Author Archives: Kayli Kunkel

Goodbye Photojournalism, Hello Amateurism: The Downfall of Journalism Specialists

Original illustration

Original illustration

In a gust of controversy, the Chicago Sun-Times fired its team of photojournalists earlier this year. The justification? Reporters armed with iPhone cameras can do the job just as well.

Is this practice the new paradigm? An article by Lou Carlozo recently questioned if photojournalists are a “digital casualty.” A main point of the Chicago Sun-Times’ decision, Carlozo says, was to devote more dough to video production (that is, reporters hitting “record” on their iPhones).

As more publications move online, users demand interactivity. Brands amp up multimedia, brainstorming new ways for users to click and browse. Online newspapers become flashier and more involving, and “play” buttons abound. But will old-fashioned print journalism—and the photographs that accompany it—be left in the dust?

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Coverage of the Government Shutdown: Did Journalists Fail?

Posted by Kayli Kunkel

The US government shutdown is stealing news headlines and over 800,000 Americans’ paychecks.

Neither the headlines nor the Americans are doing their jobs.

I’ve heard scattered complaints about how little the news media did to prepare the public for the coming shutdown. Friends and classmates have expressed confusion and surprise.

Something this impactful shouldn’t come as a surprise. The shutdown is causing tangible damage to American lives. Today, CNN reported that 19,000 children might be shut out of preschools, including those who receive special disability services. Hundreds of thousands are unable to pay bills, apply for mortgages, or receive important federal services. On a personal note, my boyfriend, a Yellowstone National Park employee, was sent home—20 hours home—after thousands of park visitors faced a forceful exodus and paychecks hit a standstill.

Usually I say the public should pay better attention to news reports. Now, my sympathies lie with the average American for not getting the memo.

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Hashtags: The Greatest Tool of the Social Media Era

Posted by Kayli Kunkel
Hashtag Revolution - Kayli Kunkel

Illustration by Kayli Kunkel

What does “#” mean to you? In 2005, most would have answered, “the neglected phone button.” Today, the symbol shapes the social media frontier. The hashtag is the reigning voice of pop culture, a vital salesman, and an outlet for activism. On many occasions, the hashtag commands the world’s attention.

But how did one, simple symbol reach stardom? In 2007,  a tweet by techie Chris Messina gave the pound sign (what’s that?) its revolutionary makeover.

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