Archive for the ‘Reaction’ Category

Chrys Wu Q&A

I e-mailed Chrys Wu a couple of weeks ago to ask her some questions I didn’t get to ask in class and here are the responses:

>I am the student that is applying to law school and you said that was a smart move, I was wondering why you said that.I remember you mentioned that you took the LSAT’s as well, did you want to pursue a law career?What skills do you find the most useful?What do journalism jobs look for when it comes to skills?<

A little bit of everything, really, and a lot depends on the job. Here’s a roundup of places that list journalism jobs:

Most hiring editors I know say the skill most important to them is newswriting ability, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, articles, multimedia features, or video/audio scripts.

If you’re going to work online, you’ll need to at least know some HTML and CSS, and basic Photoshop editing (cropping, color correction, sharpening, exporting a Web-optimized jpeg).

If you’re looking to become a video journalist, you’ll have to develop skills in recording and editing sound and video. If you want to really get into it, you might want to learn motion graphics software too.

If your interest is data visualization and information graphics, you’ll want to have a solid grounding in statistics, and know how to really use Excel. Also helpful, if you want to go that way: knowledge of Javascript, ActionScript 3 and Flash, or R (it’s statistical analysis software used by mathematicians, but also used by newsroom specialists to make really interesting static and interactive graphics — search for Amanda Cox on some time to see examples).

>My last question is do you love what you do and why do you love it?<

I like turning ideas into reality. I like helping people feel like they’ve done something good for their organization and for the people who depend on them for information. I like thinking about big questions and seeing what kinds of answers I can come up with. (For example: What are the coming trends in information consumption? How does any company meet the needs of its various constituents and make money at the same time?) I like the technical part of the job as well. And I like that I’m always finding new things to learn and really interesting people to talk to.

I’m glad I’m taking the opportunity to go to law school because I think that it is a great experience to have and it’ll give me some time for the economy to get better. If I decide that journalism is my route then I’ll pursue it, but until then I’ll gain some more knowledge and skills so I can keep my options open.




For Want of Water

I read the Online News Association General Excellence Award winner Las Vegas Sun’s project on the water issue in Las Vegas.

“For Want of Water” was a great article to read about, it talks about Las Vegas running out of water. The desert is soon going to run out of all kinds of water, Lake Mead is predicted to dry out by 2021. There is a countdown on the website of when the water will run out. It counts down the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds and even the milliseconds of when Las Vegas will be completely dried out. The countdown is scary, it’s a reality to see every millisecond of getting closer to a water-less city. The map on the website shows where Lake Mead is in relation to Las Vegas. The article tells how the region is getting dryer and dryer by the day, that the climate change and huge reliance on Lake Mead is making the chances of keeping a “wetter” land is becoming slim to none.

My favorite thing about the project is the interactive video. When you play the video it explains the facts of the problem in the region. When the video talks about a specific area, the map below the video moves to where the video is talking about. Then the video goes onto talking about facts by showing graphs. Then you hear from people who are being effected by the dry problem.

All of the multimedia that is used in this project is incredible. It really helps you understand why Las Vegas and the southern Nevada region is becoming dry and what people are doing to fix the problem. It shows how global warming is a scary thing and that in only a few years, Las Vegas can become a really different place.

When I read this article, it got me thinking…is the Bellagio Fountain show really necessary? Or is it a big waste of water?


Picture taken by Lily Lee of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas might not be the Las Vegas we think of today in 2021.

Las Vegas

Picture taken by Lily Lee in Las Vegas.

Maps Maps Maps

I was waiting for Chrys Wu to respond to my e-mail but I haven’t gotten a response yet…so I’ll talk about the maps on 10,000 Words . The maps that were on the website were really effective.

As the economy deteriorates, jobs have been lost and it has taken a huge toll on people’s lives. The Geography of Jobs was the most powerful in my opinion. It showed where people have lost their jobs and where people have gotten jobs. If I looked at this map in 2004, I would immediately move to Southern California, Southern Florida or stay in the Baltimore area in order to find a job. But it’s interesting to see that in 2009 the places where you gained the most jobs, you’ve lost them. I think it’s smart to add a map into blogs because it makes the information more effective. It’s easier to imagine it rather than reading facts.

The H1N1 FluTracker is a great map to look at lately. Since the whole swine flu outbreak has happened, parents all over the world are freaking out about this epidemic. Where are the most outbreaks? Where do we need to stay away from. Since swine flu is a world-wide epidemic, everyone is curious to see where the flu has spread to. You can see on the map numbers of people who have gotten the flu. It’s an easier way to read data.

Track The Money is a great interactive map. I love this map because you can click on the different states and different data pops up for every state. On the data box there is a key so you can understand how much money the state has in grants, loans and contracts. It’s informative to those who are interested in the financial data of the states.

All in all the data on the maps are useful and it’s easier to understand the information. I think it’s a smart way to show your audience what your purpose is.

High Heel Racing?

I know that there are weird races around the world like pig races, turtle races, running of the bulls…but high heel racing? The Tuesday before every Halloween, the people of 17th St. in Washington D.C. get dressed up and put on a nice pair of heels to get ready for their annual race.

I was looking through these pictures and I could not stop laughing. It kind of reminded me of “Hon Fest” in Baltimore with all the crazy outfits. Men and women both dressed up for the occasion and it is hysterical. The pictures make the event so much more effective than just reading an article about it. The costumes wouldn’t be as entertaining if I were reading a description in print rather than seeing it in a picture. Even though it was raining this past Tuesday, the people drew crowds and entertained them. You can see the crowds laughing and smiling, you can see the people participating with hysterical expressions and you can really feel the vibe of the night through the photographs.

It’s important in media these days to add pictures into their text so that the audience has a better understanding of the event. It makes people want to stay and click on the next photo instead of clicking to another website. It’s a smart way to keep people enticed.

Wouldn’t you want to click on the next picture after seeing this?

High Heel Race

Men and women racing in heels.

Living on a Dollar a Day in Malawi

Wow. There is nothing more moving that reading an article like Living on a Dollar a Day in Malawi.

The story is so touching, it’s so sad and it makes a struggle for me seem like nothing. It’s incredible how these people survive on a dollar. Sometimes they’ll eat and other days they won’t. Their daily lives deal with so many chores including carrying gallons of water on their heads, getting fertilizer for their soil and try to limit their spending as much as possible. Martha’s journey is someone to look up to, she wants to be a journalist, but she and her family don’t have enough money to get a proper education to become a news reporter.

The sound clip really makes you understand what the Phiri family is going through. You can hear the water, the animals you hear the family talking to you. Even with all the struggle you still hear them laughing and that is something that I really appreciate. I think I often forget about how blessed I am to have all these things and I sometimes take my life for granted, but listening to their story is so touching and it makes me realize that I have more than enough.

The pictures are also really moving. You can see how skinny the family is from the lack of food. You see what they have to do every day, you see where they live and you see that they’re still smiling.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to live with only a dollar a day, I do know that I should never take my life for granted.

Text advice/Online advice

Journalism Online by Mike Ward

Journalism Online by Mike Ward

Does anyone else find it funny that Mike Ward’s textbook, Journalism Online, is in print? I just thought that was a little ironic. Regardless of the irony, Ward’s advice on online journalism has some key points to helping a journalist new to the online media get a jump start on their career. Specifically I think that chapter five, Online story construction, was a good chapter to understand how to maintain a good story. The five tips given by Leah Gentry are constructive and useful to keep the reader’s attention. Follow the guidelines, figure out the strength of the media, deconstruct and reconstruct your story, and don’t take the technology aspect out of context. Each tip makes you keep with the objective of the story, makes you incorporate the important aspects of online writing, makes you keep the attention of your reader to make sure that they just don’t click to a new story.

The online resource I found helpful was the What not to do on Twitter beat-blog. I know for a fact that I forget why twitter is actually there. It is about content and not about the count in the amount of words you use in your “tweet”. It reminds you that unlike facebook, twitter is straight to the point. You can’t dilly-dally around what your main idea is when you have a limit on words. People follow you because you have a purpose not because you’re telling a 140 word story. Keep to the point when using new social medias.

It’s apparent that online journalism is different and you need to stick to advice given by professionals to try to have a profession. The tips are simple, you just have to follow them.