Well, the months sure flew by. Do we really only just have a week more to go in the semester? It honestly feels like I still have so much more left to do and Christmas seems so far away. Anyway, the good news as far as my research paper progress is concerned, I've somehow manage to scope out this cool book that had sufficient amounts of information that was relevant to my topic. Some of it talks about the impacts of technology in journalism but much of the book deals with the troubles of journalism, hence its title.

Although the general focus of the book is the critical look at what's right and what's wrong with the Press, some parts of it discusses new technology and its effects on news reporting. The book even highlights the importance of news and recommended solutions to problems in journalism. The book discusses the international, historical, legal, and economic contexts of modern journalism, as well as evaluates the major changes in the industry; and interprets the meaning of such changes for the nation and the world at large. The author, William A. Hachten is a 50-year veteran of the field of journalism, and has updated topics that include the role of the press in covering air wars in Kosovo and Serbia, media ownership consolidations, news on the Internet, and other current matters.



Since the last class meeting, I've been thinking about ways to kind of narrow my paper topic. Afterall, in this case, size really does matter. I started by reviewing some of my earlier blogs, keeping in mind that my main focus is the change in the quality of news. Even though we have the technological advancements to produce more news and to provide extended coverage, news companies shouldn't have to overdose their audience with information they don't necessarily need. I think this is a quality versus quantity issue. It has boiled down to compromising credibility and accuracy over speed and efficiency.




Most of the time when I set my mind to work on a specific task on the Internet, I somehow always end up getting sidetracked. No matter how focused I am, there is bound to be something out there on the "facinating" world of the web that would lure me away from doing what I was there to do. The analogy brought up in class about "berry-picking" is a great way to explain how I function when I do online researches.

Anyway, like I said, I was on a mission to find some online resources for my paper when I accidentally came upon a quiz site. I simply can't resist taking a quiz, it always amuses me. So, I started taking the quiz, totally losing track of what I had set out to do initially. Yes, the queen of procrastination strikes again. But here's my quiz results, for your amusement:


The ULTIMATE personality test
brought to you by Quizilla



Reality check 

So far, I've somewhat touched the surface and other odd areas of my final project. I don't know if I'm actually headed towards the right direction, but I plan to probably do either a content analysis or a historical overview of the effects of technology in journalism mainly focusing on how technology has changed news writing and reporting

Lately, I've been surfing the Web for online resources. There are obviously a plethora of those around, making it simply difficult to find one that I could seriously use. Which is why I will likely be making a trip to the library one of these days. Does an online journal count as a resource? If so, I can easily access academic journals online at the UNT library Web site.



Compared to when "yellow journalism" was around where Hearst and Pulitzer were biting each other on the neck, trying to outdo one another, today's media companies are doing business the civil way.

"Convergence" is the new buzzword in the business today. All across the country, dozens of newspapers, television stations, and cable systems are cooperating with each other rather than competing. Television makes full use of the content that the newspaper produce and the newspaper in return gains access to television's larger audience. This kind of convergence may be the best thing that ever happened to big media giants, but in return, journalism suffers.

Bob Haiman, a fellow at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center and former executive editor of the St. Petersburg Times says, "When newspapers and television and the Internet converge, there is going to be a tremendous clash of values -- the journalism values of newspapers, the entertainment values of television, and the no-holds-barred, raw, unedited, anarchic values of the Internet. I worry about which of those three value sets is going to prevail."

Click on the link ahead to read more about media mergers and convergence. Do you think that by substituting cooperation for competition, convergence could threaten the diversity of media voices?



It's monday again. Geez, the weekends seem to go by quicker and quicker these days. I guess somehow it's because school- and work-related stuff seem to pile up like they're on some kind of chain reaction deal. Nonetheless, it's good to be back.

I only recently started reviewing some of the comments posted to my blog spot, and I realized that I may have skewered my discussions about technology in journalism to the negative side of things rather than the positive. Please note that that was in no means, my intention. Sure, I have disregarded the better aspects of the technological advances and its effects on journalism, but I am aware of them and I hope to address them in the future.

Thank you for keeping me in check. I truly appreciate.


Now and Then 

I went to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth today for an exhibit of "Painted Prayers" a medieval and renaissance Book of Hours from the Morgan Library in New York. They were produced, by hand and by press, in greater quantities than any other type of book from about 1250 to 1550. Because they were all intricately crafted by hand, producing just one book was extremely time consuming. In fact, only the richest were owners of these books.

Writers back then cannot afford to make any mistakes because they would have had to start all over again. It is not unusual to see gold ink made of real gold in most of the pages of these books because people back then accessorize their books like we do today, on our computers.

So, it's kind of funny to think how we can still make mistakes on our term papers when we have spell check. I guess a lot of it has to do with what's at stake. People back then knew that if they were careless and made a slight error, they would probably have to redo the entire piece from scratch.



Although it took me longer than usual to have the commenting template set up, I do finally have everything posted, and it works! So, please feel free to include some of your thoughts and ideas. My blog wouldn't possibly be complete without them. Thanks. ^^


Bottom line 

New technology today is driving the industry in a way that's never been known before. As mentioned by Steve Ackerman of TXCN, there is a fundamentally new economic underpinning to the news, whereas, it was a public service today, each news program at a network has to be a profit center, or else it is simply cancelled.

This is a huge problem because it has caused the definition of news to change. When the Cold War was around, it was a focusing means of defining what news was. It wasn't entertainment. But today anything goes.

Instead of progressing, we are backtracking to the period of when we have journalists who still sensationalize and hype stories. Technology has created a new breed of journalists who are no longer interested in public service stories, but bottom line kind of stories, journalists who are no longer there to deliver the news, but to entertain.



Okay, I don't know what is up with my postings. It disappears when I click "post & publish." This has happened twice already and I'm feeling a billion times more computer illiterate than I already am. What I don't get is that it has no problems publishing a post without a link, but when it has links, the entire post crashes. Maybe it's the computer I'm working on.





Our field trip to TXCN yesterday was insightful and fairly informative. I thought Steve Ackerman, Executive News Director at TXCN, left us with a lot of interesting thoughts about how technology is changing the way news is perceived. For the most part, I never regarded the news as a form of entertainment. But that is hard to do with news stations battling one another to make their news slightly more entertaining than their competitiors in order to boost ratings. Not only has technology changed journalism and news reporting, but like the airline industry, it has become a money-making business.


Bla bla bla 

So, Arnold is the new "Governator." Don't worry, I'm not going to go on a political rant here, but I just thought about a cool analogy that is somewhat related to our quest in advancing ourselves as far as technology goes. This may sound a tad bit weird, but I feel that we are constantly discarding old technology in order to upgrade ourselves. Kind of like a trade up.

You probably don't know where I'm going with this, neither do I. But here's the thing. Why do people tend to replace their cell phones once something smaller and shinier comes along the way? Even if the buttons are as tiny as a rice grain or it has a messed up circular dial it still becomes a fad, because it's something new, it's a change.

I guess what I'm trying to get to is that we have become so technologically crazed that we often overlook the essentials. Why else would reporters rely on voice recorders instead of a notepad and a pencil? Even receivers of news have started to convert from paper to screen. I think the reason for this is the easy accessibility and the coverage. We all want up-to-the-minute news and we want it fast. The Internet is probably the best resource at the moment, hence the change.






This is a follow-up to the previous blog. I was thinking much about the rate at which information moves today. It's fast. Too fast that it practically overwhelms the ability of journalists to verify their information before they publish it. We all know the consequences of false reporting and misinformation. It can be dangerous as exemplified by the Emulex hoax case.

If reporters value the quality of news, they would not have solely relied on a "phony press release" or something that has yet to be proven credible.

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