Media Exposure Self Screening: Day 3

6:30 – 7:00 am: listened to the radio. News value: KEXP plays the weirdest music.

11:00 – 12: watch presentation about Google Earth. I’ve never used Google Earth before. This could be an interesting learning tool. News values: 1. Google Earth is cool. 2. Seeing the world (Seattle area) through Google Earth.

5pm: watch 5 minutes of the NCAA (because my roommate has the game on and I ate a sandwich in the living room). News: Michigan in the lead.

5:05pm – 6pm: listen to the BS audio comments of the NCAA commentators while working on my desk in the adjoining room. News value: Although it is not new, it reinforces my opinion about sports reporting.

5:10pm: Go on facebook and find out I was invited to a party tonight. Too bad, I missed the news. Feels like bying an old paper!

9:20 – 9:40: skimmed the RSS-Feeds of the last two days and read little bits of articles: Obama in Europe, Iowa allows gay marriage, controversial family law in Afghanistan, Obama opens Cuba, Google wants to buy Twitter??


Media Exposure Self Screening: Day 2

11:30-12:00 Listened to the radio in the background because my roomie put it on. No actual news consumed.

Some time around noon: Read some newletters: Writer’s Almanac, National Geographic… saw the NG pictures and read the story about a robot spitting fire.

2pm – 2:45. Watched the last episode of 2nd Season of Dexter. Finally, I’m Lord over my own time again!! News value: insight into Miami City area.

12am: start skimming RSS-Readers, decide it is too much for this state of mind on put it off until tomorrow. Obama opens up Cuba travel though. Rad! However, not worth clicking the link at this time of day.

Media Exposure Self Screening: Day 1

4 am: turned on the radio getting ready, got annoyed, turned it ot back off immediately; checked flight information online

5 am: Checked out flight information on airport information screen

6am: airport, flight information shouted over terminal speakers… everyone’s, but mine –> SPAM!

7am: looked over seat neighbors shoulder to take a peek at Seattle Times headline (and forgot it immediately, but remembered that Microsoft was on page two)

7:10 am: talked to seat neighbor about weather forecast he heard this morning: Spokane supposedly has snow. Shit! Information I didn’t want! –> SPAM

around 9am: watch intro for a movie in graphics department office

11:30 – 3pm (on and off): watch lifestream of shooted footage on director’s screen (hey, this is fun!)

4:20pm: watch newspaper front pages of people sitting in front of me: USA Today, New York Times. Abandon that and read my book.

5:07 pm:  weird charity talks to me in passing telling me it just takes a moment so safe the hungry –> SPAM, Firewall secure!

6:30 – 8:20pm: crash on the couch and join my roomie watching Dexter in a coma-like state

9:10 – 10:45: run Winamp, run!

9:12-9:15: skim through Daily’s daily email headlines, scroll over all the boring stuff (mostly sports), get cuaght on the article about wasting time on twitter. Feel I just wasted three minutes of my life. Once Again.

9:18: quick look at Fulbright Listserv

10:16-10:18: skim RSS-Reader headings of Reuters “Top” news. Boring!

10:18-28: Skim Tagesschau RSS-Reader “Top” news. Read tiny snitbits: London riots, Mexican economy; a German right wing political party; Broadband in Germany (covers 57% of households and is fastest-growing in Europe); Gruner & Jahr (German publisher, biggest in Europe) has significant loss in ad-money

10:28-30 Skim Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungs RSS-Reader, “Rhein-Main”-Version: University of Mainz has less incoming students; photo-exhibit of US-photographer in Frankfurt. I follow the actual link to the article. It has no pictures and I don’t know the photographer –> boring, close window!

10:3oish pm: read daily newsletter from “The Writer’s Almanac”. It’s the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson &  Giacomo Casanova! “Shift+Del”.

10:54-59: Watch Die Happy‘s video “Peaches” on youtube before going to bed

Rock, Paper, Internet

The public debate whether “print is dead” or only sick has been going on for years and will continue to do so, just as the discussion about the aliveness of “The King”. That there is something wrong with the newspaper industry is undeniable. Why “there’s something rotten” is a mystery that some have tried to reveal, while others chose to look away.

With the recent shutdown of the Seattle Post Intelligencer in March 2009, the crisis of the newspaper business has dramatically increased in visibility for Seattlelites.

Under Wrong Management

In early 2008 already, Seattle writer Jon Talton has given a number of reasons why newspapers have become unattractive to their customers.

Rather than a change in society and general cosumer behavior, he has pointed his finger at the industry itself. With the creation of monopolies and consolidations, the papers had become disconnected from their readers, he argues.

Additionally, it “left them at mercy” of the Wall Street, which resulted in cutbacks on journalism, the “intellectual capital” of the papers. Ultimately, this resulted in a decrease of quality journalism and the raising of a generation of head-nodding writing monkeys.

For the Good of Society

Clay Shirky puts a stronger emphasis on the outside influence on newspapers in the same month that the PI printed its last edition. For him, the internet has “broken” the “old system”.

Just as “paper beats rock” in 1500, when Gutenberg invented the printing press and thus enabled the gnawing and eventual destruction of the rocks that formed people’s beliefs, “internet beats paper” about 500 years later.

Shirky is quite clear about his position when he states: “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism”. He regards newspapers as a mere institution that had to be overcome at some point, although it is not quite clear what will replace them and how journalism – now untied from the “bonds” of paper – will continue to live on.

Down to Business

Seattle Journalist Kathy Gill focuses on a fundamental problem that all three writers commonly identify: The structural setup of local daily newspapers relies on the income from advertisements rather than customers paying for content.

With the availbility of smaller units of information rather than information “bundles” as in newspapers, the close tie between content and advertisement dissolved.

The Digital Road Map

None of the three journalists can predict the future, but all of them appear to be writing blog obituaries and digital mission statements rather than outdated paper “get well” cards to the news paper industry. It remains to be seen what new business model will come to rule the field of journalism in the future or if one single model can even attempt to replace the old.

Assuming paper – the medium that allowed different arguments to clash –  beat the rock of dogma and blind belief back in the days and thus created what we believe to be a democratic struggle of ideas. Assuming also that today internet beats paper and thus enhances the multiplicity of voices in this democratic proccess. I hope that this new element in the equasion is also strong enough to resist being beaten by the rock in turn.

In a world of such a multiplicity of opinions where people tend to opt for easy solutions without questioning them, good journalism is more important than ever before.  It requires well-trained journalists who have the guts to dissent from the mainstream and help to form public opinion by well-founded research and strong arguments to prevent the rule of doctrine and maintain a democratic society.

Famous First Words

Welcome to my new blog. Now, in addition to my traveling blog, the world will be able to follow the progression of the COM 466 course I am taking at the University of Washington in Seattle.

My expectations for COM 466:

I expect from this class to learn hands-on about the digital side of Journalism. Since I do not study Journalism, my journalistic experience comes from internships and self-made projects only so far. These have mainly been in the print sector not utilizing the new digital media.

I have experience in film production and editing, which I hope to enhance. I also have a lot of experience with photography and editing and I hope that this class will help me to link my photos more closely to the stories I want to tell and to make my photos more telling in themselves. Generally, I hope that the class will help me to become more acquainted with (drumrolls) “the digital media” and more familiar with it, so I can utilize the resources I have to make the best of it.