November 2007 Archives

Backwards and Forwards

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

"The inverted pyramid is at war with the narrative tradition" pg 289 ABNW

I never though of it that way. Writitng a news story is like writing a narrative tale backwards. The denoumnet has occured, and our job as journalists is to explain why everything happened. Reading a play backwards reveals the reason for events, and so articles do for crimes and world events. Also, we Americans have a short attention span due to increased tv watching and easy access internet blurbs. We are constantly busy, in a rush and often do not have the luxury of sitting down and reading a full page article. The inverted pyramid technique suits our fast paced lifestyle. The top of a story is deft and pointed; it just points backwards.

The fill in the blank style of journalistic writing is one thing that severely bores me about the profession. We fall into habits. There are several alternatives to the hackneyed style, like the Metal to Bone narrative articles Hull wrote. They incorporated 2 different english discplines, creative writing and journalism.

I am one of those reporters that does not do what she is told. I get an assignment with a list of people to contact. More often than not, those contacts do not prove useful at all. Then it is up to me to find alternatives, to not let the assigment fall by the wayside. If my article sucks, it is not my editor's fault. There is always a way to fix a problem. Over thanksgiving break, I racked my brain trying to find interesting angles for my first semester freshmen article. Asking around to various people, I discovered some interesting stories about freshman dorm life. There is no waiting around. People hardly ever com to you and say "can you interview me for your article?'

The most tedious part of the journalism process is sifting through the minutes upon minutes of interview files. Often, only a couple of sentences are useable, the rest just in between chatter or information I already know. When I am speaking to a person, there is what I like to call the "light-bulb moment": an unusual anecdote that I know will make my story interesting and newsworthy (ex. my sister's "pill drawer" story).

My schedule as a double major does not permit me a lot of free time. Every free second I have is spent doing hw: I am ashamed to admit that I have never revised an article of mine. Because of this class, I now know my flaws as a journalist and need to revise. I do not want to make the same mistake of using profanities or giving credit to a person for another person's work.

The use of the active tense allows the reader to be tranported into the sidelines of th event. live actione enthralls, and we all need a little excitemnet in our lives.

"Ehh or meh.."

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)
"If I hadn't been rich, I would have been a great man"
Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane

While I do not feel that the movie lived up to its reputation as "the greatest motion picture of all time", there is something to be said about the lessons it can teach us about money and power. During the final scene, I was still at a loss for what the significance of "Rosebud" was. And then I thought about it: Rosebud was a remanent of Kane's childhood, of his happy past. In fact, he had been playing with it when Mr Thatcher came to take him away. Mrs Kane just gave away her son to be groomed for sucess, with hardly any remorse I might add. If I were a child and some strange man told me he was taking me away to live with him right in front of my parents, I would have expected some protestation from them. But no, she let her son go, thinking that the money would make him a better person. Mrs Kane was wrong.

All kane ever wanted was to be loved. All he knew was money. Money, he believed, could bring happiness. Therfor, he showered his wife Susan with gifts, believing money=happiness. But money is not everything; Susan wanted to know him. She wanted Kane to open up and give himself to her, but, as she put it:

"you don't love me! you want me to love you"

Kane could never love anyone because he had never been loved himself. The people who were supposed to love him, his parents, just let him go off with this strange man. Little 10 year old Charles seemed pretty content on that farm. His mind was probably warped when this happened, twisted into thinking that his parents never loved him. Maybe, he felt, that he was not worthy of being loved or that he had done something to make his parents stop loving him. I would have a pretty low opinion of myself too. Being loved means that you arer worth something to someone. Perhaps if Kane had not been thrown into the world of the rich, we would have turned out to be a generous and caring man. But money can have a strange affect on a person, turning them into a greedy selfish monster.

So, Rosebud was a symbol of love: the last time Kane had ever felt loved.

Not breaking, but still interesting

| | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0)

"He said he had been two years with Victor Herbert in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra." pg 282

About New York: Meyer Berger

With this one litte fact, Berger shows us why this story about a homeless old man is worth hearing: it is the story of a still great muscian, having lived in a flophouse and been taken to a charity hospital. Through all the hardships the man had suffered through in hs later years (going blind, for one), he had never lost his musical abilities: they remain intact, and came out when he picked up a violin for the first time in 30 years. This is why the story is interesting: Laurence Stroetz is not an ordinary  old man.

The subject for my next article, first semester freshman, is not hard news: it is sort of a features/human interest piece, like the homeless musician story. Berger found an angle that made his story unusual, which is what I have to do. Instead of focusing on what the freshmen did or didn't like about their first semester in college, I am going to focus on the unusual: instead of getting the "we just didn't get along" answer about roomate compatibility, I am going to focus on the whys and particulars. My sister, for one, had an interesting incident with a fire next to her dorm bed. Somestudents have already decided to transfer: I want to know why: what did they not like about Seton Hill that soured them? why is their new school going to be any different. The little unusual details I will include, instead of the "college is harder than I thought it was", "my roomaye is weird", "I changed my major", etc. There are reasonings behind those thoughts, and I intend to find them.

Just the facts...and then some

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

"The minute he said it, he wished he could take it back. "Don't Get Shot." "

Anne Hull, Metal to Bone, Day 1: Click

Hull's article doesn't follow the typical quotes-and-facts formula. The story reads like a narrative, with the reader being a watchful third party. Instead of stating the events chronologically, with quotes from the witnesses and victims, Hull gives vivid descriptions of the setting ("a sleeping bag was rolled out...good to go." pg 107). Also, she gives a detailed backstory of each person mentioned in the article, no matter how involved they were (Gil keeps a picture of his son...can wake up together." 105). We watch the crime play out before our eyes; we are inside Lisa Bishop's head as she feels the cold metal touch the back of her neck; inside Gil Mercado as he searches for Lisa's asssailent. Hull's articel does what a police report cannot do: place us at the scene of the crime, in the police car as it romas the slums searching for that Bronco. If I were reading a paper, and I saw this article and one like we had to write for the tuesday morning follow-up, I'd go with Hull's. Facts and figures distance, while details and descriptions humanize.

Watching Paint Dry

| | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0)

"being afraid tot stop and take a breath...for fear that winter would return, leaving Wednesday in our memory as nothing more than a sweet and too short dream" pg 213, ABNW

Ken Fuson, Ah, What a Day!

Fusons's article is full of rich imagery.He makes a seemingly mundane assignment (come on, what's lamer than a weather report?) into a delightful little daydream. Mentioning such iconoclastic things such as a new christmas bike, playing outside in a spring breeze, and gardening lift the reader away. We can all picture this kind of day, when you walk outside and just feel happy for no particular reason (like the one day in April when I noticed that there was no temperature change from inside Canevin to outside on the steps). Fuson doesn't come out and say "oh, spring is here. How great." he doesn't need to: he shows us by using all these little nostalgic images, the moments we year for in the winter months (especially if you happened to live in DeChantal Hall last year where the heaters did not work). A good journalist shouldn't have to spell everything out: what he/she wants you to see should be present in the text, through quotes and descriptions and not statements. I bet Fuson could make an article on paint drying interesting.


Strange Fire

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

"Oh god, what do I do?"

anonymous "arsonist"


Well, last night I was on the phone with my boyfriend. My friend Colleen aimed me to come to dinner. I had just stepped out of my room to head down to hers when I saw a strange sight: there was smoke billowing out of the 5th Canevin kitchen. An unnamed student ran out of the kitchen, saw me standing there and yelled "oh, f***, oh f***, what do I do? This has never happened before!" It seems the young lady's ramen noodles caught on fire in the microwave. Said microwave was now ablaze, blackened and melting. The paper towels were destined to be the next victim. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall, pulled the pin, and sprayed the room. I put out the fire!!!! and shockingly, this time it wasn't caused by me.


hairspray sets off the fire alarm up here, but did an actual fire????









I reiterate, I put out a fire that I didn't cause

Over all

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

"Most of the world is populated by decent people trying to do the best they can"

pg 43

America's Best Newspapers is not trying to disheartened people from journalism. Like IANS,  it gives us guidelines. No one is perfect, nore can a newspaper be. Everyone makes mistakes. It is in how you handle and fess up to those mistakes that people notice. Also, I now have a less negative feeling towards the press now that I have an idea of the processes that the ditors go through in deciding how and what to publish.

America's Best Newspapers teaches us how to handle accusations and mistakes.It also teaches us how to handle different areas of journalistic writing, such as crime and controversy. An article or picture that appears in the paper must have a good reason for being there: the editor must have felt that the public should see/read it. But, we need to make it evident to the reader why we put it there. (I had an experience with an article of mine last year, but my editor deemed it unfit for the small community we cater too. She felt it would have been fit to publish in a bigger, city-wide reaching. I wasn't writing to offend: the musical I wrote about was getting a lot of media coverage and I thought we should know more about it).

Okay, so maybe I was a little harsh on Anna. I suppose if there is continous coverage on an event, it is becuase there is hope that more stories will emerge and develope. The press waited long enough, and they found that the drugs Anna was taking were prescribed pain pills for an operation and anti-depressants she was taking to deal with her son's death. Now then, we have two linked stories. More waiting, and we discover more about Dannilyn's real father. Anna's death was only the beginning domino: they are still continuing to fall over.


Bail out too soon

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

"The concern that the press focuses too much on what is wrong, violent, and bizzare and that it never prints "good news" may be the longest running complaint of the public."

pg. 38 America's Best Newspaper Writing


I too have complained about this. Last February, Anna Nicole died. There was also a war going on. However,tv stations had round the clock coverages, "Anna-watches" of this event. Okay yes, it is sad that she died. But people die every day. Another celebrity dying of a drug overdose: how seemingly mundane to me. But, I did not consider that maybe because of all the frenzy, reporters were not able to find the "good news", for it would take longer to discover. Reporters work on a deadline and do not have time to wait.


The quote "scandal has a thousand strings" definately applies to this story. Not days after Anna Nicole died, there were a multitude of side stories.

-who is the baby's father?

-where will she be buried?

-can her mother obtain custody?

-wil her estate be able to go after her late husband's million?

-how do larry and Howard feel about each other....etc

William Raspberry is correct in thinking that this type of journalism distances and dishearteneds people from the news. After a while, I stopped watching the news for weeks because I was sick of 24 Anna talk. It is a shame, as there were many other news stories out there worth hearing, if I had waited around enough. I mean, I didn't even hear about Virginia Tech until someone told me way after it happened.And that kind of scares me.

The See word

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)

"who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the window of the skull" p. 9


And so Ginsberg's poem begins. The most brilliant minds of his time, he claims, are what the conformists (those not of his beat culture) see as deviants. All they do is smoke, rant about "crazy" ideas, and have sex all the time. Conformists do not want to listen to new ideas: new things are dangerous. No one wants to listen to one of these beatniks because they are nuts, the drugs and alcohol "must be causing" the hallucinations, the far-out ideas. Conformists do not want to admit the truth. Guess what?! People smoke, have sex, and drink. We do bad things sometimes! Everyone does! To conform is to go along with everyone else. If everypne around you does not behave in the way that these poets do, then their lifestyle is wrong. Denying the truth is a very dangerous thing. These counter-culture addicts that Ginsberg speak of, they are not dangerous: all they want is for the conformists to see and hear the truth about society. But the comformists do not want to listen.

The world is a harsh place, and people do not want to hear talk of words such as asshole, angels piercing people with swords in bathhouses (we can all make an educated guess as to what Ginsberg was inferring), naked, cocksmen, suicide, petticoat up-liftings, innumerable lays of girls, snatches, C*** ( I cannot bring myself to even type this word-to me it is the most foul word in the english language). As much as I hate c***, I fully accept its existence and people's rights to say it. Just because it does exist, doesn't mean I have to like it. But I won't deny the existence of the word, for that would make me a conformist. To all other fellow writers, I say be witty and controversial! Curse and speak of sex in your writings if you feel the need to do so in order to get you message across! And to those conformists: if you don't like it, don't read it. You can never erase it by denying its existence. This is not 1984: no one is going to erase words, thus erazing the existence of thought.

The Holocaust claims another generation of victims

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
"Although emotions can exist apart from interpersonal interactions and may arise without social and communicational stimulus, they are often an outcome of past, current, or imagined social interactions taking place in the context of interpersonal relationships." pg 176

Wiseman, Hadas, Einate Metzl, and Jacques P. Barber. "Anger, Guilt and Intergenerational Communication of Trauma in the Interpersonal Narratives of Second Generation Holocaust Survivors." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 76.2 (2006): 176-184.

 The article explores the psychological affects of the Holocaust on survivors and their sons and daughters. The lack of communication, Wiseman and other say, about trauma-specific events like the Holocaust has caused a mix of anger and guilt in both parties. Survivors tend to be silent on the subject, not wanting to relive it. This "conspiracy of silence" assures that the Holocaust remains distant and detached, the survivors not wanting to admit that the attrocity is a part of them. They believe that their children would grow up normal without knowing of the horrors. The children don't ask, and thus the subject is never brought up.

The lack of Holocaust communcation between the survivors and their children has caused 4 factors to arise in the second generation: anger, guilt, self-consciousness, and hostility.  The children feel too sensative toward the parents and feel protective of them. Therefor, it is difficult to get angry at them. Children can somethimes feel guilty, as though they are the cause of the tension in the family. In many cases, there is double survivor guilt: the parents tranmit their guilt to their children, who in turn fell guilty towards their parents' past sufferings.

The Shadows of a Past Time

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
"it depicts what was all too real, however unbelievable, in a tighlty controlled and brutally stark manner" pg. 201

Chute, Hilary. "The Shadow of a Past Time: History and Graphic Representation in Maus." Twentieth-Century Literature 52.2 (2006): 199-230.

The Holocaust was something no one (well, maybe one evil, black mustached little man) could have imagined, but yet, it happened. Yet, we who did not witness it can often not fathom that something this horrible was allowed to happen, especially within the last 100 years. While comparing Spiegelman's latest venture, a 9-11/Holocaust comparison comic entitled In the Shadow of No Towers, with Maus, chute manages to illustrate, through quotes from Spiegelman and others, the advantages of having such attrocites as 9-11 and the Holocaust represented in the comic medium. Spiegelman is quoted saying that each box is " a different moment of time-and you see then all at once. As a result you're always, in comics, being made aware of different times inhabiting the same space." (202). Art speaks of his father, a packrat, who taught him how to pack a suitcase, to fit many things in a tight space. Through this metaphor, Spiegelman has acquired a talent for packing a lot into a small space. All at once, there are many things happening on a page in Maus. But, just as Art needed everything that was tightly packed into the suitcase, so did he need every little detail, even the conversations with his father in between the bits of story. Further on in And Here My Troubles Began, Vladek tells Art that " all such things of the war, I tried to put out of my mind once and for all...Until you rebuild me all this from your questions" (98). Rebuilding is exactly what Maus does. Maybe we push the subject out of our minds because of the horrifying subject matter: we push it out because, as I stated before, we cannot even begin to imagine such an attrocity. But Maus, with its interweaving of the past and present, rebuilds the Holocaust in a way in which we can grasp what happened. Maybe then we can prevent, as Spiegelman said of 9-11, "the same old deadly buisness as usual" (199).

My First Mistake

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

"Although many journalists may think that spelling and grammar errors, wrong names, wrong titles, wrong addresses, wrong dates and other similar mistakes have relatively little to do with the press's credibility, the public sees it otherwise" pg 13

America's Best Newspaper Practices

Boy, do I know this one well. Last spring, while still a very new journalist, I was assigned an article on the University Choir's concert and subsequent performance at PMEA. While listing the names of the people who had solo songs, I gave credit to Jessica Florian for one. She was not the soloist: it was Breanne Grec (spelling?). My editor did not catch my mistake, nor would I expect her to, since she did not have an extensive knowledge of the University Choir. The article was printed. I got a lot of complements on it: someone even hung it up in the music lounge. Shortly after, I got several comments about my mistake. Not only had I given credit to someone who did not do any work, my mistake made me seem somewhat ignorant about my subject matter. I mean, I had the program from the concert in front of me, yet I must have just read Florian's name and it stuck in my head (total and complete brainlock). A little mistake it may be, but it could have easily been avoided if I had just paid more attention.  It is these kind of "trivial" mistakes that sour people on newspapers. If I had gotten something so obvious wrong, how sure can they be that nothing else was amiss?


and while we're on the subject of mistakes that could have been avoided...who remembers the infamous "office of pubic information" incident? It was in the same issue as my PMEA article...guess it was a bad week for everyone

bonus: what song is my title from? (hint: she plays piano)


They Saved Lisa's Brain....but not ours

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

 "The Newspaper's editor said  without shame or chargrin that the move was part of a more general intent to reconfigure the newspaper's coverage of arts, including music and dance"

Goodbye to All That, Steve Wasserman

The loss of book reviewshas perhaps had a snowball effect. These reviews were, for many, the cause of reading. They told the reader whether or not the book was worth their while . Reviews of books peaked people's interests, and started them on the book. Now where do we get that literary push from? Oprah?! What makes her an authority on literature. The decline of book reviews means the decline of reading books in general.What is next? The theater? The symphony? Art? People seem to care more about what TMZ has to say about Britney than the lastest novel. This predicted situation reminds me of a particular Simpsons episode, during which Lisa laments on the decline of culture:

"We are a town of lowbrows, nobrows, and ignorami. We have eight malls, but no symphony. Thirty-two bars but no alternative theater. Thirteen stores that begin with ‘Le Sex.’" (They Saved Lisa's Brain)

Is this what we've come to?

Emotional Art

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

"what it does do is present a story of this "central trauma of the Twentieth Century" that is more accessible to a general audience than many other accounts, because it is particularly effective at inviting emotional involvement"

pg. 9 The Shoah Goes On

I couldn't agree more. What all of the other historical accounts of the Holocaust cannot do is show you the expressions on the person's face as all the hoorific events are happening. Because of its medium, Maus can do this. The sheer fury Art shows towards his father when he finds out that he burned Anja's diaries (159, My Father Bleeds History) is evident through a shaken fist, a very furrowed brow, and a line that denotes smoking anger above Art's head. Maus does not need to evoke emotion: it is already there on the page to see. One does not need to envision.

Throught the books, there are several extremely graphic drawings of dead Jews, either buring, their eyes screaming in pain, or lying in a dead heap on the floor of Art's office. (41, 72, And Here My Troubles Began). I have seen the actual photographs of the bodies at Auschwitz, but for some reason, the drawings speak louder than pictures. I cannot bear to look at them without being absolutely horrified and a little sick to my stomach.



Second Generation

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

"I mean, I can't even make any sense out of my relationship with my father...How am I supposed to make any sense out of Auschwitz?....Of the Holocaust?" pg 14

Maus 2

The Holocaust has claimed more victims than just the 11 million murdered between 1937 and 1945. The children of Holocaust survivors are victims as well, second-generation survivors. Such a horrible event as the Holocaust lays imprinted in the minds of survivors for all time. They will never forget that for a time, they did not have control over anything that happened to them. It is hard then, when finally free, to readjust to society, to adjust to having free will again. Vladek saves everything because his posessions were destroyed in the past. He is stingy with money because money was scarce (almost non-existent) and valuable in the war; it sometimes meant the difference between life and death. Vladek clings to these things because he is afraid, afraid of the past. Art understands, in theory, his father's behavior. But, since he obviously did not experience the Holocaust, he can never really truely comprehend his father's behavior. Children of Holocaust victims often have strained relationships with their parents because there is this lack of understanding.


Last year, our theater department did a play about a survivor and his daughter,(Mazel). In the play, daughter Pearl had a strained relationship with father Jack. he did not want to talk about the past. She knew nothing of what happened to him during the war other than that he had been in a concentration camp. Pearl blamed the Germans for her father's behavior: in fact, she hated all Germans. But, by speaking about the past. Jack and Pearl grow very close. Art needs to finish his book, if not for literary sake, then for his own relationship with his father.

Immune to gloom

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)
"What's that?....Oh, it's a set-up, okay" (89)

America's Best Newspaper Writing

I plan on going to law school after college. I have often pondered how a person such as a lawyer or judge can spend there lives with the bottom rung of society, the scum of the earth. Now I have my answer: they have built up an immunity to the crime. I suppose that if, day in and day out, you see the same few types of crimes committed, and hear the same excuses fro defendants, that you would just let it roll off your back. The immunity is necessary, otherwise how could a judge hand down a decision that results in the execution of a fellow human being, guilty as they may be. I was shocked at how emotional (i.e shocked) Myer's article made me feel. Using not just facts, she wrote the article as a narrative (which I did not know was an acceptable form of newswriting in some cases). The judge lets the accused man's cries roll right of his back ("yeah yeah yeah, set-up, whatever..."), which is something I do not think I could do. But, then again, I am not a lawyer (yet). I am a common person, and we commoners have not built up an immunity to crime. Crime stories are interesting to people because they shock.

here's a bonus: what musical/movie is the title of my blog from (hint: it is a lyric in a song)

Human and Humor

| | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0)

"But Pop-It's great material. It makes everything more REAL-more human" -pg 23

Facts and figures dehumaize a situation. How many times have we heard that 6 million Jews were killed? We have all seen the pictures, but some of us may have become de-sensatized to them. The same goes for those pictures they show during the Christian Children's Fund: we just turn it off. But a personal, first-hand account of the Holocaust includes all the details the media and history books do not. These people had lives. They had dreams for the future, but they were interrupted by the Third Reich. The victims were just like us, only we have uninterrupted lives. There are many personal accounts available (my favorites are Night and I Have Lived a Thousand Years) Elie's story about the violin and horrifying description of seeing his father die before him, and Livia's account of how she had to save her mother from dying of starvation shock and burn into people's minds forever how horrible an event the Holocaust was in history, much moreso than a statistic or picture could.

I was glad that Spiegelman included humor, leaving in such bits as the arguments between his father and his stepmom, as well as the ones between his father and himself. Such seemingly trivial facts, such as Lucia the crazy girlfriend, remind us all that these are people. There is humor in everything. I shall decline to mention, much to Dr Jerz's dismay (sarcasm), a quote from one of my theater books on humor in tragedy.

I then pose to you a question: Who do you think the pigs represent? Are they the Polish who are kind to/help out the Jews?

Take Two: another one

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Since the last portfolio,I have come to doubt the credibility of the news a litte bit, thanks to our reading It Ain't Necessarily So. But, the book's real purpose was to make us question the news, not completely doubt it. IANS pointed out the aspects in which many newspapers are fallible, so we can learn to recognized when something is supspect. IANS taught us how to see the flaws in the news, where to look for them.

Coverage/ Timeliness:all entries, posted on time


An Unclear Truth

No Offense, but that's not what I asked

Not technically "lying", but....

Only Chicken????

Too Quick, Especially Through the Tunnel


Depth:  personal connections to the issues

Only Chicken????

Not Technically lying, but...


Interaction: these hit a chord with people

Not Technically lying, but...

No offense, but that's not what I asked..-this blog gathered heavily-worded reactions from two people who weren't even in our class. My views posted in this blog are the reasons I will never be able to be a sports reporter, due to my negative bias towards male athletes



What's the Truth?

Digging for Buried Treasure



Tell the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God

If at first you don't succeed, try try again


First Hand Experience

The Good and the Bad


Xenoblogging-these ones took some thought-comments grande


The Truth is out there


Never shut the president in the door


the exsistence of Mrs Boyle is no longer a myth


Wildcard: every portfolio, I have one blog that is my favorite-personal, nostalgic, and relevant, this is the one

Only Chicken???

Too Quick, especially through the tunnel....

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

"a scientific jury of peers, only human; it can have biases of its own, and it can fail to weigh all the evidence impartially" (149) IANS

Exactly. How do we know that the reviewers may have the exact opposite views we do? Moreso, does it even matter all that much? It is not fair to assume that people's preferences and opinions will automatically enter into their research. The Inquirer acted too quickly in judging Brind's research. So what is he is pro-life? He is also a scientist, and scientists are not supposed to draw conclusions before the research was completed. Since the pewspaper was focues too much on Brind's views, they completely missed the point of the meat-analysis, which was to discover if there was a pattern formed by all the previous studies. "If" is the key word. No pattern was found, but so what? he did research to find out if there was one.

We are journalists, but we are also humans. All of us have preferences and opinions about things. This does not necessarily mean that our personal convictions will enter our writing. I have written in The Setonian about many things I personally felt were boring. Does that necessarily mean my articles were boring?


"it is easy to be misled once you stop looking for alternative explanations" (164)


Microbes are becoming more deadly: this is why there is a rise in death rates. Seems plausible, right? Is there a reason to doubt the validity of this statement? Yes.

The reporters and reseachers failed to consider another possibliity: the United States is ageing. The baby boomers (they are called this because a lot of people were born in a short period of time, thus representing a large portion of our population). are reaching social security age. As people age, their immune systems weaken greatly, making them more suseptable to diseases. But people were too blinded by the explanation that seemed feasible, the microbes.And who is to say ageing is the only reason that the death rate has increased? We must alwasy keep an open mind, for there is always room for a better expalanation. Scientists never stop researching: they always strive for an answer better than the one they already have.