Hello my little Minions!
If you’ve never watch despicable Me then disregard the Minions part! Cannot believe this is the last initial blog I’ll be writing!!! So close to the end, who would have ever thought I actually liked to blogged! Definitely have learned a lot through this course, more than I ever thought I would have! Though I cannot wait for my summer to FINALLY begin :D!
Before the big ol World Wide Web came to be, to we were limited to the way that we could spread the word and get our voices heard and the facts known. We had the word of mouth, the papers, the magazines, we could mail things to get what we wanted further, but all of that took time. To individual send out mail with your article in it, or to have to out and go to publishing companies to try to get your articles published, but over the past several years things have drastically for the people in the Journalism field, for me I see it as positive changes and has made their jobs easier, though I’m sure there’s some journalists out there who think that the WWW has ruined what Journalism is all about.
Within the first part of Henry Jenkins and David Thorburns article The Digital Revolution, the informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy he talks about the United States and how many states had been moving their candidacies and voting to online polls and websites early in 2000. By moving the candidacies online, the candidates were able to post much more than they ever could before about their campaigns and other information, most of it being the stuff the public never had access to such as government documents. To me it sounds all fine and dandy, maybe if it was in today’s day and age.. but 13 years ago I don’t think it was a good idea. Although it was said that “the emergence of home computers…might strengthen democratic culture, enabling citizens and grassroots organization to circulate their ideas more widely than ever before (Jenkins & Thorburn, 2013 p. 5)”, which is absolutely true and its what has happened now.. But politics has always generalized more to the older population, the tax payers and the retired people who follow the debates and have been around long enough to know what’s good for the country & economy and what’s not. But it’s the older people who don’t have access or aren’t up to speed on the growing speed of the WWW, Jenkins and Thorbun went on to say that “fifty percent of Internet users under the age of thirty said the Net had affected their vote, a finding that suggests a generational shift in political culture (Jenkins & Thorburn, 2013 p. 1)”. Moving politics online definitely has it’s positives and benefits, I think in today’s society it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to make online voting possible, with the chaotic lives that many people live, getting to a voting station isn’t always possible, but with technology available in the palm of someone’s hand, and the accessibility to just click a couple of buttons, type in some info and be able to vote, than maybe there would be an influx of people voting. Though I don’t think right now, that all politics should be moved online .. There are still a lot the “baby boomers” and older generation still kicking around, following politics the “old fashion” way by following whats put on TV and what’s distributed in the good ol daily paper and the political magazines. I know for example, my mother has no idea how to even turn on a computer let alone surf the WWW and try to find credible information, and she has no desire to try to start learning now at her age, it’s just too advanced and she’s perfectly content with following the news and everything else without the use of WWW, and that’s the same mentality for a lot of the older generation.
Now including the topic of politics and all else that has moved to the WWW, the biggest problem for me is finding information that is credible, that is true and that has sources to back it up. There’s plenty of news articles that have an author and have a date and location of where it was published, and often times even has the author’s email attached, but who’s to say that holds any value? I could change my name to the name of a credible author, and make up some bogus email, and this really interesting article full of lies, and have millions of people believe it within a couple of hours of being released on the web! Even the politicians believe what they read on the WWW, during a political debate between Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton “both candidates strongly opposed pending legislation that would tax e-mail to provide financial support for the federal postal service (Jenkins & Thorburn, 2013 p.3), only to later find out that the “so-called bill” was nothing but a hoax released on the WWW, yet both politicians had believed it to be true. Now with all the different forms of social media such as things like Twitter and Facebook, factual information is much harder to come by. Journalism and journalists have always held their profession to “determine the truth, accuracy or validity of news events, establishing jurisdiction over the ability to objectively parse reality to claim a special kind of authority and status (Hermida, 2012 p.659)”. And now with these social media sites, news is upload and spread like wildfire all within a couple short sentences and a click of a button, no real factual information is needed for the majority of people to believe whatever is being written, of course there are some who will further look into what is being said, for example if someone were to post an update on Facebook about lets say Brock University Students having to pay double their tuition this year if the student is gay, I wouldn’t believe it first hand, I’d look into it further to find out where the source came from and whether or not there’s more information on it. But so many of us are caught up in the hustle and bustle of social media sites, that they’ll read something, believe it first hand, and re-post and then it takes off from there. I feel bad for the people who have or are going to school for journalism, their career is slowly being taken over by the public, now rather “the journalists today are just some of the many voices in public communication (Hermida, 2012 p. 666)”.
In conclusion , there are some positive to the online realm of journalism, the fact that news can travel faster than ever before, and journalists don’t need to wait months to try to get their article published into their favourite journal or magazine to try to get recognized, all they need is a good handle on social media and publishing things that the online readers want and like to read! Unfortunately most of what people re-post and like to read, is falsified information to try to get people attracted to the articles and to try to get as many readers as possible. I’m always in this love-hate relationship with the WWW when it comes to any form of news or finding valuable, credible information anymore.
MarMar ❤ xo
Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn. Introduction: The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy. in Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn eds. (2003). Democracy and New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. p1-17. NOTE: this link takes you to the entire book (online). You only need to read the introduction.
Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.