ESPN decided to let go icon journalist Bill Simmons go. The reason they decided to part ways is still kind of up in the air, but is rumored to be because of recent public criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell by Simmons. Listen, Simmons is a very outspoken journalist that doesn’t just blurt out his thoughts, he is very educated in his profession. If he called out Goodell for his lack of force in discipline of players in serious cases of domestic violence (Ray Rice and others) and cheating (Patriots). The man is a very well known journalist that has created a lot of viewership and revenue for ESPN through his work, and to be fired like this doesn’t give me hope for the future of sports journalism. Lets be real, NFL fans hate Roger Goodell. NFL fans boo Goodell every chance they get. So why fire a man for speaking his mind and opinions, which I feel are spot on and  popular among fans, on a person who fans and viewers don’t agree on anyways? Lastly, the way ESPN handled the firing was terrible. They didn’t even tell the man hows put 15 years in with them that he was fired, he had to find out through the media after ESPN President John Skipper decided to go public before talking with Simmons.

Since when has journalism become so censored and boring? This man was just fired for speaking his mind.

Since when did it become okay for people to be fired via the media?

Anyone else see an issue here?bill

citizenjournalismnewspapers_fullsize_story1Last year when I told my father I was switching my major to journalism, he told me “Son, do your research before you make that choice. Journalism is dying, newspapers, everything. Any schmuck with a blog is a ‘journalist’ now a days”. When he told me that, it rattled me a bit. Was I making a mistake? Was journalism really a dead end? I have noticed a shift in journalism, but I think its actually evolving, not dying. For example, in the short article I read this week, it used the new Avengers as an example of how if you want to hype a movie or something a long those lines, you have to go to the source of your audiences attention, social media. Movie critiques are becoming more and more irrelevant in my mind, and I think theyre starting to notice it too.
Boston Herald film critic James Verniere led off his C+ review of the Avengers sequel:

The question — Is this new Avengers movie any good? — is so beside the point, I don’t know why I am writing this. Whatever any critic says, the fanboy and fangirl legions longing to see this latest Marvel superhero film will march to the theaters like Eloi heading to the bone pits of the Morlocks.

Think about it, when you want to see a movie, where do you go to find out about it?  Twitter? Facebook? Myself, and a handful of friends I asked, asks friends who saw it. I don’t ever go to a movie critic to see what their thoughts are. Audience influence is changing the world of journalism. Look at all the polls done on CNN and MSNBC. Audience influence. Twitter, blogs, Facebook. Its all about likes and how much attention it can bring. These are just my thoughts. I want to hear yours. Do you agree with me? No? Why not?


facebookI was reading through this article, and it basically blew my mind. So in the wake of the recent devastating earthquake that struck Nepal, it has come out that Facebook has a “safety check” where it alerts you if you have friends who live in the same city as a disaster. It allows you to see if you family or friends are confirmed safe or not following the disaster.  This can be confirmed either by the friend who lives in the disaster zone, or a facebook friend who had seen them since the disaster.  This blew my mind because Facebook is so involved in the world, and everyday life, that it will send you a notification if you have friends in the area of a disaster, and will send you a follow up notification when your friends are confirmed safe.  Do you think that this simple safety check is going to make journalism more accurate when alerting the viewers of the number of fatalities, or do you think it wont have any input at all?

“Facebook is able to determine users’ locations by “looking at the city you have listed in your profile, your last location if you’ve opted in to the Nearby Friends product, and the city where you are using the internet,” according to its 2014 blog post. If a user has a Facebook friend in the disaster area, he or she is notified.” Is something like this an invasion of privacy?

nytThe New York Times is relaunching their mobile app in May, which will include their new app for the Apple iWatch. When I was reading through the article, I noticed that they are charging $8 per user to access their news on the app, which includes Times articles and “pieces from around the web”. This struck me odd because I can understand charging for the rights to view their content, but to include “pieces from around the web” which I feel are most likely free stories doesn’t really sit  well with me.  I don’t see how its ethical to changer the viewers to see content that isn’t even theirs.  I feel like the web pages they are swiping these “pieces” from should be compensated for allowing the Times to use them. Anyone else feel that way? Id love to hear your thoughts.

katiecouricI read this article today, and was kind of surprised. A study by the University of Kansas shows that women are more likely to burnout as a journalist than men, because of various different reasons. This struck me as interesting, because here at Whitewater the majority of my class populations is females. Also, I have more female friends in the journalism business than men as well. One of the reasons the female reporters were subject to more burnout is because they get less support from their media outlets than their male counter parts. Do you think that journalism is more geared towards men? If so, why?

indianaflagIndiana’s new law on religious freedom has stirred up the media and people everywhere. Everyone has an opinion on it, and some companies are now starting to make money off of it, including newspapers.  In this story, it talks about how the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is charging companies $135 per ad just to say “We serve everyone”.  There are also stories about how people have raised over $800,000 for a pizzeria that said they would serve a gay couple in the restaurant, but they will not cater a gay wedding. I think its really sad that people are making money off the opinions of others. What should journalists do when covering these stories? What needs to be written? Should it be covered as closely as it is?

Yik-YakSocial media has played a major role in the distribution of news, whether by retweets on Twitter or shares on Facebook. A user might see the story, read it, and then share it with their friends, bringing more traffic to the newspage (what we covered this week). But as of last week, reporter even used social media to affect their writing of the story.

When Senator Ted Cruz gave a TED talk on the campus of Liberty University, journalists stuck with the normal information and just gave a recap of the speech, but a group of other writers decided to use the app “Yik Yak”, an anonymous tweet type of message that people post on the app, which is geared toward college students. The app posts, which varied in opinion,  gave the writers a different spin on their story. Is using a source like this a good or bad source? Is there an issue with the fact that they are taking anonymous opinions? Id like to hear your thoughts.

Last week I blogged about the role of social media in the recent police violence on unarmed citizens, and how I feel it has impacted the spread of violence and protests. I saw this article on Feedly, and I felt it fit pretty well with what we covered this week.

A database is accessible by more than one person at a time, and can be edited by anyone to keep information current and fresh (API). So I was reading through this article, and in wake of the Eric Garner case, where he was choked out and killed by a NYC police officer, people edited a Wikipedia page detailing the story and what happened. Recently, the NYPD edited the post on Wikipedia and made the following changes (copied from article)

Capital tracked the following edits to Garner’s Wiki page, made by NYPD computers:

  • “Garner raised both his arms in the air” was edited to “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke.”
  • “[P]ush Garner’s face into the sidewalk” was changed to “push Garner’s head down into the sidewalk.”
  • “Use of the chokehold has been prohibited” was changed to “Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited.”
  • “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” was added.
  • “Chokehold” was replaced twice, once to “chokehold or headlock” and again to “respiratory distress.”

With all these edits being made by multiple people, does that technically make Wikipedia a database? Is it ethical for NYPD to make the changes? Are the NYPD expected or responsible to make the changes?

Interested to hear thoughts on this topic? I can see it go either

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