Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Media experts discuss innovation through technology

By Weldon McKenzie

As far as maverick of media Evan Smith is concerned, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in media.

“You probably feel like you’ve lost the lottery generationally,” Smith said. “But I’ve never been more optimistic about this line of work.”

Smith, accompanied by Texas Tribune Chief Innovation Officer Rodney Gibbs, weighed in on the ever-increasing role of technology in media this afternoon in a talk hosted by Texas State’s annual Mass Comm Week.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media outlet that is only available in online form. The innovative publication focuses on matters in government and data presentation through the use of info graphics and other visual media.

Historically, journalistic practices have been reserved for those who institutionalize themselves under a publications brand in order to produce media. However, through the utilization of technologies such as social media and blogs, Smith said, we are slowly moving away from that “short-leash” mentality.

“Technology has broken down the barriers of journalism,” Smith said.

Smith said this upcoming generation of workers is well equipped for the future of mass media, as it has become acutely familiar with the technology that is changing the field.

Gibbs, who has been with the Texas Tribune for about six months, is in charge of the implementation of technological resources into the publication. He said he views the organization as a tech company who happens to deal with news.

“Our tech department tries to see around corners to figure out the next trending thing,” Gibbs said.

One example of innovation from the Texas Tribune is the creation of two applications that gathers and presents data about public and higher education, which is an otherwise difficult topic to find information on.

Gibbs said one problem he sees with the role of technology and new media is the oversaturation of content. The convenience of social media sites has made it difficult to break through, but the accessibility of these resources gives you many opportunities to make that breakthrough.

“This conversation really made me consider the infinite possibilities I have as a mass comm. student,” said mass communication junior Anish Banskota.

Smith said there is almost no difference between a journalist and a data reporter at the Texas Tribune as a result of the convergence of technology and media.

“We even give technology supporters a by-line for their data,” Smith said.

Mass Comm Week began on Monday and will continue through Thursday Nov. 1.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Robert Rivard By: Kaitlin Moore

Robert Rivard Speaks to Students on Changing Media World

By Kaitlin Moore:

            Creator of Rivard Report, Robert Rivard is a speaker for today at Texas State University’s Mass Communication week, speaking with students about how the world is changing and his position on storytelling of San Antonio through journalism.
Rivard also known as Bob, is famously known as the former San Antonio- Express News Editor and Executive Vice President, who had been a leader in the news room since 1997. The Michigan native has worked for over five Texas newspapers expanding over a 34 year career without ever getting a college degree. Rivard now operates and founded  www.rivardreport.com.
Rivard speaks about different ways graduating seniors can get jobs in this changing world. He suggests, “An awful lot of interesting jobs out there are from Start Ups if you are in the media world.” It is small people breaking out of small PR companies, advertising agencies, or marketing agencies.
Rivard also discusses how hiring for media positions have changed. “Previously in Express News people would need five to seven years of experience and worked at one or two other papers. Now we have switched rapidly to hiring people the day they get out of school. Why? Because suddenly we needed to get out of print and get into digital with people who understood how to operate on the web,” says Rivard.
Rivard stresses to the audience about the importance of a good story. He says, “Everyone has at least one great story.” Rivard then connects storytelling from the days of campfires to today. Although it is done completely different people are still moved by a good story.  His website is meant for his readers to not only feel connected to the story, but to feel apart of it. Rivard's fans tweet their love about the website and city: @Thelocalistmap, "Members of our great city never cease to amazing me @rivardreport ! #sanantontio #community." Texas State Senior, John Carter says, “Bob’s story is really inspiring especially to our generation who are about to face the real work and need jobs.”
Mass Communication week will be continuing the rest of the week through November 1st with many other exciting speakers.

Mike Leary -- Matthew Alvarez

                                           Mike Leary speaks to students after his panel.

Mike Leary Discussed The Changing World of Journalism
By Matthew Alvarez
Texas State University’s Mass Comm Week continued with its second day of filled events with Mike Leary, Editor of the San Antonio Express News, speaking to students about his historic past and the future of journalism.
Laura V. Garcia was the student journalist chosen to speak directly to Leary. Discussing certain career moves of Leary’s over the past three decades from a young 23-year-old reporter the Philadelphia Inquirer to the Editor he is today, Leary spoke about the future audience of the San Antonio Express News.
“Our audience is changing,” Leary said. “People coming from Mexico are now our potential readers and many of them speak very good English.”
Leary also discussed the publication from a paper newspaper to print, to which Leary expressed how he enjoys his newspaper through his iPad, but that getting online subscriptions is what newspapers are concentrating on.
With the future of journalism becoming a field that’s constantly evolving Leary left students with why he believes this is an awarding career.        
“I think you want to see the world a better place. You see something that any reasonable person would think is not right,” Leary said. “So reporting on it and showing what is going on results in positive change—that is rewarding.”
Mass Comm week will continue with panels and discussions until Nov. 1. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Media activist Ethan Zuckerberg discusses its impact in the developing world

Photo by Divya Darsi. Ethan Zuckerman (far right) answers questions from student media panelists Kolten Parker (far left) and Christina Ochoa (middle).

By Divya Darsi

Mass Comm Week 2012 kicks off with a bang as Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and senior researcher at the MIT Media Lab, fielded questions from members of the Texas State student media on Monday.

Texas State students Beth Brown and Kolten Parker for the University Star, Christina Ochoa for the Bobcat Update and Greg Burnam for KTSW formed the student panel. The questions covered a host of issues and topics, ranging from the future of social media to the importance of media.

A conversation of social media dominated the discussion, specifically uses of Twitter. A student asked Zuckerman about the best way to use Twitter. Zuckerman offered some useful advice to students as well as one his most memorable lines, “break the rules, be an artist on Twitter,” he said.  

Another question asked whether it was possible to be over-connected as social media takes over people’s lives and personal interactions are becoming limited. Zuckerman remains un-persuaded that the effects of social media are hazardous in that way, he instead said, “If you feel like you’re being overwhelmed by information you probably need to think about how you’re taking that information in.”

Zuckerman pointed out to the packed theater that social media provides a level of social connectivity for its users. “I would rather blame architecture…the car culture for the breakdown of the face to face. I tend to see what we are doing online as a way of fighting back,” he said. Appropriately, students were encouraged to live-tweet with their comments and questions.

Students left the discussion with new ideas about social media and the many ways it can positively and negatively impact society. Cameron Cutshall, a sophomore and English major, liked the live twitter feed, “it provided a better understanding of the discussion and made me feel more involved,” he said.

Junior and Mass Comm major Cade Crowder said, “What I took away from the panel is that media is growing and developing and not all is inaccurate.”

Texas State’s Mass Comm Week continues with panels and discussions through Thursday, Nov. 1.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strong Words Week 9- Myriann Harden

This week I chose this The New Yorker article about election polls. I think it is interesting that someone  boldly says that polls do not matter when it comes to big elections.

I believe that it is true that no one can predict human behavior, so polls are basically meaningless. They become even more meaningless as our world changes and more media outlets appear. It seems like every news outlet has their own poll numbers, and none of them agree with the others.

Also it is very easy for some groups to sway the poll(s) in favor of their group or party.

Strong words journal week 9

 I picked the phrase "HORSES AND BAYONETS" used  by president Barack Obama during the presidential debate because it was  catchy  and hilarious, and will always be remembered.Those who missed the October 22nd Monday debate can have a light moment reading this item.    

What caught my eye

As I was scanning Google News for a headline that would jump out at me, I found this article titled
"Arrests made in shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala".  The addition of the victim's name in the headline automatically brings forth the feeling of the impact the story is trying to get across.  If  single word to be removed from this title, it simply would not be as powerful as it is.

The story has an impact by using the reader's emotions to keep interest held, chiefly the concern for the girl's condition.  The full story can be found here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Strong Words:

I usually scan newseum for headlines for the strong words journal. Here's what I found for week 9. Week 9!?!?! Already!?!?!

The Times in London has a great image of Mitt Romney, apparently playing or attempting to scare, with his grandson. I think it's funny when papers print images of people right before a sneeze or in this case, right before attempting to scare the kid like Brando in the "The Godfather."'

Aaaargh Romney!

By Kevin Stockwell

Style and formatting for Mass Comm Week blog

Follow these standard formatting rules when writing your Mass Comm Week story.
  • Headlines
Use down style - that means use uppercase only for the first word of the headline and for proper nouns
  • Bylines
 The byline should be at the top of the story before you begin the text and formatted as in the example screen grab at the bottom of this post.
  • Text
The text should conform to the style of the blog. Do not indent paragraphs. After each paragraph, simply hit return once and begin typing the next paragraph. The blog formatting will insert one space between your paragraphs. If you plan to cut and paste from Word, follow the cut-and-paste directions posted on this blog.
  • Links
All posts should include appropriate links. Consider linking to the speaker's place of employment, his or her work samples or website or other relevant material mentioned during the presentation. Links are best when they are tied to appropriate words rather than inserted as URLs or added at the end of stories. If you want to link to the Mass Comm Week blog, this would be the appropriate way to do that. 
  • Photos
Insert photos in a way that works well with the design of the post. Blogs don't afford much control of the design but you are able to select a size and placement. Don't make the photo too large or too small for the content. Add a photo caption, or cutline as journalists refer to it, and a photo credit. The sample screen shot below does not include a photo credit or cutline, but you should.
  • Video
If you include video, include an intro paragraph of text that acts as a lead explaining a bit about the session so that the video makes sense. You don't have to explain what readers will see on the video but offer a short intro to the session and then embed the video. Include a byline before your text.
  • Storify
If you post a Storify, add an intro paragraph that tips to the Storify. It should be a lead-in paragraph and then insert a page break, which is the tool called insert jump break that looks like a page with a jagged line. You might even consider doing a screen grab of a piece of your Storify, a photo from your Storify or even a photo you took and adding that before your page break so that your post is more visually appealing. The page break will put the Storify on the next page for readers who click read more. Be sure to add a byline at the top of your initial post.
  • Corrections or errors
It is very important that all names and proper nouns be spelled correctly and that all facts be correct and fact checked. This publication reflects on you, the school and the university.
If you make a mistake or need to edit your post, please sign in to the blog and click the pencil icon at the bottom of your post to access your post and make the correction. If you don't see your post on the blog, it may have been placed in draft mode pending corrections. If you cannot access your post to make corrections, contact your professor for instructions.
Fact errors and name misspellings will result in a significant grade reduction, but that is nothing compared to the embarrassment of having a mass comm speaker tweet about how a Texas State student got a name wrong.
It is a good idea to find an editing partner to read your post before you post or right after you post. We are all better with editing.
  • Class Assignments
Refer to your specific class assignments for what is required in your class. These guidelines are designed to help you present your material in a professional manner on the Mass Comm Week blog. The blog is viewed by thousands of people during Mass Comm Week, including the people you are writing about, so you want to make a good impression.

  • Sample post
This post is not perfect. It needs links and could use a cutline and photo credit, but it gives you and idea of what your post should look like.

Strong words headline 9

Apple announces a new mini-iPad. The release of a smaller tablet will likely cut into a market that is largely controlled by Amazon and Google. The mini tablet will be 7.9 inches.

Pflugerville Skatepark

Texas State Volleyball Fights Breast Cancer.

Central Texas Medical Center is partnering with local organizations and Texas State to support breast cancer awareness month.

Next Event:

Thursday. October 25, 6:30 pm.
Texas State Women's Volleyball "Dig Pink" game.
Fans are asked to wear pink.
For more information contact: Texas State Athletic Department at 512.245.2114 or visit txstatebobcats.com

Texas State Bobcats Athletics

By Kevin Stockwell

Political Memes

By Caitlin Clark
Here's a story on politics and memes. Everyone's favorite things, right?
I saw an article on Yahoo that immediately caught my attention. It's about Monster Energy drinks and how they may kill people, which I have always suspected. I thought it was extremely relevant because lots of college students use energy drinks, including Monster. I know some people who even use them to mix with alcohol. Bad idea. The link is here.

2012 Halloween Dog Parade brings out some interesting characters

How to cut and paste from Word with the remove formatting tool

It is important to keep the style of the Mass Comm Week blog consistent. To do that, you should either type your content directing into the blog post box or, if you cut and paste from Word, you must remove the text formatting before you publish the post.

To remove the formatting, use the remove formatting tool. The tool is visible when you are in the compose rather than html post window. Highlight the text in which to wish to remove formatting. Then click the remove formatting tool. This sometimes adds and extra space between paragraphs, so you may need to go in and adjust spacing.

It is a good idea to preview before you publish.  You can also publish and then go back and edit to make any adjustments.

If you are worried  you won't remember how to do this, you can always check back on this blog for instructions. A link to these instructions will remain active in the right column of this blog. 

Failure to correct mistakes in formatting will result in a grade reduction on your story.


I picked this news article from the San Marcos Daily Record because I was ironically at this event by accident. I liked the lead because it draws in the reader, "Ready for some water polo? Head down to Rio Vista Falls." Heck yes I am ready for some water polo! The news article gives a little background on the sport. I was eating at River Pub that over looks Rio Vista when I saw this crazy sport going on. Also there is information given for people to learn how to play water polo. This was a cool article, but I wish there was a sweet picture.

Strong Words Journal 10.23

Strong Words Journal
News Writing and Reporting
By Liza Winkler

News Tip:

Who: Doug Smith, Grammy Award-winning master acoustic guitarist

What: Supple Folk Music series, Encore Performing Arts Series

When: Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Price Seniors Center, 222 W. San Antonio St. in San Marcos

Contact: Liz McDonald 512-245-3501

Additional information? Sponsors? Photo ideas? Other visuals?
Smith is nationally recognized for fusing folk, classical, jazz and contemporary music. Reserved seating is $25, general seating is $15.

Strong Words: The words “There are 3,143 counties in America. The election could be decided by 106 of them,” really are attention grabbing.  The colors are bright with yellow and orange, which also stand out. It is an interesting take on the election to show how much small groups of voters actually matter.

Source: Express, Washington, D.C. front page Oct. 23

Get Out: This week, the University Star is hosting a debate with College Democrats, College Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty and the Socialist Club. It’s going to be interesting to see how each group dukes it out over local and national topics such as higher education, social and economic issues, especially since an election is coming up.

Strong Words Week 7: A controversial "First Ascent" of the world's hardest route

Adam Ondra, a 19-year old Czech rock climber, is the first person to complete a route at the rating of 5.15c. The route is in the Flatanger Cave in Norway and consists of two pitches, one rated 5.15b and the other a 5.14d.

The send has been facing criticism on rock climbing websites and message boards, saying that the route isn't truly a route as it is just one line connected to another, not a completely new route.


Strong Word Journal 9 - Arlyn LaBelle


While the title of this article is not at all bad, "How Human Beings Almost Vanished From Earth In 70,000 B.C.", the article itself is chock full of fun, approachable words and vibrant descriptions. This article also hands us comprehensible statistics, as in the first paragraph which states that every human being, all "clumped together" would weigh roughly 750 billion pounds.

"Strong Words" Strong Words Journal #7

The headline of this story is definitely captivating. It gives away little while saying that it offers a lot. An interesting story accompanies a strong headline. Galaxy Evolution Discovery Surprises Scientists http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/galaxy-evolution-discovery_n_2004751.html

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Storify on Presidential Debate, "Morning After"

This is a Storify article on the discussions that ensued on the presidential debate the day after. There is some humor as well as serious analysis.

Twitter reviews "The Casual Vacancy."

Fans of J.K. Rowling review her new novel, "The Casual Vacancy."

Eminem celebrates the big 40

Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, celebrates his 40th birthday today.

Storify test

By: Cameron Irvine

here's an example paragraph

Here is a Storify about Halloween-themed sweets that are sure to make your mouth water!

Binder full of women?

by Beth Brown
Here's a story on Mitt Romney's "binder full of women" comment, complete with some amusing memes and tweets.

Felix Bumgartner made history on the historic anniversary 65th anniversary Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. From the edge of space he jumped from a helium filled capsule from nearly 24 miles above the earth.

Here's a storify about Romney's "binder full of women" comment.

<script src="http://storify.com/torontostar/twitter-users-tee-off-on-romney-s-binders-full-of.js"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/torontostar/twitter-users-tee-off-on-romney-s-binders-full-of" target="_blank">View the story "Twitter users tee off on Romney's 'binders full of women' comment" on Storify</a>]</noscript>
By Kevin Stockwell

One of the best Foghorn Leghorn cartoons of all time went something like this: Foghorn Leghorn goes up to the young nerdy little chicken (remember him) and says:

Foghorn: Say son, how'd you like to play some baseball?

Chicken: What's baseball?

Foghorn: I say, you've never played baseball before son?

Chicken: No.

Foghorn: I say, I say there's something YAHOO about a boy that ain't ever played baseball!

They like to move it, move it

Ten GIFS of Olympic athletes and celebrity spectators in action. Check out all the movement going on!

Edgar Allen Poe

Here is a storify about Edgar Allen Poe. I like it.

All Things Halloween 2012

Your one-stop for all things Halloween related. Music, recipes, customes, spooky pranks and haunted houses, plus much more! We've got you covered this Halloween , you bet your souls on it.

Storify without a page break can be long

Inserting a page break

Storify is great, but if the Storify is long, it can take up the entire screen when you open the blog. One solution is to insert a page break when you embed your Storify.
To do this, type your intro paragraph introducing the story and Storify much like the lead of the story and then add your embed code. You'll insert the page break between the paragraph and the embed code.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is a photo of a cow and a kid. Photos by Zach Mayer

This is sample text to see how we link items to the blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This is a sample post to post a Google Map.

View TXState Journalism Alumni in a larger map