?

  • Explain why Strossen rejects the liberal arguments that hate speech “hurts” people (psychologically, politically, and/or physically)?

Inherency:

  • Why is “viewpoint neutrality” important when thinking about hate speech laws?

  • Why, for Strossen, are vagueness and overbreadth a problem with hate speech laws?

Plan/Solvency:

  • Why is counter-speech better than censorship?

Here's an example of this assignment:

Assignment 4B: Case Study

In Assignment 4B, the IDH is just trying to verify that you can (a) brief and analyze a case using FIRAC and (b) that you understand how to apply the rules from Schenck and Chaplinsky.

Here's an example of the Fall 2020 Assignment 4B.  Your instructor and TA will use this to make a new Assignment 4B prompt (below).

Read this article on Steve Bannon recently getting banned from Twitter and YouTube.  Then pick one of the Options below to write a 1-2 page brief on.  (Remember: We want your analysis and judgment.)

Option One: Analyze Bannon getting kicked off of Twitter.

Option Two: Analyze Bannon getting banned from YouTube.
 

Here's an example of Assignment 4B:

And here is your Fall 2021 Assignment 4B prompt:

We want to make sure you understand Zizek’s 3 types of rhetorical violence. To do this, please read (and brief, for your own notes) R.A.V. v. St. Paul.  And review (or read) Synder v. Phelps.

As you read, track where each case deals with subjective, symbolic, and systemic violence.

  • Where is symbolic, systemic, and symbolic violence occurring in R.A.V. v. St. Paul or Synder v. Phelps?

  • How is the Court in your case dealing with these three types of violence?  Are they allowing – or not allowing – some types and not others?  Does the court say anything specific about hate speech that you can translate into the language of symbolic, systemic, or subjective violence? 

Write up your answers in 1-2 pages, making it clear to the IDH that you understand how Zizek’s three ideas about violence play out in Synder and or R.A.V. v. St. Paul.

Here's an example of Assignment 4C:

Assignment 4C: Rhetorically Categorizing Types of Violence

Pathos Project Assignment

Note: Your TA and Instructor will upload the Fall 2021 Assignment Prompts one week before this assignment is due.

The IDH partners with local college's and communities to create "zines" on tricky post-digital issues.  We have requests in for zines to facilitate free speech debates with a local (liberal-leaning) university.  So you are going to help us by creating zine pages on a particular free speech controversy to show your audience how the IDH methods (listed below) work.

Step One: Research your case study. 
Listed below you will see the case studies you can choose from.  Pick any one that you want.  Give yourself some time to think about your answers.  Take notes. 

Step Two: Figure out your argument.  (Pathos Concept Proposal.)
The whole point of the Pathos Concept Proposal is to have you tell us -- exactly -- what text will be on each of your zine pages.  (And, if you have time, tell us what visuals you are considering going with the text.)

The entire outline for the legal argument should be 1 - 2 pages, with the analysis section being the most developed

Lucky for you, we have this handy outline -- which uses FIRAC to tell you what information goes on which zine page (and the correct order of your zine pages).

  • Facts:

    • What are the specific relevant facts of your case. 

  • Issue:

    • What is the exact question you are answering?

  • Rules:

    • What legal/rhetorical rules are you applying?

    • ****Hint: Here are all of your possible rules to use****
       

      • Schenck:

        • Clear and present danger

        • Bad tendency test
           

      • Chaplinsky:

        • Fighting words

        • Ideal (average) vs. real audience
           

      • Zizek:

        • Symbolic, Systemic, and Subjective violence
           

  • Analysis:

    • Apply the correct rule(s) to your particular case.

  • Conclusion/Judgment:

    • Did your case study violate free speech? Why?

    • ******Hint: You can use Strossen here.********
       

Remember: You do not have to make zine pages this week
We just want to know (a) exactly what you text you want on each page and (b) what visual ideas -- if any -- you already have or are planning on.

 

Topics (And Hints About Legal Rules):

  • Does this hate speech algorithm (Hate Lab) violate free speech?

    • Hint: Schenck (bad tendency versus clear and present) plus Zizek or Strossen
       

  • Should NCU's online courses have trigger warnings?  Or do trigger warnings violate free speech and hinder education? 

    • Hint: Chaplinksy (fighting words and idea/real audience)
       

  • Should a high school in your town use this violence prevention algorithm
    to monitor its students social media?  Or does that violate free speech?

    • Hint: Schenck and Zizek
       

  • A college colleague is quoting rap lyrics with a racial epithet.  They are asked to stop.  They post a Tik Tok video of themselves -- off campus -- quoting the lyrics.  Should they face disciplinary action for hate speech?

    • Hint: Zizek, Strossen and/or Chaplinksy

    • For the "Facts" on this one, just write out the question.
       

  • A student turns in a zine page with a racial epithet.  (The student identifies as being part of this race.)   The zine will circulate across college campuses.  Should this be allowed as free speech?

    • Hint: Zizek, Strossen and/or Chaplinksy

    • For the "Facts" on this one, just write out the question.
       

Here are a few examples from last semester:

Ethos Project Assignment

Note: Your instructor and TA will upload the Fall 2021 Ethos Project Assignment Prompt one week before class.  What follows is the Spring 2021 Prompt.

Privacy challenges emerge everyday and the IDH has been meeting with local, state, and national scholars and organizations this fall to think about our post-digital ethos.

On campus, our conversations about privacy in Spring 2021 -- in our media theory, media law, and journalism classes -- have focused almost entirely on how the public and federal government are using prior social media activity to assign guilt and intent to people allegedly involved in the 1/6 insurrection at the Capital. You will be using that research as your "case study" for the Ethos project assignment.


So here is our advice:
 

  • If you want to review the implied author, we put the entire Ethos Unit lecture from Fall 2020 -- with Dr. McCormick and Dr. McKain -- into one 40 minute podcast here.
     

  • At the end of he conversation, we spend 10 minutes discussing what does or does not make a good privacy topic.  (We aren't using these topics in Spring 2021, but it is still useful for you to understand how we pick our topics.)
     

So -- to reiterate the instructions from Moodle -- here are the two parts of the Ethos Project Assignment in Spring 2021.  Your case study -- located here -- is social media and digital data being used on politicians and citizens associated with 1/6/21.  You can pick any one of the four "rules" for your ethos project assignment.  (And you can focus on Rep. Greene -- and argue for or against the other students -- or pick our own exhibits to focus on.)

Podcast:

 

  1. Research and Analysis: Review the privacy case you have been provided and make sure you understand the questions you are expected to answer.
     

    • Here's Dr. McCormick's example: A Dean resigning over an anti-Biden Facebook post.

    • For Spring 2021, you will be focusing on the case of the Capital insurrection.
       

  2. Complete Your Brief of the Case and an Outline of Your Podcast Script: Using FIRAC -- with the two competing rules of “implied author” versus “Brand You” -- provide a quick (one page) outline of your script.  Don’t write the whole thing out, just list out the “talking points” you think you will use.  (Use the examples on the website as a guide.)
     

    • Take your news article and use FIRAC to brief it.  (Explained in LTP Ethos: Plan.)  For instance, using Dr. McCormick's example above:
       

      • Facts: A Dean resigning over an anti-Biden Facebook post.

      • Issue: Should an academic's social media posts be used as evidence?

      • Rule: Brand You versus the Implied Author

      • Analysis: Your analysis of the Facts, using the Rule to answer the Issue.

      • Conclusion: What do you think should have happened

         

  3. Record Your Podcast Segment: Using the instructional video provided on the website, record a 1 - 4 minute podcast segment on your topic.  (Note: We originally said 1-2 minutes.  Campus students thought 1- 4  minutes might be easier for some.)  Then upload it.
     

    • An instructional video is overkill, since you've already recorded audio for this class.  Just use your phone or a microphone and be clear. 

    • Here's an example of a -- long -- classroom podcast segment on the ethos case Dr. McCormick provided. (If you are stuck, listen to this.)

    • If you have audio questions, email your TA or our tech Roman Sawczak (roman.sawczak@mail.northcentral.edu).


Social Media Campaign
 

  1. For part two of the Ethos Project Assignment, you will create 3 social media posts for the IDH's current privacy and digital ethics campaign.  
     

    • Take the case study from your Podcast and make three social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) to promote privacy awareness.

    • Creativity is the key.  If you want to just link to one news story, fine.  Multiple news stories, also fine.  No news stories -- but good information/branding on privacy -- also fine.  Be strategic.) 

Here is a folder with an example of this project: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uwvHFwNRpWPK5Gxw-ad_fo146fUrdvKp?usp=sharing

Logos Project Assignment

Note: Your instructor and TA will upload your Logos Project Assignment one week prior to the Logos Unit week.  What follows is the Spring 2021 prompt.

February 2021 sure is weird, huh?

When we wrote the Logos Project Assignment, we assumed that the post-fact society -- the fact that we all live in our filter bubbles and don't agree about reality -- would be a problem.  But we never could have guessed that COVID, Qanon, George Floyd, and an insurrection would have happened.


Prompt: Analyzing the Capitol Insurrection

Here's how you do it.

(1) Let's use the Capitol Insurrection as our controversy

(2) Pick a couple of names off the list of people being prosecuted for their involvement in the Capitol Insurrection. Here is a link to the list. Figure out what data exactly is being used against them (e.g. phone location, pictures, videos, social media etc.).

(3) Write the Buzzfeed article (or film a newscast) using implied author, algorithmic discrimination, or any free speech rules/cases that we've discussed in class. You can write this using one of the methods that you used in the previous weeks (Policy Debate, FIRAC, etc.), but don't label your sections

(4) If you are filming, just use our IDH Zoom "news background."  (Located here.)

(5) Submit to Moodle.

Make sense?  Holler if you have questions.  You'll do great.


 

Internship Openings for Spring 2021

IDH Internship Postings
Spring 2021


The IDH is seeking interns for Spring 2021.

These can be “on call” or five hour a week appointments.
(“On call” appointments means that we put you on a list of people to reach out to with project work.  You accept or decline.  But you can only claim resume credit for completed projects.)
 
Scheduling is flexible. 
But: Two strikes and you are out.
(When working with outside clients, there isn’t time for ghosting.  If you miss two assignments, we have to let you go.  But you can always re-apply.)

To apply:
Submit a brief (1 page max) cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position.
Reference the portfolio materials indicated on the specific job opening.
Additional materials can also be submitted.

Label your application materials:
“Last Name, Specific Job Posting, Cover Letter.”  
 


 

Social Media Intern(s)

The IDH is seeking a social media intern to assist with curation and expansion of its Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram channels. This intern reports directly to our Director of Public Relations and SECA Marketing team. 

For Spring 2021, the already known campaigns are: An art exhibition (on race and technology) with local partners, community education materials on post-COVID mental health, and a social media campaign focused on facial recognition, predictive policing, and privacy.

Necessary Qualifications: 
Strong writing ability, understanding of translating information to diverse audiences,  policy debate method, and axis of unreliability.  For Instagram, basic visual argumentation ability.
 

Portfolio Items to Reference in Cover Letter:

  • Policy debate and axis of unreliability: One video from Kairos Project

  • Social media examples: Two posts from Ethos Project

  • Graphic Design: Two zine pages from Pathos Project


 

Put your submissions here: Social Media Submission Folder


Research (and Writing) Interns


The IDH is seeking a policy analyst intern for Spring 2021 to (a) assist with the curation of news stories on free speech, algorithmic discrimination, and digital privacy issues and (b) help with the writing of web, academic, and public articles.  This intern reports directly to our Director of Research.
   

Necessary Qualifications:  Strong writing ability, understanding of translating information to diverse audiences,  policy debate method, legal analysis method, and axis of unreliability.


Portfolio Items to Reference with Cover Letter:

  • Policy debate and axis of unreliability: Any assignments or project from Kairos

  • Legal analysis: Any assignments or project from Pathos unit that shows FIRAC.

  • Translating information: Any assignments or project from Logos unit.

Put your submissions here: Research and Writing Submission Folder

How to Submit Portfolios
 

Congratulations on completing 175 (and the IDH intern training)!

Now we want to see how you did.  Not on your first try.  (First draft.)  But when you had a chance to think and work.

To do this, put all of the polished, final versions of your project assignments --

 

the Kairos Project Infomercial and Robot Court

the Ethos Project podcast and social media

the Logos Project article or video
the Pathos project zines --


 here.


Name all the documents: "Last Name, [Kairos, Pathos, Ethos, Logos] Project."

(if your project has multiple parts or files, number them
i.e., McKain, Kairos Project, Robot Court or McKain, Pathos Project, Zine 1).



Dr. McCormick's Reflection Piece

 

In your Final Portfolio, include a document of at least 300 words reflecting on what you're taking away from COMM 175. In that document, you may choose to answer any of the following questions. These particular questions are just options, not requirements. Please do not try to answer all of them--choose a few that make sense to you.

 

  1. As a communications professional, what media skills do you want to continue to work on? Which assignment are you most pleased with as an example of your skill as a media specialist, and why? Which assignment represents a skill that you'd still like to improve, and why? (In other words, reflect on your technical skills, including audio, video, and written arguments in any way that makes sense to you.)
     

  2. What did you learn about algorithms in the class, their potential and their limitations? (You could refer to theoretical discussions in Big Data, for instance, or you could talk about algorithms you discussed in your assignments.)
     

  3. What did you learn about legal practice (e.g. FIRAC, writing briefs) or the basics of constitutional law (e.g. court cases involving free speech or privacy issues) that seem worth remembering?
     

  4. As a Christian, how can you imagine using some of the skills you learned in your future professional and faith-based life?
     

  5. Anything else you would like to share!