Sunday, November 29, 2009

Citizen Journalism at its best....

Blogs present a unique venue for circulating information, news, and opinions. Those who contribute to them are sometimes called “Citizen Journalists.” Renowned blogger Yoani Sanchez states that “Citizen Journalists are individuals, without any particular professional training, who live in the epicenter of events.”

To further this idea, Rettberg in his book Blogging lays out three ways as to how blogging can be comparable to traditional forms of journalism. Firstly, it provides a first hand perspective on the events being reported on. This point is often times espoused as a crucial advantage to blogging. By providing first hand information, the blog/blogger has an edge over processed information and news. Additionally, the inherent bias is often times transparent, something that does not elude consumers. Secondly, the quality and frequency of blogs can often times exceed that of traditional news sources. Not to mention, this often comes with additional advantages such as the case with filter blogs and those with an interactive advantage.

Yoani Sanchez’s blog Generacion Y is what Rettberg describes as “The more moving and influential blogs… usually those where the blogger is a participant in the ongoing events” Yoani Sanchez provides a candid first hand experience of the political and social on goings in present day Cuba. Her blog has become heavily read and influential. Recently she posed seven questions to Barrack Obama concerning US involvement in Cuban affairs, domestic policy and diplomatic talks. Her ability to open dialog with the president and make the information available to masses is a perfect example of citizen journalism. A large majority of traditional newspapers, shows, and publications would not be able to say the same.

However, for all those advantages there must come disadvantages (see in class presentation on White Privilege). Blogs may not always offer legitimate and authentic information. Because of a lack of checks and balances coupled with a possible anonymity, blogs may become autonomous sources of questionable material. In a situation such as Yoani Sanchez’s blog Generacion Y, the sensitive political situation might not enable her to be as open as she would like. Additionally, there are limitations as to how valid and reliable one person’s depiction is when speaking about a whole nation. Albeit, the advantages in this case heavily overrule the limitations. Blogs who have amassed followings now have a substantial voice in the media. Blogging has entered the acceptable range of journalism, news, and information sharing. Blogging is here to stay!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blogging is a Bitch

I'm not convinced that forced blogging is beneficial for a) my understanding of blogging and b) my grades. Essential for entry to graduate school (my one and only goal at this point) is to keep up my grades and try as humanely as possible to raise my GPA. Blogging is making that slightly impossible.

While papers, standardized tests, and open format essay questions are the usual pain associated with school... This constant blogging update is taking a toll on my sanity. I sit here at and stare blankly at the screen, whilst thinking about what is it exactly that people want to read. Is it my mundane daily thoughts? an interpretation of tonight episode of Dexter (it rocked), or my constant musings on the deathly process of grad. school applications.

And as I quickly come to the conclusion that it is actually none of those things, my crackberry vibrates with the signal of more assignments due.

This blog will inevitably bring down my grade in this class in addition to boring the inundated classmates who must think these same thoughts while looking at the blank screen of

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trading Down (Up)

Some years ago, I held a lucrative position working nights as a bottle service waitress in a NYC nightclub. Being a sophomore in college, underneath the drinking age, I would spend 3-4 nights a week partying for 6-8 hours a night and leaving with a wad of cash that exceeded an normal amount of money. Again, being 20 years old I would spend it on whatever I pleased. However a large amount went into a savings account where it would lay dormant until there was something really worth spending it on.

That time came soon enough, when I decided to spend a semester away from the everyday pressure of school, work, and a relationship. I took the savings, quit the job and jumped a plane to the czech republic. Europe changed my perception of life and responsibilities. Additionally, I left my comfort zone of the nightlife scene and was forced to form a new identity. All of this was fine and dandy and somewhat poetic in a way... But as now as a senior, applying to grad school, and lacking any kind of job. I sure as hell miss those giant wads of cash.

This picture illustrates the primary responsibility of the job. The other responsibility was the drinking the finished product.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A thin line

Someone I respect once told me that I need to clarify my boundaries. Since this time I've often wondered where boundaries lay in social interactions. For example, I'll present this situation. A professor with who you have class informs you of a position available in his office complex. You start working there and every Thursday the office goes out for after work drinks. People joke, drink, smoke, and flirt. Next semester, he's the only one offering the class you need. You take his class and he is no longer Prof. Right and Proper , you now know him as Joe Shmoe who knocks back a few too many and says inappropriate things. Where does the boundary lay?

These kind of situations are never black and white in terms of answers. They are many shades of grey...and it is in the grey that the boundaries get lost.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Relics from Prague

Memories of home roll over
And edge away the writing in the sand
The water, luke warm and opaque
With a smattering of shells
That turn in the august tide
Spanish children run in oversized t shirts
As old round Russians discuss the meaning of life
Which can be summarized in sasha’s new business
And pasha’s new house.
Look across to the lego blocks
So perfectly arranged in perfect disarray
Travel down a winding road that borders water on the left
Eight, Seven, Six, Five…
Driving through streets, that are implanted in my memory
in a micro chip that has no chance of dislodging
The words, the sounds, the personalities
Ingrained in the surroundings
Flooding over me and filling everything
With the desire for unfamiliarity with the familiar
Words exchanged and common histories shared
Engulf me and sweep newborn memories
Under the rush of a wave that smells oddly
Like the salty sea, semichki and the skyline.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking Back...

I've decided to dust off the 'ole blog and reveal it to the world (Sociology Capstone Class.) When rediscovering this gem of a relic, I had a decision to make. Should I A) erase my previous posts and pretend they never happened or B) let everyone see them, potentially laugh at me, and judge me for my past.

I picked B! I felt that by looking back at these old posts, I had something to gain. If I erased them, it would be as if they held no significance, when in fact they do. So read them, enjoy them, and hope you get as much of a kick as I did.

The Moral of the story: It's important to look back in order to really see where your going

Now, onto bigger and better things- What will I be talking about?
It'll be a quasi diary, quasi rant, quasi filter blog, and quasi anything else I determine I would like to write about.

Something's about myself: I'm a graduating senior who is applying to Clinical psychology Ph.d programs at the beginning of December. This has been stressing me out beyond belief. In addition, I'm currently doing research on marijuana perceptions and attitudes concerning it's use. I'm a liberal, I'm pro marijuana legalization and pro gay marriage. I like the color blue. I'm a sociology minor and I secretly wish I was an comedic actress. I think that a basic requirement of security guards is that they be on a constant power trip.

So Turn on, Tune in and Drop out kids...