Monday, September 30, 2013

Discussion Questions_"Who's a Journalist? Does that Matter?"_Dobbs

The article, "Who's a Journalist? Does that matter?", raises some very interesting points about what it means to be a journalist in today's world and why it matters anymore. The title in itself proposes two questions important questions.

1. Dan Gilmor, the author of the article, states, "People often ask who, in this anyone-can-publish world, is a journalist? I tell them this is the wrong question. The right one: What is journalism?" This is my first question for you: What do you think of when you hear the word Journalism? What does it mean to you to be a journalist?

2. What has society done to the title of a journalist? Do you think journalists are losing credibility because of this "Anyone-can-publish" society?

3. What does it mean to be an active user of media versus a passive user?

4. Dan Gilmor suggests we need a new name for modern media creators but has not thought of a proper one. Do you have any suggestions for another name?

Discussion Questions_Kovach & Rosenstiel 8-9_Rosenberg

 Chapter 8 focuses a great deal on taking in news that really matters and the idea that we should take action with our new found knowledge. We take in news that is in our best interest, but what will we do with that new information? It also looks at reporting from different angles. Is a story more effective when it is told from the standpoint of people being directly affected by it?

My questions for this chapter are as follows—

-Do you think that Loretta’s previous life with journalism influenced her to research the story about the background of the furniture she was importing? Do you think that the average American would go to such great lengths to do the same?

-Surveys explain to us that we attain news to talk about it with family and friends, because we have a civic responsibility to do so, or just to improve our lives. Do you feel that we have a responsibility to do something with the news we digest? Or is it purely designed to inform us?

-This American Life is a weekly hour long radio show hosted by Ira Glass—it examines a single topic through personal stories told by a variety of people.
Is it beneficial to hear the news through people who are affected by it personally? Do you think it helps us relate to it more and in turn promote us to take more action with our new knowledge?

Chapter 9 is the final chapter of the book, and it focuses on where Journalism is heading. It was explained in the book that the fence that once existed in the early 20th century that contained the stories and news that were dictated to the general public has now been torn down. In todays society any citizen has the ability to be a journalist –technology allows them to do so. We now must cater to that idea, and refine the way journalists report, and carefully critique what comes from the average citizen.

My questions are as follows-

-Is the idea that any person can be a journalist a comforting idea? Or a scary one? Think about instances like the Arab Spring and how twitter caused rebellions in Egypt. Citizens were able to take to their various technological outlets and express their thoughts concerning unjust acts committed by the government.

-With such an influx of news from various sources, how will we know what is accurate or not? Will we know what is credible? Will the role of the authenticator be enough?

-Compared to the six elements that can be offered in covering an event for a newspaper story, do you think that the 17 offered for web enhance the story, or distract the reader from the point?

-It was explained that newsrooms must add new skill sets in storytelling—such as information coming in forms such as statistical, graphical, audio and visual technologies. Do you think that this is a necessary step in the progression of journalism? Or should newsrooms be held to their simplistic origins?

Peer review grouping for essay 1

I've assigned everyone to a group named by your favorite TV series. Each of you will review two paper drafts from the other two people in the same group. Please write a 250-word comment for each review. Conducting peer reviews is a good way to improve your writing. Please read the draft through once before responding to the following points. You don't have to address all issues, just pick 2-3 points that you like about the paper and you think how the author can improve.

Please upload your comments for each classmate to the Google Drive before we meet on Wednesday. Name you file like this "Peer review_you last name_the author's last name."

Please address the following questions in your comments.

1. In what ways does the introduction used by the writer prepare you for the argument? 
How effectively does it frame the issue? 
2. Is there an essay map in the introduction? If so, suggest ways in which the essay 
map in the introduction could be improved. 
3. Suggest ways to make the framing of the issue, review of alternative approaches, 
and the main point advanced by the writer more consistent with each other. 
4. Identify areas in the paper where brief overviews would make the argument easier 
to follow. 
5. Identify arguments that would run counter to the writer's argument. Suggest ways 
the writer could respond to and/or refute these arguments. 
6. If the writer is advocating a particular solution, suggest ways in which it could be 
described more clearly. 
7. If the writer is advocating a particular solution, suggest ways in which the 
implementation of that solution could be described more clearly and completely. 
8. Consider the writer’s use of evidence. Is it appropriate? Are there points at which 
additional evidence would be useful? Where different evidence might be used more 
9. How effective is the conclusion? Does it do more than simply restate the content of 
the essay? How might it be improved? 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Research Report_Gillmor_Ryan Wenberg

Ryan Wenberg
J201 Section 310
September 28, 2013

Dan Gillmor
            Dan Gillmor’s article, “Who’s a Journalist? Does That Matter?” outlines a very important question in the new world of mass media consumption: who can we really call a journalist? The article claims that in the new media-ecosystem that we know today, just about anyone and everyone can create a form of journalism. No longer does journalism have to be refined to the elite class of reporters and professionals. For instance, the simple act of finding an interesting article online and emailing it to a group of people with a small comment on why they should read it is technically an act of journalism since they, “curated, aggregated, wrote commentary and created meta-data.” (1) However, Gilmor does make the distinction between what is journalism and what is not in the age of YouTube and blogs. Gillmor does this by elaborating that the question is no longer who’s a journalist, but what is journalism? He asserts that there is a difference between an act of journalism, commentary based on knowledge, and hands-on media creation. (1) Mainly, Dan Gillmor’s article describes the new way that our media is influenced and how journalism can no longer be defined the way it is.
            “Who’s a Journalist? Does That Matter?” is a very opinion based article and mainly relies on Dan Gillmor’s qualifications for reliability as a source. However, Gillmor has plenty of credentials and experience to use as credibility. Dan has been involved in the journalism industry since 1984 when he first began writing for the Kansas City Times. He spent six years after with the Detroit Free Press before joining the San Jose Mercury News in 1994. It was with the Mercury News that Gillmor became intertwined with Silicon Valley and was one of the first journalists to integrate the Internet into their work. His blog during his years at the San Jose Mercury News was the first by a journalist for the mainstream news outlets. (2)
In 2004, Gillmor wrote the book, “We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People” which is widely seen as the first comprehensive look at way new technology and the way it’s relationship with journalism is transforming media as we know it. (3) Currently, Gillmor is an early-stage investor in several media ventures including websites, blogs, and media star-ups like Wikia Inc., founded by Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales. He also still writes for blogs and other media including a semi-regular column at (2) Dan also teaches digital media literacy at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
            Literary critics also agree that Gillmor is a viable source in the field of digital media literacy. Simon Waldman of the Guardian had shining reviews for Dan’s first book “We the Media” saying that anyone plotting the future for a media organization would be a fool if they did not read Gillmor’s book beforehand. (4) Gilmor also released a new book in 2010 call “Mediactive”. This book also had critics raving as David Kamerer describing the book as a guide to the new marketplace of ideas. (5) In terms of credentials, there are few journalists more qualified than Dan Gillmor to write about the new age of journalism in the age of technology.

(1) Gillmor, D. (n.d.).   Who’s a journalist? Does that matter? - Retrieved September 28, 2013, from
(2) Dan Gillmor, Director, Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship, Professor of Practice | The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. (n.d.). The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from
(3) About Me. (n.d.). Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from
(4) Review: We the Media by Dan Gillmor | Books | The G uardian . (n.d.).  Latest news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . Retrieved September 2 8, 2013, from

 (5) Kamerer, D. (2011, October 24). Book Review- Mediactive. AEJMC Hot Topics.

Retrieved September 28, 2013, from

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Research Report_Fallows_Alvarado Silverman

     The article "The Age of Murdoch" by James Fallows discusses in great detail the debate, and story behind the debate, of whether or not government rules should be relaxed in regards to media regulation. Fallows starts by discussing the role of Rupert Murdoch in today's media, and his journey to reach that role. He believes that Murdoch is the face of what the media is becoming, which is a business run like any other business, instead of a business with special privileges and responsibilities. Fallows also discusses the evolution of the FCC and how it relates to the current debate on media regulation and Murdoch's view of media as a business. He then concludes by stating that if citizens in the future feel like the media should not be run like a regular business, and that media does have special responsibilities, it is up to them to ask their representatives to create new media regulations that hold the media to a different standard than what has been set (Fallows, 2003).
     Both this story and James Fallows as an author appear to be completely credible. The article covers a lot about American history, which is a subject that Fallows received an undergraduate degree from Harvard in. Fallows also received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford, which makes his analysis of the economic and business side of media in the article seem credible (2013). He also has political experience, working for two years as the chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter. As a journalist Fallows also has extensive experience. He has worked at The Atlantic for almost 30 years, where he has written stories on topics ranging from military policy,  to this article about media regulation, and many things in between.  He also spent two years as the editor of US News & World Report (2013).
     Fallows doesn't only make this story credible by his personal experience alone. He does a great job of not showing a bias in his writing. When discussing Murdoch, who is a very controversial person in today's media, he shows both sides of the story, the side that likes Murdoch, and the side that doesn't. He also depicts both sides of the media regulation argument, whether it is the more conservative argument as to why regulation should be lowered, or the more liberal side who thinks regulation should stay the same or be raised. This balance in his writing makes him much more reliable as an author.
     James Fallows is not the only source of credibility for this article. The article appeared in The Atlantic, which is a very respected source in journalism. The magazine was first published in November of 1857, and has long been known as a historic and important magazine, dating back to even the Civil War, where they did important wartime reporting (Murphy, 1994). For a journalistic magazine to last for over 150 years, it needs to have the respect of its readers and of the media community.

James Fallows. The Atlantic. Retrieved September 24, 2013 from

Murphy, C. (n.d.). A History of The Atlantic Monthly. The Atlantic. Retrieved September 24, 2013 from

Fallows, J. (2003). The Age of Murdoch. The Atlantic.

Discussion Questions_Baker_Cho

In theory, journalism is a pure creation of the progressive era where its' sole purpose is to inform the public. However, a lot has changed over the years since its' inception, modern day journalism is a mix between the editorial and advertising departments. Every publication has varying amounts of influence from advertisers which in some cases leads to some degree of censorship.

My first question is will news providers be able to achieve an equilibrium between their advertising and editorial departments? Is the wall gone completely or can it be restored to its' entirety?

2. Jamie Hooper, sales manager of Maxim magazine, said "we're complying. We definitely have to." in regards to the Chrysler letter. Is this view representative of the majority of news/magazines?

3. The article, "The Squeeze" establishes that "the real danger here is not censorship by advertisers. It is the self-censorship by editors." Is this true? Why or why not?

4. Is the ASME the savior of authentic authentic journalism in news magazine editorials? How effective are they?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Discussion Questions_Kovach&Rosenstile6-7_Mann

            In chapter 6, the book talks about Seymour Hersh.  He says that he learned that you “Don’t write anything, you don’t know for sure.”  Than why do you think that cable news networks don’t always follow this? Why do they deliver breaking news that sometimes isn’t true, instead of verifying it first like the Coast Guard boat on the Potomac story?

2.     It talks about looking at evidence in a “show me” or trust me” age of information.  What do you believe is the right way to judge evidence?  Can you trust a well-known source or not and why? Also how can we go about making sure the facts are evidence, not inference?

3.     Why do you believe that when some people make absurd assertions, the interviewer does not try to ask where they have received this information?

The book raises two reasons why the journalists are more passive.  What one do you think it is.   Is it because the interview is live or taped and they can’t check facts for accuracy, or is it because the person being interviewed can talk about prepared statement and can toss out quest

"The Squeeze" Research Report-Alec Cordero

           The article entitled “The Squeeze” by Russ Baker from the Columbia Journalism Review presents an in-depth perspective on how the advertising agencies of certain major companies such as Chrysler demand to be warned about upcoming editorial content that could possibly contain sexual or political content, social issues, and/or materials and editorials that may otherwise be deemed offensive to the average reader. The reason being is to ensure that ads such as those belonging to a company like Chrysler or Coca Cola are not placed beside articles about mature or graphic content such as a terrorist attack or sexually-related themes in order to appear “reader-friendly”. The author, Russ Baker, considers the actions these actions of advertisers to emanate an overbearing influence on magazines and newspapers by challenging their right to free speech, but what compels him to follow this logic?
            Russ Baker is an investigative journalist with a notable track record of having produced over a thousand stories throughout his career. He has covered subjects throughout the world ranging from the Hutu-Tutsi massacres in Rwanda, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, to the coup against Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In addition to these hard-news stories, he spent a year and a half as a correspondent in former Yugoslavia. Also, he has written some lighter content such as essays, critiques and profiles on famous individuals such as Iron Chef Morimoto. Baker has received a number of achievements including the Society of Professional Journalists and Mencken and Common Cause awards. He acted as a panelist for the national conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors and is now a supplementary faculty member at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is also an active participant in electronic media in terms of discussing current events, a co-founder of a journalism company called MediaBistro, and the head of his news website, Baker heavily devoted himself to research on the Bush administration and the events that led up to the War on Terror in his book Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.
            It’s important to take note of the fact that Baker wrote “The Squeeze” on his own website,, therefore it can be assumed that he wants his readers to examine the story from his own very specific perspective. However, he wants his information to be widely available to the general public or for those who seek a greater truth beyond what the mainstream media conveys to them. He’s heavily devoted to uncovering the hidden truth about strategic advertising and how newspaper and magazine editors are constantly bending to the will of their advertisers. This is largely due to the fact that advertisers generate a large percent of revenue for the magazines and newspapers they are featured in. According to his personal website, Baker seeks to present the truth to the public in a “compelling, entertaining, and thoughtful manner”. Interestingly enough, he has comments disabled on this particular article on his personal website, but he allows comments on, therefore one must be wary of the type of information that’s presented in each of his articles. On a final note, the following paragraph is posted at the end of each article right before the comments section: “Keep it civil. Keep it relevant. Keep it clear. Keep it short. Keep it intelligent. Identify your assertions as fact or speculation. No typing in ALL-CAPS. And please read the article in its entirety before commenting. Note: We reserve the right to remove any post at any time.” However, there appears to be great debate over the veracity of Baker's claims upon examining the long list of aggressive comments on Clearly, he holds a high disdain for uninformed opinions or remarks that are simply unintelligent drivel. Russ Baker evidently does not settle for less than the absolute truth.
Baker, R. (n.d.). About Russ Baker. RussBaker. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from
Baker, R. (n.d.) The Project. WhoWhatWhy. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from       
Baker, R. (1997). The squeeze. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved September 23, 2013,

First Online Assignment, Erin O'Brien

1. I was born and raised in a suburb of St. Paul, MN until I came here to Madison last fall. I will forever remain a Gopher fan EXCEPT for when they are playing the Badgers.

2. Being at school on my laptop most of the day I accumulate a lot of my news online. More specifically through Twitter where I follow NBC News, CNN, and other media. When home however I enjoy watching The Today Show and NBC's Nightly News.

3. Currently my favorite TV show is One Tree Hill, only because I watched all nine seasons of it on Netflix this summer. Anything that comes from the CW is always a favorite of mine. However, through an immense amount of peer pressure I have recently started Breaking Bad and can easily see it coming into competition with OTH as one of my favorite shows.

4. I  can't say I have a favorite catch phrase but I do have a least favorite catch phrase and that's YOLO. "You Only Live Once" is a poor excuse for going out and doing the crazy things that we want to do in life. We should be living our life in certain ways because we have the desire to live that way. The desire to act on an idea is much more influential and important that the fact that we "only live once".

5. Miley Cyrus. I used to love her back in middle school on Hannah Montana. While I admit that the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert of 2008 was one of the best concerts I've ever been to (at the time), I cannot stand her as a performer, or talent for that matter, anymore. I personally find her embarrassing for our generation of young adults.

6. I'm really into acoustic/light rock right now so I'd love to hear anything from John Mayer or Mat Kearny. Very mellow.

7. This video got me through finals week last year. I love that there's still people out there who don't take themselves too seriously and can make fun at any moment...and I love Bon Jovi.

First Online Assignment, Sydney Heyler

1. I was born in Brandon, Florida (a suburb of Tampa) and have since lived in Atlanta, Georgia, Denver, Colorado and Jacksonville, Florida. I have lived in a suburb of Jacksonville for the last fifteen years.

2. I'm a big fan on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams. I watched it almost every night at home, though it's been more difficult since I moved to Madison. I get much of my news through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

3. Favorite TV show would have to be Hawaii Five-O.

4."So there's that"

5. I think the Harlem Shake is getting pretty old. The first few I saw were awesome but they're starting to get pretty unoriginal.

6. Adele, hands down. Absolutely love her.

7. I appreciate creativity and thought this was pretty original.

1st Online Assignment

1) I was born in Washington DC and have lived there my whole life. Great place.

2) I would say my primary news sources have been fairly scattered lately. I get my quick news from various online sources like CNN, NY times, and a guilty pleasure of Yahoo news.. But magazines like Rolling Stone often have pretty neat political columns. Also just going through my day on social media, I often learn of something going on that will spark a search in the hunt for more detail.

3) Probably overall I would say Game of Thrones. HBO is awesome and they are constantly creating great productions. With that being said it is only on for part of the year, so I started watching Parks and Rec this summer--very funny. 

4) In honor of Game of Thrones...."Winter is Coming" (it actually is getting pretty cold now).

5) I guess those toddler pageant shows. I can't really see a child making a decision to go into that line of work at such a young age. I understand the idea of parents wanting their children to be happy, but in this case I think it is taken too far--seems like it's what the parents want. 

6) Lately I have been listening to the Strokes. The lead singer has a pretty unique voice. Their song "one way trigger" is probably a personal favorite right now. I'm also a huge Avett Brothers fan. Classy musicians who have real talent. 

7) I am a sucker for these kinds of videos...I spend way too much time watching them. Hawaii is awesome, and cliff jumping is awesome, so this video has a pretty good recipe. Check it out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Online Assignment #1 Isaac Ama

1. I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to Oconomowoc, also in Wisconsin, when I was three and grew up there.

2. I used to get my news from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and television channels such as CNN and MSNBC, but since coming back to Madison I watch far less TV and have switched over to The New York Times.

3. My favorite on going TV show is Sherlock, but lately I've been watching nothing but Scrubs all the time.

4. My favorite phrase would likely be "in a coon's age".  It implies a long time, and though often misconstrued with a racial slur, it is innocently referring to the life span of a raccoon.

5. The most annoying thing to me right now are shows like Honey Boo Boo, and the show she came from, Toddlers in Tiaras.  Don't even talk to me about it.

6. There are plenty of songs I would love to hear played before lecture, but just to name a few, I'd love to hear "Breezeblocks" by alt-J, "Colours" by Grouplove, "This Disorder" by The Features, or "MoneyGrabber" by Fitz and The Tantrums.

7. It isn't even a chipmunk, but it's classic.

First Online Assignment Pat Rose

1. II was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (about 10 minutes north of Milwaukee) when I was about 3 years old and yes I'm a Miller guy.

2. Currently my primary source of news is the New York Times online. I check it at least once a day and I also have the New York Times Newspaper app on my phone which sends me updates periodically throughout the day. Otherwise, I frequently watch Sports Center on ESPN and The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart and his writers do a phenomenal job of covering the news and also exploiting many aspects of today’s current media coverage.

3. My favorite TV show as of right now is Breaking Bad, mainly because it is absolutely mind-blowing and highly addictive. However, as Breaking Bad is coming to an end I recently started watching Suits.

4. Without a doubt my favorite catch phrase right now is “Ya gotta” which is pretty much a response to anything that is put to questioning. For example if my roommate asks me, “Should I order Topper Sticks at 1:00 AM?” to which I respond “Ya gotta”. Simple as that.

5. I would have to say I am a huge fan of watching people attempt to Twerk but at the same time it is absolutely everywhere in social media so I am slightly annoyed by it as well.

6. I would love to hear Prof. Wells play Easy by Mat Zo and Porter Robinson mainly because its a Banger and would kick start a Friday morning no doubt.

7. This video is a personal favorite of mine, it provides motivation to a whole new level. I highly recommend it to anyone who can spare a few minutes of their time. The speech is phenomenal. 

Online Assignment #1 Sarah Kuelbs

1.  I am from rural southwestern Minnesota - my address will technically say Clements, MN, which is a town of about 100, but I grew up on a farm!

2. My primary source for news used to be local news, CNN, and MSNBC.  But since when I am at school, I do not watch TV, so I use the Pulse and CNN app on my phone for news, as well as checking online on the New York Times or CNN.

3.  My favorite TV show (right now) is probably Orange is the New Black

4. My favorite catch phrase right now is "That's my life!".  It's from a famous viner named Rudy Manusco.

5.  The most annoying pop culture phenomenon at the moment is how obsessed everyone is about Miley Cyrus twerking.

6.  I would like to hear Prof. Wells play some Mumford & Sons!  Or "Time of the Season" by the Zombies.

7.  This is actually from the app Vine, but it features the catch phrase I mentioned from number 4.  This viner has a lot of different personalities that he uses.  This one features Alberto!

First Online Assignment Tim Holt

1. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to Green Bay which is where I currently live.

2. My primary source for news is usually the Phillip Defranco Show on Youtube and whatever news shows up in my social media websites.

3. My favorite TV show at the moment would have to be Breaking Bad.

4. My favorite catch phrase right now is “turn up”.

5. Hands down the most annoying pop culture phenomenon is Kim Kardashian and that whole family. The fact that people care about what that family does is beyond me.

6. If I had to choose, I would like to hear Prof. Wells play some Kid Cudi before lecture.

7. This is a pretty funny video of one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan

First Online Assignment- Luke Rykoskey

1. I'm from St. Charles, Il which is a western suburb of Chicago.
2. I don't watch much television so most of my new comes from online sources but my fraternity just bought a subscription to the New York Times and a few other papers so shortly ill be able to expand on my temporary small range of news sources.
3. My favorite television show right now is a series based on a book by Stephen King called Under the Dome.
4. I don't really have one so ill just go with: frat hard, frat often.
5. Anything to do with Justin Beiber, somebody posted something about him almost not being able to come back to the US after something he did in Canada and i got really excited until i saw it never actually happened.
 6. I listen to a lot of electronic and progressive house.  So if you want to play some party music before class to get the people going i have a lot suggestions.  Krewella- Human/This is not the end/Dancing with the devil/Alone Together/live for the night(Pretty much anything by krewella). 3LAU-Escape(no pets allowed remix) Subfocus-Tidal Wave. Adventure Club-Gold. Zed-Stay the Night