Education

President Obama believes quality education is vital to reaching the American Dream.  With higher education for America’s citizens, the economic future of America can have a better shot at success.  With education we can also eliminate poverty levels because it can help spur the job market.

In order to achieve these goals we need to work on America’s higher education.  More specifically, President Obama would propose funding programs for student financial aid programs, and Obama’s American Opportunity Tax Credit.  This is a fully refundable program that will make the first $4,000 of college fees free to most Americans.

Video Game Censorship

Recently, censorship has become an extremely controversial topic in today’s media.  Censorship is the exclusion from consciousness, usually to material that can cause harm our damage to people’s conscience.  Censorship can be used over a broad range of things such as movies, drawings or paintings, music, and many other categories. I am researching censorship in video games.  Video games are now one of the most argumentative categories of censorship.

 

With today’s rapid increases in technology, the gaming industry has become one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world.  With faster processors, and better graphics, gaming consoles are getting better and better, quickly.  Along with better graphics, comes more clear pictures that are not always child proof.  The pictures are often so clear that you can see every drop of blood, every trigger on guns, clear pictures of strippers and drugs, and other types of things that are not made for children to see.

 

 One of the more famous games is “Grand Theft Auto”, which is infamous for it’s gory violence, drugs, prostitution, vulgar language, and stealing of cars.  As one would expect, this causes a lot of controversy and argumentation.  Parents, of course, spark a lot of anger with these games because video game consoles main target are children.  Many people believe that kids that play this game and have fun doing the violent acts will, in turn, go out and do the same things in real life.  They may do these things thinking it is the “cool” thing to do, or because they do not even know they are doing the wrong things.  

 

I personally believe that censorship is not a necessary action for video games.  Video games have ratings like “mature”, making it illegal for people under a certain age to buy these games.  Of course, consumers find ways around that, and simply have their peers buy the games for them.  But, I think that the game ratings are enough for censorship on video games.  The video game companies set their laws, and if the public decides to take their chances against the law, then that is their choice.  From there, it is the parents, or guardians of the children to make sure their kids are not playing games they should not be playing.  

 

I feel that the ratings on the games are simply to warn the consumers that there is some adult content in the game.  The ratings give a sense of security to both the consumers and producers.  Without the ratings, the consumers may argue even more about the censorship.  Again, the argument is that younger kids who often play these games, will use what they see in the game, in their own lives.  I do not believe that this happens often, if even at all.  If they happen to go about using these acts in their own lives, it is the fault of the families that they are in.  The parents should take control of their kids and make sure they are not doing these things.  Video games are a big part of kids childhood and can keep them happy and lively with all of their other things they are obligated to do.  Without free time where kids can express themselves in a fun way, it would take harder tolls on more important things, like schoolwork.  I do not feel it is fair to punish the innocent children who enjoy playing these video games without any problem.  It is up to the victims that do act on the violence to fix their own problems.

Heart Disease Tests May Become Routine.

            This week’s blog assignment was to analyze an online mainstream newspaper article on health or science.  We were allowed to choose any mainstream online newspaper, and I chose to research The San Francisco Chronicle.  On The San Francisco Chronicle website, I went to the health section and chose an article about heart disease testing.  The article was titled “New Heart disease test could become routine”, by Elizabeth Fernandez, a Chronicle Staff Writer. 

            The article I evaluated was about the chance that a new, low-cost blood test may soon become a routine assessment for regular medical exams.  If the test detects a high level of a specific protein, patients could choose to reduce their risks of heart disease by using a popular statin drug.  The reason for this new test’s arrival is because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 26 seconds, an American has a coronary event, and about one person every minute dies from it.  In that same study, they found that those taking the medication for over a year and a half were 54 percent less likely to have a heart attack, 48 percent less likely to have a stroke, and 46 percent less likely to require angioplasty or bypass surgery.

            Some doctors, on the other hand, say that these tests may not actually be necessary.  Some doctors say that the studies they made may not be completely correct because the only people tested were males over the age of 50 and females over the age of 60.  Others experts also stressed that it may not be worth the time and money when a lot of people forget about the standard public health guidelines to reduce heart and stroke risk, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, dieting, and exercising. 

            I think the coverage of this story was done well for a few reasons.  I liked how the sources used in the article were from high quality medical areas such as Stanford, and UC San Francisco.  I know that those are arguably two of the top contending medical schools in the nation.  I trust their words of health care and trust their studies that they run.  My parents were both medical students at UC San Francisco, and I know that they have a great school of medicine there,  giving me trust I need for giving the sources credibility.  I also think that this coverage is credible because the writer used many quotations from actual doctors, to help show real people’s opinions towards this subject.  I believe it helps when one hears an actual professional speak about topics that they know best and are most educated on.  Along with quotations and studies, Elizabeth Fernandez also gave great counter arguments against this new heart disease test.  Although it seems to be a good idea to test the public’s risks of heart disease, there are also downsides that she showed as well.  She expressed the fact that some doctors believe it is just important, if not more important, to concentrate on exercise and dieting.  The financial aspect of the test was brought up as well.  Is the test really worth the money?

            I feel that the reporter answered the questions that I have about the topic.  I chose this article because I was always interested in knowing more about heart disease because some people in my family have died due to heart attacks.  I personally had questions regarding the percentage of people who had heart problems, and if they are always fatal.  This reporter answered that question and helped me to obtain a better grasp on the topic.  

White Gold’s Branded Community

             For our third participation blog post, our class was to explore an online branded community and reflect on it.  In our last class session, we looked into a couple online branded communities, one being www.whitegoldiswhitegold.com/.  I found this online branded community to be interesting, so I decided to choose it and write about it. 

            I messed around on this website for a while and came across a lot of interesting gadgets, and links, to say the least.  When u first enter the site, it gives the sound of a static amplifier while it loads.  I found that interesting in that it grabs the viewers attention with a unique intro to the website.  Of course, the whole site is based off of the color white, because of the milk they are advertising.  It keeps the audience thinking nothing other than milk and uniqueness.  The website also makes random sounds when nothing is being touched to make sure that the viewer is still paying attention to their page.  I feel that the goal of this website is to be so extraordinarily unique that it keeps their company’s image in their mind’s as much as possible.  That is a common strategy that promoters use to keep their consumer’s awareness of the product as high as possible. 

            I personally found this site extremely engaging, simply because it was odd, to be honest.  It is like our professor said, “If you miss a question, you are more likely to remember it in the future”.  In this case, the question I missed was the website and how I have never seen anything advertised like that, and I am more likely to remember what is being advertised, milk.  The makers of this website made it even more engaging with flamboyant music, images, and colors.  It keeps the viewers that much more interested in clicking that next link. 

            After looking through almost the entire website, I can not say that it has affected my attitude and actions towards the milk product, but it has definitely put its image in my mind, and I am planning on remembering that image for a long time to come.  To me, it did not make a large affect on my decisions of whether or not I will buy that product over its competitors.  It did, on the other hand, tell me that they do put a great amount of effort into making the public aware of their product in a great way.  But who knows, maybe someone else out there took it a different way, and will decide that this website was just that extra push they needed when making their decision at their local market.

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. 

 

References:

Gordon, Ed (May 8, 2006). Study: Rap Music Linked to Alchohol, Violence. Npr (Health and Science). Retrieved October 30th, 2008 from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5390075

 

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 http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/full/93/3/437

 

Kirchheimer, Sid (March 3, 2003).  Study: Association Found Between Video Viewing Time and Risky Behaviors. Retrieved October 30th from http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030303/does-rap-put-teens-at-risk

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 www.wiretapmag.org.  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 CNN.com.  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 MySpace.com and facebook.com.  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!

 

 

            

Newer entries »