Monday, March 17, 2014

So Many Choices

Is it really a good thing to have so many choices?

   Im sure many people are going to immediately respond with "Of course it's a good thing to have choices" because that simply seems to be the more logical answer. However, when you are given only one choice, can you really pick the wrong one? The iPhone makes a perfect example, in how it was originally only available in black. It was not an iPhone, it was THE iPhone. Since it is now available in a multitude of colors, it's no longer THE iPhone, just AN iPhone. Along with that the, novelty of owning an all in one device, has degraded, as most phones can now play music, watch videos, etc.
   The reason I think this topic is important is because of all the choices we have, when you go to the store, and see 100 variations of the same product, chances are, you will spend hours looking at all of them, comparing and contrasting to find the best one. This is called Analysis Paralysis, and is caused by having so many choices, you can't make a decision. Because you likely want to make the best decision, you will over think it, and instead of simply buying one, and moving on, you would stand there examining each individual item for what could be hours. Leading you further, and further into paralysis, and debilitating you to the point of not being able to make a decision. Having too many choices can lead to not making a decision. Consequently, having too few choices may be better or much, much worse. If something is only available in one type, and you don't like that type, are you going to buy it? chances are probably not. Barry Schwartz talked about this and made some excellent points in "The Paradox of Choice." In this video he also talks about how having your expectations too high, can lead to disappointment, and sadness. While he does talk about many other things in the video, this point really stood out to me, "The key to happiness, is low expectations." While I think it's important to not have your expectations too high, I don't agree that it is the key to happiness. In some situations yes, lowering your expectations could help dramatically. However, while it might help in some specific scenarios, chances are it's not going to fix every problem you have. While I think Barry Schwartz makes some excellent points throughout his presentation, he also contradicts himself a number of times, creating his own paradoxes.
In its own way, choice plays a big part in everyone's life, you must choose whether or not to go to school in the morning,whether you're going to do your homework, or hang out with friends, and sometimes we don't always make the right choice.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Future of Journalism

   The moment you watch this, you will probably agree that this probably won't really be the future of the news, however, even now, some of these ideas and designs are being implemented, such as the patent on slide 3 that shows the expandable screen. This is a patent designed by Microsoft, and not much is known about it right now. The bendable, and the foldable screens also shown on slide 3, are already a reality. The Samsung Galaxy Round is currently being developed, and their competitor LG is planning to release the G Flex in November. So what does this all mean? It means that a lot of the technology shown in this slide show is already being made. Some of these concepts will be readily available very soon, if they aren't already. At the rate technology is moving, this will almost surely have an effect on all media platforms.
   The future of journalism is very unclear, due to how fast technology is advancing, no one can say for certain what it will become, or what tomorrow will bring. Throughout the rest of the in-class groups presentations, I think we can say that the news, and journalism will be far more integrated into our phones, homes, and even maybe bodies through means of human augmentation. All-in-one devices have become progressively more popular in recent years, being more smart phones and other multimedia devices are selling more. No one knows for certain if this will have a drastic impact on how news is handled. Currently, I think newspaper is slowly wasting away. Recent studies show that newspaper sales are at an all time low, and while desperately trying to revive the dying outlet, it may be doing more harm than good. It's never a good thing to be using resources on something that's not making any money, and eventually that money will run out, Leaving publishers with the choice of whether or not to cut the newspaper outlet as a whole, in exchange for a cheaper alternative.
   However, as of right now, nobody knows whether or not newspaper will become obsolete anytime soon. And all we can really do for now is wait and see.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What is journalism?

What turns facts, and stories into journalism?

What I mean by the question above, is what provides the gap between a journalist, and an independent reporter? Why are some media outlets, such as newspapers, and news shows accepted as factual evidence, while others such as Twitter, Facebook, and online bloggers, often have their ideas, and opinions discredited, or rejected before they've even been looked into.
Some think that this is because people need a figure that they can trust. someone with professional training. But is what they do really all that different from what an online blogger can do? Chances are, they are going to address the same situations, and report the same facts. So why is it that people tend to trust sources on TV, and in newspapers more often, rather than most Internet sources?
Many people tend to say that it's more reliable because "Not just anyone can write an article in the newspaper" where as in social media, anyone could start writing, and that creates the risk of providing and receiving fraudulent information, and spreading rumors that aren't true. This brings us to the question of what is journalism? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines journalism as "the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media" Things such as Facebook, and online blogging are all forms of media, so it would make sense to count this as journalism. However, the Merriam-Webster dictionary also defines journalism as "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation." If you've ever seen an online blog, you will know most are fairly opinionative, and therefore contradict the previously mentioned definition, and cannot be counted as true journalism. However, if that specific person remains entirely neutral on the reported subjects, then, by the definition, it is true journalism. There's an article from the Pew Research Journalism Project called Principles of journalism. I found this topic very interesting, and it relates closely with what makes up journalism.
But does it really matter? Every day people all over the world get their news from different sources, on different media platforms, and some people are more widely accepting different forms of media as journalism. I think this could drastically affect how facts are handled, and how people conceive these facts.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What is Truth?

Everyone has their own definition of truth, these definitions may vary from person to person. However, I think everyone can agree that truth is important.

Truth has it's own meaning for each individual person. To some people, truth may be what they know, and accept as true. However, if another person accepts another concept as true, are either of them true? Truth is very subjective, and should be handled as such. It is not moral justification that makes up truth, but instead, I think the subjectivity is the very reason that writers make stories like "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien,  to make us question, and wonder about about everything we've ever been told, and to me, I think that is the truth.
I think all journalists should know that truth, is where trust is formed, truth can make relationships quickly, and can tear them down even faster.
To be loyal to the truth, would be to keep things as accurate as possible, while provoking different possibilities, and ideas. High school journalists can report the truth in many different ways, such as reporting in a way that is more than just one side. perception of truth. Since the truth isn't the same for everyone, I think they should report different sides of the truth, rather than just being one sided.

I found an article relating to this topic, talking about what truth really is. I think this is an important topic, because of how truth is often handled in the media.