Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Op-ed = Virtual schooling in high school

In Florida, we have a new graduation requirement for my class (2016). You must have at least a half-credit in a virtual class through Florida Virtual for your diploma. I've witness some of my classmate balk at this for the fear that completing a course without a teacher in front of them, they're destined for an easy-F.

For students that have multiple commitments outside of school, or prefer the one-on-one contact with a teacher when they need help, virtual schooling would fit well within their schedules and needs. I've taken virtual classes since the 6th grade, and I could only liken it to a "bittersweet inbetween."

Depending on the subject and level of the class you take, the curriculum could vary between "simple enough" and "challenging". Mathematics and sciences tend to be the hardest; while the humanities (english, social studies, and foreign languages) are a bit simpler. The bulk of the coursework are: assignments, tests, quizzes, Discussion-based assessments (with the teacher), and collaboration projects.

When I went full-time virtual in middle school, I had no idea what I was up aganist. After years of classroom hand-holding, I was thrown a curveball in what "school" actually was. Not being confined to a building and seven different desks a day, I  learned things that I wouldn't have known otherwise. (My passion for words. Grit. Procrastination. Accountability. Balance.)

Looking to the future, I will continue taking virtual classes, even if I initially have trouble keeping up. I could always ask for accountability partners, or keeping with a daily ritual. But, I do know a lackluster final grade would be enough to snap me out of my passive habits.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lesson 7.00: Starting Your Project

       Beginning in middle school, I depended on Fox News for information on events and news nationally, and Bay News 9's site on local happenings. I had also became a serious diarist, and filled up a couple of notebooks on writing topics to publish. I wasn't too fond of English I or American Government, but I wanted to take another class that challenged me to write more and research better, with limited deviation into my personal thoughts. Alas, Journalism I!
         My definition of a journalist was "someone, regardless of background or experience, that reports events and information to the public in an ethical, factual, and timely matter." I grew up with television news reporters, and hearing traffic and weather broadcasts on local radio; but my love of online print news outshone both. Seeing and hearing news about accidents or disasters or death was a bit harder on me emotionally, as opposed to reading words and pausing to process them (as I do when I read fiction.) But the only remote "ethic" I knew of for reporting was being factual and unbiased, two of the quickest ways to be "sacked" from a newspaper, large or small.
         But online newspapers, especially ones in which reporters writing in "blogs" instead of columns, sometimes blur the lines between impartial and opinion reporting. A strongly-worded opinion may come off to readers as a fact, thus messing up the purpose of the "news" in the first place, as it wasn't news to begin with.

        Due to my fascination with blogs and writing, I had also begun thinking about careers involving writing: journalism, creative and technical writing, novelist. Words like "successful, prolific, and best-selling" came to mind.
        My views of the journalism industry didn't change much, even down to the fact that it can get competitive and the purpose is to truthfully inform the public. I've also thought more extensively into a career as a industry journalist, keeping up and voicing trends in trade journals and publications. Thinking ahead into the future, I believe journalism will continue to change as more communication technologies are introduced.

Lesson 6.00- Thinking About Careers

           Arianna Huffington got her start in the writing world when she published her first book, "The Female Woman" in 1974.  She attended Cambridge University and became the president of the Cambridge Union, the school's debate society. To date, she published 12 books on subjects ranging from political science, to biographies and personal development. She has also been published in the National Review, ran for governor in California, and hosted a public radio program on political commentary.

         Her biggest career project to date, The Huffington Post, was launched in 2005.  AOL brought the online paper in 2011, and made Huffington the president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media group. To date, the site has expanded into 10 different languages/countries; as well as becoming the first news site to include video blogging as part of stories. I believe that this marks the height of Arianna's career, and someone who would have this position would basically be the editor-in-chief, but with more responsibilities.


<"Arianna Huffington", Biography, N.p, n. d., Web., 15. Mar. 2014. <www.biography.com/people/arianna-huffington-21216537?page=2>

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How do newspapers make money? (Mod.2, Lesson 1)

  Seemingly any newspaper you pick up and open, there's medium-sized pictures of smiling people, next to or surrounded by bolded words for a specific product or service. Most of these advertisments are littered throughout every page of a weekly or daily paper, and they provide part of the paper's budget. The other part of the budget can be made up by different marketing strategies, including social media and testimonials.

 Advertisments are such a large part of a printed papers' income that it has it own department within marketing, far away from the reporters (lest not taint any future news articles.) Most of the ads are from local businesses wanting to drum up new customers, and organizations that want to promote their cause.An example is below, showing an ad in the Sept. 19-25 issue of Tbo Two for the Tampa Mayor Youth Corps.

Other marketing strategies newspapers use include social media and testimonials to drawn in new readers and subscriptions. Social media can be used to share "teaser" clips of stories and can also serve as a platform for contests. People who place ads in the paper can be invited to give a testimonial on how choosing that particular paper for their ads brought them more customers and attention from the community.

Drew, Bettina. "Marketing Ideas for Newspapers." Houston Chronicle. n.d. n. page. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/marketing-ideas-newspapers-3421.html>.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What is news?

                  I believe news would be any information about current events, created and put together for the purpose of the public receiving that information. This information can be distributed throughout different forms of media, in visual and audio forms. And with the widespread use of social media throughout the present time period comes the evolution of citizen journalism.
                News can be separated between current events (locally, nationally, and internationally); and categories that are unique to the specific newspaper. For example, a blog detailing government-sponsored land projects and the effects on the surrounding environment could also publish op-eds authored by official associated with the project. “Filler” articles on miscellaneous environmental information can be published routinely as well.    

                Lastly, news can be distributed in several different forms of media. The fastest is through the Internet; videos, pictures, as well as text can be published within a few seconds to a world-wide audience. The very first news was distributed on paper, which continues today. Television and radio are also two widely known forms of media distribution.