Reporting is about more than just asking questions, it’s about retelling an experience. This is a challenge for me, since I am wary of putting myself too much into the story.

Being accurate in these descriptions is just as important. “Words should mean exactly what you intend them to mean.” (198) This goes against using ‘said’ as a default, and should be practiced in small bits until I get the hang of it.

Order of elements is a mix of the inverted pyramid structure and telling a coherent story, something I find challenging to do in a journalistic tone due to my creative writing instincts. But coherence is devastatingly important and can lead to disasters if something is entirely misread by the public.

I value conciseness and simplicity, so this instruction won’t be hard to follow. I find them elegant in writing and shows a true mastering of the English language.

Source: NR

Beat Reporting Across Media Platforms

The annotated model on page 297 of the Missouri Group’s News: Reporting and Writing shows what the rest of this chapter is trying to tell in the simplest of terms.

The structure used is as follows:

Inform that there will be a story > TELL the story online to an audience with a shorter attention span > EXPAND and tell the best, fullest story in the paper later on > FOLLOW UP using a blog or other outlet later that day to start a conversation.

While this obviously doesn’t have to be followed to a ‘T’, all the basic principles are there. Inform and information is released is the new norm in this insta-obsessed, digital world.


Source: NR

Writing News for the Web

Despite even my own romantic tendencies, Web Media is where I go most for my news. I can’t help it. Quite literally, I was raised along side the likes of Google.

Stories are getting shorter, news is become more varied, and events are reported more quickly. With Twitter creating a new form of headlines, along with easy access. This access isn’t just for Twitter; other forms of digital media are creating more and more citizen reporters every day, even if just in the comment section.

With this new-found two-way communication comes a craving for more customization. No two readers are exactly alike and now the platform is international, so organizing news in an easily navigated format is essential. Hyperlinks, shortness, and previous stories are some ways to achieve this.

Digital News also has an audience with a very short attention span, the Internet a place of bouncing from one thing to another. Having pictures, videos, lists, bullet points and small word counts keep readers engaged for the time they will spend on a page.

Source: NR

Print Layout Readings

A: The Denver Post                        B: The Washington Post



  1. The lead story is about the Pope in America. This story is both the largest and has the biggest picture. Although the picture that is the largest does not aways have to be connected to the lead story, but in this case it is. A local ER piece and another national piece about Obama compose the rest of the front page.
  2. The lead art is that of the Pope touching a young girl’s face. There is not any other art to compare it to, and it relates to the lead story (once again, doesn’t always have to be true.)
  3. In this case, the lead art and story are related.
  4. The Pope’s story has a simple, basic font because of both it’s length and it’s massive related picture already catching the eye of the reader. There isn’t a need for a more bold font, like for the story next to it. The ER piece uses a bold font so it won’t be entirely consumed by how much room the lead story takes up. Local news about ERs is also potentially very important, so of course it’s more bold and on the front page.
  5. Having a touching lead photo and news both local and national is a good mix of newsworthiness. A reader is more likely to pick up my paper if I can cover as much as possible in one go on the front page.


  1. It took me a while to decide which is the main story, but the Calls of Inspiration takes the cake. It isn’t first on the page, but the font is bold, bigger than anything else, and takes up the most space. The Mecca story is just as important but doesn’t directly relate to many of the typical readers, so while it is first it’s not quite as flashy. Then follows some local and national news (which happen to be the same in this case due to location), and finally a preview of what’s inside.
  2. The lead art also happens to be about the Pope. It’s not the only piece of art, but it is the largest and catches the eye first. Mecca’s story and the preview also have art, one to drive the point home while the other is to entice people to read more.
  3. Once again, in this case they are.
  4. The Pope’s first headline is somewhat of an umbrella to introduce the stories about his visit and address to congress. This sets the tone that there is more than one effect his trip is having. It shows how excessively newsworthy he is. The Chinese president is also coming, so his story is in bold with many different subheads to help the reader quickly understand what’s coming up soon any why he is here. Mecca is also in bold because it is an important, tragic event.
  5. I can categorize the order of importance in my front page by using titles to indicate which story is most relevant to the majority of readers right now.

Source: Print Layout Readings


This chapter of NR&W went over the basics of scoop-age, as Pauly Shore would say; at least, that was the most interesting part because of what I was reminded of. At a recent trip to the Newseum in DC, I learned that the paper reporting Lincoln’s assassination printed seven issues that day because they had the only reporters in town, so they could never be scooped.

Source: NR

Book Discussion Video

The beginning of this interview about Seton Hill University’s liturgy surrounding Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One struck me a bit, seeing the journalist play the role of the dummy to try and get the interviewee to confirm something for the article and/or reveal more information.

“It’s about technology, all of us use that.” This quote is powerful in it’s brutal simplicity, and has the explanation as to why the book was chosen.

“They could create a three-headed dragon with a fake name.” I particularly am attracted to this as an opener leading to why the book is important. I can summarize what the book is about and why it’s being read on a superficial level, but this leads the article into deeper reasoning  behind Ready Player One being this year’s liturgy title. Technology isn’t just a tool for communication, it can be a tool to build a whole new life.

Prompting the actual process of picking Ready Player One is useful to the journalist, although not the article. Here’s why: I know how I got around to writing what I am writing about. This context can help the motivation for writing a story.

Source: Book Discussion Video

NR&W 9 – Inverted Pyramid

I most defiantly needed this chapter, which covered in more detail how to write in an inverted pyramid structure. The pyramid isn’t about specifics necessarily, seeing as sometimes details can be the most important thing, which should go first. The pyramid is that of newsworthiness, the most at the top and the least at the bottom. I finally have my brain wrapped around this topic.

Being a Creative Writing major I am used to a very different–and far more loose–writing structure. At the same time I excel in algebra, laying out equations and neatly filling them in one of my talents. Having an ‘equation’ of sorts given to me for how to write inverted pyramid will improve my writing because I now have something to rely on.

The equation I learned in elementary school: who, what, when, where, why, how. This time around ‘so what’ and ‘what’s next’ has been pinned on to the end so a story can be built around the lead.

Using social media as an outlet for this structure is, as Laramie Cowan conceited in her blog, kind of a mind-blowing thing to think about. When things are miniaturized, like tweets, there is only room for the most significant of things, the reader able to fill in the gaps or make the independent choice to click on an attached article. The relationship is built between reader and reporter that the information provided is the most important out of a story. It’s a matter of trust.

Source: NR

SHU Convocation 2015

“A tall order indeed, but one each of you students here are called to for your education here at Seton Hill,” Seton Hill University (SHU) president Mary C. Finger, Ed.D, welcomed students and family alike to the convocation ceremony.

Every year at SHU, its best and brightest are honored with awards and scholarships, this year no different.

Over 100 students took the stage smiling at this year’s Convocation ceremony, taking up most of the seats Cecilian Hall as the ceremony was kicked off with the sound of bagpipes, a musical tradition SHU holds up every official academically-related event.

Once all the students marched in and took their seats, the bag pipes stopped ringing in the open afternoon air and the room settled. President Finger was introduced by Acting Provost Susan Yochum, S.C., PhD, and began her opening address.

Finger reminded the students being honored that their hard work is being recognized by an institution with a deep history in education. SHU was founded by the Sisters of Charity, pioneering women who believed in the power of education and progress as the students at the ceremony did.

“Education is not something you simply learn in the classroom, but rather a tool to make change,” Finger said, harkening back to one of SHU’s most repeated mottos: hazard, yet forward.

Finger finished her speech by encouraging students to make a positive change in the communities around them, followed by a warm round of applause.

Opening speech over, Alma Mater sung, and prayer given, the honoring of 2014-2015 academic achievement of the present students could begin.

One such student was junior Theater major Elena Falgione, honored for her exceptional academia and character. As a professor was sure to mention, there is one quirky qualification to win this particular award: “One who is a spunky lover of life.” This caused grins to break out across the audience and Falgione herself to giggle as she walked up onto the stage to accept the award.

As the scholarship certificate was given to her, Falgione lived up to the title and tripped slightly on stage, but was the first one to burst out laughing about it. She flipped her hair, waved, and laughed all the while leaving the stage.

The Natural Sciences also took their turn stealing the show, the all-female line up looking particularly fashionable as they accepted their awards.


Portfolio 1

From the first few weeks of Journalism with Dennis Jertz, PhD and Associate Professor at Seton Hill University, I’ve learned the basics of journalism that I can build off of for the rest of the course. As a Creative Writing major at SHU, I benefited from the experience of learning a new discipline. From quotations to time-management, keeping this very blog in order taught me how to operate in the world of journalism. 

DEPTH – Also one of my longest, Quotations, Quotations, Quotations is definitely one of my more in-depth posts. This is probably because I found myself invested in the subject, my major enhanced by the subject so I can both properly portray journalism in stories by knowing how to do it. I included an example from the text, which I ironically didn’t directly quote, because I never understood journalism as a sort of dialogue that, when done correctly, can reveal the entire character of an actual person.

RISKINESS – I rarely watch actual live television, so my Television News Exercise really made me think about TV in news ways, and only then did I truly realize how repetitive and unimportant a lot of the news is. It took a lot of time to do this assignment, so I figured I should go all in. I invested a lot of time analyzing what exactly I saw, my choice not to include sports as news well thought out. I haven’t seen TV news in a while and have yet to watch since, so it was quite the interesting experience. I remembered why I prefer cherry-picking the important news from the internet (with great caution, of course).

INTERTEXUALITY – The very last response in my Media Awareness Exercise I incorporated my favorite podcast, Welcome to Night Vale (WTNV), to the lesson. The point of the podcast is to sound real while being entirely surreal, and the writers and narrator break some rules set forth in this sound clip about radio-journalism very purposefully in order to reach the desired goal. I related one of my passions to this class which involved me more into the art of structuring journalism.

DISCUSSION – I admittedly didn’t do fantastically on sparking conversation with my classmates, although I did interact with one post in particular by Madeleine Robbins. She was interested in my WTNV reference, and I hope she is reading this and the comment I recently left to link her to it. Especially taking a journalism class, WTNV is a trip within the academic context to say the least.

TIMELINESS – Everything I posted was on-time, although not necessarily early. Well, save for this post.

COVERAGE – I never missed one assignment posted, from the first assignment with a comment (before I understood how any of this worked) to just this Labor Day weekend.

CONCLUSION – I’ve only just begun my journey into journalism, and do like the ‘learning from my mistakes’ approach that I dived into while looking back on my posts. My goals can be achieved through this lens, which include having enough journalistic skills to potentially use them in my future. I want to better understand the tight, fast-paced structure of journalism and practice research for this purpose specifically. My language is headed in the right direction, but reaching out for sources could use some work.


Quotation etiquette is something I wanted to learn more about initially when writing my student profile project, looking back my quotations weren’t nearly as good as the article The Invisible Observer would have them be, even if it’s just suggesting. Level of detail of how approaches differ in journalism and creative writing is very useful, being a Creative Writing major and all.

Strategic accenting really builds the character of a person, and even more so than the writing I am accustomed to journalism requires the reporter to be thoughtful of what words they choose so the person can be fully understood. An example I appreciated in The Missouri Group’s News Reporting and Writing involved a woman asking for a beer, in which a bad way to quote her was shown. I learned by what NOT to do. Either way, the way in which her quotes were presented revealed her laid-back, casual character.

Dialogue makes a subject human in an article, just as much as it can demonize them if quotations are shortened or lengthened to reached the desired effect rather than report the most accurate truth of a situation. If a father and son have a brief, interesting conversation about your story, put that in there rather than just one line prompted by a question.


Source: NR