Archive | October, 2011
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.

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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.

Facebook Privacy

3 Oct

Let’s be honest, it is hard to remember a time without Facebook. Sure, we all had our Myspace profiles and Xanga pages, but none seem to compare to the impact that Facebook has had on our generation. Sometimes, I wake up to Facebook notifications on my phone in the middle of the night and I check it again when I wake. No, I’m not obsessed, but it has become a habit- a habit that I do not find all that harmful even with Facebook’s newest settings. In the LA Times blog post, the author Chris Gayomali reports on the advances that Facebooks has made on monitoring its users to make it more efficient for its advertisers. Although I find the idea of having to delete my browser’s cookies after every use rather tedious, I also realize that I am choosing to use Facebook. As Jeff Jarvis says in Public Parts, “private and public are choices we make: to reveal or not, to share or not, to join or not,” we are ultimately the ones that decide what is to be posted and seen by our friends. Having to decide what can we seen by only our friends and what can be seen by all may seem annoying, but it is still a choice and no one if forcing us to have a Facebook.

Like Jarvis also says, private and public both have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally find it kind of cool that I could soon look back and see what I posted in the past because I like to see how I’ve progressed. Although I find the live newsfeed unnecessary, I choose to simply ignore it. The way I see it, if people wants to be obsessed over the privacy (or lack of) of Facebook then they should delete their account. Facebook is free anyway and without the behind the scenes work that goes behind it, it would not be free and I’m sure that would also cause discontent and outrage. It is impossible to make everyone happy- Facebook’s newest developments are a gamble that any business must take to evolve and grow.