Monday, September 30, 2013

(Announcement) Office hour for this week! (9/30-10/4)

Office hour
Just for this week, because your essay #1 draft is due on this Friday, I will have my office (VILAS 5165) hour Wednesday 4:00-5:00pm instead of Friday 12:30-1:30pm.

If you need to see me other than my office hour, please send me an email at least 24 hours ahead.

I am not allowed to read your essay line by line and give feedback. This rule is applied to all of J201 TAs. However, you are more than welcome to ask questions on your essay. 

(Announcement) Essay #1 Draft DUE 10/4 FRIDAY 10:00AM

1. Turning your essay#1 draft
a. Hard copy
TAs will be collecting a hard copy of your essay #1 draft (must be stapled) at the end of lecture. If you cannot come to lecture for some reason, your friend can turn your essay for you or leave it at my mailbox. My mailbox is located right next to the main office of Vilas building (5th floor). Same time rule (by 10/4 FRIDAY 10:00am) applies for turning your essay at my mail box.   

b. Electronic copy (Turnitin)
You need to submit your electronic copy of essay #1 draft to Turnitin by the end of lecture by 10/4 Friday 10:00am.


c. Electronic copy (Google drive)
You need to submit your electronic copy of essay #1 draft to Google drive, folder name "J201_Setion305_Essay", by 10/4 Friday 10:00am.


You will loose points each day (20%) for turning your essay late.

2. Search for standard/reason to use in your essay
Once you selected the story, look for what kind of standard/reason you are going to apply to analyze the story. The standard/reason must from an authoritative source not from your own.

Do not simply copy & paste the definition of standard/reason from the authoritative source. In many cases, I see students not applying the standard/reason correctly to analyze the story. This means that the standard/reason listed in the essay must match to your analysis. So, make sure you fully understand the standard/reason that you are using but be concise as possible when you explain the standard/reason.

Examples of standard/reason can be found in our previous readings (e.g., objectivity, fairness, accuracy, and etc). But this does not mean that the standard/reason must come from our previous readings. Feel free to use standards outside of our reading that are from authoritative sources. An authoritiave source is peer-reviewed and published academic journal article, news article, and books (No personal blog). 

- Kovach, B. &Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. London: Bloomsbury.

- Gans, H.J. (1979). Values in the News. In Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time, pp. 39-72.Values and News course material "This is NPR".

- McManus, J.H. (2009). “Objectivity: It’s Time to Say Goodbye.” Nieman Reports, September.
- National Public Radio. (2012). This is NPR. And these are the standards of our journalism. Retrieved from the key argument that sentence   

3. Word limit of essay
The world limit for your essay is 1000 words but I will be flexible +- 50 words. However, if the word goes more than 1050 or less than 950, you will loose points. 

Week 5 Research Report "Who's a journalist? Does that matter?"

Connor Revsbeck
Journalism 201-305

            While journalism has gone through many changes in the way it has been reported over the years, one thing generally remained constant; people knew who was a journalist and what those journalist’s jobs were. However things have begun to change, over the past several years as technology increased, almost anyone could distribute useful information in any number of ways. Due to this, it has become harder to label just exactly who is a journalist and who is not.  In the article “Who’s a journalist? Does that matter?” written by Dan Gillmor, published on the website in 2010, Gillmor’s overlying theme is that he is conflicted about who is considered a journalist in this new era of journalism. Throughout the article Gillmor emphasizes that anyone is capable of doing something with journalistic value, yet not everyone is a journalist. Understandably, this confuses Gillmor, which is why he is reaching out to his audience to help him gain a better idea of what to call people with journalist value in this new era.
First, we need to understand just exactly who Dan Gillmor is, and why he would be interested in finding a name for the people whom provide information in the new-media ecosystem. Dan Gillmor is currently an American technology writer and columnist. Also, he is the director the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gillmor has written three books titled “We the Media”, “For the People” and “Mediactive”. Not only is Gillmor an established author, but also he has received several awards and honors for his role in journalism, such as the “EFF Pioneer Award” and the “Technology award for Media and Journalism”. Over the course of Gillmor’s career he has jumped around working for different news paper companies like the Kansas City Times, Detroit Free Press, and the San Jose Mercury News.
            In 2005 Gilmore started up a venture for citizen journal titled “Bayosphere” which, according to Gillmor, “Primary focus was on the citizen’s journalism process” ( Gillmor emphasized letting everyday people work on doing whatever kind of journalism they desired. Unfortunately Bayosphere was shut down in 2006 because it had a “Lack of Focus”. Essentially, what Gillmor wanted from Bayosphere had happened, people were posting and doing their own kind of journalism, however, it was too broad and couldn’t gather a following.

             I find it interesting that Gillmor wanted to give people the power to do their own form of journalism thorough Bayosphere in 2005, whatever that may have been, and now knowing that people have started to take full advantage of that power, he doesn’t know what to call them. Gillmor states in his article, “Do we need a new name for the modern media creators, specifically the ones who are creating information of value to communities? I’d like to find one but I confess, I’m not having an easy time of it”. I wonder what Gillmor would have called the members of his journal had Bayosphere gained more attention, because when you think about it, the people that Gillmor wanted to reach out to, are these exact nameless people of journalism in today’s society. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 5, Discussion #12, Jacqui Warner

As technology has been growing and changing, media and news has been changing as well, bringing forth blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and so on.  We now have, as a community, completely new ways to find information and new opportunities to share our own ideas and information.  But because of all this new media and new information sharing, the line between audience and journalist is melding together and what/who exactly a "journalist" is disappearing.  Dan Gillmor asks us what our definition of a "journalist" is and how exactly we can identify someone as one.  As we look to discussion on Tuesday I ask that you keep these questions in mind:

1. Gillmor discusses the baggage the word "journalist" carries in our society, do you feel the title of "journalist" holds certain connotations, negative and/or positive? If so what and why?

2.  It is easy to look at the New York Times and see journalism, but when we are presented with the immensity of the internet, determining what is journalism and what is not can be difficult.  How do you determine something as journalism versus entertainment or fluff?

3. Through the Free Flow of Information Act, the Senate protects the following in regards to journalism:

"[those who have had an] employment relationship with a journalism organization for one year within the past 20 years, or for three months within the past five years.  Or have had a 'substantial track record of free lancing' or a student journalist" -- (USA Today)

Do you feel all needed "journalists" are protected in the Act or do you feel there should be protection for other groups or persons?

4. Do you think it should lie in the Federal Government's hands to determine who is or is not a journalist?

5. Gillmor discusses the idea of creating a new name for "modern media creators" in our society.  Do you think this is necessary? Why or Why not?

Week 5, Research Report 17, Eden Willoughby

Dan Gillmor: Who's a journalist? Does that matter?

In “Who’s a journalist? Does that matter?” Dan Gillmor suggests that in a world shadowed by media at every turn, it is easy to become a “passive consumer” in the sense that we are merely sponges soaking up information. This remains true whether that information is credulous or implausible. Gillmor believes that as a society, we need to convert to “active listeners” participating in “media literacy”. This transformation is necessary because we live in an era where virtually anyone can contribute some form of journalism, certified journalist or not. However, does Gillmor’s advice hold any weight? Gillmor’s past and expertise propose that we should undoubtedly heed his words concerning the new media revolution, and that he is highly qualified to be discussing such influential topics. (Gillmor, 2010)
Gillmor derives his expertise through several different industries. Beginning with education, he currently teaches digital media entrepreneurship and digital media literacy at Arizona State University. In addition to enlightening students about the changing platform of journalism, he has spoken at countless public and corporate events for organizations such as Knight Center for Digital Media, New York Press Association, and Newspaper Association of America. As far as Gillmor’s experience with journalism goes, he was a columnist at San Jose Mercury News from 1994-2005, and has free-lanced for NY Times, Boston Globe, and Economist, throughout the years. In summary, Gillmor boasts an impressive resume covering several aspects of professionalism that add credibility and depth to this article.
Perhaps two of his most notable works that relate directly to this article are his books, “We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People,” published in 2004, and “Mediactive,” published in 2010. His first book discusses how the online medium is changing journalism. He includes that by using a variety of Internet means such as blogs, YouTube, and social media sites, almost anyone can produce news. Another general theme the book encompasses is how news is becoming more of a conversation than a traditional lecture.
Even more closely related to “Who’s a journalist? Does that matter?” is his second book “Mediactive.” Here, Gillmor states how literacy not only includes knowing how to read, but the ability to understand the difference between good and bad uses of medium, and how to create it. Gillmor wants us to line up to this ideal of literacy by becoming active users of media, a term he also reuses in his article. Ultimately, the book is trying to acquaint the reader with how the public needs a media environment that benefits us as both as individuals and a society. With a fruitful past in media journalism, it is clear Gillmor is a concrete and insightful source to be discussing such topics.
“Who’s a journalist? Does that matter?” has been published on a substantial amount of websites with quite a few reviews reflecting upon Gillmor’s thought-provoking work. One critic proclaimed his writing as “reasoned and thoughtful” and calls him “one of the pioneers of citizen journalism and participatory media.” Another review suggests, “There are more questions than answers in the piece, however they are questions that really hit a nerve.” The positive responses to Gillmor’s work echo his career’s main focus: to bring attention to the media revolution’s influence on journalism and how we must adapt to this shift. His career is about the people and making our interaction with news more rational and professional.
In conclusion, this was a well-written article from a credible source trying to enlighten our media-driven society of how we should interpret news. His article has certainly influenced me to think differently as an “active user” of media, and readers should strongly consider what Gillmor has to say based on his extensive experience in the field.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 4, Discussion #10, Jack Miller

For this weeks second discussion we will be talking about an article titled "The Squeeze", written by Russ Baker, and published in the Columbia Journalism Review in 1997:

Chrysler's letter to more than 50 magazines it advertises in:
"In an effort to avoid potential conflicts, it is
required that Chrysler Corporation be alerted in
advance of any and all editorial content that
encompasses sexual, political, social issues or
any editorial that might be construed as
provocative or offensive. Each and every issue
that carries Chrysler advertising requires a
written summary outlining major theme/articles
appearing in upcoming issues. These
summaries are to be forwarded to PentaCom
prior to closing in order to give Chrysler ample
time to review and reschedule if desired . . . As
acknowledgement of this letter we ask that you
or a representative from the publication sign
below and return to us no later than February

The article, focusing on pressures applied to magazines by Chrysler, centers on the influence that corporations and advertisers can have on the content that a news media outlet decides to include or exclude from its publications. It gives several examples, some of which we will discuss in section, where advertisers pressured typically magazines to censor sensitive or controversial content, or place their ads next to lighter and more positive pieces. Many advocates for free press and free inquiry are concerned that these changes are being made at the expense of the public, for they are getting only a partial or watered down version of the original editorials. There have also been cases where magazines have written favorable articles in order to try to lure advertisers to buy space in their publications. I will leave a few questions and requests on this page that you all should consider and develop answers for before coming to discussion tomorrow.

  1. Is it realistic to believe that magazines can stay profitable without allowing any advertising influence to bleed over into it's editorial divisions? At what point does an advertiser claim too much influence, in your opinion?
  2. Is there importance in paying attention to ad placement in magazines and newspapers to determine whether articles are credible or contain the whole truth?
  3. This article was written in 1997, 16 years ago. Have the concerns expressed by Baker remained relevant? Have they subsided or intensified? Find evidence to back up your claims.
  4. What can magazines and other media outlets do to reduce the influence that advertisers can potentially have on the content they choose to include?
  5. If you have time, try to look through a magazine you have at home for any examples that could constitute favorable ad placement, or even instances where content may have been altered to make for more favorable advertising conditions.

Assignment #1, Jacqueline Warner

1. I am from a small town in south east Wisconsin called Waterford, WI.  It is a tight knit community and I loved growing up there, but I hope to live somewhere completely different after graduating college.

2. My primary source for news includes a combination of internet sources (different websites and blogs), as well as magazines and television sources (FOX, NBC, ect.).

3.  I watch a lot of television so it is hard to choose specifically my one and only favorite television show, but one of my favorites is 30 Rock.  It is completely ridiculous and hilarious in its own way and I can watch episodes over and over again without getting bored or tired with the stories.

4.  I tend to say "" a lot, and I have no idea why I started saying it, but I say it way too much.

5.  The pop culture phenomenon which is most annoying to me would have to be Miley Cyrus and her twerking.  I feel she is getting way too much attention for being an idiot, but that is normally how it works in pop culture.

6.  Definitley The Killers, any of their music would be great to hear in the beginning of class.  They are my all time favorite band, forever and always!

7.  The Fox - Ylvis, this video is so ridiculous, but so funny and actually catchy!

Jimmy Kimmel Reveals "Worst Twerk Fail EVER - Girl Catches Fire" Prank

Connor Revsbeck
Journalism 201-305

1.) I was born in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota called Lakeville.
2.) My primary source of news would be the yahoo homepage and whatever headline news is on that page. The yahoo homepage is my the homepage to my computer so that's always the first thing I see when I log on to the internet.
3.) My favorite TV show is The Office. I believe that the fly-on-the-wall-approach to this mockumentory is just comedic genius. Michael Scott, who is played by Steve Carrol, is in a class by himself when it comes to best comedic characters.
4.) My favorite catch phrase right now is actually and old one but it will always be my favorite... Carpe Diem which is Latin for seize the day is just so classy and has such a great message behind it. I like to think of this catch phrase and then try to make the most of each day.
5.) Twerking is the most annoying pop culture right now. I just don't understand the appeal behind it to either a male or a female. 
6.) I would really like to hear some Alabama Shakes before class. Their music is not vulgar so it would be appropriate for a classroom setting and it band has their own unique sound. Also, they were nominated for best new artist last year at the Grammys. 
7.) I thought this video was pretty clever of Jimmy Kimmel to make fun tweaking while also taking a shot at how other news sources don't check their sources because this is a fake. 

Week 4, Research Report 15, Cassidy Neuville

The Squeeze by Russ Baker
          While mass media has gone through several revolutions, "the wall" within journalism has slowly broken down. With the business side influencing and taking control over the news, credibility has been questioned. In, The Squeeze, published in the Columbia Journalism Review in 1997, Russ Baker takes a firm stance on this issue by arguing that advertisers should not have any control or relationship with the editors since it causes a negative impact on the content of the media. Russ Baker's point is to have a free press and to allow the editors to publish what they want, without the advertisers having any say. While researching Russ Baker and the publisher of this article, I am self-assured that the information and argument provided in this article is accurate and well founded.
         Russ Baker received an MS in Journalism from the University of Columbia and a BA in Political Science from UCLA. While writing for many US publications such as New Yorker, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post to name a few, he is also a member of the adjunct faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Russ Baker is a US investigative journalist and founder of the nonprofit website He has won several awards, one specifically called the Deadline Club Award in 2005 for his reporting on George W. Bush's military record. In 2002 the U.S. government gave him a grant to travel to Serbia to train journalists in investigative reporting, and in 2009 his book, Family of Secrets: the Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America was published. His known themes of his writings are of politics, secrecy, and abuses of power. Bakers' past is not only impressive, but also intimidating (
          Russ Baker states that he started "WhoWhatWhy because I was tired of the cynicism, self-interest, and cowardice that I witnessed in the new media"( Russ Baker's career in journalism has been about finding the truth and sharing it to the public in a captivating and comprehensible way. With that said, when he wrote, The Squeeze, in 1997, he wrote it to inform the public and to warn editors to draw the line between themselves and the advertisers.
          Through Baker's various investigations and awards, he has established himself as a reliable journalist with an extreme amount of credibility. Not only is this true about himself, but also about the Columbia Journalism Review, which was founded in 1961 under the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Their goal is to "encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society" ( With this being said, there is high confidence in the credibility of this article by Russ Baker due to his and the publishers valid and trustworthy histories. Also, an online response to this article compliments Baker's article by stating it was well researched ( I conclude by saying that, The Squeeze, demonstrates an unbiased and dependable work of journalism.
Online Assignment #1, Marcus Shannon
1. I have lived in DeForest, WI all of my life.
2. My primary source of the news is probably the internet. I am usually always on my computer when I'm at home. I some times watch the news on T.V. but not as much since coming to school. I really don't read the news paper, except for the sports section.
3. I don't really watch any shows on actual T.V. I watch a lot of Netflix and right now I'm watching all the seasons of Heroes and season 4 of The Walking Dead comes out soon which I'm excited for.
4. I usually quote anything Will Ferrell, like Anchorman or Step Brothers.
5. I would have to say hash tags (#) are a very annoying thing. People hash tag the dumbest things and it is completely unnecessary. When people actually say hash tag out loud makes no sense.
6.  I don't have any idea what music I would want to hear. I usually have headphones in till class starts so it really doesn't matter to me.
7. The first time I saw this I laughed so hard. After you watch go look up her on Jimmy Kimmel.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 4, Research Report 16, Sawyer Olson

James Fallows: The Age of Murdoch

            Amidst the mass media revolutions of the past fifty years, Rupert Murdoch has harnessed, expanded, and then consolidated the numerous media outlets and businesses he controls into one powerful entity: News Corp. James Fallows, writer for the Atlantic, has had first hand accounts of the changes in media the past few decades. Along the way he has observed Murdoch’s reactions. In the article, “The Age of Murdoch,” Fallows writes with an admiring tone towards the media giant, and his decisions, while providing an analysis of how the media has changed from a public service to a business like all others. Researching Fallows, the Atlantic, and the issues discussed within the article gives confidence in the validity of the information entailed.
            Educated at Harvard College and Oxford University, James Fallows boasts an impressive history. He has worked as a writer for Washington Monthly and Texas Monthly. Primarily, he has written for the Atlantic since the late 1970’s. To quote the Atlantic’s profile of Fallows, “he has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter.” Within the magazine, Fallows is known for his fascination with technology and frequent columns on the topic. A self-proclaimed Democrat and liberal, Fallows also contributes to NPR’s Morning Edition, and just recently began reporting for All Things Considered. He has received the National Book Award for Nonfiction, as well as the National Magazine Award. (
            In “The Age of Murdoch,” Fallows appears to take the side of Rupert Murdoch in the debate over whether government, specifically the Federal Communications Commission, should regulate or deregulate the communication industry. He shows agreement with the viewpoint, “the news business is basically the same as other businesses” by writing, “the Murdoch version has now won, and Murdoch deserves to move from “controversial” to “visionary” status.”(Fallows, 2003) 
            “The Age of Murdoch” appeared in the Atlantic in 2003. This was the only time it was published by the magazine or elsewhere. The Atlantic itself, much like the communication industry, has undergone changes. In 2007 its name officially changed from the Atlantic Monthly, to the Atlantic after ceasing to produce twelve times a year. Now, the Atlantic only publishes ten times per year. Its current owner is David Bradley, and current editor-in-chief is James Bennet. Although it is publicly believed to be a leftist news source, Fallows writes in a very straightforward manner in “The Age of Murdoch.” (
            Since it is a single article published only once almost ten years ago, the reviews and response to “The Age of Murdoch” are rather limited. Fallows does not present many opinions in the article, but rather focuses on reporting what, how, and why changes happened in media regulation in 2002 along with the effects and reaction of Rupert Murdoch.

            Overall, “The Age of Murdoch” is a well-written account of media deregulation and the important figures in the industry. Bias and personal opinion seem to be put aside by Fallows. A reader can certainly be confident in the details within the article, as Fallows has been shown to be a professional, credible source.

Online Assignment 1, Courtney Kessler

1. I'm from Littleton, Colorado and grew up mostly in Janesville, Wisconsin.

2. I read The Daily Cardinal everyday and also The Journal Sentinel and The Times as my main sources of news.

3. I'm really into all things New Girl right now.  Zooey Deschanel for days.

4. I didn't realize people actually have catch phrases outside of television, but I'll go with "Stay Gucci."

5. The pop culture phenomenon known as One Direction is just awful.

6. If Professor Wells played Hop Along or some Phox or anything of the Cole Porter or Miles Davis variety, that'd all be wonderful.


Online Assignment 1: Cassandra Coulson

1. I'm from the city of Milwaukee.

2. I get most of my news from Twitter, I follow different publications and people from all over the country who retweet/post news and if I find it interesting I read it.

3. South of Nowhere

4. I quote Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle stand up frequently, but usually people don't get it. 

5. Cultural appropriation is REALLY popular right now, it's very annoying when things certain minority communities have been doing for years get used by someone famous and becomes a "trend". Also, I never want to see/hear whatever Macklemore does again in my life.

6. It doesn't matter as long as it's not louder than the 2Pac in my headphones.

7. Tyra Banks is a gift. 

Online Assignment 1: Ken Plaisted

1.  I live in and went to high school in Shorewood, Wisconsin.  It is right next to Milwaukee for anyone unfamiliar with the area.
2.  My primary source of news is generally online articles.  I like websites that have links to multiple sources of news instead of just one online paper.  JSOnline is my primary place to go.
3.  Arrested development was my favorite TV show until I finished it, at the moment I'd say Breaking Bad.  I spend almost all of my TV watching on sports though.
4. YOLO.  Haha just kidding.  Seriously i'm kidding.  Right now its "Well at least that's better then PAC 12 officials" in any bad situation i'm in.
5.  Honey Boo Boo.  Why is this a thing?  Why are people encouraging a five something year old to act snotty and spoiled?  The entire concept and the fact that people watch it boggles my mind.  All the housewives shows as well.
6. I'm gonna assume it has to be somewhat appropriate, so Head and the Heart, Edward Sharpe, Dispatch, White Stripes, Modest Mouse, maybe some Pretty Lights.
7.It's impossible to not be happy when looking at videos of pugs.  I want one.

Online Assignment #1, Cassidy Neuville

1. I was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin; however, I have been raised in Waupaca, Wisconsin my whole life. Waupaca is a town of 6,000 people and is around two hours North of Madison.

2. I unfortunately have never been a person to keep up with the news as much as I should, but my primary source of news would have to be the CBS: Sunday Morning Show since I tended to watch that with my parents when I was home this past summer. Since being in this class however, The New York Times has been my primary source of news. Of course, I love to keep up with the celebrity gossip. So, if we are talking about that kind of news, I love to read magazines such as Us Weekly and People, as well as watching E! News and random articles I find online.

3. I have several favorite television shows. I personally don't know how someone could have just one! I go by season and during the summer the main show I love to watch is So You Think You Can Dance on FOX. I am also a huge fan of the MTV show Awkward during the fall and Grey's Anatomy on ABC as well. Occasionally I will watch Modern Family, Friends, New Girl, or some ABC Family shows such as, The Fosters and Twisted. I have a hard time keeping up with these shows when I am at school, but during Christmas/spring break/summer break, I always make it a priority to watch them and know exactly what is going on in each one!

4. I rarely use catch phrases, so I cannot say what would be my favorite one. However, I tend to recite some quotes from the movies I watch with friends, such as the movie Bridesmaids.

5. I would have to say the most annoying pop culture phenomenon to me are the reality TV Shows such as, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, and Jersey Shore. I don't understand how watching people fight and make ridiculous and unintelligent decisions is amusing or interesting to watch. I find it a complete waste of time.

6. I am a huge fan of alternative/acoustic music, however, since this class is my first class of the day and it is in the morning, I would love to hear some upbeat music to wake me up and ready for lecture. So, I would suggest playing some Beyonce, whether it being her newer songs or some of the classics like, Crazy In Love.

7. I saw this video this past summer and I thought it was nothing less than adorable. However, it is crazy to think that girls at this age are influenced and look up to the pop culture so much. In this case, it is the music artist, Nicki Minaj. What children are exposed to at such a young age always surprises me.