Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little White Lies Magazine

Little White Lies: Truth and Movie is an independent bi-weekly magazine out of the UK featuring writing, illustration and photography about cinema. They say their mission is "to reshape the debate across the movie landscape."

The website features film's of the week, movie reviews, interviews with actors, and a digital version of the magazine. The graphic design art work is really interesting and captivating. Each cover is of a different actor of that weeks top movie. Articles inside are also illustrated with the same design feel.

The site also offers tv news packages, prints of the magazine's art work, blogs and current independent film DVDs.

They make money off of a yearly subscription of 40.00 Euros and selling the artwork from their magazine.

It offers a different take on film and gives a reader an artist look into creating cinema.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Internet Censorship

Censorship of the internet is near to impossible to accomplish in the United States. We can search anything we want and get a million and one opinions on the subject. Of course, we can thank the first amendment for that. But, what about countries who live under authoritative rule? How can you control something available to everyone? And is it right?

The Sydney Morning Herald discusses Google's announcement to "uphold the principle of free access to information while obeying Chinese law." The chinese governement only wants to use the interent for business and education. It is concerned with pornographic and dissident voices. Since China is such a big market Google doesn't want to lose them. They are sacrificing objective information for revenue. And in turn silencing voices allowed to be heard by the company's home base country.

Less than four months ago I was in China traveling on a study abroad program. After our daily excursions I would attempt to log in to Facebook on my iphone and the page would keep trying to load without success.  Other students encountered the same problem. As soon as anyone steps into China they are subject to the same censorship. I had never experienced anything like that before. It is scary to feel disconnected from information. There are terms, topics and events wiped clean from the internet. Searching Tiananmen Square 1989 results in one government fabricated lie after another. I even asked the tour guide about the riots and he said it was something no one discussed and wouldn't provide me with any addition information.

Censorship takes away a persons right to information, truth and justice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NBC Reports Wrong-Doings of Corporate Partner

The Daily Show reports NBC discloses their affiliation with General Electric in their news programs. The broadcasts reported on failed coffee makers, medical scanners, convicted GE employees and within each story they disclosed "GE, parent company of NBC Universal" or "GE, parent company of this broadcast," etc.   It is shocking to see a big network such as NBC being transparent.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Handling New Media

The internet has allowed everyone to be a form of journalist and this is causing issues. The press gets special privileges including attending some private meetings, events and hearings. But what happens when everyone is a journalist?

An article discussing an incident at one of Oregon's executive sessions suggested there needs to a law which states the definition of media. A blogger wanted to be able to sit in on one of theses sessions with the rest of the press, but he was asked to leave.

New media has created outlets for everyone to be involved in creating news from someone sending in a photo of an event to submitting an opinion piece to a news website to just blogging about it. The article also addresses the issue "What is news?" They are right. Is a Tweet news? A Facebook status? And who decides this.

I think these are fair questions to ask, which will only get more complicated as the internet evolves. We need to address these issues and their implications now.

Big Newspapers and Their Struggle to Survive

The newspaper industry has been in a downward spiral since the availability of news on the internet, creating a greater competition to survive. Many newspapers can't survive as subscriptions plummet and news seekers resort to more interesting news sites. 

When the mainstream newspaper, Hartford Courant, bought, the alternative newspaper, Hartford Advocate it not only gained revenue from their readers, but became their "big bother." 

A New York Times article stated: 

 '''This is the other shoe people have been waiting for,' said Abe Peck, an associate dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, who is an authority on the underground press of the 1960's. 'The alternative is now the mainstream. The alternative press emerged as a voice beyond the massified downtown dailies. Now, we're just talking about an alternative tone.'"

Many fear the newspapers was silencing their competition. They can control the content just like a corporation buying an alternative newspaper or website. Recently we have seen AOL buying Huffington Post. News gathers question whether Huffington Post should still be considered alternative. And its true, how can we really know if the site pumping out talking points or providing the same content as before? 

Newspapers and other media sites need to figure out a model to make money. Whether charge annually or by number of articles to access their site like The New York Times is considering. 

The Hartford Courant stated they also decided to buy Hartford Advocate to target 18-35 year olds. From hearing what my friends look at for news daily it is mainly independent blogs, The Daily Show and other alternative news sites. Many of these mainstream newspapers are last on the list and to me it isn't a surprise. Other sites offer a different take on the issue and aren't afraid to criticize big businesses. 

If mainstream newspapers take over these alternative newspapers, then newsgathers are just going to look elsewhere. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Analyzing Go Fug Yourself

I am most amazed at what our society finds important. And the blog is no exception.

It is the simplest concepts and rakes in a revenue of an estimated $6,240 a month. The site is a place where the bloggers post photos of celebrities and mock their clothes, make up and hair. The content is limitied to a few short sentances and then a poll for readers to interact. Yet, they have 3.5 million unique visitors a month.

The site itself is laid out like a blog — just one continuous stream of bad outfits and criticizing comments. The humorous photos themselves are what draws the viewer's attention and keeps them reading.

Advertisers fund the site including clothing, food, and beauty product ads.

The site's content isn't advocating for human rights, political issues, or other major issues facing our world, but it's a great idea with fun, interesting, engaging and creative content.

With an ever increasingly short attention spanned society who wants the cliff-notes to life, a site that can produce a simple and humorous outlet will come out on top. And for GoFugYourself this is what makes them so successful.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


As part of Buzzsaw’s militarization week they showed the movie Restrepo. It is a documentary of the U.S. occupation in the Korengal Valley, a highly disputed area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, filmed by embedded journalists Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington. About 70 percent of all bombs dropped during the Afghanistan war, up till 2007, were dropped in this valley.

The movie is a powerful work of war journalism that captures the life of a soldier. It shows the cultural divide and the struggle to ally with the village elders.

It was a different perspective of war not seen in mainstream media. It shows the daily struggles of the American soldiers, their fears, the importance of brotherhood, and killing the enemy. 

The film addresses issues beyond the points made in mainstream media. From watching the news I remember hearing the many successes of the soldiers and the benefits of Americans being in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film shows the 15-month deployment of the Second Platoon. In that time their greatest success was establishing an Outpost. Then in 2010 we withdrew from the area. The reality of war, which is portrayed in the film, is how much time it takes to make ground and develop an area. Its something that wasn’t covered enough when deciding to go to war. 

Junger also wrote the book War, which is a companion to the film.