Journalism for the Web

Does free speech really exist?

March 29th, 2016 . by Justin Schultz

Free speech exists in America, but not really.

Relax.

Let me explain.

We are allowed to say and write anything we want. Donald Trump can say whatever he wants about immigrants. He can say that he could shoot someone and still win the election. He is absolutely free to do that. But these comments, or any comments similar in nature, will receive backlash and will have consequences.

freedom-of-speech

Is that really free speech?

If I went on Twitter right now, and tweeted that I hate all races that aren’t white, would I be chastised? Absolutely. Am I allowed to say that on Twitter? Well, it depends. If enough people report my tweet, Twitter has the right to shut down my account or suspend it. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t sound like free speech to me.

I understand that Twitter has its own rules and regulations, but its regulations should not overrule the U.S. Constitution.

Freedom of speech does not exist on Twitter, and I’m not sure it really exists elsewhere. We won’t get arrested based on our speech, unless we are actually threatening someone, but that doesn’t mean we’re free to say whatever we want.

If anything, we have freedom of speech*.

 

*with exceptions


The media and Donald Trump

March 15th, 2016 . by Justin Schultz

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners

Is the media fueling Donald Trump, or is Donald Trump fueling the media?

That’s a question that came up in one of my other classes, and I think’s an interesting one. I think in the beginning, Donald Trump fueled the media. He has said so many outrageous things that the news media had no choice but to cover him. The more outlandish things Trump said, the more the media were drawn to him.

Now, however, I think the media is fueling Trump. Turn on any news station or political talk show and I bet you the main story revolves around Trump. Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has cooled down a bit when it comes to attacking certain groups of people or bullying his fellow presidential candidates. He hasn’t cooled down much, but there is a difference. Yet, the media is still all over him. If not for the media, I think Trump would have already dropped out of the race by now.

It’s fascinating to see the impact the media can make. The media tells us what’s important, and right now, the media is telling us Trump is important. This is called agenda setting, and it’s been around since the birth of media. Some people may not like it, but it’s just the way it is.

As the presidential candidate race goes on, it’ll be interesting to see just how much coverage Donald Trump garners going forward.


NCAA Selection Sunday

March 13th, 2016 . by Justin Schultz

Amazon Prime Air: Is this for real?

March 9th, 2016 . by Justin Schultz

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I was talking to my roommates today, and one of them brought up the topic of Amazon drones. I had no idea what he was talking about. I was picturing an army drone flying over the Amazon River. He then explained it to me and I was flabbergasted.

Here is what Amazon has to say on what they call Amazon Prime Air:

We’re excited about Prime Air — a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.

My first reaction: Is this real life? Amazon is actually going into the air game? This raises so many questions. What happens if someone decides to shoot it down? What if there’s bad weather and the drone gets destroyed? Do I really want a drone knowing my address?

If anything, this is an invasion of privacy. It’s also crazy and unnecessary. I highly doubt this is really going to help Amazon’s delivery service. It’ll probably hurt it, to be honest.

What do you think about this?


Apple and the FBI

March 1st, 2016 . by Justin Schultz

The United States Government and the Federal Bureau Investigation have acquired a warrant that requires Apple INC. to unlock one of the San Bernardino’s shooter’s iPhones. But Apple is refusing to do so, claiming a dangerous precedent will be set by letting the government go through its companies property. The government is not happy, the victims families of the shooters are not happy.

I wanted to talk about this because it’s similar to when a judge orders a journalist to give up a source. This falls along the same lines. Apple wants to protect its source, or in this case, its privacy, and the government wants to find answers in order to protect the greater good, or so they say. If a journalist refuses to give up his/her source, they can go to jail. Can Apple’s CEO go to jail for refusing the government’s orders?

Now, this is a sticky situation, and I can see positives to both sides. I really don’t believe the government should have access or have the power to spy on us by looking at our phones. However, if it’s for the greater good, as in to stop terrorism, then yes it’s necessary. And that’s why the government wants access to the shooter’s phone. They truly believe they can help prevent the next mass shooting in the name of ISIS by gaining access. But I don’t know how likely that is.

When it’s all said and done, I find myself siding with Apple on this one. The government has no right to tell a company that they must open there privacy doors. It’s wrong to me. The government does enough spying on us as it is (shoutout to the NSA). In my opinion, the government should be able to stop terrorism without going through one guy’s phone. It’s one guy. It’s one phone. It’s not the difference between full-out war and peace.

Giving the government access to the phone would form a dangerous precedent for Apple. They need to do what’s best for them, and refusing is that path.