Archive for December, 2014

New Media Tools

Posted: December 22, 2014 in SNHU COM 510

The first new media tool that I used was QR codes. QR codes are interactive barcodes that can be scanned from mobile devices, linking the user to a site. In this example the QR code helps users locate HIV/AIDS related clinics in the area. In order to test the QR code I had to install the application QR Reader for iPhone. Once the app was installed I was able to scan and pull up my local area, in which eight HIV testing facilities were available.   The closest location available was at the Holbrook Counseling Center located at 998 E. Maple St, Mundelein, IL 60060. The application is connected to Google Maps, so there is the ability to see that it is 2.51 miles away from my current address. This tool is definitely designed for a more technological savvy audience. Not only do you have to be capable of downloading an application, which requires a smartphone but you would also have to have the understanding on how to navigate through the application all of which is targeted towards individuals who are better with technology. For example my father wouldn’t take the time to download the application and even if he did, he would not know what he was doing with it. This new media tool is probably the one that is most overlooked out of those listed on this website in my personal opinion. I do like that it’s interactive but the time it takes to make this happen if you do not already have the application can be avoided by simply Googling HIV testing facilities.  

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The second new media tool that I used was RSS feeds. RSS feeds are websites users subscribe to that send updates automatically through e-mail or a newsreader. There was a link under the more common RSS readers called Feedly so I tested that one out. In order to connect to this Feedly site I had to connect my Facebook to create an account. Once I had the account I was able to search my particular interests such as film. Once I was in the film category I was able to add Empire News to my Feedly list. The Feedly list acts similar to Facebook when you “like” something. For example if I was to “like” the Green Bay Packers on Facebook I would get news and updates to my feed in regards to the Packers. Feedly works similar to that in which I will now get updates on movies through Empire News. This new media tool is designed for anyone who prefers social media and since it connects to Facebook it is a great crossover tool for users to get information on the preferred social networking site. I prefer Facebook to all others; therefore I’ll get this information from Empire News on Facebook now versus looking it up on Feedly. Even though it seems to be a nice platform, I would prefer to simplify my resources. I did not care to have another application installed on my phone so when Facebook prompted me to add Feedly I did not go forward with it.

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The third new media tool that I used was Online Collaboration Tools. Online collaboration tools allow people to work together over the Internet and an example of that would be Wikipedia. I’m an avid user of Wikipedia as I use it as a source to confirm information that I may or may not know. I think a number of people that have Internet capabilities use this method of online collaboration as a resource to help each other learn. When I followed the link it took me to a featured article on Sir Colin Hannah who was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force and a Governor of Queensland. Since Wikipedia posts over four million articles in English there are many similar articles to Sir Colin Hannah that can help educate me on individuals I may know nothing about or research whatever I’m in need of looking up. All can use this tool, however because it can be edited by all, it brings to question the validating of some of the sources, I believe this is why most schools don’t use Wikipedia as valid references when citing.

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Oconee County Observations

Posted: December 19, 2014 in SNHU COM 510

Oconee County Observation- by Lee Becker

Who is the writer? Do you consider the author a “professional journalist”?

The writer is Lee Becker who has his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Mass.  He received his M.A. from the University of Kentucky in Communication and his B.A. in Journalism at the University of Kentucky as well. In my opinion he his has had formal training with his B.A. in Journalism, which coincides with the normative approach to defining a journalist. Stephen Ward defines the normative approach as “the normative approach insists that writers should not be called journalists unless they have highly developed skills, acquired usually through training or formal education, and unless they honor certain ethical norms” (Ward, 2014). He has however had no experience working with any news station. Regardless, his credentials through education in my opinion makes him qualified.

What is the purpose of this site? Is there a bias?

The purpose of this site is for Lee Becker to blog about Oconee County in Georgia, in a newsletter style writing. Since this is based on his personal feelings regardless of “wanting to offer a balanced presentation that recognizes different points of view” his biases are clear. In his first paragraph on the blog post Rep. Quick Tells Oconee County Government Leaders she questions, the need for additional funding for GDOT, he starts off by stating “It’s unlikely that Rep. Regina Quick won any friends at the Georgia Department of Transportation last week” (Becker, 2014). It is his bias opinion on the issue that allows him to state her inability to make friends. I’m sure there were a number of people that support her on her decisions, however Becker is not one of them and that is clear in his blog post.

Does the writer adhere to SPJ’s Code of Ethics? Does it seem like he takes steps to verify information and report truthfully and accurately?

I believe that the writer is trying to adhere to the SPJ’s Code of Ethics. I think Becker is seeking the truth and reporting it. I believe Becker is trying to minimize as much harm as possible however I think bias opinions can cause harm so that one is a mixed bag. I believe that Becker is acting independently and is accountable/transparent as possible.

In your opinion, does it really matter if someone reporting news is labeled as a “professional” or not? Should everyone be held to the same ethical standards regardless of their professional classification?

In my opinion it does matter when labeling someone a professional or not. I think to label any blogger a professional is a discredit to those who put the time in and received formal education. That isn’t to say that someone blogging can’t be respected, accurate, and truthful in discussing whatever news they are covering but in my opinion they should be considered armatures. It’s similar to athletes who make it to the professionals, it’s not to say that college athletes aren’t good at what they do or have the potential to become a professional but there is a significant different level from a college player to a professional in regards to their skills and only so many of them have been able to get to that point because they put there talent to good use and trained hard enough to get there. Journalist on the other hand don’t have to be born with this god given talent to make it to the big leagues but they do need in my opinion to get the training that is needed to be considered a professional. Some bloggers out there probably don’t even know of the SPJ let alone their code of ethics. Ethics alone is something that all journalists must go through within their training and in that case it is even more of a demand to have that training to be more ethical in their reporting.

How does the rise of citizen journalists and bloggers change the way we receive knowledge and what we know? What are the advantages and disadvantages (or challenges) attributed to the presence of these new writers? Can “non-professionals” show good judgment, assemble information for balanced stories, and build up credibility?

I absolutely think citizen journalists and bloggers can be received as a good source credibility. I think anyone who does the research and cites their sources can be considered showing good judgment. As I said before I think there is a higher standard amongst professionals and citizen journalists/bloggers due to the training. It wouldn’t however stop me from reading one versus the other but I would always have it in my mind that the professional probably did a more accurate job. That is simply a bias opinion on my behalf because I believe in proper training and anyone in a field should train themselves to be a true expert in their field. If someone wants to be considered a journalist they should get the education behind it before calling themselves one. I love photography and have taken courses in it but am far from calling myself a professional photographer.


Becker, L. (2014). Oconee County Observations. Retrieved from

Ward, S. (2014). Digital media ethics. Center for journalism ethics. Retrieved from

Mistakes, False News, and Errors

Posted: December 12, 2014 in SNHU COM 510

After reading the article The F.B.I criticizes the news media after several mistaken reports of an arrest, I was left feeling conflicted towards how impactful our social media is within reporting the news. I have for the longest time and continue to believe that technological advances have only helped our industries grow along with the global connection amongst people due to social media. I am a complete advocate for even more involvement and growth, that being said it is hard to watch the news when they are rushing to get the story out in the “report now, apologize later” method or as Bill Carter put it “the age of retraction” (Carter, 2013). Since, social media’s involvement in getting the news out faster and on a global scale through sharing and retweeting, it has put more pressure on the reporters to get their story out with more urgency then there was before. Even before social media there was a sense of urgency to be the first one reporting the news, but now that anyone can break the story over social media, reporter or civilian it has become an even greater factor.

I personally believe that the new thought process of report now, apologize later is the way news is going to continue to be, because it’s about updating statuses on what they have at that time with the idea that it could change. The way news is being reported has more of a real time feel then it ever did before. The reporters are getting things wrong because they are reporting what is being said/done at that given time. I believe it’s on us as the citizens to understand the change rather then set blame to the news stations. They are humans and humans make mistakes but that didn’t stop the viewers from watching their news station. I feel as though the blame only gets dished out once the viewer repeated what was said only to find out it was incorrect. I know the idea is that these news stations are supposed to be experts in their field and the information being told should be authenticated, but let’s face facts it didn’t need to be shared right away. I didn’t need to see it posted two seconds later on someone’s news feed so that I could post it as well. If it’s an immediate story perhaps the viewer should wait for all the other news stations out there to be collectively reporting on the same page thereby confirming everyone us up to speed before sharing it with the world. Citizens definitely fall under the culprit aspect because of our desire for immediate knowledge and impulsion to share it globally amongst others. I question whether our need is to hear what the incident is versus how important it is to get the information out there on ones own social media platform. Perhaps it makes citizens feel more like reporters when they can inform people they are connected with of the disasters in the world first by sharing. In doing so, citizens definitely are to blame as well, however I feel the blame theory is one that should be tossed aside as well. As I said before I think humans make mistakes and so do reporters, it’s common knowledge that expectations are high given that this is their field of expertise which makes the viewer expect the facts. However, with the changes in technologies and how the world gets information through the web, sources are expanding much further then that of the news reporter. It’s up to the civilians to deceiver what they believe and wait for the facts. Having the knowledge that news reporting is subject to change and what we are getting right then and there might not be the whole story only what is currently available. Rafig Copeland of Metro Magazine wrote an article Tweet all about it: social media and the news revolution stating:

The fact that social media users still rely on old media sources is indicative of another important caveat that must be placed on any discussion of this news revolution: the wealth of content available does not necessarily lead to better content than what we had before – it just means that there is a lot more of it at our fingertips. There is actually the very real possibility that with all this news and commentary, quality will get drowned out by quantity. This is perhaps where the most distinctive factor in social media news dissemination becomes apparent (Copeland, 2011).

I don’t believe we should expect or demand more evidence as we are getting what is there at that moment in what is considered real time and this sense of urgency isn’t going to go away because the demand from the citizens is too high. I absolutely feel that we have entered the age of retraction and that falls directly on the technological advances but looking back to the radio and the television viewers would have to wait until morning to find out what had happened the night before. Having these new advances come with some drawbacks but the overall impact and the way social media has expanded news coverage on a more global scale has only caused more good then bad. There will be mistakes with everything and anything that happens in this world, I believe pointing the finger is the real mistake. These mistakes happened long before the Internet and will only continue, long into the future.


Carter, B. (2013). The F.B.I criticizes the news media after mistake reports of an arrest. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Copeland, R. (2011). Tweet All About It. Metro, (169), 96-100.

  • Star Witness in Apple Lawsuit Is Steve Jobs by Brian X. Chen

In evaluating the author Brian X Chen I have decided that I do believe him to be a credible source. He works with The New York Times as a technology reporter and has been there for over three years. I discovered this information through his personal website, listing his social media accounts and through LinkedIn was able to look up his experience. I believe that 10 years in reporting gives him the qualifications that I would need to believe what he is reporting is accurate. Chen has worked with companies such as Macworld, which is devoted to all products Apple based, this leads to more credibility in his ability to know the product he is researching. He worked with Macworld for roughly two years.

Chen’s website links the reader to his book along with his e-mail address and social media sites that he is actively on. Chen is the author of a book Always On: How the iPhone unlocked the anything-anytime-anywhere future—and locked us in.  There is also a picture of him as well which shows me he is relatively young, this give his experience a limit versus someone who has been in the field for 20 years. However, I still believe 10 years is a good amount of experience to be a credible source of information.

Chen’s LinkedIn account lists his experience in reporting for the past 10 years along with his profile summary that reads:

“Author and reporter Brian X. Chen is a technology writer for The New York Times, where he reports on the cellphone industry and its impact on the world of business.

A new media enthusiast, Brian enjoys experimenting with cutting-edge web tools to report the news. In August 2008, he led an interactive, crowdsourced study to investigate the iPhone 3G’s network problems. The story attracted 4,000 participants around the world who collectively helped conclude that the iPhone’s connection problems were related to AT&T’s overloaded 3G network rather than the handset. The study earned nominations for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) and the Online News Association (ONA).

While at, Brian’s biggest scoop involved the famous iPhone 4 prototype that an Apple employee left at a bar in 2010. The person who found the phone sold it to, which published pictures of the device. Brian followed clues on social media and the Internet to track down and unmask the man who took the phone from the bar.

In 2011, Brian completed a book about the always-connected mobile future titled Always On, which was published by Da Capo. He has been a technology commentator on several radio and television programs, including Fresh Air, All Tech Considered, Bloomberg West, CNN and CNBC. Finally, he was a founding editor of, a website that features only the best of the best in consumer electronics.

Specialties: Writing, editing, news reporting, journalism, blogging, research, film reviewing, computers, technology, commodity hardware testing and reviewing.”

The article reviewed for this blog was titled Star Witness in Apple Lawsuit is Steve Jobs, and is about an upcoming lawsuit in which old e-mails and conversation from the late Steve Jobs are being used in court as evidence that Apple’s iPod put competing music software companies in jeopardy. It is one of the third major antitrust lawsuits Apple has faced since Steve Jobs died (Chen, 2014). Chen gave quotes from Michael Carrier a Professor at Rutgers School of Law, who said “Steve Jobs was a genius in terms of his vision for the future, but it went along with a really healthy ego and perhaps the lack of an antitrust filter” (Chen, 2014). There were also quotes from the plaintiffs’ lawyer Bonny Sweeney as well. What I found really insightful was the actual transcripts from Steve Jobs’ emails dating back to 2003, in which he discussed a new software Music Match that was a competitor music store to Apple, and that they were not going to allow it to work with their iPod (Chen, 2014). Chen discusses the upcoming trial and how e-mails from Steve Jobs will affect Apple in a negative way. Chen also discusses e-mails from past lawsuits and how current Apple executives such as Philip Schiller (marketing) and Eddy Cue (iTunes director) will be brought to trial to testify on Apple’s behalf.

Based on the guidelines listed in the article Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources, I have mapped out the facts to determine the credibility of Brian X Chen. I do believe that Chen showed some signs of bias for example when Chen stated “and that’s not necessarily good news for Apple,” in reference to Steve Jobs being a key witness in the upcoming lawsuit (Chen, 2014). Chen clearly showed some of his bias in that statement, however followed it up with a more neutral comment such as “the emails in all these cases present the good and bad of Steve Jobs – charmer and bully, someone who may not always have played by the rules” (Chen, 2014). Looking at the website there is a date of 11/30/14 followed by a correction on 12/2/14, it is clear this site is up to date. There are also links that have pictures of people in Christmas hats which correlates to the upcoming holiday all of which leads me to believe website is current. There were however no works cited or references other then stating the background of the individuals quoted such as Professor Michael Carrier that I discussed above. There is also an available printed version of this article under the heading Star Witness in Apple Suit is Still Jobs. The website is considered a news and journalistic site, it is clearly from The New York Times, which includes national, international news, online newspapers, magazines, and “homegrown” Web publications (Montecino, 1998).

There was a correction on December 2, 2014 that indicated the correct month in which the trial will start, which was April and not January as Chen stated. This correction makes me curious what else could have been incorrect. On the flipside it also shows that this article has been proofed and edited to make sure it is accurate which leads to more credibility. If this had come from a blogger and not a reporter for The New York Times, I would definitely be more skeptical. I believe the information provided has shown that Brian X. Chen is a reliable source.

In regards to how social media has played a role in the spreading and receiving of information, is is clear from the readings that discussed multiple examples in which there were mistakes because reporters were in too much of a time crunch to get all the facts. What I thought was really interesting and something I think all reporters and editors should abide by are initiatives such as the Verification Handbook (Vis, 2014). The Verification Handbook is a guideline that explains how to deal with false information (Vis, 2014). In the article How does false information spread online? by Farida Vis, she stated

In this emergent field of study we need solutions that not only help us to better understand false information spreads online but also how to deal with it. This requires different types of expertise: a strong understanding of social media combined with an ability to deal with large volumes of data that foreground the importance of human interpretation of information in context (Vis, 2014).

I believe there should be more focus on verifying the facts and not getting consumed in the time crunch that social media enhances because it only leads to more false reporting. In a time where anyone can be a blogger it is important to get the facts right so we don’t have more cases like Flight 214. It’s the job of the reporter to fact check along with the editors, I would think that social media has only made it harder on them and will continue going forward.


Chen, B. (2014, November 30). Star witness in Apple lawsuit is Steve Jobs. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Montecino, V. (1998). Criteria to evaluate the credibility of WWW resources. Retrieved from

Vis, F. (2014). How does false information spread online? Retrieved from