Berman to Stay

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chris Berman, the face of ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "Monday Night Football," is staying with ESPN.

Along with his involvement in ESPN's NFL coverage Berman is the host of ESPN's U.S. Open golf coverage. Berman is the six-time national sportscaster of the year award winner and has been with ESPN since October of 1979, soon after the network was launched. Berman has become the face of the NFL branch of ESPN and is the anchor for all their NFL coverage.

The decision was not a quick and easy one for Berman. He was pursued by two major broadcasting companies, DirecTV and NFL Network. Berman has decided to stick with the network where he got his start, however saying, "Home is where the heart is."

The next time you can catch Berman on ESPN will be Thursday night where he is set to host ESPN's live coverage of the NFL draft at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Berman has hosted the NFL draft since 1987.


Tumblr wants your money

The three year old company Tumblr wants your money.

What is Tumblr? It's a service that allows people to quickly and easily set up lightweight blogs. They currently have 4.5 million users.

What makes them stand out is they do not charge their users for their service. They also do not sell advertising on pages they generate.

In the past Tumblr has received millions of dollars from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Together they recently poured another $5 million making them the sole investors in Tumblr.

Now Tumblr wants to sell "digital stickers" to users at a dollar each. Users will buy these "stickers" to spruce up their pages, like bells and whistles.

Peter Kafka says this "strategy is a little more seat-of-the pants, but the bet is that it may be easier to coax money out of people a couple dollars at a time."

Although I had never heard of Tumblr before, I think that it is a great starting place for new journalist to get a start blogging, and get the feel of blogging. Because there is no cost associated with their service, new journalist don't have a huge financial investment, but allows them to start a portfolio of work.


Entire Rolling Stone Archive Online

All 43 years of interviews, reviews, and other articles from Rolling Stone magazine will soon be available online for a price.

According to AFP, Rolling Stone plans on making most of their content free, but in order to see all of the content a user would pay $3.95 per month or $2.50 per month with a yearly subscription. The magazine will also be redesigning its Website, adding more audio and video.

Mashable writer Brenna Ehrlich argues that Rolling Stone is setting up its paywall in a smart way. Rolling Stone not only released more content, they also added a lot of new content.

She points out that putting up 43 years worth of content online is "no small feat." When media consumers are considering whether or not to drop $30 a year into a subscription, they will have to take this work into consideration also.

Ehrlich makes a good point, but will consumers agree with her?


Poynter Points to FCC to Stop Media Crisis

Remarks at today's FCC workshop should be of interest to fellow BNR students.

In remarks made in her testimony at today's FCC workshop, Karen Dunlap, President of Poynter Institute said that cross-ownership of media wasn't the immediate crisis. Whearas she urged the FCC to keep watch to insure that relaxing cross-ownership rules wouldn't affect independent, local and community provided news, she urged them to consider a wider issue.

She is concerned about the media transformation, anyone can have a megaphone now. She quotes Michael Smith, executive director of Northwestern University's Media Management Center. Who said to a group at the Newspaper Association of America meeting that "an eight-year old –- let's say an affluent eight-year-old -- has more publishing power in her bedroom today than publishers in 1999."

The FCC is concerned about owners of mass media and the power they hold; but mass media now shares the stage with the masses. And the FCC should also be concerned about that; because "Almost anyone can post almost anything to friends, a community or the world. Drawing an audience, of course, is another matter, as is the matter of producing news and information that is of value to society. The megaphone simply speaks to the means of commanding attention, of gaining influence."

She also discussed declining audiences of all traditional news media, people are selective in where they are getting thier news. She mentions the decline and loss of jobs in the newspaper industry, newsrooms, news magazines and the loss of ad revenue. "The decline was greater for journalists of color." according to Dunlap.

Dunlap told the FCC, "The problems that I have outlined are a threat to an informed democracy. We are seeing the deterioration of informed civic discourse as we drown in information, opinions, debates, half-truths and lies."

She encourges the FCC to consider their role in insuring an informed population.

She urged the FCC to:
1. Assist local communities to make sure daily, local, national and international news gets to them - using public funding, government, foundations and citizen contributions.
2. Promote diversity in the field of journalism.
3. Take a stand against hate speech and raise the "level of exchanges to stop the civic discourse."

This article addressed similar issues we discussed from the speeches of McChesney and Nichols and emphasizes the amount of concern there must be out there, particularly by academics. I hope the FCC can take some action that doesn't trample on First Amendment rights and yet makes sure we can sustain journalistic integrity within the newsrooms. And I hope they can save jobs and make sure that local communities continue to have news service.


Bad News For Bill O'Reilly

The Comedy Central kings are still sitting pretty on their thrones.

The political and media news shows that satirize and mock conservative political pundit programs such as Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor are here to stay. The Colbert Report and The Daily Show both just got their contracts extended on the comedy channel.

Stephen Colbert has hosted his own show, The Colbert Report, since October 2005. His show has been extended through "indecision 2012" and through the end of that year.

Jon Stewart, executive producer, writer, and host of The Daily Show, has gotten his contract extended through June 2013. He began hosting the show in 1999.

Between the two, they have been nominated for 47 Emmys and three Peabody awards.

All in all, Colbert and Stewart aren't going away any time soon.


Banned iPad

The Apple iPad has been banned from two major American Universities because of wireless connection issues.

Princeton University has officially blocked 20 percent of the iPad from being used on the Princeton wireless network. Princeton claims that the iPad cause DHCP client malfunctions which means the iPad is making it hard for other devices to connect to the school's wireless network.

George Washington University is having technical difficulities of their own with the iPad, though their issues don't involve DHCP malfunctions. Their wireless networks do not support the iPad just like they did not support the iPhone when it was released. This problem makes it impossible for iPad owners to connect to GWU's wireless network.

Not all places are having trouble with the iPad. Cornell University specifically tested for DHCP malfunctions before the iPad was released and because of this Cornell has had no problems with the iPad on their wireless networks. Seton Hall is another institution that was prepared and has had little trouble with the iPad.

Apple plans to release iPads that will connect to 3G networks in April which could help solve the WiFi connections problems the current iPads are having.


Apple Still Old Fashion

Apple has recently denied an application called "Newstoons." This application was apparently in violation and so it was not published. The application was created by Mark Fiore, a Pultizer-prize winning cartoonist. His application was to let people view the cartoons.

While Apple seems to believe that the gated community they have now created works well, it shows interesting views of whether you'll only be able to have stories that are overall popular with audiences. If Apple is pick and chosing what they want to publish, what exactly are they looking for? Just the topics that might get them more money. It seems that this might be Apple's main concern.

Currently this application has now been published.


Google Buzz Gets Scolded By Privacy Officals

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is being criticized by data protection officials from 10 countries for his company's handling of the launch of Google Buzz and asked the company to commit to building greater privacy protections into services.

Jennifer Staddart, privacy commissioner of Canada sent the scolding letter signed by her counterparts in France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The letter stated that the officials were concerned that the privacy rights of the world's citizens are being forgotten when Google releases new technological applications. They were disturbed by the recent roll out of the Google Buzz social networking application which is a complete disregard for fundamental privacy norms and laws

The letter also noted that Google has a history of privacy problems with its services, particularly Google Maps Street View.

Google Buzz, which launched in February, was an attempt to hasten the process of creating a social network by designating Gmail users contacts as followers. Googles attempt to catch up with the phenomenal growth of Facebook, backfired by exposing relationships that users expected would remain private.

Google apologized and made some changes to the service. Earlier this month, the company attempted to start over again by asking users to reconfirm their Buzz settings.


"Liking" Their Way to the Top

As we all know by know, Facebook is currently the most popular social network site available. In the past, sites like Myspace, Friendster and Bebo once reigned.

The problem with other networking sites is that they didn't last all that long. Users grew tired of them and moved on to bigger and better things. That 'thing' right now is Facebook.

But how long will the fad last? Will Facebook soon die out much like Myspace did?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of the trend. That is why he is making efforts now to help sustain the life of Facebook.

He is doing this by trying to build a sturdy platform; basing other businesses off of Facebook and integrating the 'like' button into other sites.

The plan is to create a web-wide 'like' button and to create a Facebook toolbar compatible with any browser.

While these new options will be good for Zuckerberg, Facebook and the Web, they might not have so many positive effects on Internet users.

To those who refuse to hop on board with Facebook, and those who let the site take over their lives already, Facebook is ready for total domination of the Web.

Before Facebook is seen absolutely everywhere online, get out from its grasps while you can. When Facebook controls everything else, don't let it control you.


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