Tag Archives: Bryan College

Crumbs of the Internet No. 4: Superbowl Sunday and Southern snow

'MetLife Stadium Prepares For Super Bowl 48 (XLVIII)' photo (c) 2014, Anthony Quintano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This post is book-ended by two notable events: Superbowl Sunday and the snow that froze the South. Not surprisingly, the more interesting articles that I found online spoke to both these events.

Rebecca Burns, editor for Atlanta Magazine, explains in Politico Magazine the fault for the paralysis in Atlanta last week lies not with southern drivers, but by political moves made years before.

In Chattanooga, the snow is melted off the road. Today was warm, with remnants of snow clinging onto the sidewalks that lie in the shade. While Tuesday’s storm is now a cautionary tale on preparedness and snow driving, it’s the weekend. Superbowl weekend.

Every year, the game takes a backseat for me so that I can focus on what sport fanatics may see as the peripherals to the game: food and commercials. I see commercials as a window to the values of the audience. How is Coke defining what happiness is this year? How are filmmakers telling stories in 60 or 30 seconds?

So in that same vein of cultural analysis, I bring to you this post by Slate in which they “cover” the Superbowl as if it was held in a foreign country. The writer’s knife of wit is less than razor sharp but don’t let that dissuade you. The post brings an interesting perspective to the game.

This year’s game is the 10-year anniversary of “nipplegate,” the infamous half-time show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. This ESPN Magazine piece  says that performance was a watershed moment in American culture, that American media now is different than it was then. (A word of caution, the ESPN piece is intended for a mature audience.)

Rounding out this week, I was reading a bit of The Village Voice, the alt-weekly paper of New York City. While mainstream media zigs, the alternative publications zag, providing a fuller view of the world. The Voice’s profile of Dee Farmer, a transgender inmate whose Supreme Court case is a landmark case on how prisoners are treated, shows just how that is done.

Finally, I’ll finish with a piece about John McCandlish Phillips, a Christian journalist who was at one point the best reporter at the New York Times. I first learned about Phillips in the Introduction to Journalism at Bryan College, where he became one of the journalists I admired. I read more about him through his obituary when he died April 9, 2013. This feature written in the 90’s shows yet another side to the man.

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In which I offer you some of the interesting crumbs of the web

While in college, I tried to create an email blast which gathered interesting stories from around the web. It went out a few times to all the students on the Bryan College campus before the school official in charge of managing the college’s enrollment shut the project down.

You can read how this started here.

Well, the whole episode is in the past. I have that piece of parchment paper somewhere in my room and I’m on my own.

I enjoyed those precious few weeks of pouring over longform journalism, sharing what moved me with the rest of campus.

I decided that I’ll do the same here on this blog. Every week, I’ll post a list of stories, videos and infographics that I found helpful and well done.

How will this look? Well, look below:

How to use the F-word (opinion) — This comes courtesy of one of my friends on Facebook. Writing coach Roy Peter Clark writes on CNN about the history, grammar and use of the F-word. (And yes, this link is one that could not have been distributed on a Christian college campus.)

The real secret life of Walter Mitty (short story) — The movie starring Ben Stiller has been out for a few weeks now. This is the second time that Walter Mitty has graced the silver screen, with his first time being portrayed by Danny Kaye. However, this is short story is where it all began. Less is more in this instance, because I found the short story more thought-provoking than either film.

The shadow-king of e-commerce — This long read from The Atlantic delves into the life and business practices of Jesse Willms, the man behind the internet ads touting that “One weird trick to a slimmer belly” and other ads offering items and services that look too good to be true.

How to do better food journalism — I expect only the journos will be interested in this article. Yes, this article is old (2004), but I think it sets a vision for what food journalism could be.  Around that time, the coverage of food changed from recipes to something more substantial.

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My journalism: a look back and some news

It’s been a big year for me and journalism. When the ball dropped last night, the mind didn’t have the whole picture. Standing there with a plastic cup with half-melted ice cubes, I had that experience of not fully realizing what had gone on the year before, no idea what will happen in the future.

A lot happened. I had not kept time from Jan. 1 to Jan. 1. Moments early on were forgotten and re-remembered again. This post is to chronicle what all went down this year.

  1. Sandy Hook — I still have not visited Newtown, Conn., but the effects of Dec. 14, 2012 carried over into the new year. There were the stories of how other Connecticut towns responded, stories about school security upgrades and an anniversary piece that I’m quietly proud to have written. Just kidding. I mentioned it on here.
  2. Bryan College — In May, I walked. In August, I finally finished all the required courses and got the paper that said I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism. The diploma represents a chapter in life, of struggling through student media, late nights of despair as we pulled together paper after paper, censorship and The Washington Journalism Center.
  3. The Berlin Citizen — From freelancer in January between semesters at college to reporter, this year has been the year of The Citizen. In May, I worked as reporter for Town Times, then moving beats to North Haven and eventually back to The Berlin Citizen. It’s been a full circle, writing for my hometown paper.
  4. Freedom of Information Act Requests — In November, I worked on the story of the anniversary of Sandy Hook where I served six FOIA requests. Having never written a FOIA letter in college, this was all learned in the school of hard knocks. Mistakes were made, which may or may not be recounted in a future post.
  5. A licence… to drive — People were always shocked to learn I did not have a car. No so any longer! My stick-shift Nissan Sentra carries me to stories and is dear to my heart.
  6. Code — At the end of college, I watched a video on the importance of coding. A few weeks later, I was eking out my first few lines of HTML. I read that knowing code is a skill journalists should know. However, I didn’t see much application, working at the paper. It wasn’t until I was talking to another co-worker and he showed me his free WordPress website, showing me what he did with SEO and code that I realized the potential. Code is the way to own a website. In a way, it’s customizing and creating your printing press.
  7. Photography — In a way, nothing has changed. I still take photos on the same point and shoot that I purchased freshman year of college. A few days ago, I pressed the shutter for the 20,000th time. I know more about light, composition and timing. Still waiting for the DSLR, though…
  8. Town Elections — This year, I was able to cover a full election season in Connecticut, from the first primaries, to political theory, to the final outcomes. These lessons in the fight for power could not be learned by reading about it in a book, but experienced on the front lines.
  9. This Blog — In January 2013, I started this blog, telling readers and myself that this would be the blog that I keep for a while. I have not abandoned it yet.

And now, on Jan. 1, 2014, I set out on a new adventure. Yesterday was my last day at the paper that gave me the chance to start doing local journalism. I am moving to Chattanooga. I know not yet what I will be doing, although I have some leads. I’m going down to live closer to my fiancee, who said yes on Aug. 17, 2013 and made that moment by a lake in Connecticut the best moment of the year.

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