Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Event This Weekend

For my first story, I am going to cover the 2nd Annual Baltimore Book Festival. Although it extends over 3 days, I will be there all Saturday attended workshops. It also serves as a personal purpose.

I've seen the commercials and was led to the Internet to look up some information. I found an official website for the event. A map and schedule of the festival is available. I based my day around Saturdays' schedule to make sure I am able to attend every separate event. The website also includes names of authors and everyone involved in the events.

My main sources will be the people attending the event, as well as available authors and readers. Because it’s an event, according to the text, I will ask general questions to provide an overview of the event. The additional details I will look for will be ways unpublished authors can find ways to get published.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Twitter Posts

I looked at three of my classmates Twitter posts: Daniel, Katelyn and Leah. There are a lot of similarities between the three of them. Unfortunately, some of the information I'm about to share will be repetitive.

Daniel’s Twitter posts about last Saturday’s football game were the first I checked out. His first post in the first step of 1-2-3 filing answered two of the 5w’s. The first w was what; the second was where. In his words he says, “Schaefer's Passing causes Towson Loss.” The second step of the 1-2-3 filing explains all 3w’s/h. He says, “Quarterback Sean Schaefer threw four interceptions during Saturday's game to allow for a Richmond victory of 45-14.” He got to the point using active voice. By using active voice, he made the article seem more interesting, and it urges someone to read it.

Leah also posted something about the football game. In her first post she answered who and what happened immediately. In her second post, she explained who (Sean Schaefer), why and how (multiple turnovers) and what they loss by (45-14), but she forgot to mention when it happened and where. She also used active voice persuading the reader to actually read the entire article.

Katelyn’s posts were about Towson’s Go Green plan. Her first post answered who (Towson U.) and what (Go green plan put into action). Her second post went on to explain when (December), why (to promote the RecycAll program), who (Towson U.) and how (by placing them throughout Towson campus). She fully explains the story using active voice. If someone just happened to look at that particular post, they would clearly understand the entire article.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Press Release vs. Original Story

I believe that the article “New health risks linked with plastic in bottles” was created from a press release. To my knowledge, a PR firm would release the statement announcing, “At a scientific hearing, the Food and Drug Administration defended its assessment that bisphenol A -- or BPA --is safe, even as the first major study of health effects in people linked it with possible risks for heart disease and diabetes.” It’s the journalist’s job to research the topic and answer any concerns that may surface. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, the writer of the article, interviewed a few expert sources and looked at many studies conducted about the growing issue.

An example of an original story is article dealing with crime or any local occurrence. No press release is needed for this type of story, because it’s not a national story that could affect the masses. The article I picked out to support my stance is titled “Arundel man, 25, fatally shot in home.”,0,1686680.story,0,2903414.story

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Understanding Summary Leads and Short Reports

To get a clear understanding of what I’m writing about, I shall explain the concepts summary lead and short report. The easiest way to identify a summary lead is by its sentence structure. The sentence is what’s known as a declarative sentence containing three parts: a subject, a verb and an object. The information is presented in such a way so that the information is a complete thought. A short report is created under three conditions: lack of time, space or information. That single sentence—sometimes accompanied by a few others—provides enough information to be considered an entire story. There are 4 types of short reports: broadcast and web bulletins, e-mail alerts, crawlers and news paper briefs. Using, I was able to point out examples that clearly explains both summary lead and short report.

An example of a summary lead exists in the article “Bride-to-be dies when tractor-trailer hits limousine.” It is the leading story under the Baltimore City news link. The lead is as follows: “About 4:30 a.m. yesterday, a tractor-trailer collided with the limousine in the 4000 block of E. Monument St., killing Sunshine Royston.” It has the three parts: a tractor-trailer (subject) collided (verb) with the limousine (object). If you click on the link it takes you to the full story.,0,6088256.story

An example of a short report can be found in a news article titled “Code Red heat alert issued for today.” It is written in the form of a newspaper brief. It is four sentences long briefly warning the public of the weather conditions, the locations affected and whom most vulnerable.,0,3140283.story

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why are these stories news worthy?

Out of the many choices of stories on, I chose the following: “Fire Destroys Playground,” “Fla. woman fatally stuck after jumping from car” and “Details announced for Oct. 4 Phelps homecoming.” These stories are newsworthy because they follow several traditional news values. The values included are proximity, prominence, human interest and unusualness. Proximity simply means physical nearness. Prominence means that basically big names make the news. Human Interest is stories that have strong emotional content. Unusualness means stories that happen that are out of the ordinary. The first story is based on human interest. The playground was built by the community for children in the surrounding urban area. Anyone with or without children while develop some type of emotion about it. There could have been a possibility that a child could have gotten hurt. Thankfully no one was there at the time. Also, the fire was labeled as an arson which may provoke anger. Proximity also comes into play when the location is mentioned. Personally, I have family members living in that area. The second story involved unusualness. It‘s not everyday you hear of a woman jumping out of a moving car and get hit by another. It’s out of the ordinary. In the last story it appeals to human interest because some people may feel strongly about the United States participation in the Olympics. They may want to know of the event to show their support. Lastly, prominence is used because Michael Phelps’s fame began to pick up, and he became a household name after his success at the Olympics.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mobile Journalism Kit

Looking through all of the outstanding portfolios I decided to write about Rachel Youens. Her last job listed was dated back in October 2007 as an Assistant Editor for the Community Impact Newspaper in Austin, Texas. Based on the media presented and her resume, I believe she carries around a digital camera, video recorder, and laptop. Her portfolio consists of a variety of video footage and still images. She most likely carries a cellular phone to contact sources.

After reviewing Jared Silfies’s backpack, I can clearly come to the conclusion that he is very serious about his career. The copy of the Elements of Style shows that if he has any type of grammar mix-up while creating his stories, he could go back to the book and check himself. He wants his work to be absolutely correct before publishing. It shows how prepared his is.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who Am I

Lets begin with my informal introduction. It is short, sweet, and straight to the point. My name is Sabrina. I am a native of Baltimore City and a Junior at Towson University. I'm an aspiring unpublished author. I've been writing since the age of 15, creating various works of fiction. I'm still holding on to my dreams of making it big some day in writing. I've recently changed my major to Mass Communication with a track in Journalism. I want to pursue a career in Journalism because of my interest in writing for entertainment. Last semester, as a group project, i designed and created concepts for a magazine that was collectively called Tigress Magazine. If I ever have the opportunity, I would love to publish the magazine on campus at Towson. In taking this class MComm 257, I hope to develop my writing to better prepare myself for this career.