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...