“Twitter is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation…”

“…Twitter can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers. Twitter is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people.” – Howard Beale.

This is a fictional character as well as a fictional quote, that never existed in the film Network, since Lumet and Chayefsky barely even had the opportunity to know about the internet at the time. But there’s some true in there. It is true that it can bring down powerful people and change heroes for fools. It just needs a simple comment from them to show people how they really think.

One of the most recent scandals is Alec Baldwin’s meltdown due to an article in the Daily Mail about her wife using her phone in a funeral, which ended with him closing his account due to several homophobic tweets. Event that got parodied in the Emmy Award winner Southpark.

Neither politicians are safe from this: During the 2012 election, in the middle of storm Sandy, Donald Trump tweeted: “Hurricane is good luck for Obama again- he will buy the election by handing out billions of dollars.”, not a very smart move. In case of Anthony Wiener, it prevented him of being elected as the Republican runner for the NY mayorship and destroyed his career when he uploaded by mistake a photo of his genitals.

It also can show how stupid some of they are: the famous Spanish singer and songwriter David Bisbal showed his lack of culture and foolishness several times with tweets like “The Pyramids of Egypt never have been seen  so empty, I wish the revolts end soon”, in time of the Arab Spring, or the time he used the hashtag #PrayForJapan to promote his concert.

The difference with Network is that this time we are very happy to see it in the wrong hands.

Cyberpunk: Literature about this brave new on-line world

We all know that we can find information about digital journalism, digital television, digital schooling and courses of all kind, even movies about it (like David Fincher’s The Social Network or the recent The Fifth State about Wikileaks); but what about literature about this digital world?

In 2012 a trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 video game was launched. The game is part of Cyberpunk’s series, a collection of novels, card games and board games that derives from the original 1988 Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game, which followed different stories told through a comicbook-based guide.

The name of the series comes after a sci-fi subgenre originated in the late 70’s. Plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligence, and megacorporations; and tend to be set in a near-future Earth, focusing on a high-tech low-life in a post-industrial dystopia.

The first novel to depict cyberspace and combat within it was John M. Ford’s Web of Angels (1980), but it’s origins could be traced back to 1968 with Phillip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?. The Cyberpunk’s elements are enhanced on the film adaptation Blade Runner, which Scott Ridley transformed in a pure Cyberpunk story, with an atmosphere inspired in Tokyo, oftenly believed to be definition for how a cyberpunk city looks like.

Tokyo: The cyberpunk city

Being so is no wonder that the genre had a deep influence in the Japanese culture, being very present on the manga and anime with titles such as Akira or Ghost In The Shell. As a comeback, the last one deeply influenced the Wazowski brothers for The Matrix trilogy.

 This genre also jumped to the music scene, with a large group of musicians that can be categorized as “Cyberpunk”, such as Atari Teenage RiotSigue Sigue Sputknik or the last italian electro sensation Cyberpunkers, this duo got as far as “creating” a suicidal social network for one of their videos:

Euronews APPs: Fast and useful.

Euronews has been so far the most efficient and complete international news channel in Europe, not to mention their web is constantly updated to 14 languages. But they wont stop there, Euronews has released so far 3 apps for smartphones and tablets: Euronews Express, Euronews Live and Euronews Radio.

Express is more than just a word

Express is more than just a word

I’m not a user of Twitter, I created my account due to the external pressures to do so from my communication campus in Salamanca. One of the reasons they gave is that you received the news right as it happened, but in the end just by following a couple newspapers, a magazine,Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry, my newsfeed was full from useless info from people I didn’t even knew.

A couple months ago I decided to check if Euronews had some kind of useful app, and I wasn’t disappointed. I just found my substitute for Twitter in the Express app. It is easy to navigate through, consisting in headers with small descriptions and a link to the article in euronews.net. In the beginning I wasn’t surprised, but the good thing about it is it’s sections:News, Editor’s choice and Flash. The last one is the one that really proves it’s importance, but I didn’t realized this until this Thursday when Mandela died.

A 24h news chanell everywhere

A 24h news chanell everywhere

I received the news through a notification by the app, minutes after Jacob Zuma declared it. So I opened my Facebook expecting to see a lot of posts about it, but found nothing, and in twitter the strange people just talked about their stupid things.

The Live app is also really useful, is a video 24 hours channel of nonstop news streaming in your phone, but it’s  not just that: the cyclic stream of news changes the news every time, just preserving the most important one, giving you enough time in your breakfast to know what happened in your sleep. It has so many interesting news you can be watching it for quite a while before you start just watching only news you already know.

ARF news are horrible compared to theirs

ARF news are awful compared to theirs

The last app is Euronews Radio, it’s the one I use less but still is pretty useful. Since it’s just the same as Euronews Live but without images it’s use depends on your internet conexion or if you just want to listen to the news in the classic radio way. Besides, it always come in handy for me whenever I feel switching from my music to the news while walking.

All three of them are available free in both Play Store and iTunes for all devices, so it’s good to see Euronews is working hard to earn their EU funds.

Radio-podcast: Another useful way of on-line journalism

Podcastlogo

One of my courses at Plantijn is called “Do it yourself”. It consist on a project of my choosing, on which I have to spend a certain number of hours in order to get my credits. The project of my choosing was ARF: a radio-podcast made for foreigners who arrive into Antwerp.

I choose this project because it’s the best way to transmit this kind of information to the listener. It’s true that the radio is a conditioned media due to it’s linear discourse, non-repeatable experience, and fugacity of the message; and because of the fact that it is a routine element in our lives present almost everywhere, and thus prone to be ignored. But a podcast change the whole experience:

– The listener can choose when, where and what he/she wants to listen to, so it’s not routine anymore.

– The listener can replay the emission as much as he/she wants, and from any minute.

– The contents aren’t conditioned anymore by time and routine, so the emission can focus more on transmitting information, instead of how to drag the attention of the listener.

– Anyone can access to it, so any kind of audience can find what they want; and being on-line media it has more power to drag the attention of younger generations.

Like the radio it has access everywhere in any computer, smartphone or tablet; and at anytime. It is also compatible with another activities.

To sum up, podcast are adapted to the listener needs. Personalized and repeatable, it is a perfect way of transmission of the information targeted for a specific group.