Tweets: Viral With The Click of the Retweet Button

By: Lauren Manecke

Photo courtesy to: Jon Gosier via Flickr

Photo courtesy to: Jon Gosier via Flickr

Many of us, including celebrities and news organizations, have taken to social media to express our thoughts, spread news quickly or ask polls. But what happens when a prominent person or source tweets something wrong? It goes viral.

This past week, The New England Patriots found this out the hard way when they tried to celebrate having one million followers on Twitter. By celebrating, they reached out to their twitter followers and told them they would thank them with a custom digital New England Patriots jersey. The jersey was a photo of the back of a Patriots jersey, and instead of having a players name, they put the fan’s Twitter handle (one’s name on twitter). Continue reading

Do Viral Videos Really Deliver the Message?

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Photo courtesy of Mark Smiciklas via Flickr

By: Sarah Mattes

We all know that technology is important to today’s society, people can’t even go a hour without checking their Facebook or Twitter feeds. We are a generation dependent on technology and the constant flow of information.

This small fact is what companies thrive on! Companies spend millions of dollars  and hundreds of hours on creating social media campaigns and advertising. They need to bring their product to your newsfeed. Most of the ads or tweets you see are for products such as Coca-Cola or Toms shoes, but recently more and more non-profits are joining the feed.

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Do News Sources Have Too Much Celebrity Coverage?

By Erin Menardi

By now you’ve probably seen or at least heard of Kim Kardashian’s latest self-promotion ploy: her “Break The Internet” spread in Paper Magazine. People across the globe have wasted no time making fun of the photoshoot, comparing her derriere to centaurs, peaches, and even glazed donuts. Other celebrities, like Chelsea Handler, have taken the opportunity to criticize Kardashian’s obviously Photoshopped waistline. My personal favorite is Buzzfeed’s response to the controversial photos:

While body image is only part of the issue, a larger part is the fact that news corporations have endlessly promoted the photos since their release. CNN, The Washington Post, and USA Today have all dedicated valuable time and effort for coverage of the topic. Not surprisingly, many of the stories and comments have painted Kardashian as narcissistic and classless, which begs the question–Why do reputable news outlets continue to address celebrity gossip and promotion agendas? Can news organizations get by with only reporting stories with true national and global relevance?

According to Pew Research Center, 87% of Americans blame the media for too much celebrity coverage. With certain stations like E!Online and People revolving their content around these celebrities, it seems logical that the more serious companies can afford to lose their celebrity gossip columns. But, as USA Today Life Editor Alison Maxwell says, “It’s the news outlet’s job to report on what people are talking about and acknowledge what’s buzzing in the world of celebrities.”

So what do you think? Is the responsibility of news outlets to cover which celebrity’s nudes are on the Internet today? Is there too much celebrity coverage? Can news outlets begin focusing away from these celebrity scandals without severe backlash from the public?

Amanda Bynes Coverage Perpetuates Mental Illness Stigmas In The Media

By: Cassie Myers

Mental illness is not something that the media handles well. When it is discovered that someone who has committed a crime has a mental illness, it is used as an end-all be-all explanation for what they did. This type of reporting affects the way people look and talk about those with mental illnesses and surveys show that 61% of Americans believe that those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia are violent.

This kind of reporting is clearly demonstrated by the articles that have been written about Amanda Bynes in the last year. Today she is making headlines again. TMZ has released a piece of audio where the actress can can be heard threatening her parents. The Inquisitr has labeled it as “another one of her infamous rants” with the audio clip posted prominently at the top of the article.

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The Satirical Journalism of Editorial Cartoons

By: Sarah LeBlanc

If you’re wondering what the print version of a news satire program like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report is, look no further than the editorial cartoon.

Unfortunately, the often overlooked editorial cartoon received some unwelcome attention last month for a racially suggestive remark coming from a portrayal of the White House’s somewhat comical Pokémon-fanatic intruder on September 30.

Screenshot of Jerry Holbert's cartoon in the Boston Herald taken from the Washington Post's website.

Screenshot of Jerry Holbert’s cartoon in the Boston Herald taken from the Washington Post’s website.

The October 1 cartoon that ran in the Boston Herald exaggerated the progress of the intruder and placed him in President Barack Obama’s bathtub. However, the real controversy was caused by the intruder’s comment to the president: “Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?”

In case this remark didn’t instantly set off any alarm bells, the problem with this comment isn’t the closeness of the intruder. It’s the historical and racial suggestion in the word “watermelon.” Continue reading

Journalism Solutions: A New Reporting Style

Photo courtesy of Sabestien Wiertz

Photo courtesy of Flickr Sabestien Wiertz

My media law professor asked students in the class if we thought journalism was ethical. Approximately 60 students were in the lecture hall. Five people raised their hand, and I wasn’t one of them. I wrestled with this for a while after the class. Although I don’t think journalism is completely unethical, I agreed with many students that said journalism focuses too much on sensationalism, ratings, and negative problems.

I started perusing the Twitter chat, #muckedup, and discovered a discussion on Solutions Journalism, a style of reporting that explores social issues and explains credible responses to them. Continue reading

Net Neutrality: Will the issue arise again?

by Chance Hoener

Net neutrality graphic.

A net neutrality graphic courtesy of Mike Licht via Flickr and Creative Commons.

Back in May there was a large blow up about net neutrality when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced new guidelines prohibiting ISPs from blocking content, but allowing them to make deals with businesses for faster content speeds. The news caused an uproar among a lot of people, protesters took to the streets and President Obama spoke out, urging for strong neutrality rules.

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