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November 10, 2005

Blog Portfolio 3

Once again it is blog portfolio time. This time around I decided to blog after each reading, before class time. I thought this would be beneficial, because I would have more to discuss in class. The majority of my blogs focus on the course readings for the past few weeks, which was mainly reflection on It Ain't Necessarily So. Looking back at all my blogs I realize that they are very repetitive, and that each one focuses on being careful when interpreting statistics. After reading the book this is one idea I will never forget.

I noticed this time there was a decline in comments on my blog, and I also heard this comment from other students. I think because there were so many readings, more time was spent crating entries rather than commenting on peer entries.

Below is a list of the entries and comments I have posted since the last blog portfolio. I have included a brief explanation of what each blog is about.


“Clichés and Colorful Language” A look at the problems associated with using clichés in news articles.

Coverage- After reading chapter 9 and 10 in The Elements of Journalism I reflected on the problems associated with using clichés in writing. I focused on the difficulty not to use them since they are easier than coming up with original thought, and since they are so often used in normal conversation.

Timeliness- For this installment of blogging, I created each entry after reading the text and before class discussion. By doing this I was able to relate better to the classroom discussion.

“Final Reflections on It Ain't Necessarily So” This includes a final reflection on the book and a discussion of using outdated research.

Coverage- This blog focuses on the final chapters of the text and also my final feelings on the book. Through the book I was able to learn that statistics are not always reliable, and that methodology is more important than the statistic itself.

Interaction- Although I did not disagree with a peer’s response, I did argue a problem I found in the book. The majority of examples used by the authors are from the early 90s, which I believe makes their argument outdated.

Timeliness- Created and posted prior to the assigned due date.
“Chapter 8 and 9 in It Ain't Necessarily So” A discussion about the importance of methodology using AIDS and Breast Cancer research as examples.

Coverage- After reading chapters 8 and 9 I reflected on the problems with statistics. I focused on the fact that a statistic is only reliable if the methodology is included in the article.

“Are surveys and statistics really reliable?” A look at the statistics found when doing polls about school choice, youths and violence, the Holocaust, and Breast Cancer.

Coverage- This blog was created after completing the assigned reading of chapter 6 and 7. I focused on the examples used in the book to show readers that statistics are not always reliable, which was a major theme of It Ain’t Necessarily So.

Depth- Due to class being canceled I spent extra time in creating this blog entry. I included the specific examples from the book and expanded on them.

“Hunger Proxies” A look at hunger proxies and reasons why they do not work.

Coverage- After reading the text I reflected on the issue of hunger proxies. I think this is a very ambiguous topic, so I tired to include my own examples to make it more understandable. I tried to show that the statement made by Dan Rather was not accurate based on the actual study.

“Journalists are not Scientists” This entry focuses on the fact that journalists take the information found by scientists and choose what is exciting or shocking to publish.

Coverage- For this entry I discussed that a journalist is not a scientist. A scientist reports scientific findings in heir entirety. A journalist then looks at those findings and chooses the statistics that are the most interesting or shocking.

Depth- Instead of just giving examples, I included quotes from the book and I also included the questions that were asked in surveys, so that reader could see for themselves the ambiguousness of some of the questions.

“Feature Stories and Profiles” A brief compare/contrast between feature stories and other news articles.

Coverage- After reading about feature stories I created an entry on my personal feelings of features, and I also included an interview by a celebrity. The book discusses how celebrities always have positive, rehearsed answers to questions.

Discussions- After posting this blog, I received a couple comments from other people who have noticed the way celebrities have prefabricated answers, and Dr. Jerz also reflected on the reasons for this.
Timeliness- By creating this entry prior to class, I was able to receive feedback.

“Reflections on It Ain't Necessarily So” Initial reactions to the book after reading the introduction and chapter 1.

Coverage- After reading the intro and chapter one to the book, I wrote about my initial reactions to the book. I now realize that the book did not live up to my original expectations, because the book was more biased than I originally thought it would be.

“What is libel?” After having a hard time understanding what libel was, I found articles on the Internet about libel cases.

Coverage- After reading the AP Stylebook I was extremely confused about libel, so I tried to organize my thoughts by creating a blog entry.

Depth- Since I was confused by the book, I decided that I should look for actual examples of libel instead of just reading the definition. I included the articles I found on my blog.

Xenoblogging- As previously mentioned, I was very confused with this topic. Before class I talked to some other students and found they were also confused. I researched and found articles about libel and put them on my blog, hoping that they might help others. But sadly I do not think students are looking at their peers’ blogs, or at least not looking at mine.

“Crime Writing Exercise” A reflection on having a short time to turn jumbled facts into a complete and comprehensible crime story.

Coverage- During our lab, Dr. Jerz gave us jumbled facts about a prison break, and we had to turn it into a news story. After completing the exercise I commented on the difficulty of this exercise, which most likely is what real journalists do on a daily basis.

“Reflections on The Crime Beat by Dave Krajicek” A discussion on what details about a victim or suspect are important when writing a crime article.

Coverage- After reading the information provided by Dr. Jerz I created a summary of the article, and also commented on areas in which I did not agree with certain views in the information.

Interaction- In this blog I was able to show a disagreement with some of the information provide, but I was also able to see other students’ feelings through the comments I received on this blog.

Discussion- I received several peer comments for this blog. Some of them were complimentary, and some disagreed with my feelings. I think it is extremely helpful when you receive a mix of comments: some that agree and some that disagree.


“Another lesson from News writing confirmed” Through learning about journalism I was able to notice a reporter mistake during Bill Cowher’s press conference.

Wild Card- While watching a press conference with Bill Cowher, I was able to see an issue of journalism first hand, when a reporter asked a question that had already been asked. I think this entry shows how I am applying what I am learning in class, outside of the classroom.

"Wildcard Blog" by Katie Aikins- A discussion on the importance of reading.

"Peter Peter the Spousal Abuser" by Jay Pugh- I tried to provide details about the assignment to help Jay.

"It's About Time" by Johanna Dreyfus- A discussion on criticisms of It Ain't Necessarily So.

Posted by JennaOBrocto at November 10, 2005 5:04 PM


It's hard to believe it's time for another Blog Portfolio. I remember "Blog Portfolio 1" like it was yesterday. The anticipation. The drama. The hope it would be the last one. Seriously, why do you have to keep doing this? Did you lose a bet? Is this some sort of court-imposed community service? Aw, I tease in fun. I'm counting the days until "Blog Portfolio 4." But they could stand a bit more excitement. See if you can work in a car chase.

Posted by: Michael Dell at November 12, 2005 12:06 AM

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