Protecting My Personal Data Online

Protecting your personal data online seems like an almost impossible task. There are so many places that our data live, and it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to making it safe. This week I’ve spent some time thinking about all the places I house my data and ways that I can make it more secure. I really have never thought about this before and was slightly taken back by the lack of protection I currently have. Sure, I have fancy passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters, but beyond that I’ve been acting pretty fast and loose with my data’s security.

Now that I have been able to see this issue, I can start working on fixing it. The first step is identifying where my information is. There are probably hundreds of websites with some type of data from me, and the idea of trying to track them all down seemed daunting. I decided then to first look at a smaller scope, and focus on the devices I use before working on the larger task of tracking down information around the internet.

My Computer

I currently have my passwords stored on a document on my desktop and I don’t copy that onto any shared drives. Obviously if my computer itself is hacked or stolen that could be an issue. My computer also saves my passwords across multiple devices (Apple), which is convenient, but I couldn’t tell you if it’s secure at all. According to 9 to 5 Mac, hackers have been able to access passwords on Mac devices. “Via, the exploit can purportedly access all the items in the “login” and “System” keychain. The iCloud Keychain is not susceptible as that stores data in a different way. Users can proactively defend themselves by locking the login Keychain with an additional password, but this is not the default configuration and is not convenient to enable as it results in endless security authentication dialogs when using macOS.”

Based on that it seems that using the iCloud Keychain is fine, but that my computer itself may be vulnerable. This is something that I need to think about, and maybe keeping my passwords on my desktop isn’t such a smart idea after all. I have decided to look into some other ways to store my passwords, and will try out one or more of the programs listed in this article from Digital Trends.

I also have decided that I really need to start thinking about getting a VPN for my computer. I have one on my work laptop, but not on my personal computer. I have started to do some research and will need to read around in forums and websites to see which one is right for me. This article from Tech Radar has given me a jumping off point, and I’ll continue to look into my options.

My Smart Phone

After looking at the seemingly endless amounts of apps on my phone, the task of securing my computer seemed simple. Digging around online led me to this article from Mac World with some useful tips on securing your iPhone. After reading through the article I definitely felt like I was doing everything wrong when it came to my security. Not only did I do pretty much everything they said not to, I didn’t even realize I could turn off certain features like sharing location data on my photos. I took the advice in the article and started to work on some of the things it suggested, including the painstaking task of having to go and revoke access to the hundreds of apps on my phone that I didn’t think needed that kind of access to my data.

Social Media

It seems like with every step I go through on this journey to data security, it gets more and more complicated and difficult. At first glance it doesn’t seem like you need to do much outside of having secure passwords to protect your social media accounts, but so many things are connected to social media now. In fact, I went into my Facebook just to see how many things were connected and figured it would be maybe around 10-15 apps, but boy was I wrong.

Yes, you’re reading that right. I have 42 apps and websites that are connected to my Facebook. Forty-two. I bet this is on the small side for most people too as I don’t really actively use my Facebook that much. So this was a fun task to go through and decide if these apps needed access to my Facebook at all, and if they did then how much information did I want them to see.

This was just one small part of the Facebook machine mine you, and doesn’t even touch any of the advertising or other privacy aspects. I also still need to do the same thing on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Making Progress, But Still A Long Road Ahead

I’ve just begun to chip away at the vast iceberg of data protection. I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, but really being aware of the need to protect your data online is a huge step. I think I was able to make some meaningful changes and now I have a plan of action moving forward. I will continue to do little things every day like making sure all my software is up-to-date, and make more informed decisions about who has access to what data. After all, security is an ongoing process and not a single destination, right?


Freedom of Speech vs. “The Right To Be Forgotten”

This week’s topics were really interesting and I have some conflicting feelings about how the law affects media and vice versa. The main thing I want to focus on is how European countries and the United States have differing views on privacy versus freedom of speech. In the United States, freedom of speech is the most basic of human rights, and something that is fought for tirelessly by its citizens. In Europe however, the right to privacy is more important and as the article notes for a good reason, as European’s dealt with merciless regimes that used their information to kill and jail citizens. I can see the perspective from both sides; is it better to have any and all information online for anyone to see, or should people be allowed to request the removal of potentially harmful information from Google searches?

In The New Yorker piece “The Solace of Oblivion” the issue of removing potentially damaging information from the internet was discussed. The article goes into detail about the Costeja case in which the Spanish Data Protection Agency and later the European Court of Justice ruled that Google had to remove certain links from its search results about Costeja. The European Court of Justice also took it a step further and created broader regulations about Google search results. According to The New Yorker article the court ordered that, “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed.”

When you look at that initial ruling it seems like something that could lead to a slippery slope where people, particularly those in power, are able to expunge their dirty secrets from the public. This is something that could be damaging to our freedom of speech and could also lead to the inability of finding facts online. The law as it stands now seems to limit this, but there is a potential for further reaching rulings, especially if they’re backed by leaders that would have their own interests in mind.

There is another side to this coin as well though. In the article, the story of the Catsouras family is discussed, and their fight to have the removal of crime scene photos of their daughter’s death removed from the internet. This is the kind of the story and circumstance that makes you give pause to the idea that “right to be forgotten” is that bad. Who wouldn’t agree that this family should be able to have these horrendous photos removed from search engines, and that these photos have and continue to cause them undue harm?

It’s these kind of circumstances that make me believe that there is a place in the United States for these laws, but on a very limited scope. In my opinion, I think that when certain items, such as the crime scene photos and other items have have caused undue harm, are easy to search and find online, there needs to be some protection for citizens. Other things like long-past acquittals in cases, and even very old convictions can be extremely harmful for people. These things, while facts, are often no longer relevant and people do deserve the right to move on with their lives. This is a very vague and broad idea though, and if such laws were to happen in the United States there needs to be very well-constructed wording and processes put in.

Then there is the issue of misinformation, especially misinformation that is purposefully created and distributed. Especially with social media sites reluctance to disallow or stop even misleading political ads from their platforms, we need to think about where we draw the line. Can we and should we allow people to remove misinformation or misleading information about them from search engines? Maybe we decide that only private citizens can, but what if that information later is revealed to be true or relevant? With the seemingly increase in prominence of misinformation, what role will it play in the fight between freedom of speech and the right to be forgotten?

The answer to the freedom of speech versus right to be forgotten concepts isn’t black and white. I believe that both are very important rights for citizens and that one cannot compromise the other. We can not go down the road of censorship, but we also could and should shield citizens from certain very harmful pieces of information affecting their lives. This is going to be a debate for years to come, and one that will only get more convoluted and tricky as the scope of the internet, social media, and purposeful misinformation continues to grow.



My Hands-On Wikipedia Editing Experience

I’ll be honest, I was super nervous about starting this project. Mostly because the idea of changing something on an online resource that potentially millions of people would see is kind of terrifying, but also because my impostor syndrome was coming in loud and clear at the thought of actually being smart enough to provide knowledge to others.

I quickly decided that I needed to focus my attention on something I feel I know a lot about, and that was hockey. Hockey is comfortable and I think I’m able to explain it pretty well and teach complex details of it fairly easily. I decided to see if there was any new information I could add, and decided to see if anyone had added some of the new NHL rules for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. To my delight, no one had yet added these details to the Wikipedia page about ice hockey penalties, and I decided this is where I was going to focus my attention.

My Editing Process

I started by going into the talk section of the page and noticed there’s a whole community and plan for updating hockey pages on Wikipedia.

This was a really exciting revelation because that meant that 1. I might actually get a response to my comments in talk and 2. I would hopefully get feedback about my changes quickly.

I started by posting my comment about what I wanted to change in the talk sections for the post itself and in the “Project Ice Hockey” talk as well.

I heard back pretty quickly and was given the go ahead to edit the page. Below are the edits I made to the page (my edits are highlighted in yellow), and my notes about what I changed.

My edits went in and then I waited to see if anyone changed or didn’t approve them. After a few days I went back in and my edits were still there and no one had changed or removed them! So my edits were a success and it was actually a really cool feeling!

My Overall Experience

When I started this I was honestly pretty skeptical about the whole thing and didn’t really understand what I could do and assumed I wouldn’t be able to really contribute. I am very grateful for this project now as I feel like not only am I able to contribute, but I also feel like it’s really important to keep these pages updated and accurate.

Overall, I had a really interesting and fun experience. I was super nervous about editing at first, but I’m really glad I did it. I also think I will continue to edit pages as I ended up seeing a lot of other pages that need to be updated. I really enjoyed that all the hockey pages had a central location and a project dedicated to updating them. There were also “assignments” posted pretty frequently, and I think I will spend some time working on those too.


My Experience Solving “The Grandmother Problem” (Extra Credit)

In my last post I discussed “The Grandmother Problem” and steps to help discuss this issue with your loved ones. I decided to put this to the test and tried this out with my aunt.

For a little background, my aunt is a fairly active Facebook user and posts at least a few times a week. She is also a conservative Republican and a lot of her friends agree with her views and also post similar messages on Facebook. For full transparency, my political affiliation is Democrat and I consider myself very liberal. I don’t have a problem with her posting her views/opinions and actual news articles, but she tends to post a lot of false information and often times quite harmful or hateful information as well. I know from my personal experiences with her that she is a kind person, but she also keeps herself in her political bubble and often times that group posts some less than truthful things. I have previously tried to discuss this with her, but I have found it hard to be civil on certain topics.

So I decided to work on following my steps from my previous post to see if they really worked and to figure out what hang-ups, if any, come up during the process.

My Approach

I discussed previously that I think it’s important to communicate in a way that’s kind but also not condescending. This is surprisingly hard, especially when you’re discussing such different views on fundamental issues. I decided that I wanted to approach this exclusively as a misinformation issue rather than a political views issue, as I thought that would keep the conversation civil and that my aunt would be more willing to listen.

Talking to My Aunt

I started the conversation off-line at lunch as I thought that setting might keep things civil because we’re in public. I also decided to do this in-person so she couldn’t just ignore an email or call from me. I waited for a while to bring it up so she didn’t think this is why I asked her to lunch, and I started off by discussing that I know we don’t see eye-to-eye politically but that I noticed a lot of misinformation in the posts she was sharing. I said that I don’t have any issues with her discussing her opinions or views, but that what she was sharing was potentially harmful.

I also asked her a few questions like where did you see it and did you look up the people behind the posts. I didn’t want to overwhelm her or make her feel attacked, so I also discussed some of the stuff I’ve seen from both political parties and how false information was being spread. I also told her I wasn’t trying to call her out, just that I was concerned about fake information going around social media.

She seemed less than willing to accept my help, but I knew this was a possibility so I just tried to again re-state that this wasn’t about politics, but about Facebook being full of fake information. I wanted to appeal to her reason by saying things like, “I know people on the internet may not have the most pure intentions, and sometimes they can post stories that aren’t true to create issues or sway opinions.”

My aunt seemed to understand that, but didn’t think that she was sharing a lot of misinformation online. I asked her if she wanted me to keep an eye out for anything if I see it, and she seemed ok with that.

I changed the subject after that because I wanted to keep things civil and also to help keep the mood light so that she wouldn’t start to feel attacked. Lunch ended well and we went our separate ways.

The Follow-Up

After lunch I decided to give this experiment a cool-off day so it didn’t message my aunt right away despite her posting a few things that were clearly false information. I found a post that my aunt shared that had a meme about climate change with some false information in it. I contacted my aunt privately to let her know that the information was wrong. I sent her a link to Snopes that pointed out this was false, and she responded saying she would look into it.

I guess that’s progress? I left it at that for the day since I didn’t want to overwhelm her, but I think – or at least hope – that my strategy has started to be effective.

Thoughts on The Process

I thought this was a really interesting experiment. I’ve been wanting to discuss this with my aunt for a while, so this post gave me the excuse I’ve been looking for. I have to say this was not easy and I was honestly very nervous to talk about this face-to-face. I think a lot of my anxiety about it was not knowing her reaction and the fear of making her angry. You would think that talking to a family member would be easy and that you shouldn’t worry about being honest with them, but the truth is it’s incredibility difficult to start this process. I don’t know if I would have even done it without this project. Despite my nervousness, I’m glad that I did it and would encourage others to try it themselves.

I don’t know for sure if this discussion and my efforts so far to try and change my aunt’s behavior will be successful, but I think I made just a slight improvement in her thinking. I want to continue to offer her sources to look up information and help her be able to decipher misinformation online. I’m going to call this experiment a temporary small success, and will continue my efforts in the future.




How Do We Solve “The Grandmother Problem”?

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Most people we know use the internet in some way, including your friends, siblings, parents, and even grandparents. While many younger people grew up with the internet and are so-called “digital natives,” there are also a large amount of people using the internet that were born long before its creation. As a millennial (30) and someone that mostly grew up with the internet, I learned fairly early on what and what not to trust online. I now spend the majority of my day online in some form and have become fairly good at “crap detection” and being able to look up sources for things I see that seem like they may be fake. However, people that didn’t grow up with the internet and are having to learn and navigate as they go may not be as savvy.

This brings us to “The Grandmother Problem” which essentially boils down to members of our family or social groups, usually from older generations, sharing false and sometimes potentially harmful or hateful information online unintentionally.  This is becoming an increasing issue not only because more older people have online lives and are creating social media accounts, but because misleading and false information can spread quickly online and without proper techniques for vetting this information, less internet savvy people are prone to fall for it and even share it themselves.

So this leads to the question, what can younger people do to stop their love ones from believing and sharing misinformation?

The answer isn’t simple, but I have laid out a few steps I think will help the conversation get going and will help ease the amount of misinformation from spreading.

1. Talk to your loved ones in a caring way. This is a really vital step as coming from a place of aggression or anger is just going to make them dig in their heels more. Talking to your loved ones in a way that shows concern but also compassion is key. Just talk to them in a way that makes it seem like you care and you want them to know that you can help. This can easily drift into being condescending, so make sure you’re not approaching this like you’re talking to a child. Remember, they are adults and are fully capable of making their own choices so be aware of your tone and also be prepared to get shut down at first.

2. Offer to help but also have resources ready so they can help themselves in the future. Helping out and offering to point out false and/or harmful information to your loved ones is great, but they also need to be able to do this for themselves. You don’t have the time to comment or share information with your loved ones every day, and making them rely on you for help isn’t going to solve the issue. The best solution is to show them where they can go to find correct information, vet sources, and search for facts. Here are some great sources to start out with, but there are plenty more out there:

3. Don’t get upset if they are reluctant to accept help. Some people find it difficult to accept and admit when they’re wrong or their behaviors are problematic. It can be especially hard to hear this from someone much younger than them. Be patient and continue to offer help if they need it. Don’t be pushy and don’t get mad if they tell you no.

4. Be there when they ask, at least at the beginning. It’s important to be present and willing to help when they need it. It may not be a super convenient time for you, but making time to help your loved one shows them that you really do care and are willing to be patient with them. There are limits to this and that’s where step #2 comes in. Make sure you give those resources early and often so you aren’t stuck being the fact checker yourself.

5. Be willing to take time to point out posts that they’ve shared that are false. This is a challenging step as it requires you to keep an eye on your loved one’s social media accounts. Make sure to call out these false or harmful posts to them privately at first. Also be prepared to explain why these posts are a problem and provide correct information if available. Once you do this a few times, hopefully they will start to think about what they’re posting. If they fail to do that, it may be a good idea to start commenting publicly, but please try and be civil and keep the conversation about the post and don’t get personal.

6. Be ok with walking away. Sometimes you just have to walk away, unfollow, or mute your loved ones. While the above steps will hopefully help steer your loved ones in the right direction, you can’t always change their habits. If your loved one isn’t ready or willing to change, the best course of action for your ‘ real life’ relationship may just be to disconnect on social media.

Hopefully the above steps will help get your loved ones started with being able to detect misinformation and to stop sharing it online. It isn’t a perfect system and there are a lot of judgement calls to me made, but if you come from a place of compassion and care, you’re already off to a good start.


This Week in Women’s Hockey

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This round-up showcases news, analysis, opinion, and other relevant articles from this week in women’s hockey. The article’s linked to here are curated from various news outlets, blogs, and social media.


PWHPA and NHLPA announce partnership – TSN

The NHL Players Association announced that they will be an official sponsor of the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour, and their logo will be featured on the jerseys worn during the tour. This is a big news because it shows support for the PWPHA directly from NHL players.

Olympic star Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson working to promote women’s hockey- Minneapolis Star Tribune

An interview with US Olympian Jocelyne Lamoureax-Davidson about the upcoming Dream Gap Tour and what it means for aspiring women’s hockey players.


Boston Pride women’s hockey team is sold to local investor – The Boston Globe

The NWHL has sold the Boston Pride to Cannon Capital, a private equity firm. The new owners are looking to help promote the team and increase player development programs.

Dunkin’ returning as NWHL sponsor – The Ice Garden

It looks like the NWHL will keep running on Dunkin’ for another year as the long-standing sponsor will return for its fifth season of sponsorship.

Hockey Community 

Huntsville native Nichelle Simon cross-checked breast cancer on way to hockey dream – WAAY 13 ABC (Video)

A really uplifting story about NWHL player Nichelle Simon, from her fight with breast cancer to her newly signed contract with the Metropolitan Riveters.

NCAA Hockey

Success starts on defense for the Gophers women’s hockey team – Duluth News Tribune

NCAA women’s hockey is starting soon! This article has a great breakdown on this year’s Minnesota Gophers team and their increased focus on defense.

Who To Follow – Social Media

Looking for someone to follow on social media to keep up with news? Look no further than Michelle Jay, site manager for The Ice Garden and guru of all things women’s hockey! P.S. she’s also an amazing photographer!

Twitter – @Michelle_Jay3

Instagram – @Michelle_Jay3



Analysis of ESPN’s NWHL Article and Interview with Dani Rylan

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A recent article published by ESPN and written by noted hockey writer Greg Wyshynski caused a bit of a stir around the women’s hockey community. His article and interview with NWHL founder and commissioner Dani Rylan offered a look into the current situation from the league’s standpoint, and also served as a way for the league and Dani to respond to recent questions regarding the future of the league.

In this post I’ll be breaking down the various aspects of this article, analyzing it, and giving grades based on the different aspects of it.

The Title

‘We’re not going anywhere’: NWHL’s Dani Rylan bullish on league’s future

The title of the article starts off with a clear declaration from Dani Rylan about the future of the league, and creates a bold title that will grab attention. As mentioned in my previous posts, much has been written on the future of the NWHL and a title like this is meant to create controversy. There is a ‘click bait’ aspect to this headline, although the article does explain in detail the comment made by Rylan unlike most articles I would consider ‘click bait.’ The title is a bit shocking but also persuasive in getting someone to click through to read it.

Title Grade: B

The Sources, Links, and Supporting Details

The article has numerous sources and links to other relevant articles about this issue. There are also direct quotes from players and other people, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, that add to the context and depth of the article. These quotes help to establish the articles credibility as well as drive home the differing points of view that are outlined.

You can also see that Greg Wyshynski did an excellent job researching this article by the types of details he included to help create context. One part that that stuck out to me was when he was discussing the financial issues with the league, as well as the NHL’s reluctance to support the NWHL, and linked to articles about NHL owners and teams separating themselves from NWHL teams. While these details weren’t the central theme of the topic, they helped the reader have more background information and supported the claims being made in the article.

Details Grade: A

The Interview

The way the interview is structured in the article is done in a less traditional way (unlike how The Athletic (pay walled) and The Hockey News handled their interviews with Dani Rylan), and instead decided to have the interview as part of the narrative of the story. I like this method as it allows the article to flow better and gives the reader context and background to Rylan’s quotes.

It does however create bias in the story as the author is able to have the quotes feed into his narrative in the article. There also isn’t any clear question and answer pattern, and we never see any quotes or exact text of the questions the author is asking. It’s difficult to gain the full picture and understand what questions Rylan is answering and it’s easy to manipulate the meaning of her answers.

In this sense it is difficult to assess Wyshynski’s interview and to detect if he asked the right questions or if there was anything else he could have dug into further. While he seems to have been able to get very candid and honest answers from Rylan, the format of the interview doesn’t allow the reader to know if there was information left on the table.

Interview Grade: C+

Bias and Opinion

To me, there is a clear agenda based on the quotes from Rylan used and the narrative of the story being told. It definitely appears that the author was looking to expose the bitterness of Rylan towards the players that chose to sit out from playing, and to show her attempt to paint the players in a negative light.  I don’t feel that the author feels the same way about the players, but was definitely interested in feeding into the bitterness a bit. Now, Rylan didn’t need to give such candid answers and didn’t need to show how agitated she was, but as noted before it’s hard to see the full context of her answers since we never actually see the questions asked.

Bias Grade: D

Overall Analysis

While I think there are some definite holes in this article and a clear agenda being sold, I still did find myself genuinely riveted by this article. This is obviously what the author was hoping for by putting out this rather juicy article into an already contentious situation. It’s pretty clear this was a shot from one side to another and the author was more than happy to be the messenger. The rather blunt and honest answers from Rylan and the players help to show this contrast and the author gives a lot of background details to give the story more drama.

I do think that there is a lot of merit behind the story though. There was clearly a lot of research and time put into this piece, and the author has a very clear understanding of the situation and is able to break it down well for readers.

Overall Grade: B-



Women’s Hockey: Article Analysis


For this post I’ll be looking at a few recent articles about women’s hockey and explaining why the coverage is news or an opinion or analysis piece. I will also be pointing out any inconsistencies I see or any confusing coverage.

News Articles

Forbes – “This Fall’s ‘Dream Gap Tour’ Sees Top Women’s Hockey Players Working To Advance Their Game”

Let’s start with this article from Forbes about the “Dream Gap Tour” being put on by the  Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.

Writer and Publication

The writer is Carol Schram, she is listed as a contributor for Forbes. Forbes notes that “Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.” Carol writes pretty regularly for Forbes, mostly about tennis and hockey. This article is listed under Forbes ‘Sports Money’ section, which is noted as “the business of sports is all part of the game.” Forbes is a large and well-known publication. They are mostly known for news and opinions about business and finance, but also have articles about lifestyle topics like travel, food, and style.

Facts Provided

This article provides facts about the tour, including players that are participating, the locations of the games, and the sponsors. The article also discusses how the games will be played in a tournament style and that other activities will also be happening during the event.

Direct Quotes

Direct quotes from players Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield as well as from Billie Jean King (who’s organization is supporting the tour) are provided.

Sources and Links

There are links in the article that direct back to sources of information, as well as social media posts about the event. The author also links back to one of her articles to give some background information about the reasoning behind the tournament.

Opinion and/or Analysis

I don’t see any heavy opinions in here, but the article does dive into the reason behind the tournament, which is that the players have been on strike with the NWHL because they feel the league isn’t a true professional hockey league. The author also goes into the history of Billie Jean King’s involvement in women’s sports and how she is influencing the current movement for women’s hockey. The article is written in a way that does imply that the writer is on the side of the player’s fight for living wages and a true professional sports league. The quotes and social media selections for the article do lead to this implication. The author never outright gives her opinion in the article however.

My Thoughts

Overall, I think this article definitely qualifies as a news story with some thoughtful analysis in it. I don’t see any outright baseless opinions, and the article is not formatted in a way that makes it seem not credible. The author is also established and credible, and the publication is well known. While there is some bias there, the author does a good job of backing up their article with facts and sources.

The Hockey News – “NWHL Signs Three-Year Streaming Deal With Twitch, Receives Broadcasting Rights Fee”

The next article I’m going to look at is from The Hockey News about the new streaming deal between the NWHL and Twitch.

Writer and Publication

The author of this article is Jared Clinton and he is a staff writer at The Hockey News. He has worked for The Hockey News since 2014 and has written numerous articles for the site. The Hockey News is also a well established publication and is known for news articles as well as opinion and analysis articles. They also provide statistics, video, and podcasts all related to hockey.

Facts Provided

The article provides details about the streaming deal and some background information about what Twitch is. There are also details about previous NWHL broadcasting formats and events.

Direct Quotes

There are quotes from NWHL officials about the deal and what it means for the league.

Sources and Links

The author does not provide any links in the article. They do note who provided the quotes, but there this is no other source information.

Opinion and/or Analysis

The author does provide quite a bit of opinion and analysis in the article.  He discusses a lot of the background information about how the new deal is historic and a first of its kind. He also clearly shows his bias and opinion openly about how he thinks this will change women’s hockey. He also states that the previous broadcasts have not been great and he hopes they will improve because of this deal.

My Thoughts

While this article is formatted as news, it’s clear that there are just as many opinions as facts. The author could have provided links and sources in order to make this seem more like a news story. The headline and content didn’t really correlate that and this article was heavy on opinion. I don’t think that the opinion here takes away from this being a news story necessarily though, and a lot of information about the new deal and background information about the way women’s hockey has been broadcast was presented.

Opinion/Analysis Articles

SB Nation – “How the Canadian Women’s Hockey League fell apart”

This article is about the recent folding of the CWHL, how it happened, and the it’s affect on women’s hockey and the people who worked for the organization.

Writer and Publication

The author is Michelle Jay and she is the manager of the SB Nation site The Ice Garden, which is focused on women’s hockey. Michelle writes about women’s hockey frequently on the site. SB Nation is a sports blogging network for various sports leagues and teams and is owned by Vox Media.

Facts Provided

The author provides a lot of facts and details about league operations as well as background into changes that occurred with the league in the past years. There are also financial details provided throughout the article.

Direct Quotes

The article has numerous direct quotes from league general managers, investors, players, and league representatives.

Sources and Links

There are many links and sources cited in the article. It’s clear there was a lot of research done for this article. There is also a lot of information provided from people close to the league and many people who had an understanding of the inner-workings of it. The author also provides links to other news sources as well as press releases and documentation.

Opinion and/or Analysis

The author’s main goal of this article is to analyze why the CWHL ceased operations. There is also a lot of information provided with links and sources as back-up. There is not a overwhelming amount of opinion in the article, which adds a lot to its quality as an analysis piece. The article is very thorough and creates a well-rounded look at the scenario. There are also a lot of quotes and direct experiences from people that adds to the overall credibility and detail of the article.

My Thoughts

This is definitely one of the best articles I’ve read about women’s hockey in a while. The site is dedicated to reporting on women’s hockey and it’s clear the author is an authority on the topic. The article was very compelling and gave a clear understanding of the situation. Even for someone who isn’t an expert, this article was very good at offering facts and analysis. There is some bias and opinion in here, but it doesn’t take away anything from the article and in fact added some persuasive power to it.

The Ice Garden – “The best single season performances in NWHL history”

This article is about assessing game performance using the author’s own calculations and tracking.

Writer and Publication

The author of this article is Mike Murphy and the publication is The Ice Garden, an SB Nation blog about women’s hockey. Mike Murphy contributes regularly to this site and writes news and opinion articles for it. Mike also tracks and offers analysis of players based on statistics and his own formulas. The Ice Garden is a blog that is relatively new but offers extensive coverage of women’s hockey.

Facts Provided

The author offers plenty of statistics and information about player performance. He gets his player information from the NWHL’s official website.

Direct Quotes

There are no direct quotes in the article.

Sources and Links

There are no links in the article, but the author has listed the places that the data has been sourced from.

Opinion and/or Analysis

The article is data heavy, but the majority of it is analysis and opinion based on that data. The author starts the article by describing why they think their way of analyzing players is the best and why it is important. They spend the rest of the article going into detail about what the statistics say about the player’s performances and giving their opinion about why that means they were the best players.

My Thoughts

This is definitely the most opinion based of the four articles I’ve looked at. The author gave a good argument for why their data analysis is superior, but it’s hard to trust it based on this small sample size. There is a lot of data involved and if someone didn’t have a basic understanding of that the article is somewhat overwhelming. There are also a lot of assumptions based on the author’s own formulas for evaluating player performance. I thought that the article was very thorough and researched, but obviously a lot of the conclusions are contingent on the author’s own data.


Women’s Hockey and its Media Coverage

Source: Wikipedia

Women’s hockey, like many other women’s sports, is wildly underrepresented compared to the men’s equivalent. While there is an argument to be made that there are simply more men’s players and leagues, the truth of the matter is that women’s sports, no matter how much more dominant they are compared to the men, has always been seen as a niche.

When it comes to reporting on women’s hockey, there isn’t much coverage until the Olympics or if they’re fighting for equal pay. Of course when it comes to the fight for equal pay, men’s hockey has to be part of the conversation for “mainstream” sports media.

There have been some “mainstream” media outlets that have reported on the women’s hockey stories outside of the Olympics, but also their ongoing struggles with those leagues. However, there are very few places available to watch games or get updates on the games themselves. While finding men’s hockey games to watch, view replays and highlights, see stats, and get box scores is exceedingly easy. There are even full websites dedicated to looking at the analytics of men’s hockey.

While there has been an increase in women’s hockey coverage, and there seems to be growing popularity for the sport, there is still a large gap to fill. It’s disappointing as a hockey fan to see the lack of coverage, but not at all surprising given that women’s sports has always seemed to take a lesser role to men’s sports in the United States. My hope is that as more and more women become not only athletes, but active sports fans, that women’s sports will continue to gain popularity. It seems like women’s sports are gaining more fans, and with that hopefully will gain more media coverage.


My Day with Media

For better or worse I spend the majority of my day in front of screens. I write for a living so the computer and I are very well acquainted, and when I’m done with the computer I’m on my iPhone or in front of a television most of the time. My optometrist would be less than pleased with me if he read this! (Sorry Dr. Betmaleck!)

7:15 AM: I wake up for work and go right for my phone. I scroll through Twitter and Instagram to see if I missed anything from any east coast people that morning. Most of my Twitter timeline is full of random memes and people talking about a new hockey jersey that has been released or the Dancing with the Stars cast reveal. I also notice a lot of discussion about the US not providing flu vaccines to people that are detained at Border Control facilities.

8:15 AM: I get to work and load up my email. I have 64 unread messages, most of which are left over from the weekend and I haven’t marked as read. I scan through the new messages from yesterday and mark anything that needs to be done today as urgent. Then I start up Sprinklr, which is a program my work uses to sort through all our social media interactions. I spend the next 30 minutes responding to and sorting social media posts to our company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

8:45 AM: I browse through Cruise Critic, an online forum for cruise guests. I check our company’s message board and see if there are any urgent issues I need to address. I spend about a half hour here just reading reviews and other random posts. Most of the things are mundane, some posts divulge into politics, a reminder that not even cruise message boards are immune to political discourse.

9:15 AM: I spend the next 15 minutes or so scrolling through the front page of Reddit, then going into the subreddits I follow including ones for Big Brother and The Bachelor, two of my favorite shows (I’m a reality television junkie.)

9:30 AM: I spend about an hour working on emails from various departments that are requesting we send email notifications to guests.

10:30 AM: I scrolled through my personal email and mark things read. I spend about 15 minutes on my Twitter timeline. I read some rumors about Vegas hotels, some people complaining about an unsigned NHL free agent, and people discussing comments made by the president this morning. Also people are still talking about the president trying to buy Greenland.

10:45 AM: I start working on more guest email notifications.

11:25 AM: I scroll through Twitter for a few minutes and read Big Brother updates.

12:00 PM: I’m working on communications about the fires in Alaska. I Google search for additional details not already provided and read an article from CNN. I click through a hyperlink in the article to a video on the Alaska Wildland Fire Information website.  I also click a hyperlink to the Alaska State Trooper Facebook page.

1:30 PM: I go to lunch and spend about 15 minutes on Twitter and catch up on tweets I missed while working. I eat lunch outside and take a walk before going back to the office. I only really follow CNN as far as world news goes, so I saw a few of their headlines. I also read more Big Brother updates and read an article on Deadspin about the XFL. The video is interesting, and I have some discussion on Twitter and via text message with my friends about it.

3:00 PM: I take a coffee break and scroll through Twitter and Reddit a bit. I answer some unread texts and scroll through my personal email as well.

3:30 PM: I get sucked into the XFL discussion again, because honestly that video was insane and I have to talk it about more.

4:00 PM: I end up back on Deadspin reading what seems like the 500th article made about Mitch Marner not being signed.

4:15 PM: I go back to work and answer more people on social media, work on some more guest communications, and work on some other projects.

5:00 PM: My day has slowed down and my mind has started to wander. I go to The Athletic and read a few articles that I’ve been meaning to read. I also start listening to a hockey podcast and then work on a few more minor work items while I listen.

6:00 PM: I leave work and head home. Once at home I turn on the local news to see if anything interesting has happened today. There was a story about move-in day at USC and one about a man who was arrested for being under the influence after someone called authorities about his suspicious behavior. The fun part of that story, when the cops got there they found him trying to repair his flat tires with gauze and bandages!

6:30 PM: I’m making dinner while also scrolling through Twitter and Instagram. It’s pasta night!

7:00 PM: I have dinner in front of the television. Jeopardy is on, and I do my best to answer questions. I sweep the board on the ‘Food Stuff’ category!

8:00 PM: I watch Big Brother while also scrolling through Twitter and answering text messages.

9:00 PM: I spend the next hour or so doing some online shopping, scrolling through Twitter, and having a conversation about an upcoming trip with a friend via text.

10:30 PM: I get ready for bed and turn on my television. I don’t actually watch anything here, I just like the noise to help me sleep. I spend a few more minutes on Twitter and sending texts.

11:00 PM: Bed time!

Of the media sources I accessed I would their reliability as follows on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least reliable and 10 being the most):

Twitter: 3 – I think Twitter can be a great source of news, but also everything here needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The fact that this is by far my most used media source is somewhat troubling as I know that it can lead to me not only funneling my media by who I follow, but that I can be susceptible to misinformation here.

Instagram: 3 – I would put Instagram about the same as Twitter. They both can be places where you can see news but also must be heavily vetted. Instagram isn’t really a great place to look for news stories, but you can search through hashtags and locations if you’re trying to find information.

Facebook: 3 – Again, I’m giving Facebook a 3 rating because while it can be a useful tool for information, you need to really check sources and do research on what you see.

Reddit: 3 – Reddit, like the other social media sources, has the same benefits and pitfalls.

Deadspin: 4 – While Deadspin is a sports website, they do have news articles and discussions about politics and current events. Most of the articles have a very heavy bias and must be read knowing that. They do a decent job of vetting sources though and some of their journalists are very good at getting things right.

Local News: 6 – The local news in Los Angeles is pretty decent and does an ok job at reporting. They are on scene of events very quickly and do a decent job of not reporting on facts they haven’t yet confirmed. They do obviously chase ratings, and are always willing to leave news stories for a police pursuit.

CNN: 8 – While I think that CNN is pretty quick to sensationalize certain stories, I do trust them a moderate amount. I think that they more often than not do their best to report stories accurately and fairly. Many of the journalists that work for them are very good at their jobs. They do often fall into the trap of making themselves the news to drive ratings however, and that’s why I don’t totally trust them on all topics.

Overall, I found this to be a really interesting look at my media habits. I found that I really don’t read or see as much news as I thought I did, and I can see how I could possibly fall into the trap of dishonest news. This was a really great way for me to think about my habits and biases and look at ways to improve them.