Crisis in Egypt

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When I first heard about the uprising in Egypt I didn’t think much of it honestly. I thought it would just be quelled, nothing was actually going to happen.

I was wrong. Something is happening, the people (well most, there are some Mubarak supporters) are tired of having the same man in power for 30 years. Only now has he appointed a vice president. Egyptians want change, they want something different. Everything that I’ve read has said that the government is corrupt, it’s run by the police who just do Mubarak’s bidding. Maybe I’ve just been uninformed about Egypt, but this is news to me. I didn’t know how bad it was over there.

Here are some links to stories and videos that have really brought me some understanding and information about the Egypt crisis.

Anderson Cooper and his crew attacked in crowd(video)

Chicago Sun-Times Q&A on how the protests started

“A Week in Egypt’s Twilight Zone” Commentary by Amr Shalakany of the New York Times

Journalists Report on detentions and harassment in Cairo via CNN


Post-College Career

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I haven’t thought much about the technical side of my post-college career. I guess I should since I graduate in May. I mostly like to daydream about my future and ignore the daunting, realistic plans that must be made.

I am interested in telling people’s stories, being a voice for the voiceless. My ultimate goal is to host my own news show and shed light on things that aren’t being covered as much as they should. I want to gain experience in all areas of journalism, print, television, radio and Internet.

My favorite types of story to write about are stories similar to the stories that Anderson Cooper has on his show. The stories about how children are being sold into sex slavery, TSA screening procedures and the constitutional correctness of them. When he reported live from Haiti after the earthquake and New Orleans after Katrina. Those are the kinds of stories that I want to write, the stories that I feel like I need to tell. I know it sounds far-fetched, but I want to be a world changer.

Has Obama Lost his Chance at Re-election?

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It’s a crucial time for Obama right now. The 2012 election campaigns are getting started (even though there’s over a year until the vote) and his approval ratings just keep dropping. Former President Bush has a higher rating than Obama right now. Has our current president already lost the election?

It seems like Americans are growing more and more dissatisfied with the current Commander in Chief. He promised hope and change so strongly and so far hasn’t delivered what most people expected. This seems to have really hurt him. And I can completely understand why. You can’t promise too much to the American voters because then when you don’t deliver, due to whatever circumstances, you’re going to be disliked. However, you can’t promise too little because then you won’t even be elected. I think Obama’s problem was in his initial campaign, he simply promised too much.

Now it’s too late, the people are unhappy and other candidates are going to promise to undo what Obama did, to deliver what he didn’t or anything else that the Americans want from their government.

Unless he is somehow able to appease the people (and do it quickly) his presidency is doomed and re-election will be nearly impossible.

This article by Richard Greener for the Huffington Post says exactly what I want to say, but a lot clearer.

The Daily Show – Is it real news?

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I think I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. But it seems like most people in my age group watch it religiously. I guess I’m old fashioned because I still watch the traditional news shows (and I do love my Anderson Cooper).

Is The Daily Show becoming more than just a satirical take on the news? Is it actually being watched for its news value rather than its jokes?

I watched this episode about Obama’s trip to India and compared it to two “real” newscasts(Hardball and Hannity)  to try and figure it out.

While The Daily Show does talk about the trip, I all I saw were jokes really. I got the idea, Obama went to India, spent a lot of money and people were mad about it. But what were other political figures saying about it? Did he really spend that much money? That’s what I didn’t find on The Daily Show.

Hardball and Hannity informed me a lot more about the whole thing. Yes I did have to watch two politically different shows to get all the information I needed, but it was something that I wanted to know about so I didn’t mind watching both shows. I got to see what other people thought about the whole thing, I got to hear different opinions and use that information to form my own opinion.

My conclusion on The Daily Show being real news is technically yes, it is news. But is it really that informative? I would have to say no. It’s impossible to watch the show and know both sides of the story, to get real facts and figures on the event. Traditional news broadcasts are still necessary if you want to be fully informed.

Koppel, Olbermann start a feud?

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Ted Koppel recently had an op-ed piece where he wrote that,

We now live in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and were encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable. Beginning perhaps from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unobtainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it.

Keith Olbermann then went on to set aside a 13 minute segment on his show to respond to Koppel’s article.  To end everything (for now), NPR had Koppel on air, to discuss objectivity in the news.

Why are people still discussing this? Of course most journalists try to be objective. I think for most reporters that’s what they want to do, but it’s a struggle. It’s difficult to do because you must find the real, the honest facts, you have to keep your opinion out even when you know that something is wrong. You can’t bring that in in your own words. You must show people the truth through other people’s words. It’s basically impossible. But that is what journalists try to do.

Of course every single news station has failed in being objective. People aren’t perfect and mistakes happen. Koppel hasn’t always been objective, Olbermann hasn’t always been objective. Neither have FOX or MSNBC. It’s just a fact of life.

New Elected Officials = New Media Focus

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Another election day came and went earlier this month. Now that the new officials are moving into office, what are going to be the new issues? How will the media cover the important issues?

Often times the most important issues are not even getting media coverage. Modern media tends to give airtime to anyone who is talking about something. The substance of what they are saying doesn’t really seem to matter as long as the speaker is relatively famous and can spout off about any subject.

The media needs to start paying more (and better) attention to the major issues. They should work on covering them in a fresh way that honestly addresses problems.

There are three issues that I feel really need to be focused on within the coming months.

1. Economy/Tax Increase (because money issues always get lumped together)

2. Health care

3. US Troops who are STILL overseas.

The economy really needs help, no one is able to afford anything. People are having problems just keeping their houses! I recently found out about the whole tax increase issue. In Jan. if Congress doesn’t renew the tax cuts that Bush had, taxes will automatically increase for everyone. Americans cannot afford this right now. We need to focus on getting the dollar back as a high powered currency and get Americans back on their feet. Taxes don’t help anybody.

Of course the great health care issue. Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is, but I know that it needs serious work. I don’t think that Obamacare is going to be the best solution, but we need to get that figured out.

The troops who are overseas right now need to come home. We are wasting so much money, when the Afghan and Iraq people do not want us there. They don’t want our help and they are still consistently fighting against the troops who are trying to help them. I get first-hand accounts from a Marine friend of mine, who says that the people don’t want them there. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want it.

Keith Olbermann – Arrogant Rule-Breaker

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Keith Olbermann is back at work after a four day suspension from appearing on air on MSNBC. His suspension came after news broke that Olbermann donated to three political campaigns. It is against the rules for NBC and MSNBC hosts to donate to campaigns without asking for permission first, and Olbermann did not get that permission.

His punishment was weak, but at least he was punished. However, Olbermann’s special comment on his show left me feeling disgusted.

He showed no remorse for his actions, and didn’t offer a serious apology for his actions. All he had to say was that he was sorry for not following the protocol and from now on he will honor that rule. End of story, just leave it at that. Instead he goes on to show clips of the late night comedians making jokes about him and mentioning every newspaper and television channel that wanted to get him on air. Olbermann seems proud that he broke the rules and proud that he has garnered so much media attention. That is absolutely disgusting to me. He should try to be gaining the attention by doing something honorable, not breaking rules.

It’s safe to say that after seeing his arrogance in this situation that I have lost what little respect for Olbermann I had left.

To stomp or not to stomp?

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A week or so ago news broke that a woman, Lauren Valle, had her face stomped by a Rand Paul supporter.

When Valle first appeared on the news she was made out to be a completely innocent victim. She said that she just wanted Rand Paul to see the sign that she was carrying for her organization, and get a picture with Paul and the sign. From the first video that came out of the event her story sounded great. Poor Valle, she was brutalized without provocation by crazy conservatives.

Then a second video popped up and it shows exactly what Valle was doing before she was wrestled to the ground and got her head stomped on. She was rushing Paul’s car and trying to shove her sign through the passenger side window.

So now it seems that Valle is not as innocent as she made herself seem. Of course there was no reason for Profitt to stomp on her head, but the men who restrained her were justified in doing so. Someone rushing the car of a political figure just spells disaster. Once they had restrained Valle that was enough. Get a police officer over and then move along. She’s a small woman and they were large men. They could easily restrain her without wrestling her down.

All of this is to say that both sides were wrong and both sides were right. Valle didn’t deserve to be stomped on, but she did deserve being pulled away from the car and restrained. There was no way to know what she was going to at that car.

Juan Williams already has political cartoons!

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What’s the deal with net neutrality?

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Up until we talked about this in my Social Issues in Journalism class I hadn’t heard of net neutrality. I’m going to work off the basis that some of my readers don’t know what it is either.

So in keeping with that, what is net neutrality? According to Wikipedia, and Save the Internet, net neutrality is the principle that supports the free and open Internet. The Internet that allows you to download every website at the same speed (dependent on the speed of your connection.) No website will load faster because it is paid for by a large company (Fox or CNN) and no website will load slower because it doesn’t have lots of funding behind it (this blog.)

Some Internet companies are proposing the idea of a “fast lane” and a “slow lane” for Internet service. Companies/people would have to pay in order to have their website in the fast lane, which would mean their page downloads faster than those in the slow lane.

Is this fair? Does this violate the Constitution somehow? To me, it may not violate any laws, but it seems unfair and wrong. This proposal would create a monopoly for the companies who have the money to pay to be in the fast lane. Anyone who was trying to start their own online business, or someone who just wants people to see their ideas would never have a chance. With the arrival of DSL and cable Internet we have become spoiled and don’t want to wait for pages to download. No one would wait for a news page to load when the page on Fox or CNN downloads faster and has basically the same content. Why shop on someone’s online store when you can just go to eBay or Amazon faster?

With the creation of a fast lane of internet service comes the problem of freedom of information. You still get the information, but at a slower rate than other information. That seems like it might infringe upon that. If you get some pages faster does that mean that they are more important?

Maybe if people want to pay the Internet companies to get pages faster that could be a way for the companies like Google and Verizon make more money. The other way around just doesn’t seem to be fair, balanced, or what Americans want.

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