Monday, September 30, 2013

Peer review grouping for essay 1

I've assigned everyone to a group named by your favorite TV series. Each of you will review two paper drafts from the other two people in the same group. Please write a 250-word comment for each review. Conducting peer reviews is a good way to improve your writing. Please read the draft through once before responding to the following points. You don't have to address all issues, just pick 2-3 points that you like about the paper and you think how the author can improve.

Please upload your comments for each classmate to the Google Drive before we meet on Tuesday. Name you file like this "Peer review_you last name_the author's last name."

Please address the following questions in your comments.

1. In what ways does the introduction used by the writer prepare you for the argument? 
How effectively does it frame the issue? 
2. Is there an essay map in the introduction? If so, suggest ways in which the essay 
map in the introduction could be improved. 
3. Suggest ways to make the framing of the issue, review of alternative approaches, 
and the main point advanced by the writer more consistent with each other. 
4. Identify areas in the paper where brief overviews would make the argument easier 
to follow. 
5. Identify arguments that would run counter to the writer's argument. Suggest ways 
the writer could respond to and/or refute these arguments. 
6. If the writer is advocating a particular solution, suggest ways in which it could be 
described more clearly. 
7. If the writer is advocating a particular solution, suggest ways in which the 
implementation of that solution could be described more clearly and completely. 
8. Consider the writer’s use of evidence. Is it appropriate? Are there points at which 
additional evidence would be useful? Where different evidence might be used more 
9. How effective is the conclusion? Does it do more than simply restate the content of 
the essay? How might it be improved? 

Research Report_Stelter_Mueller

Research Report on Brian Stelter

 “Al Jazeera  America Promises a More Sober Look at the News” by Brian Stelter is a article that gives readers an inside look as to how the news operations will work at the new network. Stelter covers Al Jazeera America’s start up because of new tactics the network claims to present viewers as well as the bad reputation the Al Jazeera worldwide network gets in the United States for broadcasting Osama Bin Laden’s messages after the 9/11 attacks. The article was written for the New York Times, which serves a nationwide audience, and allows for people in various regions of the country to learn more about how the network plans to run itself.

Brian Stelter is an esteemed journalist who specializes in reporting on the inside management of the television industry who has worked as a writer for The New York Times after his graduation from college in 2007. Stelter graduated from Towson University in May 2007 with a degree in Mass Communications, but was well known within the television industry before his graduation. Stelter found – a blog dedicated to reporting on events taking place in the news rooms of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS amongst others as well as tipping off readers on what the next story would be from these networks and who would be reporting – in 2004. was purchased by during Stelter’s college career with the company naming him Editor of Along with his job a student and as editor of, Stelter also found time to be Editor of his school newspaper. Stelter’s rise to fame within the industry was chronicled by the likes of the USA Today, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal all before his graduation from college.

Stelter was named online journalist of the year by Media Web in 2006 because of’s profound impact on the way the major news network executives find inside information within their industry. Brian is widely respected for his knowledge of the television industry and the serious, professional nature with which he writes. Stelter’s biggest news break may have come when he broke the story of CBS photoshopping Katie Couric thinner just weeks before she began her venture as host of “The CBS Evening News”.  At the time Stelter received his journalistic award, had roughly 1,000,000 viewers per month on the site.

The comments on Stelter’s article sparked much discussion over what type of news the network would provide, how they would present it, and if people were looking forward to the launch of this new channel. People were very intrigued and opinionated as to how long the station could actually survive, how the network would be received by the American public, and more importantly the television providers in the country. A day after the launch of Al Jazeera America, Shelter wrote about the type of reception and ratings the channel received on its flagship day, which dealt more with what his commenters were concerned with in the article “Al Jazeera America Promises a More Sober Look at the News”.


Bosman, J. (2006, 11 20). The Kid With All the News About the TV News. Retrieved from

Friedman, J. (2006, 12 15). TVNewser’s Stelter is Online Journalist of the Year Retrieved. from

Johnson, P. (2006, 07 10). Student Energizes the News Blog Biz. Retrieved from

Stelter, B. (2013, 08 21).  Al Jazeera Makes Limited American Debut. Retrieved from

Discussion Questions_Kovach and Rosenstiel_O'Shasky

1.)  Kovach and Rosenstiel began chapter 8 by writing about the fact that in todays digital society we have access to hundreds of news headlines every day, compared to only the handful of articles, chosen by editors, that appear in daily newspapers. Do you believe todays news consumers are better able to sort out and monitor the important news articles, which was previously the job left up to the newspaper's editors?

2.)  With shrinking news rooms across the world, do you believe any one news operation still has the adequate resources needed to do the monitoring for us?

3.)  In todays digital society we also have access to international websites like Yahoo and the New York Times. Does the access to these sites which contains international news reduce ones interest in their local news?

4.)  In chapter 9, Kovach and Rosenstiel bring up the metaphor of journalists acting as gatekeepers who mediate the facts on behalf of the public. But with todays increase in social networking, we have a growing tendency to receive our news from non-journalistic sources. How do you believe this will affect the roles of journalists in todays evolving society?

Discussion Questions_Stelter_Yadegar

1.)  There are very few successful international news networks that do well in America, for example BBC. Do you see Al Jazeera America being a longterm successful network? Why or why not?

2.) While most news stations air around 15 minutes of commercials every hour, Al Jazeera America will only air around 6 minutes of commercials per hour. Will this small amount of commercials help the network retain viewers because of their appealing lack of commercials or will it harm the network because advertisers won't want to broadcast on Al Jazeera because the lack of air time.

3.) Al Jazeera America is originally from Qatar, in a post 9/11 society will Americans be hesitant about watching shows on the network from a Middle Eastern country or will they look aside from the networks origin and let the journalism speak for itself?

4.) What type of political bias if any will Al Jazeera America have?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Discussion Questions_Gillmor_Zacharias

1.) We often post things on Facebook that Gillmor would classify as having journalistic value. Would you consider yourself a “journalist” because of this? Why or why not?

 2.) Gillmor claims that who state law defines as a journalist in regards to shield laws encourages a “back-door licensing of journalists”. Do you think this is true? If so, what should states do to prevent this?

3.) Gillmor is publishing a book in attempt to convince people to become more active users of media, or practice “media literacy”. Would you consider yourself a passive or active consumer of media? What do you consider media literacy?

4.) The main question Gillmor poses in the article is “Do we need a new name for the modern media creators?” What do you think? Do you think it is important to draw a line between who we view as journalists and who we do not?

Research Report on Dan Gillmor

The article, “Who’s a Journalist? Does that matter?” by Dan Gillmor, should be interpreted as a piece written to inform and make the audience think about the future of journalism. The author chose to discuss this topic because the issue of defining journalism is very relevant to today’s society. People rely on blogs and unrecognized sources for their news every day. If this subject isn’t addressed the consumer culture could fall victim to false reporting and bias. Gillmor gets to the real question of what makes someone a journalist, and most importantly, does the term even hold meaning in today’s society?

The subject of this piece was a very sensitive issue for the author Dan Gillmor, who is a highly acclaimed journalist and participant in the social media of today’s consumer culture. Gillmor works at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, where he tries to bring entrepreneurship and digital media literacy into the curriculum. He is also a blogger, author, speaker, media investor and co-founder of several online businesses. His most recent book, Mediactive, is intended to turn passive media consumers into active users, as participants at every step of the process starting with what we read.

In the past, Gillmor was a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, and wrote a weblog for, which was known as one of the first web publications by a journalist for a traditional media company. Over the years, he has free-lanced for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Economist, Financial Times and many other publications. Gillmor was a Knight-Wallace journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied history, political theory and economics.

The site where this article was published is called This site has an audience of 15 million users who read and actively respond to breaking news, including politics, culture, technology and entertainment. The sites purpose has been to inform its audience with the use of investigative reporting, fearless commentary and criticism, and provocative personal essays. has been a leading in online media since the beginning of the digital age.

Gillmor’s article received mixed reviews on the site from various commenters of different backgrounds. Some of the more classically trained journalists seemed to have the common opinion that the amateur participants of online media do not deserve a title or to be recognized as anything other as unreliable sources. Other people who agree with the changing face of journalism eagerly commented on the article with praise and agreement towards Gillmor’s belief that “every person is capable of doing something that has journalistic value”. They agree that the word “journalist” has fallen on hard times, and the future of journalism lies with anyone who creates worthwhile media that is useful to it’s readers. When interpreting this article, people should be aware of the changing face of journalism and the constant struggle to balance the original ethics of quality reporting with the digital era of consumer culture.


Gillmor, D. (2010, 08 26). Who's a journalist? does that matter?. Retrieved from

About salon media group. (n.d.). Retrieved from

About dan. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Monday, September 23, 2013

Research report_Baker_Kaplan

Russ Baker’s The Squeeze Research Report
As citizens in a democracy we have a responsibility to be informed about the world around us so that we may effectively contribute to the democratic process. Furthermore, we have a responsibility to analyze the information presented to us for bias and inaccuracies in order to stay better informed. In his article The Squeeze in the September/October 1997 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Russ Baker details recent developments in the ongoing conflict between advertisers, publishers, and editors. The piece suggests that advertisers, led by the advertising juggernaut Chrysler, seek to gain unnecessary control over the content of the publications they advertise in. Because this piece deals with advertising bias and based on Baker’s distinguished career as an investigative journalist and his non-profit blog, it is evident that the piece is biased in that in seeks to promote unbiased reporting as a necessary value of journalism.
Baker’s career as a hugely successful investigative journalist suggests a bias towards the principles of journalism, namely unbiased reporting and a wall between advertising and editorial. Baker is a freelance journalist who received a Masters Degree in Journalism from Columbia has written for various US publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Vanity Fair, among others. Furthermore he his work appeared in numerous international publications in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Therefore it is evident that he is an experienced journalist and thoroughly understands the principles of journalism. Because the article is discussing how advertising is affecting the editing of magazines and newspapers, it is reasonable to believe that Baker has some bias toward advocating for the content of publications to be unaffected by advertisers.
Furthermore, Baker founded the blog, a non-profit news publication, which suggest a bias towards non-profit journalism that is relevant in his piece regarding advertising’s affect on the content of publications. Baker said that he started the blog because he was, “tired of the cynicism, self-interest, and cowardice that I witnessed in the news media.” The blog focuses on non-biased reporting of the truth, and in an effort to remain non-biased, is a non-profit publication with no advertisers. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that Baker is inclined to advocate for publications being independent from advertisers, and thus is a biased source on the topic of the wall between publishing and editorial.
It is hard to overlook Baker’s bias as an advocate for non-biased, advertising independent news publications, or the fact that this bias is relevant to the piece in question. However, it seems that a bias towards being non-biased, is not a bad bias to have. I think that despite Baker’s biases, he is a credible source and this report can be trust on face value.


Baker, R. (2013, 09 23). Retrieved from

Engel, M. (2013, 09 23). Who what why. Retrieved from

Russ, B. (2013, March 21). Russ baker on huffpost. Huffington Post. Retrieved from

Online Assignment #1

1. I was born and raised in Glendale, Wisconsin, a north shore suburb of Milwaukee.

2. My primary source of news is the internet. Specifically, the MSN or CNN websites. I also watch cable news regularly.

3. Right now I'm watching the Sopranos, but I'm also a big fan of House of Cards, Parks and Rec and Game of Thrones.

4. Smell ya later.

5. I really don't understand the obsession with twerking and why everyone seems to be doing it right now.

6. Professor Wells definetly needs to play a little country. Any Luke Bryan, Keith Urban or Jason Aldean would do the trick.


Research report_Fallows_Reubish

Anna Reubish
Jiun-Yi Tsai
Section 304
Research Report on James Fallows
With the ample amounts of information that is provided to consumers with a few clicks of a mouse, it is hard to decipher what is a reliable source and what is not. Now days, any average Joe could write a blog post without any factual basis and some could consider it a source. As a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, a publication that focuses on national and international news, James Fallows has created a credible name for himself. Both Fallows and The Atlantic are sources that can be trusted.
 Looking first at his education, Fallows received degrees in American history and literature from Harvard. Fallows continued his education at Oxford, obtaining his graduate degree in economics. Fallows worked on democratic President Jimmy Carter’s staff, as chief speechwriter for two years (The Atlantic). Fallows current publication, The Atlantic, has independently made a name for itself to the American public. Publication began is 1857 and The Atlantic has continued to grow and change with the times. Historically, it has been known to report everything that was in the public’s interest, from Martin Luther King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” to coverage of all World Wars (Murphy). Fallows primary news focus, recently, has been on the war in Iraq but stays involved in all aspects of American government. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award once but has been nominated five times (The Huffington Post). These prestigious awards show his work has been reviewed and seen as continually scholarly, on multiple different subjects.
Although James Fallows has the credentials of a trustable source, I think we need to look at where his personal biases could influence his reporting. Fallows did work for a democratic president for two years, which leads me to believe he has some affiliation with that political party. Murdoch’s News Corp reports focused primarily on conservative debates and discussion. In ‘The Age of Murdoch’ Fallows does an excellent job portraying that this is not just a political disagreement, but an argument about what is best for the public and a business deal for Murdoch. Fallows shows that he has respect for both sides of the argument and takes the time to get insight from both. While reading this article he quotes multiple people, some who have worked for Murdoch, others against (Fallows). In this instance, Fallows comes off very bipartisan and concluded that those on the inside of Murdoch’s corporation do not see how politically important this debate is and that those against Murdoch are blowing his ideals way out of proportion (Fallows). Fallows’ educational background and previous experience has given him an ample amount of knowledge on the American court system and the political aspects behind ownership in the media (The Atlantic). He is trying to inform the public of the struggle between media ownership and political power. Looking online, I did not find any formal responses back to this article or Fallows ideas. As a reader, we can confidently take his claims into account and build off his ideas because he has done his research to get all pieces of the puzzle together and leaves the reader to make their own claims in the end. 

Works Cited
Fallows, James. "The Age of Murdoch." The Atlantic. Sept. 2003. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <>.
"James Fallows." The Atlantic. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <>.
"James Fallows." The Huffington Post. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <>.
Murphy, Cullen. "The Atlantic Online | A History of The Atlantic Monthly." The Atlantic Online | A History of The Atlantic Monthly. 1994. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <>.