"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible;
to be credible we must be truthful." - Edward R Murrow

Reviews: It's easy to criticize.

Due to personal reasons I have been unable to update and post onto this blog as frequently as I had previously. I am jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, so click here to follow.

I have never written a review for publication. I was working on my first movie review, but circumstances came up that has put that article on hold for the time being.

I frequently have heard journalism instructors say, "Stop doing reviews! Everyone is just doing reviews."

Reviews seem "easy" to do. You don't have to interview anyone, you don't need to do as much research, you get to put your own opinion, you don't need to do as much fact-checking, and it is based off something you did, read, saw, ate, etc. And bias is not a problem.

Now, I mentioned previously that I have never written a movie review. I am into the investigative things and hard news/features. I love going out there and getting interviews, doing research, fact-checking, (I love copy-editing also), and spending nights without sleep working to meet the deadline.

I decided to write a review, because it was something that I haven't done. In this, I spoke with Katy England, and realized the truth about reviews of any sort. It may be "easy" to write a review, but it is more challenging to write a GOOD review. I know that there are few reviews I have read that really stuck out in my mind as great journalism; I sometimes feel as though someone had nothing else to write about, saw a movie that weekend, and last minute wrote something quick to meet the deadline.

The reason that instructors, editors, etc. are sick of consistent movie reviews is that not every reporter will take the time to write a review and treat it the same way as any other article. There is research to be done in order to help the reader better understand. There are specific techniques to express your opinion without being blunt. The New York Times generally has very good movie reviews, and some of the ones on IMDB.com serve their purposes.

Consistently doing reviews the "easy" way does not advance a journalist. Journalists need to be able to write all forms of copy. From editorials to hard news, features, columns, reviews, etc. Of all the forms reviews may be the easiest to get done, but for it to be done well it will take a longer time. It may not take as long as a feature or as hard news, but when it comes to actually writing the copy it shouldn't be a quick write up.

Most journalism students I have been around have done numerous columns, and I have always avoided columns because I felt they were "too easy." I didn't see how difficult it was. I would rather do an article involving hours or research, numerous interviews, etc. than go to see a movie, restaurant, concert, and write how much I liked it. To me, that seemed like something someone would do on a personal blog, or on a Facebook note.

So, I have a new respect for reviews, and I am excited for when I finish writing my first review. At that point I will be able to say I have written the main types of copy.

So, writing about the movie you saw last night may be a way to save yourself from missing a deadline, but the quality of the article will reflect on how much effort was actually put into it.

That's all for now.
Cheers [:

Next entry will focus on a similar topic: Blogs.

"Today’s journalism is obsessed with the kinds of things that tend to preoccupy thirteen-year-old boys: sports, sex, crime, and narcissism." -- STEVEN STARK, Atlantic Monthly, Sep. 1994

Quick Post

I have just been overcome with the feeling that I have a genius idea.

Not so much as IDEA, but suggestion.

A suggestion that I think should be a mandate.

Listen closely, (I have told another person, and he agrees):

All future journalists, or anyone with any desire to be a journalist should be required to take an INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS course. Not just a weekend seminar, A COURSE.

I have that class in an hour, and I have previously learned about Interpersonal Communications in Journalism in high school. I seriously believe that the future of journalism can be shaped and pushed in a positive direction if everyone that wants a career in journalism takes an Interpersonal Communication course.

Now, I personally believe that everyone at one point or another should take some sort of Interpersonal Communication course, but journalists NEED it.

Journalists need to be able to properly conduct interviews, understand how to relate to others, cultural differences, etc. Journalists are constantly communicating.. the job of a journalist is to communicate. We communicate with EVERYONE. We want people to listen to us. We want to inform others, and with Interpersonal Communication skills..the world of journalism would be a better place.


Journalist hard at work!

(I am going to try to include photos with my blog entries; I am trying not to include a photo just for the sake of having one.)

"Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it." --Horace Greeley

Crime photos: public or private? (Part two)

Journalists need to have photos or video footage to accompany stories. The use of photos and/or videos make the story more interesting, as well as easier to understand. The visual aids help the reader to enjoy the article. The visuals show that what is being reported on is real, it happened. But when it comes to a crime, which photos should or should not be included within an article? The visual aids help the reader to better understand and comprehend, but which photo is necessary?

I remember History of Journalism with Dr. Mark Kelley last semester; we studied about the Vietnam War, "The first televised war." The "real-ness" of all the footage captured was overwhelming for many of the viewers. I remember learning about how journalists were showing all the footage of the war right through to the television screens. The footage made it real, and it added to the stories. No longer was it just that the war was being reported about, but everyone was able to see what was going on. There was not a need for a mental image, because the actual image was being shown.

"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam," Marshall McLuhan said in 1975 in what now is a famous quote about the war. Vietnam has been considered by many the first televised war. -- Associated Content

I think that in cases of crime and war, the gruesome footage does not need to be shown to everyone. In the case of the Seaworld trainer being killed by the killer whale, I don't think the video should be shown nationally.

As a journalist, I need to be able to have photos and evidence to show the reader/viewer/audience that what I am reporting about is real, and here are the photos to prove it. I am on the fence about the situation in its entirety, and I think I need to do more research. I feel like the ethics of the entire situation are subjective to what the story is about, what is being reported, and what the visual aids include.

I don't think a picture of a mangled corpse should be the photo next to an article, and I don't think video footage of a murder scene is necessary to show the reality of what occurred.

But I am still running through the "what if" scenarios in my head.
And I think the future of journalism is going to have lots more photos, and lots more videos. Not all these visual aids are going to be appropriate for the stories they accompany, but as it stands there is not a set of ethics that is followed by every newspaper, television station, or web site. I'll have more on this in a few days...

"In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that."--MARK TWAIN

Crime photos: public or private? (Part one)

For PART ONE I am going to post the article that has sparked this idea within my head.

"Recent court fights over the videotape of a killer whale attack at SeaWorld in Florida and a writer's request for investigative photos of a slain Georgia hiker's body are rekindling a familiar debate...

The question: Where should the line be drawn between the public's right to know and a crime victim's family's right to privacy?" --CNN

My next post will include where I stand on this issue, not from a personal standpoint, but from the standpoint of a journalist. The way that I think this should be handled and an explanation of how this will affect the future of journalism will be included in the next post.

"There were influences in my life that were more important than journalism, such as comic strips and radio."-Guillermo Cabrera Infante

Bloggist? Journalogger? Drawing the line between journalists and bloggers.

Bloggist? Journalogger? Drawing the line between journalists and bloggers.

Editorial By: Nikky Raney

I turned on my television and saw Perez Hilton hosting “The Bad Girl’s Club Reunion” on Oxygen. . He then introduces himself as a “celebrity gossip columnist. My jaw dropped and I could not believe what I heard. Hilton of PerezHilton.com writes news about celebrities on his blog and uses digital paint to draw things on celebrity photos. He occasionally posts the link where he found the article and he always inserts his opinion. Ironically, he will always post the link where he obtained the images he defaced, but he is not as concerned with posting the link where obtained his news. Hilton is one of the many bloggers on the Internet claiming to be columnists and citizen journalists. When is blogger considered a journalist?
Most bloggers, like Hilton, obtain news from other sources and then put in their own comments and analysis. I would consider that as someone doing a review of the news and relaying the news to others, which is something that many people do in order to let other know about the news. This is done verbally without the person calling him or herself a columnist, but when Hilton creates a blog, copy and pastes news from a source, and then gives his opinion, he considers himself a columnist? Wouldn’t that make anyone who has ever showed an article to someone else and then given commentary about the article a columnist?
go to the web site to read rest
Contemplating between "bloggists" and "journaloggers"
Contemplating between "bloggists" and "journaloggers"