Bill Simmons Fired by ESPN

Two days ago, Bill Simmons, one of the more popular ESPN anchors and journalists, has been fired by the sports conglomerate ESPN. For the majority of sports fans, It must of come to a surprise of his departure because of his exuberant personality. He has strong opinions about controversial topics, which made him good television. But supposedly, ESPN found his colorful remarks towards the NFL commissioner to be crossing the line. In one of his articles, Simmons criticized the commissioner, and his handling of the recent domestic violence scandals in the NFL.  He is also known for his column “Thirteen Levels of losing”. Here he ridiculed fellow columnists about not fully understanding the issue of performance enhanced drugs. Throughout his career, he has published eye opening articles about issues relating to sports, which has made him a celebrity figure. I decided to write about this incident not for the fact Bill Simmons was let go, but more in the matter ESPN handled the decision, and the reasons why they fired one of their more popular analysts.

The first issue I have with this firing is how ESPN announced it. It was reported by ESPN’s President John Skipper over Twitter that Simmons was dismissed. I am not entirely sure If they were reported to have met prior to this announcement. I have a bad feeling that this is the way Simmons found out, which would be completely unprofessional on ESPN’s part. Simmons and ESPN has had a rocky relationship for the past few years. Simmons has been a ESPN sports reporter for 15 years, and has always took a strong  stance on his beliefs. This more than likely has made him a controversial figure towards the president of ESPN, and other head executives. Over time, a love/hate relationship grew between Simmons and ESPN, both showing respect for each other, but also sharing differences on certain things.

Even though we have the use of Twitter and Facebook to make announcements, incidents like this make me cringe a little. Since it was the President that made the announcement over the social site, I have a bad feeling that it was out of spite to make the news over Twitter, to really knock the socks off of Simmons. I am making assumptions, and I hope I’m wrong. Even though the use of Twitter should be for breaking news coverage, this is a matter that should be discussed between the people involved, before its publicly announced.

I am not surprised why ESPN let go Simmons. His way of writing was honest and shrewd. He would never shy away from making head executives look bad, only if they deserved it. But with that being said, I am disappointed. The way he wrote was funny, intelligent, engaging, and real. He never kept anything back, allowing the readers full access to his thinking process. He didn’t write just for the sake of publishing stories. He wrote to cause a discussion among sports fans. He said the stuff most sports journalists wouldn’t want to say, because it could cost them their jobs. Well, unfortunately for Simmons, it did. He wrote what he felt passionate about, which is what I hope is continued in the realm of Journalism.

While there are still a bunch of sports journalists with a great sense of character in their writing, I’m afraid it will be licensed now. After the public departure of Simmons, will this scare Journalists from writing the truth?

 

 

Political Races Infected By Social Media

 

Social media has the ability to shed negative light on a particular person, or event. Journalists have the power to record anything that is considered newsworthy and share it to the public. This, of course, includes politics.  The fact that every social gathering a politician gets involved with can  be uploaded to watch on youtube is alarming for the candidates. Every action they exploit in public can be shared. they have become a celebrity. With that being said, has social media and journalism crossed the line with politicians?

When there is activity that effects the way campaigning is handled by politicians, then there is a responsibility for journalists to show some respect. Even though these elected people should be prepared for a high profile, they shouldn’t be afraid to address the public. The way Journalists fight for their freedom to record whatever they feel fit to, rubs me the wrong way. These candidates should  have the power to order their teams to block journalists from having access to a public speech. They shouldn’t have to worry about their image.

Unfortunately, it is impossible that this will change. The power of citizen Journalism will  ensure every rally managed by representatives will be examined and shared through social media. The most important thing for politicians is their reputation. Because of social media, politicians may be showing they are not even willing to hold public interactions, in order to guard their reputation from the online web.

It’s complicated because as a nation, we need this information to keep ourselves up to speed with what our candidates are proposing, but in order to respect their decisions, giving them space to talk with the public without being judged is the ethical way. In result, this could ultimately change what they choose to discuss, which is unfortunate to have to even consider.

 

 

Sport Writers Get No Love

Sports related columns have been frequently snubbed by the Pulitzer Prize committee in the past. In the Pulitzer Journalism categories for this year, sports related stories went 0 and 14. Whether or not you consider the Pulitzer Prize to be important, its eye opening that a sports columnist hasn’t won the award for commentary since 1990.

I feel sports articles are often mentioned in the category of news that is labeled as the fluff on the internet. Whether or not it’s a highly regarded column on the dangers of concussions for football players, it’s related to sports, so it’s immediately judged for being considered, not news worthy. However, there have been sports writers nominated in the past for Pulitzer prizes, but very few ever do. The work of sports analysts rarely ever get the credit they deserve.

I think the Pulitzer Committee personally go out of their way to rob sports columnists from having any chance of a victory. This relates to how the Academy Awards never nominate blockbusters in the big categories. Even if they were films highly regarded by critics, they are perceived to be a brainless popcorn movie that has no real credentials. Even though I don’t know much about the Pulitzer awards, I know whenever an author has the credentials of winning the award by their name, and then they are highly recommended. Sports have the reputation of being a category only loved by teenage boys, and their immature fathers. However, there are fascinating stories that deal with sports. These include: issues of whether college students should be paid, how draining football injuries are to a retired NFL player, and in broader terms, the impact that sports has on a community.

I love variety in writing, and that’s why I feel there should be a sports category in the Pulitzer ceremony. Like it says in the essay, if there is a category for best political cartoonists, then there should be one for best sports articles.

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Promote Your Blog!

Listen up fellow college journalism students! This topic is important for us to learn about. Its right up our ally, and can gives us a kick start into the working class of Journalists. What our professors have warned us about, if we ever want to work in this field, is that having skills to right effective blog posts is crucial. Besides the writing aspect, and willing to update your blog daily (or weekly), its helpful to know some some tips on how to promote your blog. This type of topic may just interest people who are starting up in a journalism career, but it should attract the interest of every journalist. Blogging is still one of the more popular ways to express your ideas and opinions. Everyone should be blogging!

There are 9 main tips given in this essay, and I feel there a some that are crucial to not look over when making a blog. The biggest tip has got to be to put passion into your articles. I know personally, writing is something I enjoy to do, and always look forward to try and improve on. Besides asking the question if the content is good, you should also ask the question “is this helpful”?, meaning, will your blog give meaningful insight on issues that interest your readers. Your articles must be unique. Tell stories, and stay updated with important trends of the social world.

The second biggest tip I took away is to make sure your blog is searchable. Maybe to some, having a proper common keyword may be more of a priority than anything else. if people can’t search for your blog posts, then its hard to gather a loyal audience. To think of keyword phrases that will specifically relate with your blog posts is critical.

Using visuals is also a given strategy that helps promote your blog. The article says it best that we are “visual creatures”. Being able to have the luxury to see an image to put with words is a big bonus. Having images can also help you build traffic, from sites like Facebook. Another point the article made which I found very helpful is to assume your reader is very busy and wont take the time to read your entire post. That’s why you need imagery to keep their interest, which will automatically make your content more appealing.

Another tip that I want to highlight is to share others content. This can tie in with building a loyal audience, and using social media to engage. Personally I feel this is a practice not enough people use to their advantage, including me. As the article says, the internet is a relationship economy, which means if you can show your a working class citizen that’s willing to promote other people’s work, that will enhance your image. In return, this will increase your viewership. Showing that your active with the online community is a great way to promote your blog.

As there are more tips to be had from this article, these are the highlights. I encourage you to do more research on how to successfully promote a blog. It’s in your best interest!

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/how-to-promote-your-blog-effectively-infographic/618939

Ad – Free Experience

Youtube has announced a new paid subscription that displays ad – free videos. The multi billion dollar video website has slowly revolutionized the way we view the web. It has, in my opinion, launched the new wave, and new generation of online video watching. The ability to post videos have affected the way journalism and the social world has connected. When Youtube incorporated ads to their videos, it tainted the idea of content online should always be free, and easy to access.

I will say that I’m impressed with the way Youtube has been trying to keep their model fresh. They have introduced the mobile devises like any other site. They have also tried to relate with specific audiences, like introducing the youtube for kids app. When ads started to pop up on videos, I obviously wasn’t surprised. It defiantly did ruin my experience a bit on the site. The whole reason of going on the web is to watch videos the fast way, without having to waist your time with commercials. The web has lost some of its lust, and has been taken advantage of. Youtube has also taken advantage of us, knowing we aren’t going anywhere.

However, the way they have gone with their business model is devilishly smart. Youtube waited until we were comfortable with their site and ad free videos. It became a religion and way of life to view Youtube daily. It wasn’t till they were a billion dollar corporation with loyal subscribers  that they threw a curve ball, and added the addition of advertisements. All any of my friends could talk about was, “man, I can’t wait till the day youtube returns back to their original model.” Well now they have, but oh wait! You have to pay for it. Youtube knows that the majority of people are such big fans of their site, that the temptation will be too strong.  Word is that the paid subscription could be as much as $10 a month.

I predict this model will stick, and real in  an enormous amount of subscribers. This is what people have been waiting for. Youtube is back to their original model, sort of.  They waited and waited, and now its time. All you have to do is  resist, and hand over more money, just so you can watch ad free Vevo music videos.

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/youtube-confirms-upcoming-ad-free-paid-subscription-service/618581

Be Aware of Hackers!

There are a lot of needed skills if you want to run a website successfully. With a start up, the main intention is to push your specific product to the market in an urgent fashion. The main goal is to have a fast, growing website that gets the attention of thousands. But it is also important to realize the reality of the online web. There are hackers that feast on start ups, and go after your personal data.

As I was discussing last week, there are certain skills that must be required for Journalists to have when trying to find a job in their field. I pointed out the importance of connecting with the social world, following  sites like twitter, even if you don’t have a account. Well, to add to the bucket list of things to be aware of is how to efficiently secure your website from hackers. The majority of sites compromised are start ups, because these sites don’t take the usual precautions that larger sites practice yearly. The average person, like you or me, wouldn’t think there is anything worth for a hacker to visit your site for, but you would be surprised. Hackers are always trying to find servers for email spams, or to set up phony web servers.

Some helpful tips from avoiding being hacked includes keeping your software up to date, using complex passwords, and being careful when uploading files. There are so many other  tips. However, they are only useful if you are knowledgeable about computers and are familiar with words such as SSl (a protocol), Cross site scripting, and SQL injection. If you are scratching your head like me, that is a  normal reaction, which has to change!

Similar to being socially aware, we have to be, to a certain degree, aware of computer security methods. This means to take time out of your day to do some research on this type of stuff, and I guaranty, it could pay off in the long run.  I have a feeling the majority of web site managers with start ups are uneducated in this field, and could pay for it in the end.

For tips like the ones I listed in my blog, visit

http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/website-security-tips-protect-your-site-7122853

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/startups-easy-hacking-targets/618189

Tools of the New Millennium

Similar to the majority of journalism fields, TV journalism has been flourishing in the mainstream. The tools TV journalists use today may seem a tad different than TV news in the 70’s and 80’s. While those old fashioned news anchors would possibly have a journal, or notebook handy with notes and quotes to read off of, the new generation takes a slightly different approach. According to news reporter Tony Russel, his entire tool kit comes from the apps on his phones. Ten years ago, It may have seemed unprofessional to use your phone during working hours, but now it seems to be not only allowed to have a smart phone handy while on duty, but a necessity. People are using the apps on their phone in order to track headlining stories, and to pin point new topics to cover.

What Russell’s sources also allow him to do is post on the web to get his breaking news stories out in the public ASAP. Russell breaks down the apps that he prefers to use on the job. He describes drop box as the most efficient app for breaking news and time saving. He also uses Twitter when he is covering a breaking news story on the spot, which usually gets the most trends. However, out of all of the apps, instagram is his favorite, because it allows him to connect with his audience and share on sight photos.

I feel this article gives great insight into the daily life of a newscaster, in terms of using phone apps. It seems like it is almost a necessity to have a smart phone for certain jobs nowadays. That makes me think if later down the line will jobs have phones available to employees if they don’t have access to a smart phone? The whole point of this article in my opinion is to show the impact of apps, and how they are made accessible for businesses and jobs, and not just used for entertainment. It also gives college kids like us, an introduction of how exactly we can incorporate some of our favorite social media sights into a helpful business tool. This explains why everybody has their phone with them at all times!

Not only does the social media help Russell cover his stories faster and more fluently, but it allows him to build a connection with his audience! However for someone who isn’t as involved in the social world and not familiar with these tools, should they be worried about getting future jobs in Journalism, or is it something they can pick up along the way?  I say they shouldn’t be worried, but people of all ages who want to be involved with Journalism should be an active and engaged internet user, while trying to keep up with what the world comes up with next.

http://www.advancingthestory.com/2015/03/28/must-have-multimedia-tools-for-tv-journalists/

 

 

 

 

Meerkat and Stre.am on the rise

The Next big thing is on the rise!

What has started to become a norm for social media is streaming videos to your posts and tweets. There are 2 specific apps that have been recently discovered that play a factor in this phenomenon. These two apps are Meerkat, and Stre.am. These apps are at the time, only available on iphones and ipads. But they make it considerably easier to post live video and audio to your twitter feeds. Even though this idea of having live broadcasts on social media is not a new invention, there are new tweaks to these apps that supposedly make it a new experience for the user. Sometimes i feel like people abuse their powers, and start creating identical adds, and makes new versions of something we’ve seen a thousand times, and it becomes annoying. But word is that these apps makes online streaming more accessible.

This has  become the theme of our new generation. The theme is that we are always pursuing to make something easier for society to use, by using technology. It now seems like Meerkat will be the new app that will be the must download for friends and family to keep in touch online. With that being said, does this mean Meerkat, and Stre.am will become the face of journalism apps? It is certainly possible. We live in a time where it has become a habit to constantly move our sights on new and improved innovations. We move on from the so called old news, and introduce ourselves and the world to new and improved sites. A good example is Skype vs Google hangouts. It used to be, at least for me anyways, Skype was the only efficient way to connect with others from around the world. But then Google hangouts came into our thoughts and entered into the mainstream. Now Google Hangouts are what people can’t stop talking about. That doesn’t mean Skyping is a lost entity, but Google Hangouts has become one of the new phenomenon people are trying to understand. Based on this, Meerkat and Stre.am will rope in people’s curiosity, and eventually bring the masses to their site.

So every day there are new trends to follow, which means anything is possible for the future of social media.

http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/326457/will-meerkat-and-stre-am-become-the-next-big-journalism-apps/

Is it Buzzfeed’s fault?

Buzzfeed has been taking a lot of slack for being known as the site that tackles the fluff of the internet, turning them into viral hits. We are now in the day and age where tweets from celebrities are considered news worthy. What has transpired here is a shift in importance for the average news goer. It is now about “what is the latest viral hit”,instead of the latest on foreign relations with other countries, or technology advances. The stories that have meaning, and purpose are being benched to the side, making way for the videos that trend online. A great example of this evolution in news, would be the infamous dress, which was getting coverage nationwide. Another disappointing moment in journalism would also be the break in CNN coverage for live footage of Justin Beiber’s court day. The interest in these kind of stories, some say, have been ignited by Buzzfeed, which exemplifies  the site’s dismissible attitude towards real news.

I decided to take a look at Daniel McKeon’s article titled “58 and a half reasons why Buzzfeed is ruining Journalism”. Some people, including Mckeon, feel Buzzfeed knowingly brings attention to the stories that have no substance, just for the sake of making revenue. Mckeon feels strongly that Buzzfeed dismisses the intelligence of their audience, and posts the stories that they know will catch on fire. With this, Buzzfeed has created a bunch of copy cat websites that attempt the same formula.

While I do agree Buzzfeed has started an unhealthy journalism practice, I see this situation a bit different. I don’t think its Buzzfeed that we should be blaming. Buzzfeed definitely takes advantage of knowing what the audience wants to read about, which is good business. We should ultimately be blaming ourselves, in a sense. They are so many news outlets that we could be spending our time on. But we as a society take the easy bait, and focus all of our attention on the fluff Buzzfeed provides. Sure its fun, and its understandable to enjoy this type of media on occasion, but to worship it to to the extent of making it headline news is a bit appalling. I feel we as a community made Buzzfeed popular, making  it a hated site among critics. Buzzfeed is simply a profiting business that is categorized as an entertainment news outlet. They are doing what is necessary for their business. We should take a step back and occasionally  pay attention to the real news out there, which could change the scope of journalism.