Journalists in Juárez, Mexico

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last week I blogged about how reporting can be dangerous, especially in war-torn countries. This week, I wish to expand upon what some American reporters believe should be reported on the happenings in Juárez, Mexico.

Chris Lopez with the El Paso Times wrote an article about how it is the reporters' job to inform the world of what they see going on. Lopez focused on how it is a necessity to report about what is going on near the border, and just over it. He does not, however, see it was a bad thing to be reporting on (as the gangs in Juárez think it is), but rather just doing their job. Lopez argues that if this were happening in the United States, then the reporting would be just the same.

These are clearly people who have no fear in going out and getting the story they want. News sources from as far away as the BBC have traveled to Mexico to report on the violence. Or if they do have fears about anything, they are still willing to go get the story.

It is interesting to me that thus far, most accounts of reporters that have been murdered have all been Mexican citizens, and not so many of other nationalities. Surely the gangs know that there are other people reporting on what they are doing, yet a reaction has not been seen.

Is it up to other countries to report about issues that go on elsewhere? Or should this all be left to the natives? For the situation in Mexico, I think that it is important for other nations to keep everyone up to date, because those in Mexico are being scared into silence.

As a world, we need to keep each other informed, so that help may come to those who need it. It is refreshing to see that there are people that are willing to go get the story, and not worry about what will be said. They are seeking to tell the truth.


Harm Social Media Can Cause

Bullying and suicide via social media has attracted a lot of attention lately.

Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, committed suicide on Septemper 22. This was after a video of his "intimate" encounter with another male was broadcasted live on this Internet by his own roommate, Dharun Ravi and fellow student Molly Wei.

Clementi updated his Facebook status to "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry" sometime during that day he committed suicide.

This action of his roommate and fellow student is being viewed as not only a hate crime but also an invasion of privacy. If convicted they could face up to 5 years in jail.

This incident also brings up the question about the harm social media can cause.

Many children, teenagers and even adults have experienced bullying in one technological way or another.

18 year old Jesse Logan committed suicide because of "sexting". She sent nude pictures to her boyfriend, of the time, via picture messaging on her phone.

When they later broke up her boyfriend sent these pictures to other girls in their school. These girls then proceeded to harass her until she hung herself a few months later.

A lot of focus has been put on not only bullying but bullying due to one's sexuality. Teenagers and young adults are afraid to "come out" because of the harassment they know they will have to endure.

A recent "It Gets Better" campaign has been started to tell youth struggling with their identity and sexuality that over time it gets better.

Online media is used for all sorts of inappropriate things. One man actually committed suicide live online.

Many viewers egged him on, others tried to persuade him not to while others had no idea what was going on until it was too late.

All of this just goes to show that social media is a powerful thing that should not be taken lightly.

Everyone has poked fun at or even bullied someone online at one time or another. Next time they're thinking about it they need to step back and think about the possible consequences.


iPad Has Been A Big Hit For Apple

At first when the iPad premiered it seemed as just another novelty to have and people were unsure how many people would actually purchase the expensive electronic device. The iPad could hit in the top consumer electronic products within the next year.

According to the article below people are consuming the iPad more than the iPhone or near-ubiquitous DVD players. The iPad is continuing to grow it was not a huge hit right away like some other products made by Apple, but it is working its way up on the charts.

The iPad rates are about 4.5 million units per quarter. This is ahead of the 1 million units per quarter the original iPhone made when it was released and the 350,00 per quarter when the DVD players launched.

If this continues to be a popular consuming item the number could go up to 9 million per year business. Putting the iPad in the top five of largest consumer products placing it behind televisions and lap tops. And placing it in front of game systems. Along with these rising numbers it explains why companies like Samsung are wanting to incorporate touch screen into their products. It always is about being competitive. So I'm curious to see what Apple will make next!


When Social Media Turns Deadly

For the majority of Internet users, social medias are a way to connect people.

They bring the miles and distances between people down to a minimum, and they are a great tool for entrepreneurs in terms of business and marketing. But what people don't see is the harm that can come from being able to access, record, and broadcast information to millions of viewers any where, at any time.

Newfound victimizations have occurred over these new mediums, particularly to teenage users.

Online bullying, in recent years, has become an issue
of concern for schools, kids, and their parents. Not only has it given a new outlet to perpetuate hate, but bullying and threats online have become more severe than the typical verbal assault: When students don't have to have a name or a face to their speech, they aren't held accountable for the harm they cause.

Recently, tools such as iChat, YouTube, and Twitter have been the most detrimental in spreading gossip, hate, and ridicule to students to the point of suicide. In the case of Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, his roommate recorded footage of Clementi and, in turn, exposed to an audience that he was gay. Traumatized by this event, which was spread across the web via Twitter and iChat on two separate occasions, he took his own life at age 18.

Celebrities, rights groups, and LBGTQA communities are appalled at the rate of suicides because of this form of bullying. In the wake of Clementi's case, four other male students had committed suicide in the same week for similar cases of hate crimes and online threats.

Video campaigns have been launched by many influential people, including Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Bass and Kathy Griffin to stop these acts of hate.

A gay rights activist, Dan Savage, has recently opened up a YouTube channel called "It Gets Better" in response to these recent suicides. His goal is to raise awareness through this medium as a way to educate people about the harmful and 'dark side' of social media as it relates to cyber-bullying.

So what do WE do about it? --It starts with education.

Not only do schools need to be aware of what's going on, but so do kids and their parents; this is a very REAL concern. Counseling and outreach/support systems and groups need to be formed for those who are being victimized. The ignorance of hate speech can only be stopped once we being to acknowledge that IS a problem.

There's not much we can do about censoring social media usage without getting into legal disputes over privacy, but that doesn't mean we should sit back and let these tools be abused either. As much as culture begins to rely on technology, we need to understand that it's not an excuse to not be held accountable for our actions...especially if we're trying to teach kids about how to function and live in society.

As cliche as it might be, the wise Peter Parker said: "With great power comes great responsibility" and that's exactly the kind of mentality needed if we're going to tackle the malicious evils of online bullying in social media now and in years to come.


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