Online Journalism

Tech Blog #14: Guest Speaker Rick Reo

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog #14: Guest Speaker Rick Reo

David Lee, the co-founder and creative director of, was supposed to be with us in class today, but wasn’t able to. Rick Reo, though, an instructional designer for GMU’s Division of Instructional Technology, was!

TBWA Worldwide, a part of Omnicom Group Inc., is a global advertising agency that sponsors Projeqt.

“We wanted to make sure that it was usable by people with limited Web browsing knowledge,” said an employee via Skype. “You don’t have to be a super designer to use this.”

Along with many other personalization options, one can use either a grid mode or a linear mode when designing one’s project.

A lot more information on TBWA can be found here.

Tags: Comm361 · Projeqt · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Projeqt – Interactive and Asthetically Appealing

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Projeqt – Interactive and Asthetically Appealing

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Role of First Lady Self-Determined, McBride says

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Role of First Lady Self-Determined, McBride says

Photo of the first first lady Martha Washington, left, and photo of current first lady Michelle Obama, right. (Photos are in the public domain.)   For those who wonder what exactly the role of the first lady is, you are not alone. First ladies wonder about that too.  “It was a demanding job, but it […]

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

C-SPAN Video Conference with Andrew Card

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on C-SPAN Video Conference with Andrew Card

Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card defended the much-maligned presidency of George W. Bush in a video conference on April 7.

Card, who served under Bush for more than five years, joined students participating from the George Mason University Video Studio along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks, and students from the University of Denver to discuss his relationship with the controversial 43rd president, on both professional and personal levels.

“History will be kinder than current [attitudes],” Card said regarding Bush’s “misunderstood” time in office. “The president had to face unprecedented challenges,” including the terrorist attacks on September 11. It was Card who was faced with the unfortunate task of informing Bush of those tragic events while the president was with a classroom of second graders.

“The president had heard about a plane crash in New York,” Card recalled. Bush and his staffers initially thought it had to be an accident, with Card’s theory being that the pilot had a heart attack. But when Card was informed that the second tower of the World Trade Center had also been hit, he had to make a judgment call.

“It was very rare for me to walk into a room after the president had gone in,” Card said. The chief of staff is faced with the guideline of “Does the president need to know?” It was clear that the answer was yes in this case, so Card quickly approached Bush and whispered about the second crash, adding an “editorial comment” of “America is under attack.” He then leaned away so that Bush could not ask questions, but staffers got in contact with the FBI so that Bush could immediately talk to them once he was out of the classroom.

“I tried very hard on September 11th not to allow the emotion of the challenge get in the way of the responsibility that I had to help the president do his job,” Card said. He tried to remain “cool, calm and collective and objective” and feels the president did the same, although he was clearly emotionally affected by the tragedy. Card says that Bush’s mind likely went to the oath he took on Inauguration Day just eight months earlier.

Card also suggested that Bush was the most successful president ever in terms of saving lives (including his AIDS and malaria work in Africa) and spreading democracy. “I think history will be kinder to him when they come to recognize how difficult the challenges that he had to face were.”

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-SPAN, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 p.m. and also streams online ( The interview with Card can be viewed here.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

C-SPAN Video Conference # 2: Andrew Card

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on C-SPAN Video Conference # 2: Andrew Card


One of a presidential chief of staff’s greatest challenges is deciding what is important for the president to know.

Presidents, like everybody else, want to know everything,” said Andrew Card, former White House chief of staff for George W. Bush from 2000-2006.  “It’s the chief of staff’s job to make sure that the president has what he needs – but not everything he wants — and that he focuses on real presidential decisions, rather than just government decisions.”

Card, who joined Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks, and participating students from George Mason University, Purdue University and the University of Denver for a live video conference on Apr. 7, provided a window into a chief of staff’s daily life.

“I would try to be at my desk at 5:30 in the morning,” Card said.  “The first document that I would read would be the President’s Daily Brief, the PDB.  That would be information and analysis that came from the CIA.  Then I would read economic and domestic news.”

Card also kept constant tabs on the whereabouts of the first and second families using a little locator box on his desk.  Days were not limited to eight-hour shifts.

“You don’t do real work while the sun is shining,” said Card.  “You do the work in the middle of the night.  It wasn’t unusual for me to get a call from the speaker to come to the House at two, three or four o’clock in the morning.”

The president’s job is an even more demanding one.

“The president had to face unprecedented challenges,” Card said.  “I watched President George W. Bush lead with presidential courage.  He had the courage to make very, very tough decisions.”

Card shared some insights into the Bush administration:

  • At first, everyone thought a plane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers was “a horrible accident.”
  • The realization that America was under attack by terrorists caused Bush to focus “on the unique and unbelievably lonely responsibility he had to preserve, protect and defend.”
  • The “Mission Accomplished” banner on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln celebrated the successful completion of a mission by the carrier, its leadership and its crew.  The banner “was never meant to be part of the overall messaging of the president’s speech.  If you read the president’s speech, he never said that he accomplished the mission of the battles in Iraq.”
  • Bush did not have a victory celebration after either of his elections.
  • In his second term, Bush wanted to reform Social Security and immigration.

In an apparent swipe at Obama, Card said Bush did not allow politics to drive his decision-making.

Presidents have to be love magnets when they seek office, but they have to have the courage to be lonely while they serve,” said Card.  “Some presidents don’t know how to do both of those inconsistent things at the same time.”

Card hammered the point home further.

Being smart includes recognizing the world as it is, rather than what you want it to be,”  Card said.  “It’s very difficult to deal with the world as it is.”

To illustrate, Card enumerated various crises, other than 9/11, during the Bush administration:

Professor Steve Klein asked, “How much don’t we know and never learn of ?”

Card confessed that what he misses the most is the information he was privy to, even though it was “frightening, the enemy is real and challenging to thwart.”

Produced by C-SPAN, the distance learning course is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference.  It airs on Friday at 5 p.m. and also streams online (

Tags: Comm361 · online journalism · Student Blog Posts


April 21st, 2011 · No Comments

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