Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

The Writing Exercise: An Autoethnographic Short Story

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

The Writing Exercise: An Autoethnographic Short Story

Article excerpt

This paper is an autoethnography about writing as a form of communication in the age of new media. Keywords: Autoethnography, Autoethnographic Short Story, Writing Exercise, Media Break, Technology

I turn on the television and there is chatter back and forth.

Noise is what becomes apparent: everything else is lost.

The way one side-doesn't matter which-chases the other.

I opened a book the other day and enjoyed profound relief.

The pleasure of these words is a certain kind of sharing.

Autoethnographer Carolyn Ellis has written "stories are the way humans make sense of their worlds" (2004, p. 32). In this autoethnographic short story, I share my frustration with the "talking head" culture of the television news environment. I dramatize my feelings about the sense of manufactured conflict that seems, in my view, to be at the center of many of these exchanges: individuals being oppositional for the sake of disagreeing with one another.

The opportunity to author this autoethnography encourages me to think about the nature of the media audience. Whether and to what extent are others experiencing similar feelings, especially as the calendar turns from 2014 into 2015? Autoethnographer Kristen C. Blinne has written: "Even though I can never know this connection between you and me, I am left waiting, willing, and wanting to continue the conversation" (2012, p. 953). While Blinne was writing in a different context, I see her words as applicable to the relationship between media producers and consumers, especially to those watching the news at home. …

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