November 29, 2005

Chapter 12 of AP Guide to News writing

This chapter has a lot of basics such as difference between usage of 'that' and 'which,' avoiding the male-oriented words (to avoid biased attitude) etc.

What I really liked in this chapter was the affirmation the author made:

"The old superstition, based on a grammatical fallacy, that no sentence should end with a preposition is happily dying out. For that matter, most good writers down the ages have ignored it" (117).

In the past, whenever my friend would proof read my paper, this was the common mistake I've repeatedly made. When I fixed this problem, the new sentence I formed sound pretentious and wordy.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)

November 28, 2005

Class Discussions (We the Media)

In discussing We the Media how internet (especially blogs) is quicker in dispersing information (to those who have net access). There are pros and cons to this conviniency.

Easy to get published
Impressions (Citizen journalism)
Your voice (freedom of speech)

Easy to get published
Privacy invaded

from the list above, it is apparent that the benifits outweigh the possible harm (just like what Gillmor said). The alacrity it takes to pass information through the net is very convinient in our fast-paced era. But this quickness can lead to mistakes and can also deceive (especially in tools such as pasting and copying- very dangerous since context of story can be removed which would mislead- this is exemplified in an article I wrote a year ago about grey hound).

The net helps to start conversations which often lead to collaborative work. This participation nurtures normal ordinary citizens into becoming journalists (consumers becoming active producers). Often times, the impressions we give and write about are enough to convey a story, to tell news.

The freedom gained in blogs have consequences. Gillmor stresses the mantra: "Blog at your own risk!" He guarantees that as long as citizen journalists remain fair, true and accurate with their stories then they have nothing to lose. Sure, it's easier to get published but there are also laws to curb human's propensity to be "destructive."

Some of the consequences involve losing privacy to big companies tracking us down with cookies and monopolies. BUT nonetheless, blogs (the net) give us a voice, which reinforces our ability to "make, write, and read the news."

Conversations need to start somewhere. Gillmor hypothesize that blogs and the internet is the place to begin. The end of the book is just the beginning- to become citizen-journalists, is to make the news, we as the media.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

Setonian Experience parallels with News Writing Class

Katie Lambert asked in class today: how was news writing principles learned in class applied by Setonian writers in their articles?

Evans answered: "We're all masochist!"

My experience was not necessarily masochistic, and it can be summed up to the following phrase: "I lose a sense of time when I'm in a writing mode, trying to perfect a news article (whether feature or not), making sure the quote is well used, etc."

Personally, technically, this class would have been really helpful when I was starting out. The great thing was that I learned most of these technicalities (AP style) while I was writing, when I made the mistakes. In my case this was better because the new information was forever imbedded in my brain.

This semester, rather than learning the basics (which I feel that I've grasped), I learned how to refine the techniques I've learned in interviewing, writing features, reporting, writings and reading news.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:27 PM | Comments (0)

A reply to the question asked today

This semester one of the main things that I oculd take with me in my experience in News Writing was 'more trust' in the credibility of on-line sources. One such trustworthy source I've used was Wikipedia. For my British literature, I had to write a paper on Jonathan Swift. The books and references I've read closely matched the info in Wikipedia. They were mostly similar in content, but Wikipedia provided me some specifics. Wikipedia was also helpful in providing other information on concepts I didn't know (they had a link).

The main thing about It Ain't necessarily So was the multi-sided arguments that could be interpreted using statistics. Now I am wary (skeptical) about them in a sense that I do not immediately take them for "gospel truths." The numbers presented to me do not shock me as easily as before (I just hope that I didn't become apathetic or something).

The other readings we've read (AP Guide to News Writing, Elements of Journalism etc.) helped to affirm my beliefs in community and serving the people. It is possible for people to take actions in order to make the world a better place (grassroots journalism).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:17 PM | Comments (1)

The CRAFT Club

The CRAFT Club (CReating Arts with Fibers Together) has a good start as a club. This is a club worth emulating in a sense of how it's being operated. They are organized. They keep in touch with their members effectively through email, word of mouth, and flyers (believe it or not). They are clear on their goals (what they want to accomplish) and they take the TIME to help new members.

I'm just very amazed. I'm a member (transparency), and I've learned how to make a flower pen, two types of friendship bracelets (I need a reminder of course), and basic knitting (also I need a reminder for this) in just 6 meetings.

For a new club, this club is doing a lot. They've been involved with Haunted Hill (community service) and we're working on a large project already for next semester, we as a club will knit a blanket for this organization 'Keep America Warm.' We have more activities plan and it's just a matter of time before they're all executed.

Kudos to its founders, officers, organizers, members and everyone involve in it!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:59 PM | Comments (0)

Kindertransport Review

Kindertransport, which was directed by Kellee Van Aken, an Artistic Associate at the City Theater, had a strong opening night on Friday November 11 in Seton Hill University's (SHU) Reeves theater. The six memeber cast, which consisted of Sarah M. Danko, Laura A. Stracko, Danielle Nortum, Maureen E. Lydon, Elizabeth Serra and Jonathan P. Stewart, transported the audience to a London local and various spots in Europe through effective use of accents, lighting, props and sound effects. Emotions and words successfully rendered by these SHU students brought to life the characters in this play written by Diane Samuels.

Throughout the play, accents differentiated the characters from each other, and it showed character development. Stewart, who played the Ratcatcher and all the male roles had to speak both a German and English accent. Danko played Eva, who was 9 years old at the beginning ot the play. She eventually lost her German accent as she grew older. by the end of the play, she changed her name to Evelyn, and she could no longer understand the German her birthmother spoke.

The use of lighting, which was effective, established mood. This was important and especially helpful for samll stages. There were times when the black out seemed abrupt and sudden, but this was considered minor. Overall the lighting helped to move the story from one place to another: present to past. Lighting depicting movement was seen in Eva's train ride. Serra's character Lil shifting from the presnt to the past was cued by the light change. When she was at the present time, she walked very slowly and her back was a little hunch. The light employed was the color of the setting sun: warm and golden orange. Whe she was in the past, her demeanour was bold and vibrant. Her voice was more lively, and the lighting was more neutral (gray). The creepiness of the Ratcatcher was illustrated with the use of red lighting and black outlines of his shadowy figure.

Props and sound effects were important in assisting the actors. The harmonica was the unheard voice of Eva. the jewelry given to her by Helga, played by Stracko, symbolized the ties and bond between mother and child. The hurried pace of th elocomotive paralleled the frenzy that Eva had been thrown in. Evelyn, who was played by Nortum, ripped papers to pieces. The ripping echoed discontinuity and the letting go of the past. The sound of the fog horn of the ship mirrored Helga's longing for her daughter Eva's return.

Kindertransport illustrated the struggle faced by parents and their children who left their homes and took the train to England in order to escape Hitler. This play showed how Eva dealt with leaving her family, adapting a new one, denouncing her past, and keeping it a secret from her daughter. Eva's actions was a way for her to deal with the Holocaust as an individual, and it was her way of understanding what happened to her.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:58 PM | Comments (0)

a trip to Philly and back to Greensburg

on Wednesday Nov. 23, I left with Samay and Sister Min ha (I'm not sure if this is the right spelling) to Maryland (where I would be dropped off). The journey didn't have a good start in a sense that we didn't leave on the right time, but nonetheless, we arrived at our first destination one hour early. On the way we passed by an accident (earlier we didn't it was an accident and we started getting worried to be stuck during "rush hour" and we only had a hour and a half to reach New Carrollton).

I boarded the train and my sense of direction have been jumbled up. The train went on a different direction that I thought it would go. It turned out that it did, rather than coming from the west through Lancaster, it went north-eastern through Delaware. All I remember is when the conductor announced that we'll be in Philly in 15 minutes, I had my hat on and scarf around my neck, my gloves also and I looked outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Philly Skyline, (I asked where is Liberty One and Liberty two?). This was the longest 15 minutes ever! It was just awesome to walk out 30th Station and catch a Septa Bus to my house (before doing this, I walked towards City Hall and and behind the Convention Center just to see). I took bus 38, which took the route that passed the Philly Library, and Art Musuem. It was just awesome to see these familiar sites.

My holiday break was tres cool!

On Sunday, Nov. 27, I headed back to Greensburg. I caught the 11:45 train, it was super late. The train was delayed until 1;15 p.m. The sad thing is I stood there not doing anything (finally at 1 I started reading a book). In spite of this delay, Amtrak employee were very apologetic for this uncharacteristic behavior. When I got on the train I found a sit and settled down with my headphones. Over the PA system, they made numerous apologies. They explained the reason of their delay (needed to remove a dysfunctional train car) and they were very upbeat.

I arrived in Greensburg at 8 p.m. and the campus police drove me and six other students back to our dorms.

It wasn't a bad trip.

the previous dilema...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:36 PM | Comments (0)

talking helps

Sometimes the best way to solve problems is to TALK.

Last week this has proven to be really beneficial. My conundrum involved finding a ride. I didn't want to feel helpless so the one thing I knew to do was talk.

First I asked people, who lived in Philly, how they were going to get home. I asked Ashley, Gina, and then Athena. Ashley and Gina were staying in the Pittsburgh area and Athena's car was already full.

During lunch time I just started talking with Justin about my proposed plan of going to Maryland. Then he suggested that I should take the train in New Carrollton (from his experience, he knew that this train went to Philly). I'm glad he suggested this because when I looked at the train schedules that left Union Station D.C., they were booked and really expensive.

I asked my friend Samay if she could drop me in New Carrollton station since it was on the way to her house, and she agreed (I was relieved). Later on she told me that I could also take the airplane (I didn't consider this at all and I don't know why, I already set my mind on this plan and I didn't want to start all over again. I just wanted to get home).

The point, what may first appear to be "whining" is really talking and talking starts conversation, which leads to solving problems.

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

November 19, 2005

Calling the SHU community

Hello everybody, I have questions, and I hope you all answer them. What do you do when you have this feeling that people you know are ignoring you? How would you handle it? How would you approach them and ask them about it without sounding crazy or paranoid?

I'm probably crazy but I'm noticing this in some of my friends, and I don't know if I did anything. The signs I've noticed were: averted gaze, abrupt answers, secrective talking, silence, lack of conversation, skeptical looks, solemn voice intonation and no 'how-are-you's'.

I hope I'm just crazy than actually offending some people.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:24 PM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2005

Eye Contact Shadowing (#1) Lay-out

today from 12 to 1, I shadowed Mike R. as he did the layout for this fall's issue's of eye contact...I asked questions (even though I said I wasn't, I didn't ask much). Mike didn't mind, he answered my questions. I ended up asking him about the graphic design class offered in the fall. In this class he learned the basics of lay-out and quirk (which is the basic for most company today).

The trickiest thing with lay-out that he encountered was keeping track with page numbers and center spread. By the end of this session, I'm convinced that I'm going ot be taking this graphic design I class. I hope that it wouldn't conflict with the class that I have to take and also I hope I can take this in Pass or Fail (so that I don't have to deal with pressure plus I've always wanted to experience what class is like without pressure of getting grades...taking the classes and focusing on the learning rather than the number). Of course I'll take this class seriously (because my valuable credits will be used up, time is involved, it would help my project a lot, and the knowledge gained will be important and helpful to me in the future).

Flashback: In our last editorial meetig we talked abou fonts (especially the 'famous' called 'garcon'-something (it sounded French) and dropped cap, unity (uniformity of style), and sequence.

Update: My painting teacher noted that I'm developing a style that is unique to and adaptable to children's literature picture books. She described it as fun colors and vibrant, a "magical realism."--> I'm excited about this comment because it's so encouraging.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

AnyOnE cAn wrItE On-LInE

Today in Class, Ashlee and Jenna presented Chapters 3-5 of We the Media.

Ashlee brought up the point about information being an ocean, it deep and vast. She also pointed out that hacking is not just limited to ruining your computer (vandalism) but also tinkering with technology in order to improve (this is something new I've learned, because I've always associated hacking with mischief).

Jenna emphasized that blogs are more personal and for corporations it gives a 'personal' face to the company. Blogs are more impressionable compared to the flawless robotic wording of PR's.

During our discussions Evans inquired to the whole class the credibility of on-line journalism versus print journalism. J defended print journalism, he said that since more time went into print publication especially the editings, reporting and writing. Evans countered this by saying that on-line journalism is easier to correct if mistakes were to occur.

Chris U. added to the defense of J, by saying that on-line doesn't have many laws that would regulate it, and since financial responsibilty is not a big issue, on-line writers have nothing to lose per se.

Nancy blogged a quote that I also found interesting "Always make new mistakes" (Chp 4). The author also agreed that he likes this because other people are correcting his mistakes. In the case of on-line journalism, the mistakes could easily be fixed. The assumption that "your audience knows more than you" engenders this mantra. My question to this, is would this ability to correct mistakes faster make the journalist careless in reporting and writing the news?

In class I agreed with what Johanna said that on-line journalism would be trustworthy if there were editors in place to check the writing. They would act as filters in a way sifting news from muck.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:16 PM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2005

Grassroot journalism as opposed to Victorian English Gardens

We the Media (Intro., Ch. 1 and 2)

In the introduction on page XII the author wrote "Humans have always told each other stories , and each new era of progress has led to an expansion of storytelling."

This quote summarized the aspect of grass root journalism and participation of audience in contributing what is considered "news." This quote also reminded me of Salmon Rushdie's novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories (it's an awesome novel, it's hilarous and it's a metawriting/novel--> "it's a story about stories", you should read it). In this novel Haroun went to the sea of stories where he found evil-doers polluting the sea where stories originate (the source).

In today's class, Evan brought up a good point about discernment. He presented that a shift of power is occuring in the news/information exchange. The news is quicker and there's "greater span of what are considered as newsworthy." Discernment becomes an issue when the boundary between unbiased facts and opinions are destroyed. News in the sense becomes polluted, 'dirty.'

On the 'pros' of this situation, conversations are beginning and the concept of the lecture mode of one dominant voice who tells us what is considered 'news' as Mike explained are changing, giving us power and with great power comes responsibility (as Spiderman, as Dr. Jerz, and as others said). We as individuals shouldn't be apathetic but active in making this world a better place!

***Something new I learned in class today is about the liability of the 'hosting' (whoever hosts your website). They are subject to the laws of their land so they can do whatever to your website if it violates one of their laws.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

Amtrak again and the holidays

I can't believe I'm in the tyranny of Amtrak's monopolization of time. I tried reserving my ticket for next week's Thanksgiving break and it's already sold out (both Wednesday and Tuesday are sold out). Only one train passes through Greensburg, and the reason why that's so is because Greensburg is a small town, and usually here, the busines is slowing down especially for the train business (holidays are exceptions).

There's a slim chance that one of those who reserved might drop their reservation...nonetheless I still have options:

1. Find someone who'll drive to Philly or to that area. I'll give them $30 for their gas.

2. Find somebody who's going to Maryland (I'll also give them $30 for gas) near the D.C. area and catch a train to Philly. My rational is that because D.C. is a busy city, there's bound to be many train trips between D.C. and Philly/N.Y. area.

3. If things worsen, I'd have to take the Greyhound bus (if it's not already sold out as well).

4. See if Amtrak is available on Thanksgiving day

5. The worst- go home on Friday after Thanksgiving.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2005

choose your own adventure class lab

Today's class was more stressful than the first impromptu on the spot news writing. Nonetheless, it was sort of fun...I really like the choose-your-adventure format because people have different choices, the acting was entertaining, and I find myself having a hard time trying to get into it but eventually I did...this exercise was difficult because I didn't have enough time to review my notes and to make sure that I completely understand the facts...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2005

3rd times a charm: Blogging Portfolio 3

After two months of being in school, I've finally adapted to the fast pace of college life once again. I actually had the time to develop my blog in a timely manner and I was able to blog about other things besides news writing.

I was very timely with my homework and readings, which showed a lot of coverage. I had to redo workbook exercises about writing crime stories. I followed the direction in the book (the book said write a story, they didn't specify that it was a news story-- in the previous exercises they did). I read the section in the AP Style book about 'Briefing the Media.' It talked about slander and rights. I read It ain't necessarily so (IANS) (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10). It was about statistics, so it was repetitve and a bit dry. I thought that it was effective until it became too redundant (and also when Chris U. noted in class one day about the tactic the authors used to convince the audience. This tactic is when examples are used over and over again to instill/imbed to people's mind the point).

Because of good time management, I was able to blog more in depth. Ch 11 in AP Guide to News Writing, I learned many tips about writing good features. Ch 9 and 10 talked about colors and cliches (how to avoid them in features and or reporting). I did my informal presentation on Chapter 5 of IANS. The main focus of my presentation was about reading statistics from both sides.

This time around I was able to blog more about other things (xenoblogging). I blogged about the things I'm learning/covering in world literature. We watched Princess Mononoke, a very entertaining and culturally unique art work. One of the joys in reading about other cultures is traveling vicariously to exotic places. The world is bigger than your backyard. The issues we're covering reminded me of issues that Philippines and other countries in the east are facing (this acts as a check in my part, to keep things in perspective, see the big picture of life).

I used humour in other blog postings I did with the liberty I gained from good time management. These humorous pieces encouraged a lot of discussions with my classmates and teachers. I did a Morgan-spulock fry expirement, commented on 'ethnic' fast food restaurant in Greensburg, and citiqued an advertisement.

Most importantly, I had plenty of time for reflection: reflect on my academic life and career. I'm a Creative Writing [and for now a Literature (but may change]) Major with minors in Journalism, Art History and Fine Arts and in the Honors Program. By the end of this semester, I would finish my journalism and fine arts minors and if everything goes well I would finish my art history minor and the honors program by the end of fall 2006. I think I'm improving on my presentation, my recent presentaion in news writing class was successfull. Amanda (her lecture) exposed to me the application of journalism in the working world. The competitiveness of it was discouraging for me but the experience shared with other people, I found invaluable. I'm really looking forward to doing my honors capstone project this summer. It will be both a learning and fun experience. It's a great bargain, I get to see my family, go to the Philippines and do something in the creative writing field.

Overall, this blogging experience has been charming!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:56 AM | Comments (0)

SITA: Student In The Arts

What is SITA? it's a club that focuses on ART. I think there's a misconception about this club. This club is open to all students not just art majors. Just because it said students in the arts, it's not necessarily for art majors. The club's objective deals with art exposure in all forms.

If anyone has questions, please ask me or Sarah Elwood or Athena Singer. If anyone is intereseted in joining or in making gift wrapping papers today Wednesday Nov. 9, contact me or any of the people above.

Thanks! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 7, 2005

World Literature: Third World countries

sometimes it's in class, Matt brought up the point about water (specifically taking showers), electricity (lack of, black/brown out), the road (dirt road, unpaved, traffic) and talked about India (part of its culture)...I don't think this is specifically unique to India, I think this is a commonality in third world countries...I see the same issues in the Philippines.

What's weird is that I'm not surprise by these facts because I grew up in it. A majority of the class were surprise to hear all of these. Sometimes I forget about the opportunities and privileges here in America (as clicheyie as it sounds but it's true).

I've been living in America for some time now that I've been westernized. In 2003, I visited my family in the Philippines for Christmas, I got my culture shock. I felt claustraphobic because of the traffic that lasted for 2 hours (when in reality if there were no cars on the road but yours, it's would only take half an hour), also the amount of people walking in the street at night trying to catch a ride in an overloaded bus...

In America, I here people complain about bus strikes or the inconvience of road being repaved, at least they can do these things (complain)...I'm not saying that the people in the Philippines are not complaining...we're just privileged here in America that at least our complaints eventually get heard...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:37 PM | Comments (1)

Amanda's lecture

from Amanda's lecture a few points she made remained in my head, they were:

-competitive nature of journalism
-being diligent (perseverance)
-barriers (separation) between
* Emotions and objectivity
* Work and self (self examination to see bias)
* Each story is an experience for you to "jump" into someone else's life
* Big shift from writing fun features to obituaries

IF I were to become a professional journalist, I think I'll have problems with competition (I just always think that I'm "my worst enemy" and I'd like to keep it that way, not as complicated).

Perseverance I can deal with (I'm sort of use to always trying to prove people wrong or see other perspective).

Frustration- I think if one really like his or her work, this type of frustration would be a happy type.

Making barriers would be difficult. I sort of meshed my academics with my activities. Most of the things I do are related in one aspect or another to my major (the saying goes: "kill two birds with one stone).

I agree that each story is an experience that's why I like to talk to different people with different ethnic/cultural background. I get glimpses of their life. I would definitely have a hard time shifting from writing something light to 'dark' (deeper).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

Colors and Cliches is like Beauty and the Beast

Chapter 9 and 10 (AP guide to Newswriting) was about COLORS and cliche. This chapter explained how these concepts could make or destroy a story.

Colors are used to bring out the story. As the author said, "Color is a way of seeing a story." Reporters are able to do this by giving particular details. The example the author used is the viking. One's conception of viking will differ from another. I found this example very effective. In the past, I've assumed that "common" words such as viking or tree should be enough for the audience because they have the general picture. This was my assumption because images associated with certain words have been imbedded in my mind since I was a toddler.

I understand giving details if one were to talk about a specific viking or tree. I also understand the author's point that showing is better than telling (so bias is not present- the reader interprets).

The author admonished against overusing cliches in Chapter 10. Cliches in news writing are spreading like wildfire. Rather than burning the midnight oil in pursuit of excellence, writers resort to cliches because they couldn't think of a better way to express whatever they're writing. Last but not least, it would be a dream come true for writers if they could figure out how to bypass this cul-de-sac. Some pinpointed the cause and attributed it to writer's block. I'm sure that once this problem have been solved or assuaged, who ever solved this, his or her book will be selling like hotcakes.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:16 AM | Comments (2)

November 6, 2005

ISO: a new concept of fruit cake

after the Internationl Food festival on friday, i have a new concept of "fruit cake"--- originally when someone would mention fruit cake I would think about this brownish cake that has raisins, other dried fruits, some spice and rum-flavoring, which can outlive spam or twinkies.

On friday, I tasted a Serbian Fruit cake baked by Marina. from it I detected condensed milk, some cake-like substance (reminiscent of twinkies and strawberry short-cake crust), fresh bananas, and pineapple. It was so delicious and creamy. the way I described it (when I shared some sample to Amanda) "It melts in your mouth BUT it's not M&Ms!"

I enjoyed the Johnny cakes, the coffee jelly, and the peanut punch the most (one thing they all have in common - delectability aka sweetness). I liked all dishes served as well.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:24 AM | Comments (2)

November 4, 2005

Today's class

In today's class we finished the book, "it ain't necessarily so," and we tried to come up with some kind of conclusion...Jay said that 'business and ethics' was a paradox...I disagree, there is ethics involve in business, because business would not be successful if people relations were ignored and if people were treated like a general sense I think ethics deals with relationship/views involving action/decisions made...successful business thrives when good relations are established between parties involved.

***on a funny note...I'm very conscious of the word "necessary." Every time I hear it, I automatically think of "it ain't necessarily so", I've been hypnotized!

Dr. Jerz knows his "pop" culture, I'm surprised with all the references he made this semester and the past: "Bring it On," Britney Spears, "Mean Girls", Lindsey Lohan and more etc...

In conclusion, a good journalist should consider ethics, transperancy, personal responsibilty and common sense, when reporting and writing news.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

"The more you learn, the more you understand that you don't understand vey much."

Chapter 10 and Conclusion

Authors' goal: To developed "a reasoned skepticism regarding the claims of the daily news...[to confront] the media with new questions and new standards before their assertions are allowed to pass the gates of acceptance" (175).

(187) "The larger lesson to be drawn here is the need to question our commonplace assumption that the news functions as a window on the world...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."

by the authors' claims, I think I'm a convert. The authors achieved their goal, when it comes to numbers and statistics in the news and headlines, I'm wary about them. Now I don't believe it right away, I question the numbers in a positive skeptical way (especially considering the context, the questions asked in polls/survey, the methodology done by the researchers etc.).

I think it's ironic that they used numbers of results and newspaper stories to support their claim. Sometimes I question their examples and their interpretations of them.

"In reality science is frequently far less conclusive than is claimed"

I'm glad that the authors mentioned this. They reminded us that science is not infallible. They make mistakes too (considering that humans are performing them).

"Everything is connected to everything..." (179)

This quote just reminded me of Lion King and the Circle of Life. Reminiscing about it made me laugh. Also it reminded me of the Great Chain of Beings (from Brit Lit).

I really find the following quote ironic and amusing: "The more you learn, the more you understand that you don't understand very much" (191).

The authors concluded that "despite [their] criticisms, journalists also ask the question that we need answered and tell the stories that we want to hear. Often they are our indispensible watchdogs (and indeed allies) as we strived to comprehend the operation of the complex and daunting world in which we live" (193).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 6:22 AM | Comments (0)

November 3, 2005

art critique

sometimes I'm "amazed" at how people could find the most minute detail to talk about or to laud/commend in a very very obviously "bad" painting (technically and aesthetically). I guess it depends on your perspective, "eye of the beholder"...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 2, 2005

More on Chapter 6 and 7, plus Ch 8 and 9

"...the two versions of the survey show that if you ask a question elliptically, you get a different answer than ask it directly." (99)

Asking questions is tricky. Based on my experience sometimes I find it difficult to tell when to ask bluntly or 'circuituously.' Sometimes when I ask questions bluntly, I feel that people are taken aback by my directness. They may think that I'm rude or they may end up being confuse. Then I start adding modifications to clarify the question and right away they suspect me of ulterior motives or they'll look more confused. It's just difficult.

(108) "You need to know what the question is before you can interpret its answer."

This statement summarized everything about asking questions.

Ch 7: Risks

(116) "...stories seldom offer 'precise information about risks'...Drama, of course, is most compelling when there are heroes and villain...'risks tend to be perceived as more serious when there is someone to blame.'"

this page was interesting and I'd just like to note how drama can either add to the content or sentionalize the story. I think this is where journalists' creativity comes out.

Ch. 8 Reports versus Reality

(134) "Statistical information is inevitably one level removed from reality."

I agree with this, especially since questions asked to make the statistics are often not presented to readers. A gap is created. The questions, which acts as a bridge between reports and reality, are not accounted for.

Subjective self-reports versus objective reality

Ch. 9

Chapter 9 raises an important question: "Do researchers' motives- financial or ideological- invalidate or at least call into question their findings?" (148)

This question calls us, the news consumers, to have a healthy skepticism about researchers and their claims. I would imagine that researchers will be honest because if they weren't all their hard work would be futile. I would think that they would double-check their data before calling to their attention because their reputation and credibility could be ruined. A lot is at 'risk' and I think these researchers would consider those risks.

Motives are always considered. Just like the polls and the statistics, questions asked should be considered in order to understand the context (criteria for criticism). In the case of researchers, their methodoloy will show if their data are genuine or with motives.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:13 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2005


I was reading an introduction of 18th century Brit.Lit in Norton's version and I came upon the person who developed statistics and economics. His name was Sir William Petty. I wonder if this is where the word 'petty' originated from.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:18 AM | Comments (0)