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October 2007 Archives

October 30, 2007

Blame O.J.-he don't mind.

Nevertheless, for all of its flaws, what Churchill said of democracy can also be said applied to peer review: it is the worst system for judging research, except for all of the other alternatives that have ever been tried. (161 chapter 9 IANS)
It's a good idea to be suspicious of monocausal explanations. (174 chapter 10 IANS)

In pretty much all of my English classes I have ever taken the one thing that is essentially the same with them all is having your-mine-our peers look over our work to find and correct mistakes. So what is wrong with this now, if it's good for the goose, then why not the gander? But I can see the hiccup, I mean what if the peers reviewing this material isn't, shall he say the brightest bulb in the bunch, and what if all the peers were a little dimmer-would that harm the outcome, or the findings? probably. So again with the skepticism-could we please look at something optimistically. So while it may cause fear and paranoia, there really isn't anything else, so smile a little. Now for this monocausal idea-it is more then if the glove don't fit you must acquit-there needs to be more than one view, one interpretation, one everything.

Bonus bonus!
from what song and artist is this line: If the sun don't shine, then the son don't shine.

October 29, 2007

Kramer VS Newman.

Two Quotes:

Drama, of course, is most compelling when there are heroes and villains. Thus researchers have found that "risks tend to be perceived as more serious when there is someone to blame." (116 Chapter 7 IANS)

"In sum, being aware of the occasional disparity between reports and reality can be helpful, in that it can remind us of likely disparities between subjective self-reports and objective reality. (143 chapter 8 IANS)

Risk, not Kramer-Newman Risk, but that thing you do when you make a left hand turn from the light (where are all my Pittsburgh drivers at). No more kidding. I get the idea, you need a face to put the terror to: Jason, Freddy, Michael, Leatherface. Even God has Satan. Without a face there really isn't anything to be afraid of, right-that is why the police use sketches, and the president names and shows the faces of terror(suspected of terror). Now is this a trick? Maybe, but then again isn't everything? What isn't a trick-a magician, a carnival ride, multiple choice questions, relationships. Also are people only outraged because they know the truth?

Like magicians say-never tell the secret-once you do there is no longer a use for you.

October 26, 2007

How I Responded.

In response to Ellen's blog entry where she wants the Truth, I responded:
Truth, is there really a truth. I think the more important aspect is finding out the methods. If we try to find truths, then we are asking wrong questions, truths are abstracts notions, but to find out the methods-which is evidential, then we have unlocked the process and determine from these facts how objective (or -true, if thats what you want to call it)the poll/data is.
I completely agreed with Bethany's blog. She's talking about how important it is to understand the process-not just the end results, which is very similar to my blog.
In response to Jackie's blog I wrote:
it isn't the source of the polls that you have to be tentative of, it's the process of the polls, and the means to which they go to get the info. Not all polls are bad/wrong/slanted. The idea I guess is to not give them sacred reverence. They do not mean more then they mean-I think this is the area people fall over themselves a bit, I mean they see numbers and that there in itself is the end all of all conversations-it is not. The process(how) is as important as the (why)which both have more weight (I think at least) than the results(end).
These were my responses to some of my peers blogs for chapters 5-6 in the IANS

October 25, 2007

Poll Dancing.

The point we're making here may be less obvious. It's not that two bits of data can contradict one another; it's that the same bit of data can be read in (at least) two ways. (86, chapter 5 IANS)
A survey's substantive conclusions mean little or nothing if the survey's procedures go unexamined. (113, chapter 6 IANS)

Let us start with the first quote from chapter 5 IANS. We all know the saying, 2 sides to every story, well now there are 2 (or more) sides to every number, data, poll, whatever you feel like inserting here is going to complete this idea. Anyone with any agenda can make anthing-numbers, words, ideas-dance the way they need, want, desire-them to do so. It is all in the wording. Which as a journalist with the job of expressing through words becomes either a benefit of the job-or a problem if there is bias. Keep your agenda at the door and one could use data and facts objectively. But let your prejudices in and raw data becomes tainted and spoiled like day old sushi. The point is this: numbers don't lie, the words surrounding the numbers do. When reading these data,dig into what they are really representing. Segway into chapter 6, and the idea that it is not the outcome of the poll that is important, it is how they got to these outcomes that rally is. How many phone calls did it take to hit the number of responses they were looking for. Who did they contact. When did they contact these people. These are the real questions to ask. This is the important stuff, not that x number of yahoos agree/disagree/are unsure about topic nothing. What time of day were the yahoos called-how many yahoos did they call-you get what I'm saying? Probably not, I am sure your looking at the screen the same way the dog looks at my two year old when he is trying to correct her, confused. Don't be, don't be afraid, don't be pessimistic either. We have to be the ones to ask the questions, because if enough of us do, then people will have to start answering us. And I think there are enough question askers out there to maybe get some of the questions answered that we want answered.

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. They listen so much that they forget to be natural.

For BONUS BONUS, who said that quote?

October 24, 2007

Never shut the president in the door.

Today I shut President Boyle into a wall by use of a door. That was nice, anyways- I was surprised to see that President Boyle was actually in class. And I think that is why thew questions started out slowly. We all (if you did it on time) looked up articles on her, which meant you probably read the NY Times article on the addition of football to Seton Hill. So we came to class thinking about the article we read and the questions we wrote based on that article, also we all expected to be asking Dr. Jerz-aka President Boyle. But no, President Boyle was there which caused a little shyness-but I feel that once we warmed to her, the questions began and she was great in answering us. I thought we didn't ask obnoxious questions, but I feel that we didn't just ask nice delicate questions either. Hey we had to shut down the questions because of time, so it must have went well. Now I know that in a real press conference the opportunity to ask questions to someone like President Boyle might be a little more difficult. But I feel that it was invaluable to be able to actually ask her the questions we had to ask. All in all it was a good experiece-except opening the door-shutting it on her.-Sorry.

October 22, 2007

Kinda late, but still here. IANS chapters 2-4.

Reading through the chapters 2-4 there was one idea that really kept hitting me in the head the whole time, is it really the journalist who is responsible for the numbers. I know there are internal polls-websites, phone, etc.. But outside of the numbers that are created from the actual news supplier itself, the rest of the numbers-those, are they, and can be they be spoken for by the news agency then? I Don't think so. "Reporters shouldn't say 'how many"....unless they also say "how", (84). Fine, but what if there is no one to ask, what if the story needs to be run, why are we holding the news to greater esteem, them scientist/researchers. Don't kill the messenger, right. the news are the messenger-hell if some researcher messed up my story, etc.. I see no harm in letting the public know the name of the schmuck who couldn't count. People need to be held accountable, and sometimes because we feel so grief stricken by something that happened to us, we don't seek out the one who burned us, we settle on whoever is there and unable to deflect the blows we're throwing. I get what the book is saying, but I just feel that the book is blaming the news for scientific stuff. I know that some polls are news generated, but when the journalist is doing a story, he gets numbers, and the there is not enough time to get the answers before you run the story, why is it still the news fault. Maybe I am able to look at things and not take them for fact. I don't really believe anything the news says-I feel they have agendas-I like box scores, those can not be changed and fixed, they are absolute. But to blow your stack over polls and studies, hell you might be more naive then you thought. Sum it all up: Don't Believe the Hype.

October 19, 2007

You Can't handle the truth.

So I was reading over some blogs before class, and I was stunned by the fact that the majority of my class was shocked at the idea that the news(papers/tv-whatever, where ever you get the news from)might be slanted, and might not be getting all the stories out. Really? (Trib-conservative, Post-Gazette-liberal) Think about it, there are agendas behind everything. Political, religious, personal-editors have to get money, they have to report to C.E.O's who have attachments with politicians, lobbyist, ect.. Then the print news is tied up with the tv news, and they are fed by the big machine-Viacom, Disney, (Fox news being paid in oil by Cheney and his henchmen), ect. these are all tied up in their POV-which leads the news to become slanted. Hell just watch Fox news-or watch and see why no news on a major tv shows the president looking bad-not the Daily Show or some other 'news' show of that caliber. What I am trying to say is what I was trying to say in my blog that is never read. The news has turned itself into a moneymaker. Now with all the different ways the audience can get their news (countless tv news shows, countless print papers, and the internet making everything from everywhere easily accessible) the news has to sell. The news isn't just informing the audience, they are selling to their audience, they are pushing the agendas of the head off the teet they feed from. Please do not become shocked and in awe, pull the woool from the eyes and learn, don't just read and believe, read and question.
viva la revolution!
These are the blogs I commented on, but the sentiments from these two seemed to be shared by the majority.
Daniella Choynowski-Paranoia
Bethany Merryman-This can't be right
Vanessa and Jeremy had openly expressed ideas similar to my spouting of opinions.

October 18, 2007


Yeah, so its freaky-I mean I just get done writing my blog for the intro of the IANS book and then read chapter 1, which reads like the idea of the inro blog-déjà vu man. Seriously, all this competition out there, where is the real news. How does it get policed.

Thus news that is not there presents the news consumer with a problem that isn't always soluble. But simple awareness of the problem is important in itself. And the problem can often at least be mitigated by consuming news from several different sources. (34)

At least there is gthe internet, right, that way we have access to news from all different pov's and from all different locations. That way we won't be duped? Right?


Yeah, so its freaky-I mean I just get done writing my blog for the intro of the IANS book and then read chapter 1, which reads like the idea of the inro blog-déjà vu man. Seriously, all this competition out there, where is the real news. How does it get policed.

Thus news that is not there presents the news consumer with a problem that isn't always soluble. But simple awareness of the problem is important in itself. And the problem can often at least be mitigated by consuming news from several different sources. (34)

At least there is gthe internet, right, that way we have access to news from all different pov's and from all different locations. That way we won't be duped? Right?


Between the speaker on Wednesdays class and the prologue to the book, It Ain't Necessarily So, I felt like I was experiencing déjà vu, then it just occured to me that this might be something covered in Freakonmics, if you read the book then this blog title might mean something to you if not read the book and have a laugh. Anyways the idea of:

The situation has been compared to trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant: the water is there in abundance, but the pressure nearly takes your head off. (3)

Where does the news not blur with the idea of trying to get a story and an audience? The point we are at now where you can flip through a hundred different tv stations, read countless newspapers on-line just to get your fill on the news makes the profession of journalism that much more difficult. Before there was only the news on the 3 major channels (ABC, CBS, and NBC) not mentioning the local newscast, and readers of the paper on;y had the local paper(s) to pick from. Now we have the world to choose from. How does the line not blur. Now the news is a business on its own, instead of just giving the news, they need to get audience, get commercial money. Plus with the availability on so much new information-who is checking the facts. Will there be more and more Jason Blairs? Hopefully not, but we cannot count on the general public to know the truth from fiction, they only know what they read.

October 16, 2007

My journalese portfolio.

This is it. This is the time for portfolio 1. I am starting to get the style of this writing down, I think so at least. I like the concise to the point style. I am excited to begin the next half, I can wait to start on our next article, I have interviews ready. Well here is my work up to this half way point.

News Articles? (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth).

Stupid college pranks. (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth).

Like a action movie preview. (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth, Interaction).

Some unnerving trends? (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth, Interaction).

Crime, if your into that stuff. (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth).

OJ and a little Onion. (Coverage/Timeliness, Depth, Interaction).

This was the only comment I could find, I couldn't remember who I had left comments on.

Aside from not knowing my comments, I think I had some good stuff in this portfolio.

October 12, 2007

OJ and a little Onion

Today in class we got the oppertunity to watch some videos. One was from the onion on-line, which was a really good paradoy of televison newscast. As i was watching this video the first thing I thought about was the OJ white Bronco in LA during the 1994 NBA Finals. I remember watching the game on NBC with my dad and some friends. We were all pretty annoyed that they were showing the game on a small part of the screen and showed the car chase in the majority of the screen. Then no one really knew what OJ was going to do, Kill himself while his boy-AL Cowlings drove, were they gonna try and run for the border, NO. They drove to OJ's house were the cops then arrested him for the murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. I wasn't able to watch the Knicks/Rockets because of a car chase, I was pissed. Anyways I remember thinking about the chase some time later when I was reading FAHRENHEIT 451, and thinking about the end of the book where Guy Montag is running and the cops are chasing him and the tv helicopters and broadcasting him on all the tv-like OJ and Al running from the cops-all while driving under the speed limit. Like Dr. Jerz mentioned that would have the been time to rob LA-during the OJ chase-too many cops for that poor old running back. Anyways as much as that video from the Onion was a paradoy-its not that far from the truth, sometimes the tv news is so new and quick, they don't know the story and make it up as they go.

About October 2007

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