September 2009 Archives

The News and Color

After reading Angela’s blog entry entitled “I Like Me Some Color,” I had thought about how important color in when writing or formatting a newspaper. As for the paper layout, Angela said that it contained “bits of texts, but not too much” which seems to be very important amongst all of the papers that were listed. As Angela noted, it seems as though the paper is moving towards a more visual style instead of simply having story after story. Each one of Angela’s comments about the newspaper contained some aspect of how the pictures added to her liking. This blog entry made me realize that a newspaper does not have to be boring and suited towards an older group in society, but it should be lively and colorful. Whether someone is twenty or eighty years old, the paper should be appealing to both all groups. One reason that I do not read a newspaper on a regular basis is because of how many words and stories are condensed onto one page. I much rather would prefer to see a variety of text and pictures with a lot of the articles. Overall, Angela made a great point about a paper having pictures and color because it add to their selling scheme and make the readers take a second look when walking past.

Click here for the course home page.

The Importance of Information at a Glance

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For the Comparison of Front pages, I chose two different newspapers to examine. One is from Chicago and the other one is from Los Angeles.

The Chicago Tribune

When I first looked at this newspaper, I thought that it had a lot of appealing features to it. This includes the color, to the font, and finally to the organization of information. The banner of the paper did not contain un-necessary information, but had the title, date, slogan, and website. I noticed one feature that was in extremely small print and it was the cost of the paper. Now, I know that papers are expensive to print, but the price seemed a little over done compared to our area. For people who live in the city or suburbs only have to pay 75 cents, but everyone else has to pay $1.25. Our hometown, Greensburg, paper is only 50 cents a day except for Sunday. I also liked the font of the paper because it seemed so stylish and clean looking. It was easy to read and did not strain my eyes.

The Daily News

This newspaper had a very different banner because of how much more information it contained. It had the date, the slogan, the weather, and a brief news statement about a sporting event. The font that this paper uses seemed similar to the font that the Tribune-Review uses. The price on the brand was at the bottom next to the index and it only costs 50 cents - like ours. Instead of a nice line under the banner, it had the newspapers website and some things that their website has on it such as sudoku and crosswords.

Finally, both of these newspapers had color which made the appearance more attractive. Please refer to Angela's blog entry for a detailed description of color in newspapers.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Comparison of Front Pages.

Reflection #7: Words are Worth a Million Words

The blog entry entitled, “Careful Wording” by Jennifer Prex was a great example of how important words are when writing a news article. She specifically pointed out the word accident and incident which are extremely important depending on the event. Imagine if someone used the word incident, but the event was an accident. I never thought about this until I read Jennifer’s blog, but it really makes the author of the article look bad and it will make the readers, with emotion connection, feel bad. If there was an accident and the news writer wrote that it was an incident, then the alleged person in the accident could be set free because it was called an incident.

Jenn also mentioned the word “tone” and how a writer does not want to use words that do not fit the context or setting. If someone is writing about the G20 Summit, which occurred in Pittsburgh, then the words should be bright and positive because of how much tourism and coverage the city received. On the other hand, if a writer is talking about the protestors in Pittsburgh, during the G20, then the words should not be as bright and happy, but solemn and carefully chosen. Overall, it is important to use correct words based on the event, but if you’re on a tight schedule, then sometimes mistakes can occur.

Click here for the course web page.

A Blunt News Article

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Chapter 6:

"It is six years since the morning Nathan Giles Jr. accosted the car that Bonnie Anne Bush was driving to her Mount Sinai Hospital nursing post, forced her out with a gun, dragged her screaming into an abandoned West Side building, shot her and set her body afire" (Scanlan 141).

After reading the initial paragraph to the article A Woman Burned While Police Had Their Danish, I was shocked at the amount of description that Newsday provided. Chapter six is entitled "Opinion and Persuasion," but I didn't think it would go this far. You may be thinking that I am against this amount of information in the very beginning of the story, but I am not. I think that it is great that there is this much information at the start. This tells the readers exactly what went on and what the story will cover. It does not contain fluff or unnecessary words. The voice of the writer can be found early enough that a reader does not have to question who is writing.

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Chapter 8:

"Vincent Fiori was on the 71st floor of the first tower that was hit" (Scanlan 219).

I think that this chapter is extremely important to news writers because of how touching the subject area is. The quote that I chose is all that is necessary to depict from the article because of how much emotion it has in it. It is the news agencies and the news writers that make the story. Just because a very extreme event occurs, does not mean that everyone in the world saw it. This is why we have newspapers, television, and the internet. People have to watch or read something in order to find out what is happening in the world each and every day.

So, should newspapers publish articles about terrorist events? Does this give the terrorists credit or does it honor the victims of the crime?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Cappon Ch. 6, 8.

Reflection #6: An Article with a Connection

Matt Henderson’s blog entry listed some extremely important terms that are important to consider when reading or studying a news article. Matt mentioned how the articles seemed to relate to “people” instead of the event. I had not thought about this before because I was focusing on the human aspect instead of the event. I think that a news article should try to contain some of each. If people are mentioned in the article, then the event or topic should be described with some depth. As mentioned in the comment, I could image the news reporter or writer standing at the event in front of the interviewee or event personnel. This part of the article is important to me because I like to have different learning styles, visual and kinesthetic, when trying to learn a new topic or happening. Finally, as Matt touch upon, I believe that it is extremely important to incorporate some personality and emotion into the article because this will help the reader become involved in the article and possibly relate to what is occurring.

Click here for the course web page.

Economic Devastation and Cash for Clunkers

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"As the department attempts to recoup its $11.4 million shortfall" (House).

Wow, so the state continues to cut the budget every year, even when the economy was not in the condition that it currently is in. This event, as Dr. Jerz stated, involves more than just the Golden Gate Park, but every state in the United States and the world. The question is why does the state continue to not provide money to this park, even when the economy is good? Is it because the park is not worthy to keep open or is it because the state simply does not have even revenue to keep all of the parks operating at top condition. I feel terrible, as a scholar, to see a park and its workers lose money and improvements, but this is a choice from the state. This article reminded me of how a large economic issue can be focused on one event as small as a park. I quickly got a satellite image in my mind because of how we start large and zoom in on a topic or the opposite.

"He finally settled on cellulosic ethanol, a fuel made from organic scraps and non-edible parts of plants" (Baker).

After reading this news article, I felt a similar connection with the previous one (above). Baker was talking about a sport that thousands of people love in the world, but there is a larger issue facing the driver. Environmental issues and laws are changing every day, but it seems only to the better side of things. Once again, we begin with a large issue and focus it on one topic - more environmentally friendly cars.

Question: Are these articles focused on the larger issue of environmental and economic issues or are they suppose to show us how a large issue affects everyday people?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Sample Spot News.

Reflection #5: Emotion vs. Academic Words

Angela’s blog entry entitled “Abducted by Aliens” made me think of how emotion in a news article is very important. A lot of crime scene articles talk about the punishment that the intruder will receive, but what about the victim or person that will suffer the rest of their lives from the event. I think that a news article should contain quotes or facts that people can relate to in crimes instead of making the articles so academic. The normal person, I’m assuming, does not know criminal laws and punishment fines, but the newspapers always publish this kind of information. One reason that I thought of was that writers do this in order to make the interloper so bad. If a news article did not contain any information about what the criminal would receive as a result of their crime, then most people would not care about the article. As soon as a writer begins speaking about “aggravated assault, corruption of minors, and criminal conspiracy” in their article, then the reader becomes very interested. A reason could be that the reader wants to know how terrible of an event it was or exactly what happened, but those words have emotion in them.

Click here for the course web page.

There is a manual for everything, but this one is good

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"Readers or listeners often want an explanation of why crimes happen. They ask: 'Could it happen to me?' They may want to know so that they can prevent a similar thing happening to themselves" (Ingram & Henshall).

This quote really stood out to me when learning why crime articles are important to everyday readers. Everyone wants to know how and why something happened. This seems to be because of how out of the ordinary the event is. Take a theft, for example, that happens within someone's neighborhood. This would scare anyone after reading or watching the information. Most people would call their friends and neighbors and tell them to make sure they lock their doors and keep everything secure. I would bet that most people would ask their neighbors to keep an eye open for any suspicious activity. Why do humans become so scared about a close to home event, but no so worried about a distant event?

Unfortunately, a more in-depth crime with a lot of terrible information will attract an audience for days. What makes horror so interesting to people? Is it the psychological realism or is it just because of how terrible the action is?

Ingram & Henshall and also stated "It is not always the major crimes which make the most interesting news." This was really interesting to me because of how true the statement is. If something terrible happens in a big city, then the news will cover it, but that will be about all. What about a terrible event that happens in a small city of less than 200 people? It will be in the paper everyday and on the news with up-dates daily. It seems to be opposite of what some people would think because a big city should attract more attention, but that doesn't seem the case.

Click here for the web page devoted to Crime Reporting Tips.

Run quickly, but you can't hide

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While reading the breaking news crime story, I became very involved with the words and how the incident was described. I think this is because of how close to home to event was and especially close to school. As per Dr. Jerz's question, I am not sure how much more depth the author could have because of how much detail was already evident. The length and detail were the most pleasing to me because of how quick I could read the information and find out what was going on.

I thought it was really smart of the Trib to say "The Tribune-Review does not name alleged victims of sexual assault" (Paterra). Not only did the article not give the names of the victim, but they said they were not going to do it. I like reading articles and being able to refer back to the information that we discussed in class. There is much more length and detail in this article compared to the first on. Once again, the first article was a Breaking News article and the second article was pretty much a follow-up.

As for the actual news in the second article, I believe it is full of news or is it just facts? I would think that the information is mostly facts since the event was already breaking news a month ago.

Click here for the course web page devoted to the crime report.

Reflection #4: Writing with Attitude

Angela’s blog entry not only made me realize how important writing with a purpose is, but also that writing with specific facts is the key to a great article. If someone writes about a beautiful campus, then the reader will think of a picture in their minds from when they were in school. I began to think about how important it is to show an audience instead of telling them the information. As a reader, we want to read the facts quickly, instead of simply reading a lot of information that is not necessary. Angela used a quote from a news article that was published about Youngstown, Ohio. It involved a restaurant car incident and used the word “sliced” which made the article have much more personality, than simply saying “crashed.”If an article contains only the facts and quotes, then a reader will become bored, but if an article contains words and phrases that a reader can relate to, then it will be much more interesting. Finally, I understand that an obituary cannot contain these types of words or phrases because of how serious a death is to everyone.

Click here for the course web page.

Research, Research, and more Research!

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"Prepare your pitch with a little reporting. Talk to some people. Search the newspaper's library. Is this really a new idea? You don't want to be pitching a story that was written six months ago" (Grimm).

After reading this article, I really found the above quote to be very useful when trying to write a news article. I really like baseball, so when Grimm mentioned pitch, I was ready to catch!

As a news reporter, we must talk to people to acquire quotes and find out information that we may or may not know. The library is a great place for research or just to find out information. Once again, no one wants to read about an article that is old news or even a couple days old.

Lets take the writing-baseball analogy and see if it works. When you are the pitcher, then you must focus on your target. This is the same thing you do when writing an article. You must focus on the topic and keep it to the point with facts and quotes. The next step that the pitcher takes is to lift his/her arm and prepare to throw the ball. This is were getting the facts comes into play because we must interview witnesses, get worthy facts from educational places, and finally cover all of the bases before writing the article. The last goal that the pitcher has is to throw the ball to the hitter at home plate. This is when the reporter or author writes the article and publishes it in the paper.

Click here for the course web page devoted to "How to pitch a story."

Ex 3: Accident Report

Elizabeth Mount College (EMC) — Security Chief, Robert Chase, witnessed a car incident outside of Alumni Hall on Sept. 14, 2009, that injured a pedestrian.

The driver, Karl Klaushammer, was negotiating a turn on the east entrance to the Alumni Hall Gallery.

The pedestrian, Sharon Pierce, a fourth year undergraduate and resident of Columns Hall, was exiting Columns Hall and was struck about 15 feet north of the crosswalk.

“A man in an EMC hoodie was spotted running south along college drive” said Chase.

The pedestrian was treated on site by an ambulance, but declined transport.

"Klaushammer was observed by this officer to be in distress and reported that a package that was in his back seat was apparently taken” said Chase.

The male was six feet tall, 200 pounds, and disappeared into the wooded lot beyond the chemistry parking lot.

“Klaushammer was advised to stay alert while driving through campus and to keep important articles locked in his trunk” said Chase.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Ex 3: Accident Report.

A Journalistic View on Life

Portfolio #1:

Disclaimer: A lot of effort went into each blog entry because I feel that it is no different than an in-class homework assignment. All of my entries were submitted before the due date and most of my blogs sparked discussion that was brought up in class.

Each entry, assigned text categories, received a blog entry from me detailing my thoughts and academic comments on the text. The Camera, the Reporter, the News Room, AND YOU (or not) was a blog of mine that received depth on my part and a class discussion among myself and three other peers. This was one of the very first blogs in Newswriting in which I sparked some discussion and went in depth. This blog entry discussed how a comic strip was very similar to a news reporter in the way the information was attained. Another interesting assignment required each student to watch one half-hour session of the news (WTAE) at some point in our day. I watched two segments of WTAE news that occurred on two different days. You are probably wondering how much of the news is really news because of the commercials and side talking. In this blog entry, Matt Henderson and I had a discussion about how the news wants to make money and report news at the same time.

On one hand, someone can say that the news is bias, but is the news a beauty contest or just discriminating? This blog entry presented the class with the idea of our culture liking people for what they look like instead of what they know. April Minerd stated that "A picture is worth a thousand words" on this blog because of how our society looks upon good-looking people more so than the everyday person. In addition to this blog about the news, our culture, and the appearance of people, I composed a Youtube.com video that visually shows how the News and I relate. This video went beyond the basic requirement of bringing something to class to turn in because I wanted to provide the class with a video which was similar to watching the news.

As the class has progressed, Dr. Jerz published an article about English essays and News stories. After reading the comparative list, I thought about Academic Writing compared to News Writing - Why the difference? I used a quote from the chart about the news being a series of facts and not just simply a list of unrelated information. Angela quickly responded and posted a Youtube.com URL in which it shows how the news can be quick and random because of breaking news. The discussion continued for three days from the date of my blog posting.

The next learning experience involved an obituary and how to write one. I always knew that you can know someone's religion without the specific word because of how an obituary is written. Someone can simply write that events will take place at the Catholic Church and you probably will be able to assume that they are Catholic is some way. In one day, this blog entry sparked a lengthy discussion among my peers because a lady in the obituary, that the class, read was referred to as "Uncle Mary." I wonder why...

As a freshman, English-literature major, at Seton Hill University I was taught to SHOW and not TELL, so I decided to write a blog about showing instead of telling. So, When writing, SHOW don't just TELL and over four days, I received a great discussion from my classmates because they were taught the same process. This blog entry refers to Cappon who is the author of "Guide to News Writing." Journalists can change the world with just the way they write because people will usually believe what the paper says.

As for the Xeno blogging, Gretta wrote about the picture of a smiling man=homicide? in which I was the first to comment and sparked some discussion. I also commented, first, on The Only Titles I Can Think of are Tasteless, So...Obituaries it is and especially in Anglea's blog entry entitled Get to the point in which I left a comment first and then my classmates agreed with me. The Comment Grande occurred on Aja Hannah's blog entitled Imagine the Internet in which I discussed how a news reporter should be unique and then I asked some questions and the class developed long comments to Aja's blog and made it a great entry. A comment informative and link gracious blog occurred in Is the Newspaper a form of controversy or is it simply facts... because my peers posted comments and then I went back and asked a question in order to continue the discussion. On a side note, I linked A Famous Person Has Died course web page to Arthur Nobile's blog site in which he discussed the life of Michael Jackson and the news.

The blog that I chose for my Wildcard entry is entitled The Camera, the Reporter, the News Room, AND YOU (or not). because of the depth that I present my classmates and the academic comments that are listed. This blog also includes questions in order to promote further discussion online and in-class.

Lastly, I have been composing reflections since the RRRR sequence was initiated and I wrote News Worthiness vs. News Wordiness, Active vs. Passive, Format, Facts and then the Article, and Writing with Attitude. These four reflections are just the beginning of how the blogs from my classmates have contributed to my method of thinking.

Overall, Newswriting has been very productive and informative because of how many different formats of writing I am learning. I am eager to progress in this course and learn as much as I can about Newswriting so my future (older) elementary school students can make projects that revolve around the news and life.

Back that sentence up!

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"When, after, as and similar cruthces often prolong sentences needlessly:

  • "The company will not issue a general recall in its home country after a preliminary ruling by Health Ministry officials that it poses no public danger, Levin said."
Why not simply:
  • "The company will not issue a general recall in its home country. A preliminary ruling by Health Ministry officials found no danger to the public, Levin said" (Cappon 40).

Just as Dr. Jerz said, "Conserve Words!" I think that the above sentences show us how to make a long sentence a shorter and more descriptive comment. Instead of simply writing a long drawn out sentence that no one wants to read, try and make it two or three smaller sentences so the reader does not get bored and especially you.

Just think about how you write on facebook to your friends. Do you write long sentences with a lot of description or do you simply write short phrases, sometimes txt speak, in order to get your point across. I bet you write short phrases without me even knowing. Try to practice your short phrase writing, like Facebook and Twitter, in your news articles because it will make the reader enjoy the reading instead of feeling like they are reading a novel.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Cappon, Ch. 4.

The Artistic expression in Journalists

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"You can avoid mumblers by being specific and concrete, giving the reader a picture. A clever phrase, a touch of humor, and an ironic contrast help" (Cappon 26).

I don't know if I like visual writing because I am a pretty good visual learner or if that is just my preference. Cappon said to try and make our writing "Visual." I think that this is a good idea for any writing. When someone writes a sentence that has humor in it and the reader laughs, then that is good. Many research studies have concluded by saying that laughter is better for the soul, then sadness.

Instead of telling someone that the driveway was pretty, show them. Tell the reader that the driveway was lined with beautiful flowers and foreign trees that produced blossoms on during the fall months. This picture is much better, than saying something was pretty. Would you agree? I bet.

As for the question that Dr. Jerz wrote on the course web page, I don't think that many articles begin with "what." I checked out a few online news sources such as Newspaper profiles valley's most wanted and Trendy Cars of Year 2010 and neither of these articles began with "when" in any of the paragraphs.

I bet people do begin with "when" because that word is the starting place for an article. When did the event occur? What day?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Cappon, Ch. 3.

Reflection #3: Format, Facts and then the Article

Josie Rush wrote a blog entry entitled, “Some Rules Really Aren't Made to Be Broken” that really made me think about a news reporter compared to a quote from someone on the street. This can even be seen with news reporters on television. If the news reporter quotes a witness of an accident and mistakes the car color, because they are color blind, then the news reporter would say it was another color and viewers would believe him. This example applies directly with Josie Rush’s blog entry. Josie stated that if someone quoted a red shirt and the journalist reported a blue shirt, then the viewers would believe the reporter.

Josie also commented on how news articles need to have a uniform format and I never thought of it this way. I simply thought of the AP stylebook as another set of facts that one must memorize, but that’s not true. The AP stylebook, as Josie stated, is used to keep the newspapers looking clean, crisp, and uniform. If every news writer wrote a different format for the name of a professor, doctor, or classroom, then no one would know which was correct and which was wrong. I used Josie’s example and compared it to how we, English majors, write academic papers and use the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. This keeps all of the papers consistent in format and helps the reader get a better sense of what is correct or wrong.

Click here for the course web page.

Another bus plunge story or filler?

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The first bus plunge story that I viewed was called "20 die in Nepal bus plunge: police."

What does it list:

  • It begins with a death toll.
  • It only lists information from the police - What about witnesses?
  • It concludes by saying that most accidents occur because of the vehicles, but what about the police inspections that will be done on the bus? This isn't mentioned.

Article #2: "Many dead in Kashmir bus plunge"

  • This article also states that 20 people were killed, hmmm...
  • This article is also blaming the accidents on the vehicles or drivers. (Another comparison)
  • There are not any direct quotes, but some paraphrasing.

Both articles are extremely short which is why they probably filled the empty space in the papers when needed. There is not a lot of information, but just some quick facts to report to the viewers. It is good in one way because of how short they are, but do they really serve a purpose for the viewer other than to tell them that another bus plunge happened in such and such a country. Interesting.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Two Plunges.

A Bus always seems to make the News

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"Not all bus plunges were judged equal by the foreign desk, according to Siegal." It was better when buses plunged in countries with short names," he says. "A bus plunge in Peru was infinitely easier to deal with than a bus plunge in Argentina or Paraguay" (Jerz).

After reading the article from the website of Dr. Jerz, I thought of how much technology has changed the world. It is amazing that we can post blogs, quickly watch breaking news (online), listen to music anywhere, and much more. If it wasn't for technology, then how could we publish these quick "bus plunge stories." It would take weeks before we heard about it if it had occurred in Europe or somewhere not close to the reporting station.

In today's world, we can simply go online to send emails, blogs, music, pictures, etc. It literally happens with a blink of an eye. Take the recent example that Dr. Jerz referred us to on the Potomac River. See how quick it was online? It was quick.

So, if your a news writer and need to fill a small space with information and the deadline is in 30 minutes, then what will you do? Well, put a "bus plunge" article in it. As the quote describes, it seems that a smaller country name will be better than a long drawn out name that takes more space.

Take a short countries name for example, "Bus Plunges in Peru!"

compared to...

"Bus Plunges in United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland."

Which would you us for your news article...?

Click here for the course web page devoted to bus plunges.

Give me a break (Referring to the mistakes in the example)

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After reading the example that Dr. Jerz posted on our News Writing website, I thought that I am doing pretty good on my articles.

Listed below is the example and my explanation:

Assistant News Editor, Anne O'Nymous read the article.

  • Is this really necessary? Would you agree that we could have put this at the bottom or as a closer?
She was highly appreciated by Jameson for solving the problem. "I really appreciate her work ethic and problem-solving ability," said Jameson.
  • I think we could have left the first part out and started with the quote.
Spunky Inkworthy has only written for The Setonian this year, but Obituaries Editor, Lazarus O'Mortigan, was very complimentary towards Spunky's contributions.
  • Who is stating this? Is the editor telling us this? And also how is "obituaries" spelled? Obituaries? Obituarie's? or Obituary?
In a telephone call from Head Librarian Marian Paroo, she discussed Inkworthy's contributions.
  • I don't think we need to say "In a telephone call." I would have said, "Marian Paroo, Head Librarian, discussed Inkworthy's contributions in a telephone call."
"Here is a quote", said Bill Jones freshman.
  • Bill Jones, freshman (where? What school?), said "Here is a quote."

Reflection #2: Active vs. Passive

Wendy Scott’s blog entry presented me with several different ideas which revolved around the idea of being an active writer. When something important occurs, then I usually want to be in the front of it and finding out what happened. The "right branching sentence," stated in Wendy’s blog, made me think of a branch of words which resulted from a main idea. When an event occurs, quotes must be acquired, pictures taken, and facts processed which results in a “branching sentence.” In the last paragraph of Wendy’s blog, she mentions how news articles can be “democratic.” After thinking how a news article can be influenced towards one side, I thought about news commentary on the recent election. All newspapers consist of different writers and editors and each person’s bias will get into the articles somewhat. A paper or news article can be democratic because of how people feel about a subject. This bias needs to be put aside, but sometimes it ends up being published through a quote, a joke, or a metaphor.

Click here for the course web page.

Journalists can change the world!

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"The language of journalism is concrete and specific; it is active and filled with people in action; the important things come first so that meaning is clear; it is democratic and, as a result, tough and plain" (Clark & Scanlan 300).

How is that your a quote! Well, I thought that this quote was very true. Just think about our parents and/or grandparents who read the paper a lot. Many people throughout the entire world take what they read in the paper to be true and nothing can stop their thinking. Journalism seems to have a specific writing because of how informative and start to the point it is.

Once again, when we write a news article, we never are supposed to put fluff or unnecessary words in it - would you agree? This is why journalism is "concrete and specific." How is it active? Well, each news article contains sources, at least three, which contribute their side of the story or idea. How is meaning clear? Well, the articles are very straight forward and do not contain words just for space. Each article has a specific purpose and gets the job done. And of course, each article is "tough and plain" because of how great news articles can be.

The reason why I am explaining each point is because Newswriting has a great voice and can change the way a lot of people think. Just think of the power that journalists have - more than most jobs!

Journalists are very essential in today's world and without them we would not have newspapers or online articles to tell us what is occurring.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Clark and Scanlon.

Reflection #1: News Worthiness vs. News Wordiness

After reading Wendy Scott’s blog entry from Cappon’s text, I thought about how newspaper writing needs to be fact based instead of containing wordiness. Wendy listed three questions that every writer should consider before composing a news article or even an academic paper. They included, “Have I said what I meant, Have I put it as concisely as possible, and Have I put things as simply as possible” (Scott). After reading the questions, it made me think about how I want or have read a news article. As readers, we want the facts and not just information that fills space on the news paper. Wendy’s blog entry made me question the use of adjectives and specific “fancy” words. A writer may want to use an academic word, but the readers of the article may not understand it or want it. When trying to remove wordiness, it is more important to continually practice the skill rather than ignore the situation. Overall, Wendy’s blog entry made me realize how important factual articles are, than articles with words that are unnecessary and the purpose of filling space.

Click here for the course web page.

When writing, SHOW don't just TELL

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"Many sentences can be improved by surface trimming" (Cappon 7).

After reading the first two chapters of Cappon's book, I thought that this sentence was very important whether writing a news article or writing an academic paper.

It seems to be almost habit to us, but if we eliminate just a few words from a sentence, then we can make it stand out and have more meaning.

Original (random) Example: The professor assigned several long assignments in Math class, but the result was positive learning and helped make the student a more dedicated life-long learner.

Original (random) Example with surface cleaning: The professor assigned several assignments in Math class, but the result helped make the student a life-long learner.

This was just a quick example of making a sentence crisper and more direct. Sometimes, we add words into sentences in order to make them sound better. I understand that this is easier said than done, but it is something that we must practice in order to learn and understand.

Overall, "Wasted Words, Wasted Space" is very important because if we are writing a news article and put in fluff or un-necessary words, then our readers will not want to read it.

Click here for the web page devoted to Cappon.

The News and I - Class Reflections and the Concept of Selectivity

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A reoccurring theme in my group (#1) was the concept of selectivity and each person had specific information that they focused on when talking the news.

The first presenter was Wendy and she watches the news for weather in her hometown of Ocean City, MD. She mentioned a very interested idea about the news and how her parents were against her watching coverage from the special events in history, (e.g. 9/11). Overall, her project was very well developed through a Power Point slide show.

The second presenter was Jennifer Prex who wrote a blog on how she partnered up with her friend in order to write a newspaper article. The reporter only photographed four of the twelve people which resulted in a bias because the reporter only chose specific people to photograph. Jen mentioned that the article contained errors and a specific age bias that stated "teens." Jenn said that some of the people were teens, but most were of a different age group. Jenn stressed how a reporter needs to put their heart into an article and dedicate theirselves in order for the article to be successful.

The third presenter was Aja who selected specific websites that she relates with when she hears the word news. Some of them included Yahoo.com, Soup, the Setonian, and the Kane Show from OC. Aja enjoys getting her news from online databases, but specifically the Kane Show. The only time she watches the television news is when an important event occurs such as 9/11 or Michael Jackson's death.

Josie, Mike, and Andrew all mentioned that they have limited time to access the news or they simply do not want to watch it. Josie said that she wrote a play about how she tries to avoid the news. Mike mentioned that CNN is his homepage, but while being in Rome he did not watch or hear of much news. Finally, Andrew said that he does not have time for the news, but the television is more convenient than the radio (My bias would agree).

Lastly, Greta, Dianna, and Malcolm talked about how the news is everywhere and people are surrounded by it in everything they do. Malcolm specifically wrote a poem talking about how the news is controlled by the parents companies and the news does not put the viewer first, but rather their position of being the best.

Overall, all of the presenters did a great job, but each person had a selective area that they associated with when speaking about the news. This included the news being bias, or people not watching the news at all or only watching the news for important events and many others. The idea of each person being selective is important because it shows how everyone has a different view of the news and no one person is alike when talking about how someone receives the current events. Great Job group!

Click here for the course web page devoted to The News and I.

A Variety of Sources - A Life of Giving

After reading the personality profile, I was shocked at how many sources there were. One was from a restaurant critic and another from a professor and another from a poultry owner and so on. It was refreshing to read this article because of how many sources and the variety of comments that were provided.

It was also interesting to read how Waters is not only bettering herself, but also the community around her. She is making the economy better because she must buy strawberries and other types of products.

Finally, the article not only talks about the ride to the restaurant and the duties that Waters does, but it mentions her educational history and the type of personality this woman has. She is not out to earn a ton of money, but she is out to promote a better future for people and the community around her.

So, do you think that this article received first place because it has such a variety of sources or because it is such a deep hearted profile of a giving woman?

Click here for the web page devoted to sample profile 2.

You can know someone's religion without the specific word

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After reading the obituary, the most important part that stood out to me was Marie Byrne's religious background. The profile did not list whether she was Catholic or Methodist, but simply wrote the name of her church. This is a great way to express her religion because you’re not saying something that she was not, but rather a building that she belonged to. The readers can quickly determine what religion she was by reading what church she attended.

At first, I did not realize that she was Irish Catholic. I did not put the two together until I read the side note by Scanlan.

Did you, at first, realize that she was Irish Catholic?

Another great technique is when Scanlan said "Uncle Mary" (70). This was interesting because it showed how the family talked to her and how they got along. This phrase also shows how the family was close to Marie.

Click here for some more obituaries.

What is a Profile?

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After reading the sample profile by Stockton, I realized how important we need to be when it comes to recognizing other people's emotions and/or needs.

"More than 14,000 residents with violent and addictive pasts have graduated from Delancey Street moving on to restore family lives" (Stockton).

The above quote really stood out to me because it is amazing that such a vast group of people graduated and helped other people lead better lives. This is what all people should do because of how important it is to help one another. Stockton used quotes and passages that really made me connect with the story. It was a short profile, but emotionally moving.

Just imagine if there were thousands of "Delancey Streets?" The world might be a better place.

Mimi has a heart of a teacher, but the power of a thousand people.

Do you agree that this profile is worth a thousand words?

Click here for the web page devoted to Mimi.

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