Keystone Pipeline Storify

This Storify article is about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.  This is a current issue that directly relates to the environment and needs to be taken seriously.  This pipeline will be carrying the worst crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands.  Tar sand oil is known to emit up to triple the amount of CO2 emissions when compared to regular oil.  Furthermore, this pipeline will potentially increase the amount of devastating oil spills that will occur.  Even though pipelines are apparently the safest method of oil transportation  it does not excuse the fact that this pipeline will harm the environment.  I chose this topic because it directly relates to the environmental crisis that is currently happening. I also chose this topic because it has not been completely approved yet, which means we can still take a stand and act against it.


[View the story “Keystone XL Pipeline” on Storify]


Digital Journalism: Social Media

This week’s discussion led us to talk about Twitter and other social media sites that allow us to participate in citizen journalism and/or social activism.  The question is, do we participate more in citizen journalism and/or social activism because of these increased opportunities in social media sites?  I felt this week there was a mix of answers.  For example, I stated in my initial blog post that I do in fact, participate more in journalism and activism because of these increased opportunities, however, Janbee (2013) answered that she did not change as a producer of content even though there are increased opportunities.

Janbee (2013) commented on how she “couldn’t help but smile” when I stated in my initial blog post that I got a Twitter account because my friends were teasing me that I did not have one yet.  She then gave me a flip side example of how her friends gave her “blank stares” or they rolled her eyes at her when she told them that she had obtained a Twitter account.  I found this story interesting and quite funny because, even though most of my friends teased me about not having a Twitter account, my boyfriend gave me the same reaction as Janbee’s friend’s reactions!  I completely agree with Janbee (2013) that Twitter can be hard to get information from because there are so many ‘bits’ of information that it would be easier to get the whole story from a newspaper.  However, I also agree with Yknwt (2013) in that, if you want to read more about an event or situation, Tweets will, not only consist of appropriate hashtags, but also links to news articles videos, photos and so forth.  With that, it is a lot easier to obtain information on events, and Tweets are a good way to advertise these stories.  To answer Janbee’s question, I tweeted prayer’s, articles, missing poster photos, videos and so forth during the Tim Bosma case.  So many people re-tweeted this information, thus showing that Twitter has become such a huge influence on journalism, and obtaining information on major events.

Mcgip (2013) also made a fantastic point about how “tragedy, commonalities, and the Internet build communities and bring people together.”  In the Tim Bosma case, Twitter communities and Facebook pages were created to help find him, and eventually, turned into memorial pages.  When he was found, I felt that everyone on these social media sites took it somewhat personally because it was so close to home, and even if it was not close to home for some, it felt that way because of how much these sites keep closely connected.  Social media is used to connect us, and to allow us to collaborate with one another.

This week, I found it surprising how many people, including myself, have increased their amount of participation in citizen journalism and social activism without even realizing it.  I found it astonishing how much social media sites have influenced our interconnectedness to one another, and how much these sites are used for collaboration.  For myself, these new opportunities have definitely increased and encouraged me to participate in citizen journalism and social activism.  I also feel that, technology keeps advancing, and the amount of media sites keep increasing, which will then result in more of us, participating in citizen journalism, activism and collaboration.  As Mcgip (2013) and I mentioned, Hermida (2012) explains how social media provides a platform for collaboration. I feel these new opportunities allow us to increase the amount we participate in journalism and activism, and the Tim Bosma case is just one of MANY examples.


Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verificationJournalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.

Journalism in the Digital age: Janbee Comment. (2013, July 06). In Environest blog.  Retrieved 22:39, July 06, 2013 from

Journalism in the Digital Age: Mcgip Comment. (2013, July 07).  Mcgip’s Blog. Retrieved 22:20, July 07, 2013 from

Journalism in the Digital Age: Yknwt Comment. (2013, July 07).  YKNWT’s Blog. Retrieved 21:30, July 07, 2013 from

Journalism in the Digital Age

Over the years, technology and social media has changed dramatically.  The number of individuals that participate in social media sites is astronomical, and I believe that new sites such as Facebook and Twitter, will continue to be created.  Looking at myself on the web, I have come to realize that I participate more citizen journalism and/or social activism.  At first I thought I did not because I felt that I was the kind of person that had these accounts, but barely used them.  However, once I looked more closely at my social media habits, I have come to realize that the emergence of these new opportunities have caused me to engage more in journalism and activism.

“First, the rise of the Internet as a popular medium has led to a substantial increase in available channels for information and entertainment, among other purposes” (Bruns and Highfield, p. 1).  The Internet is a huge tool that has been used by many to post new events, issues, thoughts and so forth for all to see.  Bruns and Highfield (2012) gave a description of how Twitter is used for ‘gatewatching.’  Twitter is often used for people to track news events that have just occurred.  When Tweets are posted, hastags are normally included to increase the amount of viewers for that specific tweet and to get the story known throughout Twitter (Bruns and Highfield, 2012).  Before beginning this course, I joined Twitter to see what was going on in the world, but mostly because my friends kept teasing me because I still did not have an account.  Twitter has definitely caused me to engage in citizen journalism and activism, especially when the Tim Bosma Case surfaced.  Tim Bosma (late) went missing a short while ago when he went to meet individuals whom were interested in buying his car that he posted online.  I first heard about this case through Twitter, and continued to follow new developments in the case through this social media sites.  I would re-tweet and make my own tweets about the case  (complete with the appropriate hastag), to help make sure that people were informed of this important case.  Because of Twitter, I was able to become an active participant in citizen social journalism and activism.  It allowed me to constantly be informed about the issue, but to also produce information (activism) for others to read/follow.  This is directly related to a point Hermida (2012) made about Twitter. “As ambient journalism, Twitter provides a mix of news, information and comment, usually connected to current reality, but without anestablished order. As a result, journalism is not just in the process of negotiating a shift to a digital media environment, but more significantly to a networked one (Singer, 2010) (Hermida, 2012. P. 660-661).

Hermida (2012) stated that social media services provide platforms of collaboration.  Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are ways for people to collaborate, create, and post information.  It can be personal thoughts on an issue, or it can be reproduction of information.  The fact of the matter is, social media sites allow us to become active journalists by producing and reproducing information and stories.  If it were not for these new opportunities, I would probably not be encouraged to participate in citizen journalism and social activism as much as I am today.


Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site []. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.

Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verificationJournalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.

Keystone Pipeline Podcast

This podcast is about the Keystone XL Pipeline.  My information was obtained from TransCanada, the Globe and Mail, and the Labor Network for Sustainability website (reference list/citations are listed below).  I chose this topic because this is a current issue that has been up for debate for quite some time now, and this project negatively impacts the environment on so many levels, and is directly correlated with the climate change/environmental crisis.

I chose the TransCanada site because it provides detailed and useful information on the actual plans, and the intentions for this project.  Furthermore, it also provides the ‘for’ side of the debate.  I chose the Labor Network for Sustainability website because it provides useful information about how this issue negatively impacts the environment.  Furthermore, I chose the Globe and Mail article because I wanted to provide a real-life example of why this project is a negative one.  I felt that taking passages from these different sources would provide a lot of useful information, and give my podcast a lot of depth.


(2012) TransCanada., Keystone XL pipeline. About, benefits facts, environment, safety.

Brecher, J., Smith, B. Pipeline climate disaster: The keystone xl pipeline and labor. Labor Network For Sustainability, Retrieved from

Vanderklippe, N. (2013, May 11). Down the line: How transcanada fumbled the keystone pipeline project. Globe and Mail. Retrieved from

Piracy in the Digital Age: Common Themes and Thoughts on the Issue

This week, we looked at piracy laws in terms of downloading digital content.  Condry (2004) and Wolf et al (2008) talked about how piracy is when someone downloads, copies, and shares all forms of digital media, without permission from the creator or copyright holder.  It was obvious that people who have engaged in online piracy want to support artists, but the issue is that, most of the money goes to recording or production companies, or they simply cannot afford the prices of the digital media that is in stores (Steinmetz & Tunnell, 2013).  CD prices are expensive, which has led people to piracy, and as a fellow musician, I understand how hard it is to make money solely on CD sales.  Which is why I do not pirate music online.

Janbee made an excellent point about how the Internet is a great way for Indy artists ‘to increase their per/song share of sales” (Janbee, 2013).  This is incredibly true, as the Internet is a huge marketing tool for all artists.  I loved the analogy of the caveman.  Like the caveman story Janbee provided, we too listen to new music every day and eventually find that it gets ‘stuck’ in our heads.  I find the whole stealing of “intellectual property” unnatural as well.  I agree that getting paid over and over again for something is bogus.  The sad part is, when an artist dies, the money does not really go to them; it goes to their recording company, kids, etc.  So they are basically making money without working.

I also completely agree with Mcgip that solutions to the piracy issues will require a lot of trial and error, as you cannot simply fix an issue overnight.  I found the point about iTunes being more supportive with artists very interesting.  I also feel that iTunes is more geared towards supporting the artists and the consumers.  They sell their songs at a reasonable price and allow the consumers to pick and choose which songs they like.

I agree with Meaghantrindade that the cost of CD’s should go down, especially since less and less people are buying them.  If the prices were lowered, they would probably have better luck with sales.  If laws were not as strict (as far as piracy is concerned), maybe people would abide by them more.  It kind of reminds me of authoritarian parenting.  If you limit kids too much, they will most likely rebel.

This week, I learned many reasons why people download/share content online through the readings and other posts and comments. I was surprised as to how many people feel strongly about not supporting the record companies.  I learned that many of us agree that the piracy laws are too strict, but not taken seriously, and if they were more lenient, maybe people would follow the laws more.  I was surprised to hear that people who download music they like, end up buying it in the end.  Overall, I feel as though many of us agree that support should be given solely to artists, and that piracy laws should be changed to meet the needs of producers and consumers.


Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363

Piracy in the Digital Age: Mcgip Comment. (2013, June 21).  Mcgip’s Blog. Retrieved 20:26, June 21, 2013 from

Piracy in the Digital age: Meaghantrindade Comment. (2013, June 24). In Bottled Water: Friend of Foe? blog.  Retrieved 19:45, June 24, 2013 from

Piracy in the Digital age: Janbee Comment. (2013, June 21). In Environest blog.  Retrieved 15:53, June 21, 2013 from

Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line PiratesDeviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67

Piracy in the Digital Age

Being a musician myself, I understand the frustration artists and recording/publishing companies go through in order to make a profit.  In today’s world, it is hard for musicians to make money off of CD’s because of downloading and piracy.  However, music is meant to be shared with the public.  In my opinion, musicians express themselves through music and share it with the world.

Piracy can be defined as engaging in “non-commercial file-sharing, that is, sharing of music and media without exchange of money” (Condry, 2004, p. 345).  Another definition of piracy provided by Wolf et al (2008) is that, “Digital Piracy is the illegal act of copying digital goods, software, digital documents, digital audio (including music and voice), and digital video without explicit permission from and compensation to the copyright holder” (Steinmetz & Tunnell, 2013, p. 54).  I feel piracy laws are too ‘serious,’ but are not taken seriously.  If companies agree with these definitions, then a lot of videomakers on Youtube should be in trouble because they most likely did not ask for ‘explicit permission’ to use certain content.  I agree that recording companies should make a profit, however, I do not believe that there should be punishment with the law as described in Condry (2004).

Some suggestions I have for the recording industry is to look at why consumers are engaging in piracy, and think of solutions to better fit the needs of their customers.  For example, both Condry (2004) and Steinmetz & Tunnell (2013) found that people engage in piracy because they want to share content, they cannot afford CD’s, they do not know where the money made from purchases is going, and they believe that it is free promotion for the record label.  Given my own experiences, I believe these reasons are accurate, and for the most part, reasonable.  However, I have made my own CD’s for purchasing and understand how much artists struggle when people do not buy their music.  Therefore, this makes me buy all of my music to avoid piracy.  iTunes is fair to both producers and consumers because consumers can download what they like, while still complying with piracy laws.  However, in order to help the record industry when dealing with what they perceive as ‘pirating,’ I recommend the following:

    1. Follow the Digital Rights Management (DRM) techniques by informing people that downloading is stealing (Condry, 2004, p. 344) and that at the end of the day, the music industry is a business where many people work hard and long hours, and they need to get paid.  Education is more effective because it provides REASONS why they should not engage in piracy.
    2. I think they should also let individuals listen to music prior to purchasing to make sure they like it, as most people end up purchasing content they really like (Condry, 2004)
    3. They should make CD’s more affordable.  If CD’s cost about $1.00 to make, purchase cost should not be 20-30 dollars (Condry, 2004, p. 356). free music downloads


Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-
Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line PiratesDeviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67
Three Sad Tigers. (Photographer). (2011, March 27). free music downloads [Photo]. Retrieved from

Environmental Crisis Video

Hey everyone!  This week I mixed a couple of videos and pictures to create 5:00 minute video on the environmental crisis as a whole.  I took clips from Al Gore’s, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ and Leonardo Di Caprio’s ‘The 11th Hour’ (both came from Youtube).  Furthermore, I obtained culture common photos from Fickr to include in own section of the video.  Most of my information that I spoke about was from the World Nature Organization (link can be found on the sidebar of my blog).  Some of the information includes global warming, natural disaster footage, pollution (air and water), endangered species, and some ‘green innovations.’

I created this video by mixing, splicing, and editing clips from these documentaries.  I pre-recorded my own stuff on Youtube, uploaded it, and made it a part of my video.  Furthermore, the music came from Soundcloud.  I used Mozilla Popcorn and Youtube for this assignment.

The video can be seen below!  Hope you enjoy it!

This is a replica of the Mozilla Popcorn video I made that was posted several days ago.  The Mozilla Popcorn link was not working for many individuals, therefore I decided to upload the video to youtube.  It is a lot smoother and does not take as long to load – I videotaped my popcorn video and posted it on youtube.  When you see the photos in my video, it is important to note that you cannot click on them.  This tool was used when the mozilla popcorn video was working, and thus, this feature is not available on this video.  However I have provided all of the necessary links for referencing in the youtube video description.

I hope this video opens up your eyes, and that you all try and make an effort to live ‘greener’ lives.