Finding that objective

I’m really bad at posting. I’m going to just queue up some posts, at least then this blog will be a little more active (not that it isn’t). There’s been a lot going on, though but I’m trying when I can to take time to breathe and read/write.

via theBerry

With the prospect of grad school approaching ever quickly, I know my free time will be limited. Any other free time will ultimately be spent working towards my thesis project. Which (while still somewhat tentative) looks at bringing light to students that may not be able to afford school along with students that can in impoverished and low-income communities. Fostering the dialogue that citizen journalism can allow for ordinary people to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Honestly, I have no idea either. So, I should probably be working on that right? Probably, but my mind likes to wander.

Presumably, I still have some time to make this statement more formal and pronounced. With definite examples of how I would put my thoughts into actions. This post is actually reminding me of doing that. There’s obviously still some work that needs to be done and some research that will need to go into it.

Is there anyone else who is or has struggled to discover what their thesis will focus on? Like, I’m talking masters here. I feel like there are people who know exactly what it is they plan to work on and have no qualms about their thesis topics. Maybe you’re thinking why am I even doing this if I don’t know why? Well, I thought about pursuing a masters for some time. The idea of a masters alone just took some thought, not simply what would happen during that time.

A lot of things to think about. Besides a thesis, I’ll likely be going off on assignments or projects to various locations in the city I will be in. Plus, I will be moving into a new apartment. I will need to learn how to take the train around, but I’ll find someone to guide me I suppose. I’m hoping to hear from the school soon about who my roomates will be. Then, I also want to read so many books before I even start the program, so it’s going to be a tough time. It’s going to be a busy summer, but I’m going to take the time when I can to read/write what I want because that’s when I am most relaxed.

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The Convergence of Media

In today’s society, we seem to not think twice before we post online. Some of us do, most of us say we do then forget this when the moment arrives using the logic that it can just be deleted later on. That’s just it, what you put online is online. End of story. But, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how everyone wants to take part in sharing their daily lives or breaking news with the world. Everyone wants to grab ahold of the action.

For example, in a world in which pretty much everything is digital it is no wonder that people hold most things as personal parts of everyday life. From updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram it is no wonder that people feel connected on such a personal level to their friends and comrades. When there is a storm or shooting, people want to grab ahold of it. They want to tell their version of the story, further letting people become more personal with one another online in order to tell a story or share an idea. Take the CNN ireport, which is fueled by the idea of citizen news and active participation in events. This lets everyone take part in the news and being a part of the media story. But, does everyone want this? Some people may not like the idea that their story is going to be edited heavily thereby taking away their viewpoint. Of course, that is not everyone. The point is that the stories of events are told in a manner meant to evoke a certain emotion and citizen reporting helps this facet of a news report. Everything is meant to come together in a timely fashion so that it all makes sense when put on the air or placed in a news article. Who does not want to be a part of creating lasting change? Creating the news is easy, it is telling it that is changing.

That first sentence was not a pointless fact, it is common sense. It applies to most practices done online as well. Don’t be careless, send in what you think will be relevant and substantial content. Reporters work to gather sources and if they are at their last source and turn to a citizen for information (that’s you!), then know that you should not make up stories to simply be in the news. All the news stories will come together, but if a story is important enough then more outside sources from regular people may be included. Don’t be scared, this is your chance!

Alright, enough on this topic. Here are some links to pages and articles related to this topic. Everyone should be informed before deciding to contribute or what type of message to send out.

Nieman Reports- Citizen Journalism and the BBC
Citizen Journalism & Democracy: How User-Generated News Use Relates to Political Knowledge and Participation (abstract)
Forums for citizen journalists? Adoption of user generated content initiatives by online news media (abstract)
Good article on journalistic ethics, important for citizen journalists/reporters to keep in mind