Archive for November, 2010

Twitter: Out with the Old, in with the New

By Lauren Haberkorn

Illustration by Jennifer Janviere

Illustration by Jennifer Janviere

Recently, Twitter officially announced the newest version of their website through a post on The Twitter Blog. According to company spokeswoman Carolyn Penner, “the new experience is finally real for everyone—all 160 million of you—and in six languages to boot.” She also added that for those not yet ready for the adjustment, the “old Twitter” will be also be available for the next couple weeks before the entire website changes permanently to the “new Twitter.”

Some of the new and improved features include the ease of ability to view threaded conversations, and more accessible navigation tools. Also convenient is the ability to respond to direct messages while viewing old messages sent between the user and the person they are responding to. Most notably, however, is the new support for different types of multimedia viewed over the Internet. Twitter users will no longer have to leave the site or open new windows to view live streaming videos or images—a new tool most widely used recently, when a speech by President Obama live streamed on MTV, BET, and CMT to answer Twitter-submitted questions.

It seems obvious that Twitter felt the need to launch this new version of itself considering the third party publishers that have come out with add-ons and applications for the company’s website, like PowerTwitter, TwitterBar and Twitterlicious to name a few. These applications are designed to fit specific users needs, like the Windows application MadTwitter, and Twitterrific for the Mac. Only time will tell if Twitter can keep up with all of the web developers aiming towards the same goal—to make Twitter easier and more fun for its users.

Lauren Haberkorn is a junior majoring in Corporate Communication at the Diederich College of Communication.

How the New Media Frontier is like Learning to Ride a Bike: Notes from the College Journalism Conference in NYC

By Kevin Griffin

City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, ManhattanNew York cannot be described in words, but here is my best shot: New York is like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time. Once you’re there, you are not quite sure how you did it and you pray that it never ends.

And before you know it, the flight attendant is knocking you off your bike with a “Welcome to Milwaukee, and thanks for flying AirTran.”

Last month I experienced New York for the first time in my life. Me and two fellow sophomores, Marissa Evans and Alex Engler, spent three days of our fall break in NYC as part of The University of North Carolina’s “Getting Started in Business News,” college journalism conference. The conference selected 40 students nationwide through an application process, to participate in three days of newsroom tours, networking, roundtable discussions and formal job interviews. The conference showcased prominent business journalists and internship coordinators from various news outlets as well as journalism professors and students nationwide.

Now we just had to get there.

So with our years of combined experience learning to live and travel independently, Alex, Marissa and I were to leave Schroeder hall on the morning of Thursday October, 21, and by 6 pm that same day we were to end up at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism to check in to the conference.

We overcame a one hour “ground delay” in Milwaukee, an airport shuttle ride comparable to a NASCAR video game, roughly seven lucky guesses on what street we should turn on, a hotel that almost lost a reservation and a frantic rush to figure out what a metro pass was (a subway train ticket).

But we got there.

It didn’t take me long to realize that in New York, things are a lot different. Lights are brighter, buildings are bigger, people walk faster, and yes, they are much more rude, which somehow only adds to the city’s charm. Continue reading ‘How the New Media Frontier is like Learning to Ride a Bike: Notes from the College Journalism Conference in NYC’

Media Ethics: Old vs. New

By Steve Byers

As I read Howard Kurtz on the battle between Keith Olbermann and NBC executives (and many of his colleagues) over Olbermann’s political donations, I was struck by the wide disparity between the ethics I was taught in the “old media” and those that prevail among so many in the “new media.”

For those not following along, Olbermann was briefly suspended by MSNBC after a web site revealed that he had donated funds to political candidates without disclosing it to his audience or his bosses. (Read Kurtz for the details of this complicated situation). To me, the ethical solution was simple: Thou shalt not donate to political campaigns. Period.

But that’s “old media” ethics. In the “new media,” guided by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Channel, everything everyone does is part of a political agenda, so just donating some money doesn’t count for much, especially when air time is so much more important. Promoting a candidate—or an issue—on air seems to be acceptable or even a plus, given how we in Milwaukee observe our local talk radio personalities shilling for candidates. So, although Olbermann seems to be acting like a spoiled brat, his behavior isn’t so wrong for this “new media” world.

The smudging (or erasure) of the once-bright line between advocacy and journalism has gone so far that page one advertising is being suggested for the Marquette Tribune using as justification that it’s already there for several professional newspapers. And our student editors weren’t offended.

It sure is a new media world out there.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.

Using Technology to Combat Cholera in Haiti

By Lauren Haberkorn

 Red Cross Cell PhoneTo add to the troubles of a country already devastated by an earthquake last January and a hurricane this past month, a cholera epidemic has been slowly spreading throughout Haiti. This is largely due to the poor sanitary conditions in the makeshift tent camps in which a large portion of the country’s population now lives among the ruins of the cities.

Cholera is a water-born disease that affects the intestinal tract of anyone unlucky enough to come into contact. As the disease spreads there is fear that it will hit Port-Au-Prince, the country’s heavily populated capital. However, with the right information and the ability to act quickly, the disease can be preventable.

That’s where technology comes into the picture. Cell phones and text messaging are proving to be a solution as public health officials began an information campaign using radio broadcasts and text messages to spread disease prevention tips to the populace.

A recent NPR report stated that the Red Cross plans to employ such mobile technology to spread messages to more than 70,000 people over the coming weeks.  Authorities in Haiti are also using cell phones to track members of the community migrating from the center of the outbreak to other parts of the island in order to control the spread of the disease.

According to the NPR report, last week 30,000 cell phone users in the Artibonite district received this message, “Kwa Wouj: Bwe seròm oral pou ka trete dyare. Yon lit dlo trete, 8 ti kiyè sik, 1/2 ti kiyè sèl.” Which translates to: “Drink ORS (oral rehydration solution) to treat diarrhea. One liter of treated water, 8 teaspoons of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt.”

Cell phones have already played a big role in raising money for the Haitian rebuilding efforts earlier in the year, and it seems that the devices are once again being put to use for the greater good.  It’s interesting to observe that what we in the United States view as nothing more than the background noise of modern life may in fact prove to be a lifesaver for many Haitian people.

Lauren Haberkorn is a Corporate Communication major in the Diederich College of Communication.

East Meets West: Journalism Across Cultures

By Herbert Lowe

Russian journalists visit a journalism class at Marquette.Three guests entered Room 309 in Johnston Hall slowly, as if as unsure what to expect as were the 15 students gathered for my News Media Writing class recently. Upon learning the day before that three Russian journalists would visiting, and with only brief bios to go on, at least one student said later she had trepidation about meeting with likely old, burly and intimidating men.

But in walked Oxana Labykina, 29, Aygul Mustakaeva, 27, and Elena Karpova, 31—three lovely young women who looked much like typical Marquette graduate students. The same could be said for Maria Krokhina, 27, who came along as their interpreter and escort.

Still, both the guests, who were seated in the front, and the students sitting behind their iMacs in the computer lab, remained quiet, not sure how to communicate given the language barrier. Continue reading ‘East Meets West: Journalism Across Cultures’

A Week at Aarhus University/Aarhus Business Institute, Denmark

By Robert Shuter

Robert Shuter (far right) with people from Aarhus University, DenmarkAarhus is the second largest city in Denmark—a beautiful community on Jutland Island, about a half hour by plane from Copenhagen. Sponsored by two business schools in Aarhus, I  was distinguished guest lecturer for a week and spoke at Aarhus Business Institute and Aarhus University Department of Business. Both schools are keenly interested in culture and communication—as are many European business programs—and the Danes and  Swedes have been big fans of intercultural communication. Why? Since both are small countries —about five million in Denmark and 9 million in Sweden—they have to export their products globally, and that means understanding their neighbors in Europe, Asia, and even the U.S.  As a result, they take culture and communication very seriously and realize that without effective intercultural relations, the European Union—consisting of 27 Western and Eastern European nations—won’t reach it’s goal of becoming one, unified Europe.  So why invite me to Denmark to lecture for a week? Continue reading ‘A Week at Aarhus University/Aarhus Business Institute, Denmark’

The Wakerly Technology Training Center Goes Mobile

By Carole Burns

Marquette University Dearborn Building, Chicago

Marquette University Dearborn Building, Chicago

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous driving to Chicago early last Monday morning to lead a group of alumni through discussions ranging from technology trends to the many different types of social media in the world today.

I could lie and say it was mostly due to the traffic—lets face it—Eden’s Parkway is never a fun trek, but even the bumper to bumper company I had was nothing compared to the swarm of butterflies in my stomach.

I had spent three weeks preparing for the seminar, and most of Saturday copying information and research to create five packets of information. Packed into the back of my Rav4 were five backpacks of equipment normally used by our students in the Urban Journalism Program. I had contacted industry professionals for input (thank you Mike DeSisti!) and knew the inside and out of digital storytelling thanks to Linda Menck. Gee Ekachai made sure I had been schooled in Social Media and iPad apps.  Lets face it—this was probably more ready than I have ever been.

So why the nerves? Continue reading ‘The Wakerly Technology Training Center Goes Mobile’


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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