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Security

Before this week, I had always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t need to take a lot of security measures. The only place I really do is with my bank accounts, but I now realize that everything is connected and for me to be protecting myself to the fullest, I need to be taking security more seriously. 

I am definitely one of those people who use the same two or three passwords with slight variations for everything. I realize that this is problematic, but for the longest time, ease of access was more important to me than having different, secure passwords. 

If I hadn’t logged into a site in a long time, I knew I could try a few different variations of passwords and eventually I’d get in. However, if I can do this, that means that anyone else who figures out even one of my password variations could too. 

“Cyber Security Boards” by Jorge Contreras is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

On my phone I even have my fingerprint attached to my passwords so I don’t have to type them in every time. While this is obviously very convenient, touch ID can be easily falsified. I always thought this was the case, but I never bothered to look into it until this week.

This article from the New York Times does a good job of explaining why we should be wary of using touch ID.

“Cyber Security Boards” by Jorge Contreras is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

While I know that I really have nothing to hide, at least from the government, I do want to start being more cautious when it comes to security. I’ve been way too relaxed on my security measures so far, and thinking about it further, I know that it would be very easy for someone to obtain and misuse my information with the way I have it protected now. 

The main change I want to make is to start using a password manager. Since all of my passwords are essentially the same, I think this is the best place for me to start. At least with all of my passwords being different for each site, I would have a lower chance of being hacked on a large scale. Right now, if you know the password to my YouTube you could easily discover the password to my bank accounts, and that’s unacceptable. 

Password managers help you create long, intricate passwords that are different for each website. The best password managers also encrypt this data when it is stored so it becomes increasingly difficult to hack the password managing platform itself. 

“Cyber Security Boards” by Jorge Contreras is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

I didn’t even know that such a thing existed before this week, and if you didn’t either, reading this article could be a good place to start. 

While I know there are other things I could be doing like updating all of my system’s software regularly, something I’m notorious for putting off, or even installing plugins that could help protect me from being spied on online, I think that obtaining a password manager is a good start. 

I have a long way to go if I want to protect myself fully, but I think that with this new found realization of just how important privacy and security is, I will eventually be able to get to a place where I feel secure online.

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students

Wikipedia Editing Experience

I always knew that Wikipedia could be edited by anyone, but I never realized just how easy it was to do it yourself. 

Personally, I’ve always thought of Wikipedia as a website that needed to catch up with the times. It’s been around for as long as I can remember, more specifically since 2001, and the website’s aesthetics definitely still match the early 2000’s era. 

Surprisingly though, I found the editing process to be extremely user friendly. 

The page I chose to edit was one about Pflugerville, Texas

I grew up in Pflugerville. It’s a small town just north of Austin, the state’s capitol, and is home to roughly 64,431 people, according to the 2018 census. Their Wikipedia page to me seemed a little scattered. Some of the information on it seemed to be repeated in more than one area and you could tell that some of the sections had obviously received more attention by editors than others. 

I was pleased to see that there was a wide variety of information present about the city. Pflugerville has a lot of history behind it, and when first looking into the page, that was something that was important to me to be represented. You could also get a pretty good idea of where Pflugerville is at now, as well as some fun facts. 

Accuracy is really important to me, and I did notice that not only were some of the embedded links not working, but some of the information present in the “education” section wasn’t completely accurate. I also wanted to add on at least one bit of extra information to the page’s “in popular culture” section since this is something I have an interest in and I felt like the section was underdeveloped. 

As the Wiki Education training suggests, I first left my suggestions for changes to be made on the Pflugerville, Texas talk page. There wasn’t a ton of activity on the page, and it looks like the last edit was made in September, 2019. As you can see from the screenshot, I shared exactly what changes I was planning on making, but went ahead and made them right away. I know that it was suggested to wait for a response, but the changes I was making weren’t super significant and one was fixing a factual error. 

It’s been a day since I posted my changes and I haven’t received any feedback, so it seems that all of my edits have been accepted. 

As I mentioned earlier, I was surprised by just how easy it was to edit an article. Going into the process one thing I was worried about was citations. I’ve never been great at creating citations and consistently have to research how to do them properly when I have to use them, so I was pleased when I learned that Wikipedia can generate them automatically for use just by using a website URL. 

They also make linking to other Wikipedia articles, which are the only type of in text citations they want you to use, really easy. I didn’t even have to leave the page I was editing to copy and paste the URL, it automatically looked up the Wikipedia page that coincided with the text I had highlighted.     

Using citations and external links are a key way to assure accuracy and to be able to fact check quickly. Doing so makes your article more credible and especially on a platform like Wikipedia where anyone can edit it, fact checking information is extremely important. 

Although you can see the edits I made on the Pflugerville Wikipedia page itself, I thought I would insert screenshots here just in case they do get deleted in the future.

Recently, they also added in the Internet Archive, which makes fact checking sources cited from books quick and easy as long as the page number is listed in the citation. Before this addition, the only way to fact check cited books was to go out and find a copy yourself. Now, there’s options to preview the pages mentioned or even to borrow the book from Wikipedia’s Internet Archive digital library for up to two weeks. Since Wikipedia relies so heavily on its use of citations to assure accuracy, I think that this addition is crucial. 

While I’m unsure if I’ll continue to edit Wikipedia pages in my free time, knowing that the option is there is reassuring. Wikipedia is always seen as such an untrustworthy site, and I like the idea of being able to correct misinformation quickly and easily if I do see it. 

In the future, I could see myself using Wikipedia as a jumping off point to lead me to other sources or even utilizing the talk page to see what kinds of conversations are happening around a certain topic. Throughout this experience, I learned that Wikipedia as a whole has a lot more to offer than being just a user contribution based encyclopedia, and I can see myself using some aspects of the platform as tools for fact checking information.

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students

Law & Media

Before this week, I had no idea just how much the law affects the media. I knew that things such as copyright, libel and defamation existed, but I didn’t realize the full scale of how these laws were enforced.

My biggest concern would be censorship as a result of copyright laws. 

“Internet” by Galo Picoita is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation really opened my eyes to how mass censorship on the internet may not be far away. I had always thought of copyrighting as a tool to help artists and content creators get the money and recognition they deserve, but it seems that moving forward, this will not be the case. 

Though the article was written in 2018, the idea of creating an internet wide Content ID filters that can prevent any copyrighted material from being posted in the first place. 

YouTube has already implemented a similar system used to track copyrighted music in videos before they are posted, but under the new Article 13 Content ID filter, even media such as video, still images, code and text could be eligible for censorship. 

“Copyright Directive Headed Your Way” by Bernie Goldbach is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

As of March 26, 2019, Article 13 did pass, and countries who are a part of the EU will have two years to implement the new copyright laws. Although the United States is no longer a part of the European Union, a large majority of the world’s internet will have to abide by these laws. So while we might not have to face these changes directly, I’m sure we will feel the backlash from them. 

For now, I don’t plan on changing how I use the media in any way. But if copyright laws do become more strict here in America to where it’s encouraging censorship, I might. 

When I do post content, I always try to make sure that it is original. The two places I typically create content on is Twitter or Instagram, and when I do, it’s always either photos I’ve taken myself or sharing thoughts I’ve had throughout the day. My media presence online revolves a lot around connecting and keeping up with friends and family, but in the future, this will likely change. 

Working towards my degree in digital audiences, my career goals center a lot around working in the field of social media and content creation. I think that if censorship continues going down the path it is right now, it could make media creation a lot more challenging. 

As mentioned in both of the articles I listed previously, Content ID filters are not always 100% accurate. In fact, a lot of the time, they are known to over block content that isn’t even infringing on copyrighted material, or to still let some of the material that should be filtered slip through its cracks. Overall, it’s very unlikely the system will be accurate, and this will present a lot of challenges from those who are in the field of using existing media to create things like ads or social media posts. 

Content creators are going to have to be much more careful about what they post if they don’t want it to be taken down. This goes for content creators of all kinds, not just those in social.

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students

The Grandmother Problem


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The grandmother problem. It’s something we’ve probably all come across at one point or another. Social media has made it easy for us to share information with others, but that doesn’t mean that all of it is reputable. It can be hard to confront friends or family members that share false or misleading information, but doing so is extremely important so that we can all work together to create a media landscape that is honest and trustworthy.

“Fake News – Scrabble Tiles” by journolink2019 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The best way to approach those who spread misinformation is to come from a place of knowledge and encouragement. You would never want to shame the person sharing the misinformation, because chances are, they have a strong confirmation bias towards the subject and don’t want to believe that what they’re sharing is wrong.

The easiest way to get someone to understand is to walk them through why the article is misleading. Maybe the language is charged or the author isn’t reputable, whatever the case may be, it can help to show the person why the article is misleading. Assure them that you’re not telling them this because you disagree with their opinions, but because you want everyone to work together to create a credible media environment.

I’ve always tried to get them to look at it this way: you wouldn’t want someone lying about important information to you, so why would you do the same to your social media followers?

However, like I said earlier, the most important thing to do is be encouraging. Tell them to keep sharing articles and that their voice is important but just to make sure an article is accurate before sharing it. It just takes a few extra seconds, but it really helps to make social media a safe place to receive news from.

A lot of people may not know how to do this, or may ask how to be sure an article is credible, and for that I’ll refer you to factitious. Factitious is an online game all about how to recognize “fake news”. It shows the player a short excerpt from an article, as well as the source, and asks the player to identify   the piece as real or fake.

"Fake News - Scrabble Tiles" by journolink2019 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Once you’ve made your decision, factitious will automatically tell you if you were correct or not, as well as why the article was real or fake. This is the most important part of the game, as it teaches players key things to look out for when deciphering real information from misinformation.

If the person you’re approaching isn’t really into games, this article from The Verge could be a good resource to share instead. Though I do prefer the factitious game, I know not everybody is a hands on learner. The article goes in depth about how to fact check a story’s credibility and can be used as a reference guide when they do, hopefully, go to check the next story they share.

Hopefully, after opening up this conversation with your friends or family members, it will make them think twice before sharing online and help them understand why we should all be held accountable for sharing reputable information.

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Curation


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For this week’s blog, I have curated the top 5 best sources to go for sustainable fashion information online. These sites range from traditional media, to blog posts, to documentaries, and each gives a little bit of a different perspective on the sustainable fashion industry. 

  1. The True Cost 

“This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world.”

The True Cost is a documentary that covers a lot of different areas of sustainable fashion in depth. If you don’t know a lot about the topic, this is a great place to start. It covers everything from the environmental impact of fashion as a whole to the greater problem of human rights within the clothing industry. 

The film is directed by Andrew Morgan and released in 2015. 

2. Vogue Business: Sustainability 

The sustainability section of Vogue Business is, in my opinion, the best place to go for sustainable fashion news. Their content is well rounded and covers everything from specific sustainable brands to the industry as a whole. They’re mainly focused on the business side of the industry, but this is important since a lot of other sources don’t. 

3.  Business of Fashion

Businessoffahion.com is a good source of fashion news in general, but their sustainability section is a good place to look for news as well as advice about how to be more sustainable yourself. Even if you aren’t a fashion business owner, reading these advice articles can help give anyone a good idea of what it really means to be sustainable in fashion as well as why it matters. 

4. Harper’s Bazaar: Sustainable Fashion Explained

This opinion article is a quick read from Harper’s Bazaar, but I think that it’s a good introduction to sustainable fashion and why it matters if you maybe don’t have time to watch the whole True Cost documentary mentioned previously. It looks at where the fashion industry is now, where we are headed, and what it means to be sustainable in 2020. 

The article is part of a larger series by Harper’s called Sustainable Style. According to their website, the new series offers “lessons on how to shop sustainably, deep dives into what the future of fashion really looks like, and plenty of myth-busting along the way.” 

5. Sustainable Fashion Matterz

Sustainablefashionmatterz.com is a blog that is solely focused on the topic. Their blog posts are typically short and to the point, but where the website shines is their “good to know” section that discusses what sustainable fashion is as well as some general fashion facts. They make a lot of vital information really easy to digest and puts it in perspective of why it should matter to you. They also list all of their sources at the bottom of their pages to make it easy to access even more information. 

 

 

The next section of this blog post is going to be about my media use for the week in relation to my media use in my first week’s blog post. 

I’ve still been spending a lot of time on Instagram and Youtube overall, as I’m sure I always will, but I have been a lot more mindful about where I get my news from as well as making reading the news a priority. 

I have been trying to start each day by reading the first page of The New York Times. Before when I woke up, the first thing I always did was check Instagram. Even though I’m not fully reading every story that is on the front page, I try to read at least a couple.

 I’ve found that this method of integrating news into a part of my daily routine has been helpful. Before, I don’t think I was really ingesting enough news to be considered an informed citizen, but I now feel confident that I am up to date with current events. 

Another thing I’ve started doing is following right winged twitter accounts. Before we discussed confirmation bias, I didn’t realize how important it is that we are interacting with opinions that don’t just match our own. Following accounts like Breitbart, Red State and Michael Jones allow me to minimize my confirmation biases and helps me have a more well rounded view of our political world. 

Although I may not enjoy reading these posts or the replies under them, if I hadn’t started implementing them into my regular news feed cycles, I’d have no idea what was happening on the conservative side of spectrum, or why it should matter to me.

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Analyze

The article I have chosen to analyze this week is this one from ABC News. The article, titled “Sustainability in the fashion industry faces an uphill climb,” was published on January 7th, 2020 and written by Lizzie Knight of the Associated Press. 

Personally, I think that this story could have been reported or put together better. There’s so many different conversations going on when you talk about sustainability in the fashion industry. This story tries to cover a lot of those different topics quickly within a 5-minute read, but they should have just focused on one main topic and covered it in depth. 

Out of all the different points they make, the overall negative environmental impacts of fashion, Zara’s pledge to go sustainable, the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action at the COP24 climate conference, the Environmental Audit Committee proposal failures, and the unethical labor practices of the Rana Plaza disaster, only three sources are used. 

Two of these sources also only gave very short, one sentence quotes. While the credentials of the sources all correlate to the respective areas of the story, I think that more context is needed from them. 

Had the author used larger interviews, or had asked their sources different questions, I think the story would have flown better and had smoother transitions. 

For example, one of the longer paragraphs in the story is all about  how this Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action is a big step forward for sustainability and will impact the fashion industry across multiple sectors, but the source used to back this up only says that the charter came when “we needed it most.” That’s the whole use of the source. 

Patricia Espinosa, who gave the quote, is the executive secretary for UN Climate Change. Maybe it was a rushed interview, but I’m sure that she has much more to say about the topic. In fact, I think that this section could have been a whole story in itself if it had been thoroughly reported. 

There’s a lot more to unpack here, and as a reader, I felt unsatisfied with the amount of reporting done. As someone who cares about sustainability, I’m reading these articles to learn something and become informed about policies and decisions, but I don’t really understand the whole history and progress of the charter based on this article. 

Luckily, all of the sources used in the article, though they may not have been used to their full potential, were credible. They’re all respected professions of high ranks within their respective fields and after doing quick Google searches for each, you can easily find their accolades as well as other reputable pieces of news content they’ve been quoted in. 

One more thing I wished the piece would have done was linked to their outside research. While there are a few active links throughout the story, they only lead to another page suggesting further reading from ABC News. 

I imagine this is to get the reader to stay on the site and explore for longer, but it’s not helpful in discerning where all of the facts presented in the story are from. 

There were some statements in the story, as well as statistics, that I would have liked to know more about. 

For example, in the second paragraph, the author credits the United Nations Environment Program as the source of statistics about fashions water usage and carbon emissions. Had the place they got this information been linked, it would have made the story more credible and user friendly for the readers instead of them going out of their way to fact check this. 

There’s another statement in the fourth paragraph where the author states that consumers are “demanding ethical practices and responsible retailing,” but there’s no source that backs up this statement mentioned or linked. 

While I know from previous knowledge that this is true, not everyone reading this story will, and I think that this is a pretty bold claim to not have any sort of resource to back it up. 

Overall, I would give this story a B- grade. While I think that the story is on the right track, the reporting and composition seem rushed. There are key elements and important facts from notable sources present, but they could have been developed further to give the reader a deeper understanding of the story’s topic across the board.

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News & Opinion

This week, I searched the internet for articles relating to sustainable fashion. While a lot of the content relating to sustainable fashion tend to be opinion based articles, I was able to find a few news sources relating to the topic. 

 

The first news article came from Vogue Business. I would consider this a news article because it is presenting the reader with unbiased information. The article gives facts from numerous different sources, and links to them in their article so the reader knows exactly where the information is coming from. 

 

Though the article is taking a stance on how to mend sustainable fashion’s multi-billion dollar funding gap, per the name of the article, it develops this stance through the commentary of professionals in the sustainable fashion industry and not the writer’s own opinion. 

 

The article is timely and relevant to the happenings in the sustainable fashion industry today, which are two key elements of what makes a topic news. This funding gap is something that, if not addressed, could lead to challenges in the industry moving forward, and this is important for both those in the industry and those who support it, whether they are consumers of sustainable fashion or just have an interest in the topic. . 

 

Vogue Business, while sharing Vogue’s name, operates as a separate journalistic entity from the fashion magazine. Vogue Business works to offer a “ truly global perspective on the fashion industry, drawing on insights from Condé Nast’s network of journalists and business leaders in 31 markets to empower fashion professionals to make better business decisions,” as noted in their about page

 

I would consider this a very credible article. Vogue Business does a good job of not inserting themselves into their stories, and the fact that they link to all of their sources in the text is important for transparency. The reader knows that these thoughts aren’t just coming from the journalist’s head, but are backed up by facts. 

 

The second news article I wanted to discuss was this one from The Independent. I would consider this a news article because it is discussing information that was released recently, and that is a big deal in the world of sustainable fashion. 

Big box retailer H&M, who in the past have been known for being particularly unethical, is introducing new recycled textiles into their clothing come spring 2020. This is something people both need and want to know about, and it holds even more news value because of H&M’s relationship to sustainable fashion in the past as well as them just being one of the biggest fast fashion (opposite of sustainable) brands in the world.  

 

If H&M can start being “sustainable” it gives hope that maybe all the hype around sustainable fashion right now will have an impact in the long run, and that is what readers of these articles are going to care about. 

However, I wouldn’t consider this article particularly credible. In general, The Independent is known for being a liberal newspaper. I think that this can be seen in this article because even though H&M is trying to do something good, The Independent is still focusing on the negative and trying to make H&M seem like the bad guy. 

 

Most of the article has to do with H&M being accused of greenwashing by anti fast-fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna. She is the only one interviewed for this article and obviously has a clear stance against the company. 

 

The article could have given both sides of the story and interviewed someone with an opposing view to have a less biased tone throughout. 

 

The next two articles I’ll be discussing are going to be opinion based stories. 

 

This first article comes from Vogue. While the article does present some good information and facts, I would consider it an analysis piece because of how the author inserted themselves into the story. 

There are also times throughout the story where she addresses the reader specifically as “you.” To me, this makes the reader think about their own choices in comparison to the choices of the writer and again, is a key element in drawing readers into an analysis orientated piece.

 

The author is being relatable so that when you read their argument further down in the story about how circular fashion is the future, you are already agreeing with their stance. In the concluding paragraph of the article, after giving all of their information, the author tells the reader what to think. 

 

She says, “What won’t make sense in the next decade? Spending $300 on a designer T-shirt or indulging in a cheap fast-fashion thrill,” and you agree with her, because she conditioned you the rest of the story to do so. 

 

Because of this I would not consider the article credible. The author clearly has an agenda, and despite presenting facts and interviews from big upcoming names in the sustainable fashion industry, the reader isn’t really prompted to form their own opinions. 

 

This last article comes from Forbes and is about fashion sustainability in 2020. This is a pretty cut and dry opinion piece written by Simonetta Lein, a social media entrepreneur and fashion influencer.  

 

The article is all about what she believes will be trendy in regards to sustainable fashion, and where she sees the industry going.  

 

There is not a ton of presentation of facts in the article. She does link to outside sources, but uses them to support her stance and argument. She uses phrases like “I believe” to assert her opinion and discusses how she “hopes” that “the new decade will see the fashion industry tackle the issues of minimizing waste and making the most of resources with a new and determined resolve.”

 

This type of language is very loaded and is not presenting any facts. It is only discussing her personal thoughts and feelings. 

 

I would not consider this a credible article at all. In fact, it’s probably the least credible of all the articles discussed today. 

 

 Lein is not even a part of the sustainable fashion industry, she’s an influencer and marketer, and this makes me skeptical about whether she is qualified to be giving her opinion about the topic. If she were to have worked in the industry, I think I would be more obliged to take what she has to say to heart, but nowhere in the article does it discuss her qualifications for this.

 

I think that forbes should have also been more upfront about this being an opinion piece. Sustainable fashion is such a trendy topic right now, and it’s important that facts are being reported. 

If you scroll your mouse over where it labels the article as a “council post” it says that all opinions expressed are those of the author (pictured above), but this is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. I think many readers could easily take this piece as fact without knowing who the author is, or seeing that Forbes has in fact labeled it as opinion.  

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students

Media Critic Topic

Starting this week, I will be working towards becoming a media critic. Not of overall media, but of one specific topic. For a while I was going back and forth between what I should choose. What do I care about? What sorts of news am I already following on a daily basis that could be analyzed even more in depth? After a bit of soul searching, the answer became clear to me: sustainable fashion. 

Capstone Project: Everlane“Capstone Project: Everlane” by Brynn McKinstry is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Sustainable fashion is something I care deeply about. I try to shop either second hand or from brands I know have ethical production methods, and sustainable fashion is even a part of my job. I currently work for Buffalo Exchange, which is a resale store where people can come in to sell their used clothing instead of it ending up in landfills. Resale stores like these have been gaining popularity over the last few years, and it’s exciting to be in a place that encourages reusing clothing.

 

  As much as I love fashion and clothing, the industry is one of the highest producers of waste.

King of the Trash Hill“King of the Trash Hill” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It is a well known fact that the fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter behind the oil industry and this article from EDGE fashion intelligence puts into perspective just what that means. By integrating sustainable fashion into your wardrobe, or by buying sustainably, you can help to reduce these numbers and minimize your carbon footprint. If we want to stop the deterioration of our planet through climate change and be able to enjoy fashion for years to come, something needs to happen. This is where sustainable fashion comes in. 

 

But what exactly is sustainable fashion? While the term can mean different things to different people, I see it as clothing that is produced in the most ethical way possible with regards to both the environment and socio-economics. This could mean that the products are made out of recycled or organic materials, that they aren’t using excess water, that their dyes are safe for handling or not made out of harsh chemicals, or even that they ship their products in recyclable packaging. Every “sustainable” brand is different, but at least they are making an effort to take the environment into consideration. Another aspect of sustainable fashion is that the brand’s employees should be paid a living wage in safe working conditions, unlike many fast fashion or unsustainable brands who produce their garments in sweatshops. 

 

Sustainable fashion sadly doesn’t see a lot of mainstream media coverage, and this to me is very frustrating. We see articles all the time about climate change and the innovative ways people are working to combat it, but rarely do these articles have to do with the sustainable fashion industry. If fashion is the world’s second leading polluter, you would think the industry warrants more coverage from big name media outlets like CNN, BBC,  The New York Times or The Washington Post. Typically when I do see articles about sustainable fashion, it’s from outlets that focus on fashion, like Vogue or Just-Style. Occasionally I do also see a good article from Forbes, but this makes sense since they’re focusing on business and fashion is a big one. 

 

While I am glad to see sustainable fashion is being covered somewhere, it would be nice to see it on a platform with a wider range of audiences. 

Typically, if I am looking for information about sustainable fashion, I’ll go to a platform that specializes on the topic. My favorites to check regularly are WTVOX, Global Fashion Agenda and EDGE: Fashion Intelligence. Both of these platforms solely post about the happenings of sustainable fashion, and often provide smaller stories that wouldn’t have gotten picked up by larger platforms such as Vogue. The downside to this is that the content is definitely more biased. They aren’t typically giving both sides of the story, or reporting on any fast fashion news, which can still relate to sustainability. They very clearly have an agenda to promote sustainable fashion, and sometimes even write whole articles about their own work in the field, but those are the articles that I am more skeptical of. Overall, I think it’s important that someone is reporting the happenings in the sustainable fashion field, even if is from organizations that are in the field as well.

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students

Blogging Assignment – 24-hour Media Use

When tracking my media use for a full day, I was surprised to realize just how much content I consume on a regular Friday. To give an overview of my daily routine, I typically work from 9-5, come home, do homework, and then around 9:00 I’ll make dinner with my boyfriend and we’ll watch a movie or tv show as we eat before going to bed a few hours later. It sounds simple, but throughout the day, even when working for eight hours, I still consumed a lot of media. 

The first thing I noticed was that I am someone who goes on my phone every chance I get. I started off my morning at 7:30 and promptly looked through my instagram feed. I don’t follow a lot of dedicated news accounts on there, but I do follow a lot of magazines that occasionally post journalistic content such as Dazed and Paper. Right now, a lot of this revolves around the happenings of Paris Fashion Week. I typically don’t have the time to read articles from these magazines in the morning, but on this day, one about the designer brand Comme Des Garcon models of all colors sporting cornrows on the runway stood out to me, so I gave the entire article a read. This was the only full news article I read for the day. As I got ready for work, I watched a couple of YouTube videos related to veganism and cooking, checked Instagram one last time, and then headed out. While at work our phones have to be put away. I did scroll through my twitter feed for about 15 minutes on my lunch break. On Twitter I follow more news accounts like CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. This is typically where I get my news content. Every couple of days I will go to the actual websites and catch up on things I may have missed just from social media, but on this day I did not. While I may be following more news accounts on Twitter, I noticed that I still pay more attention to posts made by my friends and tend to skim over news posts unless they are important, breaking stories. 

When I got home from work I watched one more YouTube video relating to fashion before starting on homework. This day I mainly just had to read and take notes for an upcoming quiz. The textbook is titled Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, 6th Edition, by Ruth V. Russell. I checked my Instagram feed a few times while working, but wasn’t really consuming any news content, just posts from friends and influencers that I follow. 

  I ended the night by watching the movie Reservoir Dogs followed by a YouTube video titled “27 Things You Didn’t Know About Reservoir Dogs”. 

As for the credibility of the media sources I visited I have ranked them as the following below:

 

Paper Magazine- 6

Dazed and Confused Magazine- 6

Insider Magazine- 7.5

New York Times- 10

CNN- 10

Washington Post- 10 

NPR- 10

Complex- 5 

Vogue Runway- 9 

 

I ranked both Paper and Dazed Magazine as a 6 because both of them tend to be pretty biased. They have a lot of opinion writing style content and tend to have clear viewpoints in their articles that are news related. I believe to be a credible news source, the content should be neutral toned, free of bias, and focus on the facts. 

Insider I ranked a 7.5. I don’t read a lot of articles from this platform, so I feel like I need to engage with it more to give it a proper rating. From what I can tell, Insider seems to be doing good journalistic work. They’re unbiased and and are transparent about sources, however I am always skeptical of news platforms that are new to me.

Complex, which is an online fashion news blog, I ranked as a 5. I put them below Paper and Dazed because they don’t have as wide of a range of content they create, and they as well tend to be biased. I know their have also been multiple instances in the past of them not doing thorough reporting jobs and facing backlash for this. While their articles and posts are entertaining, I take them with a grain of salt. 

The New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, and NPR I all ranked as a 10 because I know that they are well trusted news media outlets that value credibility. For the most part their articles are free of a biased tone and present the reader with important information that has been fact checked. I know that when I read articles from these outlets that I will be able to understand the situation being discussed and form my own opinions about it. 

Lastly, I ranked Vogue Runway as a 9. Vogue Runway is  Twitter/Instagram fashion news platform that focuses on just that; news. I think they are credible because they are simply reporting the happenings of the fashion world and not really making any commentary on them like many other fashion outlets do.

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