Multimedia use at it’s best

Las Vegas strip construction deaths

After examining the Las Vegas Sun’s web package of the construction deaths that occurred in 2008, on the Las Vegas Strip, is an absolute tribute to the 12 workers who passed away in 18 months of work. Any other type of package would not have given this story justice. The 3 main mediums used to present this story were a slideshow, video, and interactive map.

  • Slideshow– very emotional because each photo seemed to be a true testimonial to each of deceased lives. Captions give a great description of each photo, but still tells a great story without the captions
  • Video– again very emotional because it not only has some of the same photos on the slideshow but with grieving family members talking about the hazardous working conditions that the worker were working in and how OSHA needs to be more proactive in protecting the steel workers.
  • Interactive Map– This was by far the most interesting of the 3 mediums because anyone can hover their mouse pointer over each of the buildings where the accidents happened then shows a picture of each person who died and how each accident happened. The interactive map also gives a brief biography of each person.

Alexandra Berzon, reporter, Wall Street Journal gives more in depth details on what had happened throughout the investigation of OSHA and the accidents. Her articles really show how OSHA really dropped the ball concerning the safety of each worker. She had received a Pulitzer Prize for her contribution to this amazing piece.

Peace in the new peril showed the most tribute to the workers because it highlighted some of the accidents and testimonials from safety experts that said there were too many safety hazards overlooked and too many unexcused deaths took place at this construction site. Granted, it was one of the first articles written concerning the deaths. The article explained how 7 out of the 12 deaths happened.

CityCenter Workers Strike  was very powerful because it was a video of workers with picket signs that read, “Unsafe work site.” No one was interviewed but was moving non the less because showing the workers stick up for their own safety shows a lot of courage because it could cost them money for being on strike.

This web package follows the 8 main aspects of Foust’s explanation with the advantages of online journalism such as:

  • Audience Control– This seems to be the main advantage here because of the variety of ways users can access the construction site accident information via pictures, videos and interactivity.
  • Time place and access– Fits this perfectly because anyone with web access can interact with this package, but the main issue was trying to access this with a mobile device. I tried and it was very difficult because there is so much information for the mobile device to upload.
  • Storage and retrieval– Wow! This package must have a lot of storage with the vast amount of information on it.
  • Unlimited space– This is definitely covered because in traditional print media this package could not have given this web package justice because they can’t add video or audio, which, is a huge advantage of online journalism.
  • Immediacy– After seeing the date of the casualties and comparing them to the dates of the articles written are spot on.
  • Multimedia capability– The Las Vegas Sun knew exactly what they were doing when they put all of this together because it flows so well with the with all of the graphics, audio, video and all of the other links that support the main page of the package.
  • Audience participation– Each archived article and blog have the capability to add comments to each post; however, the user has to be logged in to post a comment.
  • Nonlinearity- Is the BIGGEST advantage of this package because anyone can bounce from a video to a blog post to a slide show. It  gives the page viewer a huge amount of options to view this story.

Overall, this package is great and would not change a thing because if there were anything missing like a slideshow or video it would take away from this package. The blog posting links that are on the main page definitely adds to the story because it gives so much validation that there were so many safety hazards overlooked that could have prevented these unnecessary deaths. It is such a shame for the lack of compensation that the grieving families received following the deaths of their loved ones.


Higher Education: Value Over Cost

President Obama says value of higher education should be stressed to students

Bush Administration says that American higher education has become “increasingly risk-averse, at times self-satisfied and unduly expensive.”

Unemployment figures are still high and many high-tech companies are unhappy about the lack of highly trained workers. College-drop out figures is very high as well!

  • About 40% of students who attend a 4-year university are not graduating.
  • About 40% of students who pursue a 2-year degree either graduate or transfer.
  • 1/5 of full-time community college students do not return for a 2nd year

According to the Bush administration, literacy among college students has declined in the past decade.

Lets take a look at what we are getting for our money. Not only the students are affected but also the federal government.

  • Student who graduate with loans are more than $25 thousand in debt
  • The federal government pours $140 billion annually into grants and loans

President Obama thinks post-secondary schools should put more emphasis on not only the cost of the education but also the success of those who do graduate.

Which Twitter app best suits your needs?

Receiving news has become so much easier with the advent of Twitter.

Anyone who has a Twitter account can follow anything that is being tweeted at anytime. There are many 3rd party applications that make it so much easier to follow a certain subject. For example, some of the top apps are twitterrific, tweetscan and twitterfall.

For a class project we were suppose to use certain applications of Twitter to see how they offer different sources and different types of tweets regarding the Susan G. Komen for  Cure and Planned Parenthood debacle. The main issue surrounding this is the Komen for Cure cut ties with Planned Parenthood. Without Twitter and its wide variety of apps it would’ve been hard to follow this issue and get a definite hold of the situation at hand.

Starting with twitterrific I was first put off by it because it has to first be downloaded on to a computer for followers to gain access to this app. After downloading it I was thoroughly impressed because it is very easy to search for specific hash tags or a specific topic and it pulled all the recent tweets about Komen or Planned Parenthood into one search area. I would have to rate this app a 6 out of 10 only because it had to be downloaded.

Twitterfall is a very neat and organized website and any user can log in to this program via the web with their twitter account information. It is a live chat with the most current tweets about any topic a user wanted to look up. The tweets come flowing down the screen with a waterfall effect, which really caught my attention. With twitterfall being quite user friendly I would rate this app a 7 out of 10 because of its usability.

Tweetscan was by far the easiest app to use. It’s the “Google” of hash tags. Followers can access whichever hash tag or topic they want without signing in with their account information, but do have the option to sign in if they want to submit a response or comment. This app definitely receives a 10 out of 10 because it is more of a research tool than a tweet machine.

Journalism as we know it…

In the near future, people will only be able to receive the news online rather physically holding and reading a paper. It is a sad but true fact for a couple of reasons, the evolution of technology and publishing news online is not only quick but also cheap. When print news started out there was the printing press with old metal type created by Johannes Gutenberg, which was unheard of back then! Then print journalism went to what we are all used to are the electronic printing presses. In my opinion, print journalism is starting to phase out because of the Internet. Even though, there are people who still enjoy the feel of a physical paper in their hand and have the ink roll on to their fingertips; however, many people now read the news on electronic devices such as laptops, tablets or even smart phones!

The advent of Twitter will take online journalism to a whole new level. Twitter is a website where someone can only publish 140 characters. A news site can “tweet” a title with a shortened link to the story, and that way someone can read the title and if the are interested they can choose to read the story or not.

Most documentaries out there are definitely informative and not entertaining, but this is not the case for “Page One: Inside the New York Times” it was an excellent film because it was not only informative but also entertaining at the same time. The 2 main characters that I thoroughly enjoyed were David Carr and Brian Stelter.

Being from Minnesota I couldn’t help but feeling so happy for David Carr, a columnist for the New York Times who concentrates on writing for National award shows such as the Golden Globes and Academy Awards not only is he a native of Minnesota but is also a recovering addict. It is so neat to know of a fellow Minnesotan be so successful. Carr is so outspoken and doesn’t care how it’s said as long as he gets his message across. For example, he was at the intelligence2 debate and was talking about how news aggregators are stealing news from the mainstream media. He was showing a print out of the main page for and said, “this is a great site and people should check it out,” and then held up another sheet that had all the main stream media cut out, which looked like Swiss cheese, and stated, “this is what their site would look like without the mainstream media,” then Carr smiled.

Brian Stelter, a media reporter for the New York Times, and is constantly with a computer or media device to spread word out on what is going on in the world. The main story Stelter covered in the documentary was the Wikileak’s scandal. It was very interesting to see him on the phone, laptop and a 2nd computer all at the same time without mixing them up!

This film is not just a must see for people interested in journalism, but for everybody. Like I stated before it is not only informative but entertaining ant the same time. I only highlighted two of the main characters, but there are so many more interesting people involved in this film. This is a MUST SEE!!