Author Archives: ZoEliza

Tall-Tales and Short Comings: RR6

Overgeneralizing and assumption writing are dangerous in journalism. Generalizing everything can come off as rude and makes it seem like the writer doesn’t know much of what they’re talking about. Knight touches on how important it is for journalist to research what they’re writing about and to know facts about the story before going into the interview. Research is helpful as to not look uneducated when interviewing the subject or writing about the breaking story.

Filak’s second chapter is all about thinking critically and how beneficial it can be. It seems a bit weird for someone to teach you how to think, but critical thinking and understanding is necessary in journalism and in every day life. Thinking in a critical sense helps a person better understand material and enables them to pull on that critical thought to be able to apply it later.

Writing honest material is what I strive for as a writer and having true content is what look for in other’s. With anybody able to publish whatever content they want as biased as they want now, it can be hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. I know how tempting it can be to overexaggerate or over emphasize details to try and make the story sound more interesting, but Knight cautions in his seventh chapter that doing so can be damaging to the story and to your own credibility as a journalist. It can subject your work to only being seen as tall-tales for entertainment. I find there’s nothing wrong with having a style of writing, as long as what you’re saying is true and not blown out of proportion.


I Literally Have No Fancy Title for This One: RR5

The fact about humans having a shorter attention span than goldfish is a bit sad, but as a person who gets distracted fairly easy and always has her head in the clouds, I know how important it is to start a story off strong and to keep it strong in order to keep the audience reading what you have written.

Knight and Filak both touch on the importance of knowing the audience you are writing for and how to keep your audience reading what you have written. I think it is very important to know how to capture an audience and how to start off with a good lede.

The words infotainment and demolisticals from Filak’s are new words for me and I’m still unsure as to what demolistical means, but I find them both interesting words and might be worth looking further in to.

Knowing how to decipher what is newsworthy and what is not is very important so you can avoid just spitting out facts.

With all the different ways to get your news nowadays, it can be hard to know what is fact and what is just fan fiction, and knowing where your sources are coming from – whether writing or reading – are important so you can be sure you are receiving the most accurate and truth-filled story possible.

I wish Knight talked more on photojournalism than just that one paragraph because it is something I’m very much interested in, but I understand this is a journalistic writing book and not a photjournalism book.

Overall, interesting chapters and can’t wait to see what’s next. I might learn some more new words

Why Yellow

Entering the office of professor Brian Hitselberger, arrange of paintings and other artworks fill the bright, yellow walls. Being an unusual color for a room and a huge turnoff to most people, there is a bit of curiosity as to why the room is painted the way it is.

As young boys in attempt to keep themselves entertained, Hitselberger and his two brothers would make their own playing cards and board games to play with. In that time – though not being very good – they also learned how to make their own clothes. Hitselberger loves to work with his hands and throughout high school, he loved playing the piano, thinking he would go to a music school for college.

With dreams of creating music for television and film, Hitselberger found himself at a liberal arts college. With everyone at the college required to take either a music class, a theater class, or an art history class, Hitselberger didn’t feel the need to take a music class because he already spent so many years playing the piano. Instead, Hitselberger decided to take an art class. He thought it would be fun and a nice change of pace.

“It was just appealing to me that you could take a class in college at school where you were making a thing, as opposed to writing a paper or just reading a piece,” he said.

Burnt out from writing papers and wanting more from his college experience, Hitselberger decided to take a painting class and enjoyed every aspect about it. Art was different and he loved it. Working in the studio excited him. Having two to three hours to work in the studio and at the end of that time he could see what he had done. “What I liked about art class is that it was all there. You know, it was like visual. I mean, if you did the work you could see it, and if you didn’t it wasn’t there. There was no hiding.”

When Hitselberger had his class critiques, he could see everyone’s work and he could clearly see how his work didn’t quite match up to the others, but he didn’t let that stop him. Instead of getting down, it would motivate him to get better. Being a musician for so long, Hitselberger was used to the concept of practice. Practicing was familiar to him, although the making of art was not.

“You could either do it or not,” he said. “It was like a skill that you could learn, and I was really interested in learning.”

Making art was a skill that he strived to learn. He got into it and was very studious. He started being a visual artist in college.

Ever since graduating college, he has found ways in his life to make art an activity and to do art in everything he does. “If I take this job, is it going to allow me to take time to create art?”

“And teaching was really awesome because it was the job that I found that really elevated the art making and the doing the job were not two separate things…they were much more connected,” he said.

Yellow is such a happy and positive color and since his time teaching at Piedmont College, Hitselberger makes an effort to create a positive work atmosphere for his students.

“He teaches in a way that could help anyone understand and learn by the way he connects with the students,” said Mariana Leon, a current student of Hitselberger’s Painting 3 class.

Being very attentive of his students lives, Hitselberger makes sure they are doing well in their other classes, as well as knowing how his students feel they are growing in their skills.

“He’s very supportive and willing to help students”, said Kristen Odem, current student of Hitselberger’s Drawing 2 class.

Hitselberger always looks for ways to help his students and help them to improve on their skills. By creating a positive work space, students are able to feel comfortable to be themselves and ask questions and be unafraid to push their preconceived artistic boundaries.

By painting the walls of his office yellow, Hitselberger is reminded of the strive to make every work day and everyday filled with positivity and light.

“It would be hard to be in a bad mood in this room,” said professor Hitselberger.

Emily Pierce: Short Profile

Growing up, Emily Pierce always wanted to be a Language Arts educator for young children, and by the end of her high school years from Parkview High, Pierce was certain of her calling to be a teacher. Going in to Piedmont College as an English Education major, she thought she could do no wrong, but the farther Pierce got into her education major, the more she realized teaching wasn’t for her. Despite not wanting to be a teacher anymore, Pierce still had a passion for helping and educating people and keeping others informed.

At the crossroads of her decision, she discovered Social Justice – or more, social justice found her. She was the guinea pig for the Lillian Smith Scholarship Program here at Piedmont and during her time here and she was given the opportunity to intern at a Reforming Arts for women at the Lee Arrendale State prison, which she states was an eyeing experience for her. Currently in her senior year here at Piedmont College, Pierce is working on a presentation on Lillian Smith and her book Killers of the Dream, which isn’t widely known.

Pierce still pursues English as her main focus and plans to graduate this year with a B.A. in English, and as for her plans after college, Pierce hopes to attend UGA’s graduate program to continue her love of English and study more on Lillian Smith’s life and works. “

Lede or No Followers: Reading Response 4

A strong lede makes for a strong story and Filak and Knight both emphasize on how important a strong lede is. The lede is the most important part of any story and gives insight into what the story is about. It starts the story off and must flow to tell what’s happening next. The authors believe a lede should grab the attention of the audience and a good lede makes the readers want more and to continue reading. Whenever I write, I try to open with something fun or clever or something that will catch the reader’s eye, but I never get any feedback, so I could just be doing my opening statements all wrong my entire life and will never know it.

Whenever I have to write a lede (or in my case, an introduction paragraph) for an academic English paper, I often struggle to figure out how I am going to start my essay. I often get so frustrated with how I am going to start my essay, that I end up skipping the introduction all together moving on to the body paragraphs, but then end up having to scramble together my introduction paragraph at the last minute. Writing a lede is something I’ve never had to do before, so I don’t really know if I am good at it or not. Filak gives a helpful hint on how to build a good lede by focusing on the 5W’s and the 1H of who, what, when, where, why and how and I think keeping those key points in mind when I have to write my first lede will be helpful to me.

Thanks…But No Interviews for Me! RR3

The thought of having to do an interview terrifies me. Just the thought of having to talk to people in general terrifies. The way the 4th chapter of Knight’s book started out by him telling the story of the time he had to interview President Nixon made the writer more relatable in a sense that we all can choke and that it’s normal to get nervous when doing an interview.

Knight writes how important wording is in your story and how over describing and over complicating your story can ruin the point you are trying to convey. I this found helpful because I always find myself adding in too many unnecessary words trying to make the story sound interesting, but then I go back to read my stuff and it sounds sloppy.

Filak breaks down the questions a good interviewer should consider when interviewing their source. He writes that a good interviewer takes into consideration who the source is and what the purpose of the interview is so the interviewer can write the best and most accurate story possible. I found chapter 6 of his book insightful because ive never had to do an interview before and I think following the steps in his book, and as well as in Knight’s book, could help me to be more concise in my interviews.

After the readings I am still terrified of interviews and still don’t want to do them, but for whenever the day comes that I do have to conduct an interview, the tips and tricks in the two books will definitely help me to feel more confident in my ability to do so.


I’m not used to journalistic writing, but it’s definitely more my style. All my writing has been academic writing and MLA where the goal is to sound as smart as possible with as many words as possible to meet the page requirements. I’m so used to adding extra words that when I started to learn about journalistic writing, I was relieved on how straight to the point everything could be. “Avoiding Wordiness” in Chapter 5 was definitely a breath of fresh for me in that not everything needs to be long and complicated.

I’ve always been pretty good with deciphering between whether to use “that” or “which”, but when to use “whom”, I never knew. I’ve just always used “who” so I would never misuse “whom” and sound like a pompous snob for using it. I’m still a bit confused on how to use “whom”, but I am getting better at using it.

As far as chapter 6 in using active versus passive voice, I had honestly forgotten about the two. Active voice is definitely more straight to the point – which I like – and it’s more meaningful.

All and all, everything was a great refresher for me and I enjoyed the reading a lot.