Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ah-ha Senator Craig...we finally got you

Yet again, another Republican Senator has been caught up in a scandal that is sure to cost him his political career, except this time, the media seemed to get it all wrong...or at least well past deadline.

Senator Craig, a Republican from Idaho, plead guilty to lewd acts in a public restroom in a Minneapolis airport earlier this month. The events actually took place in the summer.

What's ironic about all of this is how the media seemed to ignore, or completely miss the police reports, that were most likely filed shortly after the Senator's Aug. 6, plea. For shame political journalists. In our world of 24/7 news, it's surprising that something this important slipped under the media's panoptic gaze. It's almost as if the newspapers in Minnesota and Idaho were deliberately trying to avoid the scandal.

Sure there are probably some excuses as the why this story took nearly three weeks to break. Every newspapers/tv news station has its own demands that it has to meet on a regular basis, but when a story as influential and consequential as this gets no coverage, it's a failure of our media system.

Earlier today, in my New Media and a Democratic Society course, we all argued that a free press and freedom of expression are two crucial elements of a successful democracy, but what happens when that free press abandons its watchdog role and fails the citizens it is sworn to protect and inform? It seems to me there something is amiss in the media world of 2007 -- a scary thought when there's an election looming in the near future.

But perhaps there's something greater at hand. Maybe the local papers are owned by conservative corporations who demanded that they keep the story quiet. Or perhaps Senator Craig simply lucked out until Monday. Who knows? Either way, it's a travesty and I hope that the nation's media can fix it's dilemma...American citizens depend on it.

Raising Heat

It seems that UF has hit a new low when it comes to making budget cuts...or should I say a new high. Recently, the College of Journalism and Communications decided to raise the temperature in Weimer Hall's classroom by at least two degrees to help reduce utility costs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being environmentally conscious and using resources wisely, but there has to be some sort of compromise. With the high humidity and even higher outside temperatures, students are having to sweat through class, and professors are having to let students out of class early because they cannot focus.

What makes this temperature change ironic is that the college spent a large sum of money refurbishing classrooms on the first floor of the building and replaced chairs and other fixtures in other areas of the building. I would rather sit in an old chair and be cool then bake while I'm in class.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

GOwen Somewhere and Gettin NOwhere

So the title of the blog is supposed to reference my life, but as I start my sixth year of school at the University of Florida, it is started to feeling like I'm not getting very far. Don't get me wrong, I graduated (with two degrees) in four years, and now I am working on a master's degree. It just seems like I've been in school forever.

To reintroduce myself to the blogging world again, I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida studying mass communications and urban and regional planning. I've written for just about every publication in the Gainesville area, and I've worked at a couple of papers in other states as well. For the last year I have taught unwilling undergraduates the basics of grammar and how to write for various types of media (journalism, PR and advertising).

This blog won't be political in nature, though politics may come into the fold every once in a while. For the most part, it will be my thoughts on different events and personal observations. I won't make any guarantees about how often I will actually post, but I'll aim for at least once a day.

I'm not that edgy, but I try. My sense of humor is notoriously dry. For that, I apologize.

If you disagree with anything I say, please say so in a comment. If you agree... don't hesitate to encourage me!

Well, until something interesting happens...happy blogging.