Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's Talk About Ethics and Legal Issues

Its not uncommon that journalist encounter ethical and legal issues that can get them into hot water sometimes, in time, you learn the do's and don't's of the business and how to avoid them, but in my opinion there are three issues that standout above all the rest.

The first is Ethical Issue #1: Using Anonymous Sources. I believe that protecting one's source is paramount due to the wishes of the individual. The anonymous individual may choose not to reveal themselves for numerous reasons such as fear of endangerment of their lives or loved ones. The person could have felt that revealing such vital information was for the greater good, but wanted to avoid the attention by not risking being identified. I feel in instances where the source is linked as an accomplice to a crime then the identity of that person should be shown or notify authorities about the person in question. Generally, you don't want to betray the trust of your source, you may need them for a future story or follow up information, but if you don't adhere to their wishes then you may compromise the relationship between journalist and source.

The second is Ethical Issue #5: Deception in Gathering Information. I feel that a journalist should not risk their reputation and credibility for a story. Journalism should be based on truth and honesty when retrieving accurate facts to present to the public. You don't want to lose the trust of your colleagues or the public. One's integrity should always be exhibited in every act they do and never come to the point of questioning. For example, going undercover and posing as something your not such as a gun seller could jeopardize your story and would not be an ethical decision to make. I firmly believe that if a story involves sinking to a new low for yourself then it shouldn't be done unless there' a positve approach.

The third is Ethical Issue # 2: Plagiarism and Fabrication. This is definitely a big issue in the field of journalism. A journalist nor anyone for that matter should consider or practice plagiarism for accomplishing a story. Plagiarism is an act of stealing information that is not an original work based on your own talent. Attributing information is extremely necessary showing appreciation and giving proper credit to the individual or company. I believe there is no excuse for doing such an act, it shows the laziness of the individual, discredits them and generates a lost of trust. I believe once you commit a false act, it follows you. An individual should never feel that just because they've never been caught that it won't happen. This is why it is crucial to be a professonal of standand and decent contributor to accurate reporting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Students for Environmental Awareness

For my second multimedia story, I plan to attend a meeting conducted by the Students for Environmental Awareness. This program is affiliated with the SGA, whose misson is to spread the word about awareness on campus and throughout the community here at Towson. The group conducts clean-ups, schedule events, show informative movies and invite speakers to spread the message of "Going Green." While attending the event, I plan to interview President Schyler Nunziata, Vice President Anne Wilcox and Secretary Rebbeca Zeroth and record commentary of the interview and get incite into what the organization is all about. Meetings take place every Monday in the University Union Room 308.

Potential Questions include:
1). What is the objective of the organization?
2). Who created the organization?
3). How important is the "going green" initiative? What does it mean to you?
4). Do you feel your efforts have been successful?
5.) How big is the threat of global warming?
6.) Do you have any events coming up?

Photo Possibilities include:
1). A shot of the meeting in session
2). Guest speakers that may be present and action on the floor.
3). A shot of the audience is another possibility.
4). Any plant life, logo, picture or diagram is another possibility.
5). Students or committee leaders engrossed in conversation.
6). A photo of the actual interviews taking place.

Audio possibilities include:
1). A great quote from the interviewee or dialogue from the meeting.
2). A sample audio clip featuring a response to one of my questions.
3). Sound of emotion or uproar during the meeting.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Audio we can believe in.

The story that I feel makes a good use of audio is located on the New York Times webpage. The name of this slideshow is entitled, "Singing for Freedom." In this presentation by journalist Kevin Sack, he brings to life the history of the civil rights movement and compares it to the african american vote for now President-Elect Barack Obama. What was already declared as an historic election, Sack's usage of pictures, song selection and voiceovers give vivid imagery to what this election truly means for "change" in America. After listening to the slideshow, I thought that Kevin did an outstanding job in creating this project and portrayed the struggle of african americans throughout american history. There was a lot of emotion that filled the slideshow and with every aspect performing together, it made each transition smooth. You can see "Singing for Freedom" on the New York Times website at:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Journalism student Charnay Anderson is ready for her close up in front of Stevens Hall at Towson University.
Ferocious Towson Tiger on the prowl in front of 7800 York Road building at Towson University

An excited Towson U. sophomore, Amber Owens celebrates fall as the leaves dance around her in front of Stevens Annex at Towson University.

In class this morning, journalism and new media students were instructed to take pictures illustrating the proper photo techniques to make future pictures a photo finish. In order to take better pictures you want to think outside the box and look at your subject from a variety of angles. Action shots bring the picture to life and show more creativity and appeal. Take a quick surveillance of your surroundings and determine what you want and dont want in the shot. Consult the rule of thirds, in your mind divide the frame into nine equal segments, then focus on the main center where the interest is taking place.

When capturing a shot, ensure that there isn't anything taking away from the main focus such as a tree, plant or branch sticking out of an individuals head. A major concern is lighting either artificial or natural light from the sun. You want to avoid too much light to the point where it shadows your subject or not enough light where the image may look darker. So the next time you pick up a camera take these photo techniques into account and your shots too will be picture perfect.