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Keeping ‘you’ out of your work May 9, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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One of the major banes for beginning journalist is how they write. No I’m not talking about style, I mean putting your opinion into your writing. When writing a story, you should want to present a story with none of your input. For example, if you’re writing about an incident between a student group and a faculty organization, people just want to hear about what’s going on. Tell your story through your sources and hard-known facts. Readers will care little about your opinion barring the fact that they agree with it. Pushing your opinion on the reader could provide an opposite effect and in turn turn them away.

So don’t put your opinions in stories. Save those for blog post like this.

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How far do you go? April 25, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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I was browsing the Internet and happened to catch a look at some photos from all the things going on in Libya. There was a slideshow of photos that a photographer took showing a little girl covered in blood. That blood was from her parents who had just been shot because they didn’t take heed to the warning that soldiers had given them.

That picture was one of the few that sparked a question of ethics in my mind. When I thought about the overall picture of everything going on, taking those photos weren’t inappropriate. But if I were there taking photos, I most likely wouldn’t have taken a photo of that based on my ethics.

I thought it would be an interesting topic for upcoming journalist to think about, so I looked for an article on the matter. There are some things set in stone as unethical in journalism, but some others are still based on people’s own digressions.

Work long hours, find a break April 18, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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Journalists’ lives are always busy for the most part. There never seems to be many chances to take a break, but that makes relaxing all that more important. Today I’m having a pretty stressful day and I read an article about relaxing. While there are different ways to relax, finding which one helps you the most is important.

A few suggestions I would have that still involves dealing with the media is browse Youtube, message friends on Facebook, or find hilarious tweets on Twitter that will take your mind off whatever you’re thinking about for class, work, etc. There’s only so much stress people can take and going over the limit could be dangerous for journalist since news never stops.

Twitter, Multipurpose friend for Journalist April 11, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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So in the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized just how important Twitter can be for journalist. The two ways I’ve found it useful are for finding story ideas and using it as an online portfolio of sorts.

Concerning story ideas, you can follow the many news corporations that constantly put out updates and breaking news such as WBAL-TV, the Associated Press and other outlets. There’s always something going on and those may present opportunities for you to pick out story ideas.

The second is to sell yourself in a sense. I read this article about ways not to use your Twitter for business. In class I learned that journalism is a business where you have to sell yourself to possible employers. Hopefully the article can help guide you a bit.

These are only two reasons why Twitter is helpful. Using it yourself will present the other reasons why it’s beneficial.

Screen Capture Picture, Courtesy of Twitter

Becoming Organized April 4, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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I read an article the other day about one of the largest problems a journalist can face – keeping things orderly. Whenever I’m at The Towerlight office, I find it difficult to keep everything organized because I’m always running around doing a story or there’s an influx of new story ideas. While in class, you may have a professor that tosses you homework assignments on top of stories to complete for class. Losing a single paper could easily mess you up for an entire project and teacher’s aren’t always available to email you at a whim. While it’s not a physical tool, organization is one of the most important ones to have. Folders, binders, and planners may be able to help you with that.

 

Logging in your Blogs March 27, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341, Towson University.
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Just about every beginner journalism class has you set up a blog. Most professors will start you off with WordPress, but there are many other blogging sites available to you. You can find a few by searching on Google. The importance of a blog for beginner journalist is it’s capability to become a portfolio for everything you’re going to do in your class and something that can be used for future classes as well. And once you’re done using it for that purpose, it can become an online resume when you apply for jobs. A lot of the work in the journalistic field is becoming digitized and a blog would be the place to showcase your best work.

To get you started, here are some ideas for making your blog post.

Audio Editing for beginners March 19, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341, Towson University.
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If you’re just beginning to take mass communication classes, you’re eventually going to run into audio editing to make a slide show. This may sound intimidating first if you only use the computer for Facebook or Twitter access and in some cases it is. For most who are just starting, I would recommend using Windows Movie Maker to do this. In my Writing for Journalism II class, I had a project that wouldn’t work on Final Cut Pro for whatever reason. But my Windows Movie Maker saved the day with its simplicity and its user friendly software. If you’re a Mac user, I’m sure they have a user friendly program too, but for PC’s, which are mostly what you find in computer labs, Windows Movie Maker is the way to go.

Video on the go – Flips March 13, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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About one year ago, I didn’t have much knowledge about video. In fact, I’m still learning about it. In my MCOM 258 class, I was first introduced to the Flip camera. It amazed me how simple it was to take video. I used it only for class but I figured I should get myself one for the future. I did and now I use it for virtually everything. If there’s something interesting going on, I just pop it out and record. While you may not get better quality than some of the larger cameras, the flip is ideal for any new journalist who’s just starting out and wants something quick to practice with. They’re fairly expensive, but it’s worth the buck. Trust me.

Better to use: Pencil or tech? March 6, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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I read an article about the usage between a notepad or a recorder and which of the two is considered better. In my opinion, I prefer a recorder. While a notepad will never fail you with technical difficulties, it takes a while to get used to writing fast and it presents opportunities to misquote someone. A recorder will pick up every word the source says and it saves your hand the trouble. A note pad is useful in certain situations, especially on deadline days. I’ve used one on occasion. But if you have a source that likes to trail off, it becomes increasingly difficult to catch good quotes. I would suggest new journalist to start with a recorder and practice using a notepad on smaller stories to get better at it. I prefer to use a Sony brand recorder, but there are many other brands out there.

Photo by Jordan Russell

Ask a Pro: Tyler Waldman [Towson Patch] February 19, 2011

Posted by jrusse4 in MCOM 341.
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In this age of  backpack journalism, college students have a lot to learn before they get thrown into the fray of a never stopping media market. Learning in class from teachers and textbooks are one thing, but sometimes hearing advice from those currently working full-time in the profession helps too.

Tyler Waldman, a Towson Patch reporter, said the best tool for journalist today isn’t any of the new equipment available. So those who were going to pat their i-Pads on the back can put them back down on the table.

“[The best tools are] the same tools that journalist needed 20 years ago, a good head on your shoulders. Your best tool is a good B.S. detector,” Waldman said. “You can shoot video while balancing a recorder on one foot, one hand posting everything online and using your big toe to work a pen on your note pad but that will only get you so far. [New media tools are] nice and helpful, but new media tools, I think, don’t matter as much than what you do with them.”

Waldman has a few favorites when it comes to using new media and uses them to the best of his ability.

“At Patch they issue us digital cameras. I don’t use the one they gave me much because I have an SLR Nikon D3100 that also shoots video in high definition. My i-Phone has been really helpful because you can use it as a recorder,” Waldman said.

After primary elections, Waldman was able to use those skills with his tools to crack a story.

“I was down at the farmers market down in Baltimore because that’s just how I role. And [I saw] the guy who lost the race,  Joe Bardenfelder. I was walking by and I saw a bumper sticker on his farm truck for Ken Holt, the republican challenger, so I snapped a picture of that with my Blackberry.”

Waldman said he was able to interview Bardenfelder about the bumper sticker, go to his editor and scoop everyone in town on that story.