10-2 Blog: The Power of the Media

1. Re-read your original post and indicate whether or not your views have changed.

My point of view in that moment, about if media’s power can shape beliefs, is summarized by the following:

  • Media make me evaluate and rethink deeply about the tendencies, situations, and changes in comparison to my personal conceptions and thoughts of a particular subject.
  • The impact of media will depend in the audiences’ values, education, experiences and other factors. From this point, belief can be changed or not.
  • The influence of media in people perspective and behavior is undeniable; its impact is substantial and frequently is very difficult avoiding changes or readjustments in our personal beliefs in front of media
  • Media, contribute in shaping the personal beliefs. (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013)
  • It is more challenging being cautious and analytical in front of how media is coming to us.
  • Big conglomerates have the power in shaping our opinions and influence our decisions.
  • It is important to be aware and look at things from a different perspective from the medium (Curtis, 2012)
  • The influence of media will depend on the conception of life, beliefs, education, experiences, culture one has.
  • The influence of media can be positive and negative; it will depend on the subject and the valuation of it.
  • The personality and the personal characteristics of each is different, so the effects will be different in each case.

Let me start by saying that I agree with some of these viewpoints; they give and overall point of view about the influence that media has on people on audiences. However, now the response can be presented in a widely and more comprehensive way due to the new knowledge acquired in the last ten weeks. Mainly the differences between my thoughts in that moment and now rely in these following aspects:

  • The impact of media will depend mostly in how we empower ourselves, as media’s user, on investigating sources and following only the checked and credible ones.
  • The media power to shape belief will not depend primarily in the values or experiences we have; in this new media age, people without personal experience, particular values or individual education may be more in control over the media power if they learn its essentiality and more important how to handle it.
  • An important aspect is to recognize the techniques and writing method used in new media to persuade the readers; also, the effect of multimedia tools in us as a consumer. If we recognize all of these tactics, the impact of new media will be in our control, our behavior and our response to them will be different.
  • As I said before big conglomerates will have the power in shaping our opinions and influence our decisions; but only if we let them to do so. If we take control, and do our part by investigating and by giving the proper use to media tools, everything will be different.
  • Reliable, accurate and responsible sources will be essential in order to avoid a misleading influenced by the power of media. It is important to be aware and look at things from a different perspective from the medium (Curtis, 2012)
  • The influence of media will depend in how one lets them have the authority in doing so; the conception of life, beliefs, education, experiences, culture not necessarily mean that the media will impact more or not on you. If you take the control by knowing them, the impact and the influence will be different.
  • The positivity or the negativity of media’s influence will depend in the giving valuation by a previous investigation.

2. Additionally, explain what role you believe writers play in the dissemination of information, the power they hold to influence beliefs, and the importance for them to act in ethical ways. What is the danger when writers do not act ethically? Who is in danger?

The ordinary people in our society do not understand everything we have learned in this course; by this, it is important reaffirm that the majority of people rely on what internet said. In addition, the amount of internet’s users that consider Internet as a trustful and reliable source of information has grown significantly (Vis, 2014).

In this matter, regular people are not conscious about the media’s effect can have in their lives; not everyone is prepared intellectually with the proper tools to recognize media’s techniques to influence and persuade our beliefs.

Accordingly, writers play an essential role in influencing the beliefs; they can have a substantial impact in people and entire communities and societies. The writers’ techniques can increase the dissemination of information, can change the stability of a nation, and can cause profound harm or benefit to them.

To professional or amateurish writers following an ethics’ guidelines or a code of ethics is not only a plus is a necessity. In this current overloaded new media environment, identify trustful and accurate sources by the audiences is very difficult, and also for the writer can be very hard to identify when they are being ethical or not.

For a writer, there are multiple reasons why following a guideline of ethics or a code of ethics is important in their work. As stated in previous analysis, some of the reasons are:

  • The writer can become to a more reliable writer by the reader.
  • For the writer, it will be harder to make ethical mistakes; now they will have explicit parameters in order to avoid mistakes.
  • Writers can avoid misconduct by tacitly recognize what can be misunderstand.
  • The author can provide confidence to the reader, by showing that the writer is ruled by a Code of Ethic.
  • The writers can avoid being labeled unfairly by reader because of the growing unprofessional writers.
  • Being part or remain attached to an Ethics Code can be an important sign of differentiation between the professional and non-professional content writers.
  • Being part of a higher standard group stands out your job.
  • The writer can be transparent; giving the proper information to the readers for them to identify if there is a bias in the content.

Finally, as expressed in the beginning of this entry; among the dangers when writers act unethical we can find:

  • Can harm deeply a whole society.
  • Can destroy lives.
  • Can terminate with the stability in the course of a country.

The power of a pen or in this case the computer’s keys can be underestimated; an unethical behavior when writing can be as destructive or edifying as the original intention; and all of us are the ones which are in danger; even if we are aware of what we have learned, due to the other people’s actions in response of their ignorance.

3. Does becoming “media literate” reduce or eliminate the potential for content consumers to be influenced?

Becoming media literate allows us to be aware of media’s influences, characteristics, technics, persuasion tools, effects, and much more.

Being a media literate reduces the potential impact on content consumer significantly. As I expressed in the developing of the above questions; having media literacy give you the power and the control of content in your life, in your work, in your family’s or friend’s relationship, in your day to day behavior, in any aspects of your life.

By having media literacy you:

  1. Will can access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages (Media Literacy Project).
  2. Will have the tools to create our media (Media Literacy Project).
    1. Will have the control in identifying who is the author of a media message.
    2. Will can recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do.
    3. Will can recognize bias.
    4. Will create and distribute our media messages.
    5. Will recognize the part of the story that I not being told.
  3. Will have the tools that help in developing a critical thinking and an active participation in our media culture (Media Literacy Project).
  4. One will be empowered, and also our communities to tell our stories share their perspectives and work for justice (Media Literacy Project).
  5. One will can recognize the language of persuasion; the techniques and the way to identifying it (Media Literacy Project).
  6. One will have the right tools to deconstructing a media message (can decode a message) (Media Literacy Project).
  7. One will have the right tools to go beyond the frame.

Reference:

Burton, B., & Greensein, L. (2009). Food Blog Code of Ethics. Retrieved January 2015, from Food Blog Code of Ethics: https://foodethics.wordpress.com/

Curtis, D. A. (2012, June). Retrieved November 2014, from http://www2.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/Courses/ResourcesForCourses/PDFs/Mass_Media_Influence_on_Society.pdf

Media Literacy Project. (n.d.). Media Literacy Project. Retrieved January 2015, from Media Literacy Project: https://medialiteracyproject.org/sites/default/files/resources/Intro_to_Media_Literacy.pdf

Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Retrieved November 2014, from https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783030-dt-content-rid-10107987_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module1_overview.pdf

Vis, F. (2014, April). Social Science Space. Retrieved January 2014, from Social Science Space: http://www.socialsciencespace.com/2014/04/how-does-false-information-spread-online/

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8-2 Blog: Multimedia Tools

8-2 Blog: Multimedia Tools

1. How does multimedia enhance our messaging?

When we refer to multimedia tools, we have to relate it to the means by which this transference can be accomplished (Southern New Hampshire University,, 2013). 8-2The delivery of a message can be improved by using a variety of multimedia for several reasons; the top five of them are:

First, allows bringing the info to a wider audience. If your targeted audience does not like to read you will have the chance to reach them by videos, audio o pictures.

Second, you will provide a visually appealing content when combining multiple types of multimedia tools. Multimedia content is much more visually appealing to a website visitor (Smith, 2013)

Third, multimedia enhances messaging by grabbing your readers’ attention; any complement tools which support your point of view, will be worth it.

Fourth, multimedia might increase the traffic to your site by using search engines and implementing on-page SEO factors (Smith, 2013)

Fifth, include images/pictures, slideshows, video or audio to your site not only makes your content more visually appealing but also helps with SEO and can encourage people to share your content on social media. (Smith, 2013)

2. Are certain multimedia techniques more effective than others?

From my point of view, after reading the assigned lectures and personal pre-conceptions the effectiveness of the multimedia tools will depend primarily on the purpose of the site presenting it. The audience is a primary factor to consider when assembling a multimedia (Southern New Hampshire University,, 2013) site.

According to Shyam Sundar in its “Multimedia effects on processing and perception of online news” study; certain multimedia techniques are most effective than others.

The analyzed study includes five multimedia tools, combining them differently: text only; text with picture; text and audio; text, picture, and sound; and finally the text, video, audio and video. The analysis and the investigation were made mainly to measure the effectiveness of these multimedia tools on a news site. The conclusion revealed strategic information for stakeholders, including sites’ administrators or content creators, advertisers, and multimedia’s researchers.

In order to determine which multimedia tools to use – for its effectiveness – I highlighted the essentiality of the results; the ones that need to be taking into consideration when defining what kind of multimedia tools use on a website.

  1. If you are an advertiser and you want your ad to be recognized among your target audiences, you should include it in sites that use audio or video as multimedia tools.
  2. If you are the site’s administrator, before using a multimedia tool, you should evaluate first your purpose on that site in order to take a proper decision.
  3. If you want the audiences to be focused and aware of what they are reading, you should reduce or avoid audio and video multimedia tools; your focus must be a combination of text and pictures.
  4. If you are the site’s administrator and your purpose is motivating the revisit, the uses of audio and video will motivate this target. The use of text only must be avoided.
  5. If you want to accomplish high appreciation related to the site’s design and coherence, the use of pictures and text (together) are the first in multimedia tool that would help in achieving both purposes; second, the videos for site’s design and text only for coherence. Avoids video and picture / audio (together) if you preferred to be perceived as Coherent.
  6. Video downloads hinder memory for news stories but enhance memories for advertisements on a site. (Sundar, 2000)
  7. Downloads audio reduce memory for story but increase memory for advertisement (Sundar, 2000).
  8. Downloads audio result in an adverse evaluation of a site’s coherence and the journalistic quality of the history (Sundar, 2000).
  9. Audio downloads, when using together with pictures, can have an adverse effect on the users’ perception of the site and its content (Sundar, 2000).
  10. The addition of pictures to text appears to have a positive effect overall. (Sundar, 2000)
  11. The addition of audio and video may cause distraction (Sundar, 2000); the strategy is in choose carefully the composition of the elements to obtain the desired effect on the target audience (Southern New Hampshire University,, 2013).

Those are the multimedia characteristics which one needs to take into consideration in order to make the most of its benefits. Again, each multimedia tools work, but its application will be more useful than others; will depend on the purpose of the site – its use will be different.

3. To support your argument, provide examples of at least two sites (link to them) that use multimedia elements and explain why they are/aren’t effective.

Southern New Hampshire University

8.1

The use of multimedia elements in Southern New Hampshire University’s web pages is applied in an effective way. The principal reasons are:

  • They use text and pictures primarily in order to concentrate the attention on the content. 8.5
  • They use interactive multimedia in order to obtain two-way dialog between the reader and them.

8.4

  • They avoid sounds and videos to concentrate attention on the most important issue into a web page like this, the content.
  • The page is not overloaded with info / picture distribution. It is easy to navigate and find the info you desire promptly.
  • They link their content to social media tools.
  • It is visually appealing, does not have big reading text sections, and is interesting and pleasant.
  • They link to other sites of interest.

CNN

The use of multimedia elements in CNN’s web pages is applied in an effective way. The principal reasons are:

  • They mainly communicate by videos, then by content with pictures.
  • They, as a profit company, provide the ads publication inside the videos; this allows the advertiser to get their ads recognized by their target audiences.

8.6

  • One of the primary strategies for news websites motivate the revisit; the uses of audio and video will motivate this purpose. As the link demonstrates they use audio and video primarily, also avoiding the use of text only.
  • They are visually appealing.
  • They link to social media tools; motivates by this the traffic into this page.
  • They motivate the navigation to its page by including images, videos, slideshows and others types of content.
  • They link to other sources of related information.8.7

References:

Smith, M. (2013, March). Benchmark. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs/detail/why-multimedia-blog-content-is-good-for-your-site

Southern New Hampshire University,. (2013). Retrieved 2015 January , from Southern New Hampshire University,: https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783091-dt-content-rid-10108920_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module8_overview.pdf

Sundar, S. S. (2000). Multimedia effects on processing and perception of online news: A study of picture, audio, and video downloads. Retrieved 2015 January, from http://www.journalism.wisc.edu/~dshah/blog-club/site/Sundar.pdf

7-2 Blog: Best Practices

Selected Blog: The Environmental Blog. Org

Link: http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/

Topic: the Environment

1. In your opinion, what are the “best practices” when creating a blog to ensure appropriate form, function, and substance?

In my opinion and basing on the whole assignation of the week, there are several steps that should be included minimally in order to build a blog with an appropriate form, function and substance. The best ways to obtain an exceptional blog are:

  • A blogger must define the topic in which will be concentrating the content.
  • A blogger should define its goals and objectives for the blog (Rowse, 2014).
  • A blog’s name should be appealing, prominent or different in order to be remembered.
  • A blogger must pay attention to the audience’s needs. Establishing tools to determine what, when or how the information is delivered.
  • A blogger should try to build a bond with the audience to ensure frequent visits.
  • A blogger’s voice should reflect coherence over time.
  • A blogger should provide content opportunely in order to keep the attractiveness to audiences; at least three times per week and also create ways to develop new content ideas.
  • A blogger should provide an appealing blog, with media-rich form (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013) and deliver relevant and interesting information. The inclusion of the blog’s name, logo, the web host, and other features relating to the view and content’s images is necessary.
  • A blogger should identify the ways to measure the blog; installing an application would help on this essential requirement.
  • A blogger should link the blog with other information’s sources; also, installing social media sharing applications (DAILY BLOG TIPS, 2011) is useful.
  • A blogger should take responsibilities of its publication; regardless if they are attached or not to a Code of Ethics.
  • A blogger should invests time; should have repeated interaction; should remaina sensitive and interested in others person’s needs and experiences: and,should create unforgettable memories; in order to turn and maintain a read blog (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013).
  • A blogger should write with passion and be itself (Rowse, 2014).
  • A blogger should take time to analyzed its blog and other blogs in order to understand the audiences; including their needs, the market tendencies, and the continuous changes.
  • A blogger should be aware and sure about the issues that are going to be revealed in its blog; it is important to avoid bias and misleading information.
  • A blogger should select the content carefully in order to avoid long content.
  • A blogger must organize the content according to its audience’s need; avoiding unneeded information and overload its fluency. Be clear, concise and direct.
  • A blogger should maintain a writing style as simple as possible, trying to catch the readers’ attention from the beginning; starting with the conclusion (Inverted Pyramid); Including, who, what, where when, why, and how (DM Consulting Services); and stating only one idea per paragraph (DM Consulting Services).
  • A blogger must use simple language; provide context; parallel construction (consistent patterns); use coherent fragments but not telegraphic writing (DM Consulting Services).

Personally, these are part of the requirements or the best practices that should exist when creating a blog to ensure appropriate form, function, and substance.

2. How has your chosen blog met or not met these “best practices”?

After navigating into several blogs related to topics of my interest including Health (exercises and yoga), Environment, Corporate Social Responsibilities, and others; I decided to go with one that caught my attention while reading and was very rewarding in terms of the content. The selected blog was related to Social responsibility, and the link is http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/.

Analyzing the blog content and comparing it with the best practices recommendations, we can conclude in the following:

  • Provides substantial content.
  • Even with the complexity of the topic ( sciences) they used simple language; making the content suitable to any level of audience.
  • The writing style is complex; they do not introduce with an inverted pyramid, they used traditional academic writing – not a recommended way to write for the web (DM Consulting Services)
  • The content is not current; the blogger do not frequently write, the last blog was about mid-2014.
  • Allows the audiences share the content by using social media; linking the blog to accounts it FB, Tweeter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others.
  • Allows a two-way interaction; the audiences have the chance to express their opinions.
  • The blogger posted ads on the blog.
  • The blog presented a professional theme, has a designed logo, and the name of it reflect the type of content analyzed. The blog is visually appealing, easy to navigate and to seek information.
  • The blogger uses words that the targeted audiences used; the blogger use consistent patterns in the way the information is written; the blogger uses metadata; and, the blogger highlights keywords.
  • The format is easy to understand, by quickly seeing the page you can identify what is all about.

These lines encompass the opinion that I give to the blog content concerning the best practices blog guidelines.

3. Additionally, complete a self-assessment of your blog. How does your blog compare to the “best practices”? What are some elements you can improve upon? What are you doing well?

After continued reading, analyzing and evaluating all the assigned lectures of this week I recognize that my blog need to go through profound and intense changes; not only the visual part but also the essence of the content. It is fair say that the original purpose of this personal blog was to meet the requirements for this class; but, now knowing the vast uses and its application the objective would be other, so a radical change must be applied. In the beginning, this few steps should be the first to be taken.

First of all a redefinition of the content is mandatory; the “personality” of the blog needs to be reinvented; the definition of the purpose must be clarified.

Second, after considering if the blog would be used or not permanently, an investment will be necessary for the visual part; including logo, information distribution (layout), style, and others visual elements.

Third, the blog should offer links to similar info, to social media, or to web pages that support the content posted.

Fourth, the creation of proper headlines; highlight keywords; use bullets points and numerals; concentrate only one idea per paragraph; redefine content in order to be more clear, concise and direct; provide context and apply tactics like parallel construction, inverted pyramid, sentence fragment and metadata; must be acquired.

Fifth and finally in this five initial steps: the strategy of the blog; the selection of the efficiency measurement’s elements; the ways to obtain feedback for new ideas; researching and learning the blog’s market related to our main topic; and the personal code of conduct it will be followed (until a general code of conduct is approved); they must all be defined.

4. As a blogger, if there were official “Blogger’s Code of Conduct,” would you read it, follows it, and finds it useful?

As expressed in other assigned work, I am strongly identified with the idea of being attached to a Code of Conduct; no matter in what kind of business people are, everyone should be instructed by a full guideline which helps in having and maintaining an appropriate work behavior. A standard guideline will provide the required tools to avoid bias, misleading information and will guide everyone by the same rules.

Also, the people attached to a Code of Conduct will add credibility to its jobs; will give a higher level to its blog; will stand out from the crowd market, from the unprofessional and untrained bloggers (Burton & Greenstein, 2009).

Particularly I will read it and even more I will try to insert the standards measures into my blogs, following each of them and ensuring the complete fulfillment of its use. I think a Code of Conduct would be an extremely useful tool which will help in improving the quality and accuracy of my blogs and will allow me to avoid unethical behavior and general misconduct.

References:

Burton, B., & Greenstein, L. (2009). WordPress. Retrieved 2015, from WordPress: https://foodethics.wordpress.com/

DAILY BLOG TIPS. (2011). Retrieved 2015, from DAILY BLOG TIPS: http://www.dailyblogtips.com/steps-to-successful-blog/

DM Consulting Services. (n.d.). uakron. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.uakron.edu/webteam/docs/dm_webwriting.pdf

Rowse, D. (2014). PROBLOGGER. Retrieved January 2015, from PROBLOGGER: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2014/03/05/beginner-week-my-43-dos-and-25-donts-of-blogging/

Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved January 2015, from Southern New Hampshire University: https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783082-dt-content-rid-10108913_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module7_overview.pdf

6-2 Blog: Using Social Media Tools

The vast amount of Media Tools can overwhelm the mind from everybody, including people who have a near relationship with new media.

For the analysis, I decided to choose more than three new media tools; none of them used before. The rational explication for this selection is the similarly on its characteristics, its uses beyond race, sex or age, and the facility in using it when we know them; also, the professional uses which each of them have

The new media tools selected are mashups, photo sharing sites, quick response codes, real simple syndication (RSS) and social bookmarking. For better understanding and wider explanation of this analysis, my thoughts and my perceptions I worked in an explanatory table; that summarizes, with some images and links, the uses and the pros of each tool.

New Media Tools Sum:

Uses, pros and the characteristics that call the attention

Links, pictures or video that support the appreciation reflected
Mashups –          This tool is adequate for personal and professional use.

–          Friendly: Has an easy way to handle when creating an entry.

–          You can use it as a creator or as a direct user

–          You can integrate data, images, videos, or any other source of information into one single tool.

–          Professionally can be a tool that effectively causes good impression in a formal presentation.

  • Image #1: Highlight any point of the globe in order to make a point of view understandable is not impossible. In this case I created an entry for identifying vulnerable points around the world for illegal immigration including: American-Mexican Border; Dominican-Haitian Border, Africa-Europe Border and others; and also, links to web pages, blogs and others that support the affirmation of “Vulnerable Points”. I was amazed by the range of professional opportunities one has to validate in a visual way your point of view about any topic.
  • http://www.zeemaps.com/
  • Image #2: You have a chance to print or share what you creates

 

 

Photo Sharing Sites –          Perfect to use for professional purpose.

–          Vast tools to handle efficiently and personally your photos.

–          Fast to transmit huge amount of pictures in seconds.

–          Easier when using it. (friendly)

–          Secure way to store images over the time pass.

–          You can make others know about your work as a photographer.

–          The photos can be classified and described.

–          Creating albums is an easy thing to do.

  • https://www.flickr.com/20under20/4
  • Image #3: You can make others know about your work as a photographer.
  • Image #4: Creating albums is an easy thing to do
  • Image#5: You can select your preference images or pictures in order to receive it.
Quick Response Codes (QRC) –          Extraordinary tool for business.

–          QRC is a free, smart and easy tool for marketing your business.

–          Easy way to disseminate information.

–          Easy to scan and handle.

–          The codes can store videos, data, and other info.

–          These codes can be sent by any other media tools. Examples are Facebook, email, and others.

–          QRC Is easy to download a quick response reader application to a smartphone.

–          Public or private sector can use this tool; including health environment, industries, etc.

  •  Image #6: An easy way to scan a Quick Response Code
  •  Image #7: Creating your code is also easy.
Real Simple Syndication (RSS) –          Smart way to be informed about the topics you have an interest.

–          Easy to concentrate in the same source the topics of your desire.

–          Excellent professional tool.

–          Like companies, an individual can use this tool to communicate with your associates, suppliers, stakeholders in general.

–          All the information you decide to receive will be delivered directly to you, immediately it is created.

  •  Image #8: One has multiple topics to choose.
  • Image #9: While interacting with the tool, I was surprised when notice that topics of interest could also be included.
  • http://feedly.com/i/welcome
Social Bookmaking –          You can compile all the links, web pages or any online information on one single place.

–          You can make your own notes.

–          You can build your library, about your topics of preference.

–          Broken links are not a choice with this tool.

–          You can share the information stored.

–          With this tool reading, research, and sharing is very easy.

–          Organize according to your preference is simple.

  • Image # 10: The most appealing tool I found related to this issue.

Image #1: A and B: You can highlight any point of the globe in order to make your point of view understandable. In my case I created an entry for identifying vulnerable points around the world for illegal immigration including: American-Mexican Border; Dominican-Haitian Border, Africa-Europe Border and others; and included links to web pages, blogs and others that support the affirmation of “Vulnerable Points”. I was amazed by the range of professional opportunities one has to validate in a visual way your point of view about any topic.

Image 1- A:

Image #1 A

Image 1-B: Illegal Immigration around the world.

Image #1 B

Image #2: You have a chance to print or share what you create.

Image #2

Image #3: You can make others know about your work as a photographer.

Image #3

Image #4: Creating album is an easy thing to do.

Image #4

Image #5: You can select your preference for images or pictures in order to receive.

Image #5

Image #6: Quick Response: An easy way to scan a Code.

Image #6

Image #7: Creating your code is also easy. Having the chance to access new information or better having the chance of marketing your business directly through Quick Response Codes is amazing; something that many like me, have not taken the advantage before.

Image #7

Image #8: One has multiple topics to choose.

Image #8

Image #9: While interacting with the tool, I was surprised when notice that my topics of interest were also included.

Image #9

Image # 10: The most appealing tool I found related to this issue.

Image #10

5-1 Blog: Oconee County Observations

1. Who is the writer? Do you consider the author a “professional journalist”?

Lee Becker can be classified as a professional journalist he has several years of expertise in digital media and more than 45 years as a journalist. Specifically, he has been working in the blog analyzed for almost ten years.

There are three main ways to identify clearly what a professional journalist requires to be call like that. Lee Becker fits to the approach called “The normative approach” (Ward, n.a,); this is the strictest one compares to the other two, Skeptical and Empirical approaches (Ward, n.a).

The demands included in this classification are:

–   The Journalist must have highly developed skills. (Ward, n.a)

–   Need to have formal education (Ward, n.a).

–   The main capabilities that need to fill are (Ward, n.a):

  • Research skills
  • Facility with media technology in media
  • Knowledge about how institutions work.
  • Highly developed communication skills.
  • Commitment to accuracy, verification, truth, and so on

Lee Becker completes the qualifications required in this approach; he has a Ph.D. In Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; also, he has a Master in Communication from the University of Kentucky and finally a bachelor degree.

2. What is the purpose of this site? Is there a bias?

He identified his blog as one of his hobbies, and adds that its blog follows the established tradition of the newsletter; also, recognized that his aspiration for the County influences his posts.

So, his main purpose is to inform the people in Oconee County, by providing accurate information regarding the main topics going on in there.   He strives to be accurate, fair and transparent; using links to document what known is (Becker, 2006). He states that he balances the news presented by recognize different points of view and portrays the people involved with respect.

However his personal aspiration for the County – as he established – may result as a bias in the way he reports the news; because of his own point of view about the ways he think Oconee County should be.

To be faithful in my opinion about the purpose and bias of the blog and by checking almost each of its entries, I would add that:

  • He tries to be accurate; he links and cites the info he gives to other sources.
  • The type of news he reports has a public interest and appear to be meant – reported for the wellbeing of Oconee County People.
  • He balances the information obtained by knowing both sides of the news.
  • There is no apparent lurid curiosity or sensationalism in any of his reported news.

3. Does the writer adhere to SPJ’s Code of Ethics? Does it seem like he takes steps to verify information and report truthfully and accurately?

First, he stated its blog follows the established tradition of the newsletter, which means that as the author of his blog, he seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and is accountable and transparent. Therefore he might be adhere to the Society of Journalist’ Code of Ethics.

Second, reading almost each one of his blogs I found a few characteristics that identify his adherence to the Code of Ethic, those are:

  • He seems to be accurate; he links and cites the info he gives to other sources.
  • He balances the information obtained by knowing both sides of the news.
  • There is no apparent lurid curiosity or sensationalism in any of his reported news.
  • Provide context.
  • Gather update and correct information throughout the life of a news story (Society of Professional Journalists’s National Convention, 2014).
  • Identify sources.
  • Support an open and civil exchange of views.
  • Balance the public need for information.

Third and finally, the only issue that I found disturbing is that he himself recognized that “his aspiration for the County influence his posts”, and of course this might be a reason for bias or inclination in the published news, which will be based on what he thinks is or not convenient for Oconee County.

4. In your opinion, does it really matter if someone reporting news is labeled as a “professional” or not? Should everyone be held to the same ethical standards regardless of their professional classification?

If people reporting on news will serve as a journalist whether they are professional or not, they must adhere to the same ethical standards regardless their professional classification.

We need to recognize and keep in mind that no matter which the news are, they have an impact on the society who read it; this effect may be miniscule or it may be profound, but it should never be considered insignificant (University Southern New Hampshire, 2013); So, it does not matter if you are professional or not, your reports will affect positively or not to people, to our society; in this sense those professional or not should be measured by the same guidelines and ethical standards. Accountability, accuracy, variety of sources, sources identification, impartiality, and many other requirements to inform must be present at all the time in news reports made or not by professionals.

Finally, the situation here is not about if you are labeled as a “professional Journalist or not”, is about providing accurate news, true, lively, duty to be good and which serves as shaping life (Popova, 2012) and of course following the guide we have as people who provides and reports information or news.

5. How does the rise of citizen journalists and bloggers change the way we receive knowledge and what we know? What are the advantages and disadvantages (or challenges) attributed to the presence of these new writers? Can “non-professionals” show good judgment, assemble information for balanced stories, and build up credibility?

The fact that the science and technology have dramatically changed the way we receive knowledge is undeniable. Digital advances have facilitated an active integration of citizen into providing information; therefore, they are serving now as knowledge providers. In the same way, technology has increased the participation of bloggers that produced a deep change on the way we traditionally received new information and in consequences, knowledge.

The current ethical issues differ of the ones we have before; the nature of journalism are deeply changing, interactive and immediate information is the new trend we all currently required. Citizen journalists and bloggers are displacing traditional journalism to a new concept, guidelines, and tendencies.

In the current stage, I personal think that there are more disadvantages/opportunities than advantages regarding this tendency. The main advantages and disadvantages from the presence of citizen journalist and bloggers into the role of providing and reporting news thru the new media are:

Advantages

  • New forms of journalism are emerging.
  • Non-profit centers of investigative journalism are being developing.
  • Everyone has the power to be heard.
  • It is harder to hide misconduct and corrupt behavior; or better said is easier to expose them.
  • The information is not held by a few media.

Disadvantages / Opportunities

  • We are confronting new ethical problems, and we have not found, nor applied, a properly and ethical tools to be sure about produced news, regarding the accuracy, truthfulness and not bias news issues.
  • The existing Society of Journalism’ Code of Ethic is not suitable anymore for the today’ news production, which includes its immediacy and always on characteristics.
  • It has not been developed a proper guideline (Code of Ethics) which allow not professional to produced news properly. It has to be developed a new or modify code of ethics that would be applied on the new ways of producing news; ones that apply to amateur and professional whether they blog, tweet, broadcast or write for newspapers (Ward, n.a) or one that guide online or offline journalism (Ward, n.a)
  • Old journalism practices are being threatened. (Ward, n.a)
  • Accuracy and accountability are being affected by the demand of interactive and immediate information. Also, balance news, impartiality and gate-keeping lack in this new era of knowledge.
  • The economics of professional journalism struggles as audiences migrate online (Ward, n.a)
  • Shrinkage of newsrooms is creating concern for the future of journalism.
  • Lack of objectivity is present in this new form of creating news.
  • It is uncertain the way we will verify content from a citizen journalist.
  • Online news production are characterized by its immediacy, partiality, non-professional journalists and post-publication correction (Ward, n.a)
  • There will be vertical ethical questions about how the different layers of the newsroom, from professional editors to citizen freelancers, should interact to produce journalism (Ward, n.a)
  • The conception and the rules of anonymity will be applied equally on the different media platforms.
  • The rumor and subsequent correction tends to cause a great harm.
  • Clarification of the concept of “corrections”: Are we going to allow the constant corrections to be a way for inaccurate news production. How often should we accept it by the same source?
  • We need to find the ways to control, and in better cases avoid, sensationalism (Popova, 2012)
  • Good judgment, fact-checking, several information sources, sensibility are missing characteristics in this new tendency (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013).

Finally, a non-professional can show good judgment, assemble information for balanced stories, and build up credibility that’s for sure!!!. They only need to follow some guidelines that help them in the compilation, validation, structuring and presenting the news. Some of the principal signs that show if a non-professional is on the way to obtain credibility, show good judgment and assemble information balance are:

  • If they treat their work with respect and care (Robinson, 2013)
  • If they see every comment and tweet they send as their digital footprint. (Robinson, 2013)
  • They received press releases, product samples or have been invited to brand hosted events; that means that they are accountable for the information shared. (Robinson, 2013)
  • They are capable of saying, “no” to reviews items, money or opportunities because you recognize it is not the right fit. (Robinson, 2013)
  • They spend as much time interacting with their community as they do writing content. (Robinson, 2013)
  • They hold their-selves countable. (Robinson, 2013)

Rossy A. Calderon

Reference:

Becker, L. (2006). Oconee County Observations. Retrieved December 2014, from http://oconeecountyobservations.blogspot.com/

Popova, M. (2012, April). The Atlantic. Retrieved December 2014, from The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/eb-white-on-the-responsibility-and-role-of-the-writer/256005/

Robinson, A. (2013). INDEPENDENT FASHION BLOGGER. Retrieved December 2014, from http://heartifb.com/2013/04/15/7-signs-might-be-professional-blogger/

Society of Professional Journalists’s National Convetion. (2014, September). Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved December 2014, from Society of Professional Journalists: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved December 2014, from Southern New Hampshire University: https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783065-dt-content-rid-10108906_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module5_overview.pdf

Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Southern New Hapshire University. Retrieved December 2014, from Southern New Hapshire University: https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783056-dt-content-rid-10107992_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module4_overview.pdf

Ward, S. J. (n.a). Center of Journalism Ethics . Retrieved 2014, from Center of Journalism Ethics : http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/resources/digital-media-ethics/

4-2 Blog: Mistakes, False News, and Errors

1.- Whether or not you think the modern trend of “report now, apologize later” by news agencies is a violation of the SPJ’s Code of Ethics.

The modern tendency towards choosing to report now and apologize later is clearly violating the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics; which function as our profession guide and is also an essential component that protects us from diverting our judgment and lose the central meaning of our role.

The main negatives issues that I see in this new tendency, “Report now, apologize later”, are:

  • The credibility of the media is negatively affected – Loss of credibility.
  • The harm caused by this action might be irreversible – To the families, friends, and communities.
  • Unverified reporting could have unintended consequences for its investigation (Carter, 2013) – Avoiding a transparent, objective and impartial investigation.

Certainly, about the called we have as a journalist who would be dismissed if we do the “Report now and apologize later” essentially are:

  • Verifies the information before releasing it.
  • Diligently seek out subjects of the news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

I believe it is also important, as Steve Buttry’s mentioned in “Journalists’ code of ethics: Time for an update”, we must seek for the truth, looking for fact-check, documentation, videos, eyewitnesses, etc. and not only “to balance the information” (Buttry, 2010) that might lead us to a “Parroting of dueling lies” (Buttry, 2010).

In the same way, in this particular issue and relating on Buttry’s recommendation, is important to highlight that a journalist must do its best to obtain a response to the allegations and if this is not possible the journalist should reflect it in its initial stories – the effort made to get a response (Buttry, 2010). In the end, the response should receive prominent play wherever it comes (Buttry, 2010).

2.- Should we expect (or demand) more evidence to verify information before it is reported to us?

As consumers we must demand accurate information all the time, and also, we should expect more proof than what once have from news organizations and other information sources claiming to serve the public (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010); however, is essential remind that in the age we live, the one that we are our own editors in “show me” versus “trust me” age of information, the act of evaluating evidence falls more directly on us as consumer (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010).

Of course, we must keep in mind that the nature of information and the context influence our level of skepticism (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010); and therefore the amount of evidences we might require from each report. In this sense, is relevant knowing that the importance of evidence does not rely only on its amount but in its quality too; there is a relationship, a link, a direct relation between the evidence and the sources.

In the end, even if we demand more evidence to verify information before reporting us, we must look for our own ways of verification. Finally, it is critical recognizes that looking for and knowing how to understand the evidence is how we can distinguish more reliable information providers from those less reliable (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010).

3.-  Who is to blame for this trend? Should we, as citizens, demand more from our news agencies, or are we, with our desire for immediate knowledge, the culprit?

The main factor that has been a trigger for this trend is basically what is calling the “New era of information”, “the new Media”, primarily “social media”. Everything goes faster day by day, including the news; the media have less chance to verify the news before the spread of it by others. The need of immediate information by us the consumer is undeniable, we have a share of responsibility for this situation.

But, none of these are excuse to spread unverified news or what the same is, “report now and apologize later”. As the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethic establishes “Neither the speed nor format excuses inaccuracy” (Society of Professional Journalists, 2014).

It is a fact that times are changing, the urgency of news is one of them; but, regardless this reality the accuracy of news can’t be the one suffering these changes. We, as media, need to adapt our processes, improve them in a way that serves the urge of immediacy of the “New area of information”. This is a challenge we have as a medium; our credibility is not in the game, so we must find an appropriate, smart, creative and different response to this new and challenging tendency.

Reference:

Buttry, S. (2010, November). The Buttry Diary. Retrieved December 2014, from The Buttry Diary: http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/journalists-code-of-ethics-time-for-an-update/

Carter, B. (2013, April). The New York Times. Retrieved December 2014, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/business/media/fbi-criticizes-false-reports-of-a-bombing-arrest.html?_r=1&

Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information overload. In B. Kovach, & T. Rosenstiel, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information overload (p. 207). New York: Bloomsbury.

Society of Professional Journalists. (2014, September). Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved December 2014, from Society of Professional Journalists: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

3-1 Blog: Sources, Credibility, and Social Media

Media: The New York Times

Section: World – Asia Pacific

Title: Chronic Diseases Are Killing More in Poorer Countries

Author: Sabrina Tavernise

Date: DEC 4, 2014

1. Explain the process you followed to evaluate the article’s sources. Did you determine the sources to be credible or not? Explain your findings in detail and state which evaluative criteria you used.

Looking for a history through the three possible sources indicated I choose an article posted in The New York Times which called my attention for its theme and the reflection caused in me when reading it; quickly came into mine a sense of inequality in the world and in societies.

The title which identifies the article context of the World section at The New York Times is Chronic Diseases Are Killing More in Poorer Countries, by Sabrina Tavernise, an article posted on December 4th, 2014.

I followed five main criteria to evaluate the credibility of this article, including: The authority of the author, the objectivity, the quality, the currency and the relevancy of the work (Frantz, 2014).

It is important to highlight that Sabrina Tavernise is an American journalist who writes for The New York Times and previously reported for the Times from Iraq, Lebanon, and Russia; also, she has countless works related social, health and political issues. Is important to concentrate in the relevance of her job, measured by the number of time her work has been cited by other journalist, mass Medias, and books; including the book Cultural Anthropology by Serena Nanda. She is frequently mentioned in articles written by peers.

She is a well-known writer and has gain credibility throughout her professional life. She received an honorable mention in the 2003 Kurt Schork’s awards for “her depth and human insight in covering Russia”. Kurt Schork Awards is a prominent event for the journalist that “often at personal risk, much work hard to report the conflict, corruption, and injustice. Their goal is to ensure what the world learns about – and better understands – the challenges faced by communities under pressure and may perhaps be spurred into providing help to the desperate” (Fund Kurt Schork Memorial, 2014); the prices exist since 2001.

Since 2000’s the main association she has been working with is The New York Times; with approximately 2,297 articles published, according to the newspaper itself. I did not find any books written by her; basically her job is focus in investigation articles.

Another important element to be considered is the reflection of objectivity in her reports, there is no documents or public information revealing any kind of entailment with political, commercial or particular activities; no particular brand is represented by her; nevertheless she might be an exclusive journalist for The New York Times. Another component is the currently of her jobs; out of date works, links without functioning were not found.

Specifically in this article, the references and the citations belong to credible sources, including Council on Foreign Relations and the New York Times itself. I also investigate about the topic in WWW sources that arrived at the same conclusion she did.

In addition, the information appeared in The New York Times a well-known newspaper that has suffer attacks related to errors in publication; even though it is a recognized and respected mass media, that has been distinguished for its reliability since 1835’s. Also, it is classified as a Professional Sites (Montecino)

Finally, for me the sources are credible; due to the last explained details.

2. Do you trust information originating from “non-professionals” such as bloggers? Explain why.

Of course, bloggers can be a trustful source; but, we must be aware of who they are, also assume that online information is false until verified. Is essential too to measure other elements, including:

  • The credibility developed by the blogger through the evidence of repeated, trustworthy interaction (University Southern New Hampshire, 2013).
  • Source must be identified according to its type: Source-less news, Journalist as Witness, Journalist as Credential Expert, Sources Witness, participants, Expert Sources and Anonymous sourcing. (Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, 2010)
  • Determine whether the source may be biased information (University Southern New Hampshire, 2013)
  • Ones need to identify the type of journalism they are practicing. (verification-Fact, Assertion, affirmation, interest group)
  • Each information posted must have at least two or more credible sources. (University Southern New Hampshire, 2013)
  • The information must be properly cited to give credit where credit is due. (University Southern New Hampshire, 2013)
  • The information must be well-organized, good grammar, etc. (Frantz, 2014)

3. How has social media influenced the spreading and receiving of information?

Social media have revolutionized how people communicate in current days. Being connected 24/7 is a normal behavior after social media appear, there is no longer need to wait until tomorrow to receive the breaking news from around the world. One of the most powerful elements about this issue is that people believe in almost everything that came from social media. In the current days, people trust more on the internet rather than traditional media. This is something big!!! “People identify the internet as the most reliable source of information over television and radio” (Vis, 2014); even though the World Economic Forum identified “The rapid spread of misinformation online” as one of the ten issues highlighted for 2014 concerns. Wow!

Formal studies are being developed to seek the better understanding about the circumstances in which information has or may spread; one thing is sure, isolate specific patterns, users or types of content is difficult. (Vis, 2014).

Some patterns had emerged, the fact that the role of gatekeepers is central whether something goes viral or not; Industry research by face also shows the importance of gatekeepers (Vis, 2014). Internet memes are a further body of work focused on specific online content that often spread rapidly (Vis, 2014).

Reference:

Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. (2010). Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload. In &. T. B. Kovach, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload. (p. 207). New York, NY:: Bloomsbury.

Frantz, P. (2014, December). UO Libraries University of Oregon. Retrieved December 2014, from http://library.uoregon.edu/guides/findarticles/credibility.html

Fund Kurt Schork Memorial. (2014). Kurt Schork Memorial Fund. Retrieved December 2014, from http://www.ksmfund.org/home

Montecino, V. (n.d.). Virginia Montecino. Retrieved December 2014, from http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/web-eval-sites.htm

University Southern New Hampshire. (2013). Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved 2014, from https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783048-dt-content-rid-10107989_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module3_overview.pdf

Vis, F. (2014, April). Social Science Space. Retrieved December 2014, from http://www.socialsciencespace.com/2014/04/how-does-false-information-spread-online/