Storifying Paul Walker’s Death.

It was probably the most shocking news of the weekend: Paul Walker dies in a terrible car crash in Northern Los Angeles this past Saturday. I remember hearing the news and thinking that it couldn’t possibly be real. He was so young and had such a high celebrity status, how could he be gone so suddenly?

This is primarily the reason why I chose to Storify the death of the actor. I truly admired his work and his career as an established and successful Hollywood actor. Fast and  Furious was always one of my favorite movies. I loved the role Walker played, and I thought the movie was full of action and speeding thrills.

As soon as news broke out that the actor had died, millions reached out through social media to express their grief. I learned, mainly through Storify, to what extent the actor’s death had on his fans as well as other A-list celebrities. Many were quoted as saying “gone to soon.” His daughter, Meadow Walker, also posted a very heartbreaking tweet that included a picture of her and her father when she was just a baby.

Using Storify allowed me to truly explore all angles of Paul Walker’s death. I got to easily incorporate pictures, tweets, youtube videos, and google news into building my story. All in all, I believe that Paul Walker’s legacy that he left behind will live on forever. He touched the lives of so many and will therefore never be forgotten. Many of his co-stars and friends such as Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson also used social media to express their grief and sadness.

To check out my Storify on this tragic event, click here.




LiveBlogging the AMAs



What’s more fun than getting the chance to liveblog the 2013 AMAs?!

I loved my experience, not only watching the awards myself, but also seeing what others had to say about the performances and winners of this year’s awards show. I chose to liveblog the awards because I think it’s a great way to honor all the artists who have worked hard to  make great music for their fans this year.

A little about the evening’s events up until I stopped liveblogging:

Pitbull was a very energetic host, bringing some Spanish flavor to the show and bringing down the house with his performance with Kesha. Justin Timberlake was clearly one of the show’s biggest winners with his amazing performance and multiple awards he had the pleasure of accepting during the evening. Not to mention Taylor Swift… boy, is she ever a huge contender in the music industry! The young singer/song writer has already 13 music awards under her belt since her career took off! Overall, the show’s performances were wildly entertaining and featured some major performers including Rihanna, JLo, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, One Direction, Ariana Grande and even Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live from Miami, Florida!

Another note: how touching was that moment when Rihanna’s mom presented her daughter with this year’s first ever Icon Award!? The 25 year old mega-star has topped the charts over and over again reaching fame almost overnight!

What I learned from this experience is how events such as the AMA’s can bring people all across the globe together. Through social media, we are able to connect to these people and share our thoughts and opinions about shows like the music awards. How cool is that?

Until next year’s awards, congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the night!

Social Media: A gift or curse to Journalists?


As the Canadian Press Social Media Policy states, “social media is an ever-evolving world and we’re all still figuring it out.”  With that being said, the debate over newsroom policies on social media may also be one that is on-going. Where does one draw the line regarding policies made for or against the use of social media within a newsroom?

To begin, Katherine Lewis’ article, Social media ethics for journalists: Part 1, the dilemma, brings an interesting viewpoint to this particular topic. The article states that clearly, social media should not be ignored for some of its strengths such as being a crucial tool for reporting and allowing journalists to connect with their readers. It is obvious that in the past, when social media did not exist, journalists were not able to connect to as many people in their surroundings. One of the biggest strengths of social media is its ability to connect journalists to as broad of an audience as they desire.  They are able to reach this audience on various different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, etc.

Leah Betancourt brings up the interesting view point in her article How Social Media is Radically Changing the Newsroom that journalists should always keep in mind that they are constantly representing their news organization when they use social networking tools-even on their personal account. The article mentions that anything a journalist may state through social media will have a direct impact on their reputation as well as the credibility of the associated newsroom. Therefore, it is no wonder why social media should not be ignored, especially in this day and age.

All in all, it is important to take note that the use of social media is one that keeps growing and evolving. For this reason, many newspapers such as The Gazette and The Globe and Mail have all been very active with regards to using social media outlets to promote their organization. For example, many individuals will refer to Twitter to gain access to latest news updates from The Gazette instead of picking up a copy of the newspaper in print.

Kevin Bakhurst highlights the three most important components social media has to BBC News in his article: How has social media changed the way newsrooms work?. The first advantage is its ability to give journalists access to larger amounts of news and sometimes better material. Another advantage of social media according to Bakhurst’s article is its ability to engage more audiences as well as different audiences when it comes time to sharing news content. The third positive component of it, according to Bakhurst, is that social media enables journalism to get out there by enabling people to gain access to it through websites, television, radio, etc.

It is without a doubt that social media also has its negative side. Like Victoria Harres points out in her article Not Yesturday’s News: Social Media in the Newsroom, one of the concerns of social media in the newsroom is the possibility of misinformation and lies going viral via social media outlets. Yet, it allows newsrooms to listen to their audience when such an event occurs.

In sum, social media in the newsroom is needed. With technology constantly advancing and the field of journalism becoming more and more digital, it is vital to include social media within a news organization. Without it, a news organization would lose its audience to other organizations that are linked to all forms of social media.

As digital analyst Brian Solis put it:  “Social media sparks a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”