Comm issues

This is my blog site I'll be using for my Mass Comm & Society class as well as my Editing/Design class. I will be posting my thoughts on topics that I feel need noted upon that arise in class.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

178 jobs forecasted for Coralville

The new buzz in the Coralville area is Dermacia, a skin-care company, will likely be a new addition in the near future. The California-based company is seen to be located in the University of Iowa's Oakdale Research Park.
The company plans to create 178 jobs in the Iowa City/Coralville area within three years with an annual payroll of $7.7 million, the U of I reported.
The common ideology behind why stores/companies locate in larger cities is the fact they are more likely to attract more business. In consuming these skin-care products, consumers may also be consuming the ideologies the products present. As human beings, we do this with our unconscious consciousness, because it's become so naturalized for us to continue improving our image.

Besides benefiting consumers in their area, this new addition to Coralville will attract younger people and also provides numerous jobs to the area.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Who's next on the elimination list?

I'm taken back by all the stories of newspaper companies making tremendous cuts to their staff. The Los Angeles Times has an article about Edward Kosner, an incredible editor of forty-five years who has now been fired from his Newsweek post.

To those who think an editor's job is a piece of cake, Kosner invites you to think again.
"An editor's job is not just about managing people and making news deadlines. It's about maintaining standards."
"It's News to Me: The Making and Unmaking of an Editor," published this week by Thunder's Mouth Press, allowed Kosner to take readers behind the scenes of an editor's world. This also gave him the opportunity to write about how rough it really is in the newspaper and magazine scene.
"It's not like I've written a handy manual for editors, but all these experiences speak for themselves," said Kosner.
Thanks to the Internet and other sources, editors like Kosner who have put years of hard work into the newspaper business suddenly find themselves wondering what the future has in store for themselves and other newspaper staff alike.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When you can't beat them join them

Many newspaper companies, such as the Tribune Co., are embracing what many refer to as "crunch time". Right before our very eyes the Internet, being newspapers' main contender, is swallowing print media's profit almost entirely.
While there is always tension between the journalistic imperatives of a paper and its need to make money, the current struggle is about survival against a powerful and largely unpredictable new competitor that is forcing news organizations to completely rethink their mode of distribution.
Newspapers all over are quickly seeing their declining numbers in readership as a warning sign that they must prepare to take steps toward their paper's survival. Just as an indexical sign of a person knocking at your door means they want in, paper's drastically losing profit means they must cut their reporter and editorial staff. Convergence to the internet is what's being signified, and it's also the dominant reading of how newspapers will stay in business. Unfortunately, the signifiers of this huge issue include forcing the company to make big job cuts and also turning to the pricey internet.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Quick! Save the paper!

The U.K. daily newspaper, The Independent, may be onto something that will give its paper additional life. The answer is utilizing celebrities in the production of their newspaper. Extra! Extra! Jessica Simpson edits Washington Post! Justin Timberlake writes article concerning issues of medical science! Would you really pick up this paper to read the actual content? Or would it serve as just another sleezy form of entertainment?

This whole kick of using celebrities to bring in extra revenue can be easily related to CBS's new anchor, Katie Couric. Viewership soared through the roof on her debut, but a few runnings later reality was slammed back into their faces as the numbers seemed to drop through the floor.

I think celebrities might be a unique spin on the paper to pick up a few more readers every once in a while, but I wouldn't make it an everyday thing. As we've learned in class, editing a whole paper would be quite the task, especially without proper training! I'm not so sure I'd hand over the reins of my newspaper's reputation to Madonna quite yet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dangerous road to monopolization

Some people believe that mass media's sole purpose is to control our every thought and feeling. Therefore, several citizens stated their concern about media conglomeration in an article published in the UWM Post.
“I’ve seen how it (media conglomeration) skews the marketplace of ideas,” said Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton.
After more than three million concerned citizens spoke out against the measure, Congress eventually reduced the number to 39 percent.

I think it's great that in our country we have freedom of speech to voice our opinions about how certain companies are opperating and what change we seek to desire. I agree with the concerns of these citizens, because as we decrease diversity of media it will teeter too close on a dangerous edge.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Emotional 9/11 coverage

Special editions in newspapers were displayed on newspaper racks, extra broadcasting was done, and even special t.v. episodes dedicated to this tragic event from five years ago were seen or will be seen today/tonight.

Media specialists performed a content analysis on the years prior to this tragic event (1997-2000) and the years following (2002-2005). It's mindblowing how much change the media endures after a major event such as 9/11.

If the network evening news is any proxy, the attacks of September 11th 2001 in
Washington and New York and the wars that resulted have led to increased
coverage of foreign policy and global conflict on the network evening news, but
less coverage of domestic issues, according to data from ADT Research’s Tyndall
Report, which monitors those newscasts.

People may think this issue is blown way out of porportion and covered too much in the news, but I believe that today is a special day dedicated to those who lost loved ones. I believe reading the stories of families who have experienced a loss first hand helps bring the whole country together. In this special instance, the media is definitely feeding off the interest of its audience; seeing how the affect has taken it's toll on those families on this day five years ago is what the majority wants to see and hear.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Where's the dividing line?

I picked up the Des Moines Register yesterday and was amazed at yet another government secret unrevealed. Looking farther into the issue online, I found the article "Europeans seek more info on secret jails" which discussed how CIA secret prisons exist.

Bush said in a White House speech Wednesday that a small number of
high-value detainees - including the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks,
Khalid Sheik Mohammed - had been kept in CIA custody in order to be "held
secretly, questioned by experts and, when appropriate, prosecuted for
terrorist acts."

The government's gatekeeping process is at times scary. When you really contemplate the idea of "secrets" being held from us citizen's, it really makes you want to question what else is being withheld from us. Knowledge is power, so is this just a building block to the government's hegemonic stystem? Is there a fine line between holding information back that 'protects us' and knowledge that should be told straight up?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Facebook turns too personal?

After reading the article from Time Magazine, I discovered that several students are contesting against the use of the new tool, news-feeds, on Who needs to know when someone becomes friends with person X and writes on person Y's wall? I agree with these students that Facebook has gone too far. I say bring back the old Facebook!