Reliable News

Can global news operations such as Al Jazeera rely on cell phones and cell phone video to report from war zones around the world? Are Twitter feeds from people in war zones a reliable source of news? Why or why not?

I think that cell phones can absolutely be used to supplement news; however, I don’t know that I would strictly rely on that medium to report the news. Even information presented visually can be manipulated to sell a particular view’s agenda. Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”

Twitter feeds lead to immediate news, and with the “I want it now” mentality of the world we live in, it satisfies the need to get the news out immediately. With so many loved ones being members of the military, people all of the world are watching war zones very attentively, which leads to journalists wanting to provide the most up to date information to viewers. Unfortunately, like any other sort of news medium, Twitter feeds can still be opinionated or bias toward a particular point of view.

“We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?” -Marie Colvin

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The Love/Hate Relationship Between Celebrities and the Press

Does the press go too far in revealing private details about celebrities? Why or why not? Given that celebrities benefit from positive coverage, should they be given more power to control negative coverage?

I’d like to say I don’t enjoy celebrity gossip, but let’s be honest–I partake in grocery store checkout line reading, and the occasional viewing of a story on the internet if it’s about someone I’m interested in. There are those who maintain the belief that celebrities live the kind of lifestyles that demand attention, so that’s what they get, right? However, I only agree with that to an extent. Obviously celebrities are going to receive more attention than an everyday Joe, but at the same time, they’re still human beings. If I obtained celebrity status, I would still want some time to myself. Personally, I think celebrities should expect a certain amount of attention; however, I also believe the press can go too far, especially when they start including children.

Contrary to the question, I think that celebrities benefit typically from any kind of coverage. Even if it’s negative, they’re still in the spotlight.

“I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows.” – Mariah Carey

The Social Media Side of Public Relations

How do social media change the public relations process? Can you think of an example of how social media content has helped or hurt an organization? Why do you think this happened?

One of the most recognizable names in the world, Bill Gates, said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” I think that says a lot about the importance of PR. Social media is a game changer in the public relations realm. When chaos ensues, they have a medium to immediately get statements to consumers. Social media also makes it possible to constantly converse with customers in real time.

It’s important to remember that public relations involves so much more than just damage control. As far as a company that utilizes social media well for public relation purposes, I’d say Starbucks does a good job. They have holiday promotions, Starbucks rewards, and also practice cross promotion through multiple social media outlets, such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. This practice allows the company to reach prospective customers through different mediums.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” -Daniel J. Boorstin

Commercials: Why I Watch the Super Bowl

Do you watch the Super Bowl every year for the ads? What are your favorite Super Bowl ads? What makes you like them?

I am absolutely not an NFL fan, but even I usually watch the Super Bowl. As a hardcore baseball fan, it’s no lie that I genuinely watch the Super Bowl for the fellowship, food, and the commercials.

As a heterosexual female, commercials with half naked women don’t particularly interest me. I have a tendency to be drawn to commercials that are funny, or pull on my heart strings. It’s kind of ironic, because I genuinely dislike the taste of beer, but Budweiser produces one of my favorite commercials each year. They don’t make me want to drive down to the county line to pick up a six-pack, but they are memorable.

“You don’t go into a highly scrutinized commercial enterprise like the Super Bowl without knowing you have the goods.” -Oren Aviv

Ethical vs. Moral

What is the difference between making an ethical decision and making a moral decision? How can it be problematic to make a moral decision? Can a decision be ethical without being moral?

Moral decisions are based on the values of any given person. This can be impacted by upbringing, culture, religion, etc., and is not the same for everyone. Ethics, on the other hand, utilizes rationality to share truthful, responsible, understandable information even if someone doesn’t agree with it.

Making a moral decision can be problematic because everyone doesn’t possess the same beliefs, religion, opinions, etc. So, a moral decision to me may not be a sound, moral decision to another. Because of differing values, I do believe it’s possible to make an ethical decision without it being a moral one.

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” -Potter Stewart

Social Media Accounts

How many different social media accounts do you have? Whom are they with? With whom do you communicate using social media? Do you ever think you share too much through social media? Why or why not?

Depending on what is being referred to as social media, I have four social media accounts. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn and WordPress. Others may not consider their blog social media, but it allows for open communication between myself, as the author, and my readers.

Who I communicate with honestly depends on which medium I’m using. The one I visit the most is Facebook. In that case, I communicate with family, friends, colleagues, strangers, etc. Facebook reaches nearly every corner of the globe. Twitter and WordPress are used strictly for school work, so I don’t frequent either of those unless required to do so. LinkedIn falls into the same category as Twitter and WordPress. I realize it’s a professional platform, but thus far, I haven’t really felt the need to spend a ton of spare time perusing that site.

I won’t even hesitate to say I probably share too much on Facebook. Well–at least someone’s idea of too much. I think we all do to an extent. Too much is surely defined differently by every person. So, it really just depends on if the reader of my posts is interested or not.

To be truthful, Facebook is most likely my worst bad habit. It really serves very few purposes other than to keep up with people who don’t live near me, and vent when I’m unable to get my point across otherwise.

“Everything you post on social media impacts your personal brand. How do you want to be known?” -Lisa Horn

Too Much Television?

When and why do you watch television? Do you watch specific shows or just whatever is airing? Do you think it’s possible to watch “too much” television? Why or why not? What did you watch last night?

I once read a quote somewhere that said, “If you don’t have enough time, stop watching tv.” I think that’s a pretty accurate statement. At least it’s true in my life. I work full-time, have the privilege of being the single mom of an overactive young man, and am very involved in our church. Due to the lack of spare time, I don’t watch much television. When I do, it’s typically late evening. I may turn on some Flea Market Flip to unwind before bed.

I do have a habit of watching specific shows, but I also flip through channels a lot because “my shows” may not be on when I have spare time to relax. I do think it’s possible to watch too much television. It somewhat disconnects us from society. Watching television leads to inactivity. People are stationary, which could potentially lead to various health issues. Television is also full of inaccurate information, propaganda, and constant advertising. Unfortunately, if it’s on a news broadcast, the majority of viewers just take that information as fact without doing any additional research for themselves. Marshall McLuhan actually said, “To educate means to produce immunity against a television.”

I didn’t technically “watch” television last night; however, I did have the Country Christmas special on in the background while I did homework. This is a typical night for me.

“We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.” -Marshall McLuhan