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Blog No. 14

March 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Transparency, with regard to media, has to do with the way in which the media is portrayed to the public and deals with why the media portrays it as such. The issue of transparency, especially with regard to social media, is important in that we as users and consumers of social media are aware of how our information is being used. For instance, in our textbook, Pavlik and McIntosh make reference to an incident that occurred in 2009 with Facebook. The social networking site changed their privacy policy, claiming to own the rights to essentially all content posted by Facebook users. This caused a severe backlash by Facebook users and even elicited a threat by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It is because of instances like this that many companies object to transparency for the reason that, “transparency often works against strategy making and planning by companies, as they do not want to give away secrets to competitors” (Pavlik & McIntosh, 2011, p. 276).

            While I believe that the issue of transparency is important in both the online and offline world, I think that it is especially important in the former. For instance, information is able to be distributed far more easily online than offline, meaning that delicate information can be shared at a much faster rate, which may put many at risk for exploitation.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Huffington vs. Washington Post

February 24, 2011 1 comment

In this paper we will examine both mainstream and alternative news sources. It is often thought that the two news sources differ drastically in terms of their content, modes of production, and even aesthetics. Upon analyzing coverage of the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill of 2010 in both The Washington Post, a mainstream news source, and The Huffington Post, an alternative news source, we not only found differences between the two, but some commonalities as well. Read more…

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Blog No. 13

February 21, 2011 1 comment

While working on the final paper assignment, my partner and I have found ourselves using both quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research “focuses on numbers and measures and experimentation to describe phenomenon,” while qualitative research refers to “research that describes phenomena in words instead of numbers or measures” (Pavlik &McIntosh, 2011, p. 397). For example, we used quantitative research to illustrate the demographics for both the mainstream media source (The Washington Post), and the alternative media source (The Huffington Post). We looked at factors such as percentage of male readers versus the percentage of female readers of each source, and even looked at factors such as age and education. In addition, we used qualitative data to examine things such as media ownership. We used multiple online sources to conduct research on topics such as the background and history of each news outlet. Overall, I think using both qualitative and quantitative forms of research makes for a more thorough understanding of each media source. Finally, I believe that our research will build upon the notion of media ecology, or “the study of media environments and how those environments may affect people and society” (Pavlik &McIntosh, 2011, p. 402). I believe so because we will be analyzing both mainstream and alternative news sources, two different media environments, and look at the impact they make on readers and society as a whole.

Categories: Uncategorized

Blog No. 11

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently read an article online about Arizona’s Senator Ron Gould’s new gun bill. The article discussed Senate Bill 1201, which would require college campuses and other communities to allow people to possess and carry concealed weapons. A few days later, I watched an episode of The Colbert Report Read more…

Categories: #11

Blog No. 10

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I watched the Channel 7 News on two occasions, once at 11 am, and once at 10 pm. As I watched the program, I took note of the commercials that were aired. I noticed that there were a couple similarities among the commercials that were shown during the different time slots. For one, there were a plethora of commercials about local businesses, such as jewelry stores and window repairers, and even local law firms. Being that 7 News is a local news broadcast, it makes sense that they would air commercials about local businesses and companies because it is a smart way to go about branding the broadcast as a community centered program. Branding is “the process of creating in the consumer’s mind a clear identity for a particular company’s product, logo, or trademark” (Pavlik & McIntosh, p. 364, 2011). I think this is a very clever tactic, one which I was oblivious to until now. The strategic method of airing local advertisements, ones that pertain to the time slot’s targeted audience, increases the feeling of community among Channel 7 News viewers.

Categories: #10

Blog No 9: Starlet Scandal

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Actress, Lindsay Lohan, has found herself in the headlines once again, this time for a grand theft felony. The 24 year-old actress was accused of allegedly taking a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, California jewelry store just five short weeks after being released from a court ordered stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, a drug rehabilitation facility. However, shortly before police were to begin a search through Lohan’s apartment, the necklace was returned.

I read several news stories on different news sites about Lohan’s most recent legal troubles and found a common thread. Each article quoted presiding Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz’s words to Lindsay, “You need to follow the laws just like everyone else. You’re no different than anyone else so please don’t push your luck because things will be different.” The frame, or way in which a story is told, seems to be the same through many of these articles. Many of the journalists who cover Lohan related news tend to lean toward an anti-sympathetic stance. Being that Lindsay has gotten herself into so much trouble over the last few years, with two DUI charges under her belt, a felony charge of possession of cocaine, several stints in rehab, and an assault charge just to name a few, the media has been, in a sense, holding her to her bad girl image. So while a journalists job really is to present unbiased news reports, it seems to be a difficult task for journalist when it comes to Miss Lohan. This biased reporting then leads readers to not want to give Lindsay any chances to redeem herself. Although she has made quite a few mistakes in the past, it is not necessarily “fair” that the media continue to portray her in a negative light. Rather than poke jabs at the starlet, reporters should simply state the facts, and not put their personal spin on the issues—that’s the reader’s job.

Categories: #9

blog no. 7

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Comcast Corporation, the U.S.’s largest Multiple System Operator (MSO), or company that owns multiple telecommunications systems that offers communications services, boasted over 22 million basic video subscribers in 2010, according to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA). The company provides cable, internet and telephone service in the United States through a subdivision called Xfinity. Comcast’s competitors include: DirecTV (over 18 million subscribers), Dish Network Corporation (over 14 million subscribers), Time Warner Cable, Inc. (over 12 million subscribers).

So why do so many people prefer Comcast over its competitors? What sets them apart? Let’s take a look at Comcast versus DirecTV, its top competitor. According to Comcast’s website, they offer more On Demand and HD choices than DirecTV, and offer the fastest internet speeds and 24/7 live customer support, which DirecTV does not. Being that these are all Comcast’s claims, let’s see what each company’s customers have to say.

I noticed a couple of trends in the different blogs and forums that discuss these competing companies. One trend had to do with customer care. Despite boasting 24/7 live customer support, many of Comcast’s customers are thoroughly dissatisfied with the service they receive. In fact, 5,470 people voted on the question, “Which one makes you want to impale yourself on your old rabbit ear antenna? Which company is worse?” A whopping 83.51% said Comcast was the worse company with regard to consumer care, while only 16.49% said that DirecTV was. While this may seem like a trivial online survey, I believe that customer care is a very important aspect of a company. Then what is it about Comcast that makes them number one? I think their key to success lies within their wide variety of services. DirecTV only offers television and audio services, while Comcast offers the triple play (high-speed internet access, television, and telephone services, all over one broadband connection). So, although the customer service may not be up to par, Comcast does make it easier on their customers by offering the whole gamut of goodies, instead of requiring them go to other companies for their other needs. Despite being more expensive than their competitors as well, sometimes it’s worth paying the price for convenience.

Categories: #7, Cable MSOs, Uncategorized