Letter to Editor

Dear Editor,

I would like to address an issue about “texting and driving”. As you are probably aware, a half an hour film has been released by the Gwent Police (close to Wales). This video is about a car crash caused by a girl who was distracted while texting on her phone. The car crash shown is very graphic and impacting. This video’s views have been large all over the world, but it has been doubted if it has been an effective way of promoting the dangers of texting while driving.

It has been said that the crash scene brings attention, but it is not completely focused on the texting. A good way of showing the bad side of texting should be by writing a message at the end of this video, something like “Texting and Driving, just as dangerous as Drinking and Driving”. Something simple that would leave the message clear to the audience of the video. Also, it all happens very quickly and there is no time for the audience of the video to understand what it happening, since the texting scene is so short and the crash scene so long.

Despite all of this, what needs to be argued is whether this video is appropriate for the Chilean audience. In my opinion, it isn’t. In the United States, this video was criticized and there was controversy on the film. The United States is not ready for this kind of shocking video, therefore Chile is not either. Of course, all Chileans with a computer can go on YouTube and watch this video if they like, but for now the texting and driving, the message should be transmitted in a more gradual way. We would not want to see a film like this one on TV commercials, mainly because we’re not ready for something as graphically violent as this film.

Also, this issue is not as big here in Chile. In other countries, everyone has unlimited texting, so people are dependent on it. Here in Chile, we use texting but not as much. Drinking and Driving is a much greater issue in Chile, and that is what we should be pointing our attention to. Maybe in a near future, measures as drastic as this film must be taken to show young adults and adults the dangers of texting and driving, but the time is not right today.

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September 8, 2009 at 3:36 am Leave a comment

Journalism in the times of Facebook and Twitter: Positive or Negative?

Journalism has been developing for years in order to turn out how it is today. It is traditionally related with newspapers, since it is the most common way of journalism. But since we are living in modern times, we have to adapt to technology. First it was television and radio, now it’s the internet.

Facebook is one of the biggest growing social networks in the world. It started out with a man in Harvard who wanted to make a social network for people in his university. Then it grew to other colleges and eventually to other countries. Today, whoever has access to a computer can have a Facebook.

Twitter might seem like Facebook’s student and pupil, but it is far from it. Just like Facebook, it is a social network that keeps growing every day. The difference is that it consists of personal status updates. One can decide to follow other people’s updates, including famous people like Ashton Kutcher or John Mayer.

Facebook has grown so much that today, one could practically start an entire online service with Facebook entirely. Companies can buy spaces for advertising in Facebook, and they can be assured people will see it. Facebook and Twitter have become incredibly influential. In both, one can post links according to what they’re interested in, and once a celebrity posts a link it has an assured view.

A clear example of News Spread on Twitter is the Death of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson’s death was reported through Twitter, when one of the nurses of the Hospital tweeted something along the lines of “The King of pop has died”. This Tweet was expanded and in no time it was known for a fact that Jackson had passed away.

Instead of looking back at the past and hoping for no more change, journalists must learn to adapt to the new technologies and to the social media. Media140 Sydney’s Editorial Director, Julie Posetti, says tweeting “is one of the skills contemporary journalists need to extend their professional practice and an essential venue for media outlets seeking to build new audiences and remain relevant as traditional audiences tune out, threatening the future of journalism.”

September 8, 2009 at 3:30 am 1 comment


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