During this internship, I have worked and learned more about how to work in a corporate environment, as well as how to write about a myriad of subjects. In my work at RVA Magazine, I observed a few of the communication theories that I have learned at Longwood, but the two that stood out to me the most were the computer mediated communication theory and the media framing theory.
Many times when I interview someone for an article, I am not able to meet with them in person, and I instead will either email them or call them on the phone. I would also use email to send articles to my editors. Communication like this that uses technology as a medium is called “computer mediated communication,” and is described by the social information processing theory. Social information processing theory means that there are several key concepts that come with the territory, such as turn taking. In an email setting, two or more participants take turns in participating in a conversation. Another important aspect of computer mediated communication is the concept of reduced social cues. The users are able to adapt to this reduced social cues environment and still maintain a proper conversation.
Another part of this internship is media framing. The media framing theory is about how the media presents topics in order to influence those who consume the media. Being a magazine, RVA Magazine falls into this category. Most of the political articles come from a liberal or left of center perspective. For example, one of my fellow interns, Caley, wrote an article on women in Virginia politics. While she did not explicitly endorse any particular candidate or political ideology, it is best understood from a feminist standpoint. I myself wrote an article on a local restaurant owner running for the House of Delegates as a Libertarian. Like Caley, I did my best to not impose my own viewpoints on this subject. However, viewing this story as a conflict between the Libertarian and the Democratic Party (with a Libertarian as the protagonist) is unavoidable.
These are the two main communication theories that I have found while writing for RVA Magazine, though I am sure there are many more.