Portfolio 4: A More Informed Person, Prepared for the Future
Wow, I am about to complete my final portfolio for news writing, where did the time go? This semester went by incredibly fast. So fast, in fact, that sometimes it’s difficult to realize how much we’ve learned since the beginning of the semester until we take a few moments for reflection.
At the beginning of the semester, my attitude was not overly positive towards news writing. I had to take it as part of the education requirements. It’s not that I was uninterested in the subject, I just begrudged it a little since it was taking space in my schedule when I could have been taking something else I was more interested in (the curse of being a double-major and dual education certification student completing everything in four years is the inability to take any classes you want to take, just for the sake of taking it).
I’m not going to lie and say that through the course of the semester I came to really love journalism. I don’t. I would never want to be a journalist for my career. However, I have come to terms with some things. One thing in particular is the claim that journalism is “unbiased or objective.” This actually made me quite mad. It is impossible to be objective and the claim that such an ideal was possible upset me. However, our readings by Haiman helped me realize that it isn’t so much about the writing being “unbiased,” but the effort to try to make it so and the process through which the articles go to become as bias-free as possible.
Furthermore, while I may not love news writing, I can appreciate the challenges news writers face and all the work that goes into it. I understand the differences between writing an academic essay and writing a news article. I am more skeptical (and more accepting of) what I see in papers. I know why they do what they do and I know when they do something wrong. I also pay more attention to the news now. After being required to continually check up on a breaking news article, I got into the habit of reading the news daily. I have come through this class a more informed and prepared person for the real world. And, most importantly for me, I feel capable of guiding high schoolers through their own journalism journey should I be called upon to do so some day.
Coverage and Timeliness: I completed all assigned blogs and posted them all on or before the time that they were due. I list here only the blogs which did not fall under another category.
Depth: These are a few blogs that I put some extra thought into.
- The Three Keys to Effective Video Use After watching four videos on the NY Times’ website and analyzing each, I create what I think are the three keys to using videos on news sites effectively.
- The Danger of Preconceptions In this blog, I discuss the similarities between allowing one’s preconceived notions to control you in both academic writing and in journalism.
- Harvard’s Good, the Cavalier’s Ok, But I Found Something Even Better After critiquing both Harvard’s and the University of Virginia’s newspaper’s websites, I find a third school’s website which I feel is better than both.
- “With great power, comes great responsibility” In this blog, I discuss the responsibilities that journalists are faced with in light of their special protection under the 1st Amendment.
Interaction: These are some of my classmates’ blogs that got me thinking and which I therefore commented on.
- Angela’s Pleasing the Eye I agree with Angela on how powerful the video clip of Megan Fox is, Angela answers my comment, and Josie and Aja get involved as well.
- Derek’s Freedom, Fairness, and Futility I leave Derek a long comment disagreeing that paper’s should not clearly admit what side of issues they may stand on. He answers me, I answer back. Wendy and Angela also leave comments.
- Josie’s There Must be a Story Here Somewhere I agree with Josie about how frustrating it might be for journalists to do a lot of work and then find there is no story. Josie considers what a journalist could do in such a situation and I suggest that one could write about how there is no story, using the Seton Hill swine flu incident as an example. Angela also comments.
- Angela’s This is ok
I give it a C+ Derek, Angela, Wendy, and I discuss Harvard’s
layout. I disagree with Angela’s
criticism and opine that she is being a bit harsh. Angela responds admitting she was a little
harsh, but notes that she did observe good things about the page too.
Discussion: These are some of my blogs which sparked discussion.
- The Backbone of Investigative Journalism—Contacts Aja, Josie, Wendy, and Richelle all agree and expand on my statement that reporting (and in particular investigative reporting) is much more difficult without good contacts.
- The Three Keys to Effective Video Use Jenn comments on my blog, I answer her, and Aja joins in.
- Violation of the Brevity Rule I complain about how long the videos were that the Arizona Star used. Angela and Josie both agree with me and I respond to their comments.
- Harvard’s Good, the Cavalier’s Ok, But I Found Something Even Better Josie, Wendy, and Angela all agree that the website I found is a good alternative to the Harvard Crimson and The Cavalier and elaborate on why they think so.
The Comment Primo:
- Kaitlin’s Informative Visuals
- Derek’s Color, Caption, and Conception
The Comment Grande:
- Michelle’s Pay Attention, Please
The Link Gracias:
- Angela’s This is Garbage
- Any reflection entry
Wildcard: I picked, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” because I think it sums up what Haiman was trying to stress throughout his entire guidebook. I related a famous line from Spiderman to stress this responsibility. I also deal with objectivity in this entry, I wrote, “As I’ve pointed out many times, it’s impossible to be completely objective, but that doesn’t mean reporters can’t try to do their best—just as Spiderman can’t save everyone and bad things will happen sometimes, he still does his best to save as many people as he can.”
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. If I use a reflection in another category, I do not include it here at well.
- EL150: Do You Believe in Magic?
- EL312: Discovering Preferences
- EL227: A Growing Appreciation
Return to the course webpage.