Introduction

I am a 25 year old print journalism senior at the University of Houston. I hope to become a better journalist by doing journalism on local journalism, which will hopefully kill two birds with one stone: learning how to be an investigative reporter and learning more about the field I am entering into .
Houston’s media doesn’t get into the national spotlight very often, so it seems somewhat shielded from much media criticism. I hope to change that and provide our papers with some good external oversight.
Local media to be criticized include Houston Business Journal, Houston Press, Houston Chronicle, The Daily Cougar, and many other smaller-circulation publications and school newspapers.
Besides criticizing, I hope to engage all of those interested in our local media in creating a public discourse and improving our media. Unlike many in the mainstream media, I value commenters – even those who don’t seem to have anything nice or insightful to say. If you take the time to leave a comment, that means you care at least a little and we’re in the same boat.
I idealistically hope to get a lot of people in our boat and get a local media revolution started. People often don’t care because they feel powerless to change things, and hopefully, through a collectively loud voice, people involved in this blog will feel they can be heard and have an impact, and they will begin to feel empowered again.

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6 responses to “Introduction”

  1. mohammed504 says :

    Brian,

    I think this is a fantastic idea for a blog. Your introduction is straight forward just like news should be. I feel this blog can open a lot of people’s eyes. The media,from what I notice, is the most criticized institution in our society. With your blog, I feel your voice (our classmates as well) will be heard all around the country. Nothing in life is perfect, but people do label things as “perfect”. The media is no different. In fact, the media maybe the best example of “what really goes on behind closed doors”. This will not only open peoples eyes, but inspire others to go out there and do something about this situation. Media criticism is very important in the direction our world is going towards. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts and hope I can certainly learn a thing or to!

    – Mo

  2. ryanrockett says :

    This sounds like a great idea. Investigative journalism is harder than most people think, and can be tedious at times. However it’s through these efforts that the truth emerges. Many journalists are either influenced through private interests or even on a subconscious level to write a story a certain way, and to portray a company or organization in a favorable light while ignoring important facts that may pinpoint wrongdoing. I feel that the competitive pressure in the industry combined with the harsh deadline rules imposed by most news organizations exacerbate this problem.

    Blogs like this improve journalism in general by keeping writers on their toes, and forcing them to ask the questions that need to be asked. Many people generalize our generation as being lazy and apathetic in this new internet/social media era, and blogs like this will show that even though the platform may have changed, the rebel spirit of the youth still remains.

    I also like the design, I prefer blogs to have a simple layout without all the pictures and distractions so the focus is solely on the content.

    Good luck!

    Ryan Rockett

    • Brian says :

      I agree with what you say about journalism – especially the harsh deadlines. Online news is only making it worse due it’s 24 hour cycle and quicker nature of production.
      I hope if you see anything that seems off in the local media, you will tell me about it. I’ve got about 10 different sources I’m trying to watch over – so any help’s much appreciated!
      Someone in my hometown got shot by a cop recently. 17 year old with a knife to his throat. I guess he took a step towards the cop, with the knife to his throat, so the cop shot him a few times.

      Thanks for the criticism!

  3. seawolf says :

    I think you have a great idea and agree with Mo. I think everything is clear and “journalistic”. It dawned on me over time after 9/11 that the media, particularly print media lost its way. Some Journalists became parrots of Public Information offices, press secretaries and PR fims.
    Though biased I think of Jouranlism as the “fourth pillar of a democracy”. Far from being irrelevant journalism is more important today. the events of the last ten years have opened my eyes to the propaganda we are increasingly fed as fact. Traveling as I have opened my eyes, like Nemo in the Matrix, to what is really going on. I dont know but I know its not what I am told. The Dan Rather incident as an example. What really happened there? How did the #1 broadcast news organization screw up that bad. Who fed them the info? Why?
    Where were the fact checkers? And what does that say about the lesser oragnizations? Increasingly news is entertainment. We desperately need more investigative journalists and bloggers, like you, willing to tackle the hard research and answer harder questions.

    Good luck and please start with that idiot Hotze at the examiner. He makes unresearched opinions and talking points and delivers them as facts. I don’t mind this in broadcast because of time or even in the editorial page. As a feature or opinion writer it is ridiculous.

    Keep up the fight and write often I am very interested in what you find.

    Jeb Schneider

    • Brian says :

      Thanks! It’s great to see some skepticism in these comments. Sometimes I worry that a lot of journalism students don’t grasp how terrible the mainstream is. A surprising amount do seem to get it though. Maybe I should thank the Daily Show?? I know it made me a lot more aware of hypocrisy in the media.
      haha@ nemo in the matrix – you have been swimming with the fish for too long.

      I’ll check out this Hotze character – never heard of an Examiner around here.
      If you see any really bad journalism from Houston please send it my way.

      Thanks!

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