Netflix: Potentially a New Network

Netflix announced that it will be releasing original content television shows with the series, “House of Cards” leading the line-up.

While Netflix is known for providing users with reruns on demand, they are now entering a new market, competing with networks like NBC, ABC and CBS.

Netflix is not the first “rerun” company to begin producing its own original content. Hulu has done the same, and rumors have been circulating about Youtube also jumping on the band wagon.

For networks, this could mean  the company that once served as a partner for them, will now be competing with them for ratings. It has yet to be confirmed as to whether networks will be collaborating with Netflix to produce original material.

“We’re always interested in adding more content,”a spokesperson for Netflix said.

One thing is for sure: Netflix membership has been on a steady incline the past few years. They are definitely an entertainment force to keep an eye on.

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Disney Gets a Hand in Bin Laden’s Death

Upon the night of Bin Laden’s death, I did hear jokes about Disney making a movie surrounding the navy seals responsible for his murder. Well, irony or ironies, the day after Bin Laden’s death, The Walt Disney Company sought trademark for the name “Seal Team 6,”- the team who entered Bin Laden’s hideout, and then shot him.

Whether or not this means a movie, is unclear. It could mean a myriad things. It could mean a new section in a theme park. Who knows? Although some would argue that this was a smart business move on Disney’s part, I did find it somewhat tacky. The company was immediately ready to profit off of someone’s death.

The deal is technically still pending, but if Disney did get the trademark, it would cover toys, clothes, video games, etc.

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Bin Laden’s Death Sets Record in the Media

Bin Laden’s death certainly drew attention away from the week’s other main event- the Royal Wedding. Whether you heard the news via Twitter, text message, 4chan, Facebook or an actual news outlet, the story was impossible to miss. So much so, that it set a record in media coverage.

The Pew Research Center’s “Project for Excellence in Journalism,” has been tracking the news since 2007. Bin Laden’s death set a record for accounting for the highest percentage of the news (since 2007)- 67 percent of all news was about Bin Laden’s death. Its only rival (within the Pew’s research project) was the Democrats nominating Barack Obama as their presidential candidate in 2008.

During the week of May 2- May 8, Bin Laden’s death accounted for 90 percent of all cable news’s airtime. Naturally, his death was covered from several angles: Pakistan’s involvement, its political implication, America’s reaction, etc.

The news should not be surprising to most Americans. The night of his death was unforgettable to most of us. In my Journalism 301 class, we all discussed our individual ways we found out- the majority of my peers found out via Twitter. The varying reactions were unescapable. The press coverage, particularly on the internet, was seemingly relentless. It almost seemed that the one thing that could capture America’s attention more than disaster or tragedy, was closure.

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Laura Logan Gives In-Depth Look Into her Gang-Rape

I published a post several weeks ago about female journalist Laura Logan, who was gang-raped by a mob of men while reporting on the revolution in Egypt.

Logan has not given any interviews until now. She spoke to her home network- CBS- during a 60 minutes special. She recalled her experience in a very straight-forward fashion. I was honestly a bit surprised with how candid she was:

“And I feel them tearing at my clothing. I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely. My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. They tore the metal clips of my bra. They tore those open. And I felt that because the air, I felt the air on my chest, on my skin. And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. And then I felt my underwear go. And I remember looking up, when my clothes gave way, I remember looking up and seeing them taking pictures with their cell phones, the flashes of their cell phone cameras…I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn’t even feel that. Because all I could think of was the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again….From the front, from the back.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/lara-logan-rape-egypt-60-minutes-interview-video-2011-5#comment-form#ixzz1MVT1qeB3

As a woman who is considering journalism as a profession, I feel that this was an important interview. It is important for the world to know the risks journalists take when going abroad to cover a chaotic situation. It is important to know the dangers females face daily. It is an important debate on whether or not woman should go be reporting in a world where mob mentality vindicates rape. I would love to believe that I could travel anywhere in the world and face the same dangers as a man would. We don’t live in that world though. As female journalists, we are at a stalemate. Do we speak up and risk losing important, ground-breaking stories? Do we go abroad and face potentially being sexually assaulted in unstable areas? As women, we are generally stuck between a rock and a hard place, not just in journalism either. Do we sacrifice our dreams and who we are for our safety? I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. I do know this is an important issue to explore, and I hope that an open forum on the matter continues.

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Google Takes the Extra Step

Google recently announced its new feature, “News For You.”  The premise is to personalize what news the consumer would be most interested in based on their news-related searches. Truthfully, I already thought Google was doing this until I started reading some articles online.

“We found in testing that more users clicked on more stories when we added this automatic personalization, sending more traffic to publishers,” Google software engineer Lucian Cionca said. This makes sense. It seems to be a win/win. Both the consumers and publishers seem happy.

I’m sure others will argue that Google is using our personal information to market towards us. Well, unfortunately, consumers already live in a world where this takes place. The frequent example is Facebook: the site uses our information to display ads on the sidebar based on what Facebook thinks we will click on.

I’m still on the fence about the whole “internet-storing-our-information” thing. On one hand, it is somewhat invasive, and it is the market using our personal information to gain profits. On the other hand, are we really being harmed by personalized ads and articles? We are getting to view content and possibly purchase items we would normally be interested in. Can a world exist where both the consumer and marketer both end up happy with no harm done? I’d like to believe so, but there is still that nagging, cynical feeling that the big bad corporations are out to rob us blind with our personal preferences. I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.

One final qualm I have with this is, will the consumer miss out on information that does not fit within their designated interests? Given that the news will adapt to personalized interests, is there room to become more well-rounded? Expand one’s horizons? I feel that “News for You,” can potentially stifle one’s ability to expand culturally, but alas, I see no way of stopping this.

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Youtube To Live Stream Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding is, in many people’s opinions, receiving an obscene amount of attention. CNN, FOX and numerous other networks will be airing the wedding live for viewers to watch.

Youtube can now be added to the list. The website announced that they would be live streaming the Royal Wedding on April 29 starting at 10 a.m. British Time. It should be an interesting experiment to see how many people tune into the wedding via internet.

Live streaming the Royal Wedding, through the Royal Family’s very own Youtube channel, is somewhat reminiscent of the live streaming of the Japanese earthquake as well as the protests in the Middle East. Note that not all of the footage from the two prior stated events were live streamed, but the theme of immediacy is what should be noticed.

This appears to be another example of how the internet is theoretically replacing television. The internet has an advantage over television in these circumstances, because content viewers can instantly interact with other viewers i.e. social media/communication.

It is my opinion, that viewing the Royal Wedding would be a lot more entertaining if I could instantly share my thoughts and hear the thoughts of others while watching. The social community really gives Youtube the one up in this scenario. This trend of live streaming is something to keep an eye. I’m not saying the internet will take over the television markets, but the instantaneous social contact puts the web at a blatant advantage.

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Twas the night before Foursquare Day . . .

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg declared yesterday, April 16, Foursquare Day.

In case you don’t know what Foursquare is, users “check-in” via cell phone, telling the website their exact location. For example, if you go to Junior’s in Brooklyn, you can text or use your Foursquare application to let your followers know your precisely where you are.

The company was founded in East Village, Manhattan back in 2007, so it is fitting that this social media holiday be celebrated primarily in New York. Twelve other cities in the United States also celebrated including Atlanta and Austin. Yesterday was chosen as it was the fourth month of the year and the square root of 16 is four.

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