December 2007 Archives

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As part of my adventure into journalism and news writing (EL227), I have been introduced to the world of blogging.  I admit it: I was completely foreign and somewhat reluctant to the concept of blogging at first.  Before this class, I perceived blogging as a medium for the technically savvy and highly opinionated.  Yes, I can word process a mean research paper when the time comes, but I did not consider myself overly experienced with computers, the internet, or even voicing strong opinions.  After my experience with the EL227's academic blogs, I've warmed to the concept; for me, blogging gives someone like me, who usually has a fairly reserved demeanor, a boisterous voice.  Below is a collection of my latest blogs, which hopefully convey my growth as a blogger and my efforts to truly take part in the sense of community that is fostered by blogs.

This is the complete list of blog entries I have completed recently; all following categories will draw from this master list.  Because I have a primarily academic blog, all of my entries pertain to an assigned reading. (Coverage)

Breaking the Mold - A blog that voices my comments to Linnet Meyer's feature article, "Humanity on Trial," which was featured in the book, America's Best Newspaper Writing (ABNW).  In this entry, I provide a comparison between the area of "feature" crime reporting, and "hard news" crime reporting.

Power of the Personal - This blog was written after I mistakenly read Richard Cramer's "Shiva for a Slain Child in a Palestine Raid," which is also from ABNW.  However, this ended up being one of the most powerful articles I've read throughout the semester; also, I was able to draw a strong connection to my own life and times. Serendipity, perhaps?

Just say you're sorry - This entry comments on a section from the Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists, a short booklet written for journalism professionals. Here, I delve into the consequences of mistakes, apologies, and perfection in journalism.

A true balance - Another an entry based off of Best Practices. What does diversity in journalism mean? How does it differ from the common definition and application of diversity?  See what differences I found...

Same story, Different name - The angry blogger within begins to rear its ugly head!  Here I vent my frustrations concerning the similarities between Best Practices and a book read earlier in the semester titled It Ain't Necessarily So.  With similarity, however, comes insight.

When Mars Attacks! - Talk about a major screw-up!  This blog discusses the article "Mr. Welles and Mass Delusion" by Dorothy Thompson, as taken from ABNW.  Thompson's article discusses one of the biggest journalistic "opps" moments of all time: when a radio broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds was mistaken by the masses for true news.  Share in my amazement of the event and Thompson's interpretations.

A sunshiny day - Short and sweet.  Read my thoughts on one of the most unique whether reports you'll ever read.

Is this a novel or a news paper? - Revisiting the unique blend of feature writing and crime reporting.

A different spin - This entry again draws on a chapter from American's Best Newspaper Writing.  The chapter discussed tips for and traps of good news writing.  My blog focuses on the use of the anecdote, building on the idea of feature articles touched upon in previous blog entries.

It's not just a journalistic trap anymore, it's a sin! - The age-old problems of plagiarism in journalism are revisited in a different light.


Within this list, some entries display more depth than others (depth):

Power of the Personal

Just say you're sorry


And then again, others are big conversation starters (discussion):

It's not just a journalistic trap anymore, it's a sin!

A sunshiny day

A true balance

Breaking the Mold


It can't be all about me though...Sometimes I have to add my own two cents to someone else's blog conversation (xenoblogging):

Vanessa Kolberg - Not a Classic for Me; Theres a lot of crime in chicago (two primo comments - that is, when I get the blog ball rolling with a first comment)

Madelyn Gillespie - We're terribly sorry... (a comment primo)

Bethany Merryman - Newspapers...yada,yada,yada (a comment primo)

Daniella Choynowski - Not breaking, but still not interesting (a comment informative)

Gotta give credit where credit is due in...A different spin (a link gracious)


But that doesn't mean we always have to agree (Interaction)

Jeremy Barrick - Chapter 11: The Unoriginal Sin


But to accomplish anything in the world of academic blogs (or journalism, for that matter), you have be on time (timeliness):

Breaking the Mold

A true balance

Same story, Different name

When Mars Attacks! 

A sunshiny day 

Is this a novel or a news paper?

It's not just a journalistic trap anymore, it's a sin!


And finally, what's a blog without a little craziness? (wildcard)

It's not just a journalistic trap anymore, it's a sin!


"If you gather ten facts but use nine, subjectivity sets in.  This process of subtraction can lead to distortion." (315)

I found this idea especially interesting given that we have been practicing eliminating information for so many of our articles.  I suppose in this way its now not only important to think about which quotes are the most important and should be kept for an article, but also how the information and quotes cut from an article do or do not effect the context of the information kept. 

As the authors of ABNW go on to point out, however, any form of deleting still produces an end product that is nonfiction, if not of the best journalistic quality.  Adding information, in comparison to deleting information, begins to cross the line into blatant deception and plagiarism, the "unoriginal sin."


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