Category Archives: Readings

Who Can We Trust, Really?

In looking over the reading reflections for this week, one theme stood out to me: The public has lost trust in journalism and much of this is because mainstream news media is owned by money-hungry corporate conglomerates.

Jeannie tied the readings together really well. She quotes Skoler, when he says there has been “…a steep drop in public trust in journalism,” and explains how this started with large-scale mergers of media companies in the 1980’s.  We stopped trusting them when they started to change their business models to maximize profits.  This directly links back to Bagdikian, who blames major media and their “need to satisfy the major sources of their income, corporate advertising.”    Continue reading

Think Globally. Be Thankful.

I felt that the afterword of Ben Bagdikian’s book, The Media Monopoly, reads like a socialist manifesto.  While I understand many of his points and agree with him on some things, I don’t think our country has it quite as bad as the picture he paints.  As much as the economic and political landscape of America could improve, I think it’s important for U.S. citizens to keep it all in perspective. 

Sure, there’s a need for increased funding for public schools.  But at least we have public schools to attend – according to UNICEF, there are 121 million school-age children who do not have this privilege.    
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Purposefully Disconnected

Many websites now allow you to sign in using your Facebook I.D.  I’ve seen it numerous times and I’ve always avoided doing it.  It always seemed curious to me.  Why would they want me to do that and furthermore, why would I want to do that

To me, signing into another website with my Facebook I.D. is like having someone stand too close to me in the grocery line – it’s an invasion of my personal space.  I don’t really want these websites to have access to my personal information!
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Flickr off, YouTubers!

This week’s reading assignment left me feeling disgruntled.  Newbie’s Guide to Flickr and How companies can make the most of user-generated content made me wonder:  Who has the spare time to play around on Flickr and YouTube all day?  And furthermore, why aren’t these people doing something more productive?  I don’t know why, but I find this incredibly annoying. 
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Blogging Above Board

Rebecca Blood hit the nail on the head in Weblog Ethics when she wrote, “The weblog’s greatest strength — its uncensored, unmediated, uncontrolled voice — is also its greatest weakness.”  This is perhaps the most balanced and insightful perspective I’ve read on the subject of blogging thus far. 

Many argue that blogging is a monumental platform for free speech and has greatly expanded the marketplace of ideas; others denounce blogs for a lack of credibility and trustworthiness.  Both of these points have merit, but I tend to err on the side of the latter, especially when bloggers start calling themselves journalists.
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Bloggers ≠ Journalists

In the third chapter his book, Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky says “it’s tempting to regard the bloggers . . . as a new crop of journalists.”  Really?  It’s not the least bit tempting to me!  In fact, I bristle every time the word “journalist” is used to describe a blogger and I nearly choked when he said, “anyone can be a journalist.” 
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A Blog Down Memory Lane

In the second chapter of Dan Gillmor’s book, We the Media, he talks briefly about the 2000 presidential election and how he accessed election results from the internet while living in Hong Kong.  This brought back a flurry of memories for me.  That election was one of the single proudest moments in my life – my name was on the same ballot with Al Gore. 

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The New Media Migration

In my post, My Beef with Benton’s Curve, I adamantly argued that “natural reporting” was nothing new.  Dan Gillmor makes a similar point in the first chapter of his cleverly named book, We the Media.  Before offering up a brief history of journalism in America, he reminds readers that new media, “did not emerge fully formed or from a vacuum.”  In many ways, this chapter provides the context that I felt was so sorely missing from Roy Peter Clark’s article, From Blog to Narrative.
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My Beef with Benton’s Curve

After class on Thursday night, I tiredly read the article From Blog to Narrative:  Josh Benton Throws Us a Curve.  Although it was obvious that Roy Peter Clark found Benton’s Curve to be high on the scale of “interestingness,” I didn’t.  So I reread the article later on, thinking maybe I missed something the first time.  What I realized is that Benton’s Curve is missing something, not me.
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Mediamorphosis: What Did We Do Before Google?

Of all the readings this week I most enjoyed Fidler’s article, Mediamorphosis, which takes us on a journey through time, exploring the history of communications technology.  Interestingly enough, this article was written before I had an email account, internet access, or a cell phone.  It’s amazing how accessible these technologies are today and how much they have advanced in such a short period of time.
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