The Internet Gaming Addiction
By: Luca Ferrieri
Internet gaming continues to grow at a rapid pace and more people are developing problems of addiction. How can this happen? Well, like any other addiction it happens from continued and prolonged exposure. Any substance taken in overabundance impacts the user more than they realize until too late (usually). I have friends that spend hours and hours on end gaming, and while they insist there is not a problem, personal hygiene and health would beg to differ.
One friend in particular spends 24 hours consecutively gaming when a new anticipated game comes out. It even goes so far as to post it to his live twitch account (twitch is a site that allows the user to stream their activities for free to the world with a url they can access). There are some people online with massive twitch followings. Similarly, I believe, to how certain people get caught up in having as many followers as possible on instagram, the gamer community tries to gather as many followers during a gaming session as possible. An ESPN Video called Conquering a Video Game Addiction shows the account of an all-USA wrestler that ended up losing his scholarship due to his problem with computer games. As media users we must take great caution when it comes to video game exposure, because it clearly has more of an effect on us than we realize.
Okke Ornstein: Libel Suit in Panama
By: Luca Ferrieri
This cause, reported by The Guardian, concentrates on Okke Ornstein, a Dutch reporter held in prison in Panama. The International and European Federations of Journalists are calling for his release, claiming the lack of merit in this libel case against Ornstein. Libel cases can only occur if the person knowingly uses falsified information during with the intent to cause harm to the individual. The case is still currently ongoing as they are working with Panamanian officials on his release.
Deadpool (favorite of 2016) and American History X (favorite of all time)
By: Luca Ferrieri
One of my favorite movies of all-time, and most certainly my favorite movie in 2016, is Deadpool. Usually, when a movie comes out about superheroes I’m skeptical, but they kept this movie very lively and entertaining throughout. They chose the best candidate, Ryan Reynolds, to play the sarcastic Deadpool and he played it very well. Often times, movie producers try to outdo themselves (if you’ve ever seen Reynolds in The Green Lantern you’ll know what I mean) but they did such a great job in making this movie exactly as it should be portrayed.
Possibly my favorite movie of all time is American History X. It’s a movie that talks about issues with White Supremacy. What really makes this movie great is the acting of the characters and how they portray their roles so effectively. It outlines all the issues that come up with this very sensitive topic very well.
1940’s Advertisements against Hitler and Germany
By: Luca Ferrieri
In the 1940s ads ran across the United States to help drive people in fighting against Nazi Germany. This advertisement utilizes flag-wave, which represents an ad that plays on the unity of everyone as ‘patriots’ commonly used during times of conflict. The ad uses a technique called ad hominem, too. Ad hominem comes from latin and means to attack one’s opponent. Similarly to flag-waving, countries commonly exercise the use of ad hominem to generate that feeling of a common opponent, thus hopefully bringing people together. With this ad, we see mocking of the opponent using their own language against them (heil, a pun presumably for ‘hail’ or ‘bow’). It’s also sending a message that we must unify together, like a feeling of patriotism, to fight a common enemy.
By Luca Ferrieri
Reporting the news remains an important facet of our culture and society. It provides people curious with the opportunity to learn about an important issue whether a local, national or international one. Staying informed is important, and being able to find fair, accurate, and responsible news sources continues to be more difficult.
On the subject of news sources, part of the Freedom of the Press act gives investigative journalists the ability to keep their sources anonymous. For some, it’s important to remain anonymous for if they are a whistleblower it could be met with extreme consequences. (Even though we have whistleblower protection laws it does not always mean people aren’t putting themselves in danger. Think of Edward Snowden and his constant fear for his safety.)
When reporting news, sources can make or break a story. There is an argument that ethnicity and gender that both should be reported even when the story is not related to either race or gender. While I can certainly understand the reason behind putting a gender or ethnicity to the source/quote in a news story, I don’t agree that it should happen unless the story pertains to either of those circumstances. I feel by adding race and gender to a story that does not really have any ties of that nature to the story, it devalues the story. We want people to have the ability to view a story with just the facts and keep bias out of it. By adding unnecessary information it could skew the perception of the story to some of the readers/viewers.
While books are not the mainstay they once were, they are still able to take us on journeys and give our imagination the opportunity to run wild. Growing up I read a lot more than I do now. The journeys these books would take me on trumped anything I could watch on TV. During some difficult times, and times of personal growth, there are several books that I can think of that either came to my rescue or helped me grow as an individual.
The Harry Potter Series – I have to encompass them all together. This story helped me, in some ways, to feel a sense of individuality and helped me develop a stronger sense of self. Harry Potter, the main character, is an orphan put in to difficult circumstances. It details his growth and development in the face of any adversary or obstacle, which I took to heart in high school. It helped me grow in to a more confident person.
This other book I read, “Kill Them All”, isn’t as mean as the title sounds. The book details how to better play Poker. The overall message of the book, and why it’s aptly titled “Kill Them All” refers to a very aggressive strategy when playing Poker. It details how much more effective it is to put another player in a defensive position, rather than allowing your opponent to place you on defense. As with most sports, and poker is no different, being offensive works far better than being passive.
“Fahrenheit 451”, while I didn’t know it at the time, is a book that has stuck with me years after, and makes more sense as I get older. It taught me a lot about questioning information and being more diligent in my research. The book talks about how governments use their authority to control things the people of that society see. Much like today in learning about all the major conglomerates that control the majority of our media, the book taught me to think more critically.
By Luca Ferrieri
At any moment in time our mobile devices, computers and tablets can access a seemingly infinite number of documents ranging from articles from a newspaper in France to a new, independent video streaming on Hulu. You can watch ABC Disney to see the animated blockbuster Frozen, or turn to ESPN to catch the highlights of the the day’s sporting events. However, upon deeper examination, one thing becomes clear: the majority of what we are seeing on TV, in print or on the web can be traced back to one of six major conglomerates (Fox/News Corp, Comcast/NBCU, Google, Apple, among others). Remember what we know about what the media reports and shows typically will be things they can more easily relate to. An example of this would be the likelihood of a news station showing a story involving a more fair-skinned person over one of a darker complexion.
What controls these media giants? Simply put: Money. Those with the most money can greater control what airs. A perfect example – several journalists approached their stations about airing a story about Monsanto. As the story prepped for hitting the air on the news stations suddenly the station pulled it. Why? Monsanto spends hundreds of millions of dollars marketing and advertising products through these same stations. No network wants a multi-hundred-mullion dollar ad campaign pulled, right? As a result the story did not air. The owners of these large conglomerates also carry a great deal of clout in the ability to control their media. For example, if Disney produces a movie through one of their studios (Let’s go with Touchstone) they have not only the ability to play that movie again on their various stations such as ABC; this means that a company such as Disney, or Fox News, can control the production of the product in addition to the various channels they own and can show their product. Of course, the audience also plays a vital role in what gets played on television, or what scenes make it in to the final editing of movies. Ultimately, as Google co-founder Larry Page says “the user is not replaceable”. That meaning the way Google builds its search engine, and why Fox News focuses primarily on very conservative views, is because their research has shown that is what their viewers want.
Media plays a pivotal role in my daily activities and overall lifestyle. My day begins with a check to Facebook and a quick peek around the internet to get an idea of current trends and newsworthy stories; specifically, after updating a status and replying to a few messages I will seek out media outlets such as CNN or Fox News. This eventually leads me to check ESPN on television, because my day cannot start without knowing what is happening in the world of sports. As commercial breaks intervene with my sports I will glance at Good Morning America and CBS News to see if there are any stories I may have missed when glancing at the websites of Fox and CNN. I typically have talk radio on when driving which usually focus on the local sports teams, and don’t listen to a lot of recordings such as podcasts.
By comparison, in my adolescence internet and checking updates on phones or computers were not common activities (remember Dial-Up…). The use of the TV was much more frequent and instead of watching the news or sports I fixated on cartoons. My mom and dad from when my brother and I were young would only allow a very short amount of time allotted to watching TV, so we spent a lot of our free time outside.
Books and I have a strained relationship. While I do enjoy reading books (Harry Potter fan!) for pleasure, reading them for school always proved difficult. It was, and still is, hard for me to sit down and concentrate on reading a book when it’s for a class even though I have gotten better about it with age. I occasionally read newspapers but eventually get stuck playing the Sudoku or the Crossword Puzzles on the back pages. I’ve never been a reader of magazines unless I’m at the checkout line in a Safeway. I am not an avid movie watcher, though I do enjoy the occasional biopic or documentary.
I would like to be involved in media and mass communication in some way. When I first started school at San Jose State I intended to major in Public Relations. I did have a short internship in Public Relations and wrote product reviews and pitch letters for a little while, but I found it rather boring. I feel marketing or even sports journalism would suit me better.