Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Grist is an environmental magazine and now website that has combined journalism, advocacy and lifestyle into a very successful product.

On their website they say that, "Grist has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999 — which, to be frank, was way before most people cared about such things. Now that green is in every headline and on every store shelf (bamboo hair gel, anyone?), Grist is the one site you can count on to help you make sense of it."

They cover a variety of different topics including climate change, agriculture, green building development, politics, public transportation and sustainable living. Their articles cover everything from vegan celebrities to investigative journalism about the safety concerns of GM foods.

Grist is able to do all of this as a non-profit that is supported by donations by readers and advertising as well as by grants from organizations like the Ford Foundation.

Why Mitt Romney is losing at Tumblr

Mother Jones published this great piece on why Mitt Romney's campaign has been unable to have any success on Tumblr and why the Obama campaign has been incredibly popular.

The article argues that it's largely a result of the demographics. Tumblr is primarily a very young audience with, "The percentage of 18-to-24-year-olds on Tumblr is roughly double the internet average." And that no doubt has a lot to do with it. Young people on average are far more likely to support Obama than Mitt Romney. However it's not just about the people who are on tumblr, just looking at the debates on abortion shows that there is definitely a constituency of people who have similar ideas to Mitt Romney, why aren't they taking part in Mitt Romney's Tumblr campaign?

Tumblr users pride themselves on being part of a community and in order to be a part of one there has to conversation and that means a give and take. Obama's campaign got it right because they interact with the community, reblogging and replying to their posts. So while they still use it as a platform to distribute their message, they also use it as a playful way to keep in contact with their supporters.

See this post where someone posted a picture of an Obama LGBT sticker on a wall saying "I've been meaning to get one of these for my wall" and the Obama Tumblr responding by saying "And now we, in turn, covet a cupcake wall sconce for the office." with the hashtag "seriously where did you get that amazing cupcake wall sconce?" It currently has over 800 reblogs and likes.

Being able to adapt to each platform online is an important part of social networking and in this race, Obama is clearly winning.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Man Films Child Being Beaten, and Uploads it to Social Media Websites

Is There No Alternative To Public Shaming On YouTube?

A man films a neighbor allegedly abusing his stepson with a belt.  Instead of simply handing his footage to authorities, he first posts the video to YouTube and Facebook.  Did he need to do that for the alleged abuser to turn himself in?
As time advances technology progressively becomes more and more complex.  We as natural born cyborgs become interacted with technology, and thus have it become apart of our daily routines.  One advantage that technology offers is the ability to record time and space when ever we want.  With just the simple task of pressing a button we now can relive moments of our lives.  This past weekend Anthony Sanchez a 34 year old Imperial County irrigation District director was arrested for allegedly beating his stepson with a belt in his own garden.

Watching the video one might call the neighbor of Alex Sanchez a hero. He not only defends the child being beaten but records the act so there is evidence.  There is one problem with this particular issue.  Instead of recording the act and turning it into the police, the neighbor just uploaded it on Facebook and YouTube.  Was this the neighbors way of making Alex Sanchez turn himself in? or just a way to get view counts and likes on his own page?  I found that aside from either of those questions the neighbor was a hero because in the end he got justice for the crime he saw.  Overall I thought that is was an interesting article because it shows how social media can be extremely influential, it also shows how citizen journalism can actually help the community.

Gangs Promote Through Social Media Outlets

Police: Street gangs embrace social media, too

it comes as no surprise that the best form of communication for individuals are the social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Many individuals post about their feelings, favorite quotes, and what they are doing on a particular day.  One does not think about the other uses that Facebook and Twitter have been developed for over recent times.  Other than personal interests, police say that gang members have fully embraced social media as well. Gangs such as the Crips and the Spanish Gangster Disciples have their own fan pages.  

Facebook has become a way for individual and groups to express their opinions with the world being their audience.  Many can see the influences that Facebook could have on recruitment and voicing opinions on the subject matter.  Usual Gang activities such as graffiti are easily shown throughout pages on Facebook and give more representation of that particular gang through the web rather than on a freeway wall. Police say "It's much easier to post photos or messages on Facebook than to paint symbols on a fens or wall in the middle of the night".

Overall this actable shows the influence that social media can have over individuals and groups that may not be in great terms of police.  I have found that this article was extremely interesting because it provided information that one may not think about in relation to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.  Overtime police will come up with solutions on battling gang development not only physically but virtually as well.  Police have stated "And a lot fo times, if they see stuff that's going on, in social media or on the streets, they need to let us know. We can't be everywhere".  A statement by a police officer asking for a communal effort of help to fight gang development.

Participatory Media: News as Conversation

Corporate participation within social media hasn't been limited to Facebook pages or Twitter feeds, but now the up and coming photo blogging site, Instagram, which most of its users post photos of their personal lives. During the most recent season of American Idol, the entertainment show utilized this platform by regularly uploading photos of contestants behind the scenes and off the studio stage to give the world a personal view. By extending their media interaction beyond the one-way broadcasts on its regular television program, American Idol's social media presence allows audiences to feel more connected to the reality of the show. In a very limited sense, the updates can be seen as both news and entertainment.
While some, however, argue that such updates do not constitute journalism or news in the slightest bit, the disconnect is that these updates aren't purposefully traditional reports in nature. In other words, through digital technologies, journalism has come from a read-only lecture to a participatory conversation. As such, audiences aren't just consumers, but producers and participants. Add this to the way news is consumed: American Idol, whose young viewers access most of their news from instant sources and other social media outlets, had to adjust their media output.

Companies are realizing the necessity for participatory media and their branding strategies. Along with Starbucks, GE, Levis, the list goes on with those using Instagram aside from Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook's recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the corporate presence within social media will become more apparent.

More from Lauren Greenfield

The work of Lauren Greenfield that we discussed in class last week, including her piece for the New York Times, 'Showcase: Dubai's Improbable Tale,' provided an interesting discussion about the effects of photojournalism as a recognized form of journalism. In her work, Greenfield typically portrays the wealthy, elite members of a given society, focusing on their lifestyles and opportunities. I personally think it's most effective for a photojournalist reporting on the wealthy, to also offer a counterpoint - showing images of the other side of the spectrum.

In another piece she did for the NYT, Greenfield examines the effects of money and material wealth on kids in Los Angeles. The documentary she put together, 'Kids + Money,' proves itself very effective because both sides of the issue are explored. She talks to Alyssa and Gabby, both 16 years old, who love shopping, and find that spending four digits on well-made items is acceptable. They love waxing their eyebrows, because it 'feels good.' These girls come from a wealthy family, and use their wealth to enhance a public social image of themselves. These girls clearly seem embarrassed by some of their actions, but maintain that its a social norm. On the other hand, Greenfield interviews 17-year-old Zoie, who lives in the same bedroom as her parents - Zoie in a lofted bed, her parents in a queen size bed at the foot of her ladder. Cohabiting in the same space makes privacy a bit difficult in their family's cozy apartment. But Zoie and her mom don't mind; they find each other's presence familiar and entertaining.

These drastically two different viewpoints and lifestyles that Greenfield depicted in her film make it that much more effective. If either side existed without the other in this documentary, the viewer wouldn't get the full picture. For instance, Greenfield could speak of wealth amongst teens in LA, but seeing what it's like to not be wealthy and in the same region and age group, gives her story more meaning, depth, and credibility. Viewers are able to grasp a better understanding of what Greenfield is trying to get at with her documentary by seeing all sides. Despite Greenfield's tendency to report on and investigate the wealthier side of various lifestyles, she recognizes the need of the 'other' and its role in creating a well-rounded story.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better !

Word on the web is that Google and Apple are going head to head in competition over a mapping application. According to a report by MSNBC news, Apple has decided to break off from using Google maps on their iPhone devices and instead is pursuing to introduce its own mapping application “as one of the most- valued features on the iPhone”.

Apple is said to make the news public on Monday at the company’s own annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held for software developers. Google, as one of the biggest power players will be in attendance, but the news is not in any way slowing them down. Recent reports have said that Google too has been hard at work and will be launching a new and improved Google maps. The application will allow for off-road and offline searching, whether on a subway or no internet connection. The newly renovated app will be made available for its Android phone in the next few weeks. With its new capabilities, consumers will experience 3-D features and access to download maps directly to their mobile phones. 

In the process of newly renovating their approach with technology and maintaining consumer interests, Google has also created its own news site dedicated solely to the company’s whereabouts and doings. Providing an online news site provides details of investments, company gains, new and updated software, as well as future and current deals with other tech companies.

Its latest article for example discusses the expansion of the technology accelerator IGEN Networks Corp. branch, ‘Gogiro Internet Group,’ across North America. The site reports on the company’s regional coverage and full synchronization of “Google Apps suite of Gmail, drive/docs, calendar, and Google+.

According to the Google Apps News site greeting, the website “is your site for the latest news, information, and uses cases that exemplify how Google Apps can be deployed in parallel with other applications and services to drive business efficiency and reduce communications costs”. For the tech savvy and Google consumers, the featured articles are your one stop shop for greater technology. 

It doesn't come to anyone surprise when one claims social media is on the rise, but when the NBA promotes the honoring of it?  I love the NBA and I feel that they have the best marketing campaign out of all sports.  Through social media organizations gain followers and therefore consumers.  The NBA will be hosting a night just for social media with many awards to be handed out.  The night will be hosted by non other than Shaquille O'Neal on June 20th.  Shaq is no stranger to social media with a wide range of twitter followers that exceeds 5.7 million followers, thus is a perfect host for this new and exciting event!

The awards that will be handed out will be The BIG (Best In the Game) Award, which is for the player that best utilizes social media across platforms. The LOL (laugh out loud) award for the team/players who had the most shared/liked blooper video during the regular reason.  The Social Slam Award for the favorite dunk during regular season voted on by the fans. I personally feel that this is going to be the Social Slam of the year: 

 And last but not least the FanNation Award for the team with the highest percentage increase in participation across all platforms. 

I feel that this whole event is great!  Social media is a very influential part of this new generation and is arguable the reason why many are into sports.  I know a lot of people that are not into sports, but follow the NBA solely because of the social media that brings new interested followers.  The NBA league has come through with volumes of social media content and is a key resin why the NBA is one of the most popular sports among children.  Overall social media has played a huge influential impact on the NBA.

Voice of San Diego: Investigative Journalism In Our Own Backyard

On June 7th, Washington Post blogger Leonard Downey, Jr. commemorated the Watergate scandal on it's 40th anniversary. It's lead investigators, Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were also commemorated for their large role in the case.

Watergate is still considered "the biggest political scandal in American history". It is also considered the one of the most prominent examples of investigative journalism's influence on public institutions.

However in the contemporary period, the practice of investigative journalism within top national newspapers has severely declined. This has resulted from the large costs and the often-controversial findings that leave powerful institutions and advertisers uncomfortable.

On June 5th, veteran investigative journalist Jeff Brazil claimed that this decline leaves leeway for large corporations to commit indecent crimes without being caught. Jeff's assertion may be bleak, but not all hope is lost. With the decline of top newspaper support came the spawn of local non-profit organizations that support investigative journalism efforts.

One of these organizations is in our own backyard. The Voice of San Diego is a local non-profit that is dedicated to, "tell the stories no one is telling or to tell them in a way that's not being told. The Voice of San Diego covers, "the crisis at San Diego schools, the skyrocketing cost of affordable housing and the city's pension problems as long as necessary." 

This discovered information is significant for any San Diego citizen to know, as it is influencing them directly. For example, the Fact Check Blog posts about political stories in San Diego County. It's author, Keegan Kyle, fact checks what politicians say and rates the story with comprehensible ratings that range from "true" to "huckster propaganda", the key and definitions is seen here: 


Most notorious investigative journalism cases focus on a story that has national impact, but it's also significant to know the facts behind the processes of your local institutions. Voice of San Diego's Fact Check Blog can have a large influence on local elections. The non-profit as a whole could drastically change how a San Diego citizen views their community and possibly provoke change. 

Jeff Brazil said that investigative journalism is needed for democracy to work. How else would we know this information behind public institutions to make an informed decision about the community we live in? How else can we provoke change on the things that matter most?

Columbia Journalism School offers Scholarship Program for Investigative Journalism

If you are thinking about going to graduate school for journalism, Columbia may be the place for you. Columbia School of Journalism has created a M.S. program that focuses only on investigative journalism. Columbia journalism school has expanded and consolidated its investigative offerings by establishing the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. The program offers two fellowships to students who are commited to the program, which means that half of your tuition could be paid for along with generous aid to conduct research. (Click here for more informantion on fellowship)

Because of Toni Stabile and her need to investigate the Cosmetic industry to reveal their ingredients for possible dangers, her expose paid off making the Columbia Stabile Center for investigative journalism possible in 2006.

The Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism goal is to train students to have and create a distinguished career in investigative journalism. Students that seek the Master of Science degree are able to pursue this specialization in addition to the traditional M.S. concentrations of broadcast, newspaper, magazine, and digital media.

If you are interested you may want to apply as soon as possible because the Stabile Center is very competitive. The program only admits 15 students per year and administers the Toni Stabile Investigative Project Fund that supports the most important and promising stories by the center’s graduates. The program allows for the best of the best to have their stories published and aired for the world to see. This program sounds like a great place to be for aspiring journalist of all kind, and Jeff Brazil might agree with me.

The Real Fan Favorite!

A Website That you Might Want To Follow!

A lot of social media covers sports.  There are many sports fans around the world that have a particular team that they are interested in.  Everyone has a specific team that they follow because it is their favorite or least favorite team.  Sports ranging from basketball, football (American), soccer, and others are followed on social media sites such as Facebook and twitter.  I found it interesting how most of my friends on these networking sites "like" or "follow" their favorite team seeking to gain more coverage and news about that franchise.  I have always wondered however, which team has the most fans following them on social media/networking websites.

I came across Sports Fan Graph which tracks 454,508,009 fans who like teams on Facebook and 97,603,253 fans who follow teams on twitter.  You can browse for specific teams by selecting the sport int he main menu bar, or filter via the drop down menu. Their data gets updated ever 12 hours to keep everything statistically legitimate.  I was extremely excited to go over the rankings over hundreds of teams!  In the top five there were 1. FC Barcelona with 9,843,681 twitter followers and 32,142,322 Facebook Fans , 2. Real Madrid with 4,855,626 twitter followers and 29,108,687 Facebook Fans, 3. Manchester United with 0 twitter followers and 25,591,327 Facebook Fans, 4.NBA with 10,927,099 Twitter followers and 14,406,647 Facebook Fans, and last but not least 5. Los Angeles Lakers with 2,567,166 twitter followers, and 13,712,103 Facebook fans.  Although there are many many more teams on the list, I thought the top five were the most influential statistically.

Overall I thought this website was extremely interesting because it provided statistical information regarding fan favorite franchise teams.  Instead of debating the issue through what one may think, it is proven through concrete information that is updated every 12 hours.  I found this website to be interesting and the websites also gives sports coverage.  

Click here to find out the real fan favorite!

MLB Stars or Social Media Stars?

MLB's All-Stars can be Social Media Stars

Throughout the recent era Facebook and twitter have become a social norm.  These media and social networking websites have been the favored method of communication.  Celebrities have paved the path for followers on social networking websites such as Twitter.  Many can ask the question, which celebrities should be allowed to tweet on their job? Well many employers have certain regulations to where athletes and celebrities can tweet, but in the MLB all-star game athletes are going to be tweeting before and after the game!

A new and interesting addition to this 2012 playoffs is that computers will be installed adjacent to clubhouses for players to post on MLB's Facebook page and Twitter feed or on their own feeds- which Fox will promote on-air. Although this idea isn't completely new, it has proven to be a hit at last year’s home run derby. Through the interaction of athletes with their followers many feel that it will result in an increase on ratings. 

The Derby on ESPN: The 23 players who used Twitter during that event gained about 121,428 followers which, according to MLB, was an average per-player increase of 17%. At the event's end, it generated nearly 5,000 tweets per second.  Overall I feel that the participation of athletes is important.  These sports leagues are businesses, so therefore should ask of players to connect to their fans via Facebook or Twitter.  The leagues want to produce money and what better way than connecting athletes with fans?  I feel that this is a great way to increase revenue for sports leagues. Maybe in the future other leagues will adopt this method of participation… of course we have to wonder how far this could go.

Facebook? Or Gamebook?

Facebook’s recent change to the public market (May 18, 2012) has caused the social network’s stock value to plummet creating great uncertainty in current shareholders and future investors. One can argue that such lack of confidence within the public market has been a matter of investors being cautious rather than reckless, questioning the company’s overall future. But current and potential shareholders have been right to hesitate. Just a few days after going public, the company’s shares dropped a harsh 24 percent in its offering price.

In hope of correcting the latest financial crisis, and reassuring investors of a profitable future, the social network has recently announced the creation of its new app center.  The “Facebook App Center” will provide the network’s users with a “one-stop shop” for apps.  Facebook vows to provide an estimated 600 apps, giving the option to obtain them free or at a minimal cost in “high quality”.  The apps will include the ever so popular “Draw Something, Instagram, Pinterest, and hundreds” more.

According to the CNN report, by establishing the App Center, existing apps will be made easily accessible while applied ratings will help consumers “spend less time weeding through low-quality apps to find the ones they really want”.

This may potentially be great news for current app users on Facebook. But for others like myself, who choose not to engage with the apps via the network and restrict use solely as a medium for communication, it means more junk to have to deny. And not only will it affect users, but also news networks like Fox and CNN that use Facebook as a means of acquiring stories and reporting up to the minute information. Followers engaged in the center means the news networks could potentially lose their fan base to hours of Facebook users surfing the FB App Center.

That said, could Facebook remain and sustain its social network as a tool for instant virtual communication? Or will it become simply entertainment, giving users more game tools to fiddle with and lose track of time on the web?

Personally I believe in not fixing what isn’t broken, but Facebook seems to believe that it will "woo potential investors ... and boost mobile presence – an area the company is eager to expand”. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cool Things About Social Media

I was browsing the internet, and came across an interesting article. The article is dedicated to the cool facts of social media. Its goes over the cool facts of facebook, twitter, youtube, google plus, blogging, and other social media sites. I will mention one cool fact or stat with regards to facebook, twitter, youtube, google plus, and blogging.

people across the globe are
joining social media networks

One cool fact about facebook. More than 350 million users suffer from Facebook Addiction Syndrome. 

Thirty percent of twitter users have an income of higher than one hundred thousand dollars. It is a scary number, but many celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, billionaires, and businessmen across the world uses twitter.

Does anyone know how youtube was founded? Youtube was founded to share dinner clips of a party, because emails could not hold long video clips.

Google plus is used mainly by males. Don't believe me? Two/thirds are male users!

How many people blogs online? There are three million new blogs appearing every month online. I guess some blogs are formed, because classes at UCSD requires one to do so.

Read the article here. If you have any other cool facts on social media, post it on the comments section!

Twitter Now Seeing 400 Million Tweets Per Day, Increased Mobile Ad Revenue

Twitter Now Seeing 400 Million Tweets Per Day, Increased Mobile Ad Revenue, Says CEO.

Everyone in this modern age of technology knows how social media websites have gained attention worldwide.  Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are now common words rather than Myspace or other entities.  In this particular article Bennett explains how Twitter is becoming more and more profitable.  It is reported that Twitter saw an increase from 340 million tweets per day to 400 million tweets per day.  For you Twitter newbies, a tweet is a status that one puts up on their twitter account.  Each person posts statuses that they are feeling at that exact time.  Unlike Facebook, people can follow others without that particular person feeling obligated to follow them back.  This process can let regular Joe Shmo available to follow celebrities and public figures.

An interesting point that the article makes is that is shows the profitable different that Twitter and Facebook have.  Twitters mobile users are "more active and log in and use the service more frequently.  This is interesting to me because when ever I see my friends on their phones, they are always on Facebook!  I never see my friends on twitter, but then again I can see why one would use twitter more frequently. Twitter because of this new discovery has started to use ads on mobile twitter.  This creates more revenue with the increase of mobile users. The article quotes an insider saying "Twitter ads are inherently suited to mobile because Tweets are suited for mobile.  Even though we launched first on the web and only started to on mobile a few months ago.  It's already been the case a couple weeks ago that mobile ad revenue in a day was greater than non mobile.  Mobile revenue is already doing delightfully well." Although many of my friends that I have asked don't click on the ads that are presented, one must wonder how much money Twitter actually makes off this new advertising technique.

YouTube to live stream Olympics in Asia, Africa.

YouTube will provide live webcasts of the upcoming London Olympic Games to viewers in Asia and Africa, the video website's latest step to position itself as a prime media destination with marquee content.

In this years olympics YouTube is providing 2,200 hours of free, live coverage!  I found this article extremely interesting because overtime coverage of sports is becoming more and more convenient.  Instead of only reading about the olympics and knowing results from word of mouth, technology has provided the connivence of watching the olympics right on your computer.  Of course recently we have had the ability of watching the Olympics on television, but is the next age computers? Well knowing that YouTube has become one of the Web's most popular video sites, this could be a huge transition to the media world.

The cost of broadcasting the Olympics on television can be a hefty sum, which makes one wonder the exact price YouTube is paying to show 2,200 hours of live programming which includes 32 sports.  It was reports that NBC paid about $2 billion for the rights of the 2010 winter and 2012 Summer Games, which shows the demand of this particular event.  I personally am excited for the diverse and intense events that will be broadcasted for my connivence on YouTube.  One does not have to stay at home to follow the world wide sporting event.  Instead they just need Wi-FI and a laptop.  

I am excited to see how overtime broadcasting will change.  Every time our technology advances I always wonder how they can improve more, and I am always amazing by the next advance.  Even countries that have a high amount of censorship are jumping on board with this YouTube agreement including, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and China.  The wide range of internet users are now welcome to the exciting and now more watched Olympic games!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Syrian Government uses YouTube as a weapon

 Last week gruesome images of a recent Syrian massacre were broadcasted on YouTube.  Syrian activists uploaded a video that showed dead children's bodies after Syrian security assaulted and killed over 100 people.
These killings were reportedly executed by hoodlums loyal to Syrian president's, Bashar Assad, regime.  Thanks to social media sites like YouTube Syrian activists have a platform to show the world the horrible depredation happening in their country.  However, the Syrian government has attempted to use YouTube as a trap to monitor Syrian activists.
  A few months ago the Syrian government allegedly created a fake YouTube website that planted malware  in the computer of any individual who left a comment.  This allowed the government to track activist's computer activity and keystrokes.  Because the fake site was so similar to the original one, many of these people had no clue that they were under the surveillance of the government.
  If Syrian activists do not have access to an outlet that allows them to report the horrible events happening in Syria then the world would not realize the extent of the problem and it would make it less evident that the United Nations needs to step in and help.  Websites like YouTube allow individuals and groups to have access to a larger audience and draw more attention to various problems in hopes of change. It's bad enough that governments can censor the news and it is an even more terrifying idea that governments can use the internet as a weapon to monitor what people are doing.

Investigative Reporting Revived?

Investigative reporting is coming back to the news rooms. An article from talks about the rise and fall of investigative reporting and the possibility of it coming back to mainstream news reporting. Investigative reporting was launched in the mid 1970s and many great investigative reporters such as Steve Wilson and John Pauly emerged from that time period. Investigative reporters were more like professional investigators. Most of the time they are tracking down targets, placing hidden cameras and microphones, and waiting outside of the targets' building. The work can be very tiring and time consuming.

Because of the long hours and huge amount of resources required, a lot of news station had shut its door on investigative reporting. Investigative reporting is just simply not cost and time efficient. News stations are also under great pressure and deadline to produce news. As a result, it has slowly became a rarity in the world of journalism nowadays.

“The trend is that stations call promotional stories 'investigative' while shrinking or disbanding their investigative units,” Joe Bergantino, former WBZ-TV Boston reporter, commented on the transformation of investigative reporting in recent years. “Serious, in-depth investigative reporting happens on rare occasions in local television news.”

What is the reason, then, for the possible come back of investigative reporting? Luke Moretti, news anchor and reporter at WKBW, said that “Research has shown viewers want more investigative stories on the air". Moretti has done a recent investigative piece on burglar alarms that "kicked off the recent May ratings period" for his station.

The initiation of investigative reporting comes from viewers' feedback and demand for more in depth news story.

“Viewers are demanding stuff beyond the house fires and car accidents,” said Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodward. “They want TV news to dig deeper into the issues affecting their community.”

For more information, be sure to check out the full article.

Reported by Ashley Huang

USA Today Harnesses Digital Journalism

In the Washington Post writer Steven Mufson writes about Larry Kramer taking over USA Today and how he sees digital journalism's place in the news driven world. Kramer is an entrepreneur that has had many successes in business, his website MarketWatch, and as editors of prestigious newspapers. Mufson had asked him about his opinion on digital journalism and how USA Today might harness its power. “This is like a Gutenberg moment,” he said. “We're reinventing storytelling on a digital platform. Suddenly, we can use every form of storytelling in one place — pictures, graphics, words. If we need an interactive map, show me the map. If it's a plane crash, show me the video. We see a new art form that's going to be a much more dominant form of storytelling. That's the exciting part for me.”

Kramer is very aware of the direction that digital journalism will take the news world. He understands that our society is turning to digital innovations for many aspects of our life, things like television, movies, music, sports, social networking, and of course news. All of these are available to the public with a simple search and we can have it all on our homepage of our iPad.

Many people say that journalism is a dying field but Kramer sees it as simply changing and offering new platforms in which to tell our stories. With digital journalism, we are able to actually experience these stories through media other than simply words and a few pictures. Now, we can access interactive stories, videos, and infographs. We can now see the winning home run on video when reading about the game coverage online.

There are many different ways to tell stories and many different and new ways to help make those stories real to the readers. Kramer, as new publisher of USA Today, hopes to bring these into reviving this particular newspaper as a prominent news source.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Investigative Journalism in the Internet Age

This week, internationally renown and syndicated journalist Dan Rather released his latest book entitled "Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News," which chronicles Rather's 60 years (with no intentions of stopping!) career in print and broadcast journalism. In his book, Rather argues that the gathering and dissemination of news as we know it is in a state of peril.

Though this bit of information is nothing new and certainly nothing ground-breaking, Rather made an interesting point of how the progression of news รก la the "Internet Age" is affecting the realm of investigative journalism. He argues that since the networks are part of large (money-making) conglomerates no longer find use for investigative journalism.

In an interview with MSNBC, Rather states that "the problem [with investigative reporting in the Internet Age] is with very few exceptions. No one figured out the business model where you can make enough money for the investigative reporting and the international reporting."

"What's interesting that we are getting less and less investigative reporting and now hungry the public is for it. The model is not broken because people don't want it - it's broken for all kinds of other reasons. When we published long, long stories which you wouldn't think people are told would sustain their interest, people eat it up," he adds. 

It was interesting for me to stumble upon this article when this week, guest speaker Jeff Brazil covered the same concepts with a similar answer. He asserted - with his engaging anecdotes of the "glory days" when newspapers were owned by families - that since news networks were now being tightly controlled by conglomerates, it is much more difficult to find a reason to continue investigative journalism.

Dan Rather gave a simple answer to that question in the aforementioned statement. The reason investigative journalism should continue in spite of corporate interests and the progression of online media is because the people desire it. Readers are intrigued by the details of a particularly scandalous or surprising story - it's what makes the notion of "free press" so great. The people have exercised their right to free press, as evident in the massive growth of citizen journalism in recent ages, and are demanding more representation than ever. Investigative journalism, though not a medium that is particularly profitable, is something that readers (consumers) want. All that other journalism is great, but to allow one of the greatest forms of journalism die a slow, painful death would be a travesty to the industry as a whole. New networks and media conglomerates, are you listening? 

Watch Dan Rather's interview with MSNBC in its entirety:

The Future of News

The newspaper industry is dying quickly. Today, people are more interested in following the news through the resources offered online. As a society, and the rapid development of technology, we are starting to move away from reading print newspapers. With the emergence of smart phones, Ipads, Amazon's Kindle, and many more newer technology, we have the ability to read breaking news with the tip of our fingers. No media industries can provide the live coverage of breaking news 24/7 like the apps available on smart phones, and other smart gadgets. Granted the newspaper industry has provided news, throughout the world for centuries. The newspaper industry has always faced competition throughout the history of the media industry against superior technology in the radio, and television. It has survived competition from the radio, and television, however the internet posed the biggest threat to them. Sports writer Jay Mariotti has famously criticized the newspaper industry during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, because during his coverage of the Olympics, he noticed most of the news coverage were writers working for websites, while a small amount of newspaper writers were covering the Beijing Olympics.

Although, the internet never fully surpassed the newspaper, but it has damaged the newspaper industry. The newspaper industry has to face the likes of mobile apps, ipad apps, and other types of newly developed technology.Today iphone and android markets have developed apps like Scoople,, and taptu. These apps enables news readers to receive top headline news to its user, from a variety of news sections. Read more at this link. Cutting out print newspaper may be the best decision. Because, it will reduce the usage of paper, and the use of ink. In addition, as a society we are starting to move through the spirit of "go green!" So the newspaper will have to deal with campaigns against them. I think that the newspaper industry should strike deals with tech savvy industries, and no longer deal with printing papers. It may cut jobs, however it can have the potential to create more jobs, and help us move faster along. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Preteen Facebook Takeover

Word circulated this week that Facebook may allow children under the age of 13 to use their social networking services in the near future. Although the company does not currently allow kids that young to sign up, an approximate 7.5 million preteens are already using the service by lying about their age. Although Facebook claims to have tightened their age securities and to have shut down every underage account they discovered, it is easy for kids to switch up a few numbers in their birthdays to acquire a new profile.

One motivation for these potential renovations is Facebook’s falling stock, which hit a new low of $26.90 on Monday. Extending the age restriction would allow Facebook to make a profit from advertisements directed at children. Additionally, kids are devoted to online games, which bring in huge revenue for Facebook. Approximately 12% of Facebook’s 2011 $3.7 billion revenue was produced by the Zynga games it offers online.

The company is considering linking children accounts with their parent’s accounts, allowing the parents to control their kid’s virtual activity.  The issue here is that children who are trying escape their parent’s careful supervision may feel disinclined to allow them to monitor their online social life. Facebook’s new feature may not appeal to the majority of preteens, who may continue to lie about their age to obtain accounts.

The other danger of allowing kids under 13 to use Facebook is that social networking sites expose them to cyber bullying. Even high school kids and adults are affected by Facebook bullying; kids under the age of 13 cannot be expected to be resilient. If this renovation is implemented, Facebook use will become the social norm for a younger generation. Although some preteen users will be able to hide behind their parent’s virtual wings, many kids will continue to bypass restrictions by lying about their age. This young, growing Facebook culture will be largely unregulated, increasing risks of bullying and the publication of personal information of children.