Monthly Archives: December 2015

Journalism and Ethics

I was shocked to see that so many reporters basically forced their way into the home that belonged to the suspects of the San Bernardino shooting. However, there seems to be a lot of misinformation about whether or not the landlord actually gave them permission to enter or not. Regardless, it’s a little much when a reporter uses a crowbar to remove the plywood covering the front door.

Looking at the SPJ Code of Ethics, I found a two specific examples of ethics that these reporters seemed to violate. One was “recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.” Even if the reporters were legally allowed enter the home, since it was broadcasted live, it was hard to ethically justify that. The other example that I think is most applicable is “avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.” Stories about this say that up to 100 reporters were inside the house. I think an ethically responsible journalists would have stayed outside, even though everyone else went in.

I found an article from the Los Angeles Times that criticized the media about this. It was interesting that a legal analyst for CNN was discussing how it was wrong for the media to do this, and on the other half of the screen, CNN reporters were going through the house. In my opinion, the fact that this was done on live television made a big difference.

After reading the story that Dr. Jerz gave us about a shooting survivor, I think journalists should be more focused on the victims than the suspects. That story made more of an impact, and that’s what journalists should strive for.


News Writing Portfolio 5

Cover Post:

It’s hard to believe that this is my last portfolio for the news writing course. It was a little more difficult to create a portfolio this time, since we only had a few opportunities to post anything on our blogs. However, I think my last few entries are evidence of how hard I have been working to achieve our course goals, especially with my investigative article. I was very pleased that I had more than one discussion this time as well. This last portfolio mainly showcases reflections of my work on my investigative article, and also my continuous growth as a journalism student.


The best example of depth for this portfolio was my Article Progress 2 post. In this update, I discussed what work I had done for my investigative article in multiple paragraphs. Rather than give a simple paragraph update, I gave the names of people I interviewed and what I thought was most important about those interviews.


In general, I think the entire investigative article was a risky project, since the liberal arts curriculum was a vast topic to take on. Some of my risks were evident in my Article Progress 3 post, especially my interview with Dr. Wierszewski. She was extremely ill the week we needed to do the interview, and luckily we were able to complete it. However, my other risk was having to practically rewrite my entire article so the writing curriculum changes were the focus.


Since most of the responses for this portfolio were article progress updates, there were not many opportunities for intertextuality. However, in my Current Event response, I included links to both of the websites that I discussed.


Despite not having many posts for this portfolio, I was very happy with the amount of discussion I was able to participate in this time.

Alexi Sakalik commented on my Article Progress 3 post to ask me questions about our article assignment, which I answered. I left a comment on her Smith College response, where we discussed how much schools should be teaching about journalism and the First Amendment.

I also left a comment on Calli Arida’s Article Progress 2 post. Her article was about ISIS, so I suggested incorporating the Paris attacks into her article since they had just occurred. She agreed, and we both wondered if the attacks would change the outcome of her survey.


Once again, I was able to submit all my blog posts before the class period they were due. This is something I did successfully all semester!


I believe all of my responses for this portfolio fit in at least one of the above categories. In terms of coverage for the semester, I completed all of my assignments.


In my first portfolio, I said that the course goal I wanted to achieve the most was to “demonstrate a thorough familiarity with the conventions of journalism.” After a semester of news writing, I believe I have been able to achieve this goal, which is evident in all of my portfolios. Although I had some experience with journalism in high school, this course has vastly improved my ability to write journalistically, and also improved my knowledge and understanding of journalism as well. 

My first semester at Seton Hill was definitely a busy one. This gave me a better understanding of what the lives of journalists are like, and I have gained a deeper respect and appreciation for their work. As I spent a great deal of time with news writing, media lab, and other work with The Setonian,  I can honestly say I have achieved my initial course goal and the others as well. I have learned a lot about journalism, to say the least, and I know I will use my knowledge as I aspire to obtain a journalism minor here at Seton Hill.

Seton Hill Christmas Choir Concert Preview

Seton Hill University (SHU) will hold its Christmas choir concert Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel.

Each concert is free and open to the public, featuring four of SHU’s choral ensembles: Una Voce, women’s chorale, the St. Cecilia ringers and the men’s glee club.

“This concert traditionally follows the Christmas story in song,” said Mark Boyle, director of choral activities. “We start by announcing the birth of Christ with traditional chant, harmonized in a modern way. The whole concert flows from piece to piece, without applause. The audience is invited to join in on the carols!”

Una Voce, meaning “one voice” in Italian, consists of 29 singers who auditioned for the ensemble. Women’s chorale has 50 singers, and there are 11 participants for the St. Cecilia ringers. The men’s glee club, which was founded this year, consists of 12 singers.

“The students and I sincerely hope that this gift will help those in attendance start their Christmas season with the beauty of song, ringing bells, organ and piano,” Boyle said. “It’s a cherished annual tradition and we can’t wait to share our gifts with the community, friends and family.”