Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stovall 5, 6, 10, 11

Chapter 5

In this chapter, the ting that really jumped out at me was the relationship of the headline-summary on a website. Stovall describes the summary following a headline on a website as a place not for the first graf of the story but rather an opportunity for the reporter to sell the reader on the article. I never really thought about it before but I have read articles on the ESPN website because of an intriguing or catchy summary. I believe they do a fantastic job of attracting readers to all of their stories. Other sites don't do as good a job for example, is the Yankees website I visit. Most of the time, the stories are introduced using the first line of text.

Chapter 6

One thing I found to be interesting in chapter 6 was a sidebar Stovall gives to the Five Commandments of Copyediting. After reading through them, I realized that an online editor and print editor have the same tasks set out before them when editing a story. The only real difference between an online editor and print editor is the layout. An online story does not have to fit into a certain space on a newspaper page. The online editor knows that more information can be kept in the story and it can be longer. The drawback to this is, the reader may become bored with the less important news at the end of the story and may not read all the way through. The editor needs to know what should be kept.

Chapter 10

LARGE to small; Left to right; dark to light; Top to bottom.
These examples above are the ways in which the human eye follows text on a website. Stovall gives examples here of how a web designer can draw readers to certain areas of the website first. I frequent the ESPN website often, and Stovall is absolutely correct. The main story is always at the top of the page, and always in large, bold font. The designer is directing most of the traffic to that particular story. As you scroll down, print becomes smaller and lighter until you get to the stories at the bottom which are tiny and light.

Chapter 11

In this chapter, Stovall describes futurists as saying, under the heading of The Death of all Media, that it is only a matter of time before people stray from hard copy news and delve into the immediacy of the world wide web. We have talked about this issue in class before and I just cannot come to terms with it. I believe that newspaper will survive, just as it has with the explosion of radio and television into the everyday lives of human beings. Too many people read the newspaper for it to just disappear.

Stovall 1-4

Chapter 1

One thing James Stovall describes in this introductory chapter to his book, "Web Journalism" is the permanence of work done on the web. However, Stovall goes on to say anything that has been lost on the web is not the failure of the medium but rather the failre of the operators. Many things from the early days of the web have been lost because people didn't really know how to use it yet. Since I myself am a new user to working and saving on the web, it was hard for me to understand this after the first paragraph. After reading through it, I understand that the web holds a very significant permanence, even if my website has been erased and reconstructed a couple of times.

Chapter 2

In chapter two, Stovall brings the readers attention to a word: Shovelware. Shovelware is the transfer of content from a print medium into a web medium. I checked out Sports Illustrated's website if I could locate some examples and I easily was able to find articles I had read in the most recent issue. The problem with shovelware is that the reader does not get the full potential of the web in the article. Little hyperconectivity (links) and interactivity (forums/boards) are used, and the reader is just left hanging. I understand that this is cheap and easy for publishers, but it really shows how much they care about their readers.

Chapter 3

Stovall gets to the point of interactivity in this chapter under the heading, Audience-Generated News. He lists a few ways the online reader can connect to others through different sites and articles, for example, email, online polls, bulletin boards, forums, duscussion groups and online chats with reporters. I myself have contributed very little to internet forums, but up to this point I have not really been utilizing the web. I have played online poker and chatted with other players but that doesn't really count. I have looked at Wikipedia for help with homework, but never have I contributed anything to the growing encyclopedia. Interconectivity is important because it connects the readers to a site on a more intimate level, unlike reading a newspaper.

Chapter 4

Something Stovall said in chapter 4 caught my eye. "There is not deadline in web journalism, so for breaking news, the deadline is now." One of the great things about the web is the immediacy in which news can be posted and then accessed by a large number of people. The problem I see with this is, when a story breaks, not all the details are always known. News sites may slap something up just to say they broke the story first, but what they have may not always be right. Also, what happens when a reader reads the wrong information and doesn't come back to the site to see the corrected story? More emphasis should be placed on a story being true than on the immediacy in which it is reported.

Jeff Gralnick

Jeff Gralnick is a 47(!) year veteran in broadcast news. Through the years, he has held some very significant positions: He was a producer and field reporter in Viet Nam for CBS News; Vice President and Executive producer of Special Events and World News Tonight at ABC News; Executive Producer of the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw; and Vice President and executive in charge of the development and roll out of

While holding those positions, Gralnick covered: the 1961 launch of Alan Shepard in the nation's first sub-orbital mission; Took part in production of every US manned space flight through and including the Apollo 11 landing on the moon; He produced the Moscow end of the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975 and the live coverage of many of the shuttle's mission's including the first "return to space" in 1988 following the Challenger disaster in January of 1986.

During his career, Gralnick has won many awards: A National Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story for coverage of the 1991 Gulf War; a National Headliners Award for coverage of the 1992 presidential election. He currently has won five Emmy Awards for work in his field.

Check out the article Gralnick wrote for EjournalUSA entitled "The Next New Thing is Here."

2 Questions for Jeff Gralnick

  1. What was it like in 1991 when you were covering the gulf war for ABC? and how do you compare war coverage from then to the coverage of the war in Iraq right now? Is more or less shown to the public?
  2. Do you ever think television and/or the internet completelyltely wipe out the newspaper? and which do you prefer, reading the news online or in the paper?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

That which we call a blog

The war between the mainstream media (MSM) and the blogosphere has been mentioned a few times throughout the course of our class. It was really interesting to read what David L. Sifry, the founder of Technorati had to say about the growing world of blogs, and their relationship to the MSM.

New blog creation continues to grow. We currently track over 75,000 new weblogs created every day, which means that on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day - and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. - Sifry

It was extremely interesting to read that news sites such as the New York Times website are being linked to much more than news related blogs. In the top 33 websites there are only 4 blogs. With the blogging boom going on and the "war" with MSM, it was really hard for me to believe that more people are not reading blogs for their daily news.

According to Dan Mitchell of the New York Times, it's not so much that blogs aren't in the top 33, but rather that the line between blog and news site is becoming more and more blurred. I agree with Mitchell in that what is important to users is the quality of the content they are reading everyday that keeps them coming back for more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Blog portfolio

These are the blog posts that I want to make up my Blog portfolio:
1. FU Hawwkey
2. Photoshop Intermediate
3. Photoshop
4. Blogs of War
5. What the Blog?
6.The Mirror Commentary
7. Stone: "Who Let the Blogs Out?"
8. CT-Blogs Dogstar
9. Dangerously Beautiful
10.Berube - "Blogging Back at the Right"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

FU Hawwkey

First, a quote to get you in the mood - - "ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept. "

Now check out Fairfield University's men's club hockey website.

I find myself checking the schedule and stats for these guys when I'm not talking directly to them (Eisner, Rienzi, and Falzone all live within a few steps). Mark Rienzi made this site at the beginning of this school year to keep the ever growing fans occupied while their Stags aren't on the ice.

After every game, Rienzi will update the stats and schedule to keep fans informed of the team's continued success. Everyone can tell just by looking and clicking on links that he spends a lot of time updating and improving his site.

The home page has current articles listed with photgraphs. The side bar has the Stags' team leaders, schedule, and stats from last game, all with links so you can easily access the information more indepth. When the page first loads, a graphic appears at the top eventually spelling out Fairfield University Hockey. Most of the things on his website could be used to improve the quality of a blog.

The only thing I find to be pretty lacking is the message board. More people need to post about the team.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Photoshop Intermediate

Peter Sarawit is a technical genius. Round two of learning how to be savy in the language of Adobe's Photoshop program went off without a hitch as Mr. Sarawit guided me through the higher level RCADE workshop.

I have been a fan of the program photoshop since high school when a me and a friend had gotten into a fight. With the use of photoshop, I placed my friends face onto the body of a rather large woman, rather expertly I might add, and after a few laughs, the dispute was quickly resolved. I have been hooked since then.

In this session, Mr. Sarawit walked us through using the patch tool and other tools that can help improve the quality of photographs. The patch tool is great because it takes something like a blemish on the photo and quickly removes it by blending it with the pictures background.

On my computer I have Photoshop Elements 2.0, but the program we used in the workshop was Adobe Photoshop CS2. It had a lot of tools I was unfamiliar with but now know how to use with ease.

Note: the picture left is a good example of how happy I was after the workshop (and an example of a few new things I picked up from Mr. Sarawit).

Monday, February 13, 2006


Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful tool for creating images with amazing effects for projects or businesses. It's also a great tool if you want to put your friends face onto the body of a certain animal, or your own face onto the body of, let's say, Fabio.

Peter the tech guy from RCADE taught me how to manipulate pitures and create my own illustrations. With the techniques photoshop has to offer, I was able to easily create an image that seemed to be 3-D with the use of Drop Shadows.

Here's just a little something I whipped up using Photoshop and a picture of my roommates from last year, Katsy and Ben (left picture), and my roommate from this year, Dan (new head). Pretty damn good.

Click to take a closer look at my work.

I just got myself a digital camera so - - watch out!

Blogs of War

The Blogs of War turned out to be a fascinating article in WiReD Magazine talking about the instantaneous news coverage of the war in Iraq, from the soldiers point of view. These storytellers and informants are known in the blogoshpere as milbloggers.

I was so interested in milbloggers after reading, I searched the web for Sgt. Missick's A Line in the Sand.

The blog calls for support for lost troops and family memebers, links to sites to help the cause, and pictures of Sgt. Missick's life while he was in Iraq.

In the article, some soldiers were told not to blog anymore due to the release of certain information that may upset the families of lost soldiers. I agree with some regulation by the government, but I find blogging to be a great escape for all of our troops, as well as an easy way for them to keep in contact with friends and family.

I agree with certain restrictions to keep milbloggers from describing a gruesome battle field in which US Troops perished, or giving up certain information that may help the Iraqi forces locate and attack them. However, keeping a blog may be exactly what some troops need to keep a level head and remember why they are there, and what the world is like back home.

What the Blog?

Dr. David Gudelunas, a communications professor at Fairfield University knows an awful lot about the blogosphere. From the history to the future, Dr. Gudelunas sang praises for blogs as he told my class about the importance and impact they are having on the society. Yet... HE DOESN'T HAVE A BLOG.

Ok, so let's say you love baseball. You've done the research, you watch every game, you know the rules and fundamentals. You know that Don Mattingly is the greatest first baseman ever (just my opinion). You have all this information, but you haven't used it yourself. Can you teach someone how to hit? Can you teach them how to throw? Absolutely not. What ever happened to leading by example?

I felt tricked after his presentation because I thought we would get to see an example of a bright minds really great blog. The way he presented his information to the class led me to believe that he would be really great at the "sassy writing" that is found in the blogoshpere today.

Moving passed the he doesn't have a blog fact for a second - Dr. Gudelunas reads blogs for over an hour each day. He believes the reason for the blogging boom is because the internet is finally ready to hold somethig with the capacity of the blogoshpere. This is a basic answer to why they are finally popular, and in my opinion I think it is the people who are finally ready. It's remarkable to think about the endless hours I clock in infront of the computer. If people are sitting in front of the computer all day, why not throw out the old diary, and create a blog in which personal thoughts could be spread across the web.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Mirror Commentary

In the February 2 issue of Fairfield University's school paper, The Mirror, two students wrote a letter to the editor commenting on the events of a recent basketball game. The students main point was athletic success direclty affects school success.

"After a large number of student athletes were recognized for their academic achievements (during the basketball game), many of these same students left the arena immediately and failed to return to support the team. "

Do the two students who wrote the letter know why the other athletes left the game? Has anyone approched them on this issue? Maybe they had to be somewhere for their own athletic training/game/event. Maybe these two students should have asked them where they were going.

Or maybe they were leaving because the game was pretty much decided by the start of the second half. (FYI, Canisius College had lost 6 straight before routing the Stags 87-71).

The men's basketball team is a miserable 8-14 (don't believe me? check it yourself). Athletic success directly connects with school success I'll agree with them on that, but first you need athletic success. Looks like a lot of open courtside seats in that picture...Where's the Red Sea?

If students are complaining about not enough people going to games, petition to get the team to start playing in Alumni Hall again. With the court within a reasonable walk from every dorm on campus, I can guarantee the team would get a huge crowd every game. Our school thinks playing infront of 500 people at the Arena at Harbor Yard is impressive to prospects and other schools for some reason.
Get the basketball team back on campus and you'll get your fans.

Stone "Who Let the Blogs Out?"

Biz Stone is the author of "Who Let the Blogs Out," an interesting book about how blogs came into existence and why you should have one. As a new blogger I found the book to be very informative.

One thing that really distracted me was the way Biz seemed to be pushing blogs on his readers. I understand the concept of writing a blog (as told to me by Biz and other sources like Mark Bernstein) but by the end of page 121 I felt he was trying to sell me a blog. On or around page 115 of "WLBO," Biz says something along the lines of, "Even if all you do is collect and publish bookmarks, then you too have joined the wonderful world of blogging." After reading that I felt like Biz had turned into a salesman trying to get everyone to have a blog for no reason.

Today, there is so much crap on the internet. Not to say that there isn't anything good out there because there's a surplus of good stuff. But do we really need every single person in the world to have a blog if all it's going to be is somebody else's favorite sites? As a student, when I search for something, Shakespeare lets say, I would rather not get a link to a link of a picture of some guy's dog name Shakespeare on a terrible blog that someone started up because of the blogging boom but now doesn't pay attention to anymore. I don't think Biz got the point of caring for your blog and having something worth saying across enough.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

CT Blogs - Dogstar

Dogstar is a Connecticut based blog containing information of all sorts on the general care of dogs, with the author, the "Blog's Top Dog," often writing about personal feelings about canines.

First of all the blog was very easy to navigate with pictures (see my favorite at left), and many different links leading dog owners and lovers alike to interesting articles. You can go easily to professional trainers quotes about dog care, sign petitions against certain laws against dogs, and even read a weekly posting from the "Pooch Professor," a guest writer and dog trainer. In his posts, readers can learn the trials and tribulations of training a dog to do certain tricks and other obedience skills.

Besides the links to certain dog articles, on the right hand side of dogstar there's a list of appropriate "dog related" books with pictures of each. When the reader clicks these book links, they are taken directly to Amazon for an easy purchase.

Overall dogstar is a very organized and well done blog. The author of the blog keeps pictures of his readers dogs in a link right under pictures of his own which I thought was a very good idea, getting people to keep coming and looking at those pictures. He also has a column of recent comments to his own posts, easily accessible. This blog contained great information for dog fanatics as well as someone interested in getting a dog. The only complaint that a dog lover might have is in the gaps of time between posts. The author of the blog should take a look at Bernstein's "Top 10 Tips on Writing for the Living Web." Write for a reason, and write often are two important points to keeping people coming back for more.