Sean Carter’s Image Defamed

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Sean “Jay-Z” Carter is one of the most famous hip-hop icons in the world alongside Marshall “Eminem” Mathers. He is an artist known for big hits such as “Empire State of Mind”, “Big Pimpin”, and “On to the next one”. Jay-Z is well respected not just in the hip-hop community, but in the business world as well because of the fact that Jay-Z has found a way to break through as an established entrepreneur.

So what do we know from all of this? Jay-Z is big and well-respected. So, for the Miami police department to do this is very offensive to Jay-Z’s character. In the picture, they use a likeness of Jay-Z to paint the image of a gang member. Although Jay-Z is also known for his past legal issues and life as a drug dealer, he has since moved on to better and more beneficial means of business. Therefore, for the Miami police department to use this likeness of Jay-Z to make him look like a gangster is disrespectful. If I were to write a letter to the police department, it would look like the following:

Dear Chief of Police,
I hope you realize many people were offended by that banner you posted on your site. Sean Carter is by no means a criminal, and is likeness should NOT be used to depict one. I am specifically talking about the banner below. I know your people at the station must have realized how offensive this banner was because it is no longer on your site. But, in the future be careful of the images you choose to use on your banners because this can indirectly offend some of the people who may visit your site. Also, this is defaming someone who is popular amongst the population and making him out to look like a criminal when he is, in fact, the biggest hip-hop star in the world.

There is more to read on this story here. In conclusion, the Miami Police Department was obviously in the wrong throughout this situation, most evident because of the fact they have corrected the mistake despite the fact they have not commented on the situation. The thing is, this isn’t an organization that focuses on advertising but whoever made the banner and approved it is the one who was in violation. Hopefully in the future, organizations such as this will become more careful on what type of image they choose to represent themselves. An image that defames an individual should never have been used at all.

My Trip to M&T Bank Stadium

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Welcome to Baltimore! Baltimore is home to many things like the inner harbor, the Orioles, and many other attractions. Despite the many things Baltimore is known for, none are more important than its home football team: The Baltimore Ravens.

Prior to September, I had only been to M&T Bank stadium (the stadium the Ravens play at) once in my whole lifetime. It was years ago and I barely remember that moment but when I was faced with another opportunity to go to a Ravens game, you can only imagine my excitement.

As I walked through the stadium, you notice many things. One of the main things that teams try to do at home games is push advertisements. With that being said, there were many things I noticed as I strolled through the hallways of M&T Bank Stadium. But the main thing I noticed was how the Ravens organization uses its various resources to build a good relationship with its fans. In actuality, the Ravens maintain a very good relationship with fans and the rest of the community through various public relations practices.

Every home game, the Ravens host various special events in an attempt to get kids active and involved in various sports. During halftime of the game they let kids participate in quarterback and receiver drills to increase relations with the kids while also giving them a chance to win prizes.

Also, throughout the game various commercials featuring Ravens players (both old and new) promoting Ravens related products (see M&T Bank Card) in cooperation with other companies to keep the Ravens on everyone’s mind throughout the year.

This strategy has been very effective. The Ravens have become more popular and favorable this year than any other year since the year 2000 when they won the Superbowl. If I were a part of the Ravens PR team, I most likely would’ve tweaked a little of their already brilliant strategy. I feel like Ravens plays don’t visit enough public city high schools that are not as well funded as City or Poly.

 A good way for the Ravens to truly expand their reach and make a bigger difference would be to lend a hand to the high school students in Baltimore city public schools who are struggling. One of the main concerns parents of these students face is how to keep their children interested in school. If the Ravens were to come visit and get kids interested in their school work and grades, it could make a huge difference in the future.

The EA Cash Cow: Madden Franchise

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If you haven’t heard of EA sports Madden franchise, it is safe to say you haven’t been paying much attention to one of the biggest video game franchises in history. Madden is a cash cow to say the least, and every year EA blesses fans with a new installment boasting new features, improved graphics, and tighter gameplay. Madden has been the staple of football simulators since its inception in 1988 when it was called John Madden Football.

The Madden series as a franchise really began to take off in 2004 when they signed an exclusive rights deal with the NFL to become the only football simulator that can use the NFL’s logos, player likenesses, teams, stadiums, and so on. One thing that someone who has never heard of the Madden franchise should understand is that it is huge!

Through monopolizing the football game industry, EA sports spends less money on developing the game and more on clever advertising tactics. EA Sports generally utilizes commercials, product placement in movies, celebrity appeal, and several other tactics to sell its product.

In the commercial here, EA Sports puts its agreement with the NFL to good use by recruiting various NFL superstars to help promote its product. Typically, EA sports tries to appeal to the teen audience most likely between the ages of 14-21. Therefore, most of Madden’s commercials run during the day when most teens are home from school. A lot of the Madden commercials are also played during the games in between plays, and also during ESPNs segments.

EA sports also goes beyond basic commercials in their marketing strategies by teaming up with other companies like Doritos and Snickers. There are also towels with the Madden logo printed out on them for fans to wave around at games. With this strategy, EA Sports manages to keep Madden in the lives of every possible consumer through these various avenues of advertising.

Is there strategy effective? Yes of course because Madden is one of the most successful video game franchises in history because of this intelligent strategy to keep Madden on everyone’s mind all year round. In conclusion, one may wonder if the success of Madden has to do with the fact that it is the only NFL sports game on the market. This can be argued, but you don’t become one of the best selling franchises by putting out mediocre product.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger: A Child Called It

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A Child Called It is without a doubt my favorite book of all time! I first read the book when I was in the 10th grade over at Northern High School. Inspirational is the best word I can think of to describe this book. A Child Called It is a fictional account of probably one of the worst cases of child abuse I have ever heard about.

Dave Pelzer describes the suffering he went through as a child while living with his alcoholic mother. Although reading the book was a part of an English assignment, it was a pretty good book and has remained my favorite book since the tenth grade. It was given out to us in class and the book sparked many discussions.

We discussed the struggles of growing up without a prominent father figure, the trauma children gain from going through abuse of that magnitude, and how this pain made him successful on the long run. As I recall, we took this information from the book and used it to try and recapture memories of tough times in our lives and how it made us better people.

 This book had a strong impact on my live because now I look at abusive homes differently than I did before. For example, one of my friends is also going through a situation in an abusive home. Although his situation is not as graphic as Pelzer’s or as dangerous, he is still struggling to feed himself in a home that rarely provides him with food.

Profile view of Author Dave Pelzer, facing left

Since reading this book, I can better understand the relationship with him and his step mother and better advise him on how to cope with it. In conclusion, A Child Called It is a remarkable story made more remarkable by the fact that it is fiction. If Oprah has an opportunity to do a story on this, my hope is that she chooses to do so to raise awareness about this type of situation. There aren’t a lot of people concerned about child abuse these days despite the fact that it is a type of “bullying” that the US is currently focusing on

Furthermore, I don’t know if there are a lot of people who have read this story because it is an interesting book regardless. As I stated before, it is by far my favorite and most life changing story I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Media Economics (Blog Assignment #5)

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The Lion King was my absolute favorite movie as a kid, and still remains one of my top movies of all time even right now as a college student. As a kid I would watch it numerous times and I have even seen a couple times now which is why Lion King is a classic movie.

There are a lot of themes within Lion King, and Disney movies in general, that I can identify more now as an adult than I could years ago. For example, there is always a theme of missing or deceased parents in Disney movies. I read an article that states that the purpose for this is to show the main character be courageous and self-reliant while on a huge adventure that a typical kid would want to go on. I never realized that as a kid but it did help build my imagination and kept me wanting to see more adventures.

There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of friendship in a lot of Disney movies evidenced by the main character never truly being alone. In Lion King, Simba always had Timon and Pumba with him through his bad times and cheered him up when his father was killed. This is an important lesson to teach to kids and I feel like Disney truly made a conscious effort to show kids how important friendship is.

As a kid, I was truly immersed in the Lion King world (I even had the bed sheets). Looking back I feel like the Lion King truly made a strong impact on my life because I also place a strong emphasis on having good friend by your side. Although I don’t watch many Disney movies anymore, I still keep some of the morals preached in their movies in my mind.

Disney culture hasn’t just influenced me, it influences all aspects of our society including music, movies, toys, and so on. Disney has chains of amusement Parks in Hong Kong and Paris as well as many other parts across the world. Some might argue that Disney is over-exploiting the children, as well as the parents, but I feel like in order to develop a product that kids can relate to, you have to show kids using that product.

All together, Disney creates products and moments for the family to enjoy. Disney makes

everything from family friendly movies like Toy Story and Aladdin where friendship and courage is emphasized, to their regular television shows like The Suite Life or Even Stevens that showcases family life and its ups and downs. Through these programs, Disney creates a consistent means of giving families a way to share in each other’s experiences while enjoying regularly televised programs and movies.

Social Networking Tech (Blog #4)

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There are many, many blogs on the internet. Advances in technology have made it simple for one person to voice their opinions (for free!) on the web. This allows other people to chime in and add their own opinions to the blogs if they choose too. One of my favorite topics is Hip Hop music (next to Sports of course). So, its only right that I keep certain sites in mind when I’m looking for information on the latest songs, activities of hip hop artist, certain record label moves, and so on. I really only visit one of these blog sites, but there are a couple of others I visit regularly including:

RapRadar.com is hands down my favorite hip hop blog site. The purpose of this blog is to deliver brand new hip hop songs to the masses before they even hit the radio. Aside from this, they deliver news about artist signing record deals, general hip hop related news about the artists lives or incidents they may have been involved in; occasionally they have an editorial to discuss these events. This site does a lot of stuff that other hiphop blogs don’t do like “blacking out” on celebrities that exhibit foolish behavior, top 5 post of the day or week, sarcastic captions on each post, and they generally speak their mind on a topic rather than taking an objective view. Also, one of my favorite things about the site is how interactive it is. There is a comments section that allows users to pick a screen name, discuss each post, and generally banter with each other. One of the main staples of this site is how interactive the bloggers themselves get in conversing with the commenter and making hilarious captions in their post. This site seems to maintain PG-13 content for their audience.

HipHopDx.com is another for great blog site for Hip Hop lovers. This would be my go to hip hop blog site if something were to ever happen to RapRadar. They do some of the same things RapRadar does like document hip hop culture, but they do it with a more objective view as opposed to RR. The main bloggers on the site don’t interact with the people who comment nor do they try to be witty or comical with their post. HipHopDX post new music like RR does but at a much slower pace, and they often tend to favor lesser known artist while RR focuses on mainstream artist with less underground acts showing up on the site. The main feature this site boast is the ability for users to rate songs on a scale from 1-5. I find this a very important feature on music sites such as these because it helps users who are navigating the site figure out which songs are generally favored and which ones are not. HipHopDX also provides song reviews as well as album and mix tape reviews, which is also helpful. They generally target a PG-13 and up audience do to their advertising of video game products, and their generally family friendly content. HHDX also post weekly sales figures for hip hop albums that have come out during the week for those who are interested in the sales of their favorite artist.

ThisIs50.com isn’t a blog site I visit as actively as RapRadar or HipHopDX, but it is very informative regardless. Thisis50.com is different from RR or HHDX because it is owned by international superstar Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson best known for his hit singles “In Da Club” and for his movie titled “Get Rich Or Die Trying”. 50 Cent himself does not blog on the site himself, but much of the material is based on what he wants to see on his site, his character, and so on. Therefore, the content on thisis50.com is much more mature than on RR or HHDX; 50 Cent sets apart a time of the week to post nude or semi-nude pictures of his favorite models during that week. Aside from this, much of the content on the site focuses on general news in the world and not just news based on hip hop music. When they do decide to post hip hop related content, it is generally new songs from more mainstream artist, or artist signed to 50 cents label. Thisis50.com has a poll on almost every post that has new music, or post about women, asking fans to decide if the song/picture is “hot or not”. Lastly, the site is very interactive. Users don’t simply pick a username and post, they can create pages, send gifts, post pictures, and even connect their twitter or Facebook accounts.

I find the most credible source of all is rapradar.com, only because the journalist are well-known and are constantly up to date and fast with every news post. If I were to continue blogging, I would try to combine elements of all three like polls, mature content, and a strong focus on mainstream hip hop music.

Welcome to the FUTURE (Blog Assignment #3)

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"Even our trash is clean"

Welcome to UTOPIA. Ah, how good has this world become? It feels like just yesterday the economy was taking a turn for the worst and everyone was in panic mode. But, the technological advances that society has made in recent years seem to have given the world’s population a well needed morale boost. I have never seen everyone so happy. Floating police bots that operate at all hours keep the streets free of crime. The advancement of screen technology and the creation of hovering cars have made life easier in so many ways. My mirror has become one of my most used forms of media; it’s a living breathing newscaster. Everything from the latest football stats, to news from other planets, to using my planner and so on is in direct proximity which makes things a lot easier. I know longer even have to write things out, I speak a command or some information, and the command is done and the information is translated into text. Furthermore, I can even project my thoughts and dreams into information. Marvelous! I look forward to making another thought entry, now I must get back to my present.”

"Watch Your Step

 

Welcome to HELL. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write things down. This present is so tough, I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to last. I never thought I would ever see the day when technology turned on us; I don’t think anyone saw it coming. But the more I think about, the more I realize we should have been more careful. The technology essentially came alive; the programming became more sophisticated and independent as opposed to the now primitive technology from the past. Media has taken on a toll on my patience. Robots with built-in video cameras and a portable editing station (in any effort to cut cost by eliminating the need for a cameraman) was nice until it stopped caring about the incident and BECAME the incident itself. Nano technology! Small nano bots from all those movies I use to watch. They do all the manual labor in droves and make things easier for us, but they too developed a mind of their own. Now look at this world. Torn apart from the war between man and technology, the things we created. There’s hardly any place where humans can be human, we’re slaves now. I wish there was a way out. Maybe there is.”

I predict my life in the future to be almost similar to how it is now. Although I think technology and media have a long way to go in pushing the boundaries, I don’t see things too different from now. I don’t see flying cars and hovering buildings, but I do see screen technology being more abundant and more implementation of the Microsoft Surface technology. Information constantly being streamed through any flat surface around the house or the environment, such as news updates is going to harm the television industry.

A typical morning for me: wake up, go to the bathroom and brush my teeth while I browse the web on my mirror (similar to the screen technology video), go back to my room and put on my flat screen TV by voice command, turn on the shower by voice command as well as the scanner in the shower monitors my body and adjust the temperature accordingly. Tech such as this will make journalism a lot easier. Sadly, at this point the newspaper industry will officially be obsolete but the media industry could take a huge step forward. Live streaming media from anywhere to everywhere, perhaps live feedback from people around the globe, and possible much more. Life will be good in the future, if the economy holds up that is.

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