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Know Your Neighborhood

May 12, 2013

In class this week, we’ll be talking about “Information Neighborhoods” and how important it is to understand the differences among them. So Blog Comment #1 isn’t due until noon Thursday this week. Referring to the grid graphic attached below, choose one of the Information Neighborhoods, and find an example of information online that belongs to that neighborhood. Post a link to that website in a comment in which you explain how your example fits in. Limit yourself to three-five sentences. Tie your blog comment in to the concepts that we will have discussed in class Tuesday about Information Neighborhoods.



58 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2013 1:05 pm

    In this advertisement promoted by axe body spray, The Houston Texans Defensive End JJ Watt is used to model new axe extra hold hair gel, and styles a complete new look and haircut to help promote and advertise for axe and their new line of products. Using a NFL breakout star such as JJ Watt who had an amazing year last year leading the league in blocked pass attempts, and also winning the AP NFL defensive player of the year, he is being used to persuade people to use axe products by sporting a new look and haircut in the pictures shown. This is a smart advertisement idea by using such a breakout star that is getting a lot of publicity inside and outside the sports world.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 15, 2013 3:00 pm

      Fine analysis, Sam. Oh, to make the money J.J. is going to make on endorsements! Force of nature on the field, force of commerce in the media.

  2. Farrah Pruskauer permalink
    May 15, 2013 2:33 pm
    The image attached is propaganda for many reasons. The goal is to persuade men to join the army. This is used to help the U.S. government (the client) in gaining more soldiers. The method of this image uses a female to manipulate men into joining.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 15, 2013 3:02 pm

      Elegant in your conciseness, Farrah. The army certainly knows how to appeal to an audience of young males. Thanks for introducing me to a new, cool website, too!

  3. May 15, 2013 5:35 pm

    The link above is to a news article from the New York Times. It is news because, the article goes on to inform the reader about Kepler spacecraft and the problems NASA scientists are having with Kepler. The article’s goal is to inform readers on this great scientific achievement and how important Kepler has been in the search for planets outside our solar system.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:01 pm

      Good work, Shawn! The article relies mostly on expert sources directly involved. The anonymous source may throw some people, but the Times demonstrates some transparency by at least explaining why that source was anonymous.

  4. May 15, 2013 6:11 pm

    Advertisements are a significant and a competitive way of marketing and trying to sell their product to the consumer. I believe that Billy Fuccillo the owner of the Fuccillo Kia dealership in Cape Coral does a great job of trying to persuade and make the viewer’s buy his vehicles. He owns the fastest growing car dealership in this area. His key word that he uses in his advertising is a very loud and obnoxious “HUGE”. His promotions include concerts, cash giveaways and financing for everyone no matter what your credit.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:03 pm

      You nailed it, Dylan. His advertising campaigns must be working, given the growth of his company. Obnoxious though his radio commercials may be, I find them entertaining compared with others.

  5. May 15, 2013 7:12 pm

    This is an article announcing that the Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring at the age of 23. I would consider this entertainment because it arouses and moves an emotional response to the people of Baltimore or any Ravens fans. Being from Baltimore, I know that McClain is a local celebrity and fans have recently been following up on all his latest arrests. It is pure entertainment for us.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:08 pm

      Intriguing choice, Jaclyn. Glad you spotted that it cannot be purely “news” since it was published by the team itself, which taints it as publicity and propaganda. In cases of bad publicity, an organization seeks desperately to control the message. One way in which the Ravens do this is by categorizing the message as “news,” which in itself does not make it news. Although “entertainment” isn’t the only kind of information that evokes an emotional response, sports is inherently entertainment, so no matter how a sports organization tries to spin its message, ultimately it is, as you note, entertainment and not news.

  6. Nick Tavel permalink
    May 15, 2013 7:36 pm

    This is definitely propaganda. It is coming straight from the government and is trying to persuade you to vote and participate in the elections this past year. The first line read “Be Responsible” meaning that if you do not vote you are not responsible and you do not care for your country or its future. This propaganda poster fulfills its goal by guilt tripping the population into go and participate in the elections.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:10 pm

      You have it right, Nick. Not only is it propaganda, but it’s propaganda twice over: John Pilger (one of my intellectual heroes) is writing propaganda (his opinion) about propaganda. It fits neatly the definition from Tuesday’s lecture.

  7. Stephanie Rieselman permalink
    May 15, 2013 8:08 pm

    Geico has been known for a variety of marketing strategies when it comes to their advertising. Geico has used many mascots to promote their insurance company, such as a squealing pig or a caveman. However, perhaps their most effective advertising in commercials has been the use of the gecko. This is because Geico creatively uses a play on words (“Geico Gecko”) that has made the gecko nationally recognizable in their advertising campaigns. The gecko acts a “spokesperson” with an Australian accent and is small and cute, which ultimately appeals to a wide demographic to sell car insurance. Some people will argue that the strategy of running multiple ad campaigns at one time is the wrong way to create a brand image, but there is no denying that Geico’s strategy has been effective in doing this.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:22 pm

      Taking it a step further, Stephanie, the article you’ve linked to is really a clever survey that merely serves to further advertise Geico and publicize its brand. How effective!

  8. Emma Hoelscher permalink
    May 15, 2013 9:20 pm
    This article depicts the reasoning behind Justin Timberlake’s song, “Mirrors” and can be classified as entertainment. Justin Timberlake, who recently married Jessica Biel, another famous personality in Hollywood, is known for his singing and humor. The information provided in this article is intended to amuse and entertain the general public about the life and way of thinking of a celebrity pop star as pertaining to his newly popular song “Mirrors”.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:14 pm

      Perfect, Emma! almost anything emanating out of Hollywood or from a website with Hollywood in its name is bound to be entertainment. As poignant as the “story” may be, they’re still just celebrities. I’m not familiar with her work, but he has matured into the entertainer of his generation. So he’s famous for being talented and not just for being famous—though he seems to have worked at that, too, which diminishes his credibility as an entertainer.

  9. Evan Nader permalink
    May 15, 2013 9:43 pm

    The article I selected was from BBC News and about IRS Commissioner Steve Miller resignation. It reflected news in the information neighborhood and attempted to deliver light into one of the most talked about scandals in America today. The goal was to alert the public and create interest with Obama’s reaction at the news conference. BBC News is a news source I trust because it’s unique and globally accepted. This article was written by Jonny Dymond and featured a good number of quotes from President Obama regarding the scandal and the aftermath.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:38 pm

      Excellent, Evan. You’re right about BBC. It has had its share of of problems and mini-scandals, but the integrity of its reporting and news transparency seems to withstand the weather.

  10. Chad Nicholas permalink
    May 15, 2013 10:24 pm

    The article that i posted below would be considered to be in the publicity neighborhood. It is an example of publicity because no one outside of the southwest region knew about Florida Gulf Coast University. After FGCU defeated Georgetown and San Diego State University in the NCAA basketball tournament Fox news posted an article explaining how we went from an unknown college to our new name Dunk City by beating those two teams I stated above.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:36 pm

      You’re right, Chad. It’s a “puff piece” with no news, just “infotainment”: entertainment information. This was a cynical attempt just to attract SEO hits. Nothing else to it.

  11. Carlos Lopez permalink
    May 15, 2013 10:39 pm

    The above link is for a blog post from NPR’s Planet Money. The post is an obvious form of publicity, as it aims to generate excitement about Planet Money’s endeavor to report on the manufacture of t-shirts and its impact on the global economy. The post itself focuses on the success of their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project and the implied support by the campaign’s “backers.” Planet Money has utilized this windfall to further promote their upcoming special feature.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:40 pm

      Carlos, your work here is outstanding and sophisticated. You have correctly identified this; all the same, I feel icky for having clicked through! I wish NPR were smarter — at least as smart as it used to be. This is unseemly and should be beneath NPR. But lately, almost nothing is.

  12. Keira White permalink
    May 15, 2013 10:54 pm

    The link I posted below would be considered publicity. It is used to enhance the image of the Captain America actor Chris Evans. It essentially compares Chris Evans to an actual superhero, which puts him in a very good light. The article and video discusses his “bulky” muscles and the hardships he went through to get them. This seems to generate greater public support, specifically from women. This also gains hype for the Captain America movie coming out soon.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:42 pm

      Yep, it’s exactly that, Keira. At least Yahoo signals, with the “omg.”, that the website is not to be taken seriously.

  13. Mallory Steele permalink
    May 15, 2013 11:25 pm

    This news article is informing citizens that Florida’s citrus trees are being infestied with insects known as Asian psylli. These insects are spreading bacteria that is leeching nutrients from the trees. This bacteria called Huanglongbing, is new to Florida. It was first detected in 2005 and since then has widely spread. The method here is to inform the public of how much this disease has populated and spread in the last five to six years, and how it is costing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars lost. The goal in this article is to find a cure for this disease as quickly as possible. In the recent years,citrus growers have banded together to raise money through a self imposed tax, thus far they have accumulated $60 million over a period of six years to further their research to end this destructive epidemic.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:46 pm

      Mallory: excellent, in-depth work! I clicked through the all-important “about us” link at the top (good sign) of the home page and found a refreshingly candid and transparent explanation of how Natural News operates, including this: “…NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites…” In fact, I was so impressed by the clear, concise writing that I intend to check it out further at my leisure. I will probably integrate it into a lecture this term. Thanks for the find!

  14. Blake Davis permalink
    May 16, 2013 1:57 am,32443/?ref=auto

    The article I have selected is from the satirical newspaper, The Onion. The article describes how, after 10 years, SeaWorld will no longer offer great white shark rides due to cost and a few complaints. The article clearly fits all the parameters of being one aimed at entertainment. It incites an emotional response, is aimed at the general public,employs creative humor,is written by satirical comedians, and provides a story which operates in an alternative reality. I enjoyed that this article is an homage to blatantly obvious bad ideas that are not only put into practice, but allowed to survive, despite catastrophic failure, long past their expiration date. . .

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:24 pm

      Blake, you’re smarter than at least one U.S. senator for having recognized that The Onion is satire meant as entertainment. Thanks for the link!

  15. Alex Musil permalink
    May 16, 2013 8:52 am

    The article I found is definitely under the entertainment neighborhood because it is truly meaningless to anyone who just doesn’t care about Kanye West. The article explains how his service driver let Kanye’s Lamborghini, worth reportedly over $750,000 , be hit by some gates outside of Kim Kardashian’s house. This article tries to take the shape of news by trying to be hard-hitting and seemingly important, but the truth is that it is just a diversion for the audience, a way out of the monotony of everyday life. It is made purposefully for people who enjoy giving time and effort into following a strange set of people through their even stranger lives.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:25 pm

      Alex, you should be teaching this class. Thanks for seeing this for what it is and not being blinded (as many people often are) by such trivial information.

  16. Emery Ramaswami permalink
    May 16, 2013 8:55 am

    I found this website being used as a reference by some of my Facebook friends and decided to investigate it since the news stories looked like they leaned to the very conservative side. With further investigation this website is formatted to look like it reports legitimate articles, and has multiple sections that a normal news site would have. One of the sections that gave it the most away was the faith section where all the news posts were about Christianity and the “attacks” against it. All the other articles were also strongly related to right wing views and politics, and many of the extreme articles that are reported as news were taken from other illegitimate sites. The only section on this site that doesn’t report right wing extreme propaganda is the diversions section, so I am labeling this site as in the propaganda neighborhood due to all the conservative propaganda it “reports”.

  17. May 16, 2013 10:58 am

    This article that I found is from the Miami Herald back home and its an article dealing with how today marks the end of the stone crab season down in the Keys and the catching over the span of the seven month crab season had terrible results. This has been one of the worse seasons ever recorded because only 1.1 million legal sized claws had been caught which isn’t a lot since they usually topple over 3 million. The reason it was such a miserable crab season was due to the odd Winter we had this year where it was always warm and rarely cold. The fishermen rely on the cold weather to lure the stone crabs into traps. It may not appear to be a huge mater for most since its just crabs, but stone crabs have one of the most delicious claws that are available and its going to be tragedy when people cannot get their hands on them.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:27 pm

      Ah-hah! Wyatt, you found a solid cause-and-effect article that presents legitimate information to explain an important news development. This is actually fairly complex journalism on micro and macro levels. Kudos!

  18. May 16, 2013 10:59 am

    This article that I found is from the Miami Herald back home and its an article dealing with how today marks the end of the stone crab season down in the Keys and the catching over the span of the seven month crab season had terrible results. This has been one of the worse seasons ever recorded because only 1.1 million legal sized claws had been caught which isn’t a lot since they usually topple over 3 million. The reason it was such a miserable crab season was due to the odd Winter we had this year where it was always warm and rarely cold. The fishermen rely on the cold weather to lure the stone crabs into traps. It may not appear to be a huge mater for most since its just crabs, but stone crabs have one of the most delicious claws that are available and its going to be tragedy when people cannot get their hands on them.

  19. Kelsey Ninn permalink
    May 16, 2013 11:28 am
    The above article falls under the News neighborhood. The articles main purpose it to inform the readers about the missing mom. It’s staters by telling us how long they have been searching for this women, and continues to tell us aiut the ways they are using to find her. This article is very alerting to the public eye.

  20. Kelsey Nunn permalink
    May 16, 2013 11:29 am
    The above article falls under the News neighborhood. The articles main purpose it to inform the readers about the missing mom. It’s staters by telling us how long they have been searching for this women, and continues to tell us aiut the ways they are using to find her. This article is very alerting to the public eye

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:29 pm

      Good work, Kelsey. As incremental news updates go, this one was significant. The 24-hour news cycle never stops!

  21. Jesse Namour permalink
    May 16, 2013 12:34 pm

    One of the biggest examples of propaganda that has been going through the news recently is the story of North Korea’s nuclear weapon threat. North Korea has been claiming that they have missiles that could potentially reach the united states however they have not been able to demonstrate a successful launch. North Korea released a video a few days ago of bombs reaching the united states in four different locations. The bombs produced huge balls of flame. With more research the sites that had apparently been bombed were not even close to where the actual sites were. This article is propaganda.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 9:57 pm

      Complex find, Jesse. Good work! For those reading these comments and not clicking through the links: It’s the North Korean video that’s propaganda (and ridiculously so; worth checking out), and not the USAToday story.

  22. Christopher Larsen permalink
    May 16, 2013 12:49 pm

    There is always circumstances where somebody thinks that any major massacre that happens is set up by the government, trying to accomplish a larger goal. We commonly refer this as our everyday conspiracy. The Sandy Hook conspiracy is a little farfetched for my liking. The creator of the conspiracy was trying to use propaganda to persuade individuals that our government set the whole thing up in order to help pass laws banning assault rifles. The article point out small missing details, as if they have exposed the government. It discusses how Adam Lanza didn’t use an assault rife and what they claim to see on the footage. This form of propaganda is just a way to make more people dislike our government. Although it is very persuasive, and many people believe the entire thing is set up by the government, it doesn’t fool everyone.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:01 pm

      Nice find, Chris. HuffPo is pretty good at “debunking,” and it has stayed on top of this particular conspiracy strand. The article is worth reading for how it takes down these whacko propagandists, and it links substantially to other legitimate sites for support.

  23. Guiseline Fortune permalink
    May 16, 2013 7:15 pm

    This article is based on how federal budget cut could affect schools. We have learned every year federal State budget has been cut until this day. This will affect not only employers, but students. Imaging Florida is a state where we have all kind of race coming through especially Haitian and Hispanic who doesn’t speak English. How do they expect those students to be help and understand the subjects that are going on in classes? Education is one of the important things in life, if we don’t have anyone to help the student with education, how do we expect them to be successful in life. Once they cut state budget, they will have to eliminate many positions from schools districts include one of the most important position, tutors. We would hope and pray they will find a better solution to this situation or else education will go down to drain. Babies craws, walks, and then run; that are how educations should be. Let us help them with the first couple steps then they will lead on their own. No child left behind

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:41 pm

      Guiseline, although the assignment was to identify information other than news, I applaud your bringing our attention to a very important story — and to a really good, but obscure source: StateImpact Florida. it’s a joint newsgathering enterprise among the best local public radio stations that, linked by NPR, brings good depth reporting to SWFL, too.

  24. TessaSteele permalink
    May 16, 2013 8:19 pm
    This was listed in the entertainment section by the Fort Myers News Press. I believe it would be classified on the chart we’ve been assigned as publicity. A give away that it’s publicity is that the only person interviewed is one who handles new business development and marketing for the company. You could also look at the goal of the article which is to persuade you to go to this business and take an interest in their products.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:03 pm

      Tessa, nice touch at the end with the mention of this publicity item as crass marketing, too. Journalism has always struggled with crossing the fine line between legitimate news and business news that places the news organization in the precarious position of appearing to promote a business. That should lead any news consumer to suspicion that its paid content — a huge issue we’ll continue to discuss this term.

  25. Marissa Weiley permalink
    May 16, 2013 10:01 pm

    This is a brief article written about how the popular chip producer “Pop Chips” changed their celebrity endorser from Ashton Kutcher (who had offended a significant amount of people trying to be funny with one of his ads) to Katy Perry, a favorite American celebrity at the moment. The ad that is being referred to in this article is one which has Katy holding two bags of “Pop Chips” over her breasts and the saying “Nothing fake about ’em.” is in text right below her. This definitely has a double meaning, since Katy Perry is also known for her particularly large breasts. Because they are using a current pop star that children, teens, and adults can all relate to, and because they are making a sexual innuendo in this ad, it will most likely have a lot of positive feedback and possibly raise the sales of this product because celebrities and sex are something the public is interested in more than anything else. This is very good marketing.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:06 pm

      Agreed, Marissa! Marketers must fiercely protect their brand, so this appears to have been a smart move. I confess to knowing little about Katy Perry, except that she provokes controversy now and again with her brazen sexuality. I figure she must be extremely talented to overcome some of her own negative publicity.

  26. Cantrella Canady permalink
    May 16, 2013 10:26 pm

    In today’s society, anything regarding the R&B Diva, Beyonce, is news-worthy…or so the media makes it seem. The singer/actress’s name can be found in articles ranging from record-breaking hits and overseas charity contributions to Illuminati rumors and pregnancy scares. I’ve chosen this article to represent the entertainment neighborhood because it features a dramatic headline that is sure to arouse people to read about their beloved music icon who selflessly put her health in danger for her fans. The article even tells readers how she posted to her website a hand-written letter of apology to her fans for cancelling the show the night before, which would build her rapport with fans. What the article doesn’t mention is the millions of dollars of lost revenue she and her record company incurred from the cancelled performance. A second lost performance could have very well been more detrimental financially than her simply losing face with adoring followers.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:13 pm

      Very nice, Cantrella. Your skepticism is admirable. This is publicity, plain and simple — entertainment, as well. It’s fine for any of us to be fans of entertainers, but much of heir coverage goes too far. When she’s performing — fulfilling her role and entertaining us — fine. Still waiting on anyone to justify why we should care about her pregnancy. The same week that the federal government assaulted our First Amendment rights over the AP secret subpoena, 19 organizations jointly protested Beyonce’s ban of press photography on her tour. Bread and circus … beer and circus … Beyonce and circus. My, how the degradation of culture has distracted us from the things that are important. I fear for the future.

  27. May 16, 2013 11:08 pm

    Wow, can’t believe I missed the first post!

    That said, here’s the article:

    Christopher Solomon has convinced me that I need to take a trip to a far-far away land. I’d say his article lands somewhere between entertainment and advertisement, with a hint of raw information. The journal focuses on his travels through Aniakchak, a remote destination filled with natural wonder at the base of the Aleutian Islands. Neatly tied in is a gorgeous H.D.R. photo illustrating what the Aniakchak National Monument landscape looks like at twilight. So, did it work? Hell yeah. I’m adding it to my bucket list.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:16 pm

      Gosh, David, I don’t know. it’s awfully cold there. All seriousness aside, you’ve done a very nice job here of noting that sometimes information spills out of a single neighborhood and sets up in several. And you’re wise to understand that it’s not news but still has value as something else. Send us a postcard.

  28. Karli Gomes permalink
    May 16, 2013 11:41 pm

    My article about Rolando McClain is retiring at the age of 23. He is the LB for the Baltimore Ravens, NFL football team. My mother is from Baltimore so she takes this team very seriously. Football has always been a big entertainment source for my family, we love McClain.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:35 pm

      Good, Karli: clearly entertainment. The only times McClain has been worth considering as news have been the several times he has gotten in serious trouble with the law. If this were a legit news article — and not entertainment info passed along by the team (which has a vested interest in “spinning” it) — it would have focused on his troubles and not his role (and those of others) in football.

  29. Ryan Kaufman permalink
    May 16, 2013 11:41 pm–tiger-woods-inviting-a-cloud-of-suspicion-140834313.html
    This article would fall in to the entertainment and publicity category because of its focus on convincing readers that Tiger’s sportsmanship is “sub-par”… The author of Jay Busbee uses multiple instances of Tiger Woods taking a favorable interpretations of rules that are very broad by nature. By focusing on Tiger, the most closely watched golfer in history, he suggests that this behavior is somehow abnormal. The integrity of this great game is not in jeopardy no matter how many immaculate drops Tiger takes. At least ,for once critics, are attacking his actions ON THE COURSE.

    • rkenney permalink
      May 17, 2013 10:38 pm

      You got it, Ryan. And a fine distinction: Our interest in Tiger should be confined to his course play, and at that, it’s still just entertainment. If and when he breaks the law, that’s legitimate news. But his sex addiction and other off-course(!) issues are mindless entertainment, pandering and distracting.

  30. December 13, 2013 3:46 am

    Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest
    authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same topics
    you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to send me an email.

    • June 23, 2014 8:56 am

      Wow – For some reason just seeing this now… sorry! This blog is part of our News Literacy course at Florida Gulf Coast University. It’s a gen-ed course designed to get students thinking about how the news affects them.

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