A High School Newspaper Was Suspended For Publishing An Investigation Into Football Players’ Transfers

So a school student newspaper publishes a story that is embarrassing to the principal and school district leadership. The school then pulls the story and threatens to fire the advisor despite a state law that protects student publications.

Got to love today’s education system.

— Read on www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/amberjamieson/harber-high-arkansas-student-newspaper-suspended-football

Irresponsible reporting? Are we being tricked on what is really happening in Russia?

Last week I shared some links to photos and stories about happenings in Russia as reporters and others arrived for the Olympics.

Many of the photos I shared were of reporters letting us all know the hardships they were having in their hotels and other places at the Olympics. Were some true? I think so. Just look at what happened to U.S. Bobsledder Johnny Quinn, he was trapped in his bathroom this weekend and Tuesday he was trapped in an elevator.

Were some false? I think so too, people capitalizing on the interest to spread rumors and falsehoods. Take a look at several photos that are circulating the internet as coming from Sochi, they are all fake.

Here is a story of how one photo became a story and it wasn’t even taken in Sochi.

But it didn’t get any better for the Russians when the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the games got in trouble defending the preparedness of Sochi implied that they had surveillance cameras in the hotel rooms saying they saw people turn on the showers and leave their rooms for the day.

But one of the biggest wrongs came from NBC’s Richard Engel who worked with a security expert to test whether a new Mac, Windows machine and an Android device could be hacked. You can watch the video story here.

The security expert was from Trend Micro. In a detailed blog post he explains what and how this happened. If you watch the video again, you will see that they opened a Microsoft Word document that then executed malware. They downloaded “recommended” security software from hackers, they changed security settings on the android device and installed and let open Flash and Java on the Macbook Air. 

As the expert points out in a second post about the story, all the hacks required user interaction. There is no doubt about this. You don’t run Java or Flash on a Mac unless you restrict it to specific sites you need to use it on. You don’t run attachments or recommended software people email you, you are just asking for trouble. And you don’t completely open the security settings on your Android device.

Take a look at this story from Rene Richie of iMore and how NBC’s credibility has taken a hit.

The story was edited to look like there was no interaction from the user. But that is just not the case as the security expert has shown. What he did add is this type of hacking could take place any where. They went to websites that you can get to from the United States, anywhere in the world.

It is time that the media takes a serious look at itself and get back to its roots of reporting quality, true stories and stop trying to be sensational. Good reporting wins out every time.

Sorry for sharing those incorrect stories with you. I still think the Sochi Olympics were as ready as they should have been, but it is still great to see all the Olympic Sports and its spirit in all the Olympians.

Why do people believe experts on tv or radio?

I was headed to the airport earlier and KFBK in Sacramento brought on an expert to talk about safety for those big Christmas presents you bought.
They didn’t want you to put those big empty tv boxes outside in the garbage because it would be an invitation for thieves.

But then she said one thing that caught my attention. She said not to put your serial numbers of your devices into the cloud through your computer because if someone stole your computer than you wouldn’t be able to have access to it.

That is the entire reason to have cloud services. It is backed up off-site, one of the main tenants in a backup strategy. You can still access it without accessing your primary computer and if something happens to it, it will still be available.

This is what Evernote does quite well.

But this so called expert was talking like this is a bad thing.

Our media needs to be more vigilant in selecting experts and we as consumers need to be more vigilant to ensure what they are telling us is accurate.

Media need to think more before they talk

I was just watching CNN and the anchor misspoke. She said that Droid has become the most popular Smartphone on the market.
The problem is that she was referring to Android overtaking Blackberry as the most popular smartphone platform.

The problem is that Droid is a phone that runs android and is made by Motorola. I’m sure Motorola liked the press, but it shows media talking about things they don’t really understand.

Last week the Denver Post ran a story with a headline that said about the Federal budget. The headline said the government shutdown was averted because the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution.

While the body of the story was correct, the headline implied something differently.

In this day of instant news, the media needs to work harder to get the story right.

CU Blows Journalism School Reorganization Announcement

Today the University of Colorado at Boulder blew an announcement about their Journalism and Mass Communications school. They really didn’t tell anyone before they sent a news release to the media and it caught its most important asset, its students, completely off-guard.
For those of you who missed it, CU announced today that they would discontinue their current Journalism and Mass Communication Program and use that opportunity to develop a new program to meet the needs of the industry today.

We all know that the field of journalism and mass communication has changed and they need to evolve the program to meet what is going on in the real world. I support that!

But the problem is that they didn’t really communicate it with the students or their advisors before they sent out a news release to the media themselves.

According to their news release they met with the staff and explained what is going on. I can’t confirm that, but I’ll take them at their word. But they didn’t tell their students. No email, call, or have a specific meeting for them.

Worst yet, they didn’t tell the student advisors before the announcement went to the media. So the students are seeing the reports in the media, contacting their advisors, and then getting no response or information. This I can confirm.

An image that shows the Denver Post Headline that says CU Moves to close school of journalism

How is a student supposed to feel or react especially when all the headlines and breaking news texts going out from most local media outlets say that CU is closing the Journalism and Mass Communications Program.

They didn’t send anything out to the students until later in the day and then they only sent the news release to them.

They way it should have been handled was after meeting with the faculty and then advisors, had an email go out to all the students prior to news release going to the media. They should have received the announcement first.

The announcement should have told them what was going on and referred them to a website for the students to see more explanations on how this pertains to them. It should have also referred them to their advisor to answer their questions.

I think the CU Media and Community Relations folks need to go back to school and learn how to communicate with their stakeholders and roll out a big announcement like this. They definitely could have handled this a lot better.

CNN Being Irresponsible

I can’t believe how irresponsible CNN is being right now regarding the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas.
They are talking with civilians and dependents on the base and they are giving away information of where they are at and what is happening on base.

During an incident, this is something that shouldn’t be happening. It gives operational information away and could harm those people still on the base.

You don’t know who is watching and what is really going on.

You need to protect the people still there and the law enforcement agencies who are trying to handle the situation.

CNN should know better and we should expect more from the media.

Media not covering the Presidential Election as much as they used to

The cost of covering the 2008 Presidential Election has grown to a point that newspapers aren’t covering it with their own reporters as much as they used to.
In an article that ran in the New York Times, The Buzz on the Bus: Pinched, Press Step Off, they discuss how major newspapers aren’t covering the presidential campaigns.

For most of the others, the price of admission — more than $2,000 for just one person to travel on Mr. Obama’s charter flights that day — was too steep, in an era in which newspapers in particular are slashing costs and paring staff, and with no end in sight to a primary campaign that began more than a year ago.

It is just getting too expensive for them to cover the events and who does that hurt? The voters. We are not getting the information we need but are getting bombarded with information that does not help us make an educated decision on who we are going to vote for.

Bloggers help, but for the most part they drive a lot of misinformation. Who should we believe?

Only a few newspapers are covering it full time. Most are relying on wire services for their coverage.

It is a sign of the times that things are changing in the media industry, but I wish something would come along that would provide the services that these news organizations used to provide.

DIA de-icers get faulty training : Airlines & Aerospace

DIA de-icers get faulty training : Airlines & Aerospace : The Rocky Mountain News
This is a report that aired this evening on CBS 4 News and was put together by Brian Maass.

This is appalling to me.  I fly a lot, including in the winter, and rely on de-icers to make sure that my flight is safe.  I also rely on the airlines and Federal Air Administration to ensure that my flight is safe.

Because they were not checking up on their contractor, Servisair, they passed everyone by giving them the answers.  That is not acceptable.  It shouldn’t take an investigative report from the CBS affiliate in Denver to uncover this.

The company should be checking up on their instructors, including planting people in the class, to make sure they are following the rules.  In addition, the FAA and the airlines (who hired Servisair to de-ice planes) should do independent checks to ensure that make sure Servisair is doing their job.

I must let you know Servisair was appalled by what they saw on the tape and suspended and eventually fired the person who administered the tests and called everyone back to take a refresher course and re-take the tests.  But to me, it is a little late.

Let’s just hope that there are no problems this year with de-icing planes.

Rocky Mountain News Revamps Website

The Rocky Mountain News has revamped their website and I must say I don’t quite like the look.
It is clean and the information is easily accessible, but it is beginning to look like too many other sites.  The home page photo used to be quite prominent and really differentiated the website from others, but now it is just small and hard to see.  The photographers of the Rocky are some of the best out there and their work needs to be seen, not hidden.

The other opportunity that the Rocky Mountain News missed was in showing links to blogs that discuss a story.  This is a great tool and creates for more discussion and traffic to news stories.  It would be nice if they would add this feature.

Overall, it is clean, bright, and easy to find the information.  It would be nice to see the other features that I discussed.