My 2 Posts

For my selection of a post that demonstrates “quality of prose” I picked Amanda’s social action post about her old teacher, Bambi. I liked that she not only told us about the highlights of the situation, but she added her own voice and experience to the pool. A moment in particular struck me,

“Because of my contribution to the #ThanksBambi hashtag, I may be banned from the theater when it comes to auditioning and being in shows in the future. It was rumored that anyone who used this hashtag was being put on a blacklist.”

I missed this the first time I read her piece, and I wanted to point it out her because of her passion. I think it’s always hard to realize when a group you’re apart of strays from your own moral code, and even harder to express your distaste. I think her disregard for her potential shunning from the Milburn Theater is a demonstration of her love and support for an instructor that changed her life.

In terms of a post that goes “beyond writing” I had to go with James’ infamous “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home” video. I think there is a common theme with both Amanda and James’ piece: passion. What makes James’ video so great is the fact that you can tell he loves Star Wars. His passion makes me more interested because I know it is coming from a genuine place. As for a few seconds in particular that I would like to point out, my favorite part of his video were the jokes he included. It wasn’t just a “How To” video, the goofy element made it more than that. The comedic undertones definitely would not have been as obvious or received as well if he did this assignment as a block of text. The video starts out more straight forward, but the comedy that he sprinkles in adds something extra. I think that is one of the reasons everyone reacted to his post in such a positive way.

Remediation of my Profile

For my remediation assignment, I decided to use my profile on Katie that I did last week. There was a lot of advice and pointers that she said that I had to leave out because I didn’t want to make the profile too long or get off topic. For my remediation, I decided to take all of her advice and transfer it onto a Prezi (for people who don’t know, Prezi is an online template where you can create presentations) in a listicle-like format. She had a lot of good ideas I did not get to share, so I thought this would be a great way to showcase them.

Since my profile on Katie was more about capturing her as a person and less about her work, I thought my remediation should attempt to reframe our conversation to focus on writing.

My question that prompted Katie to talk about tips for writing online was:

“Is there any advice you have for my class about writing online pieces? Do you think there are different rules with print vs. digital?”

Here’s my Prezi about her response to that question!

 

My Profile

For my profile, I interviewed my friend Katie. She currently writes for The Review as a Senior Reporter. She hopes to hone her writing skills in this position and apply them beyond UD in her journalism career. My goal for this interview is to probe Katie about some topics we’ve been churning about, plus her writing and where she wants to go with it. I picked Katie to interview because she’s an open person and has experience with different types of writing. I find her tone in her pieces to be exciting enough to keep people interested, but not explosive enough to turn people off.

First things first, I ask her to tell me about the pieces she’s written so far. I wanted to see if they were mostly in one genre, and I found quite the opposite.

“So far it’s been pretty diverse. I have a column, I recently wrote a satire piece for them. I’ve covered a few events, and I’m going to localize a global story for my next piece. I just got published in Delaware Today. It was a sports piece, which is pretty new for me.”

When Katie talks about being on the job as a reporter, her face lights up. I think that is a testament to someone who has found their calling; she is able to adapt in her chosen profession to produce a variety of pieces.

Next I wanted to tackle something we’ve been discussing in class. Being cog in the wheel of journalism, she has a unique perspective on the field and where it’s going. I was looking to see if she’s more Carrful or Boydish by nature.

How do you feel about physical newspapers vs. online publishing? Do you think the internet is destroying the authenticity of reporting or is it a tool for better circulation?

            “I always love seeing my work in the physical newspaper when it comes out-” I can imagine there is an added element excitement to see your words printed in such a form utilized so much powerful writers who came before us. “it makes it feel a lot more real to me. Would it be weird to say I like the smell of them?” I appeased her on this query, but I’m more a book sniffer myself. “That said, I think it would be naïve to say that the internet is singularly destroying or helping newspapers…[it’s] more of a grey area. I think that with the public’s ability to post anything they want, people are wary of the media nowadays and trust the real newspapers much less. But I also think that the internet allows people who may not otherwise read a physical newspaper to get their hands on good journalism. The model is definitely [undergoing] a transition, so I’m excited to see where it will go.”

            We’ve talked a lot about the impression society has of the journalist in our Journalism class. Because of recent events in the news, it is hard for the average person to feel like their news source is as unbiased as possible. Like Katie said, it is hard for the public to trust the media especially newspapers. She touched on something here that we haven’t a lot in class, which is the influx of new readers that have come on the scene because of its availability online. She gives us a good example of this…

            “Students using their UD emails can get a huge discount on The New York Times online. Being a broke college student that I am, I probably couldn’t or wouldn’t shell out the money of a full physical description.” Good to know.

Finally, I asked her about her ultimate goal for her time at The Review. I was looking to see where she wants to go UD and beyond.

“I definitely want to continue to sharpen my skills and begin to write more long form stories, and I also think editing or taking some sort of leadership role would be cool. Long term my dream job would be to have someone pay me to travel and write about it. I’m not sure that job actually exists, but in a perfect world that’s what I would do.”

            To wrap up, I asked her if she had any advice for writing online pieces.

“Try to make it so that every paragraph you’re writing either says something interesting or alludes to something interesting you are going to say later. Each sentence a reader reads should make them want to read more. This keeps your reader on your article. Doing this without being click baity or gimmicky is difficult and requires you to be conscious of each sentence you’re writing, it’s relevance, and how it fits and flows with the piece. Also: don’t use interactive tools. Unless they’re adding something to the story, they can be straight up annoying.”

 

 

Breaking News: Nothing!

For my Social Action assignment, I made it my objective to try and generate buzz for an upcoming event on campus. I am a part of the RSO V-Day which is dedicated to preventing sexual violence. We talk about life on campus, our reactions to news stories, how women and minorities or portrayed in the media, and a lot more. Plus we host The Vagina Monologues, which I didn’t get to experience until I was in college.

The event is hosted by V-Day and S.A.G.E. and it’s called “What’s Your Monologue?” I was interested in promoting this because I think it can be beneficial to share your perspective and “purge yourself” in a way when you’re feeling discomfort about a certain element of your life. There is a kind of catharsis that comes from getting out all that bad stuff. Maybe because of this event people will feel more supported in the community, get some words of encouragement, or just get something off their chest. Humans all want to be heard and felt like they are listened to, this is an event that supports that desire. I think people might be nervous to potentially share private things to an audience, but I think those who do will feel better as a result.WYM 2017 2

For the assignment I posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I included the picture of the event flyer. For Twitter and Instagram I used more hashtags to accompany the post because that is the norm on those platforms. With each post, I included encouragement to click the picture and read it, which might have deterred some people. I ended up getting an underwhelming response, very few people engaged with my post at all and even less shared or commented. I think it might have been because I used the Twitter and Instagram accounts I made for class. I would have been able to reach a lot more people if I had used my regular accounts, but only a fraction of those people I would reach are in the area. Overall the response was underwhelming; hopefully people saw it and were interested but just didn’t interact with the post.

 

 

Boyd & Carr

After finishing Ronson’s book, I grew to like his unconventional writing style. I thought his informal speech, combined with his research, interviews, and own experience made the book the most unique work we have read so far. There is a certain fervor to his writing that I think may be fueled by his personal experiences on the internet. It seems Ronson’s online encounter with his troll drove him to delve deeper into ways the internet can strip away people’s freedoms. He and Boyd feel differently about the effects of the internet, but they do have some things in common.

Understanding the concept of online shaming and the effect it can have is crucial in our times. I think that Is evident by the fact that both Boyd and Ronson feel it is necessary to bring up when discussing social media. Ronson’s whole book is based on shaming, he even says “the renaissance in public shaming” is good. (pg. 34) Boyd also addresses shaming in her chapter on bullying.

In “Bullying: Is Social Media Amplifying Meanness and Cruelty” I think Boyd is the more pessimistic than she is in her entire book (which isn’t much). She segways into shaming by first talking about gossip and rumors. She says, “A rumor on Facebook has the potential to spread further and faster and persist longer than any school rumor could have in the past.” (pg. 145) Here she touches on the ability of the internet to be used as a tool to amplify things of interest in a long-term way. This is an idea that Ronson highlights throughout his book when he details the ripple effect that the internet has (on the shamers, the shamees, and anyone else caught in the crossfire) with his interviews. Boyd goes on to say most shared content online is shame related, even though some “productive attention” is out there. Ultimately, she says “People choose what to spread online” (pg. 146) and these things (like shaming) “don’t unfold because of social media.” (pg.147) I agree with the latter, shaming and the tools we use to do it are two very different things. Ronson shows us in his book that we found ways to shame before the internet was even invented. A shovel in one man’s hand is a murder weapon in another’s. We as internet consumers and social media hounds should try and do some more digging

Video vs. Text

I thought using video last week rather than text was a unique experience. I had to take a different approach than I usually do to the video assignment. When I started, I was concerned about how I was going to fill up the minute. By the end of the project, I had to edit a lot out that I wanted to say. In general, I found it harder to communicate what I wanted to say using a video compared to just typing.

When you are typing in a document, you can pour your thoughts onto the page in a moment. If you were to add a video, sound clip, picture, or song to your video to make your point you would need to put in more effort. Taking your ideas and transferring them onto a media platform requires interpretation and editing. However, when you express your idea with a video rather than a block of text you can do so much more with it. Using a video media editor, you can add music, subtitles, transitions, voiceovers, video and so much more. You can create a project with more bells and whistles. This medium is not for everyone though, because if you are not competent using a video editor than the quality of your message suffers. If you were to use a more traditional medium such as a word document, there’s an opportunity to construct a more effective argument.

One aspect of video that makes it so great is the voiceover feature. Many people utilized it in their Concept 60 videos. I thought James’ “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home” demonstrated this well. His video had action on the screen to follow plus props, so the guidance and the clarification that the James’ voiceover added was vital. I found this useful in my window as well. My Concept 60 video was a step-by-step origami project, so I found voiceover helpful when I was demonstrating folding on camera. That way the video could be concentrated on my hands so the steps would be easier to follow. If James and I did this assignment on a word document, the quality of the overall presentation would go way down. The ideas we were trying to get across would have no examples or directions that were not typed out. While the assignment would be doable, it would still be less effective. The block of text would have to be long just to explain the steps that we could have just shown in the video.

Mackenzie’s video also used tools to help her idea come across better. Her use of pictures steered her concept. They were not stock photos, rather personal pictures. I thought this made her video more effective. The personal touch made the video seem genuine, so if someone watches it who has a prejudice against RAs they might be more likely to listen. In the same way, I thought Ashley M’s use of close-up in her video gave hers an authenticity. The video was simple, but it gave the audience the opportunity to watch her art firsthand. Watching her draw was all the video needed to get her concept across.