Time-space compression is one of the most influential changes telecommunication networks have brought to our social and political lives. Time-space compression is defended in the book as “the idea that electronic communications has essentially reduced distances between people because of nearly instataneous communication, which has also ‘sped up’ our notions of time.” The very first form of government communication was the postal system. The postal system was, and still is, supported by taxes and charges for delivery and is a monopoly governed by the government. Private companies soon became a competitor to the US Postal Service when they began to string telegraph wires cost to coast. These lines later transformed into telephone lines. The telegraph lines allowed for private companies to provide a service to the people, without any sort of government regulation. Internet today is very similar to telegraph lines from the 19th century. Companies like Comcast, Verision, AT&T, and AOL all provide paid internet services to the public. Competition amongst the multiple internet service providers helps to encourage faster, better internet. This positive competition is beneficial to consumers. If the government were to take over the internet, creating a monopoly like the US Postal Service, net neutrality would be jeopardized. The internet is a wonderful resource, as people are able to execute their freedom of speech in nearly any way they feel necessary. If the government were to become involved, this would be limited, changing the internet forever.
According to John V Pelvic and Shawn McIntosh, the function of newspapers in modern-society is surveillance, by informing the public of important information about the processes loans, events, and other developments in society. The second function of the newspapers is correlations. This is the way that the media interprets events and issues and ascribes meanings that help individuals understand their roles within the larger society and culture. Finally, newspapers serve as a form of entertainment. There are two forms of news media; Alternative news sources and Mainstreams news sources.
Human Rights Watch is a international non-governmental alternative news source that focuses on human rights activism. The company was founded in 1978 and highlighted abusive governments. Publications of human rights violations in the Soviet Union contributed to the democratic transformation of the region in the late 1980’s. The company focuses on basic human rights including capital punishment, sexual orientation discrimination, torture, military use of children, political corruption, abuses in criminal justice systems, abortion, and freedom of religion and the press. The reports are used to draw attention to the abuse and suffering that is happening in our world today. The company also gives money to to writers who are being prosecuted for their work. Playwrite Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett created the Hellman/Hammett grants that raise international awareness of activist who are being silenced for speaking out in defense of human rights.
The New York Times is a mainstream daily American news paper. The company is owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, and the New York Times Company and is headquartered in New York City. The NYT is also broken up into sections; News, Opinions, Business, Arts, Science, Sports, Style, and Features. The company was founded in 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond. The company has grown immensely since then, and is now one of the top read papers in the world. The paper is read by liberal middle to upper-class intellectual people with a very strong local base to New York City, a key part to it’s demographic. The NYT has expanded their market to by allowing access to the paper via the internet, smart phones, as well as a NYT app for iPhones and iPads.
On February 7, 2011 the two news sources reported on a preliminary indictment against George W. Bush on torture charges. Bush’s authorization of torturing terrorism suspects has caused an uprising from political groups across the world. Recently, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed this indictment against the former-president, stating that if Bush leaves the United States, complaints will be filed by the groups.
As compared to the New York Times article, the article written by the Human Rights Watch does a much better job legitimizing its stance on anti-torture. The main ways the HRW legitimizes the story is by using an extensive amount of details. Compared to the vague NYT article, readers will be better informed by reading the news from the alternative news source. HRW attracts its audience, in part, by exploiting the corruptness of the government. The HRW provided specific details in their report which allowed the audience to become more connected to the piece. By providing information about who the victim was and the type of torture that was used, HRW readers are able to draw the horrible picture of a man being waterboarded in their minds. These images that readers paint in their minds helps HRW gain support for human rights activism.
The second way the news source legitimizes the story is by including facts about past court cases for similar crimes. They address the idea of international treaties and “universal jurisdiction,” and how the US applied this jurisdiction when they successfully prosecuted the son of Former Liberian President Charles Taylor for torture in US Federal Court. By drawing the connection to this past case, the HRW makes it seam as if the US government is trying to protect Bush. Readers who catch on to this will most likely side with the HRW, as the government is supposed to be ethical, and clearly is acting in an unethical way according to the article.
Human Rights Watch wrote their article to draw attention to the indictment of Bush, with the goal of gaining support from readers on human rights issues like this one on torture. The NYT however, can not afford to be accused of indicting Bush. The NYT is read by millions all around the world, and the company focuses on providing the news to these people without any bias. The racy descriptive article written by the HRW did provide much more details on the case, however one may interpret this as a way for HRW to gain more supporters. The NYT’s article was much more cautious and restrained, most likely, to avoid any sort of accusations.
The HRW provides three key details that the NYT leaves out. These details provide further understand to the reader. HRW addresses the type of torturing Bush is being accused of. The NYT’s leaves neglects to address the type of torturing. HRW presents this information by informing readers that the US government has prosecuted waterboarding as a war crime for over 100 years. The HRW considers Bush’s authorization to waterboard the victom illegal, and uses the US’s past history of prosecuting waterboarding to back up their claim. HRW also identifies the victim of the alleged crime. According the the article, two Guantanamo detainees suffered beatings, shackling in stress positions, prolonged food and sleep deprivation, and extremes of heat and cold while in US custody. HRW also addresses why the US is obligated to prosecute Bush. The article draws attention to the US’s membership to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment. Because of this membership, the US is obligated to bring cases of alleged torture before the US court for prosecution whenever a suspected offender is in their territory, or extradite the accused to another jurisdiction where he will be prosecuted.
The Hufington Post verifies the stories from both the NYTs and the HRW. In an article published on November 11, 2010, and later updated on January 11, 2011. Journalists describe the process of investigating whether former president George W. Bush violated federal statures prohibiting torture, and the impact it has had on his new book tour. In his book, Decision Points, Bush admitted to giving CIA director George Tenet permission to waterboard al Qaeda mastermind Khalif Sheik Mohammed.
Earlier coverage of the topic is consistent with the more current article. An article published by the Human Rights Watch in December, 2010, reveals other accounts of torture, as well as the torture lead by the Bush administration. They also draw on Obama neglect for prosecuting such crimes. Obama has made it clear that his administration will not prosecute CIA agents who committed abuses authorized by Bush’s top justice department lawyers. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that Bush will be prosecuted. Obama’s neglect is discussed in both this article and the latter, however the second article provides evidence with foreign nations prosecuting Bush if he leaves the country.
Whether or not Bush is actually prosecuted is up to the Obama administration. As the story continues to expand in the future, both news sources will continue to keep the public updated, however it is in the publics best interest to understand where their news is coming from. The news from the NYT will be less biased compared to the news from the HRW that writes with the goal of gaining supporters.
Converging Media: A New Introduction to Mass Communication
John.V.Pavlik-Shawn McIntosh-Oxford University Press-2011</a>
For my final research paper, I will be using Media ecology to study media environments and how those environments affect people and society. I am writing my paper on the Whole Earth. In my paper I will be comparing and contrasting the news from Whole Earth compared to news from a “main stream” source. Through media ecology I will examine everything from how the two medias create and environment and how that environment influences our thinking to how specific types of media affect our perceptions because of the medium used. I hope to analyze the two forms of mass media and the far-reaching consequences for how we understand the world. I look forward to comparing “main stream news” to “alternative news,” in order to better understand the way media effect people and society.
The Colbert Report that aired on February 15, 2011 focused on three main topics in todays news: Democracy in the Middle East, Arizona State Senate Ron Gould and his new gun laws, and David Albright’s cyber warfare. I have researched these topics and have found articles about these topics. The comparison to the Colbert Report and the news release, are very different. Colbert frames his topics by using sarcasm, and comedy to portray the messages in an entertaining comedic manner. While describing the chaos in the Middle East with the rise of democracy, Colbert makes a joke about Italy being corrupt and backwards country. This statement directly relates to the sexual assult charges on Silvio Berlusconi. Women in Italy are furious at the fact that Berlusconi paid a 17 year old girl for sex at one of his “bunga bunga parties.” Colbert plays on the idea of a “bunga bunga” party and expresses his own opinion of what he thinks a bunga bunga party is. What he fails to tell his audience though, is that Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi has bigger issues on his plate. He has been fighting the courts over financial dealings for years. Colbert then blames Egypt for Berlusconi’s acts. As many headlines read today, the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to rise in Egypt. This is where Colbert breaches his duty of objectivity. Journalists are supposed to be impartial and free of bias in their reporting, but Colbert makes it clear that he doesn’t believe that Muslims are ready for democracy. He says “its just not in their DNA.” He then however, uses fairness to cover all relevant sides of the issue, by allowing a spokeswoman from ABC represent those various sides a chance to be covered in the same way. The guest speaker disagreed with Colbert, and stuck to the facts of the story, while Colbert used comedy to counteract her arguments. The last two segments, were new news to me. I was unaware of Airazona State Senate Ron Gould’s new laws on guns. I am not a person who believes in guns, and find it very disturbing that he is implementing things this way. The thought of people being able to walk into government buildings with guns seams quite ludicrous. Colbert brought light to how ridiculous Gould’s gun policy is, providing viewers with the things Gould is legalizing. Gould would allow guns to be brought into any government building or space, and his new law would protect people who “forget” they have a gun from telling cops they don’t have a gun, even if they really do. Lastly it is not a crime to shoot a gun, as long as the person who shoots it doesn’t realize that the gun could harm someone. I looked up these laws on the AZ state website, and although the words are different, Colbert isn’t making this crazy story up. He wraps up his broadcast with special guest David Albright and talks with him about the stuxnet that is injected into nuclear weapons facilities to slow down the process of building the weapons. Once again Colbert uses fairness to allow David to express one side of the story, while Colber plays devils advocate on the side.
This article relates to the four theories of international communication in many ways. The four theories are as follows; The authoritarian theory , the libertarian theory, the social responsibility theory, and the soviet theory. The authoritarian theory states that government exert direct control over the media. The FCC regulates what Colbert is and isn’t able to say on TV. The Libertarian Theory is the best representation of the Colbert Report, for this theory allows individuals the right to publish whatever he or she wants event material that is critical of the government or of the government officials. Colbert takes full advantage of this by using comedy to report on the news in a way in which he, and comedy central, find to be comedic and interesting. The social responsibility theory states that media is vital to informing citizens as such should be free from most governmental constraints in order to provide the best most reliable and impartial information to the public. Colber provides news to consumers in a comedic way in order to draw attention to the content. Lastly, the Soviet theory states that media should be publicly owned and used to further the needs of the working class. This one is kind of a stretch, but one might argue that this show provides jobs to the working class. Comedy central needs people to write, edit, film, exc. in order for the show to air. This show provides jobs for people, and thus betters the working class.
I watched the channel 7 news this morning, and this afternoon. I noticed that the commercials in general were very family oriented and included various commercials from local companies. This morning, there seamed to be a lot of commercials that were geared to older adults. These commercials were advertising of life insurance companies, medicines, and different local commercials from dentists and lawyers in the area. It is quite obvious that the TV stations sell commercial air time to companies trying to reach a target market of adults. In the morning, older adults are usually the people awake and around a TV in the morning to watch the news. Kids are still sleeping and younger adults are already at work. The morning commercials also included adds from soap operas that were scheduled to air later on in the day. The evening news however, was clearing trying to target the people who may have missed the news in the morning. The commercials included adds from Apple’s new Iphone for Version customers, luxury car commercials, as well as commercials from local businesses. There were also commercials about the news that was following News 7. News 7 brands itself by showing how the news channel participates in the community, the awards they have received, and by discussing the technology they have to give the most up to date information and weather reports. All of these brands give News 7 a wholesome image.
Early today, I was catching up on my Denver news via 303 magazine. I was completely shocked when I saw the headline for Greenway University. To my dismay, Greenway University’s slogan of “higher education” is taking quite a literal spin on what most people would consider graduate school. Greenway University is a new school in Denver that trains students on the growing and selling of medicinal marijuana. The university is approved by the Colorado Government. The article informs readers of how to sign up for classes and the benefits of taking classes. This article is framed however in a way that suggests that medical marijuana is just a new way of business. While some may agree with this statement, as there are dispensaries on almost every street corner, the article neglects the fact that the federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act, which does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana. Federal law trumps state laws, and the federal government has the right to prosecute people who sell, grow, or smoke marijuana. Although times are changing and medical marijuana is on the rise, it is important that people are not blindsided by the reality that there can still be consequences for those caught with the substance.