Author Archives: ansleighshae

About ansleighshae

Just a college girl who loves Jesus & wants to share Him with everyone


Audio journalism is just as powerful, if not more powerful, than written journalism. When an audience tunes in to a podcast or NPR station, all they have to focus on is spoken words and music. There isn’t any visual aid to go with the sound, so what the audience is listening to needs to keep their attention at all times. This aspect can be extremely powerful, or extremely detrimental to journalism. The journalism written for audio has to be written in a way that captures the audience’s attention and keeps them hooked until the very last word.

Audio may not have visuals, but the audience creates a picture of what they hear in their mind’s eye. This gives them the freedom to picture the event how they see it, rather than focusing on a tv screen. In my opinion, this is more effective than watching a video on tv, or an anchor talk about the news. Personally, listening to something and creating a picture of it myself helps me to focus more on what I’m hearing and I am able to take more in this way. Audio also allows the audience to actually hear a tone of voice, rather than just reading off the page. Hearing emotion in someone’s voice is more effective than reading it for oneself. Audio journalism is more deliberate with a tone of voice because it has to be. If a story is told in the wrong tone of voice, the audience reacts differently than they would have if the story was told a different way.



Interviewing is the best source for information in the journalism world. Filak mentions several places in the chapter to do research before interviewing that I wouldn’t have thought to check; some of these include trade press and non-digital newspaper clippings. Some interviews will require extensive before-hand research, while others (such as emergencies and breaking news) won’t leave much room for prior research. Knowing what you are interviewing about will help set the tone for the interview and the piece you are writing. This is especially useful in emergency situations like a car crash or tragic fire.

Preparing questions beforehand will help the interview to run smoothly, but one should also be prepared for the interview to go in a direction that wasn’t originally planned. Often times, the interviewee will touch on a subject that the interviewer had no prior knowledge of, and finds interesting or is of use to the piece he is writing. Another important thing to remember is that the interview is not about the interviewer, but rather about the interviewee. In other words, the interviewer should ask the questions, but the focus of the interview should be on the interviewee’s responses.


Twitter accounts ae powerful writing tools. There are only 140 characters available for each tweet, but a lot of damage can be done with such a small amount of words. Tweeting a hashtag when your use for it isn’t relative to the issue it is currently promoting, or tweeting a harmless statement about a topic that was recently touchy (even when harm is unintended) can be in poor judgement. Always know what issues are relevant and how to avoid being legally or socially in the wrong. With this being said, Twitter is a great way to get a short and sweet statement to a large audience at one time.

Twitter (and other forms of social media) are all about the stream of content, which is what makes it so effective. People’s attention spans are short, and Twitter helps to capture their attention while also keeping them hooked on what’s going to happen next. Twitter is more “live” than a regular newspaper, meaning it can be updated every second. This allows viewers to access instant information and continue to follow the event(s) constantly. Because we are a culture of instant gratification, Twitter and other forms of social media keep viewers happy and hooked on the news.



In chapter 8, Briggs mentions that data can be used for almost any piece of journalism. We don’t typically use data in journalistic writing unless it is for some kind of statistic or census, so this statement came as a surprise to me. We also tend to think of data as a visual aid, but Briggs says it actually tells a story. Datasheets also help one to organize thoughts and stories before putting them on paper. Data is becoming more and more widespread and important, thus making it important for journalists to know how to use and read it.

Maps and map mashups are helpful tools for showing the readers where something took place, is taking place, or is happening in comparison to somewhere else. Instead of just reading about the event, the audience can also reference the map as a visual aid. Briggs also mentions GPS systems built into smart phones. This device is making it easier for people to see where they are; in this case, it enables them to know where they are in reference to events they are reading about in pieces like newspaper articles and other styles of journalism.

Opportunity is not a Lengthy Visitor

When I was younger, I was incredibly shy. I hated talking to people I didn’t know, and I often had my independent little sister order for me at restaurants. Despite being shy, my mom knew how much I loved to sing and made me audition for the church musical in the fourth grade. When I realized I was cast as the lead, I was terrified to step out onstage. The minute I did, however, I was instantly at home.


Ansleigh Harrison performs in her first show, Candy Cane Lane, 2007

The shy, awkward, little 10 year-old girl that existed in my body vanished as I sang my first note. The worries of the school day vaporized as I began acting. The stage became my place of peace.

And now schools all over the United States are slowly weeding out several forms of fine arts programs.

In 2012, The National Center for Education Statistics released the results to a nationwide survey that was sent out to k-12 schools during the 2009-10 school year regarding arts education in primary and secondary public schools. This was the first survey taken regarding this topic since the 1999-2000 school year.

The U.S. Department of Education noted that “for theater and dance in elementary schools, the percentages of schools making these art forms available went from 20 percent 10 years ago to only 4 and 3 percent, respectively, in the 2009-10 school year. In addition, at more than 40 percent of secondary schools, coursework in arts was not required for graduation in the 2009-10 school year.”

In just one decade, the importance of arts within schools has dwindled significantly.

The arts are a necessary tool in human development. Whether we notice it or not, we all use some form of art in nearly every aspect of our lives. We use drawings in our explanations, we use music to de-stress or learn certain things, and sometimes we even act a certain way when we are around certain people. It has been proven that learning a musical instrument can actually boost a child’s ability to focus. Art is a form of therapy that allows human beings to express themselves. Although not everyone uses the arts in a therapeutic way, fine arts are still an important part of society. Cutting these programs out of our public schools diminishes the opportunity for students to learn about or pursue the arts.

If I hadn’t been able to participate in theatre and chorus programs in middle and high school, I wouldn’t have realized that I wanted to pursue theatre as a career. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to form a family within the theatre and chorus departments, and I wouldn’t have been as happy had I chosen to pursue my second choice career.

Arts programs give students the opportunity to explore an extracurricular activity that stretches and challenges their minds, as well as their bodies. The shy, awkward, little 10 year-old Ansleigh wouldn’t be where she is today without the arts programs in her high school. Other kids are not as lucky to have been allowed such an opportunity as she, and so many others, had. We need fine arts in schools to round out our students and push them to break out of their comfort zones in order to strive to be the best they can be.

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor…”-Cinderella, Into The Woods


Ansleigh Harrison performs her first lead role as the Baker’s Wife in Into The Woods, 2014


In chapter 5, Briggs talks about how powerful photojournalism can be. Just using words conveys the author’s point, but adding a picture can make all the difference. Personally, I’m a visual person. I understand or connect with someone or something more when I can see a visual representation. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true when it comes to photojournalism. I like to read book series that are made into movies after they are written. Watching the movie after you’ve already formed a mental picture of the setting and characters from the book is kind of like not using pictures in journalistic writing. Nine times out of ten, the reader has the image of what happened completely wrong if there is no picture to guide them.

Briggs mentions that “more time leads to better photos.” Just like anything else in life, spending more time behind the camera and actually focusing on getting the right photograph will cause one to do so. Plus, the more pictures you take, the better the odds that one will come out perfectly for the story you are writing. Photos explain information in ways that we as authors can’t convey with words.


In chapter 6, Filak introduces and defines what a blog is. As someone who writes a personal blog, I very interested to see what he had to say. The first headline was “Don’t Blog Just to Blog.” We tend to jump on the bandwagon really fast in today’s society. Many corporations or organizations have blogs, but are unsuccessful due to them being unnecessary. Not every organization needs a blog. Blogs are different forms of media because they are such a personal way of sending out information, and are typically less formal than other forms of media. We tend to gloss over hyperlinks embedded in the bottom of blogs, but they can actually be very useful when it comes to finding out more about the topic the audience was reading about.

Briggs mentions that “a good blog is a continuing conversation,” meaning that blogs should challenge the reader to contemplate the topic and continue the discussion. Microblogging is actually very important. Although it’s basically just a short message, it allows people access to other links and graphics instantaneously. A great example of microblogging is the Twitter app. The main reason microblogging is so important and popular is because of how quickly news is shared on these platforms.