Archive for March, 2009

Interview with Mike Peluso…

Posted in Reporting on March 29, 2009 by danbastian

I wanted to get somebody on the record talking about the steps they are taking to screen themselves for potential employers.

I met Mike – who is now a senior – during my sophomore year. He lived on my floor, so I knew he was a criminal justice major and of his aspiration to become a police officer. We had a conversation about deleting certain photos on Facebook a while ago, something that it seems like a lot of people are doing to sort of screen themselves for potential employers.

I asked if he was given any advice or how he knew about his Facebook potentially being checked out before an interview or hire. He told me about the numerous ‘ride alongs’ he went on with current police officers and the advice they had given him.

He told me they simply said make sure there isn’t anything stupid up there.

Makes sense, since you wouldn’t want to look bad in front of potential employers. Having experienced my own share of debauchery and editing my Facebook profile accordingly, Mike thought it was a good idea for him as well.

It’s no secret what us college kids get ourselves into. The detials though seem that they should be a secret to our potential employers if we wish to have a future with them.

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“Remnants of War: Cluster Bombs in South Lebanon”

Posted in Reaction on March 29, 2009 by danbastian

I would have to say of all the multimedia packages I’ve seen so far this semester in these reaction posts – this one impressed me the most. The piece titled “Continuous War: Cluster Bombs in South Lebanon,” which was done by The Washington Post, examined an ongoing problem in South Lebanon.

With features such as a narrated slide show that allows its viewer to read about related content and break down the slide show to see the pictures one at a time, audio (that somewhat resembles a Podcast) with a U.N. rep and a graphic of one of these cluster bombs – it really provides for a great story.

One of the things that I felt could be improved was the little summary blurb that appears at the top of the page. I would have preferred to have read that first – but when I was taken to the package there was no direction of where to start really. I didn’t know anything about this problem in South Lebanon before checking this out, so I was a little lost at first. After navigating I found to have learned the most from the text part only because this topic is new to me.

The other components really do complement this story though, adding emotion and a true-to-life experience with the slide show and audio.

More on Facebook…

Posted in Research on March 29, 2009 by danbastian

With my upcoming module on Facebook, I wanted to look even further into it. Originally I found this video on CNN.com that I was going to comment on that had to do with the safety of users privacy and their identities – but I found something more interesting on the website for the New York Times. This article discusses the rapid growth of Facebook and where it stands in our society.

I should say first that I was very impressed by the Times’ setup and multimedia for this piece. There are a lot of links, charts, pictures and related articles.

The article goes into the evolution of Facebook from when it started in a dorm room to the phenomenon it is today. I found the part on the third page about how the guest services manager for the Philadelphia Eagles was fired from his job over a status update posted on his Facebook page. It relates to my module as I have vastly changed up my module to incorporate this article as I find it really interesting.

Interesting because I remember when Facebook was brand new. Parents didn’t know about it, teachers didn’t know about it, family members didn’t know about it – only college students. During that time – which was only around five years ago – I would have never guessed Facebook is what it is today.

Caught by a cell-phone

Posted in Research on March 22, 2009 by danbastian

In a very interesting article I found on FOXNews.com, advanced cell phone technology is being used to pinpoint the locations of terrorists in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

It’s almost like the movies are coming to life now. We are all familiar with the scene where the cops are tracing phone calls in order to catch the bad guy and at least I always wondered if it could happen in real life, and it sure can. I think its crazy that authorities can track a person down just by knowing his cell phone number. I think we need to re-think our privacy laws here in the United States a little bit and adopt this technology and let the police use it to catch criminals here in the US.

I think this technology could also be useful for parents who want to keep a close eye on their kids or even over protective husbands or wives could use this to spy on their spouse. I think somebody will make a lot of money off of it.

The end of the article made me very curious. Quoting an anonymous source, the quote reads “But [military officials] don’t talk about electronic warfare, even if it’s widely used.” After doing all this research about technology and the ways its changing our lives, it would be really cool to know the ways its changing the lives our soldiers overseas who are using it to their advantage. Someday down the road I’m sure we will find out, but for now hopefully it’s helping them.

MSNBC’s Photo Galleries

Posted in Reaction on March 22, 2009 by danbastian

I wanted to critique the Baltimoresun.com’s photo galleries because I used to make them, but since the page wasn’t found I am going to check out MSNBC’s.

As soon as I clicked the link for MSNBC’s photo galleries, a picture of a basketball game came up. Being the avid sports fan that I am, I had to check out the photos for March Madness.

Before checking out the photos I should have remembered that MSNBC doesn’t really specialize in sports, because the photo gallery they have of the tournament is bad. Really bad. When you click on the ‘Let the games begin’ link or the ‘Madness continues’ link on the right side of the page, it takes you to a separate window to view the photos. And then that’s it. For the first round, there are 59 photos from 32 games, and for the second round there are 49 photos from 16 games. Not nearly enough photos to tell any type of story – in my opinion. The way that MSNBC has this setup is very unorganized and inconvenient. Inconvenient because you have to look at every picture before seeing the next one, there is no layout or anything of all the pictures, they are sequentially ordered.

I still found myself looking at all the pictures because I was interested in the topic, but if I were running this site, I would have done something a lot more with one of the most popular sporting events in the United States. At least have a page with thumbnails so you can look at the pictures you want to.

Questions for Brian Stelter

Posted in Speaker on March 22, 2009 by danbastian

1. Is working for the New York Times what you thought it would be?

2. Since the Times is now a National paper, do you feel that you are actually working for a national paper, or does it feel like its a New York Paper?

3. What did you learn in college that you feel you use the most now?

4. Do you feel any pressure because it is the New York Times?

5. What do you like most about your job, what do you like the least?

6. Do you think you would have had the same success without your TVNewser blog?

7. How do you find time to keep up with your blog, your job, your Twitter account and everything else?

8. Do you think you’ll be in journalism forever, if not where do you see yourself going?

Living on a Dollar a Day in Malawi

Posted in Reaction on March 8, 2009 by danbastian

I am always attracted by stories that have audio. After taking Broadcast Journalism, I have more appreciation for how effective audio can be. For the story “Living on a Dollar a Day in Malawi”, I found the audio to be unnecessary without video. The story details the unfortunate lifestyle of those living in Malawi, who somehow are surviving on a dollar a day.

The audio does a decent job in telling the story so much that it does paint a picture. My problem with this is that the journalist records sound bites of firewood being collected, water being collected and crops being harvested. I think all of this would be much more captivating if it was a video. Being able to see the hardships these peoples must live through would – in my mind – be much more effective than just the audio.

The story is better off with just the audio, then without it, but I think it could have been vastly improved with video. The pictures supplement the audio, but it doesn’t do what video does. I also think other tables or graphs might have been useful. Comparing the ‘dollar in a day’ to what the average American spends in a day would have been interesting to know, or something along those lines.