Politics 2.0

American politics compared to most countries is very different. Politicians spend much more effort and money into their campaign. They start their campaigning almost two years before the election even begins and they are extremely clear in their beliefs. I have lived in the United States all my life so I only know America’s way of politics but I can say that I do not totally agree with it. Politics should not be swarmed all over the television for a year before the election begins. Also, the amount of money that politicians spend on campaigns is sickening. What happened to voting for a president or senate based solely on their views. Now a day it is based on how much money you put into your campaigning. I also feel that several Americans vote based on their party only. They do not listen to the candidates point of views before making up their mind, which in my eyes is what makes many voters uneducated. I believe, in my opinion, that there are more voters than there should be that do not totally understand what they are voting for. Several Americans just follow the rest of the crowd than truly vote for what they believe. There are also many that are ignorant and do not want to listen to the other side. I consider myself well educated when it comes to politics but of course I do not know everything. I try to always be informed and educated when it comes to what I truly believe in. I think that both parties whether republican or democrat has a lot of offer to make the United States better but we need to focus on that instead of the little things that do not matter. America needs to focus on America. We have a problem with wanting to save other countries but our country needs saving first, we are to worried about other countries that we have let ours get to the point it is in now. We also have made decisions in choosing a president that is very inexperienced. I worry about what is happening and what is going to happen in the future with the economy. It is hard for me to trust a man that does not have a lot of experience to back him up. From what I have read, and this is just based on that because I am currently out of the country, but he is not backing what he was saying. Obama is getting a lot of criticism from people for not pulling through with what he said but once again I guess this is just a another politician lying to get his way to the top. I hope for my countries sake, he proves me wrong.


Munich, Germany

hofbraMunich, Germany is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I went there for the first time two and half years ago and I loved it. I just got back from their today and had a great weekend. We arrived on Friday and checked into our hotel, Novotel Hotel, it was a great location and very nice hotel for a good price. I visited the Modern Art Museum that day and went to the Hofbrauhaus house at night. The hofbrauhaus is one of my favorite places to go in Munich, even though it is a huge tourist place, I still enjoy it very much. If anyone ever goes to Germany, I recommend the Hofbrauhaus right away. The next day we went to Dachau, which is a concentration camp in Munich. It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. After that we had lunch at a fabulous restaurant called Aran. It was a great lunch place with the most amazing open face Sandwiches. Later that day we made our way over to the BMW museum which was interesting but not as great as I expected. Saturday night we ate a great vegetarian restaurant. Sunday morning we woke up and went to a town called Fussen and went to an historical Castle which was absolutely breathtaking. Overall my trip to Munich was very successful and I felt I saw a lot. I felt extremely safe in Munich at all times, which a lot of places in Europe I do not feel so safe. They are very high tech in their technology, a lot more than Spain. They had the same phones and service they we have in America and it was extremely interesting to see that. My friend has T-mobile and they had that cell phone service in Germany. I love the people there, they are extremely friendly. Something I also noticed was almost every person we spoke to in Munich spoke English, which was great for us and it made me respect their country in the sense that so many people knew another language, not just because it was English. I feel that is one thing, out of many, that our country lacks. Not a lot of people can speak two languages. Even the lady at the McDonalds spoke English. It just goes to show how well educated they are.

Facebook and Privacy

Facebook is the biggest thing since sliced bread. People of all ages are on Facebook networking with family and friends. You can add photos, share certain likes and dislikes and communicate back and forth with each other. These are all the upsides to Facebook, but what people don’t know is that everything that is put on Facebook can easily be tracked. When I apply for a job and that company wants to look me up, than can easily go to Facebook and look at whatever information or pictures they want. Is this fair? Should we be responsible for what we share and what photos we put up? In my opinion this is not fair. Companies go onto Facebook and come across a picture of you and your friends drinking one night in college. They think that it is inappropriate and use it against you, you don’t get hired. The way I see it is we should be allowed to have a life outside the “working world.” What we do on our free time is our choice and because our generation is in the era of internet frenzy, we should not be punished. I am sure that the employer that did not hire you because of that picture has done the same or worse things in his life. The biggest argument though is where do you draw the line? Is it ok to have someone drinking alcohol but then you see a picture of them smoking, are they both considered equal or is one worse than the other? This argument could go on for hours and both sides have strong arguments. I just wanted to tell my side of the argument. I am a 21 year old college student and I would not take back anything I have done. People live and learn and good decisions and bad ones make me who I am. A person should never be punished when it comes to work. Their ability to perform for their job has nothing to do with Facebook and pictures.

Multimedia Convergence, Good or Bad?

Every day media is changing. Technology as a whole is rapidly changing and media goes along with it. Now a day’s its not good enough to just have a cell phone, it has to go on the internet, take pictures, text, be able to send pictures, and occasionally make phone calls. With the technology growing, media has to keep up and the ways they do this is by making things easier for the reader. You can have articles sent to your phone about any topic you want, the second they are released. This is a huge media convergence in today’s society. Another is the multimedia story. In my opinion, multimedia stories are easier to read in the sense of I am going to pick and choose what I want to read. I click where I want to begin and end. An example of this that’s not a news story is Facebook, one of the fastest growing social networking sites. In a way though it is an example of a multimedia story, but it is telling a story of a person. You can click anywhere you want on the persons profile page. You can see info than look at pictures and then read their page; it doesn’t have a certain order of events. The last example of multimedia convergence is exactly that definition. Media companies are buying out other media companies, limiting the amount of information we are receiving. “The idea of the new century comes with a variety of innocent labels conveying a single conspiratorial idea: One media company sending out its collection of news to the public through a variety of media 24 hours a day. This is the opposite end of the media spectrum where different companies own different pieces of the media. Instead, in this brave new world of news and information, one company would own the city’s major newspaper, television station, radio station, and multimedia website” (The Brave New World of Multimedia Convergence). Exactly this is what is wrong with the media today. When there are only a few media companies owning everything from TV stations to websites, they are relaying the same information. We have no variety anymore with our media. The companies are caring more about owning everything than giving society the right information. Also a big problem this brings is the news is very biased. It is not giving enough of other people’s views on situations and politics. The news is making our minds up for us. Pretty soon its going to be two major companies owning everything and the variety that we are use to, is going to change.

Valencia and Milan

Two weekends ago I decided to pick up and go to Valencia on short notice. My friends and I took the bus there. We arrived very early, checked into the hotel and went site seeing. We saw the usual tourist attractions and did the typical shopping. What I loved about Valencia was that it was, in my opinion, very different from Barcelona. Even though it was a city, it wasn’t as crazy and fast moving as Barcelona. The people were friendlier in my experiences with them and it was much easier practicing my Spanish. I felt that the city as a whole was a little bit wealthier. I saw nice cars more often than I do in Barcelona and Valencia seemed to be a bit more expensive. The ironic thing about Valencia is that the college I attend back home, Florida State University, their study abroad program goes to Valencia Spain. But obviously I choose to go to Barcelona instead, which I am extremely happy with my choice. I come back from Valencia, happy that I went and saw another part of Spain, but very happy with being back in Barcelona.

Another week goes by and I’m off to another city. I went to Milan, Italy this past weekend. I ate some wonderful food and had a great time. I traveled with my best friend’s family and her. We stayed in the Michelangelo Hotel. It was very nice, but a bit over priced. We arrived in Milan, once again extremely early, having the whole day Friday to explore. We saw the Duomo, which is one of the three largest Cathedrals in the world. It was beautiful! The shopping in Milan was great for window shopping. They have all the designer shopping you can imagine. The city is great for fashion events and fashion lovers because it is known as the fashion capital of the world.

What I noticed about Italy, compared to Barcelona, is the friendly people and the great food. The food, in my opinion, is much more my type in Italy than here. I enjoy the pasta and pizzas and the fact that they believe in turkey and Spain only believes in ham, ham, and some more ham. Don’t get me wrong I love ham, but Barcelona and their ham is a bond I do not understand. The people are a little bit more responsive when you are trying to communicate. They are very friendly and helpful. The bad thing about Italy is that it is very expensive. A lot of the restaurants were over priced for what you received. Barcelona is not like that at all. You can sit down at a good restaurant and have a great meal for a very good price. I could not find that in Milan. Overall I loved Italy but Barcelona is still my favorite city.



Citizen Journalism

What is the difference between citizen journalism and civic journalism? Citizen journalism, in my eyes, is journalism that is non professional but still practicing the act of journalism in their own way. Civic journalism is professional journalism where one works for a specific magazine, newspaper ect. Citizen journalism has gone a long way over the last few years. It becomes bigger every year, in my observation. The reason I feel citizen journalism becomes bigger and bigger is because of the easy access to the internet. Why would one pay for a newspaper when they could access all the information and more for free? Citizen journalism is slowly taking over civic journalism. Each year the amount of newspapers sold decreases because of the easy access to the internet. “In April, newspapers in the US reported circulation decreases of 3.6% on average, according to Bloomberg.com. Overall, US newspaper circulation dropped from 42.6 million in the spring of 2007 to 41.1 million in March of 2008”( romow.com). This is newspaper circulation just in the United States. It just goes to show, that each year newspaper sales continues to decline because of citizen journalism. Is this fair? In my opinion, the media as a whole continues to change. The internet is the reason for this. Because of citizen journalism, I can go to google.com and research recent news in Barcelona, Spain and most likely find out all the news I need to know without charge. This is not necessarily fair but it’s the way of the media these days. In my opinion, I feel that the reason internet media has become more popular is because there are no rules. That is one of the big differences between civic journalism and citizen. Citizen the rules are endless. One can write about what ever they feel without the rules and regulations that other journalism has. For example, when you work for the New York Times you are given a topic, the word count and where in the newspaper it is placed. If that same journalist started a blog on the internet, they would have endless word count and could discuss whichever topic he or she desires. The argument that people have agaisnt citizen journalism, is that it shouldn’t be considered journalism. Anyone can start a blog or type something into a webpage, like Wikipedia, but does it make them a journalist? A lot of poeple think it doesn’t. To be honest I dont really have an opinion either way. I think journalsim is journalism but at the same time I would not go to a docotor who doesn’t have his own certified practice or works in a well known hospital. Either way the internet is growing and this problem is not going to fade. Media all together is changing because of the internet and it is just going to get even more complicated.


Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

My first trip was to Interlaken, Switzerland. I flew into Geneva and took a train into Interlaken. I have never been to Switzerland and to my surprise it was beautiful. I arrived on Friday evening and checked into Balmers Hostel. It is the famous hostel in Interlaken and very cute looking. Afterwards, I enjoyed a big dinner with friends and than proceeded to the bar that was located on the bottom floor of Balmers. The next day I took a bus to another area of Interlaken and hiked up a mountain. My friends and I brought a picnic and ate half way up the mountain, it was amazing. After our hike, we walked to the lake that was in the center of Interlaken and walked around it. The site was indescribable. My friends and I would take pictures and the pictures did not do the site any justice. We made our way back to Balmers for a quick nap before a few of us were going night sledding. Around 5:30, we headed out for dinner on top of the Swiss alps, followed by night sledding and than a wine that was made hot. The dinner entitled Swiss cheese fondu with bread. A true Swiss meal. Afterwards we headed outside and made our way down the mountain on sleds. It was the worst and best experience. It was scary at first and than you got the hang of it and it was incredible. Sledding down the Swiss alps at night was truly remarkable. The scenery was beautiful. That evening we arrived back to Balmers around 11pm and tried to stay up but did not go as planned. Sunday morning we checked out of the hostel and took a train back to Geneva. We arrived in Geneva in the evening and walked around town for a little and had dinner. Most of the shops were closed because it was Sunday, so I did not get to see that much of Geneva but what I saw, was nice. We slept in Geneva for the night and took at 7am flight Monday morning back to Barcelona. My first trip abroad was successful. Switzerland was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. I also noticed while I was there, that the cities were very clean. The streets were kept clean and the buildings always looked clean as well. Switzerland was a great trip.  


My first few weeks in Barcelona

I arrived in Barcelona on January 12th. I am currently in a program named CEA, Cultural Experiences Abroad. I am taking

4 classes, 12 credits. When I first arrived in Barcelona the first few days were rough. It took some getting use to the way people

live. I had to learn to eat meals later than usual and also the nightlife here is much later than where I am from. The first weekend

I was here, I was unfortunate and got the flu. I was in bed for three days trying to rest and get better. After the first weekend,

I began exploring Barcelona and the area that I live in. I have been to the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guells, Museo de Chocolata

and several restaurants. I am currently living in Resiencia Onix with other students in CEA. It is set up with two beds, two

closets, a bathroom and a little kitchenet. I have realized that living in Barcelona, people here are a lot more layed back than

where I come from. The food here is very different than what I am use to and it has taken some time to get use to. Overall my

experience here has been different but amazing. I hope that the rest of my stay here I will learn alot more.

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