I Think I Can Officially Say I am a Citizen Journalist

I chose this issue to create a storify article on because it is a serious problem. I think most people have experienced cyberbullying either being a victim or the bully, and we need to help stop this. If I affect even one person with this blog and the topic I chose, and even one person reads my storify article and wants to help end cyber bullying, then I have made that much more of a difference. This blog is one of the biggest attempts I have made to being a citizen journalist, and since I believe it is for a good cause, I enjoyed doing it.




Module 6: Summation

For the most part, the comments under my blog made me aware that even though there are many people who love to post status’ on Facebook, and tweet their opinions and views, many people also enjoy sitting back and reading about others opinions. Many also agreed that it will be interesting to see the future and how everything works out. Like @colecrerar90 said, “it will be interesting to see how citizen journalists and the trained professionals compete in reporting the news in the years to come”. The fact that they are competing right now makes it very up in the air for the future. Competition usually means someone will win, so I wonder who will win. Even @melaniemunrow said, “what about the newspaper companies or broadcasting stations? Will these traditional ways of receiving news become a thing of the past”? I honestly think it will be.

Some members in my group such as @elisetakahashi and @melaniemunroe both agree with me when we enjoy reading what others have to say, and don’t often put in our own two cents. When @elisetakahashi mentions it, she calls herself a “lazy consumer” which I thought was worded perfectly, and I would agree that I am the same way. One point brought up by @cromero2013 was the fact that they said, “news quickly becomes old and people are always anticipating the next big news event”. I thought this was a new point I didn’t really think of while writing my blog because it is very true. News becomes old very fast, sometimes by the next day, maybe even by the night of whatever the occurrence was. Depending on the topic of course, small news stories that become a popular topic on social networks quickly fade as a new one will become the next hot topic. Bigger news stories will understandably be mentioned for a longer period of time, but they still come and go so quickly. I think it would be interesting to keep track of all the popular “trending” topics on twitter for a year and then look back to which ones were actually important and cared about for longer. Some topics are so small; I don’t understand how it can be trending. But, I guess different topics are important to different people. That is where citizen journalism comes to play, because so many different topics may be stated by different people on social networks. Everyone has different opinions, which may be the main reason why social networking systems are so easy to stay on for hours on end because there is so much to read. 

Twitter is my Newspaper



With social networking sites increasing in popularity over the years, so is the number of people who use their profile as a way to express their opinions on certain issues and/or events occurring in the world. I am not one to constantly tweet about serious issues or my opinion on events and situations, but once in a while I do. I don’t post status’ on Facebook anymore either, however, I do read my Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis, and get to see what everyone else writes. It’s funny because someone that I don’t know very well, I can know their opinion on many issues because of what they tweet. I know who is a feminist, I know who is supporting gay marriage or not, I know who wants to legalize marijuana. For me, social networks allow me to express my opinion if I really want to, but I am not the kind of person to constantly show people what I am thinking. However, there are some people that I see take full advantage of the idea of citizen journalism with their social networks and I think that’s a good thing. It allows people to discover how good of a writer they are or could be, and shows others that they do have the potential.

For actual journalists, social networks can be a problem. Whenever something happens, I find out about it through social networks. I know who wins a sports game, what games are on that night, what crimes have happened nearby, what natural disasters are occurring –all through my Twitter feed. I will turn to journal articles when I want a more detailed description of an event, which I will usually find from a link on Twitter through a news channel such as CP24. As said in the Hermida (2012) article, “by 2010, all but one of the top 198 newspapers and TV stations in the United States had an official Twitter account” (pg. 662). This can be one of the ways technology and social media has helped journalists become more known. In this article, it is also mentioned that Twitter users and those who post tweets about recent issues, they take on the role of being “social sensors of the news” (663). They tweet and act as a warning for breaking news journalists, which then gives the journalist a chance to go off of that and give us the full story. Journalists as professionals though, are under a lot of pressure with deciding on what news is appropriate to print (pg. 661, Hermida). With so many social network users posting the news and going into their own detail of what they know about a story, I think it creates competition for professional journalists. Especially since many social network users are not professionals, however they are very good writers and can write an impressive blog entry regarding an issue. This is why in the Bruns and Highfield (2012) article, they say “technology has played an important role as disruptor and enabler” (pg.1). With new technology, it allows journalists to gain information and understand others perspectives and opinions much easier, but it can create competition and puts pressure on the journalist to write an article with information that hasn’t been seen so much already. We count on journalists to write an article that will intrigue us, but if we have learnt all the information about an event already through blogs, Twitter and Facebook, it can be difficult to write an article that will catch the public’s attention.

Overall, depending on the type of person you are, technology will help with citizen journalism and allow someone to be a social activist. People like me who aren’t as much into posting our opinions on the internet will not be affected as much.


Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site [Snurb.info]. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.

Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verificationJournalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668


Why cyber bullying is difficult to stop

The issues with cyber bullying, why it is difficult to stop, and are social networking sites to blame?

I chose these quotes because they are ideas that I haven’t put much thought into yet, and it brings up ideas that others should also think about. It can be very beneficial in together finding a way to end cyber bullying. These are the links to the websites that have the articles, as well as the website with the debate about social networking sites.

Module 5 Summation

The main point that everyone mentions in my blog comments are that it would be impossible to completely eliminate music piracy and illegal music downloading. Everyone agrees that they don’t buy CD’s anymore, and that everyone downloads the music they want to hear illegally online. It makes sense to have a playlist of songs we know we will enjoy and want to listen to rather than a CD that we only like 4 out of 20 songs. In the end it is more convenient, and better for us to download music for free. One comment by melaniemunroe said that she would rather have low quality music, but songs she likes, rather than a CD with good music quality but songs she won’t listen to. It makes sense and I completely agree.

Another point made that I thought was very interesting was the fact that times have changed and no one really uses CD’s even anymore. In the comments, elisetakahashi mentions that we don’t wear the same close or have the same hairstyles as in the 90’s and 2000’s, nor do we still use Walkman’s or boom boxes. Everything is on an iPod, and as music and trends are changing, technology is as well. In the 90s we hardly had access to the internet, so there was no way to download it and have music piracy become a big problem. It is technological advances that make it easier for us and more convenient. She says “corporations just need to jump on board and deal with it”, and she makes a point. The music industry needs to accept the changes in society and come up with other ways to make money. I also agree with colecrerar90 when they say they think the music industry is still making a ton of money anyways, so what’s the big deal with music piracy? Also, as bigtuna90 says, “who’s gonna stop us”?

When cromero2013 mentions that we download music illegally because we are always looking for the newest releases and get bored of songs very quickly, it made me think back to the idea that society has changed so much. It is always said that the new generations want everything right away, which comes from instant messaging, texting, and social networking sites. We want things fast, and we are constantly changing our minds. My dad always questions me and my brothers asking why we never listen to a full song. After the first or second chorus we change the song. We get bored easily and the only way to keep up with new music is to be able to download it whenever we want. I will personally have a new favourite song of the week, every week, and will get bored of it very quickly. Imagine we had to buy a new CD for every new song of the week? I would be broke. 

Wait, so downloading music online is illegal?


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I personally have not bought music in a very long time. Before the internet was popular, I would buy CD’s to play in my Walkman and stereo. However, nowadays we use our iPods and cell phones to listen to music. We connect some ear plugs and we’re set. Or to listen to it in our cars we connect an auxiliary chord, or even just burn our own CD. How is everyone getting this music? Well, either they buy it off iTunes, or download it illegally off the internet. Even though it is illegal, it would be nearly impossible to catch every single person who downloads music online and punish them. It is almost so common that is doesn’t seem like it is illegal. I know a friend at work who says he never downloads music for free, but that is only because he has a good friend in the music business and understands how it affects them. If more of us understood the effects of downloading free music, maybe there would be less of it. To stop this, it would have to be taught at a young age so that children develop a habit of buying music. Though, I think that this is a new trend that will stick, and I think music producers are going to have to think of new ways to collect the money they deserve for entertaining us with their music. Another way that could help music producers was mentioned in an article by Condry (2004). He says if it is shown to the fans that have an attachment to a certain type of music, or specific group/artist, that their investments and support towards the group will help them keep creating better and more music, perhaps they will consider buying more music rather than downloading it for free. It is said in the article that a “more promising future depends on building upon their enthusiasm” (pg. 358), which explains that those who are enthusiastic about the music should be enlightened as to how important their music purchases are to the band. Those who are enthusiastic enough about the music will follow.

            Pirating is a very social aspect of our lives. As said in the article by Steinmetz and Tunnell (2013), someone who is unable “to consume media content at high levels translates into being left behind others who are hyper-consuming” (pg. 59). If someone is unable to hear the latest songs or watch the latest TV shows and movies, they will feel left behind from their friends who may be talking about the topic. As also mentioned in their article, I agree with two of the factors that encourage pirating, and those would be sampling and inability to afford content. Those would be the main reasons I hear about people pirating, because you want to try out a song or movie before you buy it. Some people don’t even end up buying it because they can’t afford it. This brings issues for the recording industry because they somehow need to make money from their consumers.

            Overall, piracy may be a huge issue for producers and even though they go against copyright laws, it would be hard to completely eliminate the problem. There are ways to lower the rates, such as finding new ways to make money, teaching children at a young age the effects of illegal downloading, or aiming profits at the enthusiastic fans who want to support a group or individual artist. If these ideas are put to the test, I think the piracy rates would decrease a lot within the next few years.


Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363.

Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line PiratesDeviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67.

Module 4 Summation

It seems to be an ongoing trend for this week’s module between everyone in the group, that we all agree we are consumers rather than producers. For one of the comments under my blog post, someone asked why I think most people are consumers. He says he thinks it is because of laziness, or that people aren’t very creative. I do agree with what he said, however I also think there is more to it. One girl in my group mentioned in her blog that she didn’t want to post a tutorial video with her friends because they don’t think they would be funny and amusing enough. She mentions that there are so many tutorial videos out there on YouTube, what would make her video different from the rest so that people will want to watch it? Therefore, I do agree that I think many people are afraid to be a producer because they are afraid to be let down, or afraid of the criticism that may come with it. There will always be different opinions, so it takes creativity and confidence in your material to become a producer.

            What I also found interesting in the comments under my blog is the opinions on whether or not copyright laws on the internet should be less or more strict. One person gave me the idea of putting myself in someone’s position who is a producer. Imagine sharing a video with close friends and family and all of the sudden it goes viral. Then people start trying to imitate it, which wouldn’t be too bad until some people start getting money for a video that is copying yours. That is when copyright laws come into play. I never really thought of that until it was brought up, and it definitely caught my attention.

            Overall, this week’s module has given me a different perspective about consumers and producers, and has given me insight as to what others personal opinions are regarding the fact that most people are consumers. I have gained new ideas, and some knowledge from the readings about the internet and its cultural commons. Also, the whole idea of copyright on the internet never really came to mind, but this week I learned a lot about the issues and problems with it.


Module 4: Copyright? Who cares. I’m Just a Consumer Anyways

When I was younger, the internet was a source of information and a way to gain knowledge. It was for reading articles, or typing out homework. Now, when I think of the internet, I think of social media and all the social media networks. What we have on the internet is no longer just “media”. It’s not a video created from a video camera that goes through hours and hours of editing. It is a short video created by a cell phone camera, or a webcam camera. We don’t need all the equipment to make a small video; we don’t need to wait days for a response from an e-mail. Everything can happen at the tip of your fingers, and all responses are at rapid speed. As Manovich (2008) says in The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life, “we moved from media to social media”. It is no longer just media, it is social media. It’s connecting with people, meeting new people with similar interests, it’s posting videos and pictures so that other people will have a good laugh.

            A main concept of the internet is the fact that it is entirely about the producers and consumers. I am personally not much of a producer. I do have Facebook which I enjoy uploading pictures, however, it is only for friends of mine to see. Unless this blog all of the sudden blows up and interests thousands of people, I don’t typically contribute to cultural commons with YouTube videos that go viral, and blog posts that millions follow. Even though I am not much of a producer, I am definitely a consumer. I watch all the videos that go viral, I read all the interesting blog posts, I look at celebrities pictures on Facebook and tweets they make.

            What can cause issues with producers, especially in regards to copyright, is that we interpret things differently. In the Miller (2004) article called A View from a Fossil: The New Economy, Creativity and Consumption –Two or Three Things I don’t believe in, it says, “the active audience is weak at the level of public cultural production, but strong as an interpretive community”. In my opinion, this means that we don’t produce a lot of public cultural production and usually what is produced is relied on by a small group of people (compared to how many people use the internet). I also see that quote as saying we interpret what we see as consumers in what we think is our own opinion, however, a lot of the time our “personal” interpretations are related to someone else’s opinion or the same idea. This is how social media affects us. We must keep in mind though, that not all interpretations are correct. In fact, my entire interpretation of this quote may be incorrect.

            The internet allows anyone to be a producer, and it almost seems as if copyright laws are ignored many of the times. People are constantly trying to remake videos and songs, trying to re-enact a scene or picture, but it would be impossible to find everyone who mocks something that is already made. Therefore, the internet almost allows us to break the laws of copyright, and do whatever we want. It can obviously cause many issues, however, we have gotten used to it not being a problem and we can interpret it any way we want. We have learned how to deal with producers and deal with consumers as a group, and copyright laws just don’t seem to matter. Like one the videos for this week’s module said, most of us don’t mind copying, as long as we’re the one doing it.


Miller, T. (2004) A view from a fossil. International Journal Of Cultural Studies, 7(1), 55-65.

Manovich, l. (2008) The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production?. Vol. 35, No. 2 (Winter 2009), pp. 319-331.

Is Wikipedia Reliable? Cyber-bullying and the Different Perspectives shown on Wikipedia


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            Cyberbullying is known to be a negative topic, and can cause many problems. However, there are many opinions about what defines cyber bullying and who is most affected by it. Wikipedia can be a good example of this. What I found interesting when I type in “Cyberbullying” into Wikipedia is that in the edits and talk section of the webpage, there are people debating the difference between cyberbullying in youth and adults. It instantly showed me the range of opinions that can arise from this topic.

            For the most part in this cyberbullying article, everyone agreed on the definition of what cyberbullying is. The only real debate was around different terms for different ages. They also mentioned the term “trolling” in the article, which was a new term for me. One person said it is not cyberbullying but often confused with it, while someone else said it a provocative picture posted online or a fake account. To me these both seem like reasons for trolling to be labelled as cyberbullying. I typed trolling into the search engine on Wikipedia, and it said that it is someone who posts something irrelevant to conversation on a blog or forum with the “primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response” (Wikipedia). Personally, this is cyberbullying and if we were allowed to edit Wikipedia for this assignment that would be one point to edit. This is an example of why Wikipedia may be confusing and depending on the perspective taken, the information can seem wrong. In an article by Royal and Kapila (2009), What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not . . . ?: Assessing Completeness of Information, they also mention how Wikipedia is information based on the views of the writer, which makes it socially constructed and has a good chance of being bias.

            Another section on the “talk” page of the Wikipedia article named Cyberbullying that was very intriguing was an edit someone proposed about cyberbullying and Wikipedia going hand in hand. This individual claims that Wikipedia and its editors are also cyberbullying, and that cyberbullying is constantly occurring on the website. They quote that “talk pages have left helpless victims stigmatized and unable to defend themselves as their edits are removed”. This may seem silly to some people, but to others it might make sense through their own personal experiences of feeling this way after posting on Wikipedia. With all the different opinions and perspectives, it has the ability to cause the information available to be good and unbiased, or wrong and controversial. This can be bad especially since Wikipedia is the one and only website for many individuals when trying to look up information on an event or specific person, as said in the article mentioned above by Royal and Kapila (2009). The cyberbullying article brings up a specific example of Canadian UNICEF artist, Terry Ananny. According to someone on the talk page, her name has been “ruthlessly and systematically referred to as a vandal and other unpleasant adjectives which remain on Wikipedia”. However, when I type in the name “Terry Ananny” into Wikipedia, I can’t find this cyberbullying that apparently remains on Wikipedia. Therefore, I don’t find this information very reliable, and underneath someone else writes that deleting articles off Wikipedia is not cyberbullying. This is a very good point because whether an innocent individual or a bully writes an article on Wikipedia, it is the information contained that matters. If false information is given, it will usually be deleted. Hence the word “usually”. However, I don’t think false information being deleted off an article should be considered cyberbullying.

            Many of the other edits on the talk page revolve around grammar, and adding facts. Some of the facts seemed controversial to me though, and don’t seem valid. Someone posted that girls are more prone to being victimized by a cyber-bully. They say girls are more likely to have rude comments about them online, and be called vulgar names, whereas boys will have an embarrassing photo posted. This seems true to me, however I don’t believe girls are more victimized. Perhaps boys are just less likely to tell someone about the situation they are in. Being a psychology major, I assume that the source of these facts were from someone who possibly had a sampling bias occur, which caused them to gather bias information. Then again, perhaps my opinion is bias. When reading the Module 3 blog by colecrerar, I thought it was interesting that they mention their opinion about Wikipedia may be biased because through personal experience they know that it is a faster and easier way to gather information. Meanwhile, someone who has not used Wikipedia much, may read the information with doubts. I understand these doubts because Wikipedia allows anyone to write anything. In the article Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812 by Richard Jenson, it even says that Wikipedia is “written by and for the benefit of highly motivated amateurs” (Jenson, 2012). The fact that he calls the writers “amateurs” is enough to have me feeling like the information isn’t very reliable.

The concept of cyberbullying comes with many different perspectives, opinions, and views about what the proper definitions are, what a cyber-bully act consists of, etc. Wikipedia is a good way to show that these views may be biased, and people do have different opinions on the topic. With the website becoming more popular, and more individuals taking the time to edit articles and give their perspective and information, a major question arises: is this information reliable? I am personally cautious when reading Wikipedia articles, however there is always someone with the opposite opinion, such as @bigtuna09 who believes it is a great site and the information is as reliable as any other paper we will read online. With technology advancing constantly, the era we live in is finding new ways to cause harm to others, cyberbullying being one of them. However, I feel as if the problem may be hopeless in this era of creative inventions and new social media –well at least until something is invented or created to prevent it. Until that day, I suggest everyone to be careful what is posted online, and not to believe all information read on the internet. This goes along with what elisetakahashi  says in her blog that it is the way we receive and read these articles that is important. I completely agree with this and everyone should do the same. 


The picture posted below I thought was relevant because my chosen topic is cyber bullying, and even though this module was about Wikipedia, cyber-bullying often occurs over social network sites such as Facebook.



Royal, C. & Kapila, D. (2009). What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not . . . ?: Assessing Completeness of Information. Social Science Computer Review. 27, 1. pp 138-148.

Jensen, R. (2012). Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812. Journal of Military History. 76, 1. pp 1165-1182