prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Archive for March, 2013

The Steubenville Fallout Continues

Posted by prof e on March 28, 2013

The tragic events that took place in Steubenville, Ohio last August are still sending shockwaves through the media. The horrific event perpetrated by two 16-year-old males, while others stood by, resulted in their conviction on charges of rape and child pornography. The two boys might have gotten away with the crime had they not incriminated themselves with pictures, messages and videos shared via social media. Additional arrests of two juvenile girls last weeks resulted when they tweeted threats directed at the victim.

Social media also played a powerful role by focusing public attention on the events after local authorities were perceived as not aggressively pursuing the case. The hactivist group Anonymous got involved and threatened to “out” the personal information of all of those even remotely involved with the incident. Making personal information public, also known as “doxing” is a common tactic used by Anonymous to embarras those who are suspected of wrong-doing.

But the most recent outrage over the Steubenville case is being leveled at the cable news outlet CNN. Anchor Candy Crowley and reporter Poppy Harlow, in reporting the trial and verdict, were perceived as displaying more empathy for the young rapists than the victim. A petition demanding an apology already has nearly 300,000 signatures. Here’s the video so you can decide for yourself.

Clearly there have been several lives ruined by the actions, and inactions, of a great many people. While the two rapists deserve the brunt of the blame and the punishment, there’s plenty of blame to go around: for friends and family members who were passive when they should have been proactive; for the local community and high school that allowed teens to party with alcohol; for an absent father who admitted that he, “wasn’t there for [his] son”; and for the sex-obsessed culture that devalues women and fuels misogynistic behavior by teen males.

And here’s something to consider. If the party that August night resembled something that the teens might have seen on Jersey Shore or Buckwild, does MTV share in the blame?


Posted in journalism, social media, tv | 2 Comments »

Where there’s smoke…

Posted by prof e on March 12, 2013

whitesmokeYou may have heard that the Catholic Church is in the process of selecting a new Pope. The Church has been slow to embrace certain changes, e.g. women priests and same-sex marriage, but they have not been as slow to adapt to new communication media. The recently retire pope, Pope Benedict XVI (@pontifex), became the first Pope to join Twitter in December of 2012 and the Catholic Church has more than 413K likes on its facebook page.

Some may find it ironic then that the Church, in this modern digital age, still uses smoke signals to announce the results of a successful election. When the bishops have selected the new Pope, the smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel will switch from black to white.

In a world of high-tech solutions to most every problem, there are plenty of options for staying informed of the latest news in this breaking story. With the tag line, “when the smoke goes up, you’ll know what’s going down”, the website is on top of the latest developments. At the website you can sign up to receive instant notification of the election by either text or email.

For the ultimate in simplicity you can visit

Or you can download an app for your smart phone. Some of the apps provide biographic background on the candidates. All promise to keep you up to the minute with breaking news. Not to be outdone, the Pontifical Council for Social Communication has released the Pope App. Before you know it the Vatican will have its own YouTube channel.

Posted in interactive media, new media, social media, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »