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...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My other blog

I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you all know that I have another blog, crankypants, that I created this summer in Video Storytelling. I guess it is the darker side of fancypants. It has a few little things I created for the class. Check it out if you want; and let me know what you think. I will most likely keep this blog up-to-date and maybe add some more stuff when I get the time. Enjoy!


I am just sick of the word blog. It's kind of silly, really. I'm just trying to have some fun with it. OK, down to business. I browsed various blogs and came across many interesting sites. I chose three that I think are worth following for the purposes of this class. First, I chose NewsBusters. This blog is run by conservative journalists that try to weed out liberal bias in the mainstream media. I chose this site for personal political preferences, but more so for its objective of finding any bias in mainstream media. The mainstream is huge. It is the biggest source of news for Americans and even the world. It is also, in my opinion as well as many others' opinions, the most corrupt and fabricated. The purpose of this blog is to give constructive criticism to the way stories are presented and the organizations from which they come. It also seems to be fresh; and it incorporates a sense of humor or cynicism, rather than being boring and formal. The founder and participants (bloggers) all have backgrounds in journalism with respectable firms.
The second blog I chose is PRESSthink. This site discusses the accuracy and accountability issues in web-based and print journalism. This site, like NewsBusters, also looks to criticize bias in journalism. Journalism is supposed to be as objective as possible. We all know that it is not. We need sites like this so that people can stay informed on what's really going on if they find the itch to do so. The founder of this site is a journalism professor at NYU. He has an extensive background in academics and the profession of journalism.
Finally, I chose the Online Journalism Blog. This is an eBlogger site from an English fellow. He, as well, has a lot of experience with journalism, especially Internet based programs. I thought this site was very relevant to the class because it explores all types of media, not just writing. It focuses on print, design, advertising, and pretty much anything Internet, as the site description implies. This seemed to be a real media convergence blog.
So that's the skinny on the blogs I have selected to follow for this course. Check 'em out if you get the time amongst everything else we all have going on with this class and others. I have also added these sites to my links list on this blog. See you in class.