Archive for January, 2010

Stuff I like

January 25, 2010

I don't know why this is one of the top search results for "boring stuff." While this post might be a tab bit dry, there's are some links to click on that you might enjoy.

For this assignment I had to search the Internets for blogs to read on a regular basis, blogs that will give me ideas as I write in my own blog.  While I do a fair bit of online reading, I’ve never really tried to think of a list like this before. 

So here it goes, my list of blogs I like and think you should like too.

The Arts Beat is the New York Times A&E blog.  Since the primary focus of my blog will be on A&E topics, it makes sense to read a blog that’s associated with one of the more prestigious newspapers in the country.

I like classical music (or at least the idea of classical music), so this blog from the Washington Post should provide some info as to what’s going on in the classical music scene these days, apart from striking orchestras.

I’m kind of behind the times when it comes to popular music, but the Washington Post has got me covered with its pop music blog.

I can’t leave out the course blog for my class, can I?  I can go there and check on what my classmates are blogging about, because there’s no better place to get ideas than a group of your like-minded peers.

The Undesirable Element belongs to a funny guy I sort of know.  He doesn’t update on any sort of schedule, but his posts are usually quite funny.

While Rolling Stone has gone downhill recently, I still like its bloggers, especially Taibbi, Travers and Dickinson.  Also on Rolling Stone is a nice blog that aggregates a lot of news related to the music scene.

In addition to the pop and classical music blogs, the Washington Post also has a blog with book editors discussing news from the industry and around the world, as well as a comprehensive TV blog.

All of these blog can provide ideas for me to write about, but these last two blogs just crack me up.  One is about journalists and the other is about another demographic I belong to.

Holy crap, sorry that post was so boring.  But good news, it’s done!  Yay!  Also, look below for a special parting image.

Your reward for tolerating this post.


My Manifesto for Matt’s Musings or: I Enjoy Frustrating Leslie Wolfe by Allowing Alliteration :)

January 21, 2010

This is one of the top Google image search results for "confused face."

What should this blog focus on?  To be honest, I’m at a loss when it comes to answering this question for my journalism class.

On one hand, I stated in my first blog post that I would be blogging about class and personal subjects, especially the awesomeness of The Velvet Underground.

But on the other hand (assuming you have two hands after that nasty wood chipper incident…that’s right, your wife told me what happened), I need to have a more specific focus than just “class work and old music.”

Old music is pretty broad, but focusing on The Velvet Underground helps narrow it down a little.  Class work is also a pretty broad subject, but it might help that I’m mainly blogging about journalism and its relation to blogs and other forms of social media.

So, I think my focus will be this:  As A&E Editor for a college newspaper I have a unique insight to different aspects of pop culture.  Therefore, the primary, non-academic focus of my blog will be giving my opinion on why certain items from pop culture are relevant, important and otherwise awesome.

People can say that The Beatles are overrated, “Futurama” was criminally underrated, “Battlestar Galactica” (the new one) was frakking amazing or other such statements all they want, but I’m going to try and provide substantial evidence to support claims like these.

Pictured: Good people.

Also, before a virtual s—storm starts in my comment section or on Facebook, I dig The Beatles.

Anyways, I think that’s where my blog’s focus will lie.  The other night I saw a preview for a new show called “Solving History.”  Think of this blog as something along the lines of “Solving A&E,” with special guest appearances by the Future of Journalism.

Also, if you’ve been thinking to yourself “gee, I sure wish I could figure out why ‘derp’* is so awesome, or why ‘derpa derp’* is more popular now than it was in the ’60s,” ask those questions in the comment section or on Facebook and I’ll do my best to answer them.

You stay classy, Blogosphere.

* = Derp, or any variation thereof, means whatever I want it to mean.  In this case, I’ll go with an A&E-related item or topic.

Blogging, journalism and the future walk into a bar…

January 18, 2010

The Doctor was supposed to let me borrow the Tardis so I could answer this question, but he had to go and regenerate.

After my previous posts debating the good and bad of blogging and its relationship to journalism, it’s time to attempt connection of the two and decide what this means for the future of journalism.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a time machine and will have to rely on the tools at my immediate possession.

This article, although dated, can still be applied to today.  It brings up the idea that blogs, and the rise of blog readership, can lead to media consumers only reading blogs that reinforce their existing views.

This can have a negative impact on the social and political landscape, but no more than someone watching only “Countdown” or “Hannity.”

While blogs have hastened the decline of traditional media, especially newspapers, they have just been the latest gravediggers in a long procession that includes 24 hour news networks, Craigslist and scandals involving journalists at prestigious publications.

However, things are not exclusively gloom and doom for journalists.

Bloggers, in general, still have to see stories in the mainstream media that they can base their opinions on.  If mainstream media goes extinct, bloggers will have to go out into the field, or hire unemployed journalists to provide news-based content on which to opine.

The face of blogging?


And really, who would be comfortable giving an interview to someone who might never leave his mom’s basement.

Blogs do present a danger to mainstream media, but they might do society a service and force the media to adapt to provide more of what consumers want.

Blogging and Journalism (Cons)

January 16, 2010

In my previous post, I made a case for blogs being beneficial to journalism.  However, the issue of whether blogs are good or bad for journalism is a double-edged sword, much like the sword wielded by my level 80 Paladin in “World of Warcraft.” 

Matt Armstrong: Using "World of Warcraft" in similes since 2010.

 On this Web site, Chris Pirillo claims that bloggers are not journalists because blogs are a new way of writing, not a new form of journalism.  Pirillo also writes that bloggers and journalists write in different ways, with bloggers writing what they “know, think and feel” as opposed to journalists writing in facts.

If Pirillo’s opinion is true, this would be very bad for journalism.  With an increasing number of people reading blogs and looking to blogs as their primary news source, many people might not realize that these blogs are, as Pirillo calls them, huge editorial boards.

You mean millions of people already watch Fox News for fair and balanced reporting?

The danger this presents is that, if the general public comes to view bloggers as mainstream journalists, it would be akin to millions of unsuspecting people watching Fox News and expecting fair and balanced coverage of current events.

While blogging can be beneficial to journalism and keeping the public informed, Barack Obama terrifically explained the dangers blogs can pose in this article’s sixth paragraph. 
Because many blogs are free of fact-checking and objectivity, and with many news consumers taking bloggers at their word, blogs can confuse and frighten the public in a way it’s difficult for traditional media (or at least objective, fact-checking media) to do, which can only serve to hinder journalism’s ability to compete against blogs.
In the end, the public may be the losers in the battle between blogs and journalism because they may not receive the news that matters to them.

Blogging and journalism (Pros)

January 14, 2010

Is blogging good for journalism?  Quite a question, I know.  However, as a journalism student preparing to enter post-collegiate life, this might be a question asked at job interviews or in the workplace.

Blogging can be good for journalism.  However, as with newspapers and other established forms of media, there must exist a balance between credibility, accuracy and intelligence for a blog to have real merit.

The blog post which led to Trent Lott's resignation.

For example, this blog post was some of the first media coverage given to seemingly pro-segragationist remarks by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.  Lott was later forced to resign after the mainstream media took the blogger’s lead on the story.

Of course there are other examples of bloggers being the first people to write on a certain topic.  For instance, the controversy surrounding Dan Rather and the false documents he used on “60 Minutes” was initially started by bloggers.

In this Washington Post story, the newspaper tells how, as blogs about Rather got more hits, CBS was forced to act and Rather left the network.

When they get stories right, bloggers have just as much credibility as the mainstream media and, because many bloggers operate independently, they don’t have to worry as much about corporate interests, which can sometimes hinder  larger news organizations.

Blogs are good for journalism because they force the older, more established media outlets to adapt and meet the demands of the customers, which fans of “survival of the fittest” must enjoy to no end.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Blogging)

January 13, 2010

Here I am, Blogosphere.  I honestly never thought it would come to this because, despite my nerdy demeanor, I’m not very tech-savvy.

This picture of my high school computer teacher may explain my hesitation to learn new technology.

Granted, I’ve mastered some things on the Internets, like “World of Warcraft,” using search engines, ordering unhealthy food and books I say I’ll read but never get around to, but other than I’m fairly shy around new things.

I should probably explain a little about why I’m blogging before anything else.  I’m a senior journalism student at West Virginia University (post jokes at West Virginia’s expense in the comment section), and this blog is part of a course I’m enrolled in for the Spring 2010 semester.

Since how society defines the media is constantly changing, and because blogging is becoming a big part of the media, I wanted to get as much experience as possible before I leave college.

While this blog is for a class it is also for my personal use, which means I can write about almost anything I want.  Some of my interests include movies, music from the ’60s and ’80s, good wine and tasty beer, movies, books, television and the hilarity of American politics.

That’s right, this blog will have the same content as 90% of every other blog on the Internet, with the other 10% being composed of fan fiction, porn or a combination of the two.

I also plan to dedicate a significant amount of content to advance awareness of why The Velvet Underground is the most influential band you’ve never heard of.

Learn to love these music deities.

As for what I want to get out of this course, I’m not entirely sure.  The most obvious answer would be experience, which is what I’ll go with.  At least, a new kind of experience relevant to The Waste Land of a job market I’ll be entering in a few short months.

I also want a journalistic experience that’s more personal than writing for a newspaper, something I can use to blow off some steam.

Well, this is the end of my requisite “Hello, World” post that most bloggers write.  It’s been a blast, and I’ll be writing about three or four news blog posts every week.  Most will be personal in nature, but some will be more academic to fulfill my course objectives.

Also, I’ll try to think of something clever to sign off with, but until then…kthxbye.