This post will be a little different than usual. I will be talking about a response to reading a chapter from a book by Rettberg called “Citizen Journalists?” and after watching few videos on journalism, which were “the Future of Journalism: Tom Rosenstiel at TEDxAtlanta,” “BuzzFeed creator Jonah Peretti on the Colbert Report,” and “BBC: What will news look like in 10 years?” and some Super Bowl commercials.
Journalism has made us to be informed about what is going on in the world; it has made us to be on top of things since media have arrived. On the other hand, bloggers have also been giving us information these days and not just the professional journalists. In addition, advertisements have changed. Super Bowl commercials made people’s hearts melt and made connections with the audience, which hooked their attention.
At the end of each section, I would like to answer some questions that stood up in the class discussion.
First, I would like to talk about the reading. It said that “most bloggers do not think of themselves as journalists.” I understand where they are coming from; I used to do a blog once and I didn’t think I was a journalist. I was just writing things because I wanted to do it and because I wanted everyone to see what I wrote. It was just my hobby at the time. At the time, blogging was popular around my group of friends.
Moreover, even though most bloggers think they are not journalists, we can get some new information on current events through blogs because blogs can be updated by anyone, anytime. Sometimes bloggers post about an event faster than a journalist can because they were there at the moment. For example, the chapter talked about a person, ntcoolfool, posting about what was happening at the incident at Virginia Tech. Then the journalists contacted him to get some information.
Furthermore, we can see many perspectives of the same current event with blogging. An example that the chapter gave was the Iraq War. It talked about what a blogger named Salam Pax wrote and what an American soldier who was in the war, Lieutenant Smash, wrote. Both of them wrote about the war but their blogs were different because their perspectives were different. I think this is interesting for the reader to see because they can see different sides of the same thing, whereas in journalism, only one side can be seen. The chapter said, “such diaries have often been seen as very important documents in our understanding of wars.”
At the same time, blogging is instant so people can be notified in what is happening somewhere in a second. For journalism, we would have to wait until they are published or until they are on air.
① Question: Data is important; how it is presented is more important. How do they use the data? Is the old way irrelevant?
Answer: How it is presented is important because that depends on whether or not it would get audience’s attention. Even though the old way is diminishing, I do not think it is irrelevant. Because of the old way, we became better and more efficient at delivering data. If the old way did not exist, then who knows where we could be right now.
Next, I would like to talk about the videos that we watched in class. Technology is changing everyday, and that means that we have to adapt to that change into our daily lives. In the old system, we had to go home on time to watch the news on a television —we had to adapt to find out the news. However, today, “news media have to adapt what they do to fit out behavior”: news is more convenient because we can look up information whenever we want to with our digital devices. Because of this, we can satisfy our wants. Tom Rosenstiel said that 25% read more news and 32% get more news than ever before because of mobile devices. Some people are worried about how new devices are ruining the old way but I don’t think that is true. They might be disappearing but isn’t the goal of mass media to get people to know what is happening globally and/or nationally? If digital devices are making us read more and know more about the news, I don’t see any problem. Advancing technology is a good thing; it makes us more knowledgeable.
② Question: What is more important these days: to be entertained or to be informed? What do people gravitate towards?
Answer: I think to be entertained and to be informed are both important. Obviously people would want to be informed about current events but they also want to be entertained. If they are not entertained, then I feel like ideas will not be born. People balance both of them out.
③ Question: Is BuzzFeed helping or hurting news?
Answer: In my opinion, BuzzFeed is helping news. Although BuzzFeed can be irrelevant to what is going on in the news sometimes, they can also be about the news. BuzzFeed makes it easier to read because of how it is formatted. Also, it can entertain people and make them know what is happening at the same time, which grabs people’s attention the entire time.
Super Bowl Commercials
Lastly, people look forward for Super Bowl but they also look forward to Super Bowl commercials in addition to that. Some people watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials. This year, a 30-second commercial cost about $4 million. Therefore, advertisers had to make those commercials very special and try to create one that will get people’s attention. I thought most of the commercials were heart-melting commercials and they made you feel an emotion; they made us go “awe.” They also made commercials that were unique, stand out. They tried to make connections with the audience by storytelling: “shared human experience that is knowable and therefore reproducible.” For example, the Budweiser commercial with the puppy made us replace the puppy with our own dogs; we were able to connect our lives into the commercial. They wanted us be in their perspectives and they did for sure. Also, they used a puppy because almost everyone loves puppies; it was their intention to use a puppy to get audience’s attention.
④ Question: How do companies benefit if they do not show their products on the commercial?
Answer: Although some companies didn’t show their products at all, they still got their names out with grabbing people’s attention into watching their commercials. After watching a good commercial, people would want to know which company made it. Therefore, even though they didn’t show their products, it was still benefiting them.
⑤ Question: How long would we have to adapt? Will there ever be a time where we stop adapting?
Answer: I think adapting will never stop. We are always coming up with new ideas and technology; we are always thinking about innovating something. Therefore, adapting will keep happening to make our lives better. An example of an adapting commercial was the BMW‘s commercial.