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Archive for December 5th, 2006

Would you like wine with that?

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

My “Wine 101” package ran today in the Stater. I’ve already uploaded it here.

The story talks about why students/young adults tend to not drink wine, but more importantly it tells students how they can develop an interest and knowledge of wine, which if you read the story is a big part of the intimidation, which is a big part of why they don’t drink wine. (If that makes any sense?)

I like the package a lot. I worked with the photographer and designer to get what we needed to make it work visually and (more importantly) to make it an accessible package for busy readers. I wrote a main story and then several sidebars to break out the important information students really want to know at quick glance. Although the online version of the story doesn’t work as well because StaterOnline’s sidebar style is to tack them on at the end. I uploaded the PDF, if anyone wants to see it.

As someone pointed out today, this is the last story I will ever write for student media at Kent State. I guess it’s not too bad a way to end a three-year run.

Mojo is more than a fun word to say

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

My professor e-mailed me this story from the Washington Post, A Newspaper Chain Sees Its Future, and It’s Online and Hyper-Local. I replied and gave her my thoughts. I’ll post part of my e-mail here just because it kind of sums up my outlook on the mojo (mobile online journalist) position and also the future of news.

(Mojos) benefit from being “embedded” in the community instead of tied to a desk or a beat. The way I see it, while writing about a hunks calendar (for example) might not be the most “newsworthy” event and it’s not going to win a Pulitzer, it means something to those involved, which hits home with my mantra that everything’s important to someone… I think part of the shift that needs to take place in the newspaper industry is how we decide what’s newsworthy and to whom (and more importantly, how we allocate ever dwindling resources to covering those stories). Readers can and will get the information they want. If the local paper isn’t providing it, they’ll find it somewhere else or they’ll use the Web to create it themselves.

I have some professors who think mojos are a bad idea, some who are reserving judgment and others who say, “why the hell not?”

The way I see it, and this was the way I explained it to my classmates when the topic came up recently, it might not be the solution — in fact, if anything it’s only part of the solution — but it’s something different. It’s a risk, and I think it’s a risk in the right direction. As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you keep getting what you’ve always gotten. I love that newspapers are diving head first into new media. Once the shake-out of “well this works, this not so much” happens and we figure out what it is we’re selling, to whom and on what platform, we’ll be well placed to deliver the news that’s important to people faster, better and with more depth and context than ever. Isn’t that why we all got into this business?

I found the snow

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Or rather, it found me.

On my way back from Creative Writing, I also saw a kid slip, fall and slide all the way down blanket hill. It might make me a horrible person, but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. (He was fine, and his ego was probably more bruised than anything else.) Lucky for him, my class let out early so I was the only person who saw it. It wasn’t between classes when hundreds of people would have seen.

Also, one of the reporters just gave me my first candy cane of the year. This weekend, when I was working on homework I watched my favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. So with snow, Christmas movies and Christmas candy, it is actually “beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.”