Are social media trusted news sources?


I feel like the way that our culture is now, social media are now considered an official news source. Whether screen-shotting a tweet off Twitter or pulling a picture from Instagram, the candidness of these platforms appears to be what the public likes to see.

When was the last time you actually sought out to see a press release, for any recent? Even a news report from a trusted news source. Readers today don’t want to take enough time to read all of that. They want to know what happened in a single picture, or 140 characters or less.

So what does this mean for the future of journalism? Obviously we will always need writers. And as for photographers, a camera phone will never compare to the clarity living inside a Nikon D-5000. But, still, half of the time when something happens in the news, there’s an image of a public figure’s tweet or a video someone took at a moment’s notice.

Maybe writing styles will become more lax, I don’t know, but it’ll be interesting to see in the future how much more accountability that social media holds. We no longer live in an age where we need official reports and public speeches. It’s enough for us to see a picture on a verified social media account and we trust it.

Why is Miley Cyrus a CNN headline?


I find it pretty ridiculous that on CNN’s website, one of the top headlines of the day is how Miley Cyrus is facing a long recovery, following an “extreme allergic reaction.”

Yes, the trusted news site is still very good about reporting what matters: The sunken South Korea ferry, the latest development in Ukraine, and so forth.

But why Miley Cyrus? I know it’s not fun to have an allergic reaction to anything, I’m not saying that whatever she’s going through isn’t worth anything, but is it worth being a top headline on a major news source’s website?

I think it looks ridiculous that CNN is reporting on serious world matters and decides to include a slightly reckless celebrity who’s having a personal medical issue.

I’m sure that CNN feels as though it’s okay to post things like this. The site is hoping to draw a younger demographic to the site. Honestly though, if I’m looking for the latest on Miley Cyrus, or any other celebrity, I’m going to go to a trusted source for celebrity news.

I’ll admit that the demographic interested in Cyrus will go to CNN to read about her, but those readers are probably going to leave the site soon after, if they even read the full article.

If CNN’s trying to keep up, this could soon become problematic. Who knows, next month they could be reporting on the next world crisis and somewhere else on the page there will be a featured article investigating why a certain actress looked so terrible on the red carpet.

The people who genuinely read CNN for its intense news stories are probably not interested in how Cyrus is feeling. I read the article. All it talks about is her having a sinus infection on her risqué concert tour and then taking an antibiotic that gave her the allergic reaction.

Please, CNN, this isn’t the kind of news that deserves this attention on your site. Maybe if Cyrus went to a third world country and did some meaningful community service, then it would be warranted as a good human interest feature. And still, I would feel like that would be a publicity stunt. Being on such a broad world stage, CNN should be careful.

Sometimes it only takes one to start something and then everyone’s doing it.

The first female late-night host?


David Letterman announced this week that he will be retiring from the “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2015.

This will definitely be a big change, as Letterman has been the longest serving late-night host in TV history, marking 32 years in 2014.

“Late Night” hosts are the fun journalists to me. They have to keep up with current events, and present it to their audiences with a humorous or interesting twist on things. Whether late-night talk show hosts began their careers in journalism or not, they have contributed significantly to the journalism world, staying honest with their opinions and keeping society informed.

The only thing that late-night hasn’t had yet is a female host.

Recently, talk show host and comedian, Chelsea Handler announced that she would be leaving her show “Chelsea Lately” on E! Network. Many of her adoring fans were afraid that she would disappear forever, but now there are rumors that she might possibly replace Letterman for his coveted late-night spot.

She might get it. If we’re following the trend of late-night, then she probably won’t. Handler would do well though. She’s funny, honest and knows what she’s talking about. There aren’t many women out there who could do late-night like she could.

Her show on E! Network was already late-night, but moving to a prime-time network would raise her to the top.

This would definitely be a shake-up, still. While she is adored by both men and women, late-night talk shows are predominately male. If she did get a slot, it would better represent a diversified journalism world. It’s not like the only editorial writers we respect are male. Late-night TV should start to reflect that.

It’ll be interesting to see where she eventually ends up. Her fans can at least be comforted that though she will be leaving E! Network, she’s not leaving television for good.

This is how online journalism will survive


There’s a lot of competition among news sources today. Whether it’s CNN sending your phone live updates or seeing the trending Tweets of the moment, a news source has to be pretty special to keep an audience.

So how would a news company stay alive, financially? When the news was only in print, it was easier for news companies to make money. Either people would buy subscriptions and have the paper delivered to their homes or they’d go to a newsstand and buy it after seeing an enticing headline.

Unfortunately, for the money-making aspect of journalism, many people now don’t have to pay to see breaking-news stories. While this is a good thing for society, to stay informed, this ties into why print journalism is going down. No one really has to pay to read the news anymore.

I am aware, though, that even when print was king, a major chunk of the paper’s income was from selling two-thirds of available space on their pages for advertising. This, I feel will keep content available online for the world to still enjoy.

Every news site today has advertising, even celebrity gossip sites. While readers are constantly jumping to different sources for information, other businesses recognize that even seeing their ad on a news site for five seconds is enough exposure for them.

Fore example, on The News York Times‘ site, AT&T is advertising itself next to the news source’s logo. Even more noticeable, on CNN’s site, the first thing that appears is a video that you then have the choice to skip after five or so seconds.

While many people can be agitated by ads, they really need to understand that advertisement is pretty much the only reason they can read the news sources they adore.

Yes, there are other profits. There are still people and businesses who invest in news companies. Also, The New York Times has a digital subscription available for their international paper for 99 cents. And then there are people who would still prefer to have the paper physically delivered to their homes.

But the winner is still advertising. Readers will most likely look at numerous sites for information, all for free. All online news sources have to do is make sure they have great content. Advertisers will gravitate towards the sources that have higher volumes, therefore taking care of the news company’s profits.

They will keep online journalism alive.

Where is fashion journalism going?


The April issue of Vogue has Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover. Whether you think this is a big deal or not, it represents something major.

The famous couple, seen weekly on gossip magazines and websites, has made it to the top of the fashion industry, gracing the cover of the most influential fashion magazine in the world.

Already, there are people across this Internet who are not in favor of this cover. Vogue, though it predominantly focuses on fashion, is still a trusted journalism source. Putting these two on the cover has caused its readers to question where the magazine is going in the fashion journalism world.

Usually, on the cover, there is an actress with an upcoming movie, or a singer with a newly released album. While Kanye’s latest album was released last June, Kim hasn’t done anything recently that might warrant her to be held in such a high regard.

She didn’t enter into Hollywood through acting, singing, or modeling, and while she’s incredibly, “famous for being famous,” it’s usually people who are at the height of their respective careers who are seen on the cover of the grandiose magazine.

I feel like this shift has been happening from reputable news sources, across all platforms. While they would prefer to stick to writing and reporting on people who matter within their specific realms, it does better for the business of the company when the paper sells–meaning it has to be sellable.

Infamous celebrities certainly do sell. While Kim and Kanye can both be fashionable, they aren’t necessarily figures who people look up to, fashionably.

I still love Vogue and many people will too, but this cover sends a message that journalism is turning more into a business rather than a creative outlet.

It will probably sell many copies and be widely read, but putting Kim and Kanye on the cover might have cost the magazine some respect.

How will the marijuana world adapt?


The first license to legally sell marijuana in Washington state was given to Sean Green this week. Green, chief executive of Kouchlock Productions, is already an established businessman, operating a medical marijuana dispensary.

This is a big step for the state and will set precedence for the nation. Although marijuana has been legalized, it’s still technically not legal yet since the marijuana shops haven’t been built.

Green isn’t shy about his plans either. He’s made it very clear that he’s a supporter of getting, “stoned,” and will even create a “super-joint.” This involves creating a candle out of cannabis and flowers.

Other than being beneficial to marijuana users in Washington, Green also believes his company will be successful because he will be providing (legal) jobs.

For those of you who might be worried about Green’s ability to properly run his recreational marijuana business, he had to pass certain tests before obtaining his license. This includes passing a criminal and financial background check, making a business plan, and choosing a location not too close to schools or daycare centers.

I think that this will be a great milestone for those who enjoy recreational use of marijuana, but I can’t help but think of all of the potential problems that its legalization will bring.

For example, marijuana use will be legal for those 21 and older and, like alcohol, those underage will still find a way to get it by any means they find necessary.

But maybe not. What will happen to the underground marijuana dealers? Will some of them remain illegitimate to sell to underage customers? Will some of them clean up a little bit, apply for a license, and become legitimate businessmen?

I think that it’s going to be interesting to see how the whole underground marijuana market fares through this, if most of it will remain underground or come into the real world and do things like start paying taxes. It’s been running pretty well for over 75 years so it will definitely take some time for it to adapt.

Green’s shop is set to open in this summer. Like the other pioneers of the recreational marijuana business, he will  be closely watched and heavily reported on. Their success could be what other states need to be propelled into approving marijuana recreationally.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out when summer finally comes. Will there be strikes from drug-free advocates? Will users be lined up down the street? It has become an on-going national news story.

Most importantly, which state will be the next to approve it?

Can social media end marriages?


Paula Patton announced  her separation from her husband of eight years, Robin Thicke on Monday.

This came as a shock to many, as these two usually seem to be happy and in love.

Many sites are rumoring that the split is because of Thicke’s behavior with Miley Cyrus during the MTV Video Music Awards last August. Apparently, the whole “twerking” thing didn’t go over well with Patton.

Now, I’m not saying necessarily that he should or should not have participated with Cyrus in the raunchy performance. While both he and Cyrus received a lot of backlash from groups ranging from parents to feminists, the performance caught a lot of attention — which is good in Hollywood.

Being an actress herself, I don’t feel like merely the performance would have upset Patton to such a degree. She understands that, as an entertainer, you have to entertain. I feel like to way it blew up afterwards, might’ve driven her to this point.

At first, she had claimed to not have been bothered by the performance, even liking it. That was just the morning after. Days, even weeks later, people were tweeting, reading, and seeing commentary of the performance on the news.

However, Patton truly felt about the performance originally, she felt 10 times worse after it blew up on social media.

I’ve heard about marriages breaking up over social media before, but many times it’s because one person in the relationship is found to be talking to someone else online, leaving inappropriate comments on pictures, and so forth.

This is a new aspect on the matter, however, because it would appear that Patton was humiliated after the performance when it went rampantly viral, changing her mind about being okay with it and pulling the plug on the marriage.

Granted, marriages aren’t perfect and there are always other things happening behind the scenes that could’ve ended this one, but this whole situation is a great example of how social media can follow you everywhere and eventually become your downfall.

Why can’t Hollywood be more original?


It seems to happen nearly every year. Movie producers in Hollywood are often doing reboots of films that were big hits.

Why can’t they just leave the original film alone? Don’t they realize that it’s a little strange to recreate movies, with new actors, when the original actors are still alive and well, able to continue their previous roles?

I can understand rebooting a film that was created 40 or more years ago. The film could’ve been terrible back then and producers want to make something big of it now.  Maybe Hollywood wants to bring a trend back, make some extra cash. I get it, it’s a business.

What really annoys me is how movies that were terrific not even more than 10 years ago are being remade into newer films with terrible reviews.

For example, I remember seeing the original Spider-Man movie in the theater in 2002. I loved it. The world loved it. Tobey Maguire played this role until 2007, ending the series with Spider-Man 3.

So why was it rebooted in 2012 and called the Amazing Spider-Man, with a new actor, Andrew Garfield?

This is strange to me and confusing. Between the original Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider-Man, there isn’t even 10 years. They could’ve just asked Tobey Maguire to come back and restart the series!

Doesn’t Hollywood hire script writers to create new material? Are there no other superheroes within the Marvel or DC Comic Universe for them to create an extensive series about?

The reason why I’m asking this question is that, today, the cast for the new Fantastic Four movie was released. The Fantastic Four movie, that I also saw in the theater, came out in 2005. The new one is slated for 2015.

Reboots for movies that aren’t at least 20 years old are unnecessary. The point of a reboot is to make something better, to bring it more to life.

Reboots are usually rated lower, have around the same CGI and have similar story lines where the audience is not at all very surprised by the ending.

When will Hollywood stop doing this?

Print journalism is still important


As with many college students who meet other college students, we say the same things like, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your major?”

Well, being a student enrolled in the University of Miami’s School of Communication, I proudly said, “journalism,” when asked about my major.

The girl said that being a journalism major is, “nice,” but then made a comment basically telling me that I was wasting my time because print journalism will soon be unnecessary.

I really wish people would stop saying that.

Yes, I will agree with the fact that anything print will soon be deemed unnecessary and done away with. We live in an online world. It’s faster and more efficient.

What I don’t understand is why some of the fellow college students I meet keep telling me that my major is essentially a waste. They say I should go into broadcast journalism or even media management.

Here’s my response to you all: The printed newspaper is dying. The online world is thriving.

A print journalist is one who writes for a newspaper or magazine, so if the publications are moving online, print journalists will move online as well.

Maybe universities should change the name of the major to “web” journalism, but web journalists would literally be doing the same things as print journalists. They need to know how to write quickly, cover stories, and do newsgathering.

Print journalism has adapted and is flourishing online. It is in a new dimension and will, in my opinion, do very well.

Whether in print, online, or on TV, all journalists should be respected in whatever aspect he or she chooses to do and should never be told that their choice of major is unnecessary.

Snow days can still require school work


It seems that nearly everywhere in America there are intense winter storms, shutting down schools and giving students a break from classes.

Or so they would hope.

Just a couple of decades, even years, ago, when all schoolwork was strictly in the classroom, a snow day meant staying in bed and maybe spending some extra time with the family.

In the era that we live in now, just about all of our schoolwork is regularly online, whether it’s homework, PowerPoint slides, or necessary readings.

While many stressed out students would love to just relax for a day or two and catch up on some work, their professors and teachers alike continue to give them assignments online.

It seems to be a growing phenomenon as more news media sites are reporting this trend and more students are complaining. I find the complaints appropriate, though.

Being from Florida, I’m used to not having school due to bad weather, too, but it is usually from tropical storms such as hurricanes.

While there was always a threat of danger and the power going out, these days were great for catching up on sleep and possibly getting ahead in work.

Now, I worry that if we get another hurricane day, I’ll still be stressed out doing work.

Another thing to consider with this situation is with all the work being posted online, what about the students who are located in an area where the power does go out?

Is there a way that they can produce a document that they were truly unable to do any work online without an Internet connection to begin with?

I feel like this solution that schools are using will work for a little while but will have many complications arise soon.

I’m aware that some schools find it to be necessary.

When Hurricane Sandy happened, for example, schools that had to be shut down petitioned for an official “virtual,” school day so that they wouldn’t go over the three snow days already given and have to add school days to a future vacation day.

This is an instance where a virtual school day seems great.

Still though, being in college, there have been moments where I have wished for a snow day so I can have a moment to recharge.

Maybe I shouldn’t wish for those kinds of days anymore, since snow days aren’t necessarily fun days anymore.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out and to see how students take to it.