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This is my last blogging portfolio.  I would like to thank Mitchell Steele for holding my hand through every portfolio and basically steering through this class.  I would like to thank Dr. Jerz for spotting me extra time when my schedule was hectic.  But most of all, I would like to thank God for just helping me make it through every day of this last semester without losing what's left of my sanity.

The million dollar question: This was timely, in-depth and covered a wide range of topic.

Good vibes  This article was timely and had good coverage.

Mr. Jameson gets no respect!  This article is timely, and had good coverage

 A love story about a love story  This is my best article.  It is timely, accurate, in-depth, and has good coverage.

Best Practices and Some Not So Good Practices This article is timely, and had good coverage

It Was The Best of times it was the worst of times This is my wildcard.

We'll always have newswriting This article is timely, and had good coverage




We'll always have newswriting

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I just wanted to thank Dr. Jerz for being so patient with me through this semester.  I know I was a trying student at times - all the time - and not as computer-literate as most of his students.  However, he very gracious and never talked down from his ivory tower like other professors.  Thank you, Dr. Jerz, for making what could have been a really difficult time for me not quite so unbearable.  No matter where I go or who I meet, I will always remember verify or duck.

It was the best of times it was the worst of times

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This is my last blog, and unlike Vanessa's, I'm not that nostalgic about it.  The one regret I do have is that I didn't start college right after high school.  I feel like I missed out on college life and although I did make some really great friends - some of whom I just met or got to know this semester - it isn't the same as being 20 and making life-long friendships with memories.  I don't think I ever put much thought into it until Vanessa said she met one of her best friends through her blogs.  Well anyway, this is my last semester and unlike the traditional students, I won't miss a thing - other than a few smiling faces.  I don't have one more original thought in my head.  I have no idea where I'll teach and I'm not opposed to moving.  I have friends in Seattle and have been toying with that idea for some time.  As for Newswriting - let's just say it's not for me.  I learned a lot.  I had heard of blogging, but never had the faintest desire to know more.  Who knew that I would have my own blogging site?  Once again, unlike Vanessa, I wasn't exactly jazzed about it.  I was just happy to get it up and running.  I think old age has jaded me towards technology.  I want to like it - I really do - I just can't get into it.  The fact that I can download songs onto my MP3 player is nothing short of a miracle.  Back to newswriting.  I have a new respect for reporters.  I don't like working with a deadline.  As an English major I need time to draft and revise.  I like flowery sentences.  I had a really hard time just reporting the facts in an interesting fashion.  I also didn't like approaching people for comments.  That was the worst part.  I felt like an idiot.  But all in all, I didn't HATE the class.  I learned a lot about the industry and the mindset of the people who work in it.  Reading other students' bloggs to see how they responded to the books helped me get a better grip on the readings.  Well, I'm signing-off.  Good-bye Dr. Jerz and good-bye class of EL 227. I'll miss you all.

Best Practices and Some Not So Good Practices

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I have mixed emotions about this little book.  To quote Vanessa, "Newspapes are unfair when...they do anything,'" seems to be a lot of what it is trying to say, but it is also offering solutions for future reporters in hopes that they won't make the same mistakes.  I also have to think that although the public criticizes the newspaper for a lot of things, people really want to read it.  I think people miss hard core reporting without the Brittany Spers fluff.  I don't want to be a reporter, but the student who does should take stock of what this book has to offer.

A love story about a love story

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Newspapers are unfair when:  They can't admit that sometimes there's no story-  "The hardest thing to do is to persuade a reporter tht there simply is no big story here."  We've all seen the movies and TV shows where the pesky reporter gets a tip and just won't let the story drop-Why do they always make reporters out to look like weasels?-Anyway, it is not that hard to understand that if a reporter -or anybody-thinks they know something, they're going to pound away at it until they get what they want.  If they've been covering a story for a long time or that they really believe in, they aren't going to let it drop.

"...Reporters seem to "fall in love" with their stories."  Of course they do.  Anyone who has ever written stories has fallen in love with them at some point or another.  As an Eng. Lit. major I've written tons of stories and have had several love affairs that have  had to be redirected.  You just think that it's just the greatest piece of work in the universe and you can't open yourself up to any other ideas or options.  However, by smothering the story against your breast it loses oxygen and begins to fizzle and becomes oblivious to other angles.  I'm sure this is how reporters feel.

I'm fascinated with the idea of "bad framing"  I didn't know that the frame of a story is based on the values and perspective of the reporter.  I mean I guess I did, but I know that reporter's are supposed to be biased.  The fact that journalists can look at stories and analyze how they are framed blows my mind. I was also blown away by the piece about the 1999 Unity convention in Seattle that honored black soldiers who fought against Native Americans.  Didn't it occur to anyone that Native Americans would be there?  Yes, the soldiers did their part in the war, but it depends through who'se glasses or what frame you're looking through. 

I was also a little surprised that fairness is a concern in reporting.  I assumed-because of this class-that bias was taboo in any story.  I know reporters have bias, but I thought it was the editor's job to keep it clean.

Mr. Jameson gets no respect!

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Grammar isn't my strongest suit, but I can always spot somebody else's bad grammar, and I hate it when I see it in newspapers or other articles.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we're all human and everybody makes mistakes, but the editor's job is to find mistakes.  How many mistakes should be allowed in one newspaper?  If a secretary iofa corporation made effors when typing up an important document for the board, would it go left unsaid?  I've read most of the bloggs, and as usual I'm the only one with an opposing opinion.  As far as the bullet coming out of the woods, anonymous sources are definately more interesting and sometimes insightful, however, if there were not guidelines to regulate anonymous sources, every source would come with a hidden identity and we would have to wonder whether the reporter is actually reporting facts or making up sources to further his own agenda.



Good vibes

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I really like this week's assignments.  Although I'm not planning on going into journalism, It's interesting to see how reporters have to come up with stories with little information and almost  no time.  Not giving us all of the information was and telling us to write what we thought was important was definately challenging given the fact that there was so much information to sift through.  I can see how reporters can make mistakes or get wrong information.  I also liked assignment of asking interview questions and coming up with different comebacks.  It's good practice for aspiring journalists.  It's also something I could work into an English class someday. 

The million dollar question

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I really enjoyed this reading.  It almost seemed like a grotesque carnival scene as Meyers gives us the grand tour of the freak show.  I never thought about how a reporter would have to spend days running back and forth between court rooms for stories.  It's also disheartening that there are so many stories in Chicago that only the strange and famous make it into the papers.  I love the story about the missionary who got into a fight with her husband and ended up shooting him over who had saved the most people.  I also found Judge Bolan's interview interesting.  He really didn't try to sugar-coat his job- he really explained the court system as he's come to know it, "You can get totally immersed in this building. . . .There's a Criminal Court personalilty:  You become cynical as hell, nothing is taken at face value, you cross-examine everything.  Nobody's innocent.  Innocence is something that's lost in childhood."  Anybody that works in the system has to becoem jaded at some point.  I'm sure every new lawyer has great intentions of saving the world but how long does it take before he loses his/her innocence.  I was also intrigued by the Judge Bolan's humanity as he asked hmself what he's doing to change the world.  Many people would say nothing while others would argue that it is because of judges like him that the justice system works so well.  Finally Meyers states, "THe who, what when, and where of each case have been ahswered.  Only the why remains."  THis is the million dollar question that everyone asks themselves as they tuck in their children or go to bed at night, and this is the question that keeps the courtrooms busy.

This is my blogging portfolio # deux. I've added more blogs and comments and definately had more ideas about the readings.  It's more in-depth since the first portfolio, but I'll let you judge for yourself.

Impromptu press conference-coverage, depth, comments,

what am I doing here?-coverage, depth, comments


technology sucks wildcard

pink power coverage, depth, xenoblog

Titless- coverage, depth


Tunnel Vision

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"A single explanation, in short, shouldn't automatically cause us to ignore alternatives" (164).

   Chap. 10 discusses hedgehogs, or journalists who emphasize one important big thing, but ignore many other contributing factors.  I don't go for the book's idea about journalists being afraid to focus on peronal characteristics for fear of "blaming the victim."  Since when have journalist taken the high road before?  Social problems rarely stem from a monocausal problem, but are the culmination of many interlinked forces that must be disceted and looked at individually.

Recent Comments

Dennis G. Jerz on We'll always have newswriting: That's very kind of you, Shann
Dennis G. Jerz on It was the best of times it was the worst of times: Thanks, Shannon. I always enjo
Dennis G. Jerz on The million dollar question: Excellent observations, Shanno
Dennis G. Jerz on technology sucks: "Do I sound like Archie Bunker
Dennis G. Jerz on jerz: ...yes?
Nessa on Impromptu press conference: I was so surprised she showed
Nessa on what am I doing here?: Haha I agree that really, the
Mitchell Steele on what am I doing here?: You have some great insight he
Jackie Johns on what am I doing here?: I noticed some of the same poi
Dennis G. Jerz on My Bloggs-Beaoitch!: Shannon, your mock press confe