Cell Phones, Journalism And Your Future

29 10 2011

A topic I have yet to discuss is the use of cell phones, and their impact in the field of journalism. Smartphones have revolutionized the ability for journalists to instantly report current news, and provide the audience with accurate, real-time analysis and content. Since the emergence of the iphone in 2007 and the adaption of social media into society has allowed anyone to participate in the social discourse.

As Twitter and Facebook continue to connect people across the planet, phone usage continues to grow. According to this study, http://bit.ly/9NBoPt, people are using their cell phones to access the internet instead of the computer.

In conclusion, journalists need to continue to improve phone usage and curtailing their service for phone users. Every year, more people are seeking instant, phone-accessible news. So, the media industry needs to be ahead of this consumption and deliver quality content to the growing masses.





The Death of Muammar Gaddafi And Ethical Journalism

22 10 2011

On Thursday, the death of Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi was whispered throughout the media landscape around 6:00 a.m. eastern time. Rumors of a battered and blooded Gaddafi being strung throughout the streets of Sirte, his hometown, filled message boards, twitter and social networks. The implications of such a death impacted the Libyan people, but those rioting in nearby Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The symbolic image of a disfigured tyrant like Gaddafi could spark hope in those demonstrating against similar men formed in the same ilk.

There is a problem with such encouragement: it forces media to introspectively look at itself when it comes to showing graphic images, and what ethical consequences could stem from such actions. This issue challenges every editor, producer and stockholder in the media industry. For such a momentous event in Libyan history to be plastered on every newspaper cover and front page of major news network could have dire repercussions on the way ethical standards are adjusted or construed in the future.

In my opinion, the death of a tyrant should be depicted for all of those oppressed freedom in the world. It shows how even though a man that ruled for four decades can be brought to his demise by the will of the people. As journalists we must remain objective and ethical in every decision we make, but we must also give a voice to the oppressed and downtrodden of society.





Adding Interaction To Media

16 10 2011

Sarah Hill, KOMU anchor, introduces us to a new, exciting way of communicating between the audience and the media. Google Plus provides a new channel to have live, multi-webcam discussions with KOMU or any other media station. It allows anyone, anywhere in the world to be able to act as a correspondent. Immensely lowering costs and giving multiple angles for a single event.

Any smartphone, tablet or webcam can provide an instant up-link and cover an event that is happening real time. News agencies are starting to really explore this functionality by using your average viewer as another set of eyes. Occupy WallStreet, Syrian riots and recent global disasters have allowed citizens to be directly involved in the production and content of media channels. Instead of being just a viewer, they are now becoming critical to the way media events are being covered.
As continued innovations are implemented into your daily news network, the need for more social media interaction is more pertinent than ever. This new streaming technology not only diversifies the standard news show, but also incorporates viewers right into the discourse.





Journalism of Engagement: St. Louis Beacon

8 10 2011

In lecture on Monday, a guest speaker from the St. Louis Beacon spoke to us about the need for localization of papers and the vast importance of providing your local audience with exclusive news and information. The St. Louis Beacon is a non-profit, large donor funded newspaper that strives to inform its readers about art, education, health and economy. The Beacon, also, tries to focus on unknown or eccentric news that differentiates itself from other newspapers.

The Beacon uses weekly meetings like Beacon And Eggs, to garner local discourse and to incorporate people’s opinions into the community discussion. They also use Beacon Festival to gain more local support and get a wider range of small donors. Also, they created a personal community page, “I Back the Beacon” that gives donors a medium to explain why they enjoy the Beacon and what other topics they want to see covered.

Overall, the Beacon aggressively immerses itself in the very epicenter of community discourse, and provides citizens with not only a platform to speak, but information that is essentially to them, by them. With the changing of media to more localization, it is imperative for news agencies to either invest new resources to cover these topics or the creation of new papers like the St. Louis Beacon must provide this service to the community.





Being a successful videographer

1 10 2011

Using video to captivate and illustrate media can be very useful, but also very difficult. With video, you have to be cognoscente of several aspects pertaining to the overall quality of the video. By having inadequate lighting, low audio or using the camera without a tripod can all lead to a video appearing very unprofessional and basically worthless for media use. It might be OK for Youtube, or other video sites, but for professional news worthy pieces, it is imperative to have high-quality video.

Here is an example of bad video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2R82xqXwN8. The videographer constantly eliminates the head of the subject and doesn’t use a tripod to steady the camera and keep it from oscillating back-and-forth.

Working with video, we must resist the temptation to zoom or pan the lens. This can disorient the viewer and creates lack of depth of field. The problem is that working with video cameras requires the user to focus on several different aspects at once. So, in-order to ensure professional quality video, the user must be completely aware of his environment and the equipment they are using.