November 2009 Archives

Attention-grabber to boring and without balance

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The three videos posted at the top of the Cavalier Daily instantly caught my attention, but in a way that I thought this was unusual. However, it caught my attention nonetheless. I like that this webpage has videos because it allows for interaction and things that can't be shown in print. I didn't like how there were these three videos placed at the top and then the rest of the page was just words and section titles. It was pretty boring and the spacing made my eyes wander off. I didn't and couldn't really focus on the page. There was no balance with this webpage.

Flashback

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The Harvard Crimson webpage reminded me of The New York Times online because of the videos and the amount of clickable links for articles. Not only were there just links, but below some headlines an excerpt was provided, which was nice because it wasn't just a bunch of headline links. The part of the webpage that I did find a bit overwhelming was at the bottom left under the section "More News." It seemed like there was too much going on. A story that did catch my attention was the one about students protesting the Stupak amendment which prohibits the publicity of abortions. The one line from the article that said that abortions would still happen, they would just be dangerous, really stood out to me because of its truth.

All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

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"Reporters should work on developing 'fairness skills' "(Haiman 59).

This idea of developing "fairness skills" was both striking and funny to me. As a journalist, it definitely is important to be fair because many people with different kinds of values and beliefs, as mentioned in the text, read the stories. For example, the story about the Buffalo Soliders provoked happy reactions from African-Americans, whereas Native Americans were disgusted by the praise these soldiers were given. Both sides had legitimate points, but it just goes to show that a "good" story is only good depending on who reads it, some of the time. This quote was funny to me because as adults, you would think that we have already developed "fairness skills" It just sounds like such an elementary term. However, the idea of fairness may differ slightly in journalism. I'm sure the idea isn't far off, though, from what "fairness skills" mean in general.

Good Information and Reminders, not Great Webpage

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The information displayed on this webpage was useful for me because I didn't know that you shouldn't put things like yogurt containers in the recycle bin. When the text mentioned the blue barrels, it made me think of my borough and how they recycle because our bins used to be a forest green color, and now they're the blue color. I liked how the forest green blended in with the environment, now the blue just really sticks out. However, that may be the purpose. I clicked on the link of what can be recycled in the city of Tucson and I really liked how images were displayed along the descriptions. It made the information much more lasting in my mind. I'm not sure if it was just my computer, but the page seemed cut off. Also, there was no link to go back to the homepage, which was a little frustrating. The video took very long to load, even after I finished reading the text beside it. I liked the idea of the video because you could really see how it all works.

Distractions, Not Useful Help from the Internet

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This webpage, Wired, immediately overwhelmed me and I didn't know which article to click on. It'd be different if there were several links with a preview of the content of the article because then you wouldn't be bombarded with tons of links and colors, as Angela mentioned in her blog. It was all just too much. Everything on the site was clickable! Personally, this annoys me and I'm not one to typically enjoy clicking through links and reading. I'd rather read an actual book. This webpage just really made me realize even more how the internet truly has taken over. The title of the webpage was excellent because it really did make you feel "wired," as Angela also said. Jeanine made a good point in her blog about how links should be kept to a minimum and that they should get straight to the point. I totally agree. Another thing I'd like to mention is that links within readings just distract me from my thoughts and my reading comprehension. The highlighted and underlined word is distracting and makes me stop to think, "Maybe I should click on it?" There needs to be a balance, and with this site, there was none. The only good thing I can say is that it had useful links that led you back to the homepage; and for people who do like to just skim titles or headlines to see if the story will interest them, then this is the site for them.

In Their Hands

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I watched the video about the inmates at a prision in South Carolina who play with decks of cards that have missing people and unsolved homicide victims and faces on them. The idea of this just sent chills through my body because of physically seeing how many there were and the fact that the hope for this project is that one or more of the inmates will remember something that can help solve one or more of cases. It's a "constant reminder" for them, as said by one of the mothers whose son was murdered at 24. I think this is an interesting project, and even though none of the cases have been solved through it, I think someday one will. These cards aren't only in this South Carolina prision; they're in 28 prisions in the country. Many anonymous tips have been given, but nothing has been solved. Throughout time, one of the cases has to be solved. These cards are constantly in the hands of people who obviously are associated with crime. Someday, I hope the memory of some of the inmates is jogged and a loved one can be found or their  death can bring about some closure to the family. However, that's not to say that maybe none of the inmates won't know anything. This project is just so interesting and chilling. The whole idea of prisoners playing a game with the faces of lost ones and murdered in their hands is what makes it so chilling. I'm really glad I chose to watch this particular video and to have learned about this.   

Invite the whole community

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"Invite citizens from minority groups to the office to talk about coverage. Better yet, hold those meetings in communities where it may be more convenient for the residents to attend. Consider adding some minority community members as resources to the staff team doing the audit. Several newspapers now are inviting readers to attend the daily news meeting to offer reactions and comments on proposed and budgeted stories and to join in the discussion about story play" (Haiman 51-52).

I definitely agree with this suggestion from the section that deals with minorities and communities. Alot of the times, minority groups feel as though they are left out of the news and don't have a say. Or, they feel as though their group or groups are constantly in the news but don't have a say in what goes into the newspapers, in terms of reactions and comments. However, I believe that all community members should be invited to meetings because they also make up the voice of the community. After reading Dianna's blog, I agree that an even bigger issue can arise with the focus being on minority groups rather than those in "majority" groups. This quote could be perceived in several ways depending on context. If all community members are typically invited, and minority groups are being encouraged to attend as well, then that's different. But, if only minority groups are invited, then that presents a case for discrimination all over again.

 

Third Step in Appreciating News Writing

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It truly is unbelievable that it is time for our third portfolio for Newswriting. Over these past three to four months, I have struggled with news writing, related it to my other English courses, and have come to appreciate it. It has helped me in that I believe I am a more specific writer due to word limits and encouragement to use active rather than passive verbs. I've struggled with not writing in chronological order when I have covered an event, such as Dr. Stephan Jacob's "Holocaust and Genocide: What's in a Name?" speech during the Holocaust Education Conference at Seton Hill. Overall, I have developed a more positive attitude towards this course and news writing in general. However, it is still not my prefered style of writing or occupation. So, here is a list of my blogs during this part of the semester dealing with coverage, depth, interaction, discussions, and timeliness.

Coverage

Unidentified - I searched for two breaking news stories that I thought would be ongoing stories.

I Like This - I discussed why I enjoy editorials. 

Reality in Journalism - I blogged about how news writing is a learning experience for the readers and writers, and keeping readers in mind while reporting a story.

Hard Work - I argued for both sides of the news writing world - the journalists and the public.

You Can Never Know Too Much - I liked how editors and journalists still take classes to further their knowledge on news writing and reporting.

Depth

You Can Never Know Too Much 

Hard Work

Unidentified

Interaction

Following Breaking News 1 - I commented on Kaitlin's blog about the ongoing breaking news stories.

They Have to Make the Right Mistakes - I commented on Katie's blog concering drafts.

Sorry Mom - I commented on Aja's blog regarding how some people immediately believe everything they hear in the news.  

Discussions - fellow classmates commented on my blogs, listed below.  

Unidentified

Reality in Journalism

You Can Never Know Too Much

Timeliness

You Can Never Know Too Much

Unidentified

Xenoblogging

Sorry Mom

Wildcard

Reality in Journalism

Hard Work

 

 

Like the Movies

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As I was reading the details on investigative journalism, it made me think about some of the things we see on TV and in movies, where a reporter is invovled with the law. A movie that stands out in my mind is "Erin Brockovich." She dug out reports and documents of a company that was allowing a cancerous chemical to go into its water. I can't remember all of the details of the movie, but this reading really made me think of that. I do remember that in the movie she got threats from people who didn't like what she was investigating and she went to court. This kind of newswriting definitely is more "exciting" than writing about certain events or reporting a crime. I'm not saying those aren't important things to cover, because they definitely are. It also seems like harder work, not only because of the amount of time that is typically spent investigating, but the fact that you must be careful about so many things, including the law and your safety, makes it seem that much more difficult. It's important to make sure what you're doing and writing are legal, but I really don't like the idea of people wanting to harm me or threaten me because I'm doing something they don't like. Newswriting has never really been my favorite thing, which may be why I feel this way. However, investigative reporters definitely are admirable in my eyes because their goal is to bring out something that is or has been hidden to the public. They are truly living out one of their purposes of serving the people and showing the truth.

You Can Never Know Too Much

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While reading Haiman, pages 29-42, a few things stood out to me. First, I think it's great that professional journalists, editors, etc. can take classes to help further their education on the subject. This goes along with the idea that one can never know too much, or one never stops learning. I think that these professionals should have opportunies for education in the field because ideas and structures are transforming and the audiences are changing as well. I think both formal classes and "brown-bag discussions" are essential. Formal classes provide structure while the discussions should be relaxed and a time for co-workers to share ideas and relate to each other on the topic. Also, through discussion the professionals can in a sense be "on the same page" as the next person. And, it allows for effective communcation which is extremely important in the news world.

I also really liked when Pete Carey, mentioned in this section said, " 'If I'm quoting someone, I want them to pick up the paper in the morning and say, 'Yeah, that's exactly how I feel about it.' " I like this because it shows the goal to accurately quote people and to make the public happy. The quote should also be placed within the right context, or else the meaning behind the quote could become lost.

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Dianna Griffin on All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Richelle and Aja, you both mak
Richelle Dodaro on In Their Hands: Yea, I meant that it is such a
Aja Hannah on In Their Hands: You mention they have to solve
Richelle Dodaro on All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: That's a good point that you m
Aja Hannah on All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: This reminds me of how I felt
Jeanine O'Neal on In Their Hands: I posted this on Diana Griffin
Andrew Wichrowski on I like this: That's something I also tried
Richelle Dodaro on Like the Movies: Thank you for all of the comme
Wendy Scott on Like the Movies: Richelle I think your right th
Jessie Krehlik on Hard Work: I get what you're saying, but