Homosexuality Subjected to Bias on TV too

Thursday, September 30, 2010

President Obama said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that Fox News has a "very clear, undeniable point of view," a point of view not shared by the President.

Obama went on to say that the clearly conservative view held by Fox and enforced by Fox owner Rupert Murdoch "is ultimately destructive for the long term growth" of the country--a country Obama said has "a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world." Obama is the Democratic party candidate from the 2008 election and has very liberal views unlike Fox which is said to have a very conservative bias.

On the other side of the political spectrum, James O'Keefe, a conservative prankster, was recently caught trying to pull off a prank that would show an obvious bias of CNN. He tried to make CNN anchorwoman Abbie Boudreau stubble upon a fake scandal. O'Keefe is known to have a strong opinion that CNN has a clear bias and he must have assumed that Boudreau would jump at the chance to uncover his conservative sex scandal.

Scandal is intriguing when it comes in connection with politics. Everyone has a bias, whether it be in politics, religion or another aspect of society. These biases cause networks like Fox to present things like homosexuality in a particular way--a way that may not always be true to reality.

A recent study showed that one in five television viewers--gay or straight--are unhappy with the portrayal of homosexuals on television. Some heterosexuals commented that seeing homosexuals portrayed as they are on television makes them uncomfortable as a viewer. Some homosexual viewers commented that the way homosexuality is shown on TV is nothing like the life of most homosexual persons.

Many homosexual viewers discussed how they want to see a homosexual character who is NOT defined by his/her sexual preference.

Just like political affiliates are branded with the names of conservative or liberal and every form of media has a, while usually unintentional, bias, characters on TV who are homosexual are branded with the cast iron rod burning HOMOSEXUAL into their television skin.

Characters branded with HOMOSEXUALITY are the subjects of scandal in many TV shows and movies--this is intriguing to viewers, but would it be as intriguing if the character wasn't defined by his or her sexuality?

We can see this branding in TV shows like "Degrassi" in which gay males are known on the show as 'the gay male.' Being gay is the entire importance of their character to the plot. In the movie Bound, actress Gina Gurshon plays the role of a "butch lesbian." This leads an inexperienced audience to believe that all homosexual men are known only for being gay and that all lesbians are "butch." The homosexual viewers said this was not true to reality and seemingly biased.

What is the true cost of intrigue, especially when it leads us to see a fake reality through a biased lens?


Tips for Contemporary Journalists from Experienced Writer

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You've heard the words, "Anyone can be a reporter nowadays." You've heard talk that the internet is changing journalism and the definition of a journalist. However Carl Hiaasan, novelist and columnist at the Miami Herold says this must not change the way we approach journalism and reporting.

Hiaasan spoke about the issue on September 25th at Flagler College.

Hiaasan says that reporters today often tend to write a quick online version of a story rather than taking the time to check facts, and this is dangerous behavior.

Another change he's noticed in journalism is that employers are hiring more writers with English backgrounds and creative concentrations, when they used to steer away from this and go only for those with writing background in law, history, etc. This shows that journalism is becoming more diversified.

Hiassan urges journalists to keep working and reporting with accuracy. "We've never needed good journalists more than we need them now", he said in a recent article.

Explaining that journalism is all about discipline, Hiassan says journalists not only need to have talent but they need to know how to discipline themselves and meet deadlines. They also need to learn how to constantly listen to what people are saying.

Hiassan thinks that most importantly journalists need to be committed and dedicated with many open ideas to make it in the competitive media job market now.

As a student majoring in journalism, Hiassan thoughts are very helpful. Journalism is becoming more contemporary now, but it's important to remember that people still want traditional liability. It's also important to remember to approach the changes and advances in journalism with open eyes and open minds, and be constantly ready to adjust.


President Obama Holds Phone Conference with Journalism Students

President Barack Obama takes time out of his busy schedule to conference call select universities to answer journalism students' questions.

I am proud to have a president that will take time away from running our country to talk to college students. It reinsures his statements about believing in and supporting a brighter future.

Obama answered questions such as the Affordable Care Act enabling the eligibility to stay on your parents' health plan until the age of 26.

As a young adult I know how hard it is to make a decedent wage with or without a college education. I wouldn't be able to afford health care if I wasn't on my parents' health plan. Health care is very important not only for the obvious health benefits but I wouldn't have been able to spend 12 months in Europe through my college if I couldn't afford health insurance.

The main point Obama made to the students was that his goal was to have more students complete college. He discussed his plans to raise the value of Pell Grants and triple the college tax investment for middle-class families.

As a senior in college I exceeded my loan and grant money and my parents had to take out a personal loan for me to complete my last year of college. Luckily my parents are very supportive of my education and signed a personal loan, under their names not mine, so I can have a degree.

If my parents hadn't helped me I would have been among the one-third of college students that do not finish. Something needs to change and I'm glad he is planning to make college more affordable.


Make Tweets More Like Headlines

Being a new tweeter myself I am still getting used to the in's and out's of what and how to say what you want in 140 characters.

One Twitter user offers some pretty good advice.

While you have 140 characters it doesn't necessarily mean you need to use each and every one of those to say as much as possible.

Instead of having diarrhea of the fingers you should try and make you tweets more like a headline.

You all remember back in the good old days when newspapers were still around when the headline was what captured a reader's attention.

Well, while we still have newspapers and more than enough online it seems people are forgetting that less is more. So get to the point people and save space for other things, such as hashtags or a link.

Here I will offer a few pointers from not only the article I read but also my Beginning Newswriting and Reporting Professor.

First off, always aim for the "active voice". Make your subject do something rather than have something happen to them. It's catchier but passive is sometimes acceptable as well.

Next, ditch the conjunctions and articles. You can simply replace conjunctions such as "&" with a comma. No one cares about, and really need the "the" to get the point across.

Abbreviate when possible, it save's time and space. The final piece of advice offered in the article is to not capitalize every single word in your headline.

So, take this advice everyone and make your tweets shorter, snappier and more like a headline.


iPhone Adds New Application

The iPhone is continuing to add new applications that will make life easier and more terminologically advanced. One of the latest applications is Sumazi In a nutshell this application can connect people in a single touch as the article's headline says.

Everyone always wants to connect with the top dog person to help them get the job opportunity. Or that one person that would be perfect to help with a project. The right person never seems to come to mind. Making a good connection with the right person can change your life forever. According to a study only about four meaningful connections happen each year.

LinkedIn has a similar application but no one uses the connection option because it does not always provide the best results. Which is what Sumazi is hoping to do the opposite of on the iPhone application. This application allows one person to instantly connect two people on their contacts list and then an explanation is provided as to why the two should be connected. Feedback is offered is people do not want to accept the connection.

The web application does the same thing providing possible connections for jobs or whatever it may be. The founder Sumaya Kazi is hoping to make in so human interaction is not necessary with the program. That way the application will just know who to suggest as a possible connection.

This will benefit a lot of people in whatever they may be looking for. Making good connections can change a person's life for the better because at times it's all about who you know.



Is Journalism Dangerous to Your Health?

How many of us want to travel (outside of our own state) to cover news stories? The chance to go to a different country would seem like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and many of us would probably jump at it. However, have we stopped to think of the consequences?

If you've looked at the news lately, you've probably noticed that reporters in Mexico are have been "disappearing" or are being murdered. This has been ongoing since 2006, when their new president came to office, Felipe Calderon. A South Carolina newspaper recently ran an article about how reporters in Mexico are being urged to use extra caution. What are they being murdered for?

Reporting on the drug trafficking problems. Since 2000, at least 65 reporters (in various fields) have been murdered, sometimes seemingly at random. This makes Mexico the deadliest country in the world for news people, according to a report from a Utah news station.

To us (or so I'm assuming), reporting on something such as drug trafficking doesn't seem like that big of an issue, but we are sitting a couple thousand miles away from the problem.

So why are journalists being killed for doing their jobs?

This is nothing new, and people have been persecuted over this for years. Do you remember Daniel Pearl who was beheaded over his investigation into Al-Qaeda a few years back? He had traveled to a war-torn country, tried to do his job, and was subsequently killed for doing so.

Would you be willing to travel to a foreign country, is you knew there was a chance you wouldn't be coming back? Do these kind of reports scare you, as a potential reporter, about what could happen? Or does it make you want it that much more? Just because the United States embraces journalists (for the most part), does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world does.


Vevo May Be on TV

Monday, September 27, 2010

If you've been on Youtube and looked up songs of current popular artists, the first video listed may be one from Vevo.

Vevo is a music video website designed to attract big advertisers that launched a year ago this December. It plays videos from large record labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI.

On Youtube, the Vevo video usually has the best quality and plays music videos to their entirety. They also have their annoying 30 seconds or less long advertisements at the beginning of each video. In the end it's worth waiting the extra 30 seconds because it's doubtful you will find a video with better quality.

Since Vevo launched it's been very successful. So successful that it is making plans to make their own television network and compete with MTV.

Vevo claims that they are the number one site to visit if you're looking for music videos. Although MTV receives more views when you add up everything they have on their channel.

Surprisingly in my opinion, MTV is not bothered by Vevo's hopes of creating their own TV channel. “We welcome new players in the music video category and think any exposure for music is good for the industry and everyone in it, from Fuse to Vevo,” an MTV spokesperson said.

That being said from MTV, I give them a lot of respect for being up for the challenge.

Vevo has yet to sign deals with satellite and cable providers since they are just beginning. If the Vevo channel happens, I wonder what the difference will be compared to MTV. For example, if Vevo will be strictly music videos, like MTV used to be.


Twitter To Unveil Promoted Accounts Feature

It appears that very soon, Twitter will be launching a new Promoted Accounts product. According to the article Twitter to Launch "Promoted Accounts" by Ben Parr, businesses will be able to pay Twitter so that they can be featured in the who to follow section. This move would increase the businesses visibility and help said business collect more followers.

The concept for this was apparently leaked two months ago, according to the article by Parr. At that time it was only in the concept stage but it looks like Twitter has decided to take this idea and run with it.

Much like Twitter's Promoted Tweets feature has had success (many promoted tweets have been going for near $100,000), the company must be banking on the fact that businesses and corporations want to become more visible to the online community.

Full details have not surfaced quite yet however. It is expected that Twitter will present this new feature this Tuesday at the IAB Conference in New York.

Apparently what is known is that this Promoted Accounts feature will be targeted to users who would be more receptive to that product or business much like Promoted Tweets.

In our ever changing society of media and news it would only seem logical that monetizing social media and other forms of journalism online is a natural step. It looks like Twitter may be figuring out how to do this, which has been a difficult task for many. Maybe other forms of journalism and media should look at what Twitter is doing, especially if they are having trouble surviving.

Image Courtesy of Flickr, Matt Hamm


Coping with Younger Generation Ignoring the News

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Newspapers gone, journalists fired and education changed to cope with the digital age uprising.

The younger generation of the digital age has left the newspapers, and have moved to online
news. Unfortunately the question is still asked does this generation even pay attention to the online material?

The answer is no, they don't. The younger generation doesn't pay attention to news when they don't understand how it directly affects them.

Even with the news right online with quick and easy access, if the information isn't comprehended as having an affect on them, then there is no need to pay attention to the material.

So how do we help the younger generation grasp the fact that news is important? Start by making it important to them specifically when they are younger.

As shown in the video above, George Washington elementary has a third grade class that is being taught the importance ofblogging at a young age.

It can specifically be seen when the students are talking about blogging most of them post comments, and look at others comments.

Explained by some of these students, it helps them choose other books that they may potentially like to read because of others comments.

These students saw that the information 'posted by others' can benefit them and their choices of, in this case, books.

Essentially, these third graders are getting 'news' about books read by others. This could progress throughout their education to bigger news topics in the United States or throughout the World.

Whether it is print or online, as long as techniques like blogging show the younger generation how news affects them, there is a chance to grasp their attention.


Journalism Ethics in Student Newspapers

Ethics. They're what we live by.

In the world of journalism, it is ever so important to hold on to the proper 'codes of conduct' while reporting the news. This ensures that lawsuits are not filed and that journalists hold a level of accountability and credibility.

Unfortunately, some student-run newspapers around the country have had trouble with those boundaries...

The Badger Herald newspaper, printed on the UW-Madison campus, came under fire for letting an ad be published depicting anti-Semitic comments geared toward the Jewish community.

There was speculation as to wether this was intentional or an editing error, but the paper received negative feedback on its online forums and comment boards. The news spread quickly through online channels and the paper had to deal with a variety of consequences. -To read the original article click HERE.

This example shows that writers and publications need to be on their toes when it comes to the content they express. Whether it's in print or online forms of the publication, the speech that gets out there should be censored for such offensive remarks. In this context, this type of 'hate speech' would be only protected insofar as if it didn't target a particular individual...but that doesn't mean it should get printed.

Young journalists should conduct themselves in ways that will help establish their credibility as writers, which I have noted in the video blog about this article. Since these are students, and not professional journalists there should be a little lee-way granted, but it also reflects badly on the publication and the school when such issues are raised in stories.

I feel like the student organization should go to extreme matters to right the wrongs that occurred in this case, and also go to great lengths to ensure that ALL students know what should/shouldn't be allowed to run in an issue.

In order to report the news accurately and effectively, it takes the entire staff's effort to ensure that the right sources and content reach the audience...in a non-offensive way. Not all student newspapers have this problem, but it has become apparent that there needs to be more emphasis made on teaching journalism ethics to young writers and students.


New Journalists Emerge From Changing Climate

Entrepreneurial Journalism covers several
platforms, all of which begin with technology.
The City University of New York, CUNY, is set to debut its new master's program in entrepreneurial journalism.

As the world of journalism changes, it's important for graduate schools for journalists such as CUNY to stay on top of both media and the changing platforms for which media is to be displayed.

Entrepreneurial journalism is described in the article "New Journalism Degree to Emphasize Start-Ups" by Tanzina Vega, as "pulling journalism, business and technology closer together."

What this means to me is the greater use of media journalism as means to start being heard and recognized as a journalist. Additionally, if students are acquiring entrepreneurial skills, they are more likely to start up journalism-based businesses that will, indeed, further the evolving journalism world.

The school finds this type of journalism to be so important that they're recommending that journalists who have fallen out of date with mainstream media to begin taking these classes.

"We're all very concerned about sustaining quality journalism, and we think the future of journalism is going to be entrepreneurial," said Stephen B. Shepard, the founding dean of the school and a former editor in chief of BusinessWeek.

This type of journalism is going to become the norm for all journalists. It's going to become apparative that journalists are familiar with a vast number of technological programs and devices and self-management skills in order to thrive in such a demanding job market.

It's exciting to know that unlike many practices that will be taught the same way today and in 100 years, journalism is transforming along with the changing times, in synch with the advances in technology.


Mashable Names Top Travel Apps

Being informed about where you are going should always be important to travelers.

It helps you understand the culture around you, it helps you make sure you don't get lost, and as Mashable blogger Sarah Kessler said in her post "7 Ways Mobile Apps are Enriching Historical Tourism," it helps you distinguish famous historical sites from "just another old house or pile of rubble."

Although there are ample amounts of mobile travel apps, Mashable chose seven that they believe are among the most "innovative and impressive."

Of course, this should be especially important to my fellow college students, who may be preparing for future May Term trips.

Many students will be traveling to England for their May Term trip this year. The Time Travel eXplorer London app not only provides you with over 750 points of interest in London with personal guided commentary, but also gives you the ability "time travel" by switching from antique maps to a present-day map.

Other apps listed also boast cutting-edge technology.

The Walking Cinema: Murder on Beacon Hill app was the first app to be accepted as an entry into the Boston International Film Festival due to its documentary-like feel, and the Chicago Gangland Tour app was created by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Eig.

Need to save a few dollars? Getting an app for your mobile phone rather than paying for guided tours is a great way to save money. Furthermore, it can save you time and, more importantly, impress your fellow travelers.


Facebook Goes Down and People Freak Out

Saturday, September 25, 2010

For two-and-a-half hours, many of the 550 million Facebook users experienced the "e-pocalypse" this past Thursday.

Two days ago, Facebook experienced an outage due to a glitch on Facebook's databases causing the site to be unavailable for a few hours.

As expected, Facebook was prompt with a resolution to the site's blackout and the site was restored without any changes. Facebook's representative, Robert Johnson, sent a public message via Facebook explaining the situation and apologizing for any inconveniences it might have caused.

Many were not able to update their status, share their pictures, "like" their friend's post, or comment on the trending news; activities that have become regular tasks for thousands, if not millions, of people.

Furthermore, something more impressive is the speed at which the news spread and the amount of attention it generated.

CNN, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times, to mention a few, reported this issue and kept updating their online posts as they found new details on the story. Other websites, like Network World and CBS News, went a little deeper into the story by reporting technical explanations to the outage.

Today, two days after the outage happened, news reports about the Facebook issue are still showing up on my RSS Feeds, which makes me think: Is the media being too dramatic or is Facebook so big and indispensable that it deserves that much attention?

Of course, this little Facebook incident has shown how addictive social media has become, but I do not think it required that much attention, specially if the site only went down for two hours.

Can you imagine what would happen if Facebook ever decides to close down the website? Heaven forbid.


Top Tool for a Journalist

Friday, September 24, 2010

Every journalist needs what is considered the top tool in some form.

There is a list of the top five tools for journalists, and the voice recorder is number one.

They are crucial to a journalist's writing.

So many mistakes can be made if the journalist doesn't have this tool.

When writing an article that involves interviewing, which I've found that most do, having some form of voice recorder is an absolute necessity.

If a journalist doesn't happen to have some type of recording device on them, they may be in a critical condition later on when trying to write the story.

The reason for the voice recorder is to make interviewing and jotting notes simpler. If something is missed it may be listened to later on to see what was said.

Another reason voice recorders are important is that when quoting somebody, a journalist must use exactly what they said. If the journalist merely jots notes instead of writing word for word then there will be no quotes to use.

Without quotes the article or story will be bland. The public will not want to read anything they can't relate to.

To avoid these mishaps, get some form of voice recorder.

Now, get out there and start interviewing.


Communication or Entertainment...Or both?

Media consumption has skyrocketed over the past two years.

A study done by Ipsos OTX of 7,000 online consumers ages 13-74 shows that people now spend over half of every day consuming media. New technology like smart phones and high tech laptops has fueled this increase in consumption.

The big form of media that has been fueled by new technology is social media. The study showed that 77 percent of the people who participated in the study were members of one or more social Media site.

So, what is it big deal with social media?

Bruce Friend, president of Ipsos OTX Media CT said in an interview with TheWrap, "Communicating is now entertaining, and entertainment is communication."

Social media has broken its boundaries with the help of new media to take on the role of communication and entertainment combined.

Media consumers want to be informed, they want to be in touch and they want to be entertained. Social media has all of these aspects. Social media sites are constantly changing and revamping in order to attract media consumers who have these demands.

Thanks to new technology, social media sites are also being forced into making products available through every different type of smart phone or other media device on the current market.

Are media consumers demanding too much out of their media outlets?
Is entertainment becoming more important than communication, or can they coexist equally through social media?

Only time, and an eye on new technology, will answer that.


Opportunity for Journalism Students

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aol's hyper local project called Patch says that it will be the largest employer of upcoming journalists. Patch U is teaming up with several universities and giving journalism students the opportunity for internships. New journalists are going to define the media and how we use it and Patch is committed to preparing them for this.

Schools such as Stanford and New York University's journalism programs are taking part in this opportunity. They will have the change to write leads, cover stories, be at events, shoot photo and video, and the editing process. This is a great experience for the students to get a taste of the life as a journalist.

However, with the world of journalism heading down hill this opportunity may not be as good as it would have been ten years ago. Journalism students may be getting the experience but then are finding it hard to get a job after college. They end up putting their stories out there for free Patch is avoiding exploiting students by limiting them to a two month unpaid internship.



Blogging your Way to Success

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recently, I have been dabbling in the idea of starting my own blog outside of Beginning Newswriting and Reporting class. However, a few questions arise:

What in the world am I supposed to write about? Who would want to read what I have to say? Do I have the qualifications to write a “real” blog? And, what about my time? Do I have enough?

Luckily for my fellow, future bloggers, I have the answers.

According to Nathan T. Wright of Lava Row, you can write about anything at all. Wright presented
"The Brand of You" at Simpson College tonight, in which he talked about making yourself a marketable brand. One area of branding Wright encouraged was blogging.

This means that if you're interested in writing a blog about sex and relationships like Glamour Magazine's blogger Erin Meanley- whose most recent article was entitled “Can We Please Discuss the Hotness That Was Last Night’s Dancing with the Stars?” -you can!

There are all types of readers around the world, so you shouldn’t ever worry about people not being interested in your blog.

And remember, anyone can write a blog. You just need to have the drive.

Don’t know how to get started? Here are some sites to help you out:

- Wordpress

- Tumblr

- And of course Blogger

Overall, they follow the same general set-up. You just have to find the one that is right for you.

As Wright said, “There is no barrier to entry.” You just need to have the will and the time (at least once a week) to get your blog going.


Security Hole in Twitter Proves to be a Problem

Twitter.com users got an unwanted surprise early this morning.

Due to an exploited security hole on the Twitter website t
housands of Twitter.com users were unwillingly taken to other sites just by mousing over a link in their Twitter feed. At the same time these users were sending tweets to others spreading the exploit.

This "hole" is from the onMouseOver JavaScript code. Although most of the exploited security hole users used the hole for pranks or promotional purposes it was still a big annoyance to many.

Last month Twitter.com had the same problem with a exploited security hole and seemed to have fixed it. That is until this morning. A recent update to the site, not the new Twitter, is being blamed for the new hole surfacing. However, it was only the website users who were affected. Mobile device and twitter app users were untouched.

No long-lasting harm has come from this incident but it does pose a problem for the future. If someone uses a security hole for a harmful reason rather being funny or promotional, it could prove to be a big problem for

Twitter users can now return to using Twitter.com safely, for now.


iPad App to Capitalize on Newspaper Subscription Deficit

Can you think of the last time you actually opened up a newspaper to gather your daily information?

I remember in Junior High School having to read the newspaper for a class, and found it pretty boring. Not enough color. Less than adequate visual and pictorial stimulation. Dry news to a 13-year-old.

It's no secret that young adults, and even some middle aged adults, also find the newspaper to be deficient and obsolete as a method for gathering news about the world.

So what are people doing about it?

The larger newspapers around the country are realizing that subsidizing their output into online-only distribution methods may in fact be the best way of sustaining themselves. Why? Because the vast majority of the general public finds news online and sees no need to buy a physical newspaper. Why? Because who wants to wait for days when you can access to top stories of the day in seconds?

But condensing to online-only outlets isn't the only option. At least not to Apple.

With the introduction of the iPad in the last year, Apple has found another way to bring the world wide web to your finger tips. Functioning just like a bigger version of its sister products, the iPod touch and iPhone, the iPad allows for mobile creativity and networking like never before.

So how does the iPad have anything to do with the news?

For corporate or tech-savy people who like to be informed (or those who genuinely enjoy the news), Apple and the iPad are strategizing ways to overcome the newspaper subscription deficit by bringing news apps right to you. There are already apps out there for msnbc.com, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other new related sources for the iPhone and iPod touch. But what the iPad is rumored of intending to do, is let the newspapers themselves in on the deal.

Right now this is pure speculation, but the potential of putting this idea into the works could have a lot of positives.

Apple has already allowed for users to share their personal data/demographic information in functioning with certain apps, which can be very useful for publications looking to lure advertisers and customers. If newspapers and advertisers have a more select target market (i.e. iPad users) they may in fact be able to save face...and possibly gain some new customers in the process.

Problems with this idea would be that Apple could potentially take a hit from potential sales. According to Roger Fidler, digital publishing chief at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Apple could lose out on 30% of the subscriptions sold through the App Store, and another 40% on advertising from publishers' apps.

"Newspapers are wary of Apple becoming a middle-man," Fidler said. Publications preferred to offer the app as part of a subscription to their papers’ print versions. “Instead, they must use Apple as an intermediary with subscribers."

There are obviously a lot more kinks to work out with this proposed idea:

-Who is going to benefit more from this 'partnership'?
-Will this only fuel the monopoly that is Apple?
-Can Apple find a way to satisfy its audience while doing a the civic duty of saving the newspaper subscription plunge?

If there is something that can be taken away here, it's that people and places are recognizing the decline in print media and want to take steps to aid and adapt to the technological changes that accompany it.


Social Media as a 'Social' Tool Yesterday is a Marketing Tool Today

Social medias as a social network are transitioning to an intriguing marketing tool for marketers.

Many businesses are using social medias as a marketing tool now that it is figured out what does and doesn't work, and that it needs to be integrated into a marketing plan.

Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses releases information after a study done on marketers specifically focusing on top 10 media questions marketers want answered.

1. What are the best tactics to use?

2. How do I measure the effectiveness of social media?

3. Where do I start?

4. How do I manage the social balance?

5. What are the best sites and tools out there?

6. How do I make the most of my available time?

7. How do I find and focus my efforts on my target audience?

8. How do I convert my social media marketing efforts into tangible results?

9. How do I cohesively tie different social media efforts together?

10. Does social media marketing work, and if so, how effective is it?

This study also revealed that many marketers are wanting to learn more about the social medias and take full advantage of the many free social media tools.

Of the marketers put under used for questioning, the majority of them used Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook were at the top, but at the same time Twitter and LinkedIn were also the two social networks that marketers wanted to learn more about.

Social medias are being used more frequently than not especially for marketers. The what does and doesn't work with in social medias is now starting to be acknowledged in marketing.

So even with the use of social media platforms such as Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook, there is still more that marketers are wanting to learn about these still newer forms of social medias to establish their foothold in the market.


Magazines May Soon Be Available on iPad

Monday, September 20, 2010

In recent years, more and more print articles have become extinct and available only online. I don't know whether to be sorry, or excited.

Apple wants to make newspaper and magazine subscriptions available on iTunes and has been messing around with this idea for a while now. Even before the iPad was launched.

Some publishing companies released an iPad version of their work to go along with the iPad's release. Time Inc. was one of them.

Of course it seems like a bright idea, but after you think about it, the question is money. Print and online subscriptions go for $4-$5, and when you can get it for less through database subscriptions or iTunes. Publishing companies like to use their database subscriptions to gain customers and advertisers.

Apple takes a 30% revenue on everything it sells on iTunes, and hopes to do the same with periodicals.

The iPad has hopes of making magazines and newspapers more engaging to the audience rather than just the glossy finish on the print version. Publishers hope that Apple's iTunes will help increase sales since songs, video, and other downloads do very well.

iTunes still has a small amount of books, but the iPad will allow a much better experience which will increase the amount of e-books in the future.

It makes me wonder what will take place of the magazine racks at the check out. Maybe Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook will follow. This is just another step towards less print articles.

Go Green?


Become Friends With Your Computer

When making friends, it's important to learn about their particular qualities. If you really want to get close to a friend, you must figure out what's inside of them as well. Be friends with your computer.

Instead of taking everything you see on the screen for granted, learn to change and edit webpages to your liking.

Journalists will increasingly find the need for skills that computer science departments are teaching.

The article, "Hack Into Hackers," by Nicholas Carlson, points out that it's the new journalist's job to learn "enough computer science and software engineering to be able to design tools for information gathering, synthesis, analysis and circulation." Basically to do everything that is involved with being a journalist.

Because of the evolving news world, journalists aren't sticking to one area of reporting. Traditional news jobs are going to becoming less prevalent where internet blogs and microblogging sites are gaining on their audiences.

In the reading, "technology firms like Yahoo and Google" are mentioned as examples of how man, technology and journalism have teamed up to make a power trio.

HTML codes can be used to do just about anything on the internet from editing a YouTube video to making your very own webpage.

By learning how to code on the  computer, you can more easily brand yourself as a journalist and improve your search engine optomization.

Being a new journalist means a more demanding workload and a whole new set of skills required to even begin the job. It is necessary now and will become more necessary in the future to aquire these and various other computer skills to be successful.

Get comfortable in your seat and give your computer a name because in no time you'll be making great friends.


Social Media in Journalism: What's the Future?

As social media continues to evolve into an everyday necessity for people across the globe, journalists are the ones who are having to learn and evolve the most with the changes. Journalists are having to learn how to use more than just a notepad and a pen but rather online tools like Facebook and Twitter are an essential part of a journalists proverbial "bag of tricks."

In the article "The Future of Social Media in Journalism" by Vadim Lavrusik, he explains what many professors and journalists feel is the future of social media and journalism. According to Lavrusik social media in journalism will eventually see the "death of social media." He goes on to say that "all media as we know it today will become social, and feature a social component to one extent or another."

The article lays out many great points about the future of journalism and social media which I could not agree more with.

I agree that collaborative reporting has and will become more integrated. Sources and journalists will both have their hands in the stories they report and give info to. Also journalists will be more involved with the community they cover. The article mentions that newsrooms will be built to "focus on utilizing the community and enabling its members its members to be enrolled as correspondents." I feel as if this is a great point. With they way social media is now, people are already acting as journalists when they report news via Twitter. It's just the way things are now and like it or not we are all journalists if we want to be.

I'm not saying that social media is killing true journalists. I feel the world still needs true journalists.

The article makes a good point of how journalists will become community managers. Instead of journalists telling the people what they need to know, journalists and the community engage in conversation about news and journalists manage these conversations while still gathering traditional news stories.

Other things the article ponders are how social media is essentially the new news editor in the world of journalism.

Alfred Hermida, a professor of integrated journalism at the University of British Colombia is quoted in the article as saying "Platforms like Twitter can turn our social network into our editor. Once this role was the preserve of a newspaper editor, who decided what the public should read that morning. Now people can turn to their social networks to find out, 'what do my friends or people I respect think I should read about this morning.'"

Throughout the article there are topics covered that one can say are already beginning to happen throughout the world of journalism. As journalists we need to strive to change and grow with the new concept of media becoming completely social. There really is no room to resist the change, its either roll with the punches or die trying to resist them. I would strongly suggest that others heed these thoughts and concepts in this article by Lavrusik in order to keep growing with the new concept of journalism today.


Twitter: Where It's Been and Where It'll Go

A lot of things in life begin with an idea and are molded and changed until they have a true purpose. The social networking site, Twitter, is one of those things.

Last week, Christopher Isaac (more commonly known as Biz Stone), the co-founder of Twitter visited Ball State. He led a forum event discussing "Twitter's rocky beginning and his plans to make the site a more useful information source", as explained in this article.

Stone never finished college, as he dropped out to work with book cover designing. He became a Web entrepreneur when he founded Xanga, a social networking site. He met Evan Williams and they became business partners as they created Odeo, one of the first podcast companies.

Eventually this site developed into the social networking site which would become Twitter.

Stone and Williams realized the potential of their site in 2007, when they noticed attendees at a festival using Twitter to invite each other to different places around the convention. It appeared that the site was making the humans flock like animals, and that's how they decided on the name Twitter.

In 2009 they noticed Twitter was critical for media and world leaders to share information on the situation in Iran. Stone stated "Twitter can be a complementary source for news because it offers the first bit of information in 140 characters, leaving the media to develop the full story."

Today Twitter has over 165 million registered accounts.

With so much success already, Stone wants to continue shaping Twitter into a tool to help people find information that's relevant to them right now. He says there are plenty of applications that will help this process along.

Stone wrapped it up saying, "I don't know what they (the untapped used for Twitter) are yet. I think a lot of it's going to be our job in trying to unlock it, by creating more relevance, by helping discovery and helping serendipity.


M.I.A. Dislikes Red Headed Reporters

In 2007 M.I.A. came out with her hit single Paper Planes only to loose her fans by creating a controversial music video. A New York Times reporter by the name of Lynn Hirschberg retaliated for redheads everywhere.

M.I.A.'s music Video "Born Free" was essentially a redhead genocide video with rock music playing in the background.

Lane wrote an article expressing her opinion about the video calling M.I.A. a ginger hater. M.I.A. retaliated by posting Lane's phone number to twitter. In an Interview Lane said she was not surprised that M.I.A. would do that.


News stories becoming less newsworthy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Does it ever seem like all you see online are topics about who's going to rehab, who got divorced, who wore what to the latest fashion show, or stories about the "bare-foot bandit"? Why have newspapers (both online and in print) chosen to run more articles on seemingly unimportant topics as opposed to the real issues? Because those are the types of stories that sell.

Based on a recent article Washington Post writer Paul Farhi writing for the American Journalism Review, consumers are more interested in these types of topics than they are ones that thirty years ago would have been considered newsworthy.

Farhi states that if you check out any major news network, you will find a list of top-viewed and most recommended links and videos to watch (CBS, NBC, ABC to name a few). Go to one now and see what you find. Chances are the top hits are not all going to be on the war in Iraq or what the Tea Party is up to, but articles that have headlines that jump out. Novelty is becoming increasingly more important these days.

Does that mean that these topics are any less important than they were in the time of Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings? Not necessarily, but the people behind the scenes of newspapers have realized that they just aren't going to bring in the money as they once did.

I believe a reason for the switch in headline "stories" is the changing audience. Younger consumers tend to be more aware of what is going on in the world without needing to be reminded of it 24-7. We have access to all these amazing online tools and resources to allow us to get short tidbits of stories without needing to sit down and read a newspaper to do so. For the older generation, however, they still rely on newspapers to get their information (and do they honestly care if Britney has cleaned up her act).

While is is unnerving to think that we care more about people's personal lives than we do real issues, hopefully newspapers and online sources alike can find a way to continue attracting consumers to their products, so that we do not lose anything and everything newsworthy.

We have magazines and tabloids for a reason, and newspapers should not feel that they need to compete with them.


Journalism Ethics 101

Saturday, September 18, 2010

While anyone can be a journalist nowadays, it doesn't mean that everyone has or understands the core principles of journalism.

The Next Ethics? Media Ethics Workshop, hosted by Kent State University on Sept. 16, gathered skilled journalists, college professors and prospect journalism students to discuss the current newswriting and reporting practices in today's media.

Among the distinguished speakers at the conference was Arianna Huffington,Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of the Huffinton Post. In her speech, Ms. Huffington acknowledged that journalism practices were changing and, due to the introduction of new technology, forthcoming journalists needed to adapt to a new journalism environment.

Ms. Huffington encourages the new era of journalism through the use of blogs or social media. However, she believes that "today's journalists should re-visit and learn from the old-fashion journalism." In other words, journalists today should keep in mind the true essential ethics behind Journalism as presented by the Society of Professional Journalists:

- Journalists should demonstarte honesty, fairness, and audacity when gathering information and reporting news.

- Journalists should be respectful and cautious about different social groups and sources of information.

- There should be no strings attached between journalists and sources in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

- A journalist should be responsible for a proper delivery of news and generate a dialogue among audiences.

Although the medium by which news are delivered might change, the ethics of Journalism should remain intact and put into practice more often.


Unsuspected Eyes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Undetected people may be watching you right now. They may be absolutely anywhere, spying on your every move.

The unusual irony about this is you allow it to happen. You put yourself out there to be detected nearly every single day.

What am I talking about, you ask? I am talking about social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

Social networking sites have become ever increasingly popular not only to the public but also to journalists.

Journalists typically use the websites in a professional manner like posting information about journalism or news that may be happening around them.

The public, on the other hand, tend to use the networking websites in a personal manner. They update their statuses multiple times a day, sometimes even including what their location is.

Burglars have been eying in on those statuses, using them to plan their next attack.

Now, you may be thinking, "This can't happen to me." The truth is, "Yes, it can." I'm sure this man never thought it could happen to him.

Burglars are also banding together to create a "burglary ring".

What can you do to protect yourself? Simple, don't post personal information on the Internet or add people you don't know.

If you must post personal information don't include your current location or whether you may be home or not.

To try and counter-act these attacks there is a website called pleaserobme.com. The site is used to inform the public on the dangers of social networking sites.

Now that you have been informed on the dangers of social networking sites, hopefully you will take caution and protect yourself.

Happy networking.


Media Coverage shows Media Influence

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A question in the minds of media professionals is, what is the role of the media in the spread of world events and as a venue of public influence?

The Quran burning event has been a major topic in the media and has sparked the question of what the media should cover when it comes to something that could have a worldwide effect. Many news organizations have refused to print pictures and extended articles about Terry Jones' extremist threats because of their perceived ability to have a harmful worldwide effect.

Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, said in response to decisions to not extensively cover the story, "The freedom to publish includes the freedom not to publish."

The question of the role of media as public influence is hard to answer, especially when extensive coverage of a topic like the Quran burning would exasperate civil or religious extremists world wide and even endanger Americans overseas.

Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of ProPublica, discussed the idea of media as public influence at the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop 2010. Steiger discussed how modern news outlets have a goal of promoting stories that have a "high process of going viral" rather than topics that are "thought provoking...or challenging."

The question that the newspapers had to answer was whether the Quran burning story was a harmfully viral story or an important and thought provoking story worthy of public recognition and ultimately a form of public influence. Some decided that this story would become harmfully viral and would endanger the public as it influenced it if the story was printed in whole.

In this case, the reader can judge if these media outlets made the right choice in refusing to print this story. It can be the reader's job to keep the media outlets in check with the values of journalism and also to allow or not allow these media outlets to influence the public.

It comes down to personal judgment and an ability, or inability, to be influenced.


Photojournalism Makes a Comeback

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In a time where journalists are expected to write, photograph, shoot, and edit their own stories, a question arises: what is the future of photojournalism?

We are all told as journalists that in today's economy, where jobs are scarce and job security is a thing of the past, having just one niche is a deal breaker. A journalist must not simply be a
triple threat, but a quadruple threat.

With photography cooperatives such as Luceo Images and Magnum Photos popping up, however, hope isn't completely lost for a career in photojournalism.

Blogger from The New York Times, James Estrin, said in his blog entitled, "If Photojournalism Is Dead, What's Luceo?", that although "there's no doubt that there are dire economic changes in the photography business and fewer assignments to cover news," an economically efficient photojournalism career is still possible.

Rather than working through agencies where the photographers are tossed around like playing cards, photography co-ops like Luceo give individual photographers a chance to further develop their abilities and to take the reins by allowing them equal roles in the organization.

However, although a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, the topic of whether it is also worth a thousand dollars is debatable.


Journalism Makes A Shift In Schools Out East

In recent years, the scope of journalism has shifted from the traditional forms of news gathering to a more online and multimedia approach. It's no secret that the majority of the general news-conscious public gathers more than 80% of their information from an online source. Combined with audio, video, pictures, AND shorter articles, journalistic news has made a shift...and so have the people who participate in its production.

Journalism schools in New York and other cities on the East Coast have noticed this shift to a more multimedia approach and have implemented teaching new skills into their curriculum.

Adam Penenberg, an NYU faculty member said, "The challenge inherent to journalism programs today is like taking a bowling ball and trying to hit a fast-moving target."

Students are being faced with the difficult task of having multiple skills. Journalists used to be able to just write, edit, and occasionally do audio. Now they have to encompass all aspects of social media, online and print news, audio, video production and editing, and photography.

What schools out East hope to accomplish, is by equipping students with the necessary tools/skills to succeed in the rapidly changing world that is journalism and media, that they can learn, adapt, and effectively fit the role of the 'new' journalist.

New courses focusing on managing social media (specifically Twitter and Foursquare) and encouraging discussions by students on class websites are among some of the 'quick changes' journalism schools are making to adapt to this media shift.

--Sound familiar?

Not only are big, journalist-ritzy, East Coast schools making changes, but so are private, community, and state schools. EVERYONE has begun to recognize the need for attention to technology. Classes at Simpson College, for example, try to promote the same key elements in their course work. Twitter, blogging, discussions boards, encouraging internships and practicums in student-run media groups are all essential for those looking to pursue jobs in ANY realm of communications.

--So what does this mean for the Communications/Journalism student?

1. Get with it. --Establish yourself on various social networking sites, create a profile, share your work, gain a 'fan base' and market yourself. The more you do, the more likely people will see it.

2. Be confident. --No one likes a timid journalist. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. Go after the news; don't let it come to you.

3. Utilize your talents. --Sure they're asking for you to master everything...but you also want to find your niche in communications. If you excel at shooting and editing video, focus on mastering that skill. It's not hard to incorporate other areas of multimedia once you get the basics...but you have to know what you are good at.

Journalism schools and Communications departments across the country are seeing the need to educate and adapt to the changing technological culture we're being thrust into. If we don't keep up with the fast-paced cyber channels being developed, journalism (in any traditional sense) will cease to exist.


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