Talking Yak: Considering Anonymity in Journalism

The Yik Yak application has taken college campuses by storm over the last year. Image via Instagram @yikyakapp

The Yik Yak application has taken college campuses by storm over the last year. Image via Instagram @yikyakapp

If you’re a college student, or you interact with one, you’ve probably heard of Yik Yak by now. The social media platform launched nearly a year ago and has gained momentum on college campuses nationwide. The location-based app lets users share short messages with the public. The hook is that it’s entirely anonymous.

The app already has a bad rap from the media. The Washington Post called it “the scourge of campuses from California to Concord, N.H.” That doesn’t seem like a stretch considering Drake University has seen everything from violent threats, homophobic and racist statements, and cyber bullying show up on its Yik Yak feed.
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#GamerGate: Attacking Gamer Girls or Saving Ethical Journalism?

by Sydney Schulte

Photo courtesy of Marco Arment via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Marco Arment via Flickr

The real world can be a nasty place for people. For some people, escaping reality for a few hours in a video game may give them some peace of mind.  But as the online movement #GamerGate spews anonymous threats to opposition via social media, the virtual worlds of video games might become even worse than reality.

#GamerGate gained momentum when independent game designer Olivia Quinn released a free game called “Depression Quest.”As a non-traditional game with a more “choose your own adventure” feel, “Depression Quest” received mixed reviews. Some critics weren’t sure if it was a video game or just a new form of storytelling. Some gamers felt this was not a game at all; others saw it as a possibility to change the face of video games. This potential change is the main argument of the #GamerGate controversy.

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Hannah Graham And The ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome’ In America

Posted by: Cassie Myers

If you’ve read the news in the last five weeks chances are you’ve heard about the disappearance of Hannah Graham. The 18-year-old University of Virginia student has been all over the news since she went missing on September 13.

Have you heard of Tyrell Alexander, Kaitlan Coan or Tong Shao? All three were reported missing around the same time as Graham, yet these names are unfamiliar to most. There’s a reason why and it’s called Missing White Woman Syndrome.

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The Minimalist Phase

Posted By: Sarah Mattes

Photo courtesy of Gareth Saunders via Flickr

In a world where new technology is popping up over night, how can we keep all the “old” technology up to date and be just as inspiring as the next best thing?

Today’s college campuses are swarming with new design classes, new media formats, more advanced software; all these new elements concerned with the topic of design and how design affects the way we view the world around us. But if you take a minute and scan a couple websites throughout the internet, you will see some striking similarities between different sites.

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Gender Roles Still Stagnant in Journalism

By Erin Menardi

Looking around the classrooms of the SJMC at Drake University, you would think that women in the professional journalism circuit are just as common as the air we breathe. In fact, in 2012, college students with journalism degrees were overwhelmingly female. But sadly, there is still a noticeably large gap in the number of women represented in journalism positions compared to their male counterparts. In April of this year, a study found that men still retain 63% of the bylines held by major news corporations in America across nearly all media platforms. In a day and age where gender equality and opportunity is at the forefront of many issues, women still are receiving less than their share of the spotlight.

Photo courtesy of Upworthy

Photo courtesy of

Many women are still stuck writing “pink topics”: family, food, furniture and fashion. Is it simply because no one else volunteers to cover such topics, or is there still a standing sexism that delegates women to be the ones to write about the more domestic stories?

While there are no real solutions to this issue, its recognition has spurred reaction from several companies and news networks across the country. Employers are beginning to see the need to hire more females to their staff, and while the battle for equal representation still has much progress to make, support for feminists movements have brought it to light.

So what do you think? For a field that is involved in the coverage of progressive thinking and liberal issues, why has authority remained in the hands of men for so long? How can women finally be given equal representation in the media?

Battle of the Ads

Posted By: Lauren Manecke

As television has become a part of our daily lives, we have gotten used to waiting five minutes in between shows to watch commercials. Within that five minutes, different ads are being displayed on the screen to try and grab the viewer’s attention. With so many new products being invented daily, companies need to make their product stand out amongst the others. They reach out to consumers through popular forms of communication, such as, social media and television. Continue reading

Do Journalists Have a Right to Privacy?

By: Sarah LeBlanc

The problem of invading an individual’s privacy is one journalists often face in pursuit of a story. Luckily, the University of Iowa has compiled a list of the ways the right to privacy is violated so journalists know what to avoid.

  • Intruding into seclusion or solitude.
  • Publicly disclosing private, embarrassing and irrelevant facts.
  • Placing someone in a false light.
  • Misappropriating someone’s name or image for personal advantage.

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