December 1, 2005

Not too bad...I guess...

Well, class is almost over. I thought that I should take a few minutes and comment on what I wrote on the piece of paper that Dr. Jerz suggested we write on. I HATE NEWSWRITING!! Not the class, the writing style. I can't do it. I have tried and tried and tried and I just don't get it. However, I learned a lot from this class. I think that it's a class that every news consumer should take (although that is impossible). I'm glad to have broadened my writing horizons, so to speak, and learned something about news. Before this class, I would watch the news on TV and never think twice. I would pick up a newspaper and read the first few lines and think, "Hm, read the first few lines and I know the what this is about. I don't have to read anymore." I thought it was pretty clever. NEVER would have thought that it was intentional. ALTHOUGH, It Ain't Neccessarily So was rather repetitive and biased, I think that it had some of the most useful information that I have ever learned. DO NOT TRUST ALL OF THE STATISTICS THAT YOU READ! Everytime I read a statistic, in whatever class for whatever reason, I think of this lesson. Everytime someone tries to win an argument with me using statistics, I put an end to it immediately. So, all in all, I guess this class wasn't TOO bad...I guess;-)

Posted by CheraPupi at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)

Cover Page Newswriting-11.30

I have compiled the following list of reflections and comments from 11-14 to 11-30.

Gillmor describes televison as telling the what, and newspapers as telling the how and why. I thought that this was interesting. This is an example of coverage and timeliness.

Gillmor used an interesting example about Trent Lott that I thought was interesting. This is an example of depth and coverage.

I did my presentation on Chapter 7 of We The Media. It is an example of depth, coverage, and timeliness.

I liked how Gillmor described online journalism as a "collision" between technology and journalism. This is an example of coverage.

I was really interested in the section on cookies in this book. It is an example of coverage and depth.

Comment primo on Chris' blog!

I participated in a good conversation about book preferences on Rachel's blog.


Posted by CheraPupi at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

Chapter 7 Oral Presentation

Informal Oral Presentations -- News Writing (EL 227)

Chapter 7—We the Media
The Former Audience Joins the Party

On February 14, 2004, Rex Hammock and four other small-business people went to the Old Executive Office Building in Washington to have a short discussion with President George Bush on economic issues. This session, unlike others similar to it, was closed to the press. The officials did not know, however, that Hammock was a citizen journalist. On his way back to the airport that day, he got out his laptop and wrote a long entry on his weblog. He wanted to write about his impressions rather than discuss policy. His citizen coverage became a story in its own. If there was one lesson that was obvious, it was that excluding The Media from coverage does not necessarily mean that this is the case.

There was an All Things Digital conference in California in which all of the main sessions were “off the record.” This restriction, however, did not stop a number of people from reporting on their blogs what speakers said (including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs). This obviously made official members of the press very angry.

These cases show that banning Media and stating that something is “off the record” does not mean that the people involved are not citizen journalists and will not immediately report on their blogs what they have seen and heard. The book notes, that the expression means little to large groups of people and nonprofessional journalists who aren’t educated in the nomenclature of what can be disclosed and what can’t.

One of the main criticisms of blogs is that many are “self absorbed tripe.” Gillmore describes this as being interesting only to the writer, plus some family and friends. He says though, that there is no reason to dismiss the genre. It’s interesting to think of weblogs as a “genre,” but I suppose that it’s just that. Two definitions of genre are expressing oneself in writing, and a style or class. Blogs are a way of expressing yourself, and it is in a fairly new and unique style. As Gillmore says, “Blogs can be acts of civic engagement.”

It’s no secret that professional reporters have many limitations. If there’s one thing that I have learned in EL227, it’s that. They are limited as far as the stories that they are going to report on, they are limited as far as space to write their stories, they are limited with time, and they are limited by libel. Although bloggers do have to be responsible and careful about what they write about, they do have more freedom than professional journalists. Therefore, bloggers have the ability to go further in depth than professionals.


We as Americans tend to take our rights and freedoms for granted. Because of the First Amendment, Americans can generally write blogs with few consequences. However, in countries where free speech is not a privilege what people blog about can potentially kill them. It can also cause the loss of jobs. China for example, tries to keep their most widely listened-to voices out of general circulation. A young Chinese woman who wrote under a pen name wrote descriptions of her sexual exploits. She lost her job as a columnist for a Guangdong Province newspaper. An Iranian man was jailed for his blog in 2003. Gillmore states that secrecy has become a very important part of large corporations. These corporations have a right to this secrecy, and Americans only have rights until the fringe upon the rights of someone else. Therefore, Freedom of Speech takes a back seat to their Right to Privacy.


Gillmore says that some people will want to make a living out of personal journalism. Many business models are emerging. Advertising, is obviously a model. Subscriptions are another. The “tip-jar” approach is the most popular. Another model is “nano-publishing” in which publications are devoted to one particular area. Gawker, for example, is a blog mainly concerned with NYC and the gossip in it. Gizmodo is another that is devoted to electronic gadgets.


Chris Allbritton used this approach very well. He is a former professional writer turned blogger. He basically asked his readers to send him money so that he could go to Iraq and cover the war. His trip started in 2002 in Turkey and Iraq. He came back and realized that he wanted to go back, so he launched a new site that he called Back to Iraq. Ultimately, 342 readers donated about $14, 500. In 2003, he decided that he wanted to go back again, and launched another site. He offered his advice to Gillmore. He said that a blogger has to pick a topic and stick to it. He feels that many blogs are too unfocused. The main reason that Allbritton was so successful, was because people trusted him from his previous work and were willing to take a chance on him, so they contributed. A blogger must develop a relationship with their reader. Allbritton’s relationship with his readers was clear by the comments that they left him on a daily basis while in Iraq. They told him of the news and events happening in America. I think this is really awesome.

These sections were pretty basic and not too controversial, but any comments that you might have are welcome!

Posted by CheraPupi at 1:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

Cover Page 3-Newswriting.

I have compiled the following list of blog entries that demonstrate my ability to comprehend and discuss the assigned reading from 10/24/05 to 11/7/05.

In the first entry, I realized that feature news writing is a lot more like the writing that I am used to. This is an example of coverage.

In this entry I realized that all of the things that we have read thus far say the same thing-negative stories are more liked by readers than optimistic stories. This is an example of coverage.

This entry was a result of the first oral presentations in class and the debate we had in class over who was "bad." In this entry, I made a conclusion. Neither the scientists nor the journalists are bad-as long as they both do their jobs. This is an example of coverage.

This entry is an example of depth, coverage, and timelieness. I question the use of proxies and whether there are any statistics that can be trusted. I also give the authors credit for doing their jobs well.

In this entry, I question the use of polls and ask whether there is any such thing as a "non-biased poll." This is an example of depth and coverage.

In this entry, I discussed the issu of crimes and how there is no way to tell how many crimes are committed. This is an example of timeliness, discussion, depth, and coverage.

In this entry, I asked whether there are any positive statistics used, and decide to go on a search to look for some. This is an example of depth and coverage.

In this entry I talked about details and how I liked the idea of using details as opposed to a word to convey a point. It is an example of timeliness, depth, coverage, and discussions.

I commented on Denamarie's blog and participated in a discussion about how people love drama.

I participated in a discussion on Chris' blog about how if newswriting were subjective, it would be horrible to read.

Comment primo on Dena's blog!

Posted by CheraPupi at 1:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2005

What if you just can't get it?

I was outside of my Drama as Literature class yesterday morning talking to some of the upper classmen who are also in my Newswriting class. I was expressing how difficult writing news articles is for me and asked if anyone else has had a hard time with it. I was releived to hear that others were. Katie Lambert said to me, "What if you just CAN'T write news articles?" It got me thinking and led me to blog about it. I've been told over and over again (my education professor said it again today in class) that there is ALWAYS going to be something that you j u s t d o n ' t g e t ! ! No matter how hard you try, no matter how much help you ask for, you just will not comprehend it. I feel that there are two things I just DON'T get. Calculus and Newswriting. Seriously. You probably all think I'm being ridiculous, but I have tried and tried and everytime I write an article that I feel is very good, I am told otherwise. However, this is not to say that I have learned nothing in my newswriting class. I have learned a lot actually. I have learned the style of writing news articles, something that I have never payed much attention to in the past. I have learned that it is much more complex than it seems and that journalists have to be very careful about what and how they write. I have learned that television news is not nearly as satisfying to my appetite for news as the newspapers are, and I have learned much, much more. I just have a very hard time applying these things to my personal writing. Just thought I'd share my feelings with you all. Feel free to comment!

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:47 PM | Comments (0)

Cover Page 2 (Newswriting)

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a blogging portfolio, I have compiled a list of entries that I have chose to include in my second blogging portfolio for Newswriting (EL227).

This was the first entry that I did after my last blogging portfolio.

I was disapointed because I missed the guest speaker here last week! I didn't really have much to say about it though, since I wasn't present.

Chapter 7 of Elements of Journalism was very interesting to me!

I never really thought about the "inner music of words" before reading this chapter!

I really enjoyed this book!

This article in the Tribun Review was very interesting and had a lot of useful info!

My idea for the editorial is something that I feel very strongly about.

My wildcard entry comes straight from my heart.

I commented on Katie Aikens' blog!

I also commented on Jennna O'Brocto's blog.

I commented on Elyse Branam's blog as well.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:34 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

Cover Page

For those who are not familiar with what a "Blogging Portfolio" is, I have compied the following list of entries and explanations and the significance of them.I have been blogging on Microsoft Word, and have just put all of my entries on my blog.

This reflection stemmed from the first assignment we had in EL227. I read an article in the Tribune Review that I found appalling and thought it important to blog about it.

I really disliked this book. This is the first text that I have had to read in college thus far and I didn't like. Okay upperclassmen, I know that this is the first of many, but it's a milestone that I felt had to be included.

I found this information very useful in writing news articles.

I found this information on leads very useful as well, it answered alot of questions that I had.

This is my experience in writing my first news article ever!

I struggled with the use of quotes, but after reading this chapter, things became a little more clear.

I had some trouble reading these chapters, after reading other's blogs, I got a little clearer understanding.

I have learned alot from newswriting!

Dr. Jerz asked us to compare our spot news article to the article in the Setonian and the Communicator.

I posted a comment on Elyse's blog!

I also posted a comment on Rachel's blog!

This is my wildcard entry. It is a comment that I posted for Drama, but I think that it says alot about my acheivements as a student web blogger.

Posted by CheraPupi at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)


Reporter's Notebook -- News Writing (EL 227)

I felt like I was in 6th grade reading this book. (NO OFFENSE DR. JERZ;p)But I didn't really like reading it. It was a good brush up on some vocabulary and some other things, but I didn't really enjoy this at all. But hey, we're not supposed to enjoy every text right?

Posted by CheraPupi at 6:31 PM | Comments (0)

Lots of football!

So I remember looking through the Setonian and reading ALOT of articles about football, but I couldn't remember seeing an article on the first home football game. So I went back again, and I was right. There isn't an article on the first home game EVER. The article in The Comminicator was rather short, and my article doesn't really compare. Their article basically just gave a few facts and basically focused on the fan support. My angle for my article was about the scare of not playing because the field was not ready. I know that Dr. Jerz told us that sport's writers have a little more freedom when it comes to being biased, but something really stood out to me when I was reading the article in The Communicator. The author was telling the score of the game, and said, "the disapointing final score was..." That seemed to be a little too much. There was also alot of useless information. For example, the author said that the crowd "was largely made up of SHU students, faculty, alumni, parents, and community supporters." The concept of fans really did not need to be explained to readers.

Posted by CheraPupi at 6:05 PM | Comments (1)

Chapters 3-5

Elements of Journalism (Ch 3 to 5) -- News Writing (EL 227)

I had a kind of hard time reading these chapters. I was okay until I got to BACKLASH AGAINST DETACHMENT. I understand the section CITIZENS ARE NOT CUSTOMERS, but when I got to THE WALL I got confused again. I thought we would discuss it in class, so I wasn't really worried about it. We didn't talk much about these things in class, so I read other people's blogs to try to get an understanding. I was relieved when I read Elyse Branam's blog, becuase she too had some difficulty. I read the comments that people posted and the tips that they left her. So I tried to re-read and highlight, and it's a little clearer now. So thanks everyone who left comments on Elyse's blog!

Posted by CheraPupi at 6:02 PM | Comments (0)


AP Guide to News Writing (Ch 8) -- News Writing (EL 227)

This chapter cleared up alot of my confusion on quotes. I was having trouble knowing when I should quote someone and when I should just paraphrase. This chapter helped alot, because it actually told me what quotes are supposed to be used for. They use the example of quotes pulling on oars of a story to keep it moving along. I remember that now when I'm writing.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:53 PM | Comments (0)

Leads, Leads, Leads

AP Guide to News Writing (Ch 3) -- News Writing (EL 227)

This chapter was informative as well. I first thought that in order for a lead to be a good one, it HAD to include the 5-w's in the first sentence. I got a much clearer idea of what a lead should and should not include in Chapter 3. I think that the best parts of this chapter were the first and second sections. Section one says not to bury the news. It says to make sure you include only the most important aspects of the story. The second is too much, too little. I was looking back at some of my original assignments after all of the things that we have learned in the past few weeks, and it's amazing how much I would change now that I know what I know. Cutting down my leads is probably the biggest change that I would make.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:46 PM | Comments (0)

Information really is not enough....

AP Guide to News Writing (Ch 2) -- News Writing (EL 227)

I liked this chapter alot. Mainly because this is something that I have always struggled with. Dr. Jerz often talks about the difference between writing for literature and writing for a news article. I totally agree, but this is a common problem with all forms of writing. I remember my Lit teacher in high school telling us after every essay test that we had, about how we can't just throw all of the information that we have learned on paper and expect her to make sense of it. The same goes for writing news articles. There is an emphasis on making what you want to say simple and concise. The idea of wasted words, wasted space is what I have the most trouble with in newswriting. I want to write things clearly, and I guess my instincts tell me that in order to do that, I have to explain things thoroughly which often leads to me using incredibly long sentences.
^^^ see what I mean? All in all, these chapters were very informative for me, because I have never written news articles.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:39 PM | Comments (0)

Intro of Elements

Elements of Journalism (Intro, Ch 1, & Ch 2) -- News Writing (EL 227)

Talk about grasping attention of readers, this book does a very good job of doing so. I love reading books that are easily read and understood. This is definately one of them.
I am so fascinated by the fact that literature and certain concepts are so universal. Kovach and Rosenstiel demonstrate this in their introduction of Elements of Journalism. The fact that the concept of news is universal never crossed my mind. These authors are just so clever. I suppose that's why they get paid the large sums of money that they do. They bring up alot of points in the intro that made me think. The fact that people have this instinct to know what is going on was one of them. People today feel like if they watch the news, and if they know what is going on in the world, they are in control. What a false sense of control to have though. Honestly, if I know that China has some very intelligent people, how is that going to stop terrorists from destroying our lives in America? The reality is, that it's not. It's interesting to think about though.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:28 PM | Comments (1)


WTAE-Pittsburgh Channel 4 TV newscast -- News Writing (EL 227)

We had an assignment on August 31 which included reading an article in the Tribune Review. I came across an article about a family and a dog. Sound newsworthy yet? Well it doesn't get much better. On page seven of The Reporters Notebook, Mark Levin lists some basic steps to follow in writing stories. The author of this article should have definately consulted point number one of Levin's list. "Make sure your story passes the 'who cares' test." This article was not news worthy whatsoever.
The article told of Robert Walters, a man who put his dog out for the night, and woke up without his dog there the next morning. Now I feel sorry for this man and his family, but since when has a lost dog been front page news? I was almost appalled that a professional writer would choose such dull subject matter. The information seemed to be accurate, but he definately did not grasp my attention.
This man claimed that he saw his dog with another man, and based his whole argument on the fact that he thinks he saw his dog.I love animals, dogs in particular, and I know that many dogs look a lot alike. There is absolutley no way to tell if the dog is his. The fact that the owner took this case to court and the judge ruled against his favor supports this. The author claims that the other man did not return his phone call, so he only got quotes from one side. I don't believe that he was biased in any way; I just think that he simply had nothing better to write about.
The author had no main point that he wanted to convey, which therefore led to his lack of an attention getting lead. Although his paragraphs seemed organized enough, as a reader, I was still unclear on the idea or point that he was trying to convey. To be honest, the only reason that I continued to read the article was because I continued to find things that were wrong with it.

Posted by CheraPupi at 4:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005

Reading the Trib,,,

Tribune-Review (Sep 20 edition) -- News Writing (EL 227)

How many times have I looked at a newspaper in my lifetim? ALOT. However, being in the Newswriting class has taught me to look at artciles from a completely different angle. Rather than just reading an article for subject matter, I now look at the style of the article. I look at the headlines to see if they grab my attention and I look at the leads and see if they answer the 5W-Hows. I check to see the background and the nutgraph, and reading the Trib yesterday, I looked at the end of the article and tried to decide where the article could have been cut off. I don't want to now, nor have I ever wanted, to be a journalist. I'm learning slowly, but surely, how to not write a paper for Literature and how to write for a newspaper. It is amazing to me, though, how much I have overlooked in the past, and learned in the last couple of weeks.

Posted by CheraPupi at 5:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005


Spot-News Roundup -- News Writing (EL 227)

Prof. Jerz has been emphasizing lately, the fact that alot of his students can write well, they're just used to literature writing or some other style of writing. This is completely the case for me. I have never written a news article before. I have, on the other hand, written many many papers for literature. So naturally, when we got this assignment, I was kind of scared. Changing styles has been very difficult for me. Perhaps more than I thought it would, but nonetheless, I am learning. Slowly but surely. I haven't received my spot news back yet, so I'm not sure how I did, but I was confidant. It actually sounded like a real news article, so that in itself is improvement. I also had an easier time shortening sentences and writing leads and things like that. So all in all, I think that the spot news exercise was a very good learning experience.

Posted by CheraPupi at 11:42 AM | Comments (2)