Online Journalism

C-SPAN Video Conference # 2: Andrew Card

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

wn.com

 

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 (http://www.c-span.org/Distance_Learning/).

Tags: Comm361 · online journalism · Student Blog Posts

Guest speaker: Mark Stencel

April 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest speaker: Mark Stencel

Mark Stencel’s journalism career began around 1995 where he worked at the Washington Post for 12 years (9 focusing in online things), The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. He currently works for NPR (National Public Radio), has been there for just under 2 years and is the digital managing editor.

NPR is a non-profit organization, so money comes mainly from individual donations. It is very news-centralized and one of the largest, most-consumed news organizations in North America with around 20-30 million listeners. They are being challenged, though, by people who are in their offices not wanting to listen to NPR.org or the radio.

NPR has used the iPhone and Android markets to expand to listeners through those capabilities. NPR staff also take pictures for their website which show you pictures. The radio’s job is to paint that picture for the listener.

It is very difficult to work with three mediums (radio, text, video) so NPR typically just does text and radio.

Historically, NPR has produced great audio. Now, they have also added great text to their capabilities.

Don’t cover events, cover implications.

At the Post, he tried to bring talk radio into text form through interactivity with the audience.

On NPR’s Facebook page, they take stories that never got huge amounts of views on their site and add them onto their Facebook page so it can receive more views.

Twitter is also a very dynamic form of social media for NPR. Andy Carvin and others tweet some stories for their followers and turned the reporting process inside-out to show everyone how it’s done.

These social mediums are great ways to tell people what is going on air soon. It also helps show how interactive the hosts are.

NPR’s job is to cover news and break it in every possible way whether its on the radio, blogging, etc.

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

Briggs 3

April 4th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs 3

a

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Lecture by B.J. Koubaroulis from The Washington Post

March 31st, 2011 · Comments Off on Lecture by B.J. Koubaroulis from The Washington Post

Mason Alum! It’s not just basketball; B.J. Koubaroulis is continuing to make the Patriots look good!

“A Washington Post sports writer/producer and CEO of Synthesis Multimedia Productions/Koubaroulis LLC,” Koubaroulis’ twitter biography defines him.

He gradated GMU in 2004, “Like everyone, you expect to be covering the Yankees, and then you realize you’re covering High school JV girl’s lacrosse; kind of heart breaking. You start from the bottom but that’s how you learn,” said Koubaroulis.

Regarding his company, Synthesis Multimedia Productions, Koubaroulis said, “We go to a game and produce a package from the game. A lot of people can produce video, but what makes us unique is the fact our game packages are ready in two hours.”

Ask the Caps! BY THE WAY, The Washington Post’snew hot niche is a media ploy where readers can submit questions to players of the Capitol’s. Guess who hosts the three minute video? Koubaroulis does! Check it out, Matt Bradley, answers!

He urged his fellow Patriots to learn these different aspects of multimedia journalism. “Anybody can do what we’ve done. You just need to buy to equipment. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Get something cheap off of Craigslist,” Koubaroulis said.

Tags: Comm361 · multimedia · Student Blog Posts

Skype session with Kevin Anderson

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Skype session with Kevin Anderson

Courtesy of his Twitter; Kevin Anderson: Digital strategist and freelance journalist with more than a decade experience with the Guardian and the BBC. Helping create the future of journalism. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER!

On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Anderson skyped in to chat! Being half way accross the world didn’t stop him from making his 3:30 p.m. EST Skype sesh.

Valuable advice given to aspiring job-searching journalists: Go to WordPress.com or Tumblr, set up a blog, start writing and taking pictures. The costs of doing that is almost nothing. Use your moble phone and take pictures of videos. Think of the best ways to tell stories with graphics and data. You need to show you didn’t need that first job to make the initiative.

Anderson said, “With BBC, I did interviews with military bloggers. One of the most powerful radio programs is I got three soldiers together talking about their experiences. With a joint interview, you can usually get more out of them; you can have them talking to eachother. They all conversed and shared their stories. I still get shivers when I think of that radio program.”

Storify has been a hot topic in the Online Journalism classroom the entire semester.  He did raise caution with one aspect of the site. “Its grat to collect material, but make sure you use the text tool to add content to what youre making,” said Anderson.

Professor Steve Klein responded with, “So in otherwise, bridge the material with good old fashioned writing.”

“Absolutely,” said Anderson.

Twitter. On the topic of media giant Twitter, Anderson said talked about maps and locations. In all seriousness, he said that he includes his location in his tweets so he can map them later. Although, don’t do that in Syria because you don’t want to encourage an air strike.

Relating to online journalism and storytelling. Anderson wrapped up the Skype sesh with, “You couldn’t tell the horror without the Japanese tsunami without the videos. And that is a small example of it. You can’t tell the story of the revolution in Egypt without the voices or the people submitting their videos online.”

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 10

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 10

Managing News as a Conversation

“The speed of communications is wonderful to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” -Edward R. Murrow

It began as comments on news stories and blog posts, this has mushroomed into full social networking tools on news sites.

“News as a conversation has transformed journalism in many ways, but perhaps the most significant way that is has transformed journalism is in how journalists and their communities can cover a beat better,” says Patrick Thornton, editor of BeatBlogging.org.

Tips for Journalists using Social Media:

  • Use sites like Twitter and Facebook becuase familiarity is important.
  • Be mindful that you represent more than just yourself.
  • Presume your tweets, status updates or other content will go further and reach more people than you intend for them to go.
  • Ask your boss to follow your twitter. It’s a good accountability measure.

Making news perticipatory was important for mainstream organizations. They did this by using Message boards, FredTalk.com (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star); Most commented, emailed, viewed links and information; using their own social networks on their sites, TimesPeople (The New York Times), USAToday.com, Vita.mn (Star Tribune, Minneapolis).

Last but not least, keep your conversations accurate and ethical!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 7

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 7

Making Audio Journalism Visible

Audio Journalism? It works when using a few tools like a microphone or recorder to make full-featured segments that sound like radio epidodes. You can distribute them as podcosts to gain an audience!

Importance:

  • Presence
  • Emotions
  • Atmosphere

How to use this audio? 

  • Reporter overview
  • Podcasts
  • Audio slide show
  • Breaking news

National Public Radio has set this standerd. NPR’s success stems from the connection to the audience its reporters and show hosts are able to make. Personal wins the audience.

Getting started with audio is easy, but improvising is not good enough when it comes time to add voice to a multimedia project. Investing time to plan and prepare your voice contribution will make your effort worthwhile.

Getting ready for prime time! You need to:

  • Record interviews
  • Choose location
  • Gather natural sound
  • Prepare your subject
  • Watch what you sau
  • Try delayed recording
  • Do voice-overs

Now edit, edit, edit your piece! And publish!

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Multimedia Project Storyboard: Mindmeister Outline

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on Multimedia Project Storyboard: Mindmeister Outline

Just wanted to link to the Mindmeister outline our group (Raffi Paul, Lexie Ramage and myself) created for our Football Multimedia Project. Mindmeister is a pretty cool tool for mapping and brainstorming to help you get started with any type of planning that you may need to do. It’s basically like a virtual ‘spider web’, allowing you to add lines and idea bubbles for all of your information. You can even share your web with other members of your group so that you all have a chance to edit the outline, making collaboration so much easier. Check ours out here!

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

George Allen is back and on top of his game! Allen participated in a C-SPAN video conference with students from George Mason University and The University of Denver to discuss his upcoming Senate run and his new book “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.”

I was one of the lucky students who had the chance to personally talk to Allen and ask him a question, “You have mentioned numerous times that Thomas Jefferson is one of your biggest role models; what similarities do you see between yourself and him?”

He mentioned that besides the distinct title of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly, he admitted he is a self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative.”

This formidable opponent opened up about his campaigns strategies to reach out to the community.

They are using:

Like I mentioned above, Allen’s book came out in 2010! One of the chapters in his book, which is relateable in his political life, sports life, and family life is: Defense Wins Championships.

Solid conclusion.

As related to online journalism, Allen ended with “The internet is the best invention since the Guttenberg Press”. I could not have out it any better, Mr. Allen.

View George Allen’s Announcement video on YouTube!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

March 10th, 2011 · Comments Off on My Video Conference with George Allen on C-SPAN

George Allen is back and on top of his game! Allen participated in a C-SPAN video conference with students from George Mason University and The University of Denver to discuss his upcoming Senate run and his new book “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.”

I was one of the lucky students who had the chance to personally talk to Allen and ask him a question, “You have mentioned numerous times that Thomas Jefferson is one of your biggest role models; what similarities do you see between yourself and him?”

He mentioned that besides the distinct title of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly, he admitted he is a self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative.”

This formidable opponent opened up about his campaigns strategies to reach out to the community.

They are using:

Like I mentioned above, Allen’s book came out in 2010! One of the chapters in his book, which is relateable in his political life, sports life, and family life is: Defense Wins Championships.

Solid conclusion.

As related to online journalism, Allen ended with “The internet is the best invention since the Guttenberg Press”. I could not have out it any better, Mr. Allen.

View George Allen’s Announcement video on YouTube!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts