May 06 2014

The Latest from Snapchat

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Snapchat is a picture/video chatting app that allows you to send media to your friends for a limited amount of seconds. It’s the latest and most popular social media/entertaining apps on the market and just last week it updated its software allowing users to live video chat with friends, send photos from their photo gallery and text/instant message one another.

At first, reactions from Snapchat users were not positive. They couldn’t figure out the new layout and system to the app and began resorting to other forms of social media for help and to rant about their confusion saying, “What’s up with this new Snapchat?”

The biggest talked about feature for the update was the live video chat tool added to the app. Most users are already familiar with Skype and Facetime and couldn’t figure out why another app was needed to chat with their friends face-to-face. Snapchat looked like it was mocking the other popular applications.

Users also were confused about the text/instant messaging feature Snapchat added. In order to “be friends” or “follow” someone on Snapchat, you need to have their phone number in your contacts to add them to your Snapchat list. If you already have their phone number, couldn’t you just text them instead of going through Snapchat to message them? It all seemed like an extra step or that Snapchat was just adding newer features to make money.

Whatever the case may be, with the new updates and softwares, Snapchat is still a extremely popular app that has made its mark and proved that it’s not going anywhere and users will still continue to use it despite the confusion they may have to deal with along the way.



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Apr 30 2014

Why Teens Prefer Twitter to Facebook

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With all the talk about social media for class this week, it would only be ironic if I stumbled across an article OF COURSE regarding social media. And OF COURSE, I did just that.

I personally do not have a Facebook account. I deleted it a while back strictly because I wanted employment and I know companies tend to sneak around and look at potential employee Facebook accounts. So I took the mature route, deleted Facebook and just stuck with Twitter. It’s given me nothing but peace of mind to be honest. Most college kids can spend hours procrastinating on Facebook. I’ve discovered a lot better things to do with my time.

However, this specific article I found via Yahoo! News focuses on teens (typically the age group to keep up with the latest and greatest trends) and their social media accounts.

“Teens are leaving bigger social networks for the privacy of messaging apps, but experts say Twitter is managing to hold on to more of this sought-after younger demographic than its bigger rival,” the article states.

“Twitter still has the cool factor,” says Daniel Miller, a professor of anthropology at University College London who is currently studying students’ use of social networks. Teens use Facebook to send party invites, look at photos and communicate with their families but Twitter is more for conversations and includes updates on the latest news, fads and gossip.

Another reason why most teens are saying goodbye to Facebook is because their parents and even their grandparents have got on board. Social media no longer has a fun, young age group. Your mom is able to find and look at the pictures you took with your friends over the weekend, drunk and holding beer cans, when you told her you were going to the mall.

Whatever the case may be, Twitter and Facebook are still the top runners for popular apps, but there will always be a new platform to compete for time spent on social. The trends and new apps will continue to come and people will continue to download them.




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Apr 30 2014

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Donald Sterling Ban From NBA

Due to the latest in sports news/journalism, I decided to do my Storify assignment about the scandal and controversy of Donald Sterling getting banned from the NBA after making racist comments. Click the link above for details.

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Apr 22 2014

Internet World Names Couples New Child

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This past January, a Canadian couple that was about to have their first baby girl, started a website called The site allowed visitors to vote for potential names to give the baby when she was born this April.

The winning name with the most votes was “Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin”.

Although the name is sweet and innocent (not something you’d expect from the crazy World Wide Web) Stephan McLaughlin, father of newborn Amelia, opened up a questionnaire on the site explaining how he was forced to delete “several STIs and a couple of sexual positions” from initial submissions.

The article stated, “when a reporter asked explorer George Mallory in 1924 why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he famously responded, “Because it’s there” — the same reason why a man would open up naming rights for his daughter to the World Wide Web.”

This article seemed extremely odd to me. Typically, couples come up with their own name together and make it more personal and loving. However, this shows how internet obsessed our society is and also kind of makes the family seen attention seeking.

I do think though the couple was pretty brave to let the World Wide Web determine the fate of their baby. You really never know what kinds of people are out there and who is stumbling across your webpage.



^Picture of newly named Amelia via

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Apr 15 2014

Boston Bombing – 1 Year Later

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With the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Bombings being today, I found myself searching through Yahoo! News to see what sort of things the news was saying/doing for the anniversary and also how the city of Boston would be preparing for this year’s race.

I came across an article that I found to be quite alarming. Adrianne Haslet-Davis had her lower leg (calf) amputated after the bombings and was rewarded a high-tech prosthetic leg so she was able to dance again on stage, leading her to be the face of survivors from the bombings. She has appeared on many different shows telling her story including CNN’s Survivor Diaries. When asked to be appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press” she asked them to not say the names of the suspects from the bombings since she hasn’t spoken them at all for the past year. But she left the studio in tears when ‘Meet the Press’ broke their promise and used the names.

 Yahoo! News stated, “Haslet-Davis said she agreed to do the show on the condition that the names wouldn’t be mentioned. Upon arriving to tape the show, however, she was told that producers couldn’t make that guarantee given the nature of the discussion.”

Haslet-Davis ended up walking off the show crying and later tweeted how disrespected she felt. She received an enormous amount of support via social media.

I really felt sorry for this poor girl and couldn’t help but think there is something extremely ethically wrong with the media, in this case NBC.

Something as sensitive as losing your leg in a terrorist attack, you think NBC would be more sympathetic toward Haslet-Davis and grant their guest survivor whatever they wish. Especially since the attack was only a year ago and she is still adjusting to her new life with a prosthetic leg. Have a heart NBC!

The media needs to set a standard on what and whatnot they are able to say. Just because you are granted a microphone or a pen and paper, doesn’t mean you can tear other people apart to get a reaction or a story out of it.

Typically what you see on TV news or in the newspapers is just straight bad news. Someone was murdered, a plane is missing with multiple people on it, etc, etc. This news story could have been something good, a survivor making a new life for herself after a terrorist attack. But NBC turned it into something bad like everything else and I think they owe a deep and sincere apology to such an incredible person.


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Apr 09 2014

First Amendment Right – Freedom of Speech

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This semester, most of the classes I am taking involve the law. Law and Mass Communication, Media Ethics, Journalism Capstone and I find it interesting when we study all of the different cases and situations.

I stumbled across an article on ABA Journal, Law News Now, about a young girl that “contended her First Amendment right to free speech was violated when she was given detention for criticizing a hall monitor on Facebook outside of school and allegedly pressured by school officials and police to turn over her Facebook and email passwords after she had an online conversation with a boy about sex from her home computer.”

The 6th grader from Minnesota was granted a $70,000 settlement in a federal civil rights case.

The article stated that, “In addition to paying the $70,000 settlement, the district has also agreed to change its policies concerning Facebook and searches by school officials, which will now require a signed parental consent form.”

How crazy is this? It’s a perfect example of an interesting case dealing with communication and law. However, my first thoughts were why does a 6th grader have a Facebook and why is that 6th grader talking about sex on Facebook? Why does the school care what she posts to Facebook? And most importantly what is a 6th grader going to do with $70k?

But I also think it’s interesting that this young girl was protected so well by the First Amendment. It shows that the government doesn’t mess around when it comes to freedom of speech and there’s no gray areas that say it only applies to people 18 or over, or it doesn’t count when it’s posted to the internet. In fact, most cases that I’ve studied so far this semester that deal with people pleading the First Amendment often win the case, no ifs, ands or buts. When they say “free speech” they literally mean you can say whatever you want and that includes 6th graders who have no idea what they’re talking about.

^link to article





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Apr 08 2014

Bill German, Rolling Stones Journalist visits Whitewater

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Bill German – The Rolling Stones

(WHITEWATER, WI) – Bill German, journalist and author of “Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Live to Tell About It)” and former fanzine “Beggar’s Banquet,” made a visit to UW-Whitewater last Tuesday to speak to inspiring journalism students about his life touring with the popular rock-band, The Rolling Stones, for 17 years.

Advisor of UW-W’s Royal Purple, professor and loyal Stones fan, Carol Terracina-Hartman, bumped into German at a family party and was able to bring him to campus as a part of the Visiting Artists and Scholars Program.

German began his presentation to UW-W students addressing how his obsession with The Rolling Stones got started by simply hearing their music through his older sister’s bedroom door. The obsession with the band and his drive to become a journalist grew from there.

“They seemed like the most rebellious guys on earth and I wanted to know more about them,” German said.

In 1978, on German’s 16th birthday, he began creating “Beggar’s Banquet,” a fanzine about The Rolling Stones consisting of any sort of inside information he could find out about the rock band.

The fanzine took off from there and people were resorting to German for the latest news about the Stones, which eventually led German to make a decision, leave NYU where he was pursuing a degree in journalism or tour with The Rolling Stones to continue the fanzine.

“It was not a fun conversation to have with my parents but I was out there already doing what I wanted to do,” German said after stating why he left NYU in 1981 and joined The Rollings Stones on their “Tattoo You” tour.

In 1983, when the tour ended, “Beggar’s Banquet” became the bands official newsletter and was advertised in the band’s next album and German became a member of the Stones.

“It was something very exciting for me,” German said. “Being 20-years-old and to have something in a Rolling Stones album, it wasn’t even something I dreamed of,” German said.

For the next 17 years, German toured with the band, attended recording sessions, interviews, traveled the world with them, attended parties and events, etc. He told UW-W students stories about Mick Jagger and how he received the nickname, “Brenda,” and how the band would stay up until early hours in the morning to play with Stevie Ray Vaughn in Ronnie Wood’s basement.

“I never did drugs with the Rolling Stones,” German said. “I wanted to remember everything and being with the band was the high for me.”

German finally decided he needed to end the high with the band after he saw their main focus becoming only on money and in 1996, German retired at 33-years-old with 102 issues of “Beggar’s Banquet” completed.

German concluded his speech to UW-W students with a questionnaire and book signing and encouraging advice for their futures in the journalism field.

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Apr 04 2014

Turkey Twitter Ban

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In case you haven’t noticed a trend in my blog posts by now, I like to read and keep up with journalism happenings throughout other countries. I think it’s interesting to see some of the things we take for granted in the U.S. like newspapers, the internet, social media, etc., are things that other countries do not have or are not allow to have. So this week I came across an article via Yahoo! about how the country of Turkey has finally lifted their two week ban on the popular social media network, Twitter.

“Access to Twitter was blocked on March 21 in the run-up to local elections last Sunday to stem a stream of leaked wiretapped recordings of senior officials that had appeared on the site, prompting Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to say he would “root out” the network. Turkey’s Official Gazette on Thursday morning published the Constitutional Court’s ruling from Wednesday, further piling pressure on the telecoms authorities to lift the ban, which had faced widespread international condemnation.”


The ban was lifted specifically because it restricted the people of Turkey the right to speech and expression.

This whole banning of Twitter process reminded me of some of the things we are learning about in class like measuring of an audience and monetizing websites. I began to wonder if the high ratings of viewers/users on Twitter slightly went down since an entire country was not able to use the website or app. I also wondered if Turkey made any money off of the whole scheme and how precisely you restrict access to a website in just a certain area without shutting down the website as a whole.

It’s interesting to me that there are in’s and out’s of the world wide web/internet such as these that people don’t tend to think about on a daily basis. It’s interesting to think if their are websites out there that other countries are allowed to have that we aren’t allowed to have.


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Mar 19 2014

Landing a Journalism Job

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In the video above, news anchor and reporter Byron Brown from WJTV in Jackson, Miss. explains how journalists should strive to go above and beyond during an interview to land a job in the journalism field.

As a student who will be graduating in a few months, I have been applying all over the different metropolitan areas trying to land a job and get myself out of debt. So far, I’ve had a handful of callbacks, phone interviews and face-to-face interviews. They all have went very well and now I have options of jobs to choose from for when I graduate. This article and video I found on one of my favorite journalism blogs, “Advancing the Story, Journalism in the Multimedia World” shared some good information on how to wow an interview for a potential employer. The advice helped me a lot with my own interviews so I thought I’d do a post to inform my fellow journalism colleagues.

The top three things Brown says to stay on top of before/during/after the interview include:

1. Dress for success and to impress (wear something appropriate for the job so you look cleaned up and ready to work)

2. Act professional when you’re in the newsroom/sitting room waiting for your interviewer to come and greet you. The rest of the staff can report back to the interviewer that you were talking on your phone the whole time, or falling asleep, etc.

3. Know something about the company or the managers you’ll be speaking with or the community you’ll be reporting in.



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Mar 14 2014

Top 5 Travel Destinations

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As someone who is very interested in travel writing, I’ve included in my blog a map of the Top 5 places I would like to go to to begin my writing and experiences.


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