Grad School vs. The Workforce

Should I find a job or should I go to grad school and hold off from the work force?  This is a question that many soon-to-be college graduates ask themselves and sometimes it can be a difficult question to answer.  On one hand finding a job right out of college would be great for students to start paying back their student loans while getting a good start on their careers, but lately the job market has not been too kind to recent college graduates.  On the other hand attending graduate school would help students further their education and in the long run earn more money, but the rising costs of tuition for both umdergrad and grad students would add more to their debt once they’re finished.  This is a difficult conundrum that even I must deal with myself as I prepare for graduation.

Graduate school

Even though the amount of students attending grad school has dropped 1.7 percent there are individuals who want to expand on their education, so they make a decision to go graduate school.  In the long run this decision benefits those people greatly.  Then there are people who attend grad school because they simply cannot find a job.  I had a friend of mine who told me that he couldn’t find work so he said, “what the heck I might as well go to grad school.”  Maybe attending grad school while the job market is not in the greatest shape is a good idea after all.  Hopefully once students finish grad school the job market could be better and students can find jobs and since they’ve earned their Master’s degree or a PHD they could earn more money.

 

The workforce

What if that job you’ve always wanted is available and the only time you can take the opportunity is now?  For some people if they have that chance to get a job they will jump on it as quickly as possible.  However there are those who simply enter the workforce (even if it isn’t related to their degree) to get a start on paying back their student loans.  There are many students who find themselves in debt due to their student loans and tuition, so they want to pay that back as soon as possible.

 

I’m certain navigating through life after graduation can be difficult.  There are valid reasons for people to either stay in school or go out into the workforce.  It just all comes down to whatever makes the most sense for you.

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Social Media Changes The World

As my last post before I head for Thanksgiving break I’ve decided to highlight all the ways social media has changed the world since it became popular.  Even though Facebook and Twitter have millions of users some may not realize just how much those sites have changed the way we communicate with each other or gather information.

 

I want it now!

            In the not-too distant past people only had newspapers to get their information.  This meant that if something happened some people had to wait until the next day.  Even with television there was still a time difference when something happened and when people found out.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter have given people (journalists in some cases) the opportunity to present news as it was happening.  A recent example of this is the Boston Marathon Bombings that took place earlier this year.  Numerous people and organizations took to Twitter to break the news as it was happening to let the world know. 

 

Communication is a two way street or 3.

            Social media has completed shattered the way we used to communicate with each other.  Gone are the days where all we had are telephone calls or actually meeting people.  If someone wants to talk with another all they have to do is go one Facebook and send them a message, or they could hop on Twitter and tweet at someone.  If someone is feeling really creative they could create a Vine video and send that to a friend.  Basically what I’m saying is the convenience for communication is at all-time high.  As I said in an earlier post professional journalists can use this convenience to communicate with their audience.

While social media is still a relatively new thing, there is no doubt the changes that it has made deeply affect the way we live our daily lives whether we realize or not. 

Something on Your Vine?

This week in my class we were talking about something called data journalism, in which tools (i.e. websites, databases) are used to provide information about a given subject.  Data journalism, along with social media, have been the new age way that journalist could collect their information for their stories, but with all of this talk about what is great now I start to wonder, what will be the next big thing that will sweep the journalism industry?

We already have many news organizations that call upon the people and user-generated content for more story ideas.  We already have social media sites like Twitter or Facebook where reporters can release new information instantly or connect with their audience, so I ask you all, what do you think the next big thing will be.

More and more people are using Vine these days and who’s to say that won’t get utilized more within the industry.  I think the same way Twitter made posting things shorter and much more simple, Vine can do the same thing for journalists.  The only limitation with Vine, however, is the amount of time allotted per video, with the length only averaging about 7 seconds long, so it’ll be interesting to see just how journalists will spend that precious time getting their stories across.  Tell me what you think?

The People’s Choice

Yesterday in class a fellow student did a presentation on user-generated content.  Her presentation made me think to myself, “I wonder how much news organizations truly rely on the average citizen to gather material.”  These days with so many people using social media the amount of user generated content has increased significantly to the point where news organizations have called upon them for their content.  In fact NBC has purchased a new digital company that will allow them to use videos posted by everyday people using their smartphones.

Do you think there will come a time when news organizations will rely to heavily on user-generated content?  Don’t get me wrong there are great benefits to having user generated content such as having access to photos, videos or sound of a breaking news item.  Also by getting this content certain news organizations can have access to content that others will not, thus giving them an advantage.

I do fear the amount of user-generated content can take away from the job of a journalist.  There will always be a need for journalist but a lot of their responsibilities can be delegated to the people and the content they produce, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  News organizations can benefit greatly from user-generated content, but will there be a day where it could potentially replace the traditional journalist.

I See You!

As I’ve stated in one of my earlier blogs technology is constantly changing the way we communicate with each other especially through social networking means. Not that it’s anything particularly new but location-based apps are definitely on the rise in the social networking world. These apps allow for people to interact with the world by showing their current position(s) or the places they have already been. Not only can people see what you’re doing but they can see where you are/were at that time.
Even journalist could capitalize on this trend and add an extra element to their stories by showing their readers exactly where they were when something occurred. I think there is a potential issue with these location apps. It can make it very easy for people to follow individuals. Having someone know where you are at all times when you post to that app could be very dangerous. Location-based apps have the potential to really change things but we’ll see how the public responds to them.

So with all of this talk about Twitter I began to wonder where do people tweet the most?  When I ask that question I mean which states (in the United States) have the most Twitter users.  I found a few articles that showcased the top states with the most Twitter users.  According to reports California tops the list followed by Texas at number two, Florida at number three, Illinois is fourth and Georgia rounds out the top five.  I was a little surprised to see New York at number six and not in the top five (although six out of 50 is pretty high).  It’s also interesting to note that four out of the top five Twitter states have the highest population in the country (California, Texas, Florida and Illinois respectively).

Here are the top five states with the most Twitter users.

What I think is even more interest is that the United States only accounts for about 20% of all Twitter users in the world as of 2010.  In fact the country with the most Twitter Users is China with 35 million.  While I’m not entirely sure of the reason for this it may have something to do with population.  I also wonder if Twitter has a different appeal in other countries.

The Twitter Times

There are many professional journalists use Twitter to promote stories or release late breaking news, but there are millions of Twitter users who don’t work for professional news organizations.  Do you think they deserve to be hired due to their diligence with their Twitter account?  In essence Twitter users are practicing journalistic methods with the way they break news on the micro blogging site.  There are even reports of Twitter getting into the news business.  So why not hire these folks?  There’s even a formula for getting hired through Twitter.

I’ve always thought Twitter to have a more “Wild West” feel to it. What I mean by that is people can say pretty much whatever they want however they want.  There is no real governing body who’s patrolling what is being said on Twitter and therefore people have that freedom to say whatever.  If Twitter is thinking about entering into the news business they could run into some serious issues.

There was an online article that highlighted how the Turkish government was hiring 6,000 Twitter users to help shape the opinion of the younger population.  This type of power to spread an agenda (even though some news organizations have their own agendas) coupled with the fact that Twitter can go unchecked can cause problems, but then again I could be overreacting.  How do you feel about Twitter entering the news business?

 

Here’s something to link about.

Something that I want to ask to the people out there is do you think linking to other journalist is a type of journalism?  I remember discussing linking earlier in the semester in my blogging class, and it made me think about how journalist are linking to other journalist.  There’s a short article on Readwrite that talks “link-journalism” and how it is used.  In a nutshell journalist will put links from other articles into their own work to give their work more credibility or insight.  Just about every article I can think of the journalists are using links from other articles, heck we’re even encouraged to use links in our blogging class.

With more journalists using social media, which leads to more of them linking to each other, do you think we should consider “link-journalism” a new form of journalism?  These days competitive news organizations are now linking to each other, whereas years ago the idea of it was considered absolutely farfetched.

If “link-journalism” were considered a new form of journalism what about any potential legal issues that may come about.  It might be easier for a journalist working for a news organization to link to other sites and articles since they have the backing of their company, but what about the average social media user?  For example, I do not work for any news organization, so do I still have the same freedoms to link to other news websites or will I feel the wrath of angry advertising companies who help fund the news companies?

These are just my thoughts, but what do you think?  Should “link journalism” be considered a form of the craft, and if so should everyone be protected equally in the legality of it?

Blog-A-Day Summary

All I can say is, wow!  When I received the blog-a-day assignment at first I thought, “there’s no way this can be all that difficult,” and in a sense it wasn’t.  However, the challenge lies in keeping up with the world and any information that pertained to my blog.  I felt like every 2-3 hours I was checking some of my blog roll for any interesting tidbits that I could use for my upcoming blogs, but after a few days I felt as though the task became more daunting.

 

            It also felt more challenging to create more blogs as the week went on.  Basically the first two or three days went by smoothly for me and I felt like I had this assignment under control, but about the fourth day I was lost.  I struggled to create more topics to discuss, and it felt more difficult to put out a consistent quality of work throughout the week.  I can honestly say that my quality of work had decreased as the week went on.  I called it “blogging fatigue” during the week, but it was a great lesson learned on blogging.

 

            This assignment has given me a newfound respect for those who blog not only everyday but several times a day as well.  If I didn’t know before I definitely know now that it takes a good amount of time and dedication to creating a thoughtful, informative and entertaining blog on a daily basis.  This assignment taught me the importance of staying on top of my information and keeping up-to-date with everything regarding my blog.  I will take what I learned from this assignment and apply them to my blog for the future. 

 

The Magic of Blogging

I’ve spent the past two weeks using my blog to talk about technology and social media and how it has changed journalism, but the funny thing is I don’t I ever mentioned blogs.  How could I not speak on the very tool that I’m using now to get my point across?  Anyway, blogs, as you could imagine, are very powerful tools that a journalist might use.

 

A journalist’s blog is a great way for them to connect to their audience even more.  With frequent blog post and the ability to leave comments the public is strongly encouraged to participate by leaving feedback or interacting with each other.  Professionals now can directly communicate with those who listen, and it can also go the other way around.  There are many people who are not professional journalists but may have started a blog and are receiving attention from the professionals.

 

Blogs are a great way for people to express their opinion a little more freely on whatever they wanted to talk about.  I find some of the best blogs are the ones that has social commentary, but with a good amount of factual information to back up whatever claim they’re making.  All of you potential bloggers out there, go ahead and start blogging you never know who may be watching.