Category Archives: Internet

Is Biased News Clogging your Information Stream?

Are you drinking out of a sewer? Sometimes, readers get bogged down in hearing only one side of a news story. For a fresh approach, readers should take in both sides of media, both liberal and conservative.

The infographic below, shows where sources lie in their bias. An astute reader would be better served to read less biased, or a balance between both sides, to make a fresh original decision. When we side with one bias, we tend to only hear more from that side because we like to hear that particular side. The problem with this practice, is that is causes a bigger divide in our country. Being less biased and more objective, is a mature way to confront news stories. But it takes effort to wade through the biases and make an informed decision.

News There are so many ways that people can attain news. Whether it’s online, a newspaper, or from television, news is easily accessible to anyone with a viewing device. People have different preferences when it comes to their news source: liberal or conservative and even how the news is being shared, digital or traditional news.

As you can see from the scale, there is the far left, far right and the “sweet spot” or as it is called here, the “Goldilocks Zone.” At the farthest left, is BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post. In contrast, on the far right is DRUDGE REPORT and BreitBart, two news websites. One of the least biased news sources, BBC, (British Broadcasting Corporation) provides online news, as well as nature documentaries.

It is tricky for a company to not be biased, but sites like PolitiFact, Snopes, FACTCHECK, or others are right in the middle with little room for bias. This is impressive and obviously atypical for a media company, especially a news company. Everyone should make an effort to be as unbiased as possible, so they can see the whole picture. When they see the whole picture, not only do they understand the differences in both sides, but they can think for themselves. If they only look for biased news, they are limiting themselves and clogging what might be the truth in the story. Viewing the news from one side, is like using half of the brain. Why wouldn’t you want to use all of your brain? In other words, you only get half of the information that you need from a biased source, compared to all of the information you could get from an unbiased source.

But bias isn’t the only thing wrong with the news. Many news stations and websites lie to get more viewers. Many of them take words out of context, make fun of someone or even make up whatever they want and call it news. The graphic below shows that when news companies deceive people and they find out, it causes a lack of trust in the viewers.

News

The graphic mentions clickbait, which many of us have heard that term, as it is an everyday word used on YouTube. Clickbait, refers to the false presentation of information solely for the benefit of the one who created it. For example, a YouTube video could be clickbait and the same with a news article. The purpose of clickbait, is to get the reader or viewer engaged in whatever is being presented to them. It combines the fishing term of putting bait on a hook, while also using the technological term for interacting with your computer while using a mouse. Clickbait is one of the most deceptive and clever tactics used by those who want to attract attention to a particular thing, especially using the internet. We may have heard of most of these, but may not know what propaganda is exactly. Propaganda is similar to clickbait, but with a biased twist to it.

So if we have all of this bias and misinformation in our media, why hasn’t anyone done anything about it? Is there even a solution to this problem? Let me know your thoughts about this serious issue.

-Calvin Cook

A New Copyright Directive for the EU: What Does the New Law Mean for the Internet?

The European Parliament has voted for a new Copyright Directive, which will update new copyright laws for the Internet age. There are two articles that are deemed controversial to tech companies and the general public, and those articles are 11 & 13.

The new law would require tech companies to work with rights holders on proactively stopping copyrighted content from being uploaded to their platforms, as well as giving publishers rights to their works. The only way to do so would be to do so would be to scan all data being uploaded to these sites. There is massive pushback from tech companies like Facebook & YouTube due to the fact that it would require them to constantly monitor and filter content being uploaded to their sites. Nonetheless, this law would change the way the internet works in the EU if it gets the green light in January.

Article 11 will allow press publications copyright over their stories. Which in turn would allow them to tax sites, like Google news, for aggregating their stories and linking to them. The article states that Commercial platforms have to pay a fee to share aggregated news. So it protects individuals, but it leaves people wondering what exactly a commercial platform is? The article doesn’t define what that is, so would a Facebook page with a sizeable following be subject to paying the same fees as Google if they shared an article?

I found this to be interesting because the EU has tried going after Google over this before, and it ultimately failed because Google just shut down Google news and when local aggregators couldn’t afford the fees, it collapsed. While article 11 is very important, article 13 is the most troubling, and has been met with the most backlash.

copyright

Before talking about Article 13, it’s important to know that these laws are not being made without any justification. Tech companies like YouTube and Facebook do make money off the intellectual property of creators, and it has been a problem because the internet is such an unregulated place. I think it’s important to keep this in mind. Article 13 would require tech companies to ensure that copyright material is not uploaded to their sites. In the case of YouTube, rights holders have to file a copyright claim with YouTube if they would like a video taken down that has their music or IP on it. Article 13 no longer requires the rights holder to be responsible for doing such, they are putting the entire responsibility on Youtube.

Lawmakers say that this will force YouTube to sit down and renegotiate licenses with artists, since they are making lots of money off their content, and it will force them to be proactive with combating copyrighted material from being uploaded to their site.

Another important thing to note is that this doesn’t just apply to YouTube, it applies for every company. So this has Facebook and YouTube both worried about what they will do next. Their claim is that they would have to create an auto filtration system, in order to stop protected content from being uploaded. Not only would that take years to make, but it would cost a fortune to keep running, because a system like that would require constant maintenance as well.

The general response to these laws has been very critical. Which I think people have a right to be worried. The biggest question people are asking is, what about fair use? If an auto filtration system were to be put into place, a machine wouldn’t be able to decipher if something were to fall under fair use or not. An auto filtration system could effectively change the internet in the EU as we know it. With all that being said, we will not have a definitive answer until January, when the final vote is. Experts do believe though, that it will push through into law.

-Jared Frost

Extra! Extra! Newspapers are Making a Comeback! – Fighting for a Free Press under President Trump

Approximately three hundred and fifty newspapers, from the Boston Globe and Des Moines Register, to the Anchorage Daily News. All of them are asking, or should I say telling, President Trump to stop with the name calling and the constant insults that he makes about media.

Many are claiming that the words can be dangerous to the views of the people and that free speech is being shut down. They’re right. According to “The Economist” 70 percent of Republican believe Trump over any media outlet. They blame media outlets for being more liberal and going against any Republican.

“This editorial project is not against the Trump administration’s agenda. It’s a response to put us into the public discourse and defend the First Amendment.” Marjorie Pritchard (Boston Globe)

Newspapers have been in America since the late 1600s, and for years they were the only source of news outreach. Newspapers have recently been put on the back burner to social media, television, and even online newspapers, but these editorials are part of a comeback.

newspapersIn 2016 Donald Trump became President, and he started what many people are calling a ‘war on press’ soon after. “Fake news” comes out of Trump’s mouth more than any other statement, besides “you’re fired”, and many media representatives have a problem with him putting down their content so often. Any negative statement a media outlet makes against him gets categorized as “fake news” and he brands the free press as an “enemy to the American people”. Now, the oldest source of news has decided to speak out and fight back against the war Trump has declared.

At a Speech in Elkhart, Indiana Donald Trump called the media “the fake news media” and the crowd began to vigorously applaud https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjJQ8wF07tU.

This isn’t the first time that President Trump has made hostile comments towards the media. His tweets regularly show his disapproval towards them. In one attacking tweet, Trump seemingly contradicted himself saying “They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the fake news, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!”

Trump is not a big fan of any source of media that goes against what he is saying. His beliefs, and what he is doing for this country, in his eyes, are correct and media sources that speak out against him are fake.

newspapers

Fox News is an exception, however. President Trump glorifies Fox news and commonly directs his “fans” to pay attention to “Fox and Friends.”

Freedom of speech is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the legal right to express one’s opinions freely”. Opinion is defined as “a generally held view”. If you do not see where I am headed with this, freedom of speech means a person can state any opinion, view or information, and it should be okay. Whether someone else decides to believe it or not, that is their choice. Trump tweets and makes claims that he perceives as correct, which is freedom of speech. Newspaper do the same, and that is still freedom of speech. On August 15th they took a stand and expressed their opinions as a group.

The Boston Globe started the project by stating that a corrupt leader would have a problem with the free press. The suspicious action taken on by any leader will be documented, and obviously no leader would want to be called out for doing something that goes against protocol. Trump has gone as far as talking about closing down news outlets, such as CNN, The Washington Post and the New York Times, which are all big time media outlets. This goes directly against the First Amendment; Freedom of speech and the press. It is nothing new that the media has been criticized for being biased, this dates back to when media for started printing, but the media shouldn’t be threatened.

newspapers

Even if he doesn’t take away the overall sources of media, Trump plans on discrediting media sites, so while they live on no one believes them. If the public doesn’t listen to an outside source of information about what Trump and his administration is doing, then the only source they will have is him and his word, which is more dangerous than any article written according to the Anchorage Daily Press. As our founder Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

-Kaylee Daniels

Taking Risks to Keep Business Growing: Nike Stands Up For Colin Kaepernick

It’s Nike and Colin Kaepernick vs NFL and The Constitution. Nike shows confidence in an emotional ad, and believing statistically that it will pay off in the long run.

Knowing that their competition can’t compete, and as they control a large percentage of sports marketing, Nike felt a urgency to take a stand for the former NFL Quarterback.

Nike is taking a stand for something that shows leadership. They are risk takers that are well known for taking risks in the past. Nike believes in succeeding through taking risks. The unemployed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is now the new face of Nike. The ad tag line is: Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”

NikeNike knows what they are doing having had that much experience of success over many years. Nike is very predictable on production outcomes after its product have been introduced to the market. This where Nike business is invested heavily.

Nike is leading in sales in the industry and the results show quality content in advancing their product to stay ahead of competitors. The competition has to sit and take the back seat on a lot of business arrangements, not able to take control of the market for sports apparel.

Nike is testing the sports apparel industry and facing competition from companies like Under Armour. Known for thriving off competition, Nike is first in trendsetting. They first to do almost all things before their competitors. Any product Nike releases by the company is one example of top notch quality sportswear and content.

Whatever business moves Nike decides to make easily produce a profit. Because of prior experience with dominating the competition, Nike knows that their competition cannot keep up. “When you are being challenged, you get busy, you hustle, and you do everything better.” Nike signed a contract in 2018 for eight years with the NBA jerseys and Apparel.

Nike  Nike

No NBA jerseys have ever had another logo on it, except for Adidas who was forced out its contract with the NBA. There have been big promotions with the Michael Jordan line of product by the company for WNBA and NBA.

Brands like Adidas and Reebok are only doing one new thing. Nike tends to respond better in these times, by promoting their products, and by caring for people. They show some differences to people, by selling emotional benefit encouraging all to “Just Do It.”

-Antonio Thornton

Electronic Arts in Legal Trouble Over Loot Boxes?

Everybody knows about EA’s past struggles and scandals with the loot boxes in their games. Nearly all of EA’s major franchises include loot boxes in some form whether it’s their annual FIFA and Madden Games or their first person shooter games like the battlefield series. One of EA’s games that caught the most attention for having loot boxes is the infamous Star Wars Battlefront 2.

Electronic ArtsIf you are unfamiliar with the controversy behind Star Wars BattleFront 2, Gamespot wrote a summary of the drama that unfolded back in 2017. In short, during EA’s beta of Star Wars BattleFront 2 players discovered that the loot boxes EA had put in the game made the game very unbalanced and basically made the game pay-to-win. Players took to the internet and complaining about how the game was designed to pressure players into paying to advance at a reasonable rate in the game.

EA attempted to defend their decisions centered around the loot boxes on Reddit but ended up breaking a record for the most downvoted comment in Reddit history. According to the WSJ Fearing losing profitability in one of their biggest franchises Disney’s chairman of consumer products sent a message to EA and expressing his concerns about how the player outrage could affect the Star Wars brand. Shortly before the games official launch EA decided to temporary remove loot boxes fearing it lootboxes would negatively affect their sales going into the holiday season. Eventually after the controversy had calmed down they put loot boxes back into the game but with only cosmetic items that could affect how your characters looked.

Electronic ArtsAlmost a year after the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box scandal EA is making headlines again due to the company being under criminal investigation in Belgium due to FIFA’s loot boxes according to EuroGamer. Back in April of this year Belgium declared that some loot boxes are considered gambling are are also illegal. After this decision Blizzard, Valve and 2K Games all made actions to remove or modify their loot box systems in the Belgium versions of their games. EA decided to do nothing following Belgium’s decision and now if Belgium decides to prosecute the case will go to court.

The reasoning behind Belgium’s stricter loot box policies is because Belgium’s gaming commission conducted an investigation into games with loot boxes in video games to see if they fall under Belgium’s definition of gambling.  According to a Belgium press release the results of the investigation were that Belgium’s gaming commission considered loot boxes to be a game of chance because of the fact that players didn’t know which items a box may contain when purchasing the loot box. Belgium is also concerned about loot boxes due to the fact that a lot of children play these games and are vulnerable to gambling at an early age. Belgium also states that the only options for games with loot boxes are to remove them entirely from the Belgium version of the game or modify them to display the contents of the box and the chance of how often each player has at receiving an item. The developers would also have to state that loot boxes are a form of gambling in the game if they choose to modify it.

Some consequences that EA might possibly have to face for refusing to modify their loot box system  includes a $800,000 fine for violating Belgium’s gaming commissions’ rules or face 5 years in prison for whoever was involved in the decision of implementing loot boxes into the game. On top of that since the gambling commission also state that minors are involved the fines have the possibility of doubling making EA to possibly pay over one million dollars or 10 years of jail time.

Overall this probably isn’t more of a bump in the road for EA they have already made public the odds of the “card packs” in their FIFA games. They might have done this in attempts to avoid a court case in Belgium all together but even if it goes to court no one is going to go to jail over these loot boxes. EA would most likely just pay the fine if it ever comes done to that. Thanks to EA some countries are asking themselves “Are loot boxes a form of gambling?”

-Charles Schwarz

Disney Play: Yay or Nay?

Coming in 2019 is the new Disney streaming service to be known as Disney Play. Imagine Netflix or Hulu, except everything Disney. No, it won’t be completely full of Princess movies and cartoons, as it will also contain everything else that Disney owns. Movies and content from the Marvel Universe, Lucasfilms, and 21st Century Fox will all be featured on Disney Play, as well as some original content that will be sporadically produced. So whether you like it or not, say goodbye to Disney content on Netflix, and say hello to Disney content on the all new Disney Play.

Disney Play All Disney content will be removed from Netflix within the next few years. The majority will be removed in 2018, but a few films in the Marvel Universe will remain on Netflix until later in 2019. Disney is very excited about breaking into the streaming service world, where it will compete directly with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Disney already owns 60% of Hulu so some may ask why they feel the need to create their own streaming platform. The answer is that Disney felt the need to put their own brand name out there in a streaming crazed world. Although the new service will take precedence, there will still be plenty of Disney owned content that will appear on Hulu.

One of the promises that Disney CEO, Bob Iger, made to the world when announcing Disney Play was that it would be a cheaper streaming service than Netflix. The cheapest package that Netflix offers is $8. Based on Iger’s claims, expect Disney Play to be less than that. Having a cheap streaming service is obviously a great way to attract business. However, depending on how low the price actually is, some may start to question the fact that the service is so cheap and maybe raise an eyebrow at the content that is being offered.  So how cheap can Disney Play be? I guess we will find out come 2019.

Disney PlayAnother way that Disney plans on bringing in subscribers is with original content it will produce occasionally. The first movie that will be featured on Disney Play is called “Timmy Failure.” The movie will be based on the book that was written by Stephan Pastis. The movie carries a $42 million budget and will be premiered on Disney Play in 2019. Other original content that will be featured is a new Star Wars series called “The Mandalorian” that will be exclusive to Disney Play. The series is a 10-part series that carries a $100 million budget. Disney hopes that the big name series will excite Star Wars fans worldwide and bring in more subscribers. (Here is the first known picture of the new series “The Mandalorian”.)

Disney Play still has plenty of unknowns and what ifs. Details revolving around the new streaming service have been kept pretty secret since the idea was announced in 2017. I would expect more info to be released as the kickoff date approaches. There are many speculations about Disney Play but few will know until it is actually right in front of us.

I am really interested in seeing how successful Disney Play will be. With limited content compared to other streaming services, Disney Play will be up against some heavy competition in the streaming world, but that does not scare Disney chief Bob Iger. Iger seems to be very confident of what Disney can do, and he looks forward to watching Disney Play kickoff. So I ask you, what do you think? Disney Play: yay or nay?

– Christian Ellsworth

NAB 2018: Broadcasting and Beyond!

The moment has come and gone. The 2018 National Association of Broadcasters show was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. From April 9 through 11,  a group of ten Digital Media students from the University of Northern Iowa ventured to this brightly lit city to experience and learn all that is new and progressing in the media industry. Panels about the creation of a major movement for film, question and answer sessions with famous cinematographers, educational panels about new and advancing technologies greeted us, and that didn’t include all the exhibits and companies showcasing their products and networks.

NAB 2018

On April 9th, a series of panels, titled the Creative Masters Series, spoke about the ever-changing methods that are defining the film industry. The opening panel, discussed the recent Marvel superhero film, Black Panther, and the process of making a superhero film like no other. Editor Michael P. Shawver, sound designer Steve Boeddeker, and visual effects supervisor Geoffrey Baumann answered questions about the process of creating such a culturally involved film, as well as explaining the details of creating the Marvel blockbuster. The three guests showed pieces from the film that best explained their creative process.

The second panel was a question and answer panel focusing on the director of photography, Janusz Kaminski, known for his work with many films directed by Steven Spielberg, like Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, BFG, and Ready Player One. It was eye opening experience to sit in on the discussion focusing on how cinematography has changed through the years. Kaminski talked about how quickly the technology has changed, and the different tactics used to create those scenes and shots that made these films. He explained how cinematography is an art form more than anything else, showing clips of his works that further explained his process for each movie. His shared his distaste for using CGI, and the struggles a cinematographer faces with visual effects technology.

The final panel of the Creative Master Series was titled “Jessica Jones: The Art of Darkness,” with panelists, Melissa Rosenberg, the series creator, executive producer and showrunner, Tony D’Amore, the series colorist, encore, and Manuel Billeter, the director of photography. This panel brought to light how the Netflix Marvel series itself has changed the concept of the original superhero movie through a darker plot, encompassing the strength of the female protagonist. Each panel gave insight into the film industry and the changes being made in creating  new stories.

All of the exhibits gave way to an experience of a lifetime. Being able to see all the new products that have recently came out and are coming soon to the world of broadcasting. When visiting the exhibitor hall you get a new experience at every booth. One exhibitor hall focused on the technology, with a lot of sound boards, cameras, drones, and virtual reality equipment displayed allowing viewers to mess around with the products themselves.

The NAB Show allowed ten UNI Digital Media students to see and attend sessions and panels discussing a wide range of topics. They saw and met with exhibitors from all around the world, and were given a chance to look into the world of digital media a little closer. There were hands on exhibits showcasing virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and sports broadcasting. The world of digital media is always changing, which means our students are always learning!

-Taylor Horvatich

NAB 2018: A Closer Look at Booths and Exhibits

When attending a convention the size of NAB, things can feel a bit overwhelming at times. With a whopping 1700 booths and exhibitors, an even more impressive 100,000 attendees, and three multi-floored convention halls the size of multiple football fields, at times it was difficult to know exactly where to start and what to look out for. So naturally, we explored, and with exploration comes discovery. As we attempted to scour every square inch of the Las Vegas Convention center, all while of course picking up some cool “swag”, we encountered some really interesting booths showing off their latest technology advances.

NAB 2018 Cheqroom

YI Technology, pronounced like the letter “E”, was one of the companies we encountered in the central convention center. YI is a tech company based out of China that specializes in action and mirrorless cameras, but at NAB they were there to show some of their latest advancements. In 2018, YI is planning on joining the growing trend of virtual reality as they unveiled their latest cameras capable of 3D-VR, 3D 360 degree cameras, and a specialized 3D virtual reality camera.

Talking with one of their representatives, they spoke about how YI sees virtual reality as the future of video content. “Virtual reality is really just in its beginning stages at this point in time. Who knows, we might even see schools of the future being taught completely through virtual reality.” The perspective that YI has on VR was something that really intrigued us. Right now it really does feel as if virtual reality is a bit of a niche market, but with major tech companies like YI making strong advances with the technology, we really could see VR becoming more and more consumer friendly.

Another exhibitor that stood out among the masses was the Aputure booth. Aputure is a media company that specializes in lighting technology for video production and photography. Fittingly, the booth was decked out with their latest models ranging from high end, to more consumer and student friendly lighting kits. Additionally, throughout the convention Aputure brought in many different YouTubers and Social Influencers that gave presentations on how they use lighting within their content.

On our last day of the convention Aputure brought in Levi Allen, a YouTuber and filmmaker from Left Coast Media. He gave a presentation on his various lighting techniques that he uses within his business and channel, and also showed us some live demonstrations using the Aputure lights. At the end of his presentation, his words resonated with a few of us. “I want you to all go out and create something and share it with the world. What’s the point of making stuff if you’re not going to share and let people experience in it?” His words were really inspiring, and a good way to round out the convention as we finished producing some of our own media projects about the NAB show.

These were merely two of the almost 2000 booths featured at the NAB show. Some other standouts were the Avid Booth, where they showed off their much maligned (at least by some digital media students) editing software; Cheqroom, a European company specializing in equipment checkout software; and of course the “dancing” robot presented by BOLT.

The sheer number of companies and booths in attendance really showed us students how many opportunities there are in the media industry. We were able to network, get a glimpse into some new tech we may be adding to our toolkits in the near future, and of course you know we scooped up whatever free goodies we could get our hands on. Interestingly enough, most of the free “swag” we received was just different branded tote bags, but we of course were thankful nonetheless. Once our time at the convention came to an end, we headed out the doors of the Las Vegas Convention center, bags in hand, and hundreds of different company names to Google when we got home to look for job and internship opportunities. NAB 2018 was a success, to say the least.

-Tristan Bennett