All posts by paigeparise

News, Arts, and Sports Writing Portfolio 4

The end of the semester has finally arrived, and throughout the News, Arts, and Sports Writing course, I have added to my knowledge of journalism. Although there were not many blog posts for our final portfolio, I believe all the posts I did create fit into at least one of the categories of depth, riskiness, and intertextuality, which were strong throughout the semester. In addition to my blog posts, my online interaction with my peers about their term projects added to my discussion category.

Depth:

Although all of my posts fit well into the depth category, the example I am choosing for this portfolio is Principles of American Journalism Ch6 + Code of Ethics. I chose a simple quote from the chapter and discussed it in detail, and also incorporated a bit of intertextuality by discussing the Brian Williams scandal. I also wrote multiple paragraphs about two different codes of ethics, including one that was completely new to me.

Riskiness:

The post that I think was the best example of riskiness was Principles of American Journalism Ch7. I wrote about topics such as censorship and the First Amendment, which are complex topics. I’m also not an expert on legal matters and history, so it was more challenging to engage with this chapter. However, I tried to discuss what I learned from this chapter of the text and also wrote about censorship based on previous experiences I had in high school.

Intertextuality:

My strongest example of intertextuality for this portfolio was Principles of American Journalism Ch8. Since the authors wrote about Edward Snowden and how he leaked information to journalists, I went into more depth about this situation and the significance of it in relation to journalism. Like I’ve done in previous posts, I once again brought up the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal in this discussion as well.

Discussion:

My most significant discussions over the last few weeks of the semester occurred on Canvas about our term projects. In the Term Project Pitch and Progress discussions, I left feedback on my peers’ posts to tell them what I thought was strong about their projects and how their projects could be improved. Since I was not physically present in class, I asked Rebecca and Rachel to send me an update and any components in progress, and I worked with them to help improve their projects.

Timeliness:

As much as I tried, timeliness simply was not one of my strong areas this semester. However, I was not rushing to finish all of my blog posts at the last minute, and I also was always on time getting my feedback to my peers so they weren’t left waiting. Since I was on time with my feedback, my editor reflections were also consistently submitted before their deadlines.

Coverage:

I believe all of my posts for this portfolio fit under at least one of the above categories.

Conclusion:

This semester was chaotic, to say the least. However, even though not everything was perfect, I am still very content with the work I did for both the News, Arts, and Sports Writing class and my independent new media project. One of the goals I identified at the beginning of the semester was to “develop an appreciation for how journalism educates the public.” These final few chapters of the Principles of American Journalism book gave me a much better understanding of the challenges journalists face, and how they sometimes must go to great lengths to inform the public in the most effective way possible. The other goal I wanted to focus on was to “examine the role of the journalist in a democratic society.” In addition to the readings and blog responses, I think my new media project gave me a much better understanding of the role of a journalist in our society. In addition to all the normal tasks and challenges I already knew about, creating an interactive project using a medium I was not very experienced with made me realize the significance of the medium in journalism. In a time when the future of journalism is uncertain, the role of the journalist involves more than just writing good articles – journalists must be innovative to effectively inform the public as technology advances and people’s expectations change. Overall, I am happy with the work I have done for this course, and I think it has better prepared me for my future career.

Writing about Literature Portfolio 4

As the semester nears its end, I have greatly improved my ability to write about literature. Although there were not as many blog posts for our final portfolio, I believe the posts I did create all fit under at least one of the categories of depth, riskiness, and intertextuality. Additionally, my individual work on my research paper helped improve my ability in all of these areas, and contributions to the research of my peers built discussions throughout the final few weeks of the semester.

Depth:

Although many of my posts fit well under depth, my post about Wit is one that exemplifies depth for this portfolio. I incorporated multiple quotes from the play and analyzed their significance and possible meaning. Since this post was about the entire play, it was also multiple paragraphs in length.

Another post that I think is a strong example of depth is A Tale of Two Tortures. I wrote this as my second wildcard blog post, where I discussed my process of deciding my topic for my research paper. I wrote about what can be learned from comparing two novels in research, challenges I have faced, and my next steps to complete my revised paper.

Turning my attention to our Canvas assignments, my Term Paper Review of Literature is another example of depth. I wrote over 600 words to discuss ideas found in multiple sources I gathered for my research paper. I tried to organize my Review of Literature by topics, rather than simply have a paragraph about each source.

My final example of depth for this portfolio is my Term Paper Draft. Although I did not quite hit the word count, I wrote nearly 2000 words for this draft and attempted to organize it well. Rather than haphazardly throwing everything into a document, I went into depth to incorporate quotes, synthesize my own ideas, and explain how my sources support my ideas.

Riskiness:

Various assignments for my term paper were my strongest examples of riskiness for this portfolio. My Term Paper Proposal was probably the most risky, as I attempted to compare two novels for my paper rather than one. Trying to clearly identify how the two novels related to each other in this early stage was challenging, but finding a few sources helped me create a starting point for my research.

Another example of riskiness was my Term Paper Presubmission. This was my first attempt at making the comparison between the two novels clear in my thesis statement, sample body paragraph, and conclusion. I was taking a risk with my body paragraph particularly because I wanted to strike a balance between the analysis of the two novels. However, I utilized my writing skills and believe my presubmission was strong.

Intertextuality:

One example of intertextuality for this portfolio is my Writing about Literature post. I discussed how 1984, a text we read in class, could be analyzed through Marxist literary criticism, which is something else we learned in this course. In my discussion of text parser games, I mentioned how I had previous experience with text parser games in my Topics in Media and Culture course last semester.

Another example of intertextuality is my Literature and Journalism post. As the title suggests, I discussed my previous experience with and knowledge of journalism in this post, and even wrote about the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal. I also discussed The Taming of the Shrew, another text we read for this course, and how literary criticisms can be applied to an analysis of the play.

Discussion:

My strongest discussions for the final few weeks of the semester were the in-class discussions I had with my peers. One discussion in particular that stuck out to me was with Lucas and Steve after the Review of Literature assignment was due. I was struggling with formulating my thesis and how to move forward, and Lucas and Steve gave me a lot of helpful feedback that pushed me in the right direction. I also offered feedback on their Review of Literature assignments and gave advice for aspects of their papers that they asked me about.

In our various peer review assignments for our term papers, I gave feedback to all of my peers and tried to give them all constructive feedback to help them improve their papers.

Timeliness:

My timeliness was not the strongest for this portfolio, but I am caught up on all assignments before the end of the semester. Although timeliness suffered for certain posts and assignments, I do believe all of my posts and assignments were high quality and went into depth. I like to take the time to make sure everything I write is meaningful and done well, and even though I would have liked to improve timeliness a little more, I am still content with my work.

Coverage:

I believe all of my posts for this portfolio fit under at least one of the categories above.

Conclusion:

This final portfolio was slightly different than the others because we did not have a lot of blog posts, but I believe my work throughout these final few weeks of the semester has contributed to achieving the course goals. The first goal I identified at the beginning of the semester was to “read and interpret literary texts on an intermediate-to-advanced level.” By analyzing not only 1984, but also A Clockwork Orange for my research paper, I am interpreting these texts on a more advanced level. The second goal I identified was to “develop the ability to recognize how cultural experiences shape personal tastes and literary aesthetics, and to apply that ability to their analysis of the assigned texts.” Conducting research allowed me to learn about the cultural experiences of George Orwell particularly that shaped his writing, and researching about the cultures during the time periods when both novels were written allowed me to analyze the texts with a deeper understanding. Overall, I believe I have achieved the course goals as described in the syllabus this semester, and I am much more confident in my ability to write about literature.

Source: Discussion Portfolio 4

A Tale of Two Tortures

When presented with the opportunity to write a research paper, I wanted to make sure I chose a topic that I was truly interested in. I was apprehensive about choosing 1984 because I felt like that novel has already been analyzed extensively, but I remembered how I compared it to A Clockwork Orange in one of previous blog posts. The idea dawned on me that I could compare the torture sequences from both novels, and I’ve been pretty fascinated with my analysis so far.

Researching and comparing two novels can be challenging because most of my sources only talk about one of the novels. However, that’s what makes my paper unique – I’m the one creating this comparison. It’s also been interesting to see how both novels can be viewed from a psychological lens. When I read 1984 in high school, I wouldn’t have ever thought of analyzing the story that way, but it has opened up a new way of thinking about this story.

Aside from catching up after falling behind on assignments, I think one of the biggest challenges has been trying to understand the science aspect of my sources. Research involves more than just pulling quotes from a story – I have to look for sources that clearly explain the scientific ideas and incorporate those in my paper.

Going along with this idea, in my group discussion in class on Thursday, I talked to my peers about finding more sources to include in my paper. Since I’m not quite hitting the required word count, incorporating more viewpoints can add to the quality of my paper.

Source: Wildcard

Literature and Journalism

When we read The Taming of the Shrew, I noticed that many people chose to analyze it from a feminist perspective. They discussed how the women were treated abusively, whether that was mentally and/or physically. You could craft an argument out of that, but I think the feminist lens is the most obvious one to take with this text, especially since a lot of us in this class are female. I think it’s easy for us to look at how Petruchio in particular treated Kate and say he was an abusive and controlling husband. However, you have to avoid our personal biases in 2018 and dig deeper for analysis. I wrote a lot of my blog posts about Petruchio’s treatment of Kate, but I tried to find reasons why Petruchio would have done this besides power, as Shakespeare opens up a lot to interpretation. The academic article I found also analyzes the play from a more psychological lens and discusses the biological understanding of gender at the time. It was extremely interesting to read about this perspective, which isn’t the most obvious viewpoint.

As a journalism major, I don’t always see an obvious comparison between journalism and literature. However, I think the idea of literary criticisms and theories can be compared to how journalists should not look through just one lens when writing a story. Journalism is about sharing all sides of a story in order to avoid bias and allow the public to make decisions themselves. If journalists only covered one side of the story (one lens), then they wouldn’t get the full picture. Looking at the same literary text through different literary criticisms is similar, because it can provide you with a new way of understanding a text.

I think it’s also obvious that literary criticisms challenge us to think deeper than we normally would. As I mentioned, it’s easy to look at The Taming of the Shrew and say Petruchio was wrong for his treatment of women, but so much more can be discovered if you dig deeper. I compare this to investigative journalism in a way, because stories that come out of investigative journalism are not simple to uncover and write. The most obvious example I can think of is the Watergate scandal, and how the journalists from the Washington Post spent months and months working to uncover the truth about President Nixon’s involvement. If they weren’t willing to put in the work to uncover what was hidden, then the course of history would’ve been altered forever.

I never would have thought to compare literary criticisms to journalism, but I think it’s interesting to consider the similarities and how what you learn in one course can be applied to another.

Source: Wildcard: Any Course-related Topic You’d Like to Write About

Principles of American Journalism Ch8

In the final chapter of Principles of American Journalism, I thought it was interesting how the authors discussed Edward Snowden:

“Just as important, in leaking to journalists, Snowden was submitting the information to the verification process, the objective method of journalism. Doing so would enhance the credibility and therefore the power of the information as well as ensure that some sort of filtering of such highly sensitive information would take place” (Craft & Davis 209).

Although I remember the situation with Snowden leaking information, I never considered how Snowden chose to leak the information to journalists, rather than simply putting all the information online. Regardless of how you view the Snowden situation, I think the authors make a fair point that his decision shows that journalism still maintains credibility, even with the distrust of the media today. There is a ton of information available on the internet, and what makes journalists significant is their ability to sort through that information, verify it, and make the public aware of why that information is important. Without journalism, we would have an overload of information, but no one to verify its truthfulness or help us understand its significance.

Another quote from this chapter that I thought was interesting discussed objectivity:

“Rather than try to play the detached, neutral observer, an engaged, independent journalist lets the facts take her where they may, demands answers to questions sources would rather not answer, and presses the powerful for the truth” (228).

The authors brought up a good point that journalists are human, just like everyone else. It’s impossible for journalists to be completely objective and completely unbiased, but they can try their best to put those biases aside and use the process of journalism to guide them. Journalism is about gathering the facts, and letting those facts guide your story. With the Watergate situation, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein let the information they found guide them, and they had to take the stance with their story that President Nixon lied. It wasn’t that these journalists were biased against Nixon – they just found evidence to support that he lied, and wrote that story, which was the truth.

Journalism is unique because every story is different. It requires a different approach every time, but still relies on the basic principles and method to guide it. Journalism will always face criticism, but at its heart, it’s a profession dedicated to reporting the truth, whatever that truth may be.

Source: Principles of American Journalism Ch8

Principles of American Journalism Ch7

In Chapter 7 of Principles of American Journalism, one of the quotes toward the beginning of the chapter about the First Amendment stuck out to me:

“Have any 45 words generated more controversy, engendered greater debate and resulted in more titanic legal clashes in our nation’s history?” (Craft & Davis 181)

I think it’s interesting how this one principle that has been a constant since the beginning of our democracy has been so complex throughout America’s history. As a journalist, even with freedom of speech, there’s still a lot you have to consider that the authors touched on, like libel and testifying about anonymous sources. However, despite all its complexity, we wouldn’t have journalism as we know it without freedom of speech, so as a student studying journalism, I am pretty grateful to have such a freedom.

I’m also grateful because in a way, I understand what censorship feels like. In high school, all of our articles had to be read by our journalism teacher, and then approved by our principal. We couldn’t really write anything too controversial, because the administration wanted our school to be portrayed in a positive light. Although I understand that from a PR perspective, my job as a journalist isn’t just to write about the good things. While editors will always ultimately determine what is written, they understand the principles of journalism and abide by them, not a PR agenda. I appreciate having the opportunity in college, and eventually the professional world, to report the truth.

Another quote from this chapter stuck out to me:

“We are often eager to repress speech we disagree with, and so we have built a legal system of protection to overcome that impulse” (196).

This is a great way to describe the purpose of the First Amendment. Although we might not agree with what someone says, that doesn’t give us the right to restrict their speech. If we simply repressed all speech we disagreed with, then we wouldn’t be able to acknowledge differing viewpoints and have discussions and debates about these viewpoints.

It also makes me think about how President Trump speaks (and tweets) negatively about the media, and particularly when media outlets say something he disagrees with. Although he might not agree with what everyone says about him, if he completely restricted people from saying those things, he’d be closing his mind to different viewpoints. The First Amendment also gives us the opportunity as journalists to hold those in power accountable, which is extremely important.

I think it’s also important to remember that although the First Amendment gives you the right to say (almost) whatever you want, it doesn’t necessarily protect you from the consequences of saying whatever you want. The First Amendment particularly protects people from the government taking action against you, so that means if you say something that could be taken as offensive, you could still be fired from your company. I don’t think enough people truly understand the First Amendment and freedom of speech, so it was helpful to read this chapter.

Source: Principles of American Journalism Ch7

Principles of American Journalism Ch6 + Code of Ethics

As I read Chapter 6 of Principles of American Journalism, I thought one simple quote summarized the whole chapter very well:

“Without truth, journalism isn’t really journalism” (Craft & Davis 147).

What makes journalism different than other types of writing is that it tells the story the way it actually is. If you start to make things up or exaggerate, then you’re not telling the real story. In a way, I think you could consider journalism as nonfiction writing, because it reports the facts. When you start to make things up, you’re writing fiction, and that’s not what journalism is. The primary role of journalism isn’t to entertain – it’s to tell the truth. And without the truth, you don’t have journalism – you have fiction.

I clearly remember when the Brian Williams scandal occurred. I was a senior in high school, and I was in the journalism class writing for our newspaper at that time. We talked about how Williams was in the wrong for making up stories because he clearly violated the principles of journalism. I like how the authors related journalism to being a doctor or a lawyer. If a doctor did something unethical, such as abusing a patient, in addition to facing legal penalties, people would no longer go to this doctor to be treated. Although journalists likely won’t face legal issues for making up a story, your credibility is undermined because you lied, which is the one basic principle journalists promise not to break.

When I took Dr. Jerz’s Newswriting class three years ago, we discussed the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which I briefly touched on in a previous blog post. I think the four main concepts – seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable and transparent – summarize what journalists should aspire to do in their profession.

I also think it’s helpful that the SPJ code goes into more detail for each of these four principles, particularly with the fourth, which involves “taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public” (238). I’ve been fortunate that no big scandals have occurred during my time at Seton Hill, but this chapter was a good reminder that if I ever do face a tricky situation, I should be prepared to explain to the public my decision-making process. With a growing distrust in the media today, being transparent is extremely important.

I also thought it was interesting to read the Radio Television Digital News Association Code of Ethics, which is something I had not looked at previously. There are a lot of similarities between this code and the SPJ’s, as the main principles of the RTDNA’s code include truth and accuracy above all, independence and transparency, and accountability for consequences. Although this code is geared more toward specific mediums, the basic principles are the same, as they should be across the spectrum of journalism.

Source: Principles of American Journalism Ch6 + Codes of Ethics

Writing About Literature

Throughout our Writing about Literature course, there is a lot I have learned. One of the most prominent ideas I have taken away from this course is that there is not one “right” answer when reading and writing about literature. Although this is something I already knew, Writing about Literature is one of the first courses where I could really put this into practice through blogging about my ideas of a text.

Literary criticisms and theories are something new I learned in this course. In middle school and high school, we usually used the same techniques for analyzing literary works, so learning how to analyze a text using a specific lens was something new to me. I realized how reading and writing about literature through a particular lens can help you identify new ideas and ways of thinking about a text. For example, I wondered how Marxist Criticism could be used to write about literature, but I realized that you could use this criticism to write about the imbalanced class structure in 1984.

My definition of literature has also expanded throughout this course, specifically when looking at interactive fiction. Although we experimented with text parser games in my Media and Culture course, I tended to focus on the medium rather than the content. Although they aren’t what we traditionally consider as literature, these games tell a story and have complex ideas that can be analyzed through writing.

Source: Writing About Literature

News, Arts, and Sports Writing Portfolio 3

With the completion of my third portfolio for News, Arts, and Sports Writing, I am very content with my progress since my last portfolio. I greatly improved the discussion and timeliness sections of my portfolio, and I also continued to display depth, riskiness, and intertextuality in my posts. Although I plan to continue making improvements in the individual sections, the overall quality of this portfolio is a significant improvement as compared to my previous two portfolios.

Depth:

One post that exemplifies depth is NM: The Future (4 of 4). This post could also fit under riskiness, as I was discussing the possibilities for the future of journalism, which is always an unknown. I wrote in-depth about the possibilities of the future of journalism, incorporating multiple quotes from the text in multiple paragraphs.

Another post that fits well under the depth category is my Post-Election Story response. I found multiple articles from a variety of news sources following the midterm elections and analyzed the objectivity of those articles in comparison to where their organizations fall on the media bias spectrum. Specifically, I spent time searching for articles about similar topics from Fox News and CNN in order to compare them and any potential bias.

Although any of my posts about Principles of American Journalism could easily fit under depth, the one I am picking out for this category is my response to Principles of American Journalism Ch3. This post was likely my longest one about one of the chapters from the text. I chose a few quotes to discuss in detail, and I wrote about the importance of journalism in the digital age.

Riskiness:

One example of riskiness for this portfolio was my Pre-Election Story post. Although I have blogged about potential media bias before, this is the first time I had to search for articles about the midterm elections and write about them. I always consider writing about political topics a risk, as there is a lot of knowledge necessary to understand them, but I think I was successful at choosing a few articles to analyze.

My response to Principles of American Journalism Ch4 was another example of riskiness. This chapter of the text focused on the business side of journalism, which is something I am not as familiar with. However, I applied what I know about advertising with the Setonian to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of journalism as a business.

Going along with the text, my Principles of American Journalism Ch5 post also falls under riskiness. I considered placing this under intertextuality, as I discussed topics from one of my communication courses. I acknowledged in my post that I do not know the most beneficial way for journalists to connect with their audience through digital media, which is risky. However, I applied what I have learned from my communication course to discuss how these lessons can be applicable and beneficial to journalism.

Intertextuality:

My first example of intertextuality is my first post for this portfolio, NM: The Future (3 of 4). Similar to my final example in the riskiness section, in this post, I discussed what I have been learning in one of my communication courses and even cited a specific statistic from a paper I wrote that I thought was applicable.

In my first post for our second text, Principles of American Journalism Ch1, I wrote about my experience as a student journalist. I related my experiences working on my high school and college’s newspapers to specific examples from the text.

Finally, Principles of American Journalism Ch2 was another strong example of intertextuality. I wrote about how my journalism class in high school talked about the Rolling Stone article discussed in the text. Additionally, I discussed how as a double major in communication and journalism, I understand both ways to perceive the public that the authors talked about.

Discussion:

For my first two portfolios of the semester, discussion was basically nonexistent. However, I significantly stepped it up for this portfolio so I could share my thoughts with my peers.

For the first chapter of Principles of American Journalism, I commented on Annie and Steve’s blog posts. In Chapter 2 of the text, Caitlin and Chelsi both wrote about interesting quotes, so I left a comment on each of their posts about that chapter. Finally, I commented on Rebecca’s third post about the future section of The News Media.

I am definitely content that I improved my discussion section for this portfolio. Moving forward, I plan to continue commenting on my peers’ blog posts to participate in more discussions with them.

Timeliness:

Throughout the semester, my timeliness section has been another one of the categories that has needed significant improvement. For this portfolio, I definitely think I’ve taken a step in the right direction. My first few posts for this portfolio were early, and although I started to fall behind toward the end, I wasn’t scrambling to finish every single post at the last possible minute. I have definitely improved my timeliness significantly since my last portfolio, and I plan to improve this section even more for our final portfolio.

Coverage:

In addition to completing all of the posts required for this portfolio, I was able to categorize my posts under at least one of the above categories.

Conclusion:

My third portfolio was definitely an improvement from my previous two, and I plan to continue making improvements for my final portfolio of the semester. Writing my responses for this portfolio also helped me continue to achieve the course goals. By reading the Principles of American Journalism text and examining articles from a variety of news outlets, this has helped me “develop an appreciation for how journalism educates the public.” I also hoped to “examine the role of the journalist in a democratic society,” and reading Principles of American Journalism and the future section of The News Media has given me a better understanding of the present and future role of a journalist in society. With the end of the semester in sight, I will continue to work toward achieving these goals as I finish our second text and any other blogging assignments.

Source: Portfolio 3

Principles of American Journalism Ch5

In the fifth chapter of Principles of American Journalism, I was drawn to the following passage:

“The fundamental difference in terms of the goal of online journalism – from audience attraction to audience engagement – is more than just economic, however. It promises to reinvigorate the relationship between journalists and audience, a relationship that grew far too distant in the era of mass audience” (Craft & Davis 123).

In my Professional Development Seminar course for my communication major, we have been researching different contemporary issues, with digital media being a predominant topic. Recently, we discussed how digital media has changed the process of communicating with an audience. Rather than a one-way form of communication, where you send a message to your audience and that’s essentially the end of the process, digital media enables two-way communication, where you send a message and your audience is immediately able to respond back to you.

People want to know that they are valued by the companies and organizations they enjoy, and digital media allows these companies to respond to their audiences and let them know their feedback is valued. This can help build brand loyalty, and I think it can be applied to journalism as well. Journalists can individually create profiles on social media that allows them to connect with their audiences, and news organizations can use social media in a similar way. When audiences form a connection with journalists and their news organizations, then they’re more likely to continue reading the content from those organizations, and might also become more likely to pay for their content. I’m not sure what the best way is for journalists to use digital and social media to connect with their audiences, but it’s necessary to start somewhere.

Source: Principles of American Journalism Ch5