Time for Change

If I could give Scott Pelley a high-five right now, I WOULD.

The points that he makes in his speech around beyond accurate, and that is what is sad.

He says that we live “in a world where everyone is a publisher, no one is an editor, and that is the danger that we face today.” Sadly, this is true. We live in a world where the average citizen publishes more content than a professional journalist does daily, and those average citizens do not have proper journalism training to know the difference of what is ethical content, and what is merely gossip.

He goes on to say that we live in a time where a writers first idea is his best idea, and a writer will report on the first thing she hears. Journalism has become nothing but timing. No longer do journalists strive to publish the best story, but the FIRST story. Breaking news has become whatever that news station heard first, not the actual facts of the case.

He refers to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit as sources of gossip, but in today’s world, they’re seen as sources of journalism and news.

He quotes Fred Finley saying, “If you’re first, no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no on will ever forget.”

I think journalism needs to get back to this point of view. Journalists and news sites need to stop being obsessed with releasing the first story, but the most ACCURATE story.

Being a student journalist, it’s still important to check facts and make sure everything I’m publishing is accurate because that’s my name on that article. Unfortunately, I feel the older and more experienced journalists get, the less cautious they become of lying.

I think that the field of journalism needs to reevaluate the ethics journalists need to practice, otherwise, the credibility of journalism will slowly start to lose its value, and then there will be no purpose for the profession at all.

Okay bye

This week we learned about whether or not websites should moderate their comments in order to keep their audience focused on the topic they’re discussing.

It’s become an issue on whether deleting comments is a violation of a users First Amendment right, however, I personally feel that if someone is blatantly trying to start trouble in a discussion, their comment should be deleted

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/delete-comments-blog-list

I found this blog really helpful in helping decide why/when you know you should delete a comment.

Another issue that pointed out in the readings this week was the fact that website users who comment are not professionally trained like journalists, so when they are posting comments, they are not necessarily aware that what they are posting may not be acceptable for the public to see.

I completely agree with deleting and moderating comments on a website. If I go to a website and see that the comments are offensive, I’m not going to keep going to the site because clearly the site doesn’t take the content they publish seriously.

I have rarely seen a comment forum where the content of the conversation stays relevant to the post. Usually, especially with Facebook comments, the content switches into some type of heated debate or fight among users who don’t agree on the topic being discussed.

I think that if users want more freedom with their comments, they should start to think twice about what they’re putting on the Internet, regardless if the comment is anonymous or not.

So mobile it’s an app

So this week we learned about how important it is for websites to use responsive design, so users can view content easily on mobile and tablet devices.

It’s obviously very important for websites to use this design so users can access content more easily without having to go out of their way to download/buy the app to view content.

However, then something occurred to me. Websites like espn.com make money by not having content that is friendly to all mobile and table devices. Given, if you go on espn.com on a mobile device, all the content on the page loads, but most of the content that is on the homepage on a desktop browser is not clearly visible.MLB-At-Bat

That’s why a lot of users opt to download the sports apps like the ESPN app, which allows sports fans to track their favorite teams specifically, along with articles related directly to their teams and favorite players.

Though ESPN does not charge for their app, apps like MLB’s AtBat charge users by the season to follow and keep up with their favorite teams through articles and game recaps.

iPhone_feed_breakingSites almost benefit from their sites not fully using a responsive design that loads all content on all devices quickly and efficiently.

I, personally, have purchased and will continue to purchase these apps because they’re 10 times easier to keep up with current news, than continually going onto the website and searching for your favorite team.

Maybe it’s a marketing tactic, or maybe it just happens to shift users in the direction of buying the apps, but either way, there’s a reason that sports apps are some of the most popular apps in the Apple Store.

Too personal?

So this week our assignment was to start to put the finishing touches on our blogs, and with that being said, as I was putting my blog together, I was questioning whether the content was getting too personal.

I found this blog that tells website owners six different things that they should include on their website.

Ironically, #2 tells the designer not to tell their life story on their website, however, I think that a website owner should get a little in depth and personal because I don’t know about anyone else, but I love knowing someone’s back story and why they are the way they are.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-things-you-should-put-on-your-personal-websiteand-6-things-to-avoid-at-all-costs

It also tells you to include examples of your best work, or at least some examples of your works so the people that visit your website can see what it is you do and even potential employers can then see what you have to offer.

I took this advice by adding a page with links to all of my Royal Purple stories. Although, you have to be careful and only include your best articles, not everything you’ve ever written.

I honestly had a great time fixing up my blog and adding new pages and content. Regardless of how many people actually look at my website right now, it’s fun to think that someone cares why I made this site, and maybe they’ll even read some of work.

Data to the base

Okay, so this week we learned about the importance of databases, and the differences between a spreadsheet and a database.

It’s clear that databases are more efficient in gathering and sharing information, while a spreadsheet is easier to layout.

However, I came across this blog that really goes into detail about how important databases are, but he also points out some other key points.

http://www.actian.com/about-us/blog/never-underestimate-importance-good-data-quality/

Yes, it’s true that databases are almost crucial for some companies and websites to maintain/have, but the accuracy of the data in those databases is even more important. He points out that a lot of companies have databases, but their information is not always accurate and very seldom to companies run manual data checks to make sure their data stays up to date and accurate.

“But the biggest reason why all companies should exercise good data quality is in the eyes of many business leader the most important: money.  Good data means less money wasted on poor campaigns and less money spent on trying to fix the issue later on.  Plus, you’ll spend less money on your staff hunting for the right data.”

This is probably the most important point he makes in the article. Almost everything comes down to money, and if a company wastes it’s time with useless and incorrect information, in the long run, they’re just going to have to go back and get the right information if they want their company to continue to grow.

 

Importance of facts

Sorry this wasn’t found on Feedly, but I found it very interesting and it really hit home because my town was in the middle of the ordeal.

So I don’t know how closely any of you follow the news, but in September Fox Lake Lieutenant Joseph Gliniewicz was reported “murdered” by three suspected me early in the morning.

Media outlets immediately started running stories about the incident, and strangely, almost every story you read had a different spin or different facts.

Some reported that he radioed in that morning about the three suspects, some claimed he called for back up, and others claimed he was close to retirement and wasn’t even supposed to be on the job that morning.

However, after further investigations and a biopsy, it was declared that Gliniewicz committed suicided due to the angle of the gunshot and where the gun was found. He staged his own death because he was embezzling from a children’s foundation run through the Fox Lake Police Department.

I live in Johnsburg, Il. which is only five minutes away from Fox Lake. The whole city of Fox Lake was shut down that day. Schools were on lockdown, people weren’t allowed to leave their homes, and nobody was allowed to pass through because the police were looking for these supposed “killers”.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/11/06/media-call-out-foxs-irresponsible-coverage-of-f/206681

This is a post about how the media acted too quickly on covering this case. Rather than verify any facts, news outlets were more concerned with getting some type of story out on the web first.

I think this is interesting because we have been learning the importance of the online web, and how important the information we share is. However, where do we draw the line between getting the information out to the public, and getting the CORRECT information out to the public. Is it really that important to share a story, regardless of the legitimacy behind the facts?

As far as online content, I think reporting on the CORRECT facts is more important than being the first to release a breaking news stories. Now all these news outlets are retracting their stories, sharing what really happened and having to justify why their initial stories no longer match up to the current facts.

If news outlets want to keep loyal readers, they should make sure their information is actually true.

To the Window, to the Paywall

Ashley if you see this…I’m not sorry for stealing your discussion title…

Anyways, so this week we learned about paywalls, their benefit, or I guess non-benefit, and the different types of paywalls a website can use to monitor it’s users.

https://gigaom.com/2011/12/20/dont-penalize-loyal-users-with-paywalls-reward-them/

This is a blog by Mathew Ingram criticizing paywalls, and how they actually penalize loyal users.

I completely agree with his stance on paywalls. As a college student who frequently has to use websites like the NYT to find information, I don’t want to have to pay to see information.

What paywalls do in the long run, is cause loyal customers to seek their information elsewhere for free.

However, he mentions that Jeff Jarvis has proposed what he calls a “reversed paywall”. This concept means that the more a subscribed user uses that site, they subscription price will start to drop.

This is a great idea in theory, but it could also mean that some users might just start going to the site, but not reading the content just to get their subscription price dropped.

I fully understand the fact that paywalls are necessary to make revenue for online, and even print media outlets. They are NECESSARY. Without them, journalists would literally be making nothing.

But they do tend to chase away loyal readers who don’t have the money to pay for content. Sites like the NYT and Wall Street Journal can charge their users because they generally tend to attract a older, upper class audience who has the extra money every month to pay for content.

Overall, I think that Jarvis’ idea of the reverse paywall is the closest thing to perfection with dealing with charging users for content.

New angles of the web

This week we had to put together a Storify page, telling the story of a major news event that has happened recently.

I chose to cover the Umpqua Community College shooting that took place in Roseburg, Oregon on Oct. 1.

By using the Storify website, I was actually really surprised to see how many different sources of media have covered this event, and how widespread a lot of the trending slogans, and hashtags really were.

From professional news outlets like CNN and CBS, to social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. the amount of coverage on the event was the same, it was just the angle and the content of the coverage that was different.

This is a great way to look at news because it shows that no matter what the event, there are social media outlets and news coverage that can relate to any age of a viewer. The big news sites like CNN appeal more to the older crowd who want the facts and the exact information of the event, while the younger generation ten to lean toward the social media sites like Twitter, where a simple favorite or retweet makes them feel like they’ve made a difference and they’re part of the support system.

I actually really liked using the Storify website, and I found it a lot of fun researching all the different pictures and social media items that were published in relation to the event. It was also fun to get so involved in a recent news story, and really go in depth with the event and actually fully understand what happened and what effect it had on the public, and in the Umpqua case, the entire nation.

I think that as far as media coverage, especially in this case where gun control is the topic of the incident, the media needs to be more assertive in uncovering the real underlying issue that an event results from.

The coverage of the Umpqua shootings should have had more to do with the stricter gun control laws that need to be put into place to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

Overall, I really got a new perspective on social media outlets and how they work with sharing their information.