Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing with the Code in Mind

There are three major rules that stick out to me when reading the Journalist code of ethics.
1.Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
*This rule is extremely important to me because writing with bias can be harmful in many ways. As a journalist it is important that you keep other's views and values in mind as you write because you want to be sure not to offend anyone by placing your views in your work. Writing with your opinion on topics such as race, religion, and culture where you put one over the other can stop readers with your opposing views to discontinue reading
that specific source.
2. Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
*It is extremely important to me for journalist to show respect dealing with heavy issues such as death or tragedy to a love one or to atr agic event that is life changing. I believe that reporting cautiosly is extremely important because I feel it is inhumane to disregaurd what a person in going through just to get that story. The information and the event is not going to dissapppear so why not give that/those grieving people time to cope with the event, instead of being bumbarded by the media.
3. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly
*Everyone makes mistakes, ESPECIALLY journalist. Some mistakes are made knowingly and others are made unknowingly, but regaurdless it is impearative as a journalist to admit what he/she has written incorrectly. Whether it is a spelling error or the ine correct date journalist have a responsibility to the public to let us know whether what they have written untruthfully.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Green

For my next multimedia story I will be covering Towson University's effort to "go green". This story will focus on the enviromentally friendly action in which students and faculty have initiated which are trayless tuesday and the reusuable mug program.

Background Information-The university is working to reduce its impact on the environment by adopting new processes that decrease energy consumption and implementing new technologies that make more efficient use of energy.There are many campus organizations such as, Students for Environmental Awareness, Towson Campus Greens, Towson Energy Activists/Conservationists etc.

*The Glen Marketplace and Newell Dining Hall go trayless every Tuesday to reduce food waste, decrease the energy and water used to clean trays, and encourage healthier eating habits.

*Launched this fall, Towson University's reusable mug program enables students, faculty and staff to receive a discount on all drinks purchased in a 20oz. insulated Go Green mug, which is available at Brick Street Cafe, Arts Cafe, The Den, Fresh TRAX and Paws Cafe for $6.99. Refills with the Go Green mugs are $1.09 for fountain beverages, tea and coffee. Trade in your personal reusable mug and become part of the Go Green mug program, mugs sold at a discounted price of $3.99.

Possible Interview Questions:
Reaction to trayless tuesday/mug program?
Do they think its a good idea/bad idea?

Staff or faculty that initiated program:
How did you come up with the idea?
Is the reusuable mug/trayless progam is successful?

Possible Photos:

Pictures of students on Tuesday w/o trays in Glen

Picture of a student with a go green mug

Possible Audio:
Students talking about one of the programs
Professional enviromental worker speaking about Towson's efforts to go green.(programs)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Finding the Perfect Shot

Photo of the Towson University Tiger on the campuses main front lawn

Headshot of Amber Owens on the Towson University campus

Fall snapshots takeng on the campus of Towson University's in the Glen Woods

Getting a Better photo: There are many different great ideas to snapping a better photo with your camera. Some of the of the techniques I just learned helped me to look at what what I see in my viewfinder totally different than before. One of the many techniques is framing, which allows the photographer to use an scenery or another element as a frame around the object of your picture. Framing gives the picture another interesting addition to the photo. Another technique is perspective. You can explore your surroundings and take multiple shots from various angles. Look for focus points that capitalize on the best available light. Also,shoot from far away, get close, even closer, lie on the ground, use a ladder, hold the camera above your head, tilt it at crazy angles. These are just some of the tools that helped me take a better photo. Now get out there and try it for yourself!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

1st Multimedia Story

For my first Mutlimedia story I plan to cover young voters of the 2008 presidential election. For this event I plan attend an Election watch party in Paws on Election night, November 4, 2008. I feel this will be a great event to attend and to get college student's perspective and thoughts on the historical election. I also plan to interview experienced voters first-hand at the polls on November 4th in Bowie, MD.

Background Information

According to a rock the vote forum, the number of 18-29 year old voters has increased in every state's primary or caucus so far in 2008, even doubling and tripling in several. Overall, the number of 18-29 year olds voting in primaries and caucuses in 2008 is 109% more than in the previous set of primary elections. In addition, while turnout has been high across all age groups, young voters have increased their turnout by muchmore than any other age cohort.

Possible Interview Questions for young voters
1. Which presidential canidate do/did you want to win the election?
2. Are you a first time voter?
3. How important was it for you to vote today?
4. Do you feel you made an impact in this election? why?
5. How did you vote? in the polls or absentee ballot?
6. Will you vote again in the next election?

Possible Interview Questions for experienced voters
1. Which presidential canidate do/did you want to win the election?
2. Why is voting in this particular election important to you?
3. Compared to past elections, is this the most voter turnout you have experienced?

Possible Images
1. An excited young voter
2. group shot of voters at the election watch party
3. A long line at a polling location
4. students watching the big screen at the party
5. Action shot of the reactions after the election results are revealed

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Redskins lose to the Winless Rams


The Washington Redskins end their 4 game winning streak losing to the winless St. Louis Rams, 19-17 on Sunday. The winning field goal was kicked with 2 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Md .

According to DC Sports Box article, "The Previously Winless Rams Shock Redskins" Jason Taylor, Redskins defensive end, expressed his feelings on the game, “The focus was there. We were prepared. Coach Zorn was expressing the importance of this game all week and therefore I don't think anyone took this game lightly. In this league, you can get your butt kicked on any given Sunday. We knew we would get their best shot. They have a new coach, they are coming off a bye-week and they were re-energized and ready to go. We just didn't play as well as we could play. The Rams came in our house and played well enough to win the game.”* The redskins fall to the record of 4-2.

After watching the game it is obvious that simple mistakes cost the previous successful Skins an easy win game. Some say they underestimated their opponents and that their overly confident attitudes turned into faliure, but regaurdless the Redskins cannot afford to go into another game playing as they did Sunday. They are in a very tough spot this season with rival NFC east teams, the Giants and the Cowboys, who all have winning records in the standings. The skins will have to regroup and show their fans why they have those four wins today at home next Sunday against the 2-3 Clevland Browns. Fans will hope for the best. Hail to the Redskins!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Put Your Best Foot 4ward!!!!

What is the main tool that professional writers use to keep readers engaged in theirs newstories? Inverted Pyramids are very popular among writers to keep readers reading.The inverted pyramid consist of three portions. At the very top of the pyramid ,or the beginning of the story, are the leads that answer the 5w's and/or the 1 h. The next portion down are interesting facts or colorful details found in the body of the story. The last portion consist of the least important information found at the end of the story.

The following are examples of inverted pyramid found in the Baltimore Sun. This article gives a very informational lead, colorful details in the body, and little details at the end.

Woman, hit by falling tree outside condominium

lead-"A woman was killed yesterday afternoon when she was struck by a falling tree while emptying trash outside a Pikesville condominium, said a spokeswoman for the county Fire Department."

body info-"Armacost said someone called 911 and that firefighters from the Pikesville station arrived a few minutes later and removed the woman from beneath the tree. An ambulance crew pronounced her dead at the scene."
least Armacost said that police were investigating the woman's death

Link to the full story:,0,4194652.story

1st Story-Making News

Making News

The story that I will cover is a local event happening at a high school in Prince Georges County. This event is their 2008 Pep Rally Dance Showcase. This pep rally is for Visual and Performing Arts High School in Suitland, Maryland on October 1, 2008. According to the information given on the flyer the Pep Rally will mostly consist of dances and a small presentation of the Suitland High Rams Football team.

Important things that I will have to look for:
*The size of the audience
*Important reactions among the audience

*Speakers; important figures that attend

*Details of performances

Questions I will Ask
1.) What goes into creating the pep rally performances?-Student

2.) How long have the performers been together?
3.) How important is this event to the students?

4.) How much does the event raise fiancially for the school?

I look forward to getting information from both audience members, performers, and important staffers that make the event possible. I'm off to make great news...wish me luck ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Twitter-Tweet Tweet SWEET!!!

Twitter.Com- The Internet’s newest phenomenon is letting citizen journalism reach higher heights. Here “Websters” and Internet fiends can continuously update their personal statuses letting the public know their every action, thought, and whereabouts. So why is this site so addictive you ask? I think it’s because of its convenience. Users can access twitter virtually anywhere when using its cell phone feature. It has become the newest and coolest source of news.

My Experience

*I am very new to twitter however, it was surprisingly easy to get a feel of how users write effective news statuses.I feel the following clearly explain at least two of 3 5ws and 1h which is the who, what, when, where and how of the story. It gives you a clear understanding of what the story is about while also giving you a link to the full story.

Towson loses to Richmond while away 45-14 after many missed opportunities. -(Who, What and how) –Blake Musicboy232

“Towson fumbles a victory in a turnover battle allowing Richmond to take advantage of Tigers miscalculated plays. (Who, what, when, how)-Brian Bwrig5

“The hiring freeze is due to budget cuts. At Towson, hiring freezes applies to all faculty and staff positions., what, where, how)- Amber akowens

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Uncover the News.....PR vs. OR

Uncover the News:
Press Release vs. Original Report

Can you tell a press release article apart from an original report? Well, the differences are very basic.

*A press release article is a story mainly focusing on promoting a particular product or organization. For example, the Baltimore Sun featured an article titled “The Pearl Spa”.There are obvious clues that help indicate that this article was generated by a press release. One of which is that the article mainly focuses on the features and luxuries of the newly opened spa. Here is a excerpt of the article:

“Really, dahling, you're looking awfully stressed. A treatment at the new Pearl Spa will fix you right up. It's so lovely there, all that aqua and soft music, and those water features everywhere.”

Link to full story:,0,1618888.story?track=rss

*Unlike a press released generated story, an original report is more personal. This type of reporting usually focuses on the details and personal accounts of the story being reported. The clues that indicate this type of article are quotations and many descriptive words. An example of a detailed original report is in the article “Mega Million player produces winning ticket”. The article goes into detail about how, when, and where she one. Here is an excerpt:

"She's thrilled," the spokeswoman said. The woman, a North Carolina native, mother of two and grandmother of three, had planned to move and now likely will build a house. She also has plans to purchase a 2009 Lexus truck. The store owner will receive $25,000.”


Sunday, September 14, 2008

So What's New.......In the NEWS???

What’s News?Short Reports & Summary Leads

This weekend we all read about the tragedy of Hurricane Ike. Whether we read it in the newspaper, internet, or watched the numerous television news stories, we all can agree that it was a story worth being told. Many news medium varied on how they delivered the results on the catastrophe, but their main goal was to attract the reader.

*Short reports were very common in the print news; for example this was the opening for a front page Baltimore Sun article.

“Rescue crews in high-wheel trucks, helicopters and boats ventured out to pluck people from their homes Saturday in an all-out search for thousands of Texans who stubbornly ignored warnings of "certain death" and tried to ride out Hurricane Ike.”

This is a considered a short report because basically the readers gets a brief overview of the most important events of the story. This short report also is used in past tense by using words like ventured and ignored and also by using time elements.

*Summary Leads, basically give you straight news. It answers the 5 Ws and the one 1 H (what, when, why, when, and how). When a summary lead is used, the story is presented using the most important data in the first paragraph.

Hurricane Ike barreled across a wide swath of Texas on Saturday, deluging the city of Galveston with a wall of water, flooding coastal towns and leaving extensive damage across metropolitan Houston.

What- Was left with extensive damage
When- Saturday
Where- metropolitan Houston
How –Hurricane Ike; barreling and deluging the city with flooding waters

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blog #3-News Values


*The following three stories were featured in the Baltimore Sun on September 9, 2008. I chose these following articles because they contained important news values that made the article worth publishing.

1.) The first story that I chose was titled, “Man, 25 fatally shot in East Baltimore”. There were many elements of news value that I discovered; one of which was timeliness. The article explains that the 25 year old man was shot earlier in the day, which shows that the article was worthy to be printed because of the time of the event. Another news value I discovered was human interest, which relates to the emotional content of the story. The article clearly explains how and where the young man was shot by using several adjectives involving the shooting. This gave the article more of an emotional feel.

2.) The second story that I chose was titled, “Florida Woman fatally struck after jumping from Car”. Here are the following news values that I discovered with in the article.

*Conflict-this story utilized conflict to make the story news worthy by explaining that the woman killed had experienced a quarrel with her boyfriend moments before the accident.

*Proximity-the article was very close to home stating that the accident happened in Baltimore County. That was a very important value to use because most of the Baltimore Sun’s audience resides in Baltimore County

3.) The last article that I chose was titled, “Fire destroys city playground. Here are the following”. Here are the following news values that I discovered.

*Unusualness- this story was out of the ordinary because a playground is a place for children to play. The fire was set by an unknown arsonist, which also intensifies the strange events of the article.

*Prominence- this story consisted of famous or well known people, which is an influential aspect of news. The article used such names as the City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake and the Mayor Sheila Dixon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Blog #2

Post one:
After looking at a few outstanding portfolios I chose Meranda Watling. Also, after getting a jest of Watling's style of writing I learned that she focuses on education and devotes her time to blogging and reporting. For instance, in Watling's article "School Immigrants Adapt Over Time", you get a feel of her true, honest, and consistent writing because she speaks about how foreign students adjust to American schools. Like wise, most of her articles deal with education with topics such as, "One School four Generations", "Students now cautious about the internet", etc. Her portfolio brings me to the conclusion that she uses traditional equipment in her journalism kit. I believe she carries an audio recorder, pen, notepad, digital camera and laptop. I think that this traditional style kit helps Watling to remain true to the topics in which she focuses on.

Post two:

Who I am

Hello, my name is Charnay. I am a sophomore at Towson University. I have pretty much loved writing all my life, but it wasn't until high school that I actually decided to pursue it in college. In the future I would love to work in the sports journalism field or even as a magazine writer. The possibilities are endless:) One of my goals for this class, Mcom257, is to become better acquainted with the journalism field and improve my writing skills so I can become a successful writer. ;-)