Podcasting: “Embedded”

Podcasts have become a thing of particular relevance in the past 10 years. Podcasts offer on-the-go discussions and talks on almost every subject you can think of, which is one of the reasons they’re so popular-regardless of your interests, everyone can find a podcast for them. And podcast creation, usage, and listening, only continues to grow. According to Convince and Convert Media, in America alone, “Podcast listening grew 23 percent from 2015-2016”, an impressive statistic, one that absolutely surprised me. In addition, in 2016 it was measured that, “57 million Americans listen to podcasts.”

These raising statistics come as a result of the mobility available when it comes to both producing, but especially listening to podcasts. “In 2014 most podcasts were being listened to on a computer, which restricted consumption windows.” With the creation of portable cell phones such as iPhones, iPads, and tablets, you can listen to podcasts whenever and wherever you go. iPhones even have an application folder dedicated specifically to podcasts.

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In addition, there is also now freedom in terms of timing, or they time which you can listen to a podcast. In previous years, the time constraint which used to cause a lot of people not to tune in is no longer an issue. Consumers don’t have to wait at the computer while a podcast is delivered live. Instead, people are able to subscribe to the podcast of your their choice, download it, and listen to it whenever they please. Whether it’s in the car in the morning on the way to work, at the gym, or even while making dinner, the freedom podcasts offer is unmatched. There is no longer any time or environmental limit.

I, personally, do not listen to very many podcasts. However, one I enjoy and listen to religiously is NPR’s “Embedded“, hosted by Kelly McEvers. The show looks into news stories, bkmcevers_custom-75505d47b7fd0898af0b2b0b31594acf7d69f233-s200-c85ut goes into great detail and depth gathering personal viewpoints that large media companies will often brisk over. The podcast puts you in the shoes of people who went through it, or are going through it, and gives a background and viewpoint you don’t often get. Especially on topics you wouldn’t otherwise be informed about, at least in such a close, and personal way. Topics range widely, as the way news events occur, examples include police encounters, to high school closings, and suicide attempts. Regardless of the podcast’s subject Kelly McEvers keeps listeners entertained with the unique viewpoint she projects on her show.

Although all the subjects of the Embedded podcasts are interesting, one of my favorites has been a five day documentary ‘High Highs and Deep Lows’:Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan. Kelly McEvers actually traveled and spent a week in South Sudan at MSF (A doctor’s without boarders hospital) and her podcast explains her experience along with an interview with Jason Beaubien, one of the doctors on site. The podcast was very powerful hearing Doctor Beaubien’s reports of his every day life and what he experiences at the hospital, both the good and the bad. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t heard it, but I highly recommend tuning in and hearing for yourself!

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Jason Beaubien

 After learning about podcasts, their history, and the creation of them my professor assigned our class the task of creating our own podcast. I evidently wanted to do something that pertains to me, and something I enjoy discussing, and a result I decided to do my podcast on my personal experience in Barcelona. Here it is! I hope you enjoy!

Sea Me

Lisbon, Portugal is home to a unique restaurant that offers a one a kind hands-on experience. Literally. Sea Me is a Japanese restaurant that specializes in seafood with the fun twist of you being able to hand pick your dinner! It’s a whole new take on ordering whatever you want off the menu!

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My parents, having gone to Lisbon a few years ago, raved about Sea Me upon their return home. As a result, when I told my parents I too would be traveling to Lisbon, they evidently insisted I make a reservation for me and my friends. Not being a huge seafood fan, I was a bit hesitant but agreed partly because of their enthusiasm, and also because of the unique opportunity and experience it offered. A few of my friends were hesitant as well, but luckily at least one of my seafood-loving friends Saige, agreed!

Saige and I entered Sea Me, and were instructed to walk to the back of the restaurant where they beautifully displayed various types of fish and seafood. Being from a coastal town in Massachusetts (USA), I am used to a lot of seafood; however, I was thoroughly impressed and surprised at the range of options they offered. After examining the vast display, I finally decided upon sashimi, but struggled with the decision to get tuna or salmon, and eventually decided to get both! I then was able to pick the exact pieces of the salmon and tuna used that would be used to make my Sashimi. My friend Saige opted for an absolutely enormous crab she had spotted on the left side of the glass display. We returned to our table and waited for them to prepare our choices. And, even though we personally handpicked our meals, we certainly did not anticipate what was coming.

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My salmon and tuna sashimi was beautifully presented on a black stone slab. The huge pieces of tuna and salmon were cut seamlessly, and organized perfectly, topped with caviar and completed with ginger, and sea weed sides. I almost didn’t want to eat it because it was arranged so nicely!

Saige’s crab, however, was the big surprise of the evening. Being a small girlFullSizeRender-2, only 4’9 herself, the dish seemed to absolutely overpower her small features! As you can see by the photo, the dish is extremely large and she was more than excited to crack into it!

 

Although it was a messy meal, both of our dinners were exceptional. The seafood really, could not be fresher, or more perfectly hand-picked (by us of course!)

I will say Sea Me was a bit pricey so if you’re planning on going be prepared to pay more than you usually would for fish or crab in a restaurant. However, although the prices were a bit higher than I would have liked, the experience made it more than worthwhile. I would highly recommend visiting Sea Me if you find yourself in Lisbon. After all, like my parents said, “When’s the next time you’re going to be able to hand pick your fish to order in Portugal?!”

Trattoria Za Za

Upon arriving in Florence, Italy this past weekend I was met at the airport by one of my best friends Danielle, who is studying there. Once we had gotten through the initial hug and catch up, we began discussing our plans for the evening, and she enthusiastically turned to me almost screaming, “we HAVE to go to Trattoria Za Za for dinner tonight, it’s INCREDIBLE” and Danielle was indeed, correct.

The two of us, along with three of her roommates made a reservation for 8:00 pm and were extremely relieved we had when we saw the line at the door upon our arrival! Trattoria Za Za is located in a quaint, colorful, and historical plaza, called Piazza del Mercado Centrale and has been in business since 1977.

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Piazza del Mercato Centrale

The atmosphere was vintage and cozy, very comfortable with mismatched furniture and chairs and winding rooms which continued to empty out into even more spaces, the restaurant literally appeared to keep going “back and back” Evidently, the extensive space was necessary for every table inside and outside was completely full, and the line to get in stretched around half the block! And it was only a Tuesday night!

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Trattoria Za Za’s menu was extensive, at least 10 pages long completed with every food option imaginable-from steak, to fish, to more traditional Tuscan cuisines such as pizzas and unlimited choices of pasta, they had it all. After much contemplation, I finally decided upon the Tagliatelle with Truffle sauce. Unknowingly to me before giving my waitress my order, truffle oil and truffle sauces are actually one of Trattoria Za Za’s specialities!

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The dish was indeed, special. The truffle sauce was rich and creamy but not over bearing, or too heavy, a problem I usually have with truffle dishes. One of Danielle’s roommates, Abby, got the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and that did not disappoint either. An absolutely ridiculous size, the steak was served on a large wooden slab, looking almost medieval. Unfortunately they were out of the rosemary potatoes, which usually accompanies the tenderloin, but it was more than okay. The dish was instead served simply with lemon, putting emphasis on the taste of the beef specifically. The moist, tender meat was more than enough on its’ own, and I found myself asking her for multiple bites throughout the meal!

Following our entrees, we all opted for a lemon liquor sorbet to cleanse our palettes, also known as “Zaza very light lemon liquor sorbet” It was indeed light and refreshing, exactly what we needed after our extremely large meals. It was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Florence to take a trip to Trattoria Za Za, but ensure to make a make a reservation ahead of time!

Amarre 69

One of my favorite restaurants here in Barcelona is one that I feel is often overlooked. I actually stumbled upon Amarre 69 by accident with some friends back in March. We had spent a majority of the day at the beach and after watching the sunset, we were all starving after having lost track of time. We opted for a restaurant right by the beach that  looked warm and inviting, and had displayed a menu with a lot of different options for our varying tastes.

We sat at a comfortable table outside and even though it was a bit chilly, the outside heaters, along with the complimentary blankets and seat cushions made it more than comfortable and toasty enough for our meal. The outside sitting area was decorated with plants and soft lighting to tie in the inside and outdoor area and was extremely pleasant, and aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately led us to the restaurant in the first place. After all, there are a row of what seems like endless restaurants by Barceloneta, but Amarre 69 stood out. With it’s vibrant sign, lit candles, and funky furniture, it caught our eye.

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I was with three of my friends from America, who were visiting me for their Spring Break. Although the menu had a variety of delicious options, I decided we first needed a pitcher of Sangria, and some Patatas Bravas to start us off, after all, we are in Barcelona.

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My friends, of course, loved both of my choices. Then, it was time for entrees. Two of the girls ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, that came complete with avocado, mozzarella, and basil, and raved about it. My other friend, Nicole, ordered just the nachos as her entree! It may seem a bit strange to order as a meal, but she is a nacho fanatic and when her large dish arrived topped with cheddar cheese, jalapeños, fried beans, spicy sauce and guacamole she could not hide her excitement. According to her, they tasted even better than they looked! Lastly, I ordered the Cheeseburger.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

And I can honestly say, IT WAS THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD. The
cheeseburger was almost the size of my head, stacked with gooey cheese, onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato and finally topped with an egg, with the yolk runny, my mouth, along with everyone else’s at the table completely dropped when it was put in front of me. Although I had a lot difficulty trying to fit the monstrosity into my mouth, it was more than worth it. The burger was juicy, perfectly seasoned, and the numerous toppings only added to it. I made my friends try it too; and it was, in fact, the best burger they had ever had as well.

 

 

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We enjoyed Amarre69 so much we ended up going inside to grab some drinks at the bar, and spotted a comfortable sectional in the back corner which we lounged at while a live guitarist performed in the corner! It was quite a unique, fun, and young atmosphere, and would highly recommend it to anyone, especially after a day at the beach!

Politics 2.0-Donald Trump

Donald Trump. A name recognized internationally, and as of recent, the 45th president of The United States. A businessman with no previous political experience, it is almost baffling that he was able to win such an esteemed position. Some may wonder how it was possible, and I can confidently say it is largely a result of social media.

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Politics 2.0 emphasizes the importance of social media for candidates, in order to reach their audience and send a message. We see it originally used in the Obama campaign, where he focused mainly on the use of Facebook and Twitter to reach voters. Facebook is a legitimate platform used for communication. Advantages include its’ global reach, its’ transparency, the connections it creates, and the citizen participation it offers.

Donald Trump used a similar technique for his campaign, focusing heavily on Twitter updates as well as Facebook to his advantage. However, Donald Trump’s messages were much different than that of former President Barack Obama. Obama can be quoted using messages that further supported his brand image-Hope. Mr. Trump received the same attention but mostly as a result of his bold statements, often delivered via Twitter and Facebook. The attention he was given because of this, along with the ridiculous Facebook articles on him, further put him in people’s minds-exactly what he wanted, and ultimately what lead to his success. 28 million followers, can in fact, do a lot.

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The advertising and awareness he had simply through social media is extraordinary. An article by the verge, “Donald trump says Facebook and Twitter ‘helped me win'”, further expands on this. Mr. Trump was quoted during his talk on CBS’ 60 minutes, saying, the services he uses such as Facebook and Twitter “are great forms of communication…I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out.” And that’s evident, he continued, “The fact that I have so much power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. I think it helped me win the races where they’re spending so much more money than I spent.” He didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising, both digitally and traditionally, as his opponent, Hilary Clinton, stating “I think that social media has more power than the money they spent.”

Although not all that was heard about Mr. Trump was positive, he even used the negative to his benefit, as a way to “fight back” from an inaccurate, or bad story. Hence, the articles posted on Facebook, or more commonly known the “fake news.” This had such a profound effect that Facebook, specifically the founder, Mark Zuckerberg is taking steps to make sure all the news reported on his site is in fact, accurate. What a concept! We shall see how that goes.

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Uncertainty still evidently remains on that issue, however, what is clear is the immense role that Twitter and Facebook did play in fact play in this campaign. It is interesting to wonder if the results would have been the same if social media was not used. Food for thought!

Ana Lopez

According to Ana Lopez’s twitter bio, she describes her occupation as “Communication, Marketing, and PR at Lopez Nosey, journalist and anthropologist” As if that description isn’t enough in itself, it only grazes the surface of who she is and what she does.

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Ana Lopez visited our class on Wednesday April Fourth to discuss who she is and what she does, and I was thoroughly impressed. In her years she has been a part of some of the largest campaigns and succeeded in various fields.

What was especially interesting about Ana’s career is that she was at the forefront of digital media essentially. When she began at her first company, Estrella Damm, in 2009, social media was barely in use. She had learned essentially to do PR “the old fashioned”, or traditional way and without the use of websites such as Facebook, or Twitter. However, she was just in that time slot when social media began to get more popular and she used it to her advantage to market Estrella in a way it had never been done before. The times were changing, and instead of falling behind Ana Lopez made it her goal to bring Estrella Damm forward with it.

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In 2009, there was “no digital marketing department, or digital team” at Estrella Damm, it was just her, alone, as the Digital Manager. She decided to take a leap and create a three minute long music video for their Estrella’s 2009 campaign that perfectly exemplified the company’s brand territories such as “music and culture, friendship, gastronomy, party time” The video was shot in a beautiful location, Formentera, which was an excellent background for the fun filled video portraying the partying, friendly, and fun experience their drink accompanies.

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The campaign was an amazing success. Just after one video, the company’s brand awareness went up by 225% in the summer of 2009 alone. The video reached 2,500,000 views that summer, strictly on the newly created Estrella Damm Youtube Channel. The song used in the video, “Summercat” by Billie The Vision & The Dancers-a once unheard of Swedish group became the number one most downloaded song in Spain that summer. And the location of the video, Formentera became the preferred destination that year. And all of this mass reach and influence was the result of one single three minute long video, created, directed, and formed by the one and only, Ana Lopez.

Ana’s approach was absolutely genius. She saw the opportunity that the newly created social media sites gave their company and all companies frankly in terms of advertising.  Ana was the first person, and Estrella Damm, the first company which used the internet, specifically Youtube, to make a music video to entice customers. It was a complete smash, and it was only the beginning.

Following the 2009 video, Estrella Damm realized the incredible effect and impact that social media could have for their company. Estrella Damm began growing their social media presence, and in addition of expanding Estella Damm’s Youtube channel, Ana Lopez created the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram amongst many others-from the ground up, completely by herself. Essentially, Ms. Lopez created Estrella Damm’s entire social media personality in Spain in the years following 2009.

In 2015, Estrella Damm created another video, this time a 10 minute long short film. Ana, who had always worked alone, became in charge of a team of thirty plus individuals inside and outside the company. The video had 6,500,000 in 2015 alone; was awarded by Youtube as the best campaign in Spain, and increased brand awareness by 5% in Spain, and 30% in Spain.

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The figures are impressive enough, but what is truly incredible is all that Ana Lopez was able to accomplish for Estrella Damm and for herself, in such a short period of time simply through the use of social media. 2009 offered the new opportunities that social media websites such as Youtube offered, and Ms. Lopez saw this and used it for her and the company’s advantage incredibly.

After her many accomplishments and much success, Ana Lopez left Estrella Damm and began her own digital agency, La Lopez, as well as opened La Lopez Cafe, a “cafe to enjoy homemade food…a place for creativity and culture…and a network itself.” It seems that the possibilities for Ms. Lopez are endless, and I look forward to see what else she does in her career!

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Ana Lopez and company enjoying some homemade food at La Lopez Cafe

Viral Marketing-Ashton Kutcher

Advertising is everywhere, where you’re aware of it or not, and marketing and advertising has certainly come a long way in its’ lifetime. With the development of technology, advertising and marketing has developed as well to match that of the currently used product. The recent creation of portable laptops, iPads, tablets, and cell phones with internet capabilities, advertising has now reached all through various forms of social media.Viral-Marketing

With the development of these devices and social media, so has the concept of viral marketing. Viral marketing is “any marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect.” Essentially, viral marketing takes advantage of the immense use of social media nowadays to further translate and transmit their messages, or brand.

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There are six types of viral marketing including 1. “Send it” or direct messages to consumers such as a text message, 2. Viral, or Incentive Marketing where a consumer gets money or some type of reward for sharing information with a friend; for example, if you get your friend to download the Lyft App, you yourself will get a $5.00 credit to your account. The third is masked marketing, which takes advantage of consumers curiosity by sending a mysterious or ambiguous message which makes the consumer want to learn more. A store may send you an e-mail with nothing more than a simple line such as “get the best deal of your life today!”-we, as consumers, are curious to find out what this deal is and therefore respond by clinking on the link and visiting the website. The fourth is known as rumor marketing, and one I find particularly interesting because I had never been made aware of this technique before taking my Journalism class this semester. Essentially, we will hear wild, interesting rumors about something or someone involved in a product or service right before it comes out. For example, actors may do something to get everyone talking about them before a movie of them comes out. The fifth is social database which is a service that offers a data base so companies can get contacts and lastly, invitations which are usually from companies like Google.

And now we look at the absolute star of Viral Marketing-Ashton Kutcher.

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Originating as an actor in Hollywood, Ashton Kutcher has used his wide public reach to start one of the most important media companies in the United States. Through the use of viral marketing techniques, A+ has become one of the most visited news websites in the world, far passing TMZ and Fox News in monthly visits.

Ashton knew that in order to reach people he had to create noise. He did this first by  promoting A+ through his millions of followers and fans he already had. With his 18 million likes on Facebook, along with his 16.7 million Twitter followers, there was already an audience waiting for him. In addition, he used his connections to get other celebrities to endorse his brand. He brought in celebrities such as Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj to further spread A+. Among other celebrities, Lil Wayne would tweet links to A+ stories with intriguing captions such as “You don’t see this everyday.”

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Ashton was bold in his approach. Originally stating his goal was to tell “stories that make a difference and create positive change“, it quickly changed to wild interesting stories that would get a lot of attention. “Lets put the wild stuff on the wall, let’s do it all, let’s deal with the backlash as we go!” was Kutcher’s attitude, according to one.” was accordingly Ashton’s attitude according to one of his staff members.

Evidently, this attitude led to literal word-for-word plagirization from other news sources, which A+ would copy and post to their site. In August of 2014 the company  experimented with a piece of technology “”that would identify content that was going viral from around the web.”” It would then automatically rip the article’s content and put it in a queue to be rewritten by a team of freelancers, before being added to the site.“” However, the last step of the rewrites from freelancers never occurred and instead were posted to A+ exactly as they were found. As a result, the company made headlines, and although it wasn’t positive, they used this news attention to demonstrate that yes, they had made a mistake but they were rebuilding and coming back better than ever-and most importantly they had people talking about them. They brilliantly used viral marketing techniques such as masked marketing,  rumor marketing, and of course Ashton Kutcher’s already immense fan base and connections, to create one of the top 50 most popular websites in The United States. And that was in just one year alone. I’m sure there is much more to come.

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La Remontada

The night of March 8th 2017 will go down in history for the fans of FCB, (Barcelona Futbol Club.) The game, hosted at Camp Nou, was the teams second time playing Paris Saint-Germain, and there was no hope in sight. For anyone who keeps up with Champions League, it was The second leg of the competition, and it was almost positive that the team would not be able to beat Paris and continue on. Essentially, a couple weeks prior, Barcelona had lost badly to Paris during their first game against them, a devastating loss of 4-0. Going into this game, the only way Barcelona would be able to beat Paris and continue on in the Champions League would be if they scored a minimum of five goals. And essentially, all Paris had to do was ensure that they were not able to do so.

The stage was set at Camp Nou, and tensions were high upon first entrance. Evidently a lot of doubt was in the air but that did not defer the avid Barcelona fans from cheering and screaming with all they had.

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The banner The Barcelona team put over thousands of fans at the beginning of the match that reads their motto, “Tots amp l’equip” which translated in English roughly means “all the team.”

Within the first 3 minutes of the match, a goal was scored by Barcelona, and hopes along with the energy in the stadium skyrocketed. And it didn’t stop there, 2 more goals were scored in the first half, making the match score 3-0 and the possibility of maybe actually winning looked possible. However, Paris scored one goal afterwards, making Barcelona now having to score 6 goals in order to beat them, and once again doubt cast over the stadium.

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The second half continued on like that for what seemed like forever, and as the clock continued all hope seemed lost. With 80 minutes on the clock and only 10 minutes left in the match, fans began to accept defeat. There simply was no way they could get 3 more goals,  and it was over. In disappointment, some fans began to clear out in order to beat the crowds. Little did they know how much they would be regretting this decision later on.

Suddenly, at 87 minutes and to everyones shock, Barcelona scores a goal! Neymar got it in on a free kick and once again, the stadium exploded. The score was now 4-1 and they still needed 2 goals in order to beat them, but they had finally gotten another goal after a long second half and excitement filled the air. Time is almost up, but the referres announce 5 minutes of extra time. Within the first few seconds of extended time, Neymar scores again! The score is now 5-1 and the team has made one of the most amazing come backs in Champions League history.

The eruption which occurred following the fifth goal was absolutely crazy. Fans jumped, screamed, hugged, clapped, flew their flags anything they could do to express their overwhelming excitement and happiness. At this point it’s two minutes in of the five minutes of added time, and with 3 minutes left anything is possible. Two goals were scored in two minutes, three minutes leaves enough time for anything to happen. Those three minutes were filled with nothing but pure anticipation, hope, and overwhelming enthusiasm.

In the fifth and final minute of the added time, Barcelona did what had just a half an hour earlier seemed impossible, and scored the 6th and final goal. Sergi Roberto, one of the players who had played especially horrible in the first game against Paris, scored and not one person could remain in their seats. Everyone of the 90,000 people sitting in that stadium shot up to celebrate. The other Barcelona players stormed the field, although the clock had not stopped and there was still time remaining in the game, to everyone there it was clear it was all over.

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Pictured above: Players and various members of the Club running on to the field after the sixth goal 

It was an absolute explosion. People kissed, cried, jumped on their seats, one man almost fell on fans below because his entire body was essentially over the railings. Absolutely ecstatic.  A short video that was taken immediately following the final goal displays this nicely.

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After the sixth and final goal the Word “Enhorabona” which in English translates to “Congratulations” was displayed on the megascreens at Camp Nou.

Barcelona, as a team, made Champions League history that night, with the biggest come back the League has ever seen. People bet against them, and before the last seven minutes, a lot of people had given up, Don Cuddy was one of them. An Irish American visiting his daughter in Barcelona the week of the eighth, and long time die-hard Barcelona fan had in fact bet against the team, luckily for him only 20 euro! But even Mr.Cuddy, one of their biggest fans didn’t believe it was possible. He discusses this along with sharing the rest of his experience in a short video.

However unluckily for Mr. Cuddy, the team proved him, and almost everyone wrong. Moments like this remind us that truly anything is possible, despite the odds against us. This incredible victory reawakened and created even more love, respect, and belief for the Barcelona team as a whole. (If that’s even possible!) But it is something which everyone, even people who aren’t soccer fans can look at and appreciate. As they continue on in the Champions League, and regardless of future results, it can be said with almost certainty that the night of March 8th, 2017 will not easily be forgotten; and the men of The Barcelona Football Club will live on as heroes.

*Barcelona will play the first leg of the Champions League against Juventus in Turin on April 8th.*

Valenti Sanjuan

Valenti Sanjuan is a multifaceted with many interest and uses social media to broadcast just that. Originally beginning with short comedy shows on Youtube, Valenti Sanjuan had a great presence on screen and his comic bits received a lot of attention and praise. Having been one of the first people to live steam a comedy show, Valenti saw an opportunity for mass viewing via a free server that people used everyday. He was quoted during a presentation in front of our class saying one of his goals was to be one of the “Best storytellers on Youtube”

With more praise, and his continuously growing Youtube personality, Valenti began using his channel to expand it to include other interests. He began doing extreme athletically strenuous competitions such as “iron man” and documented it via his Youtube channel. He established himself, and his brand “Valenti Sanjuan” as an entertaining, lively, energetic, adventurous, and passionate storyteller.

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He became so successful in what he did that large brands actually pay him to endorse their products and use them in various parts of his videos. Hence, the brand continued.

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And that was only the beginning. Valenti continuously finds new material to keep viewers entertained, and I believe one of the reasons for his success is the authenticity which he has with his work. One project he showed us that I found especially powerful was his documentation of him pushing a woman in  Barcelona Marathon who suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Not only was the video touching in itself, the way he described it in class was what really struck me. He didn’t talk about her condition or how difficult it was to physically push someone 26 miles, he talked about her as a person, how beautiful she was and how amazing it was to get to know her during their journey together.  And that’s one of the best things about his job, the people you meet and the stories you hear, and being able to share them and broadcast to thousands of people around the world.

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Valenti is extremely interesting in that he’s truly one of a kind. He took what he was passionate about and what he enjoyed-comedy and sports-two completely unrelated topics and combined them to make it work for him. The underlying passion and interest is the same in everything he does which is what makes it so entertaining. However, he was able to create this own “brand” or image which supports all facets of his life and that’s what makes him truly unique. He loves what he does and it is seen in his work. I look forward to seeing what else he comes out with. I may have to make a Youtube account just to follow him!

 

Citizen Journalism?

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Nowadays, it seems almost anyone can report information on various events, regardless of their background, experience, or education. With applications such as Twitter and Facebook, you can reach mass audiences in minutes, if not seconds, and anyone can do it. This type of journalism, known as citizen journalism“is when private individuals do essentially what professional reporters do – report information. That information can take many forms, from a podcast editorial to a report about a city council meeting on a blog. It can include text, pictures, audio and video. But it’s basically all about communicating information of some kind.The other main feature of citizen journalism is that it’s usually found online.In fact, the emergence of the Internet – with blogs, podcasts, streaming video and other Web-related innovations – is what has made citizen journalism possible.The Internet gave average people the ability to transmit information globally. That was a power once reserved for only the very largest media corporations and news agencies.”

Positives: 

Evidently, like with anything, there are both positives and negatives of citizen journalism. Take a tragic event for example. It is positive in the sense that we can get realtime updates of the situation as it is unfolding without actually being there. We also do not have to wait for new agencies to get a reporter to the location to be informed about what is happening. Instead we can turn to applications such as Twitter, to immediately find out about events and in addition get continuous updates as well. Citizen journalism also gives everyday people the power to inform, contribute and get involved,  instead of relying solely on professionals and their time frame.

Negatives: 

This citizen ability evidently has negative effects as well. This includes the issue of credibility, and evidently, misinterpretation, misinformation, which can lead to false impressions, and ultimately inaccurate reports.

We can see both these positive and negative aspects of citizen journalism when looking at The Boston  Marathon Bombings. Having actually been standing at the finish line in 2013, when the bombs went off, this topic is of significant importance to me.

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A live image of the bombing tweeted by an eyewitness, Dan Lampariello.

Citizen journalism played a key role in this event because people flocked to Twitter, Facebook, and other social forums for up to date, immediate, information on the attack. This was positive for the public in the sense that they could keep up with what was happening by reading tweets posted by people at the event as they were occurring. In addition, features such as The Facebook Safety Check-In allowed people present at The Marathon to inform their friends and family that they were, indeed, safe. However, it also raised a lot of issues. Everyday citizens are not journalists, thus, they do not have the training or intelligence of a journalist when it comes to reporting. They report as quickly as possible and do not wait to gather more information before sharing it with others. As a result, their reports not often valid, and if so maybe skewed or somewhat biased. This was a huge problem when it came to The Boston Marathon. Reports by citizens or everyday people gave the general public incorrect information, especially about possible suspects. This lead to a lot of misunderstanding and eventual accusations of wrongdoings by completely innocent bystanders. This simple mistake led to horrendous results and mistreatment for those wrongly accused; and this is just one small example in the grand scheme of things. As a result, it is important to take citizen journalist reports, whether it be on a blog or via Twitter with a grain of salt. There is usually much more to a story than just what one person can see.

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A photograph of me walking my dad off the finish line 3 minutes before the bombs went off.