Monday, December 8, 2008

A picture perfect goodbye to Polaroid

It begins with a story lead, bringing the reader in on an emotional level. Then it describes the issue, and finally, it concludes.

The story reported on the final days of the Polaroid camera by Kodak is one of the few stories that are picture-perfect (and I'm not just talking instant snapshots). Not only does reporter Jacque Wilson structure the story almost perfectly, but she peppers the article with quotes to evoke nostalgia in the readers, claiming the Polaroid camera causes memories to form in front of your eyes, or describing the little box as magic.

There aren't words to describe this article, but take a look at it, because if it were a picture, it would definitely be worth a thousand words.


Rating: Hidden Treasure.

Friday, December 5, 2008

And the most important news goes to...

While Yahoo! may have had it right reporting on Coldplay's plagiarism, they got it all wrong with today's top feature story. When I went to search today's news the feature story on Yahoo! popped up about who the highest paid actress in Hollywood is now. Underneath it, in small print, was a second feature story about the best public high schools in America. Now which one is really more important?

The first article did not even have words, but rather pictures of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston among others. Even better, they didn't even have the actresses' names. So we're expected to know every famous person in Hollywood? I can't even keep all the members in my family straight.

While this may not exactly be a critique of the article itself, Yahoo! and other media outlets placing more value on celebrities' salaries than the value of education is way too important to pass up. How about an article about how the rest of us, who don't make that much, are going to make it through this seemingly unavoidable recession?

Rating: A scorpion filled box. Throw Yahoo! in.

Coldplay accused of plagiarism

I applaud yahoo news for covering this story. I think it's a great way to show people that it's not just students plagiarizing in essays; it's the big stars stealing other stars' ideas - or in this case, a song.

Let's be honest, the songs sound so much alike, but only in one part of it. In my opinion however, I would not consider it to be plagiarism because there are some differences.

It's a well covered article and I like how the reporter added at the end that "Further comment from Satriani's attorney, or reaction from Coldplay's management was not immediately available." It's so much better to say that, than to completely leave your readers wondering.

Article link:

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida:"

Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly:"

O.J. : GUILTY..... for once!

Ok, honestly, how stupid can you be to rob a hotel and then say that you did it just out of sheer stupidity? Whatever.

This article is very well written, journalistically speaking. The only real problem I had with it was that it started off a sentence using the word "But." It was not necessary in the sentence it was used in.

Once again, I'm bashing the Associated Press for grammar errors. Oh well.

Article Link:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bambi proves spiteful, malicious

Hunting accidents have the potential to be a well-read topic in the media. Victims are killed from accidental gunshots, and because this is a tragedy, people will read about what happened.

However, one headline about a hunting incident caught my eye: Deer gets revenge after hunter shoots him. It’s not every day this type of story makes the news because the event is unusual and rare. Sure, people become injured from hunting accidents, but a deer seeking revenge on its attacker is almost unheard of.

While hunting, a hunter shot a large deer, and thinking it was dead, he slowly crept toward it to inspect his prize. All of a sudden, the deer sprang to life, and kicked the hunter. I would think the deer would run away or lay suffering, but revenge was apparently on his mind.

Though this was not an extremely noteworthy piece of journalism, the topic is rare and details are funny, so people would be interested in it. The headline was well written since it immediately caught my attention.

Rating: Rum and wenches

Black eyes caused by Black Friday

I can't figure out what is more disturbing about this story - what actually happened at this Wal-Mart on Black Friday or that the story doesn't have one single focus. Is it about the death of an employee worker and the injuries of others? Or is it about the lawsuit that is following now?

The story begins to discuss how two customers, a son and his father were trampled in the rush of customers attempting to get inside Wal-Mart right after the doors opened. The two "were 'literally carried from their position outside the store' and are now 'suffering from pain in their neck and their back from being caught in that surge of people' that rushed into the Wal-Mart." The story continues to describe how one Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death by the customers and how police stood by and did nothing. Maybe it's just me, but that seems ridiculous.

While these incidents are discussed in the first few paragraphs, the rest of the story details how Wal-Mart should have used more preventative measures to ensure the safetly of its customers. I say the customers should be smart enough not to trample others. Seriously people?

The rest of the story is almost a jumble about different injuries people sustained and how they are blaming the police. The story ends with a short statement which says there are videos of the stampede. The end doesn't not tie back to the beginning of the story, leaving the reader wondering if what they actually read was about a lawsuit or just the crazy happenings on Black Friday.

If you ask me, this story deserves a Walk the Plank for organization and the Black Spot for the customers' behaviors.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Dark Side of Black Friday

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. People will crowd and cram into tiny lines like cattle in order to purchase the latest gadgets and gizmos. However, I do not think that this topic should make headline news. When I looked at the newspapers the day after Thanksgiving, there were countless headlines of the trials and tribulations of Black Friday shopping.

However, I looked at the photos that accompanied the stories, and some of these photos depicted the darker sides of Black Friday better than the article could. Parents will drag children out at 3 a.m. to get toys and the latest designer clothes before everything sells out. This photo depicts a child sleeping in the cart while her mother shops for Christmas presents. I understand that giving and buying for others is important during the holiday season, but is it really necessary to bring sleeping children along? To me, the photo depicts irresponsible parents, not thinking of children’s needs and wants.

Photojournalism is quickly advancing into a popular and useful form of new media, and sometimes a picture is worth more in meaning and appreciation rather than an article. In this context, I think a photo showing the darker side of Black Friday is 10 times more effective than an article.

Rating: Escape the Royal Navy