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In the eras before Google’s founding, journalists had to go out and search for information. It took time to gather information on a person’s occupation, hobbies and interests. Since the invention of Google, journalists have had access to a tool that streamlines their research.

However, while Google has helped journalists, many critics speculate that its power of immediately gathering information overrunning journalism. The iPod industry, built on the stilts of Apple, is also seen as a threat to journalism–especially with reports that Rupert Murdoch is starting a newspaper exclusively for the iPad.

But Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, spoke recently, and said he refused to allow his empire to take over journalism.

“One of my beliefs, very strongly, is that any democracy depends on a free, healthy press,” Jobs said in an interview earlier this year. “Anything that we can do to help the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal find new ways of expression so they can afford to get paid, so they can afford to keep their editorial operations intact, I’m all for it.”

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, forecasted the future of journalism himself in an interview with The Atlantic reporter James Fallows.

“It’s obvious that in five or 10 years, most news will be consumed on an electronic device of some sort,” Schmidt said. “Something that is mobile and personal, with a nice color screen. Imagine an iPod or Kindle smart enough to show you stories that are incremental to a story it showed you yesterday, rather than just repetitive. And it knows who your friends are and what they’re reading and think is hot.”

Jobs believes it’s Apple’s responsibility to give journalism the room to succeed that it deserves, saying, “I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers myself. We need editorial more than ever right now.”

Google offers a News Archive Search, which, according to Google, “provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition to helping you search, News archive search can automatically create timelines which show selected results from relevant time periods.”

Ultimately, newspapers will have to adapt to the environment around them. With technology booming and Google and Apple showing no signs of stopping, newspapers will simply have to find new ways to engage their audiences.

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Mobile journalism, or “mojo,” should be an idea all journalism students understand and apply. Journalists must be prepared for news no matter where they are–journalists should know that news never stops. Here are two things that many journalists could use in order to find a lead and work from there.

Mashable writer Greg Ferenstein wrote an article and recommended a list of tools crucial for mobile journalism. Number one on that list: voice recorders.

One of the key elements of mojo, as Ferenstein noted, is a voice recorder. Voice recorders are important for journalists to have because, without them, a journalist’s story or quotes may not be 100 percent accurate. Many smartphones come with a recording application, or are able to download a recording application from the internet. Using a cell phone as a recorder also has an upside: they’re also familiar to people–as Ferenstein wrote, “cell phones are so ubiquitous that they seem less intrusive than bulky recording equipment”–and therefore not as frightening as typical recorders to the person or people being interviewed.

Mashable interviewed Frank Barth Nilsen of Mojoevolution.com, who said he finds cell phones to be less menacing. “It’s not so frightening to be interviewed by a man or woman with only a cell phone,” Nilsen said. “It’s small and most people are used to being photographed by a cell phone.”

Not only is a recording device good for accuracy, but it’s also perfect for initial reactions. At the scene of the story, journalists with recorders can gather information, interview witnesses, and describe the surroundings immediately instead of waiting to write it all down.

Mediabistro.com also suggested an iPhone app for all journalists called SpotCrime.

“Users enter an address and the app plots recent crimes, including burglary, theft, assault, on a Google map,” the article reads.

SpotCrime's map feature.

With SpotCrime, journalists know where crime is happening as it happens. Although professional journalists covering the police beat have police frequencies buzzing at them all day, SpotCrime is better for amateur journalists who want to know where to be and when to be there.

By using a recorder and SpotCrime, journalists can have the upper hand in knowing where something’s happening and by being prepared with a recorder to have a record of what happens next. Although there are many other tools crucial to being successful with mojo, a recorder and a map of crime in any city can give journalists an upper hand in getting any lead they seek out.

News stories have always been sources of information for the public to intake, digest and evaluate. Now, however, many people are beginning to notice that the amount of serious news coverage is dwindling, and that more stories are chosen for by their debate factor.

In a post from the American Journalism Review, Senior Contributing Writer Paul Farhi wrote about Orly Taitz, a lawyer and dentist from California, who is part of the “birther” movement. Birthers believe President Obama was not born in America, and is therefore ineligible to hold the oval office. Farhi wanted to know how such unimportant news became such a media frenzy to begin with.

“Why does a crank like Taitz rate so much attention in the first place?” Farhi wrote.

News outlets are becoming more comfortable with fewer hard news stories and more soft news stories–but the question is why.

“Is a story about the private life of a politician ‘politics’ or ‘entertainment’?” an article from the Media Awareness Network asks. “Is an article about the importance of investing early for retirement a ‘business’ story or a ‘lifestyle’ story? Judging solely on subject matter, it can be difficult to tell.”

Subject matter has always been important for journalists, but with the rise of the World Wide Web, many unfounded underground news stories are starting to gain popularity. Once people notice that the stories are popular, those people may be unable to discover that the source that published the story is misinformed or biased.

“Stories that might have been dismissed as marginal or kooky in an earlier age now command serious scrutiny from mainstream news organizations,” Farhi wrote. “Before there was an Internet, before the explosion of sources of news and commentary, mainstream news organizations could maintain something like a gatekeeper role, downplaying or ignoring stories they deemed unfit for public consumption.”

Farhi cited theories ranging from the birther movement to the ignorance towards Muslims as being some of the topics that often allow for uneducated commentary to get out of hand. Politico writer Ben Smith offered insight as to why.

“[B] elief in obscure, discredited theories is a constant in a country with a history of partisan division — a country in which, a recent survey showed, 34 percent of the public believes in UFOs and 24 percent believes in witches,” wrote Smith.

Even though internet has given rise to many claims, theories, and news stories, it’s still the responsible journalist’s role to sort through the mountain of dirt in order to find a story with real value. Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, commented on Farhi’s article.

“We’re in the business to tell people what’s real and what’s not. I know it sounds a little arrogant, but our job, whenever possible, is to tell them the truth,” Jurkowitz wrote.

As Farhi wrote in his article, journalists used to be able to decide the majority of news the public heard. Journalists had time to sift through rumors and weed out the falsehoods in order to make truthful and accurate stories. In this era, journalists still must sift through the bad to find the good–but they also must convince their readers that journalists are trustworthy and have the correct answers. In the end, journalists must continue to present their stories honestly and without bias, while remaining honorable. Sensationalist stories and theories have a place, and it’s not in journalism.

NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep explained yesterday that the iPad may be the host of the next big thing in journalism.

“…Coming early next year, billionaire Rupert Murdoch plans to launch his own iPad-only daily newspaper.”

Cnet news reported that the name of this newspaper will be, simply enough, “The Daily” and that it will be sold on the iPad for 99 cents per week.

Now that the masses will have access to a newspaper with moving ads and images, much like newspapers of the future as seen in science fiction movies, it’s up to the audience to decide if the digital newspaper passes or fails. Although science fiction movies have been making newspapers of the future look enchanting for years, many journalists don’t think The Daily will make it. In the age of sharing, this new project’s reluctance to link to the internet for unoriginal content is disappointing to some and a sign of future failure to many.

“The conception of the daily, as it is called, is mostly original content,” said David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times in an interview with Steve Inskeep. “But it doesn’t have any inbound links from the Web, no outbound links, so it’s not really part of what we think of as the news ecosystem.”

According to Carr’s column in The New York Times, an investment has been made and a staff has been chosen.

“With an investment of $30 million and a staff of around 100, The Daily will be the first of a kind — a ‘newspaper’ with rich media and photography built especially for the iPad,” wrote Carr in his column.

Carr continued to write about the digital newspaper’s new staff.

“The enterprise has made some surprising hires from the ranks of the mainstream — Sasha Frere-Jones, the music critic of The New Yorker; Steve Alperin, a high-profile television producer; and Richard Johnson, the former king of Page Six,” he wrote. “The Daily will incorporate some material from the rest of the News Corporation — Fox Sports will provide some video, according to people putting together the prototype — but the plan is that a vast majority of the content will be original.”

In an article titled “Why the iPad Newspaper is Doomed,” Gawker writer Ryan Tate explained that the newspaper needed to focus on content in order to succeed.

“There will be people writing about politics, crime and society. Quaintly, there will even be an a dedicated opinion section,” Tate wrote. “That broad scope might be workable for 100 journalists if there were some aggregation going on — some borrowing and sharing work done by others — but the vast majority of The Daily’s content is supposed to be original.”

Finally The Guardian also published information about the new project:

“According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition’; the central innovation, developed with assistance from Apple engineers, will be to dispatch the publication automatically to an iPad or any of the growing number of similar devices.”

With so many questions for the new newspaper application, its launch may create even more questions. It will simply take time to see, however. Despite being a major milestone as the first iPad only newspaper, this experiment will definitely test the waters for new newspaper territory.

Twitter is recommended to journalists as a way to manage information on the go. From the scene of breaking news, Twitter updates, or “tweets,” are important pieces of information that give an account’s followers a description of events as they happen. Many news outlets already have accounts, like the New York Times, Bay News 9, and the St. Petersburg Times.

In a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, statistics show that 76 percent of Twitter users read newspapers offered online.

Another reason Twitter is important is the value of each major newspaper having a Twitter account. Not only does Twitter link a newspaper’s followers to its articles quickly and easily, but Twitter accounts give a face to big newspapers that are sometimes seen as impersonal media machines. Twitterjournalism.com’s Tauhid Chappell wrote in his article “Why You Should Join Twitter” about words offered by Dr. Leslie-Jean Thornton, a professor from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

“To quote Dr. Leslie-Jean Thornton (@ljthornton) when she spoke at the VPA/AP Conference in Roanoke, ‘[These tweets] show how an institution can speak with a personal voice rather than an institutional voice. It’s not just pushing out headlines. It’s not just a machine.'”

Twitter is also great to join because it’s built around a user’s interest. If a user wants to follow different newspapers, sports teams, bands or local news stations, it’s as easy as clicking “follow.” Users can even receive real-time text updates from their favorite users. Even with a 140 character limit, companies have flourished on the social networking site.

Readwriteweb.com’s Marshall Kirkpatrick described one of the reasons journalists enjoy twitter–with the informality of the site, journalists can get out information quickly without having to write a length feature article first.

“We discover tech news tips on Twitter first on a regular basis. When Google bought Twitter competitor Jaiku, for example, we learned about it on Twitter,” Kirkpatrick wrote. “That early news tip lead to our covering the news before any one else and getting our story on the front page of Digg – good in this case for tens of thousands of pageviews.”

Not only are journalists successful in releasing breaking news stories over the site, but followers can also interact with newspapers and journalists by submitting replies or comments as new tweets. Kirkpatrick wrote that followers of his twitter account were eager to offer potential interview questions for Kirckpatrick’s interview with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

“If was quickly evident that many people wanted to read his thoughts about data portability, but we got some other good question suggestions as well,” he wrote. “That’s becoming an increasingly common tactic for us and other writers, as it’s so easy to supplement our own questions with those of a larger network.”

So while Twitter may seem unnecessary for people to use as a minute by minute diary, by using Twitter journalists gain the advantage. Once a journalist builds a small base of followers, they can crowdsource for information as needed. Journalists can also use Twitter to give a play-by-play of potentially explosive breaking news. Although it’s not required to be a good journalist, Twitter is a great tool for journalists around the world.

USF’s PRIDE Alliance acts to minimize hate crimes and acts of injustice towards the LGBT community on campus

by Brooke Lacey and Alissa Jones

Wayne Gabb, vice president of external affairs for PRIDE Alliance


TAMPA — The topic of gay acceptance has been an issue for many years, and with the recent suicides of several gay teens across the nation, all of which were linked to bullying and intolerance, Wayne Gabb said people still need to be educated.

Gabb, a 20-year-old psychology major at the University of South Florida, is familiar with gay acceptance on campus. Gabb is the vice-president of external affairs for USF’s People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality Alliance, or PRIDE Alliance, the primary LGBT group at USF.

“I’m happy to say at USF it’s barely an issue because we’re one of the most diverse schools in the country,” Gabb said.

Although the university is diverse, he added that some steps should be taken to make sexual orientation less of a public problem.

“Why don’t we create a living and learning community where you accept the fact you’d be living with someone that is from a different culture, that is [lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered], that practices a non-popular religion, and you’re accepting and okay with that?” he said. “More LGBT people will apply for that [living arrangement].”

Gabb said, from his experiences, he is happy with how the university promotes tolerance, but he occasionally receives unnecessary attention for his sexual orientation.

“I think each professor will take into account once they realize I’m gay. I feel sometimes I’m called out upon it in class for no reason, or it’s brought to people’s attention when it doesn’t need to [be].”

With gay suicides receiving major publicity this year, Gabb said that people should learn how to be more tolerant and less offensive toward the LGBT community.

“I don’t like when people constantly say ‘that’s gay,’ I actually had to speak out at one of my class mates because he used it all the time. I yelled across the room before class started, ‘the word you mean is “stupid.” The word you want to use is “stupid.”’”

Gabb also added that some of his friends have experienced more than just that cliché expression.

“I’ve had some friends…get into verbal abuse and almost physical violence when they were roommates at the time,” Gabb said. “That’s the problem with living in dorms on campus, and that’s why we promote living learning communities.”

Gabb offered some words of advice to promote tolerance within the student body.

“Labeling makes people uncomfortable, it makes people think that everyone’s in a category,” Gabb said, “but all men are created equal.”
USF student Rachel Martin, who is an out of the closet bisexual, said that tolerance toward the LGBT community should be promoted more often throughout the university.
“Just because I’m bisexual doesn’t mean that I’m stupid, below human, or anything like that,” Martin said. “And just because someone isn’t familiar with the gay community doesn’t mean that they’re ignorant. They just need to experience the [LGBT] community before they judge it.”

PRIDE Alliance meetings are held Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in the the Marshall Student Center, room 3709.

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By Alissa Jones
Although USF lost momentum in the PETA2 competition to be named the most vegan-friendly college in the country, vegan students are confident that the university has what it takes.
TAMPA–In 2009, USF came in at fifth on the list of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly schools in the nation. This year, however, USF was knocked out of PETA 2’s online competition in the first round.
The competition, based online at PETA2.com, opened with 16 colleges. Students could go online to the competition’s web page, click on their college’s name and see pictures and descriptions of some vegan dishes offered by their university.

USF was in the running with pictures and descriptions of vegan foods from USF Dining, such as black-bean burgers with avocado-corn relish, Bombay garden spring rolls, vegan macaroni and cheese and vegan jambalaya. But those menu items are only a taste of what USF Dining has to offer, according to Jenna Burns, marketing manager of USF Dining Services.

“USF Dining currently offers numerous vegan and vegetarian options,” Burns said. “All three of our dining halls (Fresh Food Company, Bulls Den Café and Juniper Dining) offer vegan/vegetarian-friendly salad bars, fresh fruit, desserts, vegan mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, at least one vegetarian soup daily, lactose-free (vegan) ice cream and make-your-own waffle stations.”

The competition, which determined winners based off of votes for each college involved, was run by process of elimination.

Despite USF’s quick exit, Burns said the university’s nomination was honorable.

“The nomination was made based on both the quality and quantity of vegan options available to students on campus as well as feedback from students on the receptiveness and creativity of our dining staff,” Burns said. “Although USF did not make it into the Sweet Sixteen, we have already beaten out hundreds of other schools that didn’t even make the first round, which is something to be very proud of. Simply being nominated is an honor for USF Dining.”

After USF’s chances disappeared following the first round of eliminations, Kristie Almeida, a junior at USF and president of Students Protecting the Environment and Animals with Knowledge (SPEAK) at the University, said USF could have done better if the competition had been more publicized.

“I think last year there was a lot more advertising. In 2009 SPEAK really started talking to the school about more food options on campus,” Almeida said. “I think we strongly advertised the competition before.”

SPEAK may have not advertised the college competition, but that doesn’t mean students don’t support the vegan cause.

“At Greenstock, we signed up for about 50 people to become members of SPEAK,” Allison said. “We already have over 100 members online.”

SPEAK said that USF’s loss does not mean that the University isn’t trying. SPEAK’s president said that the University has added more vegan options to the variety of foods in the Marshall Center.

“There’s a lot of grab and go stuff (in the Marshall Center),” Almeida said, “there are vegan sandwiches, wraps and dumplings.”

Kristi Allison, vice president of SPEAK, said although USF didn’t place in the competition, she’s happy with recent vegan additions to USF’s menu, especially those in Juniper Poplar’s Pod market.

“I’m really impressed with the vegan options they have on campus,” Allison said. “I was impressed with how many to-go containers they have there (in the Pod market). There are so many vegan options. I’m so impressed with the variety.”

SPEAK agrees USF has many vegan and vegetarian options, but the school will have even more once the university’s newest dining hall, the Southeast Student Dining Facility, is opened in July 2011.

“The fourth dining hall will serve vegetarian/vegan, healthy, low calorie and low fat items, as well as serve as a training table for athletes,” Burns said.

With the oncoming opening of the Southeast dining facility, Burns said USF Dining will continue to adapt to the needs of vegans and vegetarians despite losing the online competition.

“USF Dining is always expanding their offerings of vegan/vegetarian options,” Burns said, “and
are continually adding options based on suggestions from the USF community.”

Almeida believes that the university will have another chance of claiming title of the country’s most vegan-friendly school, but she said students will have to help the school get there.

“USF usually makes it into the first round of voting, so then it’s just a matter of getting students out to vote,” Almeida said.

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