October 2009 Archives

Liberal Arts Majors Make Good Journalists

| | Comments (0)

"While most journalism schools require students to take about 75% of their courses in the liberal arts and sciences, faculty advisers often fail to help students make the connection between a rigorous liberal arts emphasis and the knowledge required to cover complex news topics with authority."


I thought this was very interesting because I (we) attend a Liberal Arts university. I really enjoy seeing Liberal Arts degrees and classes appreciated. Many people don't understand the analytical/deep thinking goes on during these classes. Students are asked to put aside their own biases to learn about another time period or another culture or religion.


So yay! Journalism majors who get that liberal arts core. They are ahead of their peers who only have an English degree because they know what their own biases are and they know how to work around them to learn and report.

Hey! Is That My Doctor Writing For The Trib??

| | Comments (1)

I want to talk briefly about Haiman's statement that only the biggest newspapers can afford to have actual doctors on their staff or chemists etc. When I read that I was thinking, "Who would spend 7 or 8 years in med-school to write for the Tribune Review?" (haha) But seriously, I wondered if Haiman was referring to actual newspapers or was he referring to journals? I could imagine doctors or scientists writing an article every now and then for a newspaper but to be fully employed as a journalist- wow, that would be strange.

SpongeBob And The News

| | Comments (0)

There was a fantastic episode of SpongeBob SquarePants on this morning called "The Krabby Kronicle." It was funny to watch the cartoon address issues we talk about in class, like ethics versus newsworthiness. So if you get the chance to catch it on TV it's good stuff! Here's a picture of SpongeBob working on layout.

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

| | Comments (1)

"Seeing as many errors as they do, the public would like to see many more corrections and clarifications. Not one member of the public in our roundtables said he or she thought seeing many more corrections would diminish the credibility of the newspaper. Most said it would make them less skeptical and the paper more believable" (13).


So despite an editor's hesitation, the public are O.K. with the idea of correcting a mistake, however frequently. This is an issue I can see both sides on. As a member of the public I would like to see a mistake corrected. I think this promotes honesty and establishes a trust between the reader and the newspaper. If they are willing to correct a mistake, we (the readers) are willing to forgive the error.


But as an editor, who wants to admit mistake after mistake? The text mentioned the public doesn't expect perfection from such a fast-paced industry, but what about are the competitor's expectations? If there is a newspaper that can print news with fewer mistakes than that paper may gain customers. If you can get away with a mistake here and there, why draw attention to it?

Preachy Morons

| | Comments (2)

An editorial seems like the easiest type of news article to write, but often it is the most difficult. Not only do reporters have the task of finding something newsworthy but they have to infuse their own opinion into the article. And during the infusion, the reporter has to find the right balance of opinion and fact. If the article is too heavily opinionated, anyone who disagrees with the viewpoint will disregard the reporter as "a moron." And if it is too factual, it comes off as being "preachy." I think the best approach is the informative opinion approach mentioned here, under the topic "Writing for something specific." When a complaint becomes fused with facts and suggestions, the article is appreciated by more viewpoints.


I also wanted to comment on Dr. Jerz's blog about the surprising statement issued by a Yale professor. I had to read the first statement three times before I understood what it was saying. It's such an odd statement and it was jumbled. Once the light clicked on and I understood what was going on in the statement, I agree that it was a sexist statement. It also brings to light that any quote can be used if put into the right article to sway a reader's opinion. For instance, if that quote was used in an editorial discussing the un-advancement of women in the 21st century due to male stereotyping, it would have a great impact on the editorial and on how people felt about the issuer of the quote.  

Portfolio II

| | Comments (1)

I wondered why my blog list was so short this time around until I realized that during the last few weeks since Blog Portfolio I, we have been doing a lot of hands-on activities, including gathering our spot news info, drafting the spot news and the dummy layout. I have to say I like the mixture. I've reached a place of peace with blogging and I find them beneficial. But I'm also a visual learner so the activities in class like the dummy layout and even the clicker activities help me.



I am just going to list all of my blog entries because we haven't had excessive entries since we did our first Portfolio.

Back To Clear And Concise

Reader's Motivations Are Disturbing

Little Words Influence Readers

Tone And Quotes Can Sway A Reader



So far Tracking a News Story has the most depth.



Hitting Home and Tone And Quotes Can Sway A Reader both were posted promptly and have well thought comments posted.



A few of my blog entries were late this time so they didn't receive comments. However, I posted a solid entry for our Tracking a News Story assignment before the due date on the 9th. I'm also posting this Portfolio early. 



I've gotten comfortable with links so most of my entries now contain links if it is relevant to the topic. The Tracking a News Story entry has many links.



I'm working on the Tracking a News Story entry and plan on continuing it even after the assignment is over. Blogging can provide you with a nicely packaged history of an event.

Tracking A News Story: A Fire Hall Catches Fire

| | Comments (0)

On October 3 a fire hall caught on fire. Ironic? Yes, but importantly, it is devastating for the members of its community. My grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary at Fairfield Twp. Vol. Fire Co. #1. My family celebrated more birthdays, graduations, retirements and weddings at that fire hall than I will ever remember.

I heard about the fire first through the "grapevine." The first news station to post an entry online was WTAE. Their first entry was posted at 4:28 pm. The article was updated on October 4 at 9:36 am.

Coming in at a close second was WPXI with an entry posted at 5:40 pm, updated at 10:38 pm.

KDKA posted an article at 10:38 pm but earlier in the afternoon when I googled the story KDKA's article was the first one to pop up. Maybe KDKA's entries only show the last date, rather than giving a post and an update like the other news stations. KDKA also has this video that appears on more than one news source's website.  

Saturday night at 11 I watched WJACTV's news and they posted this video and article online at 12:23pm on October 5 (two days after the actual event). WJACTV was also the only station to check the fire hall's website, http://fairfieldtwpfire.com/ which issues this statement:

"On October 3, 2009 at approx. 4pm our station caught fire.  At this time it is not known how much is lost.  Our apparatus remains at a ready state and we are still operational at this point.  Please check back for more details."

WTAE's article is the only article that has details and quotations. The other articles are done in the "breaking news" style.

The news stations left all of their articles open-ended so a reader can expect to hear more once the extent of the damage is estimated and if the fire hall has to close I am sure that will become news. So I will definitely be posting links to any new news!


Posted October 27, 2009


So the only news site to follow up on the Fairfield fire hall story is a site that didn't do a breaking news story. I found that to be interesting. The Trib published this article on October 19th and my uncle was also quoted in the story J.

The Ligonier Echo, a local news paper so antiquated it does not have a website, published the exact same article as the Trib on October 22. It does have a different headline. The Echo cut out "Fairfield Township" BUT the echo doesn't credit anyone but "Ligonier Echo" with writing the article. It clearly states on the Trib's site A.J. Panian wrote the article. I wonder how this is permissible?


Back To Clear And Concise

| | Comments (0)

I do not like the Newsday layout because it looks like a Tabloid. I do not like Tabloids, at all. The Denver Post is the most appealing front page because it has a big action cutout that immediately draws your eye. The page isn't crowded like the St. Cloud Times either. Denver's articles are neat and in a nice format. It seems to embody the concept of clear and concise, but it adds a bit of pizzazz to draw the reader in without overwhelming them.  

Reader's Motivations Are Disturbing

| | Comments (0)

 "Some people are interested in the way criminals get something without much effort. For example, although a gang of crooks may spend weeks or months planning a robbery to net them $100,000, it might take ordinary workers many years of effort to earn that much legally. Some crimes may fascinate people who obey the laws but who wonder what it might be like to break them." Click here for the whole article.

I was very disturbed by this. Granted we all have our individual motivations but I think the above statement reflects a real laziness in our society. It would never occur to me to read about a crime because I am interested in people who get something for nothing-essentially. I do understand that elaborate crimes make a really good movie plot but in reality all it is doing is hurting people who are working for a living and punishing the people who do obey laws.

This article was really informative and I really liked it. I just want to believe people are better than the above.

Little Words Influence Readers

| | Comments (0)

The breaking news article about the "would-be robber" was much easier to understand than the article about the kidnap case. Obviously breaking news is shorter and more concise because of a lack of information but it was just better written.

I also didn't care for the authors tone in the kidnapping article because he swayed my opinion of the victim. Including phrases like, "in exchange for food and cigarettes." So yes, the teen was allegedly forced, but for cigarettes? It's the little things reporters choose to add that sway readers opinions, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Recent Comments

Jennifer Prex on Pay Attention, Please: It all goes back to the advice
Michelle Tantlinger on Pay Attention, Please: I agree with both of you. Soci
Josie Rush on Pay Attention, Please: Michelle, I talk about social
Greta Carroll on Pay Attention, Please: Haha, oh, Michelle, I love you
Aja Hannah on The Eye-Catching Times: About the advertisment, I thin
April Minerd on Harvard Is Better: I have to comment that the art
Jennifer Prex on Harvard Is Better: I also liked how it was less c
Richelle Dodaro on The Eye-Catching Times: I agree, Michelle. Reading and
Katie Vann on Yes, I Am Timid When It Comes To Diversity: I was nervous to talk about di
Jessie Krehlik on Is Honesty The Best Policy?: You drive a valid point here,