JOMC 242, Lesson Learned.

JOMC 242 has been quite the experience – to learn, to dissect, to try to understand, and to predict the future – all while attempting to make sense of the present. Mass communication, today, is in a state of transition. As we move from print, such as newspapers, we’ve entered the digital era where everyone has a voice and the opportunity to allow others to hear it. Our generation has distrust in the institutions and we rather hear the story from a by-stander than a journalist, trained to articulate the news. I myself threw away trust a long time ago – when I acknowledged issues with the system. Individuals being gunned down that could’ve been my brothers or my future son puts a taste of disgust in my spirit for all things “televised.” See, like others, I’ve developed a disliking for news that “they” want us to hear about – it must be faulty. My generation needs a video, a picture, a recording, and access to an eyewitness; someone or something that we can experience ourselves! My professor, John Robinson, recently proposed, “What happens to Democracy without the Newspaper to advocate and display the issues within a community?” Which led me to think of a larger issue at hand, “What happens to Democracy, when there’s no central source advocating for us – the people?” What happens in the future when primary news sources are no longer around? What happens to democracy when state and local congress doesn’t care “how they appear” because there’s no longer a newspaper to document the untelevised?

Well in the past few weeks I’ve developed a forecast of my own, regarding the future of Democracy and the future of Journalism. The future of journalism will encompass a parallel to what is now known as “Twitter” of video and tweets regarding news. The network will develop a metric that combines related videos and tweets, together, to produce a “world view” on a situation in real-time – as it occurs. The people of the world will be the journalists and journalism will simply be a metric that captures and combines the various perspectives.

Now, that I’ve got my future insight out of the way…It’s time to reminisce on my most valued lesson of class: Net Neutrality Matters!

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog that informed my readers on the importance of Net Neutrality. The Internet, at the time, was undergoing legal decisions and one was rather or not the FCC would maintain control over the Internet. Professor Robinson proposed a valuable question, throughout this debate, which was, “Is the world wide web a public utility?” Pondering on the questions for all of fifteen seconds, the answer is yes! Just like electricity, the Internet is a resource, that as a society, we have become highly dependent upon. The Internet grants us our right to information, our right to an education, and our right to have open access to perspectives across the world. A debate, I never sought myself adamantly fighting for.

God willing, the Internet will remain accessible to all and FCC will maintain control. However, as the Internet becomes more powerful – I foresee heavier regulation and restriction surrounding our freedom on the platform, in a manner that will mimic society. It’s an issue that I have now pledged to keep my eyes open to, because it affects not only myself but also the way in which my generation innovates. If the Internet becomes limited, then so will our knowledge and more significantly our future.

As journalism and mass communication changes from its traditional core – the issue falls upon my generation. It is our responsibility to advocate for our viewpoints and to speak up regarding issues that affect us.

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Video collaboration is going to change what it takes to “Go Viral.”

I read the title, “Facebook’s new side project, Riff, tries to blueprint the recipe for viral videos” and thought to myself: “Not a good idea.” I heard about this viral video project and in my opinion to help users develop viral videos wouldn’t be possible. Going viral isn’t meant for everyone – it’s what separates videos that stand out as extraordinary. The more “viral-like” videos become the more demanding we become as users and consumers to only spend time viewing the absolute best quality videos. One’s ability to become “viral” only weakens. As I began to read the article for myself, with a sour taste for what I was expecting to read, I was quite surprised. To my surprise the app was not solely based on viral videos but instead, viral collaboration; now, this made sense!

The newly developed app., Riff, was released last Wednesday and here’s how it works. Users have up to 20-seconds to create video content. They can then release the video to Facebook and allow friends, who also have the app., to add to the content of the video. It makes video collaboration easy and accessible to many people. The idea is that each individual who decides to collaborate and be a part of the video will share the video and more and more Facebook users will see it. I think the idea is great and I love that it promotes collaboration, especially amongst the funniest vine creators who may not personally know each other.

I’m interested in what will become “popular” amongst these videos. The pile-on chain feature of the application is infinite; the videos have the opportunity to be long and heavy in content. Today, most popular videos are typically under 10-seconds. What will begin to deem “viral” qualities with this new app? Will our attention span continue to prefer 6-second slips that make us laugh 2 seconds in? Or will a 5-minute clip be worth our time if it’s powerful the whole way through?

Thoughts? Comment Below! I’m really interested.

Cyber Love & Hate: Pick Your Poison

Recall, “Download,” by Lil’ Kim featuring T-Pain? It was a song created in 2008 that discussed “cyber love.” I personally recall the song because of the many laughs it brought my friends and I at the time. We thought it was comically ridiculous – like why the hell would someone begin a relationship via the Internet; must be desperate individuals we thought. Now, in 2015 – not only are people beginning relationships via Facebook but they’re also ending them according to “Divorce notice by Facebook? Doable, but it depends on where you live.”

Recently, the Manhattan Supreme Court System has allowed a woman of Brooklyn, NY to serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook. The woman proved several failed attempts to contact her husband and had no access to his physical location. After further research, they found that her husband commonly interacted on the social platform, Facebook. After a final failed attempt at hiring a private detective to track this woman’s husband down – the judge ruled to allow her to send the divorce filings as an attachment using Facebook’s Messenger.

What’s even more shocking is that this instance isn’t the first of its kind. Last September, Staten Island ruled that a man could notify his ex-wife that he no longer wanted to pay child support via Facebook messenger. The more often these cases occur the more they broaden the opportunity for Facebook took continue playing a major role in the court system and legal filings.

Question at hand: “How long will it be until States begin to recognize social networks like Facebook into legislation?”

I estimate no more than five years.

A GOLD STANDARD…In comparison to what?

MLK Celebration, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot Gathering in the Pit, AFAM Department Rally at South Building, NAACP Lecture, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, and the protest to rename Saunders Hall (an academic building named after a leader of the KKK). All of these events occurred this year within the black community and they choose a pageant to make the front cover of the DTH, might I add: above the fold.

I love the DTH and I think they do a great job at staying in the “know” on campus and appealing to its audience. I also want to state that I believe the Miss. Black & Gold Pageant of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is also an amazing platform for women to showcase their talents and uplift young women within our community. However, I do not find the story newsworthy or time-sensitive to incorporate it on the front page of the Daily Tar Heel.

Just yesterday the man from the Chapel Hill Shooting, which occurred in early February, went on trial and it did not make the front page. You’re telling me that a pageant is more important than justice within a community that consistently marginalizes minorities?

I began this article listing a plethora of events that are significant and affect a greater population that the talented women who served in last night’s pageant. It’s important that we highlight events like these but it is of far greater importance that we highlight the events that stir up injustices in our community and furthermore, speak to those who struggle to make a presence no matter how hard or loud we storm the campus with rage!

I have spoken to several friends regarding the article and I believe if nothing else it is creating conversation within the community – exactly what a good article should do. My issue is not with the article or the content but furthermore, the significance in relation to other events that have occurred on this campus, far more reflective of the black community – as a whole.

Uber Makes Safety a Priority

I love Uber; it’s like a taxi but cheaper, typically smells a hell of a lot better, and definitely less awkward. When I first began using the service, this summer, my parents were quite weary of the product’s safety. They just could not wrap their minds around the fact that someone voluntarily drives people around, with good intent, and how the service was so convenient. The more I spoke on my experiences with Uber and encouraged friends and family to also use the app., I repeatedly found myself defending the same issue: Safety. Recently, Uber has made a great step toward combatting their biggest barrier by hiring its first chief security officer, Joe Sullivan.

Joe Sullivan’s past work experience includes serving as the Chief Security Officer for more than five years for Facebook as well as serving as the Department of Justice for eight years prosecuting cybercrime. According to “Uber snatches its first chief security officer away from Facebook” Sullivan states his commitment to Uber’s increased safety measures, “building world-class safety and security are critical” to fulfill the mission of “revolutionizing transportation.” Sullivan’s work will surround data including name, telephone numbers, location, and credit card information. The company is working to increase safety and security not only to passengers but also to drivers.

Uber has no intention on stopping its safety measures here. The company has hired a number of executives.

Succeeding at bridging the digital world and the real one? I Think So.

Burnbook. How was this a Good Idea?…Ever.

I worry about the future of tomorrow, because of the ways in which are kids are being brought up, today. To my surprise (or maybe I was in a high level of denial for quite some time), social media is negatively affecting the developmental stage of our youth. Recently, I discovered a highly controversial app: “Burnbook.” Modeled after the movie, “Mean Girls” the application is an anonymous social network that allows high school students to post mean and hurtful content about one another. While this may have been a laughable and highly memorable scene in a movie, that gives no right to replicate such a thing in real life. The application even has a location device that allows users to join a “community” (school). The app is practically an organized and convenient way for today’s youth to engage in cyber bullying. I deem the developer of such an application sick. Burnbook has hit headlines across the country regarding how the app has brought violence and threats of terrorism to schools.

Parents have tried to combat the issue by creating Burnbook accounts of their own to stay in tune with their children. One school, Forest City Regional High School, encouraged their students to fight the Burnbook App by making a chain reaction of only positive posts. The digital age has brought much to be grateful for as well as much to regret. It’s important that as social media users we acknowledge that all of the bad in the real world can occur just as easily, if not easier, on social media platforms and to be aware of the harm that it can do to your community.

For more information on the app, check out this article: Burnbook: What parents need to know about the controversial App

#BoycottBurnbook

Tidal: Artists’ Fight for the Respect of their Work

If you’ve been on Instagram or Twitter lately you’ve probably noticed that some of your favorite artists have been changing their profile photos to a bright turquoise blue. They’re doing this to promote Tidal, an artist-owned and driven music subscription service. The service focuses on the sound quality of audio and video files, from artists. Similar to Spotify, the service streams all genres of music with no commercials and for a monthly cost. The service offers two payment plans: a $9.99 per month for standard quality sound, similar in cost and quality to Spotify, and a $19.99 per month tier that streams high-definition audio as well as HD music videos. Jay-Z is at the forefront of the music-streaming service. In a YouTube clip, Tidal released recently, he conveys the importance of music as an art and his commitment to reverting back to a society that treasures the artists who commit their lives to developing it. There are sixteen celebrity stakeholders, who are strongly standing behind Jay-Z’s initiative to support artists, by investing into Tidal, they include: Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jay Z, Kanye West, Madonna, Nikki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher. All artists represent every major music genre and show the relevance of artists’ unity for a common cause, to gain back respect for work and to be paid well for it.

I believe Spotify has much to be concerned about. Literally, surfaced a website that does the exact same service to consumers but one major pt. of differentiation, that Spotify can’t possibly replicate, and that is: it supports the artists consumers love for the exact same price plus exclusive offerings (such as video videos and exclusive tracks). I haven’t tried Tidal, yet, but I’m also not a fan of Spotify. I do anticipate trying Tidal at some point however – It supports a good cause at a price low enough for me to support!