Posts filed under: ‘Topic of the Week‘

Topic of The Week, Week 9

It’s no surprise that I was not a regular blogger before this class began. I had created my blog account for a previous class but I never enjoyed it as much as I have this summer term.I intend to keep up with my blog after my class is over.

When you are a first time blogger, it is important that you create an about me page. This way reader’s can get to know you and what figure out what type of person you are. This way , it gives everyone that reads your blog an idea of what type of  issue’s you are interested in and will be blogging about. For example, I discussed my love for animals on my about me page and I chose PETA as my organization.

Posting a picture of yourself is also useful when creating a blog. Pictures are especially useful when your reader’s don’t know you personally, it gives them a chance to associate a face with your blog. It helps blogging feel more personable.

When blogging for a class it is important to make sure you have all of your topics categorized so it is easier for your professor to find your work. If not it will reflect in your grade. For example, make sure you have a section for blog comments, reading notes and so on.

It helps to follow your peers blogs, especially class members. This way it can help you make sure you are staying on track if you are confused about an assignment. I know I found myself doing this a few times throughout the term.

When you are blogging about your reading notes, it is helpful to read the material first. This way, you don’t have to worry about which topics you find most important to include in your blog.

When blogging it is important that you consider others opinions. You have to remember that not everyone shares common opinions and beliefs. This is especially important when you are blogging about topics such as religion and race and politics.

It is important that you make sure your blogs are the proper lengths. The professor sets requirements so it is crucial that you meet them. Ive heard that typing your blog in word helps, although I have never tried it.

When you are blogging about an assignment that you have completed for your class, it is important that you supply a hyperlink to the assignment.

If you happen to be blogging about information that your received from a source, it is ALWAYS necessary that you site your source in your blog. Otherwise it is pliagerism.

Last but not least, it is important to comment on others blogs. This can help you interact with your classmates and share your opinion with them and hopefully give them insight.


Add a comment July 12, 2010

Topic of the Week 8

Public Relations and the media have a relationship that is based on mutual cooperation. Although PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy. Ways that a PR person can drive a journalist crazy includes:

  • excessive hype
  • not doing the necessary homework
  • making a nuisance of themselves.
  • improper advertising
  • over communication
  • hyperbole
  • use of artificiality and manipulation
  • damaging the fragile
  • spam
  • not meeting deadlines

PR people tend to send too many emails, faxes or call too many times. so avoiding doing this would reduce the aggravation for journalists. It is important for a PR person not too make too many follow up phone calls.

In journalism, time is everything and there is no such thing as late. So naturally journalists get angry when PR people do not meet deadlines. It would be best if the PR person met the deadlines that journalist set for them.

It is important for journalists to be careful when selecting e-mails and and “trinkets” to send to journalists. Journalists find these to be tasteless and trashy. PR people often times send gimmicks in hope that it helps separate their media kits and releases from the pack, journalists find these to be a waste of time.

The over-usage of hype and promotion have caused journalists to openly insult PR as nothing but deception. Here journalists use the term “flack.” Such name calling implies lack of respect among journalists and PR people.

Some of these ways are discussed in public Relations Writing And Media Techniques.

Add a comment July 8, 2010

Topic of the Week 7

For our topic of the week for week seven we were to complete a course called Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling. The first step of the course focused on choosing a story. Here I learned that the best multimedia stories are multi-dimensional. I learned that multimedia stories are nonlinear, which means you engage readers by by letting them choose which elements to read and when to read them.

When choosing a story it is important to keep the main characteristics in mind. Since middle school I have always been taught to develop my paper by breaking it up by paragraphs, but here they advise you not to do so which I found surprising. They said to focus more on “this part” and “that thought.”

The next step in this course was making a storyboard. Here I learned that creating a story board involves three parts. The first part is defining the elements. The second part is identifying the media. the third part is storyboard the concept. I wish they had gone into more detail about this step, I would have liked to learn more about each part.

I found step three to be the most helpful. We had activity that we had to complete and it involved choosing the right equipment for a backpack journalist. I found it surprising, how many tools they needed in case of an emergency on set.

The final step was producing the story. I learned that both print reporters and and multimedia reporters organize and shape they’re stories the same way. I found it surprising that they use different tools to decide which elements to choose for the story. Here the web designer for your site will serve as your editor.

Overall, I found this course to be helpful. I liked the activity that they offered it gave me a better idea of what making a story implied. However this course took me longer than the other courses have taken. I still enjoyed it.

Add a comment July 8, 2010

Topic of the Week, Week 5

During week 5, our assignment was to create a twitter account and follow people in our class. I am not a huge twitter fan. I remember when it fist came out and I first heard about it on the radio and I thought to myself, Wow that’s a weird name!

In all honesty, I had no desire to create a twitter account until it became a class assignment. I have always been an avid facebook fan, but i never could grasp the concept of twitter. I know its popular among celebrities because they get paid based on what products they promote via twitter, Kim Kardashian is famous for her high priced tweets.

During the week, I followed a few people I found to be interesting, one of which was my good friend Mandy. I began to get the hang of it. Although I didn’t know what to tweet about without sounding lame.It was hard for me to get on to my account several times a day due to my class schedule.

I’m pretty sure I tweeted about the test I was studying for. I checked out other people’s tweets and they mostly consisted of  personal updates about the weather or what they were about to do. If anyone wanted to stalk a person, twitter would be the way to go.

Although it only lasted a week, I was already running out of things to tweet about on the first day. I can understand why companies use twitter because its a good way to keep followers updated, but I don’t see the point of every day people using it to update when they are at the grocery store and what type of crackers they bought. I would have liked to enjoy twitter more but it just isn’t my favorite form of communication.

Add a comment June 19, 2010

The Lead Lab, Week 4

An assignment for this class we were too check out The Lead lab. I found this course very helpful. The lead lab discussed the importance of leads and how to properly write them. The first topic I chose to review was discovering how to write a lead.

Here, I learned that it is important to start with the five W’s and an H; What, who, where, when and how. Reporters and writers have used the 5 W’s and an H for over the past 100 years. Then when you acquire that knowledge, you choose two of them to zero in on. I found it helpful that they provided us with tips from writers. One tip that I found useful was try to put yourself in the place of the reader or audience. It is also important to interview your best source yourself.

Next you look for the tension in the lead. Many stories are believed to be told best when they involve tension in them. Tension, when two forces compete with each other, is not the same as conflict. Conflict is when two forces attack each other.

The last step is choosing your lead. It should depend on your news organization, the news,  and the timing of the publication. It is important that you are the first to report and in a timely manner. It is important that your reader’s hear the news from you first.Exclusivity also plays a major role in choosing a lead.

It is important to understand that leads should never begin with a quote. It is also important that your lead contains attribution, although it is important to readers to know where the source comes from. It can become overwhelming for a reader. I found it surprising that a good Lead is never more than three or four lines long, keeping it short is crucial.

It is important for the lead to sum up the story in one paragraph. Reader’s want the entire story compacted into one paragraph. Although this course was helpful too me I would like to see more examples of good leads and receive more tips on choosing the right words that are  catchy and should be included in leads.

Add a comment June 11, 2010

Week 3

In my opinion, comments are part of blogs because we write blogs for the purpose of sharing our thoughts with others so the feedback is important. I have never been a blogger in the past but now that I have been introduced to it, I have become an addict.

I found it intersting last semester to see what my peers had to say about the scandals that were occuring. It was funny to see others thoughts on the Tiger Woods scandal. Comments are also important for instructors to see if they’re students are being active and reading other’s blogs. it is neat to see how different people react to other’s blogs; for instance I may have a different take on a topic compared to someone else in my class.

Comments can also be used as constructive criticism. There is a student in my class that left tips for me in a comment after she noticed I had made some mistakes in my blog, which really helped me out. It is very useful when people leave helpful tips that can better your blog.

In my opinion, it is important to read the blog all the way through and understand what the point is that the person is trying to get across. Last semester i noticed my classmates were becoming very opinionated in there comments, so it is important that you are open minded and respect other’s views on topics even if they differ from your personal belief’s.

It is also important to leave constructive criticism if you notice someone’s blog contains error’s. We all make mistakes, even though we should be proofreading them before they are published, we may still overlook a few things.

Overall blogs are fun and they are a great form of communication and getting to know other people that you may have never approached in person. Sometimes people will surprise you, and just becasue they don’t seem like you would have common interest’s, doesn’t mean that you don’t.

Add a comment June 5, 2010

Cleaning Your Copy

Cleaning Your Copy was a long assignment but I learned a lot. The program explained various types of punctuation. I found it interesting that you can use a colon instead of a period between two sentences that represent contrasting ideas.  I found it surprising that when it comes to commas, if a word or phrase in essential, you do not put commas around it.  I also learned that semicolons are used to indicate a greater separation of thought an information than a commaan indicate.

I learned the importance of spelling. When words are misspelled, the reader wont notice your lack of skill. However I found it surprising that when you misspell words in a story the reader realizes it and assumes the writer lacks skill.  Commonly misspelled words are; accomodate, commitment, and embarrass.

The Course test was confusing too me beacause I finished it and fixed every question and I went over it several times and it kept saying that it was incomplete, im no sure if I was doing something worng or what was going on.

After taking this course I wish that it concentrated more on explaining how and when to apply which type of punctuation. I caught up on modifiers, which I haven’t practiced much. What I found most helpful, was the practice problems and the examples that they gave, which showed you the correct and incorrect way to write the sentence.

Overall the course was a good source of information for me however it was very confusing. I did learn a few thing’s, however I wish the instructions had been more clear. I found the quizzes to be most helpful. I took the course twice and I performed significantly better the second time around. I got a 100% on the spelling, which I have never had a problem with before. Punctuation still proves to be my weakness.

Add a comment May 29, 2010

Grammer Girl’s Website

I have always struggled with grammer, especially with the usage of parentheses, dashes and commas. I  just never knew when to use them or where they belonged. So I chose the episode that dealt with tips to help me improve my grammer.

I learned that you apply parentheses when you are describing something that doesn’t seem  like it belongs in that particular sentence. It may be clarifying what you previously wrote about or it could just be simple commentary. An example that the website used was a date.  One thing that I found interesting about parentheses was that you can also enclose a sentence with a set of clauses.

Next the website discussed dashes. I learned that words have to be “worthy” of dashes.  One thing that surprised me was that dashes interrupt a sentence where commas and parentheses do not.  I also learned that when you are using dashes you are highlighting the information,  not only simply noting it or providing it as background information. You can  use dashes when introducing a longer, pedestrian statement that already contains commas. It  surprised me that when using dashes, the sentence often already contains parentheses and commas.

The website then went on to discuss commas. I tend to overuse commas in my writing so I found this section most useful to me. I learned that commas should be used frequently in writing because they tend to be dull, which is good because punctuation shouldn’t be drawing attention to itself.  Unlike dashes, commas don’t interrupt the sentence. I learned that commas are commonly used for appositives.

Overall I found these tips to  be helpful. I like how they used plenty of examples to illustrate the usage of parentheses, dashes and commas.My weakness is commas, so i would like to have learned a little more about them and when they are appropriate. The website stated that there are over a hundred different rules that govern comma usage, so they were unable to cover them all.

Add a comment May 27, 2010






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