Faux News Fosho

December 11, 2009

“But first let’s get right to the news everyone is talking about: Monkeys!” – Stephen Colbert.

Stewart and Colbert to some are now names that are synonymous with the news. These funnymen host half-hour “comedy-news” shows that air at 11 p.m. on cable network Comedy Central.

Small broadcasts and newspapers focus on their communities while national publications and shows focus on more worldly news, Steward and Colbert highlight the lighter side of the news. John Stewart’s The Daily Show often takes the beat less covered and its ‘reporters’ make reports on the news you most likely wont see on CNN.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Quitter – Leave Sarah Palin Alone
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Although John Steward will tell you that his show is for entertainment purposes only, a great deal of Americans, mostly in the 16-30 age range, say their only source of news comes from these shows.

Furthermore a poll by Time Magazine showed that since the passing of Walter Cronkite, John Stewart is now America’s most trusted newscaster.

These are positive results for the future of journalism. It shows that a media source that finds its niche can certainly stay afloat and be a successful source of news for consumers. The critically acclaimed Daily Show with John Stewart may no longer be a small niche but it definitely has its target audience.

The standard journalism model is changing, these comedian pundits are part of a strategy that works.


Jurassic Farce

November 20, 2009

June, 1993. Like an the enthusiastic six-year-old I am, I anxiously await this new movie. It promises to bring my fantasies to life: Humans on a crazy adventure with dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park is the pinnacle of dinosaur adventures, Michael Crichton’s vision is beautifully illustrated. Steven Spielberg used groundbreaking computer generated dinos to usher in a new era of film making.

But as my father assured me, I was to afraid to walk down the street because I was convinced a Velociraptor would eat me, those dinosaurs are not real.

I was deceived, it happened again in Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks, although a great actor, never met President Kennedy.

The technology is out there, and it is being used to make what is false look real.

Simple things that professional ethics would prevent most responsible journalists from doing are causing news everyday, from an airbrushed photo to a hyped up uncredited rumor.

These things can cause a mass hysteria at times, and you may not realize at first how false a source is because it is polished so well. Just like those damn dinosaurs on Jurassic Park.

Its also why I have a good laugh every time I am at the grocery store and I see Batboy staring at me, i know that is not a source for truth.


“For more information please go online.”

November 13, 2009

If I had a dollar for every time I have been told to “go online for more information,” I would be a rich man.

I could not even register for school correctly without having someone at the information center tell me to search the school’s website for the answer. It feels as if I have wasted a lot of time by not going to the Web in the first place.

The information we seek is going digital; all the world’s knowledge and intelligence available at your fingertips from anywhere at any time. Now especially since memory and data storage is remarkably cheap it is easier than ever to chronicle the life and times of yesterday and today on the Web.

Want to know who the world-champion hot dog eater is? Google it. Want to learn of Leonardo da Vinci’s amazing inventions? Check out a museum’s Web page.

Sometimes I feel like Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when she first enters Beast’s library and discovers the huge amount of books she did not even imagine existed. The Web is a digital library of knowledge, and as with any library there are the good and bad sources.

The people at the information center were a bad source because they just referred me to a place I already knew had the information. Sometimes I feel like I will never ask a human a question again because they will either not know the answer or simply tell me to Google it.


Code: a love story

November 6, 2009

The way people receive their news is changing, journalists need to make certain they are prepared to learn the new tools of the trade: computer code and Web skills.

All the news I want fits into 140 characters, well at least the slug and link to an article fit. The number of people that have turned to alternate media such as the World Wide Web and mobile devices for their daily news has grown. Accommodating these new media is not a difficult task. Using the web is a very simple process, one that even children pick up with ease.

The very basic tags of HTML were designed to make web pages look like newspaper pages. Like newsprint there is a major headline, followed by a subhead if necessary, then the article text. Title of this blog is a heading tag (<h2> to be exact) while the text is in standard paragraph form (<p>). The Web has also had an inverse reaction to the way newspapers are designed. Just take a look at the Front Page of the USA Today, it looks like a web page front page with its short teases and big pictures that dominate the area above the fold is very different from front page design roots.


Certainly there are people who have issues with basic Web skills but you don’t have to learn HTML to have success with the Web. Being knowledgeable of how to use all of today’s growing web resources could be put on your resume as a good thing. Older journalists and editors may not have any knowledge of how to make a blog, or how to tweet on Twitter, or even set up a Facebook account those kind of things if done correctly can give you a leg up.

Do not be terrified or overwhelmed of the Web and its underlying code. Instead do like Neo in the Matrix, use it for good, crazy cool outfit not necessary.


2009: A Blog Odyssey

October 23, 2009

The fourth wave of online journalism has brought forth many concerns for traditional media journalists. Blogging, technological and social change, and the digital divide are changing the way news is reported.

Although they are not considered journalists by some, bloggers have changed the way news is developed. Their independence and freedom from editors and publishers allows them to choose how and what they write about. The blogs allow for millions of voices to be heard on an infinite array of topics. Those voices can share their opinions or support the blog with a comment, turning the news into an interactive conversation. This can get the readers more involved and it solidifies loyalty to the blog.

Blogging has brought to light a lesson for the traditional news media: people want news now and they want it for free. These free business model basics have been illustrated many times, most historically from Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. While major news corporations were waiting to verify rumors concerning the President’s relations with Monica Lewinsky, in this time Drudge posted it on his blog.

In order for the traditional media to retain its existing audiences and gain new ones they have to focus on their communities. Through a type of horizontal integration they must be able to provide quality content for their audience over every medium. Quality reporting for print, ability for user generated content on the web, and fast bite-size information for mobile users.

It is important to strongly focus on this horizontal integration model because of the digital divide. Although there are a strong number of early adopters anticipating the newest mobile and online content there are still plenty of consumers caught in the technological and informational gaps. They either cannot connect or choose not to connect. These ‘have-nots’ and ‘choose-nots’ are joined by the neo-luddites, those who choose not to be involved in technology, that form a group of more than 50 percent  of the population that is not jacked into the internet.

These fourth wave concerns can be easily managed by adaptation of blogger’s tactics and horizontal integration of their communities. Traditional media should provide its services through every medium its consumers choose. It is in this way that they can usher in a new wave of online journalism, a wave in which they can have more control.


Stick this in your archive and store it

October 16, 2009

My first computer was used by my entire family which meant that memory got filled up quite fast.

I can recall times when i would transfer my files to floppy disk. FLOPPY DISK! (the bane of my existence). We would use the floppys because our computer featured a 20 gig hard drive, the latest version of the iPod has 160 Gigs.
Memory has become remarkably cheap, a welcomed helping hand in media storage availability. The first computer i ever had only had a 25 Gigabyte hard drive, the latest version of the iPod has 160 GB.

This revolution in storage capabilities has enabled a whole new way to work for everyone. As a photographer it is important that i have a good amount of space for all my images. The new digital technology allows for photographers to take hundreds more shots than ever before. There are many web sites that offer image hosting and organizing such as photobucket, flickr and shutterfly. The 10-year-old shutterfly even allows you to keep full resolution of your images.

Even g-mail features over 7 gigs of space for your e-mails. Simply attach, or copy & paste, that 15 page term paper to an e-mail and you can access it anywhere in the world (even if your dog ate your homework).

The web is also an outstanding tool for archiving newspapers, no longer do researchers have to go to the libraries for to search through older newspaper documents (granted the archives include pre-internet content). Although some, like the New York Times, charge an extra cost for viewing articles online, the advantage outweighs the negatives and even saves a tree or two in the process.


GooJo: Google journalist

October 2, 2009

A Mojo may  become a Goojo

Google is an everyday noun and transitive verb that may continue to aid journalists everywhere.

I search for story ideas and research on Google. My work at the college newspaper won an award, i found out on Google. When I wanted resume writing tips, information on scholarships and internships or the cheapest price for the AP Stylebook, I GOOGLED IT.

Google has its sights set high for the future, aiming to compete with two well established programs and a format of communication: Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Their conduit for domination is know as Google Wave.

Google has described the Google Wave as “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration.”

Don’t go purchase your copy of Google Wave for Dummies just yet, it is still in beta form set to be available in 2010. However the Wave has already spurred many good first impressions.

The Wave may have many possibilities for Journalist. Reporters can write articles on their PC or mobile device send them to their editors who edit the article, thats nothing new. However through a brilliant Wave feature the reporter can see each edit in the order they were made. Through the same wave the editor and reporter can communicate via an advanced form of IM that displays the words as they are being typed.

This could allow beginning journalists to get a grasp on where they need to improve and get instant feedback.

There are many features being described by Google that can also play a major roll for multimedia in journalism including easy file uploading and sharing via Wave. This could help editors communicate and receive important data from their reporters, photographers and Mojos.

It may seem ironic to use a google tool for journalism while the debate that google is killing journalism still is rampant. I welcome any technology that makes my life easier especially if Google does it right.