Archive for September, 2011
Feature Stories. These articles can be considered a break from dry or gloomy stories newspapers usually have. In my opinion I find these articles to be the hardest to right, but also the easiest. What makes these articles difficult is they must be interesting to readers and still retain a level of newsworthiness. Besides finding a subject that fulfills both conditions, feature stories are usually written in a more creative fashion in order to increase reader interest. I consider the creative aspect of a feature story to be the most difficult because it decides whether a person will want to read your article or not.
While feature stories follow less stringent rules compared to a hard news story, it is still an article and must follow the basic guidelines of one. Kershner states feature writers get “poetic license…. But they get no license to violate the principles of good news writing.”
via Kershner 32.
I agree with the responses people gave in regards to whether a journalist should share his article with a source before publication. Sharing your article with a source is a very problematic and difficult situation to be in. It is something that should never be done, with very few exceptions. For example I agree with the respondent that commented, when an article contains complex information such as quantum physics, or some other intricate idea it is ok to have that portion checked for accuracy before having it printed.
However outside of checking for accuracy of information I do not believe a source should see an article because they may want to alter or change the way you’ve said something, or many other problems listed. Whether it is actual print or class journalism I do not think a story should be shared with a source.
In chapter 26 of Kershner’s text he raises an interesting topic, which I never thought of before. In this chapter Kershner discusses “How Newspapers are Organized.” Before actually participating on an actual paper I never knew how difficult it truly is, and the work does not revolve around simply writing articles. There are several factors and other task that must be completed in order to present a proper newspaper.
Kershner begins this chapter with an introduction to the various departments of a newspaper, which is interesting because many of the departments do not include the work of the actual reporters. You have advertisement, maintenance, human resources and etc working in newspapers alongside journalist and editors to create the newspaper.
It is important that we recognize the work of others because each department contributes significantly to the proper running of the newspaper and should be recognized as such. I would have never considered maintenance or advertisement to be a major part of a newspaper before, but their work helps to keep the paper going.
IAs reporters it is expected that we remove ourselves from the story so as not to influence our readers with personal opinion and biases. We truly are “The invisible observer” watching events as they unfold and then relaying what we see to others. Before reading this text I questioned whether reporters are able to say, “When I asked”, and now I understand that even that is inserting the reporter into the story even if no opinion is stated.
Even as I am still learning to write journalistically I find it is important to learn how to integrate my quotes into my text without having to explain them. Quotes are the backbone and base journalism and it helps to ensure the reader that what we’ve written is reliable and comes from trusted or knowledgeable sources.
via ONLINE CLASS.
Reading Kershner’s text I am most interested in his explanation of how to best tell your story. Despite the popular belief journalism requires a certain level of creativity because our job is to basically tell a story. We are the story tellers of the world informing others of events through our stories. If an article is simply facts and quotes it becomes boring and readers will have no interest in reading it.
Kershner urges us to consider our readers and their point of view in order to better relate the story to readers. A news event can be looked at from several perspectives, and it is important that a reporter chooses an angle that readers want to read.
via Kershner 13.
The interview. This may be the hardest part of being a journalist. Having to walk up to a complete stranger and ask them their opinion or story can be a very nerve wracking experience, but it is the basis of our work.
While the doing the interview you may be nervous but it is important to realize that you are not the only one. The interviewee may also be nervous so it is important that you make them as comfortable as possible. Kershner emphasizes how important it is to smile because it helps to keep the atmosphere less tense and opens up the person to potentially deeper questions. While it our duty as reporters to get as much information as possible we cannot be impolite or unethical in how we gather our information. Do not pursue questions that make the interviewer uncomfortable or too painful, because they may spread their negative experience with others, hampering your ability to get other interviews. “You can never be too polite,” said Kershner and I completely agree.
While interviewing someone you never met before can be scary it can be easier if you do some preparation before gathering information on the subject, so you don’t feel unknown of the whole situation. Once you’ve done your homework its al that’s left is finding a suitable source to quote. And well as I’ve been told about asking for an interview “The worst they can say is no.”
The passive an active voice. This chapter really spoke to me, considering it is something I always do. As a writer we sometimes get the idea that the longer way of saying something is better because it can add length to our paper without making it incorrect. However at times it is best to be direct,especially in journalism. Kershner does a great job of showing examples of passive and active voice clearly distinguishing them.
“Good writers know the rules and know when to break them.” This comment by Kershner really stood out to me because he is reminding us that the rules can be broken but we must first understand them. It is ok to use passive voice, but it can be overused just as action voice has its time and place.
Kershner then moves on to explain the importance of spell checking and making sure one’s own grammar and spelling is correct. It is not something that should just be left up to your editors or simply on spell check. I realized myself that spell check is not always the greatest because it misses or overlooks certain mistakes for whatever reason. From my personal experience in which I have written something wrong but spell check never caught it because it a real word or letter. As writers we need to take pride in our work which includes being able to check for common spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Chapter 9 of Kershner on how to use commas with direct address words. Here we explain the magic of the direct address and where commas are placed while using them. The powerpoint link will show good and bad examples of proper direct address and comma use.
Here I am once again this time no longer discussing American Lit. Now this time it is News Writing. Yay! Finally something I have confidence in. This is not only a class I have to take but also a step toward fulfilling a career and degree in journalism. This class will demonstrate my ability to understand the basic skills as a new media reporter. This portfolio, though containing little blog entries being it is early in the semester, represents the information I have learned so far.
This section of my portfolio represents my ability to go into detail and length with my entries. These entries contain more information and detail than the typical blog entry. My first entry that represents examples of depth is Where Religion Belongs: In Our Ears or In Our Minds. This entry is a response to an article written about a 9/11-memorial ceremony and its lack of religion. My second entry for depth is Kershner15: Structure is Key a response to the readings of how to properly format an article.
This is the part of my portfolio that demonstrates my ability to communicate with my classmates responding and commenting on their blogs. These entries are not simple comments but idea or discussion starters. My first example if interaction can be found on Ashley’s Blog where she responded to a religious influenced report. I also commented on Olivia’s Blog where we stated our feelings on the mayor’s decision to remove religion from a 9/11 ceremony.
The Discussion section of my portfolio may seem similar to the interaction section but it takes it further. In this section we are not simply leaving a comment, but having a dialogue over the subject matter. On Katie’s Blog we talked about 9/11 and whether it should be taught to children. We discussed the difficulty of the subject and whether younger children should be told. I also held a discussion on my blog about Where religion belongs in a public environment or service.
This section is where I place entries that were either entered on time or before the deadline. My first example of timeliness is Journalism and its Dreaded Punctuations, where I discussed the importance of punctuations in an article including quotes. My second example of timeliness is Remember Who Your writing For. In this entry I discuss the importance of your audience as a reporter.
This section is where all entries that do not fit into the other categories go. Here is where I respond to a Kershner reading in The Truth of Journalism. Another example of coverage is Journalism and its Dreaded Punctuations.
Religion is a subject that spurs many fruitful discussions along with harsh debates which has become extremely evident with anger over the building of a mosque near ground zero. Reading “Religion Excluded at NYC Memorial” I was reminded of the mosque debate.
Personally I disagree with the author of this article in his opinion that the mayor made the wrong decision when he chose to remove religion from the september 11 memorial. The author says “It’s a shame that he [the mayor] decided this issue for them.” However I feel the Mayor made a conscious decision to remove all possibilities of religious based disagreements in hopes of keeping the focus of the ceremony on the victim’s.
The author states that the families would feel better with a religious ceremony, but each family can take the time to pray in the way the way they seem fit without stepping on or over the beliefs of others. There are several religious practices alive in America and choosing one for the ceremony, even if it is the most popular, could cause disagreement amongst those of other faiths.
While I myself am not fond of religion in public ceremonies and institutions I do recognize the importance of religion to individuals which is why I believe it is something that can be done in their hearts and mind during this ceremony instead of broadcasted to the ears of others who may have a differentiating view.
via Current Events.