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FIRE vs Technorati Final Version

Photo Credit: Technorati.com

Feminist International Radio Endeavor

Our alternative media source is Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE), which is an Internet grassroots feminist radio located in Costa Rica.  This radio broadcast originally began in May 1991 as a short wave radio broadcast.  Then in May 1998 they converted their radio broadcasts to the Internet.  Despite their title, their main focus is not just about women’s rights, but also about raising women’s voices and perspectives on current events.  This also gives women a stronger presence in the media.  FIRE is directed towards women and focuses on minorities throughout the world.  As a result, FIRE can appeal to a global audience not just woman.  However while this can appeal to a global audience, the demographic can be fairly concentrated towards Spanish speakers since many of the articles/broadcasts are in that language.

One person or company does not own FIRE, as it is a grassroots radio.  In this particular case, grassroots means that their information and media does not conform to the norm or mainstream ideals; rather, this type of news is more homegrown and not as organized.  Although FIRE does not have a sole owner, it does have affiliates.  These affiliates include:  Women’s Radio Fund, Urgent Action Fund, Hivos People Unlimited, and Global Fund for Women.  FIRE works with these various organizations to help promote their causes together and also aid one another with their mission.

This alternative news broadcast primarily entails audio media.  The type of audio media that FIRE uses is radio broadcasting where they express their opinions about current events and share their interviews.  Through this they are able to create a more personable news source because there is a voice to the words.

Technorati

Technorati was first founded with the purpose to help bloggers by collecting information and distributing it. It was technically one of the first blog search engines.  It then expanded to a full service media company by helping bloggers connect with advertisers and ultimately connect with their consumers. Technorati currently indexes over a million blogs and has fast easy sources for top stories, opinions, photos, politics, sports and etc. It was launched in 2008 and now has over 300 million viewers. To become a writer for Technorati one must fill out an application to join this blogging community. Technorati also owns many well-known blogs such as; I Can Has Cheezburger, BuisnessPundit, MakeUseOf, and WTFurls. They also branched off into Blogcritics.com and they have a Twitter account.

Surveillance and correlation was prevalent in this article. It tries to keep the community involved and informed.  This article emphasizes correlation through the role that the citizen can play to help make a difference in the immigration policies and in society itself.

Social Issue

The article we found on FIRE was “Transnational Corporations Profit from Broken Immigration Policy in U.S: Protestors monthly vigil aims to combat inhumane conditions in detention center.” This article talked about the protests against the immigrant’s harsh treatment during detainment. The protest itself also represents the greater dissatisfaction of the U.S. immigration policy.

These articles are referring to the protests in Aurora, Colorado about the detention facility. This facility is holding 400 illegal immigrants in the building. The FIRE article talks about the conditions that the immigrants must deal with. The holding center is described as more of a prison than an actual detainment center. The building is dark and windowless. The people inside receive inhumane treatment while many families are separated and not allowed to have physical contact.

The Technorati article begins by mentioning groups and organizations that went to protest the detention center and show their support against the illegal immigration policies. These groups include; Denver Justice and Peace committee, Coloradoans for Immigrants Rights, American Friends Service Committee, and Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition. The author relates the protests to the harsh environment that the illegal immigrants are faced with in the United States. This article talks about polices that are working against the Mexican and Latin American community in America.  Some of these actions include shutting down businesses and increasing the strictness of the current immigration laws. Some politicians were originally in support of these immigrants and the quality of their life but are now in favor of possibly closing the boarder.

Legitimizing Each Source

FIRE was able to legitimize its position because the journalist interviewed women who participated in the protest.  The article also included pictures from the event.  One of the women was an immigration activist. The other woman was part of a committee called, American Friends Service Committee.  Interviewing women who played a role in the protest helped to legitimize the information provided because they were there to experience the event.  The photos serve as proof to their claims.

The evidence that the Technorati article provides is much stronger and convincing than the FIRE article. This article includes background information and proves that the author did more research than the other article. It listed important organizations and people that participated in the protest to show the weight of the situation and how it was related to a broader audience. The author then went on to describe what some of these organizations do and how they interact with society. This source also gave more concrete facts about the facility that helped legitimize the article.  Most of these facts pertain to the private prison industry named GEO.  This industry has 350 private and governmental jails nationwide that cost $1.7 billion annually to maintain. The specific GEO detention center in Aurora, Colorado costs $1.8 million to operate per year.  The journalist stated that politicians who support these laws are funded and sometimes paid by GEO.

The Technorati article included moving and realistic photos that showed the detention center and the people protesting to help reinforce the realities of what is happening. A reason this source has more information and more photos is because it has a larger audience to reach.  FIRE is not very well advertised and consequently only attracts a certain type of audience who listens to their radio or reads their articles. This made the article more helpful and gave a better description of the situation and why it was an issue in Colorado and the United States.

These two articles included some of the same legitimizing tactics; however, they were done in different manners that affected their argument.  Technorati interviewed both men and women from various groups.  In contrast, FIRE only interviewed women who had similar backgrounds.  Granted the main aim of this news source is geared towards women and the information works well for them and/or feminist.  However, for people outside of that demographic, the information can be biased and useless.  Despite that fact, FIRE did offer a more emotional connection to the protest through live protest interviews and a compelling poem at the end.  While this did play onto the emotional side, it did not offer hard evidence.  Technorati was able to do so through background information and through a diverse set of interviews.  This news source was able to include hyperlinks in their article that validates the organizations mentioned and their information.

*Finding additional evidence on this topic was a very difficult hunt at times. We went to many different cites, even the local Aurora newspaper to try to get relevant information. But this information was hard to come by and even harder to legitimize. We did go to another website to get more information on the actual GEO corporation and the prison cite to see what it actually was.  Additionally, we could not find another article that had earlier or later coverage from the same news source.

Written By:  Leah Markman and ThuyAnh Astbury-Nguyen

Additional Sources:
http://www.genderit.org/content/feminist-international-radio-endeavour-fire
http://www.eldis.org/assets/Orgs/6896.html

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