Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hitting A Wall, The PayWall

Newsies by Disney

I like getting my news for free, who doesn't?

But I believe in a pay-site future for journalism to survive, and here are a few reasons why.

Social media sites have dominated our lives, free online news has sprouted up everywhere and we've all become spoiled with the unending flow of information. With the demand for online news stronger than ever, it's apparent we've hit a wall -- the pay-wall. So access to well researched and reported news should come at a cost.

My initial thought was to be against a pay-site future in journalism but after reading an excerpt from Chris Anderson's book FreeI believe that the marketing strategies of Jell-O and Gillette at the time show a excellent example how you can create demand for something if you give something else away for free. Get the consumers to depend on to it, want it, crave it and then let them have it -- for a price.
Jell-O had become a fixture in the American kitchen and a household name. Thus was born the most powerful marketing tool of the twentieth century: giving away one thing to create demand for another.  
That's how we've been getting our news since the creation of the web -- we've been getting it free all this time and now we can't live without it.

We have been given the free Jell-O recipe books, the free Gillette  razors when we opened up a bank account, and we've been given free news since the introduction of online media. Now we want it, we need it, we crave it and soon enough we will have to pay for it.

Here is an example the future is now:

According to the LA ObservedThe Sacramento Bee has now put a paywall.
By the way, about a fifth of the nation's newspapers have some sort of paywall, double the number from a year ago.
Another reason why a pay-site future in journalism is happening, because it's been a part of our history. Remember the time when kids would be on a New York city street yelling "Extra extra read all about it!" You had to pay for that newspaper if you wanted to read about what was on the front page. It would be what we consider trending news in this digital age.

Sure journalism has evolved since the news boy era and the tactics on getting you to pay for news are ever changing. You can always find free news elsewhere bypassing paywall sites and visiting ones offering opinionated and aggregated news. But it's just not fair, journalism is a craft, it's hard work and I don't want to give it away for free.

Consider yourselves lucky to have been around during the free news era but news junkies beware - pull out your credit cards as we are entering into a new dimension.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alesia Thomas Found Dead In Patrol Car After Arrest

Alesia Thomas 

Resisting arrest could get you killed in this town.

Alesia Thomas was found dead in the backseat of a patrol car after officers arrested her for child endangerment.

Thomas's two children were abandoned at a South East Police station, the 3-year-old and 12-year-old lead officers to their residence in the 9000 block of South Broadway. Officers confronted Alesia Thomas and after interviewing her decided to arrest her.

Alesia began resisting arrest which prompted the officers to perform a leg sweep to gain control of her, two other officers also handcuffed her hands behind her back. Thomas still resisted and struggled with officers requiring them to request more assistance.

 An in-car-video has been reviewed and has raised questions of the misconduct of the officers.

LAPD Police Chief Carlie Beck:
I take all in-custody death investigations very seriously and directed that the officers involved be removed from field duties until further detailks are known, including what part intoxicants and physical cinditions contributed. I'm cionfident we will get to tyhe truth, no mattter where that leads us.

This story comes out a month later after a sleuth of police brutality cases have come out involving the LAPD.

Facebook Comment Pix Via iPhone


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jupey Krusho, Oboro Charms, Lil Rae Cakes, The Many Arms Of Misha At SUPER*MARKET 2.0

Super*Market presented by Bubble Punch is a fun little event where designers feature their cutesy, creative, and colorful products.

This event featured Jupey Krusho, an eccentric LA designer whose talent involves the creation of original characters such as Memo Me the charming cub and Yum Yum Chocobuns the hungry chocolate boy.

His characters can be found in comic books, stationary sets, greeting cards, on apparel, stickers, plush toys and many more.

Jupey Krusho talks about what events like Super Market are doing for  his business:
Events like Super Market are a great way to showcase new goods, meet new store owners, learn from other artist and meet fans. Living in a digital age it's refreshing to get some face-to-face action. 
Here is what I picked up, with a few items thrown in from Jupey Krusho:
Jupey Krusho
I also checked out other featured designers and to see what I could get my hands on.

Here's what I found:

Oboro Charms 
Oboro Charms  is an adorable and sweet product line. Their items will surley cute-ify your day. Pink glitter star earrings and a kawaii penguin necklace, super kawaii, that's super cute in Japanese.

The Many Arms Of Misha
I also met a woman named Misha who happens to be a tattoo artist, she had these amazing arts pieces and cute skull rings. I grabbed a black acrylic skull ring.

The treat of the day was indulging in candy coated cake balls from Lil Rae Cakes. Jenny Rae of Lil Rae Cakes makes the most delicious candy coated cake balls you will ever taste. 'OMG, there are so effin' good', is what you'll say when you eat 'em.
Lil Rae Cakes 

Don't worry if you missed this event, Bubble Punch will definitely have a few more this year.

Super*Market was held at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, check it out!

Meltdown Comics
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Public Awareness Video For Mandatory Condom Use In Adult Films

This November the city of Los Angeles will be able to vote on mandatory condom use in adult films.

Adult film performers are already required to get mandatory tests before they film, so having mandatory condom use on set shouldn't be in the hands of the people, should it? Unless you want to be a condom inspector on a adult film production, this new law might just have a new job.

Now that the ordinance for this condom rule has made it onto the ballot, the city of LA has issued a report outlining recommendations for the enforcement.

Diane Duke, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition(FSC), on a  KPCC interview says:
This is gonna be impossible to enforce. This law was unfortunately passed to try to save the city 4.4 million dollars by having it on a special ballot, it's a bad way to make law and it's a bad idea. 
I contacted Eva Bitar, an analyst for the City Administrative Officer of Los Angeles, who told me that a CAO working group put together the report and the ordinance has made the November ballot. Bitar said there is no new information at this time and would send an e-mail should there be updates.

An adult film actress visit a doctor at a clinic in California(AFP)
I also talked with an adult film actress, who asked to remain anonymous:
I get tested regularly and the results get posted so everyone can see them. You must stay clean, if you are having unprotected sex outside of work it can be detrimental to your career.
With any "job" you do there are always going to be risks, contracting a disease is the risk in the porn industry, condom use is necessary but it shouldn't be decided by people who are not in this industry. 
Adult film productions must comply with the ordinance only when shooting on-site films in the city of Los Angeles. This ordinance however will not affect city taxpayers because it has been privately funded. This just proves that if you have the money you can get anything you want on the ballot, this is democracy right?

UPDATE: Syphilis scare prompts call to halt US porn shoots.

Abstinence anyone?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Noted MMA Fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller Elicits Support Following Nude Arrest

Jason "Mayhem" Miller, a former MMA fighter, was arrested  on Monday in Orange County at a Mission Viejo church for suspicion of burglary. Miller is known for his flashy entrances and fighting style and also hosted a reality show called Bully Beatdown. Employees of the Mission Hills Church called police to report they had been vandalized. When officers arrived on the scene they discovered Miller naked. TMZ broke the story about the arrest and obtained his mugshot from authorities.

As officers escorted him into the patrol car, Miller turned to the church employees and said:
Sorry if I scared you and I promise I'll be back and clean everything up.
He was taken into custody and released the following day after posting bail.

Since news came out about his arrest, "Mayhem" has received a huge amount of support from fans, friends and fellow fighters.

Joe Duarte a fighter at Strikeforce, a U.S.-based MMA and Kickboxing organization, sent this message to me on facebook:
He's a good guy, most people don't understand the pressure most athletes are put under. They expect so much from us and when we have a bad day we get slammed by the media. No matter what happens someone somewhere is going to talk smack about us. Jason is pretty 'out there' but that is why people love him.
I called Mission Hills Church and talked to lead pastor Brian Anderson. Pastor Brian was delighted to talk with me about what happened and voiced his support for Jason.
I don't want money from him or anything. I care about the guy's life. Life is more important than a thousand dollars worth of vandalism.
Nobody was threatened, the damage was minor and I bet this guy might be in a position where he could use some grace and I'd like the opportunity to give it to him and that's why I'm in the process of dropping the charges. 
Pastor Brian initially pressed charges against Miller but is consulting with the OC DA's office at this time to see what they recommend he do on the matter.

Jason Miller has lived up to his fighting name, causing just enough mayhem to get some attention.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When Looks Overshadow Your Greatest Accomplishment

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
In the sport of women's gymnastics, Gabby Douglas has been the first U.S. gymnast to win gold both in the team and all-around finals. It is such a remarkable achievement for a 16 year old girl. But to my dismay Gabby has been receiving as much or more media coverage for her appearance as for her success. Fans and media have been focussing on her hair. Tweets and news blogs written about Gabby's hair have been popping up all over the internet. 

It got me thinking, why does a woman's appearance usually overshadow her greatest accomplishment? 
I don't know where this is coming from. What's wrong with my hair? I'm like, I just made history and people are focused on my hair? It can be bold or short, it doesn't matter about (my) hair.
Gabby Douglas' mom also weighs in on the hair controversy:

It's apparent that in a society of supermodels, pageant queens and glamorous actresses, beauty usually trumps achievement. In this new world of twitter, where someone's opinion is subject to become newsworthy, why must female athletes like Gabby endure constant media coverage regarding her appearance? She's an Olympic champion! Not only is this happening in sports, it's everywhere. You see it in politics, the media and especially in Hollywood.

I spoke with Anita Finlay, author of "Dirty Words On Clean Skin," a book that tackles sexist bias in society, who was willing to shed some light on the issue. Anita explains that we focus on the negative and the most diminishing qualities about what a woman brings to the table and that women get three times more media coverage on their physical appearance than their male counterparts.

Anita Finlay says:
When we put a woman in the public eye or a girl, there's a sense that she somehow needs to hold the banner up for the entire gender and we feel very comfortable criticizing her on every part of her physical and personal and professional presentation. 
As long as people keep focussing on the most sensationalized news out there, the media will keep giving it to us. I asked her, what can the media do to improve the gender bias out there, so ultimately women like Gabby can receive better news coverage.
If we are not celebrating what an athlete, what a politician, what a business leader, what someone has actually achieved, how are you supposed to know if the media isn't covering it.
The only way that it's going to change I think is from the ground up, I think with people like yourself doing a different kind of reporting and shedding a lot of sunlight on this issue. 
Progress will only come about with awareness. We must get involved with the debate and we must give each other positive support. A person's achievements will not be the focus until we understand that it doesn't matter what gender they are or what skin color they have.

Since news about Gabby's hair broke, the outcry of support from fans and the media has taken over.

Progress shall prevail.

Listen to the complete interview with author Anita Finlay:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hollywood's Olympic Spirit

The Fab Five/
Artistic gymnastics has always been a crowd favorite at the Olympics but never has it had this much fanfare amongst the famous. Hollywood  celebs are getting in on the action via the social media world. Using twitter to cheer on & congratulate their favorite athletes. USA's Women's Gymnastics Team known as the Fab Five have been receiving tweets from pop stars, reality stars & even The President.

Kim Kardashian took time off from Kanye and sent out a congratulatory tweet showing her support for Team USA. Pop-star P!nk also chimed in to give her congrats after the girls won gold. In this new era of social media celebs have catapulted gymnastics to a whole level of fame and making it one of the most watched sports at these summer games.
Gabby Douglas/
Gabby Douglas, who was the top finisher at the Olympic trials and qualified for the individual all-around in London, gets cheered on by Oprah. With her almost 200,000 followers on twitter, social media has made this gymnast into a superstar.
One of the most exciting tweets had to be from President Barack Obama who also congratulated The Fab Five on their win.
Update: Gabby Douglas wins Gold during the individual all-around finals and receives another tweet form the famous Orpah.
Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber also joined in on the hype surrounding the Fab Five, sending out a tweet to gymnast Jordyn Wieber. In an Ellen interview Jordyn confessed to being a huge fan of Justin, well she is a teenage girl after all. It looks like Wieber Bieber fever has taken off.
With the success of the Women's Gymnastics Team in London, Hollywood has definitely embraced the Olympic Spirit. Go Team Hollywood!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

LA Observed, Reading & Analyzation

LA Observed is a news blog site updating you on the latest headlines that are happening in LA with a sophisticated edge. Its void of snarky headlines and attitude but you'll a get personal opinion here & there from their writers.

The first post I read was a feature article "High Reason For Wrangling Rattlers,"about a snake wrangler, Bo Slyapich. After reading halfway through it I got a little bored. The story was a bit too long for my taste, maybe a good read if you had the time for it. Although the writer did fill it with interesting pictures and a video of Bo wrangling a rattlesnake, having the vid saved the story for me.

On the top right corner there was a link to a story about athletes getting naked for ESPN's The body issue. "Angeleno athletes all over ESPN's Body Issue," Hooray for that! Off-course which I've already seen on ESPN's website. Last years issue had my favorite athlete, Alicia Sacramone. An artistic gymnast who I love and adore, not an Angeleno but the pic is awesome!

LA Observed also provides links to major news outlets, like the LA Times, BBC, Gawker and many other world and LA news sites. It's nice to have friends and rivals in high places. An awesome feature on the sports page was the SoCal Venues lists, which links every sports venue you could possibly find in LA. This is where The LAO scored some points from me.

I clicked on Hollywood Closeup, thinking it would be filled with Hollywood drama, not a chance on LAO. I get the feeling they don't indulge in that sort of nonsense. "Weird Day of Actual Celebrity News" a quick little post about celebrity news, obviously the writer was reluctant to put it up but did. I thought it was funny, because they are not a tabloid of any kind.

Also read the blog post "Hollywoodland -- your land, my land" I loved it. It had great pictures of the Hollywood sign as well as the beautiful landscape views. This is why I love Los Angeles, it's filled with rich history and interesting pictures and sometimes you find a gem in all the mess. I felt a sense of pride to be an Angeleno.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Post Class Rant

Thursdays class was interesting. We had a chance to read our homework in front of everyone. Which I think is a great idea? It gave us the opportunity to hear our fellow classmates styles of writing. We have some really great writers in this class. Some were eloquent, funny and very detailed. I on the other hand, not so much. I still feel very elementary with my style of journalism writing.

I know I have a voice and I can be very snarky but I feel like I balance of the edge of vulgarity. I always have. I must have gotten it from my father, he was an Army Sergeant and always used foul language around me. Hearing it made me laugh when I was a kid. People always tell me to stop cussing. It's a habit I've been working on.

Learning about Gawkers writing style was like making a new friend. The headlines and articles make me laugh and I think this type of journalism is interesting and I'd love to explore it more.

We discussed how the front pages of Gawker and The New York Times compare and contrast. I actually enjoyed reading both. I like Gawkers tabloid style of writing for entertainment purposes. The NYT is informative and effective. I prefer to read the LA Times, just because I live in LA.

I'm hoping to improve my writing techniques and find a way to be snarky and vulgar without it being distasteful.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Front pages of  Gawker & The New York Times  Wednesday July 18, 2012 

The first thing noticeable about the Gawker’s front page are the headlines, which are hilarious. Full of sarcasm and foul language. Exp. “If You Don’t Want Your Daughter To Be A Little Asshole, Don’t Send Her to Rushbiddies.” The article is full of attitude and more foul language. It's the new age of media, trying to get readers attention by being over the top. When I began reading the article I realized that there is a lot of aggregation going on here. The story comes straight out of a New York Times article “Pledge Prep.” 

What is aggregation? Definition: a group, body or mass of many distinct parts or individuals. I myself was confused with what this means when applied to journalism. The Gawker article is taken form NYT article and the writer puts his personal opinion into the story giving credit to the original article. Its half ass journalism to me but I like and you still come out with a great story. 

Gawker reels you in by shock value. Their approach to journalism is sarcastic, witty and providing you with tons of personal opinion. They represent the light side of the news by taking an article form the NYT that seem to be to snooty and turn them into stories that we can laugh about and poke fun at.

Readers come to Gawker to be entertained, to catch up on the latest gossip. To sum it up, they come here to get what they are not getting from The New York Times.

Trying to compare and contrast Gawker and the NYT is like comparing and contrasting a street walking hooker and a high paid escort. They both do the same job, but one does it with class and the other with sass. This is my spin on trying be Gawker-ish. A little much but it was fun. 

The New York Times front page is classic. It's a newspaper on the internet. Its filled with national and international breaking news, it's basically eveything you need to know. It's traditional journalism at its best, giving you the most important news constantly. They approach the news with a very serious tone, you'll find no funny business here.

In my opinion, the NYT will probably stay the same for another century. They do have a blog section where writers can be more opinionated and the articles contain aggregation. But you'll never find that on the front page.

Both entities provide the same thing, news. They are extreme opposites working for the same goal.

I myself like to indulge in both whores, (What have you done to me Gawker?).