Re: the Journalists Resource articles – Research from the Pew Center revealed interesting facts about the way in which Arabs express themselves online, particularly in a political manner. I wonder if Americans express themselves politically in the same manner and with the same frequency—I personally don’t think so. I think there are two extremes on the right and left and a middle that is largely apathetic (for my generation, at least). The article about Twitter, politics and the public discusses how microblogging can influence hot-button political issues. How often do you participate in political discourse on SMS/microblogging sites such as Twitter? I don’t find myself participating very frequently, especially not during peak times such as elections where it seems that political discourse is ubiquitous. I think there often is a backlash when it comes to how active people are on social media when expressing their political views—for example, people’s politically-related overparticipation on social media inspires me to do the opposite.
Re: The Economist article – I found this article to be very interesting, focusing on the benefit and validity of citizen journalism: “…photographs, videos and tweets from ordinary people are improving and expanding news coverage” and this can be seen in crime-related situations such as the Boston bombings. When the media can’t or doesn’t have the materials necessary to create a segment, sometimes-ordinary citizens do. In cases like that, the media have little choice but to use the content produced by average people in their broadcasts. I’ve thought about programs like iReport and its equivalents, but I’m not sure how I feel about them. I can see pros and cons to each side. An obvious pro is that it allows the flow of information to be free and unrestricted. A con is that it may harm or even damage the credibility of vetted, professional people and affiliated organizations.
Re: Jaschik’s article about science – Most newspapers don’t have fulltime writers focused on science and health. CNN got ride of an entire team of reporters who covered science and tech beats. After taking the Science Communications class here at the college, I learned that the average citizen does not know basic scientific facts at all. According to a NYT article, one out of five American adults thinks that the sun revolves around the earth. (Yes, seriously, check it out – http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/science/30profile.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0). When we do away with such writers, we do away with such stories. When we do away with such stories, we harm the public knowledge and propagate a lack of awareness of basic issues. Our society becomes less educated as a result. What kinds of harmful effects does eliminating these types of stories have on our society? Particularly on youth? I think youth are the most important group because they ultimately shape the future. If they don’t possess basic knowledge, it can damage their worldview and globally, it can damage the way other countries view Americans.
– How often do you participate in political discourse on SMS/microblogging sites such as Twitter?