Journalism is Evolving

ReporterThe growth of digital media has fostered new types of journalism. It is a no longer in its original archaic form, on newspaper. It is disappointing to think so many people are expecting journalism to die. Although, technology has has caused a decline in revenues, new outlets of journalism is emerging and taking over the industry.

An evolving factor of journalism is branding. Making your name into a brand will help form a fan base, which contains readers who trust your writing. Just like semi-celebrities on Youtube, Instagram, and blogs gain subscribers, a brand name will help you get loyal viewers.

Everyone is starting to do the things journalists used to get paid to do, like take photographs as evidence (Instagram) and spread news as far and wide as possible (Twitter). It is becoming increasingly difficult to find accurate information online and is it becoming the only factor journalists thrive on: their validity.  Newspaper companies are struggling to finance journalists.

With the expansion of technology, journalists are forgetting to do their legwork. Sometimes, not everything can be done online. The best way to be certain is to step outside of the cyber world and start knocking on doors.

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Boston Bombing

Explosion at Boston marathonThe bombings during the Boston Marathon has left the country in distress. The explosion killed 3 people and left 140 injured. The commotion has died down, but the pain of the attacks left a permanent scar in the hearts of Bostonians. This kind of attack has never happened before in their city.

In a follow-up of the false accusation by CNN, a 22-year old Saudi student was given a designation of a “2123B” according to Glenn Beck, nationally syndicated Radio Host. He was put on the watch list for being armed and dangerous. During the first few hours of the bombing, rumors flew around suggesting he was the suspected bomber. CNN even stated in an article, which was later removed, that a “Saudi Islamist was being held in a nearby hospital for questioning.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, covers up the story by saying that the suspect was quickly removed from the watch list after it was revealed that he had nothing to do with the bombing. “The student was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was never a subject, he was never really a person of interest,” said Napolitano. According to Beck, sources have stated that the suspect’s room was searched for nine hours and his roommates were interviewed for five hours.

The Texas Tribune

The news industry is facing one of the biggest backlashes. With the emergence of social media and other forms of obtaining news, newspaper revenues are at an all time low.

Oddly, amidst all the crisis is the Texas Tribune which was awarded $1.5 million from the Knight Foundation. A quote found on Forbes, perfectly explains their situation. “In Harry Potter terms, we’re the boy who lived,” says Evan Smith, the Tribune’s editor in chief. “We have managed, for whatever reason, to make it work in a way that others have not.”

It’s true! They have managed to climb out of the rubble left behind from the damage of the crashing news business model.

They have devised a new “news business model” called revenue promiscuity. Instead of relying so heavily on ad revenue like the old business model does, they will rely on a number of sources. They will using one/third of the money, $500,000, to support their intelligence gathering consultants. The rest of the money will be saved for fundraising efforts, marketing, and sponsorship opportunities.

They will be hosting events that will bring in money. In their about section, it says “As a 501(c)3 organization, The Texas Tribune is supported by individual contributions, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants. The Tribune also generates earned revenue from events and specialty publications. Contributions from the Tribune’s launch campaign will subsidize operations through 2012. By the end of 2012, The Texas Tribune is forecast to be better than break even on $4.5 million in revenue.”

NPR

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The NPR shows are different from regular radio shows, because they include clips of audio that make the listener feel part of the environment. It gives people more familiarity with the material, something that NPR does very well. Something that I liked about NPR was that they clarified the Saudi Islamist that was present in the Boston bombings was being interviewed by authorities on the basis of being a witness. CNN said that the Saudi Islamist was being held, because he was suspected of being a terrorist who assisted with the bombings.

Stereotypes Initially Affect Boston Bombing

k-bigpicJust two hours ago, around 2:45pm, explosions injured 22 and killed 2 in the Boston Marathon. A Saudi nationalist has been identified as a potential suspect and detained by authorities in a Boston hospital, says CNN. I understand the circumstances the U.S. is in, I understand that people find terrorists synonymous with Muslims. And the first person to be suspected would be a Saudi Arabian. It is disappointing to see Islam being demonized by the media. Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, who once was a devout Christian, converted to Islam. She had been a journalist who wrote stories that slandered the Muslim culture. As she visited Syria, she increasing came to love Islam. After many years, she finally decided to convert. Her editors cut her from the workforce, because in her words “If the newspaper’s job is to make group of people look bad, a woman who sympathizes with that group of people cannot display the newspaper’s view. It would just confuse the audience.” I find it very upsetting that the first person to accused of the bombings in Boston is a Saudi, without any evidence. It just shows how twisted our mindset about Islam.

THEY APPROVED CISPA

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Earlier I wrote about CISPA (Cyper Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and how we should all do something to prevent the government from passing this bill. Apparently, “Yesterday, CISPA passed committee in the lower chamber of the US  Congress, and is expected to be voted on – and likely passed – next week.” The U.S. House of Representatives has passed CIPSA. The U.S. House of Senate still has to pass it before President Obama can sign it, but no one wants it to get that far.

Although this bill would help prevent cyber attacks from China, Iran, and hacking groups, it would take away all our rights. The primary sponsor of CISPA says hackers have cost tens of thousands of jobs to be lost and has cost the government a lot of money. Important documents and information being stolen is difficult to recover from. Many government officials want CISPA to be passed.

“Every day, international agents, terrorists and criminal organizations attack the public and private networks of the United States,” Representative Dan Maffei, a New York Democrat said. “While I do always have some concern that the U.S. government may access our private information in the cyber sphere, I am more concerned that the Chinese government will access our private information.” (Grant Gross, IDG News Service)

Though it is true that it is more dangerous that the Chinese government hack us than the U.S. government, if it is at the cost of our civil liberties than there is a problem. There is always another solution and hopefully they will find it. For now, let’s hope CISPA isn’t passed.

UPDATED:

This is a video by Anonymous, trying to stop CISPA by having an internet blackout on the 22nd of April.

Camouflaging Advertisements Within Editorials

native-ad-framework-1There is controversy brewing amidst the fascination by news sites for “sponsored content”, aka, native advertising. Journalists are discussing the ethicality of posting advertisements that look like editorials. Will it be potentially destructive to have people not able to distinguish between ads and articles? Is it unethical to have these blended into content?

Some believe it could be potentially harmful to the news ecology because it may cause people to believe in ideas that are being formed by sponsors. There is no way to be completely certain where the future of native advertising resides, but we can be sure things are constantly changing and revolving.Sites like The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and the Buzzfeed are making use of native advertising. For some it is working to bring in revenues, but on some other sites it is not working.

Readers are beginning to look out for sponsored content and learning to avoid then. There was a posting by SONY Playstation employees on Buzzfeed, but it did but do too well. There were not enough shares or likes for it to become popular in the virtual world. It is hard to be sure of what might become viral. People tend to like and share the least serious of things, like cat videos, dumb songs, and meems. It would be hard to incorporate advertisements and make readers take then seriously. They may fizzle and die out on the Internet.

Google Glasses: The Future of Technology

The video posted above is what everyone hoped Google Glass would be like, just a taste of the future.

The future of technology rest on the bridges of our nose. Google has just released their version of glasses. But these glassy, un-rimmed focals lack in power. They cost about $1,500 each and each owner must be approved before purchasing Google Glass. It’s like having a smartphone attached to your eyes. With a wink of your eye, you can snap a photo, read a text, and access the Internet. There is much controversy whether or not these glasses could be potentially dangerous. No one wants to drive on a road where someone could be distracted by texting with glasses. There is also an ethical dilemma of being able to take a picture of someone without them knowing. The glasses will not be allowed in areas where privacy is important, like Las Vegas casinos. In order to purchase these glasses, there is a preliminary application to fill out. Also, the glasses cannot be shared.

Google Glass is just another way for people to lose sight of reality. It will cause people to be so drawn to the technological world that they will forget the present. Almost every post apocalyptic novel has prophesied the downfall of humanity is linked to technology consuming the world.

The video posted below is what Google Glass is actually like:

 

Sign this to stop CISPA!

I think this is completely absurd. If all our information is going to be accessible by the government, our freedom will be stripped right before our eyes. They say it for protection, our protection. But, maybe we need to protect ourselves from the government. Maybe the government is taking our power away from us. I feel like in a few decades, our government will be very different and in a bad way. We may have to start another battle in order to take back our freedom and gain our rights again. DOWN WITH CISPA! Unless you want all your online actions to be monitored by the government. Any treasonous word, any threatening comment towards powerful people will allow them to access all your information. What did our country fight for, if not our freedom of speech and press?

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1) CLICK HERE TO TO SIGN A PETITION TO STOP CISPA (avaaz.com)

2) ANOTHER PETITION TO END CISPA (aclu.org)

US Congress is trying to pass a law, CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), that will give them the power to monitor what we do online! Facebook and Microsoft are also supporting this law. How disappointing…

“Right now, the US Congress is sneaking in a new law that gives them big brother spy powers over the entire web — and they’re hoping the world won’t notice. We helped stop their Net attack last time, let’s do it again.
Over 100 Members of Congress are backing a bill (CISPA) that would give private companies and the US government the right to spy on any of us at any time for as long as they want without a warrant. This is the third time the US Congress has tried to attack our Internet freedom. But we helped beat SOPA, and PIPA — and now we can beat this new Big Brother law.

Our global outcry has played a leading role in protecting the Internet from governments eager to monitor and control what we do online. Let’s stand together once again — and beat this law for good. Sign the petition then forward to everyone who uses the Internet!”

-From Avaaz.com

Virtual Concerts!?

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As the world become more and more digitized, the web is where it’s at. Everything has become available in an online format; from writing to typing, paperbacks to ebooks, and now staged concerts to their online substitute. Stageit.com is a new website created to host artists that will broadcast live performances. The “fan”, who is the viewer of the show, is free to “tip” any amount of money to the “performer”.

It takes selling about 143 CDs for a musician to make a little above minimum wage, $8, according to Informationisbeautiful.net. Artists barely make enough to call it making a living. When once hundreds of artists used to make millions, now it seems millions make only hundred said Ned Hibberd from FOX News. This new “online concert venue” will help artists make more money. Jake Owen made over $1000 just by playing some guitar in his kitchen. He donated the money to St. Jude’s.

This is an amazing new opportunity for artists to reach out to their fans, as well.Image