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The Senator’s Resignation: Is Timing SI Driven?

Jim Tressel’s resignation as football coach at the Ohio State University marks the end of an era. An era that without question was extremely successful on the field and perceivably a successful one-off it. Tressel was often referred to as “The Senator” for his senatorial-like behavior. He said he stood for integrity and honesty and most of his actions usually backed what Tressel said he stood for.

However, amid numerous allegations, the off-the-field presence that earned Tressel his honorable nickname may have been just a show. A show that’s been going on for quite some time now, according to Sports Illustrated.

In an article set to appear in the June 6 magazine, but released on SI.com today in light of the Tressel resignation, a total of 28 Ohio State football players are alleged to have been involved in trading memorabilia for tattoos, not just the six who have been suspended for games in the upcoming season. The article discusses some of Tressel’s past involvements with the NCAA and hints at the possibility that Tressel may not be all he claimed to be.

It’s a definite must read.

Albino Raccoons—Say What???

Browsing through the internet I stumbled across this interesting video depicting albino raccoons. First of all, I didn’t even know albino raccoons existed and secondly they look pretty sweet. I kind of want one.

While it is definitely cool, I think the way the interesting discovery of such a rare species is shown is a great example of how multimedia can enhance a story. This could have been shown in a newspaper with a still picture of one of the raccoons with quotes from the wildlife control guy and maybe even a scientist or wildlife expert about how rare the find is.

However, by using video, the find comes to life and lets everyone into the scene of where the raccoons were found. It also adds an element of happiness to the find by letting the wildlife control guy explain how he’s going to let the raccoons go rather than killing them. Something that might be missing in a print story. If this video was featured on a newspaper’s site, they could go one step further by adding a link to a story or figures about how rare albino raccoons actually are.

It’s amazing what multimedia can do.

Video Games: Comm 240

Video games and video game consoles have evolved a great deal from their early days on the Magnavox Odyssey. According to Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, the Odyssey was the first generation of video gaming. Introduced in 1972, it was the first dedicated gaming console. Built on switches instead of a microprocessor, it included “a variety of analog components to be used in playing the video portions of the game, such as dice, play money, and plastic overlays for a common touchpad,” (Communication, pg. 204).

Video games, as the textbook describes, is used as a “catch-all” term to include games with a visual and audio stimulus that are played through a “digitally-mediated” system. They’re available in three forms: a) as a standalone system such as an “arcade cabinet”, b) as a software for gaming-specific systems such as an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, or c) as a software for other digital systems such as computers or cell phones.

According to the textbook, a video game system has some form of display and some form of input device, along with a microprocessor and the game software itself. For example, a PS3 (microprocessor) is connected to a television (form of display) and a PS3 controller (input device) is used to control the football players if you were playing Madden 11 (game software).

Primarily used for entertainment purposes, video games and video game systems can be used as an educational tool as well. Some, such as the Wii Fit, can even be used for exercise. Regardless what the reasons are to playing video games, they are likely to have an effect on the user. The most talked about effects are usually in the form of negativity, for example, violent video games influencing violent behavior in the people who play them. However, not all effects that video games have on people are negative.

An article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology examines the effect that prosocial video games have on prosocial behavior. The article, “Effects of Prosocial Video Games on Prosocial Behavior,” discusses the results of a study intended to measure the effects that prosocial video games have. Participants were randomly selected to play one of four video games (two considered prosocial, one considered neutral and one considered violent) and then the experimenters would do something that would require the participant to either help them or another person out. For instance in one experiment the experimenter would “accidently” knock over a cup of pencils and see if the participant would help pick them up after playing their selected video game.

The study concluded that the participants playing the games deemed to be prosocial were more likely to help another person in some form after playing their video game than the participants playing the neutral or violent video games. Therefore, according to the study, “While exposure to violent video games increases aggression and decreases prosocial behavior, here, we have presented evidence that exposure to prosocial video games increases prosocial behavior.”

Greitmeyer, Tobias & Osswald, Silvia (2010). “Effects of Prosocial Video Games on Prosocial Behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), 211-221.

Assignment No.9: First Video Project

For my first video project, I spent some time at the Santa Maria ship in downtown Columbus. It was a rather rainy afternoon, but it was enjoyable.

Check out the video.

Struggling to Come Up with Story Ideas

As a young journalist, one of my greatest challenges is coming up with story ideas. I don’t know why, but it just seems so hard a difficult. It seems like everything I can think of is either not newsworthy enough or I can’t gain access. It just sucks to be honest.

Surely I can’t be the only aspiring journalist in this situation, but at times it seems like I’m the only one. I will sit for hours at a time surfing the web and searching local events to try to come up with a story idea and wind up with absolutely nothing, except for clumps of hair. Am I looking to hard? Am I looking in the wrong spots?

I literally have this on my mind at all times. I have two assignments coming up and I’m having such a difficult time coming up with ideas. Driving home from work I think about what I can do. Driving home from school I think about a story I can do. Walking to class it’s on my mind. It is always on my mind, but I just don’t have a clue on what to do. How do professional journalists seem to have stories fall into their laps? I know that a lot of hard work goes into researching those stories, so I’m exaggerating about them falling into their laps, but seriously it seems so easy for them to come up with good stories. What am I missing?

One of the most helpful sites I’ve found though was Experience Columbus. It organizes all the events going on in Columbus and separates them into categories. I’m thankful for that site, but really that’s not all I can rely on. I have to get over this bugaboo if I want to be a successful journalist, I realize that. The problem is, I don’t know how.

Assignment No.7 and 8 (Midterm): Audio/Photo Story

 

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

This was my midterm. This was a story about Jay Pearson,41, who is an avid sports fan, but is also diagnosed as mentally challenged with autistic characteristics. It was truly a joy to do this story.

Assignment No.6: Man On The Street

This is my sixth assignment in Comm 426.

I was instructed to go out and get people’s opinions about a newsworthy issue. I chose the Ohio State football scandal, specifically the allegations surrounding Jim Tressel.