In the video below, Scott Pelley from CBS News accepts the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award  and talks about the importance of ethics in digital journalism. Here are a few key sentences I pulled from his speech and my opinions on the matter:

“We’re getting the big stories wrong over and over again.” I completely agree. It seems like a lot of news stations are getting details about stories, especially tragedies, wrong and as a result it affects the story as a whole and the credibility of the news station. There’s a domino effect going on.

“Amateur journalists have become vigilantes.” People have stopped questioning everything and are starting to believe any and everything they see or hear. Videos could be staged, but people aren’t taking the time to fact check and double check their sources. They see something and run with it and again, it has a domino effect on the news. This problem is also causing viewers/readers to rely more on social media for news than actual news stations. I personally am guilty of this, partially because I can tailor my social media accounts to provide me only with news on topics I am passionate about.

“In a world where everyone is a publisher, no one is an editor.” It’s so easy now to take a video or picture of something and post it to the internet for everyone to see, but again, a lot of people aren’t actually doing their research to see if what they are seeing is credible. People should be relying on the news for credible information, but if news stations don’t consistently report facts, people are going to rely on them less and less. At this point, it’s become a cycle.

There was actually an instance on my own Facebook account where a friend of mine posted an old picture of a woman and claimed that she was responsible for writing most of Shakepeare’s plays. More than enough people automatically ran with the story and didn’t check out it’s validity. I did some research and found the statement to be false due to a few details included in the post. The term “sheeple” (people who follow trends or believe in things because everyone else is) has started to gain some relevance in our digital age.

“Twitter, Facebook are Reddit are not journalism. That’s gossip.” I absolutely agree. (See my statement about “amateur journalists”)

“If you’re first, no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no one will ever forget.” Journalists have long prided themselves on being the first with the latest news, but it doesn’t matter if you’re first if the information you have is wrong. A journalist should want to be right more than they should want to be first. Like Pelley said, no one is sitting at home with a bunch of TV’s waiting to see what news station publicizes a story first.

Check out his speech. I started watching at 11:00. He’s funny and insightful. Well worth the listen.

Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, today is World AIDS Day!

It’s an international opportunity for the world to show their support for people living with AIDS, unite in the fight against AIDS and remember the people the world has lost to the disease. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), although not everyone with HIV advanced to the AIDS stage. The disease affects the body’s immune system and overtime make it so the immune system cannot fight any illness. There isn’t a cure for the disease yet, but you can help the world get there TODAY with a little help from Snapchat.

According to a post by Mashable, not only are Snapchat’s new World AIDS Day filters spreading awareness about the disease, but for every Snapchat you post with a World AIDS Day filter, $3 will be donated to (RED) for up to $3 million! (RED) is a nonprofit organization that  helps battle AIDS.

People use Snapchat several times a day. Why not use it to help the 34 million people who suffer from AIDS? It literally takes 2 seconds (not including the time it takes you to get the selfie just right).

Also, if this (RED) YouTube video starring Scarlett Johansson, Barry Manilow & Jimmy Kimmel is shared over 330,000 times, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate an additional $1 million!

And as always, make sure you get yourself tested at least once a year for any and all STD’s and illnesses like HIV/AIDS. Find a clinic near you that you can GET TESTED FOR FREE here. #KnowYourStatus #WrapItUp

AdWeek posted a story a few days ago about the growth of unscripted audiences and how it has been happening. Apparently, it’s been getting hard for shows to attract and keep audiences. (I didn’t know this was a problem. I thought there was a show for everybody.)

For ratings growth over the third quarter this year, shows like Chrisley Knows Best, Little Women LA and Naked and Afraid came in at the top 10.

“Of the top 50 entertainment telecasts on cable during the third quarter of this year, 39 were unscripted shows” — AdWeek

There’s actually a science behind it. Social media, surveys and focus groups are used to get feedback from viewers. Broadcasters and producers are looking for the “underlying motivations” people have when picking TV shows to watch. Networks aim to brand themselves so viewers know what channels to go to for the types for shows they like.

All this research reminds me of when we were really getting into advertising and marketing websites to audiences and how important it was to know your audience. I think that requires a lot of work that I can truly respect. This information has also given me insight into a field of work I found I am not at all interested in.

This week, I took out my actual Twitter feed and just placed a link to it. I realized I swear a lot and don’t want my tweets to be the reason I don’t get much traffic. I kept my Facebook posts and link to my Instagram, though. I also added a Gallery page so visitors can see my photos.

I went through a few themes throughout the semester, starting with Twenty Fifteen. I really liked how must customizing you could do with that theme, but decided there was too much going on on the page and the theme was more of a distraction than an attraction. I settled on Royale.

I like the classic black look, and still kept a few pieces of me on the blog with connections to my social media accounts. The white text on black background is the easiest for the eye to read.I also like the framing around each post and picture. It makes the page look more organized. I also like that the links are in blue. Blue is a trustworthy color as far as web design and credibility go.

On the sidebar, I put each widget in order of what I think someone would look for (or what would be most beneficial to a visitor) first. About Me is the most important thing on my blog after content. After all, it is my blog and the things I am interested in. I added some pics to the About Me page for more personalizing and continue to add pictures to Gallery. The Calendar shows how often I post and Recent Posts shows what those posts are about. Then, there’s my social media links which is an extension of the blog and the things I am interested in. If someone really wanted to go deep into my blog after all that, they can search around in my Archives and read Recent Comments. I kept the Meta at the bottom.


In exactly one week, families all across the country will be on their way to the houses of moms, grandmas and aunts. Amongst the countless family members, laughter and football, there will be a feast. Ads in papers will start focusing on Thanksgiving foods with coupons for clipping.


My sister works for a company devoted to making deals with companies for consumers to get discounts and cash back from online shopping. Check out their website here.

She is always posting on her Facebook about deals, especially during the holiday season. Black Friday is the biggest day for retailers, and ads have already started to drop.

What’s ironic to me is, we spend all day with family members being grateful for what we do have, and then hours later we’re elbowing grandmas in the face for the last hover board. It seems our values and all that gratefulness go out the window when it comes to a price tag and the latest trends.

Following Black Friday, there’s Small Business Saturday, where you’re supposed to go spend money at small businesses who tend to take a big hit due to Black Friday. Then, Cyber Monday follows with huge deals for online shoppers.

During this time, it is vital for ads to reach consumers so they know where to go and what to buy. I think the timing is perfect for the way our society is set up. We are so concerned with having the latest this and the newest that with the most exclusive thing that companies prey on our impulsive choices. Not to mention, Thanksgiving is right before the gift giving season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc).

Maybe instead of fighting a 6 year old for a game system, stay home and really be grateful for what you have. Also, save yourself some money (check out my previous post #NoSpendNovember) and the risk of injury.



So I’ve made some changes to my blog this week. I decided to get a little more personal and add my Facebook and Twitter to my blog. Feel free to friend/follow me, but my tweets are unfiltered. Topics can range from song lyrics to my thoughts on social issues to my reflections of a drunken night. My Facebook, however, is safe. 🙂

I’ve switched up the layout this week as well. My original layout (Twenty Fifteen) had a purple sidebar next to a background of Chicago’s skyline. I felt like there was too much going on. If I could control the balance of the layout (like how much the sidebar stuck out and the brightness of the background), I would have kept the theme and just made adjustments. Since this blog is supposed to reflect us as individuals, I wanted to incorporate my two favorite colors, purple and blue. Now I realize, this might not be feasible.

I’ve settled on Royale for a theme. I like the elegant black and the background pattern reminds me of a deck of cards. I used to play solitaire a lot on the computer when I was little, so it still has a piece of me. It’s classic and reflects my more calm, internal self. I just wish I could go further into customizing the themes in terms of color and layout. A lot of the themes weren’t sizing my pictures correctly, so that made it harder to pick a theme I liked.

I took out the Categories widget. My posts aren’t categorized. They’re just as random as me. I also want to add some pictures, so I added a link to my Instagram feed as well. I may pull some of the pics and put them under the link.

This is a map of places I want to visit before I’m 35 (in no particular order). (Looks like I better get a good job right after graduation!) Check it out!

Today, Lifehacker posted an article about saving money during the holiday season. While we’re stuffing our faces with food, retailers are stuffing their pockets with cash. Lifehacker suggested some tips on saving money this year, “even if you start a little late”.

I have seen several article and tips on ways to save money, but not one focused on saving money during the holidays, or one with such a fun play on words. Kudos to the journalist who thought of the “No Spend November” headline (it wasn’t me–I am terrible at clever headlines!). The article does a nice job at incorporating an American pastime with “hip” diction. It makes the article more appealing to read.

This article was especially interesting to me since I am always keeping an eye on my accounts. I tend to spend a little too freely on things like food and adult beverages instead of putting money away like a “responsible adult”. To be honest, I really suck when it comes to financial responsibility. I try so hard, but who can turn down Culver’s $4.92 Bacon Deluxe Snackpack (it comes with fries and a drink)? And I can’t seem to escape Ladies Night every Thursday ($5 AYCD!).

[mouth watering intensifies]

This season, stray away from impulse buying and set some ground rules for yourself. Only buy what you intended to (be honest with yourself!!!) and maybe try to wait until December to start shopping for gifts.

Personally, my family celebrates Kwanzaa, a 7 day celebration of family with the sole purpose of oneself coming back to their center. Kwanzaa gifts are meant to be educational and culturally fulfilling, so I tend to stick to books, cultural clothing, art, music and homemade items. Knowing exactly what I want to buy definitely helps, but it doesn’t really stop me from venturing down a few shoe isles and into the middle of the food court (#UltimateFinancialWeakness).

In the end, sticking with a budget and a few goals will pay off after the holidays. You’ll have more funds to end the year with a bang and then some. $$$

And the best part is, you’ll feel better about your wallet, which will make you feel better about yourself! Happy (not) spending!

On Nov. 2, Poynter published a story about 12 streets in Paris that were renamed to honor the names of journalists who have been murdered, tortured or disappeared.

In the story, Poynter noted that over 700 journalists have been killed in the last 10 years for doing their jobs. 90% of the time, the killer goes unpunished.

Screen shot, Reporters Without Borders

“The renamed streets are those with embassies of countries where journalists have been the victims of unpunished crimes. The embassy addresses have been changed to draw attention to the failure of these countries to take action and to remind them of their obligation to do whatever is needed to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.” – Poynter

I think it’s important to remember that our job can come with a price, especially in other countries. The fact that some of the names of the people that have been murdered are being broadcasted is awesome, but I think more than 12 deserve recognition, especially since there have been over 700.

Poynter published a page Thursday that discussed Vice President Joe Biden announcing that he will not be running for Democratic nomination. The post discussed the many front pages the story made in newspapers around the country. A few of them got pretty creative with pictures, like The Washington Post’s Express and The Des Moines Register:



Who isn’t going to at least read the front page with a pictures like these?

Others like Star News drew attention with their headlines:


If someone feels pretty strongly about a certain candidate, a headline like this will definitely catch their eye.

I think these are all pretty clever tactics to draw an audience’s attention and get people to read the updates regarding the candidates so they are better informed. Journalists and journalism is nothing without an audience.

In class, we’ve been focusing very heavily on how to attract and keep audiences and how to communicate in the most efficient ways. These are great examples of how to attract readers. Something as memorable as this could be reason enough for a reader to want to pick up a copy of the newspaper or magazine again in the future.

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