Digital Nation Leaves Us All Behind

I was impressed with Digital Nation as a work of broadcast journalism. Being that it was almost two hours long, the program was able to give many sides to the topic and offer a variety of different sources of information. One of its greatest strengths is the many sources that the piece used. They traveled to South Korea to interview youth adddicted to gaming and to visit the infamous PC Bombs as well as to the campuses of Stanford and MIT to interview students and researchers about multi-tasking. It really captured for me to what effect the digital nation has had and is having in so many more areas of life today than I thought. It effectively relayed how the digital nation requires a new way of thinking, communicating, and interacting in a new technologically advanced world. I definately am more aware of my own multitasking tendancies after watching this program. It also showed me how the limits and possibilities of this is always changing and evolving.
The programs weaknesses are few and far in between. The biggest one I have is with the comment a scientist said about "your brain on google" versus "your brain on a book". Although the brain is more active on google he suggests that it could be better to "have a lower score" in which the goal was to see less activity in the brain scan. I find this insinuation to be highly speculative for a scientist. He has no facts to support that a "lower score" is the objective and therefor his comment comes off as extremely biased.
Learning about Word of Warcraft was really interesting to me. My boyfriend use to play the game so it was really interesting to learn more about a world that is so foreign to me. We watched the program together and he could really empathise with one of the gamers that commented on how close the relationships that are formed through WOW gaming can really be. She said something like, "People that don't play World of Warcraft really can't understand how close the relationship that we build with our guild members can really be." That made me really think about how the internet has transformed the way we make connections and relationships with people. I was really worried after watching the whole of the documentary that it is more disconnecting for us than giving us more possibilities to connect.
I didn't really think that the program accurately represented me and my generation of college students. There was a comment made by one of the youth that played at one of The Army Experience locations that I feel I more accurately identified with. He said that although he enjoyed playing the war simulation games he knew that there was a difference between the two and it didn't make him want to join the army any more than watching a recruit video would. I think that the program failed to represent the majority of people that can use technology, but not in an all or nothing sort of way. Or else it makes me think that I am somehow behind in the digital revolution and ask myself how did I get left behind.

Obama Announces High-Speed Rail Projects

BRIAN KNOWLTON reported for the NY Times in a story called Obama Seeks High-Speed Rail System Across U.S.

Ben Meyerson and Richard Simon reported for the LATimes under the headline Obama wants to get moving on high-speed rail

The first thing that stood out to me was each reporter's choice of headline. I felt the NY Times story had the better lead. The LA Times stated, "President Obama touted his plan for developing high-speed railways Thursday, detailing how $13 billion in federal money would act as a "down payment" on creating speedier passenger train service." The lead for the NY Times article was, "President Obama on Thursday highlighted his ambition for the development of high-speed passenger rail lines in at least 10 regions, expressing confidence in the future of train travel even as he acknowledged that the American rail network, compared with the rest of the world's, remains a caboose." I feel that the NY Times gives a better summary of the most important idea behind Obama's speech. Knowlton gives the sum of what the speech was about and then goes above and beyond to include the fact that the U.S. is far behind in transportation compared to the rest of the world. That was a fact both stories highlighted as important but Knowlton found a good way to include it in the lead.

The NY Times story focuses on relaying the facts of Obama's speech. It says when they plan to start giving out the money and how much. It also states the areas that have been identified as prime locations for developing a rail system. I notice it sticks to relaying the five Ws very well. The LA Times story reports differently. It offers a brief how much money and when information and doesn't go into as much detail as the NY Times did on which places the rail-way package would build lines in. It does however offer some critical voice to Obama's speech from a few other sources. The story includes Vukan Vuchic, a University of Pennsylvania professor of transportation engineering, who the reporter uses to support Obama claims that federal support for high-speed rail is long overdue. The reporters also included James Moore, professor of industrial and systems engineering at the USC for his skepticism of the relevancy of rail systems in the U.S. culture.

Both stories use the quote by Obama, "There's no reason why we can't do this," in their stories. I find it interesting that this quote is rather lacking in any information and doesn't appear to be words of a most pressing fashion and yet both reporters chose to include it. The LA Times reporter also included a quote by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood but I am unaware of where and when that quote came from.

I wish the LA Times story would have included the quote from the NY Times in their story. The quote was, ""What we need, then, is a smart transportation system equal to the needs of the 21st century," he said, "a system that reduces travel times and increases mobility, a system that reduces congestion and boosts productivity, a system that reduces destructive emissions and creates jobs." I thought this was a very good quote and information that the LA Times reporters neither use nor mention in their story.

After Skating, a Unique Olympic Event: Crying


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- For sheer spectacle, the Olympics offer the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony and dozens of medal ceremonies in between. For sheer awkwardness, they offer the kiss-and-cry area.

I like this lead because it is humorous. The story seems to be more of a feature so I enjoy that it allows for the lead to be more creative and lyrical. It doesn't include the who, what, or when, but I do not think that it was necessary for this instance. Because it is a feature I think that it makes it easier to cut the lead into more than one sentence. I don't think that the lead would have been more effective it it was only one sentence.

After Death in Family, Medal Favorite From Canada Presses On

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Just hours after learning that her mother had died of a heart attack here, the Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette was on the practice ice Sunday.

I enjoy this lead because it is a very powerful statement. At the same time that it is packed with emotion is remains relevant to the short, to the point writing that we practice in class. It includes the who (Joannie Rochette), what (was back to practicing on the ice after learning her mother had died), when (Sunday), and where (Vancouver). The lead grabs my attention and makes me want to know more about this athlete. It also successfully sums up what the rest of the story is going to be about.

State Crime Lab's Backlog Puts Justice on Hold

The Star Tribune reported Sunday a shortage of money and staff have resulted in longer wait times for forensic DNA test results. Suburban and outstate police departments in Minnesota are having to wait months for DNA test results delaying investigations of serious crimes and leading to growing frustration with the backlog. The report says that the forensic staff long ago reached maximum performance while the number of cases submitted continues to increase. Anoka County sheriff Bruce Andersohn blames the Legislature for failing to provide funding needed to keep up with the demand. Andersohn pointed to a study by the National Institute of Justice that says the inability to use DNA analysis on lower-level crime leads to more serious crimes, meaning rather than being prosecuted, criminals graduate to more serious crimes.

This news story contains such news values as proximity and impact. The main forensic lab is situated in St. Paul and the effects of its backlog is reaching all over the metro areas. The impact of this story comes in many forms. A potential reader could be anyone from a criminal awaiting trial to simply a concerned citizen. The story has emotion because of its crime subject. It could elicit fear, and/or yet again, concern from the reader. It also contains conflict because it highlights the conflict of the forensic labs having more work than they are able to process thus sending a rippling effect into the criminal justice system. Criminals are not being prosecuted fast enough and the community is put at risk because of it.

Wall Street Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis

The New York Times reported Saturday how many borrowing instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere. Greece, for example owes the world $300 billion, and major banks are on the hook for much of that debt. The deals, treated as currency trade rather than a loan, enable Greece and others to continue to spend beyond their means. Banks eagerly exploited what was for them, a highly lucrative symbiosis with free-spending governments because few rules govern how nations can borrow the money they need for expenses like the military and health care. The New York Times states,"Such derivatives, which are not openly documented or disclosed, add to the uncertainty over how deep the troubles go in Greece and which other governments might have used similar off-balance sheet accounting."

By giving new insight into the role Wall Street has played in the global economic crisis gives the story impact. It also gives emotion because readers may be further enraged of reading yet another way the U.S. banks have exploited their banking practices to make money in high risk deals. Placing Wall Street in the spotlight for being responsible for economic turmoil outside of the U.S. gives the story conflict. The story states that although the U.S. hasn't given this story much attention, the European nations have publicly scrutinized the U.S.'s banks involvement in on many occasions.

Drunken Man Steals Ambulance With Patient Inside

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a drunken man stole an ambulance from a Wisconsin ski area with the patient inside.

Steeped Well

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The Star Tribune reported Sunday that an increase of studies discovering new benefits of tea has also lead to an increase of business and tea house businesses. Research has found that compounds in tea have been shown to help prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and much more. Although the majority of tea's popularity has been gained from more exposure of it's health benefits, the story informs that there is a difference between consumer and medicinal tea and that it is important for tea drinkers to not confuse the two. A small guide to tea and it's benefits is included. It tells, for example, that licorice tea is often used to soothe sore throats and aid digestion and oolong tea may improve function of the immune system and is packed with antioxidants.

This story has impact because it interests readers in a new aspect of their health. Someone could be unaware of the growing discoveries of tea's health benefits and would see the use of drinking tea as a positive alternative to some other means of maintaining their health. It doesn't have any immediacy because the studies are coming out gradually and the reporter does not mention any report on tea that had specifically come out recently. I would suggest that the story may have a small sense of novelty because the act of drinking tea is arguably a nostalgic activity being as it is also associated with alternative lifestyles and medicine. Drinking tea is a well know British tradition in which case many might even view tea itself as a commodity of novelty.

Toyota Has Pattern of Slow Response on Safety Issues

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The New York Times reported Saturday that Toyota car company is facing a credibility crisis as little-know problems are surfacing on many of Toyota's models and the company is facing more and more accusations of being slow to respond. For example, in 1996 Toyota made a design change to the Hilux Surf and 4Runner models upon finding that a crucial steering mechanism in the cars could fracture. It wasn't until eight years later that Toyota began recalling the cars built before the 1996 model change, after an accident involving an out-of-control Hilux Surf prompted a police investigation. Toyota's most severe criticism has come from their handling of a sticky accelerator pedal problem that affects millions of cars in both the United States and Europe. Records show that Toyota had received complaints as early as December 2008, but it won't be until this week that factories will begin to replace the pedals.

By addressing Toyota's poor handling of defective cars this story has impact because it informs people that drive cars from the Toyota company of possible risks they may unknowingly have with their cars. Exposing the dealings of the company with their products and customers could have a big impact on influencing a consumer to choose Toyota, the world's biggest car maker, over other car companies. The story also has immediacy because it tells of the biggest problem that Toyota is facing now, with the sticky pedals, and then tells how this week the company will begin to address the problem. The story is also riddled with conflict. Conflict between the company and their customers, conflict between the customers and their cars, and conflict between inner communication of the companies administrators are just to name a few.

Recent Comments

  • joh03884: After reading the actual article I found the lead humorous read more
  • joh03884: After reading the actual article I found the lead humorous read more
  • joh03884: After reading the actual article I found the lead humorous read more
  • giamp004: I agree, I think this lead is creative. It does read more

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