Blog Experience

Social Media

Social Media

Throughout the course of the semester, I was required to blog twice a week; once about the theme of my blog, i.e. fashion, and once about a topic my professor, Dr. Magolis, gave the class. I am not new to blogging… I’ve had to blog every semester since I got in the Mass Communications major. I’ve used blogging tools such as Blogger, Tumblr, BOLT, and WordPress. WordPress has definitely been my favorite blogging site to use, however. There are so many neat features to use on WordPress so a blog can never be boring! I also have noticed that my blog has received a good amount of attention. WordPress uses tags in such an affective way that blogs are easy to find and read.

The main reason I applied to the Mass Communications major at Bloomsburg University is because I am fascinated with how social media is now used not only for personal use, but for business use. Yes, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used to share information about an individual; however, these sites are becoming more and more business oriented. Every single one of my friends has an account on all of the sites I just mentioned. I think most people around the world can say the same thing. It only makes sense that businesses and companies are now turning towards social media and the internet to promote whatever it is they’re selling. In today’s day and age, I will never understand why an organization doesn’t utilize social media. It’s only going to grow! Plus, it’s free!

I use social media every day of my life. As soon as I wake up, I get on my phone and check what I’ve missed in the past 8 hours while I was sleeping. I refresh Twitter and Instagram probably over 100 times a day; I guess you can say I have a bad case of FOMO– Fear Of Missing Out. I like to know what’s going on in the world around me at all times! Since I will be graduating within the next year, I took the necessary precautions in regards to keeping my social media accounts protected and safe. I have a professional Twitter account along with a personal one. The same goes for Facebook. Even though I don’t post inappropriate pictures or anything like that on my personal Facebook or Twitter, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Overall, I have enjoyed this blogging experience. There have been times when I found it slightly difficult to find topics to blog about, but I will definitely continue blogging after the semester is over! I have obtained an internship this summer, and I would like to blog for that company since they do not yet have a blog. Social media is growing, and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it! Accept it. Embrace it. Learn to love it.

For more information about me and some of the things I have done throughout my college career, check out my Weebly website, Ashley Wright!

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Bathing Suits 2014

With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to get into bathing suit season! And no, I’m not talking about working out, I’m talking about actual bathing suits! Target bikini’s are my weakness. I can’t go into Target and not look at the bathing suit section… there are always cute suits at a reasonable price! Not only are they cute and fashionable, every item is mix and match. This means that you can pair any top with any bottom to create your own style.

This summer season, tribal and nautical bathing suits are especially trendy. There are also more flattering styles available (sometimes the triangle top just doesn’t do your beautiful body justice!). Halter tops, bandeaus, and midkini’s are just a few of those styles.

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Along with Target, Victoria’s Secret also has some great suits available, but they cost a good amount more. Generally, Target bathing suits range from $14.99-$17.99 a piece whereas Victoria’s Secret suits can cost between $20.50 a piece to $54.50. One of the things I really like about Victoria’s Secret online bathing suit finder is the Bikini Mixer feature. The Bikini Mixer feature allows the shopper to pick the style top and bottom (separately) and chose which color or pattern for each item.

With Target and Victoria’s Secret at your disposal, there’s no way you won’t look cute and fashionable this summer!

 

High-Waisted Shorts; Will the Trend Ever End?

Early last year, the 90s style high-waisted denim shorts & jeans trend made a comeback. At first, I was totally not about the trend, but after giving it a try for a year, I’ve hopped on the high-waisted bandwagon!

I own a couple pairs of high-waisted denim shorts, high-waisted faux leather shorts, and also high-waisted denim jeans. My family makes fun of me all the time when I wear my high-waisted pants. I guess they still don’t understand or like the trend. But I am totally prepared this summer!

Last summer, all of my friends would wear high-waisted shorts all the time, and I only had one pair. It was very difficult for me to find a pair of high-waisted shorts that fit me right. Sometimes, the waistline is very high which causes certain body parts, i.e. butt cheeks, to peek out of the bottom of the shorts. I don’t care how hot you are, exposed butt cheeks are never a good look! But now that we’ve had this trend going on for over a year now, finding good shorts is a much easier feat for me. Some of my favorite sites to find high-waisted shorts include Forever21.com, Tobi.com, and Etsy.com.

Once I come home from school for the summer and am actually able to shop at a mall that has more than 5 stores (thanks Columbia Mall), I will definitely be purchasing more shorts! Now that I’ve found stores to get shorts from, I’m hoping the trend won’t go away any time soon!

WikiLeaks

In 2007, the organization and media website, WikiLeaks, launched on the Internet. According to the WikiLeaks About page, their “goal is to bring important news and information to the public” (WikiLeaks). “WikiLeaks has sustained and triumphed against legal and political attacks designed to silence our publishing organisation, our journalists and our anonymous sources. The broader principles on which our work is based are the defence of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history” (WikiLeaks).

 

WikiLeaks reminds me of the Pentagon Papers scandal. In 1971, with the help of Daniel Ellsberg, the New York Times published secret government documents covering up things that happened during the Vietnam War. According to Wikipedia, Daniel Ellsberg was “initially charged with conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property, but the charges were later dropped after prosecutors investigating the Watergate Scandal soon discovered that the Nixon Administration had ordered the so-called White House Plumbers to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg” (Pentagon Papers).

The public has a right to know about what is going on in the world. WikiLeaks often exposes stories that are rather controversial. Some individuals believe that WikiLeaks is actually run by certain government and intelligence agencies; however, WikiLeaks is part of the Sunshine Press (WikiLeaks). WikiLeaks embodies the new media trend. Since everything from dating to shopping to receiving news is now done online, WikiLeaks got ahead of the trend and created a site where individuals can anonymously send in important information to expose stories to the public. In 2009, WikiLeaks won the Amnesty International Human Rights Reporting Award. I think there have been and will be more lawsuits brought against WikiLeaks, but the First Amendment gives freedom to the press. I don’t think there will be any passing legislation against WikiLeaks anytime soon.  

  

Looking Cute During Baseball Season

Get out your sports jersey’s… baseball season is in full bloom! I’m a big Philadelphia Phillies fan! The Phillies’ home opener was April 8th, and I couldn’t be more excited for their season to start picking up. I believe in them this year!

I have countless Phillies shirts, but I’m looking for some cuter things to wear other than a plain Majestic player t-shirt.

Throughout the years, I have collected a few Phillies shirts and tank tops from Victoria’s Secret, but they’re so expensive. Don’t get me wrong, Victoria’s Secret baseball apparel is always super cute and trendy, but I am a poor college student and can’t afford to pay $29.95 for a tank top with my team’s logo on the front. I’ve been searching for some unique Phillies apparel at a decent price, so I went to Etsy.com. Etsy is a website where people make clothing, art, jewelry, etc. and sell it. Generally, the stuff that is sold on Etsy isn’t too expensive. I found a t-shirt that says, “This Girl Loves Her Phillies with two thumbs pointing for only $15.45.

Along with apparel, I found bathing suits, earrings, hats, sweatpants, baby onesies, and sweatshirts. I like Etsy because the things that are sold are one-of-a-kind. Yes, the seller may mass produce, but generally, the items aren’t sold to the masses. You can always find something unique that no one else will have! Once I get some more money in my bank account, I will definitely take a shopping trip on Etsy.com and buy some new Phillies apparel!

10 Elements of Journalism- by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel

In 2001, Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel published The Elements of Journalism. According to the American Press Institute, the 10 elements of Journalism discussed in Kovach and Rosenstiel’s novel include:

  1. Obligation to tell the TRUTH– Although the truth can often change, journalists must verify facts before putting them in an article for publication. It is also important for the journalist to limit their own bias about a story and to leave out one’s own opinions, i.e. let the reader form his or her own opinion.  According to the American Press Institute, “Then journalists try to convey a fair and reliable account of their meaning, subject to further investigation” (American Press Institute). 
  2. LOYALTY to citizens- As stated in the American Press Institute, “They [journalists]must strive to put the public interest – and the truth – above their own self-interest or assumptions” (American Press Institute). Journalists must also remember to represent all members of society. By ignoring certain groups, journalists lose credibility along with readers.  
  3. VERIFICATION of information- Journalists must verify information by “seeking out multiple witnesses, disclosing as much as possible about sources, or asking various sides for comment” in order to get the best truth to a story (American Press Institute).
  4. Practitioners’ INDEPENDENCE from subjects- “Journalists must avoid straying into arrogance, elitism, isolation or nihilism” (American Press Institute). They cannot be corrupted by sources or intimidated by power. Journalists will lose credibility and reliability if they fail to do so.  
  5. MONITOR those is power- Journalists often take on the role of “watchdog” to those higher up in power to “guard against tyranny” (American Press Institute). They can also serve as a voice to those lower on the totem poll. It is important to report events of both success and failure. 
  6. Provide a forum for PUBLIC CRITICISM- There must be a forum for individuals to voice criticism as well as compromise. Since journalists and government form a bond, this public forum provides an outlet for the public to get in touch with the government (American Press Institute).
  7. Keep news INTERESTING & RELEVANT- Journalism is storytelling with a purpose. It should do more than gather an audience or catalogue the important. It must balance what readers know they want with what they cannot anticipate but need” (American Press Institute)
  8. Keep news COMPREHENSIVE & PROPORTIONAL- “Keeping news in proportion is a cornerstone of truthfulness. Inflating events for sensation, neglecting others, stereotyping, or being disproportionately negative all make a less reliable map” (American Press Institute). Journalists must cover all areas of news as opposed to sticking with a few demographics to cover. 
  9. Maintain personal sense of ETHICS & RESPONSIBILITY- As stated in the American Institute, it is critical for journalists to have a voice of reason when obtaining the news and certain information. Having a strong moral compass will ultimately keep the journalist and the audience “safe”.
  10. CITIZENS have rights & responsibilities- Through social media, citizens can now act as journalists weather that be through commenting on an article, sharing said article over social media, or writing a blog post. It is important to make sure things that are posted are reliable and credible. It is vital for individuals to be media literate so their rights and responsibilities can be met accurately.  

The Obsession with Tanning

I’ve decided to go in a little bit of a different direction with this week’s fashion post. Over the past five years or so, I’ve noticed more people who have an obsession with tanning/being tan. When I was younger, I’d see people on TV with orange skin and my parents would tell me they’re orange because they go tanning, i.e. they tan in tanning beds. I never understood why people did that. However, when I was in 11th grade in the months leading up to my junior prom, I realized why people went tanning. I’m Irish, English, and German, so I have very pale skin and don’t tan easily; generally, I burn pretty bad, but I wanted to be tan so I didn’t blend into my cream-colored, satin dress. I begged my mom to take me to the local tanning salon, Eternal Sun, but she refused and said tanning was so bad for you. To my annoyance, I used a smelly lotion that was supposed to make me tan, but turned my skin orange and splotchy instead.

When I came to college at Bloomsburg, there was this new phenomenon… quarter tanning! For every quarter you inserted, you received two minutes of tanning. That was it. During the winter months, I would go tanning 3-4 times a week and thought nothing of it. I looked tan and beautiful! This went on over the next three years at school.

Now, as a senior at Bloom, I go tanning occasionally. A few weeks ago, I started going tanning every day because I was unsightly pale, at least so I thought. I didn’t go at all last week, but started again on Sunday because I have a wedding this upcoming Saturday. After my ten minute tanning session on Sunday, I felt an itchy bump on my back. I asked my friend to look at it and she said it looked pretty sketchy. I need to go to the dermatologist and get it looked at. My mother warned me, but I didn’t listen. I’m hoping that it’s nothing serious, but when you expose your skin to such harmful UV rays over an extended period of time, you’re at risk for getting skin cancer.

For more information regarding tanning, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Being tan may be a current fashion trend, but having skin cancer will never be “in”.

***Video courtesy of Melanoma Foundation of New England***

5 Freedoms in the First Amendment

The First Amendment is probably the most well known of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. It is also one of the most important ones. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (Education for Freedom Lesson 1).

To break it down, there are five key freedoms that are stated in the First Amendment.

1. Freedom of Religion– the First Amendment states that the government does not have the ability to establish a certain religion for the country to follow. It also states that the government does not have the right to forbid the practice of any religion. Citizens are allowed to attend religious meetings, or not attend them at all!

2. Freedom of Speech– as stated in the First Amendment, “people have the right to speak freely without government interference” (Illinois First Amendment Center). As a Mass Communications major, this freedom of the First Amendment is especially important. There are many rules and stipulations one must know about this freedom. While citizens do have the ability to speak freely, there are limitations and exceptions to that freedom. Some examples of speech that would not be protected under the First Amendment include but are not limited to, speech that would incite imminent lawless action, true threats, obscenity, or defamation (Freedom of Speech in the United States).

3. Freedom of the Press– the government does not have the authority to control what is printed in newspapers, broadcasted on radio and television, or sent through the Internet; Government is not able to interfere. Similar to the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of thePress is also important to Mass Communications majors and also has limitations. For more information of limitations and instances where the government can interfere, look to Freedom of the Press.

4. Freedom of Assembly– in the First Amendment, it is stated that “people have the right to gather in public to march, protest, demonstrate, carry signs and otherwise express their views in a nonviolent way” (Illinois First Amendment Center). The key word in this freedom is peacefully. Government puts limitations on the Freedom of Assembly by requiring sometimes hard to get permits that allow individuals to speak in a public place or march in a certain area.

5. Right to Petition– this freedom means that citizens are allowed to petition governmental laws if they seem unfair. Individuals are allowed to gather signatures and lobby legislative action to see a change in laws.

 

 

 

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is a relatively new artist. She started recording in 2010 but it wasn’t until 2012 that she started to be recognized. I just got into Lana’s music in the fall of 2013 when she sang Young and Beautiful on The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Ever since I heard that song, I fell in love.

Lana often says that she is a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra” (Lana Del Rey). Her music often sounds like the cinematic, Americana 1950s and 60s (Lana Del Rey). In 2011, Del Rey uploaded her self-made music video for Video Games on Youtube and shortly after signed with the record label, Stranger Records. Del Rey then released her record Born to Die in 2012 where the album quickly sold 3.4 million copies (Lana Del Rey).

Lana Del Rey is an extremely visual artist. Her music videos tell a whole story to add on to the lyrics of each song. Although she hasn’t quite hit stardom as quickly as Justin Bieber, she is steadily moving up the ranks for virtually being discovered on the popular social media site, Youtube. Along with her countless music videos that hold a vintage look to them, Del Rey has also uploaded a short film, Tropico, that has reached over 3.4 million views. Even though some criticized the short film and her music videos, Lana doesn’t take it to heart. She is her own person with her own style. She describes her new album which is to be released in May as “stripped, but still cinematic and dark” (Lana Del Rey).

Lana Del Rey is a badass chick and she sure knows it! When I listen to her music, I want to be riding on the back of a motorcycle with my hair blowing in the wind! I also wish I looked just like her; she is so gorgeous and rocks the vintage-60s-chic-lounge singer-Jackie Kennedy look! With the success of her Born to Die and Paradise album, she can only go up from here!

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***Video courtesy of Lana Del Rey VEVO on Youtube***