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COMM 436/636 Message Board
Fall Semester 2006
Posted by Ross Collins, Aug. 31: Discussion question for Tuesday, Sept. 5: How should the First Amendment, determining that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech, be interpreted during a war by both the military on the field and the government at home? When a country is fighting and under peril for its own existence, is free speech too much of a luxury? How does our knowledge of the way the press was treated during America's other wars help us to answer this question?
Posted by Jindallay Warne (Jindallay.Warne@ndsu.edu) on Tuesday, September 5: I am torn about this. Freedom of speech during war is too much of a luxury. When a country needs the support of the people censorship is sometimes needed to protect support of the war and to protect the military so they stay in good light. But I also agree that freedom of speech is freedom of speech and it doesn't matter the circumstances. Free speech should not be censored because it is our right. If this Amendment is not followed for the government or military then it doesn't do the rest of country any good.
Posted by Cada Sultan Elmoisheer (Cada.Elmoisheer@ndsu.edu) on Tuesday, September 5: I think that everyone have the right to say whatever he/she wants, unless if he/she speaks about something that may threat the country. In war situation, people should be more alert and know that their freedom of speech, in war situation, may use against them without their knowledge and threat their country.
Posted by Ross Collins on Friday, September 8--Question based on this week's discussion of Watergate and the press: Two media, television and newspapers, mostly determined coverage of the Watergate scandals in the early 1970s. Would these media be as powerful and prestigious in covering a similar scandal today, or has their influence been changed by different reporting techniques and the invention of the internet? (Note: if you also want to comment on another aspect of media history, feel free.)
Bruce Sundeen (email@example.com) on Friday, September 8: It seems to me that the media would cover a scandal similar to Watergate much like it was covered in the 1970s. There might be some technology differences (more live reports and internet blogs) but I think the biggest difference might be the integrity of the coverage. I don't feel the standards of today's media are very high. There appears to be a lot more slamming for the sake of slamming in the media, rather than for the sake of journalism. It could be tied to the number of comedians delivering news but I also believe news organizations have become more desperate to find an audience.
Hasmik Ghazaryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Sunday, September 10: Since the Watergate era the influence of the Media has changed in so much that people don't regard them as a 100% credible source anymore. Plus the government today is probably more careful in 'covering' its dirty deeds. Other than that, the media would be as successful in covering a similar scandal today as it was in the 70s.
Greg Olson (email@example.com) on Monday, September 11: I think that the media would possibly handle it in a different manner, any big story that drops usually has all media all over it. Where as Watergate it was limited. If an event of the same magnitude were to happen today, you could turn to any station, or open any paper to get the story.
Jindallay (Jindallay.firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, September 11: Major media would still be television, but by the time the news hits the newspapers are already a day behind and that is where the internet takes over. No more waiting for the news, when you can seek out what you are looking for on the internet. With more and more blogs on the web, it really can influence more than newspapers. The internet allows anyone to say anything, they don't have to be credible and that could be a bad way of finding your news.
Jess Johnson (email@example.com) on Tuesday, September 12: Since Watergate happened, there have been so many advances in media. I feel like the internet would "scoop" the tv stations--because news moves so fast now. The scandal would have probably been questioned more, too. Most people used to trust news anchors and journalists--they had more credibility then. Now, people would want the story to be confirmed by more sources before they believed that it had actually happened.
Bruce Sundeen (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, September 19: If television did not exist, would your knowledge of the world around you be richer or poorer? I believe we would experience a poorer volume and quality of knowledge. I agree that television news does devote a more superficial or condensed view of the world but it may be viewed as such by the majority of people. If people were to only get there news from one source then they would miss much of the story. Television news gets it out fast and if ?a picture is worth a thousand words,? then this helps to fill in some of the details. Television has had the biggest influence on connecting us nationally; something other media can not do as easily. The quality of television programming is certainly controversial but I think most of the other media have similar quality issues.
Carolyn Almquist (email@example.com) on Tuesday, September 26: I think that television, while it is not all good, is such an intricate part of our lives, that without it our knowledge of the world woulr be poorer. Television is such an easy way of getting information, that people rely on it heavily for their supply of news.
Bruce Sundeen (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, September 26: Both tabloid and radio were heavy in the area of entertainment. They both had news elements but the attraction was in the entertainment value. You can certainly see today, many radio stations continue to use the "shock value" to maintain an audience. Tabloids have evolved into a rumor-type of communication, mostly about famous people.
Carolyn Almquist (email@example.com) on Thursday, September 28: I actually like the format of this class. Instead of having lots of pointless assignments and lots of tests and quizzes, we have the chance to base the class around information that we want to talk about. We also get to pick the days that we write our papers, so we can pick the topics most interesting to us.
Cada Sultan Elmoisheer (Cada.Elmoisheer@ndsu.edu) on Thursday, September 28: When I first heard a bout the history of mass media, I thought that it is a very difficult subject and I will have difficulty understanding it. In fact, what I found that it is a good opportunity to learn and expand my knowledge about the history of mass media in America. The subject is not as complicated as I thought. The lecture style makes it easy for any student to understand and know new information about the topics, so when we come to class we already know about the topics that we, as a class, will talk about.History of mass media is a good opportunity to develop student knowledge.
Amanda Salisbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Friday, September 29: I enjoy the format. It's different from most other classes and keeps my attention, by listening to others share their thoughts and opinions. I like that we get a chance to discuss our work with others and vice a versa.
Hasmik Ghazaryan (email@example.com) on Sunday, October 1: I think the seminar format of the class gives an opportunity for everyone to learn something new and nobody is missed out. My only suggestion would be that, when sometimes you don't want to share your opinion with us, it would be reallly nice if you did, because we want to know it and learn from it.
Teri Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, October 2: I perfer the seminar format over lecture. I enjoy discussing topics rather than just listening about them. It's nice to hear people's opinions on the subjects we're discussing even if they are different from my own.
Bruce Sundeen (email@example.com) on Tuesday, October 3: I appreciate the seminar format more than lecture-style. I think we are exposed to a more diverse opinion base this way. I also like choosing what to write about, rather than having to be assigned specifically what to research.
Jessica Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, October 3: I like the seminar style because people can express their opinions in an open discussion. I've not had a class like this one before, but I like it. I appreciate that there aren't specific due dates, but it has turned me into a bit of a procrastinator.
Mark Potts (email@example.com) on Wednesday, October 4: I enjoy the seminar format also, it makes for much more enjoyable class hours. It's easier to pay attention when many different viewpoints are expressed. I think the 11 essays might be a bit excessive, but with no tests I guess we need to get points somehow.
Amanda Salisbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Thursday, October 5: Maybe our world is changing from highly articulated individuals because in our society people have a way of deeming worthy of doing if it?s going to help them and they are going to get something out of it. As the article says it?s not complete illiteracy so people still know how to read and write, although I think that high skilled books aren?t really infiltrating our culture in the way it may have in the past. Other media sources have replaced reading as well, including TV and the internet which effect our culture more.
Cada Sultan Elmoisheer (Cada.Elmoisheer@ndsu.edu) on Thursday, October 5: I think that reading skill is a vital issue to be an educated nation, we should not relay and make a great expectation about technology. it's true that Technology help us in our work, education, and communication with other, but still we should not relay on technology in every thing in our life.
Teri Martin (Teri.Martin@ndsu.edu) on Tuesday, October 10: I would be greatly disappointed if reading became something of the past. I hope that technology doesn't replace books, and reading should be something instituted in schools and not just relying on the internet.
Bruce Sundeen (email@example.com) on Friday, October 20: Tuesday, October 17th we talked about cursive writing as a style that could be phased out. I do most of my writing on a computer but most everything that is personal (card for my wife or friend) I like to write it out in cursive style. It feels more personal or individual but of course it also means I have to write slowly so other can read it!
Xiaojie Duan (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Friday, October 20: About the class on Oct. 19, I have a hunch that some magazines have experienced so many changes, especially under the impact of the internet, and these changes have given us so many new recognition to the definition of magazine. So what I want to say is that when we look back at the history of magazines and their evolutions, can we make more comparison about the their evolution and their new changes today and maybe that makes more sense. I know this class is the History of Mass Media, and I just want to make a better understanding of this special style---magazine. For example, Fortune Magazien is my favorite, asider from Newsweek and Time. This magazine has experience near 100 hundred years changes since its advent, its covers, its style, its topics, and its new divisions and new policies. It has electronic version and Chinese version now which interest me a lot. Maybe sometimes we can make a closer approach to it through the contrast of its history and its today.
Hasmik Ghazaryan (email@example.com) on Sunday, October 22: I think cursive writing makes things look more personal. It shows that you have actually taken the time and made the effort to write nicely, instead of just printing it quickly. At highschool one of my teachers was very good at decoding the person behind the handwriting, she could tell what kind of a person you were and if you were in a good mood that day or not.
Teri Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, October 23: It does seem that cursive handwriting has been replaced with print, however, I still think that it should be taught in school. Like Hasmik remarked, it's more personal. Most signatures are cursive, and that's how people are identified on paper.
Carolyn Almquist (email@example.com) on Tuesday, October 24: I agree with Teri on the idea of cursive writing. While I do not personally use cursive writing in my everyday writing, I think it is a skill that should be taught. I take pride in the fact that my signature is written well, and I could not have made it look nice without learning how to write in cursive. The idea of it becoming a lost art because cursive is not taught is a scary thing because it is a large part of our culture, even if it is not used in everyday life anymore.
Bruce Sundeen (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Thursday, October 26: I would like to write about my reaction to the video we watched on Tuesday. I truly enjoy learning about our past, even if it is laced with horrible facts. It is hard to believe people could (and can) treat others with such cruelty and hate. It's a dark spot on the United States but in the same light, it is refreshing to learn how the press could offer an opportunity for the silenced or ignored, to have a voice.
Hasmik Ghazaryan (email@example.com) on Monday, October 30: I totally agree with Bruce. What can you do? Cruelty is a part of the human mosaic. African Americans have gone through hardship and I can only respect them for being so strong and achieving so much.
Jess Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, October 31: I know that the US is looked at as having free speech and being the land of the free, but I do think that our media is quite regulated. I feel like people from other countries expect the US to have several freedoms because maybe their country had extreme rules or regulations for its citizens. I also think that the US has to put strong regulations on the media because of all the people who take things too far. If the US had fewer rules on what one could say or do on television, for instance, would people be more or less extreme than they are now? I always wonder if there were fewer rules on people, if they would still want to break them...
Amanda Salisbury (email@example.com) on Tuesday, October 31: After taking the practice midterm in class I thought about how I would have done if we hade a normal format instead of seminar. While taking the test I didn't think that the questions were overly hard, just that we didn't go over them in class. With seminar format we talk about a lot of information on small history moments, where as normal format would go over the general information like the questions on the test.
Amanda Salisbury (amanda firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, October 31: My reaction to the article on how United States is in the lower portion of having free media isn?t completely surprising. I am taking Communication Law and we discuss many limitations and first amendment issues concerning free speech in America. I think that for those countries that are higher on the list is because they don?t have a more well developed country as we do, reason why we have many statues and limitations is because we have highly developed free speech.
Cada Sultan Elmoisheer (Cada.Elmoisheer@ndsu.edu) on Tuesday, October 31: I would like to comment on the religion article. According to my understanding to the article, the writer sees that it is not necessary that people who have a religion deserved to be respected from every one. I think that all people deal with their religions, as the only vital source for their morals, manners, and behaviors. This is not necessarily meant that all religion people are good human; it is depend on the individual. To be more specific, as a Muslim woman, I am so proud of my religion. My religion teach me how to deal with all people with a fully respect, no matter what their religion is.
Xiaojie Duan (email@example.com) on Wednesday, November 1: I think there is pros and cons in taught class and seminar class, and we can acquire relevant knowledge through those two types of classes. As for me, I'd say I prefer the seminar class and obviously this type can develop my independent thinking. Reading, I think is the best method to be knowledgeable and taught class apparently is more suitable for those kids because they are normally unwilling to read after the class. But for adults, we have the awareness about what we want to know and what books we should read and even what we will do in the future. So seminar class can offer us more freedom to develop our interest in the topics. Besides, seminar class is the best way to listen to opinions of others. If we can say the taught class is the way we can learn from professors or lecturers, I'd say seminar class is the way we can study from everybody, we can get the knowledge and know what they are thinking about facing the same problem or question. So I prefer the seminar class, sometimes it does give me some inspiration and motivation to express my minds. I do admit I don't want to speak out my ideas all the time, but in seminar class, I will feel so embarrassed if I say nothing. So, see? It is a kind of stimulation for me to think and speak it out.
Xiaojie Duan (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wednesday, November 1: After browsing the website of how United States is in the lower portion of having free media, I do feel so surprised, because I thought America would be much higher position in the ranking. Maybe because I am from China, which have almost the least portion in having freedom in media reports, I do feel so much freedom in this land since I came here about three months ago. I have to admit I have felt so much pressure about the freedom in media reports in China, and I feel so comfortable here, living more free lives. I think United States is also a large nation just like China, and sometimes it also needs to be unitized and reach some kind of consensus. After 9,11, I do think Americans need to reach more agreements in patriotism and emphasize the awareness of loving to the country. So, maybe too much freedom is good to small country, but it's not necessarily apply to a large country, especially in a more complex international environment. I think United States needs more agreement in the concepts of nation, and the value of society. Anyway, the safety is the most important for the people of nation, especially for large countries such as United Stated, China, the peace and the social development, and the regular social life is the first thing for a nation.
Xiaojie Duan (email@example.com) on Friday, November 3: I want to talk about something the guest lecture on Tuesday. Obviously Cameron Haaland, the former Spectrum editor now working for the Des Moines Register, has so much experience in the media,especially in newpaper. Since now we all have been in the electronic media ages and almost every newspapers and magazines have their websites and web magazines and web newspapers, I think the trend of web media will be more and more popular. China has stepped further in this way and is trying to develop the web media in many aspects. I do like the free talk with media professionals face to face and I do hope there will be more opportunities to talk with various media professionals from TV, magazines, internet, and others.
Although there is difference in how government control the media between America and China, there is common interest for both countries in how media, especiallly electronic media and internet make money and make further development; and there does exist the same problem for both countries in how new media develop better and it is taking place of the old media. Will this trend come into true and when will it happen? How do the web newspapers and web magazines make them profitable besides the means of advertising? These questions interests me a lot and I am enamored with the new media ages and I am looking forward to seeking for the answers new media development will meet with. Please hold more seminars with more professionals from media circles.
Bruce Sundeen (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tuesday, November 14: I found it interesting that the topics from over 100 years ago are still popular topics in today's media. Some of the details may have changed but the basic interest in news is very much the same...weird. I thought since we knew some of the history, we wouldn't be condemned to repeat it.
Xiaojie Duan (email@example.com) on Wednesday, November 15: I don't think it's surprising to see that those same topics would still make news today. Human beings are still human beings, people's interests to news story and their demand for daily news would be all the same. Maybe the change times has brought to us is the telechonological changes and the change in styles people choose how to understand news and read news. Let me make an example, Britains in the 19th century chose to read newspapers to know local news or national news, people today in almost every corner of the world choose to read news through internet if they have computers. News are still those news, crimes, court cases, riot, regional wars, sensationalism, sports news, and so on. But people have new eyes and more channels to know related news, thus they have more critical judgements to have their own opinions and they are not be fooled and controlled by the press again. I think changes these centuries have given us are the mode of acceptance of people to news and people's attitudes and understanding to news. Information is objective, and objective stuff will be all the same. How to process these information is subjective, and subjective changes always happen from generation to generation.
Cada Sultan Elmoisheer (Cada.Elmoisheer@ndsu.edu) on Wednesday, November 15: I think that it is not surprising that we still choose the same topics people before 100 years ago have chosen. We still concern about the same issues, because some of those issues are strongly related to the human being, we can not ignore those issues even after a million years. May be our priority is different than the past, like security, technology, and lot of new matters.
Ryan Novak (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Wednesday, November 15: I agree with Bruce, Xiaojie, and Cada in that it's interesting but not surprising. This discussion made me think of Ecclesiastes where Solomon is lamenting the seeming meaninglessness of life: "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Eccl. 1:9) Nothing new under the sun, I think that puts the human condition in a nutshell. Life patterns and generational patterns are cyclical, same news different day.
Hasmik Ghazaryan (email@example.com) on Thursday, November 16: I don't think it's surprising to find the same topics from 100 years ago. People have always been interested in what was sensational, wrong and agaist the law. That's just human nature. You can't change it!
Teri Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Friday, November 17: I agree with Hasmik. People want to read what's interesting and new. Even if it has to involve a dead deer carcass.
Carolyn Almquist (email@example.com) on Wednesday, November 29: I don't really think that it is surprising that we as a society today want to read the same things as the people with the New World paper wanted to read. We are still the same people, just different times and places. Everyone always loves drama, and the type of stories that were in that paper are exactly that... drama.
Ross Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Thursday, November 30: Perhaps the themes are not so different, but it seems our attention spans have shrunk. Those were long stories, and few pictures. Today it seems like people today want short stories with a lot of pictures. Is that because people were smarter back then? More patient? Would people who read more back then have been more informed than we are today, or does television/internet do just as good a job with brief stories? My view is that people one hundred years ago were less ignorant than people are today--but today we think we're smarter because we have all that technology they didn't have back then.
Xiaojie Duan (email@example.com) on Friday, December 1: I don't think people one hundred years ago were ignorant than we are today. On the contrary, people hundreds of years ago were very smart, and even smarter than contemporary human beings. There have been so many philosophers and thinkers whose wisdom are still studied until now. When time is traced back to thousands of years ago in China, we have so great ancient civilization, cultural achievements and works of art that are valuable national heritage, and they are worth studying by contemporary and future human beings. Actually, there are still so many mysteries in world heritage that we cannot unravel them yet now.
People today do have more advanced technologies as the channel to obtain more information, but television, internet have left less space for us to seek the primary knowledge from books and less time to digest useful information and knowledge. Maybe people today have just become more informative and knowledgeable to the outside and the occurrence in the world, but that don't represent we have become stronger thinkers and innovators. The development of world relies on invention, innovation, and continuous thinking to the past, the present and the future. Only we are more adept at thinking, inventing and creating to beautify our world can we say we are smart or we have achieved the standard of our ancient people.
We have more advanced technology today just because our predecessor has paved the way for us and it's naturally the historical evolution. That's just because we are standing on the shoulder of the giant. If we develop an open discussion with our ancestor, we cannot necessarily persuade them and we should ask ourselves how much knowledge we have absorbed, how much information we have digested, and how much innovation we can have?
Hasmik Ghazaryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, December 4: I don't think people are smarter today, but by having more ways of getting information and by learning from the mistakes and experiences of our ancestors, we do (sometimes) make better decisions. What concerns the long magazine articles, people read them because they had no other channels to get information on their favorite subjects, such as sports!
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