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November 28, 2005

Presentation--chapter 12

Chapter 12—Making Our Own News (Presentation)

(Silent for one minute)

“Your voice matters.” This was highly stressed upon in Chapter 12. Without us, the regular people who make things happen, reporters would be out of jobs because they would have nothing to cover. Not only do we have a voice when it comes to making the news, but now, in today’s society, we are able to CREATE the news! We all can make our own news. For instance, if Professor Jerz is concerned about an issue here at Seton Hill, he could write a news article on the internet for viewers to read. If I had an issue that I was concerned about, I could simply write an opinionated blog hassle-free! Now tell, me, when do you prefer to blog? There is no wrong answer so just shout out the answers. Well, along with the power to write what we want to on the internet, we also have the power to write WHEN we want to. If we wanted to post a blog at 2:00 in the morning, which is when a lot of us probably blog because we can’t seem to get to sleep, we would not get in trouble for it. If we wanted to post a blog at 2:00 in the afternoon, we would not get in trouble for that either. With the power of blogs and the internet, anything is possible.

A Creative Common
To put it simply, “Creative Commons” is a system of “Some Rights Reserved.” What does this mean? The Creative Commons Copyright is an alternative copyright licensing system that allows the person who created the work to decide which rights he or she wants to reserve for himself or herself, while allowing the public to build on his or her ideas.

For those of you who did not buy the book, “We The Media” , please raise your hand. How did you read the information that needed to be read? (Answers)
I know when I went to purchase the book at the bookstore, I walked into the bookstore and I think I counted a total of seven books. None of them were “We The Media.” I too have been reading the chapters from the internet. How is this possible? The author and his publisher have published the book on the Internet and offered it for free compared to bookstores. “Free” does not mean a person has the right to print the information and resell it to make money. “Free” means a person has the right to download and read the information without buying the book from the bookstore. The author and the publisher believe they will be creating more, not less demand and they are willing to take that chance.

Why is the author doing this? First, he wants to support copyright in the correct way. “Locking down heritage means locking out vital innovation, and I don’t want to be one of the people who turns reasonable protections into absolute control. (Page 240)” Secondly, the author doesn’t even know what the readers or other people will do when they get their hands on this book. “Since one of my goals in writing this book is to encourage experimentation, I’m hoping that people will—within the boundaries of a “some rights reserved” license—use this book to expand the conversation in ways I hadn’t imagined. (240)”

Making Our Own News
“We tend to be bound by our past, even when we can imagine the future. (Page 236)” Because of articles now being posted on the internet, many people tend to be timid about using the Web as a source of information. In class we had a discussion about what we thought was a better source of information. The internet or print? I’m sure we all have our own ideas and I do not plan to go into that discussion right now. Well, maybe just a little. Before reading this book, I was a little uneasy about reading news articles on the internet. However, after completing this book, I understand that the “internet is the most important medium since the printing press. (Page 236)” Anyone can be a writer and that gives many of us the opportunity to do so. The internet’s source of feedback systems, or blogs and other modern media, allow the viewers and writers to define what we know and share. Just like anyone can write a news article on the internet, ANYONE can blog in response to that news article!

Who helps make our news? These groups would be journalists, newsmakers, and the audience. Journalists are beginning to catch on to online blogging. High-profile blogs have appeared on the internet by some of the biggest news organizations. Newsmakers understand almost just as much as journalists. However, newsmakers do not have access to the tools that would help them deal with the public. These tools include the news media.

The “former audience” has taken these tools and turned the many ideas into amazing forms of journalism. The former audience, US, has the most important role in this upcoming era. We must be active users of the news instead of consumers. Not only will we be the news, write the news, but we must also READ the news!

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

chapters 8-10 --MUST READ!!

Mondays class was definately one of the best classes I have been to all semester. This could be for a number of reasons. Number one, everyone seemed to be "all ears" and participating in what the three presenters had to say. Secondly, we were listening to our peers for a change. (Dr. Jerz, I'm not saying you are BORING to listen to because you definately aren't! However, listening to what your peers have to say can put a spin on the lecture. :) )

I especially liked these three chapters. I have no idea why, but they were interesting and fun to read. When WE THE MEDIA talked about trolls and boundaries of trust, I felt a connection. Up untill this point in the semester, we have talked about how journalists may stretch the truth, not tell the whole story, or just plain old LIE! However, this book talks about the boundaries of trust on the internet and how "trolls" or people who say things just to "rev someone's engine" talk on the internet.

In class, our discussions have really been thought out. I have something to say about print vs. blog. I personally have easier access to the newspaper when i come home because, (now lets be honest folks) who specifically gets on the internet to search for news when they could simply reach inside their mailbox and read the newspaper? Or, *gasp* turn on the television and simply take in what the reporters are saying! I'm not tryin to be a troll, but how many people (who even HAVE computers because today, not everyone has a computer with internet access) are going to check the many different blogs? I don't think my grandmother even knows what a blog is...

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:38 PM | Comments (4)

November 20, 2005


"While its possible to learn something from a focus group, or scientific survey, those techniques don't add up to listening." (Page 69)

I couldn't agree more with this quote! I can learn about a topic or subject from a group discussion or a survey (even if the survey isn't necessarily correct all the time). However, I can learn about something if someone is explaing it and I am listening. Journalism however if different. It's hard to read the newspaper and hear the journalists tone that is in his or her voice or seeing the facial expressions when one listens to someone while reading his or her face. Any additional comments?

Posted by ElyseBranam at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

We The Media (intro, 1, 2)

I just want to reflect on both the reading and the class today. Both presentors did a nice job on reflecting on what they had read. "We" are the media. We, as citizens, make things happen and without us, there would not be any kind of media! For instance, what would have happened if Paris Hilton had not lost Tinkerbell? (for those of you who do not know who Tinkerbell is...it's the name of her dog) I know I definately got a laugh out of the fact that the news station was reporting on Hilton's lost dog. WE are the media and we are the reason reporters have the jobs they have. :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2005


Hello again! My name is Elyse Branam and I am a freshman at Seton Hill University. Hopefully you will enjoy reading my third blog portfolio just as much as my second blog portfolio. I am an english major and I am blogging about my News Writing (EL227) class that is taught by Professor Jerz.

The entries you are going to view are posted to the public and reflect what Professor Jerz discussed with the class. The following areas of writing will be discussed in my portfolio:

ElC's Collection:

For my coverage/depth entry, I chose quite a few entries to discuss. My first one deals with The AP Guide To News Writing and Chapter Eleven. I discuss how journalists should not try to make their article as "decorative." Instead, a journalist should make his or her story straight and to the point.

My second coverage/depth entry is about the book, It Ain't Necessarily So, and deals with the Prologue, Introduction, and Chapter One. I mention and discuss "gatekeepers", what the book will talk about, and how to "let the reader beware." Don't you understand what I'm talking about? Then READ on!!

My third coverage/depth entry talks about the book, It Ain't Necessarily So, and deals with Chapters Two and Three. In these two chapters, I discuss how many times journalists tend to include too many facts instead of letting the "unimportant" facts out of the article. I also give the definitions of "broad scope" and "tomato statistics."

My next coverage/depth entry discusses the book, It Ain't Necessarily So, and deals with Chapters Six and Seven. In this entry, I discuss how journalists tend to use polls to give information. However, some polls are not all what they are cracked up to be...

For my last coverage/depth entry, I discussed the AP Guide To News Writing book that dealt with Chapters Nine and Ten. I discuss how a journalist shouldn't use metaphors or cliches. Instead, they should try to be creative and try to use their own words and sentences to describe an incident that happened.

ElC's Other Entries:

I thought this entry had a really good BEAT about it! I learned, basically, when covering a crime, if the victim doesn't bleed then the journalist should not write or report about the incident.

What an activity?! This in-class activity was a fun and interesting way to look at how a journalists report and write a crime article. I had no idea how much...or how LITTLE...time a journalist had to write such an article.

In Conclusion to the book, It Ain't Necessarily So, I talk about how I truly did enjoy reading this book and discussing it in class with my peers and Professor Jerz. "Let the reader beware!"

I really enjoyed Amanda's presentation infront of our class. She did an outstanding job and it was amazing to see how much love she had for news writing and journalism. I was lucky to have her comment on my own entry as well. :)

ElC's Blogged Class Articles:

Interested in reading my own articles? Would you like to find out What Happened to the Homecoming Queen? Do you think Cheerleading Should be called a Sport?

ElC's Xenoblogging:

Comment Primo~ I commented on Mike's blog about his PRESENTATION REFLECTION that was done in class. It was interesting and entertaining and I always seem to enjoy the twists he places on his words and sentences.

Comment Informative~ I commented on Stormy's blog because I could connect well with her entry. She opened my eyes because until I read her article, I always thought that journalists DID try to make a mountain out of a molehill ALL THE TIME. However, that is not necessarily true, as per Stormy's blog.

The Link Gracious~ Even though I already used this entry, I would like to use it again in my "link gracious." I explained how enthused Amanda was when she lectured to our News Writing class. After reading Denamarie's entries about Amanda and her lecture, I commented on her blog. Want to find more about it? It's only a click away!!

Posted by ElyseBranam at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

Amanda Cochran

First off, let me tell you that I have never seen someone who is so enthused about being a journalist then this young woman! Not only was she head over heels for her job, but she seemed to have no problem explaining how she made the gov. mad (which was a very cute story), or what she felt like AFTER she made him mad! She was very interesting and has abled me to focus on the different aspects of journalism and what journalism should be. This would include that journalism should be FUN and INTERESTING. Lately, I have been having trouble writing articles and I think that her lecture has helped to get me off my heels and begin to pick up where I left off.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

November 06, 2005

AP Guide To News Writing ::9-10::

::Pseudo-Color Won't Work::
"Charles Caffal is a 43-year-old artisan, built along the lines he admires most. He is as lean as a clothespin-a Shaker invention-and his only ornamentation is a full, reddish beard."
*This is a rich image in a few words, and a long way from essentially mild-mannered. So is this line:
"On hills that are normally green at this time, there's nothing but a sere, parched, dun-colored stubble."

::Don't Overdo It::
For instance--> "Leaders of the seven riches nations convened today for a summit that could reshape the world's econmic landscape to nourish the dizzying blossom of East-West peace and a stem of tenacious underbrush of trade and environmental disputes among themselves."
*Wow, this is just a little too much for a reader to take in. Even after typing/rereading the sentence, I have no idea what I just typed/reread!

-Do not worry abotu an occasional cliche
-A cliche is acceptable when it serves your meaning precisely
-Do not use a cliche as a facetious way to inflate a simple idea
-When you must use a cliche, get it right
"We are all working like banshees." (Banshees wail)
-It's impossible to freshen a cliche, so just let it rest!!
-Don't put cliches in quotation marks or apoligize for them coyly with an "as the old cliche has it..."

**::This reading brought my attention to the different cliches that I sometimes use in my writing! Oooopsy! My english teacher would always circle my words and write, "too cliche!" on my paper. After reading this and having Mrs. Dunlap (my English teacher,) I am beyond the shadow of a doubt that I will bite the dust and lash out with my gory details and colorful scenes. :)

^Had to get that one out of my system ;)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 02:39 PM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2005

Chapters 10 and Conclusion

Overall, I very much enjoyed reading this book. Although the authors of the book were biased, I was engaged in the text. Looking back now, I realize that I have learned so much from the reading. For instance, when taking a poll and then talking about the subject, a reporter should always show what questions were asked in the poll, how many people were polled, and where the poll was located. I also learned how to ask positive and negative questions in order to get a certain answer. How about that!

"'News' is not just "what happens" on a daily basis; it is also the reaffirming evidence that the world works today just as we always knew it should. In this respect, today's news is most satisfying when it confirms our most deep-seated beliefs about the way things really are." (Page 187)

All I have to say is, "Let the reader beware!!"

Posted by ElyseBranam at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2005


Just wanted to applaude Lorin and Nancy on a job well done today. Both had my attention the whole time and Lorin, you were very creative with the telephone game. If only I would have gotten to see Professor Jerz dressed up like a hippie. Dang! Nice work :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2005

Chapters 8 & 9

Are Self-Reports Unreliable?
"Once again, then, we see that reports of a phenomenon can differ from actual occurrences of it. The researchers made that distinction abundantly clear in their study; but some news acoounts did better than others in conveying it to their readers." (Page 141)
*I feel that is obviously the researchers job to make the information accurate and clear.

I understand that researchers do have motives and obviously the researcher must be serious when asking the matter.

**Hopefully I will be able to learn more in class tomorrow as the two presenters explain their ideas on the subject matter.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)