Posted by: daniellerad | October 23, 2017

Does twisting the knife work?


 “Much can be done to criticize and ridicule the politician’s behavior further. A particular way to do this is to dig into the archives…”  (Ekstrom & Johansson, 2008)

The “archives” are more accessible than ever. Anyone with an internet connection can quickly and easily uncover any tweet, post, or picture someone, somewhere, at some point decided to make public.

Our current president has generously provided loads of content for the public to review and there are plenty of people willing to sift through decades of video, interviews, and tweets to create digestible forms for public consumption. Articles, Instagram accounts, podcasts, even these flip flops attempt to twist the ever-present knife of scandal in the Trump Presidency.

I fear sharing every contradiction, gaffe, and misstep had only desensitized the public to scandal blurring the lines of what is and is not acceptable from our leaders. When even mundane activities like golf turn into a scandal, is the media twisting the knife or attempting death by a thousand paper cuts? Either way, it feels like a distraction.

Works Cited

Ekstrom, M., & Johansson, B. (2008). Talk Scandals. Media, Culture, & Society, 61-79.

Posted by: Jeff Collet | October 23, 2017

Conditions for ‘Talk Scandal’ devaluation?

Are we moving into a post “talk scandal” age?

Certainly we now live in a time where the things people say in the public sphere are more well-documented, accessible, and scrutinized than ever before – even the things one doesn’t say is fair game to be exploited by opposition parties. In addition, the means to convincingly fabricate a digital representation of someone speaking or not speaking the words we do not or do want to hear is becoming rapidly more feasible. Lastly, this public scrutiny of one’s speech is no longer limited to the globally or nationally known figures.

However, the ability to effectively influence moderate thinkers, through the exploitation of talk scandals, seems like it could be in peril, at least by my estimation.

Existing or up-and-coming public figures who maintain an honest presence that can be thoroughly vetted in a publicly available and digital space have just as many advantages as disadvantages:

  1. Transparency of one’s honest digital presence is likely an appealing quality to the moderate public.
  2. An extensive and searchable digital presence by a public figure, especially maintaining a regular blog and appearing on long-form podcasts, allows for the general public to directly engage source material that would have once been filtered through news and editorial organizations.
  3. As digital manipulation tools become more sophisticated and made known to the general public, folks will be increasingly skeptical as to the authenticity of any given piece of media.
Posted by: michelleporter02 | October 23, 2017

Sniff It Out!: The Citizen as The New Watchdog of Society

The public didn’t know what “transgender” was until the coming out of Caitlyn Jenner. Now, one can ask any layman their opinion about transgender people and get responses of varying degrees of passion and understanding.

A year later, the presidential elections came about and, of course, LGBTQ+ issues were a hot topic for candidates.

Aside from the low-hanging fruit that is Trump, the GOP candidate who came in second was just as scandalous.

Going back to the most prominent LGBTQ+ influencer to date, Caitlyn Jenner embodies two opposing forces: trans-acceptance advocacy, and a same-sex marriage opposition; both issues that the last pride parade turned resist march were heavily about.

Reflecting on citizens’ reaction in similar political scandals, I was present during the last Trump Free Speech rally downtown that engendered 3 separate counter protests that day. Social media played a pivotal role, as activists have gotten wind of opposing groups’ plans and have mobilized their followers on social media and civic technologies. I have secured interviews with otherwise media-averse leaders via the non-threatening facade of social media.

Social media, a self-seeking platform at its core, enables egocentric content curation.

Trans support.jpg

However, instead of widening users’ horizons, it may do the opposite by blinding them to diverse facts. It is then the responsibility of users, activist or not, to expose themselves, and not depend on opinionated personalities.

Journalists may have been the watchdogs of society for years, but the changing cultural climate demands that citizens be just as vigilant, if not more.

In our society, we place a great deal of responsibility and blame on the media. It is appropriate to examine, however, our role as consumers of information and ask whether we are holding ourselves accountable for the information we receive.

The perspective offered by Wendy Barger and Ralph Barney in Media-Citizen Reciprocity as a Moral Mandate is an optimistic vision of the ideal relationship between the journalist and citizen in a democracy—standing in stark contrast to our current relationship with the U.S. news media.

In this ecosystem of mutual obligation, both journalists and citizens bear responsibility for acquisition, dissemination, and consumption of information. The journalists’ role is to listen, investigate, share, and provide context for the facts they publish—acting in the capacity of both facilitator and educator. The citizens’ role is to expose themselves to diverse ideas from a plurality of media sources, express their information needs by responding to the media through letters, calls, and comments, and defend the media’s independence from corporate and political pressures.

The goal is to create a public cultural environment in which the citizenry learns about, debates, and attempts to solve pressing issues. In the process, we protect the democracy from forces that would maintain the status quo, and effect positive societal change—to “knit, rather than rip, the fabric of a healthy democratic society.” As beneficiaries of such a society, it is our moral responsibility to begin the work of balancing the scales. The question is: where do we start?


Posted by: jhager | October 23, 2017

Social media tools for a citizen-centered Internet

With the FCC a prime target of regulatory capture, and an avowedly anti-regulation administration in the White House, it is likely that Title II protections for Internet consumers will soon be gutted. These protections prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and introducing prioritization of parts of the Internet, and are often called Net Neutrality. In “Social Media and the Activist Toolkit,” the authors concluded that governments and corporations are unlikely to support the freedom and anonymity that Net users have grown used to (and often require for their own safety).

The most interesting of the ways the authors’ propose for preserving user freedom is aggressively supporting new social networks and technologies that meet those demands. This regulation-free, free market approach has the drawback of relying on generous groups to develop these new platforms, while dropping the profit-driven aspects of current networks. These “civic technologies,” as the activist Jonathan Zittrain calls them, require us to be more than “merely voters or consumers” on the Net, but contributors and activists ourselves. This would be a return to an early model of the Internet, when data-mining users (and the advertising possibilities it brings) was in the future, and areas of the Net related as communities-to-communities than consumers-to-corporations. A reversal of Net corporatization is no longer possible, but should we take the authors’ message to heart in protecting what free forms of communication remain, and lend our support to those groups still willing to enhance our human freedoms first, and their own profits second?


Posted by: dylanfrederickblog | October 21, 2017

Our End of the Bargain- Partnership with the Media

It is difficult to dispute how uniquely defining of an era we currently live in with regard to our personal relationship with the media.  What other generations can say they saw tweets from the White House about the perceived validity of a news story in real-time as it was published. However, as trust in Mass Media continually sinks every year,  it is important to conduct an open an honest self-evaluation. What role am I playing as an active partner with the media in our participatory democracy?

In Media-Citizen Reciprocity as a Moral Mandate, the authors develop the responsibilities and obligations that both we and the media have to play to create a vibrant participatory democracy.  Moreover, the authors contend the role of the media is to orient citizens to a world that inspires them to participate.  The citizen’s role, then, is to expose themselves to an open plethora of information and ideas.

As digital platforms have forced the evolution of mass media in recent times, the role we play in a participatory democracy has become seemingly more three-dimensional.  On one dimension of the role, we act as participant contributors in the news.  The most prominent example of this is the way in which activists have used social media platforms in culture changing events like the Arab Spring.  The second side is becoming willing participants in an ongoing cultural dialogue by questioning the news that we consume.  Admittedly, this is the difficult part,  but what we get in exchange is a better and more robust democracy.

Posted by: alexandrapdxblog | October 9, 2017

Body Clock Researchers Win Nobel Prize – NBC NEWS, October 2, 2017

Three American researchers won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering how body clocks make us tick. The study, done over decades, explained how life on Earth naturally adapts to the 24-hour cycle, controlling factors such as deep sleep, high alertness, reaction time, and hormonal changes.

The researchers studied human behavior that was controlled in a dark room with no clocks or any platforms to help tell time. They concluded that most living organisms have a circadian rhythm, and determined several important elements that were impacted by the duration of deep sleep.

Most intriguing in this study, however, was the discovery of 1-2% of population diagnosed with a gene mutation (CRY1), which makes those individuals experience a 24 hour and 39 minute cycle. Those are our night owls, whose bodies always play catch-up with the rest.

I retold this story to a coworker, my best friend living overseas, a friend living in the States and my mom. Texting seems to have had the most engagement, followed by face to face and lastly over the phone.

The reactions were pretty similar in the sense that all of them are convinced I have this gene mutation because of my consistent issues of running slightly off time. One was somewhat offended that the gene mutation was pointed towards night owls versus early birds.

The four audiences found my interest in this story amusing, and unanimously attacked my time management issues.


I visited the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh last week, and much of his artwork comments on how the media influences American culture.

One installation that stood out was his 1964 silkscreen series “Jackie.” It includes repeated images of Jackie Kennedy that Warhol lifted from magazines and newspapers after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

By singling her out and repeating her image over and over, Warhol illustrates the loneliness of this widow and the mourning process that the entire country was going through. But he’s also commenting on the effect of incessant media coverage of the tragedy.

Television was a unifying media outlet during this period that allowed people to relive tragic events visually. Watching television might have served the emotional needs of Americans as they mourned Kennedy’s death. Thomas Ruggiero’s article “Uses and Gratifications Theory in the 21st Century” notes how people can use media to serve a variety of needs.

But Warhol once said:

“I’d been thrilled about having Kennedy as president; he was handsome, young, smart – but it didn’t bother me that much that he was dead. What bothered me was the way television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad. It seemed like no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get away from the thing.”

Repeated images in his “Jackie” series reflects this perspective, that the media was “programming” people to dwell on their sadness after the assassination.

Easily, the most important element in the world of news being left behind is our health. A correlation between reduced potassium intake and aortic stiffness has been discovered. This translates to increased risk for heart disease in humans. Foods containing a high source of potassium include avocados, sweet potato, raisins, and coconut water.

The topic of ensuring a healthy amount of potassium in the diet was brought up to my sister by phone, roommate and close friend in person, and to a longtime childhood friend via Facebook.

My sister is a rather health savvy individual and wasn’t surprised by the importance of potassium in the diet, but was happily appreciative to be educated on the list of provided foods containing an abundance of potassium. My roommate is an older gentleman who eats very healthy. He, as well, enjoyed being reintroduced with a resource of potassium rich options. My close friend, highly educated on the topic, provided additional options rich in potassium, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and kidney beans. My childhood friend replied with a good to know type response over the Facebook message platform. All mediums for discussion of the topic proved ideal in sharing the information.

Health is and should always be a constant reminder we renew and keep up to date on the changing benefits and research discoveries to ensure our bodies can function optimally. The heart is our health motor. If more potassium keeps it happy, then more potassium is what it shall receive.

Posted by: michelleporter02 | October 9, 2017

NEWS ENGAGEMENT DAY: Catalonia, A Case of Déjà vu

The news of Catalonia’s fight for independence piqued the interest of Filipinos everywhere.

news engagement meme.jpg

What happened was, after police tried interfering with the polls, a huge public uproar took place Tuesday; understandable after nearly 900 were injured, attempts of seizing ballot boxes, and scorn from the king himself.

I talked to my boyfriend on Messenger, his mom in person, my mom on Skype, and my niece on Snapchat.

The moms are almost the same, the only difference being their cultural background, and they both felt sorry for Catalonia and viewed Spain as somewhat antagonistic. My boyfriend simply said it was pointless since there are no winners in both outcomes. My niece presented very idealistic views.

Aside from differences in the their points of view, the platforms used definitely had an influence. Talking, whether it’s in person or via camera, allows for gestures, tone, and eye contact, which may elicit emotional responses. Snapchat allowed occasional pictures, but the temporary nature of message history means we cannot look at previous points made in the conversation. Simply typing the facts on Messenger, supplemented with links to articles, allowed for a more objective response.

A discussion is possible on social media as all these people have accounts. It only takes the proper wording to attract commenters, or I cold simply tag these people and explicitly ask them to discuss. It may not be a friendly discussion, but a mediator could facilitate and make sure that the responses are not out of bounds.

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