I had never heard of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
(MNNS) until I enrolled in my Digital Journalism II course at Marquette University.
I began to contemplate why I had not heard of the online publication and many ideas came to mind: there are lots of news outlets so how can I know them all, I am not from the Milwaukee area, I have school, work, etc. All the thoughts, especially the last, are unacceptable excuses because MNNS is not run from some outside corporation but from a single room in Marquette's College of Communication
. A place where I spend the majority of my time. The question now is, how
did I not know about this news source until now?
MNNS is a multimedia website that publishes objective, professional reporting on local Milwaukee issues in five specific communities, Lindsay Heights
, Clarke Square
, and three Layton Boulevard West
neighborhoods, Silvery City, Layton Park and Burnham Park. This concept immediately grabbed my attention as many of the websites and publications I read do not focus on specific communities. MNNS is refreshing, orange banner and all.
When I first visited the site I was happy to see that it was easy to navigate. With the neighborhoods listed on the left column and linked to news specific to that community it was easy to see what news corresponded with what community. Also, the stories are organized in the middle column of the website. This makes for easy browsing with the most up-to-date stories at the top. Additionally, the space between each piece is a nice change to the cramped webpages you normally read from.
After taking some time to look at the website and articles I noticed MNNS attempts to publish once or twice each day on developments in the local Milwaukee communities. A variety of topics are covered from the Occupy Milwaukee
rally to local awards
. Like many websites, they have included an interactive community page
for each neighborhood. Here residents can find information on upcoming events.
Through video, articles, photographs, audio reports and Soundslides
content is shown in various ways to cater to various audiences. However, through the multimedia I would have liked to see a little more in-depth reporting in order to add some more substance to a few of the articles and videos. Yes, they were well written or composed and most of the time accompanied one another, but at times the short pieces needed extra material to make the package seem above and beyond what was called for.
After researching and reviewing I have grown anxious to contribute to Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and cannot wait to help inform Milwaukee about these specific communities.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
provided continuous coverage this weekend as mysteries surrounding Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi's, death Thursday were revealed. The Inquirer refused to publish articles by their own staff with various articles published since word of Gadhafi's death have been written solely by the Associated Press
Beginning with an article
by Christopher Gillette and Rami Al-Shaheibi from the Associated Press the writers covered the story extensively using multiple sources and spanning two pages online. The story was well written and provided a wide span of information that brings the reader up to speed with Gadhafi's history and death. The gruesome details surrounding his death were well written and showed a much needed level of discrepancy. "Later footage showed fighters rolling Gadhafi's lifeless body over the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head," Gillete and Al-Shaheibi wrote. This may seem graphic, but compared other information I read on other news sources and publications, it is tame.
While The Inquirer published numerous articles, the multimedia content held their own. However, the coverage again came from only AP sources. In a slideshow
produced from AP photos and compiled to be displayed on Philly.com
the content ranges from Gadhafi's lifeless body, celebrations in the street, Gadhafi with world politicians, and Libyan armed forces. This piece was nicely put together, unfortunately, the multimedia ends with photographs while there is no Twitter
or blogs regarding the event.
The coverage continued throughout the weekend and most recently the Inquirer published an article
on the relocation of Gadhafi's body from a commercial freezer to a warehouse to await proper burial. Again, this article is not written by someone from the Inquirer, but rather an AP reporter. With the amount of time that philly.com had to produce and speak to sources I am shocked they did not produce a single article by themselves.
One of the most enjoyable things about completing this project
was capturing the personality of Julia DeBella, a sophomore at Marquette University
in the College of Business
, through both audio and visuals. DeBella had a stressful Sunday at Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries
where she studied for three exams, a speech and writing a paper. DeBella kept her calm and a few weeks later she explained how in an interview.
DeBella is a double major in international business and economics with a minor in German. Her heavy workload brings a number of exams and papers, making her reevaluate and organize time in order to not be stressed.
The audio that I recorded recently couples the my previous photo assignment
, making the project complete. After learning how to use Audacity
and information learned from Poynter's NewsU
, I was able to accurately and easily piece together two components to make a final product I am pleased with.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
is my assigned beat blog for my Digital Journalism II class at Marquette University
. For the past six weeks I have been blogging about aspects of philly.com and how well their coverage of historical events, deaths, breaking news and photography has been. The majority of the time I was quite pleased.
The 9/11 coverage
I critiqued paled in comparison to the breaking news of Steve Jobs' death
The Inquirer produced. The of the moment photography and columns produced were incredible compared to those from 9/11 and I feel this has to do with the increase in the way the news source uses social media, which I also blogged about here
By analyzing these events and the ways philly.com gathers their information as well as engages their audience I have become more self-conscience about how informative I am to those who follow my twitter
. I try to provide relevant links and use many photos to help captivate the audience. Philly.com does a great job at coupling photos with their stories, though it tends to use the same photo for a brief as it does an expanded story.
When I first began to blog I thought philly.com would provide periodic updates and the articles would be short and sweet, but I soon realized that news sources are consistently updating their information. They provide articles on their homepage that are columns, features, breaking news, photograph essays and more. Journalists are working 24/7 and can't rest, they are constantly on the look out to find a story and have it online before the competitors. Online journalism is a process, and having made myself subject to the same criteria of all online journalists, I know posting, editing, cropping, live-tweeting, producing content that stands out among others is harder than thought.
After six weeks I have begun to learn that I gather a lot of my news through social media, such as Twitter
and online news sources such as CNN
, New York Times
, or The Star Tribune
because it is easily accessible and consistently updated. Before I leaned more towards my friends and social circle for information, but now I believe I have a more reputable variation of news outlets and broader range of information at my fingertips.
The death of Steve Jobs rocked the nation on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. The co-founder of Apple
, passed away at the age of 56 from a rare form of pancreatic cancer called pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer, which produces islet cell or neuroendocrine tumors. Those who have this form of cancer are expected to live as long as 20 years after the initial diagnosis. Jobs was taken from the world incredibly too early.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
immediately released a brief statement
with a photo gallery
of Jobs followed by a three page article
on the matter. Respectfully announcing his death and describing his accomplishments and technological progression Jobs brought to the world wide web and mobile devices. The article, written by Jordan Robertson of the Associate Press, said:
"The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPhone, just one procession of devices that shaped technology and society while Jobs was running the company."
The Inquirer also posted a video
of Jobs giving the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University
shortly after releasing the article as well as a timeline of Jobs' life
Jobs began Apple with a high school friend in Silicon Valley in the year 1976. He was forced out of the company almost a decade later after someone he brought into Apple appeared to be a better fit according to the rest of the company. Jobs returned in 1997 to rescue the company after his involvement and expansion of NeXT and Pixar. From 1997 to his last days Jobs developed Apple into the most valuable technology company in the world. The market value of Apple is $351 billion. Jobs produced one sensational product after another in his years at Apple, despite his own declining health and recession.
Philly.com has done a wonderful job in reporting on the death of Steve Jobs and his accomplishments in a variety of ways. The Arts & Entertainment
section created a slideshow
of photos of celebrities and their tweets regarding their initial reaction to Jobs' death. Many recounted his humor, ambition and impact he has left on the world.
The days following Jobs' death came opinionated
articles, a staff editorial
questioning if there will be another Steve Jobs and various updates on Jobs' death and legacy. Articles have continued to be published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, however, on Friday and Saturday Jobs was no longer a front page story with a photo, but someone you had to search the website for. We will see if this continues tomorrow.
Today on Philly.com, columnist Karen Heller and her article
on Steve Jobs was listed under "Featured Columns and Blogs of Philly.com," at the bottom of the website. The article addressed Jobs' drive and human innovation he provided the world. Heller quoted Jobs' commencement address at the 2005 Stanford University graduation.
"'You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.'"
Heller described Jobs' actions as turning the ugly into the beautiful. "Jobs made the essential gorgeous, modern, and playful," Heller wrote. "You have a phone; you lust for an iPhone. You crave the iPad with its clear, dazzling design that makes Nook and Kindle look small and dated. Nobody drools over a Dell."
Heller's column was the only sign that news of Jobs' death was ever covered on Philly.com. A few hours after reading the column it was replaced on the webpage by Jeff Gelles, a business columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his article
on Wall Street. The coverage of Jobs' death was a job well done by Philly.com. I applaud the effort and increase in live and consistent updates they completed, I just wish it had not ended so early.
This week in my Digital Journalism II class, I was given an assignment to make a 12-photo slideshow
profiling a Marquette University
student. I chose Julia DeBella, a student who can keep her calm while having two exams and a paper all due the same day.
In my assignment, I followed DeBella on a Sunday afternoon at Raynor Memorial Library
, where she studied for German, anthropology and accounting while writing her philosophy paper.
I chose to focus my story on a student who has an abundant amount of homework to illustrate the amount of stress students are under and the work load they are undertaking. Through this photography project, I learned that every student handles stress in different ways and every student has a different way of studying.
The point of this project was to develop my photography and story-telling skills, and I believe I did this well by taking on a common occurrence on college campuses and illustrating this through my own eyes.
After completing the Language of the Image module on Poytner's News University
, I learned how to implement many different visual elements into my photographs and focused on the following:
1.) The Rule of Thirds
2.) Sense of Place
5.) Point of Entry
My slideshow exposes the stress of college students as well as how one student, DeBella handles that stress and knows no matter how hard life can get, she is doing the best she can.
Photographs are easy to find when it comes to enhancing a story, but when attempting to see how The Philadelphia Inquirer presents, packages and showcases their photographers work it becomes difficult. If not impossible.
loads on the a browser a box on the left of the website immediately appears with a slideshow of the top five stories. The stories are always accompanied by a photograph that captures the event in it's entirety. However, this photograph has a trend in being the only one that accompanies the article, video or blog it represents.
One such example is "Built to Last" by Mark Cofta. The photo taken by Neal Santos appears in the "Today's Features" as well as in the separate page for the article
in the theatre section.
"Built to Last" is about the struggles of the economy and foundation arts funding declining and the wrath it has had on Off-Broad Street Consortium
, a group of six small professional theater companies, and theaters alike.
The Philadelphia community has come together to provide a home for this theatre at First Baptist Church and yet, the article itself does not illustrate any of the productions, rehearsals, and participants that are affected by the new found home except two men, Tom Reing and Kevin Giaccum, who manage two of the six theaters.
This article could have been illustrated via photographs alone, or enhanced by interactive photos, personality portraits as well as impact by showing the absence of a home and the reality of now having one.
A unique but not frequently updated photo gallery is available and easily accessed at philly.com
under the name "Popular Photos of philly.com" or "Philly.com Photo Galleries" located on the home page.
The slideshows range from 30 to over 100 photos with content tending to be a little controversial. Topics range from an Eagles cheerleader photo shoot
, to Holly Madison
, a former Playmate and the worth of her breasts to the history of crime
The Philadelphia Inquirer's effort is apparent but falls short when it comes to producing quality photojournalism.