October 30, 2003

Libel and the Internet

Thanks be to Paige for his coverage of this potential libel suit on the Internet.

I have been wondering how the Internet writings may be construed as libel. Though I am still not quite sure, I think that on the Internet, since identity cannot be pinned down in most cases, libel would be hard to prove because the burden of proof is defense's responsibility.

In EL 227, we are studying Media Law and this was the perfect topic. Check out Paige's blog on this subject, and check back here. I want to hear all about it.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:14 PM | Comments (2)

Taking on the Law (students)

That's right. The Yale Law School is taking on the entire US Defense Department in a suit, claiming discrimination.

What a great idea! I know that I can't stand the recruiters coming on-campus. And from the article, I gather that they gain access to our personal information from the admissions office. Aren't we still private citizens, even though we are college students?

I know that they are the government, and I do honor the armed forces, but we are in college--the most many of us could offer (full-time students)--at best--are the reserves. Can't they just let us (or me) alone????

However, another topic surfaces in the article, The Solomon Amendment. How can funds be taken away solely for prohibiting the government access to a private college/university? Note *private*. I can understand that in state schools access should be given for the affiliation with the state, but in private schools another realm is breached.

I have spoken to recruiters, though, being the whole white middle-class gal I am, and from what I understand, they go down a list provided--no discrimination employed, but that is just one recruiting office. Who knows what happens in others.

This is a great story that brings up some wonderful questions of what should be legal in college/university student information access. I am interesting to hear from all.

***I have been known to make mistakes in my blog, please forgive me, I am just a middle-class white gal with much potential in the armed forces.*****

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2003

According to Mader

In Mader's blog, he makes a great point about Boykin...could it be journalistic misconception in writing?

Perhaps. I am currently searching for some type of transcript of the speech, but I have not found it yet. If anyone can help me, I would be very appreciative.

However, according to Congress, the general should be reprimanded--so it seems like something is there. hmmm.

Continued coverage coming on GIRL MEETS WORLD. hehehe. I sound like a real reporter. hehehe.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)

Reprimand for Boykin

Boykin may receive a reprimand from President Bush for his conduct.

I think he should receive some type of reprimand for his conduct while in military dress. He was not expressing his own opinion in his civilian clothing, but in full military attire providing an implicit portrayal of the entire United States.

The religious question goes on.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2003

A tacit bias

Though America does not like to admit it, religion still is present in many facets of government. Yes, I do have links to support that claim, especially in this Reuters article concerning Bush and the Boykin saga.

In this article about U.S. Muslim leaders left out during Ramadan festivities at the White House, Bush claims that the United States supports and welcomes Muslims into this country. Great. Wonderful. Nice politician statement.

But what isn't he saying? He welcomes Muslims, but who is he leaving out? If a group of witches were to descend upon the White House (religiously affiliated), for example, I believe they would be turned away. A bias in its self.

The Methodist president seems to stand behind something that is relevant to the present conflicts, but does not see the entire picture.

Should the president even celebrate religious celebrations that stand outside his religious affiliation? Tough question. He is an American, he can be free, but he is also representing all Americans. Shouldn't he do so?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:12 PM | Comments (1)

A coward no more

I have always been a coward...with guys.

This past Sunday I faced that fear when I told a guy that I had a thing for him. As most girls know, telling a guy that you like him is not an easy thing, especially when it is traditionally the guy that makes the first move. But I made the move, and I felt terribly pitiful.

Why? Because of those traditions. I thought that by telling a guy that you like him, you are going against that "hard-to-get" game--very pitiful. But you know what? I am happy that I told him; now he knows. And though there isn't a way for us to be together now (schedules, jobs-we want more than weekends), a burden has been lifted. I never have been the traditional type. hehehe

The problem now is that those feelings are out there. Is a friendship possible, an awkward one at best? Hmmmm. With time....

This is torture--relationships suck.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:46 AM | Comments (5)

October 26, 2003

Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be

That is a good song, I think from that old show, China Beach. Anyway, about those readings for journalism. I am getting tired of statistics being screwy.

I am losing faith that any good statistical evidence is out there without bias. Is it possible. I am losing all hope. Oh, my.

Now that our class is leaving this book, I am very skeptical about everything. I guess that is a good thing, but when I say that I am right, and someone says that I am wrong, I have problems finding a basis for that conclusion...hmmm.

Statistics still confuse me. In class on Friday, when we were going over the twisting of percentages in writing, I was totally confused. Maybe we could go over something like that again. Does anyone else feel like this?

I went into writing because I love it, and well, I am not great at math and science, but I know that I will have to use that in my journalistic future. Are the academic institutions out there making a huge mistake by not including more math and science in the journalistic degree? Although it pains me to say so, I think that may be the case.


Posted by Amanda Cochran at 7:48 PM | Comments (5)

October 23, 2003

Ties that bind

This is a plug for my gal pal Karissa.

On her blog, she mentions a USA Today article that mentions marriage.

Karissa poses a great question: Is the entire idea of separation of church and state a facade? The Pledge of Allegiance debate and swearing on a Bible in court offer examples to this question.

What I think: The separation is a facade. Politics and religion cannot be separated because people in both spectrums bring their own experiences and beliefs from politics and religion into each area, a tie that binds all together. Politics and religion have been controversial forever; that will not change by a simple statement of separation.

Another paradox that people do not like, but cannot change.

Comment on hers, then come back to mine. It is great to share the wealth of opinion (well, in most cases hehehe).

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:49 PM | Comments (5)

And it gets cold

Rain or shine, I come to Seton Hill.

This morning, braving the possiblility of ear infections with the wind on this hill, I trudged down, to notice two people standing in it all (the wind and cold).

I hate the cold, and it is coming. Winter makes me want to scream!!!!!!!! In many ways, I hate Pennsylvania for this. I know the trees are beautiful blah, blah, blah, but the snow, the ice, the COLD! They are enough to make me want to hop on a jet and bask in Nowheresville, Mississippi.

For those who have not experienced a Pennsylvania winter yet, it is not the beautiful portrayals that Seven Springs shows. No, it is cold, and wet, and dreary.

That was really depressing.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:43 AM | Comments (4)

October 22, 2003

Who said advertising sucks?

Check out this knock-you-out-of-your-computer-chair ad I found on Steve Hall's Advertising Weblog.

****Warning, it is a BIG file hehehehe--you'll get my meaning after you watch it. hehehe****

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

Quiz revisions

Yeah, I am going to revise my answers to the quiz.

Thank you Dr. Jerz for this option, but Karissa and I are getting very comfortable with the idea of jumping out the window when you say "POP QUIZ".

You do know that EL227's class is four floors up? Though so. Just something to think about...hehehe.

1. If a story claims the no. of people with a particular disease is rising, how might that be good news? It could be good news that the other items on the list, such as stroke or accidents, are declining; therefore, the amount of infectious diseases seems to be rising, when it could simply be the same, lower even, or slightly higher.

2. Give two examples of the same poll question, one designed to be unfair to one side and one unfair to the other.
For school choice:

Against school choice: "Do you favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense?"

-focuses more on the cost issue-cut and dry

For school choice:"Do you think that ta dollars should be used to assist parents who send their children to private, parochial or religious schools, or should tax dollars be spent to improve public schools?"

-focuses on the different types and reiterates the words "tax dollars" to accompany the verbs assist and improve, rather than mention that they will be "at public expense".
3. Explain the difference between map and territory.
Map is the distinct truth, what has already been established, what is owned (ie. reality), whereas territory are the reports, the ambiguous accounts by a naturally-biased author.

4. What are hedgehog interpretations?
Hedgehog interpretations are marked by tunnel vision and blind spots, focusing on "one big thing", rather than the entire picture which should provide some indication of a truthful reality.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

So how many pregnancies?

If I could expand my journalism presentation, I would include this:

Three different studies published on The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy website offer three contrasting numbers on the amount of teenager pregnancies throughout the past years, specifically 1996.

When looking at the statistics, note that year: 1996. In The Alan Guttmacher Institute study 96 births occured per 1,000 teens. In The National Center for Health Statistics, 98.7 births per 1,000 teens and in National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health statistics 94.8 births were recorded for 1996 per 1,000 teens.

There are differences in the numbers, impacting the public's perception of the issues, and the manner in which information is being collected and presented.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:32 PM | Comments (8)

October 21, 2003

Cashier reading material

I read them all the time, those splashy periodicals of sex, orgasms, and men--just the covers, mind you. We aren't allowed to read the magazines on the job.

I am a cashier at the local County Market store, and though the holidays are fast approaching, I still have lots of time to look at the Glamorific glorified presentations of sex on the covers of many of the magazines.

"Go stand on your square," managers say.

And I do. Faced with Bennifer, Spears, Crowe, and Kidman in fashionable get-ups, I cannot believe the dished out sex tips, just like I cannot believe that everyone's boobs on the cover are theirs. It is for entertainment purposes only to me.

But, according to this article I found on the NMJ site, intelligent/semi-intelligent humans are believing these revelations of WHAT DRIVES MEN WILD! THE PLACE TO GET YOUR FREAK ON. and my favorite, HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR DEAD LOVE LIFE. It is all so funny that people are still relying on these "journalists" to report sex news, when, in actuality they are creating it.

That is just it, Americans have dead love lives because they are too busy getting out there and making money. Professional aspirations go above nookie in America, and the sooner we all realize that, the poorer Cosmo, Redbook, and Glamour will be.

Ah, but the wonderful, blissful denial of it all.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:28 AM | Comments (5)

October 19, 2003

Forced Blogging: Rape of the Creative Blog Experience?

No. Just a cute title for a homework assignment. Yes, that's right everyone. Another one.

If anyone has any problems coping with boring homework assignments cluttering up this blog or any on the NMJ network please leave a message on this entry. I know how horrid they can be. ;-)

Questions for class that may need further explanation or may just be good conversation topics to while away our time after the presentations in class and to create wonderful questions for the presentors so they do not feel as if we are not listening.

Yes, Mr. Crossman, if you are reading this, that was an intentional run-on/fragmented sentence--for effect.

1. (Concerning Chapter 2) How can reporters attempt to stop editors from assigning stories that do not have much research potential or credibility at all? Can it be done?

2. (Concerning Chapter 3) About the domestic abuse and rape findings, can a better definition be formulated of each? Can either of the definitions be found in law, or be carried out, or is the definition enforced in a case-by-case analysis?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:48 PM | Comments (2)

Music thieves strike again

I couldn't believe this article on RIAA crackdowns on music file sharing. Individuals from 12 to 71 are being sued for trading music on the Internet.

Though I haven't engaged in file sharing of music EVER, or plan on doing so, I find that the punishment for the music sharing junkies are a bit excessive. Many of them are losing their life savings on the lawsuits. On J.Lo!!! (ugh)

The music companies want to publicize their artists, they want to get their product "out there" and they do. Such a complex question of ethics in music. I don't really know much about the subject, but I couldn't believe the punishment for the crimes committed.

I guess now they have to go after individuals. Napster is gone...all that remains are the faces behind the music. Hey! I just combined two VH1 shows!! Fun. Fun.

Comment please. I hope to learn more about this subject.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:38 PM | Comments (10)

October 16, 2003

Criminals and Babies

No correlation. Got that.

But in this way, journalism homework and media censorship, it does. Yes, that is right, another journalism assignment for all to enjoy and share with everyone. Just click on the extended entry space for a intergalactic journey into what I do in school.

In the case of crime and the rising and falling statistics throughout the United States, the subject is still a hot topic.

Reporters are still percentagizing the statistics.

I was surprised that in one article by the National Center for Policy Analysis exhibited both sides of the spectrum: Drug Arrests Increase (the bad first), Violent Crime Falls (and the good).

The author of IANS's observations are still correct. The negative, journalist/editor/newspaper pessimism is still alive and kickin'.

Sites like this are not as popular because the American public still desires the bad--for whatever reason. (On the site, they even use quotes from celebrities to make themselves feel more needed. It is really quite funny.)

One article I found faced the topic head-on. It stated that certain "new method of reporting incidents" was the real culprit in a supposed sharp rise in crime in Boston. It vilified the way the media perceives the statistical facts of a crime scene. I really enjoyed reading something from my own searches that exhibited this practice. I recommend this site very much, it brought it all together for me.

And now about illegitimate babies.

I did not find hardly any information on the rising and falling illegitimate birth rates when I searched on Google, just a bunch of charts and tables by abortion activists. That is okay though. It is nice to see that some things in the media can die. Maybe. Or perhaps I was searching in the wrong places.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

Bare Butt on Main Street

Yes, you read that right...I saw a bare-butted man on Main Street in Mount Pleasant.

He was climbing out of a car, when he slowly picked up his drawers. It was not a pretty sight. You know the type: old, wrinkled, and chubby.

I have watched movies that contain nudity and they do have a rated R display on the box, but on the street!!?? Too bad censorship does not pertain to real life when it comes to old, chubby, wrinkled naked butted men.

But, excuse the pun, my real question, "What was he doing with his butt hanging out?" remains.

Maybe I just don't need to know...Probably.

Everyone--just keep your pants zipped on Main Street. Please!

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:18 PM | Comments (6)

October 14, 2003

I am so confused!!

Now I don't know what to think about this story: hoax or not!? I guess I'll learn tomorrow morning in class.

I am really getting comfortable with getting my ego tramped on now.

Whatever. Sleepy time now.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

Hoaxest with the Mostest

Blondes are dying out!!! RIGHT.

In response to the article on blonde extinction, I would just like to declare it a very nice hoax.

With a bit of research on the topic, I found the effort for one scientifically "backed" article false.

It wasn't difficult to do, however. I knew that the story was a hoax because it was listed under the next section of my school syllabus on hoaxes.

The article does appear somewhat credibly. The listing of Jonathan Rees, an Edinburgh professor of dermatology, for example, does lend a certain amount of expertise to the article however, false. A Jonathan Rees cannot be found on the University of Edinburgh website anywhere.

As for news value, well, it caused me to look further into accepting what is printed, which isn't really news to me.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2003

Out of the woods

They were dark, they were gloomy, not a way out, oh, and here comes a bear...


No, just kidding.

The mid-term woods. I just finished my portfolios for both of my journalism classes. I feel like have just escaped a bear, an alligator, a wolf, and a lion. I know that all of them don't live in the same place, but they do carry the same scariness.

Well, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not dead, and I will be writing more soon. Just hang tight, I am out of the woods, I need a bit of time to recoup in bed with a good movie.

Over break I am going to rent so many movies I will have continual headaches from watching the screen so much. And I won't have any money left from all the shopping I am going to do. What fun!! Yipppeeee!

It is all hitting me now.

Then I have to go back to school--ugh.

Well, I guess life goes on, but the sweetness of today I will savor. WOOOHOO!

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:55 PM | Comments (6)

October 7, 2003


There is a detour between Armbrust and Greensburg. I think I am going to go crazy the next time I go on it.

The route from Armbrust is the quickest, and now I am up to the 30-minute commute that I had on the big roads through Greensburg.

The only nice thing about that detour is going past a really pretty lake that has geese, but soon they will be leaving for southern houses.

Geez, I wish I could fly away sometimes. I guess we all do.

Amanda--quit the pity party. Get back to work. You have portfolios to do and a bunch of other reading to do, not to mention two articles, and a practicum, and readings for Faith, and another chapter in Killian ugh.

Maybe I do deserve that Pity Party. Yes, yes I do.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

This one's for you

Dr. Jerz I think you will appreciate this wonderful link to a subject you so ardently love.

Yes, that's right. Michelle, DJ, Stephanie, Danny, Joey, and Jesse are all back on FULL HOUSE! hehehe. Modern Classics on Nick at Nite.

It makes me feel really old. Or has Nick at Nite simply run out of 'I Love Lucies' or 'All in the Families'? Probably.

Full House site

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:13 AM | Comments (11)

October 6, 2003

Let me lurk

Can I lurk? Yes. Absolutely.

The issue of reporters lurking in chatrooms and in certain restricted area on the net in the OJR article got me thinking...Could I use this method? It seemed to work for Jennifer Egan.

In her story, she could not use the "traditional methods" of journalism as ruled by the SPJ Code. She had to resort to the Internet to gather sources. And good for her. She found the information she needed and built upon it for a great story with multi-faceted (ie. children on the Internet) subject lines.

And then there are the people in the chatrooms that feel their privacy has been violated; they should realized that everything on the Internet could be quoted, or published--so--WATCH WHAT YOU WRITE. Maybe disclaimers at the top of each room could be useful (if they aren't already there--I don't do the chatroom-thing).

Journalists, though crossing a code line, are doing what they should to find information: using the most current resource--the Internet--to find and publish a story.

I would love to use this method. Investigative reporters have been using covert methods to create a story for years, regardless what the SPJ Code has said. Remember Watergate?

According to Andrew Skvarca and Jennifer Cilia, it is unethical. Guys take another look--it is what journalism is all about, using the newest medium possible to publish information. The people on the sites know that they can be quoted. The Internet is not a safe place to put "private" information, and yet they do. That is their risk.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:50 AM | Comments (3)

October 5, 2003

New website fun

Our Bygone Treasures--Classic Film

I am working on a project in Writing for the Web, though it isn't fully functional or complete, take a look...wonderful things are to come.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:15 PM | Comments (2)

Coming Home

Being a commuter, you really spend a lot of time on the road, not much time at home or at school, just cruising the streets.

Maybe I should get one of those convertibles that jump up and down...that would be really cool to come to school in.

Well, besides that I went home this weekend--really home--to my grandma's house. It is so interesting to see your life measured by the the places and the people that you see, the light switches that you finally can touch, the house not as big as it once was.

Everyone is getting older...my mom, dad, grandma...and all of my cousins are either having babies or getting married. It is a shock to the senses that I might be next to get hitched. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I want so much more than that in my life.

My cousins do have "fulfilling" lives for them, but not in my eyes. They are all settling for family and not their dreams. I don't want to settle. I will continue to dream. I want to work. The family stuff will come later.

But in that time at my grandma's, I realized how much things are changing. I am not the little girl that ran through the woods on summer days, or gathered leaves to make collages. I am in college, an adult.

And I'll never have the freedom to be a child again.

Very depressing, huh?

So many things are ending and beginning. I can't help asking myself, "Am I ending or starting?"

Maybe a little of both.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:09 PM | Comments (3)

October 3, 2003

Little black boots

I wore my favorite boots today. Warm, Cozy--when I'm not twisting my ankle up a hill, and Stylin'(hehehe).

In this way, I am the stereotype female...I love shoes. I love seeing them stacked up in my closet, just waiting to be plucked for a day out. Buying them is even more fun.

Green, black, brown, blue, white, beaded, laced. They have such character.

Most days, I wear my boring Sketchers, but today I wanted something more suited for a test (I always get dressed up for tests--it makes me feel a bit more up to the challenge)--more 'me'.

It is amazing how one little pair of black boots can make you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

While walking up the stairs, whispering 'I am not going to get sick', and 'I am going to do well on this test' I squinched my feet in my shoes. Then realized, they were protected from the cold by the nice warm socks-a matching pair-and the boots.

It made me think--we are all protected from whatever is sent at us--a sickness, death, academic failure--whatever. We can always get back up and try once, or fifty thousand times more.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:06 PM | Comments (12)

Quiz woes

POJ people. Thoughts on the quiz? What stumped you?

I am kinda shaky in my resolve, maybe just a bit obsessive. I had problems with words like "confirmation bias" and in the bonus section "Gray Lady". I think I got it right--I don't know.

I like to have someone to talk about tests with, but we didn't finish at the same time, so I didn't get to.

It is nice to share those worries, those woes. Comment away...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

October 2, 2003

"Oh what fun it is to ride...

...in a one-horse open sleigh.

Yes, I am looking forward to Christmas already.

The sleighs, the bells, the lack of work.

Yes, I am dying under the workload of the season, the mid-term season.

What a time. The books, the pens, the typing. I am getting faster, though. I guess some things do come from education. hehehe. :-)

Gotta get back. Jingle bell Jingle bell Jingle bell rock....

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

October 1, 2003

New website...not finished

Visit me

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 3:15 PM | Comments (0)

One sock, two socks, pink sock, blue sock

I left the house today wearing two different socks...one blue...one pink, but both, oddly, were the same design pretty flowers. They are the culmination of the pairs my sister and I received on Easter.

Blast that dim touch light in my laundry room. Blast the laundry that piles up in my room. Blast, Blast, Blast. I sound incredibly British. By-product of Ward-ian reading I suppose.

I have gone to school on early mornings, eyes barely open, shod into two different designs of footwear.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? Sleepy faux pas? Inside-out shirts, wrong-footedness, walking up invisible stairs...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:17 PM | Comments (6)

Term project idears

Website relating to my journey as a student @Seton Hill and throughout my learning experience.

Are we doing websites exclusively?


Effects of Online Journalism on students.

Out of ideas...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:03 PM | Comments (0)

Lordy, Lordy, here comes Wardy...again

Ward really isn't that bad, but he has kept up on those stupid metaphors:

Imagine you're climbing a mountain and getting instructions from someone who's reached the top...There have been numerous attempts to define how journalists use online resources to assist their research and reporting. But they usually start from the top of the mountain...

nose cone of the rocket
Gimme a break.

The Brit does have some good information on searching though.

The plus/minus and asterisks methods are new to me. The quotes search technique was not mentioned. Is this a new technique?

His mention of mailing lists and newsgroups also makes me want search for one or the other that would fit my interests. I love the comments I get on my blog, and daily messages from a mailing list or newsgroup would provide that every day. It is something to look into.

As for the writing chapter, the ideas expressed are not different from my Practice of Journalism class. The same one idea per paragraph and Inverted Pyramid Style rules apply in both traditional journalism and new media.

Maybe I should have bought one book for both classes and been spared the expense and the crappy metaphors...sorry, I am digressing.

Ward has gotten better though. His advancement from the almost childish language laced with his endless metaphors, to knowlegeable journalistic information (albeit things I am already studying) with endless metaphors, has been welcomed, but quit it with the metaphors--how distracting, not to mention hypocritical when considering his audience and subject.

Maybe he will get better. Eternal optimism will get me through this text.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)