Archive for October, 2008

Should we wrap up the rap?


            In this week’s assignment, our class was to write about a mass medium that could send undesirable messages to the public.  I researched the medium of rap music.  Rap music can be argued that it is too violent, vulgar, and degrading to women.  In new day and age rap music, rap artists often have lyrics of violence, gun shots, killing, fighting and many other violent topics.  Along with violence comes vulgarity.  They often cuss, in some cases, in more sentences than not.  Rappers also rap about women.  They put women into context that is degrading to the female race, speaking of them as if they are only pieces of meat.  Rap music has rapidly become the only music genre that parents want to hide from their children.

            Rap music can affect all people’s decisions they make and the way they go about their lives, but its specialization is on young kids and teenagers.  This is because younger people are often in search of their identity, and are more into what others think of them.  That is why rap music can have such a negative impact on these people.  In rap music, they rap about women and seem to only care about their outer appearance.  Rappers come off as if personality doesn’t play a factor, only looks.  This, in turn, leads to younger girls having eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, thinking that being skinny means beauty.  Many people do not understand how much personal beauty means to the younger samples of people.  When rap music degrades women’s outside appearance, it takes large tolls on them.  Along with women degradation, rap music also speaks of sex, drugs, and alcohol.  All three of which are common problems with today’s teenagers.  When rappers talk about how fashionable it is to drink and do drugs, it can often lead their viewers to think it’s the right thing to do. 

            I looked at three different academic journal articles about the medium of rap and came to find interesting facts.  In a recent study by thy Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Berkeley, California, they found that young people that listen to rap and hip-hop are more likely to abuse alcohol and commit violent acts. 

            In another study in Birmingham, Alabama in 1999, they came to find that the greater exposure to rap music, the higher the rates of unemployment and parental monitoring.  They found that their daily habits tended to be more violent if they listen to hip hop or rap music. 

            In my third research, I found a study on WebMD.  On March 3rd, 2003 they conducted a study that showed that teens who spend more time watching sex and violence depicted in the life of a “gangsta” rap music video are more likely to practice those behaviors in real life.  They also stated that rap music can lead to emotional and physical health problems. 



Gordon, Ed (May 8, 2006). Study: Rap Music Linked to Alchohol, Violence. Npr (Health and Science). Retrieved October 30th, 2008 from


Gina M. Wingood, ScD, MPH, Ralph J. DiClemente, PhD, Jay M. Bernhardt, PhD, MPH, Kathy Harrington, MPH, MAEd, Susan L. Davies, PhD, MEd, Alyssa Robillard, PhD and Edward W. Hook, III, MD (March 2003).  A Prospective Study of Exposure to Rap Music Videos And African American Female Adolescents’ Health. American Journal of Public Health.  Retrieved October 30th 2008 from


Kirchheimer, Sid (March 3, 2003).  Study: Association Found Between Video Viewing Time and Risky Behaviors. Retrieved October 30th from


Alternative Media

            In our last class session, we learned all about alternative media.  Alternative media is different from mainstream media in that it has different goals.  Alternative media’s goal is not to earn profit, but to inform the audiences about ideas.  They seek a broad, non elite audience.  Alternative media is not aiming to sell audience to advertisers for revenue like main stream media does.  In turn, they want to make change, not business.  After comparing these two types of media, I found interesting distinctions.

            The first site that used alternative media that I visited was  This site, Wiretap, has media covering a very broad range of topics.  It ranges from Youth Activism to Sex and Relationships.  I personally looked into the Youth Activism, and the War and Peace categories.  In the Youth Activism section I read up on an article about fighting poverty.  In this article they fought poverty with a green economy.  A lady by the name of Emily Kirsch founded a bay area organization called Ella Baker Center’s Green-Collar Job Campaign.  In this Bay Area group they find ways of working to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.   They believe that in turn, it may reduce poverty.  The creation of new green jobs give more opportunity for the public and the unemployed.  

            I found that this story about fighting poverty with green jobs was a lot more alternatively projected.  It concentrated more on ideas.  They fall away from the rest of the mainstream media by aiming away from advertising, and giving the public the chance to believe what they want to believe.  This alternative media article seems to care more about the situation at hand than profit and financial issues. 

            I also read  upon a couple articles from Democracy Now!  On this site I read an article about fifteen people that were arrested outside of the presidential campaign.  In this article, college kids were arrested for supposedly striking when told to leave by the police.  They did not respond to authority.  The outcome came to have multiple injured, and some even unconscious due to brutal police force. 

            Again, this article seemed to portray the scene in the reality, giving the audience a chance to think what they want to think about the situation.  I thought this was a good article to read on because it deals a lot with opinion.

            Both websites had good alternative media that I found, quite honestly, to be more interesting than mainstream media.  Alternative media seemed to be more down to earth, and spoke in languages that all types of audiences could understand.  The interviews gave audiences a better understanding of the situations and gave a broader spectrum of view.

McCain and Obama Face-off!

Hello all!  This is my first graded blog post in my Journalism 201 class.  My blog guidelines this week are to watch, read, or monitor a cable news station, newspaper, or radio show for at least an hour a day for three days.  We were given a broad range of choices for monitoring the media, and I decided to watch Political Podcasts on  Because the presidential election is rapidly growing closer, it is not hard to come across some type of political media coverage.  It seems to be every where we look!  I watched CNN’s political podcasts for an hour a day for three days.  I watched an hour of the podcasts on Saturday, October 11th, Sunday, October 12th, and Monday, October 13th.  Based on Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman’s book “The Press Effect”, I concluded that the media, in my case CNN, used different types of press.  Some types were more prominent than others and that is what I am here to discuss.

First off, I’d like to begin by acknowledging the job that CNN did on their political coverage.  I believe that CNN did an adequate job covering the presidential election and the issues that often rise with the election.  They seemed to give a fair input of both sides of the presidential election.  They never once led in favor of one side.  I believe it is extremely important for a news coverage team to stay neutral.  The job of news reporters is to give facts of the race, not to try and lead the viewers toward one side of the other.  

After watching the podcasts I noticed that the press of CNN often used “press as a custodian of fact”.  This is a somewhat obvious press style one would expect to be part of the media coverage.  In one of the podcasts, the press debated about the fact regarding who is currently leading the election race.  In the podcasts, they stated that different polls said different things about who was actually in the lead.  Some polls stated that Obama was in the lead, while others said that the two presidential candidates were tied.  The facts of the polls are uncertain; therefore, “press as a custodian of fact” was part of CNN’s media coverage.  

“Press as a custodian of fact” was not the only method of press used in CNN’s media coverage.  They also used “press as a soothsayer”.  This was prevalent because the press often tried to predict the outcome of some of the current issues.  The press showed the presidential candidates debating on what will happen in the future if one or the other were to be elected.  Some of the larger issues brought up were regarding the housing market and job opportunity.  Obama promises that, “thousands of new green jobs will become available if elected”.  McCain states that Obama lies about these remarks.  McCain believes that Obama cares more about Wall Street than he does about the citizens of the United States.  

The most prevalent of press styles was definitely “press as a custodian of fact”.  The entire political coverage of the election deals around the facts.  Although the facts are debatable, and not always agreeable, the election is based on facts.  I thought that this would be the most common press style even before I began this blog assignment.  Thus, I am not surprised it was the most common.

Hello Blogging World!

Greetings blogging world!  I am Ross Nishio and a new, first year student, at the University of Oregon.  Being new to a university is not the only thing I am new to, I am also new to the blogging scene!  This blog should be the first of many, hopefully interesting and engaging blogs.  Although I am new to blogging, I feel I have the ability to not only write a high quality blog, but keep my readers engaged in my blogs as well.  When I first found out that my journalism class would be blogging,  my first impression was honestly a little bit apprehensive.  I thought I would be completely inexperienced in this subject.  But I soon came to find that I am actually around blogging most every day of my life, and quite interested in it as well.  I see blogging on social internet websites that I log onto daily like and  A lot of my friends blog and I have written similar type of blogs as well. 

            I see blogging as a way of socializing via the internet.  It has its pros and cons.  Socializing by blogging is much more convenient than going out of your way to meet people in person or using your phones.  It is simply within hands reach to your nearest computer.  I also find it interesting that many people tend to be more open and willing to talk about more things when online than in person.  This really gives the blogger the ability to express what they really want to express without the lingering feelings of embarrassment and other emotional distresses.  Socializing and interacting with others is an important part of life.  It keeps people up to date with current events and increases social skills that really can enhance one’s life.  It can help in the future with job opportunities, and more importantly can help you keep the respect that many people have hidden inside.   Many people are surprised by what their social skills that they have bottled up inside of them.  It is a common problem when people have the ability to socialize, but are scared to open up; therefore, hiding to themselves their true social ability.  All of these benefits have led me to be extremely excited to begin blogging. 

            As I stated earlier, although I am new to this blogging scene, I hope to find a way to keep my viewers engaged and interested in my topics.  Remember, I am here to begin a new trend of socializing, so join me with my new quest! 


Comment Policy:

I don’t care much about the comments I get for these blogs as long as they aren’t disprespectful, or hateful.  Try to stay away from cursing.  I don’t mind honest comments that disagree with my blog, but I do not approve of disrespectful comments.  I want you all to be honest, so that I can learn from everyone.  Thanks!