The Sun-Times Struggles

The Chicago Sun-Times has never has never been the picture perfect website. However once they made the switch to a revenue-producing national network everything got much worse. The Sun-Times adopted the new template in January and by the summer had already lost their partnership with Yahoo. Even more recently they suffered the loss of the CEO of the parent company and their top political reporter.

Many newspapers are struggling because of the internet, but the world wide web has also been helpful in readership for other newspapers. The Chicago Sun-Times has not figured out how to use their website successfully. The originality from the workers at the Sun-Times wanted to update the website with new sections and a new contemporary feel. But without listening to them they made the switch to the national network and now has to follow their rules. This network has struggled so much that they have drawn national attention. This is a great example of how important it is to have a strong online presence and create trust with the readers.

This story could not have come at a better time since we are discussing websites in class. I find it interesting that all of the topics we discussed in class about good website design come into play here. I had a chance to visit the site and was curious as to how bad it could truly be. Well, it was bad. When the home page first popped up there was a large, full screen ad that I had to exit out of before continuing. The same thing happened every time I clicked on a section or a story. This was extremely frustrating. The template was a plain white background with a grid design. However, the stories and ads had the same box size and were confusing as to which was which. Even knowing what I was getting into, I still did not last very long on the site. 

I am so upset with this newspaper for ignoring the writers and other newsroom workers and becoming the anchor of this national network. There is no saying that the other idea would have been more successful but it certainly could have not gotten much worse. Hearing about this really confirms my thoughts of how important it is to have a functional website. I hope that the Sun-Times can get the website in better shape to properly display all of the great journalistic talents in their newspaper.

Here is the link if anyone wants to check it out!


The Police Embed is Back

In the recent years there has been many instances with police violence in the U.S. If there is footage of these occurrences most of them come from the public posting on social media. Body cameras are becoming increasingly popular for police. But one option is coming back into play, the police embed. Sometimes this is referred to as a ‘ride-along’ and consist of a photo journalist sitting in the back of a police car and going through the entire 12 hour work day with them.

This is so important for journalists to think about this option so they are literally placed in their shoes to uncover a story. The option to do this is not always possible. It takes a lot of time and money to place a journalist in a police car and on the streets all day. There is also a safety issue by placing journalists in this position. But I feel this is the best way to understand what our officers do for us every single day. With all of the bad publicity police receive it needs to be balanced out and show both sides of the story. This method is the best one to chose to get those results.

I find this so interesting because I would love to experience something like this. The concept is something we think of before social media took off. But what is so interesting is bringing back this older idea and being able to have the public see their side of things. There are many times that police just walk on the streets and talk to residents, business owners and anybody else that would like to chat. We would not know about this if it weren’t fort the embed.

In case it wasn’t obvious yet, I love this idea. I have major respect for all men and women police officers.  It is so crucial to capture some moments, good and bad, that they deal with.  In no way am I saying that police brutality is acceptable at all but unfortunately this the only time they receive any media attention. Journalists could discover so much more this way and I am positive they would be able to write about some awesome things they saw that day.

Updates to my blog

I have made a couple minor changes to my blog. Some are obvious and you cannot miss them, while others might take some exploration.

One change I really wanted to make was the color scheme. I really wanted to make the colors more vibrant and fun to look at. So I took away the picture I originally had on the left hand side background and changed it to pink and orange to brighten it up. I also like the idea of a simple background and the plain colors do just that. These colors will definitely draw the eye of the reader to visit many of my stories.

Something else that I added was the calendar. This can be seen at the bottom of the home page. Not only is it kind of nice to see when something was updated and how it relates to that week in time. But also the calendar shows that I keep up on  my blog every week! Now that I have established some of my viewers I want to keep them coming back and that is just one way to show why my blog is a good choice.

The last page that I added was a photo gallery. In my about me section I mentioned how much I loved to travel. I wanted to back this up by proving some evidence. I don’t just go to Walmart to explore but I have been all over our country and a few other countries as well. I hope to keep this updated in order to have readers see where else I have traveled.

Many of the articles I read about for this week really gave me some great tips but I found that many of them had already applied to my blog. Some were on purpose but many were applied completely by chance. I hope to keep discovering more ways to draw in and keep the reader.

He’s Just Donald Trump…

Donald Trump has mentioned several times in the past about running for President of the United States of America. This year he put that plan into action and it taking his campaign very seriously. Many people are questioning how serious this whole situation really is. For a celebrity figure, like Trump, there is no doubt that he knows how the media works and intends to use that to his advantage.

This whole situation is so important because of how the presidential race is currently going. Trump is hogging most of the media coverage, leaving other candidates little time to impress or even be noticed by the people. He gets so much coverage not only because of his unbelievable story but also how he satisfies the public’s thirst for celebrity, novelty and clarity all in one. Trump is the front-runner due to his constant media presence. This just shows how much power the media has on a large scale, like the presidential race.

As a journalist I find this so interesting to know how much power we have and how important it is when choosing stories. This story is such a great reminder of how journalists must cover fairly. A great example of somebody left out of the spotlight is Scott Walker, who dropped out of the race earlier this week. I wonder if those two are related. Questions like this are asked by other journalists about Trump’s case. Should they challenge some of his bold statements? How is Trump going to deport millions of undocumented immigrants?

I agree completely that the media can persuade viewers opinions’ in one way, not by the journalist speaking out for one side but by selection of coverage.  I think that Donald Trump has a great talent of being able to draw in the media and keep them interested. He loves being in the spotlight and handles it well. That is why is a front-runner and most likely will be for a while yet. Even though Trump will most likely not be president I think his impact will continue to be noticed.

Women Based Media

Broadly, a new media site focused on women, went on their first journey to Kenya in July. The crew visited several all female villages. These bold women make a living by selling jewelry to passing by tourists and have made enough money to build a school. Following this first documentary have been other stories about women in power or the struggle for women in many different societies.

Sites such as Broadly are extremely important not only for women to read and discover but for men as well. Ever since the 1930s there have been magazines geared at empowering young women about change. As the chief and editor Tracie Egan Morrissey points out, “the goal is to consistently cover woman’s issues that are ignored by general interest media.” Without this site these issues would never be discussed and the world may never know how women are treated in other parts of the world.

This is very interesting to me, since I am a women. I really enjoyed reading the articles and watching the videos about life for women in separate societies. I would love to go visit one of the villages in Kenya and speak with these women and of course buy some of their ornate jewelry. But more importantly it is so interesting that entire media site is devoting all of their material to women.

I could not be happier that they have made this decision. I have taken a women’s studies course and have always considered myself as a feminist. This is a dream come true for people like me. Out of the stories I read and  documentaries I watched I was so enlightened by their stories. I can just about guarantee that I would not have found coverage about these women on a main stream site.


Here is the link to the website. It is updated regularly and well worth your time!


Feedly Blogs

One of the blogs that I found the most interesting was the “How to of the Day”. This blog gives an example everyday of how to do something interesting or that you never thought you could do. Then after you read through the step by step instructions there are always of few warnings they make you aware of and also some tips on how to best succeed in your do it yourself project. The greatest strength of this particular one has to do with how up to date it is. Also they just started posting a few days ago so this is relatively new to feedly. I am not sure this is a strength but hopefully they will continue in the right direction. As long as it continues to be updated s it was in the first few days then I am sure that will play to their strength of timeliness. Some of these projects are on a large scale and friends or communities can come together to complete them. These new ideas will keep the audience coming back for more projects to try. Here is the link, check it out!

Another one of my favorite blogs has to be the one titled “eat.sleep.wear.”. I love the topic of fashion but what I like about this blog is that it is one woman who models all the clothes herself and then talks about why she put those fabrics, colors and accessories together. I think the greatest strength of this blog is that it is the same model in each picture and she was able to style herself. When she comments at the end about why she put that particular outfit together and what the occasion was it gives the reader a very personable answer. There is even on epost where she shares her experience of cutting 8 inches off of her hair and donating it. All of these steps make it seem as though we are friends with the blogger which is going to build a great relationship and keep readers coming back for more. For sure check this one out, it is my favorite!

The most helpful blog is a travel blog known as “Stuck in Custums”. These pictures are from all of over the world which is so neat. But the strength of this blog has to be the photos, they are simply amazing. But what makes this blog so useful is the tips they give about how they made that picture look the way it does. Most every post has a little lesson to be learned, anything from framing to zooming is covered. This creates a sense of community not only for those that love traveling but for those interested in anything to do with photography. I cannot wait to see where the photos will be from or what lessons I will learn next on this blog.

About Me

Hello Everyone!!
I am Broadcast Journalism Major and hope to one day become a reporter for a major network.
My loves include watching or playing any sport.My family and I are big Michigan State fans and we enjoy watching their games together.
My passion is dance. I love learning, teaching, and even choreographing in many styles.
I also very much enjoy traveling. Whether it is across Wisconsin or across the World I love exploring new places,seeing new things, and meeting new people.
Keep up with my blog to hear about the topics listed above but also some others.