Monday, September 17, 2012

Mass Media in the News (Week of 9/16/12) -- Anti-Islamic Film, Honey Boo Boo & Other News [VID]



On Film...
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  1. 9/11, it's time to move on: The difficulty of 'anniversary journalism'

    I must admit that I agree with New York Times Editor Margaret Sullivan, who wrote that "The pain, the outrage, the loss – these never fade. The amount of journalism, however, must." Such sentiment certainly does not undermine the significance of reporting on 9/11 anniversary activities. It simply acknowledges that there are more relevant "news" events worthy of front page positioning affecting the lives of Americans today.

    With that being said, there are dates significant to American history that should always be remembered. Such dates are either commemorated as holidays (i.e. the signing of the Declaration of Independence) or acknowledged in short news segments (D-Day and the bombing of Pearl Harbour)highlighting the anniversary of their occurance.

    However, anniversaries of many significant events continue to pass with virtually no acknowledgement whatsoever. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Although its' signing did not immediately end slavery in this country, it did set the stage for future freedoms and allowed for more than 200,000 Blacks to serve in the Union Army and Navy. Yet, there is virtually no mention of rememberance on that date.

    I believe there is a place for "anniversary journalism" within the parameters of news media, but my feeling is that memorial events qualify more as special interest features rather than hard news. Such events have less relevance than presidential campaigns or the Middle East unrest. As a nation, we will always remember 9/11, but let's not do so at the risk of overshadowing current news.

    1. I agree. And one of the critical points that you touched on relates to who decides what is commemorated/remembered/celebrated and what isn't. Within our small class here we could each think of occassions that we feel should be commemorated yearly and we all could justify why. If there must be anniversary journalism, shouldn't there be a system or specific criteria to decide what's important?

  2. In the clip regarding the anti-islam film and the resulting violence, I believe the most important point made is that when you respond to violence with violence, your message gets lost in the process. I believe the same holds true for yelling and using abusive language in discussions/debates etc. People can't "hear" what you're saying if your manner of saying it overshadows your message.

  3. I followed the link regarding the new sitcom “The New Normal” to see what all the hubbub was about. I'm the type of person who likes to know what everyone else has said before I see a movie, read a book, watch a show, etc., because if there are an equal amount of "hated it" and "loved it" comments, it makes me more excited about seeing/reading it. After watching the first two episodes, I still don't know if I like the show or not. There were many references in the comment section about how the show is similar to “All in the Family.” I agree. The difference is that Archie Bunker's bigotry was so over-the-top it was funny (to most people). Archie's ignorance was a sign of the times and was appropriate for that era. The same type of "humor" is used (maybe overused) in “The New Normal” but now it just seems hateful and mean and takes the humorous feel of the show away. The show is worth watching if you can get past the first episode, but I don't think many people will. With a little bit of tweaking, this show might be able to serve as a mirror for some people and change some attitudes. But it could stand to take it down a notch or two.

  4. On Publishing...
    Imagining a New Way to Disseminate Scientific Knowledge - Letters to the Editor - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    This was a letter to the editor in response to a previously published article “A Push Grows Abroad for Open Access to Publicly Financed Research" (The Chronicle, August 13). Although I got lost in the terminology a few times, I found this letter (and the article to which it referred) very interesting.
    I was not aware that there did not already exist an open door policy for publically funded research. In the letter, the writer references the following question put forth to scientists "What would a robust, imaginative, future device for encouraging pertinent inquiry, and validating and disseminating scientific knowledge to peers, policy makers, and public, optimally look like?"
    Wouldn’t the use of various Internet tools serve that purpose? In reading both the letter and the article, I found that I was having difficulty understating the true nature of the problem in the whole open-access process. My understanding of the issue is that it is a financial issue regarding who would provide this access and how. If that is the issue, again my answer would be through the Internet. I don’t know the how or the specifics of how that could be done, but I could see a system being created that could accomplish that goal. If I’m misunderstanding the issue, I’d like a better understanding of it.


    I'm not sure if I did this correctly, but ctrl, shift, L should bring you to an article at that site entitled “U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High” I believe this is a very important article indicative of things to come. Consider the two statements below taken (verbatim) from the article.
    • The lower level of interest in news about national politics during this election year may also reflect the level of interest in the presidential election specifically. This survey was conducted immediately after the conclusion of both political conventions and thus may indicate the level of attention paid to those events in particular. Since this survey was conducted, Democrats' enthusiasm about voting has swelled nationally and in swing states.
    • On a broad level, Americans' high level of distrust in the media poses a challenge to democracy and to creating a fully engaged citizenry. Media sources must clearly do more to earn the trust of Americans, the majority of whom see the media as biased one way or the other. At the same time, there is an opportunity for others outside the "mass media" to serve as information sources that Americans do trust.

    I have two questions regarding these statements. As to bullet point one: What does the lower level of interest as it relates to the presidential election imply - a lack of interest in the election, the candidates, the various platforms, or the election process altogether?
    As to bullet point two: I wonder what sources “outside the ‘mass media’” the article refers to. If it refers to blogs, tweets, chat rooms (is that an archaic term?) and other such sources haven't they already become part of the mass media or at least mainstream media?

  6. 5 mistakes journalists make on LinkedIn - :: Future of Journalism
    Personally I’m not a LinkedIn fan. It seems like it is a Facebook for jobs, almost like judging a person before you meet them. When applying for a job you typically worry about your resume and landing an interview. With LinkedIn you have to stress over the picture you chose to post on your profile and what information you choose to share. After reading this article, I’m guessing that journalist can choose to post news articles for employers to review. This is not something I would do. Hire me, and if you do not like my work fire me!


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