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Archive for social media

SNL reports on actual news!?!

Posted by: | February 9, 2016 | No Comment |

Since Saturday Night Live is planned days in advance, they typical do not have enough time to report on something that happened a few hours before broadcast. This was the rare exception. The flub made during the Republican debate on ABC happened about 4 hours before Weekend Update aired live.

In the 1970’s when SNL first started broadcasting this bit about the debate would probably never would have happened. Writers and producers for SNL would not have had easy access to this footage from a rival network, let alone know what was so funny. In today’s age, people are instantly notified when something happens. Plus, it was easy for NBC to acquire the ABC footage because they could easily download it off of a DVR or online video. NBC was able to use the footage because they were actually reporting about it in a journalistic sense, and in a parody sense, both of which would qualify for fair use.

under: Comm 455, social media
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Media stars then & now

Posted by: | February 2, 2016 | No Comment |

A media star is someone who is well known due to his or her regular appearances in the mass media. They are someone who engages with their audience while having some sort of influence and authoritative standpoint. When we think of media stars, we think of popular radio talk show hosts, television hosts, news reporters, and so forth. With the rise of technology and the growth of the millennial generation, our world has become more familiar with social media stars. Before we begin exploring the future of journalism and the rise of social media stars, it’s important to acknowledge a few of the most influential media stars of our time.



Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, television producer, philanthropist and a film actress. Her international talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, took place from 1986 to 2011. According to biography.com, her show was broadcasted on 120 channels with an audience of 10 million people. As her televised presence became an essential routine for those watching at home, Winfrey made her ‘media star’ status one that not many would ever forget. The famous line, “Everyone gets a car!” Winfrey always made sure to inspire each and everyone of her viewers.



The media stars of NBC’s The Tonight Show created a legendary nightly window frame for millions of viewers at home. From Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Jay Leno and to Jimmy Fallon, these television hosts created and revolutionized the idea of a nightly talk show. Without the presence and comedic humor of each of these narrators, the night show would not have received the attention and success on the level that it has been given. According to biography.com, the show not only leads the late-night ratings but Leno also won the Emmy Award for his performance as the host during his career. The specific type of achievement proves how influential a media star can become to the public.

While media stars and their presence continue to dominate the mass media, it is important to look at the rise of social media stars. An article in The Huffington Post titled, “Are These ‘Rising Stars’ the Future of Journalism? Yes- Yes. They Are” by Craig Kanalley, he writes, “If there’s one thing I can tell you definitively about the future of journalism, it’s that young people of the present will be the leaders of that future.” The social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube have become an addictive trend that has created six figure careers as well as a chance at fame for many young adults and teenagers.

According to the Washington Post, the article titled, “YouTube at 10: How an online video site ate the pop culture machine” by Caitlin Dewey breaks down the celebrated success story of Justin Bieber. Bieber can thank YouTube for his A-list celebrity status and multi-million dollar career. The co-founder of YouTube, Chad Hurley stated, “That’s what we’re all about, and we’re the ultimate reality TV.” When Bieber’s mother uploaded his local singing competition back when he was only twelve years old, the YouTube video has now received over 7.3 million views.

There are hundreds of other social media stars that have created quite the buzz just through a single video, picture or post. To name a few: Jenna Marbles, Tyler Oakley, Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, and King Bach. There is even a ‘Social Media Stars Bracket’ that has been designed to show how successful each of these individuals have become and where they may be headed. Take a look- http://www.billboard.com/social-media-star/.

under: Comm 455, social media
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Brutal, bloody and heroic

Posted by: | November 4, 2014 | No Comment |

Siege of Malta wreaks havoc, spreads news.

There are some events in history that are simply too big.

Their scope, value and relevance are astronomical to the tenth power, and often go unnoticed for subsequent years. As with everything, there are exceptions to this rule: Pearl Harbor, 9/11  and the capture/execution of Osama bin Laden. Everyone remembers where they were or what they were doing as these events unfolded.  As daunting as these events are, they are modern, even current in comparison to producing news mobilization.

One historical event that wasted no time in making its mark was the Battle of Malta. This four month war took place is 1565 and was the result of a brewing conflict between Christians and Muslims, in regard to control of the Mediterranean. The casualties boast a staggering 10,000 people [2,500 troops, 7,000 civilians and 500 slaves] and garnered attention for its overall brutality.

But the most important part of this entire war is the way in which it was covered. The battle of Malta was covered by all of the major European newspapers. It was basically the condensed  Iraq War of its time, minus the 24 hour news cycle. A century later, the great Voltaire remarked that “nothing is better known than the siege of Malta.” Such recognition is a testament to the power and influence of news.

Photo Credit: fatherjulian.blogspot.com



under: Comm 455, social media
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When the watchdogs are put to sleep

Posted by: | September 15, 2014 | No Comment |

A journalist has a duty. A duty to tell the stories of those with muted voices. A duty to make known the trials and triumphs of the world. A duty to keep watch over those in power and ensure our liberties are protected and our citizens are informed. A duty to report the truth.

A journalist also has the “protection” of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But sometimes this “right” is taken away, and what is left? A world of those in power suppressing the knowledge of the everyday civilian.

A world in which what we hear is not the full story, what we see are photoshopped images, and what we know is not the truth.

What comes from a world like this? Chaos. Tension. An naive population. A submissive people.

We have seen this in China, in the Middle East, and many more places. The result of such restraints is a country of many ruled by few in which freedom is simply a dream and compliance is the reality.

And now we see it here at home. Most recently, in Ferguson, Missouri, multiple journalists covering the officer shooting of an unarmed boy were abused and/or detained. On what grounds? Simply that of doing their jobs — documenting and reporting the truth.

As one journalist accounted via Twitter:


On the same night, another journalist tweeted while being arrested at a McDonalds in Ferguson:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 2.26.01 PM



The question here lies not in why did this happen, but what does this mean? Where is our country headed?

Riots in the streets, journalists being arrested, military armed police officers detaining civilians — this is neither Egypt in the height of the Arab Spring nor Gaza in the midst of civil war. This is America.

under: Comm 455, social media
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Watergate to MTV’s Catfish

Posted by: | September 8, 2014 | No Comment |

The definition of investigative journalism is changing with every news story.  The Cambridge Dictionary defines investigative journalism as “a type of journalism that tries to discover information of public interest that someone is trying to hide.”

If one was to think back to a time where investigative journalism became extremely prominent – it is the presidency of Richard Nixon. Two Washington Post journalists, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, spent two years working on uncovering a ring of burglaries at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Their investigative journalism would ultimately bring down Nixon and many other government officials.

While the Watergate scandal had very in depth investigation and research that went into uncovering the truth, sometimes investigative journalism does not have to take as long. In fact, all one needs is an hour of the show “Catfish” on MTV to discover that one’s identity online is not always their true face.

Nev Schulman’s new book “In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age” discusses the term “Catfish” and what it means to deceive people online about who you really are. A spin-off of the popular documentary “Catfish” featuring Nev, follows his MTV Show where he helps individuals track down their online romances and helps them meet.

In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

Book cover. Image from Barnes & Noble.

Nev’s investigation involves Google searching images, phone numbers, names, reaching out to friends on Facebook or other social media sites as well as even talking to the person in suspect; and ultimately helping the couple meet. According to Schulman, the whole process of meeting the catfish takes a week – incluing spending two days with their hopefuls (the people potentially being catfished), traveling with them to the hometown of their potential online love, meeting the person and reconvening to understand what happened.

Some stories may take journalists over a year to break, like Watergate, whereas others can take a week in real life or an hour block of a television show. Investigative journalism is changing and will continue to do so as human life progresses.


under: Comm 455, social media
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The Impact of Media; particularly on children

By Joshua Aaron Karber

Any scholar, academic, philosopher and even politician can tell you that in our society today we are literally bombarded with images and information, and at a level that is unparalleled throughout documented history. Essentially, we are all jacked in to a system of words, pictures, sounds, videos and symbols that create a representational world, one where we are not only socialized but raised by society to understand and obey them. The truth is that we can’t escape it.

From birth, we are taught that the golden arches mean McDonalds, that Calvin Klein is cool, and that the American flag stands for freedom. Strictly speaking, the Wachovski brothers’ movie The Matrix  is not too distant a vision from the world we live in today.

In particular, the impact media has on the psychosocial development of children is quite astonishing. It is becoming more and more important for doctors to discuss with parents what, when, and how much media their children are exposed to on a daily basis. This includes ALL media, spanning from television to music, and from video games to, of course, the internet.

For the sake of clarity, I am going to focus this blog on three main topics: learning, violence, and sexuality.


Media can be a powerful teacher. For instance, Sesame Street is a good example of how toddlers can become versed in valuable lessons on racial harmony, kindness, simple math, the alphabet, and cooperation through an education television format. This is a good illustration of how media can be of beneficial value to kids. Especially in some disadvantaged settings, healthy television habits can actually be a positive teaching tool.

However, watching TV can still do detrimental things to kids such as take time away from schoolwork and reading. Many researchers believe that a large number of daily, unsupervised television viewing by elementary school children can have severe and pernicious effects on academic performance, and particularly reading. Although the exact statistic is uncertain, it is estimated that most 8-10 year-olds know more about The Simpsons or South Park than they do about any of the U.S. presidents.  Is this a good thing?


Moving on…


Most researchers agree that the amount of violence on television is on the rise. According to reputable statistics, the average child sees more than 12,000 violent acts on television yearly, not excluding rape or murder, and more than 1000 studies confirm that exposure to heavy doses of television can increase aggressive behavior, most commonly in boys. These same studies also link newspaper or television publicity of suicides to an increase in suicide risk. Many sources conclude that minorities, emotionally disturbed children, children with learning disabilities, and children in distressed families are more vulnerable to acts of violence on television. Doesn’t that sound like a large portion of American kids?


Again, moving on…


Today, TV has become one of the leading sex educators in the United States. News sources report that between 1976 and 1996 there has been an almost 300% increase in sexual interactions during the family hour of 8 o’clock to 9 o’clock. The unavoidable fact of the matter is that television can expose children to sexual situations as common and risk-free, delivering and hammering home the message that these situations are okay because “everyone does it.”

Furthermore, studies show that sexual activities between unmarried partners are portrayed 24 times more than sex between spouses, while unwanted pregnancies and STD’s are rarely mentioned. Additionally, teens score the media as a leading source of info/knowledge on sex, a distant second to school sex education programs. Many people do believe that the media can influence sexual responsibility by promoting positive sexual content on topics such as birth control and monogamy. However, no empirical evidence supports this concept. So the final question we are lead to is: who (or what) is teaching our kids about sex?


And finally…


In a society that is so dependent and deep-rooted in media, one must ponder the consequences and ramifications that TV, radio, video games, and the internet can have on our kids, and on each other. Does watching violence provoke violence? Do sexual situations inspire sexuality? And does the portrayal of drug use/smoking/consumption of alcohol teach kids the wrong things? No one really knows. But, people should consider one last thing before making a decision: are our children’s mental, emotional and physical health really worth the risk?

I think so. Don’t you?

– Naked Raygun

under: Comm 455, social media, Uncategorized
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Facebook Couples Page

Posted by: | November 12, 2012 | No Comment |

“I want to vomit,” wrote blogger Jennifer Wright.

So do reporters at The Telegraph, according to Wright.

Over the weekend, Facebook launched a new relationship page for couples; quite similar to the friendship pages that launched about a year ago.

The new site is facebook.com/us. If you’re in a relationship, I suggest checking it out. Every digital interaction you’ve had with your significant other is neatly documented on the page. It’s like a scrapbook without the effort.

But here’s the catch: it’s impossible to delete the page. The only weapon of protection is to make use of your privacy settings.

“You cannot deactivate the pages, but you can control what you share on Facebook using the privacy settings for each post,” Facebook’s Jessie Baker wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

The emergence of the Facebook couples page is another reminder about your online identity.

Be careful what you post online. Or in this case, who you are dating on Facebook.

under: Comm 455, social media
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Ethics in social media

Posted by: | November 8, 2012 | No Comment |

The ethical aspects of journalism are always strained around the time of a US presidential election and the 2012 race was not exempt of the abuse of social media outlets.  Because everyone can be a publisher now, most felt entitled in posting their bias through Facebook, Twitter, and other public forums.  Lacking professional training in journalism etiquette, newbie publishers succeeded in offending strangers, peers, and even close friends with their remarks regarding the race between Governor Romney and President Obama.

Beyond political opinions, active social networkers are skewing ethical lines in the workplace.  The Ethics Resource Center has been publishing the National Business Ethics Survey since 1994 availing the public, (free of charge), of ethical perspective in the workplace.

According to the social media website Mashable, ERC is the “oldest non-profit organization in the U.S. dedicated to independent research and advancement of high ethical standards and practices in both public and private institutions.”

The results may be disappointing to employers but not necessarily surprising with the influx of interaction via social media venues.  In a recent study, ERC found several connections between the workplace and social media interaction.

Though the chart indicates that social networkers are more haphazard in the workplace, the author of Firing at Will: A Manager’s Guide, Jay Shepherd refutes the generalization.  “The idea that social networkers are more apt to be unethical is absurd. It’s just that you’re more likely to hear about it. In my experience, social media participants are likely to be more advanced in terms of relationships and thoughtfulness — not less.”

Social media may gain more civility with time or prove to be total anarchy but it seems to be too soon to tell.

under: Comm 455, social media
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a history of social media?

Posted by: | October 28, 2012 | No Comment |

According to  at copyblogger, There’s nothing new about “social media.”

Hayden and Tomal also state that,”the concept behind Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking tools isn’t new. These sites just give us new, sexy, and easy-to use ways to do what we’ve always wanted to do online — exchange ideas and information.”

Hayden and Tomal cite the beginning of social media in 1971, when an email was sent by researchers in Switzerland.

But was that really the beginning of social media?

Word of mouth, dating back almost 550 years, was the beginning of social media. The historical timeline below depicts the use of the internet as a social media tool. Not the beginning of the social media phenomena.

The info-graphic below tells the story of a social internet.

The modern day word of mouth.

Where Ray Sears reconnected with his long lost love; and where Carly Fleishmann, an autistic and non-verbal woman, could finally communicate with the world.

A History of Social Media [Infographic] - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.


under: Comm 455, social media
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History of News

Posted by: | October 7, 2012 | No Comment |

Author of the book “A History of News,” Mitchell Stephens gave a short synopsis of the history of news for the Future of Journalism Project’s Youtube Page. The themes that we continue to discuss in our class are nicely summed up in this five minute video.

What Stephens remarks on is the human race’s desire to get information. He also notes that “news was always in the hands of amateurs  news was, through most if it’s history-through most if it’s human history, was not a spectator sport. it was a sport that we all participated in. we all gathered news, we all told news. at a marketplace, at a campfire, when we met each other in our paths….it’s built into us. it’s a survival factor; this search for awareness to know what’s going on.”

Whether one watches the news, reads the paper, or people talk with one another we all have a desire to learn and know more information. The shear velocity and access to news now is so overwhelming that one sometimes becomes lost in all of the abundance of news. The access and abundance of news is both a benefit and a negative.

While we have access to lots of information, in some cases for free with an internet connection,  it becomes increasingly more difficult to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Who can the people trust to deliver them not just news, but accurate news.

The prime example is that conservatives tend to watch FOX News which reports on issues and brings on guests that reaffirm the conservative values and thoughts. The same can be said for MSNBC which focuses on liberal issues. It has become easier and easier for individuals to reaffirm their own beliefs and ideologies without doing much searching of their own.

We have become a society with access to news, along with the abundance news.  However, are we also an educated public that thinks for ourselves and questions what we see as fact.  This is a question that I do not have answers for. But I am interested to see what others think about the growing amount of news and access to news that allows individuals to become tunnel-visioned into finding news that only reaffirms their own beliefs.

under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media
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6 May 1912, New York City: Women publicly marched the streets in the Suffrage Parade as a bold move to further the women’s rights movement and gain momentum for their cause.  These parades were only a small part of the fight for women’s suffrage which took decades to win.

Started in 1848 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the fight took many forms.  Some of the most dramatic and most publicized were these suffrage parades.  One of the most notorious was the 1913 parade in Washington, D.C.

The parade made national headlines, and word of the suffrage movement spread.  Photos accompanied the headlines, and were even used for postcards (something like social media in the early 2oth century).

The media, during this decades long struggle, played a critical role in helping women to gain the right to vote by simply covering the events that were unfolding.  In the end, it didn’t matter if the coverage was negative or positive, but it spread the message of women’s suffrage culminated in the 19th Amendment being passed in 1920.

Today, we see a similar struggle being waged in many parts of the world.  Media in all forms is being used to raise awareness of these issues.  From YouTube

to blogs in the New York Times website, headlines in the Washington Post and social media such as Facebook.

The impact that media is having on the issue of women’s rights, and has had for over more than a century is enormous.  It will only continue to grow as new forms of media and communication are developed and opened up to the public.


under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media, Uncategorized
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‘Gutenberg the Geek’

Posted by: | April 28, 2012 | No Comment |

One of the major points I make in History of Journalism: From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg (Comm455, fall semester, T/R 10:30 a.m.) is the connection between the invention of the printing press and the social media revolution today. Here’s a video about Jeff Jarvis’s new Kindle Single, “Gutenberg the Geek,” and an interview with Jarvis on Big Think about his essay.

under: Comm 455, social media
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