Using a Victim’s Criminal Record

For my last blog post I wanted to write about something that I briefly discussed in my last paper. I’ve seen a lot lately where journalists are including the criminal records of people who have been killed. The idea, I guess, is to suggest some motivation as to why they were killed or to make suggestions about their character.This tactic is somewhat similar to the use of Trayvon Martin’s social media pages to try and justify Zimmerman’s actions.

In a post I did earlier in the semester about leads, I used an article about Charles Smith, the man who was killed by a police officer in Savannah. The article was solely about a rap video that Smith had previously done which depicted him with guns saying some pretty violent things. My issue with this video, however, is that it seemed irrelevant. The question stilled remained: How did the gun that was on Smith go unnoticed if the cops did their job correctly? How did Smith, who was handcuffed and in the back of a patrol car, threaten a cop so severely that he felt like he needed to pull the trigger? I still don’t think these questions have been answered.

There are situations, however, where I believe this information may be important. Like, the Michael Brown case. The media and journalists were quick to release video of Brown stealing from a convenient store moments before he was killed. In this case, I think using this information can be useful and effective. The fact that this happened right before Brown was killed gives the public an idea of Brown’s state of mind that day, even that hour.

I think criminal records are used too often when not necessary. Sometimes, the effect is that it takes the focus off the real story. Ask, what is my motivation in using this and now, is that truly relevant to this story?

When, if at all, would you use someone’s criminal record?


My Ink in the Inkwell

Through my brief experience with publication, I found that, just like anyone else, I enjoyed seeing my name in print. I was also surprised to find that even with my awkward interviewing skills, I enjoy the entire process of taking notes, interviewing, and writing up the final product.
My first article assignment was to cover the 30th Art March downtown, an event that I knew nothing about and had no idea where to begin. My luck came in the form of a graphics design major agreeing to attend with me. His understanding of the abstract art in some of the galleries opened up conversations with just the right people.
My second experience with interviewing was a professor profile of Bob Williams, an instructor on Environmental Biology. I went in knowing I was going to thoroughly enjoy the conversation because I am always eager to hear about someone’s experiences. The only conflicts with writing a profile were 1) trying to make the information appeal to a younger audience and 2) not being able to include absolutely everything I learned. I certainly came away from the conversation with a vast amount of knowledge on things I would not have learned elsewhere.
I will continue to write for the Inkwell in hopes of refining my skills and meeting more interesting people.

New Journalism

New Journalism ushered in a new era of highly descriptive news stories. It redefined the way profiles were written, and the manner in which one could break down large chunks of news-bytes.

Here are four examples of New Journalism that have shaped my writing and storytelling throughout the semester, in both English and Spanish:

The rich descriptive qualities found in these pieces are incredibly exciting. They redefine the power of journalism and expand its limits using techniques that I thought were unconventional to storytelling.

The leads are not only powerful, but empowering.

They establish relationships that create a sense of trust and immediate engagement, emanating a magic that was only reserved for fiction. In doing so, they imbue fictional elements into real life situations, without letting go of the journalistic values that make these stories so veritably precious.

These examples allow others to keep searching for good ways to tell a story, as opposed to allowing them to continue on the search for good stories to tell .

New Journalism makes every story matter, which is the reason why I think journalism will never die, and why I find no work of fiction that can match up to the beauty of real life.

Do west-coast ports pose potential threats to the economy this holiday?

Douglas Holtz-Eakin takes on a tough topic in his column: workers unions. 

He discusses the impact of “chronic union problems” such as slowdowns, shutdowns, and other disruptions to the productivity of the union longshoremen. His lead is loaded, reading:

Once again, ports on the West Coast are being held hostage by union longshoremen, with potential to harm average Americans, the U.S. economy and U.S. military personnel overseas who may not receive needed supplies in time. 

Holtz-Eakin first makes it clear with this statement that it is an ongoing and continuing problem, if the readers were not already aware, and claims that this issue poses threat to not only the American people, but the US economy and military. My first read of this sentence left me thinking it to be rather conservative and rather dramatic…I kept reading.

Though I was apprehensive about the subject matter and weary of bias that may be lurking further in the column, my opinion was slightly swayed once I read the final sentence of the first paragraph:

After decades of union work slowdowns and other disruptions, Congress has a chance to limit future damage by bringing longshoremen under the same law that protects the rights of many workers and employers in transportation industries.

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Third Critique

I chose to do my third critique on a Washington Post article regarding three Muslim teens who were arrested at the airport

ISIS has captured the headlines through severe and drastic measures these past few months. Murder seems to be all the Islamic State does, that and recruit young Muslims through social media. Washington Post’s Kevin Sullivan covered the story of three American teens who were arrested at the airport for attempting to leave the country to join the terrorist efforts.

“Three American teens, recruited online, are caught trying to join the Islamic State” functions as both the title and the lead of the article since the author chose a narrative style. The article’s focus is more on the effect the situation has had on the parents and their dismay about the radical stunt their children attempted than on the teens who committed the crime. “We were stunned,” said Zarine Khan, their mother. “More like frozen. We were just frozen.”

The article is broken up into four segments:

1) The introduction explains what the teens did the morning of the arrest from collecting their new passports and $2,300 plane tickets to taking their daily trip to the mosque before 6am.  Sullivan creates the scene well, forcing the reader to realize the sneakiness of their plan while their parents were at home oblivious.

2) “Slick Propaganda” is the section that lays down the facts of the situation at hand and introduces the important numbers. The inclusion that in 2014 alone 15 youth have been arrested at the airport with the same intentions as the Khan teens. 9 of which were females. The FBI director describes this “slick propaganda” by explaining that the Islamic State is broadcasting their information in 23 languages on social media. They are recruiting children as young as 14. These numbers are key to the article’s purpose because it draws attention to a growing problem. These are facts, not blown up assumptions.

3) “These are not our teachings” gives a voice to the parents to explain that they did not raise their children in a religious extremist environment and their newfound goals are not any they would have picked up from their family or friends. Sullivan inserts quotations from Muslim community leaders as well that give insight into the kind of parenting that the Khan family used and the style of several other Muslim families. This served as a base for contrast, showing that the Khan family really had done all they could do.

4) Lastly, “letters full of rhetoric” is the mother’s last plea for people to understand that she did not raise her children his way. The words they used in their letters to her were fueled by the Islamic State. She believes they have been brainwashed somehow.

Overall, the article covers several questions one might have about the inside situation of a family dealing with this nightmare. Sullivan had to approach the subject with some caution as to not spark a fire of extreme patriots  and for people to actually continue reading. The breakdown of the article helped guide the reader through a lengthy process of understanding. I enjoyed the read and while I feel there was no bias on the author’s part, it is hard not to feel the heart strings pull when the main focus of the article is a mother’s heartbreak.

“Toddler Fight Club”

Imagine toddlers in the middle of a daycare room, preparing to bite, push, and kick each other. Imagine the daycare workers placing bets and pumping up their star toddler. Do you have that imagine in your head? Now erase it completely. This story is nowhere near as dramatic as an actual toddler fight club and while that should relieve you, the story still involves toddlers fighting.

A video was sent to school administrators from a disgruntled terminated employee along with threatening messages. The article does not expound on these details, but the desire for more information is present. The video shows the woman’s 4 year old son “put in a headlock, there was shoving, kicking, fighting, the little boy was trying to bite [her son] in the arm.” Throughout the article, the phrase “the video was taken” is used, but they do not clarify whether someone was taking the video or the video is from a camera on the wall. I feel like more concern should be raised if someone is simply sitting there videoing two children fight and cheering them on. Even more so, I feel like the woman should be outraged. There should be a lawsuit in order!

I have so many questions. Video on the wall or someone’s phone? How did the disgruntled employee get the video? Why did it take a employee getting terminated for them to send in the video? Why am I left with so many questions?

Grand Jury Declines To Indict NYPD Officer In Choke hold Death Of Eric Garner: Enough is Enough

On Wednesday December 3rd, Huffington Post reported a grand jury in Staten Island voted not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo. Officer Pantaleo placed Eric Garner in choke hold, Garner ended up dying as a result. I was in total shock at the verdict of Eric Garner’s death. My question is when will enough be enough? I believe that police officers should do their job, but is necessary to simply go beyond just ” protecting” themselves and someone. As I read this article in HuffintonPost, Officer Pantaleo offered his condolences to the Garner family and also mentions that his intentions was not to hurt anyone. With the pattern of these officers not being charged in these deaths, it should bring our country together as a whole. Not to only stop the continuation of black men being kilt, but to stop the violence of all crimes. When I watched the video of Eric Garner, it was very compelling. What shocked me most was that a man who was unarmed was brought down by 4 or 5 officer, which resulted from him dying. This type of pattern is not something that is just now happening in the justice system. This is something that has been going on for centuries. Unfortunately for the justice system, it will not change over night. As I mentioned in the previous blog, by people participating in violent protesting it does not do anything. We should come together in starting with trying to improve our own communities, because that is where everything starts.

Garner, 43, died July 17 while he was being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. In a video of the arrest, which has since gone viral, Garner screams “I can’t breathe!” multiple times until his body goes limp. A medical examiner later said that he died of a chokehold, a move that is banned by the NYPD, and ruled his death a homicide.

Lack of Attention

I was scrolling through my newsfeed this morning on Facebook and noticed where one of my Facebook friends had posted an article about a gun that takes a picture every time the trigger is pulled. We talked a little bit about how helpful of a tool this would be to local law enforcement and juries if tools like these were standard issue. Imagine how open and shut the Michael Brown verdict could have potentially been with a tool like this. I of course say that with no intention of trivializing his death in any way, naturally.

But then my friend and I got into the conversation of body cams. I brought up how I had read something months before the Michael Brown or Eric Garner cases had became such hot topic issues. An article on tumblr talked about a certain city, whose name I currently can’t recall, and how they had implemented body cameras on all of their police officers. If you were out in the field, you had your camera on. In that particular year, excessive force complaints dropped 70%.

My friend replied back saying that she had never heard of anything like body cameras before these recent excessive force cases came out. My question is why do journalists never talk about changes like these until after the fact? Clearly, there should be a degree of public interest in the issues that are being brought up, but violence from police has always been a complaint. Do journalists just ignore certain issues in lieu of others? Why?

Class with Sarah McCammon

I’ve been so bogged down with finals that I never got a chance to write a blog post about our most recent class with Sarah McCammon. The particular entries that she had sent us to examine were very enlightening examples to see how journalism for the radio differs from just regular print reporting, but also really showed off just how similar the two really are.

I really enjoyed her talk on her ports authority topic. I thought that it was interesting that she chose to interview these sort of “entry level employees” or rather, the backbone of the port industry in Savannah, instead of attempting to meet with more of the higher-up executives. I felt like that provided a really intriguing viewpoint into the lives of who the port expansion would really affect.

The Evolution of My Blog

I have given considerable thought to the future of my blog. At present, I am an English Communications student with the intent of becoming a playwright and screenwriter. I received a BA in Technical Theatre this past May and I intend to develop a website that combines what I am learning now, with what I have learned in Theatre.

I plan to continue blogging within a website that allows anyone that is interested in theatre or fiction writing to be able to contribute. It would be fascinating to have fellow scriptwriters join in on fair, non-bullying critiques of their work. So many times I see comments tacked on the ends of articles that appear mean-spirited and non-contributory.

Short stories, plays, and poems, mixed with public opinion about current events in entertainment will be featured on the site, along with technical tips for theatre. I want a site that allows the contributors a space that will let them be themselves in an environment that is nurturing to the craft as well as the artist.

Will it work? I’m not sure, but I do know that as when I was a high school student, the only outlet that I felt safe was theatre. It allowed a 16 year old gay, shy boy living in a small rural Texas town to overcome obstacles that would help shape me into the man I would become. That was before smart phones and the internet. Before computers and laptops were as common as televisions in homes, and even before social media began to turn citizens into technical zombies. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Social media in 2014 allows everyone opportunities of self expression if used appropriately, but like anything, it can be abused and misused, however, there is room for everyone. Never stop learning fellow students!

The Inkwell and Me

I’ve been writing for the Inkwell for about a year now. When I first started last semester I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I’d done 4 years media production prior to attending Armstrong and only one class of Journalism, which inspired me to become a Psychologist, but that’s a different story. I had not yet chosen my minor in Writing when I started writing for the paper. It was just a hobby to get involved with the campus. That and I really needed some inspiration for my book. I was having some major writers block.

My first article involved going to a seminar for Freshman. The participation that day was zero. I wasn’t sure how to take that, but I covered the article and sent it to Katie. She sent me the revised draft and thus it began, I was writing for the Inkwell. Later that semester I told my adviser I wanted to minor in Writing and that’s how I ended up in Journalsim 3430 this semester. Being told I had to write two articles for the Inkwell was music to my ears, but when we got a new News Editor that didn’t send me a revised draft so I could know what I needed to change, I was a bit worried. How would I know what I needed to fix? How would I know if this was the type of article she wanted? Turns out I would be just fine. It just made me proofread my articles a thousand times over and that was perfectly fine with me.

Overall I’ve enjoyed writing for the school paper and will continue to do so. I’ve had a lot of great experiences, including meeting We the Kings in person, meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, and attending events that I thought would be a bore and instead turned out to be really great. The possibilities are endless with The Inkwell.

Gas Prices and Predicting News

I’ve been loving these lower gas prices and so has anti-green movement organizations.

In an article by the Christian Science Monitor, the lower gas prices are sparking a new debate concerning the need for renewable energy in the world.

Globally, renewables – biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind – continue to be the fastest growing power source. Declines in hydroelectric power have been countered by greater growth in wind and solar. By 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA)believes global renewable electricity generation will surpass natural gas as the second most important global electricity source, behind coal. Today, the National Renewable Energy Laboratoryestimates that renewable energy accounts for 23 percent of all electricity generation worldwide. However, this figure is a bit misleading.

The problem posed here is that people are making predictions based on the current situation. Gas prices fluctuated for a while there, and there’s a lot of reasons concerning this recent deflation.

Since 2003, the share of renewables in global electricity generation has remained relatively flat compared to the more linear growth of renewable generation capacity. Simply put, hydrocarbons aren’t leaving. In fact, fossil fuels growth in electricity generation in both developed and developing nations – approximately 10 percent since 2008 –has largely offset the remarkable renewable growth to date. In the United States, the shale gas revolution and more stringent coal regulations have led to an increased share of natural gas in electricity generation – 21 percent since 2008.

This is a rare time I can look at numbers and be interested. Probably because gasoline is something that I regularly consume/worry about. I’m always sad to see that $50 in my paycheck go to gas, so I’d like to be hopeful about this, but then again, maybe not.

So, don’t get too hopeful yet, folks. We’ve still gotta figure out that Keystone issue.

Reporting on North Korea

North Korea denies involvement in recent Sony Pictures Hacking– says NY Times and NK Officials.

There’s a huge problem in reporting news on one of the world’s only “blackspots,” and that would be the problem of verifying sources.

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Some Cinematic News.

If you’re a Bond fan like me, then you’re pretty well aware of MGM’s finical struggles trying to keep the franchise alive. After the success of “Skyfall,” it seems kind of weird that Bond manages to hide from audiences for two-five years at a time.

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Buzzfeed’s Legitimacy

Buzzfeed has a growing news section. I’ve been most impressed with their coverage of ISIS.

As I’ve discussed in class, most news sources refer to ISIS as a sort of anomaly in this peace-striving world. A backwards movement from a tragic civil war. What’s most tragic about this assumption is that everyone joining ISIS is an idiot.

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AFC Playoff Predictions

Once again I will take a look at the playoff scenarios and how everything could shape up by season’s end. I will focus on the other half of the NFL, the AFC.

In the AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts are finding themselves in not as comfortable a place as they were in last season. Andrew Luck is in his third season as the Colts’ quarterback and has become the franchise guy for the Indianapolis-based team.

JJ Watt of the Houston Texans, however, has had something different to say this season. The defensive end has shown why he is a legitimate candidate for the NFL MVP award this year, scoring more touchdowns than some of the top tier offensive weapons this season. He has his Texans at 7-6, just two games behind the Colts.

The Colts and Texans face-off next week and if the Texans can get the win, I can see them pulling away with the division in the closing weeks.

In the AFC West, the sure-fire hall of famer, Peyton Manning has his Denver Broncos sitting atop the NFL with a league-best 10-3 record. The San Diego Chargers are always a tough out and as I type this, the Chargers (8-4) lead the New England Patriots 14-13. The Chargers have had great showings over the last few weeks and if that continues, they could pull off a surprising division championship.

What can I say about the AFC East other than: the Patriots own this division. Granted, they are only two games ahead of both the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills at 9-3, but they have been on a tear as of late, but a loss to the Chargers tonight could send them into a downward spiral that they want no part of.

I say the Pats lose tonight, but they aren’t losing to Miami twice in the same season. They finish off the season 11-5 and win the division….AGAIN.

And last, but not least, we have without a doubt the best division in the NFL this season. The AFC North. Every team in the division has at least 7 wins and the leading team, the Cincinnati Bengals, are only separated by 1 and 1/2 games from the bottom team, the Cleveland Browns. It would be hard for me to even pick a winner from this division, but they are some key games down the stretch.

The Bengals play at Cleveland next Sunday, which has proved to be a tough place to play this season with the Browns playing 7 games this season and losing 3. Those three losses have been by an average of 6.2 points.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have arguably the easiest remaining schedule as they go to Atlanta and then return home to play the Kansas City Chiefs and the Bengals.

Their bitter rival, the Baltimore Ravens have just as an easy a schedule as they host the Jaguars, travel to Houston, and then host the Browns to finish the year. It is going to be an interesting finish to the season and I am sad to say that more than one of these teams will be left out of the playoffs in January.

1. Denver (12-4)
2. Cincinnati (11-4-1)
3. New England (11-5)
4. Indianapolis (11-5)
Wildcard spots
1. Pittsburgh (10-6)
2. San Diego (10-6)

Playoff Matchups:
Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis
San Diego @ New England

An Existential Crisis While Reading Entertainment News

I think we all know that moment.

When flipping/scrolling through a news site and the headlines read: “Ebola in America! Is it Coming to Your Town? Of course it is!!!!”; “ISIS takes 40 more Cities!”; and “UK Prime Minister to Give a Really Boring Speech at G4 Summit: And You’d Better Pay Attention,” it seems like we get bogged down by latest breaking news stories about events that are going to significantly impact the course of our history today.

But then we find that other part of the news site. Where the headlines involve Britney Spears, Grumpy Cat, and the current season of what’s going on in America’s #1 t.v. show.

Yup, that’s right- the entertainment section.

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So will I still be pursing my dream job in journalism?

Over the past sixteen weeks, Professor Dawers has shown us what it is like to be a part of the journalism career field. Although, some people say it is a dying field, I disagree, and believe that now is the perfect time to be a journalist. With the fascination over social media and the getting news from the internet, I find it hard to believe that journalism is dying.

The internet is giving journalists just another way for consumers to access their work. And social media is allowing journalists to brand themselves and create relationships with their viewers, listeners, readers, etc.

I am looking forward to my career as television journalist. I still believe that people watch television news, and if not on their television sets then on their smartphones and tablets. This course has only fueled my passion for journalism. What better job is there than covering stories of controversy, emotion, or impact? People need to know what is going on around them, and journalists inform them of what is happening.

I am not terrified of the internet. I believe that it will do great things for my career and not be so detrimental, like some people want you to believe. Yes, the job can be difficult at times, but what isn’t? Everybody has hard days at work, and I believe that even when those difficult days come, I’ll still be smiling because I’m doing what I have always loved. Journalism.

That’s a wrap! Reflecting on my experience with the Inkwell.

This semester marked the first time that I have written for a publication. I was really excited to begin working with the Inkwell staff and knew that I was going to learn a lot. I feel that I have become a better writer, especially when I compared my first Inkwell story to my last Inkwell story.

I remember my first story. It literally took me three hours to write this article. I found the construction process of the bike path to be a little confusing, so I wanted to write in a way that would make sense to the reader. Organization was probably the hardest part of this story. We had just discussed the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ style, so I wanted to write following that same method. I tried including the most important content at the front, while the less important information was added towards the end.

The best part about writing five articles for the Inkwell was the networking. For example, a majority of my stories required me going out and talking with different people who work on campus. Katie Twining, who oversees facility services at Armstrong, was mentioned in two of my articles; therefore, I was able to really get to know her and establish a relationship with her. So, when I write for the Inkwell in the future and I have a story relating to facility services, I know that I can go to her for relevant information. Even so, she may even have a few ideas for future stories! This class has taught the importance of networking, and how it can be a key factor with your overall success in this field.

I highly enjoyed writing for the Inkwell. The experience was remarkable and I look forward to writing for the publication even after this semester.

3rd Critique

Oh my gosh, this is one of my very last writing assignments as an undergrad!

For my third critique, I want to expand upon my second critique and cover the issue of children as news sources. When I say “Children,” I don’t necessarily mean the five-year-old children interviewed during the aftermath of Sandy Hook. What I mean, specifically, are the children who function as news stories. For example, Dani from the piece studied this semester, Jaylen Fryberg, and, naturally, the females of ISIS.

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Sarah McCammon

Recently, I have began looking to NPR and other radio stations for news. I think I strongly prefer radio journalism over any other kind and Sarah McCammon confirmed that. I love this story about a truck driver who hauls Savannah’s cargo. It’s interesting because it is a profile of someone relevant to the ongoing story about the deepening of Savannah’s port. The fact that we get to hear actual parts of the interview allows the listeners to get a better idea of who Big Mike is, which makes us more connected with him.

McCammon does an excellent job getting audio that enhances the story. We hear the engine of the truck and Big Mike as he picking up a container. It is also interesting to hear about the issues that truck drivers and even journalist face like when McCammon is stuck outside for nearly an hour. I also thought it was nice to get Mike’s opinion on the deepening of the port. By this time in the story, we feel like we know him a little and it’s interesting to hear how this will effect him directly.

McCammon mentioned in class that when she first began radio journalism she knew nothing about the technical part of it. She seems to be an expert now and that gives me hope because if I decide to go into journalism as a career, I imagine I’d prefer radio journalism.

Neighbors witness Savannah shooting

This week, news broke that a man in a Georgetown apartment complex shot his girlfriend and a fellow coworker before turning the gun on himself. This is yet another shooting that has taken place in Savannah over the past few weeks.

For my third critique, I want to look at the coverage of this story. For one, this story is different than the other shootings. The shooting happened around 8p.m. in an apartment complex, therefore there were a lot of people around at this time. Multiple people witnessed this event, so I want to see if the TV stations use these types of sources in their reporting. The eye witness accounts add another layer to the story, and most of these reports about the shootings do not include statements from witnesses.

Another aspect that I would like to look at is the use of social media. One victim is extremely active on Facebook and even posted statuses about the event and her recovery on her Facebook profile. Therefore, I would also like to see how the stations use this in their reporting as well.

Do you think anything can be added to make this an even better critique? Feel free to let me know in the comment section!

Final Paper

The Interconnectivity of Journalism

The evolution of journalism has interconnected news consumption. Before the internet, many articles were published as independent pieces. These works had very few follow-ups that could be traced to the original article. Furthermore, news coverage was dependent upon a consumer’s point of reference. Through time, the internet has brought different forms of journalism together by contextualizing news through links that make complex issues easier to understand. This system of interconnectivity has helped condense news sources by means of referrals to similar works, allowing issues to be analyzed through multiple perspectives at the same time. Thus, no article is atemporal. They are woven into “tags” and “links” that purposefully leave behind carbon prints, making new pieces more accessible to readers by means of search engines. The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the missing 43 Mexican students is a perfect example of how the internet has made it easier for journalists to interconnect facts and stories into easier to read articles through the rise of online media.

In April 1966, Gay Talese published a profile story on Frank Sinatra for Esquire Magazine. His final piece contained no links or tags, relying instead on extensive descriptions as a way of helping the reader catch up to Sinatra’s life. Talese wrote that Sinatra “was angry that a CBS television documentary of his life, to be shown in two weeks, was reportedly prying into his privacy, even speculating on his possible friendship with Mafia leaders;” He noted how Sinatra “was worried about

his starring role in an hour-long NBC show entitled Sinatra — A Man and His Music,” attributing his discomfort to the side-effects of the common cold. Fast forward nearly 50 years later and we can find many of these characteristics in profiles on magazines like GQ, and newspapers like the New York Times. These pieces carry a similar aspect; however, when compared to Talese’s profile of Sinatra, they seem to piggy-back on similar works via links for clarification and further context. They choose to do so as opposed to providing on-the-spot explanations. This dynamism of information has been passed on to news articles, clearly demonstrating the growing elasticity and emergence of news media through the click of a mouse.

The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the 43 missing Mexican students portrays this interconnectivity by exemplifying the effect that this issue has at a national level within the people of Mexico. The article says that many “Mexicans have marched in protests across the country,” but instead of listing the causes of these protests, it makes room for new information that relates to the story’s lede. It doesn’t go into detail. However, it links the words “marched in protests” to an article that has these words within its lede and that covers the ongoing protests more extensively. Therefore, these articles do not stand on their own, but are rather dependent on each other as reference points, allowing the reader to quote them and refer to them as sources. These articles are traceable. They cannot be easily disposed. They help link stories into one clear news stream that could have never been imagined possible nearly 50 years ago.

Thus, news coverage does not become atemporal. It can be woven into a larger fabric that may have very little to do with its original intent. For example, an article on England’s policies regarding immigration may have very little to do with an article about immigration in Qatar. They can, however, be referred to each other to explain more complex and larger issues such as neoliberalism, core to

semi-periphery relationships, and globalization.

Through interconnectivity, a journalist can save time by linking certain topics to articles that do a better job at explaining them, like Cordoba did in his Wall Street Journal piece. In one of his graphs, he linked some of Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposals to articles that went into further details regarding the effects that such policies would have in Mexico. This condensation of information serves to ease the reading experience, and to package information into manageable pieces by means of news interconnectivity. It relates news, not as a sandwich — by layers — but as folders, as tabs, that allow the reader to read different works, written at different times, through multiple perspectives but on the same screen. This interconnected system of news brings time, space, and perspective into a span of a few tabs, meshed together by links, tags, and related content.

It’s clear that journalism is changing. Jim Willis, author of the Human Journalist, believes that “at its best, journalism is a craft and profession. It is not stationary but dynamic; not stagnant but always seeking to improve and grow” (Willis 3). Nevertheless, “the basic idea of it is still the same. The technology has changed, allowing you and me to do things we could not do in the past, before we had satellites and all of that. But the basic idea of telling people, here’s what happened today [has remained the same]” ( Journalism: Yesterday and Today).

The internet has interconnected news stories like never before. As new forms of media emerge, who knows how relationships among news pieces may develop. The internet has knocked down the limits of storytelling and ushered in a new era of human relationships. As stories continue to grow in complexity, journalists have a responsibility to keep up with news consumption, adhering to the never-aging journalistic values, while allowing new generations to experience what journalist have been feeling all along — the beauty of how journalism can connects us across time and space, in the physical world and beyond, through all kinds of human emotions.

“Nothing like this has ever happened”

I’m not sure if anyone has heard about this so hear’s the scoop. There was a shooting in my apartment complex Georgetown Crossing Tuesday night around 8 p.m. involving three victims. This incident, while scary and sad, gave me a new vision on my chosen major of journalism.

I was getting home from work and I saw all of the bright police car lights and heard the sirens from miles away. When I initially toured the Georgetown Crossing apartments, the associate told me that it was a very peaceful neighborhood. There was a courtesy cop on standby, but he was never truly needed except for noise complaints and other simple matters. So as I’m seeing the cops turn down King George Blvd., I just knew that they were not going into my apartment complex. I was terribly mistaken.

There was a fire truck, two ambulances, and six police cars. I’ve never seen that much response to any sort of emergency so I immediately started panicking because I live here alone. My family is 45 minutes away so I was hoping whatever the emergency was, it didn’t affect me. As I drove around to my building, I noticed one cop car was away from the rest who were located on the other side of the complex. I saw people rushing out of their homes to gather around and look at something, so I followed them and was truly shocked. The policemen were bent over two dark still figures in the road right off the sidewalk leading to a building two down from mine. I listen in on the conversation of my neighbors and an older gentlemen is telling what he thinks has happened – “There were gunshots, multiple, and then it just stopped. There are two people shot over there, and one has a gun. They’re looking for the gunman now. I’ve lived here for 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened.” My first instinct, honestly, was to take notes. I wanted the information so that I could write an article on it later. I wanted the residents’ reactions, thoughts, and fears. I wanted to ask the police for the details so I could tweet about it (I would have to create a Twitter account first) and inform my followers of the incident. I wanted to inform the residents later that night of what really happened so they would know that they were safe. I wanted to be a journalist.

I have never felt so drawn to something in my life. This semester has truly opened my eyes to this journalism world that I want to be a part of. I knew only the basics before. Write this, publish it in a newspaper, post things online. What I didn’t know was the need that journalists feel to tell people what’s happening, to answer the citizens’ questions so they can feel secure. The supervisor of the apartments, in her defense, sent out a letter the next morning informing everyone of what had actually happened and how to stay safe in our homes by reporting any odd or alarming behavior or incidents. I do wish I had been able to get the information out publicly and professionally first though.

I know this wasn’t an assigned topic or anything of the sort, but I really felt the need to blog about it because it was the first time I was definitely sure I wanted to be a journalist. And now I am curious. Has anyone else had this “epiphany” moment about their major? How did you know what you wanted to do? Comments are very, very welcome. I just hope I didn’t bore anyone with this.

Thank You, Sarah McCammon

I thoroughly enjoyed Sarah McCammon’s visit to our class. She gave me a new perspective on radio and video journalism. Honestly, I was not very interested in writing for the radio, especially not speaking on the radio, but Sarah made it sound fun and exciting. Yes, the workload that goes into producing a three-minute piece sounds exhausting, but I would like to learn how to do it. I’ve always been interested in editing audio, mainly music. Editing interviews and sound bytes for a radio piece sounds challenging but fun.

I also liked how passionate Sarah is about her work. When she was telling us about her day spent with John Barrow and all the little things she wanted to use in her piece to capture the real story, I was mostly impressed just by how much she loves what she’s doing. It showed in everything she was saying how much she really cares about her job and getting the right information out there. It was really inspiring.

I don’t know if radio journalism is for me, but I”m glad that Sarah was there to give us a real insight on the field. Now that I know more about it and what it entails, I might give it a try in the future. Thanks Sarah!

Coverage of vigils regarding disappearance of 43 Mexican college students

Here’s an article I wrote for USA Today College:

In Mexico, 43 college students will not be taking their final exams this semester.

The students were detained  over two months ago by local authorities and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel with the approval of the mayor of Iguala.

Students across the U.S. have organized on-campus vigils aimed at raising awareness around the main causes that led to the disappearance of the students.

Many have done so through local clubs and organizations. Others have started their own grassroots movement by mobilizing through social media.

Following the #yamecanse (#wearetired) Twitter movement started by Mexican college students, student groups in the U.S. have started an awareness campaign under its English equivalent of #USTIRED2.

The movement’s goal is to mobilize communities in 43 cities across the country, “1 for each disappeared student in Ayotzinapa.”

Roberto Lovato, a representative of the group and a Visiting Scholar within the Center for Latino Policy Research at U.C. Berkeley, says that the group’s goal is to inform the public of the root causes that led to the Ayotzinapa movement.

He says American foreign policy, like the Merida Initiative, has set the stage for many of the mass-killings that have occurred in Mexico.

“There have been more mass-graves found in the supposed area where the students disappeared than in any other country in Latin America, like Venezuela and Cuba, who are in enmity with the United States.”

David Lemus, a student at UC Berkeley, agrees.

“The message is to stop the funding for Pena Nieto that comes from the U.S. taxpayer. Over 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico in less than a decade. 25,000 or so have disappeared.”

Another group by the name of Soy Mexico has pointed to a more precise cause: police brutality.

Through Ustream, the group opened a conversation between the mothers of the disappeared students and the community of Ferguson, Missouri. The moderator, in Spanish, drew a connection between the two situations through what he considered “a cruelty of both government and police.”

Miles away, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on the campus of Antioch College, Odette Chavez-Mayo felt a connection.

Photo by Odette Chavez-Mayo

“I was pretty shocked. I hadn’t heard of anything like this on the media. I started looking at stuff and began organizing.”

Within a month, she was able to plan a vigil.

A nationwide network of #USTIRED2 activists has sprouted, from Kailua, Hawaii to Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Laura Gonzalez, an education major at Armstrong State University, knows that the Ayotzinapa Movement has hit Latin America at its core.

It has impacted her life deeply since she is a native of Mexico and a soon-to-be teacher.

“I guess there are really no words to express the pain that parents feel when not hearing from their children. They see them as their little kids, my parents would feel the same way,” she said.

“I think no matter what happens people are not going to forget about this. It won’t be for anything. People in other countries are supporting this cause. Their kids are heroes.”

Great class with GPB Savannah’s Sarah McCammon

I really enjoyed yesterday’s class with Sarah McCammon.

First off, I loved that, initially, she had zero experience with radio news, wrote for a newspaper publication, yet found her way into radio broadcasting. I have heard from so many people that it’s hard to go from one thing to another, yet Sarah is a great example of how you can do whatever you put your mind to.

I really enjoyed Sarah’s pieces. My favorite part of her stories are the sound bites. The sounds that she uses are so appropriate and fit so nicely with the news content. The sound bites in this story regarding John Barrow are by far my favorite. I love to hear the church congregation while Barrow is at the church rally. I also love the clanking of dishes and small talk chatter that goes on while Barrow is at a café for breakfast. Sarah said that she usually goes into every story or interview knowing what kind of sounds that she wants and she usually ends up with way more sounds than she needs.

With my love for TV news, I also liked the video package about the police involved shooting in Savannah by her coworker, Gabrielle Ware. Ware’s video is really well put together. I actually watched the video first, and then I played it a second time, but just listened to it. Even by just listening it, I was still able to see the scenes playing in my mind. I really liked Ware’s video because it is so well put together.

The biggest thing that I am taking away from learning about radio news, is that I can almost do the same thing with TV news. I hope to create similar packages, where even if a viewer may not be watching but just listening, they can still feel as if they are a part of the story. Even though I minimized the screen when Ware’s video was playing, I still felt like I was right in the middle of the protest and controversy. I know of some TV news packages, that just do not have the same energy and emotion as these radio broadcasts. I hope that I can learn from Ware and eventually create these same awesome reports for television.