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Zite to Launch iPhone App

12 Dec

Zite, the CNN owned news aggregator, is to launch an iphone app this month. The app is to an adapted version of the ipad app. To distinguish itself from hundreds of other news aggregator apps, Zite is all about personalization. This way the news pages would be efficient and relevant to the reader than ever.

Honestly this can just end up to be yet another news app that tries to appeal to the readers’ personal preferences which we all know has been done before. The get-your-own-tailored-news strategy is what is in with all the social media already  having done that for quite some while. Although Zite is going well with the trends, this isn’t necessarily the most original idea out there. If it were to get credit for creativity the app should have broken new grounds for customization or something. It’s just that, what with all the enormous flood of news apps, one would wish to see something more than the app just focusing on automatic customization.


“60 minutes” Spurs Massive Donation Drive

11 Dec

A “60 minutes” airing of homeless children in Florida has spurred a massive amount of donation. The donation ranged from cash to full college scholarship. “60 minutes” has had donation drives after a story was broadcast but this one turned out to be an exceptionally huge reaction. Due to the enormous outpouring, the story was aired once again, which is a first for the program.

Journalism can reach out to people and influence them to make a difference. It is in the strength of the journalist to make this outreach and storytelling. It is touching that so many people were willing to help the kids in the “60 minutes” story. Now they are better off thanks to the TV coverage. The power of good journalism has not died over the years and it has not been overshadowed by technological development. Some fundamental things just don’t change.

10 Dec

New York digital agency Densebrain has come up with an idea to develop an app that would be triggered by sound waves.The technology incorporated in this app is the same one that allows us to track buses. Customers with the app would enter a store and instantly receive promotion messages due to the high pitch signals admitted from the shelves. In the same way, when a TV commercial that emits certain frequencies come up on the screen, the app would activate to provide more information on the commercial product.  The promise that this new technology brings to the table could change the way advertisers reach out to customers.

This seemed like a very interesting idea for advertisers. As a consumer, I would be annoyed by all the messaging I would every time I approached a product with the frequency emitter. Since I do have the option to opt out of the messages, I do see the benefits of the app. It is new and different in terms of how product promotions are sent to customers. This would prevent ad messages from becoming spams because the app itself is only triggered when the customer is close enough to be showing actual interest in the product or advertisement.

Plagiarism in Editorial Cartoons

10 Dec

Editorial cartoonist Jeff Stahler resigned from the Columbus Dispatch Friday due to accusations of plagiarizing another cartoonist’ s work. Suspicions of plagiarism came up when a cartoon Stahler had submitted on Monday seemed identical to one that was published in the New York Times. A different speculation is that the similar material is completely coincidental and that it often happens when two cartoonists come up with the exact same idea. Nonetheless, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists had come to consider drafting ethical guidelines.

Plagiarism is treated seriously ranging from student papers to published literary works. In cases of journalists who have succumbed to the temptation of plagiarism have had their careers shattered to pieces. Editorial cartoons however seemed to have avoided serious confrontation when it came to lifting others’ ideas. It the cartoon part is to be considered journalism, it should be treated as such.

9 Dec

Google released a news reading app called Currents.  Publishers are able to customized news in their own way before publishing on the app. Now any publisher, from big time newspaper to a simple blogger, can create and customize their Currents edition using a free online tool. Currents allows readers to skim through headlines from any news source they would prefer. Blog feeds and RSS feeds are also available and there is also an option to choose from a preferred publisher like, for instance, The Huffington Post.

Google has been busy catching up on recent trends. First it launched Google + to follow the social networking craz and now it made a news app. There are already tons of news aggregator apps. Google has added a more publisher-friendly feature that might make it preferable to publishers. How the readership might like it is still yet to be observed.

Updated Twitter is Now Wiring News

9 Dec

Twitter has started a service to compile a digital news page out of the information it gets out of its users activities. The news wiring service will be in sync with the users location, followings and other activity related news that might interest them. This new attribute is to work as a speedy platform for those hoping to publish news towards the gigantic twitter audience.

Getting newsfeeds via social networks has become a thing these days. It’s fast and customized to say the least. In general, people tend to skim through news headlines without engaging much in the actual story.  The rise of the social media news briefing service has only complimented such behavioral pattern. We may be getting more news, but less story. The situation is pretty much the same with any digitized news platform. The speedy, up-to-dateness of SNS news has been recognized but what we really need is indepth news that can make the reader stick to the page.

NYC Police

7 Dec

NYPD officers were caught writing highly offensive comments on Facebook regarding parade goers of the West Indian American Parade. The officers were using their own names in the Facebook group that these outrageous conversations took place. The comments called parade goers ‘savages’ and racist descriptions. To this accusation the department refused to offer any commentary.  The Facebook group and comments had disappeared mysteriously after the story went out.

Social Media has allowed us to speak our minds freely. It’s one thing for a random person to go about with offensive comments(although it does make that person an a-hole) it is something completely else for police officers to do the same thing. Especially with the NYPD, New York is one of the most diverse area in the US not to mention the world. How is it that citizens of New York would be able to rely on the police knowing what they talk about them behind their backs? If it were mild complaints it would be acceptable but the level of offensiveness is not something to be overseen.  Some person with malicious intent may have been hacking in to the officers’ phones, but the group chat thing makes that possible unlikely.