Our House is on Fire: American Journalism

Scott Pelley

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley accepted a journalist First Amendment award and during his acceptance speech he spoke about the importance of truth in the media and the ethics of journalism.

Of course in this day and age journalism has changed; with the emergence of social media and the larger role of the citizen journalism news and information is available to a larger amount of people and can also be created by a larger amount of people.

Pelley gives the example of the Boston bombing situation and the role that social media played. Many accusation flooded twitter, facebook, and other sites, giving pictures and names of the supposed attackers. This storm eventually caught up to major news sites who also began reposting the photos and names, however much of this information was published without being fact checked.

Blaming a person who is not responsible for an act of terror caused for some huge questions to be asked about ethics in journalism. It should go with out saying that fact checking is mandatory before information is released to the public, especially for a popular news organization that is going to be seen as highly credible.

Of course in today’s world being first and fast can be seen as more important than being accurate and Pelley reminds us that many more people are going to remember when a news organization is wrong rather than if they were first.

Here is the acceptance speech


The Hunger Games Theme Park


In honor of the final installment of the Hunger Games series hitting the box office, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about some of the buzz around the franchise.

First of all, earlier this year it was announced that The Hunger Games would be brought to life in the form of a theme park in Dubai in 2016. Well, Hunger Games fans brace yourselves, it’s also coming to the US in 2019 as part of the Avatron Park in Atlanta… Also cool to note, this is where much of the filming took place.

So both of these theme parks are supposed to be depicting the dystopian world, and if you are familiar with the book series, you know just how bad it gets. It will definitely be interesting to see how that is incorporated into a theme park.

But, according to the poll on Buzzfeed most people are still pretty pumped about the opening.

Here is the article

Here is the proposed design as tweeted by the New York Times

Here is the proposed design of the theme park as tweeted by the New York Times

As far as box office results for the film goes, it’s definitely in the lead, however it also definitely didn’t rake in the amount of dough the previous three films did. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the film brought in $51 million, which is still quite a gap from the first film which brought in $82.7 million over the Thanksgiving weekend when it hit theaters.

Here is the article

Comments (1)

Donald Trump Retweeted False Crime Statistics

Trump interviewed about the false tweet on Fox

Trump interviewed about the false tweet on Fox

Donald Trump recently made a bit of a mistake on social media, using twitter to retweet an info graphic that was ultimately false. The graphic shows murder statistics broken down by race and claims that most white victims are killed by black assailants.

However, the agency attributed to the graphic doesn’t even exist and there isn’t any clear information on where the graphic came from in the first place.

Trump did attempt to defend himself during an interview on Fox News, saying he believed the graphic came from a credible source. He also said that he believes his supporters will know that he had no racist intentions.

Here is the info graphic

Here is the info graphic

Here is the whole story

Of course it is unrealistic to expect that everyone fact check themselves before retweeting anything. Twitter would be far less interesting if that were the case. But, as a politician, Trump should definitely have been more careful when retweeting something that’s making such strong accusations.

There is definitely a higher level of responsibility of being factual on social media when the person is in the public eye. People are more likely to believe things they see from well known people and are also more likely to harshly judge when false information is given by someone who should be credible.

Comments (1)

Paris is about life

In light of recent events it seems only fitting to dedicate this weeks post to the heartbreaking disasters Paris faced on Friday. Of course any news service will provide you with continued updates to information, I have of course looked to Buzzfeed to be my source of Paris Coverage. Currently they have a feed of live updates covering all of the Paris information. For the feed click here.

Here is what we know so far:

  • 129 people have been killed so far by the seemingly coordinated attacks
  • Three teams of individuals carried out the attacks, all were heavily armed
  • Officials say seven of the attackers have been killed, with some dying after detonating bombs
  • Three of the suicide bombers have been identified
  • Some of the names of the victims have been released

It seems the whole world has spoken out about the attacks and of course all of our hearts go out to Paris and the victims and families.

It has been confirmed that one of the victims is an American from California who was in the country studying abroad.

There has been so much information and news from all over that it would be quite nearly impossible to cover everything that has been released, so I will try to include some helpful links that offer further information. Here are a couple:






One thing I did want to look at was the image that has become iconic for Paris from artist Jean Jullien. I’m sure by now you’ve seen this image as well as the #peaceforParis which has been all over twitter and other social media.

I just wanted to point out how beautifully simplistic this image is, but it also not the only one created in support of Paris here are 22 others.

imageThere was also a cartoon released from a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist in response to the popular #prayforParis, thanking everyone for the support and reminding people that Paris is about life.

One last thing I wanted to include is the video of a Parisian man who survived the attacks. He talks about his experience and it is definitely very moving, and also heartbreaking.






Top 10 Travel Spots

[<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=zcHXSqrIDsOU.kRTjWIfaqTPM” width=”640″ height=”480″></iframe>]


T-Mobile Will stream Netflix and other video carrying sites without effecting Data

1000px-T-Mobile_logo.svgT-Mobile has announced that they will now offer streaming for Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, ESPN, and many other without affecting the users data plan. Basically any of T-Mobiles partners can be accessed free of charge.

The program will be very appropriately titled Binge On and it already has 24 partners. However this program isn’t entirely new, other companies in Europe have offered similar deals. But as far as what we’ve seen in the US, T-Mobile is definitely offering some unique content.

Of course this idea is definitely aimed toward the younger generation, who definitely could benefit from some free data using.

I found this story, of course, on Buzzfeed, and it caught my attention because I was instantly attracted to the idea. I would love to watch Netflix in particular without draining my data. Generally I don’t even touch Netflix on my phone because streaming takes up so much data. Being able to not care about the amount of data consumed would open up a ton of doors.

Another aspect of this story that caught my attention was that T-Mobile was many times referred to as an “un-carrier”. I wasn’t really sure of what this was, so I did a little googling.

Basically the big campaign for T-Mobile is that they break all the rules made by other carriers. There aren’t any service contracts or hidden fees. So, basically all the reasons we get mad at Verizon and US Cell don’t seem to be a thing for T-Mobile. So that’s neat.

Anyway, this is definitely something that would make me want to look into T-Mobile. From what I’ve read they sound like a unique company and that definitely holds some appeal.

Here is the whole story

Comments (1)

Taylor Swift is being Sued

So while scrolling through my feedly account, this story really grabbed my attention… Taylor swift is being sued for $42 million for the lyrics to her hit song “Shake It Off”. We are all plenty familiar with the famous hook “Haters gonna hate hate hate….” and “the players gonna play play play…” Well, musician Jesse Graham claims these lyrics were stolen from him.

Graham claims these lyrics came from a song he wrote in 2013. “If I didn’t write the song Haters Gone Hate there wouldn’t be a song called Shake It Off.” Graham told the New York Daily News, “…At first I was going to let it go, but this song is my song all the way.” he added.

To me, this is a long shot. I listened to Graham’s song and yes of course he does in fact say “The haters gonna hate” and “The players gonna play.” but this combination of words is not in anyway earth shattering. It isn’t at all hard to believe that more than one person would think to put them together. And besides, people have been saying haters gonna hate for a very long time, I doubt that has a traceable origin. Besides that, there are no other similarities between the two songs.

A huge red flag to me was that not only does Graham want compensation for this but he also wants his name added as a writer. That just seems like a clear shout for some attention. And originally, before legal documents were thrown into the mix, Graham wanted a selfie with the star as well.

Haters Gonna Hate

Haters Gonna Hate


Here is a link to a buzzfeed article which has both songs so you can listen and compare and decide for yourself.

And here is a link to the story from BBC

Comments (1)

Former Comedian Elected President of Guatemala

Former TV comedian Jimmy Morales was elected as the new Guatemalan president in a landslide victory, raking in 70% of the votes.

Morales is only 46 years old and a relative novice to politics. His “Not corrupt, not a crook” platform swayed voters after a year of hard political turmoil for the country.

The former president currently sits in jail as he awaits the conclusion of an investigation that he had a role in a multi-million dollar customs fraud. Protests took to the streets demanding his resignation.

Here is a short victory statement from the new president: “With this vote you made me president… I have received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that has consumed us.”

Although this news story is relatively new to me, I find it very interesting. The concept of having a former comedian as president would be very unique, and I think it sounds like a good thing.

Not only could this mean a brighter future for the citizens of Guatemala, but comedians are often quite upfront and real, it very well could mean a whole new level of honesty in politics. At least in Guatemalan politics, that is.

Comedians generally speak about the world and bring attention to big new stories in a lighthearted and honest way and of course also humerous. Combining this mentality to politics seems like a new and good approach to me. It will definitely be interesting to see how this story plays out.

Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales


New Star Wars Trailer – Storify

[<div class=”storify”><iframe src=”//storify.com/suzyhoff1/getting-started/embed?border=false” width=”100%” height=”750″ frameborder=”no” allowtransparency=”true”></iframe><script src=”//storify.com/suzyhoff1/getting-started.js?border=false”></script><noscript>[<a href=”//storify.com/suzyhoff1/getting-started” target=”_blank”>View the story “New Star Wars Trailer Drops and the Internet Freaks Out” on Storify</a>]</noscript></div>]



JustFab is Dark and Scammy

I’m sure we’ve all seen advertisements for JustFab and Fabletics while browsing the web. And as it turns out the site has a slightly dark and twisty background.

Why wouldn't this be the photo for this story?

The sites owners have spent a decade running internet schemes. From advertising miracle weight loss powder to anti-aging shampoo, the bad reviews have piled up against JustFab.

After all of this scammy history, the owners of the site have recently made it big in Silicon Valley, and they just MIGHT have changed their ways.

In fact, the site has been viewed as possibly the next big thing, and been dubbed as an internet business unicorn. The guys who own the site have stacked up hundreds of millions of dollars in equity, and they show no signs of slowing down. Only speeding up.

Currently, investors have valued the site at $1 billion.

The site has also attracted many celebrity backers to promote their name. Which of course only helps them attract more people.

JustFab’s biggest scam is having a user believe that they are making a one time purchase, when in fact they are signing up for a hidden (and continued) subscription charge.

Here’s the thing, this kind of thing happens a lot on the internet, it just so happens that JustFab is doing a really freaking good job at it. And the hope is that with the continued success of the site, the site’s quality will increase as well because they won’t need to do all the scamming to get the business they want.

Here’s the original Buzzfeed story




« Previous entries