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?

Review on Sam Gustin's "American broadband infrastructure: A national embarrassment" (, 8/26/09)

When I first read this article, I thought to myself, "Wow, if you just changed 'U.S.' to Ithaca College, or more specifically, the Roy H. Park School of Communications, referring to the broadband, or Internet service..."

MINI RANT: We're a COMMUNICATIONS SCHOOL and we can't get good INTERNET service? Almost everything I do for classes, clubs, etc relies on a good Internet connection. This website gives the rankings of how bad it is. I've literally left the building because the lack of Internet service prohibits me from doing homework.

But to solve our problem, we need to solve the larger problem at hand, which is the U.S. broadband service. Now, this article was written in 2009, and I'm not sure what the progress is on Obama's spending plan for broadband is. But at the pace we're going, "the U.S. won't catch up to South Korea -- the nation with the fastest broadband speed, at 20.4 mbps -- for 15 years." WHAT!

Review on Jeff Jarvis's "Entrepreneurial lessons" (, 12/10/07)

Reading Jeff Jarvis's Entrepreneurial Lessons is getting me excited to pitch my own independent media start-up in two weeks. Jarvis brings up good points about what to consider when pitching a start-up. The concept of the elevator pitch is really important. If you're not able to get your idea across in a short amount of time and leave with people fully understanding it, you need to rethink your approach.

Something else to keep in mind is competition, and even if you think your idea is brilliant and one-of-a-kind, it's probably been done before, or will be soon after your company launches. Standing out is important, which brings me to my next point. If you're going to launch a website, it better be a good one; clear, easy to navigate, fun and different than what's already out there. For example, if you're launching a news website, how will it be different than Huffington Post or CNN?

A marketing and advertising plan is important, though most will probably have no experience with formulating one. I think Step #1 would probably be to hire a marketing/advertising expert.

Jarvis said, "Journalists entrepreneurship is not an oxymoron." Funny, but I suppose the evidence is right in front of us, with many independent bloggers who have become successful, and in some cases, mainstream.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Review on Zachary Tomanelli's "Sherrod Hoax Exposed, but Breitbart's ACORN Fraud Lives On" (FAIR, 7/23/10)

Ah, the wonders of video editing. After reading this blog post and watching Rachel Maddow's explanation of the whole hoax, it's crazy people can get away with stuff like this so easily.

Maddow did a great job showing viewers the subtle details in the video that proved it was a hoax, in addition to revealing the entire unedited version.

However, other media persons were not so quick to doubt the truthfulness of this video. As Tomanelli points out, Associated Press and Slate believed and praised Andrew Breitbart's big scoop on ACORN.  (The Associated Press link is no longer available.)

It's not to say journalists should be skeptical of every story they read, video they watch or audio clip they hear, but at the same time, always be skeptical, because if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review on George Curry's "Shirley Sherrod: Anatomy of a Smear Campaign" (, 8/2/10)

This whole story aggravates me. I tried to watch this "video proof," but I'm not sure I know that the video has been edited. I was looking for that jump cut or obvious cross fade...but I didn't see it. I suppose I now know why it was so easy for media outlets to believe it, but that's the thing- if it's easy to believe, or "too good to be true," it probably isn't. However, it was true that Sherrod said everything she said, Breitbart just selectively edited Sherrod's speech and showed us something taken extremelt out of context.

The way the story spun out of control reminds me of when Joe Paterno's death was reported too early. He died, then he wasn't dead (just kidding!), and then he later died. The media spun out of control, reporting the wrong facts, tweeting them out, deleting and later apologizing.

What this should teach us as journalists is that fact-checking and sourcing is of the upmost importance. If there is no source for the information you're getting, you can't be quick to believe it. If there's no source to back the source you're getting the information from, you still can't believe it. Don't just run something to get good ratings or get the story first, run it because you know it's factually sound and ready for the public to consume.

Review on Sidney Blumenthal's "Why Kerry should sue the Sun" (The Guardian, 2/18/04)

And this is why I've never seriously read the Drudge Report and never will:
"'Screw journalism! The whole thing's a fraud anyway,' Drudge once proclaimed. Though he calls himself an "information anarchist", he is anything but independent. He is a reliable submissive to his partisan "sources". One independent study of his "exclusive" stories determined that only one-third were true. His latest "intern" revelation is the sound of his master's voice at the beginning of a campaign Republicans fear losing."
How do people still read The Drudge Report if the above is true? I guess for the same reason that people pick up the tabloids you see as you're waiting in line at the grocery store.

Since there's an abundance of evidence proving Matt Drudge's "exclusive" report false, I wonder if people will believe this story about John Kerry if they stumbled upon it today, or a few years ago. Even more interesting, I'm shocked (sort of) this story made it out of the US and over to London. Since spending last semester in London, I know that The Sun is one of those grocery store tabloids not to be trusted. So why should people believe it?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review on "Should journalists be truth vigilantes? Hell, yeah!"

I'm not quite sure if the link to the story we were supposed to read exists anymore, but I was directed here when I typed it in.

Obviously, journalists should report the truth, but this article kind of confuses me. Yeah, we should find the truth...isn't that what we're doing already?

I suppose what this blogger means is we shouldn't just report the news because we hear it. We should challenge what we think is the truth, and seek that it is  in fact the truth. Like the saying, "Don't trust anyone," I suppose, is a good one to follow if you're a journalist. 

I also agree we shouldn't "make nice" with our sources, but only to some extent. We need the information for a reason, and I never want to burn any bridges to inhibit my access to information. Yes, we have to be pushy, but as polite as possible until it's absolutely necessary to be less than polite. We should fight for the truth, but we also shouldn't fight too hard. 

Review on Matt Drudge's "World Exclusive: Woman Names Bill Clinton Father of Son in Shocking Video Confession" (DrudgeReport, 1/6/99)

So I couldn't actually view this video, but I was able to read the transcript. Just reading it, the story sounds outrageous. What happened to this story? I looked it up...can't find anything. All the stories I did find don't have any links or appears to be a hoax. Also, the fact I've only just heard of this scandal makes me all the more skeptical. The things I did find regarding this "story," were conspiracy websites and gossip stories, comparing Bill Clinton side by side with Danny Williams...sorry, they don't look anything alike.

I'm not sure where this whole story came from, but this doesn't seem sincere, especially when Drudge says, "What becomes immediately obvious to the viewer watching the videotaped confession is that this is clearly not gossip, rumor or anonymous charges being maliciously directed at a politician....And there is something sad and lonely about the woman's story the way she tells it." 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review on Alex Koppelman's "Vanity Fair piece about Bill Clinton controversy" (Salon, 6/3/08)

Alex Koppelman of Salon provided great insight regarding the Bill Clinton controversy and Vanity Fair piece. He's right that Fowler's ethics are questionable. She didn't identify herself as a reporter, and she also slammed the Vanity Fair writer as having done a "hatchet" job. I agree though, that if she had identified herself as a blogger for OffTheBus, Clinton probably wouldn't have answered. And I don't think that would have worked anyway with the way she went about getting Clinton's attention. In the heat of the moment, I don't know if either Fowler or Clinton realized Fowler was a reporter, let alone a blogger. Fowler was just a normal citizen, making a statement.

Any other journalist would never bash another reporter's work to preface a question. Well, hopefully. But Fowler isn't a traditional journalist; she continues to push the boundaries with Huffington Post as a "citizen journalist." Can she be trusted? Well, I suppose we'll have to hear her tape recorder to know for sure.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review on Mayhill Fowler's "Bill Clinton: Purdum a "Sleazy" "Slimy" "Scumbag" (The Huffington Post, 6/2/08)

I'm glad I read the LA Times articles about Mayhill Fowler before I read Mayhill Fowler's article. While the audio of Bill Clinton has since been removed, the text is largely still there.

Fowler provides great narrative imagery, but her article lacks substance. More than 50 percent of the text are quotes from Clinton. While I suppose that's the point, and not much more necessarily needs to be said, the quotes are too lengthy. She may has well have just provided the transcript of her audio and given a brief background paragraph.

The other thing is, reading this article many years later, I had no idea why the Vanity Fair article was such a big deal. That information should have been provided closer to the top.

I don't want to totally bash this article, because even though I'm a senior Journalism major, I still have a lot of work to do in the writing department. Fowler did a good job at getting the facts out she thought were important, and the public were informed. Job complete.

Review on James Rainey's "How Mayhill Fowler got online scoops on Obama and Bill Clinton" (LA Times, 6/7/08)

It baffles me; yet again, Mayhill Fowler got a great scoop, though she is "a self-described 'failed writer' and amateur Web journalist."Indeed, "an unpublished novelist 'with absolutely no journalism training' can alter the national debate."

Fowler attributes her successful scoops to dropping the 'journalist' from citizen journalist. I have to say, Fowler is bold. She doesn't care about thousands of angry emails, because she has nothing to lose. And while Fowler definitely acted as an ordinary, American citizen when talking to candidates like Bill Clinton, the way in which she made the effort to break the story and let the public know what candidates like Clinton are really like, is what makes her a journalist. 

Review on James Rainey's "'Citizen journalist' broke Obama story" (LA Times, 4/15/08)

The Huffington Post, and other websites alike, are a great outlet for bloggers and citizen journalists with big stories to get noticed. Mayhill Fowler did exactly that. While her ethics are shaky, she found a great story and did what she thought she had to do as a journalist.

Since The Huffington Post is one of the most visited websites, Fowler's story got picked up, and support for President Obama went down (to some extent). However, Fowler didn't gain that much support either. She was challenged as a real journalist, and her ethics in reporting were put into question. Was it ok that she went to Obama's event that was deemed "closed" to mainstream journalists, but then wrote about it as a "citizen journalist?" Maybe if she had posted it to her own blog, and then it was picked up, but even I am questioning if what she did is right or wrong.

Either way, Fowler uncovered an important story that mainstream journalists would not have otherwise covered. And maybe that's why her ethics don't matter, because she technically was not employed as a journalist, anyway.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Update...

So if you're a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed it looks a bit different. Starting today, this blog was approved for Google AdSense. Leading up to the days of my independent media class project, I'm doing a little experiment to see how much Google AdSense really contributes to a blog or blogger's income.

So what did I have to do to get Google AdSense? Easy if you have a blogger/gmail account. All you do on Blogger is go to your dashboard, click earnings and connect Google AdSense. You click which Google account you want to select (if you have more than one), as well as which blog URL you want the ads to appear on. Once you've been approved, you'll get an email and you can choose if you want ads to appear in your sidebar, below posts or both. Right now, it's both. The ads seems slightly relevant to my blog; I keep seeing ads for Columbia Journalism School, so we're on the right track.

Another thing to note, if you track your page views and where they come from, it really is interesting to note everyday and then track how much you're making on AdSense. If I had been approved yesterday, when for some reason I got 97 page views in a few hours from Malaysia, I would be making a lot of money already...maybe.

If you think the ads are distracting, want to know more, etc, feel free to comment below! I'll be posting updates on how this is working in the upcoming weeks.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review on David Carr's "Journalism, Even When It’s Tilted" (New York Times, 6/30/13)

The line between journalism and activism is a thin one.
“We are beginning to realize that journalists come in a variety of shapes and sizes and come with a variety of commitments,” said Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University.
Rosen goes on to say that just because someone is an activist, it does not mean they are not a journalist. Agreed. Glen Greenwald, for example, has reported some of the strongest journalism and broken some big stories, but just because he advocates for certain things, does that make him any less a journalist, or credible? No.

Greenwald is an example of a reporter who, while an 'activist,' reports the facts "and is extremely careful about getting it right."

It is a journalist's job to report the truth, but according to Carr, "activism — which is admittedly accompanied by the kind of determination that can prompt discovery — can also impair vision. If an agenda is in play and momentum is at work, cracks may go unexplored."

Review on Jeff Cohen's "Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?" (Huffington Post, 6/26/13)

This article is absolutely right that mainstream news coverage is taking the government's side, rather than discussing the issue itself. The NSA 'scandal' is a good example. By calling it a scandal, that's already taking the side of the US government. The public should have the right to know this is happening, but has any coverage expressed that what Snowden did was a  good thing? I'm not sure, but I'd guess probably not, or not as much as they should be. And if they did, that would be a good start at trying to be 'objective.'

However, older reporters may not have the same views as younger ones. And "adversarial journalists" are not something that more traditional journalists may understand. When Andrew Ross Sorkin said he thought blogger, Glen Greenwald should be arrested on live TV, wasn't that advocating as well?

I'll say that the line between advocacy and journalism is a thin one, but as long as you're reporting the facts, I think it's acceptable.

Review on "Transparency is the new objectivity" (, 7/19/09)

I completely agree with the first paragraph of this blog. Objectivity is something that when I came into school as a freshman, thought was just what journalists always practiced, kind of like their own journalism religion. Well, now I'm a senior and I've seen how hard it is to stay objective. How can we be, when we already have our own set of ideologies, whether we like it or not? No one is really a blank slate, unless, I suppose, they've never set foot outside, turned on a TV, surfed the Internet or read a newspaper.

While I am still more likely to trust a newspaper before some blogger on the Internet, you can't always be so sure. That's why transparency can be better. But then, wouldn't that just mean you're writing an op-ed? Where is the line between fact and opinion? 

"Objectivity without transparency increasingly will look like arrogance. And then foolishness. Why should we trust what one person — with the best of intentions — insists is true when we instead could have a web of evidence, ideas, and argument?"

Why should I even trust this blogger?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review on Will Bunch's "A Landmark for Bloggers -- and the Future of Journalism" (AlterNet, 2/20/08)

Josh Marshall's Polk Award win was monumental for bloggers.

Marshall's win was thanks to his model of Talking Points Memo, and tells us why blogging is important for the following reasons:

1.) The idea of cooperation rather than competition and how important that has been for indy media bloggers for the past few years. For example, there was a Washington Post story about veteran mistreatment after returning home from war, but it wasn't mentioned in other big outlets for more than a week.

2.) Crowd-sourcing, distributive reporting. For Marshall and Talking Points Memo, "coverage of the U.S. attorney firings on TPM was propelled by tips from readers, some of them emailed to the bloggers and some posted as comments on TPM sites."

3.) Incremental blogging- when blogs dig up new tidbits they can report it, but bigger outlets don't utilize these as easily. The "nuggets are ideal for a blog, which is the perfect format for a steady flow of information 24/7, so to speak."

This win shows us how and why (in some cases) blogging is still solid journalism, and how sometimes, it's even better than what mainstream news is producing. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review on Brian Stelter's "YouTube Videos Pull In Real Money" (NY Times, 12/10/08)

Before YouTube, home videos were simply for preserving memories for a small group of people, maybe just limited to family. Now, 'home videos' are being made to make money, entertain millions and to have the satisfaction of "going viral." 

Michael Buckley's job sounds like the dream; he's self-taught, self-employed, makes at least $100,000 from YouTube advertisements- hopefully more than enough to help him escape his previous credit-card debt. However, it took him a while to get there. 

I had no idea that only 3 percent of of the videos are supported by advertising, as it seems like every time I try and watch something on YouTube, there's a 30-second mandatory ad, or an ad that I can skip after five seconds.

The truth is, "Everybody’s fighting to be seen online; you have to strategize and market yourself.”

And similar to first-time bloggers who have realized they can gain revenue from something they started for fun, Buckley said, "I didn’t start it to make money, but what a lovely surprise.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review on "Google bows to China's censorship demands" (The Sydney Morning Herald, 7/21/10)

What's the use of Google in China if users can't search and find everything they ought to be able to see?  Well, I'm not sure of what other search engines are available in China, and if they are as good as Google, so that's somewhere to start. 

When Google was banned in China for directing them to a mainland site in Hong Kong that was unfiltered, they only came back four months later, agreeing to all of China's demands. Google had promised to abide by the Chinese government, as well as "avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability."

As I suspected, Google doesn't make nearly as much money in China as it does in other countries. The Chinese market accounts for "an estimated $US250 million to $US600 million of Google's projected $US28 billion in revenue this year." However, it is feasible that without "the China platform," Google would not be able "to profit from the expected future growth of the market." 

Review on Jane Macartney's "Dissident Chinese professor to sue Yahoo! and Google for erasing his name" (London Times, 2/6/08)

It's not really a surprise that certain things won't appears in search results on the Internet in China. However, it is surprising that it was the United States that blocked Guo Quan's name from Yahoo! and Google in China.

However, Google and Yahoo! aren't just doing this for no reason. Google stated that they were in compliance with Chinese law. And since Google or Yahoo! don't have a legal identity in China, Quan went to sue the "parent company" in the United States. Makes sense.

Either way, Quan is going against the Chinese government and does not seem to stand a chance in the near future, and I'm not sure what happened since this article.

Quan states one thing as his mission: “Through this I hope that the world will become more concerned to resolve human rights issues in China. The freedom of the internet should be realised all over the world.”

While the freedom of the Internet worldwide may never happen, human rights issues in China is a good place for Quan to start. 

Review on Michael Park's "Journalist Who Exposes U.N. Corruption Disappears From Google" (Fox News, 2/18/08)

"I think they said, 'If we can't get this guy out of the U.N., let's disappear him from the Internet,'" Lee said.

That's a good way of putting it. Matthew Lee's articles from his news blog Inner City Press, were banned from Google News after he suspects someone from the United Nations Development Programme spoke to Google about him. Lee's letter from Google News said they could no longer include his blog in their listing as it would not ensure a high quality experience for their users. 

Lee's blog became an outlet for whistleblowers inside the U.N., and on multiple occasions, exposed abuses and lack of concern for global issues like poverty. 

While Lee may or may not have violated Google News's terms for what constitutes a true news organization (i.e. having more than one employee), that doesn't discredit all of his reporting. While his website appears on Google News today, it is concerning that it took "several weeks" for Google to resolve the issue and that the U.N. may or may not have gone to many lengths to cover him up. 

Review on "Big Brother Is Blocking" (The St. Louis Dispatch, 1/23/08)

The idea of "Big Brother" always watching you is one that creeps me out. It's almost as if anything you say, do, speak or read via modern technology will come with 'someone' watching over your shoulder. 

Verizon's incident with blocking the pro-abortion group NARAL's subscription service text message is all too telling of this "Big Brother" phenomenon. While it's good that phone companies block spam texts, this service was one that people definitely had to go the extra step to sign up for.  
"Verizon cited its policy against services that 'promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.' This is the phone company acting as your mother."
 While abortion is always a hot topic for politics and elections, if phone companies like Verizon have a say in it, where does it end?

Similarly, but less politically motivated, Comcast was found to block access for file-sharing software like BitTorrent. Internet service providers companies like Comcast suggest that softwares like BitTorrent will slow bandwidth, or Internet service for customers. While using software like this isn't like exercising the right to freedom of speech, it's not illegal, and ISP's shouldn't be blocking them.

The article ends as such: "The commission [FCC] should make it clear that the information superhighway is not a tollway."


Review on Paul Harris's "Arianna Huffington's AOL deal sparks accusations of a political sell-out" (The Observer, 2/27/11)

I just don't get why Arianna Huffington would sell out to AOL, of all the companies, and lose control over The Huffington Post. As a result, she's been called a "political sellout and someone who made a personal fortune from the labour of thousands of bloggers who write for no pay." She's already rich enough! Why does she need more from the AOL deal? If anything, I would assume her reasoning for doing the deal would be to pay contributors, but since that hasn't happened, she's just collecting profit after profit. One blogger's comment, "Arianna not only sold her soul as well as her ship of slaves, but sowed the seeds of her demise with this act of greed and exploitation." Ok, a bit dramatic, but I get their point. Freelance writers or bloggers like this one hold the most anger, but for a very good reason. Many of them are trying to do exactly what she has (before selling out to AOL), but since they don't have the name or status, simply can't do it, or at least as easily as she has. 

Review on Mike Allen's "Hartford Courant Buys 5 Weeklies, Tabloid Offspring Of 60's Voices" (4/15/99)

I had no idea that this happened. Who would have ever thought that a very well to do daily newspaper like the Hartford Courant would buy out five alternative weeklies? This move definitely represents "a novel extension of the control over local voices enjoyed by publishers in one-newspaper cities." 

I'm not surprised that "some readers reacted with alarm to The Courant, seen as reliable but bland, adopting the lively Advocate chain. The local arts community treated today's announcement like a death in the family."

Either way, I'm glad the publications remained separate, and that The Courant's publisher believed that the alternative press would "play an important role in keeping all media, including The Courant, on its toes." I don't think the publications that were bought would have agreed to it any other way. 

Review on "Don't stamp out brainy mags" (Boston Globe editorial, 4/27/07)

It's no wonder no one subscribes to magazines or newspapers anymore- it's too expensive! By the United States Postal Service's "rate shock," small magazines like The Nation is almost a death sentence. Price protection for publications like this are crucial, as they "add politically and socially diverse voices to the public arena." And as The Nation's president said, mailing out subscriptions plays a huge part in how small magazines like them make their money. Though they still publish online, that is merely supplemental to their published print edition. The USPS's move essentially did suppress the freedom of information, as many people won't pay in the first place, and definitely won't pay for more. I agree that we need a better system that will allows our country to gain access to as much information as they can, and at a good price.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review on Sarah Lazare's "Senator's Attempt to Define 'Real Journalism' Blasted By Journalists" (Common Dreams, 8/2/13)

Real journalists? Yikes! When Senator Diane Feinstein said that Wikileaks employees and nonsalaried reporters "don't count" under a bill protecting reporters and their sources, it really hit journalists hard.
"The 'shield law' under debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee would protect journalists and their confidential sources from court orders and subpoenas."
Language is very tricky, and Senator Charles Schumer was sure to explain:
"The world has changed. We’re very careful in this bill to distinguish journalists from those who shouldn’t be protected, WikiLeaks and all those, and we’ve ensured that," said Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y). "But there are people who write and do real journalism, in different ways than we’re used to. They should not be excluded from this bill."
In an age where journalism jobs, or paid jobs in general are harder to find, journalists nationwide are angry at this new bill, and for very good reason. Unpaid reporters, or independent journalism is more popular than ever, and sometimes break major stories before mainstream news does, and as Lazare says, "plays a key role in exposing the truth and holding power accountable."

Review on Yuxing Zheng's "Bloggers might be excluded from Oregon's executive sessions" (Oregonian, 10/4/08)

Are bloggers members of the media? This is what one political blogger in Oregon put into question after being denied from sitting in on a City Council meeting. 

I agree that trying to define the media when it comes to non-mainstream outlets is tricky. With today's modern technology, can't we all be considered bloggers? Where does the line between blogger and journalist stop? And what's the difference between blogger and citizen journalist? Is there a difference?

Judson Randall, president of Open Oregon, brings up other important questions: 
"Who defines news?" he asked. "If somebody writes a column, is that news? Is there information in there that is newsworthy you wouldn't consider news? There's all kinds of shades in there. If I were a city council, I wouldn't want to be in a position to decide that."
But something very important to note is,
"State legislators who devised the statute in the 1970s never anticipated the Internet and its empowerment of individuals to blog or disseminate news from their personal keyboards." 
 A simple solution would be to create an amendment that would clarify the older language used in the 1970s, like we have throughout history by adding amendments to the Constitution.

Taking a look at

Legal insurrection is defined as "a rising up against established authority; rebellion; revolt" or "in conformity with or permitted by law," by

LI has been around for five years this October, and has since expanded to other blogs like College Insurrection. Taking a look at some of the posts, it is very obvious that this is a conservative political blog in nature. 

The top post this morning is "His voracious reading habit is historic" A tweet from LI simply said, "Barf" in response to an article about President Obama's readings habits and favorite columnists. LI got a tweet back from their College Insurrection blogger, Aleister, saying, "If Obama has a 'voracious' reading habit, why didn't he know about all of his scandals? Oh right, he reads the NYTs."

Other posts are geared towards the Obama administration, specifically regarding 'Obamacare.' One post, "Losing your health plan was baked into Obamacare regs," is charged at how Obamacare is built on empty promises. Jacobson says, "Democrats are downplaying the disruption to 14 million people." He cites NBC News, saying they "republished the [Obamacare] story at a new url, and removed one key paragraph without explanation."

The move NBC made is overtly sketchy, and Jacobson was clearly not the only one to notice. The article removed about 80 words, but as of this morning, that paragraph has been restored. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review on "Nonprofit Journalism Comes at a Cost," Jack Shafer, Slate (9/30/2009)

ProPublica is a great example of how philanthropists have put faith in nonprofit journalism, and  However, there are some downsides to nonprofit journalism, just as there are with for profit journalism.
"For-profit newspapers lose money accidentally. Nonprofit news operations lose money deliberately. No matter how good the nonprofit operation is, it always ends up sustaining itself with handouts, and handouts come with conditions."
And with that, they face the same obstacles besides money.
"Just as commercially supported journalists often find themselves dispatched to investigate the owners' hobbyhorses, nonprofit newsers are frequently assigned to "chase after the idiosyncratic whims of funders." 
Historically, the longest running and most successful news outlets have been commercially owned and operated. However, commercial run news is almost always influenced by money, while nonprofit news is obviously not. The success of nonprofit news is measured "in terms of influence, not audience, because their customers are the donors who've donated cash to influence politics, promote justice, or otherwise build a better world."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review on "1,000 True Fans"

"A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce."

Having 1,000 true fans would prove to be quite successful as an upcoming journalists. And more than just 1,000 likes, follows or 'friends,' but actually people who are genuinely interested in seeing something I produce. However, converting those "lesser fans," into the 1,000 true seems almost more difficult than finding the 1,000 in the first place. 

When I read the section about those younger artists like me, though, I was more at ease. "You make a living instead of a fortune. You are surrounded not by fad and fashionable infatuation, but by True Fans. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there."

As one person, I would think maintaining 1,000 true fans would be difficult, but as a larger corporation, it seems much more easy. Either way, it's good to know that the "there is a place in the middle, that is not very far away from the tail, where you can at least make a living. That mid-way haven is called 1,000 True Fans. It is an alternate destination for an artist to aim for."

But then I saw that it actually is easier to get these fans as one person... There's lots to think about when you start producing a product that people are interested in and want to purchase, or want to follow. Now, with social media, there's no excuse not to have a hardcore fan base. 

I think that as an independent journalist, it's definitely something to consider if you're selling a product like your documentary on DVD and need to make up for production costs. But if you're simply just a journalist to help inform people, does it really matter? 

Review on "His Fans Greenlight the Project-Robert Greenwald Tapped a New Funding Source: The Audience" William Booth (Washington Post, 8/20/06)

"They got $267,892 in 10 days."

Wow. Jim Gilliam and Robert Greenwald must have a lot of people that like them enough to generate that kind of money...from the Internet!

Though the pair did generate larger donations, like $100,000 from an anonymous philanthropist and $82,000 from a medical equipment entrepreneur, "the rest, $185,000, came from 3,000 small donors giving an average of $62 each."

While the Internet has sometimes caused more problems than solved them, this is an instance where modern technology like the Internet is actually just a wonderful thing. Not everyone has Internet connections where they live, but most have access to it. And we're not just talking about the U.S., but on a much more global scale.

I'll admit, I don't think I've ever gone to see a documentary at a theater, or even bought one on DVD. However, once controversy ensues, I'd probably find a way to watch it if the topic interested me enough. The other thing about this is, while some people are totally against war, Iraq and a lot of political decisions, still, so many choose to stay in the dark about what's really going on. We've seen this so many times in history, whether it be Vietnam, the Holocaust, or 9/11, that people choose not to know, because they don't want to know how bad a situation truly is, or they even go as far to deny that certain events in history just never happened.

Anyway, I haven't seen Iraq for Sale, but it was uploaded to YouTube in 2010. The video has nearly 300,000 views, but that's 100x the amount of small donations that were given to create it! Baby steps.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review on John Tozzi's "Bloggers Bring in the Big Bucks" (Business Week, 7/13/07)

John Tozzi's Business Week article was enlightening, to say the least. It's crazy to think "a personal obsession can turn into a popular favorite and maybe even a full-time job." 

That's how the I Can Has Cheezburger meme and website started, anyway. However, it's maintained its success by allowing its readers to be involved. I suppose that's kind of how a lot of websites work- allowing readers to contribute or comment keeps them actively engaged in the website. At Ithaca College, a similar meme website (Facebook page) was set up, cleverly named Ithaca College Memes. Conveniently set up during midterms, the Facebook page's likes grew drastically, hundreds of contributions per day were being made and no studying was done. However, after a few weeks, the site died down, and hasn't been touched since 2012. 

Since Eric Nakagawa was smart, he knew he had to "constantly tweak the site to see what draws readers and what leaves them cold." Nakagawa also knew they had to "try to time their new posts with when people are most likely to be reading: in the mornings, on their lunch breaks, or in the evenings."

The slideshow we viewed in class shows more websites that I never knew about and how they got their start, or how successful they are now. Websites like Boing BoingKottke, or Gothamist are a few to mention. Gothamist in particular is part of a larger website community that expands to cities as far as London. Gothamist is specifically about all things New York City- politics, culture, news, food and more. It had immediate success that allowed its expansion. 

Many websites started from just personal obsessions or passions came out to be quite successful, and while some host many ads in order to maintain financial stability, others have just gained a following large enough to make them great on their own. 

Review on Josh Marshall's talk "The Growth of Talking Points Memo" (Sept. 2008)

Talking Points Memo was something quite successful to come out of the Florida recount situation in 2000. Josh Marshall's discussion about how TPM started brought up three good points.

The first point being that TPM relied heavily on the community in order to be successful. People donated money, which was obviously helpful, but more importantly, people contributed their own research to help TPM in what Marshall described as "collaborative journalism."

Second, Marshall pointed out that TPM raised $100,000 from fundraising, but not in large chunks of donations. These donations were small; $50 were maybe the largest amounts people were donating. This only goes to show that TPM received many donations in order to hire new, young journalists. In the age of pay walls on websites like The New York Times or Newsday, less and less people want to pay for news, but rather for the hiring of new journalists to report it. People want free news, but they don't believe in it enough.

Lastly, Marshall says, "The point at which we succeed, we also lose the story," meaning that when the independent journalists have gotten the mainstream media outlets to notice and the story gets too big, it's not their story anymore. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means it's harder for Marshall's two investigative reporters "to make much headway."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: "Breaking Through The Information Blockade" by Gene Hyde

Espresso and journalism. Sounds like a great (and pretty typical) combination to me. I can only imagine what it was like in 1999 to be a journalist, let alone a journalist with less than amazing Internet. The creation of the Independent Media Center, an online alternative to corporate media was how journalists before the millennium started "to break through the corporate information blockade that results from corporate control of news reporting." The rapid growth of these IMC's shows just how much media backlash there was (and still is). Now more than ever, reporting is highly corporatized and much journalism is profit-driven. It's good to hear that Indymedia "will continue to research their stories, cover issues aggressively, and take time to report on issues shunned by the mainstream press;" good journalism is not dead yet. 

Review: "Press Critic George Seldes Leaves a Legacy of Courage" by Jeff Cohen, Norman Solomon (7/12/95)

George Seldes is probably one of the coolest journalists to have ever lived, and not just because he lived for more than a century! He truly did leave a legacy of courage; his resume boasts impressive scoops, stories and coverage of things far beyond what any reporter in his day was doing. The fact that he so boldly wrote about historic figures like Lenin and Mussolini and "pulled no punches," is something that deserves a lot of recognition. If I were a journalist in that day (forgetting that I'm a woman), it would take a lot of guts to risk my life for reporting on such historic figures as Seldes did. I haven't received a death threat yet, but I suppose if I do, I know my journalism must be pretty good! (Jokes.) Seldes' blatant disregard for what people think is something that few journalists have these days. His way of reporting may not be the best way to go about it these days, but to some extent, would be refreshing. I think every journalist should bear Seldes' words in mind, that "uphill battles" are "intrinsic to doing good journalistic work." The average journalist may not face nearly as many as Seldes did, but it makes me think we should definitely complain a lot less about the minor setbacks that do come along. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Robert McChesney- Corporate Dominance of Media and the Internet (Q&A Session)

Robert McChesney (left)  answers questions as Jeff Cohen (right) moderates the Q&A session. 
Last night, the Park Center for Independent Media brought Robert McChesney to campus for a talk about "Corporate Dominance of Media and the Internet." Aligning quite well with our class discussions in Independent Media, the auditorium was full of Independent Media students, anxious to pick McChesney's brain.

I'll talk about one of the questions in particular, as it is something that I have recently been fascinated by.

Some context: when I knew I wanted to pursue journalism, I obviously started paying attention to the media more closely, following as many stories as I could. My family grew up watching our local FOX affiliate, but once I got to college, I learned that FOX was bad, or at least didn't align with my views. CNN was my favorite, but I think it might have just happened because it was always on in Park, the dining halls and anywhere else IC has a television. I wanted to do broadcast journalism, and I was so sure I wanted to have my own show on CNN, or do something with them.

After watching for so many years, and being exposed to so much more new media, I'm not so sure. Getting back to last night, I'm not sure of what the question was, but it was something on the lines of what McChesney thought about mainstream media like CNN, MSNBC and FOX.

"They don't do journalism; they're just talking heads," said McChesney, "you're just going to watch the person you agree with."

And then it hit me. For so long, CNN is 'who I agreed with,' but after observing them, they're just who I've had the most access to! Is there ever original reporting at places like CNN anymore?

McChesney said that corporations are getting out of journalism, and getting our of paying reporters to cover things. He talked about how conversely, there are about four PR people for every journalist, and about 80-90% of the media reported has been spun. There is no original journalism.

I don't want to be a talking head, and I don't want to report something (or not report something) because it makes my company money. Corporations shouldn't control journalism, but journalism also shouldn't control corporations.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review on "Bearing Witness 2.0: You Can't Spin 10,000 Tweets and Camera Phone Uploads" (Huffington Post, 7/13/09)

Whenever I read about other countries simply shutting off the Internet or phone service, I absolutely cringe. For someone who clings their iPhone for dear life and uses the Internet daily, I cringe at the thought. Then again, I guess that was life for anyone born before the Internet and mobile phone existed.

"It [the Chinese government] slammed the door in the face of new media -- and offered traditional reporters a front row seat."

It makes perfect sense. The "new media" know what's really going on, while the "traditional reporters" have no idea. Not to say they're clueless, but with the efforts the Chinese government go to block the Internet, the government is getting exactly what they want. Ironically as I write this post, a former classmate of mine who is now living back in China just posted this on Facebook:

"there's really no ethics in news writing in China. I was just doing some initial research about the Chinese farmer's market in Chinese news report, and realize that so many articles are written by coping/pasting a few original report's content and one source, and not even giving credits to those few original sources. SERIOUSLY??"
If the Chinese government don't want the media to know what's going on, they appear to go to any length to hide it. But the title of this article remains true- though the government can do all they want to try and censor and block comments from people, the amount of content posted going against the government daily is too much not to notice. 

Review on Maha Azzam, "How WikiLeaks helped fuel Tunisian revolution" (, 1/17/11)

Quite the opposite from the Foreign Policy reading, "The First Twitter Revolution?," this CNN opinion piece gives responsibility to WikiLeaks- not Twitter- when it comes to ending the regime of Ben Ali. 

"Anyone doing business in Tunisia, be they local or foreigner, would have been aware of the power and control of the Ben Alis, the Trabelsis and the coteries of power that surrounded them. However, the WikiLeaks revelations added to the "disgust" that many Tunisians had already been feeling at the chasm in wealth prevalent in Tunisian society, a country where unemployment runs at 30%."
WikiLeaks firmly attributes the responsibility, though with the help of Twitter, the success of the Tunisian revolution great. 
"Today's technology provided them with channels that despite their government's restrictions, proved invaluable in spreading information and support for the protests, while WikiLeaks merely further exposed an already discredited and reviled regime."
Azzam is definitely right in making claims that today's technology was beneficial in making progress in Tunisia. Today, social media like Twitter connects anyone through a simple hashtag, and makes newsworthy information stand out. After all, with only 140 characters, either you'll get the picture or click a link for more, ultimately informing yourself about something you may not have known otherwise.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review on Nathaniel Flannery's "Mexico's revolution will not be televised" (Global Post, 6/21/12)

I had never heard of this uprising, but then again, why would I have? 

Nathaniel Flannery starts out this article "On a recent Sunday," leaving me only to assume that because of this lack of television coverage, it was unclear what Sunday it had occurred on! Either way. 

“The people, quiet, will never be heard.” Well not after this article, and I'm sure the others that followed. It's hard to believe that a television station is so biased they wouldn't even cover presidential debates, a surefire way to boost ratings and gain an audience. 

The fact that the debate was broadcasted over YouTube truly speaks to our generation and how technology has advanced our thinking. 

The other thing about this article that shocked me was this quote: 
"Some 95 percent of homes have a television in Mexico, Latin America’s second-largest economy. While Mexicans have a host of cable channels to choose from, cable only reaches 30 percent of all households, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Emilio Azcarraga Jean, the billionaire owner of Televisa."
Cable only reaches 30 percent of all households?! 

And reading further, "Governor Peña Nieto was paying for favorable TV coverage," and allegedly adding up to $3 million? The corruption and injustice remains to astound me. 

It was good that this story ended on a positive note, that the 132 movement actually made significant changes. Mexico should have the right to know who they're voting for. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review on "Staying Alive" by Jodi Enda (AJR, 9/5/12)

"The journalism is the easy part. Supporting it is hard."

This quote from "Staying Alive" sums up what journalism nonprofits struggle with daily. 

As if being a journalist isn't enough of a financial burden, running your own business- a journalism nonprofit- can't be that much easier, at least at first. 

For projects as huge and eager as a journalism nonprofit, sources of revenue definitely need to be constantly flowing in, which is why multiple benefactors are important. ProPublica is a great example of a journalism nonprofit success story. To have the money first was a smart idea, though I'm sure most journalists are impatient and just want to report what's out there, now. 

More importantly, journalism nonprofits "are providing a haven, if only for a small percentage of refugees. More important, they are providing the means for journalists to produce significant work."

Staying alive is only the second hardest step; the first is being born. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review on Net/Indies' impact on 2008 election: Jeff Cohen, "Big Election Winner: Indy Media" (, 11/5/08)

I definitely have to agree that without the contributions from independent media in the 2008 (and 2012) election, the results may have been drastically different. I do have to say, I was less politically in tune in 2008. Social media has fully blossomed by then, but I'm pretty sure I was still on MySpace.

Though I still followed the election, I was not the news junkie I am today. I never knew about all of these contributing factors in the 2008 election, like the one you mention. However, now that things have obviously changed and I have been exposed to independent media, I'm grateful it's out there. Before, I merely thought Obama won the election because of his fresh perspective, diversity and social media presence. And I really didn't even know Drudge Report was a thing until a few years ago.

Independent media's presence has become a game changer in political races, elections and news in general. Without the Mitt Romney 47% video from Mother Jones, would Obama have won re-election in 2012? But the title for this article remains true- independent media is the real winner.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review on Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education

At first glance, the News 21 website catches my eye. The bold color choice, big font and picture of what one can assume is a student. Immediately I want to relate to this website, as I too am a student journalist. I noticed any journalism student can actually contribute to News21 (applications are due Nov. 1!) and that News21 offers their content to anyone for free.

Their projects don't look like college students developed or worked on them. That being said, I'm sure some people probably don't even read the front page of the website and have no idea that college students run this site. I also noticed there are no advertisements hosted on the website, which is quite refreshing! I think I'll be adding this page to my bookmarks!

Review "Aaron Swartz's Last Gift: Site Launches Whistleblower Safe House" (Common Dreams, (5/17/13)

Here's an article about something I haven't even heard of! (I clicked the link, but it appears to be broken at the moment...or out of business?) Aaron Schwartz's "one last gift to journalists and whistleblowers worldwide and the open-source internet community," appears to be exactly like WikiLeaks in essence. After so much uproar about sites like WikiLeaks, it's not surprising that newsrooms are calling for more security. The anonymity that sites like Deaddrop will allow is essentially a journalist's dream; the ability to write freely, but to avoid persecution and other threats. And not just journalists, but sources too? Obviously it's better for sources not be kept anonymous, but if it means the difference between an important story not being published, this website could help a lot of people!

Review "WikiLeaks and the Global Future of Free Speech" Michael Moore and Oliver Stone (NY Times, 8/20/12)

This op-ed is an interesting read! Filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone's support for WikiLeaks totally makes sense, as they claim that we, the news media, often fail to inform the country of "the uglier actions of our own government." WikiLeaks' mission is exactly the opposite.

Though WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange isn't really around to supervise, WikiLeaks is still in full throttle, producing more secret government documents for the country to see all the time. I wouldn't say Assange is a "high-tech terrorist," but I do understand why the government is calling him that. WikiLeaks can't win. Either they don't post documents and the public isn't aware of "the uglier actions" of their own government, or they do post them and are actually putting the public's lives in danger!

A bigger problem that is discussed in the op-ed is what would happen if Assange was prosecuted in the US:

"If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws. The setting of such a precedent should deeply concern everyone, admirers of WikiLeaks or not."

Free speech for the entire world sounds like it could be so easy if Britain and Sweden cooperated, but it's much more complicated to obtain, and is most likely to never happen at all.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review "Real News from Beyond the Front Page" Eli Pariser (NY Times, 10/22/12)

Eli Pariser's New York Times opinion piece immediately start out spot on. As a journalist, and someone who lives and breathes for hard-hitting news, it disheartens me when stories like Pariser mentioned about Syria receive less attention than entertainment related articles like the Jerry Seinfeld letter to the editor. Not only that, but the Syria article was an A1 story, and the Seinfeld letter was A26, hence the title for Pariser's opinion piece, "Real News Will Come From Beyond the Front Page of the Newspaper." And even though I read the news often, I'm guilty of how Pariser says that "more traffic is coming to news sites "sideways" -- via direct links to articles and videos, rather than via the front page."

I think Pariser's wager that by 2016 "high-quality, public issue-focused content online" coming from social media is a fair assumption to make. Currently existing nonprofit and advocacy groups already have a huge following, and it is only safe to assume they will grow. Pariser ends by saying, "the only thing worse than hearing one view on an important issue is hearing none at all." That alternative is a scary one that I'm sure all journalists can agree is the worst case scenario, and one much worse than a Jerry Seinfeld article getting more clicks than one on Syria.