Archive for the ‘Week #14’ Category

Twitter Comes Out On Top

Posted: May 6, 2011 in Week #14

When the news first broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed, Twitter triumphed in bringing that breaking news story to millions. In a matter of minutes, the news went viral, and the whole world knew that the world’s most dangerous terrorist was no longer with us. Thanks to 4G download speeds, the internet, and social media, we no longer have to wait for the morning headlines or the morning television news to find out what is happening around the world. The importance that social media has on journalism is even greater. Computers, smartphones, and tablets are virtually taking over. From Navy Seal, to President Obama, to my cell phone’s Twitter account, and finally to my eyes; that’s the new face of journalism. Where does the actual “journalist” fit into that scenario? Can journalists have a “face” in this day and age? With Twitter, all we see are avatars and 140 characters. We know there has to be a person typing those characters onto the screen, but even then, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the account holder writing it.

Social media, and in this case Twitter, is changing the game of journalism so journalists have to be more creative than ever to make a name for themselves. They have to go above and beyond aggregation, and actually write meaning words, and then boil that essence down to highlight those meanings on Twitter. Along with the Navy Seals, I think Twitter also came out on top as a hero because Twitter is showing that it can be a leader.

Before discussing the article, I’d like to point out how offended many people were that multiple news publications mixed up the name Osama with Obama, as well as the debate on whether celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death is morally right or wrong. I was personally offended when I read that some big journalists (who shall remain nameless) used the Obama/Osama typo to get a laugh or seek attention. Being a journalism student is very new for me, so I wasn’t sure how to react. Although I chose not to react, I have lost the respect for some journalists that were a big source of inspiration to me.

The following post is in response to an article from The Huffington Post, ‘Geronimo’ Code Name For Osama Bin Laden Offends Native Americans. I want to highlight a morale debate that isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

Navy SEALs confirmed the death of bin Laden in Pakistan with the now-iconic transmission: “Geronimo EKIA,” or “Geronimo, Enemy Killed in Action.”

There’s no denying that we live in an über-politically correct society. Words have the same power to offend as actions. Just take a look at some of the comments left on the article:

Well, perhaps the code should have been “Jesus Christ” and offend Christians, or “Hitler” and offend the Jews, or “Hiroshima­/Nagasaki” and offend the Japanese, or “Papa Doc” and offend the Haitians, or “Planned Parenthood­” and offend the Republican­s or even “New Yorkers” and offend everyone! The bottom line is pick a word or term and there will always be someone who is offended. Such is life. Get over it people and let’s move on to things that are REALLY important. – bonnieb333

The name is entirely appropriate. Geronimo was an effective enemy of the Untied States. He evaded capture of years and years. He would have been flattered to know that his name would be used to refer to the greatest enemy of the US in the 21st century. I’m sorry people are offended. But they are offended because they aren’t really thinking this through. – Grimmsd

What really stands out for me is how even some former Marines were offended.

“I was celebrating that we had gotten this guy and feeling so much a part of America, and then this ‘Geronimo EKIA’ thing comes up. I just said, ‘Why pick on us?’ Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Geronimo ever did, and Hitler would seem to be evil personified, but the code name for bin Laden is Geronimo?”

What can we learn from this? Should the Navy SEALs have chosen a code name for Osama that was completely unrelated to any one race or person? Why couldn’t they have used a synonym that represented evil? These are all questions that will always have two sides to the debate. I don’t think it’s too hard to ensure sensitivity. We’re all born with that ability, aren’t we? I guess that’s another questions for the morale debaters. You decide.




Sunday May 1st, 2011 9:28 PM

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Week #14

On my way home from a concert at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA, I logged into my Twitter account on my smartphone. My eyes couldn’t believe what they were reading. Twitter was literally overflowing with the breaking news. As I read the tweet out loud, I glanced up at the clock. It read 9:28 pm.

“Osama bin Laden was killed,” I said.

My partner and I held hands and both rejoiced at the news. I immediately thought of my former co-worker and dear friend Michelle, who lost her fiancé on 9/11. I was flooded with all the memories she shared with me about what a wonderful guy he was. It still feels like yesterday that my father woke me up and shouted that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. As I sat there in the passenger seat last Sunday, I began to feel overwhelmed with a series of mixed emotions; happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and biggest of all, confusion. “Why did it take nearly 10 years to catch and kill this guy,” I thought.

When I got home, I took to my Tweetdeck and read through all of my go-to’s: @breakingnews, @nytimes, @producermatthew, and @cnn. I then clicked on YouTube to watch President Obama’s speech. After all the confirmation, I called my friend Michelle and we shared a good cry together. Just like 9/11, I knew this day would go down in history. I felt proud to be an American.