Author Archives: agibson0813

RR7

Silence.

In short, it’s awkward. It makes people uncomfortable especially when you’re with someone you don’t know. But silence can be your best ally when it comes to interviewing.

Follow through the checklist of a good interview that Filak discusses.

You’ve found your source through a credible means. Check.

You’ve met at a neutral location. Check.

You’ve whipped out your (already prepared) questions for your source. Check.

And you receive a less than spectacular answer to your perfectly delivered question.

Instead of jumping in trying to push the subject to the answer you want, just sit there. It’ll be awkward, sure. But it might lead you to a new story.

People cannot stand awkward silence, and more than likely your source will try to fill it with more elaboration or a better answer. Silence can be your best ally in and interview if you know how to use it correctly.

 

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RR6

Filak and Briggs both talk about the use of twitter as a form of microblogging in their chapters.

Briggs states that most journalistic jobs will demand social media skills now, so it is best to start a twitter as early as you can. Filak confirms this by saying social media is now a major outlet that draws readers in and can inspire action.

I have mixed feelings about this.

I appreciate twitter as a social media platform and am glad that it limits users to 140 characters, but I wouldn’t consider it a valid media source. Even if your account puts out accurate information and makes sure to fact check everything, most other accounts won’t.

You’re more likely to find false information than factually accurate information.

I do appreciate how much the platform has grown since it’s beginning and has now become a major world-recognized media source. It’s become a major hub for news and entertainment, and our current president makes sure to use and often abuse it.

I think it’s important to have and to use, but I do encourage people not to believe everything they read, most of it is probably wrong.

RR5

Facts and figures. Something every analyst or math junkie lives for. But incorporate them into your writing and your story can go from a theoretical claim to a new groundbreaking realization.

A way to gather information is through the web, Briggs said. He encourages writers to research their topics and provide accurate claims, but be wary of the sources you pull from. As always, Wikipedia is not a valid source.

Map mashups are another way to make your data more relevant.

Say you’re in investigative journalism researching a local serial killer. By combining police data of where the murders happened with say a travelling fair’s location, you might be able to find a brand new connection.

Facts make your writing more relevant, interesting and credible.

It Happened to MeToo

No one talked about it.

No one said anything. You didn’t tell your friends. You didn’t tell your parents, and if you did there was nothing they could do. They told you to hide it, asked the circumstances and made you feel like it was probably your fault. Judges didn’t care, police didn’t want to help.

Then the whispers start.

“That’s awful, truly, but wasn’t she asking for it with her behavior?”

“She shouldn’t dress like that. What was she expecting?”

“At least she finally got laid.”

“No, he would never. I know him. He’s not like that.”

“I bet she made it up for attention.”

This is what I had been used to hearing when I was growing up. If any form of rape or sexual assault happened, you just swept it under the rug.

He was a linebacker for our football team and weighed about 150 pounds more than I did.
He thought that gave him the right to touch my thigh and work his way up. I shifted my chair as far away from him as I could, but he kept advancing.

“C’mon, you know you like it.”

His words still haunt me. I didn’t tell my parents; I knew what their response would be. I didn’t tell my friends; I didn’t want them to see me as someone that sought that kind of attention. I didn’t tell the teacher; he probably wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. So I moved to the opposite side of the classroom.

I shouldn’t have done that.

I should have fought, I should have yelled and I should have told him to stop then punched him.
I should have done something.

But I’m not the only one. One in five women in college will be sexually assaulted. 42 percent of women who are raped don’t report it. Georgia laws regarding sexual assault are vague at best, applying them to only instances in the workplace, psychotherapists and hospitals. In 1,000 rape cases, 994 perpetrators will walk free.
But others are changing this. Others are taking a stand. Others are speaking out about sexual harassment and rape. And I am so proud of them.

They give hope to younger generations. Younger generations no longer have to accept this kind of attention as something all women must go through. They no longer have to put up with it to get a job or promotion. They don’t have to take it anymore, largely thanks to the MeToo movement.

The MeToo movement started with Tarana Burke in 2006 and progressed into a national movement that brought attention to the abuse of women in media and entertainment industries.

Now, it has become a social media hashtag that provides an outlet for victims to voice their experiences and inspires confidence in young women. Young women are now being educated on their resources to stop this unwanted attention and their futures are being rewritten.

While laws in Georgia regarding these situations are still largely flexible, the MeToo movement is bringing much needed attention to this social issue and providing closure for several thousand people.

I never want what happened to me to happen to anyone. It took me a long time to rebuild my self-esteem and push away the shame that it brought. But now I am so much happier with where I am. I have a loving family and wonderful friends who guided me through that time. I’m now very open about my story so that younger generations will know it is never okay to be treated this way without consent. I am so proud of where my generation is taking a stand and I never want them to stop talking about it.

So keep talking, keep spreading this message and keep brightening the future for younger generations.

RR4

There’s far too many camera references, sayings and puns in today’s culture, but there’s a reason for it. We’re a digital generation.

We read words printed over images (hello memes) and most of our stories now consist of pictures, not text. The written word doesn’t matter quite as much as it used to, we’ve become a very visual group.

Briggs talks about this in his book and gives a few pointers on how to achieve the photos that will have the best impact.

He talks about working with Photoshop, a program that I have to use on almost a daily basis for my job. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to crack open Photoshop just so I could upload something into InDesign and make it all blend together.

The bottom line is photos add drama to a story, any story. A news story about two old ladies fighting in a grocery store is entertaining, sure. But the photo of one hitting the other with a handbag? Priceless.

In order to create a better story and one that interests readers more, adding photos is the easiest way to do so.

RR3

Blogging. It’s not just the outlet for bored moms anymore.

Filak takes us through how to transfer content from the print era to the digital one and warns about the evils of making digital content look like print content. He’s right, it’s not the same. He also advises against blogging for the heck of it.

But Briggs claims otherwise.

He states that every college student should have a blog and a Twitter account (Twitter is a form of blogging anyway). And he’s right to a certain point, but we’re constantly blogging in other ways.

Snapchat and Instagram made a global takeover almost overnight and have been dominant forms of social media. And what is social media? That’s right, a trendy new title for blogging, more specifically microblogging. We follow one account because we like their posts on politics, another because it’s funny, and a third because everyone loves watching food porn.

We crave those faster blogs because with our busy schedules we have to zip from one thing to the next, and do the same with our social medias.

RR2

Being in PR is almost like having to play a constant mental chess game.

If I move this piece, this is how it will reflect on my company, but if I move this piece, this is now the result.

A PR specialist’s job is to skew public opinion in favor of the company or organization, and it is often presented in press releases, how certain topics are reported and advertising.

Firehouse subs is a great example of this. In their radio ads, they highlight that they were “founded by firemen” and use their yearly donations of X amount of money to local fire stations as a good PR move to highlight the company in the best way.

PR is only successful if it benefits both the sender and the receiver, otherwise you’re creating distrust in your publics. Charitable acts are one of the most common (and quite frankly easiest) ways to build up a company’s name and present it as a good establishment.