Taking a look back to my class goals.

This has been a very busy semester for me personally. I am pretty happy with the way I allocated my time between football, school work and three jobs. Let’s take the time to take a look back at my very first blog and my goals that were set out for advanced reporting and editing.

Goal #1 is obviously to pass with an “A” in the class while expanding my knowledge on the current ways of reporting and editing stories.

                Well, unfortunately goal #1 was not completely met. I did, for sure, expand my knowledge on the current ways of reporting and editing stories. I learned many things while taking this course that I will take on with me and utilize in future classes and life. This includes meeting deadlines, importance of preparation when writing stories and the countless rules and regulations of the AP Style book. However, I did not earn the “A” grade, which is a rare thing for me. That being said, it is to nobody’s fault but my own because I did not properly prepare for a number of quizzes. For the record it annoys me when people receive a bad grade and automatically blame the instructor, when in reality is was their own lack of work ethic that was at fault. I believe that happens all too many times.

Goal #2 is to use what I learn in the class, outside of the classroom.

                This goal was met for certain. Everything that I learned in Advanced Reporting and Editing was used in my Newspaper reporting class multiple times. There is no doubt that this goal has been met, and I will continue to use the information I learned.

Goal #3 is to publish an exciting and interesting blog that attracts readers each week.

                I cannot determine whether or not this goal was met because it is up to the opinion of others. Although we did not blog as much as I initially anticipated, I believe the blogs that I did write were pretty interesting and informative. Readers were able to learn some of my past that has not really previously been shared. And in this blog, readers were able to see a little glimpse of my personal opinion on things. So if it were up to me, I would say this goal was met in the blogs that were written. Feel free to let me know what you think in a comment! I am always interested to hear what others have to say.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I think that is going to do it for the blog today. The class is now over, but I may keep this blog alive for a little while. I actually had a pretty fun time doing it so we will see if I can continue. Thanks for reading!

(Except for you coach H)  


The Direction Media is Going

There is no doubt about it, the way people get their information and news has been evolving over the past several years. In a time not so long ago, people would turn to the morning newspaper in order to see what was happening in the world. Now days, with the rise in technology more and more people are turning to the web and social media (such as Twitter and Facebook) for their news information.

The difference forms of media (i.e. print, web, video and radio) are converging in today’s world. The convergence is the process where these mediums come together in harmony and work together rather than compete. The media outlets are evolving to the way people work today. With people walking around with a gadget in their pocket that can make calls, access high-speed internet, watch television and be a newspaper, there is no reason for people to go to the news stand and spend $.75 on a hard copy that is big and blows away in the wind. 

People talk about this convergence like it is something new and don’t quite know how to react to it. When in reality, this sort of thing has been happening since the beginning. Think about it, at first it was only telegraphs and written letter, and then the typewriter came along, followed by the fax and email and so on until we can now send video and voice messages in the matter of second. Times and technology change, we just have to be able to keep up with it. News and print is not dying, it is just evolving to keep up with a modern society. 

Time to be innovative!

Hypothetical situation: I have been asked to to create a website for a newspaper. What innovative features would I use to ensure that it has a local appeal and is different from other area newspapers? 

There is no doubt that in today’s technology filled world people are getting their news online rather than the traditional mediums. Many times, someone may see a story on print and turn to the web to further research the story. Hints, the reasoning for designing a eye catching, unique website that keeps readers coming back for more. 

First of all I would do a little research of my own on local and national newspaper websites. I would check out the local ones in order to brainstorm on how I could be more innovative and and unique with my design. I would view the national and even world news websites in order to gain ideas and see the direction in which these nationally known news sites are going. 

There is one thing for certain, the website I created would pride on being clear, concise and credible at all times. The stories would be updated quickly while staying factual in all aspects. I would also use all the resources of the web by not only having text but also having plenty of photos, audio, video, maps, database access and interactive graphics. 

Interesting photo slide shows would be important for each story because photos are what draw people in to the story. The photos would need to be ones that help tell the story, a mini photo essay if you will. The New York Times has some great interactive graphics that bring readers in. A phone app would also be very important for the website in today’s on-the-go society. The app would be designed so that breaking stories in the area would give the reader an alert on their phone. This way they can be notified right away with the news coming to them, not them searching for the news. It will also be promoted through Twitter, Facebook etc. Most teens and college aged students are completely unaware of the news locally and world wide because they are busy with school work and other things. I would have a daily Tweet or email that would be sent to theses ages (subscribers) that offers a brief summary of all of the important news with links to the full stories. This way the students will be able to read the summary on the go and not be completely in the dark. 

It would be important to me to not be “cookie cutter” and copy what every other website was doing. I would even take the time to go out and ask the reader what they would like to see in their online news website. This would give me first-hand accounts for what would keep the reader interested. Having the website be interactive, with readers being able to send in pictures or story ideas at any time would help in this way.

Lastly, the sports page would have a live blog, video or audio section for games that are being reported. This way readers don’t have to wait until the end of the game to get the update.     

This would also be an on going project. It would be constantly updated and I would be open to new innovative ideas that could always be integrated into the website.

Small town experience

Small town experience:

Opening the front door, having the cool fall breeze and fresh air whip into the room and seeing nothing but open field and the mountains in the horizon is what I know and love. When meeting someone new, one of the first questions always asked is; where are you from? Well, no matter which response I give, it is always a small town that nobody has ever really heard of. All my life, I have lived in a tiny little town that you hear about in country songs, where everyone knows your name. Basically, I may not look the part, but my life has been one big country music video……..and I have loved every second of it!

I was born in the middle of a cold winter blizzard in Casper, Wyoming and lived in a very small town outside of Casper called Midwest, Wyoming until I was eight years old. Ever heard of it? Didn’t think so. I have so many young childhood memories from living in this small oil town that that I will never forget. From learning to ride my first bike, to walking down the high school halls thinking I was cool because my mother was a teacher, or taking the change out of my mother’s purse so my brother and I could run to the only gas station in town and buy a candy bar, an having to hide to eat it. Childhood memories like these are ones that will stay with me until I am six feet down.


(I didn’t realize it was even that small!)

I made the journey from one small town to another during the end of my first grade year. I was too young to really know what the move would mean, but I knew we went from a small oil town, to a small farm town. My father gave my older sister, brother and myself the choice of which small town we would like to live and go to school in. After visiting each school, we ended up choosing Byers, Colorado as our home, simply because they had the best playground out of all the choices. Oh, how simple it was when I was young; a playground could win me over. I was too young to realize this was a town with no stop lights, one gas station, a small general store, a giant grain elevator and a K-12 school. I literally just described the entire town in that one short sentence.Image


Ten years later, I graduated from that small K-12 school with countless memoires, a high school AND college degree, friends and life experiences that I cherish. People always ask; if you could go back and do it all over, would you change it? My answer is always the same. I would never change a single second of my time in Byers, Colorado. My friends and I grew up together since first grade, and graduated together as seniors. I attended elementary school in one side of the building and out on the wonderful playground. This is where I started to find my love of sports. Recess was spent playing touch football with whoever would challenge my team. Rain, snow or shine we were on the field each and every recess.

My middle school years were mostly spent in the principal’s office or after-school detention room. Needless to say this was my “I know everything” stage. I quickly grew out of that when I moved halls into high school. I realized that I had expectation to fulfill, as my brother and sister had paved a record setting path both in the classroom and in athletics. I made it a personal mission to break every state and school record that my brother had set, in all four sports we played and in the classroom. I was able to break a few, others are still held today. Nonetheless, all my efforts earned me the great opportunity of having multiple colleges ranging from NAIA to D-I offer scholarships, for multiple sports.

That brings me to where I am today, Ottawa. When people ask why Ottawa, the answer is simple. I never had the opportunity to play on a football field with my brother. When he decided to transfer to Ottawa to play football, I dropped all other scholarship offers and made my decision to join him and finally have the opportunity to both be on the football field. For those who know us both, my brother and I are like twins who were born three years apart. This life decision has been one with no regrets. Looking back, I would not change a single thing; I love how my life has gone so far and look toward the future for it to continue.

That was a very short version of my journey and small town experience. Feel free to drop a comment or question. Don’t be shy, I’ll respond.


Citizen Journalism

So, what is the difference between civic journalism and citizen journalism? When it comes to civic journalism, professionals are the ones doing all the work. Citizen journalism, on the other hand, is the average citizen doing all of the work. Public citizens play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.

With technology becoming more and more advanced, citizen journalism is also becoming more well known. The use of cell phones, social networking and media-sharing websites have made it much easier for people to spread the news faster than the professionals. 

I extend this challenge out to you! As you talk with all of your friends today, just ask them one simple question. Where do you get your news? The biggest share of the responses will be related to some sort of social media. A larger news source may also be used, but as a secondary source. What I mean by this is that people initially hear their news on a social media outlet. Once hearing about the news they turn to the more traditional outlets in order to get the details. 

Try my challenge, I dare you. Better yet, use it as an ice-breaker to talk to that one person you have been shying away from!………your welcome.



AR&E Goals

Well, I am going to be honest, I have never done, nor thought of doing a blog before. However,  I will give it a shot. This is partly due to the fact that if I don’t, my grade will suffer. Anyway, my first official blog will cover the personal goals I have for Advanced Reporting and Editing.

Goal #1 is obviously to pass with an “A” in the class while expanding my knowledge on the current ways of reporting and editing stories.

Goal #2 is to use what I learn in the class, outside of the classroom.

Goal #3 is to publish an exciting and interesting blog that attracts readers each week. I am an opinionated person and feel like this could be a fun way to throw out those opinions and see what others have to say. But remember, I don’t necessarily care what you have to say, so think before you say it. Just kidding, but seriously.

I am also a fun hearted person who knows when it is time to joke and when it is time to be serious. That being said, in order to have a good time blogging I am going to add humor along with my serious topics. It’s my blog, deal with it.

But, I think that is going to do it for tonight. Deuces