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Home sweet foggy home!

If Saint John is good for anything, it’s the fog – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If there is one thing I miss since coming to school in Fredericton it’s the creepy cool mist that hangs over Canada’s first incorporated city (circa 1785).

Saint John is hard to pin down. Primarily settled by loyalists and immigrated Irish, the Port of Saint John has become a tourist destination because of the rich history and Victorian architecture. Last year the city was “designated” a cultural capital of Canada, unfortunately the popularity doesn’t do much for the crippling social and economic divides between Saint John’s neighborhoods. Saint John stinks. And it’s not just the smell of the Irving pulp mill pumping fumes into the salty air.

With a total population of over 122,000 (if you include the outlying areas, like Rothesay and Hampton) there are many reasons why Saint John needs a little help get it’s community groove back.

Although it’s been reported that connecting to a specific location means ultimate demise these days for the independent news source – the PEW research institute, in their ‘State of the News Media‘ came up with some surprising data indicating that the ‘younger demographic’ is getting interested in community news.

It’s no secret that the population of New Brunswick is dwindling and the average citizen is ageing with the architecture; it’s for that very reason that I believe, specifically with Saint John, but across New Brunswick there should be conceded effort to create online-community media projects, in order to share the wealth of awesome New Brunswick culture between our younger communities, instead of just pimping it out to cruise ship passengers.



The News is Mobile and Lovin’ it

Posted: April 4, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in Uncategorized

Besides the surprising news that US auto industry handing out large contracts to news organizations for advertising, instead of handing out bonuses to it’s execs, it would seem that mobile devices are also serving as another pot of gold under that rainy-rainbow.

I’m calling this a pot of gold, I could be wrong, but a PEW survey came up with the result that nearly half of American adults are getting their news on a mobile device, specifically getting connected to their local news stations. The survey concluded that the mobile news users were younger, felt like they had more community impact and likely to be using several different types of media platforms. It is nice to hear that young 20- 30 year olds are concerned with the news, and as PEW pointed out, more likely to share found news.

Overall the ‘state of the media’ release seems to be pointing at the fact that there are many things hopeful about the face of media, but mainly that the face is going to continue to change. On this side of the border the Liberal platform was just released, and it seems to be a way of embracing digital information, as well as clearly supporting the CBC. This, in no way is a guarantee that media in Canada is going to be safe, but it looks like the discussion over the protection of media and information is a part of standard discussion. The state of the media is a conversation making it’s way through the Canadian government as well.

From the PEW research I was surprised by the reported increase in ad revenue happening across the board, especially with internet media because I had heard somewhere that ad’s don’t sell on the internet. But… that could have been the opposite.. and it could have been in class that we were taking about it.

Technology is making it’s way closer to the people who use it. We carry it with us day to day, and with the accessibility the news gets when it becomes a part of that platform, it’s putting the news in that same pocket, purse or bag. Hopefully it makes the people consume it, appreciate it, and understand what goes into making the news possible.

So, your telling me WHAT happened?!

Posted: March 30, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #9 Japan

Hideaki Akaiwa - Japanese Badass

Although I probably wasn’t the last person on earth to find out about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it was still a little startling to find out about it the day after. I will also say that once I got a grip on what was happening, my focus wandered back to the massive amounts of homework that I’d neglected before the march break.

Here are some of the links and videos that I watched in my efforts to get informed – I did manage to listen to some CBC Radio broadcasts about it. One in particular that struck me was an interview segment with a ESL teacher in Japan. It was strange, I had been thinking about it, taking Japanese courses and everything, and now I have to think about whether or not Japan will be a  safe enough place to be within the next few years. My Japanese teacher also gave us the twitter and facebook accounts for two of her former students who are currently in Japan.


What’s new Wikileaks?

Posted: March 16, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #8 Wikileaks

The project I’m currently working on in my Free Speech and the Free Press class semester is on Net Neutrality… at least it started out as Net Neutrality. But the whole notion of literally treating everything on the Internet as equal has grown in an unwieldy direction towards economic implications, focusing at specific points of theoretical concern involved with free speech. The issue is primarily based on the premise that there is somehow a way of managing the Internet – but there are certain principles that would have to exist in order for the Internet to function as a reliable pathway for information to flow. Wikileaks found a country willing to uphold the principals of Net Neutrality, and before Julian Assange was charged with sexual assault the website had managed to rally general support for the value of information.

As Wikileaks gains notoriety and infamy, there is a faction of Americans – and probably a few other world citizens who are hell bent on bringing Julian Assange to justice; for what he’s done to tarnish the names of people who’ve been accused of doing what they apparently do on a regular basis.

The power of information did that.

The way that Wikileaks gained notoriety has been through Internet, but most notably through the Journalists who follow the stories and facts from the leaks that the Wikileaks team serves. The journalist still hasn’t found his place in the information age, but the role they’ve served regarding Wikileaks was crucial to the documents reaching a broad audience.

There is little to be said of change in this sense. The Journalists have provided the service that they’ve always provided, but somehow they also took some blame and backlash from the same people who are choosing to oppose what Assange is doing. I think this also served as a dividing action between what good journalism does, and what politically motivated journalism does. When anchors on Fox News can publicly cry for blood, one has to consider what it is that they’re valuing. The good Journalists tells people what’s going on in their country and around the world, if they didn’t issues like Watergate would have never surfaced – allowing a government to operate in terms of self interest instead of for the general well being of a nation.

Whoever access information on Wikileaks is able to judge the content as they wish. If they are viewing it based on another’s recommendation, then they are likely viewing it to either discount or verify the beliefs of the one who recommended it to them. What Journalists have done is place a tentative step into Net Neutrality’s realm, by continuing the chain of information, and broadening access to Wikipedia as a resource. These journalists who mined Wikileaks in cooperation with the organisation have placed value on providing information as a service.

Published accounts of news organisations who’ve been taking part in the dispersal of Wikileaks information have threatened the relationship that was foraged between the two parties. If they loose confidence in that decision, they loose confidence in the journalistic principle of providing their readers with information.

** please forgive the lack of sources. It’s 3a.m. and I’m still writing my Case Study. Wish me Luck Internets.

Google is Following the News For You Now

Posted: March 13, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in Uncategorized

I stumbled upon this website That’s where I found this crazy new Google ap.

The Web is Us/ing us…

Posted: March 7, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in Uncategorized

Neat Video concerning the progress of the Internet as we evolve together.

Vice – How does attitude substitue for ethics?

Posted: March 1, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #7 Ethics

Why are uncles so much cooler than dads? Oh yeah, uncles didn’t spend a quarter of a century with you up in their grill making them bald and shitty. - Vice Magazine

It is clear that the journalist of the 21st Century has a lot on their plate. In the natural discussion of what the journalist’s role in society should be, there are checks and balances bestowed upon the journalist in the form of “ethics” to which there has been an entire code developed and distributed by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The SPJ is proud to outline a code that speaks of the personal integrity that defines the journalist as a “conscientious” and “credible” individual:

“The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialities strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.”
– The Society of Professional Journalists, an excerpt from their Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics mentioned above outlines the specific scenarios that journalists should find themselves in if they’re doing it right, assuming if you don’t follow these specific guidelines, you’ve failed your public as a credible journalist. Under the “Minimize Harm” sub-heading one of the ethics was, “Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.”

This ethic caught my attention, only because I had recently been scouring the underbelly of the Internet’s various portals and happened once again into the vortex of Vice magazine’s “Dos & Don’ts” column. If you are unfamiliar with this particular column the aim is to point out characteristics of style and presentation one might take with their general persona, and chooses to break it down into “fashion” dos and don’ts… The method to all of this madness is for viewers to send in personal photos or photos they’ve taken, which are then critiqued by at least one writer at the magazine — in which critiques range from mildly offensive, to outright horrifying blurbs about people they have likely never met, who will likely never read the critiques.


Digital Media – Not for Profit?

Posted: February 16, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #5 Not for Profit

I just happened upon this a couple nights ago and thought it was interesting. It sort of applies to the course given the context they were placing on this ‘new way of learning’. I thought it could be very practically applied to the method that many journalists seem to advocate for.

As for non-profits PBS is probably one of the better models out there, given that while growing up, PBS perpetually seemed like it was on it’s last leg. Celebrities like Art Garfunkel, spent hours on Sunday afternoons convincing people that they needed public broadcasting, and thus the cycle had been drawn. But, somehow PBS did it right, and they have an amazingly interactive website, and the content has generally maintained it’s value, that “knowledge is power”.

PBS has likely left it’s smear on my brain, and besides the bawdy British humor,  I think I had a pretty interesting understanding of space, physics, and nature, provided by viewers like you. But however much I liked the station, as a Canadian Kid I never felt responsible to donate as I watched Simon or Garfunkle perform wispy poetry while people answered phones and made pledges behind them.

Although the idea hasn’t manifested itself into gilt just yet – it’s made me question their latest campaign against government cuts that will lead to Public Broadcasting’s funding to be cut. The ad currently on their website describing their situation is about 30 seconds long and ends with a hammer smashing a radio. It doesn’t feel effective, and here’s why. Mr. Rogers did a better job of it when he moved a senate member to goosbumps by reciting elements of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in a meeting held which discussed cuts to PBS’s funding back in 1969.

What I’m trying to get at here is that PBS has been around for a while, and although they have a lot going for them content and message wise, they still don’t always get it right.

The organization that I found this week was a not for profit set up by university professor and their students at the University of Huston. The website’s called World Internet News.  Although it may not be perfect, and although it may be in need of a face lift and a bolt of something to get it started, it remains a start up of a not for profit, which could be considered — “a viable news source.”

I like that I know that students wrote the articles, but that it can and will compete with serious journalism, because it wants to. There is something base about the instinct to survive, and can it be translated into how we deal with problems that arise apart from our apparent doom? I think that’s what the Not-for-profit gets down to at the core, does it have the stamina to survive using what little money it gets from public funding while exceeding expectations in terms of broadcasting standards. Some will survive, some won’t.


Egypt… What does it all mean?

Posted: February 9, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in Uncategorized

Whether you label it a ‘protest movement’ a ‘wake up call’ or the ‘birth of a democracy’ the protest currently held in Egypt has provided an intricate look at what the core values of a protest are. And that has inadvertently brought on the discussion of how outliers like social media and the news media are pawns in the bigger game living.

Communication is key to a successful revolution. That has been demonstrated, and embraced by those currently protesting in Egypt. To say that social media wasn’t important for the Egyptian Revolution would be like saying that paint wasn’t necessary when the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was being made-over. This fact doesn’t negate the fact that the Egyptians had passion and perseverance – which lead them to pick up the social media tools in the first place.

“Action expresses priorities.”
-Mahatma Ghandi


Propublica and New Media

Posted: February 2, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #3 Propublica

The Investigation:

The Real “CSI”: How America’s Patchwork System of Death Investigations Puts the Living at Risk

It’s an interesting topic off the top. I’ve been known to consume crime thrillers now and again. I’ve kind of guessed that there’s no way that what they tell me on CSI is completely the truth, and I like how in this investigation looks into why that’s the case. It’s one of those questions you always ask yourself, but never really feel like you’d ever actually get into the ‘meat’ of an answer unless they listed it somewhere on Wikipedia or someone like Frontline did a documentary on it.

There are also some features to the page that’s currently online, that I specifically like. The style is very classic. It utilizes white space in a way that simplifies the message into what’s important — the story. The way the actual page is divided is interesting. The center margins where the body of the story is located are quite narrow, so it looks like the story goes on forever and ever, when in actuality it’s concise, and it reads easily. There is a definite maximization of space at the top of the story, and it’s refreshing to see that the additional information on the web page doesn’t last as you start scrolling your way though the story. The additional material on the outside margins, is also interesting, if your interested in that sort of thing… i.e. twitter, morgues in your neighborhood; and a direct link to their partners on the investigation, Frontline – and the documentary that was comprised by the media outlet.


Zen and Motorcycles…

Posted: January 26, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #2 Zen and Web 2.0

Ok. I’m not sure if this is an adequate example, or if it illustrates my point. But I believe that we are searching for what’s best,in order to find that we have to look at a completely irrational phenomenon. The internet troll.

Context: A game reviewer was ripped to bits on the online forum Reddit. The link above is to his response. Which I thought was interesting.

There is also a link to where ‘redditors’ bashed this guy’s review below that.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say that quantity hasn’t taken over. Quantity and the internet troll have made you all more cautious about what you believe on the webs and in the real world. I think that a cautious consumer is one of the good things that’s come from the world wide web.


Media Diary – Elizabeth Sullivan

Posted: January 19, 2011 by Elizabeth Sullivan in #1 Media Diary

i didn’t want to confuse the “data” so I just wrote it out in point form as I remembered it:

7:00 – Alarm goes off (iPod)
8:45 – Landlord on my roof hammering get's me out of bed and into the shower
9:00 – Coffee (set to percolate automatically last night)
9:01 – Blow-dry Hair
9:03 – Toilet
9:05 – Clothes on
9:10 – Quick peek through fridge
9:15 – Put backpack together
9:25 – Catch the bus (listen to iPod for duration of ride)
9:50 – Text
10:10 – Check email x 2/Facebook
10:15  - Text again
10:30 – Send Email
12:00 – Pen & Paper
12:57 – Catch Bus
1:05 – Cross crosswalk
1:08 – Cardkey unlock CBC door
1:10 – Text/use microwave.
1:11 – Use Computer's word processor
1:25 – Check email x 2/Facebook
1:29 – Back to word processor
2:16 – Catch bus
2:30 – Pen & paper - Media & Politics Class
4:00 – Pen & Paper/ Textbook - Japanese Class
5:20 – Text
5:22 – Text
5:23 – Check bus schedule
5:25 – Sit read book/text
5:27 – Check time/text
5:35 – Check time/text
5:45 – check time – leave for bus
5:47 – text
5:49 – text
5:50 – text
5:58 – catch bus
6:10 – check bus schedule x 2
6:24 – Check mailbox
6:25 – Regular key into my house
6:40 – Watch the X-Files online
7:10 – microwave leftover steak/Start the dishes
7:12 – Start laundry
7:15 – create salad
7:25 – Watch the X-Files and eat
8:10 – Use word processor
8:23 – go online
8:35 – boil some water for tea/finish dishes
8:40 – start media diary
8:50 – Catch tail end of a Denzel Washington movie
9:30 – Finish writing Daily events
9:32 – Finish forgotten laundry : /