New York Times Reports on N.S.A.’s use of Social Media to Gather Data on U.S. Citizens

Journalists are held to a high ethical standard when it comes to reporting on stories, especially stories related to government officials.  News organizations created ethics codes to make sure that their journalists understand what they can and cannot do when researching or reporting on a story.  In some instances, elected officials publicly discredit reporters who break ethics codes in order to report on a story. 

Sadly, our government does not hold itself to the same standards that it expects others to follow.  This weekend, The New York Times ran a full report on the National Security Agency (NSA) and the policies, standards, and practices used to gather data and spy on American citizens.   This particular article was interesting because it directly related to one of the readings this week, Whitehouse’s (2010) “Newsgathering and Privacy: Expanding Ethics Codes to Reflect Change in the Digital Media Age.”  The article discussed ethics policies used by The New York Times and their rule that journalists “may not have into electronic databases, computer files, telephone voicemail, or email” (p. 316). 

It is interesting how we hold journalist to such a high standard but allow our government to spy on us without any outcry for concerns of our privacy.  As I read the news article on The New York Times, I realize that many individuals may think that the NSA’s actions are merited because the collection of this data might be for the benefit of the greater good.  However, I’d like to leave you with a few questions to consider before you finalize your opinion regarding the alleged benefits of the action of the NSA:

  • Why does the government harass journalists when they uncover hidden truths?
  • Why should we believe that the government just started spying on Americans recently?  Isn’t it safe to assume that they were spying on us for decades now but just got caught?



Whitehouse, G. (2010). Newsgathering and privacy: Expanding ethics codes to reflect change in the digital media age. Journal of Mass Media Ethics , 25, 310-327.


Using Twitter to Provide a New Age Resume

As many individuals attempt to get a job, they are spending hours upon hours tweaking their resume to attract the attention of potential employers.  However, news from Mashable explains that many job seekers should turn to Twitter to submit a “Twesume” to attract potential employers.  A Twesume is a shortened version of your resume posted as a tweet on Twitter.  Contributor Josh Tolan discusses this new trend and his recommendations on improving it in his article “4 Ways to Improve Your Twesume.”

This news is important because it highlights the perceived influence that social media now has on every aspect of an individual’s life.  Many individuals are already reliant on social media for most of their daily activities, from where to eat/buy items, what shows to watch, how to interact with certain peers, etc.  You will see more potential job seekers relying heavily on social media for hiring opportunities if statistics show that the hiring rates via Twesumes are high.  In addition, submitting your resume via Twitter gives a job seeker the opportunity of getting an immediate or quick response from potential employers.

This is especially true since I see many friends and family members complaining about being unsuccessful getting a job through the “old school” process of sending your resume and cover letter to a company.  Then, afterwards you are crossing your fingers and hoping that someone calls you back for an interview.  This process could take days, weeks, and even months without any response.  In this sense, a Twesume is not only a social media advancement but a psychological booster to calm the nerves of job seekers.