"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible;
to be credible we must be truthful." - Edward R Murrow

Happy Memorial Day & more

Happy Memorial Day.

The reason that we did not have a "word of the week" last week is due to all the big deal topics going on, and I couldn't focus on just one. The Facebook privacy issue is still going on, then we have BP, Lost, American Idol, etc.

There was just so much to choose from.

Yesterday, I lost my cool a bit and did a nice blog entry for Tila Tequila.
That's the closest to a rant (okay, it was a rant, but a rant with supported links to justify my argument).

Read it, and you'll see why.
Tila Tequila called herself a journalist.
I went off on Perez Hilton when he called himself a columnist,
but for Tila Tequila to call herself a journalist was the last straw for me.

My personal life has gotten stressful.
My 20th birthday is on June 7 :)
Today was "Quit Facebook Day," and I obviously did not jump on that bandwagon.
It wasn't much of a bandwagon.

I have been getting more and more into twitter
I'm kind of obsessed, because I can update all the time.

I got a lot of great feedback on my post about objectivity. So thank you so much.
This website is being redesigned by my good friend John Draper.
It is going to look fabulous. I made some graphics and he's doing the coding.

Anyway, I'll hopefully do some more future of journalism blogging within the next couple days. :)

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. -Joseph Campbell

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Objectivity and Bias: The Future Of Journalism

Objectivity and Bias.

I have a strong belief that when writing a hard news story or a feature story it should be written objectively. That means getting interviews from both sides, secondary research that supports both sides, and not inserting your opinion.

News articles should not address the reader. There should never be an "I" or a "you" or "US" or "WE." Every sentence should be attributed and justified using sources.

At the end of the article the reader should not be able to tell from the article what stance the reporter has on the issue. And I think that is a big deal. I love reading an article and wondering at the end, "Which side does he/she support?"

With hard news stories there shouldn't be a need to insert an opinion. Just report the facts. If you really want your opinion in there then interview someone (a CREDIBLE source) that you know will supply a quote that will say what you wish you could say, but then make sure to get a quote of opposition. You can also do secondary research and cite a source that shows your opinion.

When it's straight hard news it shouldn't be an issue. Let's say there was a car crash, you really don't need to say, "Oh my gosh that driver was SOOoO stupid." No, you don't need to even say an opinion. Just write the who what where when, get quotes if you can from the sources there, interview the police at the scene. If you don't feel like you have enough you can always do a follow up story and elude to that at the end of the article.

If it's a controversial hard news story, say a gay-marriage protest. Interview the protesters, but make sure to interview those that oppose the protest. Interview as many people as you can so you get a variety of quotes and then pick which ones best support the article; this goes for any story written.

Features may make it harder to show your objectivity, but it still should be done. There's more room in Features (800 words or more), and since they are IN-DEPTH stories they take longer than a few days to do. That means you definitely have enough time to get interviews from both sides of the story.

I think that the future of journalism will rely on objectivity within the hard news, and it needs to. I think it is much easier to be objective through print and web reporting, because no one can see your face. Your tone of voice is not heard.

I think that the future of journalism will allow journalists to show opinions within BLOGS. My thoughts on blogging has completely changed since 6 months ago. But I do believe that opinions should be left in blogs, columns, and editorials. I will include reviews in that, but i am a bit iffy.

Now, news sources in the media have gained reputations for being "bias" to the right or left, but even so - that doesn't mean that it's okay to show that within reporting the news.

I am focusing more on print/web journalism within this post, because that is what I am passionate for. I will write more about broadcast journalism later on, because I do have experience with that. I worked at a television station and was in a radio news reporting course. I own the stylebook for broadcast, and the college I attend has a radio station that is listened to throughout the region. (It's an alternative rock station, I love that).

I have finally allowed myself to "let loose" and show some of my opinion. I have strong opinions, but as a journalist I try to hide it and stay objective. As a blogger, I am allowing myself little by little. I will definitely NOT let that slip into my writing.

The future of journalism is going to rely on drawing a line between BLOGS and ARTICLES. Blogs can be personal, blogs don't need to be objective, but there are rules for blogging that coincide with those of a journalist.

I don't know whether to focus on credible sources, credibility, or more so bias.

This one was definitely more about objectivity, but I will go more in-depth to bias later.

I did a 20+ page paper for my English Composition class on the conservative bias of Fox News. I did that paper extremely objectively, but then allowed my opinions to show because the professor asked us to have our opinions in it. I researched my tail off. I WATCHED Fox News, I read transcripts, I read and examined articles, I compared the headlines of Fox News to the headlines of other news sources.

I compared side by side a story written/broadcasted/covered by Fox News vs. the same story covered by another station.

I gained lots of insight.

I really dislike sensationalism.

Now, I am writing for a blog that is on TMZ's blogroll - Zennie62.com.

That website has me focusing on the guilty pleasure celebrity news blogging.

This blog is my serious journalist blog, BUT I will post links and posts I do for that site so that I will be able to show what I wrote for the other blog, but this blog is dedicated and will remain dedicated to the future of journalism.

I am into serious journalism, and I think that I have shown that

But I was given an amazing opportunity to blog and to get a lot more people to read my work, and I think that if people read the "juicy celebrity gossip," then maybe they will go to "nikkyraney.com" to see what else I have written -- and they will see that even though I am a celebrity blogger - I am also a serious journalist.

I want to be able to do both.

And I want to still be thought of as a credible, trustworthy, serious journalist.

My favorite news to cover includes politics, crime, etc. but I am not able to get the interviews at the time, but I can aggregate links to other news sources within the blog posts I write for Zennie62.com. It is a way for me to basically "relax" and not feel as much pressure.

I take Zennie62.com seriously, though.

I try to never be directly critical, and when I do state an opinion I show a link/article that supports my opinion.

So, that's what I have to say about Objectivity and bias for now.

I will be posting my "WORD OF THE WEEK" in a few hours.(I work on each blog entry for at least half an hour, but usually longer).

Oh my favorite moment of the week is trading direct messages back and forth with Steve Tuttle from Newsweek (via Twitter). He read the blog entry I wrote about Newsweek and he liked it.

I am surprised that my twitter got so popular. I love following, but I never expected that I would be followed. My numbers have been going up day by day. I don't ask for followers and I hate the spam "GET MORE FOLLOWERS" crap.

But, here's my twitter.

I post a lot of re-tweeting to news articles.

I post a LOT of news articles.

I post a lot of sarcastic/funny posts.

And I am highly critical of Tila Tequila, but I'll do an entire thing on her later.

I will be doing a blog entry on "CELEBRITY GOSSIP BLOGS" and the good, the bad, and the tila tequila. Don't get me started.

Cheers :)

Thanks for all the support.

To comment, contact, suggest, etc. please e-mail me :)

If you want to be a blogger for Zennie62.com e-mail me!

(p.s. I refuse to link to Fox News, because I am BIAS.)

(p.p.s) John Draper is helping to re-design the layout of my blog. EXCITING.

The mainstream media has its own agenda. They do not want to print the facts. They have an agenda, they have a slant, they have a bias. It is outrageous to me. --Curt Weldon

It is outrageous to me too. I'll fix it, promise. And yes, I did quote a Republican politician.

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Rest in Peace Gary Coleman

(I will still be posting my Objectivity & Bias blog entry. In cases like death, I think it is okay to show emotion. I wrote the obituary for my grandfather that was published in the local paper.)


(image taken from The Pioneer Woman)
Gary Coleman
Rest in Peace (February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010)

"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?!"
That phrase will live on forever with the memory of Gary Coleman.

Gary Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah. He was taken off life support after being a coma. Coleman was 42-years-old.

Coleman died of a brain hemorrhage. I had heard of Coleman's stroke last night, and I am upset to find out that he has passed away. I think that I was hopeful for his recovery since Bret Michaels had gone through a similar situation and had recovered.

Last month Coleman was additionally hospitalized for a seizure, and the actor has also received two failed-kidney transplants.

Coleman has been through a lot of rough times over the past few years, and it's really sad to see his life end this way. My heart goes out to his family and wife Shannon Price.

I know that this story is being covered by every news source, and I know that they will be able to provide more information and follow up information about Coleman's death.


My next blog post will be on Objectivity and Bias
Tomorrow I will post my word of the week.

I parody myself every chance I get. I try to make fun of myself and let people know that I'm a human being, and these things that have happened to me are real. I'm not just some cartoon who exists and suddenly doesn't exist. -- Gary Coleman

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Art Linkletter- Rest in Peace

Anything I could possible write on this blog regarding Art Linkletter cannot beat what AP has already posted.

Rest in Peace to Art Linkletter
I enjoyed watching "Kids Say The Darndest Things."
He was before "my time," but my father spoke of watching Linkletter's shows back when "television shows were still in black and white."
Linkletter accomplished far more than just television shows in his 97 years of life. He will be missed, but he will continue to live on as a memory. He has definitely made an impact in the world.

And since I go to a college with less than 500 students and it's a broadcasting, television, radio, print, COMMUNICATIONS school, I figured this quote would be appropriate:

One of the wonderful things about going to a small college is you can get into everything. -- Art Linkletter

My next blog entry will be a treat.
I am going to be blogging about bias & objectivity.
I will probably post it tomorrow.
And then Saturday I will blog my "WORD OF THE WEEK."

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50 Cent lost 50 pounds --I blogged it for Zennie

(photo courtesy of MTV NEWS)

Anyway, I did a blog entry on 50 Cent. He lost over 50 pounds for his role in an upcoming movie. He also got rid of a lot of his tattoos. Oh and one more thing, he heads back on tour this weekend.

I give myself a lot of credit for never directly talking down or belittling celebrities in my blog posts. I always use and credit sources for the statements I make. I want to report the facts & blog a bit about my opinion, but I never want to seem like I am attacking or degrading anyone. I may have my opinions and use sarcasm, but I do not want to be thought of as another "celebrity basher."

My passion is writing hard news, investigative pieces, political things, etc. But I do enjoy being able to do some guilty pleasure blogging for Zennie62.com. I mean, I am writing for a blog on TMZ's blogroll; I am sure I have to live up to some sort of standard. *winks*

I am looking forward to doing some good blog entries for this blog, and I am in the process of writing a couple. I always put my blog entries into text edit documents before publishing to my blog. I spend time editing and rewriting, reading, and then I have to add hyperlinks throughout the text to all the sources I used! I wish I was going out and getting interviews though :(

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. -- Frederick Douglass

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Ben Marshall, your tweet made my day.

That single tweet made my day

Why did it make my day?
1) Complimenting me on my writing
2) Saying I have an impressive resume
3) Not knowing my stance on Tila.

I love when I read an article and can't figure out the person's stance on it. And I love that I am being ambiguous about what my stance is. So, Ben, you made my day. Thanks.

""Surround yourself with positive people and situations, and avoid negativity."

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Megan Fox doesn't have to work for "Hilter" anymore -- by Nikky Raney

Posted a blog entry about Megan Fox leaving Transformers.

You can read it at Zennie62.com

Oh hey, wow, those are all Michael Bay films that DON'T involve Megan Fox.

"The press don't like to say nice things because nice is boring. It's much better to label me the devil. What we do is not brain surgery. We are entertainers, plain and simple, and we're responsible to bring that money back, to make a profit. " -- Michael Bay

update: my blog entry was also posted at Celebrity Headlines

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Experiencing the Future of Journalism -- Nikky Raney

Journalism is a team sport, but I never wanted my experience to put me in a different league.

I was one of the students at Dover High School who helped create The Tide. In 2006, Dover High School had no student newspaper, and by 2008 they had the largest student-run newspaper in New England.

We sold ads. We had strict editorial guidelines. We had graphic design. We did everything, really. We worked hard to get where we were and our advisor/publisher Dan Singer was an amazing educator.

The things he taught us helped so much.
And the three things that I think all journalists should follow were the three maxims that we had.

1)Always tell the truth.
2) It's not personal, it's about the paper.
3) Journalism is a team sport.

I was first News Editor and then Managing Editor. I get highly offended when anyone calls it a "high school newspaper," because it was far from that. We were not STUDENTS we were staffers. We were more than a class, but we were a staff. We were such a legitimate paper. We had real stories, real ads (we sold ads to places like KMART), graphic design, web-page, real money, real events and everything was just real. We had a strict manual and guidebook that we followed, but the most important thing was that we were the journalists. We were in charge, and we made it happen. We had reporters, section editors, editor in chief, business manager, ads manager, production manger, graphics manager, public relations director, community relations, etc. We had everything.

I took a year off between high school and college, and I missed journalism way too much. I needed my degree, I needed to write, I needed to edit, and I needed it immediately.

And I think that I left high school with too much experience.
Not too much experience, but the experience I had was more than others my age had. Going to college I was told by my advisor that I would be perfect to be the editor of the campus paper. He said that I had more experience with print than even the advisor to the campus paper. I interviewed the advisor to the paper, and she hired me to be the editor. I was used to the work I did at The Tide, that I thought it would be normal to assume the staffer vs. student personality. I assumed since we were so tough on every comma, every lead, everything in the articles we wrote for The Tide, that the campus paper would have even higher standards than that of the "high school paper."

I was spoken to for acting like a manager to the students. I was confused, because it was normal for me to tell other "staffers" to meet deadlines. I am very much into the "it's not personal, it's about the paper." I treated even my best friend differently when it came to writing.

I guess I was being too bossy. I wanted the writers to get multiple interviews, interviews with people that aren't their friends, use secondary research, follow AP style, fact check, copy edit, get photos, and meet deadlines. I thought that since I was the editor, I would be able to expect those things from the "reporters." But I was told that I could not expect that from the writers, because not all of them are journalism students. If you are writing for an article for a paper then you are to assume the role of a reporter.

I was not trying to be cocky. I was not trying to say that I was better than anyone else, but I was definitely trying to use the knowledge that I had gained from my past journalism experiences (writing for Foster's Daily Democrat, PR Internship at Dover Adult Learning Center, and being Managing Editor of The Tide) in order to create a great campus paper.

Journalism is a team sport, and I felt like I was going solo. It made me feel like maybe I had too much experience when it came to print journalism. My concentration is print and web journalism, and I thought that my knowledge and prior experience would help. Unfortunately, it came off as snobby when we did peer editing in class and the person who edited my paper had marked something as an error, when it was actually not an error; it had to do with AP style and commas. When I corrected him and said that he was mistaken, I was told by the teacher that we need to "all accept our mistakes." I had not made a mistake.

I got an article I wrote published in the Bangor Weekly, and I received some negative feedback from the advisor for the campus paper. She was not happy that I had something published in another publication before it was published in the campus paper.

I was just surprised that I had my things published for free. After being a paid freelance columnist for Foster's Daily Democrat and being a paid Public Relations intern at Dover Adult Learning Center, I was used to getting paid anytime my stuff was published in an outside publication. Hell, even Foster's Daily Democrat paid one of our reporters when taking an article from The Tide and publishing it into their daily paper.

My experience is a double-edged sword. It is great for showing others what I have accomplished, but it also makes me seem like I am a cocky journalist. I'm really not. I just have really strong plans for the future of journalism.

I keep being talked to about "my first job" and "when you finally get your first job as a journalist." I have already gotten my first job as a journalist. I walked in there as a journalist and was offered to be a paid freelance columnist. I was expecting to be given a story assignment and a 24-hour deadline, or I was expected to be looked at as a 17-year-old high school student. But I was judged through my EXPERIENCE. My experience was able to speak to itself, and it was able to fight off any preconceived opinions regarding my age.

Yes, I did give back criticism when "students" writing for the campus paper didn't attribute to their sources. I was told that I am not allowed to speak to students that way. I was allowed to speak that way in high school, but I can't speak that way in college? I thought that our maturity had gone up.

I always talked and was close to my personal advisor, and he was there for me to talk to about the issues. The campus paper had a new policy the second semester saying the report could not publish anything for an outside publication until it was published in the campus paper.

I would think that attending a college where a student is training to be a journalist, if an outside publication wants to publish the student's article it should be embraced. An outside publication wanting to publish the article written by a student at the college campus is a dream for college students and should make the professors feel proud. I don't think it is right to withhold a great article for a campus paper if there is an outside publication that wants to publish it.

When showing your portfolio of published clips to someone you may want to write for will it be better to show the clip from the article being published in the campus paper, or would it be better to show the clip was published in both the campus paper AND another publication?

It was never personal to me, it was about the paper.
I helped create The Tide, and I wanted to help make the campus paper even better.
I never thought that the experience I had prior would end up as a negative.

My advisor never saw it as a negative, but he wasn't the one who was running the campus paper.

I mean, I can see where it would seem like I was cocky. I would find it normal if the student editor e-mailed me asking for an article that was 723 words long and if my article was 800 words long I would expect her to be "upset" with me. Word count is important. We had some crazy (in a good way) Production Managers on The Tide. And you do not want to mess with senior girls to begin with, but to mess with a production manager who happens to also be a senior in high school is even worse. Word counts are exact.

I think that colleges need to be "strict" or "harsh" when it comes to articles. It is NOT okay to call something a "hard news" story when there are facts attributed anywhere. It is NOT okay for copy-editing to be over looked. It is especially NOT okay for fact-checking to go undone.

When I say fact-checking I mean checking every single sentence within the article. Calling up every source cited and asking if the quote is correct. Checking to make sure every single sentence that claims something as fact is attributed to a source. It also includes making sure the titles are correct and CITING CREDIBLE SOURCES. I will do a blog entry on credible sources later on.

When I say COPY-EDITING. I say get out the AP Style Guide if you haven't already and get to work. Checking every single sentence for commas. Making sure that the lead is strong. Making sure that it is an ARTICLE not an essay. Making sure to get NUMBERS correct.

I have taken Interpersonal Communications, and I believe that it is a big deal.
Journalism is a TEAM sport. We need to support each other and understand that IT'S NOT PERSONAL, IT IS ABOUT THE PAPER. Just because you worked for three weeks on an article and you are my best friend in the world doesn't mean that I won't take your article, mark it all over with red ink for edits, and then give it back to you and ask you to change it. I will probably then ask for your contact log so that I can call up your sources and check the secondary sources that are cited throughout the article. I will probably even make you go out and get another interview if I see that you interviewed your roommate, who plays basketball, about an article involving a ballet recital.

TEAM SPORT. I know there are things I can do to better myself, but it's hard to just sit back and let mistakes happen when I know they could be prevented. The excuse for "they aren't journalism students" does not make it okay. Most of the staffers for The Tide were not interested in pursuing journalism after high school, but they worked hard.

Also, we fired people on staff. No, we really did. It wasn't personal. Missing deadlines, not attending meetings, etc. could result in being fired. And since the class is worth credits re-applying to be on staff would be a smart idea. Yes, there were people who got fired.

I was told straight to my eyes from my advisor Mr. Singer, "You need to tell (name) that you are his manager and he needs to listen to you."
I was very clear that I needed to be a manager when it came to talking to my friend on staff about journalism.

Now, if I had said, "You are my manager and you need to listen to me" when I was editor for the campus paper my first semester at college as a freshman I probably would have gotten in trouble. Especially if I said that to an upperclassman.

The future of journalism is relying on colleges to teach students how to be journalists. I can't accept sugar-coating and letting a few errors go when they COULD be fixed. The future of journalism is shifting and changing.

The media already is getting enough of a beat on from one another. Every media outlet wants to out-do the other. Journalism is a team sport. We need to work TOGETHER, because we are all trying to achieve the same goal. Journalists want to inform and educate the general public on things that matter. No matter what field of journalism or what type of journalism -- credibility is something that cannot be taken for granted.

My next worry for the fall is blogging. I know Katy England is proud of me for my blogs, hell, Katy England is the whole reason I am a blogger. If it wasn't for her I never would have created this blog for her web reporting class, and I never would have ended up blogging for a blog that is on TMZ's blogroll, Zennie62.com.

I am not trying to say I am better than anyone else. I just want everyone to work together to make the future of journalism bright. I may be young (I'm 20 on June 7th), and I may have a lot of quirky qualities, but when it comes to journalism I take that so serious. Journalism truly is my life. I want journalists to be trusted. I want articles to be trusted. I want anyone who reads an article online to be able to believe that article and not to be focusing on a word that the journalist spelled wrong in the article.

I don't want an article to be read and for the journalist's credibility to be questioned. Keeping the facts attributed to sources helps with maintaining credibility, as long as there are credible sources cited. Maybe I am "old school" for wanting to maintain objectivity in journalism. I accept that bias exists within journalism, but I want to be able to read an article involving an investigative journalist's piece and not know which side of the issue the journalist is on.

I get angry at posts I see online and in papers. I go on to my friends about "that fact is not attributed to a source," "he just referred to the person by his last name, but now midway through the article he is calling him by his first name," "this story is so inconsistent with titles of people," "she doesn't even attribute that to a source," or "that is such sensationalism!" My friends look at me and blink. It's not a big deal to them because they don't understand. Those things irk me more than anything. I may have some sort of journalism-OCD.

Maybe I care too much?

I just want the Future of Journalism to be all the things I have hoped for since I was 13. I never thought that my experience would be something that would HOLD ME BACK. I guess I need to learn patience, get my degree, and let my experience speak for itself.

I had let my experience speak for itself prior, but my experience wasn't enough for some people to disregard my age.

There's a reason I stick to print and web. I did modeling before, and I sort of have that bubbly girly voice. I am pretty excitable and I talk and type faster than most people can think. I think that I can be taken most seriously via print/web. And I think that I am a lot more respectable when I am in journalism persona (blogging is different, and in blogging I fear I may be letting loose a bit too much).

My upcoming blog entries are going to deal with:

Credibility - AP Style - Interviews - Ethics - Fact Checking- Sensationalism.

You may notice that this blog entry has no links in it. Why aren't there any hyperlinks linking to other articles or other web pages that can back up the credibility behind what I said? Because for once, I am deciding not to justify myself with links and sources. For once, I am going to just spew it out and hope that I can be trusted without the sources. This will be the only blog entry I am doing this for, and I am trying to make/prove a point. If you understand the point I am trying to make let me know at nikkyraney@nikkyraney.com.

If you can honestly, after reading this, think, "Wow, she is so cocky and full of herself. She thinks she is better than everyone else. She thinks she can just boss everyone around," then I guess you will just have to continue to read my blog entries & articles. All I want is to improve and bring positivity to the future of journalism. I am 19-years-old and has already accomplished all the things that I listed above, I think that I am entitled to feel a LITTLE special.

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form attempting to defame my campus, or any of the faculty/staff members. I did not name any names, other than Katy England. I did not link to anything involving the school and/or faculty. I did not even link to the pages so that I could keep the peace. I did not use the information to rant and rag, but to educate and emphasize the points that I was making within the blog entry.

"Information's pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience. " -- Clarence Day

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Tila Tequila heads to rehab (Nikky Raney for Zennie62.com)

I have posted a recent blog entry regarding Tila Tequila going to rehab:

My disclaimer for Zennie62.com:

"Although I love reporting about the future of journalism, and my reporting interests are mainly hard news, political, justice, etc. I do enjoy the guilty pleasure celebrity/entertainment blogging that I do for this site.

I would just like it to be known that although I am being critical, I always try to stay as objective as possible. I would like to keep my credibility as a journalist and blogger, so let it be known I always cite the source that I obtained my information from & will make sure to let it be known when it's my opinion...."

Read the blog entry about Tila here

"I am not involved at all with the casting but checked with VH1and apparently production for CR4 is on track... rumors inaccurate." -- DR. DREW

"The influence of blogging is overall a very positive force in the media." --Garrett M. Graff

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Facebook Privacy: The Word of the Week

The word of the week is PRIVACY.

(note: all links I include are the most recent links I can find meaning within the past day or so)

It has been a rough week for Facebook, and an even more troubling week for Facebook users. The privacy issues regarding Facebook have gotten so extreme that it made the cover of Time Magazine.

I am torn between feeling anger toward Facebook, or feeling critical of users like me. If Facebook users don't want private information getting out into the internet, then why are we all posting this information on Facebook in the first place?

These privacy issues are so extreme that May 31, 2010 has been dubbed as "Quit Facebook Day" by QuitFacebookDay.com. According to the site there are already over 10 thousand users signed up to quit. The site compares quitting Facebook to quitting smoking:

"Quitting Facebook isn't easy. Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking. It's hard to stay on the wagon long enough to actually change your habits. Having peer support helps, but the way to quit Facebook is not to start a group on Facebook about leaving Facebook."

Are the Facebook Quitters taking this way too seriously, or are the rest of us not taking it seriously enough?

The Wall Street Journal recently posted and article which confronted Facebook,Myspace, Livejournal, and other social-networking sites for "sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers' names and other personal details."

In my previous blog entry I included many links regarding Facebook privacy as well as the terms of service & Facebook's privacy code, etc. But it is now being said that Facebook may have been breaching its own privacy policy.

WSJ interviews and posts quotes from a "Facebook spokesman." That really doesn't show much credibility, because we don't exactly know WHO this Facebook spokesman is. I will do a blog entry on credible sources & the use of anonymous sources in the near future. I would personally like to know WHO this "Facebook spokesman" is, and why doesn't he want his name to be attached to the quotes he is providing? There are numerous reasons why a source may want anonymity, but the only reasons that I feel are legitimate are if the quotes/information provided could cause the person to lose a job or put the person in danger. Why does WSJ trust this "Facebook spokesman." Why wasn't someone from Facebook who would agree to go on record and have his or her name printed alongside the quote chosen? Anyway, I seem to be getting off track. Although, that does count as PRIVACY. The Facebook spokesman desired the need for PRIVACY, and WSJ allowed him (or HER) to obtain this privacy, which is funny since the interview seems to focus on the LACK OF PRIVACY given to the users. Irony, the Facebook spokespeople desire privacy:

" '"We were recently made aware of one case where if a user takes a specific route on the site, advertisers may see that they clicked on their own profile and then clicked on an ad,' the Facebook spokesman said. 'We fixed this case as soon as we heard about it.' "

Mashable has always been one of my favorites (I even have given Mashable.com its own bookmark on my Safari Bookmarks Bar). Mashable writers have been consistently updating the site with the latest news regarding Facebook privacy. They reasonably posted a survey asking, "Are You Planning on Quitting Facebook? Why?" Since I last checked the poll the majority voted "I like Facebook. I'm staying."

ReclaimPrivacy.org states that their mission is to "promote privacy awareness on Facebook and elsewhere." The site provides a tool that may be used to scan your Facebook privacy settings.

Macworld.com promotes Reclaimprivacy.org, and advocates that the site is credible. Philip Michaels, Macworld.com's executive editor, tested the site on his own Facebook and reassures that Reclaimprivacy.org can be trusted:

"There’s one thing about the ReclaimPrivacy.org tool that struck me as curious: When I scanned my Facebook settings in Firefox, I got the all clear on everything—even the categories still flagged with a yellow Caution label in Safari. My takeaway message? As helpful as the ReclaimPrivacy.org tool is—and it is very helpful—it’s not a silver bullet for every privacy concern you’ll have on Facebook. The best weapon you have is still your own common sense—though a little clarity from Facebook itself would be welcome, too."

I would like to point out that the best point made in the quote above is "The best weapon you have is still your own common sense." Thank you so much for saying this. (I don't know if Philip Michaels will ever read this, but if he does I want to thank him. And I would also like to say that I am in love with my 13" Macbook Pro!)

For those of you who have read my previous post regarding Facebook, and my own personal experiences with Facebook you may be questioning my own common sense. Since I sent the Facebook officials my government issue ID and proof of residency. I trust that, because I sent it to Facebook through an e-mail. I did not post it publicly onto Facebook. I think that the biggest concern is that the information posted on people's Facebook is getting out to the public, whereas I personally trust that the e-mail exchanges between Facebook officials and myself will stay private.

An article on Telegraph.co.uk includes a quote from Mark Zuckerberg from his interview with Time Magazine:

" 'The way that people think about privacy is changing a bit. What people want isn’t complete privacy. It isn’t that they want secrecy. It’s that they want control over what they share and what they don't.Our core belief is that one of the most transformational things in this generation is that there will be more information available.... Even with all the progress that we've made, I think we're much closer to the beginning than the end of the trend.' "

I am not questioning Zuckerberg's credibility. (I am still willing to send you brownies if you let me get the information back from my old Facebook account which you disabled due to my overuse of Facebook. I am sorry, I just really love Facebook. As you can see I have been very good on my new Facebook account, but I would still appreciate obtaining the old information on my other disabled account) I am just wondering how many users Zuckerberg has polled or asked regarding the privacy issues. Is this something he has assumed, or has he reached out to the Facebook users and asked, "Hey, how are you feeling about our privacy policy. You feel safe?" If Zuckerberg has in fact done this, then I am sad that I was not included in the questioning.

I think that the big issue is Facebook users have maybe trusted Facebook a little too much, and shared more than they would have liked to via their Facebook profiles. The advice I can give is this (for people who would like advice for making their Facebook information more private, I have been helping my mother with her Facebook).

Make an e-mail address strictly for Facebook. Go to your Account Settings, and edit your information. You will first add an e-mail address to the one you already use for Facebook. Then once you have confirmed that e-mail address via e-mail you can delete the e-mail address you previously used to log onto your Facebook account and have the new "strictly Facebook" e-mail address as the only e-mail address used for Facebook. This way if any advertisers do somehow obtain your e-mail address, they do not have your PERSONAL e-mail address, only the address that you use to log onto your Facebook account.

Only add people on Facebook that you trust, or create different "lists" or "groups" which customize which friends can see what, etc.

Edit your application's privacy by going to your privacy settings.

The thing about Facebook Privacy is that usually the new features are enabled automatically for everyone's Facebook, and we all need to go in and manually disable the features that allow applications to obtain information, etc.

Don't post things that you don't want people to see, and if you already have -- go through your Facebook profile and delete the things that you don't want posted.

I think the bigger issue is people that are adding their professional acquaintances to Facebook and then posting drunk photos & compromising status updates.

I have personally deleted most of my youtube videos (I had about 45 at one point), and I have tried to delete all the things that I posted back when I was in middle school & high school (including my old blog that I had during high school which I used more as my public diary and less as a blog). There are still traces of me on the internet that I cannot get rid of due to forgetting of passwords and things that I posted elsewhere or that someone else has posted of me, but I think that I am young enough to be able to redeem myself and keep myself in good shape in regards to The Future of Journalism.

So, I think the big lesson here is: Yes, Facebook has done some things that are wrong and have broken the trust with some of its users, but Facebook users should think twice about posting things on the internet that are private in the first place. If you are posting something on the internet that you only want specific people to know, give those people a phone call, tell them in person, send an e-mail, etc. Facebook, Twitter, etc. aren't the only ways to communicate.

This entire issue is worldwide, and I feel like by only posting the articles via USA & UK news sources that I am leaving out the fact that Facebook users are WORLD WIDE, and this privacy issue is affecting all of the users. I was born in the Philippines, raised in America with my Filipino mom and American dad, and I like to pride myself on keeping up with all international news, so I feel obligated to include links to other news sources outside of the US that involve Facebook Privacy. All links are directed to the Facebook Privacy articles both in the US and outside the US. Basically, here is a list of other articles about Facebook Privacy that I didn't talk about in my blog entry:

The Times of India

Irish Times

Montreal Gazette


PC World

EWeek Europe

Strategy Eye

Privacy. That's the word of the week.

Tune in next Saturday to see the next Word of the Week.

(That is, if there is another word that can outdo the popularity of the word "privacy" for next week, or will we still be dealing with Facebook privacy issues…)

This post is also posted here for Zennie62.com

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns e-mail menikkyraney@nikkyraney.com

For Twitter updates, I have recently made my twitter account public.

"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people - and that social norm is just something that has evolved over time." --Mark Zuckerberg

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