Tuesday, November 29, 2011


In my journalism class we read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey. It is an account of six characters in Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped. This is what I thought of it.

I think that the very first page in the book, Hiroshima, really works. It is a list of all the main characters in the book. Since the names in the book are foreign to me, I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of the characters. It was nice to have a list at the very front of the book to keep track of them.

I think what doesn't work in the book is the fact that there isn't a lot of dialogue. It was confusing to keep track of who I was reading about because there was little dialogue, which is usually a literary device that breaks up narrative. I also think it would have given better insight into the characters. I could imagine that the characters were feeling horrible after the bomb hit Japan, but I think that dialogue could have shown how the characters were really feeling, instead of me guessing. What if they weren't feeling horrible? What if they had other feeling when the bomb hit? I don't know, because I've never been in that situation.

In regards to what's missing, I think it is dialogue once again to clarify the characters and their reactions and feelings. I also was confused as to why people in Japan thought the doctor who brought the young Japanese girls or "maidens" to America would think that it was selfish or conceded. I think that could have used a little more explanation. To me, I could see where he would get recognition, but I also thought that it was a pretty good thing for him to help the girls scarred in the war.

I think that journalists can learn that sensationalism isn't needed when you have a really good story. The tone of Hiroshima is very dead pan, calm, not over exaggerated. When you have sentences that say people's skin peeled off when there hand was touched or that people's eyeballs melted down their face, there is no need for exaggeration. I think journalists can learn from Hersey to look for the engaging parts of a story, instead of adding one's own exaggerations.

Although they are not about the same topic, I liked the fact the Hersey in Hiroshima did not really insert his own thoughts or say directly what the characters were thinking opposed to Mike McIntye in To the Grave. To the Grave was a non-fiction book our journalism class read last year. I found Hiroshima to be more believable and true to the events that happened because Hersey's own comments were not included.

Hiroshima was first published in The New Yorker in 1946. It was so widely regarded that is was then published into a book and distributed all over the world with high sales.

When reading Hiroshima I often felt sick. I couldn't believe that one country could do this to another country. I understood that this happened in a time of war, but the suffering the Japanese people had to endure just doesn't seem right. The most chilling thing was that after all this suffering that countries still continued to develop atomic bombs. Could you imagine another bomb like that being dropped today? Frightening, especially after all we know.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just chatting journalism with Dawna Friesen

Friday night was a very exciting evening for this aspiring broadcast journalist.

I was lucky enough to attend the RRC Alumni dinner, where Global National anchor Dawna Friesen was the MC. Thank you to the wonderful Rachelle Taylor who offered me an extra ticket to attend.  

Joanne Kelly, my journalism instructor and past reporter for CTV and Shaw, was kind enough to encourage me, along with a group of other aspiring young journalists, to actually go up to Friesen and speak with her. 

As her necklace and earrings sparkled under the lights, Friesen generously passed on some valuable advice. It was surreal to just be chatting about journalism with Dawna Friesen. She took the time to speak with us for was seemed quite a while, and even asked us all what we wanted to do in the future. She shared with us that she started out peeling potatoes and working as a waitress right here in Manitoba. However, she shared with us that she always thought about how she could turn where she was to where she wanted to go next in life. 

She also shared with us that even though we might be covering stories that don't seem like the best, to try and tell them the best we could, because you never know what it might turn into. She also shared that she pretends that she's telling a story to one person when she anchors the news. 

To be honest, I was a little star struck. It was and is so inspiring to see how much she's accomplished starting right where I am right now. I tried to absorb as much as I could from her as a fellow CreCommer put her arm around Friesen and basically interviewed her for the rest of us wide eyed journalism majors. 

Friesen was down to earth and happy to share her experiences with us. One of the best moments was that she told all of us that we "could do it." 

Other highlights of the night were meeting Sylvia Kuzyk, seeing Global reporter Lauren McNabb again (I interned with her on election night) and meeting Gord Leclerc. Did you know Sylvia Kuzyk actually went to Red River College for nursing and when she first started in television she was shy? 

It was very inspiring to meet all of these successful journalists from Manitoba and to hear their encouraging words. It definitely encourages me that my goal to one day work as a television reporter is possible with hard work. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Something I Never Expected

To me, being a journalist is an awesome profession, which is pretty obvious since I'm studying it in school. Eventually, as a journalist you can cover big stories that everyone is talking about. This is what originally drew me to journalism: to be able to talk about the things that everyone is talking about...first. 

However, what I've learned this year is that I love the local stories too. The kind of stories that people don't know about that are happening right in their own community. I have learned this by working as a community journalist, a project we're doing through school with Canstar. I have loved getting to know what's going on in my community and telling everyone else about it through writing articles. Sure, it can be hard coming up with original story ideas and difficult to find sources, but once you have, it is so rewarding. 

This is also why I'm so excited to go on work placement. I think, it's not completely confirmed yet, that I am going to an organization that is all about local stories. I love local stories because they aren't covered because the people are famous. The stories are covered because what the people have done is truly interesting. To me, a good story is good because people want to hear about it because of what has happened, not because the person involved is a movie star.

Sure, I would love to be Anderson Cooper one day, covering everything big going on in the world, but I also realize that covering local stories that matter to people in my community that I live in is pretty rewarding too. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remembering Telling Stories

Last year for my first-year Journalism story I interviewed a veteran of the Second World War. He had amazing stories to tell. Although his stories were amazing, my article wasn't great. It wasn't great because I forgot to check my historical facts.

I had errors on the dates and historical happenings in my story. I was confused when I got my story back because I had taken everything the person I interviewed as fact and didn't check myself. This wasn't his fault at all. This was mine. As a journalist it is my job to make sure facts are right. Looking back, yeah it would have been nice to get both historical information and stories from my interview, but it's my job to make sure facts, numbers, and information are correct.

What I also realized from this was that there are amazing stories out there. I think that as long as there are stories to tell there will be jobs for journalists. On the topic of story telling and Remembrance Day, I'd also like to share a story I heard at an Evening with Peter Mansbridge last Friday.

I was fortunate enough to go for free thanks to my journalism instructors Duncan and Joanne and Red River College.

Manbridge shared three stories about what it was to be Canadian.

In 2005 Mansbridge was in Netherlands on the anniversary of D Day. He noticed thousands of men in their 80s walking down the street with thousands of people watching them in the rain. He spotted a mother holding her four year-old son. The young boy was giving high fives to the soldiers, so Mansbridge approached the mother and son and asked why she would bring her son out here. She said "I want my son to know what a Canadian is."

Mansbridge's story and my wonderful experience last year assures me that there are great stories out there to tell as a journalist. It also encourages me to encourage others to take the time to speak with someone who has gone to battle or had experience in military conflict. I guarantee they have seen things that you could never imagine and have amazing stories to tell, which really are a privilege to hear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Investigative Journalism

I feel like we've been talking about the ethics of journalism a lot lately. Something that also reminded me about the debate on ethics in journalism was when I watched the documentary Chocolate: The Bitter Truth. It's about the child labour used in the chocolate industry. It's clearly horrible and unethical what some people in the chocolate industry have done to children (child labour, which doesn't allow them to attend school), but as a young journalist I was wondering was it ethical how they uncovered the issue? In the documentary a journalist goes undercover, and does some investigate journalism. Basically, the journalist lies and says poses as a chocolate trader. Is this ethical? Journalists are always told to identify themselves as journalists. Does this go away when it comes to investigative journalism? In the case where a journalist is trying to uncover injustice is it okay to be unethical by journalism standards? I think when uncovering injustice and when it comes to saving people's lives, you have to weigh the good compared to the bad. A little fib about being a chocolate trader vs. saving children's lives seems worth it to me. Here is the beginning of the doc below. You can watch the full doc at cbc.com and I really recommend it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Law Courts

Yesterday our journalism class went to the law courts. We met up with CreComm grad, Mike McIntyre, who is also the crime and justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. He gave us some leads on stories from the names in the hearings. All of the cases are posted up on a board when one walks in. Some are the Crown vs. a person, or people v.s people, or people vs. an entity like a life insurance company. I saw quite a few cases that involved CIBC and RBC life insurance.

I chose to go to a hearing where allegedly a young gang member shot at another rival drug dealer's vehicle. The case was actually pretty interesting. The two hours I spent in the courtroom flew by. Another interesting thing was that the accused was actually in the room, along with his girlfriend watching with myself and my fellow classmates. From what I've heard, usually those looking to get out on bail appear on a t.v. monitor in the room. I guess this was different because the accused was actually appealing his bail sentencing from before. Although this was an alleged gang member I almost felt bad sitting in on his hearing. I thought it was a weird juxtaposition where we were both in the same room, but he was facing time and I was writing an assignment.

Another thing that I didn't expect was for a witness to be called. The witness had to leave after she gave her testimony because she might be called at a later date to give testimony again. It almost made me anxious, even though I didn't do anything, to watch the witness be questioned. The Crown went through her entire criminal history and then asked her many, many detailed questions. I could see the witness struggling, and could tell that it would be very hard to tell a lie and keep it straight on the stand.

Overall, I liked that I got to write about something interesting. However, I'm not so sure if I'm cut out for crime reporting. I had a hard time getting past that the fact that everyone in these courtrooms were people with families, despite their criminal behaviour.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Journalism Tips

Last Friday, Alex Freedman, the I-Team reporter for CBC News: Winnipeg came to speak at Red River College. He was dynamic, interesting, and engaging, and reinforced my goal of becoming a broadcast journalist. He had a lot of very good advice not just for t.v. reporters, but for journalists overall I'd live to share:

1) Never think you're smarter than the person you are interviewing.
You can know it, but don't think it. This mindset will come off as arrogant and will turn the person you are talking to off, which isn't ideal when trying to get information from them.

2) Use the "Columbo" style of questioning.
This technique of questioning is not exactly "playing dumb," but helps you understand the story you are working on better because the interviewee will start to "pat you on the head" and talk more, which is what you want. Some examples of "Columbo" style questioning are: 
"Can you explain that to me?" 
"How can that be?"
"I thought ___________. Can you explain that to me?"
(all said in a innocent, questioning tone)

3) When interviewing someone, keep your cool, no matter what. 
Even if someone just told your that they wasted hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, which has happened to Freedman, keep your cool in your conversation and body language. If the interviewee thinks there is something wrong, they might stop talking, which isn't good for an interview. 

4) Don't fill the pregnant pause.

Did you get a little anxious there? Don't fill the silence when someone is talking. When they get quiet, just stand back and let them be the first ones to talk. When someone is silent, that often means they are thinking, and will have something interesting to say when they do speak. 

5) Don't be aggressive, be assertive.
This may seem cliche, and I don't believe Freedman said this exact phrase, but it is what I got from his talk. Intimidating people will usually not garner interviews. However, letting someone know that you're going to do the interview with out without them, showing them that giving an interview would be beneficial to them, is a good way to get someone to speak to you. Freedman also suggested reminding elected officials that it is their duty to talk to you is a good way to secure your interview. 

6) Pictures, sounds, and quotes are the heart of your story and your words are just the glue.
Freedman told us about a news story that was only pictures and sound, and explained why it was "gold."   People care most about the story you are telling as a journalist, not you. So remember, the words that you write are the least important thing to a story. Make sure you have the right pictures, sounds, and quotes (often filled with human emotion) to tell your story effectively. 

Freedman's overall advice was to practice, practice, practice. Whether it be FIPPA requests or interviews, I understood even better after that being a journalist is a craft that needs to be worked on and nurtured, which I am very excited to do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Advertising in Journalism

This weekend among turkey, cranberry sauce, the most delicious green bean casserole, and the return of the Jets, I watched Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The documentary discusses marketing and advertising in movies through product placement, and I wondered, does this happen in journalism?

One example that came quickly to mind was travel writing. I remember discussing this last year in class. There is an instance where journalism and advertising combine to create stories about different places (journalism), but are funded by freebies such as free hotels, tours, etc. Some people wouldn't call this journalism since it is sponsored by those giving out the freebies, but isn't the journalist still telling a story and getting information across? I can understand that it would be perfect if the journalist didn't get anything free, but traveling is expensive. I'm not sure if it's better to have a sponsored article, no article at all because there isn't the budget for it, or an article written by an underpaid journalist.

The New York Times has a strong stand on the ethics of travel journalism. You can check out their ethics on travel journalism below. Journalists are not to accept any free amenities. The New York Times are even to be aware of freelancers who may have had special treatments in the past because, "such a reputation can embarrass us."

From the New York Times Company website:

Travel Journalism

65. No staff member of our company who prepares a travel article or broadcast — whether on assignment or freelance, and whether for us or for others – may accept free or discounted services or preferential treatment from any element of the travel industry. This rule covers hotels, resorts, restaurants, tour operators, airlines, railways, cruise lines, rental car companies and tourist attractions. This prohibition does not rule out routinely awarded frequent-flier points.

66. Editors or producers who accept travel coverage from nonstaff contributors have an obligation to guard against real or perceived conflicts of interest. They should exercise care in assigning or editing freelancers who have accepted free services while working for other news organizations; such a reputation can embarrass us. We do not give travel assignments to anyone who represents travel suppliers or who works for a government tourist office or as a publicist of any sort. A newsroom manager may make rare exceptions for special purposes – for example, to assign a writer widely recognized as an expert in a particular culture. In such a case, the journalist's connections must be disclosed in the published or broadcast coverage.

67. Writers of travel articles must conceal their identity as journalists during the reporting, so that they will experience the same conditions as an ordinary consumer. If the affiliation becomes known, the writer must discuss with a newsroom manager whether the assignment can be salvaged. In special cases, the affiliation may be disclosed – for example, when a permit is required to enter a closed area.

68. No journalist may report for us about any travel service or product offered by a family member or close friend.


But what if there was a disclaimer telling the reader that certain amenities were provided for free to the writer of the article. Would that maybe make it okay? Could advertising within journalism give newspapers the profit they need again to stop laying off journalists and shutting down papers as we saw in Page One: Inside the New York Times, a documentary our class watched last week. 

Another idea that came to mind was beauty products in magazines. Magazines are sent free beauty products all the time. Are the articles on the products real evaluations or just advertisements? Is the article not credible because the magazine got the product for free? 

Obviously, advertising within journalism would not be in line with the purpose of journalism because advertisers would then have say in the content of the writing. Advertisers aren't stupid. They have contracts, as I saw in Spurlock's documentary, of exactly how their brand or product should be portrayed. Advertisers are paying big bucks to advertise. I could definitely see the danger of incorporating advertising into journalism because people would abuse it. It would be a very thin line that people could cross when the smell of that sweet advertising money is under their nose. 

What if advertisers didn't pay for services for the journalist, but had naming rights or product placement in journalism. Would it be so harmful if each article in the paper was brought to you by a brand or if it was mentioned that the interview subject was sipping on a Coca-Cola? I believe some people would definitely think advertising in their journalism/news would be intrusive, but what if they traded that intrusiveness for journalists who are paid a proper wage so they aren't overextended freelancing and working as a bartender at night. What if as journalists we turned the whole thing on its head and used those advertisers for their money to fund we want to do. If journalists are already mentioning products or brands in their writing, why not ask for the advertising dollars for the mention?

In the documentary even school's are "selling out" by selling advertising on school property so the school doesn't have to cut programs. 

I think advertisers would be clamouring to get into journalism. Journalism still has a credibility that people trust. If it's in the paper or my local news anchor says it, it has to be true, is still the thought process of many people. I think that's where ads come from that look like articles in newspapers and commercials that look like informative, buyer beware segments like those Brand Power commercials.

Local news casts mention what salon the anchors get their hair done at and where the clothes they're wearing are from. Is that only okay because there isn't a story on the salon or store. Is it different when a journalist receives a free flight while traveling to write an article opposed to a free hair cut. The journalists are still getting something for free. But is it because one freebie may sway a story more than another, it's okay? 

In our broadcast journalism class we've been warned not to advertise in our news stories, which can be hard because we cam do it without even noticing it, especially when covering events. We need to make sure that we aren't promoting the event just because it's happening, but finding out and telling the viewer why it's important they should know about the event. 

As a journalist, I don't want to be told what to do by advertisers, but I sure wouldn't mind a piece of the pie from Coca-Cola or Brand Power. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Providing Questions Up Front

Last week I was published for the first time as a paid journalist. It was very exciting as I received positive feedback from family and friends for getting the front page of the Lance with my election article. Here is the link to the story: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/lance/Housing-services-top-issues-for-newcomers-130653958.html

The article was about what candidates in the upcoming provincial election in the St. Vital riding are going to do to ensure housing and programs for the thousands of newcomers settling in St. Vital every year. I also did a election script and clip radio story last week for 92.9 KICK FM's election night coverage this Tuesday, October 4th.

Doing this election coverage meant that I had to interview politicians. Out of the four candidates that I interviewed, three of them or their campaign managers asked for the questions or topics I would be asking about up front--before the interview.

As a young journalist who hasn't interviewed many politicians I thought this was standard. I thought it would make the answers the candidates gave during the interview better and my story better. However, what I didn't realize at first was that if I did provide the exact questions up front I wouldn't get the opportunity to properly evaluate the candidates' answers unrehearsed and how much they truly know about the issues.

As a I learned from our journalism radio instructor Dan when discussing how our election script and clip assignments went, journalists are not required to provide questions up front. If someone doesn't want to participate in an interview, it's their loss that they don't get to get media coverage, which isn't what most politicians want especially around election time.

Although potentially losing an interview may be scary for a young journalist it is always best to keep in mind that a journalist's job is not to make an interviewee look good or make it easy for them to answer your questions, but to ask questions and fairly report the answers people you interview give.

On another note, there were some facts that weren't able to be included in the article that I thought were quite interesting.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s most recent numbers from April, the
neighbourhood’s vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent.

Of the 20,528 2-bedroom apartments in Winnipeg, only 142 were available in April 2011. Of the 1,060
apartments with 3 or more bedrooms, only 5 were available.

13,518 immigrants landed in Manitoba in 2009.

Here is the article I wrote for the Lance.

Housing, services top issues for newcomers

Catherine Moss, a teacher in the VM EAL program, helps newcomers who have settled in St. Vital  learn English at Glenwood School.
Catherine Moss, a teacher in the VM EAL program, helps newcomers who have settled in St. Vital learn English at Glenwood School.
A local advocate for immigrants wants candidates in the upcoming provincial election to pay attention to the needs of thousands of newcomers settling in St. Vital every year.

"Most newcomers find work in the beginning and find a place to live they’re happy with and their children go to school and fit in," said Audrey Owens, program manager of  the St. Vital-based VM EAL program, which helps newcomers learn English.

"However this is not true of every family, some struggle," said Owens, who has been working to help immigrants settle in St. Vital for 15 years.

Owens said newcomers can struggle if they take longer to learn English, which makes it difficult to find jobs.

They may also struggle with finding affordable housing, she said.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s most recent numbers from April, the neighbourhood’s vacancy rate was 0.7%.

"Morrow Avenue, Bonita Avenue, and Beliveau Road are always full," said Owens.

Mike Brown, the Progressive Conservative candidate for the St. Vital riding, acknowledged affordable housing is "always an issue."

"We can’t invite immigrants without housing being available," said Brown, who noted there will be more housing available when a Manitoba Housing complex currently vacated for repairs reopens.

Brown said programming for immigrants also needs to be examined.

"If we are successful in forming government we will be listening to the experts in all fields, including those related to immigration," he said.

"If we find the services wanting we will ensure those services required by new Canadians are adequate to ensure they make a successful transition to life in Manitoba."

Manitoba Liberal Party candidate Harry Wolbert said he heard from people living in Manitoba Housing on Marlene Street that workers were given three minutes to spray each unit for bed bugs, which he said is not enough time.

To prevent future incidents like this, Wolbert said he would like to see Manitoba Housing turned into co-operative housing where people would collectively own the complex and would have "ownership of day-to-day activities and (a) say in how the complex is run."

Wolbert also said he wants "more money to go towards after school programs and programs run by the community centres to keep kids off the streets."  

NDP incumbent Nancy Allan said affordable housing will come to St. Vital through a pledge made in March by the NDP provincial government to build 707 affordable housing units over the next two years in Winnipeg.

Allan said she plans to continue to support programs run through the Salvation Army’s newly-renovated Multicultural Family Centre on Morrow Avenue, which was partly funded by the provincial NDP government, and the Victor Mager Job Re-Entry Program, which provides employment training, academic upgrading and life skills.

People can "get stabilized and get settled into the community," and "learn about life in Manitoba and get job placements," Allan said, referring to the Multicultural Family Centre.

Voters across Manitoba will head to the polls on Oct. 4.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Last Friday I went to watch the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times at Cinematheque in the Exchange District. The film looks at what the future is for journalism and specifically print newspapers in a world where people can get their news from social media like Facebook and Twitter, bloggers, and free online sources.

The film follows David Carr, who according to his bio on the NY Times website writes for the "Media Equation column for the Monday Business section of the New York Times that focuses on media issues including print, digital, film, radio and television." He is seen ironically covering the closings of newspapers and the firing of reporters in the film.

The film shows organizations such as Newser and Vice, and Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the news website the Huffington Post, claiming that traditional investigative reporters, such as David Carr of the New York Times, are no longer needed or relevant. I think Carr quickly negates that argument by holding up a print out of the Newser homepage and then a print out of the homepage with all of the stories originally printed elsewhere cut out. As Carr looks through the holes of the paper at the audience at the Intelligence Squared debate, I believe he makes his point on the value of journalists writing original material, as he does at the NY Times. Carr also shuts up a loud, young enthusiastic reporter for Vice TV in his own undeniable style that is perfectly captured in the film on several occasions by noting that the New York Times had been on the ground in Africa for much longer than Vice.

I think these two instances are important because they show that the need for reporters to be on the ground doing original reporting is a necessity for other organizations in the business of news and reporting because they break the news, which gives others the opportunity to work off the work they've already done. If there weren't reporters on the ground in war zones or personally calling sources and crafting sources, where would the material come from?

But, as I just mentioned, the news is a business. It's hard to keep newspapers running because their business model is incongruent for the digital environment of the news. The newspaper industry has faced hard times lately. I think the film did a good job of highlighting the two main reasons the newspaper industry is struggling: the fact that advertising revenue has gone down and people not buying the print newspaper. I think that the film made a good point in showing that the reason newspapers are struggling is not because that people do not care about the news, the New York Times, or reporters, but because of the clash of a decrease in advertising revenue and free online versions of papers emerging.

At the end of the film we are left with the question of how the newspaper industry will have to change to still produce credible, well-researched journalism and survive as a business: i.e. make money.

The New York Times has issued a paywall for their website, allowing people to view 20 articles a month before being blocked and asked to become a digital subscriber. The New York Times remains loyal to their current subscribers by giving them unlimited digital access to the paper.

I really loved the movie and would recommend anyone to see it, even if he/she is not a journalist. It showed this training journalist why newspaper reporters are important to journalism. I always knew newspaper journalists were important, but now I have an even clearer idea of why after watching this film.

I also thought that it was very interesting how David Carr embraced Twitter, and as he says in the film, it "did not turn his brain to mush." Brian Stelter, another NY Times reporter, also says in the film he doesn't know why a reporter wouldn't be on Twitter. I've had conversations with older people who believe Twitter is a trend. Well, if the NY Times is using it, I think it might be a trend one in the news business might want to pay attention to. I believe Twitter is an important new aspect to journalism, but will not replace it and certainly isn't trying to in my opinion.

Although I loved the movie, and getting a glimpse into the NY Times newsroom, which is visually magically beautiful, I was scared to hear all the layoffs and newspaper closings. However, it may be my youthful optimism, but I think there will always be a place (and a job) for someone who is passionate about journalism as a journalist and I know there will always be a need for reporters who go to the source and create original pieces.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TEDx Talk

Last Thursday September 15th, I attended the TEDx conference in Winnipeg at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
At the conference I heard 8 18 minute presentations conducted by people with innovative and forward thinking ideas. I think this was a wonderful opportunity as an aspiring journalists to hear from people with some big ideas.

In case you do not know what a TED talk is here is the definition from their website:

"TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize."

Basically, a TED talk is a presentation, about 20 minutes in length, where someone who is passionate and knowledgeable on a topic shares their ideas. The conference in Winnipeg was a TEDx program, which means the event was independently organized, but used the TED format and name.

TED publishes their talks online for all to see here: http://www.ted.com/talks I highly highly recommend you check it out.

Wade Barnes, the CEO of Farmers Edge, talked about how the population of the world was rapidly increasing and the fact that a higher quality and greater volume of food was needed from the same amount of land for an exponentially greater amount of people. He proposed that grain should be grown in Russia, which it currently isn't, as they have a significant amount more rich top soil than the fertile prairies.

Megan Prydun, a masters student at the University of Winnipeg, shared her experiences with new immigrants to Winnipeg. She shared her stories of four young men she met from Sudan who had escaped the war of their home country to come to Canada and the struggles they face with gangs, violence, and using drugs and alcohol to numb their trauma. She asked us if we should let people come from war torn countries, so only die on the street of Canada, and what we as a society should do about this issue.

Jim Kor was one of my favourite presenters. Kor and his team designed the world's greenest car. Kor took us through the evolutions of the design of the car called Urbee. The most incredible part was that the actual car was unveiled for the first time at the conference to attendees and Kor. Kor had never seen the life size model, which was printed from what only seems like something that exists in Star Trek, and 3D printer. Basically all the measurements of the car are entered into the 3D computer and the car is printed instead of manufactured.

Meghan Athavale, President of PO-MO Inc., showed her free downloadable software at www.po-mo.com which helps children learn. She showed us a program which projects light on to the floor or any flat surface that has motion sensors and can be interacted with. For example, a bunch of spiders were displayed in one program, and when one walked on them they would move and interact.

Another one of my favorites was Donna Morton, CEO and co-founder of First Power. She shared her idea that we live in a world and economy that has been built and maintained principally by men. Stemming from insights from recent brain science, social innovation and personal experience she showed women's potential to re-shape economics in the world. She showed incredible women working around the world to help empower other women. She told one story where a non-profit was paying women to go to school and trained them in exquisite embroidery to earn money.

I think that these types of conferences with big ideas are really important for journalists to participate in. I think this type of idea sharing can open the mind and make us ask questions we would have never thought of asking before.

There will also be a TEDx Winnipeg app launching soon where all the talks I experienced will be in case you missed out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Are talk shows journalism?

Last year in first-year journalism class Steve Vogelsang, our instructor, showed us a clip of Oprah interviewing Naomi Campbell. Steve showed us how Oprah got the questions that everyone was thinking answered. After the clip, I asked if Oprah was considered a journalist. She did start her career as a journalist, but was she considered a journalist on her talk show.

Journalists are expected to be unbiased and report the news. However, Oprah and many other talk show hosts inject their opinion when interviewing people. I believe Lisa Ling's show, Our America,falls into this category as well. Ling tells important stories happening in America, but her reactions from her experiences are included in the show.

I think that talk shows, which tell people's stories, and a 6 o'clock news story are both examples of journalism. I think why I questioned if a talk show would be considered journalism is because of the difference in time and interviewers. On a talk show, the interview is usually longer and often perceived as entertainment. On the news, interviews are often used to tell a story, rather than the interview being the news. Also, on the news there are different reporters, and the reporters are often not even featured, or if they are, are shown for short time. In the time of branding and celebrity, I think talk show hosts are made to be personalities, not just a reporter who is completely separate from the story.

To me, I think that talk should and the news are examples of journalism. Both tell stories, the core of what I believe journalism is.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is Journalism?

I'm not sure if I know a complete definition of what journalism is. I think there are a lot of different interpretations of what journalism is.

I do know that I think journalism should do certain things though. I think that journalism should aim to tell a story without bias and disseminate information in a timely clear way. Although some bias is almost impossible to avoid, I think the intent of the journalist should be pure to telling the story truthfully.

I also think journalism is the place to bring stories that people may not know about to the forefront of peoples' minds. Movies and books often tell stories that have been heard before, but journalism tells true stories that may have never been heard.

Along the same lines as unveiling the unknown story, I believe journalism exists to inform people. Journalism can inform people on the smallest scale like the weather to informing that a war has been started or ended.

I think that journalism also has the privilege of being a form of communication that is allowed to inform and delight at the same time. Documentaries are excellent examples of what I think is journalism that entertains, delights, and informs. I think broadcast journalism as a whole is able to visually stimulate, while getting a message or important information across to an audience.

I think journalism is a tough business. A journalist is under tight deadlines, with sometime short resources or sources, but with the obligation to inform an audience with the truth.

I think journalism is kind of frightening, but I hope I can take the next year to gain and hone the skills to be a journalist who can inform, tell the truth, and entertain. I mean if my story can't engage my audience, how can I get the story they should be aware of to them?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thank yous all around!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the first fundraiser for the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards last night at Area. We received not one, but two media hits for the event thanks to ChrisD. Check our the coverage from last night below. Here is the link to as well http://www.chrisd.ca/blog/42354/red-river-college-creative-communications-program-fundraiser-electric-circus-photos-2012-ccmas/

And here is the link to earlier coverage of the event http://www.chrisd.ca/blog/42271/electric-circus-fundraiser-red-river-creative-communications-media-awards/

RRC CreComm Students Throw Fundraising Party

Red River College students in the Creative Communications program party it up Thursday night at Area Nightclub in Winnipeg. Students Krystalle Ramlakhan and Hannah Rose Pratt partnered with Canad Inns Clubs to present “Electric Circus, Bright + Tight Edition.” The fundraiser is part of their project coordinating the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards (CCMAs). (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Event Planning 101: Part 1

So I haven't blogged in a while, like my loyal blogging fellow CreCommers, but CreComm has definitely been front and centre in my life. Since school ended, Hannah Pratt and I have been planning the first fundraiser for the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards (CCMAs). The CCMAs are a student coordinated event held in late April, which honour students and alumni from the Creative Communications program. This project is part of our Independent Professional Project (IPP). Everyone in the program must complete an IPP in order to graduate.

We've been warned by many that a summer fundraiser is very risky, so Hannah and I have taken every opportunity to make this event the best it can be. I have quickly found out that event planning isn't all fun and games. It takes a lot of planning and strategic thinking and a lot of phone calls, text messages, emails, and Facebook messages between Hannah and I.

Since this is the first time I've planned a large event, all the lessons I have learned are fresh in my mind, so I thought I'd share some tips with you. By no means am I an expert event planner, but these are some the things that helped me as a beginner event planner.

1) If working with a partner, pick a partner you can work with openly and honestly. My partner and I have been very up front with letting each other know that if some thing is bothering us, we can fee free to express that without offending the other person.
2) Create a proposal plan. Even if it's not printed on glossy paper and bound at the print shop, this will help you immensely. Having a hard copy of your overall plan and vision can help you when you're in the trenches of planning the event. Plus, the proposal is an excellent portfolio piece. It shows that you came up with ideas and concepts, and put them into action.
3) Create a critical path. A critical path is a fancy term for the list of everything you have to do. Don't feel the need to leave anything off the list because you think "oh I'll remember to do that." This is what the list is for. Using Excel is a great idea since the columns will keep everything organized. If you're working with a partner using Google docs is really helpful. By using Google docs, the critical path is always up to date, no matter who completed the task.
4) Pick a theme. Branding an event is often easier when you have a theme for people to recognize.
5) Choose a venue. There's a lot to choosing the correct venue. Consider your budget and the target audience you are targeting for your event. Often venues will allow you to have the space for free if you negotiate as you are bringing in business to the venue with your event.

These are the first few things that my partner and I did to plan our event. I hope it helps for anyone looking at how to take the first bite out of a large project such as planning a fundraising event. There were about 62 different items on our critical path, so stay tuned for more. The event that made this blog post possible is almost here, it's tomorrow! Check out the wonderful poster designed by Hannah for more details:

Electric Circus-BRIGHT+TIGHT: July 21, 2011

Join us for our first fundraiser for the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards! Wear your best BRIGHT+TIGHT/90s outfits

July 21, 2011
Area Nightclub

1792 Pembina Hwy.
Tickets $10
Doors open at 9
You can buy tickets online here: http://www.diyobo.com/ca/mb/winnipeg/socials/electric-circus-bright-and-tight
or at the door (if not sold out)

Find us on Facebook: Electric Circus - BRIGHT+TIGHT
Twitter: @theCCMAs
Hashtag for event: #CCMA12

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beethoven Blatz

On April 12, 2011 me and my fellow classmates saw Armin Wiebe's play, The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz at the Rachel Browne theater in the Exchange District. The play is about a Mennonite couple, Susch and Obrum Kehler living on the prairies. After two years of living together and knocking boots in perfectly appropriate wedded bliss, Susch is disappointed she is not with child. There is also a Russian musician, Blatz, that is introduced into the play when Obrum brings home a broken piano and hires Blatz to fix it. Blatz, with no where else to go as he is a refugee from Russia stays with the couple in their tiny home. After the play the audience had a chance to have a talk back with Wiebe and Wiebe came to Red River college later in the week to speak with us about the play.

The play was described as a comedy in the Winnipeg Free Press, which was somewhat true. There was an awkward sex scene, which produced uncomfortable laughter and an embarrassing situation where Obrum must wear a dress to prevent irritation from poison ivy. As Obrum changed, he strategically hid behind props, which I found one of the most endearing and clever scenes of the play. Other than those two scenes, I didn't find the play overly humorous.

Many students felt and mentioned at the seminar we had with Wiebe on April 14 that Blatz was the comic relief in the play. I however disagree. I did not think his character was likable or humourous. I felt that his awareness of reality was inconsistent. He wasn't aware of his sexual encounter with Susch, as Wiebe mentioned in the seminar, but was aware that he could be the baby Susch has later in the play. I also felt that Blatz was unlikable because I personally did not connect with him. I had compassion for him as it is alluded to in the play that he has lost his lover, but I found his speech hard to follow as many of his words were mixed with German phrases. Wiebe said that he took a risk that people may not understand and be alienated by the low-german in the play, and I guess I was one of the people he was speaking about. I also did not like him because he felt no remorse for sleeping with the wife of the very man who is putting him up and allowing him a place of refuge. Wiebe also said in the seminar that Blatz is so far gone mentally that he would not feel remorse for cheating with Susch.

I did however like the fact that in the end, all the characters got what they desired, although maybe not in the process which they would have preferred. I think it was a good comment on how life does not always go the way you want, and that things are not black and white, right or wrong, but shades of grey and circumstantial.

Ambiguity was also a large theme in the play. It is unsure who the father of Susch's baby is, and if it was even possible for Blatz to have impregnated Susch. I think this frustrated or intrigued some students based on the questions asked at the talk back after the play and the seminar with Wiebe. As an English major in university, I was not bothered by inconclusiveness as it is a large theme in many pieces I studied in university.

Overall, the actors were fantastic. Wiebe said in the talk back after the play that they studied Mennonite communities to get the accents down. This made me appreciate the time and effort the actors put into the production.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whoa we're almost done! plus University vs. College

I can't believe it, and I'm sure many of my fellow CreCommers can't either. There's only about a week left in school! Through group projects, numerous proposals, and weekends working on InDesign at the college I thought I'd never make it, but here we are. Time really flies when you have multiple deadlines to meet almost everyday. So I'm going to try and not make this too much of a CreComm gushfest and focus this blog post a little more. I'd like to comapare my experiences of university and college at the end of my first year of college in a 2-year program. I'd like to preface this by saying these are my own experiences in specific programs, so this might not be everyone's opinion. Okay, here we go:

University vs. College on:

I feel like I've made a lot more friends in college. I believe this is because I'm part of a smaller group of people. If I wasn't in the large Arts faculty in university, I probably would have made more friends like my friend who was in nursing.

I was able to sleep a lot more in university because I could make my own schedule. I scheduled all my classes on Tuesday and Thursdays and it was fantastic! I was able to be  uber-efficient by taking more classes on two days instead of spead out over five.

In university I was able to work a lot more. Since I was able to schedule my classes on only two days a week, I had three full days to work during the day. I was also able to run errands during the day because I had daytime off.

Although I learned a ton in university, which has helped me in my current educational endeavour, I feel that I've learned a lot more applicable "hands on" skills. And I don't mean I'm building or physically fixing things, but I'm now able to say that I can write a news release, an article and proposal opposed to just knowing how to write an essay.

I feel a lot closer to my instructors in college. There are small classrooms, I see my instuctors often, and they even know my name :) Only in higher level courses and smaller classrooms in university was I able to have the same type of relationships with my professors as I do in college.

There are pros and cons to any learning environment, and although I feel like I've been in school forever, I'm really glad that my parents have given me the opportunity to live at home and experience both.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Makes Me Happy

So this week was stressful as any other in CreComm, but a wonderful customer service experience actually made my week better.

So this winter, I finally decided to buck up and buy a suitable winter jacket for winter in Winnipeg. I ended up buying a North Face jacket from Urban Trail.

Sadly, the zipper broke in the last couple weeks of the winter season. Thankfully, North Face has a lifetime guarantee on most of their items, which I think is good because their products are definitely on the higher end of the price scale.

I was able to take my jacket to the place where I bought my jacket, Urban Trail, and they sent my jacket off to North Face for me, free of charge, and called me when it came in fixed and ready to go. This was much more simple than having to send my jacket at my own cost to North Face.

This partnership between the store and the company and the coming through on a guarantee made me feel like I received what I paid for in the beginning, the product and the lifetime guarantee with very little hassle. Often, it is hard to redeem guarantees or rebates with companies.

This reminds me of what we've been discussing in PR class lately. Be good to your customers, and they will tell people! Don't promise things you can't deliver and when you do promise something, stick to your word. The simplest actions an organization can take can make such an impact on the customer. Thanks North Face!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Half naked men, Jello shooters, and cupcakes, and FREE (root) BEER

Tomorrow is the culmination of months of work by the first-year Creative Communications students. They all are launching their self-made magazines tomorrow at Red River College in the Exchange District campus from 12-4 p.m.

Don't forget to check out P.S. Magazine-Winnipeg's funniest new magazine for college and university students featuring a very brave half-naked man on the cover.

We will have free pizza and FREE root BEER! (until it runs out)

We will also have a prize wheel with the chance to win:

-Prizes to prep you for any job interview
-Free Dinner
-Free passes for a fun date
-Bags to carry all your books and other items related to school slavery
-Post exam relaxation items
-Study motivators
-Prizes to treat yourself or a special someone

Don't forget to stop by, pick up a free cupcake or Jello shooter and check out our magazine. Can't wait to see you all there!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do not click here if you are easily offended

To warn again, do not read on if you are easily offended:

Okay, thanks for staying with me. I found out something yesterday that is shocking that I don't know what to do about, but I feel that I need to get it off my chest, so I thought I might express my feelings through writing. First, I need to give some background.

So during high school my parents split up and my mom and I moved out into a house with my aunt and cousin. My aunt isn't the most pleasant of people, but I never thought she would do what I found out yesterday.

When my mom and I were living in the same house as my aunt, we adopted two adorable kittens because my previous cat that we had when we moved in mysteriously disappeared. I have never lived without a cat before, so adopting again was an easy decision.

One day, one of the new kittens was missing. A couple days later the Humane Society called us and told us they had found her. I was so happy, and thankful for the tag in her ear which identified her.

My mom brought her home, and I could see the shocked look on my aunt's face. Later, I found out that my aunt had taken the kitten with her to work one morning on the other side of the city and had let her out on the highway. This was confirmed as she was found near my aunt's work. But the story got much more gruesome. A few days later, the cat was missing again.

Recently, my mom travelled to Trinidad and visited a whole bunch of our family. There she learned what had been the fate of the kitten. Apparently, my aunt had bragged to our family that she had done. Now waring this is graphic, stop reading if you can't handle violence, guts, and gore. Still there? Okay, my aunt bragged that after the kitten had returned home she put the poor little thing in a bag and ran it over with her car and then threw it in the garbage. Apparently she told this story as a joke to our family as well.

I was shocked and horrified when I heard what happened. Now, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I have dealt with more death in my life since then, and understand that everything runs its cycle. My mind however is still spinning with that kind of premeditated planning or murder and living with this person for years.

Friday, March 11, 2011

College and university students....

Would you come to the launch of P.S. Magazine after seeing this poster? I designed this as part of my assignment to make a poster or promotional material to advertise our magazine trade fair booths we will be creating March 31, 2011 at Red River College's Roblin Centre in the Exchange District.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Can I have your opinion?

As mentioned in my last post, I went to Birds Hill Provincial Park last Friday to do research for a journalism story and a travel ad. I'm just wondering if anyone of your out there have an opinion on this ad? Does the copy work for you? Is it too cheesy? Does the layout make you squint or is it not a problem to read. Also, a warning, this is NOT an official ad for Birds Hill Provincial Park or approved by the government. As I've mentioned before I'm totally loving working and playing around InDesign. Also, thank you so much to Alex R. for being my gorgeous model and letting me user her fancy camera to take the shot :) The font looks a little scratchy because I'm not sure what kind of files can uploaded to this kind of blog, while keeping the image crisp. Click on the picture to make it bigger for better visibility :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today I explored Manitoba

Today some of my classmates and I went to Birds Hill Park for our Manitoba Travel Assignment, an assignment to go past the City of Winnipeg perimeter and write a travel story. Now, I'm going to be honest, I wouldn't consider myself the outdoorsy type. But being out in nature was really quite relaxing. It was nice to be out in the vastness of the park, away for the city and the hustle and bustle of a regular school or work day.

We also met a family that frequents the park at least once a week. It was nice to see people taking pleasure in the simplicity of nature and the park. They even had their small children and a stroller out on the trails.

The trip was a realization that removing all the distractions of everyday life can be very relaxing...even if I had a few bootfulls of snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Facebook and Twitter aren't the same thing?

Social media is great. It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s a whole new way to communicate. It’s especially exciting now for how public relations is conducted because it’s new way not only to communicate with audiences, but interact with audiences. However, there’s a danger in public relations to just say “we’ll do social media” in a proposal or plan. Social media is comprised of several different components such as Facebook and Twitter. People use Facebook and Twitter for different things, communicate differently on them, and are looking for different things on them. If one is using social media in a strategic public relations plan, it is important to realize that Facebook and Twitter use should be catered to the type of audience one is trying to reach.

Overall, from what I’ve found, Facebook seems to be used for personal communication, where Twitter is a forum for business and general awareness.

Personally, I use Facebook for personal things and Twitter for obtaining information or sharing interesting current events or news. I use Facebook to communicate and stay in touch with friends. My friends and I often group message each other because we all know we sign on to Facebook at least once a day. I also use Facebook a lot for school. It’s a great way to have two-way communication with people. It’s an easy way to put questions out there to a large audience who is specifically interested in what you are saying, since they are your friend or part of similar groups or events.

On Twitter, I use it mostly for collecting information. I’m not as interactive on Twitter as I am on Facebook. I feel it’s a lot easier to be passive on Twitter. If you just follow and read people’s tweets I feel that I’ve engaged enough that I do not have to tweet. However, if one is not active on Facebook, it’s much more obvious and quite frankly rude if one don’t respond to people’s messages or interact with others.

I have also noticed that a lot of local recently formed businesses are signing up for Twitter. I think it’s because Twitter is perceived as a public communication forum, where Facebook is regarded as personal. I think it’s a lot less annoying for someone to see a business tweeting about the latest deal than seeing it on a Facebook feed. It seems almost intrusive. People don’t want to see self-promotion or news about other people’s professional lives on Facebook.

I think why it’s more acceptable on Twitter to promote or use it as a business communication tool is because one chooses to follow a person, therefore have less credibility to be mad at seeing one’s tweets, and because a tweet is seen once and gone as soon as one scrolls past it. However, on Facebook, annoying status updates and pictures seem to linger in the Facebook feed.

Another example I’ve heard of how Twitter seems to be more suited for business is an organization that wanted to promote themselves and their new campaign online that my friend works for. However, the organization didn’t want the interactive feature of people being able to write negative comments on the organization’s wall. As most know, being online can give people a lot more courage to say negative things online, like on Facebook walls, than in person. So the organization decided a Twitter account might be more appropriate for them.

Overall, I think I would use both Facebook and Twitter in a strategic public relations plan because Facebook and Twitter offer people different things. Facebook, as mentioned earlier, seems more interactive. I would make my posts something people could comment on, like open ended questions or asking for opinion. On Twitter, it seems that people use it more for information gathering. I would make sure that I provided useful information with links (140 characters would not be enough) that my target audience would appreciate or be interested in to build a following and then communicate the message of what I was doing public relations for.

Finally, there are always people we love to read about on Facebook and Twitter.

On Facebook a good friend is one who regularly updates at least something on their page with a status update, pictures, or messages on other people’s walls. It makes me interested in keeping them as a friend. However, someone that complains or updates every 2 seconds is annoying. Get out of my feed, I want to see other people’s happenings too.

On the other hand, someone who updates a lot of Twitter is someone good to follow. This usually means that they aren’t purely using Twitter for promotion, but offering me information or entertainment I crave every time I refresh my feed. Someone good to follow is also someone who understands Twitter. Twitter has a 140 character limit, get over it, or use a blog of Facebook. I can’t stand when people have one message spread over a dozen tweets. Even, if they have something good to say, it’s lost in the medium.

Facebook, Twitter, both great PR tools as long as you know what kind of interaction your audience wants.

Friday, February 11, 2011

To Publish or not to Publish

This week the CreComm tradition of speakers held strong as Matt Duggan and Julie Wilson talked to us about publishing.

If I were to publish a work that I had written there would be three options in front of me: traditional publisher, self-publish, or online.

The first idea that comes to my mind would to be digital. Although I personally believe digital (iPads, kindles, e-readers) are not completely taking over, I do think that people spend a lot of time on their laptops and cell-phones where something I wrote could be read.

However, after reading Julie Wilson's blog, I discovered a very good point she made about publishing. Yea, I could upload my manuscript to Indigo or Amazon for free...but who would read it? I agree with her in that books need to be seen in stores, promoted, and put forward for eligible awards for it to gain a following. She says "No one buys a book they haven’t heard of" in her blog post.

As I read her blog post, I found out that writers usually only take home 10 per cent of their book sales, but Amazon and Indigo are offering up to 70 per cent of sales, therefore cutting out the publisher.

It's a struggle. Either more people buy your book as a result of good editing and marketing with a publisher, but make less money, or have the chance to make more money with no marketing provided.

Faced with these choices, I think I would upload my book and do the marketing and promotion myself. Now, I'm no public realtions/marketing genius, but I would put the skills I've learned in CreComm to use. I think if I was really serious about it, I could market my book, because the cause would be personal to me and I would work hard at it. Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't that what CreComm is all about? Believing that you can do what seems impossible?

After I uploaded my book and self-promoted it, I would use any publicity or following I had to try and get a publisher for my next work though.

As an end note, I can see why writers that speak to us are always saying that there is not a lot of money in writing, since according to Julie Wilson's blog and speech they usually only make two or three dollars per book. I somehow didn't believe previous speaker because the extremely succesful writers were in my head.

I suppose the money is in multiple projects at a time and using writing skills for thing one never imagined like Wilson's guide to True Blood or writing final reports for organizations or companies.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get Over Yourself

So I got some sage advice and I decided to take it: 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

So I do some volunteer work in the community, and it seems no matter what kind of job you do, there are always people who want to critique you or feel that they could have done a better job than you.

Now, I don't want to use this space to complain, but I do want to know how people handle criticism. I'm asking this because I'm the kind of person who keeps repeating other peoples' comments in my head and I just can't seem to get over it. I guess this particular situation bugs me too because I take time out of a very busy schedule (similar to every other CreComm) to volunteer.

How do you get over criticism? Can you just forget about what people say to you? Or does it eat away at you like me?

Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Law and Other Things

This week our classes have had two seminars about how law can affect us in our future careers in the media. I used to want to be a lawyer when I was little (mostly because I thought it was all about arguing) so I was interested to see what I could have been doing if I had taken another path.

I was surprised to find out that the law is not cut and dry. From what I can understand decisions and cases are decided on previous cases and the line is always moving on what defamation and slander is.

The lawyers who explained how the law can affect us used real life examples, which made unclear laws much easier to understand.

Throughout both presentations I couldn't stop thinking about the movie The People vs. Larry Flynt. It's such a great movie with so many emotions and superb acting.

I hope this video is in the public domain ;)