Twitter updates

Twitter made an announcement on Wednesday about updates coming to the app specifically regarding their photo sharing. Twitter users always had the ability to share photos, but now you will be able to tag people in photos that you share and make collages directly on Twitter. In the past if you wanted other users to see a photo you shared on Twitter, you had to tag them in the tweet, taking up several of the precious 140 characters. Now, you will be able to tag up to 10 people in a single photo without taking up characters. It was only a matter of time before Twitter added this feature. Facebook has allowed photo tagging options for years, and Instagram recently added this feature as well. Tagged images will show up on the interactions page of Twitter just like regular Twitter mentions.

Another new update coming to Twitter is a collage option. Now you will be able to share up to four photos at once without using another app. Photo collages have become increasingly popular on all social media sites, especially Instagram. Twitter has made it easier for its users to create these collages by giving them the ability to create one without leaving Twitter. Normally, social media users would outsource to an app like PicStitch to make an up which then allows you to upload it to a social media site.

I think that both of these updates will make Twitter users very happy, even though they are relatively minor. It is important for Twitter to continue to adapt to what their consumers want.


New York Times Co vs. Sullivan

New York Times Co vs. Sullivan is a landmark Supreme Court case that occurred in 1964. This case established the actual malice standard which says that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case must prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false, or disregarded its truth or falsity. This puts an extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff and makes it difficult to prove the defendant’s knowledge. Because of the high burden of proof, cases like this (especially those involving public figures) rarely win.

In 1960, the New York Times ran a full page advertisement speaking out against an Alabama perjury indictment and in favor of Martin Luther King Jr. The advertisement also listed inaccurate criticism of the Alabama police. Montgomery Public Safety commissioner L.B. Sullivan considered these statements to be defamatory even though he was not specifically named in the advertisement. He sued the Times for libel and won $500,000 in an Alabama court. However when the case got to the Supreme Court, it ruled in favor of the Times 9-0 and said that the newspaper had the freedom of the press and said that there was no proof of actual malice.

This case is so important because it upholds our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and press. The court ruling said that “the First Amendment protects the publication of all statements, even false ones, about the conduct of public officials except when statements are made with actual malice (with knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity).”

The 50th anniversary of this case occurred just a few weeks ago. March 9th, 1964 was the day that the decision of New York Times Co vs. Sullivan was reached. It is amazing that such a case occurred 50 years ago and it is still relevant to our judicial system today. In my Media Law and Ethics course last semester, we went over this case thoroughly in regards to its importance to the rights in the First Amendment. This shows that although it is 50 years old this year, this landmark case is still as important as ever. The Times released an article about the case on the anniversary which you can read here.

Mike Feeley Presentation

Tonight in Online Journalism, we were lucky enough to hear a presentation by Mike Feeley of The Patriot News and a Pulitzer Prize winner. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University and it is always an inspiring experience when we get to meet graduates of this program who have had success in their fields. When Mr. Feeley first came to Bloomsburg in 1983, he immediately went to the Press Enterprise and asked for a job in the sports department. During college, he had three internships before he graduated. After he graduated, there were no jobs in the journalism field so he worked for his brother’s underwater construction company before eventually getting a full time position back at the Press Enterprise and moving to the Patriot News two years later.

In December 2012, The Patriot News made a shift from publishing 7 days a week to only 3 days a week and has shifted its focus to a digital format. The Patriot News has realized that the newspaper industry is changing fast. Mr. Feeley talked a lot about how newspaper companies need to give the people the news when they want it. They have realized that switching to digital gives them more freedom for when they can provide the news whereas a print publication always came out every morning. Online, people can access the news whenever and wherever they choose. Their website can get up to a million page views per day. 50% of their viewers are on mobile devices and they have seen a 40% growth in viewers so far this year. This is an important shift to make because the news business is very reliant on the internet. We have so much access and we no longer have to wait for news sources to update, the internet is almost automatic.

The Patriot News won their Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They released a story about the allegations against Sandusky in March of 2011 and nothing happened afterwards. Months later, the attorney general announced they would be having a press conference and posted the allegations against Sandusky online, not realizing that they were public. The Patriot News was able to print the information that was posted before the attorney general removed it. After the information spread, the attorney general was forced to put it back online and the story broke. They worked diligently for months with no days off to get all the information that was unfolding during this scandal. Mr. Feeley believes that the most interesting part of this whole story is the cover up and the fact that high-up university officials tried to hide the scandal from the world and slip it under the rug. In order to do their best work and be sensitive to the situation, Patriot reporters spoke to attorneys and sexual abuse counselors before interviewing victims.

Getting to hear Mr. Feeley talk about his job was awesome. I learned a lot about the field and how much technology and media is changing the industry. It is important to keep up with the evolving world or you will get left behind. I think the Patriot News is doing great with acknowledging this shift and are keeping up with what their consumers want.

Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham is an essential part of the history of American journalism, especially for women. Her parents bought The Washington Post when she was just sixteen years old. She began working for the Post in 1938 at the age of 21. In 1946, her husband Philip Graham became the head publisher of the Post. Graham dealt with many issues including alcoholism and mental illness and could not overcome these issues leading to his suicide in 1963. Katharine took charge of the company after her husbands death and was head of the Post from 1963 onward. She was chairman of the board from 1973 to 1991. In 1972, Katharine Graham became the first female Fortune 500 CEO as the CEO of the Washington Post company. Because she was the only woman with such a high position in this field, she struggled with being taken seriously by her male colleagues and employees. In her memoir published in 1997, she discusses the lack of confidence she had in herself which stemmed from a bad relationship with her mother who was very negative and condescending towards her for most of her childhood. Although Katharine suffered from self confidence issues, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her memoir in 1998 and is a role model for women everywhere, especially aspiring female journalists.

Katharine was in charge of the Post during one of the most important times in American history: the Watergate scandal. The Post was crucial in unveiling the details of this scandal which eventually led to President Nixon’s resignation. The fact that a female was in charge of a paper was shocking during this time period, let alone during one of America’s most famous scandals. Katharine Graham is proof that you can overcome bad situations and be successful no matter what. She was an advocate for gender equality in her company and in journalism and she has paved the way for many female journalists and publishers who have come after her.

Eddie Adams

You have all heard the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This statement could not be truer. Photographs are  some of the most powerful forms of media and journalism in our world. The most famous example of this is Eddie Adams, an American photographer and photojournalist from Pennsylvania. He took famous portraits of celebrities and politicians and covered 13 wars. He was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his famous photograph that has defined his career. Eddie Adam's famous photograph of the execution of a Vietcong prisoner during the Vietnam War
Eddie Adams’ famous photograph of the execution of a Vietcong prisoner during the Vietnam War

This photograph, taken on February 1st 1968, is one of the most famous illustrations of the Vietnam War and especially the Tet Offensive. However, Mr. Adams did not want to be remembered for this photograph, stating that he did not want his obituary to begin, “Eddie Adams, the photographer best known for his iconic Vietnam photograph ‘Saigon Execution.'” He said that his photograph captured only one side of the situation and has apologized to the general in the photograph for the damage it did to his honor while he was alive. After he died in 1998, Adams praised him as a hero.

Mr. Adams career is not made up of this sole photograph. He has one over 500 awards and has photographed the likes of Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Clint Eastwood, Malcolm X, Bette Davis, Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis.

This one singular photograph created a huge impact in the world of journalism and photojournalism. It is a lesson to us all that what you do and put out into the world can have a serious impact, more than what you could ever imagine. View his entire Vietnam War photo album here.

My App

During this blog, I have discussed several different ways that media and technology have grown, expanded and changed our culture. One new development that has happened with the popularity of the iPhone has been emojis. Now, emoticons of all kinds have been around for several years. In the days of email and instant messaging, smiley faces and other emoticons were very popular. However, the emoji app has taken the iPhone world by storm. People have emoji conversations via text message, and you can also find several emojis on your Twitter timeline as well. One thing I have noticed with the new emoji craze is that people often demand more. People want more variety and more to chose from and often complain that a specific emoji isn’t available to them. To satisfy this need in the marketplace, I would create a “Create Your Own Emoji” App that would allow users to edit the existing emojis and piece together pictures to create new ones. They would even be able to upload images and “emojify” pictures of their friends to allow completely one-of-a-kind emojis. We would also create a set of new emojis that would be released monthly for download so that emojis are always changing. I have spoken to several peers who have said that this is an app they would download if it was available. I have observed via Twitter the want for different and new emojis. These observations lead me to believe that this would be a successful application and that it would fill a void in the marketplace. Emojis are a fun, interesting way to add illustrations and life to texts and tweets and my app would only further the enjoyment of emoji usage.

Home screen of my app

Home screen of my app

"About Us" page of my app

“About Us” page of my app