News Alert: No News is not Good News for Us!

Well, we have reached the end of our course and what better way to finish it than with the topic of citizen journalism. Our group was kind of split down the middle according to who actually participated actively in citizen journalism, but we are all involved in consuming the news from online sources.

Colecrerar90 wrote “it seems like everyone these days is contributing somehow with their views and/or opinions on relevant news” ( Melanie Munroe utilizes Facebook as a source for news updates as she feels is is “more up-to-date than the printing press and sometimes even the news on television”

One thing I learned from this assignment and I was surprised to find out is that young people are more involved in consuming news in society today than in other generations. mf08ty writes “the emergence of these new opportunities for sharing journalism have encouraged me to consume more journalism” ( I think that is one great outcome of the emergence of citizen journalism.

Young people today are more informed and have the opportunity to voice opinions and views on timely topics. In the past, the newspaper was delivered to the home and it was typical for Dad to sit in his comfortable chair and peruse the headlines. It wasn’t common for a kid to pick up a paper or turn to a television station for updates on news in our society. Today, they have Twitter updates and Facebook posts blasted at them every second by means of the many portable electronic devices invented in recent years. The good part about this is these methods keep them informed on the latest news updates wherever they are. Even better is they want to be involved in what is going on in their world.

etakahashi wrote about online activism in her blog this week ( She stated that it was simple for the average person to be an activist these days. All it takes is a touch of a button now to become involved in a cause. It’s quite simple for groups to have petitions signed as there is so little involved in the process and not very much commitment. It remains to be seen though how much impact this online activism will have.

All in all, it’s great to see people becoming more involved in societal issues and news in general. This is one positive aspect of citizen journalism.


My Storify to Glorify the New Faces of Mixed Martial Arts

April 2011 076My topic for my storify article is the “New Faces of MMA”. I chose this topic because my 3 children are very involved in the sport. I have personally witnessed the benefits they have received from training and competing in jiu jitsu, kickboxing and amateur MMA. Some people attach the sport to the brutality of the UFC and can’t fathom the idea of children involved in the sport. Through my collection of tweets, Youtube videos, instagram photos and other information collected from various Internet sources, I want people to become aware that the face of the sport is changing. I hope this article can shed a light on the benefits of Mixed Martial Arts training for children.

     Are You Clarke Kent in Disguise?


Social media has opened door new doors for information sharing between all walks of life in our society.   This subject is interesting to me because I am a trained journalist, but did not follow journalism as a career path.  I graduated in the early 90’s, before digital photography and desktop publishing and when news reporting could only be performed by trained professionals. Journalists were in charge of dispensing current news to the people. They were trained in developing photos in a darkroom and to follow the rules of Canada Press. In short, not just anyone could report the news.

Times and technology have tipped the scales allowing the average citizen to post current news updates on Twitter, Facebook, Storify etc. Friedman describes this trend as “new media … with active citizen participation and news selection” (p. 63).

Hermida writes that “the presumed ability to represent reality allows journalists to claim a special kind of authority and establish professional jurisdiction over the news” (p. 661). This power has definitely weakened as “Twitter has become a source for breaking news” and “bloggers now receive press credentials, though they were once considered as trespassers by mainstream journalists” (Hermida, p. 661).

Social media along with this allowing this aspect of citizen journalism to be instigated has also provided for “mutual support, organizing, mobilizing, or solidifying identities” (Dahlgren, p. 27). There is more opportunity than ever before in history for like minds to find each other and create large social groups through online contact. People from all around the globe can contact each other instantaneously and band together to advocate for changes in society and their personal beliefs.

I am encouraged to participate more directly in citizen journalism because of the emergence of these new opportunities available through new technology. It is quite simple to publish news online and share the information with a large audience.

I had an opportunity last year to write articles for EHOW and it was a great feeling to see my articles posted online and available to a larger number of readers than the average printed newspaper.

Social media has greatly changed the face of journalism in today’s society. It is now possible for virtually anyone to be a citizen journalist and share news online.

Dahlgren, P. (2012). Reinventing participation: civic agency and the web environment. Geopolitics, History, and International Relations. 4.2, p 27.

Friedman, S. M. (2011). Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima: An analysis of traditional and new media coverage of nuclear accidents and radiation. Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists, 67(5), 55-65.

Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p 659-668.

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? Let’s Share…..

        There is a concensus in our group that the younger generation, who is playing the main part as piraters of today, do not feel as if they are stealing anything when they download music for free. As Steinmetz and Tunnell state, pirates believe “intellectual property is inherently different from tangible, material property” (p. 62).  Music has lost its material value.  Gone are the days when people buy CD’s, records and tapes to add to their collections.  Music has been taken from the hands of the owners and distributed in our society to be shared freely. 

                The act of downloading music from sites for free is something that the youth of today have grown up doing and there is really no deterrent to keep them from downloading music illegally.  How can companies make them pay for something now that they have been getting for free for so long?  Some people thought that educating young school children might help to deter kids from illegal downloading in the future, but other than that there were not very many suggestions for stopping people from downloading music for free.

                There was a unity of belief in our group that we weren’t really hurting the music industry through illegal downloading.  It was also stated in the Condry article that, “few business leaders are citing the internet as the primary reason for the loss in sales” (p. 351).  Is it fair to say that we are being used as the scapegoats for the already disabled music industry? 

                Most people in our group believe that the music industry should try to find new avenues for earning revenue.  McCourt writes in his article, “record companies remain attractive to media conglomerates” (p. 336).  He states that companies are crosspromoting brand new artists with ‘blockbuster’releases into other forms of media.  There should be a way that new technology can be a win-win situation for music lovers and music producers.

McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music DistributionMedia, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350 
Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363
Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line PiratesDeviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67 

My Podcast

My podcast contains passages from by author John Curry.  I chose these passages because they were very relevant to my topic and contained valid points and ideas similar to my own.  Also, the author came across as having given a lot of thought into children participating in MMA and I liked the comparison with children participating in other sports being just as, if not more, dangerous than MMA.

Who Owns the Tunes?


I have not purchased a music CD for many years because I prefer to listen to the radio. I have downloaded music from Itunes only because I received a gift card and was not paying for it personally.  Music sharing has become a confusing topic in our society.  The CD seems to be becoming obsolete with the invention of the Ipod and is on its way out, joining the record and the 8 track.  In a sense music is not something that is a tangible product any longer. 

                To answer the questions this week I went inside the mind of the younger generation who Steinmetz and Tunnell describe as “today’s pirates”(p.53)  My 16-year-old son does not purchase music.  I believe his generation goes completely against copyright issues and IP regimes.  It seems young people do not see music as a commodity to be purchased; that it should be something that is shared freely.

                The youth of today do not feel they are stealing anything when they download music for free.  As Steinmetz and Tunnell state, they feel that “intellectual property is inherently different from tangible, material property” (p. 62).  If record companies want to stop the pirating, they have to educate kids from a young age what the possible consequences can be with illegal downloading.  By the time they are teenagers and are already actively involved in loading music for free on their Ipods, it is too late for them to see any reason in stopping the process.

                As Condry states, “file-sharers are doing exactly what consumers are supposed to do; get the most possible stuff for the least possible money”(p. 348, Condry).  If music is available for free, what is the deterrant for going online and downloading it? Should we go to sites and pay for music instead just for the aspect of being moral citizens?

                “In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Initiated lawsuits against its own consumers” (Condry, p. 343).  2000 lawsuits were instituted against music pirates in our society. (Condry, p.344).  The purpose of this action was to make individuals aware that the RIAA views sharing music files as “identical to shoplifting from a neighborhood store” (344 Condry).

                Personally, I believe it is wrong for big companies to slap lawsuits against the little guy for using file sharing options online.  It should be the ones who create the software that are targeted.  Throwing lawsuits around will only make the record companies come across as an enemy to the people.

                One solution suggested by Condry is for the entertainment industry come up with new ways to make money and use the Internet to its advantage (p. 344).  It is easier than ever before to have quick and easy availability to a wide audience.  The companies must understand that the times are changing and they must change with them. 

Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363.

Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates. Deviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67

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We Are a Happy Group of Consumers


It seem that our group is quite happy to be consumers of online entertainment rather than producers. Most of us don’t believe we have the talent or enough knowledge of how to produce something of any quality that someone would be interested in viewing. A lot of us do not have any desire to produce something as we are not looking for any recognition for our skills or talents.

I noticed that some people in our group stated that they were afraid of their talent being judged in a public forum. It’s almost like having stage fright in front of an audience even though we do not even know the viewers personally who would be watching our content. This is something I found very interesting. We did not want to fail, so we did not even try to participate.

So, we look to others who apparently we feel know what they are doing and are professional enough to be producers to create content. We follow the majority to be consumers rather than take the risk of the minority and become producers. We take the safe road of only watching content and prefer to remain anonymous in the online world. This is akin to many things in our society. Most people choose to be followers as it is an easier job than to put ourselves out there to be leaders.

For me, creating the video for this course, was a complete learning experience. I was not even aware there was a video editor available for YouTube. I think I did okay for this being my first creation and I am quite happy to share my finished project.

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