Friday, October 30, 2009

PRSSA helps with sequence choice -- Bales

Savannah Bales, a freshman from Toledo, Ohio discusses the advantages of the PRSSA in helping her choose a sequence in the JSchool.

by Lily Ross

Monday, October 26, 2009

My experiences in broadcast journalism

For the project on modern broadcasting, I chose to outline my personal experiences with my high school broadcasting program, WJMH Media.

by Keara Vickers

Collins: Backdrop Magazine

Merri Collins, Scripps School of Journalism Freshman, talks about her experiences with Backdrop magazine, and how it is helping her to choose a sequence to follow through her four years at Ohio University.

by Keara Vickers

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Early Bird Experience: Speakeasy and SPJ

Though the expression seems often overused, many mothers have often taught their aspiring young ones that, "the early bird gets the worm." In the same way, many incoming freshman journalism students arrive at their selected universities searching for their select "worm."

From the daily student-run newspaper, The Post, to the credited glossy Backdrop Magazine, Ohio University provides freshman many journalism-related extra curricular activities. So how much are these activities actually teaching? With the choosing of a specialization rapidly approaching, students from the JFreshmen Newsroom interviewed freshman Kelley McArthur to see exactly what student-run activities have to offer.

by Dani Parker

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Future PR agent involved in PRSSA

Involvement in hands-on journalism organizations provides crucial experience. With so many clubs available, our journalism education is not limited to the classroom.

Jared Looman discusses how his involvement in PRSSA has strengthened his goal of becoming a Public Relations agent.

by Aaron Diebold

Friday, October 23, 2009

Travis' World of Wacky Music: The Beginning

Travis Boswell, one of many enlightened J101 students, attempts to unite his passions under one ideal sequence in pursuit of his dream job, a "Sunday night radio show host" with a column in a prominent music magazine.

The column's name: "Travis' World of Wacky Music."

by Brian Grady and Pat Holmes

Podboy aiming for broadcast journalism career

Nate Podboy is a freshman journalism student involved with WOUB and is eventually wanting to go into the broadcast sequence.

by Kate Slanker

Meet the next Matt Lauer

Alanna Martella is a freshman from New Richmond, Ohio in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She currently works at WOUB in AM radio training and reports for Gridiron Glory.

by Taylor Pool, Taylor Evans, and Hillary Johns

Truesdell heads for sidelines

Cara Truesdell is a student in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Although she is only a freshman, Cara is already preparing for the broadcast journalism sequence.

Through involvement with WOUB's Gridiron Glory, Cara plans to develop all the skills necessary to one day snag an internship with ESPN and ultimately become a sideline reporter.

by Katie Mefferd

Murphy profiled by JFreshmen reporters

We interviewed Abbie Murphy a freshman interested in the broadcast sequence. She shared her experience in WOUB, as well as what she is interested in doing upon graduation.

by Irma Omerhodzic and Liz Emley

Jordan: When I Grow Up...

Allison Jordan is a freshmen in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is currently taking the J101 class. She plans to study public relations and is working with several of OU's campus extracurriculars, including PRSSA and emPower.

Jordan's work outside of class has influenced her future decisions with journalism and has provided valuable experience in the field. In the following clip, Jordan discusses how her class and extracurriculars affect her future.

by Kelsey Grau, Michelle Doe and Addie Von Den Benken

Extracurricular activities help student select sequence

Freshmen Journalism student Lauren Martinez explains how her out-of-the-classroom experiences influence her sequence choice.

by Heather Bartman and Sienna Tomko

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Movies in Society

Technology is constantly evolving and the movie industry is no exception. Every year movies become more advanced. This slideshow tells a little bit about the past of this industry while showing how things look in the present.

by Aaron Diebold, Katie Mefferd, and Dani Parker

Friday, October 16, 2009

How does music influence you?

The influence of music found across campus reflects the unique individuality of students and the variety of ways it impacts their lives. Discussing favorite bands, genres, and the everlasting ability to jam, students expressed music’s role on a daily basis and how it applies to their interests.

Affecting musicians, artists, and anyone with an appreciation for music, the effects of sound and rhythm on students provides an obvious impact.

by Kelsey Grau, Michelle Doe, and Addie Von Den Benken

original background music by Steven and Tyler, the two musicians interviewed in the clips.
artwork by John, also interviewed in the clips

The Common Man's radio

Keith Newman's three hour Sunday morning radio show "Below the Salt" is the first of its kind. Theme based, with an all-music (from the short head to the long tail) focus, "Below the Salt" has aired on WOUB for 30 years. Newman, the shows DJ, shares his story.

by Patrick Holmes, Brian Grady and Sienna Tomko

Music's influence on society

Speakers: Linda Remaker (Music Performance Major), Julia Reeves (Music Performance Major), & Garret Johnson (music history major)
pianist: Cortland Fitzgerald

story by Heather Bartman

How product placement works

story by Kate Slanker and Lily Ross

The changing face of popular music

Started in the 1980's, the indie music movement originally meant independent. Bands produced and distributed their albums by themselves, through word of mouth, and other such means.

Today, the low production indie-style music is still in style. However, bands aren't necessarily independent. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie... Such bands embody the indie sound while having major radio hits and major record labels.

In fact,the indie style has grown excessively. It's the 'it' music for college kids; just take a look around campus at all the posters for the local, indie bands that have concerts frequently. Spooktober, The Red Army... The Union is full of indie bands and ACRN plays mostly indie music.

It's no wonder indie is often called "college rock."

The push towards indie music in the last few years is leading bands such as Radiohead, who have major success, to self produce and self release their albums. Perhaps we'll se a decline in the recording label giants in the years to come, as more and more indie bands are popping up on radio stations' frequently played lists.

story by Liz Emley

The Internet: A Timeline

MySpace, facebook, Google; common websites that we know all too well.

In the 21st century, the Internet is used for the same reason it was used during its formative stage: to connect people. It isn’t confined to just a few people anymore, but the whole world has access to this important tool.

We use the Internet differently now. Social networking sites, email and online newspapers are the norm. This is very different than the few websites by a few hosts of the past. There are now millions of both.

Here’s a timeline with highlights of Internet history:

1950- The first commercial computer, Univac, is introduced
1977- Email becomes a reality
- 1st personal computer introduced
1980- Virus hinders ARPAnet
1984- 1,000 hosts are on the Internet
1988- 1st Internet worm
1992- 1st audio and video shown on the Internet
- There are now 1,000,000 hosts
1993 -341,634% World Wide Web population growth
1998- Google is introduced
2001- Wikipedia is now published in English
2003- iTunes is introduced
2005- YouTube is introduced

The Internet will constantly expand and grow.

Information for the timeline is provided by:,,, and

story by Taylor Pool, Taylor Evans, and Hilary Johns

Monday, October 5, 2009

Appointment television versus student schedules

This video explores college students' attachment to appointment (pre-scheduled) television, thus illustrating how the audience ritual model rings true in student life.

We interviewed four sources:

Erin Perdue-Residential Coordinator of Washington Hall at Ohio University
Kyla Schmalenperger-Freshman at OU; Magazine Journalism Major
Michael Bundt- Freshman at OU; Broadcast News Major
Rick Ellis- cofounder and managing editor of

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Photo technology's impact on media, society

It is safe to say that photojournalism forever changed media. Very few people can fathom magazines before pictures.

However, that time existed and it was a groundbreaking moment for the magazine industry when photographs separated the magazine and newspaper aspects of media.

Today, photography not only benefits magazines in the way of providing visual news stories, it is how magazines are known, compete with each other, and advertise. The idea of seeing the story appealed to audiences because it gave media a realistic and emotion-evoking dimension. Magazines without photography would have lefta large, crucial gap in our media industry.

Until the 1860s the most efficient way of capturing an image was by using daguerreotype developing. This was a slow and tedious process was the idea of creating a silver plate for the image combined with mercury vapor whose chemical reaction made the photo last.

Eventually, this technique became dated and they were able to use dry plates (as opposed to chemical with metal plates); however, creating these plates was a hassle. In the 1880s, gelatin substances solved the problem.

All of these inventions formed a solid foundation for the first hand-held camera that came out in 1888 thanks to Kodak. It was a relatively large box camera, but nevertheless, portable. After all of this, photography definitely took off, and in the 1920s, the newly popular combination of text and photos became known as photojournalism.

Along with the popularity of photojournalism came the desire for faster cameras. Brand names in cameras were coming out with faster shutter speeds, aswell as cameras that were capable of producing better quality. In 1925, flashes for cameras were introduced; however, they were not typically built-in to the camera since they were one-time use flashbulbs. Kodak made color photos possible in 1936 with Kodachrome.

After this, underwater cameras were developed and of course, the digital camera. Today, we have cameras that can record, that have different effects, and can even put cartoon mustaches on a face. This incredible moment-capturing invention has revolutionized our lives by ways of news, memories, and so much more. Cameras will never stop improving and they will never stop benefiting society.


Setting the stage for the role of photojournalism in magazines, Timothy O’Sullivan introduced the power of true human element through the groundbreaking “Harvest of Death” image following Gettysburg in 1963.

Documenting the first shots of the aftereffects of Union and Rebel soldiers, the image conveys the disturbing truth of war engagements. O’Sullivan’s work has been noted as “one of the most famous war photographs in American history” as it instigated the technique of dark reality transmitted through visual communication. (source)

Imagine seeing a young women, age thirty-two, and a few younger children around her. You see no noticeably healthy food other than birds that these young children had killed to eat. The shelter: a tent. This is exactly what Dorothea Lange saw as she approached Florence Owens Thompson with her small children during the difficult times of the Great Depression in the spring of 1936. Walking up with her Graflex camera, Lange made five exposures, eachtime getting closer.

Lange was able to to capture such realistic shots because the woman “seemed to know that [Lange’s] pictures might help her, and so she helped [Lange]. There was a sort of equality about it.” (Popular Photography, Feb. 1960) This photograph was published twice in one month in San Francisco News. (source)

Marines raising a flag: a symbol of strength, courage, and teamwork, but also to keep up and raise the morale as the US Marines continued in battle for their thirty-six day invasion. The first of two flag raisings was captured on film by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery. The flag that was raised in the first photograph however was feared to be too small, thus a second flag was posted on Mt. Suribachi later that day. This is the famous photograph taken on February 23, 1945 by Joe Rosenthal, Associated Press photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner.

The men in the photograph have their own story. Three were killed and the fourth was injured. The photograph was first published in March of that year. (source)

Nick Ut -- world famous photographer for Associate Press, Phan Thi Kim Phúc -- world famous for a photograph. How are they related? It is quite possible that he is the reason she is alive.

At just twenty-one years old, Nick Ut was able to not only capture a photo that later would earn him a Pulitzer Prize, but also a friendship that would last forever. When phoning with Ut I was able to speak with him about the events that occurred that day in Trang Bang, South Vietnam from the napalm attack. He said at the time he took the photograph he knew “she was going to die in minutes.”

That’s when he knew he had to do something. He transported Kim Phúc and the other injured children to a hospital in Saigon. Kim Phúc spent fourteen months there, where throughout this time Ut visited her often. Now the nine year old is forty-six, married with two kids, and is living in Toronto, Canada. Ut still keeps in contact with her regularly; the day before I spoke with him, he had spoken with her on the phone. Ut, whose original Nikon camerais now on display in the Newseum in D.C. says of Kim Phúc, “we are like family.” (source)

Her sea foam eyes instantly send a striking image that enrapt the senses, an image so powerful that it has become one of the most well known across the globe. In 1985, National Geographic magazine revealed Steve McCurry’s staggering image of the “Afghan Girl,” documenting the trying times of Afghanistan and Soviet Union warfare.

McCurry’s image supplied the world with an exclusive view into the pain and hardship of the Afghan people, expressing the expansive reign of photojournalism as it opened visual intimacy to the masses. When McCurry initially snapped the photo of the shy schoolgirl, he didn’t realize that he had captured a timeless image into the elegance of photo communication. (source)

Rolling Stone’s 1994 tribute cover to Bob Marley fully expresses the magazine industry’s ability to continue lasting impressions for the masses. After Marley’s death in 1981, the media industry continued promotion for his music, elevating the reggae artist to legendary status. As Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ’94, the famous jammer was the central focus of Stone’s February issue, thus appealing to Marley fans across the nation.

The image captures the easy-going joy projected through Marley’s smooth rhythms while still retaining the natural element characteristic to Marley’s persona. While the photo seeks to entice his fans for media purpose, it still engages timeless photojournalistic quality in capturing the ideal Marley. (source 1; source 2)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Printed textbooks giving way to online resources

Ohio University freshman Cassie Kovell spent her summer vacation searching for her college textbooks. She was certainly aware of how important buying books for college is, and she wanted to come into her first year prepared.

According to, students can spend anywhere from $700 to $1100 on textbooks a year.

“I have textbooks for all of my classes,” says Kovell.

It wasn’t necessarily the juiced price tags that gave her goose bumps, but rather her actual need, or lack thereof, for those books once she arrived in Athens for class.

She adds, “I see [textbooks] as much more of a hassle. I can much more easily find information online.”

Hosted by imgur.comThe Internet has established itself as an intimidatingly vast outer space of possibility for students to gather and use information. With Ohio University’s installation of Blackboard, students can access course documents, grades and view announcements all at the click of a mouse.

Even Professor Ursula Castella has adapted her Sociology 101 class around the ongoing transition to the Internet and Blackboard, literally abandoning the go-by-the-book method of structuring class.

“I am committed to keeping the students’ costs down,” says Castella, “I also want students to read things that they will find interesting and relevant to their own lives, so I put together packets and post articles online to meet both of these objectives.”

This seems to be a reoccurring theme not only with professors, but with the book companies themselves.

“I also have internet pages that are used hand in hand with my textbooks like Owl Access, Mastering Biology and Wiley Plus,” Kovell says.

For example the course textbook for Journalism 101, Mass Communication: Living in a Media World by Ralph E. Hansen, features a website where students can aid their studying. The website features online flashcards, crosswords, and quizzes all based directly from the material covered in the book.

Professor Robert Briscoe of the Philosophy department is motivated to create a curriculum of his own, not of the textbook manufacturers’. His course readings are a combination of textbook chapters and other selected readings all made available on Blackboard as an alternative to purchasing an expensive textbook. Below, Professor Briscoe shares his thought on the changing climate in education.

Whether its convenience, cost or educational value, the preference for online course materials is growing. Whether that means some day Cassie Kovell won't have to rely on textbooks at all, or that simply saving a few bucks by waiting a little longer to buy them, without a doubt the textbook companies are going to have to change their game to keep up with generation text.

Cave Paintings: Modern Visual Language

The development of visual language established a means of broad transmission, and has evolved to be the primary means of mass communication, while playing an enormous role in all types of communication. Our culture passively subscribes to all types of language and symbols that have their roots in primitive methods.

Famous song lyrics spray-painted on campus steps. Photo by Dani Parker

The pictograph is identified as the first form of writing. This medium is exemplified by ancient cave paintings, leftover from primitive man. The images illustrate the specific objects they are representing (horses, children, warriors), a method commonly used today (Pedestrian crossings, bike lanes). As these got more sophisticated, another genre of communication developed using ideographs. These are abstract figures or symbols that stand for an object or an idea (nike swoosh, musical notes). Finally, alphabets were established, and the seed of modern communication was firmly rooted.

Offical Label on a trash can. Photo by Aaron Diebold

Almost every aspect of our technological and sophisticated lives takes influence from these primary innovations. After thousands of years, our culture still relies wholly on these primitive means and concepts, having expanded for the most part only in technique and breadth. In Athens, Ohio, our "place of higher learning" demonstrates this commonality of human nature and history, displaying visual language in all its reach.

People use door as template. Photo by Aaron Diebold

Handprint as signature. Photo by Dani Parker

Campus Graffiti uses stone architecture as template. Photo by Dani Parker

Official street signs used as way of communication. Photo by Aaron Deibold

Modern symbols mirror ancient cave paintings. Photo by Dani Parker

Painted symbols and signatures. Photo by Aaron Deibold

Some even use window frame to place a signature. Photo by Dani Parker

Spray painted outlines as creative art. Photo by Dani Parker

Students use walls as template for expression. Photo by Aaron Diebold

Even clothing such as a t-shirt can serve as a space for modern communication. Photo by Aaron Deibold

Students celebrate Mahatmah Gandhi's birthday with wall expression. Photo by Aaron Diebold

Women's magazines of the past versus today's popular titles

When you open a women’s magazine, what catches your eye? Is it the picture of half-naked Britney Spears or the absurdly skinny models? Is it the overpriced clothing that hardly anyone looks good wearing or the articles on how to please your man sexually?

Women’s magazines are geared towards several things: how to dress, how to act, and how to be the best person society thinks you should be. The magazines showcase women like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian wearing skimpy clothes and dancing on tables, but is this what we want to teach the new generation of young women? What happened to being yourself and valuing who you are rather than how small your dress size is?

The first women’s magazines showed women how they should act, what they should be like, and how she should insist to be treated. Of course, this was in 1837. Godey’s Lady’s Book was one of the most influential magazines of the time. The magazine told women that they should be strong, influential individuals. Readers were taught to value education and celebrate individuality, while behind the scenes, the publication favored female writers over males. When it came to airbrushing and editing photos, it was 1837, after all. Without the technology, hand colored pictures of the newest fads and fashions were displayed.

Godey's was one of the first of its kind. It was about positive, strong morals and standing on your own. But magazines started to change with publications like Cosmo.

Mass Communication: Living in a Media World by Ralph E. Hanson says that Cosmopolitan today is geared at young, shy women who want to be that fun girl that people like; the one that dances around fearless and fierce and gets all the guys because she knows what to do. The magazine focuses on sex, fashion, celebrities, health and beauty, yet still probes deeper. They deal with controversial topics like sexual harassment and the publication is carried in 56 other countries. The concept of standing strong and being a unique individual was no longer selling. The message in today’s magazines, sex and fashion, was what women are buying into.

Lindenwood freshman Heather Barker said: “I love Cosmo, but at the same time all that’s really in there is how to please a man. I think that they make young women mature faster than they need to. The innocence is lost at such a young age now.”

That lost innocence may have something to do with magazines like Seventeen.

“I think that most of young women's magazines portray women as sex objects,” said Barker. “Like even in Seventeen, they have Halloween costumes to make girls look sexy, even though most of the readers of that magazine are in high school.”

Seventeen is one of today’s leading magazines for young women around age 13-19, but some girls start reading the magazine at an even earlier age. From the front cover, usually featuring a Hollywood starlet or heartthrob, to the ads, featuring half naked and airbrushed bodies, Seventeen screams: buy me, read me, and worship me! Young girls follow the beauty advice and health tips that are regular features, but they also see things like Barker mentioned.

From the costumes to the ads, today’s magazines feature a lot of risqué pictures. The ads may provoke thoughts like, ‘Oh, I want that!’ but the pictures of starlets sitting around in bikinis and cute little outfits make young girls say, ‘Oh, I want to look like her!’ What many don’t notice, is that no one can look that perfect without a little help: airbrushing. Good-bye, cellulite. Good-bye, uneven skin tone. Hello unattainable perfection.

“I remember reading that and thinking ‘I wish I was skinny like that...’” Wright State University freshman Catherine Arnold remembers. “It made me have a bad self image because I thought I wasn’t as good as the girls in it. And Heather is right; they sell ADULT costumes to high school age girls, who shouldn’t be worried about being ‘sexy’… All that really does is make young girls think they aren’t good enough as they are.”

Some magazines seem to be trying to balance the “be sexy” with “be yourself.” Seventeen Editor Jess Weiner heads the Body Peace Treaty, where young girls can sign online and vow to love themselves and be happy with who they are. Editors of the magazine and celebrities, like Pink, Amanda Bynes, and Carrie Underwood, have also signed the treaty to promote healthy habits and body peace.

While many women, just like Barker and Arnold, believe the magazines of today are very popular and very fun to read, they don’t carry the lessons and values that the very first woman’s publications did. Over the years, being yourself has become a lesser priority and being what society wants you to be is top of the list.

Hillary Johns, Keara Vickers and Kelsey Grau