My Digital Security

This week’s module has really opened my eyes to the different ways that I could protect myself on the Internet. In my opinion, I’ve always been a pretty safe Internet user, but this weeks’ material touched on ways to take precautions and counteract data mining and hacking attempts that I was not aware of.

When it comes to my own digital security, I don’t really use any of the methods suggested in the reading and lectures, and now I feel pretty foolish about it.  I never knew that I could get my devices encrypted to protect myself from any sort of access to my actual data, but this may be due to the possibility that these services were not available when I first became an avid user of the Internet. Now that I know it’s possible, it only makes sense to use it as it seems to be one of the most protective options available right now.

I don’t use the Internet too often for things that need anonymous browsing, but I believe that everyone has the right to have anonymity while browsing. I’ve never looked into private browsing services, but will now check out Tor as suggested by the material. I may not be using the Internet for anything that needs anonymous browsing, but after learning what can happen to my data, I’m planning on downloading the software after this post.

Another security measure that I’m guilty of not using, is software updates. I honestly never knew the importance of software updates, besides adding new features to the device. The updates always seem to occur when I’m currently using my device for something important and don’t have time to sit and wait for an update, and then eventually forget that there was an update in the first place. When I really think about it, it makes sense that it’s improving security since most of the updates are, “bug fixes,” which could include gaps in the software security. I’m definitely going to start updating all of my devices when updates are available, and I’m thankful that the material showed me the importance of these updates and that they’re not just an annoyance.

I’m not a very paranoid Internet user, and this week hasn’t changed that, but it has opened my eyes to the availability of services that can protect me. I haven’t used any of these methods previously like I mentioned, but I would rather be protected online than not and plan on looking further into each of the suggestions provided in the material. I believe that if there’s an option for more privacy, then why not use it? It will only make me feel more comfortable and I can’t really see a reason not to. The easiest thing to tend to first is updating the software on all of my devices, then I’m going to  download Tor for safer browsing, and then from there I’ll look further into encryption software as well.



Law & Media

Before this week’s module I had known a little bit about law and media due to some of my other courses, but it was mostly focused on privacy and third-party websites.  After finishing the readings this week, my eyes are opened to a different perspective of laws that are affecting media use as well as some abuse of these laws.

The readings focused mostly on copyright, privacy, and defamation, and it seems like the issue is not so much the creation of laws, but that these laws are not being enforced or in the case of copyright takedowns, being abused.

Copyright takedowns worry me in the sense that copyright holders can abuse their ownership.  Any little thing they determine to be copyright can be followed with a notice for takedown, and if the case gets taken to court, it’s a situation of who has the means to afford legal representation, which in most cases is very expensive. I’m not advocating the use of copyrighted material, but learned that this system of takedowns can be abused, which is scary and unfair to the many journalists and writers out there.

While copyright takedowns worry me, I find defamation claims to be less troublesome. I’m an avid believer of not spreading false claims, talking maliciously about someone,  or spreading rumors about anyone or anything unless there is further evidence to support it, so online should be no different. I believe that a person has the right to freedom of speech, and can write about whatever they’d like online, but if making claims about a topic, positive or negative, it should be followed by solid evidence that supports it. As long as there is supporting evidence, I don’t see how anyone could win a defamation case. With that being said, if I’m going to become an avid blogger or journalist, I would be sure, like the reading suggests, to stay up to date on ways to avoid legal risks just be extra safe.

Another topic that was covered this week was net neutrality, something that I was concerned about when it first became threatened in 2017.  I tried to educate my friends and family on why it would be a bad decision to repeal net neutrality, but it seemed that a lot of people didn’t understand what it was, or didn’t care enough to  pay attention. Unfortunately the fight to keep the law was repealed and net neutrality was no more.  Even though our net neutrality repeal hasn’t led to extreme circumstances like in some other countries, it still concerns me that if internet service providers really wanted to limit access to certain things, they could. It seems like an easy way to censor the public from certain sites and services that should be available to everyone, and in my opinion that’s dangerous territory.

I’ve always been a user of media, but until this past year I was not aware of what kind of laws could affect my media use and what I do online.  I was becoming more aware on the issue of privacy, but this week’s readings really opened my eyes to specific laws and issues that are currently happening.  I feel that I’m definitely going to change the way I use media after learning more about the laws that are affecting it, such as learning that leaving a comment could lead to a copyright lawsuit, or ways to make sure you’re safe from defamation lawsuits when sharing an opinion online. Overall, this module taught me to be more careful with what I post, the importance of privacy and privacy settings, and my rights and risks when using the Internet.


My Wikipedia Experience

I am no stranger to and have visited the site many times. As most people, I used the site as a consumer, reading article after article, finding little gold mines of information that I could verify and consider to be accurate and true. Wikipedia has always been of great service from the consumer stand point, but now it was time for me to dip my toes into the editing aspect of the site, and let me tell you it felt overwhelming at first.

I never realized how many rules and standards there were when editing a Wikipedia page, and always thought that anyone could just make an account and start editing. It took me by surprise when I found out there are training modules to help teach how to properly use Wikipedia and edit an article successfully, but understood why. I’m glad they provided these modules because I referenced them multiple times when editing the Wikipedia page I chose.

After completing the training modules, I decided to scope Wikipedia for articles I could possibly edit and add useful information to. I’m not an expert on a lot of things, but I do know a lot about skateboarding so I decided to check out some of the Skateboarding topics that Wikipedia offered. The training modules showed me how I can search a Wikiproject, such as skateboarding, and it will provide an assessment table that sorts articles by importance and amount of editing needed.

After searching that table, I decided to edit the Enjoi Skateboarding Wikipedia page since they’re from San Jose California, close to my hometown of Gilroy. I know a lot about the company already, and the page seemed like it was lacking recent information about the team; possible information that I could provide! I noticed that the page had a section titled, “2014-Present,” talking about the most recent most recent projects Enjoi has participated in, except the last time the section was updated was in 2014.

I decided to focus on that section, and wanted to add some information about a recent video series that Enjoi has been filming for the last 3-4 years titled, “Panda Patrol.” I figured this has been the most recent and consistent skateboarding content that Enjoi has released in the past 3 years, so it should probably be added to the section discussing what the team is currently doing

As the training modules suggests, I went to Enjoi’s Wikipedia talk page to see if there had been any recent conversation about adding content to the page, and the last update was to the external links by a bot in 2017. I saw this as a good opportunity to add to the page, and left a comment about my suggestion of adding, “Panda Patrol,” to the 2014-Present section.

My comment on the talk page suggesting updates to the 2014-Present section

I waited about a week in order to see if anyone was going to comment back, letting me know if they agreed or disagreed with my suggestion, but no response. At that point, I went ahead and made the edit that I thought was necessary.

My edit to the 2014-Present section, adding information on the, “Panda Patrol,” series.

I made sure to include in-text links to other Wikipedia pages when possible, and that all of my external references get added in as a citation rather than being linked directly on the page. So far, I have not received any feedback from experienced Wikipedians, and my edit remains on the Enjoi Wikipedia page, so I’m assuming that I was successful in editing the page correctly.  Since the page didn’t have an active talk page, I’ll make sure to come back when some time has passed to see if my edit is still there, and if not found out why it has been removed.

I had to reference the training modules every step along the way, like I mentioned earlier, just to make sure that I was doing everything correctly, because there is actually a lot of steps to the process. I found it overwhelming at first, and I really didn’t want to mess pages up for other people by formatting incorrectly or some sort of beginner mistake.  Once I committed to editing an article, the actual formatting and writing was easier than expected, but finding verified sources was a bit harder and took a little bit of time. Of course, just like with everything in life, practice makes perfect. I now feel more confident in adding little edits to pages I’m well-versed in and slowly building the skill to one day edit a whole section, or create an entire page.

It’s not as easy as I once thought, where anyone can log in and edit an article willy nilly. It’s a strong and committed community working together to provide a place where people can get trusted information or at least be linked to a trusted source.  I have a new found respect for those who are major Wikipedia editors, not only because they’ve mastered the formula of editing on Wikipedia, but that they also devote their time and effort to make sure that correct information is out there for people to read.


The Grandmother Problem

In the age of digital media, the possibility of sharing information is becoming more accessible and easier to do. While this advancement in technology and communication is amazing, sometimes the information being shared by people we know is not always the truth. This is what Arizona State University’s News Co/Lab refers to as, “The  “Grandmother Problem,” and many of us often face this issue while browsing our various social media platforms. This problem can be solved by encouraging our followers and the people spreading this misinformation to verify what they’re sharing, but this raises one question, how can we enlighten our friends and family without offending or fighting with them?

This is not as simple of a task as it may sound, but I’ll share what I believe is the best way to enlighten our loved ones without offending them in the process.

The first step to this process that I would suggest, is to remember to be patient. Most people don’t like to hear that what they believe is false, or that their idea of the truth is wrong, so remembering to be patient through the process is going to be essential. I believe that having a patient mind will not only make your responses more well thought-out , but will help you stay civil throughout the conversation too.

The second step would be to gather the correct information on the topic from verified and reliable sources to ensure that the misinformation being spread is actually false, and that you can relay the correct information to the person you are trying to clear things up with. You shouldn’t try to accuse someone of spreading false information if you haven’t verified or researched the topic yourself.  Once you believe you have the right amount of evidence to support what you’re saying to be true and what ‘s being shared to be false, then you can attempt to start a conversation with the person you want to educate.

The third step, in my opinion, is to approach the conversation in a respectful way. Do not embarrass or talk down to the person you are in conversation with, and remember that you can send a private message before reply in the post comments. Sometimes the situation can be handled in a private message and there is no need to put the other person on display. If you attempt to contact the person privately and they’re either rude or in denial of the information you’re providing, then you can use your discretion to appropriately alert the other followers in the post comments that this information is not correct.

If after attempting all of these steps the person sharing misinformation does not correct their post, take down their post, or ends up unfriending you, don’t be too hard on yourself. Not everyone is going to be as receptive to this attempt of education as you’d like, and you can’t win them all. In the end It’s better to attempt to help spread correct information in a respectful and appropriate way, rather than let your loved ones continue to believe misinformation as well as spread it to their following.


A Brief Guide to the USA Olympic Skate Team

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are around the corner and, as I’ve mentioned in my past blogs, skateboarding is going to be the newest event included.  As a repeat contender, the USA will obviously participate in the skating events, which sparked my curiosity about the USA team and whole olympic skating process. So, after doing some research, I’ve compiled a small list of the best sources I could find and hope to educate someone unfamiliar with the new event and the USA skate team on some of the best information.

This is a great interview from The Berrics‘ YouTube channel with Josh Friedberg, CEO of USA skateboarding(the national governing body for skateboarding in the US), that explains a little bit of history behind skateboarding itself, and then goes into great detail about skateboarding as an event in the upcoming Olympic games.  This piece is a great starting point for understanding USA skating and the rules of the events coming up since Josh is a key member in making it happen.

Source: The Berrics YouTube Channel

The quotas are set up so that no more than 3 people from any one country in any event can compete…Josh Friedberg discussing the rules of skateboarding in the 2020 Olympics



This is a page from the World Skate Organization giving a detailed outline of how skaters can qualify for the upcoming Olympics, as well as the process of qualifications. This is solid source of information since it’s coming from the organization creating the rules for the skating events, and is a great learning tool for someone unfamiliar with how qualifications work and want to know the detailed steps.


The Women’s Park and Street events and Men’s Park and Street events will each be comprised of exactly 20 athletes: the three (3) highest placed in the 2020 Season World Skate World Skateboarding Championship events will be directly qualified. Sixteen (16) will be qualified through the Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings (OWSR) and one (1) Host Country place will be allocated to the highest ranked Host Country skateboarders in each event.” – World Skate Qualification Pathway, Section D. 


Here’s a great article by Stu Gomez on The Berrics webstie, introducing the 2020 Olympic Men’s and Women’s park and street team, so that people can get familiar with the talented folks who they might see competing on the big screen. It’s a great starting point for someone to learn names of skaters competing on the USA team, and possibly spark interest into learning more about these athletes.


Josh Friedberg, USA Skateboarding’s CEO, was on the mic introducing 16 skaters who will make history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” – Stu Gomez



By: Dave Carnie

This is a pretty interesting article by Dave Carnie for Transworld Skateboarding showing some of the designs being created for the 2020 Olympic skate uniforms, including the US, as well as a little backstory behind the inspiration and the rules and regulations of Olympic uniforms. This is a very informative article for anybody wanting to learn more about how skating in the Olympics will look and why.


It should also be noted that Olympic skaters are allowed to wear their own shoes and ride their own equipment (boards, trucks, wheels, etc.) at all times and the Nike apparel is only mandatory during Olympic events.” – Dave Carnie



  • “Skateboarders wonder whether the Olympics will change sport’s renegade image” By: Rick Maese

This last article is interesting because, in my opinion, it gives a very unbiased view on how skating in the Olympics may be affecting skateboarding culture. Rick Maese for the Washington Post gets many perspectives from pros in the skating community about how the culture might change due to the Olympics, some good thoughts and some…. not so good. This may not be teaching more about the technical aspects of skating in the Olympics, but I found it to be an interesting perspective to report on, and those who may not know skating may not even realize this type of backlash could be caused by the Olympics.


The International Olympic Committee, desperate for a younger audience, saw an opportunity to inject something fresh into its summer lineup, a decision that was embraced by some skaters but cursed by others. What they mostly agree on: Good or bad, the new platform could bring big changes to the sport. – Rick Maese

Media Consumption Pt. 2:

After another week of exploring the Internet looking for credible and valuable sources to use in this weeks blog, I thought back on my previous post about my media consumption and if anything is different or has changed.  To my surprise, I’ve actually changed my behaviors a bit since I first started writing this blog, even though it doesn’t really feel like it.  I’ve noticed that I’ve been heading to The Washington Post more often than I used to, but that seems like the only new site I’ve consistently visited this past week looking for a good story.

A change in behavior that I have also noticed is that I’m using social media less to find specific topics of interest or sources to research. This week I was using google a lot more to search a topic, visit multiple websites speaking on that topic,  read and determine what I thought was relevant, and then research the source to decide if it was trustworthy or not. Before, I would most likely just visit websites or research people that I had already known about, but now it seems that I’m able to pick out important bits of information from multiple credible sources. I hope to keep my media consumption open to different perspectives, and from what I’ve noticed since the start of this blog, I’ve been slowly working toward that.


Women on Wheels

This week I wanted to take a look an interesting article titled, “How a Group of Women Fought for Equal Pay in Contest Skating,” and analyze the overall quality of it. I want to be able to show you why this is a credible story to read, what makes it credible, and then give it a final grade that represents my feeling on how well this article was written.

If you’ve read my previous blogs, in the past I’ve mentioned that skateboarding is being introduced to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and that will definitely include a men’s and women’s section. This is great news, but one touchy aspect that is associated with competitions is the amount of pay each athlete earns. In the past, women of the professional skate world were making significantly less than men for winning a competition. The article states that back in 2005, the men’s cash prize for the X-Games was $50,000, while the women’s was only $2,000, even though they take place on the same exact course. In order to find out how these women were able to close this wage gap, and bring an equal pay to both men and women competition skaters, you’ll have to read the article here. As for now let’s take a look at how well this article was reported.

There’s multiple reasons I found this article to be very credible and well written, so I’ll try and sum up the main reasons why this is a great read. The first thing I noticed was that the article uses multiple sources, and doesn’t rely on the same source for information throughout the article. The author, Ian Browning, uses a total of 9 or 10 sources to further back up information he’s included in the article, or help educate the reader on a topic he has mentioned. He references sources and information from The New York Times, Pew Research Center, the Department of LaborCalifornia Legislative information, the non-profit CalMatters, and to top it off, the founder and president of the Women’s Skateboarding Alliance, Mimi Knoop, someone who experienced the wage gap first hand and wanted to change it. The great part about his use of these sources, is that he links, when possible, every source to the webpage he received the information from, so that the reader can reference the original source.

I believe by including well-known sources such as Department of Labor, The New York Times, etc., Browning has increased the quality of the article by assuring the reader that this information is credible as well as allowing the reader to educate themselves by linking the original content, or where he learned the information from. If Browning hadn’t directly linked those sources, or used sources that weren’t a, “.org” or well-know news outlets,  the story would be harder to verify. He allows the reader to verify everything he’s saying is factual, and includes pictures from the time that Mimi Knoop and her alliance started fighting for equal pay.  The inclusion of pictures helps boost credibility because people tend to believe a story more often when there is visual evidence of it happening, and this article includes many pictures that clearly include Mimi and the alliance.

As for the reporter himself, I couldn’t find a lot of information on him and the only online sources I could find was from his Twitter and Instagram. He seems like he is heavily involved in the skating industry and would be somebody who has knowledge on this subject. His first article published on Jenkem mag was from 2016, so he has been blogging for the site for at least 4 years, giving him more experience and credibility than someone who is just starting out. I believe that Browning did a good job reporting the issues of the subject, and I don’t feel that he failed to ask any questions. He stuck to what was most important to the reader, especially since the topic of equal pay could be spoken about in great depths, and represented the wage gap issue in a fair manner. He showed that it was an issue in society and not just in skateboarding, but also gave detail on how a small group of women have influenced the equal pay we see in competitions today. I couldn’t see any bias from this writer, and it didn’t seem like he was highlighting one perspective, even though his experience in the skating world, being a guy, is most likely opposite from what he’s reporting on. It would have been easy for him to defend his own gender, but I believe he gave a fair voice to the women and subject he wrote about as well as linked to very credible, and informative sources that help educate the reader on past examples of the ongoing war of equal pay.

So, to sum up what I thought about this article, the information, and it’s credibility, I’ll give it a letter grade. *Drum roll please.* I give this article an A. I found this article to be very informative, interesting, easily readable, credible, and covers a subject in the skateboarding industry that can translate to industries as well. He represented the Women’s skate industry well and gave them a solid and fair voice without over supporting him or showing bias to his own gender. I really liked this article, and will be continuing to read blogs from Browning.


4 Fascinating Articles on Skateboarding

Skateboarding has reached an all time high in popularity, and now it’s receiving more attention and coverage than it ever has before.  With all the new interest in skating, there are a lot more mainstream news outlets covering it, as well as sources outside the mainstream, but still not as much as traditional sports. I wanted to use this post in order to show some examples of how skateboarding has been covered by different types of media, from news articles to YouTube videos.


The first story I want to share, is a news article by The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a newspaper focused on serving the millions of citizens in the Brooklyn area, and describes how the company Vans built a new indoor skatepark in Brooklyn. This is pretty typical for a news article about skateboarding, but because there isn’t an abundance of crucial information about the topic, most people won’t consider it, “news,” or the story is just not written in a news format. I’d say most of the written articles you find about skateboarding are usually an exposition piece, or some type of interview. This style of writing never really updating the public about a topic of concern in the skating industry. This is slowly changing as skateboarding is entering the Olympics, and journalists and the public get more interested in the influence of skateboarding across the globe. I would absolutely consider this article a news piece since it seems to describe a, “Who, what, when, where, and why,” situation while providing the people of Brooklyn with information on the addition to their neighborhood, as well as alert the skaters of the area that there’s a new place to check out when the weather gets frigid. The story sticks to the facts of the situation and shows no bias towards an opinion, it just lays out a short history of the Vans company and Brooklyn while providing quotes and detailed information from some professional skaters that were invited to the park, as well as Vans’ senior marketing manager.  I found this source to be credible because not only has the original Brooklyn Eagle been around since 1841, but it also has four Pulitzer Prizes and merged with its competition in 1996, so the focus of the paper is strictly on bringing news to the people of Brooklyn.  I also researched the writer of the article, Scott Enman, and found his twitter, verifying that he is a real person and took a look at some of his other work. Unfortunately, Scott is not verified, meaning the account can be easily faked, but from the tweets I saw, he was only posting links to stories from the Brooklyn Eagle, promoting articles he had written. He is also labeled as a Senior Reporter, which also gives him some credibility since he’s been with the paper long enough and provided quality work in order to move his way up to senior reporter. The last way I verified that this story was true and accurate, was by watching a YouTube video from another source showing the same event, and just as I thought, everything Scott described was right!

This is another news article about skateboarding, published by The New York Times, that actually focuses on the idea that skateboarding in the Olympics have set no age limit on who can represent their country, and so little girls from all over the world have new aspirations of becoming Olympic competitors. The article focuses a little more on the U.S. skater, Kendra Long, but overall explains what the Women’s Skating events will involve, mentions multiple other women skaters who have been killing it in the industry, and shares a perspective on what it’s like to be a young athlete inspired to make it to the Olympics.  I found this article to be considered news because even though it focused on the work and efforts of Kendra, the overall story helped educate the reader on a current event that could change countries all over the world. It reported facts on what the Women’s Olympic skating events will involve, who some of the prospects are for the upcoming Olympics, and why this introduction of skateboarding in the Olympics is reshaping Women’s skateboarding as a whole. I also found this source to be credible since it was coming from The New York Times, and even though outlets can make mistakes, they are usually pretty accurate most of the time. The reporter of the story, Scott Cacciola, also has multiple work published in The NY Times, and is also verified on his twitter account which links many of the same works you find on the NY Times website.  Scott uses many in-text links which lead to further knowledge on the topic he was referencing, such as a link to Kendra’s Instagram page, which also make him more credible since you can verify in the moment. The last bit of credibility that I noticed, was that all of the names mentioned in the article linked to real skaters, who were all in the running to be on the Olympic team. Unfortunately Kendra didn’t make it, but the 14 year old has a lot of time to practice. 

This piece of media is from a YouTube channel called Thrasher magazine, which is obviously a YouTube channel created by the skateboarding magazine, Thrasher. This is a short show hosted every week by skateboarder Gary Rodgers, and basically breaks down what he considers to be some of the most important news and events that happened in skateboarding recently. I find this reporting to be more opinion based, since Gary is basically acting like an aggregate for news, and only choosing what he finds to be the most valuable information for the short amount of time he has to speak.  It doesn’t necessarily answer the questions of who, what, where, when, and why, but it does give the viewer a heads up of what information or news they should further research on. I find Skateline to be extremely credible because it’s a show made by skater for skaters.  It’s run by two credible skate companies, Thrasher magazine and Metro Skateboarding, and also hosted by someone who has been in the industry and doing the show since 2012.

The last article I’m sharing with you is what I consider an analytical piece by the skateboarding magazine, Jenkem. This article reviews professional skateboarder Mark Suciu’s newest video part, “Verso,” and how the video is actual something of a poetic masterpiece rather than a normal skate part.  I found this article to be analytical because the author breaks down specific parts from the video, and provides evidence of how the tricks represent an ABBA format. It’s not really an article providing any news, and even though he shares opinions, most of the article is analyzing Mark, his efforts put into his video part, and the deeper meaning behind the sequences of tricks he lands. Jenkem magazine  is another source that is created by skaters for skaters, so this already leads me to believe that they’re credible.  I also know someone who personally works for the company, which also builds my trust in the company. As for the article, I can tell that the author is involved in skating by the jargon he is using when discussing Mark’s part. If you’re not familiar with skating, then some of the language he uses will be confusing and it might be a little hard to follow. The author also provides numerous in-text links to credible sources he used as  evidence that his ideas are correct.  Overall, I think this article was written really well, and is an accurate analyzation of Mark’s part and cites credible sources to further support his ideas. 


There are numerous ways that skateboarding is represented in the media, but from the articles and other examples provided above, you can see that it is  geared toward a niche audience.  As skating is introduced into the Olympics and becomes more popular around the world, hopefully the media coverage will grow as well, but as for now you can click the links I provided above, explore different articles, and learn more about skating from reliable sources.







Skateboarders: From Troublemakers to Trendsetters

As the new year settles in, one can expect to see a few new trends that are taking the younger, and possibly older generations by storm.  In the past years we’ve had fidget spinners, selfie-sticks, and most recently, the Tik Tok app shine through the saturated market of trends and make their way to the top of the trendy pyramid. If you’ve been paying attention, or at least take a look at some of the trends from the past few years, you’ll notice that slowly but surely skateboarding has been making its way to the top of the trendy list. I’m not just talking about people buying skateboards, I’m talking about the culture in general. In this generation, Skateboarding culture has a lot more influence on fashion, outdoor activities (it became an Olympic event), and even became the topic of a feature-length film in 2018. More and more celebrities are wearing skateboarding brands, and skateboarding as a whole is becoming more prominent in mainstream culture. I have no issue with skating hogging the lime-light, but when an outside culture gets brought into the mainstream, there tends to be some accurate representation along with some misrepresentation especially when a lot of people are quick to jump on the trendy bandwagon.

I’ve been skateboarding since I was eleven years old, and seeing the skateboard culture get more recognition as a sport, community, and less as a criminal activity, or something for troublemakers makes my heart happy. Yet, I still think there can be misrepresentation in mainstream media about skateboarders. I believe that social media allows skaters to share their creative abilities, music taste, fashion, and other activities with a much larger audience on a much more personal level, which helps represent skaters for who they actually are. The representation that I don’t agree with is how movies, T.V. shows, and commercials represent skateboarders. They consistently make skaters seem cheesy, stupid, and kind of loser-ish.

Now I’m not saying all movies, T.V. shows, and commercials do this, but a majority still represent the skating culture in a pretty inaccurate way.  In the well-known T.V. show Better Call Saul, one of the first episodes features a pair of skaters, who look like they should be in an ad for Target, whose main source of income were faking injuries and grabbing cash from the people who hit them. This is just one example, but I can tell you for a fact in all of my 15 years of skateboarding I’ve never once met a skater who has attempted some sort of fraud like that.  I know it’s just a fictional T.V. show, but in my opinion it links criminal activity to skateboarders which is not a proper representation at all. It would have made much more sense to have someone who is completely down on their luck attempt something like this. A person that has nothing to lose would be the one attempting a scam like that, not two random skateboarders.  This is just one example of how skateboarding can be misrepresented in the mainstream media, and like I mentioned it’s usually T.V. shows, movies, etc.

Even though there are still misconceptions about the skating culture, I must also take a moment to appreciate the advancements skateboarding has made, especially going from an activity that would get you kicked out of parking lots, to an actual Olympic sport. This is a huge step forward for the culture, and could lead to more skateparks and a more friendly view of the skating community, since the recognition worldwide would be even greater!

Hopefully this introduction into the Olympics will also lead to more coverage on the sport. Right now if you were to look on the Internet at a sports column, you’d most likely see your main sports; basketball, football, baseball, and hockey. There’s no coverage about skateboarding, so in order for an outsider to learn more about the sport and culture, they would have to visit one of the niche websites that is made by skaters. Basically, it’s not as easy to research as it is with football and other mainstream sports, but being added to the Olympics might change that.

As for information on skateboarding, I would follow as many skateboarders and skate brands on Instagram as possible, because this is the easiest way to hear directly from the company and skaters and see what their daily lives entail. I personally follow a lot of companies and skaters that are located on the East coast. Since I’ve never been there and have no idea what the skating scene and culture is like, this gives me a taste of what I could expect if I’m ever able to shred the streets of New York or any other city. Another great website to use would be Slap Magazine,  because it’s a message board for skaters, created by skaters. This is where I find the newest information on skate rumors, clothing coming out, premiers of skating video parts, etc. It’s really easy to navigate and you don’t have to have an account to read the forums, which makes it easy for someone who just wants a taste of what the community is like. The last place I go for a taste of the skating world and to grow my skating knowledge is a YouTube channel/ Podcast called, “The Nine Club.” This is a podcast and YouTube channel put on by a group of talented pro skateboarders that have been in the industry for a while, and they’ll interview other skaters, talk about recent skate videos that came out, and discuss between each other common topics in the skate industry right now. This channel also falls under the, “created by skater for skaters,” category, so the information received and subjects talked about are usually really interesting to the skateboarding community as a whole.  If you want to know anymore about skateboarding, I would try any of the previously mentioned sites first, and they’ll give you inspiration to dive deeper into a specific area of the industry.

From what I’ve seen, skateboarding is only getting more popular and slowly crawling its way up the trendy pyramid. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with more people seeing it as trendy, the easier it is for the culture to get lost. As with any culture, you can’t just jump right in and feel like you know it like the back of your hand; it takes time to understand and knowledge on the subject. So, if you’re interested in skateboarding, be sure to visit one of the sites listed and don’t rely on what the T.V. shows you.



My Daily Media Use

The following is an example of my typical media use in a 24 hour period, which is mostly spent as a consumer in the digital world.

The first thing I check in the morning is my phone to make sure I have no missed messages, phone calls, or voicemails. Then, I usually send a, “good morning,” text to my girlfriend and our conversation will be consistent throughout the day.

After checking my phone messages, I head downstairs to hop on to to see what work I must get done for the day. This particular day I checked the blogging assignment due for the week, and then continued to read each of my professors’, Dan Gillmor and Kristy Kroschke, blog examples of their daily media use.

An hour or so later, I checked my Twitter app from my phone and read some comedic tweets, favoriting a few that I thought were especially hilarious. These tweets usually come from comedians or YouTubers that I follow, rather than retweets from other people.

After I checked Twitter, I decided to relax and watch some television. Once again, I was watching shows that involved comedy and not as much news or drama.

During the time I spent watching T.V. I also posted a video to my Instagram story of one of my close friends that happened to come over a few minutes prior. Some of my followers replied to the video saying it was funny, and I replied back to a few saying something like, “I know right,” or double tapping on their comment to, “like,” it.

Once I finished up replying to some people, I decided to head onto the YouTube app via my Playstation 4. I watched a few more funny videos with my friend, before we decided to just put some regular television on.

My friend had to leave shortly after, so I was left watching Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. I’ve never actually seen that movie, so I decided to finish watching it.

While the movie was on, I opened the Twitter app again to see if there was any interesting news.

A few seconds of scrolling led me to a retweet of an LA Times article about Liz Warren denying Bernie a handshake. I decided to give the article a read, as well as the replies to the tweet itself. In all honesty, the article seemed a little pointless in my opinion, and could be causing a commotion over nothing, but everyone has there own views and I suggest you read the article I linked above and form your own thoughts rather than taking my word for it.

After reading that article, I stumbled across another tweet that linked a video showing a massive rainfall in Australia. The person who had tweeted the video had added a no source quote stating how much rain Australia has received in the last few hours. I was a bit skeptical about the accuracy or where that quote was even coming from, so I clicked on the tweet to see were the original video was posted, and was eventually led here.  As you can see the original video was posted by a verified news presenter for 9 News Australia. I decided to retweet the Australian news presenter’s tweet about how much rainfall Melbourne had received, since it seemed to be straight from the source.

Once I finished up on Twitter, I decided to hop back on YouTube to see if there was anything entertaining to watch. When I hopped on the app,  the politics section showed breaking news footage of the senate passing the USMCA deal. It was only a short 40 second video, but it was enough to spark my curiosity into understanding further what the USMCA deal was exactly.

I conducted a quick Google search on the term USMCA, and decided to further research the bill on It actually allowed me to view the bill and I was able to learn more about it. Once I had figured out more detail on the USMCA, I decided to try and figure out what results will come from it. I found an article on that explained why democrats have been supporting the bill, and gave me better reasoning on why it so easily passed by the senate.

Later in the day, like most days, I finish up my media use by watching some T.V. on one of my many streaming services(Netflix, Hulu, Playstation Vue, YouTube TV). Usually it will be live T.V. via Playstation 4. Finally when I get sleepy enough,  I hop into bed and usually fall asleep to whatever show I’m watching, which is cartoons most of the time.

I’ve noticed that I am a complete consumer of digital media, and less of a curator. I want to change that this year, and become a user who tries to share as much as they consume.


Media Source Rankings 

Here are the media sources I viewed, how I rank them in credibility and why:

  1. (10)This is the student home page for Arizona State University, so this is one of my most trusted places to find sources for information. This is usually a spot where links and stories posted here have been verified and not spread misinformation.
  2. Twitter: (6) Twitter is an interesting place for information because it can be useful due to its instantaneous spread of information and also the ability to give voices to people from all over the world. You can learn about real time incidents happening across the world and hear from people involved in it, rather than a news curator. The downside, which is why I rated it a 6, is that people can post whatever they want on Twitter, and it’s up to the other users to fact-check or verify what this person is sharing is true. If done correctly it can be used to acquire a lot of interesting information, but if not misinformation can spread like wildfire.
  3. Television: (5) Television is a great way to find information since you can tune into a news channel reporting on events of the day and hear opinions from people directly involved. The issue I have with T.V. is that each news channel is usually biased towards a certain viewpoint. Also, Television involves visual communication more than anything else, so sometimes News channels will report on a more visually pleasing event, such as a car chase, rather than something that is not as entertaining to the eye.
  4. Instagram: (4) I never get any of my information from Instagram. Instagram, in my opinion, has no checks and balances when it comes to information that people share. As long as the image is not offensive, it usually doesn’t get taken down. Instagram is completely visual, so I feel that important information isn’t shared there too often. It’s really hard to have a back and forth conversation with one person on that platform, so sharing information on politics or anything else that would spark conversation through multiple users would be difficult as well.
  5. (10) This website is published by the Library of Congress, so this is a pretty credible source when reading anything that has to do with legislation. If someone wanted to know more information, I would highly suggest this.
  6. (10): This website is now owned by The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit for Journalists. I believe the move to Poynter institute has now given this site more credibility since a nonprofit is not influenced by a political party, they can report truthfully and without  biased. This is a great place to check during debates to see what statements made might be true or false.