Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saving Truth
I am feeling very colorful on this topic, sensitive as it might be. Saving Truth is a term coined by Appiah in his book about cosmopolitanism that has been more of a personal journey for me in seeing from a different eye how I am viewed as a person by society and how I think.
So this term means that money should not be a determing factor to how we think as a corporation, non-profit, or individual, but who gives or offers the money should be the main factor.
Class example was whether MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving should receive money from Absolut Vodka. WOW! That's deep!
I come from a tribe in Kenya that is known to love money. Jokes have been made about the Kikuyu since time began. But I am in the US now and in an ethics class. Money should not be the basis of any decision made in any business, but rather the motive behind the offering of money. Nothing in this world is free and so if the deal is too good think twice.
MADD should not even think of accepting the money from the liquor company, what message they sending across if they did accept it? That it is okay so drink vodka, just do it to a limit do not get drunk and don't drive, that makes no sense.
So who should they aceept money from? An organisation that justly has positive wishes for the company.
It's like one of my biggest issues is my faith, I am a Christian and have my beliefs. I will not work for any alcohol company or tobacco related company. But will I work for a PR firm that has any of the above clients?
It's not such a thin line between whether to accept the money or not, it should be about how the individual company or non profit feels about it and how the individual feels after they have accepted the money.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turnabout is fair play
When Jesse Levine created the map in 1982, he was playing around with a map and he realized that whatever is ontop looks more important than what is below it. I tried to find a clear link of the map to show a picture of the map but none is complete. This is a map that is upside down withLatin America above North America.
Once you place the map on a table or any flat surface, it gives you this feeling of turning it right side up. Because of how we are used to seeing it. North America up, Latin America down.
It makes you think how you will never see the true picture of anything until you look at it from all angles.

Czeched Out
Was the title of a question column that Dr. Lambiase asked us in class to read. It was published in the Ethicist.I did not know they had such a section like that in NY times. Our main focus was the second question, on ethics. The question was " My employer skirts laws by selling employees merchandise tax-free items that are not. I have objected many times but am alwaystold ,"it's no big deal" I work in accounting ,but these misdeeds don't fall under my area of responsibility. If I report this to the state, I risk being fired. What should I do?"
Well Mr. Randy Cohen, responded by telling him that he did not have to tell any one about it, because he did not get directly affected by the whole deal. He went on to say that unless he cannot completely be okay with the situation, then he should "update his resume and call the cops."
Well I am about to share my opinion, like it counts..
Wrong is wrong however you look at it. Whether you are affected directly or not. It is still wrong. I have not been in such a situation and maybe my opinion will change once I am working in the real world. I pray it does not but where do you draw the line and say I am going to be ethical and not care about putting food on the table, or I need the job so I will keep it to myself?

What do I think about me?
This discussion on cosmopolitanism has been extra exciting. We had to come up with a list of things that we think we are. Here is my list.
Kenyan, Student, Foreigner, Christian, Teacher, Leader, Child, Female, Girlfriend(feel like wife), worker, friend, sister.
That's what I came up with. So after that exercise we shared our thoughts in class and Dr. Lambiase made me think hard about my situation. What on my list makes me feel like I am in an 'out' group? I said it was the Kenyan part. I am in America and loving it, but I am still an outsider. The funny and sad thing is that when I go to Kenya, in as much as I would like to be considered Kenyan, the fact that I have lived in the US, people at home treat me differently. I am then the out group in Kenya.

How different are we?
Sitting in class today we got a cool assignment. Find someone you have never spoken too and find out as many differences and similarities you share.
I spoke to Spencer Campbell. He is a tall caucasian male. There start the differences. I am a short African Female. He loves ham, and hates turkey, I love turkey and hate ham. He is not religious but votes republican, I am a christian and vote democratic. He is from Garland, but currently lives in Bedford, TX, I am from Kenya and live in Dallas, TX.
His favorite sport is football, mine is soccer.
He has been to Europe, specifically, England, and hates British food.
I have been to England and I love thefood, just because that is what I was brought up around.
We are both journalism students,at UNT.
None of us is a member of any groups or clubs on campus.
We are both close to our families, and would love to spend more time with them.
We are both non-traditional students. A little older than the average student on campus.

As PR students, knowing about the people around us is so important and this little exercise just helped me realize that we really don't pay that much attention to the people and the lives around us. It's almost the end of the semester and we are in a fairly small class and have never spoken to him before.

Comedian Michael Richards.
Where do I start on this one. I saw the clip of his act on, they tried to censor what he said but it was all clear. We are in 2006 almost '07 and some people still think like that.He called a group of African Americans the 'N' word and went on and on about how they are nothing but lowlifes. Clearly I am an African and I was offended and it made me think about our class discussions on cosmopolitanism. When do we begin to see each other as an equal. He implied that if this was slave years, the guy would be hanging on a tree with a fork up his @#$%^&*. How does he think like that? I would hate to be his PR official right now. He is in a little too deep. The news said that he had hired a PR agency that is close related to the African American community. I am not sure how he will get out of this one. But I am keeping my eyes and ears open to see how it unfolds. I tend to agree with the comedian Sinbad, he said he would like to see him show up on stage on Sunday, which is Chocolate City and see if he will make an apology.
I am still stunned, but the sad truth is that there is still millions of Americans that still think like Michael Richards.

PR in religion.
The cover on the Wall Street Journal, on Nov. 25-26 was the Pope shaking hands with a group of muslims. After what he said a few months about Islam, one cannot help but ask themsleves if this a PR stunt or a true confession from the Pope to the Islam religion. His remarks about his opinion on the Isalm religion were taken badly by the Muslims and it sparked many discussions all over the world and in our classroom. In class we were able to conclude that if you are a leader of a religious group of people, what you say will not always be approved by the rest of the world but will be heard by everyone that listens and many times will start a war of words and sometimes escalate to a physical war.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Life is what you make it
It is such a shame for me as a PR major to do my own kind of networking the year before I graduate. Better late than never, my mum always said. Yesterday, I had the priviledge as so did half of UNT, to watch the Dallas Mavs at a scrimmage on campus. I was not even going to go until a friend bribed me into going, where are my ethics???, anyway we went.
It was a great experience but for me was the people I met. I got a chance to talk to the sales manager and picked up her card. It may or may not lead to a job opportunity but I am going to make the most of it anyway.
Networking, I have heard of it but, I am the world's largest procrastinator and just started doing it.Introducing myself to everyone , picking up business cards, making phone calls and keeping up open communication with these contacts.
So I have been giving my self a talk and I will change. In less than two months, I will say goodbye to UNT, the question is will I take all that Dr. Lambiase, Dr. Wells and everyone else has taught me about PR and how life is in the 'outside life' ? I am not sure but today it dawned on me, I need to change the way I do things and catch up with the rest of life.
I will start right now and check out Dr. Lambiase blog for the case study homework.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Life is what you make it
I have been keeping up with Anderson Cooper on his week long story on Africa. I am sad that this is going on in my background. I pray for a time when we can have peace in most if not all of Africa.I keep praying the journalists stay safe.Here is a link to their blog.Read them and cry when you have to it is sad.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thank God for freedom in America.
Freedom is what you choose to make it. I read this article in our local newspaper in Kenya and it was about how journalists are treated badly. As a journalist it is sad to hear and see how badly other countries treat journalists. In as much as there is a sense of freedom back home, it is still very limited. I am proud to be from Kenya, but it is sad when we see such things.

We are back again
I was one of the jokers that were mentioned in class on Wednesday. I am not sure why, but I am so tired of school right now. Not in a bad way but I am going through senioritis. For real. My man keeps saying I have always had it, but I am just honestly burnt out. They need to find a cure for this. I need it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Final Project
Race and Gender as seen on the news
This study was done as part of a group project; I closely worked with Mike and Emily on looking at how race and gender is depicted on local channels around the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. Looking at three main stations, Mike looked at channel 4, Emily looked at channel 5 and I focused on channel 8. Then we were to combine all our studies to answer the research question… How is the diverse cast of news anchors or reporters differentiated by the news stories they report and the way they look on the air?

Summary of Findings.
As my focus of study, Channel 8, WFAA in Dallas, Fort Worth early evening news was my topic. Taking the 5.00pm and 6.00pm news, I decided to look at how race was represented. Looking at how diverse they were and also looking at the gender distribution among the newscasters, the eyes of the news. I also tried to look at the stories that they read but it was rather difficult to tell especially after looking at the news on May 30, May 31st and June 01st 2006, days that all that was on the news was about the Dallas Mavericks, the basketball team in the city.
Race was evenly distributed, there was always a minority on the news, while on the area of gender, men dominated the screen.
Another thing that I focused on was how the main news anchors were sitting, and how their appearance was shown.

According to a study done by John Fiske on the Codes of Television, he describes the codes in three levels. Level one, he calls Reality. This is where we code according to appearance or dress or make-up. Level two is the representation; this is where we see how camera and lighting brings out the anchors being discussed. In level three, he discusses the ideology which is where we see how race is placed in it all or gender or class. How does this tie into my study? It is important for the news viewer to look at how the anchors are positioned in front of the camera and how they are strategically assigned to a certain story at a certain time of the broadcast.

The corpus of my study was three consecutive days of early evening news on Channel 8 and where I looked at the main news anchors, Gloria Campos – Hispanic Female, Jeff Brady – Caucasian Male, Pete Delkus – Caucasian Male, Macie Jepson – Caucasian Female, John Mcaa- African American male. I looked at how a crew of five people is placed on the set and how they are dressed and what articles they read and at what time of the news. For example on the first two days, Jeff Brady read the first article and it was the biggest news of the day.

The Method used, I chose to use, content analysis and I used both qualitative and quantitative analysis. I used statistics from all days used and came to a conclusion that men read the first story of the day. I also looked at the way the both genders were represented and how they were described. The results were that, the men were sitting on the right of the camera and the women were on the left. Gets one wondering if that has anything to do with the good and evil and the side they are placed although that will be a study for another time .Also the clothes that they wear, pretty professional so the clothes did not give any conclusions, their make up is also very well done, as is expected on the camera.

My findings were that after watching the early evening news for the three days, I came to conclude that the news cast is diverse although they still have more white anchors than they have any other race. They have one black, one Hispanic and three white anchors. In as much as it is diverse we still see a hitch in the ratio. Also when it comes to gender, the traditional news cast has always been white male. Since the early seventies when we saw the rise of women joining the news team, we have come a along way. Now we do have women on the news. Channel 8 has more men per news show because when we include the weather man and maybe traffic, men still dominate the early evening news.

The results of this study concludes that there is diversity in the news cast and that it does not really mean that the gender that the anchor is tells what news they red or how long they are on the air for. But we do see that the women are placed strategically to the left of the camera like if the camera an inch to the right, they would be invisible. It is 2006 and such things are still noticeable. Is it a question of what gender they are?
For more conclusions on my colleagues work please view their blogs.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My trip was worth it.
YEESSSS Mavs did it. I am so happy now I am sitting down to finish up my project and I am trying to get excited about it. Dr. Lambiase, I just checked your blog and I am sure he did his research but I still think it was the wrong way to use the term. Thanks for putting that awareness out there. Thanks again for the class it was worth my three weeks.

Life is what you make it
I drove all the way to dallas to watch the mavs game, big screen and on HDTV .I mean is it that big of a deal to drive 53 miles just for a game? I sure do hope the team will win making it worth my trip and the high cost of gas.
Go mavs.

I just got out of class and my jaw is still dropped.We just watched Bamboozled. This is a must see movie for all people. Racial issues are killing out nation and our children. On the weekend I got to spend time with a group of ladies from our church at a retreat, it was an awesome time just reflecting on God's goodness. The main speaker spoke on Standing Up as women and especially as Black women in the USA. Being from Kenya, I am not referred to as black but, as Kenyan. It's amazing how now I am no longer referred to as Kenyan but as black. Okay so back to the movie, the group of people or the gang that kills Mantan at the end is called MAUMAU. To any Kenyan, this word means so much to us. A little history lesson to you all. The Maumau, was the group of Kenyan's that fought for our freedom. They were a group of very courageous men and women that fought the British colonialists until we gained our freedom as a country in 1963. How does Spike Lee name the evil rebellious gang Maumau? I think that before any movie or TV scriptwriter, sits down to write a script, they should first do their research to what is being portrayed on their shows and the names used.I choose to Stand Up as a Kenyan and say that I will not let anyone whatever race, gender,religion or creed talk bad about my People.