Portfolio 1: The Breakdown of a Bad Attitude—Seeing the Positive Aspects of News Writing

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I’m not going to deny, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this class…I might have even had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it.  I recognized the importance of taking the class.  As an education major, I realized that I may one day be called upon to run a school paper and I need to know something about news writing.  However, when I thought about news writing, I saw it only as dry, boring, and devoid of creativity.  I saw it only as an attempt at compiling facts (which I knew from EL312 last semester don’t actually even exist, since facts are really just manifestations of value-judgments) and being objective (which is also impossible, since there is no such thing as a word which does not influence a reader’s thoughts in some way). 

As the semester began, my bad attitude (I may be exaggerating my feelings slightly here, I don’t think my attitude would actually have qualified as bad) remained.  The readings only seemed to confirm my fears, articles used words such words as “noxious” and “fierce” and I felt my frustration growing.  How could a “good” article use such subjective words?  But as time went on and I read some of my more open-minded peers’ blogs, things began to click into place for me.  First, I realized that within news writing, there are different types of writing.  What is acceptable in a profile, obituary, and accident report are all very different things.  Second, I began to realize that creativity, as in any other form of writing, is essential to news writing.  It might be a different type of creativity, but writing in a way which will keep readers interested and incorporating many quotes from different people takes skill and creativity.  Lastly, I began making connections between news writing and other fields which I like.  With Katie’s help, I realized that story pitches are not so very far from my beloved thesis statements and with Michelle’s help I realized that teaching in a sense is a form of reporting. 

Coverage: I completed all of my blogs; bellow are the entries which did not fall under any other category.

Depth:  These are the blogs in which I really felt I went above and beyond.  I put extra effort and thought into these entries. 

  • My blog, Seeing is Believing, Or Should It Be?, was written early in the class; however, I think it shows my development as I begin to consider journalism in a more critical fashion.  I recognize the skepticism we should regard the news media with, link to Katie’s blog which got me thinking, and note the balance that the news media must find between sensationalism and allowing their audience to sleep soundly at night. 
  • In Capturing the Soul in an Obituary, I highlight the qualities which Nicholson’s obituary had which I felt made it tower above most other obituaries I have read.  I also relate some of my past experiences with creating an obituary index at my local library and some of the changes in obituaries over time.
  • One of the blogs which is representative of my changing view of news writing is Revelation: “The craft, the art, of storytelling” within News Writing.  In it, my increasingly positive attitude towards journalism is evident as I begin to see that it doesn’t have to be all boring, dull fact without any life or zest.   
  • In Infusing Voice into News Writing—Remaining Objective without being Withdrawn, my budding understanding of voice in the news appears.  After much struggle with whether voice is allowed at all in news writing or not, I realize that readers actually want the author to have a voice, they just don’t want that voice to skew the facts. 
  • Making connections between both Linguistics and News writing, The Struggle to Structure Short Sentences, includes my struggles to be concise and keep things short, but also my realization of the importance of doing so. 

Interaction: These are blogs in which I participated in meaningful discussions on my peers’ blogs. 

  • After a full eight other comments on Angela’s Good Quotes Can Win Awards, I step into the action by giving my opinion that Stockton not only interviewed those biased in Silbert’s favor, but other impartial people as well. 
  • I politely disagree with something Aja says on her blog, Duck Profile?, and we both clarify our views.

Discussion: These are discussions which were inspired by my blog entries. 

Timeliness: All of my blogs were turned in at least 24 hours ahead of time (as soon as the RRR sequence was introduced).  Bellow are just a few examples.

Xenoblogging:

The Comment Primo:

The Comment Grande:

The Link Gracious:

Wildcard:  For my wildcard, I chose two reflections I wrote.  I think that both show my progress towards understanding news writing better.  In the first blog, I relate news writing to teaching a classroom and in the second, I begin to have a more open-mind about the stylistic rules involved in journalism. 

Reflections:  These are blog entries I wrote before class.  They are based on my classmates’ blog entries.  I expand on what I have learned from their blogs and what I now understand better thanks to them.  The two I used as my wildcard are not included in this list.    

Previous Portfolios:

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