Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Social Networking Disconnects

This article can also be seen at www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6079791-social-networking-disconnects

Youtube. Facebook. Twitter. Flickr. Myspace. There are so many ways to connect to the rest of the world. But it also seems these websites leave us disconnected.

With all of the time spent recieving updates on cell phones or surfing the web for the latest news, we are taking time away from things we should be doing. Playing with kids, doing homework, attending church, or reading a book. These things are pushed to the back burner and forgotten. All because we want to stay connected.

Facebook Statistics say that people spend over 500 billion minutes a month on Facebook. Youtube has 24 hours of video uploading every minute and Twitter's search engine recieves around 600 million searches a day.

Everyone should considered unplugging a little more. Social networking sites are a great way to stay connected with family and friends of far away. But along with texting should not be used to talk to your next door neighbor when you can use your legs and walk over.

Relationships founded in the real world are much stronger than those founded in cyber world. But 1 in 8 relationships are started online. Wouldn't you rather know exactly what you were getting into before starting a relationship?

Is all the networking really keeping us connected or is it pulling the plug on real life?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Movie Review

Also while at Journalism Camp, we were asked to watch a movie and review it! We watched "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Here is my review:

On the island of Swallow Falls, the citizens must eat sardines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Flint Lockwood, played by Bill Hader, decides he must find a solution.
The film “Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs” was based on a book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. It was produced by Sony Pictures Animations and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It was released in September of 2009. The movie was rated PG for brief mild language. The length of the film was 90 minutes.
As a child, Flint was different from other kids. He creates funky inventions such as hair unbalder, spray on shoes, and monkey though interpreters. His mother, Fran Lockwood who is played by Lauren Graham, was supportive of Flint’s science experiments, while his father Tim, played by James Caan, wished he would spend more time helping out in the family tackle shop. Flint’s mother dies and Tim is left to care for Flint. The sardine factory in Swallow Falls fails and the residents are forced to consume the sardines. Eventually they grow sick of this and Flint thinks he has a solution. At the unveiling of a new town tourism site, he accidentally launches a machine that turns water into food into the sky. Corn, pizza, and ice cream begin to fall from the sky. This works well for a while until the food began to grow in size. Then Flint and his new found friends must save the world from being buried by food.
A major focus point was originality or being yourself. Fran said to her son, “The world needs your originality.” She was right. The world is a much better place when everyone is different and unique. Collaboration, ideas, and new inventions come from such a world. This movie is a wonderful family movie for people of all ages. It combines humor with love and creative thinking. Flint as well as other characters found that it was good to be themselves and not be afraid of what other people think. This movie was great because it showed sentimental and funny sides to all characters. Though, many times the story felt too creative and far-fetched. I’m sure it followed the story line of the book but it felt as though it was unrealistic and similar to so many other children’s stories. I would give “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” a rating of four out of five.

Working A Beat

While at Journalism camp, Nick Beres, a local news reporter, spoke to us about the competitive field of Journalism. We were asked to write an article about his speech.

A classroom of eager Journalism students sat quietly listening. Hands were moving across notebooks, jotting down quotes and ideas. Nick Beres, reporter at News Channel 5, sat on a table at the front of the room and imparted his wisdom of journalistic tools.
These young high school students were attending a summer camp for Journalism. This camp was held June 6-9 on the Lipscomb University Campus. They attended several classes on different styles of writing and the tools needed to be a good reporter.
Jimmy McCollum, the director of the camp, asked if Beres would be able speak to the students. Beres entitled his session “What They Don’t Teach You in School.”
“In high school, you’re at the point where you’re trying to figure out what you want to do,” he said. He gave advice along with other tips to determine whether or not the field of journalism is for you. If you are not willing to go out of your way to write a good story, and write it well, it is not for you.
There were many things he declared to be important and necessary attributes for a reporter to have. These included getting the story first, finding a story no one else has, being aggressive, and finding great connections you can rely on.
“All I want to do is win and beat the competition,” he stated. To get the story first, you have to have the best connections and not be afraid to jump in there when no one else will.
He gave three tips for creating an interesting but reliable story: never pay for a story, never lie, and be fair and accurate.
To find a story no one else has, you may have to look at the story from another angle. Instead of talking to a victim or a criminal, talk to the families or another outside source. You may have to talk to a grieving family, but they will still be willing to cooperate if you show empathy and consideration.
“I want to find a back door in that no one has thought about,” he explained. Your story will be unique and will set you apart from other reporters in your field.
“To succeed, being aggressive and competitive are so important,” he told the group. He explained that often times; journalists will not have the drive to compete. While they may be mediocre reporters, the best will thrive when they do their best to deliver a story worth reading to their audience.
Lastly, he spoke of having great contacts. Through his experience as a journalist, he has found that going to the “smaller people” will get you the story faster and with less hassle. They know just as much information, sometimes more, as the important people working a case or on the scene.
“Cultivating sources, that’s what it’s all about,” he told them. Getting personal cell phone numbers, inviting people out to lunch or dinner, and gaining people’s trust gets you going on a story much faster than waiting on press releases or contact from the police.
He advised the students to keep up with their contacts and go to them for information and favors. Sometimes they may even call you when they find a good story. The people with the inside information, who the press don’t usually contact, will be the ones who will contact you the quickest with the best information. These are the people you need to get a beat from. “You can get great stories,” he continued, “by [just] working a beat.”

New Blog Subject

I have decided that this year I will be changing the subject of my blog. I will be using it to post my journalistic writings. I am on the newspaper at my school (The Blackman Voice). I will be posting all the stories I write for that, as well as other reviews or writings I wish.

Right now I am at Journalism Camp and we were assigned to write a summary of a speech given to us by Nick Beres, a reporter at a local news channel. I will be posting it soon!