Analyze This 5

The Tree of Cracow stood in the Palais-Royal gardens at the center of the Paris. Believed to have taken its name from the debates surrounding the War of Polish succession, the Tree of Cracow served as a meeting place for citizens. Due to the fact that newspapers containing information about public affairs were forbidden by the state under Louis XV’s regime, the tree served as a place where French citizens could go to hear nouvellistes de bouche, which is basically a gossiper (and could be thought of as an early precursor to modern-day gossip bloggers!) According to Robert Darnton, “Gossip mongers who worked oral circuits of communication were known as “nouvellistes de bouche.” When they reduced news to written anecdotes and strung the anecdotes together in manuscript “gazetins”, they graduated into the ranks of “nouvellistes à la main.” Essentially, the tree served as a coffee shop or salon where information was being exchanged.

The tree derives its name from Kraków, which is one of the oldest and the second largest of the Polish cities, serving as a cultural, economic and artistic epicenter.

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Blog Essay Class 8

Re: Congjun’s article “Toward a New World Order Media” – This article discussed how international communications is shifting over time. Comparing the change to his favorite game, bridge, the author establishes 4 principles to change the value system: fairness, all-win, inclusion and responsibility. Which one do you feel is the most important? Of the four, I think that responsibility is the most important. I think one of the biggest mass communication-related global problems is censorship. In many countries, including Iran, censorship is ubiquitous (http://cpj.org/reports/2012/05/10-most-censored-countries.php#runners-up). This prevents helpful and rich discourse from occurring, because every piece of information featured on mass media sources has been vetted for accuracy—but not just any accuracy—the accuracy that fits and meets the needs of the current regime.

Congjun concludes his article by saying this – “With diversified expression and information flow, we can mend the broken bridge of cross-cultural communication and build an information link to the future.” This sounds great in theory, but I don’t know how it would work in practice, and he doesn’t offer very many sound solutions, only abstract ones heavily rooted in idealism. How do you think we can mend the ‘broken bridge of cross-cultural communication’ in real, practical terms? I think the 4 principles he outlines are necessary to the process, but the issue is deeper than that. Unless or until the governments that propagate these unethical and unfair media practices change, the state of the global media will largely remain the same. This is why social media can be such a powerful tool, if used for the right purposes. Going back to the readings for last class: although I tend to share Gladwell’s purist idea regarding technologically inspired social activism, I also understand that for some countries, this is the only platform they have. They walk in the streets and they can’t be seen holding hands with someone they are dating for fear of being approached by the “morality police” (Iran). Alcohol is illegal (but bootleg alcohol is present at almost every party nonetheless). They can’t have a Facebook account and post their thoughts freely, even if they are dissident thoughts against the government (China). That’s just pathetic to me, but I’m also extremely lucky to have grown up in a fairly free country when compared to other nations around the world. As a result, social media can be a viable tool to help these oppressed people get their thoughts out on the page and in the blogosphere.

 

Re: the book chapter 6 – The content of this chapter fits nicely with Congjun’s article, because it also discusses the different purposes of the press in various countries. The table on p. 107 was particularly helpful in breaking down and understanding the way in which different countries operationalize their media system. It might have been interesting to see how “third world” countries handle their media systems too, though I think of all the categories, these countries would fit best with Mediterranean or Polarized Pluralist nations (though there are still some differences). Looking at journalism as a career that developed over time can provide insight into the comparative perspective. American “professionalism” inspired media influence and political power on the corporate level (Lord Beaverbrook, William Randolph Hearst, etc). This fits into our readings and class discussions about corporate ownership influencing content.

 

Re: Stuart Hall’s excerpt about encoding and decoding – He provides a theoretical approach to understanding how messages are created and disseminated. The first step, production, is meant to “construct the message” (p. 92). According to Hall, it can be influenced by a multitude of things. It “is framed throughout by meanings and ideas: knowledge-in-use concerning the routines of production, historically defined technical skills, professional ideologies, institutional knowledge, definitions and assumptions, assumptions about the audience and so on frame the constitution of the programme through this production structure” (p. 92). For me, it’s interesting to evaluate how biases may (and do) permeate newsrooms. We talked in class about how there’s no such thing as being unbiased and I believe that is true. Framing is a huge determinant for the way in which media is packaged and delivered. Though Hall’s essay focused on TV broadcast, it might be interesting to think about his message in the context of different types of media formats. How can Hall’s message be applied to interactive-based mass media technology? Such as social media or online articles? He says, “the televisual sign is a complex one. It is itself constituted by the combination of two types of discourse, visual and aural” (p. 95). Given the fact that the Internet has far more interactive capabilities than TV, it might be interesting to consider what “codes” we absorb and understand via this technology. He goes on to talk about naturalized and arbitrary codes that exist in our cultures and societies. What about learned behaviors? I think they definitely constitute codes. For example, we look favorably and almost jealously at people who possess the latest technology—like the newest model iPhone. They use it to do everything—schedule appointments, view videos, email, type Word documents, swipe credit cards, oh… and to make calls, of course. Seeing them with that coveted item means something to us—thus, admiring the newest technology holds large meaning in American culture. It goes back to the discussion we were having in class about consumerism and the required readings. For Americans, the word “iPhone” or even the Apple brand/logo represents something to us. (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apple).

 

Re: Chandler’s Semiotics for Beginners – This article fit very nicely with the Hall article. “Communication (particularly mass communication) is a primary process of reality construction and maintenance whereby positions of inequality, dominance and subservience are produced and reproduced in society and at the same time made to appear ‘natural’.” I thought again of the iPhone comparison. This company has established itself without huge marketing campaigns and advertisements (mostly ads have been word of mouth or seeing others with Apple products). Yet, the brand has become such an integral part of our society. Why is that? I think it is because the brand has a great deal of power—dominance over other brands that sells similar products (phones, computers, laptops, mp3 devices, headphones, etc). Not only that, but we have constructed an entire reality around the brand and those who possess items from that brand. We view others who don’t have items from that brand as unequal and not part of the dominant hegemony. If I had to apply Jakobson’s model to this situation, I would say it is part of the conative type because we try to directly or indirectly influence the behavior of others to buy the Apple product or perhaps, without us even saying anything at all, they feel inferior and want to fit in with the status quo which inspires them to buy the product.

 

DQ:

– How do you think we can mend the ‘broken bridge of cross-cultural communication’ (Congjun article) in real, practical terms?

Analyze This 4

  1. What is the Gladwell dispute? Agree/disagree and why?

– The point that Malcolm Gladwell was trying to make with his article in the New Yorker about social media activism is that we give too much credit to SNS for promoting societal/cultural change. This is exemplified by the quote included in the article that said Twitter should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I disagree with this sentiment, because people make revolutions happen, technology just serves as an impetus or promotional tool to aid their fight. He argues that social change can and WILL happen irrespective of these new technological advances. I agree with this point. I believe that in some ways he establishes himself as a technological purist in this article, but not to the extent he is made out to be by those who oppose him, especially Cheyfitz.

I can’t agree with the phrase “the revolution will not be tweeted.” Because it will be tweeted and Facebooked and Instagrammed and otherwise documented forever. SNS can be great tools for community organization and logistical setting up of protests, events, marches, etc. However, they do not replace real-life community involvement. Clicking “Like” on an anti-abortion Facebook page or retweeting something that supports the current Turkish protest movement, for example, is not the same as physically being there. It does bring awareness to this issue, though. Increased awareness is always a good thing, because it keeps people up to date on the latest global happenings

  1. What early media systems helped establish democracy/government system in the U.S.?

– Penny presses helped support governmental endeavors because they would promote the ideologies and views of a certain group in their newspaper. This gave a platform and a voice for certain factions and served as a literary “meeting place” for people who shared that view to gather and read some literature relating to their political stance. It showcased a cornerstone of our Constitution, the First Amendment. It gave a tangible voice (in the form of a physical newspaper) to various political groups.

Blog Essay Class 7

Re: the Rampton article – This article discussed propaganda and how it has changed over time, especially since Chomsky and Herman’s book. When talking about the Iraq War, it’s important to note something Rampton and Stauber pointed out—that discussing the deaths and the fallen soldiers was treated in a “sanitized, minimal way.” The photo of the emaciated POW was very moving. The author was right—you really don’t see those kinds of photos widely published anymore. In fact, I would argue you almost NEVER see them, especially not in mainstream media such as CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. The only time I have ever seen anything like that is on Al-Jazeera, which my parents get via satellite to their home. Regardless, that news platform is not easily accessible to me—I can only view it when I go home. Thus, my choices are very limited if I want to obtain a less “sanitized view” of the war. Why do you think we want to turn a blind eye to the Iraqi death toll? I think it’s a deep-rooted cultural designation—Americans are uncomfortable with facing reality. Whenever I watch the Al-Jazeera channel via satellite, they show more truthful and realistic portrayals of global happenings and especially war/death. The Arab version of Al-Jazeera is rawer than its English counterpart.

It’s a well-known colloquialism that the Vietnam War was widely referred to as “the first televised war.” (This article discusses it in more depth, FYI). President Johnson was quoted as saying, “…I thought of the many times each week when television brings the war into the American home. No one can say exactly what effect those vivid scenes have on American opinion.” I think this sentiment is very much true, if not truer, today. But it has gone beyond traditional mass media formats, such as television and radio—and spilled over into social media. It goes back to the idea from last week’s readings, that everyone can be a maker of the news due to wide accessibilities to various platforms such as blogs and social media that encourage citizen journalism and direct participation. People are free and able to state their opinions about the war or government on their personal websites or Facebook pages, and many do (much to the chagrin of others, especially those on the opposite side of the political spectrum as the person posting the message).

Re: Gladwell’s piece in The New Yorker – I am already very familiar with Malcolm Gladwell and I have read all of his books. I think the way he blends social science research, journalistic techniques and phenomenology is very unique. I think we can all agree with his most basic point, that “new tools of social media have reinvented social activism.” It’s great that social media can help revolutionize the world, but it isn’t always successful. He brings up Iran’s “Green Revolution,” but the problem is that it failed. (“Without Twitter the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy,” Mark Pfeifle, a former national-security adviser, later wrote, calling for Twitter to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.) The truth is, social media doesn’t make the impact, WE do. It is simply an impetus or vehicle for inspiring change. I am very glad Gladwell included the quote from Esfandiari, because she’s right. I think it would be interesting to interview people in the Middle East who participated in the “Arab Spring” movement to see how they were feeling when they were tweeting and how they think things have changed or not changed since that time. I am not arguing that Twitter can’t be an amazing piece of technology, but I am arguing that we give it too much credit. If people are truly unsatisfied with something, they’ll find some mode of publicizing that, whether it is simply to stand on a street corner and shout. Gladwell echoes this sentiment, as he employs an introductory discussion/mention of Granovetter’s weak vs. strong ties argument. He’s essentially arguing that social media activism is the lazy man’s activism, and markedly different from “real life” activism of the 1960s which required people to get up and get involved. We can see this in our everyday life—every year, I participate in the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer walk. I fundraise. The preferred (read: easiest) mode of fundraising is to send emails to friends, family, associates, etc. This past October I raised more than $800 with little effort because people are more apt to type their credit card number into a website than to reach into their pocket for some cash. Literally. It’s the same concept that drives our laziness to opt for pizza delivery than to save the extra cash by picking it up at the store. It’s the feeling that websites like Amazon bank from.

There were two articles that responded to Gladwell’s piece. The article by Cheyfritz asks the question: does media matter? Yes, of course it does. But as much as Cheyfritz says Gladwell is missing the point, I think Cheyfritz himself is too. The article by Melber on NPR’s site includes a quote from Gladwell’s follow-up piece that reads: “People with a grievance will always find ways to communicate with each other. How they choose to do it is less interesting, in the end, than why they were driven to do it in the first place.” I agree with this, as I previously stated and provided an example. Social media is good, as it provides just another platform or outlet for people’s thoughts, feelings, opinions. I don’t fully agree with any of these articles, whether it be Gladwell’s, Cheyfritz or Melber’s. I think they are all in essential agreement with each other by are tearing each other down in a really snarky way (especially Cheyfritz) on small points. Media does matter. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool. But social media is overrated and is being viewed as the end all be all of activism. It’s not.

Re: Shirky’s article – The opening anecdote illustrates how text messages can be useful in inciting an actual revolution, and I think these arguments can be made for both sides (citing the usefulness and then citing the uselessness of social media for activism). But Shirky makes a great qualifying point: “The use of social media tools-text messaging, e-mail, photo sharing, social networking, and the like-does not have a single preordained outcome. Therefore, attempts to outline their effects on political action are too often reduced to dueling anecdotes,” and this is exactly what I was thinking before I even read that part. When the article discussed Hillary Clinton and how participatory new media can increase freedoms, for some reason the first thing I thought of was the meme website Texts from Hillary Clinton.

The bulk of the readings focused on social media such as email, texts, photos, tweets, messages, etc. but what about memes? Can online memes be an impetus for social change?

DQs:

–       How do you think social media has impacted (or not impacted) the citizens’ response to the Iraq War? Do you think we are more or less apathetic than ever?

–       Why do you think we want to turn a blind eye to the Iraqi death toll?

–       What do you think of Mark Pfeifle’s comment in the New Yorker article by Gladwell (“Twitter should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize”)?

–       Do you think social media activism is motivated by laziness? If not, what do you think it is motivated by?

–       Can online memes be an impetus for social change?

Nicki Karimipour, nickik1989@ufl.edu

Analyze This 3

A key point from Dr. Schiller’s YouTube video was his discussion of corporate ownership, hegemony and media conglomeration. His original background is in economics. The main argument of his work is that a few corporations that frame the way we think about events, subjects, news, and basically control/dominate the American media landscape. The two major trends Schiller focused his attention on were the private takeover of public spaces in this country, and how this country is controlling cultural life abroad. He discusses his first hand knowledge and experience in economics and relates those points to mass communication.

Because of his economics training, he has a unique perspective on the ways in which power and conglomeration controls the media. He came to the field of mass communications later in life, so I think the juxtaposition of both backgrounds lends itself to a unique approach to the study of journalism, the media and mass communication as a whole.

The article on advertising by Ewen chronicled the rise of capitalism and went on to discuss consumerist culture and how to market to these audiences. As society began expanding and changing via the industrial revolution, there became a chance for consumerism to develop and thrive. People had shorter work hours, which allowed for more time to spend on other things—essentially, “…time out for mass consumption becomes as much a necessity as time in for production” (p. 3). In addition to more time, people were being paid higher wages, which meant more disposable income than ever before. These are two necessary and important aspects for consumerism to occur. As a response to the wants and desires that mass industrial capitalism was inspiring, modern advertising also began developing. It went beyond the conventional appeals of emphasizing a product’s “utilitarian value” and “traditional notion of mechanical quality” (p. 6). Products now needed to possess those qualities, but the most important quality was the introduction of the “fancied need” concept, which went beyond filling a need—it inspired the very feelings that define consumerism, and also made people deliberate over their product choices and purchases instead of simply purchasing the basics. Buying became like a pastime instead of a matter of practicality. This is also where the concept of branding came into play, as people felt they were buying into a brand and lifestyle that transcends the actual product. This is an emotion which still rings true today, even more so than ever before. People want to enjoy buying something, feel they have a variety of choices, feel they are not only getting the cheapest and most efficient/highly operational product but the most “cool” and appealing product as well.

Annotated Bibliography

1. Bleacher Report. (2013). Bleacher report raises the bar for citizen journalists with new editorial guidelines. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://bleacherreport.com/pages/editorial-standards-announcement

This article on Bleacher Report’s website provided a guideline for new editorial standards for writers/bloggers, in order to “enhance credibility.” They have moved away from an instant publish mode—now, all new writers must go through an application process and pass an exclusive standard requirement. Bleacher Report is the leading publisher of original and entertaining sports editorial content. It is the fastest-growing sports digital media property, based on the fastest growing properties in the top 300 Quantcast rankings since August 2009. Since launching in 2008, Bleacher Report has built an audience of more than 8million unique visitors per month to its web site and reaches more than 600,000 email subscribers via its daily newsletters.

 

2. Brown, C. (2007, Feb 1, 2007). Ex-players dealing with not-so-glamorous health issues. New York Times, pp. D.1

This news article discussed the health issues that are plaguing retired NFL players, such as depression (or other mental health issues, which can be risk factors for suicide), sleep apnea, high cholesterol/blood pressure, diabetes, etc. The underlying theme to this article is that football players have been indoctrinated into an atmosphere of masculinity, which prevents them from speaking up about health issues because they want to preserve that “tough” and heroic image.

3. Bryant, J, and A Raney. Handbook of Sports and Media. London: Routledge, 2006.

This book is a handbook of sport and media. It traces the development of sport media and coverage, which is what I was most interested in learning more about from this handbook. It talks about how sport coverage began and how it changed over time, particularly how media coverage of sport has been shifting throughout the ages—the Agricultural, Industrial, and finally, the Information Age.

4. Center for Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. (2013). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/cste/

This is the website for the Boston University center that researches CTE. It provides good information about the disease and how it develops, risk factors, relation to concussion, etc. It chronicles the research efforts and findings of a particular group of CTE researchers who are usually interviewed and mentioned/quoted in news articles. Another aspect I am interested in when doing this research is evaluating who the sources in news articles typically are. I want to compare/contrast the use of official and unofficial sources in news stories.

5. Chapman, Cameron. (2009, November 29). The evolution of web design. SixRevisions.com. Retrieved at http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/the-evolution-of-webdesign/

This website gave more information about sports content and the history of its online dissemination, particularly about how early versions of sport websites were set up and what kinds of features they contained and did not contain. Reading about these websites helped me understand how to better compare and contrast them with today’s online sport websites.

6. Chin, L., Toshkezi, G., & Cantu, R. (2011). Traumatic encephalopathy related to sports injury. US Neurology7(1), 33-36.

This article shows the evidence between concussions, TBI and CTE and the symptoms of each. There are no treatment options for CTE, so it discusses concussion prevention especially in sports where the injuries can be more common. Sports-related injuries account for 10% of head and spinal cord injuries. Yearly, 1.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) without loss of consciousness or need for hospitalization. Football is the sport where players are highest at risk for concussion due to its high impact nature.

7. Connell, R. W., & Messerschmidt, J. W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept. Gender and Society, 19(6), 829-859. doi:10.1177

The topic of this journal article is the concept of masculinity. Masculinity is an important aspect of organized sports among males, because it is how they assert dominance and power. Discussion of gender politics and hegemony is important to my research.

 

8. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

This is a book about qualitative research and how to do it. Creswell presents five approaches to qualitative research while also exploring the philosophical underpinnings, history and important elements of these five approaches (narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, case study). The author talks about methodology of each, data collection, verification, etc. This was one of the required texts for Dr. Duke’s qualitative research class. I found it to be very helpful so I purchased my own copy.

 

9. Dwyre, B. (2011, Dec 16, 2011). As concussions take toll, are we taking notice? Los Angeles Times, pp. C.2.

This newspaper article addressed the concussion debate that has been very prevalent in sports, especially recently. The author asserts that as a society we have become numb to the serious nature of concussions in sports and simply accepted it as just a commonplace occurrence. He calls for increased awareness and better treatment of concussions, which can have negative long-term effects for athletes, regardless of their sport.

 

10. eBizMBA. (2013). Top 15 most popular sports websites. Retrieved 2/2, 2013, from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/sports-websites

This website contained a list of the 15 most popular/visited sport websites, which was helpful to me because I could see which sites people go to the most.

 

11. Edison, Paul. (2010, September 3). The History of Web Design in a Nutshell. VitaWebdesign.com. Retrieved at http://vitawebdesign.com/web-design/the-history-ofweb-design-in-a-nutshell.html

This website gave more information about sports content and the history of its online dissemination, particularly about how early versions of sport websites were set up and what kinds of features they contained and did not contain. Reading about these websites helped me understand how to better compare and contrast them with today’s online sport websites. 

12. Goldstein, R. (2000, 06 29). Larry Kelley, 85, a Yale end who won the Heisman, dies . New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/29/sports/larry-kelley-85-a-yale-end-who-won-the-heisman-dies.html

This article recounted the death of a popular NFL athlete who died by suicide in 2000. It provided risk factors and symptoms that Kelley experienced before his suicide (both short and long term symptoms/risk factors). This helps me better understand what sorts of risk factors and symptoms journalists are connecting with the act of suicide.

13. Gould, M. (2001). Suicide and the media. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences932, 200-224.

This journal article discusses the relationship between the media and suicide, particularly the ways in which the media coverage of a suicide can inspire contagions. The author looks at articles from English language publications to see how the stories talk about suicide. She provides statistics about the effects and gives suggestions on how to minimize harm and risk associated with these stories.

14. Joiner, T. (2007). Why people die by suicide. (1 ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

This book provided information about suicide statistics, reasons people commit suicide (such as external factors and risk factors). The biggest risk factors for suicide include the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; sense of isolation and ability for self-harm. Written by a clinical psychologist, the book examines suicide from various lenses, such as anthropologically, historically, culturally, from an epidemiological and genetic standpoint, etc. This book is the most helpful piece of suicide research I have encountered thus far. He recounts old suicide theories but also introduces and explains his own theory.

15. Maxwell, J. (2013). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

This is a handbook for how to do various types of qualitative research. It provides models for research, helps you define your goals for doing the study, discusses conceptual framework, helps you formulate your research questions and methods portion, measure validity and how to present the study when it is done. This is one of the textbooks we used for Dr. Duke’s qualitative research class and I found it so helpful that I purchased my own copy.

 

16. Mercy, J. A., Kresnow, M., O’Carroll, P. W., Lee, R. K., Powell, K. E., Potter, L. B., . . . Bayer, T. L. (2001). Is suicide contagious? A study of the relation between exposure to suicidal behavior of others and nearly lethal suicide attempts. American Journal of Epidemiology, 154(2), 120-127. doi:10.1093/aje/154.2.120

This journal article discussed suicide contagion. It was of interest to me because I wanted to see what the research had to say about the risk of “copycat” suicides, especially as it relates to media exposure to stories about suicide.

17. National Institute of Mental Health. (2013, 05 17).Suicide prevention. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

This website provided statistics about suicide in the United States and globally. This information was useful to me because it showed how serious the problem is and that it is a pressing public health issue. It also provided information about prevention tactics and organizations that help individuals who are contemplating suicide, such as local and national organizations and 24-hour hotlines for those in distress.

18. Nicholson, M. (2006). Sport and the media: Managing the nexus (sport management) (1st ed.). London: Routledge. doi:November 11, 2006

This book provides an analysis of the sport media world. I found it helpful because it recounts the historical aspect of sport media and how it developed over time. I am most interested in online sport media and how websites began, what kinds of information they contain, what types of people follow these sites and how this has all changed over time as sport websites have gotten more advanced.

19. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (1994). NFL mortality study. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

 

This report was an analysis of the rate of death among professional football players. It found that they have a “normal rate of life expectancy” but the study was done in a relatively young group of men, so results may not be that robust. Along with a higher risk of heart attack, football players are “more likely to die from acts of violence and accidents than the general public… the theory was that these men are likely to be risk-takers and engage in dangerous hobbies and activities.”

 

20. Phillips, D. P., Lesyna, K., & Paight, D. J. (1992). Suicide and the media. Maris RW, , 499-519.

This journal article discussed the relationship that stories about suicide have on the media. It gives “best practice” recommendations for covering such cases and what things to avoid when the media covers a suicide. It talks about contagion, which is a collection of suicidal “copycats” that try to recreate the act following press coverage of a high profile suicide.

21. Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice SAGE Publications Ltd.

This book explained the process of conducting a qualitative content analysis. It was very helpful in discussing the practical side to qualitative research. The book was particularly strong in its discussion and explanation of coding and the process, which is very valuable to my needs. It explained things very thoroughly but in a very easy to understand manner, which I found accessible to novices and experienced qualitative researchers alike.

22. Schwartz, P. (2010, 03 05). The world’s top sports events. Forbes Magazine, Retrieved fromhttp://www.forbes.com/global/2010/0315/companies-olympics-superbowl-daytona-worlds-top-sports-events.html

This magazine article illustrated how important sports are in the United States. It gave me information about finances and what the highest grossing events are. Understanding how essential sports are (and have always been) to our national identity and psyche is a cornerstone for further understanding how important the athletes are, and when they die, their deaths can have wide-reaching impacts on the average population.

23. Schwarz, A., & Brown, C. (2007, February 2, 2007). Dark days follow hard-hitting career in N.F.L. New York Times, pp. A.1.

This newspaper article talked about the issues facing athletes upon retirement from the NFL. Particularly, how they must change their lifestyle to meet financial changes while also dealing with relationship issues, divorce, child custody battles and the feelings of loss that accompany a successful and high profile, high energy career.

24. Smith, A. M., & Milliner, E. K. (1994). Suicide risk in injured athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 29, 337-341.

This journal article discussed the risks factors associated with injured athletes and suicide. The study measured their feelings of depression, hopelessness and negative emotions surrounding their injury. Depression is an important risk factor for mental health issues and may be a risk for suicide as well, so it’s important to see how athletes view their situation and how they adjust (or become maladjusted) to their surroundings following an injury or in the case of some of these NFL athletes, retirement.

25. Statista. (2012, 06 04). Statistics and facts on the NFL. Retrieved fromhttp://www.statista.com/topics/963/national-football-league/

This website showed facts and statistics about the NFL such as cost of the game, player salaries, television, media and merchandise and financial information about the Super Bowl. Understanding the NFL franchise from a financial and economic standpoint helps me better evaluate the impact that the game has on its fans and viewers.

26. Thomas, D. R. (2003). A general inductive approach for qualitative data analysis.

This article discussed methods for doing a qualitative content analysis. I found the definitions and discussions of coding to be helpful to my research. The article’s section on inductive coding was helpful because it explained the five steps for breaking down the process into manageable steps and a full explanation of each step in order.

27. Ulanday, M., & Crowder, E. (2011, 02 03). Behind the wins and losses: Changing the way mental health is viewed in sports . Retrieved from http://saynotostigma.com/2011/04/behind-the-wins-and-losses-changing-the-way-mental-health-is-viewed-in-sports/

This article discusses mental health issues and sports. It talks about how there needs to be a profound change in the way athletes are treated and the avoidance of stigma for mental health issues like depression, suicide—and even how physical injuries can have powerful mental health implications.

 

28. Ward, S. (2009). Covering suicide: Do journalists exploit tragedy? . Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://www.journalismethics.info/ethics_in_news/suicide.html

This article discussed the ethical considerations for journalists to be aware of when covering suicide cases. Particularly, to not sensationalize or exploit the situation; stick to the verifiable and known facts, and to be sensitive to the grief that the family of the deceased person is experiencing. This was helpful to my research because by knowing the guidelines, I can then have a better way to evaluate the ways in which journalists, reporters, bloggers covered these high profile athlete suicides in their articles.

Blog Essay Class 6

Re: Shoemaker & Reese’s piece about hierarchy of influences says that “Routines in which starting times and deadlines are followed also tend to create gaps in what news is covered, according to research. It would be interesting to see how 24-7 online news has affected this.” How do you think the constant interconnectivity and need to stay apprised on the latest happenings coupled with our American desire for instant gratification fuels 24/7 news sources? It’s a common journalism anecdote—the one the author described about being in a meeting and copying/adhering to (or at the very least, following) the NYT agenda. This happens a lot. But I worry that the pitfall with this is that news just becomes recycled and monotonous, and there’s nothing beyond the tiny scope of our locale, region, city, state, town, community, state, and nation. That is why “global” news sources are important—like Al Jazeera and BBC. No news source is perfect, but we should definitely be aware of what goes on beyond the limits and confines of our own immediate community. How can we get people to be more interested in “global” news outlets like BBC and Al Jazeera? What do you think are the pros and cons associated with “global” news sources like those?

Re: Keith’s “Shifting Circles” article – It says, “among online news media outlets, for example, there is no standard staffing or process for preparing news for the Web. Even within individual newsrooms, routines have changed so often that dozens of routines for producing, editing, posting, and overseeing Web content may have been used and abandoned since the mid-1990s. That very tumult around online content production, however, suggests that a topic that has received some scrutiny deserves more.” What difference do you think it would make if online media outlets developed a standardized way of creating, editing, disseminating and updating their sites? Do you think this is desirable, feasible, etc.? If so, how do you imagine it would work? It might be a good idea because it would give us some sense of security as readers that our news sources follow some sort of protocol at least.

The anecdote about “Mr. Gates” to illustrate gatekeeping theory is still so true today. Editors have their own inherent experiences, opinions, views and biases – and even though they try to conceal or put aside those things, that doesn’t always work. After all, we saw that fact exemplified by something we read last class which said that despite NYT editor Jill Abramson being a female, men are still quoted a vast majority of the time in articles, especially about “female” issues like reproductive rights, pregnancy, contraception, abortion, etc. So she obviously has some biases and corporate influence that prevents her from publishing some things, and encourages her to publish some other things. Which leads me to my next question…. What is another way around the editor bias? Or is there even a solution to this? Wanting to know more about her as an editor (admittedly I didn’t know much), I began researching. Edward Bernays doesn’t begin any project without researching and so do I! J I found this pretty recent piece on her which I enjoyed reading – http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/new-york-times-turbulence-90544_Page3.html. The article indicates that Abramson is uncaring and cold. On other days, Abramson seems disengaged from the newsroom. “When Jill is engaged, no one was better. She’s an incredible journalist,” one former staffer said. “But as often as not, she can be totally absent. There are days when she acts like she just doesn’t care.” I wonder how her attitude and lack of support and morale for her employees influences the content of the articles? I wonder what it would be like to work in such an environment. I am no stranger to having both good and bad editors, and it definitely makes a world of difference in terms of content, speed, accuracy, ethics, turnaround rate, and overall happiness or dissatisfaction level in the newsroom. It can influence your growth and training as a writer, too—especially if you’re relatively inexperienced. For many writers, journalism isn’t formalized in its protocol and process—it’s an exercise in heuristics. Learning habits from a good or bad editor can set up your outlook and opinions for many years to come, that’s why it’s so important to have a quality editor in your newsroom organization. What qualities do you think make up a “good” editor?

Re: Ch. 9 from the book – I found the crux of Schudson’s discussion about “who makes the news?” to be very interesting. Dr. Rodgers loves a good metaphor, and I thought the author’s metaphor about Michelangelo, David and marble to be a great analogy for expressing the power and influence journalists have—and differentiating between *real* and *perceived* influence. “It is common for social scientists who study news to speak of how journalists ‘construct the news’, ‘make news’ or ‘socially construct reality’ (p. 165). This point was a good counter to the claims made in the previous articles, especially the one by Shoemaker & Reese. Yes, there is a gatekeeper, but he (or she) is not as powerful and omniscient as we think. Referring to journalism as a tangible thing was a new concept for me, and I am sure it was for some of my classmates too. We are almost indoctrinated to view journalism as an abstract result of a particular situation—i.e., there was an earthquake and now this is a video clip/documentary/article/radio piece about that incident. It seems purely episodic to me. Schudson and Tuchman introduced a foreign concept to me in this chapter—that news can be a ‘depletable consumer product that must be made fresh daily’ (p. 165). Viewing it from that perspective made me more sympathetic toward news organizations and media outlets. They are competing like the rest of us—individually and as a group. Individual journalists are trying to get ahead, make a name for him/herself and establish social capital in the workplace. On a larger scale, the organization for which they work is also trying to do the same thing, while also competing with other rivals and corporate interests. It’s a delicate balance, and I honestly don’t think we give enough credit (or any, for that matter) to news organizations. Instead, we are so quick to villanize and blame them. Indeed, it’s also important to note the facts, that “there is no consistent support for the belief that independent news outlets offer more diverse content than those run by corporate conglomerates or that locally owned media are better for diversity than national chains” (p. 166). However, I really believe that piece of information would come as a huge shock to many people. It’s easy to criticize the media, and not so easy to think of ways to reform it. In that way, it is very similar to politics. According to the author, “it is the absence of commercial organizations, or their total domination by the state, that is the worst case scenario” (p. 166). In other words, censorship or total absence of autonomy is worse than corporate control of the media. I would agree with that. Many countries don’t enjoy the same level of “freedom” as we do (I put freedom in quotes because that’s a loaded term that means very different things to different people). But we have the First Amendment in this country—like it or not. It’s better to have a variety of news (level of quality is up for debate), but be awarded the choice to sift through information that is readily available and draw your own conclusions. Dr. Rodgers has a link on his blog to the most censored countries in the world, which is appropriate given the aforementioned topic: http://cpj.org/reports/2012/05/10-most-censored-countries.php. The country where my parents were born, Iran, ranks number four on this list. I already knew this, as I had the opportunity to interview Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. In her speech, she discussed censorship and the need for democracy in Iran (picture below).

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Re: the YouTube video interview with Dr. Schiller was interesting. His original background is in economics, but he shifted to communications after finding economics to be “too restrictive” in practice, teaching and how it is written. How do you think communications and economics are related? Different? I think that the corporate nature of both fields is important to be aware of. Schiller discusses this about 13 minutes into the video clip, calling it a “media monopoly.” Thus, it can be said that capitalism is not just the basis of our country’s economic system, but also infiltrates other fields such as communications and media. The interconnectivity cannot be overlooked.

DQs:

–       How do you think the constant interconnectivity and need to stay apprised on the latest happenings coupled with our American desire for instant gratification fuels 24/7 news sources?

–       How can we get people to be more interested in “global” news outlets like BBC and Al Jazeera? What do you think are the pros and cons associated with “global” news sources like those?

–       What difference do you think it would make if online media outlets developed a standardized way of creating, editing, disseminating and updating their sites? Do you think this is desirable, feasible, etc.? If so, how do you imagine it would work?

–       What is another way around the editor bias? Or is there even a solution to this?

–       What qualities do you think make up a “good” editor?

–       How do you think communications and economics are related? Different?

Nicki Karimipour; nickik1989@ufl.edu