November 11, 2005

Blog Portfolio 3

Here's is my third blogging portfolio for EL 227, News Writing.


Crime and Punishment - Reflection on the Department of Justice handouts
Surveys and Statistics - Reflection on Ch. 2-3 of It Ain't Necessarily So
Proxies and Statistics - Reflection on Ch. 4-5 of It Ain't Necessarily So
IANS Ch. 6-7 - Self Explanatory
It's About Time - Reflection on Ch. 8-9 of It Ain't Necessarily So
IANS Ch. 10 and Conclusion - Self Explanatory
Creativity in Journalism - Reflection on AP Guide to News Writing, Ch. 9-10


Crime and Punishment
Surveys and Statistics
Proxies and Statistics


Crime and Punishment
Surveys and Statistics
Proxies and Statistics
It's About Time


Crime and Punishment
Surveys and Statistics
Proxies and Statistics
IANS Ch. 6-7
It's About Time


AP Guide to News Writing: Chapter 11 - Katie Lambert
Feature Stories and Profiles - Jenna O'Brocto
Ch. 11 AP Guide to News Writing - Jay Pugh


Alias Revisited

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at 01:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alias Revisited

As you may have noticed from many of my past blogs, I am a big fan of the TV show Alias. In fact, I even did a presentation and paper on the show for my Media Aesthetics class.

I am not a blind fan, however. This new season stinks. As we all know, Jennifer Garner is heavily pregnant. They've written her pregnancy into the show and as a result, butt-kicking Sydney is forced to sit on the sidelines. Instead, they have introduced two new and underdeveloped characters who command no respect or love from the audience. To make it worse, Sydney's long-time mentor and love interest (Vaughn) has been written off the show.

While stunned and devastated by Vaughn's death, I was also intrigued. Without Vaughn, Sydney would have so many new hurdles, and her family dynamic would become even more twisted. None of this happened, though. His death has been almost completely ignored and Sydney has hardly had to cope or grieve. What could have been an amazingly dramatic storyline was just thrown away.

In addition to that, the whole "what's good is bad and bad is good" theme has been terribly overdone. The long-time lovable yet terrifying villian Sloane is given cheasy scenes and dialogue. Sydney's commanding father is hardly ever seen on screen, and the action sequences have become (I didn't think it was possible) even campier.

I'm mad, because what should be one of the richest seasons of the show is one of the lamest. Had this been the season last year, I know I would not have chosen it to spend so much time on for Media Aesthetics.

End rant.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at 01:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Creativity in Journalism

Chapters 9 and 10 of The AP Guide to News Writing focused on the use of color in one's writing. Just like every creative writing teacher, this section urged young journalists to "show and not tell."

As a creative writing major, I enjoy colorful writing. I don't, however, believe that it really has a place in journalism. I understand that it makes stories more interesting, but I don't believe that news stories (features excluded) should really try to be interesting. They should report the facts without trying to entertain the reader. If I were the victim of a story, I would not want readers finding enjoyment in my tragedy. The facts should be known, but I honestly don't believe that any embellishment or "color" is ethical.

Perhaps I'm being a little too prudent, but I don't think so.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at 12:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

IANS Ch. 10 and Conclusion

"Keep always the watchword caveat lector - once again, 'let the reader beward'" (195).

While I am glad that the authors of this book chose not to end with a negative statement about scientists and journalists, I have a hard time believing that they needed an entire book to caution readers. A few examples would have been sufficient. Instead, we have a redundant and long-winded text that overemphasizes its point. Perhaps for future classes only sections of this book should be read - not all of it is necessary.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

It's About Time

I continue to dislike the continual "propaganda" that the authors of It Ain't Necessarily So are forcing down our throats, but I was very pleased when the authors decided to show the other side of the coin and acknowledge that there are good scientists out there:

Good research is published in what are known as peer-reviewed journals, that is, reliable research is evaluated prior to publication by scientists who are familiar with the subject (148).

I suppose because I am an English major, using only peer-reviewed articles as reliable sources has become second nature to me and I always assumed that non-peer-reviewed studies (those proposed by groups with inherent interest) are most likely biased and unprofessional. I understand that there are many less-informed readers out there who might blindly trust a study found on a cheap website, but even in high school we were told not to trust everything we read.

I understand that the authors of IANS are trying to make us understand that we shouldn't always accept the word of reporters and scientists, but after nine chapters it's getting a little old.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at 02:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack