You Are What You Read

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"'Facebook Friend #384' read 'My Parents Turned Down Harry Potter Role: Daniel Radcliffe' on Washington Post Social Reader"

"'Facebook Friend #1276' read 'The World Mourns the Death of Dippin' Dots' on Yahoo!"

You may have seen similar postings to these popping up on your Facebook News Feed over the past couple of months. And, if you have lots of current events gurus as friends, you might be getting a little annoyed at seeing everything they read.

However, according to Facebook, this "frictionless sharing" is helping news organizations reach many new readers.

Jeff Sonderman from shares some lessons that Facebook and news organizations have learned since implementing these news apps in September.

First, early statistics show that these "frictionless sharing" apps have increased traffic to news sites from Facebook referrals. Yahoo News has 10 million app users on Facebook and its referrals from the social media site have increased 600 percent. The Washington Post and The Guardian are also seeing strong success with 3.5 and 4 million monthly users respectively.

Second, the struggle with finding young readers may be decreasing. According to Facebook, 83 percent of Social Reader users are 35 years or younger. This is good news to news organizations as they are appealing to a wider range of people.

Last, while no one seems to know Facebook's tricky algorithm for deciding which stories appear in one's News Feed, one thing is for certain: the open graph apps appear heavily within the News Feed, meaning that your friend's reading habits are consistently available.

Despite some criticism and leeriness over the inclusion of news reading on Facebook, I think that this is a great thing for news organizations as it is pulling in a wide variety of people to their website. Whether they read just one article or are drawn to the entire website, people that were getting no news before are receiving news via their social media habits.

We gain opinions and reccommendations from those in our sphere of influence and this is another way to help us decide what to read or what we may find interesting.

Or, you could just judge your friends on their own reading habits. As they (don't) say, you are what you read!


Pulitzers to be All Digital

The Pulitzer Prize Board has announced it is requiring all submissions to be digital starting in 2012.

According to a press release from the Pulitzer Board they have also made changes to their Breaking News category.

They are focusing more on the real-time reporting of breaking news, which appears to deal with how a journalist uses social media to report a story.

It is nice to see the Pulitzer Board call attention to the proper, accurate and timely use of social mediums in reporting

Hopefully the Pulitzer Board's redefining of "Breaking News" affects more than just those submitting for a Pulitzer Prize.

It is really easy to hold the elite to this new standard but, it will show its true worth if everyone begins to adhere to it.

Photo courtesy of PhotoBucket


Unethical Journalist is Arrested

Another person who participated in the News of the World's phone-hacking scandals, Bethany Usher, was recently arrested for participation in the phone hacking.

She was the the 17th person to be arrested since 'Operation Weeting'--the investigation into phone hacking--was set up this past January.

After the recent closing of the News of the World magazinr many people were made aware of the tragic murder of Milly Dowler, as well as the unethical way in which all journalists involved in the phone hackings operated.

Dowler disappeared in February of 2002, but her remains were not found until September of that year largely due to a belief that she was still alive. It was believed that she was alive because of the News of the World's hacking into her phone's voicemail, publishing the messages, and deleting them afterwards.

It was great to hear that her killer had been brought to justice, but, it is also good to know that those journalists who behaved so unethically are also being held accountable. I fully support 'Operation Weeting' and its efforts to remedy the phone hackings.


Paying for Information

Recently, Nick Davies of The Guardian admitted to paying child prostitutes for information for one of his articles.

Davies claimed in a testimony before a U.K. Parlimentary committee, "I [paid them] for two reasons – first that I thought it was better for them to earn the money by talking to me than by allowing somebody to sexually abuse them; second that it seemed fair to them, if i was depriving them of ‘working time,’ that I should compensate them for their loss."

Even though Davies is writing on a very touchy topic is it ethical in any way to pay your sources for their time? If Davies hadn't paid the children to talk, would any of them spoken out to a reporter? Or would Davies's article consisted of facts, not first-hand stories, about the horrors of child prostitution?

A newspaper or reporter paying sources for information is known as checkbook journalism. According to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the practice of checkbook journalism is unethical, wrong, and should not be used in any situation.


No News is Better Than Fox News

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Citizens who read no news are more informed than those who view Fox News.

The Huffington Post reported on poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University. The results revealed that Fox viewers aren't informed about the government stability in the Middle East.

Also, the University of Maryland conducted a study last year "found that Fox News viewers were more likely to believe false information about politics".

The function of the media is to be a watchdog, inform the public, and remain objective. Clearly, Fox News is can't juggle all of these functions.

Fox drops its first ball with not informing the public on current events. Perhaps too much time is devoted to other programming, such as political analysis, because a majority of viewers couldn't answer questions about political unrest in Egypt and Syria.

Remaining objective is another short fall for Fox. Viewers need to rewire their brains after Fox exposure because they are more likely to believe false political information.

Although Fairleigh Dickinson's pollsters point out that this poll had less to do with political biases and agendas and more to do with quality of programming.

Misinformation is dangerous. It makes the reader seem ignorant and the reporter mediocre.

Photo by sousa919


The Rack is Back

Monday, November 28, 2011

For a long time citizens were not able to purchase news papers from news racks at Raleigh-Druham International Airport. After taking legal action for six years they are now back in the airpot and people are now able to buy the New York Times, USA Today, and News and Observer.

These newspapers sued the airport after they only allowed papers to be sold in the airport stores back in 2004. In 2008 U.S. Judge Terrance Boyle ruled the band of news stands unconstitutional. In an article with Poynter Institute Boyle said the ban on news stands will take away informed citizenry which is the heart of our democracy.

The airpot tried to appeal the judges ruling but were unsuccessful. The reason the airport wanted to ban the news boxes was because they thought that it would create competition for the airport shops, cause more traffic, and even pose a security risk.

The newspaper companies now have to pay a rent of $12.50 to have their boxes there. Airport representative Jim Tatum says that everyone has come to an agreement that will work out for everyone and make them happy.


Vlog 2 NATN Newspaper Advertising


Keeping the Old and Ignoring the New?

News websites have been making an interesting discovery when it comes to their website's news. They are seeing that there is remarkable strong traffic towards older stories than their newer stories...this is bringing up the question: Is it really important for News to be new News?

What appears to be happening is that one person would read a weird story and it would automatically link the story that they had read to his or her facebook wall. This could lead to his or her friend's reading it and then it would be automatically linked to their facebook wall as well. Leading in an unending cycle of sharing this media. It is very unlikely that the readers know that this story is an older one, or perhaps they really don't care. After all some people tend to generally look at it this way,a good story is a good story as long as it's new to you.

I believe that this is an interesting story and it does show some of the things that I agree with. I don't mind if a story is perhaps even a few years old when I read it. As long as I haven't read it before and it perks up my attention, I have no issue with reading it. Its more for amusement and the 'Wow' factor really.

works sited: ;


What Does Christmas Mean?

Black Friday draws huge crowds, greedy people, and bargain shoppers. According to Amazon, online sales in 2010 were raised only 9 percent and this year a whole 26 percent online sales were raised.

People are becoming more reliable on online purchases because it’s fast,easy, and convenient. Online sales have steadily increases and will continue to grow if stores continue to have bargains online as well as in the store.

Dale Hudson, Nevada Reporter, stated that 50 million people flocked in and out of stores on Black Friday in Nevada. Top four stores that received the most sale increase from most to least was Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Apple.

Is standing in line for 5 hours waiting to get in the store, waiting to check out for 2 hours, and losing 8 hours of sleep really worth it? Most people would said yes according to Hudson’s report on Black Friday. People live to save $2 dollars on almost all purchases anymore. A sense of accomplishment comes from Black Friday.

We should forget the presents, stop with the greed, and drop the Santa image. We should all stop and think what Christmas really means. Does Christmas mean spending $5,000 and being greedy towards others? People go overboard on Christmas shopping and overboard on greed.

Black Friday is becoming a holiday that destroys the image of Christmas. Should standing in line for over and hour and becoming greedy really what Christmas should be all about? No! We should all take the time to be with family, do a kind act, and donate to the Salvation Army or charity.


Lying A$$ Bit?h


Faulty Study Left Uncorrected

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wall Street Journal + Ogilvy = Social Media Seminars

It's hard to admit you made a mistake. Daniel Klein, an economics professor at George Mason University, can tell you that, but he can also tell you how to move past it. Klein wrote an opinion column over a year ago saying that liberals score much lower than conservatives on a test over basic economics, according to his newest study. He published his column in the Wall Street Journal, which headlined: "Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader? Self-indentified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics".
Klein later took a second look at his data and concluded that his questions were loaded, or followed what he termed the "myside bias"- human's tendency to judge an argument based off of how closely it fits to their standard political views. Klein recently recanted his earlier findings and published the new results- but not in the Wall Street Journal. The Columbia Journalism Review emailed Klein asking why the new column appeared in the Atlantic instead of WSJ, and he responded that they had "declined the idea of a follow-up".

But shouldn't that be considered irresponsible journalism? The well-respected journal now has full knowledge that it ran an erroneous article, and the author is stepping up of his own free will to correct his past mistake. For the Wall Street Journal to decline the corrections is a loss of responsibility to their readers, some of which will never see the corrections simply because they don't read the Atlantic. The editors need to swallow their pride and put their reader's needs first.

Photo credit/


Reporting Mortgage Fraud

A local Las Vegas television station tackles mortgage fraud in the area.

There are many ways that television stations try to improve their ratings like Poynter stats, topless reporting to voice analysis, but KLAS is covering mortgage fraud in the city.

In the article, link here, journalist found that the mortgage crisis was the worst of all the reporting.
The journalist investigated the Clark County property records and found that the foreclosure papers were being robo signed or signing with a single notary.

In doing this many residents of the area that did this have problems with their titles when fore closing.

Journalist that bring this information to the people is a great way to bring up the ratings because the residence can trust the information that is being past on.

This is a great example of how journalism can help the viewers out by informing them on what is going on in the community and what they can do to fix the problem.


Social Media and Female Harassment

For years women have had to overcome certain hurdles. With the growing integration of social media in the world of journalism, female journalists have a new hurdle to leap over. 

An article on Poynter  discusses the increases harassment women have seen through social media outlets. Sexual comments and sometimes worse are being thrown around. This usually occurs when a woman reports on mainly male field of interest like politics or sports. Apparently men feel the need to rudely assert their dominance. 

This issue doesn't disappear after shutting down the computer. These online posts, sometimes lead to off-line fears. 

So, basically, all women journalists must immediately get off Facebook and Twitter, lock themselves in their room and pray for safety. No. 

There are some precautionary measure that can be taken, as mentioned in the article on Poynter. 

One women keeps personal information that she puts online to a minimum. Also, she waits until  she leaves a location to check in on Foursquare, never tweets about the hotels she stays in. It is also very common to have a professional Facebook page. 

Women must take control of the situation, and let all viewers know they need and want to be taken seriously. Clearly people are going to do what they want and that may be to harass women, but hopefully this doesn't scare the world of female journalists offline. 

Photo Courtesy of Photo Bucket


Reporter Goes Topless for Story

While covering a story about a naked drunk driver involved in a high speed chase, WOIO reporter Paul Orlousky appears topless while recreating the drivers stunt.

Orlousky, a reporter for WOIO Action News in Cleveland, Ohio, went to the courthouse to try and get some answers from the woman who was arrested for drunk driving while wearing nothing but a thong.

At first Orlousky was confronted by the woman's lawyer who ended up swatting the video camera with her file folder.

Then after an attempt to get something from the drunk driver herself, Orlousky went topless.

In the video it shows Orlousky sitting in the car wondering why the woman would be almost completely naked while driving. The camera then zooms out to reveal he himself has no shirt on.

This could be an attempt to get more ratings for his station, or Orlousky thought humor was the best way to connect with the audience during this segment.

Many people commented on an article by Andrew Gauthier at TVSpy at, showing their negative feelings toward the topless story, calling Orlousky biased and unprofessional.

Whatever the reason for Orlousky taking his shirt off was, it did bring in some additional viewers to the station to see this topless reporter in action.


Online Buzz for TV Shows

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A study by Optimedia US concludes that a television show's advance buzz doesn't predict its rating performance.

This study focused on five new shows: X-Factor, Playboy Club, New Girl, Whitney, and Charlie's Angels. The study measured Tweets, Facebook likes, Google searches, and Klout scores before the show premiered.

An increase in social media buzz reflects the network's marketing efforts and doesn't reflect how many people will actually tune in to watch.

Ad executives conclude that online buzz isn't a good predictor of which shows will be popular but measures how engaged people will be when watching shows.

Every show on television has a Twitter and Facebook. Many shows actually post their hashtag in the lower right hand corner of the television screen while the show is on so as to increase the online buzz.

The most affective way to promote a TV show with social media cites is to get viewers to Tweet or post a status on Facebook about the show while it is on. This will get more people to tune in if they see people they know and are following commenting on the show.


Citizen Journalism Provides Answers

Monday, November 21, 2011


Police arrest journalists covering Occupiers

When journalists go to work in the U.S., every day they know they might inadvertantly annoy or anger those who hold public office or employment. However, this is America- we hold expectations that journalists have the right to freely gather and distribute information to the general public. Lately, in the name of "protection", as New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg charactized it, journalists have been dealing with serious obstacles.

According to the First Amendment Center, on November 15 over a dozen journalists were arrested while covering the overnight raid of Occupy Wall Street's encampment, and many more were kept at a distance from the developing story. Julie Walker, a freelance radio journalist working for National Public Radio, was arrested for disorderly conduct while walking a few blocks north of Zucotti Park. She said the officer grabbed her arm twice, took her recorder and arrested her after she asked to know his name and badge number.

Why is the police force wasting time trying to block journalists from accessing an event of national interest? American foreign correspondents risk their lives travelling to many brutal dictatorships to cover protests, yet here in the American democracy journalists are arrested for their own "protection". City officials are protecting no one but themselves. It is a journalist's right to put themselves at risk for a story, and they are not in need of officials helicoptering over them. The American public deserves to know the story.


Scooping Where You Sleep

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Twitter is the ultimate instant news source.

Reporters have the ability to tweet from anywhere with cell reception or Internet access, and most put this on-the-go capability to use every day.

An article from Poynter. reported that because journalists were tweeting and updating statuses about being arrested at Occupy Wall Street. While this use of social media is effective, some critics argue that the arrested journalists actually scooped their own newsrooms.

Although an official statement was released by the journalists' newsroom denying that the employees' tweets scooped employers, there is an idea that other news sources could become obsolete.

The biggest (actually, shortest) obstacle for Twitter's takeover of breaking news is 140 characters long. Limited to 140 characters, Twitter is heavy with headlines but short on content.

For a quick news fix, Twitter should be the go-to; however, other media, such as print and online newspapers, television, and radio, are better equipped for whole articles and in-depth pieces.

Photo by Creative Commons

Video Blog


The News About The News: Too Much Bieber Fever

The News About The News: Too Much Bieber Fever


The Internet is Not Permanent

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

There has been recent concern about the speed of the internet, the promise of access to a vast amount of information, and a reliance on the internet and computers, and, that if these needs and expectations continue to increase there is a large possibility the the world system will crash.

In a recent article published by The New York Times, the founders of the company known as Arista Networks, discussed their uneasiness with the quick expansion of technology and speed of technology. The article discussed that people are now able to pour civilization online in the forms of Facebook posts, video chats, music, and so much more; and now just about all of this information is available via phone, tablets, etc. With so much information, business, and news conducted using the listed networks in the article, there is great danger in the loss of it all.

There have already been numerous recent occurances of networks shutting down for several hours to repair their networks--it has happened on too many occasions to count at Simpson College. One of the founders stated that Americans, as well as many others, think of the internet as a permanent thing that will always be there, simply because we rely so heavily on it; but, he makes it clear that the internet is not a certain resource. Furthermore, there is the risk of halting commerce, destroying financial records or enabling hostile attacks because nearly everything is conducted online.

I found this article extremely alarming because as we speak, I am using the internet to complete this blog. So much of the world's information and communication with one another, and other countries, is conducted through the internet. And, with the move of news from print to the internet, it is alarming to think that all communication with other countries, as well as being able to receive could come to a complete standstill from the crash of networks worldwide.


Premature Tweeting

A recent article posted to brought to light that some news corporations are getting upset with journalists who use social media to report news to early.

The article focused on Brian Stelter's criticism of the Associate Press' guideline requiring its journalists not to break news before it reports it.

Stelter makes the point that the journalists shouldn't have to wait for their respective news outlets to publish news in order to report on it.

He criticizes that the wire should react faster and I couldn't agree more.

The news should be reported swiftly and accurately. If both these terms can be met there is no reason not to publish.

What appears to be the biggest concern with journalist publishing news before their employers is that it undermines the employer.

Big news argues that the journalists they employ are serving to promote their own brand instead of the companies.

However, they wouldn't have this problem if the news organization worked to publish quicker.

It would give the journalist a better chance to link to news sources and increase visitors to their websites and other pages.


Sandusky Who?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last week, dozens of Facebook status' clogged up my newsfeed spouting opinions on the Penn State scandal. "JoePa" was flowing off the tongues of people who had never watched a college football game before in their life.

As the indictment news of multiple Penn State employees was revealed, media outlets went wild and the stories poured out- Joe Paterno involved in sex scandal. Joe Paterno to retire at the end of the season. Joe Paterno fired.

Wait, legendary coach Paterno sexually abused multiple boys in the showers at Penn State? Not the case, but if you would have been watching ESPN or any other station covering the scandal last week, it would be easy to think just that.

In the seemingly nonstop coverage of the scandal, Paterno was at the helm. The actual villian here, Jerry Sandusky, was given an almost-free pass from the media.

Sandusky, former coach for the Nittany Lions, was the one who abused those eight boys over multiple years. Mike McQueary, assistant coach, was the one who witnessed Sandusky molesting a young boy in the Penn State showers. Paterno is the one who is getting all the blame.

Now, understand this, I am in absolutely NO way trivializing what happened here or saying that Paterno was in the right by not making sure that Sandusky was punished for his inexcusable actions. In my opinion, all three of these men should be fired and held accountable for their actions, but I don't believe that the media coverage is providing fair coverage.

I would be willing to bet that a significant amount of people thought that Paterno was the alleged assaulter.

If Paterno was not the legendary coach that he is, and was let's say someone like Iowa State's Gene Chizik, would we be getting this same sort of coverage? Would we be hearing more about the president of the college also being fired along with the coach? I'd like to think so.

We, and the media, need to remember that this is bigger than football and bigger than Paterno, no matter how prolific he may be.


Political Figures Reporting the News

Recently, NBC News hired Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as a full time correspondent who will be reporting "feel-good features."

Hiring this highly-politicized character seems to be a publicity stunt and an attempt to boost ratings. Many journalists find it ironic Clinton is being hired to report the news when she has showed the press the cold shoulder in the past, refusing to ever be interviewed.

Clinton has no reporting experience and this makes NBC's hiring of her look like an attempt to captivate audiences with the use of famous figures, not professionals, as their reporters.

Additionally, some question whether Clinton can be seen as a trustworthy news reporter. Since both of her parents are active political figures, how can she be seen to present the news without biases? Won't people always associate her views with those of her parents?

Even though Clinton cannot escape being linked to her political family members, her starting role as "journalist" will keep her away from hard-news and politics. Clinton will be covering the fluff stories.

Clinton is not the first person from a political family to enter the world of journalism. In 2009, Jenna Bush Hager, George W. Bush's daughter was hired to NBC as a reporter. Is getting these political figures worth potentially harming the credibility of the station? Or do these women have the potential to break away from their parents' legacies and create their own?


Twitter Engagement

Monday, November 14, 2011

Journalists and news organizations primarily use Twitter to broadcast links, and they rarely ask for audience input or retweet others.

A study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism focused on tweets by top newspapers, broadcasters, websites, and individual journalists.

The key finding is that news organizations use Twitter in limited ways. The main use being linking to their own material.

Ninety-three percent of tweets by news organizations link to their own articles while just two percent asked for audience input, and just one percent where retweets.

Individual journalists had about the same percentage of links and retweets.

Fox News had the most audience interaction on Twitter with 21 percent of tweets seeking feedback and 44 percent retweets.

Fox also increased its followers the most rapidly, maybe because of their Twitter interaction approach.

The New York Times had the least amount of audience interaction on Twitter.


Amazon's Kindle Fire Takes Over Android

As Christmas approaches everyone will be wanting the new Kindle Fire. Before even hitting the market, Amazon's Kindle Fire has captured the hearts of tech enthusiasts and the minds of software developers in a way that no Android tablet before it could.

Android Tablets have been pushed off the market by Kindle Fire in North America and now soon in Europe and Asia. Kindle Fire offers a feature for apps that tops off the Android. Kindle Fire apps need to be submitted to Amazon, not to Google, so if this trajectory continues, Google will lose control of its own mobile device.

As this new Kindle Fire sky rockets the market, people are always still concerned about the cost. When you purchase the Kindle Fire you will have no worries about the cost because Kindle Fire is only $199 and is the number one reason developers say it matters.

However, the Kindle Fire still has some concerns to its product. The Kindle Fire does not have GPS, high end perks, and is a little harder to operate than the Android Tablet. Overall though, the Kindle Fire will establish all the Android camps and take over the Google technology.

Kindle Fire will be at the top of most people's Christmas list. With the Christmas days approaching fastly, make that persons wish come true and go out and buy the best tablet in the world today.


A Biased Bruise or a Truthful Trauma?

Bias and truth are in the eye of the beholder. Just ask Michele Bachmann.

According to an article by The Huffington Post, Bachmann's campaign team can prove CBS bias against the presidential hopeful. An email from a CBS employee was mistakenly sent to a member of her campaign team.

CBS pointed to Bachmann's low 4% in response to Bachmann's campaign team's accusations of bias. If a candidate is sitting at 4%, a debate moderator wouldn't need to ask the candidate many questions.

This follows the role of agenda setting. Americans haven't made Bachmann a priority, so the media has no reason to report on her.

What the campaign team calls 'bias' is 'truth'. They can't contest the 4% from CBS's cited poll, so the team calls any negative news 'biased'. What is their truth?

Photo by Gage Skidmore


Student Victory in Court of Appeals

Sunday, November 13, 2011

United States Supreme Court

Last Wednesday the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that school districts can not discipline newspaper advisers for allowing students to run material in student publications that the administration does not approve of. According to the First Amendment Center, the Allamakee School District reprimanded adviser Ben Lange after students at Waukon High School published material in the school paper's April Fool's Day edition that the principal found offensive. Find the case, Lange vs. Diercks and Allamakee School District, here.

The case is being hailed among students and journalism instructors as an acknowledgement of student rights, feared by some to have been taken away in 1988 after the Supreme Court ruled in Hazelwood School District vs. Kulhmeier that administrations had the right to censor student publications.

What does this case really grant students? Admittedly, some of the content that Waukon High School's newspaper the Tribe-une can be considered in poor taste- for instance, the students included a derogatory name for a rival high school and a parody cartoon of a biology teacher caught running a meth lab. But the students involved in the scandal are going to learn a lot about the journalism world.

First, edit your content- just because you have the right to say it, doesn't mean you always should. Making sure you can stand by what you write without holding regrets is a valuable skill in journalism. Basically, if you're going to get in trouble for it, make sure it's good. But also, students do have rights. Critically assessing every situation, both in the classroom and out, is a good way to monitor when your rights are being violated. Students should want to know when boundaries are stepped on and how they can fight back.

Students, stand by your words. And if someone is getting punished for that, then there's a problem.

Photo credit/NCinDC,


Social Media Information in Newspapers

The Monitor of McAllen, Texas, is now printing the Twitter usernames of its reporters by their articles so that readers can follow them on Twitter.

At the end of each story in the paper, it lists how to get a hold of the reporter by facebook, phone, and e-mail.

According to an article on, the goal of adding social media information to the articles is to get more readers to follow, friend or like the reporters on Facebook and Twitter.

Executive Editor Steve Fagan says he is "encouraging reporters to show a little more personality through the social networks than they do normally in print or even online reporting, to make our people a little more human."

Fagan wants his reporters to engage their followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook and by adding some more personality on these sites, they have a better chance of being liked and therefore being read in the newspaper.

Reporters are also allowed to show more opinion on the social media sites than in an article. By being more personable they are more likely to connect with their readers.

"I've been 40 years in the business," Fagan said. "We (newspaper journalists) have gone out of our way to be invisible people, keeping ourselves out of it. When you're doing social media, it's not really possible to keep yourself out of it."


Google and Twitter to the Rescue!

After the allegations of Herman Cain's sexual harassment, people started to view Cain in a new light.

Theres one thing that can truly hurt a presidential candidate when he or she is in the process of running, and that thing is scandal.

It is then when people really start questioning, "Is this guy the guy we really want running our country?"

But good news is, Herman Cain has found a way to fight these allegations head on. By using social media and a popular search engine as his aid. Cain is using keyword Google and Twitter search ads, such as: "Cain Sharon Bialek", which leads to an option of Cain's website CainTruth, which was a paid attempt to bi pass the scandal. The campaign had also bought a promoted Tweet when anybody searched "Herman Cain" on Twitter.

I believe that Cain has made a pretty smart attempt on continuing his campaign and trying to get away from these allegations.

Works cited:


Who Is It?

Many people around the world today are victims of identity theft, but the mayor of West Valley City, UT was not a victim; he was instead a thief.

Poynter describes Mike Winder as not stealing a person's identity, but making a fake name up to boast about himself in the Deseret News.

Is making up a fake name the same as stealing some one's identity though?

I believe that it is the same because it provides the readers with opinions of a person that are assumed to be true. I also believe that the newspaper is at fault for not verifying the credibility of their sources.

All media needs to be sure to check their sources because they could lose credibility from their consumers.

Richard Burwash, the so-called writer, submitted four articles to the Deseret News boasting about Mike Winder, when in all reality Winder was being arrogant.

In doing this, Winder hurt his image as a person and also as mayor for the city.

Did the newspaper rush the article to be printed? Did the mayor pay someone off to keep this under the table? Is this a case of identity theft?

All these questions should be sought by a journalist to find the answer, because I believe this is wrong. What do you think?


Who Is It


Freelance Mayor

For a long time the citizens of West Valley City had been reading articles about their town in the Desert News written by a freelance journalist named Richard Burwash. Little did they know who exactly Richard Burwash was.

It turned out that the mayor of the city, Mike Winder, had been using the pen name to write positive stories about his town. Winder was tired of reading negative articles in the paper about his town so he decided to start writing freelance stories about what positive things were going on in his town.

In an article with the Associated Press Winder said that 56 percent of the coverage of West Valley was about crime.

Winder submitted all of his articles through Desert Connect which is a website for freelancers to give their stories to submit their stories to Desert News and other news networks.

Winder decided to tell the truth about his pen name because he is looking at running for the Mayor of Salt Lake City.

"I would rather disclose it on my own terms then a political enemy," said Winders



The Penn State Debacle

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In light of recent happenings I thought it only appropriate to write a post dedicated to the discussion of the issue facing Penn State. Almost everyone in the nation has heard about,  discussed, mulled over, and tweeted about this controversy.

First off,  the university is losing an iconic figure, Jo Paterno. Secondly, the school is having a hay day dealing with press and what further action they should take. Finally, the students are in a complete uproar.

Obviously this completely oversimplifies what exactly is going on the Penn State, but I want to focus on media coverage of this controversy.

An article found on Poynter briefly summarizes several peoples opinions on how the media is handling this story.

Some claim that ESPN, who first reported the story, took it too easy when breaking the news. Rather than  asking the tough questions right from the start ESPN, and treat the story with the gravity it deserved. It took a small news paper out of Harrisburg, PA to get to the nitty gritty. ESPN followed suit a few days later.

So what is the right way to handle this breakdown of a college football program? Does the public need to know the dirty details right up front or was ESPN in the right in keeping it light to begin?

In my opinion some of the incredibly inappropriate details are best left censored. It shows respect for the institution of Penn State and the people involved.

It seems as though ESPN misrepresented the story early on, treating it with less weight than it should have been. This is unacceptable.

Penn State is in a rough patch, and that may be an understatement. The media need to cover this situation as accurately and professionally as possible, without being inappropriate. If this is done then the nation will be able to accurately discuss, tweet, and complain about whatever they choose.

Photo Courtesy of Photo Bucket.



Ways Around Stress

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Imagine this: You have 5 hours to write story. It better be interesting, it better have intriguing sources, it better be 100% factual, and the grammar better be damn near perfect. Fail to do this, and you're fired!

The life of a journalist is a highly stressful one. A story could break at a moment's notice and a journalist better be ready to hop out of bed and get their butts down to the scene of the breaking news.

With all the hustle-and-bustle in this profession, how do journalists refrain from killing themselves, or their editors? The Society of Professional Journalists Generation J has come up with a solution that might help journalist world-wide vent their frustrations to people who understand. On November 13, 2011 this group is holding the first Google+ hangout allowing journalists to get together and discuss annoyances in their work places.

These sessions are not tracked or recorded so journalist can simply vent without worrying about pissing too many people off.

This "hangout" session not only allows journalists to get together and tell their stories, but will help them network, find sources, and hopefully help them remember the reasons why they entered into this high-stress profession.

Social media, such as this, are important tools for journalists, beyond helping them find stories. These media enable reporters to build a tight-knit community which they can share their passion for news with others who care just as much as they do.


ECU Student Editor Defends Streaking Photos

A student newspaper at the East Carolina University, The East Carolinian, ran uncensored photos of a student who streaked the ECU v. University of Southern Mississippi game.

Editor Caitlin Hale made the final decision to run the pictures, citing that they were not meant to be seen in a sexually suggestive manner.

According to Jim Romanski of ECU administration condemned the decision to run the photos and plans to use the event as a learning process.

My question here, is whether this is justified or not. Should those involved be reprimanded?

The pictures show front images of the streaking student and I believe this is where the biggest discretion is at.

Hale defended her decision by noting that the paper's audience had the right to the uncensored, factual photos.

Personally, the publishing of these photos comes off as a poor attempt to get attention. In fact, this is borderline disgraceful.

These photos serve as shock value and don't enhance the publication at all. Lets be honest, we can all picture a naked body in our head.


Student Journalism Upheld

Notch one up for student journalism.

Today, the Iowa Court of Appeals sided with a high school journalism teacher saying that he was unfairly reprimanded for allowing alleged inappropriate articles in the school newspaper.

The court cited the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier in their decision.

In April of 2008, the Waukon Senior High School Tribe-une distributed an April Fool's edition that consisted of various parody articles. In August of that same year, the principal of Waukon Senior High School issued a reprimand to Ben Lange, the faculty advisor for the newspaper, saying that the newspaper had "numerous inappropriate text, comments, and articles."

The newspaper obviously functioned as a parody, containing articles such as "Meth Lab Found in Biology Lab" and "Cheerleaders on 'Roids." Each page also had the disclaimer: "This issue is a parody created in celebration of All Fools' Day. It contains no factual information."

A few months later, Lange and the newspaper were under fire again after the principal issued another formal reprimand. He stated that the September 30, 2009 issue contained "numerous inappropriate and questionable text, comment, pictures, and articles... people within our school are offended by this edition."

Lange was suspended for two days without pay. In January 2010, Lange took the issue to court.

This case is a good thing for student journalism and journalism in general as First Amendment rights are held up and students' free speech rights are protected.


Death to the Media

The newsroom of El Buen Tono was set vandalized by arson a few days ago by unidentified gunmen in New York, reports say there were at least a dozen armed men.

El Buen Tono was a new paper on the scene and is one of the victims in the trending crimes against media.

Equipment, offices, and the entire newsroom and was doused in gasoline and completely destroyed.  

 Along with material items in the building, over twenty employees were also inside the building, but luckily escaped in time.

The paper was not able to print the past few days but the director said they have every intention of keeping the paper printing.

A new trend against the media is a direct attack on the company is said to be done by organized crime.

El Buen Tono covers beats such as organized crime and related topics, and Veracruz is dealing with drug wars and violence and has been for many years.  So one can assume this hit was done to cover any information not meant to be spread.

Journalists have been killed in mexico and have even gone into hiding. Mexico is one of the most dangerous places for someone to report the news.

Crime against the media is nothing new. More than a dozen news organizations were attacked with malicious intent last year. Vanguardia, newspaper of Saltillo, was attacked by a hand grenade in May. In February, gunmen attacked the facilities of two media companies in the city of TorreĆ³n, destroyed equipment, and killed a TV engineer.

With all these crimes against the media, along with the decline in the economy and newsprint, is there really a future for media? Are there people willing to risk their lives for stories that a small percentage will actually read?


Too Much Bieber Fever

Monday, November 7, 2011

As teen sensation Justin Bieber has become girls favorite pop star, the media should think twice about who they put on TV and who they put on their cover page of magazines.

Justin Bieber was accused of being the dad of a girls 3 month old baby. Bieber claimed to have no idea who this girl was but eventually triggered his memory. According to Entertainment News this pop star is everyone’s idol and dreamed about future husband.

The media, including Entertainment News, projects Bieber as a positive role model and possibly being a dad at 17 years old isn't positive. Teens have enough struggles going through life and don't need anymore bad influence than Justin Bieber.

Bieber could have easily had a one night stance and considered it "never have meeting this woman". The media is trying to cover up for the pop star because they don't want his reputation to be ruined.

Entertainment News media needs to cover more postitive celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Carrie Underwood, Steve Carrel, and Shawn Johnson. The world needs people to look up to and be a positive influence.

Teen pregnancy, drug usage, alcohol abuse, and date rape can all be blamed on the media and celebrities because of how they project themselves. The whole society, especially teens, look up to famous people and when we watch them be daddy's of random women we then think it's ok to repeat that or walk in their footsteps.

The media should think twice about what they write about and what information will be read by young adults. We need to have a positive society and prevent simple people like Justin Bieber from being in the media as much as possible.


Administrative Censorship

Journalism censorship is being brought to a whole new level. The Seattle School Board is considering to grant a proposal that would allow principles in the district to read high school news papers before they are printed and would be able to censor what they find disruptive to the schools learning environment.

An article in the Seattle Times says that this is the first time the district has tried to put restrictions on what school newspapers can publish. The Board is using an idea that has been suggested by the Washington State School Directors' Association. This group has been recommending this policy since 2001, but many districts have decided not to use it.

The main point of this proposal is to ensure that schools will not get in trouble for derogatory remarks or libel.

The biggest concern is that principles will take too much control over censorship and students will loose the ability to cover certain stories.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1988 through Hazlewood vs. Kuhlmeier that the constitution does not allow freedom of press to high school students.

Even though the Supreme Court has made this decision should school districts like Seattle be able to allow administrators to censor school newspapers?

Photo from: Creative Commons


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