Author Archive

The Village of Tracy is located approximately 40 kilometres outside of Fredericton, New Brunswick. It has a population of just over 600. Putting that number into perspective, there are movie theatres in Toronto that hold more people. In comparison, those movie theatres also have a economy that is self-sustaining, bringing in revenue and spending it in the same location, while Tracy serves mostly as an out-of-way


Is this really Gnus?

Posted: April 1, 2011 by shanefowler2 in Uncategorized


It is easy to think that the consumption of news media on the online and digital domains has flourished at the cost of the dinosaur newspaper, but I feel as if it is a natural transition, from one media to the next. However, what I think this rather optimistic analysis tends to leave out is the actual pertinence of the material. A newspaper was dedicated, mostly to (more…)


Posted: March 23, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #9 Japan

I heard about the Japan quake quickly after it had happened via Facebook. A friend publicly offered prayers to those people while simultaneously letting her friends know that something had happened. From there, I went to twitter to investigate. Searching #japan, led to me to (more…)

In interesting study was recently completed concerning the news and how we consume it. Digital content is king, which is not unexpected, but 47 percent of all that digitalness is being ditributed to either cell phones or tablets computer.

Seems “On the computer” no longer refers to traditional computers. I blame all those kids with their pocket-telephones.

Street Justice for Journalists

Posted: March 16, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #8 Wikileaks

The big deal about wikileaks is that it is not that big a deal, not in the public’s mind, at least not anymore. The biggest information leak concerning government behavior since the Pentagon papers and it has already slipped to the back burner. Granted, there is only so much available interest. Wikileaks really does have to compete in the news right now. Earthquakes, middle-east uprisings every second week, and (more…)

CNN allows you to ‘Choose the News,’ seriously

Posted: March 2, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #7 Ethics—cnn-s-choose-the-news?xrs=rss_tdsvids


Choose the News is a new, tech-heavy, feature on CNN that plays as an ongoing segment during the day. Ongoing prompts come from the anchors to get you, the viewer, to use the awesome power of your cell phone to text in and pick one of three stories that will be showcased at the end of the hour every afternoon. The winner gets the air time. This brilliant (more…)

Twit the Bed!

Posted: February 19, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #6 Twitter

I’ve had Twitter for over a year and have a grand total of 81 “tweets.” Fifty of those are less then 2 months old. When I first enquired to a friend 12 months ago, “What is Twitter?” I was told that “It’s like Facebook, but just your status.” My friend twit the bed.

Clever wordplay aside, I never really jumped into the twitterverse until I got a smartphone about two months ago. Because I pride myself on being human, I did not get an iPhone but instead went to the new Windows phone. (Right now, it’s like having the coolest Beta-Max on the block.) It’s a new platform so it doesn’t have a bajillion apps, but it did have Twitter. After a few tries, I’ve realized that it is a bit more then a “Facebook status.” So here is a rundown of my top 5 Twitter “AH-HA!” moments. (more…)

Not for Profit no longer an issue

Posted: February 16, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #5 Not for Profit


Take the money out of the news. A great and noble aspiration if there ever was one. It does away with several issues that plague the industry today. It effectively removes the news outlet from the race to the top in terms of gains and the all important bottom line. However, the nature of a not-for-profit organization steepens the incline in the struggle for equality against those with deep pockets. In its attempts for nobility and shedding its conflict of (more…)

How Egypt killed Tunisia

Posted: February 8, 2011 by shanefowler2 in Uncategorized

Technology is so far ahead of us in the future that we are all just racing to catch up. The turmoil in Egypt is a great example of how that is happening. Less then a lifetime ago, the world’s strongest societies had one medium of news, the newspaper. Television started to make a name for itself, but the newspaper reigned supreme. Fast forward to 2011, and we now have countless sources of news. The papers are dinosaurs in comparison to (more…)

Propublica: Pros and Cons

Posted: February 2, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #3 Propublica

For the past two years Propublica has been involved in an ongoing investigation focusing on ‘For Profit Schools (’ These schools sit outside of the traditional realm of education in that their sole focus is turning a profit. Grades are of little consequence to these schools, as they work and operate on a business model. Their are obvious flaws to this type of system and Propublica set out to determine what, if any, problems existed when a learning institution operated on a business model.


A response to Zen and Motorcycles

Posted: January 24, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #2 Zen and Web 2.0


Quality is taking a back-seat to quantity. The transparent thoughts of Pirsig in this piece call out a nation that is consuming absolutely everything that comes their way. Nothing is ever properly processed before moving on to the next thing. He alludes to this consumption of cultural junk-food as being a responsible for a community concerned with ‘silt.’

Although written over 35 years ago, the ideas generated here are actually more relevant then before especially when used to look at technology and the media.

Going a century into the past I think we can assume there is just as much ‘news’ as there is today. The only way one might consider the 21st century to actually having more ‘news’ would be to take the increase of the population into account. Even so, this would only account for news generated by people. Regardless of that variable, the technology of that time was limited and expensive, allowing the ‘Best News’ to float to the top and be distributed for consumption. The information that MOST affected people or affected the MOST people was what was chosen to lead the day. As technology become more affordable and better developer it became much easier to cover material that affected smaller communities. Local papers came into existence, special interests as well. It becomes easier to publish more information quicker.

This shift of information mass comes at the expense of the ‘best.’ In the 21st century. This flood of knowledge has come to a point where the content is no longer as important and the amount of content. More now and more faster tends is a trend that pulls at the heartstrings of the consumer culture that we live in today. When a person has the technology to receive news 24 hours a day, or a television station needs to fill a 24 hour broadcast block, then people expect ‘new-news’ 24 hours a day. The content doesn’t matter nearly as much as medium and the medium needs whatever content it can get, nd now it needs to get it faster then the competition.

A million different sources does not help ‘what is best.’ With the development of websites, branded news stations, and specialized internet radio, an individual may now decide not only ‘what is best for me’ but simply ‘what do I want.’ Choose your news! Individualism and a nation full of kings, does very little to promote a healthy attitude for ‘what is best’ and completely circumvents the journalist’s responsibility to provide relevant and unbiased information.

So with the flood of information comes the stagnant pools of irrelevant disinformation. This washing of the news allows the valuable things to be swept away never getting the proper attention in the ocean of info, if they get any attention at all. Technology has simply been a tool that has allowed this to happen. A great asset when not misused, tragic when abused.


Media Diary by Shane Fowler

Posted: January 19, 2011 by shanefowler2 in #1 Media Diary

Shane Fowler January 13 , 2011

Media Diary


The alarm on the cell phone goes off at 8 AM, and the snooze button is hit at least once. Once coherent, I pick up the phone and go through my e-mails, both my personal and Saint Thomas accounts. I check text messages as well as quickly checking on my Globe and Mail app, and decide to read an article before I even leave the bed.

While cooking breakfast I put CTV NewsNet on the television to check for any big or pressing headlines. Today’s big topic is the death of a Toronto police officer by a rampaging snowplow. While eating, I switch the television over to play music off of my xbox that streams off of my netbook. During this time I go through my usual tech websites for news (, ) Facebook and Hotmail also get checked out during this time. I also send and receive multiple text messages during this time period as well. Multiple media forms on different mediums are being digested, as well as breakfast.

Driving to school for a 10 o’clock class, the radio is on 105.3 The Fox. They go over local news before continuing on with playing Rock and Roll. I reply to a pair of text messages as well as I drive.

During class, I use my phone to input an assignment that is due next week into my digital agenda. I also check an email on my phone. Any e-mails that I receive are forwarded directly to my phone every 15 minutes. Also during class I use my net-book to check resources that the prof is talking about on Moodle. I also check Webadvisor on my netbook religiously during this class to see if a spot has opened up for a class I am attempting to register for. Wikipedia is also used to check a term that the prof used that I am unfamiliar with. “Vetting,” a process of examination and evaluation, who knew!? All notes that I take for the class are written in “Tree-book notebooks.” There is no textbook for the class as all material is provided by power-point slides which are later available on Moodle as well as the class’ wiki page.

After class, I go to the study hall to write a paper, all done on my netbook. I play music on my netbook simultaneously. I use Grooveshark, ( ) a website that streams music of my choosing off of the internet and saves your play-list so nothing needs to be downloaded and/or stolen. During this study time, I am constantly texting back and forth to multiple recipients. I also check out a few news worthy video clips that were recommend by a friend of the previous nights “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as a short break in the writing. Two e-mails are sent during this study time. I also check my piddly “available funds” in my bank account online. I then e-mail the finished assignment to myself to open and print at the STU computer lab.

After another class where my net-book and phone are used in similar fashion as the one preceding it I drive home listening to the radio (same station, 105.3 The Fox.)

That evening, I watch some television. All the programs watched are downloaded from the internet and then streamed from the netbook through an xbox 360 console and watched on the television in the living room. My apartment has limited cable included (22 channels,) but nothing offered is of any interest other then the news, so anything we want to watch is downloaded using torrents. This is not the most legal of options, but it is cheaper then paying for 2 channels we want and 60 we don’t. Later that evening I play some video games on my xbox ( I play online and using chat features I play with 3 friends who live in Lincoln, New Brunswick, as well as Moose Jaw, Alberta and Petawawa, Ontario. We shoot at complete strangers for an hour or two after which the day is over. Daily Show and Colbert Report are on the television in the bedroom which is on “Sleep Mode” and will turn itself off long after I am asleep.

During the entirety of the day, January 13th, 2011 my phone has never been further then an arms length away, and although it has been used all day long for texting, applications, internet, and alarm clock, it has never once rang or been used to make a phone call.