September 2007 Archives

September 23, 2007

"Covering crime and its victims requires perspective, persistence and patience."

The Chapter 5 reading was very informitive. I always saw reporters as the pushy kind of people that did whatever they needed/had to do to get a story. The first couple pages of this chapter showed that they need to show more consideration when it comes to dealing with victims. Though I feel that I, personally, would use this kind of consideration when reporting on a crime, I thought the entire text was on target, and didn't see how someone could not use that kind of judgement when dealing with victims, or a victims family. But I guess some reporters sometimes have to be reminded about the fact that, though they are reporting about current news and need to get the story out, there is a life that has been hurt involved, and they have to be sensitive to that life.


The only part of the text that alarmed me was the part about the rape victims. I didn't think that rape was such an underminded case. I know that it would be hard to report such an attack, and most victims of this kind of crime would not want their names published, but I cannot believe what "most people" seem to feel about the victims.

Found on that page...

  • Rape is different from other crimes. Society often blames the victims. Studies show rape victims suffer from the stigma of being "damaged" by the experience.
  • Rape victims are less likely to report the crime if they know their names will be published or broadcast. Rape is already the most underreported violent crime in the country.
  • Because rape victims are treated with such insensitivity by society, they deserve a level of privacy not afforded other crime victims.

    Why would society blame the victims? How is it their fault? I know that in some cases people can lead onto sex, and then realise that they don't want it at the last minute, but it is still too late, and this is considered rape, but to others it is just considered sex, but in any other case, how can someone blame a vicitm? I think society as a whole has put a lesser meaning on what sex is "supposed to be about" and because of that rape has become not such a big deal, and therefore in some cases, to some people, the victim is the one to blame.


    (But I think that's complete crap. The end.)



    Animal Cruelty and Racial Acts

    The first article I chose was a current news report and had few details in it. All it did was state what happened, who did it and what could be done about it. This article was gross, it was about a guy that was drunk and ripped the head off of a live duck that was in a little pond in a hotel lobby. According to the chart the man is currently just at the arrest stage, and this crime is considered a felony, and awaiting a trial. Though this article was fairly recent, it had as much information as needed, and perhaps more than most recent news stories have.


    The second article I chose was about an ongoing story, the case of the Jena 6. This story was primarily written because of the recent "march for justice" for the six. It states that all but one of the six have been released from jail an await trial. On the chart the six are located in the charges filed category, while the last one of the six still is under arrest and sits in jail. The case of the Jena 6 is about six black students that beat up a white student, and are changed with battery for that attack. The attack happened after black students got permission from the school to sit under a certain tree on campus, which mainly white students sat around; within days of the black students getting permission, three white students had hung six nooses on the tree, and were only suspended from classes for the day. This case is based on racial prejudice within the school, and is hopefully ended properly. Personally I feel that the white students got of easy, and the six are being punished too much. There is definitely a double standard in the school, and it needs to be fixed before the trials go on.


    Assignment Page 

    September 20, 2007

    "What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure." -Samual Johnson

    As the quote (and now title of this entry) says, pretty much, if you want someone to read what you have to say, make it good and put in the time and effort so the reader stays interested. The three assigned chapters showed us how to do that, if we did not know how to already.

    In chapter three, the chapter about leads, the main thing that stuck out to me was, well the first sentence; "In the beginning of every news story is the lead-the bait, the lure, the tender trap for the reader, a source of much fear and loathing for the writer." (Cappon, 23) Ummmm, what? Maybe it's just me, but I personally think the lead is the easiest part of the story to write, as long as you know what you want the story to say. I've really only started writing news articles last year in my senior year of high school, when I actually took a Journalism class and got to fit the school newspaper in to my schedule. So maybe I have less experience than everyone else but, I've never had trouble with writing leads. So this chapterwas just an overview I guess for me, but still was very informitive and anyone I think could get something out of it.

    Chapter four however, I think ANY writer could learn from this chapter. I think that everyone has problems with sentence structure in some ways at some point in their writing careers. I know personally the rule of having an average of 16 words per sentence is kind of difficult for me. I usually have too many words and don't know when to end the sentence, or I just suck at making a sentence long enough to fully display my ideas. I really think I just need to work on the length of my sentences, based on my target audience. "Long, complicated sentences present no obstacle to professional readers (like ourselves). But we don't write for professional readers. And even they prefer the tighter prose that a preponderance of short, declarative sentences creates." So basically, I have to get in my head that no one likes to read long boring sentences, but don't make them too short that no one knows what I'm talking about.

    So, chapter five confused me. Yeah I'm slow (or I've just been up too long) and didn't catch on to what it was talking about until the end of the chapter. "Even more coldly put, journalese means hack work." (Cappon, 48) So what I'm getting from this chapter is pretty much to catch the readers attention, and try to own it. I think that the entire class can learn from Cappon at the end of this chapter when he says, "To write well means to choose the right words for each occasion, not to fit the occasion to precooked words. That requires a thoughtful effort."

    From these three chapters I learned that I am doing leads correctly; I can still work on proper sentence structure; and overall that good writing takes time, and effort. And if I want to be a good writer, and if I want to do better in the years to come, I need to take that time to do so.



    September 18, 2007

    So...I hope this is right.

    With the assigned article I found that there seemed to be a couple mistakes with it; one that really sticks out, is getting all the information on the identities of those involved. Though I think that it is not ethical to put the names of people under 18 in the newspaper, unless given permission, why is the age not given for the little girl, and why is the age not given for the driver of the vehicle? And if that driver, who is "not licensed" is not of driving age, then she is apparently under the age of 18 too, and should not have her named mentioned as well. (I don't know if that is the reason why she is not licensed, it's just a thought.) Also, according the to check list the only other thing that this article was really missing is what the damage to the SUV was, which actually does not seem relevent to this story.


    Now with the article I chose there seemed to be very a very minimal amount of mistakes, except spelling errors, which I am very bad at as well so I'm not going to hold it against them, anyway, this article was very informitive of the accident. (Which is really tragic, since everyone involved was between the ages of 14 and 30.) This article tells the reader everything, except what the funeral plans are for the ones that died (which might not be known at the time), and it leaves out any eyewitness accounts. However besides those two things, this article is well written and covers the check list pretty well.



    The only real question I have is, is it really ok to put the names of people under the age of 18 in a newspaper article like these? I always thought you weren't allowed to do that. And do we have to make a trackback to the class site in every blog? 

    September 15, 2007

    You can have this heart to break.

    And so it goes - Billy Joel


    In every heart there is a room
    A sanctuary safe and strong
    To heal the wounds from lovers past
    Until a new one comes along

    I spoke to you in cautious tones
    You answered me with no pretense
    And still I feel I said too much
    My silence is my self defense

    And every time I've held a rose
    It seems I only felt the thorns
    And so it goes, and so it goes
    And so will you soon I suppose

    But if my silence made you leave
    Then that would be my worst mistake
    So I will share this room with you
    And you can have this heart to break

    And this is why my eyes are closed
    It's just as well for all I've seen
    And so it goes, and so it goes
    And you're the only one who knows

    So I would choose to be with you
    That's if the choice were mine to make
    But you can make decisions too
    And you can have this heart to break

    And so it goes, and so it goes
    And you're the only one who knows

    September 14, 2007

    Chelsea is totally rad.

    September 12, 2007

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