Assignment’s Page

Worksheet Chapter 8 November 8, 2012

Audio clips: Short segment of media that contains only audio recordings.

Backpack journalism (or converged reporting): A method where a journalist is required to play multiple roles. These roles include: reporter, photographer, videographer, and editor.

Content convergence: reusing content from previous or earlier sources

Cross-platform journalism (or multimedia or media convergence): blending multiple media formats into one platform

Currency: leverage or payment for something. Meaning the reporter has currency with a subject, has leverage.

Footer: Information listed throughout the document is cited or explained at the bottom of the paper.

Home page: The first page that the viewer sees when logging on to a particular website.

Interactive extras: Online news sites provide features that traditional media cant: webcams, slideshows, blogs, animated graphics, audio files, interactive quizzes and surveys.

Links: You can click on headlines that will take you to the entire story. Often times people link stories to the front page in order to grab the attention of the reader.

Multimedia package: Includes text, photos, audio, videos and graphics

News-gathering convergence: reporters, editors and photographers collaborate on story production

Newsroom convergence: journalist from different media all share the same work space instead of occupying separate offices in separate buildings.

Page depth: The details and depth in which the stories and page layout goes.

Photo gallery: Online viewers can view, download and often purchase dozens of images that the photographers have taken but did not appear in print.

Web package:  A web package includes both context, stories, photos, multimedia. Essentially it is a combination of everything listen above and more

PBS Panel Discussion November 6, 2012

News reporting is not exactly an easy field to go into. It is work that is at constant need to the public, because they require having the latest news, and most current events. This CSPAN Panel, that included some of the nations top journalist, gave listeners an inside take on the reporting and journalist worlds. The stress that they go through on a day-to-day basis, just so the viewers of our nation will be satisfied is truly remarkable.

People tend to think so much about what they are reading, that they forget about how much effort is involved in writing and finding all of this information. When this group of journalist convene and talk of the issues and affects of their work, it truly open your eyes to see how much really is done. For example, when reporters are covering stories there are many times that they could be put into danger. However, they still will go to extremes to get a lead, or any extra information that could help with a story. Marvin Kalb talks about when stories become ethical, stating, “When lives are on the line, it becomes a very important ethical issues, you have to think long and hard before going on with a story.” He goes on talking about how reporters not only are thinking of themselves and their family, but they also are considering anyone else that may be involved in what they are reporting. Reporters will refrain from writing a story if they believe that the repercussions will outweigh the benefits of the people knowing.

With news reporting having changed over the past several years with the rise of technology, people are more prone to find out the news on their computers or the television. With television in particular, it involves a different cast that include producers, writers, etc. “Most news organizations today have a system that the big shots get the credit and the lower ones go out and do the work,” Kalb says. A majority of the time the people that are reporting the information to us are not collecting any of the information. They are simply just the messengers, telling the viewers the information that they want to hear and are people who look good to see on TV to the public. Journalism is slowly beginning to fade with this rise in technology because people are not reading as much anymore. There is a very slim population that still reads the newspapers, and a majority of Americans find their news from the television and Internet. At this rate it seems as though newspapers will be out of business in no time. These journalists seem to realize that their jobs could be at stake, but also that even televisions have to get their information from somewhere.

The journalists that were included in the feature were, David Broder, whom has been writing for the Washington Post for over forty years, Bob Schieffer, whom has been with CBS news in various positions since 1969, Karen Jurgensen, whom is the editor of USA Today, Margaret Warner, whom is a Senior Correspondent for The PBS News Hour, Marvin Kalb, whom is the former news correspondent for both CBS and NBC, and lastly Daniel Schorr, whom was a senior news analyst for National Public Radio. These six profound journalists shared some of the negatives as well as the positives in working in such an intense work environment.

Blog Assignment 10/11/12

In the article, “The Informer, the Cop and the Conspiracy: Snitch says Narc Lied to Jail Alleged Drug Dealers. Did He?” The authors Laker and Ruderman, tell a story that involve a narcotics police officer and his confidential informant. The authors do not summarize the man points in the lead paragraph, but instead the lead paragraph introduces the audience to the emotions and horror that Ventura Martinez experienced every night, which therefore makes it a scene setter. The scene is made very clear with the descriptive words that the authors choose, however as readers we are still left unclear of what really is going on. It makes me as a reader want to read further so I can find out what is going on.

The authors leave out lots of important information, such as the 5 w’s: who, what, when, where, and why, which is leaving basically all of the details of the story unanswered. In the next few paragraphs the authors begin revealing more information on the story and about the end of Martinez’s incident, consequences and outcome of working as a confidential informant. The second and third paragraphs seem to leave out details that were discussed in the lead and move on to the actual Martinez case.

All of the ten articles have quotes deliberately placed in placed throughout the stories. They help add interest to the story by adding quotes that strongly relate with the story. They add them at the proper times as well as paraphrase at the right times so that it flows well with the story.  For example they would paraphrase the 5 w’s for the most part because it meshes better that way. It allows readers to engage more into the article where they can relate.

Along with having quotes, all of the articles also have sources that are reliable and that know what is going on. Readers can sense when something does not match or add up when it comes to sources, and if you have one that is unreliable it takes away from authors as writers. Reporters usually have two or three main sources in each article; some more and some less. Two or three is a perfect amount because if you use too many readers could get confused.

The quotes the reporter used from the Martinez case used quotes that talked about the man who was a confidential informant. He quoted his tough times, which the readers could have easily related to. The story gave sources that described different documents that aided to the arrests of many people who were involved in this case. They talked about how search warrants and official documents were attained, some being attained illegally. The specific data used was the number of people arrested, weight of drugs, crime records, etc. Giving numbers and statistics make the article more believable, however too many numbers can lead to some reader confusion.


Alleged: a claim without proof

Appeal: requesting a change to a decision already made

Arraignment: When a defendant appears before a judge to hear the official charges

Arrest: someone being taken into custody by a police.

Beats: areas that journalist are stationed to cover

Cheerleading (or ?being a homer?): being more in favor of one side over another

Civil cases: where an individual or group moves against a defendant to resolve some type of dispute

Command (or command post): the place where things are directed or commanded from

Conflagration: a fire that can “burn” someone’s life

Contempt of court: when someone has a lack of respect of the rules of the court

Fast-fact sidebar: short facts in the side columns

Feature obituary: more revealing and intimate details

Felonies: more serious crimes like murder or rape with more serious punishments.

Game stories: stories having to deal with sports

General assignment: covers a wide range of subjects not any one in particular

Grand jury: a form of jury that determines criminal cases

Indictment: formal accusation that a person has committed a crime

Judgment: when a formal judgment has been made in reference to a court case

Man-made disasters: a disaster created by a human such as setting something on fire

Misdemeanors: minor offenses such as traffic violations that don’t have a very harsh punishment

Multimedia package: a series of photos along with news story

Natural catastrophes: catastrophes that could not have been predicted or stopped such as an earthquake.

Open-meeting (or ?sunshine?) laws: meetings, decisions, and records required to be made public

Plaintiff: the person who initiates a law suit

Police log (or blotter): the log that police keep of suspicious activity and calls that come in

Public information officer (PIO): officer that provides information to the media and news crew

Sports analysis: usually run at the start of the season that explain different aspects of the sport or what may be going on.

Sports columns: where emotion and opinion is showed, maybe a diss to a coach or why a certain team should win

Sports features: can be on any sports topic; most common are analysis stories and profiles.

Sports profile: stories that give readers a peek of the athlete competing on and off the playing field.

2. Name 5 different ?beats? that reporters may be assigned to cover:

Business, education, obituaries, religion and science.

3. Read in The Morgue ?Church Bus Crash on Turnpike Kills 3? (Textbook Page

226) and ?For Those Cut Off, a Life Primeval. (Textbook Page 227)?

1. Why do the stories seem so different?

Because in the first story is more personal stories from the victims and people who were at the scene. The quotes that were used related to the accident and as a reader it made me feel sorry, and want to help. In the second story they did not use as many quotes and were very broad. They did not say many details like the first story. The first one was better to read than the second one.

2. When would you use the writing style for the church bus story, and when would you use the writing style for the New Orleans story?

         I would use the writing style of the church bus story for things like accidents and tragedies because it made me and I am sure others feel sadden.  I would use the style of the New Orleans story when covering something like a review.

3. Is one story more powerful than the other? Explain your answer.

         I think the church bus story was more powerful, just because I felt that it brought out more emotions and was more interesting to read. The other story was good but it was less graphic and not as engaging.

4. Does one story provide more information than the other? Explain your answer.

         Again, I think the church bus story provides more information, there weren’t many questions that I had left after reading, where the other story I had a few.

5. Which story do you think readers would prefer to read? Why?

         The church bus story, it was more interesting, brings out more emotions and more informative


The Democratic National convention started out with a bang with Michelle Obama’s speech. The first lady really took the audience and listeners at home into the life she has with Barack Obama. She revealed the person that she gets to see on a day to day basis and claims that he has not changed at all since he was elected four years ago, stating “being president doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.” I think part of why it was such a great speech is because she really took us all through the journey of our president’s life. He went from having nothing to having it all, a great example of someone living the American dream. She also insists he has never forgotten where he has come from, and the struggles of not having much which is why he can relate to so many American’s today.

One of the last areas she mentioned was how, no matter how difficult something may be we have always done the impossible in the history of this nation. No matter how much of a far stretch people think the new health care will be to put in place, she showed the audience on different occasions, times we may have thought something to be impossible and making it so very possible. She helped give hope again to the Democratic Party some who may have been questioning Obama’s motives and if he has that same energy and fire as before. Michelle Obama however did not elaborate much about what Barack has been criticized for in his past four years of office. But, the following day at the DNC Bill Clinton cleared all of that up.

Bill Clinton did a fantastic job projecting his speech. He talked about President Obama as a person, as well as what he has done in office so far that so many are not pleased with. He also went through just about every allegation the Republicans made about Obama and explained each and every one of them; and answered the question so many are asking, “are we better off than we were four years ago,” with a big YES. He explained that no one could repair all of the damage that was done in just four years, not even himself who was a great president. He sucked us in and pleaded for the people to see his honesty stating, “I believe it, with all my heart, I believe it.”

One area I thought Bill Clinton really nailed was when he talked about how much evident hatred so many Republicans have for our president. He talked about how much Obama has tried cooperation and working with Republicans and how much the hatred just comes out. When I first watched this speech I thought he was talking about Republicans to Democrats as a whole but I think he may have had some thought of race in his mind and some Republicans having hatred towards him because of the color of his skin. The only reason I go there is because he goes on to talk about how no other President has had this much negativity around him before no matter what the situation was. It was very bold and brave for him to bring that idea up, because so many are afraid to really talk about it. Clinton brings to light some of what Republicans have said. And in speaking to the lower and middle class tells them, “we’re all in this together is a far better philosophy than, you’re on your own.” A very powerful speech, that could make not only Democrats, but the people of America proud again of our President.


After watching Mitt Romney give his speech at the Republican National Convention, there was quite a bit of question of what strides Romney actually would make if he were to become president. For the most part, Romney’s speech included either bashing Obama and what he has done thus far during his presidency, or planning on putting America right back to mess that we were in before Obama tried cleaning it up. At least, this is what MSNBC news would say. Both MSNBC and Fox News are extremely biased in their political opinions and it is very evident that they do so. They do not even try to hide it. While MSNBC is talking about how poorly Mitt Romney did at the RNC, Fox News already is moving on to what they believe will happen at the Democratic National Convention. Topics such as the debt that our country is in, the lack of jobs, and gas prices, that they assume will not be mentioned by Obama. Obviously, these very biased ideas were taken public to networks that should probably keep their own biases to themselves. Or does this make for a better fan base? Do we, the people as Americans enjoy this type of media, the type whose biases are so apparent in the majority of their political chatter?

It seems as though as people, we secretly love all of the bickering. The gossip. But, why? Do these people speaking out in the media about what they feel politically help others justify why they feel the way that they do? Or does it help us create our ideas. The only people that should be doing any type of persuading in the media should be the candidates who are running for president as well as those who have a part of the conventions. But when it comes to journalist, and broadcasters, I think its best they stay out of it and allow the people to make their own judgments, not have to hear another’s.

Our biases as individuals is what makes us all different and have our own opinions I suppose, but should these opinions be put on the front pages of our newspapers, or on our television sets? I am not so sure. It seems to create more bias, controversy and tension that there was even from the start. As difficult as it may be to be either a spokesperson or a writer for these political shows or journals, I think being one whose opinion is not reflected in how they speak about the political events is what makes a person good at what they do.

We all have our own different opinions and biases, but it is not fair that MSNBC as well as Fox News, feels the need to help people come to their own decisions. Anyone can voice their own opinion about how they feel these events have been thus far, but I believe that if someone is really good at what they do, then he or she can leave all of the extra fuss out of it.


When I first turned on the Republican convention, Condoleezza Rice was just about to speak. They mentioned that this was the first year that an African American gave a speech at the Republican convention. I believe that alone shows quite a bit about the convention itself. However, it does show somewhat of a growth I suppose in the Republican Party.

She mentioned a few things about how in America there is equal opportunity. She talked about how it does not mater where you came from, but instead it only matters where you are going; and later spoke that as Americans we never had to be jealous of one another. She then argued that the direction that Barack Obama is headed, we, the people of America soon will each have our paths already laid out for us. This she assumes will be due to the extreme debt we all will be so deeply entangled in.

In reality there are several Americans that may be envious of others. Not everyone in the world has money and I think she leaves out the lower and middle class when she talks this way, because obviously all of these people are not simply lazy. Some of them have struggled and worked hard only to make minimum wage or not enough to like the “American dream” and she makes it seem very tangible to everyone.

One of the quotes I pulled out of her speech she said, “America always makes the impossible, inevitable.” She talked about how America gets in very deep holes at times and we always find a way to make it and come through in the end. That was very reassuring because it is true that as a country we have made some very big strides even when we have been at our lowest points. However, there really is only so far that we can go before we permanently put ourselves in a ditch we cannot climb out of.

After Condoleezza Rice spoke, then was Paul Ryan, running mate of Mitt Romney. He seemed to bash Barack Obama quite a bit, insulting his attempt to getting people free health care, saying that Obama is taking away from medicare, stating that Obama has broken several of promises that he made, and lastly claiming that he is not taking responsibility for all of the wrong that he did in the past four years. Though some of this may be true, it seemed to me that Paul Ryan was only giving half of the argument that he should have. He seemed to spend nearly all of the time pointing fingers and talking about how much Obama has messed up thus far as a president, but has not said how exactly they will make changes to what he has done. The only statements I heard were those saying what they would do, but not how; as well as, “we will fix this.” I just believe that he could have stated more about what exactly they would to to improve the situation and the debt. Anyone can state facts of how much debt we are in as a nation but a great president or candidate can help us as a nation to get us out of it.

I have not kept up with what has been going on in the election previously at all until I watched the convention tonight. Therefore I could be completely off with my comments about what I thought about the convention tonight. I strongly do believe though that we need to pay more attention to these types of things and not only make the “popular vote” when making our decisions of who we want to elect to become our president.


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