How Journalists Now Need to be One-Man Bands


Courtesy of Marywood University

A lot has changed since what skills journalists need to have. Traditional media has been taken over by the technology revolution. If journalists want to be successful or if someone just plans on becoming a journalist they have to prepare for the future. Through my journalism classes and my own observations I have seen this first hand. The problem is if future journalists don’t recognize the need to pick up these skills they will be left behind. My broadcast professor teaches us for the future. In my class we learn how to shoot and edit video. We learn how to record and edit audio for things like podcasts. We learn to anchor and utilize Youtube. We learn how to write and edit news stories and press releases. I was told that at a particular school that communication students obtaining a masters, was the first time they even touched a camera, let alone all the audio and software editing my class has done. Now if we both applied to the same job, who do you think we get it? This just goes to show that future journalists need to be trained properly for what’s ahead or else they could be left in the dust.


In an article from Mashable it writes about the 8 must-have traits for future journalists. The article says the first thing is you have to be business and entrepreneurial savvy. Today many journalists are starting their own sites. The article states,” They will have to understand how to pursue commercial opportunities relating to the content.” The next traits talk about being programmer by knowing computer code. Having these multimedia skills will help visually. The next is to be an “open-minded experimenter,” and “multimedia storyteller.” An “open-minded experimenter,” means to be able to follow trends in technology and to see what has potential. A “multimedia storyteller,” can tell stories through photos, video, text, audio and more, an increasingly important trait. The last few traits are to be able to build a community following, have fundamental journalism skills, blog, and be multi-skilled in different mediums. As you can see these all really rely on being very technologically savvy at utilizing all forms of technology to your advantage. A blog from Mediabistro emphases the skills journalists need for social media. Some of the skills suggested are live tweeting or blogging. This creates real time coverage of a story as it happens. Also, getting stories that are best suited for social media. It even says to create a Facebook fan page to give reader’s addition updates and information.

Courtesy of Jobspage


In the book Newsonomics: Twelve News Trends that will Shape the News You Get, author Ken Doctor writes about this issue with what he calls “Law No. 11: For Journalists’ Jobs, It’s Back to the Future.” It reinforces the idea of how more than ever journalists need these skills. Doctor (2010) writes about the massive layoffs that are occurring in traditional media. This is true, in a 2010 report by American Society of News Editors its states, “American daily newspapers lost another 5,200 jobs last year bringing the total loss of journalists since 2007 to 13,500.” Journalists are facing some tough times, and its only going to get harder. Doctor (2010) writes, “Right people. Right Jobs. Right skills. Those are the people who keep their jobs in cutbacks, and those who will get hired.” He also writes about how journalism schools are starting to teach these skills so their students are not irrelevant. I am a prime example as I said earlier my professor is aware of this and is teaching us accordingly. In a video on Vimeo, Murray from the Wall Street Journal,  sums up  perfectly what it takes to survive as a journalist today.


In a blog from Poynter the writer Al Tompkins talks to KGTV’s Joe Little who is considered to be a “one-man Band,” in that he reports, shoots, and edits all of his news packages by himself. This is what journalists are having to do these days. Doctor (2010) compares these skills to what the president has to do. The president has many different responsibilities that he has to accomplish daily and Doctor (2010) says, “If the president can multitask, journalists need to be able to move among thinking, writing, and communication quickly as well.” Little said in the blog, “The tricks I use are the same ones a good two-man crew would use. I have to do both of their jobs. I look for meaning, balance and creativity.” This is a growing trend everywhere. Another example is in a blog from Mediashare a journalist said a needed skill set is to be, “A multitasker, juggling various responsibilities and roles, many which may have nothing to do with “traditional” journalism.”

Courtesy of Journalism Project


All of this proves that Doctor’s (2010) “Law No. 11: For Journalists’ Jobs, It’s Back to the Future” is very real and for journalists they need to capitalize and be ready for the growing changes ahead. This is the first real revolutionary change in media and its going to take some time for them to get adjusted, but in this era you have to be a “one-man band” if you ever want to stay ahead of the jobless market.




Doctor, Ken. Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. New York: St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.



How Social Media Has Changed the Game for Journalists


Courtesy of Marketingtech

Social Media has affected journalists in a huge way. It has completely changed the way many journalists’ report and research stories. I have noticed this myself by watching media on T.V. and reading articles. Journalists in the past were not so fortunate to have so many different tools at their disposal. All they had was a notepad and some intuition.  I for one have used social media in the past to do research for many class news projects. This could be a monumental change for how all journalists acquire stories and sources. Multiple mediums are responsible.


The first site to really change the way a lot of people do their job is Google. Search engines like Google have allowed many journalists to quickly search sources. In a blog from Top Rank Marketing they reported in a survey of journalists found that 91% of them use search engines like Google to do their jobs. It also reports that 89% use blogs and 65% use social media sites to research stories. A quote from the article comes from National Public Radio’s Jon Gordon. He states, “I use search engines on almost every story.  I use social networks to find additional sources, as well as for story idea generation and story feedback.” In a time where deadlines are important and reporters are hurt for time they turn to these for a quick way to find “local experts” as sources. T.V. news reporter Jason DeRusha says that he uses them frequently. For example he says, “For my story on whether we get enough Vitamin D in Minnesota, I searched ‘Vitamin D’ ‘Minneapolis’ and ‘expert.’ If a local company showed up very high with their own expertise in those results, I would have called that company.” These reporters then use social media sites like Facebook to message sources for interviews and also to find pictures for stories. T.V. reporters use YouTube to pull footage for stories they could get themselves.


In the book Newsonomics: twelve new trends that will shape the news you get author Ken Doctor writes how news organizations use social media to market themselves in what he calls “Law No. 10: Media Learn How to Market, Marketers Find New Ways to Make Most of Media.” In blog from Dreamgrow it states that 55% of journalists said that their publications use a Twitter feed and 54% use journalist blogs. Although, there is speculation on the validity for acquiring information from social media.  George Washington University did a research on social media and journalism, and found that among journalists, “Eighty-four percent said social media sources were ‘slightly less’ or ‘much less’ reliable than traditional media, with 49% saying social media suffers from lack of ‘fact checking, verification and reporting standards.'” In a blog from MarketingProfs it writes that website journalists have more trust in getting their sources from social media. It also found that newspaper and web journalists use social media for information than magazines.


Courtesy of Copyblogger

In a particular example I’ll use a blog from Mediabistro that writes 5 ways journalists can use the fairly new social media site Pinterest. Pinterest is a social photo sharing site where it is kind of like a pin-board where users can pin photos about their interests, hobbies, etc… The blog writes that news sites can use Pinterest to post pictures of their stories as well as invite readers to pin photos of their own to contribute to the stories. Also, you can include images of the news staff to create a better connection to the readers.


Doctor’s (2010) “Law No. 7: Reporters Become Bloggers” can attest to how blogging has become so important. From the research above it proves how much journalists get their research for stories for blogs. It seems this way because blogs seem to be the most accurate and resourceful of all the social media sites. I mean right now I am writing a blog with 4 sources coming from blogs and someone else might use my blog for a source for their blog!

Courtesy of Marketingprofs


More and more reporters will turn to social media for research. Although validity is a concern I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before sites like this are the norm and completely take over traditional ways how journalists work with stories.



Doctor, Ken. Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. New York: St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.



What’s a Newspaper?


Courtesy of IFRA

What’s a newspaper? That’s a question that future generations might very well ask. Technology is changing all time. The way we access information today has completely changed the game for traditional news media. Ken Doctor author of Newsonomics: twelve new trends that will shape the news you get, writes how online media today offers so many more choices than before. That’s one reason why so many people have moved to online for their media needs.


The biggest innovation that has made the most impact on the way we get our news are mobile devices. In an article from MSNBC it states there is new report that shows 27 percent of Americans now get their news from mobile devices. The findings are from the 2012 State of the News Media Report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. According to Pew “More than 80 percent of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.” So many people have iPhones these days that it is only convenient to use it for media purposes. Why go buy a newspaper when you could reach into your pocket and get your news for free? Pew researched that 35 percent of Americans have smartphones. That number is only going to increase, and that will only diminish newspapers more. Doctor (2010) writes how traditional  media was slow to adapt to the digital revolution. If newspapers and other media stations don’t continue to incorporate the internet and mobile devices they will fail.


Doctor (2010) says that this is part of the “The Reader Revolution.” He writes that people are not rejecting newspapers its just that online media is more convenient and provides more options. Why read a paper with limited stories when you could find a news site with tons of stories with many sources. Another aspect Doctor (2010) highlights are the “Aggregators,” which is having more information than the other “guys.” An example of some of new aggregators is Facebook and Youtube. Anyone can locate a story and post it on social media sites for everyone to see. The MSNBC article mentioned earlier wrote about Pew research on news consumption habits for adults. It states that, “Social media’s role is important in the future as a driver of news,” and “9 percent of traffic to news sites now comes from Facebook, Twitter and smaller social media sites. That is up by more than half since 2009.” Doctor (2010) talked about Google being a “search-aggregation company.” What this means is that Google uses a powerful search technology that focuses on content from other people. It allows anyone to find anything they want quickly and simply.

Courtesy of The Verge


Another reason for the decline of newspaper Doctor (2010) says is the “Advertising Revolution.” Advertisers are focusing more attention on online platforms than they are on newspapers. In an article from The Verge it reports a 17.7 percent reduction in 2008 and a 28.6 percent in 2009 in spending for advertising in print media. This less ad revenue is taking serious tolls on papers. In a New York Times article writes that the McClatchy Company a owner of multiple newspapers had to cut 1,400 jobs. This is only going to get worse as we move closer to a completely digital medium.


It’s not if newspaper will fail anymore, it’s when will they fail. A Washington Post article reported that the amount of Americans that buy newspapers now is down by 31 percent since 1940. Another article from the New Yorker talks about how Philip Meyer author of the “The Vanishing Newspaper,” “predicts that the final copy of the final newspaper will appear on somebody’s doorstep one day in 2043.” It’s hard to tell exactly when it will happen but there’s no doubt technology has changed everything and there very well be a day when someone asks what’s a newspaper?


Doctor, Ken. Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. New York: St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Columbine: How Media affects Our Lives.


Courtesy of USA Today

April 20, 1999 is a date that would go down in infamy, as it is the date that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attacked their high school killing 13 people before eventually killing themselves. Columbine High School located in Littleton, Colorado was slammed with the media during and after the incident. The shooting has gone to be one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history, and almost anyone will hear the word Columbine and think of it as the worst school shooting that is the measure for all other school shootings. Why has Columbine created such a name for itself? I mean in 1927, know as the Bath School Disaster, Andrew Kehoe bombed a Michigan elementary school that killed 44 people most of which were under 14 years-old. This is such a horrific incident that is still known truly as the worst school mass murder of all time, and I’m sure not many people would know what the Bath School Disaster is at all. So why though?


The explanation to me is that Columbine happend at a time when technology was advancing. Videos,cell phones, websites, video games, and music all had an impact on the shooting. Communication was much different than it was in the past. Cullen (2009) explained in his book Columbine that students were using cell phones to communicate to the media. Their calls being broadcasted right on T.V. in real time. Police told the media to stop broadcasting the calls for the students safety, because for all they know the shooters could be watching T.V. in another room and use it to find the victims and hurt them.


Technology and the media combined with Columbine tragedy sparked some of the biggest examples of Cultivation Theory and Agenda Setting Theory at work. Cultivation Theory is the effect that the more time people are exposed to media, the more they form exaggerated beliefs about the real world. Agenda Setting Theory is when the media controls how we think and view something. Cullen (2009) wrote in his book Columbine as well as in an article for slate that many of the accusations about the shooters were myths. Media led people to believe that they were bullied and were outcasts. People were also led to believe that they were part of the “Trenchcoat Mafia” which was a group of kids who wore trenchcoats and seen as loners. Also, that the “trenchcoat mafia” connected them to the “goth” style and this led them to be warped and become violent. People now viewed  “goth” as violent culture that only wishes to cause harm. People started blaming musicians such as Marilyn Manson. In a documentary called “Bowling for Columbine” Manson stated it’s easy to blame him because “I am the poster boy for fear…I represent what everyone is afraid of.” Manson blamed the media and went on to say that the media is a campaign of fear and consumption. None of these accusations were true though as Cullen (2009) writes that they looked like normal kids. They did well at school and had many friends. They had no problems with girls, and that they were the ones who were actually bullying people. The following the video is an MSNBC interview with Cullen expanding on the myths caused by the media.


Courtesy of Kotaku

Another connection that caused a controversy was that the killers were influenced by violent video games such as “Doom.”  There has been no real connection to “Doom”and the reason why they committed the killings. In an article from The Escapist it quotes Peter Langman the author of the book Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters. Langman states that, “These are not ordinary kids who played too many video games. These are not ordinary kids who just wanted to be famous. These are simply not ordinary kids. These are kids with serious psychological problems.” It’s easy to look at violent video games and blame them for the reason why kids kill. Langman says that they didn’t kill because playing “Doom”  left them from being able to separate fantasy from reality, these young men were simply very disturbed.These accusations through the media have now led people today to view violent video games as a scary problem that could lead their children to become violent and unstable. In an New York Times blog it quotes the executive director of the International Game Developer’s Association stating that, “There’s no denying the concern for someone that does something on an extremely excessive basis (be it gaming, watching TV, doing exercise, working, etc.). In most cases, this has more to do with the person than the thing: mental stability, depression, social anxieties, low self-esteem, whatever. Let’s find better ways to help the people and worry less about the “things.” The clear answer was that Harris was a Psychopath and Kelbold was severely depressed. They needed the attention not the video games.


The media has a severe effect on all of us. It can be good or bad depending on how we take it. I advise everyone to never take or accept anything as the truth without further investigation. Nothing is ever what seems. Cullen (2009) explained how the news media was wrong about many of the initial claims concerning Columbine. This shows we have to be aware and always use the media to form our own opinions not theirs.



Cullen, David. Columbine. New York: Twelve, 2009. Print.

Why We Could be Hurting Children’s Futures. The Ethics of Advertising to Children.


Courtesy of

Children are exposed to 40, 000 ads on television alone according to an article from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Besides television we have the Internet, magazines, social media sites, school and more. The amount of media children are exposed to is outrageous. What effect does this have on children? Are all advertising damaging to children? Alcohol, tobacco, and food have clearly made an impact on society especially children. As a child made my mother made me eat healthy, as she was part of a children’s group that focused on restricting children from processed food, fast food, and junk food. I remember constantly seeing ads for food urging me on how delicious they were and having those ideas backed up by seeing my peers eating them. I felt left out and isolated. There are severe ethical decisions to be made when advertising to adolescents. Who are making these ethical decisions? In an article from the American Psychological Association Rebecca A. Clay discusses the involvement of psychologists in companies and how they help businesses market towards children. There is an ethical issue because psychologists have much more knowledge of children’s behavior and can manipulate children accordingly; however, there is an argument that without ethical psychologists to monitor advertising in companies the consequences could be worse. All advertisers need to be evaluated on if their ad is ethical or severely detrimental to children’s well being.

Courtesy of www.kff.ore

Clearly today we see a problem with childhood obesity. This can be traced to advertising to children according to another article form the American Psychological Association, which highlights advertising, and the connection to childhood obesity. In the article it discusses the big factor of obesity is the advertising of unhealthy food, which makes up 50% of all ad time on children’s programs. Our future is at stake. The next generation of adults could have extremely harsh problems. It concerns me that my generation in particular will face these issues, as well as these will be issues our children will face. Parents have fought to control what their children view. The Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood is an organization for parents to get involved and rally against unfair marketing. The site also provides information and frequently has campaigns against inappropriate marketing. Parents are concerned because not only has obesity become a problem but also violence and sexualization has become an issue. What other problems are being discussed? The Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood talks about a variety of issues children face. One is Materialism in that many children will feel left out and have lower self-esteem if they don’t have the lasted product. The Media has also construe body image among girls. More girls at a younger age are being influenced to be skinny and are not happy with their bodies look.


These problems can be the result of probably one the biggest ethical issues “age compression.” This was discussed in the film Consuming Kids: The Commercialism of Childhood, which can be seen here.

This is when advertisers benefit off of the desire of children to be older and grow up faster. For instance, commercials will sometimes feature older children then their intended audience to enamor children. This entices them to believe that if they buy the product they will be more mature. Age compression can also be seen with items such as the iPhone and iPad. Kids are now asking for those instead of toys. 5 and 6 year-olds playing games marketed to them on an iPhone. As mentioned earlier this also can be connected to girls and body image. More and more advertisements are marketed to young girls that have increased sexuality teaching them they must develop early and be sexy. In an article from Utne Reader it explains how the potential marketing of makeup to young girls could be physically harmful to their bodies do to the chemicals.

I was never aware of the seriousness of the ethics of advertising towards children. I can now identify and provide examples of age compression and the impact these advertisements have on children. With this understanding parents can intervene and help children from becoming exposed to the harmful effects they cause. As it says in video The Ethics of Advertising to Children linked in the beginning, there are policies and research continually being done to protect children, but ultimately we are the ones who control the ethical decisions made by marketers.


America’s Half Time, Advertisement or PSA?

1 Super Bowl this year had an ad for Chrysler motor vehicles, it featured actor and director Clint Eastwood. Beth Wood’s Anticipated Super Bowl 2012 Ads reports that super bowl commercial spots this year were around $4 million dollars for a 30-second timeframe. Chrysler’s commercial was around 2:00 minutes. So Chrysler dropped some serious dough for this commercial.


The ad seemed to be targeted to an adult audience towards the 20 and up range. It also seemed to be aimed at working class Americans of all races. I came to this conclusion because of the images portraying Americans working or just people going about their business. Eastwood mentions Americans and how we will fight to fix America and the economy. Eastwood is walking down the hall of the football stadium at half time comparing the half time to a half time America is facing. It shows American people working or what seems to be unemployed people. It references the hardships that the motor vehicle companies and economy in Detroit have had. It shows the motor vehicle factories and workers, as well as images of Detroit. I found that the ad is trying to urge American to buy vehicles and not let the Economy fail, but also to motivate Americans.


The subtext is the meaning we receive from the advertisement according to The Media Literacy Project. In the Commercial the subtext seems to be Americans have to work together and fight to win against the bad times we have faced. Buying cars will help fix the economy. Clint Eastwood has faced troubles too. There’s a half time in America and we’re losing. We’re playing against the economy. After half time we need to get back in the game and win. News articles like the one from The Hollywood Reporter suggests a subtext of an Obama reelection promotion. It obviously is promoting Chrysler, but the commercial is like a PSA trying to motivate Americans to get back on their feet.

Photo Courtesy


It uses tools of persuasion that can be found from the The Media Literacy Project. These’s “tools” help the advertisers persuade the viewers for their liking. The tools used in the Chrysler ad are celebrities, intensity, and charisma.  Fear also. Using liked celebrities in an ad helps people pay attention like Eastwood. Intensity is when intensive words are used to promote the product. Eastwood uses words like “discourse” and “Blame”. Charisma is when the persuader is bold and strong. Eastwood is very serious and admit about American troubles Using fear is a way to use something scary to the viewers and try to explain how to fix it. Eastwood lets viewers know how bad America’s condition is right now, but explains there is hope because we always pull through.  The positive messages are that Detroit has worked to help themselves and so can everyone else. It says we will come out on top. The negative messages are unemployment, and we have a poor economy. It empowers Americans to try to work and get a job. It might disempower people that are in poverty or really have no way of getting ahead.


This ad is different than most super bowl ads in that it lacks humor and has a strong theme. Besides obviously selling Chrysler it is trying to motivate Americans. It’s not even really promoting Chrysler that much rather than it focuses and giving a “pep talk for America” says and article from Reutors. It shows some ads have more of an agenda than just selling product, which is surprising. I could see future advertisements capitalizing on the success of the commercial and doing something similar. It sort of changes the game to say.



About Matthew McPartland

My name is Matthew McPartland or Matt and I go to Longwood University. I am a Communication Studies major with a concentration in Mass Media. I am also earning a minor in Political science. I was born in Staten Island, NY. I transferred to Longwood in Fall 2010 and I’m a senior. I am in Theta Chi fraternity and the Vice President of Community Service and Philanthropy for IFC. When I graduate I hope to one day go to Grad  school or Law school. I would like to get some work experience first in a business type of environment. I might even want to teach English in another country.

As a child Pokémon was really big. It affected all kids my age. I remember getting so excited about the T.V. show and cards. Every Ad got my attention. My friends and I would always play and collect. That was the thing to do, that’s how we socialized. Collecting good cards made me feel like I had status among my friends. My parents and teachers hated it. They thought it was a waste of time and a distraction. It seems today that new gadgets, clothes, and other things have taken their place. Its just like when we were kids but now that were older we have access to things we never could. Apple for instance has an influence. The media has given the iPhone a stigma that it is the phone to have, like back in the day when my card was better than your card.



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