News wise, the internet is evolving and improving to the point where we now have cyber watchdogs. 

A bunch of journalists, eleven of them are working full time to bring the Sna Diego comunity calm and peace of mind. They work for, this is a non profit website that has uncovered several cases of mismanagement and bribery from city officials. They are keeping an eye on them and making the city safe from corruption. This is the true investigative journalism that hsould be practiced and protected from falling along with the newspapers because of the economic crisis. 

After all, one of the elements of journalism as reported by journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their book “The elements of Journalism” is that journalism must serve as a monitor of power. That is a duty that guys at this non profit website aim for and their aim is pretty sharp and effective. The New York Times reported that uncovered cases in which the chief of two redevelopment agencies were forced to resign, one of them has been charged in court. 

However, not all the news on this website are meant to cause commotion or bring down bad city officials. On tuesday november 25, 2008 the website run a story on how a San Diego city council managed to save libraries, recreation centers and two fire crew from being eliminated due to budget cuts. It is important for people to know the moves of their government and the decisions they take.   Here, news are being delivered. 

Journalists are looking out for the citizens and citizens should look out for journalists. There is no reason to this industry to fall apart. It seems that at least this great journalists are safe on the web. they report on local issues that concern San Diego citizens. They have different topics including politics, government, education, sports. Just like any newspaper but the difference is that this one is a website.

In the past this type of investigative journalism was called muckraking and like nowadays, the journalism uncovered corruption, crime , waste, fraud and served the citizens with their articles or books.

It was a matter of time for the new electronic medium to adopt this  posture and start bringing to light all the hidden activities of those who abuse their power. Being a journalist opens some doors and of course gives the journalist some power and access to information and question people and that is how they find out stuff. 

Unfortunately, the sacred newsrooms were these hard working heros are falling because of the competition with the internet. People should support this watchdogs who are working entirely for them. The support has to come from the people they protect and inform. Journalism won’t ever find support form the government, from that government they keep an eye so closely.

Hey bloggers, listen up! Writing article responses, blogging, publishing opinion on the web, printing a paper, collaborating with journalists is not journalism.

What these bloggers or smart citizens are doing is great and jornalists can learn and complement their craft with the valuable information that these folks publish. Journalist Steve Outing suggests that some bloggers act as journalists, some do not. Some bloggers see themselves as journalists; some do not. And let me tell you, I don’t know who coined the term “Citizen Journalist”. I don’t know if it was one of those who saw himself as a journalist or not. But, I want to make it clear that blogging is not the same as “doing Journalism”. Unless you apply the principles of journalism, fact-check, know the Journalism code of Ethics, are commited, fair, accurate, balanced, unbiased, etc, etc. Unless you have that and use it, you are not a journalist(I’m talking about the bloggers of course). It is true that journalist blog.

Of course, bloggers and reader’s responses play a vital role in reflecting the views of the people. The journalist can act  better and do a better job in finding out what the people need. The job of the journalist is to watchdogg for the people, the journalist look out for the citizens and the citizens have to let the journalist know what they need and how they feel. Jeff Jarvis’ thoughts on that are very smart, he tells us that “news is a conversation, not just a lecture. The story doesn’t end when it’s published, but rather just gets started as the public begins to do its part – discussing the story, adding to it, and correcting it”. Very wise. And he adds that the end of the story is not when the it gets printed, he says. “That’s when the public can add questions, corrections, perspective. That will improve news. And it also will change our relationship with the public.” Involvement providing feedback to the journalist is very important.

Of course, people can get dirty, sweaty, dig out the dirt and find out the truth and of course apply the principles mentioned above. That’s when they can really be called “citizen journalists”.

What’s called citizen journalism, I would call CITIZEN PUBLISHING or COLLABORATORS.

A New device to monitor audience numbers of New York Radio stations gets controversial.  It’s called the portable people meter, created by the research firm Arbitron and you have to have one and tune to your favorite radio station so that advertisers and the radio stations can later on track the listenership. In fact, a NY1 report on how the device is affecting minority radio stations, showed radio managers and personalities rallying against Arbitron’s new device. The issue at stake is that black or latino listeners don’t have the device or it might also suggest that they don’t participate in the survey. This would make those station as low in audience. Okay, that’s understandable. Arbitron states in its website that devices would be”Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants”. -Selected survey participants- Maybe those selected survey participants are not Hispanic nor Black. And that’s what the Radio managers are protesting about. It is an excluding way of taking rating surveys.

 However, the use of the device has been restricted because it’s not reliable enough and the company Arbitron understands and will work something out. If they do, they have to include Blacks and Latinos in the survey.


I got a big chance

October 8, 2008

The CUNY Media Conference and Career Fair wasn’t a waist of time especially when there is luck. The event took place at the CUNY Graduate center in Fifth Avenue and it features a conference of course, panels in which different topics on journalism and Media are discussed by professionals. It is all very informative and inspiring. However, the main dish(for the students) was the career fair in which some of them are supposed to get internships or jobs. Recruiters from many organizations are invited.

Luck is also a factor in getting a job. If you are at the right place at the right time, then you are lucky. Of course one has to have the required skills. I do have the required skills and I did get lucky at the career fair. I was standing in line, waiting to be interviewd by the first recruiter which was NY1. When my turn came, I greeted the interviwers and handed off my resume and started advertising myself. Of course, they saw I have Newsroom experience and that I’m bilingual. When they saw that, they asked me if I was interested in writing for the NY1 noticias newsroom which of course is the Spanish version of the newscast. This means I have to write in Spanish which I haven’t done seriously since I left College back in my country Peru. This happened like 4 years ago. So, all I need to do is pass the written test and I’m there. My preparation is key. So i’m watching the spanish newscasts and reading in spanish. Of course, I’m reviewing my Newswriting book.

My writing will tell. However, I know my writing will make it.

      When Media generates the content it is going to distribute, they only have one thing in mind: money.

News wise, the decision-making is influenced by the amount of viewership. If the story is newsworthy but won’t be viewed by as many people as other story, the newsworthy one won’t be even considered. This is a real shame because when we talk about news, we don’t necessarily get what’s more newsworthy. We get the news that producers or Network CEOs think will sell more. We won’t get the latest on the Iraq war, but we’ll get the latest on Anna Nicole Smith’s death. Media Analyst Steve Adubato thinks the coverage of her death was over the top. What about having attractive and seductive anchors who in fact are not anchors but Lord knows what. Even those who present those fake news are fake. Some of them. This is a tactic that some networks use in order to bring the ratings up. A clear example of this is found in the book “How to watch TV News” by Neil Postman and Steve Powers. They mention one case in which the actress, model and former WWF wrester Lauren Jones landed in the Anchor chair of CBS19 in east texas in June 2007.This, of course, was a thirty-day contract. We are not playing any game here, we are very serious about the news we want and DESERVE. Sorry to remind you of the sad true, but let’s face it and do something.

We need newspapers and networks that don’t take away the real news, the real events that shape the world, the real stories of people who laugh and cry, who win and loose. they take away the stories of people like us. News stories that inform us, educate us, orient us and inspire us or make us sad.

My own concept of news is: any event that has an impact on the community. It is as simple as that. Of course, we can’t cover every event that affects our community but covering the most newsworthy or bigger ones does certainly help our community. It definitely helps when there is news of a traffic accident on the highway I use to go to school. I could avoid using that same highway.

        Sometimes, not only the real news are hidden from us but also distorted in a awful way. Not surprisingly, the government is involved. Postman and Powers give us word on that matter, where there was a significant distortion in how the soldier Jessica Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital. This story was extensively covered by the US media and the military account was used, not the other side of the story, not the version of the doctors who cared for her.(remember how journalists should be balanced:this means getting the 2 sides of the story)

        Networks need money. They get it from different sources: soap operas, advertising, reality shows, etc. Networks CEOs shouldn’t interfere with the news department. The news these great newspeople cover should remain independent and fair.

Our Guardian?

September 24, 2008


Jeff jarvis’ September 21st, 2008 post puts things in perspective for us so that we realize how the money put into the mother of all bailouts could have benefited us.


Here is what Jarvis says we can do with the money of the mother of all bailouts“ we could give broadband access to every American for 20 years” or what about “we could buy 3.5 billion one laptop per child” this one is good too: “We could give 23 million Americans free college educations at public institutions”.

Jarvis has the social sensibility and raises the issues that are of concern for every American.

His article clearly says that “we the people”, Americans, the taxpayers the owners of that money need to open our eyes and realize how those 700 billion dollars can be spent. And there are many convenient ways to spend that money. Ways in which Americans will benefit from. It is true that free internet will benefit us. It is true that every child will a laptop will benefit. College scholarships for 23 million Americans would be great for the economy. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. We have necessities. We need health insurance, education, jobs. Who’s going to bail us out of this disgrace?

She’s in the magazine.

September 15, 2008

It’s proven. Sara Palin is the hottest topic in the Media and Time magazine thinks so too.

Last week’s issue devotes its cover and also three and a half pages of the magazine to inform us with the one of the most controversial and discussed topic in today’s politics: Sarah Palin.

The cover of the magazine features a natural size picture of Palin’s face. It’s so huge that you can see all the details. The picture(size) is presented in a way that makes you notice the color of lipstick she uses, her fashionable glasses, the look in her eyes (check if through them you are able to get a sense of her soul), . The picture is so natural sized that you can almost talk to it and ask: Who are you and what can you do for us? 

            Clearly, the article is a biography/discussion of all the things she’s been through that landed her where she is right now. From who her parents are to who her political opponents are. Time magazine is giving its readers a broad picture of who the potential vice present is and what she has to offer to the Americans. Time magazine didn’t print Palin’s resume but in exchange it provided us with a biography that will allow us to review it, see her qualifications, achievements and experience and then okay her or not. What do you say? Is she?


Hello world!

September 10, 2008

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