Tag Archives: social media

Freedom Of Speech & Privacy In New Media

24 Feb

In my recent post about the new social media guidelines I brought up the issue of who should really be held to social media journalist guidelines, but this topic also brings up another important point in new media: What are the implications of freedom of speech, privacy and copyright in new media.

With the way journalism and communication has been changing in the face of new media there has been a fuzzy line that people are trying to draw concerning our first amendment and fourth amendment rights. Recent stories in the news bring up very important issues concerning these rights.

We all know today that privacy doesn’t always mean ‘private’ especially when it comes to the world of Facebook. Pembroke Pines Charter High School student Katherine Evans learned this first hand when she was suspended for “cyberbullying”.

Evans back in 2007 had turned to Facebook to express her frustrations about her English teacher Ms. Phelps. Evans made a Facebook group named “Ms.Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever had” where students commented how they felt about Ms. Phelps. After two days Evans removed the page but was surprisingly suspended two months later. The Civil Liberties Union of Florida was attracted to the case immediately. Maria Kayanan, associate legal director, made a great statement concerning freedom of speech and technology.

Ms. Kayanan said it’s an important victory for Internet free speech that Evans can bring this case to trial come spring because “it upholds the principle that the right to freedom of speech and expression in America does not depend on the technology used to convey opinions and ideas.”

Do you think the school had a right to suspend Evans? Do you believe Evans should have been more careful? This news brings up a great number of discussions concerning our freedom of speech on the Internet. I am very interested in following this case to see where it leads. You can read the article in The New York Times here.

Another school recently reached headlines for using technology to spy  ..  that’s right .. spying on students using webcams from computers they willingly passed out to students to use for free. Administrators were activating the cameras on the laptops anytime they choose, giving them access into their personal lives at home in the hopes to catch and monitor misbehavior. This incident is a complete invasion of privacy. It shocked me to hear one of the students in reply to the suit say that everyone should:

“use a certain amount of common sense here and you don’t just get undressed in front of your computer whether you have faith in the school district or not to spy on you, you know just in case. There is no reason not to turn your computer around.”

There is a reason not to turn your computer around while undressing, because you shouldn’t have to worry or even feel that someone is watching you through your computer without your knowledge. The part in the students quote that really grabbed me was that “just in case because you just never know”. We shouldn’t have to feel like we are being watched in our own homes, and no one should have to worry about it happening to them. With the way technology has changed our society it is too bad some people are taking advantage of it in a negative way. Stories like this can instill fear in others of technology advances. Would you agree with the school’s method of spying on students, or do you feel this was a total invasion of privacy? Read and listen to NBC’s coverage here.

A few years ago Microsoft helped put together Data Privacy Day alongside a nonprofit think tank called The Privacy Projects to help raise awareness and generate discussion about information privacy when it comes to our digital lives. These topics and issues are tough to answer and I think ideas like Data Privacy Day are needed to look more thoroughly at how advanced technologies affect our daily lives.

From both examples it brings up yet again the question of how do we plan to manage privacy and freedom of speech via new media. What are our guidelines and laws for new media law?

The Fad Seen Round the World | Social Media

22 Oct

Social media has taken the world by storm, continuing to grow, but some still believe it is just a fad. I found a fascinating video on YouTube a while back showing some interesting statistics about social media, take a look and make the decision for yourself … Is social media a fad? or the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

Wiring Myself into the World of Media

21 Oct

When I first starting blogging this year I had made a post about this article 2008 objectives for today’s non-wired journalist | Howard Owens and thought it only appropriate to re-post it.  I found this article at the time very interesting because I had just stepped into the world of social media.  Yes I had a MySpace and Facebook but not until January 2009 did I really start digging into social media.  I am now so far into it, I don’t know if I can ever get out of the hole I dug.  I am practically doing everything mentioned in this blog including bookmarking, networking, blogging, tweeting, RSSing, SMSing, photography, googling and attempting to YouTube it.  At the time I first posted this article I was only dabbling in all of these things, some more than others, but since I have actually been hired to put social media into effect for businesses.  Recently I have also joined Publish2, which is a platform for collaborative journalism.

Publish2’s mission and unique tools encourage the spirit of open information and effectively fosters collaboration between teams of journalists and readers. Its link publishing widgets and easy-to-use in-browser tools are designed to fit cohesively into time-pressed journalists’ work days.


wj_screenshotIn the process of becoming a member of Publish2 I also joined Wired Journalists, a Publish2 network, for collaborative journalism on the Web, powered by journalists.  Wired Journalists reminds me of a Facebook for journalists.

Here is my post from my first blog, A New Dawn, on the article written by Howard Owens about non-wired journalists.

April 2, 2009

Excellent Blog on Objectives for non-wired Journalists

Filed under: Blogging, Journalism, News Writing — Makenzie Marineau @ 5:10 pm

A new term has begun for school and lucky for me I am enrolled in New Media Communications | Reporting. I am extremely excited to be taking this class. First week we were given a blog to read and I loved it so much I had to re-post it.

2008 objectives for today’s non-wired journalist

By: Howard Owens

Many news organizations have bonus plans for newsroom personnel called MBOs (MBA speak for Manage by Objective). The idea is to reward people for doing work that helps advance the company’s strategic goals.

Is there any higher strategic need for news organizations today than becoming more digital savvy?

I suspect there are still too many non-wired journalists in most US newsrooms. Either out of fear, indifference or hubris, too many reporters and editors resist using the Internet for anything beyond the occasional Google search (and heaven forbid they ever click a search result link to Wikipedia) and a daily dose of Romenesko (and heaven forbid if you call him what he is, a blogger).

That just isn’t acceptable.

So to help newsroom managers advance the digital literacy of their organizations, I offer the following MBO plan. I recommend readers pass this along to the top editors at their newspapers. And for non-wired journalists ambitious enough to pursue their own MBO paths, I’ll offer a reward myself (strict rules and details at the bottom of this post).

1. Become a blogger. Start with a favorite topic. For example, if you’re a baseball fan, start with baseball. Find all of the baseball-related blogs you can and become a regular reader of five or six of the best of these blogs. Participate — leave comments; follow links. After three months of blog reading, start your own blog on that topic. Try to post daily for at least six months. For blog topics, avoid anything related to your beat or politics. First, you need to blog about something you are passionate about; second, there are too many political bloggers already (accept maybe for local politics, if you see that need in your community and it won’t conflict with your day job).

2. Buy a small digital camera that can take both stills and video. Open an account with a photo sharing site such as Flickr or Buzznet. Take photos and post them. If necessary, use some online tutorials for digital photography. (NOTE: If company will buy you this camera, great, but if not, remember you have a responsibility to invest in your own career.)

3. With the same camera, make at least three videos. Use the free video editing software that comes with your computer and edit those videos. Post them to YouTube and at least one other video sharing site. There are plenty of online tutorials for shooting and editing video. Your goal here isn’t to make great video, just to learn what is involved in making video so you have the capability in your online journalism tool bag.

4. Related to video, spend at least two hours a week for six weeks on YouTube. Search for topics that interest you and then follow the trails where they lead. Pay attention to the daily most popular and see what other people are watching. Be sure to watch both amateur and professional video.

5. Join a social networking site. Every professional should have a profile on LinkedIn, so make sure you do, also. Facebook has been hot in 2007, but I think you’ll get more out of MySpace, which still remains popular with your future readers. You will get more DIY (the backbone of modern media) experience with MySpace, if you take full advantage of the site features (which, admittedly, I have not). Do Facebook, too, but don’t neglect MySpace.

6. Use social bookmarking. Set up del.icio.us for yourself and use it every day. Learn about tags. Check out Digg and Mixx and similar sites. If you can, get into Scott Karp’s Publish2 beta.

7. Start using RSS. Use RSS to keep up with the news of the day and the blogs you are now reading every day. Make sure your blog has an RSS feed. Here’s Marc Glaser’s guide to RSS.

8. If your current mobile phone doesn’t handle SMS (text messaging), get one that does. SMS works best when you have friends who text, so figure out who those friends are (by now, you have them). For neophytes and gray hairs, a phone with a QWERTY keyboard (Treo, or iPhone) works best. Blackberrys aren’t great SMS handhelds because they mix SMS and e-mail together.

9. Learn to twitter. I’m not a big Twitter user myself, but Ryan Sholin and Jack Lail swear by it. I think there is something to be said for learning how this technology may change information dissemination.

10. Create a Google Map mashup. If you don’t know what those are, google it. If you don’t know what to do or where to start, google it (hint: or you can search this site). There are plenty of tutorials available. It’s easy. All you need is a spreadsheet with appropriate data and enough smarts to follow step-by-step directions.

11. After you’ve done these ten things, document what you’ve learned — write something, such as an essay to your editor or a blog post. Discuss how technology has changed media, and follow the string of where that change might lead. What will your job be like in 10 years? What will media be like in five? How will news reach young readers in a generation? Tomorrow?

I see all of these points as hugely important for journalists to get involved in the new media communications we have today. I have already tried and attempted most of these but there are a few I myself need to work on exploring a bit more, such as tweeting on Twitter.

–  Since writing this blog my tweeting skills have excelled and I am wired into the world of media and communications. I believe strongly in using new media, such as the examples provided in Owens article, as a journalist and I am glad to see it being incorporated into not only the work place but into classrooms.  I am not saying I feel that it is necessary for everyone to use such tools but I believe that it can be helpful in a matter of different topics, which is a whole another post in itself.  It never hurts to try new things, and I feel as a journalist in today’s market you must learn how to use the basics of new media, or you might just be left behind.