2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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One in a billion: A boy’s life, a medical mystery

One in a billion: A boy’s life, a medical mystery uses a combination of text, video and audio to create a compelling message to the viewer. Often times text seems very distant to the viewer, it is easy to read over words without letting them sink in. By using audio and video, the viewer is able to match the words to images and sounds, which captures the reader’s interest and brings the text to life.

Audio: Nicolas Volker: A young boy whose mysterious disease is marked by holes that develop between his intestine and skin

The authors used audio of Nicolas Volker to enrich the story through bringing the main character of the story to life. The entire series is about a sick little boy named Nicolas Volker. It is very easy for viewer to forget that Volker is just like any other 4-year-old boy. However the audio successfully characterizes him and reminds viewers that he is still an innocent child.

In the audio, Volker is laughing about batman. His light and cheerful demeanor is inspiring because of his painful illness. His words also connect to the text where the author wrote; “Nicholas Volker is a short, blue-eyed 4-year-old who loves Batman and squirt gun fights and steak – on the rare occasions when he’s not restricted to a feeding tube.” By combining the text that states his love for batman with Volker’s voice explaining his love for batman, the characterization of Volker is improved and the story overall is enriched.

As a potential media writer this passage taught me the importance of using multi-media. Multi-media can help enrich the story through pairing images, video and audio to the text. An image can illustrate the sunset, the sound of a boy laughing can characterize a little boy, and a video of a riot can explain the urgency of the issue. If used correctly, multi-media can capture the interest viewers by bring a story to life.

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Public Relations

Everyday journalism and Public Relations journalism are different in a number of ways.  The main difference between the two types of media is found in their ultimate goals.

Public Relations press releases ultimate goal is to generate good will towards its client while normal journalisms ultimate goal is to inform the public.

The main goals of working in public relations for an organization includes but is not limited to:

  • Writing news releases
  • Organizing news conferences
  • Coordinating crisis communications
  • Attending conferences and delivering speeches

BYU recently had a crisis of its own to handle, as the university dealt with a student athlete violating the university honor code.

Sophomore center Brandon Davies was dismissed from the Cougars basketball team because he had sex with his girlfriend before marriage, a violation of the universities honor code that is heavily based on Mormon principles.

The university did not release many statements, rather just anecdotes towards the public that stated the situation and the dismissal of the sophomore center.

In the future, the university can do a better job of releasing a statement for the public to read.

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Food for Thought

The recent convocation on the campus of Elon University offered students an opportunity to hear NBC news anchor Brian Williams and other panel members speak on important issues of today.

The panel conversation offered students with a lot of ideas, and one liners that resonated through so many attendees.

Eboo Patel, the founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, offered an inspirational quote that gave hope regarding religious acceptance and standing for what you believe in.

“When the night is most dark, the stars shine the brightest.”

David M. Walker, another panelist who is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Comeback America Initiative, had an intriguing quote that put our Nations debt into perspective for everyone in the audience.

“Every American owes over $200,00 with our nations allotted debts.”

David Levin, who is the co-founder of Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), also offered words of inspiration to all in attendance.

“Once a kid likes coming to school, believes they can do it, then anything is possible.”

Levin also spoke about the right attitude and approach to have while working through life.

“Work hard, be nice.  We work to improve character and the academics.”

David Gergen, who has advised four presidents and works for CNN, also had a message for Americans in regards to facing our problems.

“We have become so addicted to not facing up to our issues, but instead let them stay, fester and let them grow.”

Gergen also made an analogy regarding facing our issues head on.

“Americans are good when a wolf is at the door, but not so good when termites are in the basement.”

The convocation was an incredible experience for all who attended.  The members of the panel offered insight into issues of today while also providing thoughts on possible solutions.

Gergen had the quote that summed up the solution process in simplest terms.

“It takes a long time to get hard work done.”

While it is not what people may have wanted to hear, it is simply the truth and something we all should think about.

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Questions with Brian

The students of Elon University had a chance to have a question and answer period with NBC news anchor Brian Williams the day after his convocation speech.

The Q&A period lasted about 50 minutes, and had students ask questions ranging from Williams’ personal success to any advice he could give for students to achieve their own.

Williams prefaced the Q&A period by giving some background information on his own life, mainly that he was a college dropout who achieved success because he had a “fire burning inside” to become a journalist.

Students asked simple, but riveting questions to Williams, who always seemed to have the perfect answer.

The question that seemed to be asked most often, each student phrasing it in their own terms, was simply “what advice to you have for us students as aspiring journalist?”

Williams did not take much time to reflect and think about an answer, rather just speaking the truth, speaking bluntly and honestly.

Hang on and keep pushing.  If you have a fire burning inside you to be a journalist, stay after it.

Williams continued on to explain his point further.

If you know you want to be a journalist, do not let anything stop you.  But the minute you start question yourself, having other careers that you may want to pursue, you’re done.”

Williams related that reference to his own life, speaking about how he was a volunteer firefighter who had dropped out of college, but still stuck after his incredible dream to become a news anchor.

The question and answer period with Brian Williams allowed students to have first hand insight into what it takes to become successful in the field of journalism.

Brian Williams, a college dropout, is a testament to his own advice.  Hang on and keep pushing.  If you have the passion and fire to become a news anchor, you can do it.

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Brian Williams Convocation Advance

It’s an exciting time on the campus of Elon University as NBC News Anchor Brian Williams prepares to visit the southern university on April 7 and 8.

Williams will be conducting a panel discussion involving other notable public figures such as David Gergen and Shirley Ann Jackson.

This is not only an exciting time for the campus because of the public figures who will be around Thursday, but more so for why they are coming.

Elon’s Communications department continues to excel and expand, becoming one of the top programs in the country.  So for the University to have such prominent figures in the media coming to speak on campus is an exciting time.

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Radio Broadcast

Studying Radio Broadcast, I again turned to radio news that intrigued me the most, sports radio.

I tuned into the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN radio and listened to the broadcast for the majority of the two-hour segment.

The show in general is more of a talk show than radio news, but still offers a segment in which time is spent discussing sports issues of today along with advances into upcoming segments.

In particular, Scott Van Pelt and his co-host Ryen Russillo discussed the upcomingNCAA Mens Basketball National Championship game that will be played tonight and gave a rundown of injuries and statistic comparisons.

After they provided viewers with news on the game, Russillo had a 30 second segment or so that served as an advance for an upcoming interview with ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Williams.

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