Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Defining Online Journalism

Looking back at my first post, I think my definition of online journalism has changed somewhat. I've learned a great deal about blogging and twitter, and just how easy it is to get news online in this ever-changing technological world. I now feel like online journalism can really be anything- from the New York Times to Joe Shmoe's blog about a small-town in Idaho. Fast-paced and increasingly popular, online journalism seems to be the future.

What I don't think I emphasized enough in my first post was how the audience is involved. Allowing people to comment on stories from online newspapers and even individual's blogs is a great way to connect with your audience. Online journalism seems to be more of a conversation. I like that. It's like when you're in class: no one likes just sitting there and being lectured to, unless you need sleep of course. Participating in a discussion about what's going on, what you like, or how you feel about something of note is just plain more exciting. Reactions. Isn't that part of a good story anyway? Getting people's reactions to an event is essential to a story. I mean the good ol' this happened on this day at this time for this long is great, but, people and their reactions make a story real, and good, for that matter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fall Fun

I've had a great fall. The season, that is, and in Massachusetts, the foliage is always gorgeous. To remember my season, I took lots of photos and spent a lot of time outside enjoying the scenery.

A few of my favorite fall things to do include fall foods, festivals, and Thanksgiving, of course. One fall activity I manage to do every year is go apple picking. Apples can make lots of tasty dishes, and not to mention, the picking can be great fun. This year, and the past two, I've gone apple picking with the saxophone studio I am a part of. We spend a large amount of time together rehearsing, and like to go apple picking to just have fun for a change. Here's a little album I put together of our day of apple hunting, we like to say.

If you live in New England, you probably enjoy your fall as much as I do. I found a few cool fall things on Boston.com so that you can plan for your next fun fall. Check it out: Apple picking in New England, Fall food festivals, and free events.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Nashua Telegraph

For websites in my area, I explored the NashuaTelegraph.com based out of Nashua, New Hampshire. This online site is an edition of The Telegraph, their daily printed newspaper.

The website seemed well done to me. There were news updates from surrounding towns, though not much about my town. They did do a nice job collecting nation-based articles from other papers like the Los Angeles Times and by using the Associated Press. As far as the local stuff goes, it was decent, but there were spelling errors that I noticed on the staff writing and sentences like:

“Nobody else was reported injured...” that were not to my liking. Nobody? Bleh. No one.

The website did, however, have a great layout with links to other sites and blogs in the area. It was well organized, and had lots and lots of ads. I would say the website should double check its proofing and put the top news from the area right at the top middle, with pictures.

The best thing they did on the site would probably be the latest updates column and the 7 Days tab, where you can check out the top news from the last seven days. It would be exactly what I would go for right when the page opened up: the latest news from my town/area and what happened that I missed.

As far as the site’s economic model goes, it seems to be following the selling advertising model, pretty traditional. Although, I do remember using the site about a year ago, and I’m sure I couldn’t access certain pieces unless I subscribed. Maybe they took away the value-added services model because people didn’t want to bother with it? Either way, just using the selling advertising model makes it easier for everyone. Oh wait! Somehow, my name is on the top of the homepage...I guess that means I did subscribe. Apparently they do also follow the value-added services model. Woops...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tin in Congo

(NY Times)

When asked to find a slideshow, I searched many a website. The New York Times ended up winning the race for a great one, an audio slideshow called The Spoils: A Scramble for Tin in Congo.

In the pictures, the lives of poor Congolese are shown, working hard to produce tin from a mine surrounded by soldiers. Conditions are horrible for living and working, and with toxic fumes and tunnels caving in, it seems hard to survive as well. Workers have to carry heavy stones and 110 pound sacks on their backs for wealthy countries to use the tin to produce things like laptops and cellphones. Seeing the pictures of the people was much more than saddening, especially when seeing pictures of children working.

"It is the saga of much of Africa's riches: unearthed by the poor, controlled by the strong and consumed by a world oblivious to its orgins."

This quote really hit me. How can the world be so oblivious to this? How come we don't know? How can we learn about these things? Is there anything we can do?


If you haven't seen Boston.com's The Big Picture, check it out. Now.

The pictures are just stunning. Seeing the pictures of the California wildfires was intense. After seeing what people are really experiencing, everything changes. The fires are no longer just a horrible story happening to people in California, but are a terrible disaster attacking people's homes, and destroying lives. Seeing the ruins pries at your heart. It's one thing to see it on the news, but when the photos are that detailed and clear, it's so much more real.

All of the photos posted are incredible. Antartica was my favorite, it's like another world.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Must See

My roommate showed me this video...

I laughed for a long time at the one that misses the trampoline in the beginning...

The music is perfect.