Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism is basically the collection and analysis of news by the public using cell phones, blogs, cameras, and social media platforms. There has been a rise in citizen journalism recently due to the growth of communication tools and technology. Through social media websites such as Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn and other blogs citizens can report their own experiences and eye witness accounts. Citizen journalism is a very important type of journalism especially in the modern digital age that we live in. Ordinary people who are not qualified journalists can post to any sort of social media platform and report the news.

Citizen journalism provides the community with a different perspective. It also helps citizens get more engaged in the issues that might affect their community and lives. A citizen journalist has the power to coverage certain events that the main media mainstream media might miss. It gives people the chance to report what happens at that very moment and helps reach out to friends and family to report local or worldly news.

Some issues that might be linked to citizen journalism are that citizen journalists have no formal training in reporting and some risks might include reporting nonfactual information. Citizens also do not have any ethics in training and might not be able to handle certain situations that arise. Also it is hard to actually define what “news” really is and what deems importance in reporting certain “news” stories.

An example of citizen journalism is a tweet from Janis Krums who was one of the first witnesses of the landing of the plane in the hudson river. He was even contacted by Mike Beyman, a producer from CNBC who wanted to hear about Janis Krums experience of first hand witnessing the landing of the plane on the Hudson river.

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The growth of citizen journalism has even reduced the amount of traditional newspapers and and news outlets as the main source of current events. This is because citizens can easily access social media platforms and post exactly what they witness in an instant. They can report their own “news” and allow other citizens be evolved on what the see. Now traditional media outlets have tried to harness the power of citizen journalism through collaboration with user generated content and social media. An example of cooperation between media outlet and citizen journalism is CNN’s I report. This is where users can submit videos, audio and photos from their computer or I-phone to have their stories shared on CNN’s network television and website. This is a way that CNN harnesses citizen journalism and to convey different perspectives on news stories that the traditional media does not allow.

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The Vegetarian Life Style: Abroad Edition

I have in fact been a vegetarian for almost 9 years now and it always catches people off guard. People always ask me how do you do it? Do you miss meat? Why did you choose to be a vegetarian? I have been getting these questions for years and I am used to them.  When I told people I was a vegetarian and I was going to Barcelona people looked at me like I was crazy.

I have made it this far right? Why would it be harder in another country? Well it has been a little bit of challenge but so far so good. Studying abroad as a vegetarian can be tricky and sometimes frustrating but after living in Barcelona for a few months I will share with you my top tips for vegetarians studying abroad.

First off, wherever you are studying abroad please learn how to say “I can’t eat meat”. Since I am studying abroad in Barcelona I say: No puedo comer carne. I have learned that it is better to say can’t rather than don’t. If worse comes to worse a little white lie never hurts and you could go to the extent of saying you have an allergy and make a choking gesture.

My second tip to you fellow vegetarians is to research vegetarian BEFORE you travel. You will be surprised how many places have great vegetarian food. I actually took my friend who is a huge meat eater to a vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona and still to this day claims it as her favorite. Yelp and Trip Advisor also have great recommendations that your meat eater friends will enjoy also!

I also suggest to shop at the local markets for organic fruits and vegetables as much as you can! In big cities local markets have little food stands that have great vegetarian food. Look up a local market wherever you are studying abroad and go check it out! My favorite market in Barcelona is La Boqueria. It is also a great way to save money to eat locally.

Food prepping is also a great idea for long traimages-1.jpgvel days. I think its smart to always be prepared for a flight bus or train ride. Usually public transportation is not vegetarian friendly so pack up fresh fruit and veggies and sandwiches before you leave. Nothing is worse then traveling on an empty stomach…..nothing….

Barcelona to me is “the land of ham” and I have had to face some challenges when it comes to my vegetarian diet. When I am at a  very meat oriented restaurant in Barcelona,  I have gotten to love a traditional Catalan food  such as:”pan con tomate”. This is  bread, olive oil, tomatoes and salt.

  • Overall through this experience of being a vegetarian abroad I have learned to not set expectations for something without experiencing it first. At first thought I would have a difficult time finding foods to satisfy my diet in Barcelona, however now that I am living here that is not the case at all! I wish my fellow veggies good luck and I hope these tips helped. La_Boqueria.JPG

Stop are abroad!

Okay disclaimer: I love snapchat I do not have a problem with it, but here is an opinion piece on why its time for people to start looking up from their phones during their time abroad.url.png

I always try to imagine my parents studying  abroad in college. I always picture my mom walking in the Louvre in Paris, seeing the Mona Lisa and simply taking a mental picture of the painting. My things have changed. Snapchat is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and see what everyone is up to. There comes a point when someone is snap chatting everything they do and its just down right ridiculous. Snapchat now has a filter for almost every location and sometimes I start to think: Are people really enjoying the tower of pisa? Or are they just excited to get a new filter to add to their story? I really think my generation is getting too dependent on snapchat and having to document their every move to feel accomplished. What happened to the old days of just having a mental picture and enjoying the view? I am guilty of snap chatting when I honestly should just enjoy the moment.

To study abroad is an amazing experience and not everyone is able to travel across the pond for a semester. I am here all the way in Barcelona! I sometimes still can not believe that I am studying abroad in such a beautiful city. I have had dinners in Barcelona where the main activity is snapchat and Instagram and the dinner was almost dead silent because everyone was on their phone. This should not be the case! Studying abroad is about meeting people and making friends with people you thought you could never make friends with. Studying abroad is about embracing the different culture and observing your settings around you. I am not saying snapchat is evil-but your face should not be stuck in your phone. I sometimes feel as if my friends only care about what other people are doing rather than themselves.

Although on occasion I think Snapchat can be useful for traveling. If you see a beautiful city please capture it on video. To me snapchat is not a memory, its merely few seconds with a countdown and then it is gone forever.  No one gains anything by doing this and nothing is learned. To me it is lost time that could of been used for deep conversations and genuine human connection.

I am going to blink and soon my semester abroad in Barcelona will be over. I do not want my memories to be staring at a phone-I want real memories that will be kept safely  in my mind forever.

If you are reading this I challenge you to delete your snapchat for a week if you are also studying abroad. I can promise you that you will discover so many more friendships and see so many more beautiful sites without this app.


How to Not Gain the “Foreign 15” in Barcelona

images.jpgAs I am writing this, I am currently studying abroad in Barcelona and I am seriously loving life. I am making new friends, trying things out. I tell my self: This is an eleven in a life time experience, I can eat anything I want! Some days I wonder if I am gaining weight and I feel a bit unhealthy so I decide to switch up my Abroad life style and make some healthy choices. I would like to know if you can study abroad and do not gain the “Foreign 15”? I decided to test my self for these past weeks-and it turns out it’s possible! I will list a few tips that I have followed and they have really helped me out.

I decided to make my own meal plan and only ate out twice a week at the most. I found a local grocery store and started stocking up on healthy items that were easy to cook and snack on. I used to eat out up to 5 times a week and order Glovo, and after I took advantage of the local grocery store I already feel healthier.

Barcelona is very much a walking city. The first few weeks here, I did not want to walk anywhere because I was convinced I was going to get lost. Now I made a deal with my self to take the metro once a day and WALK home from classes, the grocery store, Placa de Catalyna, etc. I have seen such a difference since I am walking almost everywhere. It is such a beautiful city with gorgeous weather and sometimes it is okay to get lost. I have gotten lost many times and I always find something interesting or a beautiful building that I would have crossed if I did not get lost.

Alcohol is a killer. I will be honest with you guys, when I first got here I was going out more than my mother would have liked me too … which was too much. There are so many calories in one drink. I decided to limit myself to two drinks whenever I went out. Plus, it is better to be the sober friends then the drunk stupid friend. Drinking smart applies to the day time also. I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go so I never get dehydrated. It is so easy to fill up at cafes, museums, or fountains and staying hydrated really helps you keep your weight in check.

Another way to keep a steady weight in Barcelona is to just explore! Last weekend, I grabbed a couple of friends and we all hiked Montserrat! It was hard work but the view was worth it and I am planning on doing it a few more times actually!

Overall, studying abroad is about finding yourself and experiencing things you have never experienced before. Do not worry so much about “The Foreign 15” and follow some of these basic healthy tips I suggested and you should be fine! So what if you gain a few pounds?16831210_10155021551657556_722277411341443193_n.jpg

This is me at Montserrat !

How Journalism is Changing



Data journalism is a more updated way for journalists to distribute information in the digital era. It is a combination of the traditional way to tell a compelling story and a range of digital information that is now available in our digital age. Data is the main source of journalism or it can be told how the story is told. Now Journalists in today’s age mostly use data journalism because it is an efficient way to tell a story with current statistics and data. It is basically a set of tools and techniques to storytelling. Data journalism is a set of skills for searching, understanding and visualizing digital sources when traditional journalism can not deliver.

Journalism continues to evolve and change during the digital age because of all of the latest technology. I will mention some tools that have changed the face of communication news today. For the sight and sound aspect in journalism: Digital cameras, podcasts, audio recorders and even youtube have changed the way things are seen and heard. Journaurl.jpglists now can go wherever with a tiny recording studio in their pockets and not worry about the unnecessary heavy equipment for interviews. Digital cameras are a great device used for photojournalists and even smart phones now can be useful because it has such a great camera. Digital cameras and smart phones freed journalists from dark room processing and allowed photos to reach the newsroom in minutes rather than hours. I think youtube is a great tool for journalists because it is not only personal videos it has many videos that are filled with education and journalism. It has transferred the video news broadcasts to content that is shared on the web.

Some media tools that have changed journalism are: computers, mobile apps and smart phones. Laptops are a given and they allow journalists to leave the office and work anywhere via the internet. There are tons of mobile apps that are useful for data journalism. There are apps for film ediImage result for social media tools journalismting, streaming and different types of media platform sharing that have all made journalism even easier for data journalists.

6073189513_4a1a700026_b.jpg is another major key to how journalism is so different today. Telephone networks, email, social media and internet all play a major role in data journalism. For telephone networks, they can routinely carry data in addition to telephone conversations. Text messaging is now so easy and fast the date journalist could get a text of an address and be asked to go and cover a story. Email is the fastest way to communicate with other people and sources. Journalists working from a certain location can now easily reach out to other experts or journalists quickly to gather more information or simply do a fact check. Social media is really changing the journalism game. Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram help deliver news and engage their audiences by using different platforms. Social media helps provide a wider range of voices and ideas in a quick and efficient manner. The wireless internet is also crucial for photo journalism and has changed the way classic journalism is completely. Most digital equipment would not be the tool for journalists if it was not for WIFIF The wireless internet allows journalists to report from the field without having to physically return to the newsroom. Without the wireless internet, data journalism would simply not exist.

Useful Journalism Tools

Journalism is different than traditional media because of how all of the different tools that have changed Journalism all together. Some examples of social networks that journalists use are Facebook, youtube, Twitter, Google plus. All of these are the social networks one would suspect and journalist would use. Some other tools they use that usually do not come to mind are: Every Post, LiveStream, and Bambuser.


Every post is something I was unfamiliar with and had to research. Every Post makes it easier for you to pull relevant multi media from multiple different platforms such as Youtube and Instagram. With this tool you can publish all of your multimedia content on all of your media platforms at one time. This is a good way for journalists to share relevant content from other sources with your followers. One very interesting feature that sets apart Every Post is the drop box. When posting to any network you can choose to include a drop box and safe your post in your own personal vault for your own reference, or simply just post on Drop box. Over all, I think every post is a great way for journalists to share content with their followers and get their word out on all social media platforms. It is a very fast way for content professionals to create and customize and post content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other Social media networks.

Another journalism tool I was unaware of was LiveStreamLive-streaming-app.jpeg This is an app that can be very useful for Journalists because it allows you to explore from other broadcasters around the world. If you follow some broadcasters, you will be notified when they will go live. You can broadcast yourself from your phone or tablet to viewers on Facebook, Twitter or any other website and engage with viewers with the built in chat. Also a plus side to this app, you can live stream live online television programs. Users can mix live webcams, Youtube videos, and add graphics with the tools provided by LiveStream. This app would be helpful for journalists because it allows them to create and edit live television channels and provides hosting for channels as well.

The final journalism tool that I researched was Bambuser . Bambuser is a swedish company that provides a platform for interactive live video broadcasting and streaming live video from mobile phones and webcams to the internet. This app can help Journalists effortlessly share live video using a smart phone equipped with a web cam if they are on the go. This app can help news networks get more live coverage and have viewers interact with the reporters on the scene. This insures your followers news updates, and whatever subject the journalist is covering. Overall journalists need fast live streaming apps in order to get your videos out to the world. Whether it is breaking news or studio events, these are some top tools that make video streaming and sharing social media for journalists a piece of cake.  Bambuser_new_app_iOS_0912_cropped.png

How apps make Traveling Easier Today

I was so excited to come to Barcelona for a whole semester and I was willing to embrace all of the cultural differences and culture that came my way. I knew I had to be prepared that I was not going to be able to call my parents all the time, get an uber, or order late night pizza delivery. All of these seem like minor set backs, but these are things that very often in the US.

I decided that I needed to research certain popular social media apps that would be useful for my journey this semester. I found that instead of going over my data plan because I facedtimed my parents too much I decided to download the WhatsApp app. WhatsApp is an application for smart phones that uses the internet to make phone calls, text messages. This app is popular because it allows you to make phone calls and send messages by passing your wireless carrier’s SMS and MMS charges. I now no longer get all of these absurd charges from my AT & T international plan and now call my parents every day, free of charge! Another App that has been extremely useful is Hailo. Hailo is a substitute for Uber and it is a local taxi service in the Barcelona area. It is great for when I am coming home when the metro is closed and I want a safe, reliable taxi. You simply just download the app and submit your location and a licensed, reliable driver comes and gets you within only a few minuets. I have also read online that it can be much safer then simply hailing at random cab. Another thing I miss in the US is delivery food-but now with the help of the Glovo app I can get food delivered straight to my bed! Glovo is a delivery app that delivers almost anything you need delivered such as I am craving, or even medications from a local pharmacy. This service has people buy, pickup, and deliver any product right to your door step in Barcelona. I think I was impressed with this app because it’s not just a food delivery system app, but it’s like having your own personal errand runner. This is a great idea if you are too sick to even get out of bed you can have Glovo deliver the medications you need from your pharmacy it right to you. I have already recommended this app to almost all of my friends who are also studying abroad in the Barcelona.

We are lucky that we even have the apps available to help us make traveling and settling into another country much easier. My parents will never stop reminding me of the “old days” when they traveled and they had to find local telephone office in order to make an international telephone call back to the states. Now, with the advancement of technology and all of the apps that have been developed, all you need is to click a few buttons in order to get what you need. Life is so much easier now with current technology and all of the social media that helps us stay connected with one another. Who knows what wonderful improvements will be available in the next 10 years ??