Technology could play a large role in the democratic process in the coming election, and if it were up to Al Gore and Sean Parker, it would be game changing.
Former Vice President Gore and Napster founder Parker led a democracy in action discussion during the South By Southwest Interactive festival. The leading point was a need to use technology to change democracy in the United States.
“Our democracy has been hacked,” Gore said. “It no longer works in the interest of the people.”
Gore said the lack of democratic success could be attributed to television being one of the most popular media sources even with the Internet available. He said television is a centralized source where politicians have approximately five hours of television advertising each day and people who can afford to buy advertising shape American minds.
As social media becomes more prevalent in the business world, it has become increasingly important to understand the law.
Dara Quackenbush, senior lecturer in the school of journalism and mass communication, conducted a solo presentation during the South By Southwest Interactive festival. The session, “Can you Tweet That? Social Media and the Law,” was met with a packed hotel ballroom of badge holders.
The session covered three main points of social media law — defamation, copyright and the first amendment in conjunction with hate speech.
The first of the points, defamation, includes libel and slander. Libel is written or broadcast defamation, while slander is strictly spoken.
“If it’s broadcast, it’s still considered libel because it’s a mass media publication,” Quackenbush said. “If it’s someone giving a speech, it will be called slander.”
When deciding what panels to attend, I think it’s safe to say a british comedy session is a clear choice. The session was led by Jon Burkhart of Urgent Genius marketing and Will Saunders, comedy producer for BBC. The three main topics they talked about were taking comedy from online to television, making comedy social and the future of television comedy.
BBC is the largest comedy producer in the world and often fosters the growth of young comedians and actors like Hugh Laurie. Ricky Gervais’ comedy podcast for The Guardian in 2005 prompted BBC to go down a similar road in 2007.
British television is known for being progressive, but Burkhart and Saunders said they are both looking at the American partnership business model to get comedy from online videos to television. Partnerships such as Funny or Die and HBO and College Humor and MTV, are their main inspirations.
We’re back for another day of SXSW Interactive and it’s still a cold and a little damp. Beth, news editor, and I started the day off early with one of our own Texas State professors, Dara Quackenbush’s panel, “Can you Tweet That? Social Media and the Law.”
Dara held her own in the solo session and it was a full house, which is impressive because getting that many people back up into sessions after the craziness of nights during SXSW — (Let me just tell you, last night I caught a free Ghostland Observatory show at Moody Theater and it was amazing!). The session had some tech issues but Dara handled it like a professional and everyone was engaged the whole time.
The main points:
The three main things covered were defamation, copyright and the first amendment/hate speech.
There are five tests of libel: defamation, publication (available to be heard to a wide audience), identification (personally identifying someone), negligence and damages.
Fiscal donations proved to be a significant indicator of success for both the winning and losing candidates during the regular San Marcos City Council Elections Nov. 8.
Wayne Becak, Place 4 winner, raised the most money out of all candidates in both the Place 3 and Place 4 election with $14,280. The contributions ranged between $25 and $1,000. Becak had the highest number of contributors with 66.
Becak ran against Place 4 incumbent Chris Jones, who raised $1,590 with 28 contributors. Jones’ contributions ranged from $20 to $400.
Becak said he did not ask for large amounts of money for the campaign, but friends and residents voluntarily sent money to aid in the process. He said San Marcos residents believed in the change he could bring to the council after Jones served for six years.
“As soon as I announced I was running people started giving me money,” Becak said. “I think it was the amount of the community that know me and were ready for a change.”
State budget cuts have caused public entities to tighten their belts, and Texas State is using outsourcing as a way to cut costs and keep efficient.
The concept of outsourcing means Texas State partners with outside companies to provide services instead of the university directly hiring all the employees for certain areas. The practicality of outsourcing has increased with budget cuts and its pervasiveness has increased with the need to serve a growing student population.
Some of the biggest names in data journalism gathered in the oldest building on campus to discuss the future of the industry.
Matt Stiles, former data reporter at The Texas Tribune who currently works at National Public Radio, said this kind of journalism allows him to use electronic records to fact-check information.
“Data lets us have less ‘he said, she said’ in stories,” Stiles said.
Jazz and folk bands played as cars passed, honking to show support. Painted faces, signs and guitars were peppered in a crowd of more than 1,000 people, all gathered to Occupy Austin — a movement some are say could start a revolution.
Occupy Austin is a spin-off of Occupy Wall Street in New York City. The movement protests government corruption in relation to large corporations. Rising tuition rates with minimal career prospects are inspiring students to get involved.
While some seniors count down the days to graduation, Nicholas Cubides is busy registering voters and knocking on doors to get elected to the San Marcos City Council.
Cubides, political science senior, has attended Texas State since fall 2008 and hopes to fill Place 3 on City Council, which is currently occupied by Fred Terry. Cubides is running against Toby Hooper, former Place 2 candidate, Terry Nichols, retired San Marcos Police commander and John Thomaides, mayor candidate and former councilmember.
The wild fire in Bastrop County has burned 25,000 acres and has destroyed 478 homes. Five hundred Hays County residents were asked to evacuate after a fire broke out in the northern area of the county Sunday evening. Photo by Ben Brennan, Senior Photographer.
Much of Central Texas erupted into spreading wildfires Sunday night, because of months of triple-digit temperatures, high winds and dry weather.