The Twitter world is a confusing place. It’s a world where people can share their thoughts in a limit of 140 characters as they get excited about a person who has started to follow you. It’s a phenomenon that has absorbed a lot of people’s lives, including me.
I joined the Twitter world involuntarily. One was made for me by my friend as a joke one day, and as the Twitter account just lingered on in the internet for a few days, curiosity got the best of me as I started to see what the whole Twitter business was all about. At first, it just kinda seemed stupid and awkward.
Just a few people to make you feel a little bit better about yourself
As time went on, I began to tweet more and more without realizing it. I had been officially hooked. As I came into Penn State, the Twitter world became such a bigger part in my life. Joining different clubs and taking classes like Comm 260, Twitter was not only a part of my social life but my working life as well.
I personally think it is the best social media out there right now. It’s very simple in its format, making it people more open to the idea of using it. It’s provides a lot of different ways for people to communicate with each other and also keeps me up to date on the latest news. I really feel like there is a Twitter page for everything now. I follow one page that basically talks about carrots all day.
As a journalist, it is kind of fun in a way. One of our main jobs is too be succinct in our words, but making sure that they deliver the message in the best way. Like Mallary Tenore said, “ It’s a verbose writer’s friend and worst enemy — a constant reminder that it’s often harder to write short than it is to write long.” This is a problem that I run into constantly as I am usually forced to rid all punctuation so I can fit in my hashtag.
All in all, I really do not have a problem with Twitter all too much. The people ruin it sometimes for me with the annoying retweets or the desperate attempts at getting follows, but I expect that from a social media. It is a great place to get news from and it allows me to do my work so much easier on, being able to contact bands and just other people all across the world.
Instead of having class for the next hour, we were allowed to go down to Heritage Hall to see the managing editor of New York Times, Dean Baquet, talk to us about the field of journalism and educate us on what to expect ahead.
Honestly, I did not expect much going into the conference. I saw it as an opportunity to relax and basically have a free day out of class. But after a nice introduction from the head of the communications department, Dean Baquet continued to breathe out of fresh air to all journalist students sitting in that room.
“Uncertainty has been a part of the newsroom longer than I would like to admit.” As an aspiring journalist with a knowledge of uncertainty of the career path that he is chosen, it was the most refreshing and encouraging part of the entire conference. Just as Neil Young told us that “rock n roll will never die,” Baquet’s words seemed to echo the rockstar’s very own.
Reassurance is a very important and well, reassuring word for me. “I am jealous of you guys as you enter journalism at a very exciting time.” As Baquet continued to further explain the bright future of journalism, I began to learn what being a journalist can actually be like. With social medias such as Facebook and Twitter emerging, there is endless possibilities and opportunities that has opened up for the us future journalists. With advice to explore the world, not get caught up in the newsroom, and continue reading, it was very cool to see how he treated and enjoyed such a time consuming job.
The field of journalism requires knowledge and commitment to your job, but also comes with a hint of uncertainty. People have been saying rock n roll has been dead since The Beatles split up and people have reiterated similar words about journalism as long as we can remember. That being said, seeing Dean Baquet’s success in the business and listening how he does it, gave me confidence for my future.
First off, identifying and defining plagiarism is a hard task in itself. The Ledger Stylebook describes it as “the act of taking ideas, thoughts or words from another and passing them off as one’s own.” Ever since we were young kids, we have been told from all our teachers to not copy from other people’s work. With that being said, we have iconic geniuses like Albert Einstein defining creativity and originality as “knowing how to hide your sources.” So ethically, it points out the questions on what really is plagiarism is and what is not. From Einstein’s point of view, you can say plagiarism is only plagiarism if caught, if not, well you’re just a crafty genius.
Now, there are some plagiarism that is just plain obvious and silly. Instances like Shia LaBeouf going out in public and just openly reiterating a 2009 Esquire essay or Southern Illinois University releasing a 139 word definition on what plagiarism is that seemed to copy word for word on a definition on plagiarism that Indiana University released just two years earlier. Situations like these are just too obvious and humorous. You also have those instances where someone just uses someone’s quote while failing to mention the original author at all. But then you have those cases where someone steals someone’s “thoughts”.
There are just infinite amount of stories being published by journalists each day. Within these stories, there are only a finite amount of ideas that can be published. The concept of stealing someone’s idea and that being labeled as plagiarism is a very tricky one. It is difficult in many cases such as Fredrick Colting stealing the entire idea of Catcher in the Rye. That is why I completely agree with the committee’s suggestion on revising The Ledger’s Stylebook definition so that plagiarism may include taking of ideas “in some cases.”
From the report, the statement that made me scratch my head was that “accidental” plagiarism is rare. They go on to explain that in most cases, the writer knows what he is doing. I guess I have this first pessimistic instinct to judge people as not knowing what they are doing. I may watch too much TV because although there is a very big handful of brilliant people on this planet, there are even a bigger amount of dimwits roaming around on the same ground. With coincidences seeming to be a regular thing around this world, it is hard to believe that many of the plagiarism that happen aren’t accidental.
Plagiarism is a tricky concept. You have people like Albert Einstein giving leeway into plagiarism with artists like The Beatles and Vanilla Ice flaunting and basically encouraging it with their fame and money. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to what you believe as a journalist. I personally hold pride in what I do and although I could probably get away stealing a couple lines from a low budget newspaper, I want to pick up an article, read it, and hold my head high knowing that it was mine.