Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is online journalism?

Online journalism is the ability to take some of the older lessons of reporting, writing, and editing into stories but with a quicker style. Online journalism isn't entirely writing anymore; it is also about the ability to post quick thoughts, take photos, some mastery of the internet, and the ability to navigate different online sources quickly.

In the older style of journalism, the sources used were simply as a reference point. But now, it is possible to bring the audience directly to those sources and to comment on the validity of that source.

Online journalism is in a lot of ways, the same thing as convergence because it is the application of several skills to build a certain package for a story. Sometimes, online journalism doesn't even mean writing a full article. It can be quick, but short takes on a certain issue or several photo captions lined up together to tell a story.

Every editor tells their writer to show, not tell. In online journalism, that is especially important because of how easy it is to add graphics or pictures to a site.

There is also the art of blogging, which is making a post that either tells news, gives an opinion, shares something unique, or can even be all of the above. Blogging appeals to every kind of person because a good blog post can have videos, links, sound, and text.

Good online journalism, although faster than traditional journalism, should be equal in quality as any newspaper. Good online journalism simply makes the article more reader-friendly, but does not take away from the skill of writing a good article. When done well, online journalism can reach a wide audience and be equally as engaging as a several thousand word feature piece in The New Yorker.

Monday, December 8, 2008

End of the Year Collegian Thoughts

If you include tomorrow, there are only four more papers left to this semester. The Score, which is the Collegian's yearly magazine and has features on at least one player from each team was released Saturday at the game against Boston College. It will officially be released Tuesday at the Score party which this entire class is invited to (we'll be in the same place anyway). 

My last article for the Collegian is going to be Wednesday night's wrap where UMass basketball plays Holy Cross. Here are some superlatives (good and bad) for my coverage of women's soccer and men's basketball this season. 

Best Article: Score Feature (women's soccer)- Home Again
Worst Article: Sept. 5- Patry sparks struggling offense
Best Interview: Vanessa Lima for the Score
Worst Interview: Meghan Collins for sidebar on playing her sister.
Best Game I Covered: Sept. 26- Women's soccer defeats Saint Bonaventure in double-overtime.
Worst Game I Covered: Nov. 29- Men's basketball loses to Wisconsin-Green Bay by 15 points.
Funniest Moment: Vanessa Patry tilting her head to the side to explain her header in the overtime win over Holy Cross.
Game I Wish I Saw: Women's soccer beating Dayton on Oct. 12.
Most Surprising Moment: Kellogg walking over to press row before the game against Dowling
I Wish I Talked To...: Tony Gaffney
Most Media Friendly: Mel Toulouse (duh)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beating the recession

I found an article on CNN today about how one teacher is selling ad space on his tests to get money for exams in an AP class. The teacher wanted to find an innovative way of making money without making the tests shorter. The ads allow for either inspirational quotes or promotion.

I thought it was pretty interesting because the article states that he needed the money since it was Calculus and he didn't want to hurt the students. 90 percent of his class got a 5 on the AP exam, which is pretty remarkable considering how hard those tests are.

One person said, "too bad you're not a bank, because you might qualify for $700 billion." I thought that was pretty clever.

It seems pretty obvious that he cares a lot about his class and he wants to give his students everything that he has given other classes. It doesn't seem ideal to sell space on tests since it's distracting, but given the current economic situation, I don't think it is a bad solution.

I wonder if professors at UMass would ever do this for their tests.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Live blog on Thanksgiving

Here is a video of one of my younger cousins counting to 10 in Spanish after being a little shy at first. 

9:13 p.m: Everyone is gone. My family had a talent show. One of my favorites was one of my little cousins who counted to 10 in English, French, and Spanish. I thought it was really funny so I took a video of it and embeded it from YouTube. Overall, it was a good night and I'm going out with my sister, my uncle's au pair, and the girls who helped my mom cook the dinner at midnight to show them around town. Midnight shopping is a new concept for them so I got the go ahead from my parents. 

7:20 p.m: The family has settled in and we just finished dinner and dessert. Picture No. 4 shows the family at one of four tables we had set up. I had a 392 moment tonight because one of my cousins owns a few bars (one of my other cousins works with him). He told me that he needed to learn how Twitter works to promote his bars since that is the new marketing tool. I got them both set up with Twitter and Twitterberry so that they can now update from their phones. 

4:20 p.m: Strike that first phrase from my last post. Mom is starting to panic with 10 minutes before people arrive. My dad is stepping in by cutting the turkey as you will see in picture No. 3. People will be here shortly so I should probably be downstairs getting ready to greet people.  

2:45 p.m: Mom is relatively calm, but has made even more food than I originally thought. In other words, she could probably feed two third-world countries. I have no complaints though. My job for the past hour was to take my dog for a walk so she doesn't flip out when family comes in (see picture No. 2). Thanksgiving officially starts in T-105 minutes. 

1:02 p.m: iWebPhoto didn't work so I'm now switching my album to flickr. I talked to my grandma a little bit and have been watching my mom make food. I wanted to get an action shot, but she felt that she needed to be more dressed up before blogging on her cooking. 

Here is a link to my photo album

10 am Central Standard Time: Good morning everyone! I'm finally up, showered, and about to help my mom get ready for Thanksgiving. This has already been very interesting as my mom is nowhere near as stressed as she has been in the past because she hired help. Her help consists of two attractive girls from Denmark that I've been told are around my age. Aside from feeling a little uncomfortable about that, I'm looking forward to today. The family should be over at around 4:30, but there will be plenty of excitement before then. Check back throughout the day as I will be blogging about the day and will also have a photo album up on iWebPhoto. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Deerfield Review

As Scott pointed out, the Deerfield Review isn't exactly Mass Live when it comes to 21st century journalism. They just recently added a comments section but they also have blogs. None of those have to do with Deerfield, though.

The Sun-Times owns the news group that produces the Review which is why the paper and site are very similar. If there is any crime in Deerfield, it's usually for weed or DUI so the front page generally contains a lot of puff pieces like the one on the front page now about different Thanksgiving recipes. 

There are plenty of videos, but they seemed to be copied from the Sun-Times website. There are barely any ads and if there are any, they are Sun-Times related ads. Another thing I don't like is that there is too much news from other areas on the page and it's very plain looking.

I have to click on the Neighborhood Circle website (which I didn't even notice until Scott pointed it out to me) to get more information on Deerfield but even that is skimpy. They only thing from this site that catches my eye is the event page, but they're all pretty boring so I don't really care.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great criticism of ESPN

Any wanna be sports journalist should read Rick Telander's column about ESPN. It is about how ESPN is allowed to do whatever it wants because it hires so many columnists that nobody can challenge it and the only person who does is the Ombudsman, paid by ESPN. 

It's a great read.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicago Tribune Photo Gallery

The Chicago Tribune does something every day that I think is a good way of getting the news across quickly and visually. It's called, "Photos in the news." The Tribune takes the top photos of the day that describe everything that happened around the world and put in a short caption with each of them.

I like this picture the best because it sort of resembles what journalists have to do since the woman is holding a video camera and digital camera. This picture is her getting shots of a tree that will be used in a holliday event.