The way to provide faster Internet in America

Would media in the United States be any different if there were no regulations or monopolies or a finite number of large corporations controlling media?

Sure.

In fact, I think there would be more media open to discussing topics that mainstream media doesn’t necessarily cover. I feel there would also be less biases and diverse point-of-views presented in media reports and coverage. More importantly, I believe the telecommunications industry would be able to transmit information at a faster rate if there are no regulations.

Currently, there is a lack of competition to regulate the Internet in the U.S. due to the fact that the telecommunications industry has been divided among four conglomerates: Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner. With a lack of competition in the telecommunications industry, these four conglomerates have the option to charge higher prices for slow-speed Internet. The Internet in the U.S., for example, ranks 31st in the world in average download speed, according to a study by Ookla Speedtest.

With the limit in free market competition, the public receives slow Internet at high prices while media conglomerates make high profits. If there is more market competition for the Internet, then there would be a better chance for new companies to enter the market; as a result, more competition would bring about faster Internet. Ultimately, this method would break the four major telecommunications networks from controlling the media market. There needs to be an open and free market for Internet regulation.

A free market with minimal media regulation offers the opportunity for a diverse media and telecommunications industry where customers are not forced to choose between one of four superpowers. With a free market, there is an abundance of information to be passed around and more telecommunications providers to choose from. All in all, there is a greater opportunity for faster Internet if the government allows.

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Race Rebels are present throughout all aspects of history

This weekend, I worked with a team of dedicated students and faculty to put together the second annual Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival. We made history. We explored the Asian American identity. We broke stereotypes. We are continuing to embrace the Asian American identity through workshops and independent films about the Asian diaspora, and we are learning about the Asian American race rebels who first brought to light their own individual identities to shed the stereotypes of the Asian.

Prior to my semester in Asian American Race Rebels, I did not know much about whom race rebels were; in fact, I have always heard of the term, but I had not thought about how I would define a race rebel if someone asked. To me, a race rebel was someone who went about breaking stereotypes in a way that he/she is remembered negatively. That is not the case.

Throughout the semester in Asian American Race Rebels, I have learned about various Asian Americans who have stepped outside of “the norm” to challenge the Model Minority Myth and go against the stereotypes. I have learned that anyone can be a race rebel. From Fred Korematsu to Lea Salonga, I learned that Asian American Race Rebels fall within all aspects of history, not just a specific industry or time period.

Fred Korematsu, for example, exemplifies a race rebel for his ability to run away from being put away into a Japanese internment camp in California. Not only that, but he even received a minor surgical procedure to change the shape of his eyes in order to look “more European,” and he changed his name. With a new identity, Korematsu refused to be put away in an internment camp, which created some resentment among the Japanese community when he was eventually captured. He sued the United States government, on behalf of the Japanese community, challenging the constitutionality of the internment camps. His actions seemed “rebellious” to other Japanese Americans, and he certainly was not seen as a race rebel. His case against the United States allowed him to leave a mark on Asian American history in the United States, as the case eventually recognized the unconstitutionality of the internment camps for Japanese Americans.

Lea Salonga was another race rebel I was surprised to learn about because I did not see her as a race rebel. Her role and impact on theatre has allowed her to go against the Model Minority Myth. Usually, society does not think of Asian Americans as taking up occupations outside of being a lawyer or a doctor or a businessperson, however, Salonga broke that myth and redefined the existence of Asian Americans in the entertainment industry. Her role in theatre greatly shifted the dynamics of the arts in that she brought some representation for Asian Americans in the arts. Not only that, but her role as the voice of Jasmine in Disney’s “Aladdin” changed the way Asian Americans are represented in film. Her role in theatre was significant for the Asian American community because she really changed the meaning of theatre for Asian Americans.

My semester so far in Asian American Race Rebels has been exciting, as I have learned how to address the misconceptions presented within the Model Minority Myth. Although the concept of the Model Minority is not new to me, the idea of how to challenge and address it is new. Through our class, I have realized how much Asian Americans have been oppressed in history and how pioneers are redefining certain sectors of the Asian American identity. The class, coupled with my involvement in the Asian American Alliance and the Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival, has allowed me to recognize the need to bring forth more Asian American representation in all sectors, including theatre, politics, and film.

Citizen journalists have ethics…too?

Mayhill Fowler, perhaps the most well-known citizen journalist, has proved she can be a journalist on her own — without the support of a large professional organization. She uses her own tools and finds her own stories, yet, her methods of reporting raise the question of whether citizen journalists are ethical and accurate when it comes to their work.

Any one can be a citizen journalist, especially in today’s digital era of new technologies and social media. But do citizen journalists report stories following the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics? Well, there are two sides to the debate. One, citizen journalists are just as ethical and accurate as professional journalists. And two, there is no way citizen journalists can be ethical or accurate since they have no professional training.

Citizen journalists, I believe, are ethical and accurate in their reporting, just like professional journalists. In fact, I do not deny that sometimes citizens are better journalists who can present the straight facts. The Arab Spring, for example, became a well-known story after having first been released by citizen journalists in the areas of conflict. The fact that citizens who were witnessing the scenes firsthand submitted the video footage to news outlets emphasizes a positive factor in citizen journalism. Twitter has become a large force in facilitating citizen journalism, as it is a social medium that allows for people to post video or photographs of an event occurring right in front of them. The news cannot be more accurate than having citizens post footage they shot from a scene they witnessed firsthand, and with that, citizen journalism is doing society a favor.

Contrarily, there is the argument that citizen journalism negatively impacts society as a result of poor and inaccurate reporting. Fowler, for instance, has been the center of debate regarding her ethical methods of reporting. In one incident where she reported on then presidential candidate Barack Obama, she openly expressed her support for Obama while working on the article. Does this not break the code of ethics in regard to conflict of interest? She also wrote an article for The Huffington Post on another fellow citizen journalist’s experience with former President Bill Clinton in what was called “Sleazygate.” The journalist’s experience with Clinton brings to light the ethical issue of reporting, as Clinton did not know that he was being recorded and was speaking with a journalist. The journalist, who clearly did not identify himself/herself as a journalist recording the interaction, challenged the professional journalism ethic. This example highlights just one issue of citizen journalism, which has been a controversial topic over the last few years.

It is to my belief that citizen journalists follow SPJ’s Code of Ethics more closely than any professional journalist. Since citizen journalists have no professional outlet to lean on or work for, they cannot help but rely on the Code of Ethics that outlines important journalistic values. One fact that the Code of Ethics has yet to include is the use of social media and where those tools play in to ethical reporting tactics. Of course, there are numerous debates surrounding the use of social media to obtain information or to get close with sources, but there is no mention of social media usage in the Code of Ethics. Should SPJ adopt a clause about ethical social media usage in its Code of Ethics? If so, how would they determine what is ethical and what is not?

The end of objectivity?

With mainstream journalists closing the gap between themselves and the large corporations, it is important to question the reliability of today’s mainstream media.

As Professor Jeff Cohen mentions in his article, “Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?” media employees have grown closer to their sources particularly large corporations and conglomerates. I cannot help but wonder if this relationship weakens the accuracy and reliability of reporting.

Aside from the fact that journalists are working to establish a “cozy” relationship with their sources, it brings to light the ethics of true journalism in today’s society. Throughout our time as both students and professional journalists, we are always taught to be objective, neutral and unbiased in our reporting. But what does objectivity mean from a general standpoint?

I mean, objectivity holds a very subjective definition; for, it can be defined in many ways from a variety of lenses and perspectives because it is virtually impossible for any one journalist to truly stay objective.

I believe everyone, whether a journalist or not, has some type of opinion toward certain issues and topics. As a result, I think it is fair to suggest that objectivity is merely trying to show both sides of a story rather than staying completely objective. I feel that with each individual’s personal experiences, there cannot be true objectivity. Everyone has been – or is – influenced by someone or something each and every day. That in itself is what encompasses our identity and brings about personal biases. Objectivity, or what once allowed readers to trust the reporting of newspapers and journalists, has now been transformed by the new age of media.

As stated in Joho: the Blog, transparency is the new objectivity. And in the transformative journalism industry, transparency is what really allows readers to rely on journalism. Back in the old era of journalism where newspapers thrived and reporters wrote interviews on pen and paper, actual people became the higher authority experts on a topic. Now, with the Internet and the digital age, newspapers are dying and reporters are recording their interviews. Digital technologies highlight the importance of hyperlinks, which allow for readers to collect information from a variety of higher authority “experts.”

The Internet helps readers facilitate their own thoughts, opinions and perspectives on an issue because they are able to gather information, arguments and ideas from numerous sources on the web rather than hear from one authoritative source, which allows for more biases.

It is hard to tell whether the age of hyperlinks will positively or negatively influence the journalism industry; however, what I do know is that the Internet brings about new definitions of objectivity.