Monday, December 16, 2013

And the Winner Is...

After listening to each business pitch in our meetings over the past two weeks, I have come to the conclusion that Sabrina's website,, will be the most viable business. 

I think her pitch was one of the clearest, and she clearly outlined how she planned to create her website, what would be on it and how she would allocate her budget.

Additionally, I really do feel this website would fill the need she discussed; it is almost like having an encyclopedia on hand, but in the most basic, and easy to understand terms. As a journalist, I find we often need to know everything about anything, and a resource like this would make it easier to stay educated, informed and up to date, as certain issues (like Syria, for example) change daily. I think Sabrina’s website would serve as a great resource to all ages, and people of all educational backgrounds!

I would also like to give an honorable mention to Allie’s You Me and Brie website. As a cheese lover myself, I was totally immersed in what she proposed, especially the cheese of the month club. Her design was simplistic, but clean, and can appeal to just about anyone!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review on "Study Finds Lack of Balance, Diversity, Public at PBS NewsHour" (FAIR action alert, 10/4/06)

The study done on NewsHour is rough, but FAIR. (Get it?) 

The lack of diversity of guests on a show claiming to be "the mothership of balance," is quite hypocritical. Since NewsHour is PBS's flagship show, it definitely isn't a good look for PBS, whose "service" was critiqued for letting their alternative voice die and its obsession with commercialization. And that was five years before this study. 

With more females, more races and different political views, NewsHour, and shows like it could present a more balanced representation of the US. And by the decline in diverse ideas, NewsHour essentially violated PBS's editorial guidelines to "emphasize that 'the surest road to intellectual stagnation and social isolation is to stifle the expression of uncommon ideas.'"


Review on Jerold Starr's "Happy Birthday, Public Broadcasting!" (, 12/2/01)

It's a shame after 34 years of broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, commercialized when they were originally created "not to sell products," but to "enhance citizenship and public service." Jerold Starr thinks programming has come up short on PBS; now "how-to" shows reign over the channel, taking away from more educational shows which could teach "how to dissect propaganda, evaluate policies, share their opinions with each other, and defend the public interest." 

While those type of shows are great for some, I think PBS had to do what they had to do to make money, which is just what it comes down to these days. Now, 12 years later, I'm not quite sure how PBS stands, but I feel like they could (if they haven't already) bring those kinds of shows back, and cut down on certain advertisements (like ones for fast food). So, sure, PBS isn't what it used to be, but neither are a lot of things nowadays. Except for the BBC, I suppose...

Starr has a lot of good arguments and proposals on how to bring PBS back to life, and I'm not sure what he believes now, but hopefully PBS is back from the dead.

Review on Adam Westbrook's "Thinking of a journalism start-up? Here's a checklist" (11/5/09)

"People don't buy iPhones because Steve Jobs needs to eat. They buy them because they are an innovative project which satisfies a demand people are willing to pay for," says Adam Westbrook in his journalism start-up blog post.

This is what everyone should keep in mind when establishing a start-up. If you have a great idea, don't be afraid to develop it! I think Westbrook's list brings up a lot of good points, which starts by asking, "Is it a new idea?" Well, if you're planning on starting a search-engine website, I'd say you'll never beat Google unless your algorithm is lightyears ahead of Google- which it most likely won't be. The next big aspect is obviously money. 

However, the most important aspect for a start-up, in my opinion, is to have a base of customers or supporters to get you started. If you don't have that base to begin with, people who will contribute to your first earnings and hype up your product, it will be increasingly difficult to start your start-up. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review on "FCC Approves Flawed Net Neutrality Rule" (American Civil Liberties Union Release, 12/21/10)

Continuing my thoughts on my last blog post, thankfully, the FCC approved a net neutrality rule. Unfortunately, it wasn't all too helpful.
"The rule approved today by the FCC includes full network neutrality protections for the wired Internet, which includes cable and DSL service to homes and businesses, but provides lesser protections for wireless broadband service and may allow wireless broadband providers to block certain applications and services that compete with their own applications and services."
Why are wireless Internet users getting the freeze out? While this puts people with wired Internet services leaps and bounds ahead, wireless users are getting jipped by this rule.

According to a New York Times article, though, "nearly 98 percent of American homes now have access to some form of high-speed broadband, but " roughly 20 percent of American adults who do not use the Internet at home, work and school, or by mobile device, a figure essentially unchanged since Barack Obama took office as president in 2009 and initiated a $7 billion effort to expand access, chiefly through grants to build wired and wireless systems in neglected areas of the country."

Many people still don't have Internet, or use it. There are of course more traditional ways to stay informed or learn new things, but the vastness and convenience of the Internet today almost can't compare to going to your local library or reading your subscription to The New York Times

Review on "After Google-Verizon fizzle, FCC should force Net neutrality" (Boston Globe editorial, 8/17/10)

If only certain websites were available, or more quickly available to anyone with an Internet connection, what would happen to the world? Well, a lot of points of view wouldn't be heard. The concept of net neutrality would help all websites be able to gain equal traffic.

This Google and Verizon story is very fishy with all of its loopholes. When you say there should be a difference between wireless and wired broadband, it's creating a huge problem. I have no idea how many people have wired vs. wireless Internet, but I feel like a majority of us often connect to wireless Internet more often than wired, in the age of "Free Wi-Fi" and smart phones.

What Verizon proposed to do definitely inhibits a lot of Internet access in terms of video streaming websites. Without the FCC's help in regulating net neutrality, it would leave "American Internet users without a federal agency keeping their service providers honest."

Review on Christian Coalition of America's Position on Net Neutrality

I find it kind of strange the Christian Coalition of America, a religious group, stands for net neutrality. For a religious group to support to "maintain a free, open and vibrant Internet," I find it strange because aren't there A LOT of things on the Internet their religion may not support?

Well, the reasoning behind it makes sense. It all comes down to money, because, "consumers could possibly have to pay additional fees to have and maintain websites. The cable/telephone monopoly will then divide the Internet into a 'fast track' and 'slow track' for speed of service."

And after the money aspect of it, that "slow track" could affect organizations like the CCA, as their website may load slower than others, leaving people to pass it by because it didn't load fast enough. 

That's a great reason for the CCA, or any other organization, to support net neutrality. What would happen if half of today's websites were not viewable to the public?