We The Media Ch.s (7-12)


Chapter seven discusses the importance of the blog and how it has come such a long way. The first example is of a gentleman who blogged about his life in Iraq. Soon enough, readers from his home began to view his blog on a daily basis. Some of them even said that they viewed his blog to see what was going on in Iraq before they turned on a radio or TV station. I believe that was because people can relate better to someone who is living through the same situation and can relate, versus a reporter or broadcaster who observes and does not know the feeling of being amongst suffering people. There are also two main changes from the power of the blog that this chapter focused on. First is the people who blog and blog because they enjoy. These people have now found that their viewers make their blog even that more important. These people now see that blogs allow them to communicate better than ever with people of the same concerns and issues. Second is the group that has taken things to the next level. This group is of people who have decided to make a living off of their blogs, considering all of the feedback they have gotten by viewers. This is a major change in our era because with all of those jobs that have been taken away, people have found a way through technology to now support themselves. People who make a living out of it are successful because they stick to a topic that is controversial and appealing to their audience. Blogs fail because they are unfocused and unrelated to people’s interests.

People can now understand that there is an abundance of information on the web that is produced by people like themselves, making it easier to relate with one another on various topics and debates. The user, producer, and consumer are all tied into one.


In this chapter, the author discusses how far we have come as a society and how many of the developed tools have increased the concept of speedy communication through technology. He explains that but looking at trends we can form assumptions as to what will come next. Now although it is very hard to predict specifics, we can take the technology we have already have hope for furthering the skills of: google, interactive blogs, the i-phone, etc.

“Technology and an increasing dissatisfaction with mass
media have created the conditions for a new framework. To
understand this, we must first understand the technology and
the trends underlying the collision of journalism and technology.
These trends take the shape of laws, not the kind
enacted by governments but the kind imagined by scientists and
acute observers of society” (159).

The laws at hand that are discussed above include: Moore’s Law says that the density of transistors on a given
piece of silicon will double every 18 to 24 months. This means that power is increased by every device we use. The devices we use today have more processing power than previous computers, thus creating more memory for each individual. Metcalfe’s
Law says that the value of a communication network is the
square of the number of nodes, or end-point connections. The best example of this is the fax machine; more than one creates a vast amount of communication between individuals. David Reed noticed that when people go online, they don’t only conduct one-to-one communications, they conduct many-to-many, or few-to-few, communications. In this case, the network itself is expanding and the percentages are ever changing. Through all of these advances and predictions, we as journalists to remain constant in our integrity and ethics.

This chapter gives us an overview of how careful we have to be with online predators. Trolls are best described as “time waisters.” The cruel thing about this is that these people and their sites waist the time of individuals who are trying to gather important information. These people mislead users to think that are being helped. Sometimes they are annoying. This is a direct give away of a troll. A spin on the other hand is where people take certain people, places, or things and link them to another word. This can be extremely funny or detrimental to a person’s reputation. For example, someone might link Linda Mcmahon’s name with the word “fraud.” When googled, people can read why it says she is or what she had done to be given that name. People often are gullible and that is where rumors begin to circulate. Whether they are trolls or spins, we have to be careful as to who we trust over the internet, or on any new and upcoming technology. Some precautions are to find a network that has a good reputation. Ask questions as to how they got started and who is in their group. You can make sure that this site is supported under federal regulations as well, especially if they pose to be a large site. If they are not funded by a higher organization, you most likely have a problem.

In this chapter, we see that once things are posted to the internet, the internet basically owns it. It is not as if it is a newspaper and a retraction can be written. Once something is up there, it is up there. Especially today, people will most likely see something on the internet first before reading the paper. Once one person sees a post, the game of telephone begins. People make up rumors, and more people know of the post that you would not have imagined. Libel is a very important issue that is discussed in this chapter. People may not mean to libel another individual, but it happens. The quickness that it happens is more frightening than possible. Before you know, lawyers and judges are involved, you are about to be sued, and may even lose your job. In the case of the Canadian contributor that took information from Mike Langberg, a MERCURY NEWS colleague of the author’s. It was said later that this contributor was fired. Emails are also a major way for you to keep your own reputation. Although you may be very angry with your boss, it is in your best bet to be appropriate even in email. Things can be forwarded, printed, copied, etc. Think twice. Free speech is an amendment that we all appreciate, but we must be cautious about when and how to use it. The importance of quoting, citing, and overall giving credit to others’ ideas remains important even online. More and more people are gullible to information they find quickly and on hand, so it is imperative that accuracy remains a constant.

The idea framed in this chapter is that we have fought so hard as a society to gain freedom in many aspects of life. We believed that through new technology we would be able to communicate and discuss what ever we wanted, and how important it is to communicate with one another. A major shift from government, businesses, and even technological creators face fears of being substituted by other means of information. For example, in 2003, China denied access to blogs for all its citizens. This was not only a way to keep the people of China sheltered from outside activity, but it also restricted communication within the company. As a communist country already, this was a way for its citizens to have a freedom to communicate and ideally have a voice on internal and external issues. Entertainment businesses also have come down hard on people, enforcing copyright protection on almost everything. The importance of protecting businesses from non authentic sites and users is very important for its current and future revenue.

The author’s main purpose of this book was not only to inform the audience, or users, that technology has become a major part of our daily lives, but for journalists to see what they are up against. The way in which we create our own news has created a major conflict amongst these three groups: journalists, newsmakers, and the audience. Although these three groups have formed into one on the internet, it is important to know that they are all different. The audience is there to the listen, the newsmakers are there to sell, and the journalists are to report. The mix of these three groups has created a stir in the mass media today that can not be solved. I believe that after reading this book, the main reason journalists are upset, besides the fact that online journalism has become widespread and networks are growing, is the idea of not knowing. They do not know what is to come, but can only predict and imagine based on the technological patterns and advances that have taken over thus far.


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