COM510 10-2 The Power of Media Revisited

Re-read your original post and indicate whether or not your views have changed
As we cross the finish line on our Knowledge & New Media (COM 510) class, we have been asked to re-read our original blog post where we examined media use and influence.

Was that really ten weeks ago?

Nothing has changed for me as far as the new media I use daily.  They continue to be Facebook, email and text messages.  I am having a love/hate – or more aptly and dislike/hate relationship with both Facebook and email at the moment.

I spend far too much time on Facebook scrolling through my friend’s posts and getting sucked into various videos and web links.  Of late I have been taking a Facebook break, deactivating my account, and just staying off the Facebook grid for at least a few days, if not longer.  While I realize that to reactivate my account, I simply need to log in with my log in and password.  But, somehow, that extra step helps keep me off my Facebook account.

At work, I am drowning in emails.  It feels like the equivalent of being on being a snowy mountain and getting caught in an avalanche.  I am struggling with how to keep up with and process all of the information coming at me.  Despite reading blogs and buying books on how to best manage your email, I am still buried beneath the weight of too much information.  I should upgrade my current relationship with email as hate/hate.

As I look over the other questions we were asked to talk about that first week, I would have to say that my views have not changed other than the fact that over the past ten weeks I have gone on media information overload and have a burning desire to run off to live in a hut on the beach of some deserted island where I can revel in total isolation.

At least for a few weeks until the need to binge watch shows on Netflix or Hulu becomes overwhelming.

Explain what role you believe writers play in the dissemination of information, the power they hold to influence beliefs, and the importance for them to act in ethical ways. What is the danger when writers do not act ethically? Who is in danger?
Writers are supposed to report the story, not create it.   The Society of Professional Journalists pretty well sums up the role I believe writers play in the dissemination of information: “Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough.”  Writers are supposed to report the news not create it.  Before the age of social journalist Walter Lippmann, believed that journalists and news outlets were the gatekeepers between the story and the public.  It was their duty to make sure what was reported was accurate and factual.  With the internet and social media, there is no gate for journalists to keep.  Citizens can now be both creator and consumer of news.  Journalism has become a conversation where people participate in what the journalist has written.  A journalist is often a mediator of that conversation (Kovach and Rosensteil, 2010).

Does becoming “media literate” reduce or eliminate the potential for content consumers to be influenced?
I believe that becoming media literate certainly helps consumers weed through the vast amounts of information coming at that on any given day.  However, we each probably view the content through our own personal lenses.  One example that has been in the news recently is Kim Davis, the county clerk who went to jail for a brief time for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Our personal belief on the issue probably leads us to read news articles that agree with our point of view.

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

SPJ Code of Ethics (September 6, 2014). Retrieved September 13, 2015 in Society of Professional Journalists, http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

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