Posted in journalism, life, media, writing

On seeking the good news

Hello world!

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gif source

I like thinking that people are good. And somehow finding things that remind me that they are good. Now, sure there are plenty more bad stories in the news than there are good, but just try to weed out the good and you’ll find a gem somewhere.

No really, I’m not just talking about reading things on Upworthy though that is a good site filled with good sense. Sometimes its the small stories about a kid that rescued a dog that was dying or a grandfather that tells an emotional story of his life making you realize that you take life for granted. Your local news has more feature stories than you think and they are largely uninteresting, but exciting to the person(s) being featured so always give them a quick spotlight if you can. Everyone needs a little love sometimes.

I was a feature reporter for a hot minute once (I don’t really say that phrase, because like how hot was that 60 seconds supposed to be anyway?) and wrote mostly about pets, people and their dogs. Dog groomers mostly, some art shows, an pro-life rally (which I didn’t end attending but talked with the organizer which was enough for a short blurb). Most of my interviews are done via phone call. I very seldom did things in person, because I didn’t live in the same place (I was 45 min away) and so I commuted. I thought the experience was a fairly fulfilling one though and one that I won’t forget. But, I wish I was more forthright and spoke up more. Basically, I wish I did more in-person interviews. That’s where the real gold conversations and photos are likely to occur.

But, since I no longer do this. I can say that reading local feature stories reminds me of the reporter that I was. But, a better version.

So step outside of your Twitter filled with political angst and refrain from commenting any further. Instead, think about seeking out good. Any piece of media that reminds you what it means to be human. What it means to be imperfect. And then you will inevitably smile because you know that no one or nothing can take this feeling away (unless you let them, and you won’t! 😉

(cover image source).

 

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Posted in journalism, media, writing

What news can you tell?

 

The news is easy to follow if you have internet or Twitter and even easier if you have an interest in the matter.

My favorite story in the last week or so was that of a young girl covering her local news and she even broke the news of a homicide (go her!). Go here for more: https://orangestreetnews.com/ That’s news I like to hear, that of people reaching out in their community, young or old wanting to change people’s minds and wanting to be able to share the news with others. To be able to inform and do a civic duty is what journalism is all about.

Those are the moments when I wonder why I am not working in media right now. I sure don’t know, I did like it. I hope to return when I can write on health news, maybe science too but I won’t go too deep since its not my forte. But, why do any of us stop doing something because of another’s influence? Maybe not directly, but in a way that moves us in another direction perhaps. Maybe for better or for worse. I can say that Hilde is doing a service with her paper and she can’t do it all (of course not) and whether she ends up in the media or veers off into investigative reporting is up to the future.

We think we all have it all figured out but then life throws us curves and some of those curves are sharp, some might even have blades. Not too be too dark, but the truth is that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Sorry, but we don’t. Anything is possible on any day.

So, I write here and to me that is something that I will hold onto for as long as I can. Actually, scratch that. I will hold on to that. Because why would I not want to write?

Always do what makes you happy.

Posted in consuming things, inspiration, journalism, media, writing

Write to write

So they say writing is nothing and will lead to no jobs. This is not incorrect, but for literally every job on the market you need to know how to write and even better if you can do it well. Not just write, but compose documents and make sense of it enough to make someone else understand it better. Whatever that is. Wherever your heart lies.

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I have much to say about being a liberal arts student and a person who loves the arts in general. But, don’t misunderstand me and think that’s all I care about. I love science. Especially astronomy and space news. No, of course I’m not a rocket scientist but are most of the people reading this? No. It’s an age-old need to want to be curious and know more than we already know. I can find countless articles about wellness and finding peace with yourself and whatnot, but I’m not going to link any of them. I will say this: Not feeling worth it because of what you are interested in is not something you should let anyone make you feel this way–yes, even if its your own family.

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If you come from a more traditional Asian family, then you have probably three choices of a career and none of them deeply involve the arts. The rest of us either have loving parents who support us no matter what or will do their hardest to sway you in the path they have chosen for you until you are much older and realize this is not your dream nor your personal goal of happiness later. (full disclosure, my parents were of the latter and were- or rather are supportive of what I do).

So what do you do in such a scenario? You make your own rules? You break out and risk your family name? This is all very dramatic and may or may not apply to any specific situation, as everyone is different.

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gif source. Also, congrats to Leonardo on his Oscar!

Luckily, if you love something strong enough you can do it if you have the internet. If all you want to do is write, then start with something like a blog. If you want to write news, think about interning at a local paper or news site. Be ok with blogging though. If you’re an artist, don’t be afraid to share your work online. Learn how to make a unique watermark for your images and work and disable copying. This might be easier to do when using specific sites geared towards artists like DeviantArt, where a community is just waiting to help you. If you love history and political science and see flaws in the American political system (or any other system, depending on where you live) then take a stance on it. The possibilities are endless for creatives. In fact there is a website created by a creative mind for those that are lost though many just tend to waste their time on it with memes and such. It’s called tumblr.

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But is publishing itself dead? I wouldn’t say its thriving, but I wouldn’t say it’s in its grave quite yet. We like to say that to people who we hear write for *gasp* an actual print newspaper?!? But, is it really that surprising? To me, to be able to write on the staff of a newspaper is almost like an honor these days even if the pay is meager and the jobs are difficult with no appreciation for what you do if at all. Why? Because you’re doing a service to the community. A community that might be made up of people in their 60s. Where I live people might be around my age, but not the whole town. Not people who have lived here for years, no. The younger people are the one’s moving to bigger cities and doing big things while the older generation stays because of the town. And the newspaper. It is the traditional way of life. And yes, I might want to get a kindle one of these days but you feel fresh when you grab ahold of a newspaper and get the inky newsprint on your hands. You’ve just been swept up in the local news of the days which is probably not exciting, but its something. And it means something to someone.

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This post got a little long. Here is a post I made a few years ago about being an English major and trying to figure out my next point in life on the chart.

Isn’t that what all these posts are about though? Life and what it means and why I’m happy to be alive.

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gif source

 

 

Posted in goals, journalism, media, personal

Finding that objective

I’m really bad at posting. I’m going to just queue up some posts, at least then this blog will be a little more active (not that it isn’t). There’s been a lot going on, though but I’m trying when I can to take time to breathe and read/write.

via theBerry

With the prospect of grad school approaching ever quickly, I know my free time will be limited. Any other free time will ultimately be spent working towards my thesis project. Which (while still somewhat tentative) looks at bringing light to students that may not be able to afford school along with students that can in impoverished and low-income communities. Fostering the dialogue that citizen journalism can allow for ordinary people to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Honestly, I have no idea either. So, I should probably be working on that right? Probably, but my mind likes to wander.

Presumably, I still have some time to make this statement more formal and pronounced. With definite examples of how I would put my thoughts into actions. This post is actually reminding me of doing that. There’s obviously still some work that needs to be done and some research that will need to go into it.

Is there anyone else who is or has struggled to discover what their thesis will focus on? Like, I’m talking masters here. I feel like there are people who know exactly what it is they plan to work on and have no qualms about their thesis topics. Maybe you’re thinking why am I even doing this if I don’t know why? Well, I thought about pursuing a masters for some time. The idea of a masters alone just took some thought, not simply what would happen during that time.

A lot of things to think about. Besides a thesis, I’ll likely be going off on assignments or projects to various locations in the city I will be in. Plus, I will be moving into a new apartment. I will need to learn how to take the train around, but I’ll find someone to guide me I suppose. I’m hoping to hear from the school soon about who my roomates will be. Then, I also want to read so many books before I even start the program, so it’s going to be a tough time. It’s going to be a busy summer, but I’m going to take the time when I can to read/write what I want because that’s when I am most relaxed.

Posted in journalism, life, media, personal

journalisme, l’ecriture, et les critiques

A lot of writing has been going on in my world this week. Good thing that I found a reason to want to write again. Of course, there is always the chance that you might write something that is well, critically approached. To be real, everyone has their opinion and without calling people names or anything I’ll say that they have that right to. I’ll just say a few things about what I think about people who are overly critical and those that do nothing with the criticism.

Criticism of any kind should bring discussion. Whatever the topic at hand, it should be a way to let everyone speak. For example, take the topic of journalism and how it is moving away from print newspapers. This does not mean that journalism is going away, it means that there is more to learn about the field. The number one rule in journalism is probably being able to handle the critics. It doesn’t matter what you write about, if you can do this effortlessly than you are doing something right. I’ll tell you, be cool and don’t do anything rash (like delete their comments, because you might regret it later -_-). Having grace under pressure is an important thing to know how to utilize.

via weheartit

I’m probably going to be doing this writing thing for awhile. Opinions aside though, if writing online shares and views are important and sometimes I view those higher than anything else. There have been some times where I tweeted an article more than once to give it more shares, all the while feeling more guilty about this. Of course, the shares didn’t actually show up so no harm done. Anyway, the share and views came on their own anyway. I appreciate when people are honest, but I even more appreciate when people are real. Since I hate is myself, I also try to do it myself. The internet can be a weird place sometimes and we have to know what we’re dealing with before we throw it all out there (which sometimes we just do anyway, like I’m doing right now with this blog post).

So, yes. I want a discussion of thought to take place in the form of comments. I think people can be cruel any site you go to though and whether they are like that in real life remains to be seen. It’s possible that we all gain courage (that we never knew we had) once we take to the internet. Maybe because we’re online, because we’re alone and what is going on seems more private. We can scream at a person we don’t even know and no one will come after us (at least not in real life). This doesn’t happen when you know someone in real life because matters automatically become so much harder. It seems you cannot express so easily what you want to.

Anyway, I’m alright. Writing, reading, smiling, and hoping for the best. Trying not to let my guard down too easily, though I know that what I write is out there and it will be read and people will be critics because it is their nature. It is the nature of all writers, I suppose. I’ll keep on if you keep on.

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I can’t stop doing what I love because of a small few.

here’s a puppy to get you smiling. (via weheartit)
Posted in journalism, life, media, personal

Your past can’t always define you (but it is part of you)

Yet again I sit down at my laptop to write another blog post. What this time? I don’t know, but I don’t really know much of anything these days so most of these posts have a relatively common theme. In the past week, I’ve laughed, smiled, felt sad, read some books, and pondered some things. So, really nothing from the usual. But, sometimes when you need to pick yourself up you look to the internet. Or family. Or something that reminds you that really you are not alone.

So, I could say that at the start of every week I hope things get better. It’s probably better to do something about it, rather than sit around hoping for change. I’m not that good at putting thought into action. I mean today was Martin Luther King, Jr. day and yet again it was spent not doing anything. I feel like I should be doing something though. We all remember, but do we really remember him. Anyway, I could go on about that. But, that’s not what this is about.

Rather it’s again about the news. It’s meant to be consumed. Maybe when we don’t have any news, we don’t know what to do with ourselves but then again maybe we do. There are gifs, puppies and kittens, plus all the cute babies just waiting to steal some of your productivity anywhere you go online.

So, right now I’m going to share a few (like three) Buzzfeed videos that I can relate to. Because they’re funny, relatable, and why the heck not.

Yeah, does that about sum it up? I do live at home, but for me it’s not as bad as you would think (I don’t have any friends, if we’re being real and no one wants to live alone–I did for awhile it did nothing for me). Also, I left Facebook for those same reasons as pathetic as that may be. Sometimes, I know that my life right now is just a series of mistakes that I made somewhere and I’m just waiting to look up and for it to be all over.

This is just everyday and kind of relatable, but kind of not really at all.

I was an English major and don’t advise anyone to be one. That being said, I don’t regret it either. Unlike some people, I don’t hate writing papers or reading long stories. I don’t really think like this guy, but I think many have larger than life goals. The most common question I used to get (and on rare occasions still do get) is “what are you going to do with that?” The most common thing people said was a teacher or writer, sometimes like me it was journalism.

So, this post has taken way too long to get through (I got distracted with some other videos, whoops). But, mainly I’m still going to keep trying. We all know who we are and we may not know what we want, but we’re all unique and weird in our own way.

I guess I’ll just be myself, that’s the way it should be anyway.

Posted in journalism, life, media

News life

I’m in on that media takeover thing. Even though it might seem like I’m just a writer who loves to read, I follow the news cycle like its my job mostly because that’s the field I’m trying to break into.

Now, five things about news writing that people don’t always tell you. (this from the perspective of someone who has written both online and for local newspapers).

1) The sources are actually not as bad as you would think. Mostly, because you do most of the research on your own. When there is the occasional bad source (code for a person that refuses to cooperate) then that just ruins my day and it has happened on a few occasions. But, I try not to let that matter too much. I know that what I they can’t tell me, someone else might. If he/she can’t though then it’s time to do some in-depth digging. This is where it gets tricky, because you have to know what you can and can’t say. I think talking to people in person would be better, but for some reason I don’t rule out phone interviews. In-person interviews are better and I know this, but maybe my inner “social interaction panic button” freaks out and just reaches for the phone instead. Alright, on to the next one.

via tumblr from http://merrylittlemiller.tumblr.com/ (as are the rest below)

2) Your editor has no idea what she’s even giving you to write about. This happened where I last worked, more of an internship at a local paper. A local dj was leaving, though when I called the radio station had said she had already left like a month ago. I immediately felt like I hadn’t called in fast enough, then realized that this couldn’t be my fault. “I’m just a student, I don’t know any better” is what I thought. It kind of worked and my editor was ok with it, giving my another assignment. This doesn’t always happen. Looking back, I wonder if I could have found other ways to contact the long gone radio dj, like over the phone (like I always did) talking about how she liked her last job. Then I thought about and was like, maybe she wouldn’t want to even hear from someone from the area. She did after all leave for a bigger city. Anyway, it’s done and whatever. But, be warned you can’t ask the editor what the story is about or who its about. They know, but not really. Not really at all.

via tumblr (same as one linked to above)

3) Feature writing is not considered real news. It’s just not and I have to say that most of the news I wrote at any local paper has been that. News about some pet show, or dog groomer or a church. It was still news about the community, though and there were people who were reading it, but it was not like pressing or anything. The thing is though, I like feature writing AND news writing. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know that I pretty much like writing in general. Feature writing is a human interest piece, done right it can be incredibly moving and it can make anyone take notice. That’s what real journalism is about. It’s not about trying to fit into boxes called news and not news. It’s all news and it’s all happening.

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4) Quotes. I’m always afraid of misquoting someone (possibly a journalist’s greatest fear) and sometimes ask them if I got that right. Those excited about having their story published will clarify, while some will not and I will just have to look up that info myself. One time on my internship, like the first story I was ever doing, I called back the source like three times to clarify something. Luckily, she was kind enough not to be too annoyed about it. I think she knew that I was a student, but it’s good to run into those kind people every now and then because it reminds you that you don’t have to feel so bad about asking again. I never met this woman I called back a few more times, because it was a phone interview. I put so much effort into that one article, that when the rest came spilling out I just kept going and using my phone like it was the only way to get things done. So, yeah. Use your head when it comes to quotes. Try to be verbatim. It’s not a college essay, no paraphrasing. In the real world, that’s called plagiarism. So, write and talk to people. You can do it. Or, I can do it. Yeah, I’ll keep at it.

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5) So, now that I’m at five I have to say that I admittedly have nothing else to put here and maybe I’ve just been making this up as I go along. But the stories are real. Ignoring AP Style. Yeah, that’s something. Sometimes it might feel as though local newspapers ignore AP style, but the truth is if you know it then all the better. Really, so much better. They will love you. Now, I myself am still learning AP style and all that, but I try to use it when I’m writing for a local paper the best that I can. Sometimes they notice and sometimes they don’t. One time, a local newspaper told me to stop writing how I had learned in school. Considering at the time, I had only taken one journalism class I had no idea what they were talking about. But, I went with it. “You’re using golden coin style” they told me. I didn’t know what that meant, but learned more about it in school and online. Here’s a good piece explaining it. So I was doing this thing that they were saying and I didn’t even know it. All because I wanted the first words to jump out at the reader and make them want to keep reading. I didn’t see why this was bad. But, whatever sometimes news writing is just boring. Or, so I thought. Writing can be whatever you want it to be. Do stick to AP Style and do write with good grammar. But, you should have your own voice and make the reader want to keep reading. Suffice to say, that job didn’t end well.

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The holidays are approaching. This is crazy to me, because it feels like yesterday was August. Weird. Well, I’ll let you get back to reading things and doing nothing when you should be doing something.

Also, all New Girl gifs are not mine and belong to this person. She did an awesome job though, mostly because New Girl is awesome. If you read this all the way through, then you are awesome too 🙂