It’s amazing how far I’ve come in just one semester. Looking back to the beginning of the year and my first portfolio, I had no idea what I was doing, following directions to the letter. Now, I have my feet planted firmly under mean and am taking the directions and manipulating them to serve both the assignment and myself. Each portfolio, I find that I become more and more personal, as if I actually have viewers who tune in to my blog. Along with that comes my development of confidence in myself as a writer and as a news writer. Coming to the full realization of what journalists do and the role they play in a democracy has been an eye-opening experience in addition to all the opportunities and confidence I’ve been given by taking this course.
This portfolio seemed shorter than my last one in terms of blogging for homework. However, I made sure that it wouldn’t affect the depth of the content that I published. Even though my posts are shorter this portfolio, I believe that the content within the smaller word count is just as deep as if I would’ve continued for many paragraphs. In my post, About Corrections I went into detail not only about the importance of correcting your own mistakes, but also how correcting your mistakes benefits you. Ethically, it improves your reputation with readers because they know you take your job seriously and shows that you are humble enough to put aside your pride for the sake of reporting the truth, which is what journalism is all about. In this post, I also quoted directly from the article that supplemented the assignment to further my argument and make my point. My Article Progress 1 is also a thorough post about where I am in my final article assignment, which is good and a goal I have for myself for the project. As a journalist you want to be as open and transparent as possible.
I think that this portfolio was more driven by my opinions than that last three were. In these posts, I make my stance on issues firm and clear. Being so open about your thoughts and what you believe creates greater potential not only for opposition but also for discussion. It’s always a risk proclaiming your thoughts so vocally through blogs and social media; it’s why reporters keep their own opinions out of their articles, being as objective as possible. Amendments for Amendments is, I believe, one of my riskier posts because in it I make a lot of speculative claims. I am not an expert in history of the Constitution or the founding fathers or the technological improvements made in journalism, but I made assertions about both topics based on what I had read and my own logical reasoning. Some might not agree with my assertions.
Both posts leading up to Article Progress 1 (Article Inspiration 2 and Article Inspiration 3) dealt directly with intertextuality. For both posts, I had to go outside of the textbook and the classroom to find articles that could supplement as content and artistic foundations for my own term article. In the case for Article Inspiration 2, I had recently started subscribing to the Brain Pickings newsletter from which the article came. I had discovered the newsletter from another one of my classes: Honors Seminar. Likewise, I took my article in Article Inspiration 3 from Simply, Taralynn, a blog that I have been following for almost a year now, which I discovered outside school entirely. Story of an Error also has a good of amount of intertextuality between drawing on my own experience to supplement my post and make it more relatable, and quoting what Dr. Jerz said in his own post on the topic of errors in news writing.
I think this was my best portfolio for discussion. Each portfolio seems to be accompanied by a greater amount of dialogue shared between myself and my classmates. I am also finding it easier to analyze my classmates’ posts and ask thoughtful questions. Calli and I both exchanged dialogue on similar posts regarding the use of technology and its effects on accuracy of information, responding to each other accordingly, which was by far the most exchange I’ve had in terms of conversation on blogs. There is more opportunity for discussion in class. I also commented on Noah’s blog asking him to expand on his About Connections post. Likewise, Emily Gilles asked the same of me with answering questions that I had posed in my post on ethics.
I was not as early with my posts this portfolio, but it wasn’t a priority. I did get every post in on time though. The fact that I have time to plan out when I do these blog posts, and have time to give in-depth thought to each topic, is a luxury compared to how much time a journalist has to prepare for or write a story.
Instead of going just for expanding my posts with relevant thoughts of my own, I really looked at the content of the chapter and how I could make sense of it in a way that others could read and understand. That’s why, instead of covering just the surface of issues, I went underneath, covering the whole of the issue instead of just one aspect. And, although my posts aren’t completely all-encompassing, and aren’t long enough to be so, I still feel like they are some of the most informative posts I’ve completed this semester.
In this portfolio, I noticed that I’ve become more concise as a writer, explaining what I want to get across to the reader with as few words as possible. This has also translated to some of my other classes like Basic Composition and Major Writers and Genres. I’m definitely seeing improvement and reaching my goal to get better as a writer. I am also surpassing that goal to become a more well-rounded writer. And, portfolio to portfolio, I find myself still as appreciative, if not more appreciative, of journalists in democracy and journalists in general.