Citizen Four & Tight Security

Within the first few minutes of Citizen Four I was on the eye of my seat. The combination of cryptically coded letters and eerie voiceovers captivated my attention from the opening scene of the documentary. Although we didn’t get through the entire film yet, I saw enough to learn about just how private our lives truly are. Bugged devices and tapped phone calls are only a mere aspect towards our overarching breech of confidence. Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee went from being an ordinary man to a wanted fugitive in a matter of days. I think Snowden is brave for unveiling what truly goes on behind the scenes of the NSA. What really took my aback was how much illegal spying the NSA was doing to our country. Being an American, we pride ourselves on the ideology of freedom. That includes freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to be our selves. However, the NSA has gone extensive measures to breech this so called freedom we have in order to crack down on security measures. I knew the government had cameras everywhere and tapped certain phone calls, but what I didn’t know is just how much they could actually track us. Snowden explained how we can be traced by credit card trails, bus rides, phone calls, emails, cameras, etc. Although I know we are being carefully watched for our own good, it freaked me out to see how easy it is to trace back my steps in a matter of minutes.

With the world in high alert after the ISIS Paris attacks, its times like these that I wonder whether or not the NSA should over step boundaries. These two articles below discuss how security has greatly increased since the Paris attacks.

Security Tight as Paris Climate Conference Begins

This article written by USA Today talks about how security at the Climate Change Conference is more alert than ever. With 150 world leaders gathered in Paris only two short weeks after the terrorist attacks, they have taken lengthy measures to maintain the safety of these global leaders. Being that this conference is one of the largest gatherings of presidents and prime ministers, France has made certain to add extra security and police forces to ensure safety. Paris has been on lockdown since the attack and police have tapped off and shut down grocery stores, side walks, and public places. Basically they are taking every precaution imaginable in order to keep out any more terrorist plots. The President of France passed emergency legislations which made sure to shut down demonstrations and protest to help with security. Although emergency legislation was forced, people still came out to demonstrate on Sunday which led to tear gas, violence, and fear. George Taylor, who is an employee at iJET, which is a risk assessment and planning firm expressed how much work was put into organizing this meeting. He mentions that planning the security for the climate conference has taken over a year of organizing.  All around the nation security has been heightened due to terrorist threats and theories. In my next article I will discuss how various sports teams and arenas have been affected as well.

AFL plans to boost security due to Paris attacks

Ever since the terrorist attacks, sports arenas and concert halls have been working frantically to up their security.  Major tournaments across Europe are currently working on ways to increase security measures so that these incidents won’t happen again. Australia for example is increasing security for all AFL stadiums and the crowds are subject to more “stringent searches.” They decided to staff the stadiums with more security presence and fund more money towards technology advancements. The AFL wants to provide the fans, players, and staff more protection in the wake of these horrific Paris attacks. The AFL has been looking towards the NFL for security advice on how they run the super bowl. They plan on expanding their security protocols and advancing procedures to ensure a safer sports experience. The AFL also takes about expanding security measures for players when they travel through airports and stay at hotels. The world is shaken up by the devastation of the Paris attacks and have been working fast and hard to improve security everywhere they can.


Missouri Articles

Students Walk Out at Ithaca College in Solidarity Protests with Missouri

This article found on Mashable talks about how students at Ithaca College, located in New York,  organized a “walk-out” to demonstrate a show of solidarity for the situation that occurred at the University of Missouri. The walk-out was led by a student group called the People of Color at Ithaca College. Their walk-out also signified that the students had “no confidence” in their school president Tom Rochon. During the protest, the students passed out letters that “listed their case against Rochon.” The students performed die-ins, chants, and moments of silence for incidents at other campuses.

I thought this article was insightful because it incorporated various forms of media, which helped tell the story. Marcus Gilmer, the author of the article, included pictures, videos, and embedded tweets from the event. Each photo had a caption and each tweet was embedded, which allowed me interact with and have more access to information. I thought the student’s organized the event well and in a peaceful manner. The Ithacan, which is the school’s online newspaper, live tweeted the event and shared useful and relevant information such as photos, and status updates.

At University of Missouri, Black Students See a Campus Riven by Race

This article was posted on the New York Times and addresses the issue that occurred at the University of Missouri. Students from the University of Missouri reported many racial incidents that took place on campus. One episode that took place on campus included someone smearing poop into the shape of a swastika on a wall. There have been protests, a hunger strike, a threat to boycott the football team, and finally the resignation of the university’s president and chancellor. Before any of these incidents blew up in the news, students have reported that there has always been racial tensions “woven into the fabric of everyday life at this, the state system’s flagship campus.” People have been using Yik Yak and other social media sites to post anonymous threats to black students. Black students decided to steer clear from campus in order to avoid threats and violence. The police arrested two white students, both 19 years old, who were caught posting threats online. These students feel threatened, scared, and upset due to this sense of racism and cultural isolation.

This article breaks up the text by embedding photos with captions in between the paragraphs. This helps readers take a break as they get a more visual and contextual understanding of the story. One media element that stood out to me was the use of an “interactive feature.” Here the New York Times reaches out to it’s rears to ask if they have ever encountered racial conflict on campus. This is a section where the readers can offer their input and experiences.

The Future of Journalistic Economy

Given the decline of printed news, news companies have since been switching over to the digital platform. The increase in technological advancements is slowly deteriorating what was once an extremely profitable trade. According to the Newsonomics article by Ken Doctor, “the American Society of News Editors found its first double-digit decline in newsroom count since the Great Recession of seven years ago.” The number of full-time newsroom staffing positions has dropped by 10.4% int he last year alone. The Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reported that US newspaper organizations losing print ad revenue faster than they are generating replacement dollars. Many companies have found innovated ways to raise their revenue. For example, some promote ticket sales programs for various contests, which seed a constant source of revenue from the readers alone. On the other hand, some of the smaller dailies companies are staying afloat by catering their news to a localized area. By catering to a certain audience, they are able to stay in business. In order to up their sales and earn more money, companies have to conduct research to understand the best ways to go about gaining profits.

I didn’t realize that bloggers are also affected by these job cuts. Maria Popova, a blogger from the Blogonomics article, stays afloat by asking for donations from her readers. Her readers are very generous because they understand that their donations are what’s keeping the blog from being discontinued. I personally would not donate to various bloggers, and neither does the majority of the public, which is why many people have lost their jobs as a writer. Popova uses “affiliate links” as a great tool to utilize in order to earn income. According to Blogonomics, “Affiliate links can be very lucrative: the Wirecutter, for instance, makes $50,000 per month, with that number ‘doubling every quarter’, according to David Carr; it gets that money from a readership of less than 350,000 unique visitors per month.”

Click here to access my –>Decline of Print Infographic

GOP Debate: Live Tweets

I loved that we got to watch the GOP Republican Debate during class because I wasn’t able to watch it live earlier that day. Live tweeting was an interesting activity because it caused you to focus on each candidate’s platform and and get to know some of the candidates you might not have been to familiar with. I identify more as a democrat, so I enjoyed watching the GOP debate to get to know the Republican candidates and what they believe in.

Before this class I was not much of a tweeter. However, this activity helped me to get better acquainted with how to use various tools such as hashtags, posting links, tagging, retweeting, and favoriting. If I had to pick two of my top tweets they would be the ones that sparked discussion or public recognition. Majority of my tweets were more light hearted and humorous, although I did tweet about some important topics that were brought up during the debate.

I enjoyed watching the presidential debate. Although there was a lot of satirical memes and references that came from the debate, there was also some valid points made. I retweeted many posts from comical, well known people, and shared links to websites during my live tweet session. I hope to become a more avid twitter user  in the future and live tweet more events.

Tracking BuzzFeed


  1. BuzzFeed: “social news and entertainment company … redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology … provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment and video.”
    1. Look and feel- energetic, fun, engaging, overwhelming
    2. Tone – cluttered with information & visual
    3. Page zones- header, then most popular posts, sponsor ad on the right, list of news and trending topics
  2. Technology
    1. Platform
  3. Content
    1. Editorial flow – scrolls from most current then to older posts
    2. Photography
    3. Sourcing – every source is cited & credited
    4. Multimedia
  4. Social
    1. Does site use social media to promote? Yes!
    2. Community tools on the site – You can make a post if you create an account
  5. Data and facts
    1. Site history & Founders – BuzzFeed was founded in 2006 in New York City as a viral lab, focusing on tracking viral content, by Jonah Peretti and John S. Johnson III. Kenneth Lerer, co-founder and Chairman of The Huffington Post, started as a co-founder and investor in BuzzFeed and is now the Executive Chairman as well.
    2. Traffic:
  6. Business models
    1. Ads & Subscriptions – Advertise How it Works
      • BuzzFeed generates its advertising revenue through native advertising that matches its own editorial content, and does not rely on banner ads.

Data Journalism

We live in an age of information abundance. We constantly refer to digital information when creating a story. We use digital data to trace back information and make connections. The world around us depends on digital data which plays a role in data journalism. Journalist rely on data when it comes to gathering information and uncovering truths or telling complex stories. Journalist use data for a number of things, and all of which help them become better writers. A quote that stood out to me read, “Data can be the source of data journalism, or it can be the tool with which the story is told — or it can be both.” Depending on how a journalist chooses to use data is up him or her. Since raw data can be hard to understand, it takes experienced journalist to decipher it, and an even better journalists to properly analyze it.

The definition of data journalism various according to which journalist you ask. However, a definition that helped me better understand it is, “Data journalism is a new set of skills for searching, understanding and visualizing digital sources in a time that basic skills from traditional journalism just aren’t enough.” This helped me to better visualize that data journalism is basically another way to tell a story using a more futuristic approach. Essentially, data journalism can help to improve coverage on a story and augment in-depth investigations. Newsrooms should use data journalism because it can help the reader better understand complex stories and even uncover issues that have since gone unnoticed. For example, at BBC, “The job of the data visualization team is to combine great design with a clear editorial narrative to provide a compelling experience for the user.” That being said, newsrooms can benefit from using this more modern form of journalistic approaches. Briggs also touches upon this in chapter 9. Being that our world is constantly driven by data, he encourages us to learn how to understand it. The digital sphere is vast, which means there is still so much information that has yet to be discovered.