Ways Around Stress

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Imagine this: You have 5 hours to write story. It better be interesting, it better have intriguing sources, it better be 100% factual, and the grammar better be damn near perfect. Fail to do this, and you're fired!

The life of a journalist is a highly stressful one. A story could break at a moment's notice and a journalist better be ready to hop out of bed and get their butts down to the scene of the breaking news.

With all the hustle-and-bustle in this profession, how do journalists refrain from killing themselves, or their editors? The Society of Professional Journalists Generation J has come up with a solution that might help journalist world-wide vent their frustrations to people who understand. On November 13, 2011 this group is holding the first Google+ hangout allowing journalists to get together and discuss annoyances in their work places.

These sessions are not tracked or recorded so journalist can simply vent without worrying about pissing too many people off.

This "hangout" session not only allows journalists to get together and tell their stories, but will help them network, find sources, and hopefully help them remember the reasons why they entered into this high-stress profession.

Social media, such as this, are important tools for journalists, beyond helping them find stories. These media enable reporters to build a tight-knit community which they can share their passion for news with others who care just as much as they do.


ECU Student Editor Defends Streaking Photos

A student newspaper at the East Carolina University, The East Carolinian, ran uncensored photos of a student who streaked the ECU v. University of Southern Mississippi game.

Editor Caitlin Hale made the final decision to run the pictures, citing that they were not meant to be seen in a sexually suggestive manner.

According to Jim Romanski of Poynter.org ECU administration condemned the decision to run the photos and plans to use the event as a learning process.

My question here, is whether this is justified or not. Should those involved be reprimanded?

The pictures show front images of the streaking student and I believe this is where the biggest discretion is at.

Hale defended her decision by noting that the paper's audience had the right to the uncensored, factual photos.

Personally, the publishing of these photos comes off as a poor attempt to get attention. In fact, this is borderline disgraceful.

These photos serve as shock value and don't enhance the publication at all. Lets be honest, we can all picture a naked body in our head.


Student Journalism Upheld

Notch one up for student journalism.

Today, the Iowa Court of Appeals sided with a high school journalism teacher saying that he was unfairly reprimanded for allowing alleged inappropriate articles in the school newspaper.

The court cited the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier in their decision.

In April of 2008, the Waukon Senior High School Tribe-une distributed an April Fool's edition that consisted of various parody articles. In August of that same year, the principal of Waukon Senior High School issued a reprimand to Ben Lange, the faculty advisor for the newspaper, saying that the newspaper had "numerous inappropriate text, comments, and articles."

The newspaper obviously functioned as a parody, containing articles such as "Meth Lab Found in Biology Lab" and "Cheerleaders on 'Roids." Each page also had the disclaimer: "This issue is a parody created in celebration of All Fools' Day. It contains no factual information."

A few months later, Lange and the newspaper were under fire again after the principal issued another formal reprimand. He stated that the September 30, 2009 issue contained "numerous inappropriate and questionable text, comment, pictures, and articles... people within our school are offended by this edition."

Lange was suspended for two days without pay. In January 2010, Lange took the issue to court.

This case is a good thing for student journalism and journalism in general as First Amendment rights are held up and students' free speech rights are protected.


Death to the Media

The newsroom of El Buen Tono was set vandalized by arson a few days ago by unidentified gunmen in New York, reports say there were at least a dozen armed men.

El Buen Tono was a new paper on the scene and is one of the victims in the trending crimes against media.

Equipment, offices, and the entire newsroom and was doused in gasoline and completely destroyed.  

 Along with material items in the building, over twenty employees were also inside the building, but luckily escaped in time.

The paper was not able to print the past few days but the director said they have every intention of keeping the paper printing.

A new trend against the media is a direct attack on the company is said to be done by organized crime.

El Buen Tono covers beats such as organized crime and related topics, and Veracruz is dealing with drug wars and violence and has been for many years.  So one can assume this hit was done to cover any information not meant to be spread.

Journalists have been killed in mexico and have even gone into hiding. Mexico is one of the most dangerous places for someone to report the news.

Crime against the media is nothing new. More than a dozen news organizations were attacked with malicious intent last year. Vanguardia, newspaper of Saltillo, was attacked by a hand grenade in May. In February, gunmen attacked the facilities of two media companies in the city of TorreĆ³n, destroyed equipment, and killed a TV engineer.

With all these crimes against the media, along with the decline in the economy and newsprint, is there really a future for media? Are there people willing to risk their lives for stories that a small percentage will actually read?


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