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September 2005 Archives

September 1, 2005

Media Analysis/Comparison

In a media comparison done August 30, 2005 I examined a news story that appeared in print as well as online and on television. The newspaper that I used in this study was the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the website and television station which I viewed were both produced by WTAE channel 4, an ABC affiliate. I think the biggest difference between each of these forms of news media was the methods that each of them employed in order to present the same information.

Though the newspaper is one of the oldest forms of news communication and in comparison to the television and the internet it almost feels outdated and seemingly obsolete. Examining the same story in three different areas of journalism was very interesting. I found that the most appealing to my tastes was indeed the television broadcast. This surprised me considering I pride myself on being someone who ‘lives in the age of technology’ and the online version would seemingly have been my preferred media.

One very obvious difference between these presentations of the same information came in the use of brevity and timeliness. The television broadcast is limited on the amount of on air time that they are allowed and for this reason they’re use of timeliness is very good (WTAE Pittsburgh). Only the most interesting and life altering of the stories seemed to actually make it on the air where as the less trivial and less humanistic ones were left to the website to be viewed at leisure by those surfing the net.

On the WTAE broadcast there was a story regarding local politics and that is something important that can affect the lives of everyone in the Pittsburgh area. Therefore it was deemed newsworthy. This is a time where some peoples only source of information is the television and for this reason it is important to showcase stories that really matter. There appears to be a need to only broadcast the ‘real’ news not just flowery pieces on gardening and baking.

The same way that the newscast implicated timeliness effectively can also be said about the news station website’s use of brevity. All of the headlines on the internet site are bolded blurbs. This makes it easier to choose what story you are going to read and I think this comes from the idea of headlines which was originated through print media.

The website and the television also offered a different type of visual appeal through audio video technology. Obviously the broadcast was visual but the online website provided news clips regarding current stories. The newspaper sadly only used photographs in select areas of coverage. I suppose the general rule of thumb is that the use of visual effects is very attractive and helps to facilitate viewer and reader interest depending on the media format.

In regard to the idea of proportionality I noticed it particularly in a story regarding a cocaine drug lord that was recently found guilty of trafficking narcotics in the Pittsburgh area (The Pittsburgh Channel). The article gave both his and the prosecutor’s versions of the story and quoted both parties equally with one quote from each side. Even though the article could have been slanted by the fact that the man was already convicted the author still included the defense’s statement which took away from the possibly condemning stance that can be presented in such a one sided article. Overall I think that the biggest difference between these three forms of media/news is the presentation and appeal which they try to present to the audience.

September 6, 2005

Reporter's Notebook: Reflection


The Reporter's Notebook has been a very handy tool when it came to the interviewing process because it had many prompt questions which I could ask the subjects of my interviews. So far I have used the Reporter's Notebook (RNB) when I interviewed Elyse Branam for the Peer Profile and when I was doing my article for the September Setonian. I had never written a large news article that required extensive interviewing and was nervous. The RNB proved to be a great asset to me through out the process and I was even able to jot down some notes in it. I did feel like some of the story pitches that the book suggests were aimed at a younger, even elementary audience but other than that I have had no beef with the book thus far.

September 7, 2005

Halloween not too far...

What am I going to be for Halloween? This is a question that plagues me daily right now. I know it’s nothing life changing, but hey it’s something that is currently worrying me. I am really up in the air about this one. The other day I went to Wal-Mart and took a gander at some of the costumes. I remember last year myself and a friend went out the night of the Halloween Dance at SHU and got costumes. Literally like 2 hours prior to the dance. I don't want to be that last minute shopper this year. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Here is what I am leaning towards...
It was suggested that I go as a superhero...

September 9, 2005

Peer Profile: Elyse Branam

Elyse Branam is a freshman soccer player at Seton Hill University, originally from Somerset, Pennsylvania. Though school has not been in session for long Elyse has already made quite a mark here at SHU with both students and faculty. When asked about his opinion of Branam, head women’s soccer coach John Fogle described her as being a very hard worker on and off the field.

“She has a tremendous work ethic that can’t go unnoticed,” declared Fogle.

Despite Elyse’s seemingly easy transition from college to high school there were still some things that surprised her about this new life away from home. One of the biggest things that Elyse had to deal with when coming to Seton Hill University(SHU) was the increase in members of the study body compared to her high school.

Branam said, “It’s strange for me to walk around and see new faces every day.”

Elyse admitted that she enjoys college and the opportunities to meet new people but the first couple of days here were somewhat rough for her.

She said, “Teachers just expect more from you here and I felt overwhelmed.”

The obstacles of college life were overcome quickly as Branam resorted back to her family, the one thing that she knew she could count on. One of her biggest assets is that she is joined at Seton Hill by her brother Chance Branam, a senior.

Elyse said, “Having Chance here at school has been really great because he is a constant reminder of home.”

Elyse credits her mother as being one of her biggest supporters in as well and states that she has always tried to live by her examples. She used her mother’s inspiration in helping to get through those first few tough days at school. Elyse later mentioned that her teammates on the women’s soccer team have also facilitated the transition into college.

“They are extended family to me now,” Branam said, “like 20 sisters that I never knew I would have.”

Elyse credits the team to helping her become more socially involved with the rest of the students on campus. Her teammates already have tremendous amounts of respect for her, according to Lauren Ayer a senior and team captain.

“She can move the ball just as well or better than any upperclassmen. You can’t deny when someone has skills,” said Ayer.

Branam is off to a great start at Seton Hill and hopes to have fun as well as grow through out the next few years. In regard to the overall college experience Elyse believes that the best part is indeed the independence that you feel once you are on your own.

Her advice for next year’s freshman is to be open to experience new things and to have confidence in your abilities to make friends as well as achieve your goals.

September 12, 2005

The Elements of Journalism: Book Reflection


The Elements of Journalism : What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect is a book written by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. It focuses on the practices of Journalism today and what elements compose the field of news writing and reporting. The book is kind of like a Journalist' Bible and basically sets forth the rules of the job that a reporter must do. The authors express that "the purpose of journalism is to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing."

The authors of the book were both members of the Committee of Concerned Journalists and believe that the principles of journalism may be losing value. The number one thing in the life of a good journalist is his/her "obligation to the truth." As of right now we have only been assigned to read from Chapter 3-5 in this book which centered on business and the moral obligation of reporters.

September 13, 2005

Workbook for News Reporting and Writing: Reflection


The Workbook for News Reporting and Writing is very helpful in practicing the skills which we are learning in my News Writing class. We have had several assignments already this term that dealt largely with the inverted pyramid as well as the idea of creating leads at the begining of stories in order to draw in the reader.

Important Terms Discussed in Text:
Inverted Pyramid-In a straight news story, it's best to get the most important information in your story up to the top-- your reader will often stop reading after the first few paragraphs, so its important that they have a good grasp of the story. Put the least important stuff at the end, and leave the unimportant stuff out altogether

The Headline: Convey the general message in as many words as will fit(usually quite a small space). A headline should be informational, and can be clever, as long as the cleverness does not interfere with the information or earn groans from readers

The Lead: The lead, or the first sentence of the story, is arguably the most important part of the article. Based on the content of that first sentence, a reader will either look deeper into the story, or move on to the next one.

Definitions Provided by Dennis G. Jerz's Website.

September 15, 2005

Spot News; Communicator; Setonian...Analysis

1) The Communicator article was very short compared to mine and the one featured in the Setonian. It took up a small column on the right side of the page. The article is not very detailed and includes things like 'modern living spaces' and 'fast and efficient internet service.' I wasn't too sure about the incorporation of that last statement. I mean aren't all the dorms supposed to supplying students with that type of internet access. People that live in the dorm tell me it is modern yes, but the internet is sometimes even slower than their previous dorm's connections. I was surprised to see that the article included only one direct quote and it was from the blessing of the building by Fr. Stephen Honeygosky. Below the article (still on the right side of the page) is a brief biographical profile of Sr.De Chantal Leis, the nun who the dorm was named after.

2) My article was included a general information about the dorm's construction and completion. I also made sure that I had quotes from a student, RA and Dr.Robin Illsley because I wanted three different levels of the SHU community to somment on the opening of De Chantal Hall. I think if I would have had more time on this assignment I would have chosen a different angle to report on. I basically told about the new dorm and student reaction when in actuality my article needed to be more about the opening ceremony and dedication of the Hall. I wasz shooting for brevity with my article but I think that was not a good idea in retrospect because it left me weak when it came to actual content. I also noticed that my article topic shifted about mid-way through with the quote by Ashley Harris.

3) The Setonian's article was in my opinion the best coverage of the opening and dedication of De Chantal Hall. The Setonian's article was generally more informative than the other two. Rather than creating a separate section of the article to profile Sr.De Chantal Leis, the entire begining of the article focuses on her life and times. It is almost like a timeline/sequnece of events. The mention of the dorm's blessing is very similar to the one in The Communicator. They ended the article with two students quotes about living in the new dorm. I felt that my article was most closely similar to the one featured in the Setonian rather than The Communicator.

September 16, 2005

De Chantal opens with a bang...Spot News

Seton Hill’s campus has been steadily growing and expanding immensely over the past two years. Due to the addition of the school’s first football team and the increase in the number of on campus residents a need for more dormitories became an issue last year. As spring semester began, so did the construction of a new dormitory located behind Farrell Hall. The dorm was completed in early August and on Monday September 12 was dedicated and named De Chantal.

Students that could not obtain rooms in Maura or Farrell Hall were left with no other option but to live in the new dormitory. According to some De Chantal residents there was initially weariness about living in the dorm. Sophomore resident Ashley Harris, who was present at the dorm’s opening, originally expressed skepticism about paying extra money to live in De Chantal.

“I was told that De Chantal was going to be a direct replica of Farrell and under that pretense I wondered if paying extra money to live there was worth it.” Harris continued, “Now that I’ve moved in I can see why the board is higher. The building and its facilities are simply a lot nicer than Farrell’s.”

There are still some minor adjustments and construction that have yet to be done within De Chantal and are scheduled to be completed by the spring semester. Currently the building is only occupied by half of its total residential capacity. De Chantal can house 140 upperclassmen students compared to a mere 113 in Farrell.

Resident Assistant Melissa Whiteman believes that De Chantal will be full by spring.

Whiteman said, “With the addition of transfer students, residents beginning school in the spring rather than fall, and the inevitable roommate switches the dorm will be full in no time.”

PLEASE NOTE: This is only a selection from the original article.

September 17, 2005

Spot News Reporting: Reflection

Well, I can honestly say that I learned a lot from this Spot News asn. in which I went to the opening of the new dorm, De Chantal on Monday. Reporting from an actual event (on the spot) is something that is very new to me. I just recently wrote my first two articles for the Setonian and they were basically Sports Previews. I did interviewing and pieced the info together, but I didn't really feel like I was doing hands on reporting just because of the type of articles I was writing. I was just giving the public a look into the seasons of the two teams.

The spot news assignment allowed me to sample the cut throat world of on the spot reporting. I felt like everything was happening incredibly fast. In fact I believe I will be investing in a digital tape recorder very soon because the note taking is just too hard to do. As soon as I had one thing down on the paper another important statement was being made and I almost missed it. I am going to try and develop my own version of short hand as well.

I wasn't exactly sure how to approach the people that I wanted to interview and get quotes from. I found that you need to be confident and a little bit aggressive at times because there is always another reporter trying to get in front of you. In this case it was my classmates, but none the less the idea is the same. Overall I feel like my experience was a positive one.

September 19, 2005

Ch3-5: Elements of Journalism...

After Prof. Jerz’s fake pop quiz in class today (which I would have inevitably failed) I decided to read the assigned text as soon as I got a free moment tonight. I did see a lot of what was on the in class quiz. The book we are currently reading selections from is a book entitled The Elements of Journalism. Hence the book talks about and elaborates on what other than ‘the elements of journalism’…a key thing to know if you are journalism major like me.

I was surprised to read in Chapter 3 that journalism (as a career) has become much more about making money. Reporters now spend 1/3 of their time dealing with business matters rather than those of actual journalism. Don't get me wrong...I'm all about making money but I don't want it to be the center of my world. I want to be able to goto my job every single day and be happy no matter if I am making $5 or $15 an hour. I understand that in the world business plays a large part in our lives, but I'm not sure it really should. People become consumed with the idea of success and money making and it corrupts them in the end. Thats just how I feel about it.

I also learned that Journalism’s first loyalty is to the citizens and that journalists must seek out a clear truth for the people. A journalist is allied with the public and acts as their media source. The job is one that needs to be seen as a duty to society. Serving the audience is the number one goal.

A similar surprised sentiment about the evolution of Journalism into a completely business like vocation was echoed by Jay Pugh in his blog entry on Chapters 3-5, The Elements of Journalism.

Jay wrote that, "Although I understand that journalism is a business, it still frustrates me that it has become as much of a business as it is a love for writing, entertaining, and informing the people."

September 22, 2005

AP Guide to News Writing: Reflection


This handbook is a writing style guide for reporters, writers, editors, and English/Journalism students. It refers to chapters on the essentials of good news writing according to the styles and guidelines set forth by the Associated Press. In my EL 227 News Writing class we have read several chapters (1,2,3,8) in this book.

What I have learned from each chapter we have read:
*Tell stories that make things important.
* Delayed identification lead (where facts are identified late).
*A thesis statement is very different from a lead in a news story. The thesis is trying to prove where as the lead is telling something that is already proven.
*Quotes: Get (exclusive) quotes and dialogs into the article.

September 25, 2005

Cover Entry....


This is the first installment of my Blog Portfolio for 2005 Fall Semester: EL277 News Writing. For those of you that did not follow my Blog the prior to now I will give you a brief exposition about me. My name is Leslie Rodriguez and welcome to my weblog sponsored by Movable Type. I am a sophomore at Seton Hill University and as part of my EL 227 class and the New Media Journalism program I write and respond with blog entries on various topics. These entries are then posted for public view on my blog. This entry acts as an introduction to my blog portfolio which includes selected entries that reflect on our in class discussions, published news articles and various texts that Dr.Jerz has assigned. The following topics will be examined and discussed in my blog portfolio:

The Collection
My best blog entries that demonstrate intellectual growth.
Entries are categorized accordingly.

Class Required Blog Topics:
Coverage-My coverage blog entry refers to the Elements of Journalism text that was assigned and the reflection I made about the reading. This was by far the most interesting of all the readings that have been given as homework so far.

Depth-This blog entry is my media analysis which compared and contrasted the coverage of similar stories in print, on television and online. It demonstrated the depth requirements for the blogging portfolio. I felt that I wrote in 'depth'about the topic and hence included it under this category of my blog portfolio.

Interaction & Discussion-I chose to include my Reflection of the Spot News assignment in the category. It recieved feedback from other bloggers and also sparked an intellecual discussion.

Timeliness-A comparison between my Spot News article about the opening of De Chantal and the articles featured in The Setonian as well as The Communicator. This entry shows what I could have done differently and what these other news sources did.

The Texts:
The Elements of Journalism-A brief overview of the selected text and it's general purpose in relation to the topic of Journalism. Also a look at the assigned readingd from this book that were previously assigned.

Workbook for News Reporting and Writing-An entry that gives a description of the workbook which we use in class in order to practice our skills of editing and writing. Included is a link to Jerz's website of News Writing and Journalism terms defined.

The Associated Press Guide to News Writing-In this entry I discuss the AP Guide to News Writing and the use that I have had for it this Fall. I also briefly touch on the in class assignments involving the text.

The Reporter's Notebook-This entry discusses my use of the Reporter's notebook as a resource when conducting my Peer Profile interview of Elyse Branam.

The Comment Primo-I was the first to comment on Jay Pugh's blog entry about the Spot News assignment. He and I both wrote about the opening of the new dorm (De Chantal Hall) and in this comment I compared the different approaches we both took to the same topic for a story.

The Comment Grande-I posted a 'Grande' comment on the blog of Johanna Dreyfuss a.k.a Jo. She had written an entry about the use of quotations in both essays and news articles and I had to chime in because I feel this is an issue I can relate to very well. I am constantly working on my use of quotes and the amount to include in a single story.

The Comment Informative-I left a rather extensive comment on Kayla Sawyer's blog . Her Spot News story centered around the Opening Lithurgy and the idea of forced religious teachings. I had a lot to say about Faith,Religion and Society here at SHU. I also made a comment regarding her article's content.

The Link Gracious-Though Jay Pugh's blog entry was not the complete basis for my own entry on 'The Elements of Journalism' Ch 3-5, I did want to point out his similar feelings about the idea of business and it's relationship to journalism. There are several comments on the topic as well.

Other Entries:
Wildcard-I decided to keep with tradition and include one of my Jerz Jests as the wildcard blog entry. I feel that these little entries (barely 10 lines) are really definitive of my blogging ability. In this entry I propose a Halloween costume based on Dr.Jerz. This entry obtained quite a bit of comments and attention.

About September 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Roamer's Zone in September 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2005 is the previous archive.

October 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.