October 2007 Archives

October 29, 2007

Do I really want this?

"Why are journalists sometimes prone to exaggerate the health and enviromental risks faced by Americans?"-Found on page 115 of It Ain't Necessarily So

 

Seriously, why does this happen? I mean I know why it happens, but maybe the better question is why do journalists let it happen? I know that people have the desire to know news about things going on around them, and that includes gossip, which is why journalist exaggerate; to catch the reader's attention, and to keep the reader's attention through the whole story, they keep the exaggerations going. Because of this journalists that are trying to only report the truth are given a bad name. Which is one reason why I don't want to take journalism on as a career, because people will automatically think that I'll be lying to them just to cover a story. However, it's also the same reason why I would want to continue with this career, because then I could show that not all journalists are corrupt and only out looking for a story, and that I am one of those journalists just trying to write the truth, and bring that truth out in my stories. But, do I really want to just right in newspapers forever? (That's a no.)

October 25, 2007

I like making lists.

1) I'm going to start reading from the end of the assigned reading to the beginning from now on. I have ADD and this throwing math (my least favorite thing) into my readings is not my cup of pumkin spice coffee (now served in Lowe Dinning Hall.)

2) I'm going to read this way because I was lost until the very last section of Chapter 6. Statistics and percents and numbers in general ARE NOT my friends.

3) I do however like how this book is written. The style makes me happy.

4) Basically the major components I got from these two chapters are as follows.

  • Data can always be read in two ways.
  • Page 88 has the most of my orange high-lighter on it.
  • "...it's a good idea to be skeptical of a news story that cites only percentages, or only raw numbers; stories that cite both are more likely to enable you to realize whether the glass is half empty or half full." -Page 90
  • Even bad news can have a good side.
  • "...the best reporting should probably alert readers to both of the comparisions, to enable them to make the judgment themselves." -Page 93
  • Answers depend greatly on how the question is asked.
  • If you ask a question stupidly, you can get a misleading answer.
  • Don't trust a poll's answer unless you could see the poll's question.
  • Usual source of error = the wording of the question.
  • Double negitives are double trouble.
  • "...it makes a big difference if you ask elliptically or directly about a sensitive matter." -Page 110

 

 5) Personally, I think the glass is half full.

 

Assignment Page

She's real?!?!

So News Writing had me soooooo excited today. In almost all of my classes we've talked in some way about President Boyle, and I never really thought that I'd get to meet her, today made me so happy.

Now I sound like a big dork, BUT, when I was younger I went to take your daughter to work day every year and since my mom worked at Geneva College I always thought it was the coolest thing to walk on the campus (acting like I was meant to be there of course, with my little 8 year old attitude) but a few times I was able to meet with Geneva's President(s) there were two during the time my mom worked there, however they never seemed like as big of a deal as President Boyle. So when she walked in the room today it was like Elizabeth Seton HERSELF just happened to stroll into our classroom. (Insert gasp sound here.)

I was pumped. In fact I give the kids in the class that asked questions MAJOR PROPS for doing so, I was so caught up in the moment and taking notes that it totally passed by me to do so. (Probably not good for my future.) I really got A LOT out of class today though. I feel like even though I was not a full participant-I still was able to take in a lot of information and fully soak in what was going on. I surprise myself sometimes (actually a lot of times this has happened this school year) but when I stay quite and let the class take its course through peers discussion and teachers responses I am able to catch on to a lot more than when I am trying to put my own two cents in as well.

I'm really grateful for today's class - thanks Jerz!

 

 

And Jeremy (I hate saying you're right but....) I second your radio idea.

October 23, 2007

Change

Media Lab Term Project

Before: Helping Jeremy with his Journalism contest for high school kids.

After: Making an information package on how to properly write a Sports Article.

 

(Sports Editor sounds fun.)

October 19, 2007

Oh memories...

"At every step in the transmission process, room for error increases."

 

This quote reminds me of that telephone game that my friends and I ALWAYS played. For those of you (un-cool kids) who don't know how to play telephone, you have everyone sit in a circle, and one person whispers a secret to the person beside them and the secret is past along the circle until the last person hears it and says what they heard out loud to the group. (The kids in the Oreo Cakesters commerical play this game.) Anyway, the point of it is that by the time the secret gets to the last kid, it's a totally different phrase then what the first kid said.

 

 So, this quote, found on page nine of It Ain't Necessarily So, made me vision the flow of information to make news seem to work like a childrens game. This probably isn't good considering people depend on that news everyday. But the rest of the intro explains that when the information is sent through researchers, advocacy groups, government agencies, and then all put together by the journalist, "room for error increases."

 

The book continues to explain this and how the flow of information works (or doesn't work in this case) and actually seems very interesting by showing facts in the first chapter of how some information gets past up in some cases for information that might not be as good for people to hear, see or read. (I'm glad that we are seeing both sides to the story now.)

 

Trackback

October 15, 2007

Just a start to the next four years.

This class has taught, and re-taught a few hundred great lessons for the field of journalism. In high school, I was only able to “join the journalism party, fashionably late” in the last semester of my senior year, so I was able to get in some basic techniques of the style of writing. However, with this course I learned a lot more about how to cut out the fluff and only use the important details of a story, which is unlike most of the writing I did, and was praised for in high school. Also, with this course we learned why timeliness, peer interaction, and in-depth writing are important. 

 

Timeliness

In journalism, having your research and interviews made into an interesting article is important. To be a good journalist, one should know how to get quality items in on time. The way I have demonstrated timeliness is shown in the Animal Cruelty and Racial Acts and "What is written without effort..." blog posts. Though none of my blogs were posted exactly 24 hours before class, these two show that I am able to get items in, in a timely fashion.

 

Peer Interaction

This is important because journalists are constantly conducting interviews, and need to be able to start a conversation about any topic and be able to move with it. In the So...I hope this is right post, my agenda item (what is a writer supposed to do when it comes to given minor’s names in a victim report) generated conversation through other confused students on this same issue. Also on Nessa's blog I left the first comment on her I'm Sorry... post, which also continued the “conversation” on that entry with (almost) the entire class.

 

In-depth writing

A journalist should be able to quickly get out the most important information in an article, but still make the reading deep enough to get in all the facts. The way I was able to portray this were in two different entries, one that was assigned and one that was not. In the post "Covering crime and its victims..."I was able to quickly use the text to show in-depth thinking, and with the When too busy becomes a lame excuse post, I was able to relate personal background to a current story to show another side, giving it a more in-depth look at the story itself.

 

 

 

 Assignment Page

October 14, 2007

New songs by a friend.

moooosic.jpgJust a side note:

 

All of you need to check out my friend

Steve Moakler 

because his music is amazing.

Make him famous kids.

October 12, 2007

The don't laugh at me song comes to mind.

In class today we watched two videos, both of which I was being a little slow and didn't catch on to right away, but since we already made fun of TV news by the Breaking News video and the Situation Room - lets make fun of me and talk about why I wasn't catching on. (I'm sure if my dad reads this he'll be laughing.)

First off, if the message of "watch these videos to make fun of TV news," was ever said by Jerz, I wasn't paying attention because I didn't catch on to "making fun of breaking news" until about the third time they anchor came in for "breaking news" (I should be a blonde, its cool, I know.) Then with the Situation Room video, I was ready to go, I knew we were making fun of TV news now, I was ready to laugh and be like "OMG TV news you're so dumb," ummm, someone should be telling this to me. I was like, yeah this is funny, why is the guy talking like that he sounds like he was told to emphasize every other word, wow that's dumb. (dramatic pause) Then Daniella (who was sitting beside me) starts to bust out laughing, I figured I wasn't catching on to something (aka the news feed) so I started reading the news feed thing that scrolls along the bottom of the screen, and started to laugh as well.

YAY!!! Now I can make fun of TV news! -Well actually, we do that a lot, and we just made fun of me, so since that seems to be the theme, we should make fun of something else. (Jerz I don't want this to break your heart - I like writing and reading newspapers, but lets be "true journalist" and show both sides.) Newspapers are not perfect either, we make mistakes too, this is just my opinion. In my eyes no form of news is a perfect way to display  what is happening in the world today, the world is changing so much that really there is no way to do so. I'm not picking whether I like TV news or reading newspapers better, I'm just saying if we are learning to write fair and balanced, we should do that with all things actually-and though these videos are hilarious (when you catch on to them) I'm sure there is some way to make fun of newspapers in the same way. That's all, done ranting.

 

Assignment Page

October 11, 2007

Media Lab: A History of News I-9

A History of News

Intro

This book will talk about the development of American journalism.

Society is drowning in news, but out understanding of it all is incomplete.

We are spending too much time on certain, big hit, stories.

News is what is on societies mind.

Part One: Spoken News

Chapter One

Coffee houses used as a source of news for Englishmen (seems to me like these men gossiped a lot)

How do people respond to missing news, or without a days worth of gossip?

Newspapers importance: shows people in depth forms of political and social issues.

“Blogs took journalism by surprise.” (how ironic)

Chapter Two

“Newspapers have not yet taken a firm hold, even in the large towns; but news travels very fast in the ordinary way…” -Max and Bertha Ferras

Wireless Telegraphy - people could use different noises to communicate news.

Domestication of horses changed the way news was able to travel.

Story of Pheidippes running from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of the Greece war victory - he died of exhaustion after his news report from the 25 mile run.

Again with the Newsworthyness topic

Chapter Three

“Narrowcasting” - “A basic rule of communication: The more outlets available of any particular medium in any one area the more narrow the audience they seek out.”

Chapter talks about the decline of spoken news, I really don’t think people every stopped talking about current events or just stopped gossiping, so I don’t agree with this section.

Part Two: Written News

Chapter Four

Writing changed how many Americans thought, and TV followed in its path. But some think it has made us more violent, less social or less serious and more materialistic.

“The ability to speak is part of our genetic inheritance; the ability to write is not.” NOT TRUE!!!! I don’t agree at all. It’s different for everyone. Bad stereotype.

Chapter Five

“Societies depend for their unity and coherence on a sense of group identity…News provides the requisite set of shared thoughts.”

51 B.C. vs. 2007 = Cicero thinks 2,00 years ago he was sent too much “tittle-tattle” but now it is considered too much “junk” on TV, in magazines, and in our mailboxes.

Part Three: Printed News

Chapter Six

People that really first came to America told of this news probably by spoken word so they did not receive the “credit” for the discovery.

Handwritten letters were a way to send news back and forth to different countries.

Printing press began to develop around 1475

Books become a new technology and the beginning of the information age.

Chapter Seven

The beginning of “published gossip.” - 1508

Celebrity becomes newsworthy before average people.

Crimes begin to be published in papers.

Early newspapers turn to sensationalism, much like todays.

Chapter Eight

“Any life will seem dramatic if you omit mention of most of it.” -Ann Beattie

Kinds of news: the extraordinary, the conventional, and the unexpected.

The Extraordinary: “Whether the subject is love, birth, weather, crime, journalists’ tastes inevitably run toward the unnatural, the extraordinary.”

The Conventional: “The journalist’s work, in this sense, is to squeeze raw reality into familiar, easy to comprehend themes.”

The Unexpected: “When we choose to enter the world of breaking news, we enter a fun house.”

Part Four: Newspapers

Chapter Nine

A newspaper is published regularly and frequently, variety of different stories in each issue, displays a consistent and recognizable title or format.

What is a Gazette? -probably the name of a Venetian coin, called this because of the price some of the first newspapers cost. (Also Russian word for newspaper is Gazette)

World’s first newspaper could be considered as handwritten newssheets that were produced weekly in Venice as early as 1566.

When too busy becomes a lame excuse.

Alright, so...Yahoo is my homepage because it holds my non-school based email account (that I have never been good at checking a lot) so I figured recently if I made it my home page, then I'm bound to think of my email when the page pops up and I'll check it. (In theory this worked then I got a Seton Hill account and I become less likely to check Yahoo, unless someone tells me to, because I hate that Facebook sends me an email every time someone breaths and Yahoo doesn't have a good spam filter....ANYWAY)

 

So on my way to check my email I saw the news feed that Yahoo has and (though this never attracts my attention long enough to actually click on the links there) I stopped and read that a school shooting happened recently (side note: I feel out of the loop at college by not having cable in my room and not being ambitious enough to actually walk out to the lobby and watch the news on one of the three stations that third floor Brownlee is spoiled with; however, I personally feel like I'm less stressed out having to see the same war, school shooting, war, death, disease, war war war, messages everyday on TV like I used to back home) Anyway, so Yahoo news headlines are basically all I get unless I get to dinner in time to pick up one of the papers and read some bit of info. (Sorry I'm getting off topic, ADD does that to you. ANYWAY, for real this time...)

 

I saw there was a school shooting in Ohio, and that there were clear warning signs about it. Actually the headline reads "Student gunman in Ohio warned of attack," that to me says someone screwed up and now people are victims of a shooting because of it. (Good job.) As I read the article I found out that the principal was "too busy" to talk with students about the treat.

 

I'm sorry...what?!?! Too busy is an excuse I give someone that I don't really like, as a reason why I can’t hang out with them for the night, and a principal told students that in reference to a serious threat? I mean, granted, I know school administrators are busy. But, I went to a high school that was pretty small, and 100-200 was the average for each grade level 7-12, and even though they filled A LOT of time with petty issues like the dress code, and heaven forbid someone wearing flip-flops or sweatpants to school, or cutting in the lunch lines, I think even my school's administration wouldn't be "too busy" for a serious threat like this coming from a student. I mean we had a website (report it.com) that students could even anonymously leave a message to teachers or administration if they didn’t want to get caught by a fellow student if they needed to report a threat made in school. Actually our school is probably in the list of Top Ten schools in WPA with the most threats and each one seemed to be taken pretty seriously to me, though we were not always told every time there was a threat, it was usually because it was taken care of before word got out. I have to admit, with the high amount of threats there were in my school our administration took each one seriously, and were never "too busy" when it came to our safety with that kind of thing.

 

So how can a high school of about 1,200 (my high school) not be "too busy" when it comes to problems, but in a high school of 240 (the Ohio school where the shooting took place) the principal was "too busy" to take the threat seriously enough to listen to students. And my high school isn't even that big; actually my class was the biggest class to go through its doors in ten years, in both directions.

 

I think there is a problem when the safety of your school comes second to anything. I personally hated my high school administration, and did a lot to defy them and make them look bad, by using their own policies against them and 90% of the time it worked; but I could never make fun of them for the amount of precautions they took with any kind of threat that happened in our school; they are probably the greatest reason why Lincoln High School never made it into the news next to the war and disease issues that the TV pumps out.

 

Seriously, I could make fun of good ol' LHS for days at a time for how corrupt and to put it simply, stupid the policies and those that enforce them have become....but at least they never got anyone killed.   

October 9, 2007

Media Lab (Portfolio 2)

Part 1: Freshman Finds Time to Continue Help With the Setonian

Chelsea Oliver, a freshman at Seton Hill University has been working hard on each issue of the Setonian, and stepping up to expectations of upperclassman on the paper’s staff.

“Chelsea has been doing well with the paper, and I am proud of her work,” said Valerie Masciarelli, editor of the Setonian. “She’s really been stepping up and helping us out in a great way.”

Though with this past issue, Oliver turned in her assignments later than expected and was not able to help in the distribution process, she still was able to submit an article and pictures and help with some time in the office during production week.

“Even though Chelsea needed an extention, she came through for us and turned in her article and pictures and then spent the day in the office to help with the layout,” said Masciarelli.

Oliver was unable to help with the distribution of the Setonian because of scheduling conflicts, but still wishes to remain as useful as she has in the past to the paper. “I know with this past issue I could have done better, along the lines of turning my work in on time and trying to be there for distribution, but I will just try to be better with the next issue,” said Oliver

“I forgive Chelsea, I know that sometimes people need extensions and that the paper did not come in on the day it was planned to, so I do not see that as slacking, I know that she is good at what she does, and she is a big help to the staff already, even in this short amount of time,” said Masciarelli.

“I wrote an article and took some pictures, and though they were late I think they both turned out well, I was with Val and Lorin when they edited my paper so they could show me what was wrong, and Lorin taught me some things about the layout and how to place articles, so I am learning,” said Oliver. “I just hope to be able to do more in the issues to come with layout and production as a whole to be a better contributor to the Setonian.

 

Part 2: Blog Reflection

"The ability to speak is part of our genetic inheritance; the ability to write is not"

From personal experience I found this off in some ways, maybe to others it is not but because of my brother being so shy and still he is a great writer I find this quote hard to believe. Also with myself it is easier for me to write to express my ideas than to actually say them, though many of my friends and people that know me well enough know that I am a very outgoing person, it’s typically easier for me to write out how I feel then actually tell someone how I feel. So personally I find this quote to not be true, simply based on how my brother and I have always been able to show our feelings through writing but not always so through speaking.

With other people I know that, that may be the opposite because it is easy to think on their feet and be able to know exactly what to say, and even though I act like I can do that, I really have a hard time actually doing so. Whereas with writing I have the time to process my thoughts and convey them in a way that looks good, so people can understand them. Because while talking, I know that I always say “you know” and really the person I’m talking to could have no idea what I am talking about, but if I wrote everything down I am more clear and able to relay my message to them in a better, more direct way.

Writing has always been easy for me, and I’m not saying that speaking isn’t, its just that with that quote I feel as if maybe its stereo-typing, thinking that people are expected to just know how to speak well and that writing is “so hard” when really it is different for everyone, and everyone’s experiences are different, making them either a better writer or a better speaker, or some lucky people that are just good at both.

 

 

Part 3: Action Item    

For the journalism contest we are sending out a letter to schools about the contest in advance so they will know about it, and be able to give their students enough time to actually work on their papers. Also the letter will contain some information about Seton Hill in general and that the winner will win some time to shadow someone on the Setonian staff and see how production week works and they would also be able to possibly have their article published in an issue of an upcoming Setonian. We are currently in the process of making a draft of the letters that will be sent and are working towards getting these letters out this month so the schools have plenty of time to work.