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 and events. 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, Storify 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, Soundslides 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, webpage and blog. 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 CNNNew 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
3.) Emotion
4.) Layering
5.) Point of Entry
6.) Moment

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. 

When philly.com 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 in Philadelphia.  

The Philadelphia Inquirer's effort is apparent but falls short when it comes to producing quality photojournalism.


Live-tweeting has become a trend. Everyday people are participating in the phenomenon and those who are not partaking in social media festivities are missing out. Including The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Recently a Journalism 1550 class practiced live tweeting for Marquette University's 23rd Presidential Inauguration of Rev. Scott Pilarz.  I, as well as my classmates partook in this exercise. At the beginning I was nervous. I did not know if I could distribute timely, professional tweets throughout the ceremony that accurately informed the public. A main concern was using AP style throughout the inauguration so my professor, Herbert Lowe, would not look at his phone and gasp in horror during the ceremony. 

After the lengthy but historical inauguration JOUR1550 had completed their mission of live-tweeting a monumental event -- as well as gaining carpal tunnel. Through the days that followed we all received several retweets, new followers, and praise from the community. 

Now, I will say I am no expert at live-tweeting after one experience, but I will share my opinion and say The Philadelphia Inquirer lacks live coverage of events in many ways.  

After looking at their website, Twitter and various other Twitter feeds such as Philly.com's "Green" Twitter, and sports Twitter I realized there was very little to follow "in the moment." Their Twitter is never "blowing up" my phone like many other news sources do when it comes to important events and live coverage.  

The sports section of the online news source lacks live-tweeting, which is a surprise as recreational activities such as baseball and football need consistent updates in order for viewers to be up to date with the current score. The website as a whole does not use Storify, Facebook and social media of the like on a regular basis either.

However, I did notice that a reporter is branding himself through Storify and Twitter to help bring attention to his work. Daniel Victor, Community-builder for @phillydotcom, uses his Storify consistently as well as his Twitter

Victor has tweeted four times in the last ten minutes with updates on the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays heated game. This is more than I have seen from The Philadelphia Inquirer's twitter account in the last ten minutes.   

The Philadelphia Inquirer's main use of Twitter is breaking news and attached links to correspond with a story on their website. Generally the tweet will be one to two sentences explaining the breaking news and a link attached to the end. Very rarely will you see a stream of related tweets, if at all.  

I believe The Philadelphia Inquirer can take a lesson from Daniel Victor and try Storify and live-tweeting. This would enhance their use of social media and engage their audience more.  

Philadelphia Media Network launched the first pre-loaded Android Tablet. A multimedia tablet that brings content from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com on Sept. 14.

This video explains the launch of the tablet and how the idea came to be, however, for such a monumental step in the growing multimedia industry within newspapers, the video had poor audio quality, jumpy video and poor narration that makes you wonder how great this device is.

The tablet has not yet been named, but "Philly Tablet" has been suggested several times by both consumers and the Philadelphia Media Networks CEO, Greg Osberg. Magner said the tablet will allow you to access everything an iPad does, including both a replica of The Philadelphia Inquirer's newspaper, as well as a condensed digital version that looks similar to what would be read online.  

I am pleased with this idea, but the video quality was too poor for my taste. I feel The Philadelphia Inquirer in conjunction with Philly.com rushed to produce the video and turned what could have been great a promotional and informative video into something that is sore on the eyes. 

The woman's shirt plainly says, "Never Forget" and the boy's eyes look at something in the distance, almost as if he has a question that hasn't been answered. They hold onto each other dearly, maybe they did this same thing 10 years ago, we don't know, but we can respectively say that today was a day many families embraced one another and relived the life altering day that happened a decade ago. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer had me asking many questions throughout the week, such as, where is the pre 9/11 coverage?  What about the night before 9/11 coverage?  Where is the tenth anniversary of 9/11 coverage and why is it not all over the website like so many other news sources? 

I feel The Philadelphia Inquirer may have forgotten how important the coverage of the tenth anniversary of this monuments day was and for some reason didn't devote as much attention to it as I would have thought necessary, especially seeing as Pennsylvania was a target to terrorists on 9/11.  

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, The Philadelphia Inquirer listed all of the events occurring on Sept. 11 in the surrounding area. This was a nice comprehensive way start comprehensive coverage, but it only ended up getting my hopes up. As I checked back each day I would find one or two articles pertaining to the event, but nothing on the main page of the website pertained to the events or anniversary of 9/11. 

On Thursday, there was an interesting article about how transportation has changed since the 9/11 attacks. We, as a nation, have spent over $460 billion dollars on homeland security since the attacks.  The Philadelphia Inquirer made this an interesting story and I am pleased they covered chose to write about this.

"An army of 50,000 transportation security officers has been deployed around the country, and since 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration has spent $57 billion on aviation security," Paul Nussbaum of The Inquirer staff wrote in the article. Nussbaum makes an interesting point and made me think about the extra security I experienced while I traveling home this weekend. However this article did not sway my views and attitude towards the coverage by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

On Friday, Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on what we have learned from 9/11 in a video, the first form of multimedia I have seen on the website since i began my research.  Rubin says we have learned: 

1. How to overcome terrorism.
2. That we have forgotten that we came together as a country on 9/11 and now are fighting one another instead. 

Both Saturday and Sunday's coverage picked up. Articles and multimedia appeared on the homepage of Philly.com. With photo illustrations, video of the Garden of Reflections ceremony and appealing stories a semi-continuous stream of coverage began to appear, but nothing of the magnitude that could be seen by The New York Times or NPR.  I am still baffled by this but today the news organization made up for themselves. 

It's the day after all of the ceremonies and memorials.  The grieving we witnessed on T.V. is no longer being shown but The Philadelphia Inquirer didn't follow suit. They set themselves apart and I was proud.  There were photo illustrations accompanied by stories that recapped the day and stories alone that spoke about the families reactions and emotions from the anniversary.  My only question is, where was the coverage during the actual day?