Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Assignment #9

The U.S. v. Matthews case was definitely fair. Since NPR reporter Larry Matthews had no proof, despite mentioning on-air his intent to write an article on child pornography, he had no legal defense. Even if he had no contract with an editor, he should have at least had some form of notes. Without this, he was completely vulnerable and subject to any legal ramifications.
It serves as a lesson to any future undercover reporters. If their subject matter happens to be something illegal (smuggling, drug dealing, child pornography, etc.), they must take extra precautions to ensure they have at least some legal defense should police arrest them. If a reporter was going undercover as a drug dealer, and got arrested with a kilo of cocaine in his car, he better have some thorough notes or a contract with an editor to form at least some backbone of a defense case. Drug dealing, child pornography, and any other illegal activity is pretty serious business, so these risk-taking reporters must be ready.
In the legal sense, it wouldn’t and shouldn’t have made a difference. If all performers and viewers are of legal age (usually 18), no laws were broken and no arrest should have been made. In a perfect world (and here’s where my conservative and liberal views clash), all forms of pornography would be illegal, putting an end to the exploitation. So, if I ruled the world, it wouldn’t make a difference. But the laws being what they are, it makes a significant difference.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Assignment #8

Scott Baradell's presentation made me excited about journalism for the first time in a long time. After my experience with 2320 last semester, with its veritable funeral dirge of current and former print journalists, I was pretty depressed about the future of my chosen career path. Bleak bleak bleak was the outlook, but now I'm a bit more hopeful.

While I still have a long way to go to becoming a modern journalist (mainly in the realms of video shooting and editing), I feel a bit more confident since I'm comfortable blogging and using Web sites such as Twitter. Many of the users I follow on Twitter are businesses (mostly magazines--i.e. Rolling Stone, and news outlets--i.e. Pegasus and the DMN), and "tweeting" seems to be a skill many publications will look for in the near future.

Baradell's presentation was informative, engaging and insightful. I was afraid that as a PR professional, his time would focus mainly on that topic, but he stayed mostly on journalism as we know it, fielding most of the group's questions. His grasp of new media was vast and I always appreciate it when adult lecturers don't talk to my generation like morons, especially when talking about technology.

I enjoyed this lecture and feel excited about being hopeful about my future vocation.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Assignment #7

"The Ninth Floor" by Jessie Dimmock

1. A Point (of View)
We get to be a fly on the wall here. We get to truly experience life in this dilapidated apartment with these wiry heroin junkies.

2. A Dramatic Question
"Will these addicts ever get clean?"
That's the question on the viewers' minds as they view this project. We all hope they do, but for anyone who's experienced drug addiction amongst their own family and friends (or even firsthand) knows the nearly insurmountable challenge of overcoming their jones for the junk.

3. Emotional Content
You can hear the emotion in the voices and see it in the photos. The three people the photographer followed were all desperate to get clean, yet undeniably hooked to the powerful drug. The most devastating image: Jessie (the addict) shooting up while in her hospital bed.

4. The Gift of Your Voice

I found no bias in this project. Dimmock doesn't judge these users, but simply lets the images speak for themselves: the violence, the lack of self-respect, the desperation. Her voice is gentle, not abrasive. The images are powerful enough.

5. The Power of the Soundtrack
As a big believer in music and its power, the tunes composed for this project fit perfectly: the anxiousness, the despondency, the squalor. It's all here.

6. Economy
Not a single second is wasted or extraneous in this project. Every image, note, and line of dialogue fits where it should. As Radiohead once said, this project has "Everything in its Right Place."

7. Pacing
A multimedia story should flow well. Even in our ADD society, it's nearly impossible not to be riveted, to be glued to the computer screen for the 13-plus minutes of this project. Going back and forth but focusing on two stories (Jessie and Rachel & Dionn), the entire project feels complete, without missing any crucial details.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In-Class Assignment #3

U.S. panel passes tobacco regulations
By Kip Mooney
Based on a Bloomberg report

After 10 years in limbo, legislation allowing the FDA to regulate the $80-billion-a-year tobacco industry passed in the House, and may have widespread support from Congress.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed 39-13 in the House today. Back in July, it got 3-1 favorable support but slowed in the Senate over concerns the bill didn't ban menthol cigarettes.

Smoking causes one in five U.S. deaths, and the new bill, backed by Altria, admitted tobacco user President Barack Obama, and the American Lung Association, aims to lower the number by restricting tobacco marketing to youth, adding larger warnings, and requiring the FDA to monitor ingredients and new products.

"Regulating tobabcco is the single most important thing that we can do right now to curb the deadly toll of tobacco, and FDA is the right agency to do the job," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) said.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Assignment #6

I'm not quite sure who's to blame, but everyone at Tuesday's class seemed extremely disinterested.

Students were bored either because they didn't care (which they should, since if they want to go into journalism, they're really going to have to know videography) or they'd heard it all before. If they took 2320 last semester, they heard Dan X. McGraw, a frankly more accomplished mojo ("mobile journalist"). Also, many students are in Lisa Parisot's class, so they are probably already in the process of learning these things, so it was just old hat.

Even the writer himself admitted that his current vocation isn't even what he really wants to do. He desires to be a feature film director, but the class wasn't made aware of this fact until nearly the end of the class, and by that time, all students were ready to get on with their days, so any questions about his filmmaking career remained unasked.

Only one student seemed interested in asking his inqueries, and those were all technical questions that no one had any interest in hearing or answering. It made for quite the yawn-filled class frankly.

And honestly, the video quality was merely adequate. Questions were asked about compression, which makes the videos load faster and take up space, but the quality is diminished even more.

The videos on the site still looked amateurish. It may be a lack of funds or the mojo was on deadline, but none were too impressive.

I normally love guest speakers, but Tuesday's experience all-around was unenjoyable (but that could just be the fact that the MacLab lost my I.D.).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Assignment #5

Latest pit bull attack: 2 teens
By Kip Mooney
Based on a report by Dan X. McGraw,

NORTHEAST DALLAS--Four pit bulls attacked two teenagers Monday, making it the third dog attack in a week, according to Dallas police.

The 13-year-old (who was bitten but not seriously hurt) and his 18-year-old sister (who used a belt to scare the dogs away) were walking along Hoblitzelle Drive Monday around 5 p.m. when the dogs attacked them.

Dogs caught two of the dogs and held them in their squad car, and cornered the other two in a backyard.

The unidentified owner was issued three citations.

But these teenagers aren't the only victims.

On Feb. 21, dogs attacked Clarence Webber and Helen Fuller outside Jerry's Market at Bernal and North Westmoreland in West Dallas.

At Parkland Memorial Hospital, Webber received treatment for injuries to his eye, face, hand, and thigh, while Fuller received treatment for arm and head wounds.

Later that day, a 12-year-old boy was attacked after trying to retrieve a lost ball.

The series of attacks have ignited debate that cities should ban certain violent dog breeds.

  • MAP: Send us locations of other attacks.
  • PHOTOS: Send us photos of the attacks; help put a face with this problem.
Lakeview Prep reopens after fire
By Kip Mooney
Based on a report by Dan X. McGraw,

After a weekend fire, East Dallas' Lakeview Preparatory School will reopen its doors.

The two-alarm blaze broke out around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. No injuries were reported. Fire officials have not yet determined the cause.

"The damage looks significant," said Gigi Ekstrom, Lakehill's director of marketing. "We haven’t determined how significant it is. We are hoping to have some more answers by the end of the day."

She said it's likely the gym will be unavailable for the remainder of the school year. Sports are done for the year, but phys-ed classes will use the cafeteria.

  • PHOTOS: Share your before and after photos.
'One Man Star Wars Trilogy' comes to Addison
By Kip Mooney
Based on a report by Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News

Millions of kids have been impacted by the original Star Wars trilogy (not to mention horrified by the prequels), but perhaps none as significantly as Charlie Ross.

He's performed his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy more than 1,200 times in over 200 cities, and now brings it to Addison's WaterTower Theatre.

Over the course of an hour, he burns through all three original films, performing all the roles, making sound effects, and singing along with the orchestra.

The Canadian actor got his start a Fringe theatre festival in Minneapolis, only fitting as he takes part in the Addison's Out of the Loop Festival. May the force be with him.

Opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. $15, festival passes good for all shows $60. 972-450-6232.

  • EXPERIENCE: Share your 'Star Wars' experience on the blog
  • PHOTOS: Share your photos from the show