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Blog #10

by Cristina Melchior

Three “Aha”! moments:

1 – The first Aha moment was the class content. I didn’t know what to expect because I never thought about studying Journalism.

2 – The concept of “long tail” and “short head” helped to understand the difference between the e-commerce and physical stores.

3 – It was a surprise to realize how advertisers control the media.

I was completely illiterate about to media in U.S. I can tell now that, although I am not an expert, I know how and where to look for information next time I need it.

Media impact and messages in our day lives are very well-known, but we never think about it. This class was an opportunity to understand what the First Amendment means and the implications of free speech.

The video attached illustrates the power of Internet as the new mainstream. A teenager from Holland made a video trying to speak Portuguese. Nobody knew her before this video which had 1,146,235 views. She became famous in Brazil only because she tried to speak a language she doesn’t know.

https://youtu.be/Ud_QkuXZ_38

Week 10 Libel on the Internet can bring a civil suit

by Cristina Melchior

The first amendment — which guarantees the right of free speech — is at the core of all media law in the United States. However, people must have the right to protect themselves from defamation and injuries caused by errors or distortions in information disseminated by any medium. The rights of people are protected from both libel and slander defamation. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation. Slander is an untrue defamatory statement that is spoken orally. 

Besides public comments on newspapers or magazines, the most common places for making possibly libelous statements are blog posts and internet chat rooms.

Thinking about all variations of media is evaluating its content. It is thinking that the content will be shared with a large part of the world. The globalization of the internet does not allow media thinking  locally anymore. Bloggers should think themselves as having an important role in forming the opinion and instigating change. Bloggers face the same range of ethical issues the reporters face on a regular basis: truthfulness, conflicts of interest, and sensationalism. 

The Internet has seen by the courts in the United States as more like newspaper or magazine. Suing for libel brings a civil suit in a state court under the libel laws seeking for monetary damages for harm caused by the statement. 

Therefore, think twice before publishing something that could compromise someone without having concrete evidence. 

Week 9 – Global Media Wearables

by Cristina Melchior

The “Internet of Things” refers to a technological revolution that connects electronics devices used every day to the world wide web. Appliances, transportation, and even sneakers, clothes and doorknobs will be connected to the Internet and other devices. The idea is that, more and more, the physical and digital worlds will become one, through devices that communicate with each other, data centers and their clouds.
Medicine is one of the sectors that can benefit from this technology. Throughout the Internet of Things, doctors and hospitals can collect and organize data from connected medical devices, including home health monitors. By collecting data in real time, health professionals have the complete data from their patients, being able to improve care through more effective diagnostics and treatments.
Wearable technology is one of the applications of Internet of Things. Wearable technology is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. The possibility of being monitored 24 hours is revolutionary but it is also scary. Take a look at the below lecture from Joanna Berzowska.The “Internet of Things” refers to a technological revolution that connects electronics devices used every day to the world wide web. Appliances, transportation, and even sneakers, clothes and doorknobs will be connected to the Internet and other devices. The idea is that, more and more, the physical and digital worlds will become one, through devices that communicate with each other, data centers and their clouds.
Medicine is one of the sectors that can benefit from this technology. Throughout the Internet of Things, doctors and hospitals can collect and organize data from connected medical devices, including home health monitors. By collecting data in real time, health professionals have the complete data from their patients, being able to improve care through more effective diagnostics and treatments.
Wearable technology is one of the applications of Internet of Things. Wearable technology is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. The possibility of being monitored 24 hours is revolutionary but it is also scary. Take a look at the below lecture from Joanna Berzowska.

Week 7 – Copyright of Images

by Cristina Melchior

A lot of people do not know that the internet is not a lawless field. Not everything that comes to the mind is allowed to be published. There are rules and laws created just to protect some rights from being violated by the users of the internet. One of these rights is the copyright of images. Copyright is a form of legal protection that is automatically assigned to content creators at the moment of creation. By the moment you take a photograph, you own the copyright to it. Many people assume that if content is online it is public domain and it is not copyrighted. This is a mistake. Content that is published online is still protected by copyright law.
When it comes to photos assume it is subject to copyright and do not use it without the appropriate permission. Some online images such as the one from Flickr are free to use. Others images such as the ones from Getty are commercial. If you want to use an image published on the internet, be sure to create citations. If the image is available, do not forget to give the credits. Make sure to create image citations accomplishing the same requirements as a text citation. It may sound an excessive care but you certainly will avoid future problems.
Creative Commons (CC) is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. Creative Commons (CC) licenses are a suite of different licenses that facilitate the sharing and reuse of information and creative works. All CC licenses require the image user give credit to the creator of the image. In the case you want to use an online image and you are not sure about the rules, this is an excellent place to start learning about copyright of images.

Week 6 – Public Relations: Is Samsung underestimating the Internet?

By Cristina Melchior

After hundreds reported incidents of overheating smartphones worldwide, Samsung made the unprecedented decision to recall every single one of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold. The company worked with government agencies and cellular carriers around the world to ask all users to shut down their phones and provide refunds to the smartphones that spontaneously burst into flames. Samsung is not sure why the new batteries caught fire, but the damage those phones can cause makes the Note 7 dangerous.

In this case, Samsung’s reaction was too late. Note 7 battery explosions were catch alive on camera and posted on YouTube. Social media alerted people to turn off their Note 7 or even give up buying one if that was the intention. For days the Explosions of Note 7 were one of the main subjects of the Internet. Consumers were not sure if it was only the Note 7 or if others Samsung’s cellular also had battery problems. The panic was spread among the consumers.

This case illustrates how the Internet can be an enemy of Public Relations industry. Once the crisis of Galaxy Note 7 hit the Internet, it couldn’t be contained. In the absence of information that should be supplied by the manufacturer, Samsung allowed rumors to evolve and consumers to connect sharing inaccurate information. It’s hard to know if Samsung didn’t have time to review the problem or if it was a simple underestimation of internet power.

On the one hand, it’s soon to know how drastically this crisis will impact the company’s reputation. On the other hand, Samsung’s case works as homework for industries learn to manage Public Relations in times of the internet.

Week 5 – Movies and Television DVR – The Interactive Television

By Cristina Melchior

The dictionaries define DVRs – Digital Video Recorders – as specialized computers with oversized hard disks to store programming. The definition, however, is far short of what DVRs mean to the entertainment industry, especially television. DVRs are changing the way to watch tv because their technology allows consumers control the television content regarding of what they want to watch and when they want to watch.

DVR is an electronic device that records videos in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, or another mass storage device. According to the new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), specialized in research and analysis on the broadband, media, and entertainment industries, on February 5, 2016, 81% of US households have a DVR, get Netflix, or use on-Demand (VOD) from a cable or Telco provider.

VOD (Video on Demand) is a service of television that allows viewers to order movies, news, and other programs that are digitally delivered at any time. The DVR is the device that allows the VOD service to be provided. Cable and satellite companies, in turn, are not the only ones to provide the VOD service, there is the competition of streaming such as Apple TV or Amazon Video.

As we can see, DVR and VOD are changing the viewers’ relationship to the television. DVR allows recording any tv program to watch them anytime later. VOD calls up missed shows, it means anyone needs to keep watching tv waiting for the favorite program to start, it’s just ordered it anytime you want. More than that, there is no need to have a tv, all programs are available to be accessed by the computer, the iPad or the cellular phone.

It seems that not only cable and antenna providers are in trouble, but in a near future the television device will be obsolete.

Week 4: Watching the Radio

by Cristina Melchior

The Golden Age of Radio is over. First, the Television displaced radio as the dominant broadcasting medium. The voices from the radio as family entertainment were replaced by the animated images from TV. Moreover, the radio began to face competition from the radio itself. FM radios have gradually replaced AM as the dominant radio band because of the higher fidelity quality. Every day, the technology has changed and new alternatives of the broadcasting medium have emerged but remained the conception of radio as a social institution used as a popular mass medium.

Since the WalkMan, more and more the act of listening news and listening music has become more and more personalized. Instead of waiting for listening to the favorite news radio program, you can download the APP of the radio station or even the APP of the favorite program itself.

If you want to listen to the news during the rush time there are more than the choice of turning on the radio. The internet allows not only listen but also watch the news through the APP of the favorite radio station, or watch the news at the APP from TV or opt for an alternative channel as Reuters. All alternatives accessible from the cell phone.

If you are interested in national news you can access some of the available public channels such as CNN or BBC. But if you are interested in international news your choice is access some overseas channel. I listen to the news from my home country (Brazil) by accessing my favorite radio app from my iPad.

It doesn’t matter the technology used to deliver, what really keeps the audience is the quality of content. By improving the technology, the radio can remain not only alive but also vibrant.

Week 3: Books or Magazines Book Will Never Die

by Cristina Melchior

Some of us, book lovers, resist abandoning the romantic idea of the small bookstore in the country town as the meeting point of mothers taking children for a session of reading. The bookstore in which the owner knows most of the customers.

Nevertheless, most part of my life, I have lived in large urban centers and this kind of bookstore vanished, being replaced by Megastores. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t known at the bookstores I used to go. As a regular attendee, sellers knew me by name. I knew from memory the shelves that held the books addressing issues of my interest.

In the last years, I have read some articles predicting the death of books due to the lack of interest of reading itself. The habit of reading books has been challenged by the rise of digital technology represented by shorter articles published by bloggers, television series based on bestsellers and available on subscription channels or you-tubers performers, just to mention some examples. Despite all competition, only the bookshops have actually suffered serious damage. More and more, physical bookstores have been replaced by virtual booksellers, especially Amazon. I myself have preferred to buy books online, even the paper books.  It is not only easier to find any title I want, but it is also cheaper.

From the perspective of developed countries as the United States, people have the chance to choose to buy a paper book or a digital one. It is a matter of taste, choosing the better price or being fashionable. Nevertheless, digital books and the respective e-readers allow people from wherever place in the world to have access to the same book at the same time.

Imagine the teenager living in a small developing country in Africa have the same opportunity of reading the last release of Harry Porter at the same time of a teen from Denmark. It was something unthinkable before the development of digital technology.

Maybe the grandchildren of my grandchildren will only know paper books as museum pieces, but I do believe they will still keep reading books. The shell will be different, probably the e-reader and the multipurpose tablet will be obsoleted. Maybe the content and the format will be different. But I believe the book as a medium of mass communication will remain indefinitely.

Week 2 Free Media or Biased Propaganda?

by Cristina Melchior

Let’s talk about Brazil. The former president Dilma Roussef is member of the left-wing Workers’ Party, in power for the last 13 years. Socialist party was in charge for four terms. Lula da Silva who was president for 8 years (two terms), and Dilma Roussef was president for 5 years. After a year of the beginning of her second term, she was removed from office by the Senate after an impeachment trial.

Dilma Rousseff was charged with fiscal fraud in the execution of her duties, including administrative misconduct and illegal government budget maneuvers.

Fiscal misconduct and poor quality of government administration resulted in 12 million unemployed (11.8% of population) and 8.5% of high inflation in the last 12 months.

Until impeachment, little was known about the real situation of the country. Media circulated a few negative comments about the former government. All news were about 13 years of praise to social work, economic development and advancement of democracy.

As soon as the new president Michel Temer, a center-right politician, took the office, he ended the allocation of state advertising budget for websites and blogs. This measure directly affected sites supporting Workers’ Party.

Blogs and sites related to the left-wing party lost their main advertising funding channel. General public, on the other hand, lost the fear of speaking their mind. Blogs and sites freely expressing opinions on the former and current governments have raised with no fear of being rejected.

Have governments the right to allocate public money to fund blogs and sites in order to use propaganda misleading public opinion? Blogs and sites financed by public funding tend to be biased promoting a particular political cause or point of view. I wouldn’t call it free media.

Week 1: Media Autobiography Open a Book is Return to Childhood By Cristina Melchior

My relationship with books began when I was a child, and it has been intense and passionate. In the last years, I have given myself the benefit of technology buying an iPhone, two iPads and a Kindle. Nevertheless, despite all attempts of replacement, I am still attached to paper book.

I own many books, not as much as I could have if I had held all books I bought or won during my life. Moving to California has been a detachment learning of my books. Most of them I gave away. A small part of them I left behind in my house in Brazil.

Buying and storing a book on Kindle is cheaper, faster, and takes up less room. But reading on Kindle still is less pleasurable. I grew up smelling the printed paper book. Open a book is more than just reading, it is return to childhood.

I do not want sound like a nostalgic old woman. I love technology and mass media. I watch WebTV, I listen WebRadio, and I watch movies at Apple TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. I read the news at Al Jazeera and Reuters TV Apps. I also watch Brazilian news online, everyday. I read posts on Facebook account, I track my friend’s trips on Instagram, I read short news on Twitter, and I keep a profile on Linkedin. My friends in Brazil and me text through WhatsApp. If I need a recipe to make dinner I search my Pins at Pinterest. I even manage my family memories using Google Photos. In 2010, I was only able to earn my Master Degree because I remotely accessed libraries and contacted researchers from other countries, thanks to digital technology.

However, nothing is more pleasurable than, after a busy day, drinking a hot coffee while reading a paper book.

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