I remember being in middle school and hearing about the high-definition (HD) TV debut. My father was all about finding a television that had a 16:9 ratio. Well, when he purchased a HDTV (which he treated like his fourth child), it was met with his amazement on how TV was changing.
HDTV was just the start of the technological growth seen in journalism in the last decade. We have seen elements of broadcast journalism change, such as social media, the time of broadcasts, mobile-apps, and on-demand broadcasts. Print journalism outlets have also created roles for social media editors, multi-media journalists, and the outlets have also created on-demand videos for readers.
Outlets are now turning to the next technological element in broadcast journalism: Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality is not brand-new, but its growth is continuing, especially on social media platforms. Facebook has made the platform capable of uploading 360-degree video and photos. With the appropriate equipment, outlets and users can stream Facebook Live videos in the Virtual Reality format.
Outlets such as The New York Times and USA Today even have dedicated apps to Virtual Reality videos. The videos are used for fun and serious stories. We have seen Bill Nye work with NBC Newsand do Virtual Reality videos. The Washington Post also postedan augmented reality video about the case of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who died in police custody back in 2015.
Virtual Reality is becoming a competitive advantage for news outlets, and it is helping people not only understand news stories, but simulate experiencing and witnessing news events.
A recent study published by real-estate company Trulia shows that homes are the most affordable they have been in the past 40 years.
The study looked at data from 1975-2016, including median housing prices and median incomes. The company would then judge whether an area was affordable or not affordable. The study found 2016 to be more affordable than the 40 years prior.
“In 2016, the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price,” it stated. “In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.”
The study also found that home prices have grown twice as fast as wage-growth, which demonstrates the fact people are spending more of their income on housing costs.
“Adjusting for inflation, incomes have grown 27 percent between 1980 and 2016, while home prices have grown 62 percent,” it stated.
As of February 2018, the Ithaca Board of Realtors found that closed sales are up 13.4 percent, while the median price is down 1.4 percent.
A study published in 2016 by the Washington Post looked at housing prices from 2004 to 2015, it found Ithaca’s zip code, 14850, saw a 42 percent increase in property values. Homes in Ithaca are worth $78,708 more than they would have been in 2004.
This study illustrates Ithaca’s housing crisis. In the special report published by The Ithaca Voice, the publication showed the causes behind the lack of affordable housing in Ithaca.
The paper found a variety of factors contributing to the lack of affordable housing in Ithaca including construction, student housing, and tax costs to landlords and homeowners.
Ithaca’s Mayor Svante Myrick told the online publication the housing struggle is a challenge, and said the city needs to look at all helping all demographics.
“It’s impossible to hurt one without hurting the other, and it’s impossible to help one without helping the other. If we build more student housing, that will help permanent residents; if we built more housing for permanent residents, that will help students,” Myrick told The Ithaca Voice.
The Trulia study finds housing is more affordable in the U.S., but in Ithaca, the city is in the midst of a years-long struggle for affordable housing. Ithaca is an exception to the study and affordable housing continues to be one of the city’s major struggles.
Last summer marked the debut of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft in Ithaca, and now a bike-sharing service is also coming to the community.
Bike-sharing got its start in China, and the service helps reduce vehicle traffic in congested areas, not to mention the benefits of exercise and less emissions.
The first bike-share program is going to make its debut this month. The Ithaca bike-share program, Bike Walk Tompkins, is partnering with Lime Bike to bring bikes to the city. These bikes have GPS tracking, and lock when not in use. They are also designed not to be stolen or torn apart.
Mayor Svante Myrick expressed support for the program on his Facebook page:
“A thrilling new program that will make it easier than ever to bike around town and help solve the 'last mile problem' of public transportation,” he stated.
The program will be dock-less in the city, and the bikes can be left wherever the person gets off of the bike. This supplies a challenge, cities like Dallas now have an issue with sidewalks full of locked bikes.
In Dallas, the issue has become so massive, city officials have threated to remove the bikes themselves.
Jennifer Gates, a Dallas city council member posted this tweet urging the clean-up:
The issues associated with bike-sharing services are not just in Dallas, or the United States, the issue also impacts countries like China. Regardless of political views, many should be aware of the potential negative impact the bikes can have.
The issue with dock-less bikes is that the person that uses a bike can lock it and leave it anywhere. The bikes do not have to be attached to a bike rack, rather they have a lock that blocks the wheel and disables the bike from being able to move.
The bike sharing program helps promote alternative transportation for people, but many are not aware of how politically controversial bike sharing programs have become in other cities.
I found myself in the dining room of City Alderperson Ducson Nguyen’s Ithaca home this past week. I was there to report on a new idea he had developed: “The Ithacast,” a podcast discussing local politics.
Nguyen represents Ithaca’s second ward, and is a full-time engineer at GrammaTech. Alderperson Joseph “Seph” Murtagh also represents Ithaca’s second ward and is co-host of the podcast.
A recent article in The Washington Post showcased a study that found Ithaca, N.Y. as one of the nation’s most politically tolerant metropolitan areas.
A study published by Christopher Claassen and James Gibson surveyed residents in 365 U.S. cities. The 4,000 respondents were asked questions about civil liberties and protests.
The study found that instead of large cities with a diverse population, small cities featuring major colleges are the most accepting to political demonstrations and discussions.
“The most tolerant metro areas are instead college towns such as Boulder, Colo.; Ithaca, N.Y.; and Corvallis, Ore.,” the article stated.
Large cities like New York were found to be less tolerant to political protests, compared to college towns.
Political demonstrations are common place in Ithaca. These are not the protests seen on non-stop cable news coverage and high-profile clashes with police, however. Most Ithaca protests include people of all ages, holding signs, having a megaphone, gathered around.
From what I have witnessed, the typical protest will last about an hour and will have very little disruption to normal day-to-day Downtown Ithaca activity.
Kathy Zahler is the communications director for the Tompkins County Democratic Committee. Although she says she cannot speak for the whole committee on this issue, she has lived in the Ithaca area for most of her life.
Zahler thinks there is a reputation that college towns do not listen to all political views, but the cities are more welcoming to diversity of demographics and thoughts.
“College towns have received some bad press lately, accused of becoming increasingly close-minded when it comes to certain ‘disagreeable’ political viewpoints, but I think that they remain open and tolerant compared to most places, so the revelations from this study do not surprise me,” she stated in an email.
The study also found these cities are more tolerant to political dissent and disagreement. This, of course, is a cornerstone in our society that is the first amendment in the United States Constitution.
“If you live in a community that values free speech, you feel comfortable speaking out,” Zahler stated. “The lesson appears to be that we all, right and left, must be careful not to suppress free speech, because when we do so, we muffle dissent of any kind, not just the speech we wish to silence.”
I reached out to The Tompkins County Republican Committee for their thoughts on the results of the study, but the committee did not respond to request for comment.
People sometimes say I'm an "old soul." I love to read the newspaper, and wake up every morning to local news and cup of coffee. I even pay for a basic cable subscription while at school so I can stay on top of Central New York news and see how it's covered on local outlets.
That said, I considered myself social media savvy, until I started this Mobile and Social Media Journalism Course. I used Twitter all the time, I am addicted to it. I use a personal Facebook to stay up to day with my classmates and family. I stayed off Instagram, and would connect with people LinkedIn, but would never post on it. Sure I wasn't interactive, but I was at least on the site.
I constantly find myself on Twitter. It is the first thing I look at in the morning, and last thing I look at while falling asleep. I even check it if I wake up in the middle of the night, to see if any news is breaking.
Twitter is well known source for news. But, is it becoming the new platform for politicians to engage citizens? I think so.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that 63% of Americans use twitter as a news source. It is a news source, and that is why many journalists are addicted to it. It is shaping the new form of press releases and political dialog, and for politicians, it is shaping direct citizen engagement.
This is seen on the federal level with President Trump, one of the most notable politicians on Twitter. President Trump uses Twitter to talk directly to the American public, and posts Tweets of all sorts, from his latest campaign stops to "direct attacks" on other notable figures.
For example, here is one of President Trump’s most famous tweets, which he announced this directly to the public:
Randy Price is currently the morning anchor of Boston's Top-Rated morning newscast, WCVB's "EyeOpener." Price has been a fixture in Boston Television News, as he has been working in the market since 1983. He began his career at KERO-TV in Bakersfield, California where he was an anchor and reporter. He then went on to become lead anchor at WSPD-TV in Toledo, Ohio. In 1983, he moved to Boston and worked at WBZ-TV. He has been in the market since then working at WHDH-TV and now WCVB-TV as an anchor.
Here is a video from Price is his current position as an anchor at WCVB:
Cynthia Brock will continue to represent the City of Ithaca's Ward One. She was reelected to her current position on The City's Common Council.
According to the Ithaca Voice, the results for the Ward Election were:
652 Cynthia Brock (D) (WF)
106 Anthony J. Hayton (Operation West Hill)
26 James T. Lukasavage (Ithaca New Cynics)
In a post on her Facebook Page, Brock said:
"Thank you for coming out in support of my reelection - I am looking forward to continuing to advocate for the City and the needs of the First Ward...Mahalo nui loa to George McGonigal for being an amazing Ward Colleague!"
"Mahalo nui loa," which means "many thanks" hints at Brock's birthplace of Hawaii.
Election Day is tomorrow! Here is a sample ballot for South Hill Residents.
Weekend on South Hill was an extremely valuable experience, where I not only had fun, but got to learn more about the college I attend. I enjoyed attending The Class of 1967 reunion where I was able to learn about the Downtown Campus of Ithaca College. I enjoyed talking to alumni and talking about things have changed!
Ithaca College Student President Carlie McClinsey sent an email out to student's in early September trying to address the issue of rowdy behavior on South Hill:
"I met with some local Ithacans recently who described to me the messes they find on their front lawns some mornings and the loud noises from students that keep them up at night," She said in the email. "They close their windows and doors, turn up the TV, and still cannot drown out the noise of loud college students. It’s heartbreaking to know how much we as IC students are disrupting local lives. These are people with young children, elderly parents, and jobs that require an early rise. I can’t imagine the frustration they must feel."
I found this frustration to be true when I interviewed Heather Lambert, a resident on South Hill. Ms. Lambert said she was more concerned about the students' well-being than her interruptions to sleep. She says she has been woken up to students screaming, urinating next to an open window, and sitting on her front steps.
That said, Lambert says she has noticed an improvement to behavior this fall. This Thursday, look for my mobile media package on this page, where you can hear Lambert's stories from the neighborhood.
As of November 3rd, there were multiple events:
There are many events going on during Weekend on South Hill. Some major events this weekend include:
The South Hill section of Ithaca is located between Downtown Ithaca and Ithaca College. The hill is mostly home to residential houses, and The South Hill Elementary School. According to Census data, the neighborhood is home to 6,673 people, and has a median age of 20. Many neighbors are becoming frustrated with the amount of college students renting houses on South Hill, and have also complained about landlords building more than one structure on a property. This is a key issues in the neighborhood, and I will continue to detail it over the next few blogs!
This weekend looks to be classic Ithaca weather: scattered showers and sunny. Friday showers will clear by the evening and the sun could even make an appearance towards the evening. Saturday looks gorgeous (or should I say "gorges") with mostly clear skies and sun. Temperatures will be cool Saturday, topping out in the low 50's. Sunday the risk for showers returns, with temperatures in the mid 50's.
You can catch my forecast for Tompkins County every Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. on ICTV's NewsWatch. (ictv.org/live)
Here is a graphic I made detailing the Alumni Weekend Forecast:
Cynthia Brock is up for reelection for the first ward alderman for the City of Ithaca's Common Council. On her website it states: "I want to bring my energy, dedication and commitment to serve you as Alderperson in the City of Ithaca." She has been working for the city for 6 years. She told me she works full-time for the City. Ms. Brock also told me her environmental concerns for the area and her wishes to address harmful algae blooms on Cayuga Lake. She spends her free time Canoeing on Cayuga Lake.