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Lecture on 16 October 2014

"New Media and Participatory Culture" is a lecture course of the prominent media law expert Prof. Nelly Ognyanova for the students in "European Studies" major in Sofia University. The lecture course aims to present the new media - blogs, social networks and new interactive forms of information dissemination and communication. Traditional and new media are compared in search of answers to the questions about the democratization of media in the digital society, about the new media as instruments of civil participation, as well as regarding their performance in their mission to inform society. Every year, guest lecturers from the areas of traditional and new media, journalism and creative writing are invited to take part. In the 2014/2015 edition of the course, the invited guest lecturer is Vassia Atanassova, administrator of the Bulgarian Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.

Course program


In 2014/2015, the lecture course on "New Media and Participatory Culture" read by Prof. Nelly Ognyanova, Sofia University, will offer students profound understanding of Wikipedia, with the following customized course curriculum.

Date Topics
16 October Encyclopedias. Wikipedia as electronic encyclopedia, as a voluntary and participatory community of users, as an Internet-based and media phenomenon. Wikis: philosophy and technology. Wikipedia: a process or a product. Using Wikipedia content: whether, when and how? Using Wikipedia in educational and media context. Interaction with other media.
23 October Legal aspects: Authorship, copyrights, free licenses for software, documentation and creative content. Terms of use.
30 October Contribution with content to Wikipedia. Encyclopedic notability, encyclopedic style of writing and structuring the content. Core content principles and rules in Wikipedia.
6 November Practical issues for the Wikipedia content: neutrality/bias, exhaustiveness/incompleteness, up-to-date/obsolete content. Indicating the problems, keeping track of page history, debating over the content.
20 November Multimedia content in Wikipedia/Wikimedia: informational/educational function, evidential/documentary function. Selection of a free license.
4 December Ethical aspects: Community code of conduct, community decision making, consensus and voting. Vandalism and instruments for protection. Instead of Conclusion: Why, after all, it's important to help Wikipedia, or at least to do no harm?
Collectively created mindmap for the concept of Wikipedia by the students in the "New Media and Participatory Culture" course