Friday, October 27, 2006

Blog review part 6

Well, it's that time again my fiends (and no, that is not a typo). NewsBusters has more about the footage that was aired on CNN with the terrorist shooting Americans. All I can say is blah blah blah. Enough is enough. There is so much bias in the mainstream media. I'm just sick of it. They shouldn't have aired it. And whomever filmed it should be the one that gets shot. 'Nuff said.
There is also a bit on Geraldo Rivera. They just talk about his rant against republicans. I don't have much to say about this either. Although, I must say (no offense to anyone that likes him) I think Rivera is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism. He practices novelty journalism. Remember his show and the silly endeavors he pursued? Once again, nuff said. Finally, there is a few takes on the Dixie Chics and their so called documentary "Shut Up and Sing" and other anti-administration films. What is up with celebrities and voicing their opinion? Sure, we all have the right to free speech, but celebrities have the power of persuasion. People look up to them for all the wrong reasons. I'm not saying their film is bad or good; but some people should just keep their mouths shut. I don't know. Maybe I'm sounding like an opinionated jerk/hypocrite. The madness has got to stop. There is way too much stuff being crammed into the minds of Americans. We are being corrupted by all money and glamour. I believe in freedom of speech like any American does. It's a beautiful right. I just think we have far exceeded the limits with some of this stuff. Our Founding Fathers would be devastated to see that their grand ideals have become a free-for-all for any schmuck that wants to use his/her professional influence to shape the way we live. Virtually anyone has this power if they talk long enough and loud enough.
PRESSthink actually (as of right now) has nothing new to say. So, I guess I don't either.
The Online Journalism Blog has some really good stuff, however! There is more talk of the future of journalism. It's electric baby! The Media are passing the torch to the age of the Internet. Bradshaw states that he thinks that journalists aren't as important as they used to be. He based this judgment on one of the points made in this article about the digital future. I can see where he is coming from. It makes sense; and it is scary.
He also had a post with a link to a great resource site. It has to do with all electronic media. Check it out. I think it speaks for itself. Good stuff.
That's it for now. I guess this week it was short and sweet (or bitter). Until next time...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blog review part 5

I didn't get around to making a post last week, so here we go. NewsBusters has a lot of talk about the war in the Middle East this week. There are a few other issues discussed; but the main theme centered around the War. There is one news brief discussed in particular, that I found to be interesting. It has to do with the power of the media, and ethics. CNN aired footage of terrorists sniping at American soldiers. They are defending it by saying they are only trying to show the "unvarnished truth". CNN said that the decision to the air the footage was made after an intense editorial debate at CNN's highest levels. Others (NewsBusters) have the opinion that this is only aiding the enemy. The terrorists have supposedly said that their goal is to scare the U.S. and its allies into yielding. The opposing argument is that by airing footage like this, we are fueling the fire. I see where they are coming from. Images are very powerful and virtually every American has access to a television. This could very well escalate fear in people. There is a understandable that CNN feels it is the real war; but they must be careful when dealing with such a powerful news medium.
PRESSthink has announced a new tool they will have available for their contributors to research spouses on the campaign payroll of Congress members. It is not illegal to do this but it is hard for reporters to get this kind of information without a lot of time. What they are doing is have members come together and research a few Congress members, each with a program that combines relevant data bases to get a result in five minutes. They say if they get enough volunteers they could have it done in a few days. Having a spouse work for you on your campaign is not illegal, but it can't be questioned if it is not know. The public does not know. With the help of NewAssignment, the public will have the facts. They can then investigate to see if there is any kind of illegal or unethical things being done to benefit the Congress member in his/her campaign.
The Online Journalism Blog talks about video journalism and blogging. First, videojournalism is the next step for web-based journalism. It is thought however, that video is less interactive and fundamentally passive. You are not always engaged in a video. It can be easily ignored or blend in to the background. With print, you must be engaged. You are reading it, therefore you must pay attention to it. But with video also comes interactive websites that you can engage yourself with. I think all these arguments about the future of journalism are out of fear of change. I'm sure there will be flops in the transition to electronic media; but the glitches will get worked out and it will be an everyday thing. We've gone through changes before and after the transition, it was business as usual. Such is life.
The other topic on the OJB was the power of blogging. Bloggers (in some cases) are earning more than journalists. It just goes to show us were blogging is going. It is all part of the convergence of media. It is an exciting time to be a journalist. There is also talk of the latest news source, telegraphing online. Google can bring up news briefs with searches based on what users are looknig at and have looked at. They would have opportunities to get multiple tidbits of news at any given time or search. I wont get into the details of how this works; but it is just another example of the changing media.
Finally, the OJB had a list of things you can do to make better blogs. The list was created by Vincent Maher. There is a summary of this list at You can also check out Maher's description of these tips at his site, This is yet another media convergence example. If you're really interested in blogging, chech it out.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blog review part 4

This week on NewsBusters the news is pretty much dominated by the Mark Foley scandal. I won't go into the details of this because I'm sure we have all heard about it over and over. Beneath this scandal lies the fate of the GOP and who is responsible for putting this entire situation in the spotlight. The finger is being pointed at ABC and the Democratic party. Since elections are right around the corner, it is very convenient for the Democratic party and their lobbyists/supporters to milk it for all its worth. The situation is being exploited in order for the Democratic party to gain the higher ground in the elections. I am not at all giving any kind of support to Foley and his twisted actions, but I don't think that one man's actions should be held against an entire political party. They say that there were other Republicans that helped him cover up his devious actions; but still that doesn't mean everyone was in on it. It's sad how the power of media can influence so many people's choices; and that the media abuse this power for political gain. If you ask me, they're all crooks (politicians). Well, most of them anyway. A good number of the media professionals out there are as well. I just hope that my fellow students (and other journalism students around the world) are learning the right way to do journalism. That is the fair, honest, ethical and objective aspects that journalists are supposed to employ.
On PRESSthink, Jay Rosen talks about his Q and A session on open-source journalism. There are concerns that citizen journalists may be influenced by the mob (not in the organized crime sense, but the general, majority opinion, public mob). The concerns include ethics, bribery, majority rule (mob) influence, fair pay, plagiarism, protection from wealthy employing "goons" to make or break the news (basically bribery, blackmail or bullying), the influence it may have on elections and the influence of blogs to one side or the other. These are all valid concerns. Basically, the success and non-corruption of this kind of journalism relies on the people who participate in it. There is corruption is almost everything; but there are also those that fight to keep it to a minimum. It will take persistence and cooperation for this to work. We'll see.
The Online Journalism Blog talks about the future of newsprint, again. There are some interesting things however. One basic topic is that the money is online. Everything is turning to that medium. The future of newsprint may be on the rocks.
He also talks about the future of photojournalism. It is thought that still photography will be replaced by videography, or telegraph photography. So, basically still photos will be out and video will replace it. It says that "Digital stills photography will, when we look back on it, form a very small period of time in the history of photojournalism." I don't necessarily agree with this; and ,being a photographer myself, hope that this never becomes a complete reality.
One final note on the OJB. There is mention of a "fascinating resource for journalists" called NewsMarket. It is a place where you can download streaming video and other media assets for free. It could become a powerful tool for journalists around the world. Until next time...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blog review part 3

Well, I had this post nearly finished and then my browser decided to shut down. So I lost all that I had written. So here we go again. Here's the skinny. NewsBusters seems to have a fascination with Rosie O'Donnell and the show "The View". They tend to post more on her than most other things. Anywho, this time she did a show about the memory preserving effects that red wine has. In the process she joked about Mel Gibson (who deserves it) and talked about drunken priests and silly Eucharistic rules. This comes just two weeks after her show in which she labeled radical Christians just as dangerous as Islamic terrorists. The Catholic League is not too happy about this. I just like the photo (taken from footage) that NewsBusters used (above). That's all I have to say about that.
They also talked much about the war. There are posts that basically say that anti-war statements are working their way into every show they can, even Survivor. What I found interesting was the interview on Fox News with anchor Shepard Smith and contributor William Kristol. Basically, Shepard, a well know conservative, posed an anti-Administration debate with the high-profile conservative, Kristol. The funny thing is that this clip is being presented on Crooks and Liars, a very leftist blog. NewsBusters finds this "fascinating". I think is was just a cunning strategy by Shepard to stir things up on the show. See for yourself, here.
PRESSthink has more to say about the project They are happy to have the donation from Reuters; and they think that finding an editor will be fun. They are unsure if the "gift economy" of such a site will prevail. It is a new idea that has high hopes of being funded by donations and contributions. Finally, they hope to draw "smart crowds" to make this project possible. It is a collaboration medium that depends on the people to succeed. Personally, I think this could work. I am just anticipating the start date, which isn't until April. I will have to follow this site after class so that I can see what happens. I might even participate. It could be fun.
The Online Journalism Blog talks more about this contributor's journalism subject and the future of newspaper. Bradshaw basically just states some of the people that are involved with this new kind of journalism, pro-am. He mentioned comment is free and Guardian, which I have seen in Jay Rosen's PRESSthink; but there was no mention of Rosen himself. I thought this was strange since he founded the new project I'm sure there's link to Rosen somewhere within these people and links however. The future of newspaper is this: smaller and fewer pages, shorter stories and lots more digital sources. The citizen journalism, or pro-am, is going to take off. Virtual options will take off. Newspapers will be online with endless possibilities. The core product will be customized and on demand. There will probably be package options that will let you read what you want, when you want. It may even come down to pay-per-click. But this is all stuff that we Media Convergence students already knew. We very well might be the generation that takes this new genre to a whole new level. Until next time...

NNB a success!

Wow! What a time we had today. The project our class had with the coverage and live blog publishing of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Neighborhood News Bureau was a success. It was hectic, but we got through. Everyone did their part to get the clips, quotes, photos and interviews we needed. We seemed as though we were working like professionals. I hope that we can do this organization justice with our blog and the podcast we will be putting together soon. I just want to say thank you to my team; Brant, Trisha, Cindy and Ashley. I also want to thank the rest of the class for all of your hard work. And, of course, I want to thank our fearless leader, Debbie Wolfe. Thanks is also owed to the speakers and organizers of this event. It was exciting and fun, but next time we might want to have a canopy for the blogging team! Check out the blog we published live, on location here. Now I've got to get to work on my blog reviews for this week since it is supposed to be posted in an hour and a half. Happy Blogging!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Blog review part 2

I'll just get right into it. Before I get into the contents of NewsBusters for this week, I just want to make note that I have noticed a one-sidedness to this blog. It favors the conservative side, which is fine; but it doesn't always give fair treatment to the other side. Many of the points made, I agree with because I have conservative views as well; but as I have learned going to school and through life experience, there are two or more sides to every story. And sure, the liberal side of the media attacks the conservatives; so I guess if you choose to read both, you might get a more broad impression of the issue. I just noticed the bias, which is to be expected from any blog, so I thought I'd bring it to attention.
NewsBusters again has lots of things to talk about. I'll touch on a few. First, their is the talk of global warming. It is big in the news this week. The Virginia Group chairman, Richard Branson donated $3 billion dollars toward the global warming cause. The media have used this year's scorching summer days to bring attention to the issue. Some scientists say that this weather is just part of the natural cycle.
After that, everything is pretty much centered around, or linked to, President Bush and the war. Everyone is pointing the finger at our president. The latest issue is what they are calling "limited torture". NBC's Matt Lauer says that in order to fight the war, we are essentially becoming the enemy. He does have a point here, but it is arguable. (This is where my one-sidedness comes into play.) There is nothing pretty about war. As the old saying goes, "All is fair in love and war". Let me just say, that these terrorists have no problem torturing people. They do it for the purposes of terrorism, not for good; that is unless you think that a terrorist, dictatorship, regime is a good thing. I think we are trying to fight terrorists for the betterment of our country and the world. Americans might have a different opinion if their buses and streets were being bombed like those of England. The war on terror has been going on for thousands of years. This is nothing new. And I fear that it will only get worse no matter what we do. It may take a few more years; but we might as well do our damnedest to insure the security of our nation. I don't think that our soldiers will beheading anyone with a knife during these interrogations. The terrorists would just skip the interrogation and go straight for the throat.
PRESSthink has more news on the open source journalism issue. Jay Rosen, the creator of PRESSthink, has more to say about his other creation, Reuters, a huge online news source, has donated $100,000 to the organization, so they can hire an editor. The idea of open source journalism is anchored in civil society, not the media industry or the journalism profession. People are the root of survival for this type of media. They must collaborate their knowledge and work together to get the dependable information that every reader wants. The Internet is evolving. We cannot foresee what it will become in the next ten to twenty years. Rosen talks about what pro-am journalism is and why it is important at comment is free. This concept has great potential if people join together to make it work. People like us.
In the Online Journalism blog, Paul Bradshaw criticizes the idea of open source journalism, like Jay Rosen's NewAssignment. He is referring to the free aspect of it. He says that is is doomed to fail because anything of this proportion needs funding. Something that is free information, costs money. That is why the people participating in it must work together. This kind of organization needs donations as well. It is a feasible reality if everyone does their part.
He also talks about the power of blogging. A man, Chris Bowers, ended up reaching former President Clinton with his blog, myDDblog. This is something he does out of his apartment in West Philly, but it got him a meeting with Mr. Clinton. Although this is no news equal to that of the war on terror; it still shows us that blogging is getting bigger. It is another example of how the media are converging.
A final example of the progression to web-based media source is that some magazines are moving toward the web. Teen magazines are focusing more on the web and mobile phones. Some are even dropping the print publication completely and moving everything to the web. There is such a high demand for instant gratification and interaction these days. The web provides this. There are also Internet exclusive issues that can only be read online with a membership (subscription or individual payment). Oh time's, they are a changin".
So there it is. Lots of war criticism and media evolution. The web is changing the way we get news and the way we see the world. This is fancypants, blogging out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

About the blogs

NewsBusters had a plethora of posts on various things in the news. I'll just touch on a few. There was a post about a recent press conference with President Bush. It mainly focused on the war and the ways in which our troops are interrogating terrorist suspects. President Bush is pushing a new bill to Congress that will promote higher standards in the ways that these interrogations are performed. Reporter David Gregory was debating with the President on how these new regulations could lead to torture techniques to get information. President Bush argued (firmly) that these new laws must be clearly defined to ensure the most fair and effective results. The President said that we need clear and higher standards, not ambiguous ones. Gregory kept pushing the President, but Mr. Bush eventually cut him off. Mr. Bush thinks that in order to move forward in the fight against terrorism, these laws must be implemented. Otherwise, we will be moving in the wrong direction. I must say that I agree. We cannot sit around and let another attack on America happen. This is exactly what Mr. Bush fears. Many Americans do not agree. They think that what we are doing is wrong or for ulterior motives. I believe that this is war; and we must fight it. War is not a pretty thing. It can be very ugly, as we saw on September 11, 2001. I don't think that we need to rule the world; and I don't think that is what our President is trying to do. He is looking out for our best interests in both national and financial security. Now I could go on and on; and this could become an endless debate (well, it already is); but the bottom line is in a time of war our leader needs to be firm. President Bush is becoming this, more so everyday.
Another point I want to bring up from NewsBusters is actually from a few different posts. They basically have to do with celebrities putting in their two cents about the state of the war and the world. Sean Penn basically said that President Bush and "Don" Rumsfeld (as Penn so casually called him) have destroyed our democracy. He said any Democratic Presidential Candidate that didn't have a plan to get our troops out of the Middle East, is not worth the vote. He also said (without actually saying it) that any Republican Candidate was out of the question. Rosie O'Donell compared Christian radicals to that of Islamic terrorists. She said that pro-lifers were as bad as suicide bombers. I don't know where she came up with such an idea. Sure, there are radicals in this country that speak with violent actions. But I don't think that the numbers can be even remotely compared to that of terrorists. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough along with Jenneifer Pozner and Steve Adubato were debating this very subject. A point was made; and it was true. Over the recent years and the past few thousand, their is no comparison. Now I'm not trying to point any fingers or blame other people because of their political values; but some people need to think about what they say before they say it. They should do some homework and not just blab whatever they think is right. With celebrity-ism comes a power of voice. But it also has the power of ignorance. Some of these people that go on and on about what should be done, don't even have a high school education. It's sad that because of their position they can influence so many. I'm not the smartest person in the world; and I surely don't know everything about what is going on with the war and the government and so on and so forth; but I do know that their are two or more sides to every story. John Stuart Mill taught me to see all sides. Others should heed his advice and do the same.
Now, on to PRESSthink. There is talk on this blog about an upcoming open-source journalism forum. It is called NewAssignment.Net. This forum is not yet active, but its first test is set for this fall. The forum was created by Jay Rosen, who also has the PRESSthink blog. The first donation to this test was made by Craig Newmark, creator of the infamous CraigsList. He threw down $10,000 from his personal charity to promote this project. Now, SunLight has matched Newmark's donation. Open-source journalism, or networked journalism is basically a forum for both professional and amateur journalists. It is real assignments and you can get paid. It is not, however, for any old Joe Schmo that wants to exploit something. It is an organization designed for journalists all over the country to put their minds together and collaborate ideas to get the best possible story with as much good information as possible. It is scheduled to start up in April of 2007, but this test run may give some implications on how well it could work. Check out this Podcast of Jay Rosen and Craig Newmark discussing this new way of telling the news. Now this is convergence!
Finally, there is the Online Journalism Blog. Paul Bradshaw has a couple of interesting things to say. First, he had a short post about whistle blowing on YouTube. Apparently, someone was trying to get noticed in regards to issues at his company, so he videotaped some stuff from work and posted it on YouTube. That's pretty heavy! Another thing that I found interesting was the post about Chris Anderson's new book on Long Tailing. Chris Anderson is the former bassist for the band REM. He is now the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. Bradshaw only posted a couple of quotes from the book, but there was a link to the interview with Anderson about his book. He talks about the strategy of effective distribution. Long tailing is the shaping of the demand distribution. Anderson says that he likes to let the public decide what is best. He does this by seeing which articles were liked and disliked the most from the magazine. The results sometimes do not come out as they expected them to.
So, that's my novel on what I found this week. Whew! Until next time...