“Where entertainment and opinion reign, and objectivity has left the building.”

True Enough: Learning to live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo is quite an interesting book. It opens your eyes to see and notice the world in a way that you’d never expect to see it.

If you thought that you were confused before, wait until you read this book.
After reading True Enough, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. There I was sheltered in my safe little bubble and Manjoo stuck his finger out and popped it. Now, I’m bare to the harshness of the world with skepticism of what I am to believe.

Manjoo finds that facts are actually not what determine our belief systems. With the development of technology, everyone can publish and be heard (like this blog, I’m entitled to my “facts”) but it’s up to you as the reader to determine what you want to believe. And it is not doubt that everyone can find people who, like them, believe in the same ideology as they do.

He cites numerous studies to weave a solid argument — that many of us have made for a long time but didn’t have the actual documentation — that people increasingly see truth as what they already believe and in this increasingly fragmented media age with many “mass media” outlets in trouble people consciously and unconsciously choose media sources according to their existing beliefs. But it isn’t just that: he underscores how these perceptions involve very different perceptions of reality.

“Americans aren’t turning off the news. What is changing, to no one’s surprise, is where people are getting their information.”

The media owners and executives are very well aware of these psychological phenomena. In our society, different groups of people are served by different types of media. And they are taking advantage of this phenomenon. Biased assimilation says that people tend to interpret and understand new information in a way that accords with their own views.
It is becoming more difficult than ever to distinguish facts from fabrications, be they intentional or not; and the book leaves us none the wiser in this respect. However, it does address deep and important questions about the society we live in as well as about the ways we consume information. Perhaps more importantly, it shines some light on the process through which information is gathered and eventually delivered for our viewing. No matter what your political views are, this book is an essential read for any observer of politics, the media and international affairs
And that’s truth and a fact…


Best of Blogs: Sports!!!

I went to my first hockey game last week Friday, it was absolutely amazing. I called my lucky night, because not only did I win the tickets to go (that’s the only reason I went), but I also won the “Jersey off our backs” contest and found $50 the next day. So, I got to meet one player and got his smelly, sweaty jersey that he played in at my first game. Pretty cool, I know.

But anyways, just thought that was a cool introduction to my sports blog. I’m really a follower of sports, I do enjoy watching occasionally especially football. It was challenging to find three blogs that I thought were best to write about.

Sports Blogs is a blog covering all sports. I think it’s great because instead of just listing most recent blogs it is categorized by most popular blogs at the top. There are multiple blogs for one day that you can search by day, by team, or by sport.

Hang Time Blog City is perfect for basketball fans, in my opinion anyways. A regular word press blog gives daily updates on everything basketball. It’s simple enough that anyone can maneuver and read through it also keeps your attraction with pictures and video footage of the games. Hang Time was created by Sekou Smith and managed by him.

What would my introduction worth if I didn’t include something on the Tampa Bay Lightning…

A local and once again a blog from St. Pete Times, Lightning Strikes is strictly dedicated to covering the Bay’s hockey team. I don’t understand much about the sport itself but I think this blog is really straight forward and just by reading it, you can learn quite a bit about the sport.

This Blog allows readers to follow the Lightning through the hockey season with Damian Cristodero and the Times sports staff.

Oh and of course I would include the picture of the player who I got to meet and he was cute too.

Martin Fennelly: Man of many words

Confident, humorous, intelligent and laid back he was sitting in the classroom like a student wearing his shorts.  Martin Fennelly, columnist at the Tampa Tribune has had over 20 years of experience writing columns. It is no question why he is so good at what he does. As wise and well versed as he is, many upcoming writers today look up to him and his writing, he could write an 800 word column in whatever alloted time he is given, even if it’s 9 miniutes.

One thing that he said that really grabbed my attention was his wise words of “speak well, write well, read well.” These three techniques goes hand in hand with each  other like three peas in a pod. Life is communication and it is ALL about the words. Words are important, without any words there wouldn’t be any jokes or stories.

Fennelly, the great sports columnist, writes because he like to entertain. He enjoys speaking his mind and painting a picture for his readers.

Look at this recent column that Fennelly wrote: Manny Ramirez:The one hit blunder. I bet you can’t herself but to laugh. His short sentences grabs and keeps your attention and makes you want to read more and more.

Martin Fennelly was one of my favorite guest speaker for this class, he was cool and laid back with a great attitude. Never mind that he was a little fidgety, and I was sort of distracted with him playing with the bench, but his talk with us was great and inspiring. I do agree with him that humor is what makes the world go around. I wish I could be at least half as funny as he is in this writing, then I’d be a better writer. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

Check out some of his columns: Martin Fennelly.

Best of Blogs: Public Affairs

Looking for three political blogs was a little challenging but  I did, however, find not only interesting but also informative blogs. Politico is a national blog along with  CNN Political Ticker and The Buzz is a local Florida blog on Tampabay.com.

Politico is clear and concise and has up-to-date blog entries. This blogs almost everything, from entertainment about an new movie about the Kennedy’s to the upcoming 2012 election. Will Donald Trump really run for president? Politico is very interactive almost like a regular website. It has videos and pictures to keep your attention and with a full staff of bloggers you can count on the fact that the information read on this blog is credible which makes it a pretty legit political blog.

Photo provided by CNN Political Ticker

CNN Political Ticker, another national blog, covers a wide range of topics from Donald trump new gig on Fox to Jesse Ventura’s thoughts about Sarah Palin. I think CNN Political Ticker is a well-managed blog with archived stories, photos with each blog and very informative topics about upcoming elections. It also provides links to other political news stories which is also a plus. So, if you’re into politics and looking for a blog to subscribe to, this is the blog for you.

Photo provided by Tampabay.com

The Buzz is  a great blog for Floridian politics. Written  by the St. Petersburg Times staff, The Buzz offers the latest in Florida politics, and according to the blog’s description, The Buzz is the can’t-miss-it source. So, if you live in Florida, this is the blog for you. A credible source with no biased opinions, just straight politics about what’s going on.

The Deal Divas

Image by Tampabay.com

It’s nice to have job in the field that you love, but when you get to do something that is more like a hobby under the institution’s name it is even better…. Writing blogs are fun, it’s a place where you, as the writer, can take your readers any where your imagination wants to wander. Go far away like Alice.

In this case I’ll be talking about the St. Petersburg Times Deal Divas Blog. This fashion blog draws in women of all ages and different styles.

Not being too familiar about who the Deal Divas were or what they talked about on their blogs, I was looking forward to listening and learning about how much fun blogging for work is, even if they don’t get paid for it. I learned that being stressed all day long with the more serious type of writing, blogging for these Divas is a get away, a mind relaxer. I am shocked at myself  for me not knowing about this blog, but let me tell you… I’ve been on the blog everyday since I’ve learned about it. 😀

Letitia Stein a veteran in the divas’ blogosphere explained how juggling two jobs can be difficult especially when she’s technically only be paid for one. It’s a side job, she said, with a mental break from the regular job of hard news as a health reporter but she keeps up with writing. Blogging is a way of being plugged in with a mental break from the hard health stories she has to write.

“It’s a blog with a purpose and it is fun to write,” said the Deal Diva Kim Wilmath. Kim is the most recent Diva who explained that having diversity in your writing will attract readers and it will create a relationship with them. Blogging creates a conversation versus hard news writing.

Deal Divas:
Stephanie Hayes the funny one is hilarious
Kim Wilmath the retro gurl
Letitia Stein Ms. Classic
Emily Nipps

Best of Blogs: Entertainment

After tons of searching and surfing of the Internet I came across many and many blogs. Some were informative some were silly some were but I came to the conclusion that finding what makes a good blog is very subjective. It is all in what you are interested in. Therefore I picked three different entertaining blogs that I think are tasteful, entertaining, and informing.

PerezHilton.com is blog covering everything Celebrity and is basically Hollywood’s gossip blog. This is a great blog because it is visited by many, so many that Perez Hilton now gets paid for his blog. He’s also become a very famous socialite and is very entertaining if you are one of those people who live and breathe celebrity gossip. Other contributing factors that lends to the fact that this is indeed a good blog are as follows:

  • It has contact information
  • It has other links and resources to other blogs
  • It has search boxes to find info that appeals to your specific needs
  • It has pictures! (everyone likes pictures)
  • Perez tend to tell his whole story in the pictures he uses with silly remarks and drawings he makes on the pictures.

    An image that Perez posted on his blog

    Below is a Screenshot of PerezHilton.com


    Screenshot of website

    Best Week Ever is almost similar to Perez Hilton’s blog but not so much gossip. This blog is from the VH1 show that recaps all things Hollywood in the past week. It is entertaining. This blog also has pictures and video of illustration. The blog is updated daily more than once a day. It is a good blog because it has professional writers that compose each blog and read their blogs when you click “meet the bloggers” on the sidebar.

    To be a columnist

    Image by tampabay.com

    Take it from a man who has been a column writer for more than 20 years, writing takes pride and a lot of research and dedication. Not many journalist would take the time out to come to a class and give important tips of trade to eager students. As student we listen to every word they say and listen at their life experiences and dream as we want our dreams come true like theirs.
    Dan Ruth a columnist at the St. Pete Times gave some very important advice that we would need to write a successful column. One of the important cardinal rules that stuck out the most was: “don’t go after someone because it’s an easy target.” You must care about consequences. Don’t libel people. Ruth speaks his mind in all the columns that he writes but he makes sure that he can face the person he writes about without having any feelings of guilt or regret. Here is an example of a column that he compared President Bush to pygmies:
    In a field of pygmies, bush looks gigantic

    The Role and Function of a Columnist in a Newspaper

  • Represent your paper or writing with interesting, fun and proactive facts
  • Create documents that a page turners
  • Have a civic purpose- better inform the readers of what is going on in the area. Maybe give a better informed opinion of the electorate

  • The final words from Ruth about writing columns are:
    Have fun! Make your own words and play with them. The more fun you have writing your column, the more interesting it will be to your readers.
    A good paper comes from a good community.
    Adhere to ethical standards, don’t compromise objectivity by taking gifts from who you write about.
    Here are a few links to some of Ruth’s columns published in the St. Pete Times:
    Profiles in jelly.
    In just weeks, Scott makes state cry uncle.
    Here is his blog: great writing but he hasn’t updated it in a while Ruthington Post.

    Previous Older Entries