Blog Post 10:Impression of New Media

Let me start off by saying that during my time in New Media I have learned so much about the communications industry that I didn’t even know existed. I learned about different kinds of media and how they play a vital role in the real world.

The topics that we have discussed in class was very eye-opening and educational for what I should expect when I get out there in the real world and pursue my career as a journalist. It has gotten me prepared with the tools necessary for me to communicate to the public and to get out information to them.

I have learned that people are staring to get away form print newspapers and are going online to get their news, how social networking has conquered the mainstream media and the world, and I learned that in the online blogosphere, that journalist have to  clearly define the lines between fact vs. opinions.

My attitude toward all of this is that I have to up my technological skills to be successful in the world of news and that doing things the old fashion way with print news writing is becoming obsolete. I now have to go into this changing industry with the attitude of adjustment and acceptance of the way news is being published or broadcast to keep up with the Jones’ in media if I want a job.

What surprised me the most was the statistics on how many text messages people send in 1 hour, how fast news travels on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and that people now get their news online because it’s faster. What also surprised me was how fast blogging has caught on with people and that it is rapidly infiltrating people’s opinions with true journalism by professionals. It now sets that bar higher for journalists to be more truthful and to give accurate information.

Personally, I liked all the topics that our professor has given to us because they were very eye-opening, it let’s us express our own opinions through a blog and it prepared me for what I will experience in the field of journalism.

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Blog Post 9: Online Journalism

Why are people choosing to pay for newspaper subscriptions instead of online newspaper when they read more online newspapers?

As I’ve read and noticed through my own experiences that people who mainly get their news from internet news sources, don’t like the idea of having to pay for it and would rather get it free. The internet has always been a virtual highway that has been free for people to research materials, go shopping, express their opinions and ideas, etc. But to pay for their news online is where they choose to draw the line because if it starts there to pay for information on the Internet, other businesses may take notice and charge for their content to be viewed.

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, it did an article about the newspaper the Texas Tribune about their changes in turning the widely known publication to an online news site. Their new site was the TexasTribune.org. It generated more internet traffic with new readers whose demographic changed with them being from larger, urban cities, higher wage earners, and having a background in higher education such as college, and who were also politically aware.  Here is an except from the article about the Tribune:

“Early traffic figures suggest a broader reach. Of the 1.3 million visits to Texastribune.org during its first six months, Smith says, only about one-fifth originated in Austin. Of the remaining traffic, 20 percent came from other large cities in Texas, 31 percent from the rest of Texas, and 27 percent from outside Texas. The national traffic was padded by one-time hits such as a lead story in The Huffington Post and a collaboration with Newsweek on a cover story about Governor Perry. By spring, readership was ahead of internal targets. A mid-May readership survey drew 1,060 responses from people describing themselves as well-educated (90 percent have a college degree), politically engaged (98 percent are registered to vote), and upscale (58 percent report a household income of at least $100,000).”

What I also found on Iris Chyi’s blog site titled,”Is online news an Inferior Good?” was the survey questions she asked people about their preferences on whether they would pay for their news online or print newspaper and the results were interesting. Here is and excerpt from her blog:

“Most interestingly, whenever I asked survey respondents (in Austin and Hong Kong) this hypothetical question: “Imagine that you’re provided with both online and print newspapers with the same content and at the same price. Which would you prefer?” The print edition was overwhelmingly preferred, even among Web users.”

What I found out about these articles and real-life experiences is that even web users still have a sense of traditional ways of doing things, even when it comes to getting their news for free online and paying for subscriptions to print newspapers.

I personally agree that online news should remain free because it makes more sense to get that information on a public access like the Internet and that print newspapers need the subscription and advertising revenue to still stay afloat with those who are not in the main demographic of web users who get their news.

 

Blog Post 8: Digital Storytelling

According to the University of Houston, the definition of Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. The topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.

How a journalist can use digital storytelling is through a blog or by using social media site like Facebook or Twitter so that they can have a fa base that follows them and have the same thoughts and feelings on a certain news topic. On MSNBC and CNN, they have certain shows that engages the viewers to either e-mail them about what they think and to text them if they agree or disagree about a the coverage of the story. On CNN  they have their viewers to also nominate the CNN Heroes, those are the people who have made a difference in their communities and are worthy to have their names and short  footage of what they have accomplished.

 

What I personally believe is that it is good to have those personal stories told by people and that people can now express themselves on the Internet and on TV about what they think and what their viewpoints are. However, the news should solely be based on just those people’s opinions and should be kept separate as just opinions and have more focus on facts and keep the journalist’s principles intact. The quality of it should be truthful and not offensive to anyone.It should show how people are making a difference in  their communities rather than how bad it has become.  We now live in the solution era to problem than need to be solved in the world and that now we know that just depending on the government, law enforcement, policy changes, etc, is not enough. People have now owned up to make a difference in their lives and have made a difference in other people’s lives during tough times.

 

Below is an example of what digital storytelling is by CNN called CNN Heroes who allows other people give their bit of news and shares it with everyone.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/?iref=allsearch

Blog Post 7: Participatory and Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism is the concept of members of the public “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information”.

Participatory Journalism is the act of a citizen, or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.

These 2 terms are rapidly becoming the norm in today’s media. With citizen journalism on the rise in many small towns and neighborhoods, regular people in their communities are taking action in covering news that’s important to them. They are actively taking a role in their environments and setting their own agendas rather than allow the mainstream media to play catch up with the events that affect the residents and what matters to them.

In the Washington Post’s article “On Local Sites, Everyone’s a Journalist,” there was a small town  called Brattleboro, Vt. whose residents created a website for everyone to use to get the word out that their historic building burned down and the people wrote about how they can give assistance and how they can look for lost items and pets. Another example of citizen journalism is the advertising space that many online companies are giving these grass root blogs and weblogs to further support the  effort.

What I find intriguing is that people are taking responsibility for the information they receive and not let media outlet allow them to do all the agenda setting for them. However, both participatory and citizen journalism is nothing new. About 20 years ago in Los Angeles, CA.there was a African-American man named Rodney  King who was severely beaten by police officers during a riot. The video tape was shown all around the news 24 hour news cycle and people’s thoughts about what they saw were of shock and awe. Back then there were no blogs or online writing outlet to the news to let the media know what the public was feeling. The mere act of a bystander catching the horrific event take place on national television was an early form of how the public took control of how police officers were viewed from the African-American’s point of view onto the rest of the public from that point on.

What I disagree about participatory journalism is that now everyone has an important story to tell, which I truly believe they do. However, if it starts to get out of hand because people who have a computer and a blog can write anything about anyone and that fact-checking can be threatened. These regular people are not professionally trained and educate in the field of journalism and that they don’t know the law when it comes to libel, slander, defamation, etc. They wouldn’t be held to the same ethical standards as a properly educated journalist. Therefore, many facts can be distorted, exaggerated and even completely fabricated.

Both of these two concepts are very good for the future of journalism and that there’s still hope out there for a newer jobs in the journalism field so that everyone can have a voice at the table.

Blog Post 6: Social Media Channel

It seems today that freedom of speech has come into the 21st Century. It has been upgraded to accommodate a newer generation of activism and self-expression about certain events that goes on in the news. The opinions about news stories has come out of hiding from the dinner table conversations and has emerged onto the internet. People have the freedom now to express themselves without scrutiny from others and have the option to keep themselves anonymous as well.

Before the internet came along, there were newspapers, radio, and finally television that people depended on to get their daily source of information. Journalists were thought of as the watchdogs that keeps the government in line if they chose to hide meaningful information from its citizens. Now that the internet has become the main source for people of a different generation, the people have now become the watchdogs of the watchdogs. With news organizations now adding a comment section toward the  bottom of their news stories, journalists and other news organizations are now listening to their viewers and are fully encouraging feedback.

News organizations can create conversations with their community by using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They can use mobile devices such as cell phones and apps on people’s iPod or iPad for those on the go. People everywhere in the world have something to say and want to say it loud and proud. Freedom of speech is no longer reserved in the U.S., but is increasingly becoming a world-wide phenomenon. For example, I followed the stories about the protests in Libya and Egypt and how those younger people took to Facebook and Twitter to express their grievances against the tyranny of their governments.It surprised me that it only took a matter of 18 days for the uprising in Egypt to finally overthrow a dictator. In older days, it would have been years to take down a regime. What a social networking site did in the 21st Century, was help change a nation in despair before our very eyes!

 

 

Blog Post 5: Social Media

Social media is so popular among both individuals and companies is because it gives them recognition in the online world to be seen. Social media is like that red carpet for everyday people to be noticed even when other forms of media like TV and the radio won’t give them the time of day.

It connects people to one another and lets people meet each other even if the are half way around the world. If people have loved ones living in a different state, city, or country they can connect with them online and talk to them for free unlimited. If people have loved ones fighting overseas or has a parent that has to work out -of- state, then they can still keep in contact with that person.

Social media in business allows business people to keep up with one another and get business done quicker. If people have to work outside of the state or country that their company is in, then they can have meetings or announcements when other coworkers are away.

How social media has evolved is mainly through Facebook and all their glory. Facebook was primarily for college students that wanted to know about the hottest things that were going on campus and who were the ‘it’ people to meet and hang out with. Now in 2011, Facebook has more users and groups that transcends all walks of life and any one can join. Now that Facebook is the social media giant next to Google, there seems to be a little trouble in paradise. The two companies are at odds with one another when it comes to how many new users it can get and how much revenue can be brought in. Because Facebook is still a very young company ruled by a very young CEO Mark Zuckerburg, it runs the potential risk of being too big for it’s own good.  Google tried to reason with them by offering many deals for advertising and a share of the company. Facebook said no and became its own success.

Like many empires, they simple fall. This is something that I do not wish upon any internet company like Facebook, but it’s arrogance and seemingly lack of experiencing when it comes to customer satisfaction in for their services, Facebook is an open target for other companies to pounce on the situation. Facebook had many troubles when it came to privacy matters and targeted advertising, that Google thought that it saw it’s silver lining to make their own social networking site that Facebook fell short on woith those problems.

The executives of Facebook has good intentions with its people-friendly search engine for when someone wants to buy a new computer, camera, house, phone, etc. and I believe that it’s a great idea and that it’s the next big thing. However, too many people can have good reviews of something and bad reviews of them. So getting an accurate feedback on an item, show, restaurant, etc., is limited to other’s experiences.

 

Blog Post 4: YouTube Educational Videos

The way students or everyday people learn new thing s are changing. There used to be  a time when kids had to get up and leave their houses to leave get and education. The attendance would be called, the teacher would be there either in a good or bad mood, and if you wanted notes, you had to be there. If you weren’t, you had to either get them from the teacher herself or ask a classmate. Those days are starting to dwindle down a bit all thanks to the technological advances in the past years. There was a time when you had a class and the teacher for that class  could have been a good one who would teach a subject so that her whole class would understand and then there were teachers that were just horrible and you would have to struggle to learn the material for yourself.

Now in the 21st Century, all thanks to the internet and YouTube, those days will become a distant memory. When I went on YouTube to find an educational video about Cellular Biology, I found two videos from two different professors that they had posted online. One of the professors was from UC Berkley and the other from MIT.  They had recorded their lectures so that students who were absent could catch up on the lectures. The UC Berkley professor had Powerpoint slides and examples regarding cell biology. The other had the transparencies on an overhead projector. They both talked about the same thing, but their teaching styles were slightly different.

The UC professor showed nothing but visuals to her class and talked about them with her students and the slides were also shot up close so that internet viewers could see them as well. The MIT professor talked extensively showing very little visuals as he lectured. He went on and to me it got a little boring just listening. He didn’t cover plant biology in the into class, yet that is what most intro biology courses are supposed to cover. The transparencies that he showed in class were not visible and there was a white glow to the information he was putting on the overhead. If I really needed help in a biology class, I would not  choose to watch the MIT professor because I don’t think I would get anything out of it.

I do believe in the age of the viral video giant YouTube, that posting these classroom lectures are an effective way to send out educational material because there may be one professor in your  college that may not  have explained the material to you as clearly and a different teacher on YouTube may show you a different, simpler way to do it or understand the material. There may be on teacher on YouTube that still doesn’t explain things right, but that is why the site has other videos from  scholars that teach the sane same thing and could be of better use. This is helpful for students when they need help late at night trying to study and get more help, but the professor’s office is closed for the day. YouTube is right there for you night and day and has many helpful educational videos that guide you along in a pace that is suitable.  

I wish that when I was taking my biology class I would  have used  YouTube to better understand the material and I probably would have gotten at least a B!

Below are the two videos of the professors:

UC Berkley Professor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfAZx5IS8NA&feature=relmfu

MIT Professor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m4Gvu90Ydw&playnext=1&list=PL9F0B2048DA4690AF