Tag Archives: Journalism

A sure fire way to win a Pulitzer Prize

In our journalism class, our professor asked an ethical question:

If you were a journalist and saw a man set himself on fire, would you help him or would you record the story?

WHAT?!!  Is this even a question?

Apparently it is.  Some journalists will capture a story without helping a victim and do so without the slightest regret.  Based on the discussion that ensued after the question was posed, it seems that this practice is quite common.  The examples of these horrific acts were numerous.

Are these people human?  Is this what it has come to?  If I want to be successful journalist and win a prestigious award, I would not interfere with a person who needs immediate help.  I would stand by, record the suffering, watch the death while cold blood pumps through my heart in my empty tin chest just so I can further my career. 

There should be a human cruelty law against this practice.  It’s sickening.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Online Journalism may just be the death of me

This class is wiping me out.  It is just such an odd fit for my personality.  I have to force it each week. 

And I feel so guilty about that.  Here I have a wonderful professor who LOVES Journalism.  She is so excited about it.  The fact that I do not share her passion for the profession makes me feel as though I have a dirty little secret. 

Her passion does at least give me an appreciation for it.  That is the best she can probably do with me.    

The trouble is that this class is consuming my life.  If am not doing work for it, then I am stressed because I am not.  We have 3 books for this class and I am always behind in the reading.  I had this idea that we were going to be passively learning about the profession of journalism.  I don’t know why I would think that.  Saint Rose is nothing if they are not hands on. 

We have to actually write interesting stories to publish.  It is an insane amount of work.  Writing an article for a news story is inherently different than regular coursework where you read a book, and write a paper.  For a news story, you have to research your subject, research it some more, interview people, get annoyed when they don’t call you back, call some other people, change your story because the people you wanted to speak to either weren’t available or they didn’t give you the angle you were hoping for and then write and re-write. 

I went through this process and handed in my “story” thinking it was a gem.  I had put so much of my heart and soul into it that it just had to be good, right? Ha ha ha. When I received the graded paper, it had so much red ink from the corrections the professor wrote that I am positive she used the entire pen grading my paper alone. 

Grade?  B+.  Yippee.

Despite all of that, the relief that I felt when I had the story published was overwhelming.  I spent 5 full minutes enjoying that reprieve before the panic/terror overcame my body when I realized that my next “story” is due… on Monday.  You know in four days.   The celebration time after you get a story published is practically nonexistent.

Welcome to my world of journalism.  Now you know what I have been doing with all of my “free” time.   

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Blogging is Beautiful

What is the point of blogs? 

Blogging is a great new way to vet ideas and have a conversation that connects people clear across the globe.   As a blogger, I am delighted to receive comments to my blog posts.  I crave for them and get so excited when I receive an e-mail that tells me that I have one.  It makes my whole day!

I moderate my comments.  That means if you are new to my blog and you make a comment, I must approve it before it is posted.  Only comments that I physically approve make it for all to see. 

I haven’t yet declined to post a comment.  Yet.  I’d like to think that I wouldn’t delete any comments. 

What if someone writes in a comment that I am a sniveling, frakin, retched, ugly wench?  Hey, that’s good stuff and may be even true some of the time. 

To approve or not approve, that is the question. 

If the comment was free from obscenities and took aim at me alone then I would probably put it out there.  That is the point of the blog – to let everyone have a say who would like one.  It is a conversation, with similarities to what you would have in person.  You don’t always agree with the person you are conversing with but you can’t simply delete what they are saying as they say it!

There is a distinction between journalism and blogging.  Journalism has an ethical obligation to report events of interest with credibility and honesty.  The ethical obligation of a blog is individualized to the morals of the blogger who hosts it.  Blogging is a form of entertainment.  It may rub elbows from time to time with journalism, but primarily it is forum for personal opinions and the dialogue that it inspires. 

In the case of my class where we use the blog for journalistic educational purposes, I respect that my professor reserves the right to delete comments.  This blog was the only medium that she was offered to post the journalistic work of her students in the local newspaper so she had to take what she got.  She is now using the blog in the same way that she would run a print newspaper.  Since it is a blog however, I think we should have a comment policy to refer to so that the reader has the expectation that their comment will be evaluated before publishing.

However, if a true blogger deletes comments because they don’t like the perspective then they only want one side of the issue to be viewed – their own.  That is quite boring indeed and defeats the point of a blog.

As Americans, we have this amazing right of freedom of speech.  Why would we willingly censor ourselves?

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Trashing comments on blogs: A form of censorship?

I need some feedback fellow bloggers.  In my journalism class, we use a blog hosted by a local newspaper to publish student produced journalism stories.  Our professor, who is a former journalist herself, is the mediator and administrator for this site.  As such, she uses in the same way she would if it were a print article being published in a newspaper.  Yet it is on a blog. So we receive comments.

Some are quite colorful. 

We received one this week that was more of a rant, and it was hardly constructive.  Likely it was also filled with half truths.

Our professor posed the question:  Should this comment be approved for the entire readership to see?

We debated this for most of the class period.  There are two schools of thought in this sharp divide:

One group feels we should approve the comment.  It is a blog after all and blogs are intended to foster open dialogue and everyone is allowed to their opinion.   Since the blog was free of obscenities or profanity – put it out there.  If you start deleting comments, then you are only publishing comments that share your perspective.  By doing so, you are shaping the topic in your own way and this a form of censorship.  Even though we use it for journalistic learning it is a blog and we should allow all perspectives to enter into the dialogue.  Even if we may think it the comment is absurd. 

The second group feels that we should maintain the integrity of our journalistic endeavors.  Since we will not be investing our time to investigate any of the accusations in the comment we cannot ethically publish them.  We should not give an audience to this type of authorship.  A newspaper does not publish every letter to the editor, and we shall run this blog in the same discriminating spirit.  This comment may invite another and it may run away from us in an acerbic dialogue that will take away the value and the good writing of the original piece.

Before I reveal my thoughts on the matter, tell me which side of the fence do you fall on?

 Image taken from:  Google Images, Censorship

9 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

I am FREAKING OUT

The first couple of days of school are so overwhelming.  This is when you review the syllabus, which is just a guideline of what is going to happen in the class.  It gives you a layout of when things are due.  Because you are seeing it all at once, you start to get overwhelmed.  You start thinking, “Oh my goodness, I can’t do this.  I should run out of here right now”.  “What have I gotten myself into?” Or some such thoughts. 

And that is exactly what I am going through at this moment. 

It isn’t the volume of work that is intimidating me, I’ll get it all done.  I am in a panic about the nature of the work.  The one that is bothering me the most is a Journalism class.  As I confessed on my very first blog in February – I’d like to be a writer, but I am really not.  My writing is so woefully imperfect.  If you have been reading along, then you know it too.  I am writing this blog to entertain – mostly myself. 

So yes, I am freaking out.  Add to it my feeling for  journalism, which isn’t always positive.  I don’t need a crystal ball to know how this is going to turn out.

Hey, at least we’ll have some laughs as I make what will undoubtedly be an embarrassing attempt to become a “journalist” a semester.

8 Comments

Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

Media Ethics

Sounds like a snooze fest right?  That is exactly what I thought until I went to one class.  I am not sure if it is the subject matter that makes this class so good or if it is the professor.  He is the calmest, coolest cat around.  I feel so relaxed after leaving this class that I feel like I do after a yoga class.  Invigorated and refreshed.

We have to write 2, 25 page papers for this class.  Writing!   🙂

But we have to write about media ethics.  Hmmm…

And we have to sound intelligent about it.  Hmmm…

I guess the thing that really freaks me out is that it is a research paper.  You have to do research.  Which is fine, but I really don’t know how to go about researching anything credible – well beyond Google and Wikipedia that is.  How do you research a topic without reading half of the library?  How do you weed it down?  Is it even necessary in this day and age to go to the library?  Do I have to go to the library and confess to the librarian that I am a graduate student that knows nothing about research?  Can’t I sit here in my jammies to research on my computer?

I think it is a travesty that I have graduated from college without learning this critical skill.  I think this should be a course that you take right after you are accepted.  Speaking of ethics, I don’t think that it is ethical that research is not emphasized in the college curriculum, darn it! 

I may just have to go to the student services center and see if they can help me.  Yuck.  Maybe I will just start with Google.  I will start a search of “how to do educational research”.  Does this seem humorous to anyone else?

If any of you reading this now and would like to impart some words of wisdom, boy would I be appreciative.

2 Comments

Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind