Week 4 Blog

Welcome everyone to the JLM 401: Media Ethics in Contemporary Society blog site!

Each student is required to submit an initial blog post of between 200-300 words including at least ONE cited source from your readings/textbook.  For topics, please refer to your syllabus.  In order for an assignment to be graded complete, you are also required to reply to at least ONE peer.  Remember, while blogs are meant to be more conversational, this is still an academic forum.  Please use respectful language.  As you will be required to monitor this blog site, also be sure to exercise courtesy to your classmates and respond to those who have not yet received a response before giving someone a second response.

NOW!

Consider the online “communities” you have joined based on your interests.  Consider how you might be tailoring your RSS and digital news feeds to make sure you don’t miss news about the topics that concern you most.  How does such activity widen your horizons and at the same time, limit your exposure to the world?

Published by

mediaethicsuc2018

Adjunct Professor of Media Ethics in Contemporary Society at Utica College

27 thoughts on “Week 4 Blog”

  1. Chantelle Boateng

    I think Tailoring your RSS and digital newsfeed to receive information that you want, widens your horizon because you’re able to get news faster and at the tip of your fingers. This is because in today’s world most breaking news are released on social media platforms before they are shown on television, making it easier for followers and viewers to get the information in real time. For me personally I like to get my news as soon as it happens because it keeps me up to date on what Is taking place no matter where I am or what time it is. I also know that not everything released on social media is completely factual, so I tend to cross reference the news I get on social media with a news site. According to this week’s reading not all information posted online is factual. There are times when I don’t notice I am doing it, but I like to make sure the information is true before I tell my friends what has taken place. For example when 26 year old rapper, Mac Miller passed away, I saw the news first on my Instagram news feed. I automatically thought it was a lie so I went on google and typed his name and went to the news section, where I saw that news and entertainment sites had also posted the story. I think this can also limit our exposure to the world because if you only focus on things that concern you the most, you will be unwilling to seek out other information or the truth because according to this weeks reading certain information released are false and can cause harm. For example if I only focus on entertainment news I won’t know what’s going on in the real world nor would I know if it’s factual. The reading for this week also made a valid point in terms of knowing what to believe with news that are released because things can be tampered with, including videos and pictures (Ward).

    Work Cited
    Ward, Stephen J. A . “ Digital Media Ethics.” Center for Journalism Ethics ,retrieved 9, Sep. 2018. https://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/resources/digital-media-ethics/

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    1. Chantelle, you make a good, and at the same time, scary point that yes digital news is even faster than TV. And who’s checking this information? Is there an editor somewhere out there looking over these posts before they go live? Most likely not. When we can post news as fast as a simple click, we need to go back to the essentials of last week’s journal assignment: fact check, fact check, fact check! And you as a reputable reporter from a reputable news agency has to compete with anyone else deciding they’re reporters for the day and post something that they’ve seen or heard? But how do we know if it’s factual? You witnessed it yourself when you had to “fact check” and make sure that the news of Mac Miller’s death wasn’t bogus. What are the dangers out there of anyone being able to post whatever they want, whenever they want? Is your news really faster if you have to go through the work of having to do the fact checking for these reporters out there? Do you think that others are like you and do the fact checking, first?

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  2. Mark Martinez

    Tailoring my digital news feeds to my personal interest connects me to a sea of different opportunities. Not only are my interests met, I also get to deeper explore recommendations made by the creators I already follow. Online communities are an interesting duality because like any other community you met different people. Meeting different people, you share interest and opinions, which eventually allows you to branch out in different areas. Along with introducing your ideas to a new person, new ideas are introduce to you allowing for endless exploration. Although communities can promote a “share ideas” message, it is not too far fetched to see the toxicity in a community. At times, many ideas are rehashed, recycled, and fabricated as time goes on, limiting one’s exposure to newer interest. This is the trouble an online community faces, with no means of stopping the trolls, these communities face the harsh reality of malicious users who’s intentions are nothing other but cause harm. Due to these limitations, it is difficult to actually borden your interest in these communities.

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  3. Mark, good point that tailoring or filtering your news can actually open up new horizons. Sometimes even what you feel are bad recommendations are worth checking out just to see what they are. And that way you are open to discovering different points of view on certain topics, even if you don’t agree. Your ideas about online communities made me think of the Comment Sections for many new agency sites or Facebook pages. How do you feel about a news agency having someone police the comments? I’ve seen posts, like you said, that are laden with hate speech or some just turn into shouting matches between viewers or readers. Should it be monitored or would that be a violation of free speech?

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    1. I agree with you as well professor, in terms of checking out other sites even when it might not be factual because then you can cross reference it with a rusted site to make sure it is true. I also think having someone police the comments section can be both positive and negative. The reason being that people have freedom of speech to say what they want about a topic, but the only time policing will be necessary will be when someone or a racial group is being attacked.

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  4. Michael Colgrove

    In order to get all the updates I can on all my sports teams I must download as many apps and follow all my teams. From apps like bleacher report, ESPN and NFL.com, I am able to get all the updates as quick as one can. But do we, the citizens awaiting news, get told everything that is known? or do certain groups, people and sport franchises keep secrets from the media so their words aren’t twisted? I think its a problem when not everything is reported and done accurately when given to the audience. although some things may be left out, most of the time bleacher report and ESPN especially do a great job of giving me what I need to know to open me up to the sports world and let me inside of what is going on in the NFL or other leagues. on the other hand, with teams not telling everything to the media and some journalist being unethical, it limits me to my exposure in the sports world and even real news. Us, the citizens, are limited in what we are exposed through news because people have the audacity to lie to the media and the media have the authority to say and report what they want.

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  5. Mike, how can we assume or know a journalist is being unethical? We could ask the same thing about a story we see published in the New York Times or one reported on 20/20. How about AP (Associated Press) stories that indicated, “According to an anonymous source…”? Do you feel that is a less credible piece of news? Would you question it and if so, would you feel the need to fact check with other news sources in order to back up the story/information? And if a source lies or someone we deem as credible turns out not to be, how can we control that?

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  6. Kaitlyn Dombrowski

    Many people use social media as a way to tailor the news that they consume, however, I actually try to avoid using social media feeds as a way to consume the news. While this is not always the case because it has become nearly impossible to avoid shared posts from friends on social media, I mostly try to go directly to various news sites to find news stories that I find to be most interesting. In my experience, many of the news stories that are circulated on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are often from less reputable news sources that are more concerned with sensationalizing stories than they are with detailed, fact based reporting.
    Going directly to reputable news websites allows me to avoid reading only the headlines that tend to only tell part of the story and even sensationalize the topic. I have found that doing so is also a good way to ensure that I am not only consuming news that interests people who, in many cases, share similar backgrounds, interests and convictions. Because of this, I think that going directly to the news sites and reading from various sources widens my horizons and challenges me to consider varying viewpoints. At the same time, I could see how this could potentially limit my exposure when I purposely try to avoid shared stories on media feeds because even though I read from numerous news outlets, I am still choosing to read stories that best align with my interests.

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  7. Kaitlyn, do you customize your news feeds and if so give me some examples of some sites your regularly access/read. You talk about news being sensationalized especially in social media forums. Is there a way of knowing whether news is reputable on a social media site, or are we forced to seek out reputable sources to be sure the information we are receiving is factual, accurate and balanced?

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  8. Maggie Reid

    On Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I follow news organizations such as CNN and the Observer Dispatch, as well as Channel 12 news, which is my hometown’s news. Even on Snapchat, I follow outlets such as Vice News, as well as magazines such as Cosmopolitan and People, to keep on top of celebrity news.

    I normally never get my news by going straight to a website such as NBC or CNN. It is almost always from Twitter or Snapchat. Twitter is where I get information about international and national news, while the information I mainly get from Snapchat is mainly just entertainment news.

    By only choosing to follow a certain amount of outlets instead of a wide variety, the amount of information I am exposed to is limited, in a way. By not following a larger amount, I could be missing out on certain stories or information that I wouldn’t get from the organizations that I currently follow.

    On Twitter, I have notifications when CNN publishes a story, which helps to expose me to more information because I am able to see what they have recently posted right then and there instead of finding out about it hours later, or perhaps never at all due to it being buried in my timeline.

    However, I only have notifications on for one publication instead of a wide amount, which limits the amount of information I am exposed to.

    By only following certain publications instead of a wide variety, I am both exposed to information I care about because I chose to follow them, as well as missing out on information from other publications I chose not to follow.

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  9. Maggie, I commend the variety of reputable news that you are in tune with. You keep a nice balance of local news from your hometown, current town and national. You’re doing what a responsible journalist should be doing. You’re allowed to have your own special interests, so you’ve got that covered for your entertainment news and those are still reputable news sources. You’re doing a great job of keeping yourself abreast of what’s going on around you and I’m impressed you’re doing so through social mediums like Snapchat where we can question whether a source of information is reliable. You say what you do can limit you. How so, and give me some examples of how you may be able to broaden your horizons.

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    1. That is true that following news on Snapchat can be unreliable, I should think more about that and perhaps follow news else where. By not following a wide variety of news on social media , I am limiting the amount of news I am exposed to , because I will not see it on my feed, unless my followers like or post something about it. I should follow a wider variety of news outlets so that I am exposed to more than I currently am, therefore widening my horizons further.

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      1. Thanks for responding Maggie! YAY! Sorry after what I’ve gone through to get this up and running I’m super excited. I guess that means your more traditional news outlets, like say where I work, need to step it up and offer apps to view their newscasts or publications. I know we used to offer an app, but they did away with it.

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  10. Kendal Santiago

    As technology has advanced, mediums that provide news to the people have died off. Younger generations are not reading newspapers, nor are they watching the news on television. However, they can access news via social media.
    With this new-age technology comes the ability to tailor one’s “news-feed,” which continuously provides content from around the web to whomever owns the profile or page of a particular social media outlet. This can be very rewarding to someone who is passionate about specific things and would like to stay updated on particular topics. People are allowed to keep up with the ongoings in their communities, as well as communities they care about.
    While tailoring one’s news-feed can seem like a genius idea, it is limiting their access to knowledge. Everyone should stay educated about things that happen all over the world. One should also challenge themselves, as this builds personality and skill. It is impossible to do that when their news-feed is biased; they will agree with everything and deny their mind to wander and gain sympathy to other topics, people, communities, et cetera.
    The ability to tailor one’s news feed to their liking does seem like an amazing tool, but while doing so, they should also consider the benefits that they will be missing out on by denying themselves a diversified news-feed.

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  11. Kendal, it’s very true that the younger generation isn’t even tuning into news or even news shows like Good Morning America anymore let alone reading a newspaper. In fact, even my generation (although you can say we’re dinosaurs), is not savvy at picking up a newspaper. That’s something from our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. And even some of them are starting or have been going online to get their news. That said though, do you think or have you witnessed some news resources try to target certain age groups – say they’re trying to get younger people to see what they’re posting or what they have to say? If so, what are the dangers and/or benefits of this?

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  12. Logan Winder
    Joining certain communities or subscribing to them on social media definitely has an effect on your exposure. For example, if someone goes onto YouTube and strictly watches or subscribes to photography or vlog channels, that person’s feed is going to be all photography and a few recommendations on different vloggers. Whereas someone who may strictly like sports or video games and subscribes to those types of channels, they will strictly see that.
    Let’s talk about the photographer. If that person only limits himself to just photography on certain mediums, then his horizons expand tremendously in that area of expertise. That person will know everything that has to do with most cameras, how certain lenses work and how to set up your camera fo the best image/video quality. But if you put that person into the world of sports and video gaming, then that person will have a hard time telling you the difference between a grand slam in baseball and the grand slam in golf.
    I don’t necessarily think that limiting yourself to certain news or subjects is a bad thing. It helps you grow your knowledge into something that you are passionate about. But it does help to know what else is going on for your overall knowledge of the world.

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  13. Logan, yes in the social media age it’s awesome to connect ourselves to certain subject matter so that we can become experts in our passions. When I grew a passion for poetry, I started to connect to certain publications’ websites looking for contests to enter my poems in and read about how to get your poems and fiction published. But I became too engrossed in that and wasn’t spending enough time on working to get my fiction published. I guess life is a two-way street. So, do you think it’s possible for us to get too involved in our own little worlds, or do you think there are ways or means that we get exposed to the news we need without even realizing it?

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  14. Dan Piersma

    Daniel Piersma 09/17/18
    Blog Post #1 JLM 401
    In today’s day and age technology is the number one way that we as humans consume media and it allows us to keep up to date on anything we chose at any given time. There are so many online websites and social media outlets that allow humans to be instantly connected with the world via the notifications we chose to get. For me personally I am huge sports fan, so on my social media outlets I tend to follow a lot of professional team’s pages and fan pages of those teams. In terms of other applications on my phone that aren’t social media, I have a lot of sports apps like ESPN, MLB At Bat, NBA, NFL, and Bleacher Report. With these applications I am always getting sports news from multiple outlets as soon as it happens, and it allows me to increase my knowledge in sports because I aspire to be a sports analyst or broadcaster one day. However, following this many sports sites hinders the amount of other worldly news such as politics or international affairs that to most people are much more important than sports. People tend to follow what they care about and what interest them and tend to only focus on those things and will neglect things that they don’t care about even if its something they should care about.

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  15. Dan, yes before I read it, I said for sure Dan wants to be a sports reporter or broadcaster. And it’s great that that’s your specific goal. But do you think it can hinder you in the future to keep such a targeted focus? Would you consider an actual news app like CNN or NBC news, or even just your local news channel, to keep abreast of other things going on? I’m gathering information now to do an in-class discussion about Colin Kaepernick and the controversy surrounding his Nike campaign. That shows that sometimes even sports news can leak into what’s going on globally.

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    1. Yes, I do believe that it could possibly hinder me and I’m hoping that because I have a concentration in Sports Journalism I will be able to get a job in sports relatively quick without having to go into actual news. Not all the classes I’m taking are sports related and I believe that gives me my source of news that isn’t sports. I have never had an interest in politics for certain reasons that I just don’t think will ever really be super interesting, so I don’t really see myself downloading an app like CNN or NBC as I will just see the important stories on my Facebook or Twitter and in different classes

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  16. Adam Ziobrowski
    Like most, I receive many push notifications regarding the Red Sox, Packers, Timberwolves and other teams I like to stay up to date with. Most of this news comes from outlets such as ESPN, Barstool Sports, Bleacher Report and so on. With that, I also receive many notifications regarding the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA to stay up to date with those leagues and schools in general.On top of all that, I am part of the sports media in some way as I write for a few sports blogs.It’s very rare that I miss any top or breaking news about my favorite teams or leagues because of how the notifications are so on top of news. However, do these push notifications draw my attention away from other areas of everyday life like general news and politics? On one hand I have a general all-around knowledge of the four major U.S. sports. On the other I don’t pay as much attention to much outside of sports besides important news or elections. The constant push notifications regarding sports nearly makes it impossible for me to keep up with other things. Do these sports notifications get in the way of me widening my horizon towards other things such as basic news and politics?

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  17. Adam, OK so you left me with the question I was about to ask you. So does it? Like reporters need to be balanced in their reporting and writing, do you feel it’s the responsibility of the reporter to also be balanced in the kind of feeds they receive? Do you think could hinder you in the future? Then again, can you compare what you do to simply not picking up a newspaper or tuning into your local news and weather station?

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  18. James Den Bleyker

    When it comes to certain news stories that found on the Internet, it is most likely that cookies would be involved. If you don’t know what cookies are, they are what give you advertisements tailored specifically to your interests. I always thought this was a bad idea because it gives you less exposure to different viewpoints and puts you in your own little bubble. Also known as “the echo chamber”, cookies often reiterate the same interests you have in order for you to buy their products.
    These cookies can expand your horizon because it can be used to explore your avenue of interest. However, it can limit the amount of interests you could be having leaving the consumer complacent. There’s also the Orwellian vibe that is being displayed when talking about cookies because it shows that tech companies have the ability to fit the algorithm to fit your personal interest without even telling them. Technology has the power to show the best and worst in human nature as humans do control the algorithms at play.
    When it comes to the news, we are now learning about shadow banning and other tactics to distribute news that is popularly received and news that is not. An example of this is YouTube in which a right leaning news source that gets more views will most likely be at the bottom of the search results compare a left leaning source that has less views. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you get your news, you will often see a political bend and who ever has more power will control the news content you see on each search engine. However, if you all ready know your political stance you would be able to find it anyway, but that does not excuse the fair hypocrisy we often see when it comes to shadow banning.

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  19. Dan, great points and very scary. I’d love to hear more about what “shadow banning” for news. It sounds like in a sense, our news is being censored. Actually maybe that’s a good question, if our news or the news we choose to receive is being tailored to our interests, then in a sense, is this censorship? Are we being banned from the less popular topics or the minority view?

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  20. Christopher Patterson
    9/18/18
    Media Ethic Blog 1

    There are certain online communities that really peak my interest and some that makes me want to buy more in the internet the more I interact in the community. Some that I can think of would be Google as that is where I converse for my information. In all of the electronics that I have they usually have google install in them and when it does I access to everything need. The next online community that I associate with is Deviant Art. For as long I can remember I always admired that people who are fans of a show or cartoon take their skills to new heights and they share it with people by their art and design. Whether it’s cool looking, creepy, disturbed, or very emotional each picture to e has meaning as well as its creators.

    Some online communities that I’ve been a part of was when I downloaded the app/ games on my phone. Some of the games that I had that were part of a community was a game called dragon city. I had the game since I was in high school until I deleted it when I came to Utica. When I had the game it gave me the opportunity to connect to other people. If also kept me inform when the newest additions were added and new island. There were many more games that follow that allow me to connect with people.

    i also try to keep up to date with the weather and the news going on all around me by using the weather app on my phone.

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    1. Chris:
      How does belonging to these sites or online communities enhance or inhibit your exposure? It’s great to be connected to our own interests to enhance our knowledge and develop skills in what we’re passionate about. But how do you think technology can inhibit or prohibit your exposure to news and relevant information about the world around you?

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