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August 2009 Archives

August 25, 2009

It's a Page Turner

Though it can be annoying having to flip through the pages of the newspaper just to finish an article that starts on page one, I think it is actually a smart idea to set the paper up that way. I'll admit that I don't read the newspaper usually. I would simply read the bare minimum if I had to read it for any reason and leave it at that. Because I had to turn the pages to read the end of each front page article, I found myself interested in some of the other articles later in the paper. I agree that new media journalism definitely has many advantages, but I think this is one advantage that newspapers have over new media journalism. A person may read more news than originally intended if the opening of a front page article is interesting enough. With this particular issue of the paper, for example, right next to the end of the "CIA target of torture probe" article was a relating article called "New group to handle high-profile subjects" on the "Bush-era interrogation policies."

What do you think: is this technique good or bad?

Other thoughts on the Tuesday August 25, 2009 issue of the Tribune Review

Basic Building Blocks at Work

Though not the only article to use this format, the "New group to handle high-profile suspects" article on page A4 is one example of an article following the inverted pyramid format. It begins with the lead--"The Obama administration, moving to break with Bush-era interrogation policies, announced it would create an interagency group to manage the questioning and transfers of terrorist detainees." This lead is followed by supporting details to further inform the reader of the situation--such as the information on the new group and its purpose, which is to "correct some of the abuses that took place under the Bush administration's program." Next, there is a quote from Attorney General Eric Holder followed by more facts on the new program.

The lead of the "Expected loss of profits rankles business owners" article on page A1--"Viewed from behind the sandwich counter at Jimmy Sunseri's Strip District shop, the G-20 summit next month looks grim"--follows the first four tips Clark and Scanlan give on page 291 of America's Best Newspaper Writing. This lead is short; it's only 19 words long. The main focus of the article--the G-20 summit--is mentioned. The full point of the article is made clear only two short paragraphs later. Though it does not directly get to the point, the audience already knows part of the point because of the title, the rest of the point is made clear shortly thereafter, and the lead does include "elements that dramatize the news." The words "look grim" add all of the drama needed to grab the reader's attention. Also, whether this lead is the most startling or sensational anecdote or not, it is related to the news.

Other thoughts on Clark and Scanlan's points in relation to the Tuesday August 25, 2009 issue of the Tribune Review

August 26, 2009

Sad But True

Just the other night, my friends and I were talking about everything surrounding Michael Jackson's death. Both this comic, "A Famous Person Has Died," and Aja Hannah's blog reminded me of this. Though I didn't personally see any of the news coverage of this event, I'm sure it did go along with the comic. One particular thing that stuck in my mind from that conversation was that even though there were plenty of controversies with Michael Jackson during his life, it seems like people are now choosing to ignore all of that and simply idolize him instead. This comic seems to capture that essence in its vagueness and its attempt to make more of the story than there is.

Other thoughts on John Campbell's "A Famous Person Has Died"

August 27, 2009

WTAE News at 6

I chose to watch the WTAE News at 6. During this 30 minute broadcast, only about 16 minutes were spent on actual news. The rest of the time was filled with previews of upcoming stories, commercials, weather, and (for a few short instances) joking around between the newscasters. Also, the news started at about 5:59 and ended at about 6:25. The last five minutes were filled with a viewpoint commentary, UPMC short infomercial, and other commercials.

Of the actual news, only one news story was specifically created by the WTAE news team--a story on a group of kids found hitchhiking, who said they ran away from their foster home, tired of the abuse. This was the only story the newscasters specified as being "only on 4." One other story, a story on old houses crumbling in a neighborhood in North Braddock, was advertised as new at 6, but it wasn't specified as being a WTAE exclusive.

As for a comparison between the WTAE job description and the characteristics of a "journalist" from The News Manual, they are both similar in the sense that the journalist or reporter would need to be motivated to go out and find stories and be creative in the presentation of the stories--within reason.

August 30, 2009

Riot or Picnic?

Something Happening in Haiti was certainly interesting. It goes to show that it is never wise to jump the gun with news. Even though this spoof was exaggerated in the extreme, even one small detail off in a down to earth situation can make the news station lose credibility.

Other thoughts on Someting Is Happening In Haiti

It's Worse Than It Seems

"It might be very interesting to find out if widespread fears in the nation about crime are fanned by TV people who deliberately tug viewer emotions night after night."
~Greg Byron's "TV stations are completely ratings driven"

That's the problem with sensationalizing everything. As we've discussed in class and read in various sections of Greg Byron's essay, broadcast journalism is all about drawing viewers. It's much more interested in entertainment value than in the straight facts. As a result, many news stories are made out to be bigger than they actually are. It does make one wonder how much panic and fear is produced naturally versus how much is produced by the news stations.

Other thoughts on Byron's essay

August 31, 2009

Quest For Reason

"The real reason for a quest never involves the stated reason. In fact, more often than not, the quester fails at the stated task."
~page 3 of Thomas C. Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Continue reading "Quest For Reason" »

More Than Just A Room

"The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet--a deep blood color."
~page 4 of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"

Continue reading "More Than Just A Room" »

About August 2009

This page contains all entries posted to JenniferPrex in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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