All posts by cmfoley4

Technology for the future

I was sitting in the library with one of my friends and I was talking out loud while brainstorming my topic for this post.  I said something along the lines of, “there will be heavy reliance on technology”.  My friend said “there already is!”  I completely agree with her of course, but it got me thinking, what more could change for the future?  Nothing.  Nothing will change, in the way that we will be heavily reliant on technology and our reliance will continue to grow and grow and grow some more.   I can’t envision a future without technology.  I can’t imagine a world in the future where we won’t need it.  As the media grows, we will be forced to grow as well because if we don’t grow with it we will be left behind.  There is no way that our society can move in a direction that media won’t be needed.  Going along with that, we are forced to use technology, the internet and the media in our everyday lives.  For example, I can rarely do any of my homework as a student without needing my computer.  I have research that needs to be done, homework assignments on websites, and papers to be written up.    

                Because the new media is so interactive already, I see the participation of the viewer increasing and an increase in citizen journalism.  I see an increase of professional networks and professional resources relying more and more on the everyday citizen.  Maybe not necessarily “relying” on the people’s information, but using and publishing information that everyday people might have discovered or experienced first.  To me, it seems as if the “I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it” idea might be more and more applicable to the citizen journalist and not just the traditional journalist.  Especially because we carry our cell phones around with us everywhere and we can document an event at a moment’s notice.  Because of this, I unfortunately see a continued drop in the amount of journalists.   I wish this wasn’t the case because of the resources and benefits that professional journalists have at their disposal.  But that is what I think will happen.

                The influence of new media on me and my peers can already be seen in everyday life.  As a college student, I don’t have a TV in my room, I just have my laptop and that is where I get all of my information from.   If I hear about something by word of mouth it is from my friends and then I immediately turn to the internet as my source of information.  As for the civic actions of me and my peers, I think there will be a lot of online activism and opinions.  People will continue to have their values and beliefs but will do it from a distance.  People will hide behind wall of the internet and the anonymity that is also possible from the internet.   

This is an article on civic actions that I found that was interesting:

http://placeofsocialmedia.com/blog/2013/05/01/what-are-civic-actions/

                I think that the advances that are being made in this day and age are actually amazing.  It seems crazy to me that all of this was invented, and fairly recently.  But it is hard to imagine my life without it.  I think that by the time I might be having kids, the technological advances will still be rolling out.  But unfortunately I see these products being forced down our throats a little, and like I mentioned before, we might have to submit to it slightly just so we can keep up with everyone else.  As a student now who relies so much on technology, I can only imagine that my children will unfortunately be in the same place.  But I would like to say that I would try and do my best to prevent an unhealthy reliance on Facebook, or something like that.  Though, by that time comes around, it might be difficult to tell what an “unhealthy” amount will be because of the necessity of technology to function today. 

I think that the technological future is bright and full of discoveries and advances but I fear that the affects will be negative for society. 

Godaddy.com

Godaddy.com is notorious for their commercials that are strange but also usually contain a beautiful woman.  This commercial is no different, and was very popular and talked about during the super bowl last year.   There was a “tame” version that was showed on air but there was also a second version that was published on godaddy.com as well.  I embedded them both.

There are several things about this commercial that stood out to me.   First, there are some ideologies being supported in this commercial. I think that there is the ideology that to be successful, you have to make money.   Also, you need to be smart and beautiful to be successful.

There are also some stereotypes that are being supported.  First of all, from the actual narration of the ad, it is saying that beauty and brains can’t be the same thing.  It is saying someone can’t be beautiful and smart, which we know is untrue.  To me, it seems like the people picked that woman because they were trying to portray an “ideal woman” or what they think an ideal woman might look like.   Especially because I think beauty is not necessarily those things that they are trying to show.   Another thing that I noticed is that both of the people in the advertisement are in fact white people.  This “ideal woman” was not portrayed to be another race other than white.

To me something else that came to mind is the fact that it is also illustrating the idea of social classes within people.   One of the two people is not biologically more advanced than the other but, almost anyone who sees this will immediately get the feeling that they are trying to push the “she’s out of his league” social construct.  But clearly godaddy.com can help you breach that barrier that is separating you from this ideal woman.

And as always, sex sells.  She is in fact a beautiful woman so who wouldn’t want to make out with her right? And of course Danica Patrick is there in her skin tight outfit as well.

One of the consequences specifically is the exploitation of women.  Join godaddy.com to get this woman.   Why not join godaddy.com to further your career so you can become more successful for YOU?  But the advertisement companies are just giving the people what they want.  Which is sex.  Another consequence going along with that is the fact that it is showing that the woman is the prize.  The words on screen even say “when sexy meets smart, your small business scores”.   Clearly the goal is to score.  A woman is not in fact a prize that you can win in the end.

Citizen Journalism in the Aurora Shooting

The citizen was 18-year-old Morgan Jones and he was the initiator of one of the biggest instances of citizen journalism today.  He was not the only citizen journalist but, he became famous for his Reddit thread on July 20, 2012. The crazy thing to me is that this Jones wasn’t even at the shooting.  He was sitting safely at home on his computer and saw one news update and immediately started his thread.  Jones began posting minute-by-minute updates on the story.  He used tweets from witnesses and victims, reports from traditional media sources and even information from police scanners.  The post even got to the point that reporters and news outlets used this Reddit post for their information because he had already dug it up.

This instance of citizen journalism (and citizen journalism in general) is really important because sometimes, citizens are the first responders and primary witnesses.  They were there, the reporters weren’t, let them tell you about it.  Even though Jones wasn’t there, he combined all the information out there to keep his feed going and get all of the information out to the public.  This citizen journalism was the quickest and most rapidly updated account of the shooting.   This instance shows the power of the internet for citizen journalism.  News programs can only get information out as fast as they can pull together the news team, pass information in between each other, then to the reporters on screen.  But on Reddit, citizens can come together to collectively determine the facts of a news story.  The citizens were editing each other.  This Reddit feed even was the FIRST place where the picture of the shooter, James Holmes, surfaced, which shows the power of the citizens.  When Jones was posting, he created “a cohesive narrative of the tragedy”.  It was found out also that Jones wasn’t just copying and pasting every tiny scrap of news; he was providing updates but also correcting old information that might be wrong and answering questions from other users, all to create the most complete knowledge of the incident.

This event was similar to traditional news reporting. He was up all night getting the information out there.  He became the go-to source for the event (for other citizens and news outlets), as just a kid sitting in his room late one night.  Some people would argue that posts like this lack the editorial processes of traditional journalism, which I would agree with sometimes but, in this case, the information was being edited by many citizens together, in real time, in a collaborative effort.  I would also argue that in a case like this on Reddit, you have access to a network of information that maybe the traditional news outlets don’t because of the HUGE amount of connections that occur that way through this one website.

This is the link to the actual Reddit feed from that night: http://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/wv8t1/comprehensive_timeline_aurora_massacre/

I would say that this Reddit thread was an instance of both gatekeeping and gatewatching.  Jones was controlling what was going through and doing his best to get the most recent and factual information out as fast as possible.  This one person was behind the story getting all the information out.  But I would claim there was gatewatching as well because it was a curation of all of the information in one location.  The information was being evaluated and when it needed updating, it was updated because so many people were watching this specific gate.  I think that in this case the gatewatching and gatekeeping flowed really well together and mutually reinforced each other.  There was the obvious challenge of getting the truth out but the processes of gatewatching and gatekeeping worked so well together, that the truth was able to get out eventually, even if it took a couple corrections, or a couple more contributors from the world.

Other sources:

http://www.examiner.com/article/citizen-journalism-creates-vivid-timeline-of-movie-massacre

http://theweek.com/article/index/231070/reddits-coverage-of-the-colorado-massacre-the-future-of-citizen-journalism

http://thestir.cafemom.com/technology/140813/colorado_shootings_details_reported_best

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/how-18-year-old-morgan-jones-told-the-world-about

The Messiness of Copyright Laws

In our daily lives we are constantly affected by copyright laws, whether we realize it or not.  From listening to music, to writing a paper (or this blog post), to watching and making silly YouTube videos, copyright laws are all around us.  Copyright has been around since the original 1790 Copyright Act so, it is not really a new concept but with the evolution of technology and more media genres in our world, it has been a changing concept.  Today, copyright law protects music, books, and now video games, photo copies, file sharing devices, pictures and many others (Media/Society, 85).    

The Media/Society book places copyright under the “Ownership and Control” category.  This is because copyright is a case of content ownership not content distribution.  The key issue with copyright is how long a work should be protected by copyright and if the copyright owners should charge so much for people to use their work.  For example, when the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1988 was passed, it protected the work for the creator’s lifetime plus 70 years (M/S, 85). This act is also known as the, “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” because it was the Walt Disney Company was the corporation that was really lobbying for its passage to protect Mickey Mouse.  Companies and artists have the right to protect their productions but the important thing to understand is that the law protects the particular way that authors have expressed themselves but it does not protect an idea.  People who are for the copyright laws and the Term Extension Act claim that the laws allow “creators to pass on the benefits of lucrative work to their heirs or profit reasonably from their creation”.  Critics argue that it “undermines the entire purpose of copyright law to both incentivize creativity and also support a robust public domain.”

Section 107 of the United States Copyright Law outlines something called fair use.  This is how we are able to use someone else’s work.  The things that we can use copyrighted works are for research, criticism, teaching, parodies, news stories, and other scholarly work.  This is how we are able to write papers and how Weird Al Yankovic is able to produce songs.   The owners of the copyrighted material definitely benefit from the copyright laws.  They get all of the profits from people buying their work and from people paying to use their work (when it doesn’t fall in the category of fair use).  The people trying to use work for their own creations are constrained by the laws, especially in the music business, like remix artists for example.

If the laws were written by the ‘other side’ the laws would definitely not be as strict.  No one argues that they don’t want any laws at all but they would definitely not be as strict or specific.  “The media industry may not want government regulation in some matters but, in this case, it certainly does want government intervention”.

In my personal opinion, I think that artists and owners should be protected but I think the laws around the music industry should be less strict.  When artists remix songs, they can use someone else’s song if the work is considered “derivative” enough and they can claim authorship over it.  But some remixes have not been “derivative” enough and have been taken down by the government.  There is an unfortunate grey area surrounding the music business.   And I really don’t like grey areas and I think they are messy for everyone.

Sony Corporation

Growing up, I had a Sony auxiliary system and CD player in my house.  I remember because every time I pressed the power button, the logo was right there at the tip of my finger; you couldn’t miss it.  But lately more and more often I see the name Sony in places that I definitely did not used to.  And many of these things that have the Sony logo on them are definitely not CD players.  It really is amazing to see how much the companies of today have grown.

 

Below is an ownership map of the Sony Corporation and a few of the companies it owns.

 

Holdings:

Sony Electronics

Sony Pictures Entertainment (Film)

Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group (Columbia Pictures)

Sony Music

Columbia/Epic Label Group (Columbia Records, Epic Records, American Recordings)

RCA/JIVE Label Group

Provident Label Group

Sony Music Commercial Music Group

Sony Music Latin

Sony Music Nashville

Music Choice Video and Music Network

VEVO (Partnership)

Sony Pictures Television Group

SET

AXN

Cinemax (Latin America)

FEARnet

GSN

HBO (Latin America)

TV1 (Australia)

Sony Games

PlayStation

 

Though Sony’s Holdings might not be as extensive as some other companies, they own all of Columbia Pictures and Columbia Records and they own the PlayStation brand, along with still marketing and producing “900 million Sony devices in hands and homes worldwide today”.  Their major products are TVs, cameras and other digital imaging electronics, DVD and Blu-Ray players, PCs, and even some professional-use and medical equipment.  I was surprised to learn that Sony owned PlayStation and Columbia Pictures/Records.  Even though Sony is not one of the “Big 6” companies that own most of the media today, I could infer that Sony probably has a partnership with Time Warner because they are the owners of HBO and Cinemax and Sony holds some of those stations internationally. Time Warner does not however own Sony.  The Sony website also states that “In 2012, Sony led the movie, television and music industries with 21 Academy Award, 25 Golden Globe and 78 Grammy nominations”.  I never thought that a digital camera company could have the most Grammy nominations.  With all of these products in the market and companies under its ownership, it is no wonder that last year Sony had about $72 billion dollars of sales.  I never knew that Sony owned so many companies and organizations and had so much influence in the film and music industries, while still creating electronics.

 

I got this information from Columbia Journalism Review and from the Sony Corporation websites:

http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=sony

www.sony.net