Kolton's ideas, thoughts and opinions

15 May

Meme Presentation

Full Presentation click- Meme Presentation – KK vs. Chum Bucket

15 May

The Internet is Changing Journalism as We Know It

For better or for worse the growth of the internet has drastically changed the landscape of journalism. The amount of different ways the internet has changed journalism is nearly countless and we’re still waiting to see the lasting effects of these changes. The internet has provided the tools so anyone can be a journalist, it has changed how people gather and put out their news and, maybe most importantly, it has changed what news outlets are covering.

The internet has provided nearly anyone and everyone the outlet to be a journalist. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have given anyone the ability to put their ideas and opinions out there amongst their friends and followers. Blogs have given basically anyone the ability to share their voice amongst anyone else in the world with an internet connection and video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo have given video editors and video creators the ability to put their videos out on the internet opening up the doors for millions upon millions of potential viewers. In today’s day and age if someone has either a phone or a computer along with an internet connection they have the tools to be a modern day journalist. This conversion of the consumers to the producers has also created news stories and local media that would not formally be possible.

One example of these online outlets creating a story that might not have been possible before the age of the internet happened at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on May 13th. On May 13 there was an accidental active threat alarm that went off at UW-Whitewater. Throughout the school alarms sounded off telling students to “Run, Hide or Fight” and a school-wide email was sent echoing the same notes. Ten minutes later another email was sent out to the students stating that this whole fiasco was just a error within the system at UW-Whitewater, with no other answer to follow. This incident received lots of backlash from students who were on campus on Twitter. Later on that day ABC WISN 12, a local news outlet out of Milwaukee, used these tweets from the students to cover the story on their own. This is just one example in the recent past of how online services, in this case Twitter, has helped create a story that might not have been possible before the age of the internet. Before the internet existed it would be very likely that a small story like this one would not get covered. It might not get covered because there was no initial reporting on the issue so none of the reporters would have heard about it. It also might not have been covered because it’s very likely that producers and editors would deem that a story like this one would not be relevant enough to throw in a full newspaper or TV newscast because of the limited space those forms allow, but on the internet there’s almost limitless amounts of space to store stories that is no longer a reason to not cover a story. And finally this story might not have been covered because WISN 12 might not have had access to any sources who were actually there at the University, but Twitter alleviates that problem. All of these problems are non-issues in the age of the internet and that has opened the door for so much more journalism in this age. This shift in consumption of the news has really changed how journalists decide what they’re going to cover for their outlets.

One way that journalists have now decided what they should cover on a daily basis is by looking at current trends on social media sites, Google and YouTube, but that might not be in the best interest of the consumer. Because according to Le T. P. Nghiem, Sarah K. Papworth, Felix K. S. Lim and Luis R. Carrasco’s article Analysis of the Capacity of Google Trends to Measure Interest in Conservation Topics and the Role of Online News they found that “Our results have shown that the trends of interest in conservation topics are sensitive to the benchmark chosen, therefore raw data from Google Trends should not be interpreted literally”. This goes to show that it might not be in the consumer’s or the journalists’ best interest to just follow these trends because just like the article points out just because consumers aren’t actively searching for some trends doesn’t mean they no longer care about the issue. The example that the article uses is climate change, and while public interest is at an all time high in climate change it is no longer an actively searched or trending topic on which has caused reduced coverage in the current news cycles. Another example of how trending doesn’t equal public interest is the ongoing American war in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Gallup polling has consistently found that a majority of American voters both think that the war in Iraq was the wrong decision and also think that America should get out of the war. The latest poll done by Gallup in February of 2018 found that 73 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of the war in Iraq. While this war is still active and ongoing 15 years later and Americans have been found to have a strong opinion against the war because this topic is no longer trending or actively searched by consumers it gets almost no news coverage compared to the active current topics of the day such as the latest news revolving around president Trump. This lack of attention, and maybe even more importantly the lack of the ability to continuously cover all these topics has opened up the door for niche media outlets to cover the topics that the larger outlets can no longer focus on.

One way journalists in both larger and smaller media outlets find out what their audiences want to have covered is not by searching what’s nationally trending on Google and Twitter, but instead by asking their own followers what they want to have covered. According to And Deliver Us to Segmentation: the growing appeal of the niche news audience written by Jacob Nelson he found that “that a stronger journalist/audience relationship is a goal that is being pursued not just by news non-profits, but by more traditional news brands as well.” Nelson looked at media outlets large and small, for profit and non-profit and he found that the current internet shifted trends in journalism affects all types of media outlets. Nelson’s study found that “Though The Chicago Tribune and City Bureau are drastically different in many key ways—including size, age, circulation, and mission—employees within both expressed a desire to communicate with audiences in order to improve both the quality of news each organization provides, as well as to benefit those for whom these news stories are provided. These findings suggest that the distinction between how innovative news nonprofits and more traditional news organizations pursue and consider the audience has begun to blur. Though the Tribune historically kept the audience at arm’s length, its reporters and editors described an increasing interest in using live events and digital technology to establish a more conversational relationship between news provider and consumer.” This is another example of how even the oldest media outlets in this country are realizing that they are needing to adapt to the newest trends in online journalism to survive and compete with their online counterparts.

It hasn’t been made clear if that is a good or a bad trend for journalism. This shift to covering what the people want to hear might be attributing to the quote on quote softening of the news coverage. According to Pablo J. Boczkowski and Limor Peer’s article The Choice Gap: The Divergent Online News Preferences of Journalists and Consumers found that their “Analysis has shown that journalists’ choices on these (that more closely listen to their consumers) sites are substantively ‘soft’ in terms of what the stories are about, but not in terms of how they are told.”  So while the stories are still seemingly being reported on fairly more and more it seems like the amount of “soft” news that consumers will get might directly be linked to the amount of back-and-forth the outlets have with their consumers.

This can put these media outlets in really tough spots because people no longer need to just read the stories that their local newspapers cover. They no longer need to sit through an entire hour of SportsCenter to see the highlights of the game they want to see. So if you’re not covering what your consumer wants they’ll go somewhere else, but what the consumer wants might not be exactly the news that needs to be reported on at that time. This has opened the door for smaller more individualized media outlets to compete with the larger outlets.

This shift in what news outlets are covering is real interesting, because some outlets are trying to cover anything and everything to please all possible readers, while other outlets are trying to cover more and more niche markets because of the global reach any outlet can have thanks to the internet. In the article And Deliver Us to Segmentation: the growing appeal of the niche news audience Jacob Nelson says “pursuing a more collaborative relationship with the news audience is ill-suited with a mass audience approach to news production.” It’s unrealistic for a completely new person to enter the current media landscape with the goal to cover all news and draw a mass audience. Today’s market, with the growth of the internet and its’ journalistic forums like blogs, social media sites and YouTube have created even bigger niche markets than ever possible. Consumers now have access to read, watch and consume the exact stories that they want to. Instead of having to wait through an entire TV show, or rift through an entire newspaper consumers can simply Google what they’re looking for and find exactly that. This has put large scale media outlets in a tough spot.

More than ever before outlets are dependent on finding out what their consumers would like to see because, on the internet, if an outlet is not covering what their readers want to see then those readers won’t stick around. Without the clicks and the readership then the outlets are unable to continue going. This has created more specific forms of media. Instead of the generic sports networks, like ESPN and FOX, that cover all sports people are turning to more individualized outlets that cover specific sports like soccer, hockey, basketball etc. This birth of the individualized sports markets has caused problems for those larger outlets like ESPN who, according to Kevin Draper’s New York Times article ESPN Is Laying Off 150 More Employees, was forced to fire 300 staff members back in 2015 and 150 more in 2017. ESPN fired the majority of their NHL reporters because target niche markets had done a better job at covering that specific sport. The majority of the other individuals who were fired at ESPN were online content producers and online managers because the ESPN online was struggling to compete with the smaller niche markets that the internet created.

In the traditional forms of media consumers would get into a news consumption rhythm. Consumers typically had a specific news channel they watched, newspaper they picked up and it wouldn’t matter that much if a news outlet chose to not cover the stories their audience wanted all the time because it would typically take multiple times before a consumer would stop picking up that paper or before they would start watching a different news channel, but now consumers will typically go to google, facebook, twitter or any other number of online outlets and search for what they want to know. In regards to social media sites, even if a news outlet can get a consumer to follow them on a social media site that outlet still has to cover what their consumers want otherwise they will simply scroll past generating zero advertising revenue for the media outlets. The expansion of the niche internet media market versus the larger mainstream general media market is one of the more interesting trends in current media and is constantly changing the kind of news consumers are receiving. This battle for viewership has been made even more interesting over the past couple years with the larger media outlets continuously embracing the new forms of media more and more. News organizations like CNN, Fox News, ESPN and more are starting to plunge into YouTube and have thrown more focus into their social media and online presence in recent years.

The internet has completely changed the present and the future state of journalism. By making news coverage more interactive it has changed how consumers search, receive and share news. This shift has in turn impacted what kind of news journalists are covering and created larger niche markets than were ever possible before. As the internet continues to evolve the state of journalism will continue to evolve with it.

 

 

Works Cited

Boczkowski, P. J., & Peer, L. (2011). The Choice Gap: The Divergent Online News Preferences of Journalists and Consumers. Journal of Communication,61(5), 857-876.

Draper, K. (2017, November 29). ESPN Is Laying Off 150 More Employees. New York Times.

Nelson, J. L. (2017). And Deliver Us to Segmentation. Journalism Practice,12(2), 204-219.

Nghiem, L. T., Papworth, S. K., Lim, F. K., & Carrasco, L. R. (2016). Analysis of the Capacity of Google Trends to Measure Interest in Conservation Topics and the Role of Online News. Plos One,11(3).

20 Mar

New Communication Technology’s Impact on Sports Reporting

19 Mar

Field Work #2

In this phase I did the interviews and took photographs. One problem I ran into was that all the cameras were checked out at Anderson Library on one of the days of my interviews so even though I needed it for the video portion of the project I was unable to get video footage of the interview. Another difficulty I am running into is taking the 15 photographs. I’m having a hard time coming up with 15 ideas for photos especially at this time of the year (in between basketball and baseball season) where there are next to no sporting events going on within a 30 mile radius.

19 Mar

Field Work #1

The first step of my field work was organizing my thoughts and setting up interviews. Setting up the interviews was the most difficult process for me, not just because you can’t always fit into other peoples’ schedules, but also because I don’t have a working camera on my phone so not only do I have to make sure I can make the interview, but I also have to make sure I will be able to secure a camera at the time of the interview and that adds another layer to the project. It was pretty easy for me to decide on my topic of “What impact does NCT have on sports reporting?”.

19 Mar

The internet is not making us stupid

For class this week we looked at a couple of articles that argued for and against the concept that the internet is making us stupid. In my personal opinion I think this is one of the most, if not the most, ludicrous claims someone can make. Arguing that the internet makes us stupid would be like people in the early industrial revolution arguing that books were making them stupid. Or like people in the late 1800s arguing that radio made people stupid. Or like people arguing that television makes people stupid. The thing is that the number one way for people to continue to learn and grow intellectually is to learn and build on what was taught in the past. That’s why all these resources have only improved intelligence as people have grown up. Just think that a couple hundred years ago nobody knew what germs were, and now we are finding cures to some of the worlds’ deadliest diseases. To argue that the internet is making people stupid is foolish.

12 Feb

Facebook’s impact on loneliness

The articles Facebook Isn’t Making Us Lonely by Eric Klinenberg and Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? By Stephen Marche both attack the same concept, except from different angles. Both articles ultimately are trying to answer the question of whether or not social medias make us more or less lonely.

The article by Eric Klinenberg argues that Facebook defitnely does not make people lonely. He argues the opposite, actually taking apart lines from Marche’s arguments and breaking down why he believed they were not true. My favorite argument that Klinenberg makes is that social media is a “supplement, not a surrogate for our social lives”. This rings true with me in the sense that things like facebook and snapchat have not replaced day to day interaction. I’d much rather hang out with my friends rather than talk to them all in a group chat, but most of the time people are too busy or too far away to do these things so they have to supplement face to face interaction with talking on social media.

Stephen Marche argues that social media is making people lonelier, going as far as to say that “We live in an accelerating contradiction: The more connected we become, the lonelier we are.” Marche starts out the article by talking about a death of a former playmate and how she went viral because she exemplified loneliness. To me, Mache’s argument starts to fall apart when he tries to bring up statistics and numbers because he says things like marriage can or can’t affect your loneliness, living alone can or can affect your loneliness and other things like that. So many of his arguments were ambivalent it was tough to believe the whole thing.

In my opinion Klinenberg’s argument held more true, but I do think that it is easier to piece-by-piece break down an argument rather than build one from scratch like Marche did. In my opinion I do not think facebook is making us lonely, it only amplifies human behavior. Meaning lonely people will be lonely with or without facebook and the same applies for those who are not lonely.

12 Feb

Future of Reputation

The article the “Future of Reputation” touches on how the internet has impacted how reputation can be seen even before a first impression. The article focuses on a couple instances, most specifically dog-poop girl, where a person receives massive public shaming due to an instance that gets blown out of proportion and can receive thousands of views.

In the situation of dog-poop girl a girl on a train in Asia who was carrying her dog let her dog poop on the train and even though other train-riders asked the girl to clean up the poop the girl refused to clean it up. It was then one of the passengers took a photo of the girl to a popular asian blog, quickly becoming mainstream news. It was at this time where this dog-poop girl became famous for breaking a social norm. This is massive enforcement of breaking a social norm may not be a bad thing, but it’s also not necessarily good that this girl can be remembered for the rest of her life for breaking a social norm. It was at this point the dog-poop girl was having a hard time getting through life. Everywhere she went, job she applied for for and social interaction the girl was recognized as dog-poop girl.

This Daniel J. Solove argues is the future of reputation. With things like social media sites and viral videos people can develop a first impression, a reputation, before they even meet. This can affect all things including employment moving forward.

06 Feb

NCT: Twitter and Tear Gas

The first chapter in the book Twitter and Tear Gas by Zeynep Tufekci essentially breaks down how fast the world of communication is changing around us and how that affects our day-to-day interactions with the media and also with each other. He uses this to connect new communication technologies to community, self worth and social issues. He achieves that by comparing new communication technologies to older communication like newspapers and radios and by looking at examples of how new communication technologies affected protests, attacks and world news coverage.

The book opens up by talking about the author’s grandma who was born during the first World War and how starkly different the way that she grew up was. The grandma didn’t even know what her birthday was, something almost unfathomable in today’s society. The author also went on to talk about how because of this way of growing up, and this initial interaction with communication technology the grandma valued certain things way more than people of the new generations do. The author cited one newspaper article that they made it in, something the grandma cherished, something that almost made her cry just thinking about it and he didn’t get it.

When you compare things that used to be big deals in older times, like making your local newspaper, compared to what is valued in New Communication technology today it almost seems apples to oranges. When people have facebook, twitter and Instagram accounts that can get hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people following every single one of their posts could get them the notoriety, the sense of self worth, people used to receive in the newspaper.

While this may sound bad to someone like me who may be heading into the newspaper business, it can also be a positive. The author also points out that in this new system a creator has more individual control than ever before. Through the internet creators can cut out or minimize the impact of larger corporations, but still get their message out there and maybe more importantly creators are able to build their own brand without having to rely on the big money investments needed for television or radio.

The other thing this chapter talks about is how these new communication technologies have shrunk the world. Now all it takes to video chat with a person from across the world all you need is a solid internet connection and a smart-phone. This tech along with things like email have made it where no distance can separate people and this has made a fairly large impact on language as now there are less and less dialects as the world shrinks. This process can be called unification.

This shrinking of the world has also increased the rate at which the world progresses. In the 1600’-1990’s most of the information that was shared (architecture, science etc..) was done so through newspapers so it would take time for the information to be shared across the world. Now the world’s smartest minds are actively working together, bouncing ideas and honestly copying each others ideas at such a rate that it is increasing the speed at which stuff, like new communication technologies, are progressing.

This shrinking of the world has also created an increased sense and care of issues around the world. Earlier people could only find out about world issues was if their local newspaper or TV station covered the issue. Now anyone with a smartphone can document what’s going on (protest, terror attack) they can share it instantly and share it globally on things like Twitter. This is where the author thinks the internet and new communication technologies can make its’ biggest impact.

As the author focuses on this impact of new communication technologies he also looks at how they can also give people a sense of hope, belonging and community. And this is why we share these things online and why we are so willing to try to get involved when we see stuff like riots, protests or anything on social media.

One other thing that Zeynep Tufekci compares in this first chapter is how new communication technologies differently impacts certain nations. We covered how it can be positive and negative for those in countries with free speech like the USA, but in countries where the government tries to control its’ people new communication technologies have proved to be big problems. New communication technologies provide a voice to those that governments want voiceless and this is a problem that has gotten much larger since the development of the internet.

29 Jan

Love Online and It takes a village to find a phone review

Love Online

Henry Jenkins’ article Love Online takes a deep look at his son’s online relationship. The article was written in 2002 so I feel like it delves into a lot of stigmas and problems that are no longer true when it comes to online dating.

First, Jenkins talked about some of the problems his son had with connection. For example, he talks about the first time his son and his girlfriend confessed their love for each other. During this first confession, his son’s internet disconnected causing an awkward interaction between the two. This is an issue that is not nearly as big of a problem in today’s internet space.

In today’s day and age, I feel like there isn’t as much of a negative stigma around online dating. If someone told me they met their girlfriend or boyfriend on Tinder, eharmony or anything of the sorts I, and most of the people I know, would not judge that relationship any differently. However, I do feel that long-distance online relationships are met with more superstition in today’s age because of TV shows like Cat Fish and high profile cases like Manti Teo.

It Takes a Village to Find a Phone

The story ‘It Takes a Village to Find a Phone’ is about a woman, Ivanna, who lost her phone on a taxi cab in New York City. The phone that Ivanna lost was a smart phone that contained very important information so she contacted a fried, Evan, to send an email to the phone offering a reward. After a couple days no one responded to the email and Ivanna was forced to buy a new phone. Upon purchasing the new phone her old phone’s data was wirelessly synced to the new phone. During this process Ivanna saw pictures of somebody who appeared to have her old phone. Along with the pictures Ivanna got the name and email of the girl. Despite asking nicely to get the phone back the person was not willing so Ivanna’s friend Evan put the girl who refused to return the phone on blast on his website. The post gained traction and eventually it seemed like Evan had gotten the entirety of New York City on his side. In the end Sasha was confronted by the police and forced to return the phone.

This story really shows the power of communication and more specifically online communication. Without the internet Evan and Ivanna were powerless in retrieving the phone because Ivanna had already filed a lost claim and there was practically nothing else she could do. The internet and websites like Digg came together and provided assistance. Eventually the internet audience turned on the NYPD forcing them to make a move and assist. Without the power of communication or the power of the internet Ivanna would not have been able to get her phone back and that power has only gotten stronger over the past 11 years. Now, especially with websites like Kickstarter and Patreon that allow large groups of people to support causes financially and benefit those who normally would not be able to gain financial independence from things like publishers and manufacturers that had traditionally been needed. This makes me think that there have been so many stories like the one in It Takes a Village to Find a Phone that the internet has helped out someone who just 30 years ago would have been helpless.

Discussion Questions

 

  • Provide a brief overview of each article

 

      1. Village to find a phone- lost phone, set up blog that put pressure on NYPD and they ended up recovering stolen phone
      2. Love Online- Father explores online relationship between son and girlfriend that he meets for the first time in person and wonders if it is any different than meeting someone for the first time

 

  • How does new technology enable a new kind of group-formation?

 

      1. It enables people to communicate with people who, in years past, they would not have been able to communicate with each other

 

  • On page 17, Clay Shirky refers to Tim O’Reilly’s concept of “architecture if participation.” What does that mean in the context of these two articles.

 

      1. The transfer of these capabilities from various professional classes to the general public is epochal

 

  • “When we change the way we communicate, we change society.” Discuss this statement by making reference to the contents of the two articles.

 

      1. Love Online- internet has led to the change of social norms such as how we date, communicate, what’s acceptable, who we communicate with and how many people we can communicate with
      2. Village to find a phone- Articulates how the internet can give power to those who would have otherwise been powerless.

 

  • After reading these two articles, what do you think motivates people to share information? What is the source of trust, for example, when sharing information on an online dating site? What makes people take the risk?

 

      1. Love Online shows that people are willing to put a lot of information on the internet in order to find companionship. For example in the town that I grew up in there were only 60 people in my high school class. So if half of those are girls and half are boys, and you assume there will already be 10 or so couples that left only around 20 or so girls my age from my hometown that I could get companionship with. But with things like facebook and text you were able to contact people you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to contact with. People are willing to put themselves out there because I feel sometimes they think it is the only option.
      2. I think It Takes a Village to Find a Phone is more of a risk versus reward situation. In that story the girl lost her phone, which is already expensive, but it also had important information on it that she needed. So I think in this case the girl felt that the reward of getting her phone back outweighed the risk of people stealing her information off the internet.

 

  • What are the most important lessons you have learned from these two articles about communication technologies and their effect on our society?
    1. I think my biggest takeaways from these articles is just grasping how much more powerful NCT have become since the pieces were written. When you think of Love Online, at this point, in the day and age of eHarmony, Tinder and all other dating sites people no longer bat an eye at online relationships. However I do think that since the time of this article there has been an increased stigma on long distance relationships because of shows like Catfish and high profile cases of catfishing like Manti Teo. And in the case of It Takes a Village to Find a Phone I don’t think this would even be a story anymore. If you look at things like Patreon and Kickstarter people help out others on the internet all the time so I don’t think this story would have been as big of a deal if it happened today, but that is a good thing.

 

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