Author Archive

What the Future?

Posted: April 26, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in Uncategorized

Hi everyone!

I came across this really interesting website and I recommend you take a look at it!  It’s called What the Future [I can’t remember exactly where I found it and apologize if it was given to me by someone in this class!]

It’s a TV series about ideas, innovations and people of the twenty-first century, which host Warren Kimmel describes as “The most exciting time in history.” The website uses several mediums and it is a great place to look for story ideas!

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The Island Times

Posted: April 20, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in Uncategorized
 
Rustico, Prince Edward Island

Nestled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island sits as a fabric work of small towns and villages. In many ways, PEI is a province stuck in time. While other provinces entered into periods of expansion, development and modernization, Prince Edward Island preserved the traditional nature that defines it. This is the province that still had party lines in 1989. It is the type of place where living off the land is a way of life, where everyone knows their neighbour and where being a Catholic or a Protestant is still criteria for marriage. Prince Edward Island was first known as Epewitk or “cradle on the waves,” and that’s just what it is. Its shoreline is traced with famous pristine beaches that stand alone in the evening sun. (more…)

The Sky is Falling, but we have an Umbrella…

Posted: April 3, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in News

When I tell people I want to be a journalist, I get the same response every time. They look at me like I am about to jump off the edge of a cliff. People are quick to judge my decision and even quicker to condemn it. I can’t say I blame them. For the past few years, the once flourishing industry has seem to run dry. The job market isn’t exactly booming and prospects can often seem grim. (more…)

Hitting Close to Home

Posted: March 23, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #9 Japan

The Kanji for "Healing"

When I first heard of the earthquake in Japan, my first reaction wasn’t to check CBC News or the New York Times, it was to check Facebook. In my second year at St. Thomas, I spent four months studying in Japan’s most Northern province of Hokkaido. Naturally, my first concern was whether the city I lived in (Sapporo) was affected. I quickly scanned the profiles of Japanese students I met at my university. They were covered with frantic messages from friends and family members who wanted to know if they were safe. Fortunately, Hokkaido was spared of any serious damage, as it was several hundred kilometers from the epicentre and everyone I knew remained safe and healthy. (more…)

Behind Closed Doors

Posted: March 16, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #8 Wikileaks

How much is too much? This seems to be the debate that divides supporters and opponents of Julian Assange’s controversial website, Wikileaks. There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. Political scientists will argue Wikileaks is a threat to national security and that there are some things best kept behind closed doors. Journalists on the other hand, advocate for transparency and accountability and have little mercy for the governments, individuals and corporations who are held over the fire for their unjust actions. (more…)

Online Anonymity

Posted: March 2, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #7 Ethics

Without journalism there’s no democracy. Without journalism, there’s no freedom.

-Peter Howe

We live in a nation that prides itself on the protection of rights. If we recognize that Freedom of Speech is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then why do so many insist on withholding their identity when commenting on online news forums? There are usually two reasons why someone hides behind a wall of anonymity: if there are restrictions on the right to expression or if someone isn’t confident enough in their opinion to attach a name to it.

(more…)

Twitter Fever

Posted: February 23, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #6 Twitter

It would be dishonest to say I have Twitter Fever. I created an account several months ago, but completely neglected it until rather recently. I don’t deny that there are benefits to the social network, but it hasn’t transformed the way I receive my news or stay informed. Perhaps it’s my old fashioned personality, my lack of familiarity or my loyalty to particular news outlets, but I have yet to be completely won over by this multi-source forum of information.

Despite my seemingly negative attitude, I am still convinced there are some useful things  to learn from Twitter: (more…)

Innovate or Die

Posted: February 16, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #5 Not for Profit

Tell any university student the industry they want to enter has no prospects. It probably won’t end well. Unfortunately, this is the type of message constantly sent to journalism students. While journalism becomes more accessible, employment seems to decline Accessibility, along with non-profit journalism is quickly transforming the operation of traditional news networks.

The Investigative News Network is an international network of over fifty non-profit news organizations, whose mission is to “serve the public interest to benefit our free society.” The organization argues that democracies need journalism to survive. Journalism [particularly investigative journalism] provides transparency and an open dialogue that lead to an informed population and furthermore, a more vibrant political regime. (more…)

Egyptian Revolution- Stephanie Kelly

Posted: February 9, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in Uncategorized

British Playwright, Tom Stoppard had it right when he said: “I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”

If you want to enact change, you need to spread your message to the masses. This task is becoming more and more achievable with the evolution of social media. One of the most interesting outgrowths of this evolution is citizen journalism. The public has more power and control over the media than ever before. If you have a camera and a computer, you can reach millions of people in minutes. Websites like YouTube have revolutionized the way we tell stories. Citizen journalism doesn’t provide the depth and analysis you get from professional journalism. It does however, provide a more raw potrayal of a story and is often first at hitting the airwaves. (more…)

Propublica- Stephanie Kelly

Posted: February 2, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #3 Propublica

 

It’s hard to know who we can trust anymore. Everyone seems to have a secret they want to protect.

We see this daily in the media. Newspapers are plagued with headlines about corruption, whether it be in government or the corporate world. Someone needs to bring these stories into the public realm. That’s where organizations like Propublica come in. Propublica, the non-profit investigative news outlet, pride themselves on being “journalism in the public interest.”

In Brain Wars- How the Military is Failing its wounded, Propublica investigates how thousands of US soldiers suffering from brain injuries are not being properly diagnosed. It takes an interesting twist on America’s supposed support for those in uniform. The article targets the US military medical system for not properly diagnosing soldiers who suffer from traumatic brain wounds as a result of exposure to bombs. Most importantly, it brings to light the issue of brain injuries among US servicemen (and women) and the particular struggles they face for recognition and compensation.

Propublica certainly benefits the public. It is free, informative and easily accessible. This type of investigative journalism is an interesting phenomenon, because unlike other news corporations who entered the online world as a tactic to boost subscriptions, Propublica began as and remains a non-profit organization. Undoubtedly, one of the tenants of good journalism is to keep the powerful accountable and to shed light on injustices. The reality, however is that journalism is a business. We need to make profit, so we write what sells papers.

When I first read about Propublica and their innovative form of reporting, I was a bit sceptical. Delivering free news to the masses for the sake of public knowledge seemed a bit romantic. After taking a more in depth look at their stories, I was surprised at the quality of the writing and reporting. It offered a diverse selection of topics including business, the environment, politics and health. Topics are covered with a long list of well developed stories that offer several angles and voices on the subject.

As I scanned the website, I tried to figure out what distinguished this news source from the others. I realized that Propublica is like a documentary in print form. It tackles stories large, complex stories that require time and space not offered by a daily newspaper.

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

Stephanie Kelly-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Posted: January 26, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #2 Zen and Web 2.0

If John and Sylvia felt trapped by 1970s technology, they could never survive the technological realm of the 21st century. Robert Pirsig’s characters couldn’t escape technology during their ongoing battle with a broken down motorcycle. If they could only foresee what the future had in store, they would surely get lost in the depths of the digital world.

John and Sylvia remind me a lot of my father. This man is a lumberjack by day and cowboy by night (quite literally). I’m from a very rural community in Prince Edward Island. We are quite possibly the last corner of the globe that has yet to receive high-speed internet. For this reason, my father is as familiar with Facebook and Twitter as I am with particle physics. I worry that moving media from newspaper stands to the online world will leave certain demographics without adequate accessibility to news. This includes people like my father, as well as senior citizens and low-income families.

Pirsig speaks of the motorcycle mechanics and how dedication to the craft has been replaced by an obsession with speed. This can be translated into modern-day journalism. More often, we see that speed holds more weight than accuracy. Gabrielle Giffords was apparently “shot dead,” which we later learned was false. It’s not fair to say that journalists today are inferior to their predecessors, because the nature of journalism has changed. Readers no longer wait on their doorstep for the day’s news, they wait by their blackberrys.

Robert Pirsig alludes to the very thing that frightens his friends John and Sylvia.

“The “it” is a kind of force that gives rise to technology, something undefined, but inhuman mechanical lifeless, a blind monster, a death force.”

The inhuman aspect of technology is undoubtedly effecting the way we communicate. Personal contact has been replaced with texting and instant messaging. In many ways, what connects us (technology) is the thing that keeps us apart.

Stephanie Kelly’s Media Diary

Posted: January 24, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #1 Media Diary

It’s 8:30 am when a high pitched alarm comes from the cell phone beside my bed. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see before I go to bed. It’s more than a piece of plastic. It’s a clock, it’s a scheduler and most importantly, it’s a portal to the outside world.

I roll out of bed, shut off the alarm and turn on the light. For forty-five minutes, I review for a quiz by flipping through my US government notes. I begin to get ready and perform my morning ritual of powering up my laptop. I pace through the house and occasionally return to my computer to check my e-mail accounts and Facebook page.

Before leaving for class, I glance at the online edition of the New York Times, where I search for President Obama’s speech on the shootings in Tucson, Arizona. I discover that the White House website has a “Weekly Address to the Nation.” [http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/15/weekly-address-we-are-democrats-or-republicans-we-are-americans].

I return from class after lunch and read the news section of the Telegraph Journal’s online paper. I then search the event section of the city’s website and Kijiji for story ideas for my next class. I receive almost all of my daily news from online outlets. The days when I flipped through the pages of a newspaper at my breakfast table seem to be more and more rare. Partially for financial reasons, partially for convenience. I sometimes find myself looking for quantity, not quality by reading online articles and briefs than full length print editions.

After supper, I check my new Twitter account and smile when I discover I shattered my old record, as I am now being followed by more than one person. I scroll through the tweets of the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and my personal favourite- Rick Mercer. I finish the evening by reading CBC.ca, glancing at national and provincial headlines.

Here I am again. It’s the end of the day and I have my cell phone in hand. I reflect on the days events and the role technology played in them. It seems that we have become a society obsessed with connection. We are terrified we might miss something, whether it be an earth-shattering news event or a notification from one of your 600 “friends.”