We started off using the tutorials in the book, Flash Journalism, which was a useful guide. One of the examples from the book was of an animated eyeball and another was of a narrated slideshow project. These assignments gave us an opportunity to experiment with the Adobe Flash software and a solid foundation to start more advanced projects.
For my final project, I chose to create an interactive map of Seton Hill University. Before the alpha release (11/20) I had used Adobe Photoshop to create the map, but over November break I discovered Google’s SketchUp program. I used the software to create a new map of SHU with multiple views.
By the time the beta version (12/02) was ready to be viewed, I had recreated my project using the new images. This time there weren’t any errors with the finished product. I tried adding popup photos of the buildings, but the finished product was cluttered and messy. The buildings on campus were just too close together. In the end, I removed the popups in order for the map to be clearer and less overwhelming.
After having my map reviewed by a peer (12/04), I realized that the width of the uploaded map was too narrow and had to increase the size of the Flash document.
- To create the map, I followed the tutorial of "Making an interactive country map" on Flashexplained.com. I just altered the code in order to use my own images and buttons instead of the ones they used to create the map of Croatia. To hear more about the coding, watch my Developer's Commentary Screencast.
- The photos I used were screenshots of a replica of the Seton Hill University campus map, and it was made with the Google SketchUp program. With Google Sketchup, you can make 3D models with ease. It was great software to use and really enhanced the images.
I wanted to learn how to make an interactive map using Adobe Flash since it seemed like a tool that was often used in new media. My goal was to create a map that would show labels for the different buildings on campus and have an option to show which buildings were dorms. I have accomplished all these tasks, and using Google Sketchup I was also able to show a 3D close-up of the University and a reverse view.
I created a new map and several new views over break, so I decided to redo my project from scratch. It’s finished and works without error. I just need to add popup images, which I will save to work on in class tomorrow.
Like most of my reading responses, several focused on the differences between the Setonian and other, larger student newspapers. I wrote about how some people on staff write a "how to" guide for their particular position, as opposed to a full manual. I didn't know that there was a staff manual. I've been on the staff for three years and I have not seen it or heard of it. I guess that shows how useful it is to everyone. The author also gave suggestions on the process one could go through to become an editor. I wrote about how there isn't any competition for position on the Setonian, so no formal application is necessary.
This section of the book was focused on the legal problems that newspaper can run into. Libel is a big concern and I learned that it really only applies to people who aren't already in the public eye. Politicians can be bashed in opinion editorials and letters to the editor, but their young children, for example, are typically not commented on. I disagreed with the author when it was suggested that possible topics for a student newspaper could be about websites that rate teachers and the comments they have. Those kind of subjects are more for gossip and pop magazines. Obscenity was another controversial issue. Though you shouldn't remove words from people's quotes, removing obscene language keeps the newspapers classy.
“ a staff manual is a guidebook that will help staffers do their jobs... You may also want to include important campus phone numbers, maps, department listings and other documents to help new staff members.” - Ch. 15, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 142.
The Setonian doesn’t have a staff manual, but sometimes certain editors create a “how to” guide for their particular position. I include a list of ways to contact students and faculty when I send out news assignments. It’s much easier that writing it out to each individual that asks.
“Many student newspapers relish the freedom of being able to set four-letter words in type. Others see using obscene language as unprofessional.” - Ch. 14, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 130.
I’ve never had a problem with students swearing during interviews. If anything they’re too careful about censoring themselves. They always nervously ask, “You won’t make me sound stupid, right? You’ll make me sound smart?”
Though some may argue that obscenities should not be removed from a quote because they show passion, I think that it would make them sound unintelligent. This isn’t true for verbal speech, but I think newspapers have a classy quality to them and obscene language would damage that.
“Even if the statement didn’t originate with your staff, if your newspaper or Web site publishes it, you can be held liable.” - Ch. 13, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 122.
I didn’t know that libel wasn’t allowed in letters to the editor or columns. Apparently it doesn’t matter what form it takes, as long as they publish it, they are at fault. It just seems like politicians are trashed everywhere - on television, in opinion pieces and columns.
Individuals write damaging statements about them and they publish hostile statements made by other politicians as well. Does libel not apply to notable people? I’ve heard of celebrities suing for libel so perhaps it just doesn’t apply to political figures?