October 2007 Archives

Progress on Term Project

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The progress on my term project has had its ups and downs. At first I was like a deer in the headlights finding where to start as well as directing a fellow classmate as clueless as me. Eventually, Maddie and I have found a starting ground and have weeded out some repetitive content. For the chosen content, I have already finished three separate handouts on Lori’s pink and black webpage. I have stripped out all of the fancy code only leaving the black, Times New Roman type. I also have 3 blog entries done and ready to be linked to the main blog.
Still, this is just the beginning; there is a lot of work to be done on this project. There is only two of us on the project, but Maddie is very helpful. She is willing to anything I ask and willing to learn anything new. I was hoping for more participants to make the job a little easier, but I think we will be able to work well with what we have.
The hardest thing about deleting the website codes is making sure you’re not deleting links that are important. It take precise reading and overlooking to make sure you haven’t accidentally deleted important information.
As soon as I get a few more blog pages ready, I hope to have the practice site up to publish them. I am going to make a layout plan of where each section should be on the blog and an idea of how it should be displayed.
*This is just a screen shot of one of the blogs. I put the images in and rebolded, reitalicized, and reunderlined everything I took out from the actual website*

FROG BLOG!

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So, when there is a scare about harming human health, heads pop up and worries increase. People search for answers to find out if their affected and how they can prevent it. In the research about deformed frogs, the frog.jpgresults do not say it SURELY has any links to human health concerns. John Graham only SUGGESTS it may. Now to arise concern, one must connect something like frog deformities to our own health hazards. If the article was published simply about the deformites found in frogs, the feedback would be much less with concerns.
"Instead we believe that the frog story, like the E. Coli story, may have achieved prominence because it fit into a master narative-a narrative of villains and victims, in which the innocent )whether children or frogs) are endangered by callous and greedy humans who pollute and endanger our heath and the environment's safety."
The truth is, we still seek the unusual and yes deformed frogs with 3 legs is unusual, but what strikes our attention is how it is affecting the human race. After the article, it does not even prove that we are affected, but a possibility.
I could easily say the rates of car accidents after 10 pm have decreased ever since the invention of Code Red Mountain Dew. Those two things are completely irrelevant in some eyes, but who knows how many millions of people drink the substance which caffenates their system allowing them to drive safer after 10 pm. It is only a theory which will attract attention which is the goal of a journalist.

PS: Who REALLY likes the froggggg?

September 16, 1624, a date which will live in infamy—the United State's American newspaper was suddenly and deliberately placed with its first ADVERTISEMENT. Ok so maybe I stole part of FDR's speech for the Attack on Pearl Harbor, but I'm going somewhere with this. On this day, Nathaniel Butter and Nicholas Bourne noted they will be printing and selling a map of one of the battles mentioned in that issue. At first I didn't know that is actual advertising....because it wasn't a product in a K-mart ad that we are used to. Eventually throughout the 1640's and 1650's ads began appearing for the return of stolen horses, lost articles, lost children, and medical remedies and frankincense.
Now, a question for someone who reads this. When you're rooting through the sunday paper (for me the Observer-Reporter) just looking for the comics, and you find the K-mart ad, then the Michael's ad, then the Dick's ad, then an ad with colorful prints for cash-checks with dolphin on them. So all these ads are just laying there, like folded up between the newspaper sections. Are these advertisements sponsered by the newspaper itself? Or do companies just request that their ad be in a certain paper. The ads physically printed on the gray newspaper are paid for by the newspaper, but what abou those ads that hide the comics from you? Where do those come from? Who thought of those? All I want are the comics.....
Back to 1624, I would never have thought sale ads dated back so far, surely they have improved over 383 years, but still. Us shopaholics certainly cannot blame ads for "drawing us in" and taking all of our money. Apparently sales ads have been around forever and so has self control.
However, again, I find it fascinating that sale ads date back so far......and that it started as a map!!!

While I was reading through chapter 6 in IANS, I came across the section of denying the Holocaust. The conducted poll came out with results claiming 22% of Americans believe the Holocaust never happened. When you get a statistic like this. You have to question where this information came from. If all turns out accurate, you need to ask......what question was actually asked to get these results. As it turns out, the question contained a double negative, "Does it seem possible, or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jews never happened." Now, as a English/Journalism critic, RED FLAGS should pop up. The question was too confusing. When it was reworded, the poll results changed only 1% denial rate.
However, what really caught my attention about this incident was Roper apologized for it, "I deeply regret this entire incident, and i feel it most important to set the record straight publicly."
It takes a really strong person to admit a mistake that affected America's integrity and appologized publicly. This shows an honorable act that we as learning journalists can learn from ourselves.
We know the first time around is not going to be perfect, so when you do mess up, make up for it and try it agian.

My news is Extraordinary

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If I am sitting at a computer bored with stalking people on facebook for the day, I turn to ABC.com for the daily news. I admit, I do not look at the normal stories about the everyday world, but I look at the odd stories like......WWII Postcard reaches Japan Man.
The postcard reached the man 64 years later. Odd, unusual, newsworthy.
"Whether the subject is love, birth, weather or crome, journalists' tastes inevitably run toward the unnatural, the extraordinary," said Stephens in chapter 8.
I believe that many people would rather read a news story like this, rather than another article on the presidential election, a year from now.
It's fascinating to see a change in the everyday news routine.
Another curious/unusual newsworthy story:
Religious sitings of Pope John Paul II

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Statistics Disproven

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There are many studies out there claiming the amount of rape and abuse victims, and even kidnapped children. When you hear that 350,000 children are kidnapped every year, you think about the Jonbenet Ramsey case or even one of the recent cases of 3 year old Madeline McCann. You wonder why you haven't heard of at least 100,000 of these cases. In reality, many the child abduction cases are not as serious. Many of the missing children have been taken by their parents and other family members. Alot of them live perfectly normal lives, some of them would be better off with the parent they were taken from, and some are cases like young Madeline. A mystery like this provides no evidence of her whereabouts. Not all 350,000 cases are severe and completely mysterious. "Readers are ignorant of the operative definitions would have misinterpreted the results to make them seem worse than they really were; thus they would have ben victimized by manipulation of the numbers," as stated in It Ain't Necessarily So. People who do no research or look into such cases do not know the severity of a child abduction case. I tend to follow up on missing children cases just to find out more about them. For those who do not know that some of those children have been found or have an instance of a father bringing the child home a day late from camping count for a chunk of the 350,000. The numbers can be misinterpreted giving the reader the wrong message.

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"Everyone is familiar with the observation that the closer we are to an event that makes the news, the less satisfied we are with the coverage," as stated in It Ain't Necessarily So. We have all watched "Breaking News" develop on the television right before our eyes. One familiar event we all remember is the infinite coverage of September 11, 2001. In the early morning hours between 9-11 am, the only sight we saw on TV was the twin towers in NYC collapsing from the planes darting into them. As this instance was reported, no one had any information as to WHY this happened or WHO was behind it. All that could be told was WHERE, WHEN, and WHAT. All of our questions could not be answered, leaving us in utter shock as well as dissatisfaction. As Americans, we are used to fast, accurate information. That infamous day's mysteries could not be answered immediately, which is something people expect.
Later on, as theories and evidence unfolded, we started to believe everything we were told by the media and government officials. We put trust in a journalist's work that they are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them, God. How many people died in the terrorist attacks that day? Iqbal's article suggests less than 3000, an accurate count for September 15, 2001. Later on the toll was settled on 2974 plus 19 highjackers.
Even as a journalist tries to fit the needs of the reader, it needs to be the truth and %100 accurate. If you need statistics, get statistics that support the claim or opinion of the sources. If you need the IQ levels of 12 Harvard graduates, get 12 IQ scores of Harvard graduates. You can't beat around the bush and substitute the truth.
The sooner the truth comes out, the more satisfied the readers will be.

Portfolio 1 *What fun!*

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Newswriting. It is a class that helps you sort out your writing dilemmas one step at a time. One helpful tool is blogging. Blogging. It is a word full of emotions:
Ex 1) Wow, Maria had a really good point *sigh* (and ponder). [Thoughtful]
Ex 2) WHY AREN'T MY TRACK BACKS WORKING! [Anger]
Ex 3) This is so much better than 6 page papers!!! [Excitement]
Each of my blogging entries have a variety of topics giving fellow bloggers different ideas of their own. Collecting these all in one portfolio is like having sparknotes for blogging. And who doesn't like the easy way out :)

To summarize my progress in Newswriting, you have to be on the ball and ready with ideas. Some of mine include:

Crime Scene Investigators
News, Feature, Announcement, Obituary, Gossip? ---What is it?
Schmictim Dead Victim

Interacting with my peers is important......
Mr. Corey Struss debating strong vs weak verbs
Ms. Chelsea Oliver on an outstanding first portfolio
Ms. Maddie Gillespie speaks her mind about blunt "unfluffed" news stories. I must say I agreed with her.

Diving in Deep - In Depth...........
Run on = Run Down
Visualize your Writing

Married at Age 8? or Cute Kitten?

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When it comes to what is worthy in the news, I think of top of the top of the line, unsolved, crime stories like the Jonbenet Ramsey case, that I wrote an entire 2 page essay on. Even the simple information could be newsworthy, like Published Gossip that Stephens talks about in Chapter seven. In 1508, Mary, the daughter of Henry VII of England was “married” to Prince Charles of Austria, who was heir to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. Mary was 12 and Charles was 8. Whoa! Can an 8 year old even tie his shoes let alone get married? Right away a light bulb or sudden shock runs through your body. Why is this newsworthy? In today’s society it would be newsworthy on account of a few parents’ insanity. Back then, it had significance. Stephens says, “This marriage was the embodiment of the treaty between England and Germany.” Granted, there are some stories like the cute kitten scampering around the supermarket pawing at customers’ feet that make the news for a lighthearted laugh, but it’s not something that affects the world dramatically or people’s opinions about a subject. Newsworthy stories will leave the reader with questions, curiosity, and the urge to find out more. It is worth that pondering thought at the end of the article.

Crime DOES Pay

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In the Setonian newspaper, one of the most favored sections is the police blotter. For some people they get kicks out of reading about the pranksters on the hill but others want to know how to be more cautious. Crimes that are published in the newspapers are not worthless. They are not there to take up space. People need to know the good and the bad in their community.
In “A History of News” by Mitchell Stephens, a New York Post editor argued that crime news serves a practical purpose: “You make people more aware. You make them more careful. You make them more responsive.”
I agree with the anonymous New York Post editor. Not displaying the negative aspects gives people the unrealistic idea that nothing ever bad happens in the world. The newspaper should not “protect” its citizens. We should be aware of our surroundings and what happens in our environment.
Exactly as the editor states, “You make them more responsive.” If informing people about the crime in their community allows one to think twice before walking alone at night or influences another to lock their door, it is practical.
At Seton Hill, the crimes here are fairly juvenile, but that doesn’t mean the students shouldn’t be made aware of them. If a student gets arrested for underage drinking on campus, the 2000 other students will be more cautious or think twice about doing it at all. People learn from mistakes and sometimes at the risk of others’ mistake. Publishing crimes is the ultimate prevention. In the end, crime does pay, if you know about it.

Technology rules my Life

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Considering I am only 19 years old, technology has always been a major part of growing up. I remember a computer always being available for my use, even if it was the little gray, box, apple computer with a black background with green type. I learned how to spell words using “Spellavator,” a computer game we played in class to learn vocabulary.
So back in the early 1990’s, computers were teaching kids to read over text books.
In 1998 when the Bill Clinton affair was exposed, I remember reading it on my old Window’s 95 computer with a CPU the size of a suitcase and as slow as molasses. Growing up in the newly developed age of internet technology and remembering the differences over the years is influential. I like the idea of being able to see the change in technology of a short period of time.
I may not have been around for the birth of CNN in 1980, but it’s development was not that long ago. A well-known, widely spread newscast is only 27 years old. Also, I found it fascinating to know Myspace, YouTube, Wikipedia and blogs are all new developments of the 21st century. To me, it just seems to have been around forever, but in reality, it hasn’t.
Having technology all my life, makes the Stone Age seem unrealistic, almost like it never happened. I use technology everyday from my cell phone to my computer, to television to my car. Technology now runs our lives but makes life much easier.


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In the historical perspective, there are many crime stories that are newsworthy, because they contain four similar characteristics. In chapter seven, Stephens explains if a woman or a child is a victim or suspect, if a highborn or well-known person is the victim or suspect, if there is some doubt about the guilt of the suspect, and if there is imtimation of promiscuous behavior by the victim or suspect is apparent, the case is newsworthy. In such cases, "Murderers and their victims surrender all right to privacy" as claimed by Stephens.
Stephens names several cases in the past that carry three out of the four characteristics including the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932, the Manson murders in 1969, the Patty Hearst kidnapping in 1974, and the murder of O.J. Simpson's former wife. Each of these crimes has made history and is even documented in books that are still discussed today. One of the most recent cases involve the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey in 1996. The six year old girl was found dead in her basement the day after Christmas. She came from a prominent family and a wealthy home life. Her father was a successful business man and her mother was former Miss West Virginia in 1977. After the young girl was found by her father, the autopsy tests show she had been sexually assaulted. Jonbenet Ramsey's entire family, mother, father, and older brother have been accused of the murder.
Not one person has been found guilty of the crime; however there have been plenty of suspects and all have had evidence doubting the accusations. The Jonbenet Ramsey case has yet to age or be forgotten. The prominence in the family as well as the unidentified suspect has left the case for continual newsworthiness. Over the past 11 years, there have been "clues" and "breakthroughs" containing more information about the case. These advances have yet to name a murderer though and the Ramsey family will continue to claim fame in the news.
The unsolved mystery of Jonbenet's murderer provides an "on the edge" suspense that will leave the family in the spotlight until the murder is identified. In June of 2006, ten years after the girl's murder, Patsy Ramsey, Jonbenet's mother died of Ovarian cancer once again spotlighting the family. Then two months later, John Mark Karr came forward in August claiming to have murdered Jonbenet.
Each of these supposed "breakthroughs" ultimately led to a dead end. The family is still without a suspect and will continue being bombarded by the media. If there is a "who," the world wants to know about it, and it is important for Journalists to provide their readers' wants.
Jonbenet Ramsey is not the only victim in the murder case, the entire family is. They are victims who have had their privacy surrendered casting a permanent spotlight on their every move. Every major occurrence after Jonbenet's murder has made national news. Patsy Ramsey's loss to cancer attracted newspapers all over the country, broadcast media, and magazines. The time of Patsy's death was not just a family mourning; it was an entire nation's mourning and sorrow for a family who still hasn't found justice for their daughter.
This case will be in the news until the last member of the immediate Ramsey family passes on. Even after that, history will continue to tell the unfortunate tale of the Ramsey family. Their lives are no longer private, and the Ramsey's will remain famous for unfortunate circumstances.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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