Author Archives: Julie Dreier


Again I am delighted with the format and readability of this book. Discussing current journalistic topics, like current yellow journalism or fake news, keeps it fresh and pertinent. So many of the books other classes use for study are outdated and deprecated. The simplicity of Knight’s writing makes the topic easier to understand.

Filak makes a good point about social media and that we are too engaged with it to ever let it go. The problem with so much of it is that relying on social media for news goes hand in hand with yellow journalism. Therefore, the two books make a great connection here.


Spiegel by Day, John by Knight

Piedmont theater professor John Spiegel directs students by day and knights on the battle field by night.

John has always loved the renaissance era. He has studied many of the aspects of such a lifestyle and learned many of the skill people used then. “I’ve always been intrigued by the deep sense of becoming one with nature,” he said. “I know it sounds crazy but somehow it always comes back to living that simple life.”

Spiegel’s current life as a theater professor at Piedmont has kept him busy – not able to spend as much time as he would like in what he refers to as the “simple life.” His days are mixed with show preparation, class structuring and performance evaluations – hardly a free moment for simplicity.

Spiegel makes time for simple life through his annual trips around the country to Pennsic – an event based on the medieval era. Visitors show up with tents, weapons and enough food to get through a week.

“When I go to Pennsic, I get to be who I always dreamed I would be: the knight – in beat up armor,” he said.

Students recognize the knight-like qualities of their professor. “John is the real deal. He truly is royalty – and it shows in his fighting.” said Mike Adams – Junior.

“Yes it is true. My brother is an actual count,” Spiegel said. “Maybe that’s why I love to dress up in armor so much.”

John practices his fighting skills weekly with the Medieval and Renaissance Society club on campus. The group straps on real plate armor and trains as a unit with swords and shields. They participate in arts and science studies from the era as well as heraldry.

“At the end of the day, I am the knight.” he said. “It doesn’t get much simpler than that.”

RR4 -Good Examples, Great Interview

I can appreciate Knight’s approach to lede building. There are plenty of examples and points made to steer the reader in the right direction. Perhaps an infographic would have helped since so many are accustomed to the reverse pyramid method. Overall, chapter three was somewhat helpful and certainly dog-eared in my book for future reference.

Filak’s Basics of Writing chapter is formatted a bit easier for the visual reader.  It is complete with color marking and short succinct lede examples that are easy to follow. I also appreciate the commentary from Janelle Cogan and her “digestible bites” explanation.

The World is Her Oyster -Short Profile

Piedmont freshman Anna Watson is one of many new female lacrosse players here on campus. Leaving home to become a Lioness has been both a dream and a challenge.

Three generations of Anna’s family live in the same house, complete with a 9 year old chow/husky mix -that keeps grandpa young and vibrant. “He gets in my grandpa’s way a lot.”

When Anna left to come to college she wasn’t sure what her goals were other than to further her education and play lacrosse. “I don’t really know what I want to do when I graduate yet.” But one thing she is certain of, “I love the team that I have.”

Anna currently resides in the dorms and misses home and her boyfriend of two and a half years.


Knight’s writing about grammar has me dog-earring my book. I can relate to the simplification of statements, though I often over communicate them anyway. I have installed the Grammarly Chrome extension, but so far it has proven worthless. Chapters five and six in Journalistic Writing are far more efficient in the explanation of the correct and incorrect use of grammar.

I am particularly fond of Knight’s comments on creativity and the careful means not to kill it. For me, creativity is absolutely the key to good writing but if you aren’t careful, your reader gets lost; this is something I suffer from on a daily basis. It is easy to appreciate the format of this book-I will certainly use these chapters as a tool in my writings going forward.

Read About Writing, Write About Reading: RR1

It’s a bit of a perplexing idea, don’t you think? To read about writing and then write about what you just read. It feels like it should be a nursery rhyme or a ride at an amusement park. I think Knight is right, just write:

I did enjoy his dedication, to the students who helped him write the book. I can also relate to the lede method and vouch for it as the best meet-your-deadline method there is. I usually start most of my writing this way, ending up with at least something I can call my own. I am not sure how I feel about the ask mom process. In this house, I am the mom, so there’s that.

On the grammar and the vocabulary, this is where I hope to get the most out of this book. I hadn’t realized until I read it here, that the English language purposefully dropped the sex of objects as it is commonly used in foreign languages. This is a plus in my book. Figuratively speaking, mais bien sur!

Generally speaking, I look forward to future chapters, as the read is easy and broken down quite clearly. Knight’s first chapter keeps the door open, suggesting, that yes, anyone can write.