Archive for the ‘Week #5’ Category

Journalism + Social Media = 2011

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Week #5

The modern day “journalist” could easily be classified as anyone with a cell phone and a Twitter account, anyone with a laptop and a blog, or someone with both. Social media has created a fine line between journalist and commentator, but in today’s “news” realm, they go hand in hand. To be a successful journalist, paid or unpaid, means your work is fully integrated in the social media network. The new age of journalism is upon us.

The current state of corporate news is changing. From Fox News to CNN, big publications have taken advantage of social media and are using that platform to cover breaking news stories and spread the word. It’s no longer just about broadcasting the news in one-hour formats on television. The key to making the news popular with its readers and worthy of high paying advertisements, is through social media.

What better way for a journalist to build a portfolio than to start a blog, then promote the work using Facebook and Twitter. Journalists have the opportunity to take micro-blogging with them on-the-go with Twitter, and release information while on the field. They can build a following with Facebook, connecting people with the journalist on a more personal level. Let’s face it, we all have our favorite journalist “personalities.” The potential is endless and the power profound.

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Can You Live Without Social Media?

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Week #5

As technology progresses and devices get smaller and faster, the media-sphere continues to grow. With a single piece of hardware small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, we can connect to a global interface. Accessing social media is uniting cities, countries, and continents, and in a matter of minutes, revolutions are organized, protested, and won. In the U.S. our freedom is guaranteed from birth, but in many countries around the world facing a repressive regime and censorship, the right to stay connected isn’t a given. As seen in Egypt, social media is the new power tool in the sky. Social media has the potential to fix what is broken and overturn corruption, therefore we cannot live without it.

There’s no doubt that the average age that a child will first use a computer is getting younger and younger. Are moms preparing children for social media when they’re in the womb? Imagine an infant playing with mommy’s iPhone. Now imagine that same child, now two years old, fully capable of swiping the iPhone home screen and opening his or her favorite app. By the age of ten, that child is surfing the internet and perfecting their computer skills. By the time adolescence sets in, Facebook and Twitter calls as “everybody else is doing it so why can’t we” sets in. A new form of pier pressure forms online, as digital culture now defines them as individuals. With media literacy comes more knowledge than ever before for these teens, and as they engage in social media, they have the power to determine what kind of future they want for themselves. Therefore, they cannot live without it.

The power of social media holds the key for one generation to make change for the next. With change comes progress, and we hold both in the palm of our hands in the form of a laptop, cell phone, tablet device, and the countless new pieces of technology that will be released in coming months and years. Regardless of what you use to access the many facets of social media, the power it holds is here to stay. Can we live without it? I invite anyone to try living without it to see what happens. You may not be connected to the social network, but you’ll still have to weed through other forms of media that knock at our door, consume our every street corner, and cover our cultural landscape.

After the Grief: A Social Media Journey

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Week #5

As my 29th birthday approaches, I find myself looking back at my 20’s, rummaging through a slew of minor accomplishments and one rather large one: writing, recording, and releasing my first EP, 21 Grief Street. Very few know that if it wasn’t for social media and my love for social networking, the album would not exist today.

Back in 2006, I contacted one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Beth Hirsch, via her Myspace music page. I basically sent her one of those cheesy fan letters thanking her for being my idol, explaining how her music had helped me through bad times, and how she inspired me to pick up my guitar after a three year absence from songwriting. We soon developed a close online relationship that lead to me asking if she could recommend someone to help me record my album. Not only did she introduce me to virtuoso musician, Bernie Larsen, who would later produce 21, but she also ended up singing a duet with me on the album. Released in 2009, 21 Grief Street was my sonic autobiography; a love letter to South Bay, Los Angeles.  Although our friendship has since deteriorated, I will always have a special place in my heart for Beth, and let’s not forget that without Myspace none of it would have been possible.

Once again I’ve put down the guitar, only this time it’s only temporary. I am currently a full time student at BCC/Laney finishing up my generals and planning to transfer to Cal with a major in Film Studies (my other passion). I enrolled in ‘Social Media for Journalists’ because I have experienced the power of social media firsthand, and I feel that in order to keep myself on the pulse of its eccentricities, I must nourish my skill set to further understand our current Web 2.0 online world.