Posted by: Noor Alomran | October 6, 2015

Middle Eastern Journalists

The reading, Media-citizen Reciprocity as a Moral Mandate, this past week shone light on how journalists have moral duties and ethical obligations to keep. Yet, my question is, with cultural difference does those obligations change and if they do, is that okay?

Growing up in the Middle East and then moving to the U.S. to study journalism made me understand how different both of these cultures were, media wise.

Even though in the Middle East there would still be coverage of war, brutality, homelessness and other human interest aspects, there would rarely be an article that would stand up against the dictatorship or any corrupted power, if any.

However, Journalists in the Middle East have to face so many difficulties and one of them is being capable of reporting the facts and at the same time not end up in jail or worse, killed.

I’d like to share with you  an article that shines a bit more about the difficulty journalists have to go through in the Middle East to try to stick to their professional obligation and morals. The article also explained why Journalists in the Middle East could be considered as courageous.

I hope this article provides you with extra information about Journalists in a part of a world that not many are aware of.

“The Courage of Journalists in the Middle East”

Posted by: nearaquietstream | October 5, 2015

A Moral Burden?

I have never thought of democracy as a moral obligation until I read this week’s class reading of “Media-Citizen Reciprocity as a Moral Mandate.” At first, I had a reaction to the author’s use of the word “moral,” as in, moral obligation. Why not social obligation or some other word other than one that has fundamentalist overtones? But I realize I’ve taken for granted that I live in a country where I am free to think, act and speak. Democracy is a government run by the people for the people. In contrast, to see totalitarian governments, like Cuba’s, control their citizens by limiting their access to the internet, well then, I’m embarrassed to admit I have not been carrying my “share of the democratic burden.” I have felt like other Americans who have felt powerless that their participation will change anything. But as Robert Reich states in his article, The Disease of American Democracy, “Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we give up on politics, we’re done for.”

Posted by: MikeP | October 5, 2015

Umpqua Incident Highlights Media Ethics

I recall on Monday we were given a bit of a free pass for the blog this first week, so I’m testing it out. The following blog relates to our media log assignment, but also our reading assignment for the week.

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past several days feeling numb in the wake of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. We’ve had way too many of these shootings and it’s heartbreaking every time – but the Roseburg tragedy, being in our state, rips at my heart that much more.

I’ve been obsessed with media coverage of the event (which I’ve logged for class) and have been reading lots of articles and watching many interviews.

I saw one curious interview subject named John Parker. Though it’s clear John is a man of integrity, I think it’s interesting to observe the way the following two interviews were conducted, because each would leave audiences to draw starkly different conclusions.

Here he is interviewed by Sean Hannity, who leads, opines and frames every single question to reaffirm his own worldview (and presumably, that of the typical Fox viewer). Don’t take my word for it – check this out:

Here’s John Parker again on MSNBC. This interview is conducted by a journalist who asks more poignant questions and doesn’t appear to have a clear agenda.

So what is a citizen to make of these two interviews?

There are several passages from the reading that relate directly to this scenario:

“… citizens’ moral obligations transcend the collection of information and include a mandate to conscientiously absorb pluralistic information that will inform them well on all the significant facets of a given topic.” 


“… online activity suggests the danger of only consulting reinforcing sources, collecting information that conforms to predispositions, prejudices, and biases, virtually eliminating pluralistic media consumption.”


“Incessant public onslaughts against the media are facts of life, as are public appeals to discipline or discredit media in the battles for power. Reduced media credibility causes audiences to rely on opinion leaders who direct followers to specific decisions, rather than promoting pluralism and public discussion.”

What are your thoughts?

(this blog is an adaptation of a post I wrote at the Me And My Friends Podcast website)

Posted by: Jamie Ann | July 16, 2015

Hi everyone :)

Here’s a link to an interesting strategic communications piece regarding Planned Parenthood video sting. Key strategic take-away: Challenges become educational opporutnities. However, in the throes of initial panic, it may be hard to remember that. A good read though.

Posted by: Lucila Cejas | June 8, 2015

Pie charts are not as easy as pie

I was looking for a useful chart that could summarize social media usage amongst teens and I came across this chart. What a great example of useful data presented in the worst possible way. Pie charts should be used when you are trying to compare parts of a whole, not random data that will look pretty in a circle.

teen-social-controlHave a good summer, everyone! And do not forget to share any good examples and offenses to communication.

Posted by: listonjoe | June 8, 2015

Bad News in Online Reviews


Whether you believe brands are bullies that stifle competition or not, brands have traditionally symbolized a promise to customers. If you buy a pair of Nike running shoes or a Happy Meal from McDonalds, a brand gives you an indication of the experience you’ll have and the quality of product/service you’ll receive.  For many, it takes the work out of determining what product is best for you.

With online reviews, suddenly you can explore a bit more easily. You might find a highly rated product on Amazon that is cheaper than the big name brand, for example.  Or, you might discover that that big name TV that you were going to buy has a two star rating on Amazon, changing your course…and potentially saving you a few bucks.

For years now, like many people, I’ve used Amazon as a great research tool for finding quality products at decent prices. Honest reviews from consumers like myself are worth a lot to me, and can strongly influence my decision.  Online reviews give consumers greater power in their purchasing decisions.

I can see that changing, though. This past weekend, I was hunting down solar landscape spotlights on Amazon.  Spotting a reasonably priced option, I started digging into the consumer reviews. I noticed that 3 out of every 5 reviews or so ended with the phrases like ‘Disclaimer: I was provided a free light in exchange for this review,’ or ‘I was given a 15% discount in exchange for this review.’ Naturally, each of those reviews was 4-5 stars.

This is going to kill the credibility of reviews on Amazon.

I don’t know that this is new phenomenon – it might not be. If every product has reviews that are paid for, savvy consumers will no longer believe them, thus taking power away from consumers and forcing us back to trusting big brand promises.  But hey, at least they let me know that their review was coerced.

Whether or not those reviews are accurate, why buy an off-brand that has to pay from positive reviews, when I can just go back to buying from an established brand?

My advice to these off-brands? Build your own brand by holding true to your values. Give consumers quality products and great service, and the positive reviews will follow.

Posted by: Lucila Cejas | June 8, 2015

A little humor to alleviate the stress

We are less than a day away from finishing our first year of graduate school. Some of you have turned in your final project, but most of us are still typing until our knuckles hurt.

While researching the evolution of marketing to see how different generations were targeted, I came across the work of the amazing Tom Fishburne and I just HAD to share it with you. Here is one I liked:


Check out more at Worth the scroll!

Posted by: Lucila Cejas | June 3, 2015

Data visualization so bad it is GOOD

When I went to bed on Monday night after class, I spent a very long time scrolling through Spurious Correlations, often laughing at the ridiculous connections between data. In a time where infographics can be the difference between a dead or highly popular post, it is important to understand what is being presented to us and how.

I could not help myself but to look a little further and find examples of terrible data for us to enjoy.

Business Insider was kind enough to compile The 27 Worst Charts Of All Time for me to share with you. Here are some good ones:


What a useless chart…


And this one is just ridiculous


And if you have a lot of time in your hands between final papers and life, take a look at this website. You could spend hours in it taking a look at bad attempts of data visualization.

Posted by: Donna Z. Davis, Ph.D. | June 3, 2015

Measurement revisited

As discussed in class on Monday, the Cheshire Cat reminds us that “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there!” Remember, goals are those broad, sweeping big picture outcomes you want to achieve. Objectives are the quantifiable and time delimited specific outcomes your plans and activities (strategies and tactics) should achieve. Simply Measured is one resource you might want to tap into to help guide you in the way you look at measurement. In a recent article from another regular resource on my list, Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog, the author discusses the study I mentioned in class on Monday about social media metrics and the importance of understanding what it is you are trying to do in order to understand how to measure it! Check it out:

Posted by: lindsaym88 | June 1, 2015

Spread the Word

In looking at the power of brand communication versus word of mouth and shared experiences of clients, for-profit colleges offer an interesting case study. Over the past year, I have read a lot about the decline of Corinthian Colleges, and now Everest College. Multiple articles have been written and shared regarding the manipulative tactics employed by these so-called “career colleges” to increase enrollment and entrap students in crippling debt with an education that will not yield employment sufficient to cover the costs.

In effort to provide more oversight for these colleges, the Obama Administration has enacted the “gainful employment” law, which prevents institutions which are unable to adequately provide employment appropriate to the debts incurred by its students to receive government funding.

This is one case (of many) in which brand awareness and the ease of communication has worked to debunk and dismantle a corrupted system.

Additional reading:

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