Tom Lutz

5 Dec

Tom Lutz addresses the changes that have occurred to books and journalism since the start of new media. He realizes that people are no longer making a living out of reporting the news. As a blog reader myself and now currently working on my own, I could definitely see where this is coming from. With so many blogs out there and only a few gaining enough attention to be able to make money off of advertisements and sponsorships, people are no longer getting credit for their work. The demand for good writing has diminished with the internet because the access of information devalues contributions from writers.

Similarly, new media has made way for more “citizen journalism” as many sites and blogs are not only inviting readers to contribute to the conversation, but create their own. Contributors are not subjected to certain criteria and anyone who has an opinion is eligible. People no longer have to be educated on journalism to be published. Although, I do not see this as a bad thing or as an “issue” as Lutz does, I do see why this may be of some concern. I do see the decline in journalists who are actually making a living doing what they do and it is for the reason that I mentioned above – journalistic work is devalued with the excess of information that the internet has created. Lutz, for example, is only able to pay his reviewers $100 per review when they would have gotten so much more in the past. It just goes to show how the demand for good, educated journalism has decreased with new media.

I respect what Lutz is doing with his site however, because I want to salvage the little of “old school” literature and journalism that we have left. Even though I know change is necessary with the continuing advancement of technology, we need something to separate us from it so that we do not lose our overall ability to live outside of it.

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Wiki Edit

21 Nov


For this assignment, I decided to use my newfound knowledge of thesmokinggun.com. Initially, I wanted to make changes to the main content of thesmokinggun.com wikipage but it didn’t seem possible to edit that section. Instead, I looked up the Village Voice where the creator of TSG originally worked. Once there, I was able to add his name to the list of famous published writers that came from the Village Voice.

I hope it stays!! Only time will tell.

Video Messaging: How Beneficial is it?

14 Nov

Junior Amy Northrop shares some thoughts on Skype

A Few Words on Convergence…

7 Nov

Prior to reading Jenkins’ Convergence Culture, I knew that such a thing, the collaboration within multiple media industries, existed but I never put much thought into the prevalence it has on our everyday lives. My phone for example, acts as my cell phone, my computer, my pager, my iPod, my camera, and sometimes, even my TV. However, I never stopped to think of the negative responses that anyone could have towards “the cultural shift” that convergence has created. In fact, I not only think that it is necessary for us to keep excelling technologically but it fosters change that is made to help us not debilitate us. I could never imagine having to haul around 5 different devices when I could just have them all in one.

But to be fair, I do consider myself a digital native. I have grown alongside technology and it seems that it has matured with me throughout these years to accommodate my increasingly hectic life. However, I could also see why a digital immigrant could see a problem in this convergence. I think of my first visit to a Verizon store with my father. When he asked for the simplest phone, one that he could make calls and that is it, they practically laughed at him and told him that they no longer carried any “single-feature” phone. Until this day, my father struggles using his phone and almost sees it as a burden when he gets a text or picture message because he has to go through the hassle of figuring out which button does what.

I also believe that the negative responses that convergence has had from the media industry itself has less to do with the complexity of new media, but of the loss of influence that each industry has on its own. Nevertheless, I agree with the participants at the New Orleans Media Experience that “everyone will survive if everyone works together,” because I do believe that convergence is necessary – it’ll get us out of our comfort zones and enable us to tackle the rapid growth of technology and our cultures head on.

30 Oct

Admittedly, I am someone who enjoys entertainment reporting. For years, I preferred E! News over the regular local news. I am a trash TV junkie and not so politically minded, so, I connected more with the topics covered on entertainment news than I did with regular newscasts. I could also spend hours on end reading girly magazines. I have had my fair share of exposure to these programs and this type of journalism- a field that I always found to be luxurious and privileged.

Kanye West disses "Kriss Lee"

Chris Lee, entertainment reporter, however, made me realize that entertainment journalism is not as glamorous as I expected it to be. I was shocked to hear about the Kanye West controversy that he got entangled with. Especially because it was seemingly a small, little detail that was left out that caused the whole ordeal.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all journalism is the same and must uphold

to the same standards. Misinformation, especially, is something that could not only lead to people, like Kanye, getting upset, but could really damage someone’s reputation and credibility.

I do appreciate Lee telling us about this experience because I believe I got more of an inside look into what it really means to be a reporter. Every time you are telling someone else’s story, you are taking a risk. His advice really stuck with me because he reminded us that, as reporters, we have to have to be critical and prepared to fight for our point of view. I took the time to look more into the Kanye debacle and was excited to find a “reply” to Kanye’s tweets written by Lee on the LA Times Music Blog. In it, Lee defended his intentions and admitted he was wrong. He not only dealt with the situation professionally by admitting he was wrong but kept his dignity by debunking Kanye’s allegations in an attempt to protect his reputation which is something that I believe all reporters should be prepared to do.

The Medium is the Massage

21 Oct

"The Medium is the Massage" coverI personally found Marshal McLuhan’s The Medium is the Message to be intriguing. I agree with McLuhan’s belief that due to new media, the public that was once created by print technology no longer consists of “separate individuals walking around with separate fixed points of view”. Rather, the media has forced people to look at different perspectives with a more objective approach.

The “medium” also affects the way that the message is presented and received by the audience. For example, television allows viewers to judge content at a completely different level than what is seen in a newspaper. A person is more interested in the content of newspaper than they are of the specifics of a television program, such as how well-spoken the subject on television is or how visually appealing a news program is.

However, I also disagreeing with a lot of the points made in the book. I do believe that it is necessary for how culture to progress and evolve from print media into a more technological society because it not only allows for information to be passed more quickly, but it connects us all at a more global level. Additionally it has given more people a voice and has allowed for movements as seen by Egypt’s recent revolutionary actions on Twitter.

Undoubtedly, it has drastically changed how the youth is educated, but I do not think that it has hindered them, or us I should say. We only have been introduced to a whole new array of possibilities that allow for new interests and opportunities. Ask software developers or the people of Egypt where they would be now if new media never existed and they would be lost.

I do not want to lose old media completely. I still prefer books over E-readers and I enjoy “hound-dog journalism” more than I do “Yellow Journalism”. However, I cannot deny that new media has opened our worlds up a little further and allowed us to see things of it that we may have never been able to do otherwise. With new media, the possibilities are endless.

Catfish Response

11 Oct

Throughout the movie, Catfish, I saw both positive and negatives of social media sites, specifically Facebook. At the beginning, you see the positive, what the creator and developers of Facebook essentially set out to do – connect people. At its start, Facebook was seen as a way to reconnect with old college friends, keep up with the current ones, as well as make new ones through mutual friends. It not only allowed people to connect with their peers, but became a vehicle of expression. Users were given the opportunity to personalize their information to give general insight into their interests and background information.

In the film, Nev is connected with Abby and Meghan’s family. Although we later find that none of them actually exist and are all fabrications of a lonely woman named Angela, you still see the power Facebook has to connect people that may have otherwise never met. The possibility that Facebook relationships can eventually turn into real interpersonal friendships or partnerships outside the web is intriguing and engaging as we see as Nev begins to fall for his web pal, Meghan.

However, throughout the movie, we also see the negatives of Social Media. I believe that the negatives lie within the concept of hyperreality. Facebook allows people to create their own identities. When used properly, Facebook is a great way to put your best and most prized attributes on display. Although this is a great concept when used earnestly, it is often abused and the people on the profiles become nothing more than a reflection of what they want to be perceived as. Angela, for example, lives vicariously through the alter egos that she plays online and she uses them as an escape from her otherwise sad reality.

Angela and Nev’s story although creepy and ridiculous is nothing too far off from reality. The only difference between this story and the probably extensive list of similar stories is that Angela got caught. It is not hard for people to make multiple accounts, despite claims from the site saying it is monitored and kept under control. I have had a handful of friends who have lost their login information to their profiles and have made new ones without a problem. Nevertheless, I think it is important for the users to be aware of the possibility of fraud but at the same time, I do not think it takes away from the power of Facebook to connect you with the people you want to be connected to. When it all comes down to it, you are ultimately the one in control of the people you meet and build relationships with – the site itself is not forcing frauds or strangers onto you.