Monday, February 29, 2016

Is Watchdog Journalism An Effective Way To Investigate?

Was the F-22 Raptor the best fighter jet ever made or was it a total flop?

What is Watchdog Journalism? Watchdog Journalism is a new way of online journalism where journalists fill in the holes of investigative journalism. "They sniff out when something isn't working as it should and, pretty soon, if they are doing their job well, sources start to come to them. Stories that once seemed impossible to nail down now seem doable."

When doing Watchdog journalism many journalists will use the internet to find sources, facts, and information quickly. "What the Web does incomparably well is to provide information--instantly--on just about anything." It is super effective when trying to find the information that you cannot seem to find. The issue with using the internet to research their topic, is finding reliable sources that are factual.

I found an article from, Neiman Reports, that was an example of watchdog journalism. The article I found was called, The F-22 Raptor is said to be invisible...until it isn't, which was written by Ed Offley. This article talks about the F-22 Raptor which is a to notch fighter jet that is used by the armed forces. The Raptor seemed like a useful and very critical piece of machinery, but many believe that is false. "Simply put, said Pierre Sprey and James P. Stevenson, the F-22 Raptor is shaping up to be the Sturmvogel of the 21st century: a dazzling piece of technology that fatally ignores some of the unbending realities of aerial combat." This being said, there were some major flaws in this F-22 Raptor program that was being implemented. The F-22 had four different pieces of criteria to make it a successful jet, but it failed all those categories. "Sprey said his briefing focused on the time-tested factors that define an effective fighter plane: (1) See the enemy first; (2) outnumber the enemy; (3) outmaneuver the enemy to fire, and (4) kill the enemy quickly." All of 4 of these categories of what makes a plane successful, as advanced as the Raptor, should do it with ease, but that was not the case. "The Raptor is a horrible failure on almost every one of those criteria," Sprey said.

The F-22 was found to be a complete flop by the investigators using the Watchdog style of journalism. I have always been fascinated by the F-22 and I believed it was the best fighter jet we have but I guess I was wrong.

Friday, February 26, 2016


The picture of the article above, Look What They Done to My Brain, Ma, is from the Saint Martin's archives and it is from the 1971 student newspaper The Guardian. The article talks about how media was shaping our tastes, desires, and ideas because we were being fed this misleading information everyday since a young age. This article also talks about how media tricks us into thinking that if we buy the product they are selling or live the lifestyle that they show, we will be happy and be popular. It provides a sense of knowledge that we can change into something at any time. As the article states, "And this power of control should cease from raping our minds."

I personally believe that even though this was written in 1971, it still hold its truth today; maybe even more so because of the internet and social media apps on our phone that we constantly find ourselves perusing through. We are fed images of age defying products to make us look younger, new diet and exercise fads, and stereotypes that label people who are different than us but that is only few things that the media does to us.

Do you believe that this article could be applied to today's times?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Olympia From A Middle School Perspective

Olympia From A Middle School Perspective

Our digital journalism class recently visited Reeves Middle School to interview students about Washington State history. The group I had consisted of two boys and one girl, I wont say their names but they were extremely open about the questions I asked them, but something else stood out to me; their opinions about Olympia from a middle school perspective.

I noticed common trend between the students answers about why they like Olympia and one of the main things that stood out to me was the sense of community that these students saw. I was once a middle school kid and not once did I ever think of my hometown as having a good community. These students praised the Co-Op program where families could go and receive help from the community. I thought it was cool that the students recognized that there are some places in Olympia that are not safe but they still praise the place where they live.

Another thing that I found to be interesting was where the kids liked to hangout. The students loved Olympia's Skateland. Skateland seemed like the place to be if you were in middle school. The students talked about going with their friends, spending money on slushies', and just having a good time. It made me smile for two reasons; 1. the students were keeping out of trouble and 2. I remember being a young kid and I used to enjoy the skating rink.

This project made me reminisce on my pre-teen or early teenage years. I loved my group of students that I interviewed because of how intuitive they were about social issues but they were also kids and they like to enjoy themselves.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Who Watches The News Anymore?

            Apparently more readers are getting their news from social media outlets like; Facebook and Twitter, than the actual news sources’ website.

          In the article Facebook And Twitter Really Are Where People Get Their News it analyzes and discusses the idea that more people are getting their news from Twitter and Facebook than ever before. The percentage of people who have gotten their news from Twitter has risen 11% from 2013-2015 and the percentage of people who got their news from Facebook has risen 16% from 2013-2015. “It’s a big audience, and both tech giants are pushing aggressively into news to meet that demand.” According to the article, Facebook developed Instant Articles and Twitter created Periscope, another news outlet, in order to meet the demand of their readers and keep users interested in Twitter and Facebook longer.

On the contrary many people do not believe Facebook and Twitter are reliable news resources. In the article People Don’t’ See Social Media As An ‘Important’ News Source, it acknowledges that we use Twitter and Facebook for news but we do not regard as a reliable news source. “The percentage of US adults who get news from Facebook and Twitter is growing, a strong majority of users tend to see the services differently than their older counterparts.” Basically the older generations see the social media sites as unreliable ways to get news, whereas the younger generation believe it’s the most important and useful way to get their news.

            In an article from the Guardian, Facebook Instant Articles: BBC News and Guardian sign up to initiative, it describes how Facebook’s Instant Articles are beneficial to journalism. Facebook has signed has signed BuzzFeed, the New York Times, National Geographic, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian and BBC News just to name a few. “It is great to see Facebook trialling new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile,” said Tony Danker, international director for Guardian News & Media, publisher of the Guardian and Observer. In other words, Instant Articles is developing ways to reach a wider audience.

         In the article, Why You Need to Start Using Facebook Instant Articles, Stat, it tells us that in 2015, over 63% of users relied on Facebook for news. So with Facebook Instant Articles, users can read articles effortlessly with no loading time; hints instant articles. "As mobile readers have become a major source of traffic for media in recent years, it's great to see that we are finally getting a better user experience." Without mobile or online articles, I don't think news outlets would survive.
       After reading over these articles and doing further research about the topic, I have learned that Facebook’s Instant Articles and Twitter’s Periscope have pros and cons. The cons of this new way of promoting news is that the older audiences believe that it is not a reliable source for news, although it is coming from reliable sources; Facebook just promotes it. However, the younger audiences believe that it is a reliable way to get their news and it’s very easy to access. The other positive thing is that quality digital journalism is developing because of it and it’s keeping these news resources alive. I believe that it is a good medium for the younger audience but the older generation still believes print like; the newspaper or magazines, are still better. It’s now a generation thing.

            I just wonder if Facebook or Twitter will buy these news outlets…..