Big Trends in Communication Technology Issues

The rapidly evolving nature of technology continues to present new trends and challenges to the field of communication research. As the official journal of the Communication Technology division of AEJMC, the Journal of Communication Technology brings together scholarly work that highlight the central role of technology in shaping the effects of media, while addressing the challenges that the academic community confronts. In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Communication Technology, five articles offer useful insight into the current trends and challenges.

The article “With Many Looking to Us for Better Answers, We Must Answer Carefully” (Ivory, 2018) calls for methodological reform in research on communication technology. This article presents five broad suggestions for research, and one of these suggestions include that null findings should also teach us about media effects.  The article explains that in order for the entire scope of media effects to be understood properly, we must be careful to not only focus on significant findings but also on outcomes that are not significant. In “the Calibration Problem” (Bucy, 2018), the increasing complexity of information technologies and the problem of average user competency is discussed in-depth.  This article particularly focuses on the asymmetric flow of information, and claims that the average user today is defenseless in the tide of information. The information environment is changing quickly, yet quality control of information becomes more and more difficult.  The volume of information increases while users lack the adequate skills to control the quality of information. This article therefore underscores the importance of considering the varying levels of users’ skills when conducting research on communication technology, as those skills can determine not only the users’ experiences with technology, but also their motivations with technology. Other articles in this issue include “Communication Challenges in Cybersecurity” (DiStaso, 2018), “the Use of Data Visualizations for Analyzing Social Trends” (Schaefer, 2018), and “Using Social Media Data for Research” (Ahmed, 2018), providing theoretical and methodological perspectives on communication technology research.

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Soo Young Bae
University of Massachusetts-Amherst,
Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair

 

References:

Ahmed, W. (2018). Using Social Media Data for Research: An Overview of Tools. Journal of Communication Technology, Vol 1 Issue 1, 77-94.

Bucy, E. P. (2018). The Calibration Problem: ICT Complexity and Average User Competencies. Journal of Communication Technology, Vol 1 Issue 1, 20-42.

DiStaso, M. W. (2018). Communication Challenges in Cybersecurity. Journal of Communication Technology, Vol 1 Issue 1, 43-60.

Ivory, J. D. (2018). With Many Looking to Us for Better Answers, We Must Answer Carefully: A Call for Methodological Reform in Research on Effects of Communication Technology. Journal of Communication Technology, Vol 1 Issue 1, 6-19.

Schaefer, R. (2018). The Use of Data Visualizations for Analyzing Social Trends. Journal of Communication Technology, Vol 1 Issue 1, 61-76.

 

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