September 2009 Archives

The Challenged Journalist

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I know right from the start that spot news is not sopposed to be newsworthy or terribly important information.  Reading the first article, "Golden Gate Park Layoffs," I understood how un-important it can truly be.  Her first few lines dealt with information that I didn't even care to read nor did I care to read the rest of the story because of it.  I'm sure there are some people who would be interested in the story and as for the story as a whole, the big picture, it is definitely interesting.  However, the lead was not grabbing my attention and a lot of the quotes weren't until the end of the story; and it was a pretty long story.

The second article, "Ethanol IndyCars," had a more attention grabbing start but I didn't feel more strongly toward this article as opossed to the first article.  The story had some more organized and well-contructed quotes and paragraph entries so that made it more interesting for me.

In the end, especially after reading "Speeches and Meeting Basics", I think there is a challenge for journalists.  It is challenging to write stories that are not newsworthy.  Journalists take the opportunity because sometimes that is the only option.  Strong newsworthy stories are more then often not always available and if the journalist can't write that then what can they write?  Well, they can write the short boring stories that people will just skim over.  That is the challenge of a journalist.  The challenge is making stories pop out to readers even if they don't seem interesting.  Journalists have the ability to make them interesting.  It is not just about covering a story and writing down some quotes.  So much goes into what the audience is going to think about it.  I raise my hat to journalists who can do this well.  Especially because I am hoping to be one some day. 

See what my classmates think

Portfolio One

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EL227- Newswriting is into its 4th week of the semester and now it is time for us students to post our blogging portfolios to show where are weaknesses and strengths are.  I have tried to blog as proficiently as possible and as accurately as I could.  It gets to be a hassle when I am juggling so many classes, an internship, and other outside school work.  However, this early on in the semester I feel I have accomplished more accurate blogging then I had in a while.

 1.  Coverage.  Coverage is important.  Coverage means that I was well informed of the topic and I read and researched as much as I could about it in order to reveal an accurate explanation on my account.  Here is a blog entry where I wrote an informed response.

2.  Depth.  It is ideal to have as much information as possible in a blog.  Coverage and depth go hand-in-hand when I state my knowledge from texts and website's and write it down in my blogs.  Here is a blog where I showed an appropriate amount of depth.

3.  Interaction.  When blogging, sometimes it is good to link or comment on a peer's blogs whether I agree or disagree with what they are saying.  I find it useful to sustain a conversation that is well-informed on both parts.  Here are some examples of interaction with me peers.

4.  Discussions.  This is an example of some of my peers commenting on my personal blogs.  It is great to know that people are reading and taking into consideration what my thoughts are and what I have to write about.  2nd Example.

5.  Timeliness.  It is always important for me to post my blogs on time because it is a better opportunity for my peers to comment on my blog before they comment on others.  These are some examples of my blog entries being posted on time if not earlier then the respected due date.  First Example.  Second Example.  Third Example.

6.  Xenoblogging.  This means to be the guest on someone else's blog.  For example, being the first to comment on another's blog, writing a thoughtful comment, or writing a well-informed comment on a peer's blog.

7.  Wildcard.  These would be entries that focus on my ability to work my weblog and create well-written work.  Feel free to check out Seton Hill University's (SHU) National Holocaust Center's website to look at where most of my recent blogging has taken me and where I spend most of my blogging effort's.  Here are some specific entries.  And another one.

 

If you have any thoughts or suggestions that might be useful to my blogging then feel free to let me know! As long as it is good and informative.  Thanks!

A Clever Look

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When I looked at this obituary, I was surprised that it was as long as it was.  I have read many obituaries in the Sunday paper but they are never that extensive.  I suppose it depends on what the family wants it to say.  Many families do not want to open up so much information to the public.  Although from reading this, I see how it is helpful to add about religious backround and achievements of their life in order to celebrate them rather than mourn.

The obituary was very well-written given the cercumstances that nobody wants to read about death (at least I hope not).  The interviews were great and showed who the deceased person truly was to all of those around her.  This is a great lesson in how to interview for profile pieces because it is important to understand that you shouldn't just interview the key person to get all the interesting facts.

Back to what my classmates think.

The News and I are Friends

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When I think about the relationship between me and the news, I think that it is neither spectacular nor unfortunate.  I am certainly someone who does not love watching the news.  The first headlines are normally depressing; filled with grief and sadness or misfortune.  Story after story becomes frightening to watch.  I know that the news that sells most is the bad news but that bad news can sometimes freak me out into thinking that the world is just an awful place nowadays.

On the other hand, I do like to know what is going on in the world, besides the rape and murder. I want to know the other news, the good things, events, or surprises that are taking place.  Anytime I wouldn't want to watch the news my mom would try to convince me saying, "But you have to know what's going on in the world." I guess that's true.  Sometimes I even feel proud of myself for knowing about current events from watching the news.

This is not a "love/hate" relationship because I do not love or hate the news.  I am in between with my thoughts.  Yes, I think the news anchors manipulate viewers into thinking that an event is worse than it really is.  However, I also think that this is necessary for people to pay attention to what is going on.  I don't think there could be another way in doing this.  I respect the broadcasters for providing us viewers with any information necessary for a story; even if it isn't always all of the facts.  But when do we get all of the facts anyway?  It is hard for me to believe that people actually think the broadcasters all of a sudden have all of the information needed to tell a story.  When I look at September 11th, I think about the months and even years it took to get the "in's" and "out's" of the event.
 
Everyone could be a friend of the news if they only had an open mind about it.  I accept the news for its flaws and good qualities.  I only need to remember that the real story, in some cases, is just harder to find.  At least the news informs me that the story is out there.
 

Green Eggs and Everything in Between

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Cynthia Gorney reported on such a complex character that takes the form of real life Theodor Seuss Geisel.  Maybe it is a little bias that I didn't know most of that information anyway so of course I was intrigued.  However, I thought Gorney reported a very intriguing interview with Dr. Seuss and made him seem as likable as possible, which wasn't hard to come by.

The way that Gorney presented the interview was not an "I ask and you answer the question" kind of way.  This process was a telling of a story.  Dr. Seuss presented information that flowed with questions probably pushed by Gorney.

The only draw back to this extensive interview was the amount of facts that could have probably gone unknown.  Those facts about his car and his daily routine with his drawings and the breed of his dog.  I'm sure there are some people out there who would love to know this information and  might even find it helpful.  On another note, there were some bits from the conversation that might fit into the category of "not-mattering" but to me, it was a slue of interesting information.

For example, "His color sense...is the most sophisticated I've ever run into.' Geisel had to completely relearn color during the last two years, after undergoing an operation: 'the other eye, which still has a small cataract, sees everything like Whistler's Mother.' The second cataract is to be removed next year, after which, says Geisel, deadpanned, 'They claim I'll be as good as Picasso" (Clark and Scanlan, 170).

This quote was so interesting it nearly floored me, along with the paragraph before it which explained even further into his brilliant knowledge of color.  Gorney had Dr. Seuss in her best interest for the public eye and showed that good journalism is about getting that interesting story without delving into ridiculous or false information.

I guess it doesn't always have to bleed to lead.

Recent Comments

Megan Seigh on The Challenged Journalist: I do agree that in some cases
April Minerd on The Challenged Journalist: I wouldn't say these articles
Derek Tickle on The Challenged Journalist: Nicely said, Megan! I agree th
Jeanine O'Neal on Accuracy Is Possibly Impossible: I'm pretty sure that the Onion
April Minerd on Accuracy Is Possibly Impossible: I like that you've sided with
Katie Vann on I Can't Entirely Agree With This: I really liked how you took a
Greta Carroll on It's Still Important: I agree, I was impressed for t
Lenen on Traveling To A Lazy Future? Yes.: The future is online, newspape
Jessie Farine on Traveling To A Lazy Future? Yes.: I agree with you. Our future i
Aja Hannah on Traveling To A Lazy Future? Yes.: Does this all have to be negat