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Social Media Day?

May 9, 2015

What a better way to show your appreciation for social media than to create a holiday around it! Mashable is holding its sixth annual social media day this June 30th. Mashable is encouraging people to participate in social media day by using the hashtag #SMday. They ask that people expand their circles and networking with social media.SMD

This just goes to show how much social media has become weaved into our everyday lives. It wasn’t too long ago that people didn’t even know what Facebook or social networking was, and now a holiday is being created around it. Mashable is attempting to get people get their cities to officially recognize Social Media day as a holiday. Check out this article for more info on how to do this.
I myself find this whole idea interesting. I don’t know if social media should have a holiday dedicated to its appreciation. It already demands so much of our attention and appreciation in order to flourish. Why set aside an entire day just to appreciate it. It think that every day is a social media day. What do you think?

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Earthquake in Nepal Storify

May 3, 2015

 

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See the world while you can

April 27, 2015

I wanted to make a post this week about something personal. Don’t worry, I won’t be droning on about my astrological sign or listing off my favorite foods. This is about a view that I believe everyone should share. In my last entry, I mentioned the devastating earthquake that rattled Nepal. Much of the area has been damaged and destroyed, never to be the same again. Here is an article with some aerial photos of the devastation.  It is this event that has driven me to want to share my thoughts about travel.

Travel

There are some who find it enough to live out their lives without experiencing any other cultures. I think that that needs to change. Yes, I understand travel is expensive, but if you are going to save up for something, have it be for traveling. Beautiful landmarks are disappearing all over the world, and some will never be seen again. Some cultures are fading or changing and they will never be the same. I came across this Youtube video from the Top10Media channel. It really opened my eyes to the changing landscape, both natural and man-made, that is happening in the world.

I, as a journalist and a person, believe that it is important that these places and cultures are experienced while they still can be, and they should be documented in some form in order to share them with those who cannot afford it. I believe that everyone has a story to be told, no matter who they are and where they are from, and as a prospective travel and photojournalist, I plan to tell as many of their stories as I can. I believe that others should try to do the same.

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Thoughts on good reporting skills

April 26, 2015

I’m sure all of you have heard about the recent earthquake that hit Nepal, and its devastating effects. There are hundreds of photos filling my feed, as well as many stories. Here is an example of some great photos from this disaster from an article on Mashable. Stories like the earthquake in Nepal are vital stories that reporters need to know how to cover well. That got me thinking about my future, as I hope to one day become a photojournalist, reporting on stories just like this. This also got me thinking about the importance of good photography and cross-cultural communication skills.

dslrSure, anyone can hold a camera and take a shot, but it’s the people who really know what to look for that shoot the most touching and moving photographs. I think that every reporter should have good knowledge of the basics behind good photography. I believe that images are some of the most important parts of a news story, and it would be disappointing to see a moving news piece accompanied with a lackluster photo. A picture is worth 1000 words right? So why not put more effort into learning some photography techniques to really add to your news story?

Cross-cultural communication is also really important in my mind. I think that there are possibilities all over the place, even in the most simple and commonplace of people. In fact, I think that that is where the most interesting stories come from. Being able to communicate well with people of other cultures is one of the most important things in international news, in my mind. I think that all reporters need to possess these traits.

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Don’t be a spammer!

April 17, 2015

This week we learned a lot about commenting. Whether it be on news sites or YouTube, commenting is an effective way to communicate opinions with other users. Reading about the different types of commenting got me thinking about blog promotion. I have seen countless comments on posts and news sites that are asking users to come and view their blogs, effectively spamming the comment board another person’s blog.

Promote-your-blog

I really don’t like this kind of promotion, as it can potentially harm other user’s blogs. I found an interesting article and graphic from Social Times. It documents some great ways to promote your blog and make it successful, without spamming the comment section of other blogs and news sites.

In my opinion, comment moderation should weed out these spammers, as these types of comments are jarring to those looking to read genuine content and comments from others. Promoting your blog shouldn’t be harmful to other blogs. In fact, you should be promoting and linking to other blogs on your site in an effort to show appreciation as well as facilitate some good cooperation with other blogs. My point is, keep promotion out of the comments and promote your blog the right way.

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Check your writing before you wreck your writing!

April 6, 2015

When it comes to journalism, one of the most important things is making sure that your information is correct. Many bad things can come from the use of unchecked or incorrect information in a published work. These things include but are not limited to a defamation lawsuit, and loss of reputation or money. The law of journalism is something that all journalists, both aspiring and established, have to keep in mind.

Although it may seem unlikely, even famous publications can be faced with this problem. Recently a case has been filling my Feedly. Rolling Stone published an article last year called “A Rape on Campus.” This article faced lots of scrutiny when it was discovered that most of the information was untrue. Multiple articles have been published recently regarding this subject including this article by The New York Times, dissecting the original article and where it went wrong.Rolling Stone

This example just goes to show how important fact checking and other methods of verification are in the reporting process.  Even a company like Rolling Stone can be burned by things such as this.  In this Rolling Stone case, it was partially the result of an unreliable source. If steps had been taken in order to verify the source’s story, it is possible that this whole dilemma may not have happened.  So, remember how important it is to check your facts when writing a story. Fact Checking

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Internships are important

April 5, 2015

Internships are great opportunities to get a foot in the door of your prospective industry. Some are highly sought after by many people from all over the nation, and sometimes even the world. These internships span across multiple different job industries and can lead to a permanent job with the company.

I saw a map of the US on a Lifehacker post. It mapped out major metropolitan cities such as New York, Chicago and Seattle. From the map, the most internships are located in New York, surpassing the other cities by at least 600. Here is a link to the post.

Internship Map

The map itself is from Glassdoor. This site is for employees, both current and past, to review companies that they have worked at. This gives prospective employees and interns a place to go when looking for inside information on a company they are looking to work with. As a journalist, both this map and the site itself are great tools. You can find the city that would work best for you, as well as making sure the paper you want to work with will work for you. As a college student, this tool is an important way to help make the step from student to full-fledged adult in the working world.

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Search Engines and News

March 28, 2015

When I say “web search” what do you think of? I, like many others, would assume most people would answer with the term “Google.” There are some people out there who favor Yahoo or Bing, but google is clearly the frontrunner when it comes to search engines. I recently came across a TechCrunch article explaining how Google has been facing some scrutiny lately, some of which by the Wall Street Journal itself, but has retaliated against this scrutiny. Check out the article here for the details.

google

Reading this article got me to thinking about what we have learned this week: Audience analysis. Sites rely on Google searches among others to bring users to their websites. Some search engines do this much more reliably than others, leading to favoritism. I searched for similar things using both Google and Bing, and came up with drastically different results, which surprised me. Google instantly took me where I wanted to go and gave me the sites I was looking for. I couldn’t say the same for Bing, but that doesn’t mean that it should be discounted.

News sites rely on these search engines to bring them new readers. So, these sites have to be aware of user preferences. Different engines bring different sites to the top of their result list, and news sites have to be aware of that. They have to understand what brings up the site on the multiple different engines out there today, and cater to that, so they know that their stuff will be near the top. The point is, there is a lot of work that goes behind making sure your news piece is heard, from writing to publishing to making sure it pops up in the search’s first page. This is a great contrast to what happens on the other side of things, for users looking to find content, which is as simple as typing a word in one of those little boxes…

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OMG News amirite?

March 14, 2015

Periodic-Table-of-TextingThese days, more and more people are using shorthand and becoming accustom to writing with as few characters as possible. As a student, I notice this all the time. I have worked with people on projects involving the computer and watched them continually type in shorthand because of habits formed from various social media sites and texting. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have journalists, those to strive to articulate and come off in an educated yet relatable manner to readers.

texting-writing-skills-cartoonThis shorthand phenomenon, including emojis, is starting to worry me. I just recently saw an article on Mashable featuring a new keyboard that is made up of common emojis.  I worry for the future of language, and by extension, journalism. The age at which children learn to use a phone and online media is growing younger and younger, and soon, kids may grow up believing that shorthand and texting lingo is how people actually communicate all the time. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before this is engrained into the society and culture of the United States.

So does that mean that educated writing will change as well? Will the children brought up living with this shorthand as the norm start to incorporate it into their formal work? I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen. Things like the emoji keyboard are worrisome because it means that texting language is becoming more and more prevalent, accepted, and widely used by average members of society. It would be a shame if this were to spread further into our writing. I hope that there will never be a time when shorthand reaches journalism and starts to become frequent in its content.

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Future of Journalism?

March 8, 2015

I recently had an assignment that got me thinking about the future of journalism. Over all these year, journalism has changed drastically. From print to radio to television to the internet, journalism has continued to evolve from medium to medium, adapting to what it can. This begs the question; will journalism continue to follow where technology takes it? Where will journalism be in ten years? Anyone have any ideas?

I am wondering myself if journalism will dive into the world of virtual reality technology, when it becomes more mainstream. There are a few systems out there these days including the Oculus Rift that immerses its users in the world of their games.  It is a possibility that this technology will work its way into things other than gaming such as television and the internet. Here is a current article from Kotaku.com that describes some of the new things that are being done with VR technology.

oculus rift

I feel like VR technology would be very beneficial to journalism. It would provide a new way to present their information. Maybe they could incorporate newscasts into the VR so viewers could be closer to their news. Or maybe they could create some sort of interface that allows readers to experience their news as well as just read it. Although this technology is only in the test phase at this point, it will soon become a reality in everyday life. I am curious to see how journalism will use the new technology.

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