Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Man gets 28 years for rape.

I don't even know if I'm supposed to be posting this or if anyone is going to read it. Oh well. I was reading the Columbus Dispatch and came across this story. The story is a basic story about a man getting convicted of rape. Happens all the time right? Well, considering the ages of the victims and suspect, I thought that there could be more written by the author. I was expecting a longer article that goes in depth and talks about their lives. Maybe that's just the approach I would have taken? 

The author also mentioned the judge talking about medical care in prison for prisoners that are above the age of 50 years old. I think it would have been interesting to understand what exactly takes place in the prison to make it more expensive. Once again, maybe it's just me but I would have made the story more interesting. Overall though I think that the author did a good job of telling the essential facts to the audience. What do you guys think?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Former Berea schools treasurer accused of bilking district out of more than $28,000


I decided to pick this article because it actually deals with the high school I attended (Berea High). I heard about this conflict earlier in the week from former classmates on social media and found the actual article while searching The Plain Dealer.

Berea City School District's former treasurer, Randal Scherf, has been accused of taking over $28,000 dollars from the district. He managed to do this by submitting fake documents of medical co-pays for reimbursements, as well as forging documents for his wife's reimbursements. The article also mentions that Scherf was formerly involved in a similar case with Fairborn School District. However, sources say he agreed to repay the district, avoiding any criminal charges that could have been filed against him.

I think this was a pretty decent article, although I feel like it was kind of confusing. I had to reread many parts to fully understand what was going on and who exactly the writer was referring to/talking about. What do you guys think? Did you like the format/way it was written? Do you find this article newsworthy?

Case Western Reserve team finds cure


Some scientists at Case Western Reserve University, a school located in Cleveland, Ohio, have been studying how to turn the skin cells of mice into types of brain cells. This is valuable because these cells, once converted, would be able to treat severe illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy.

They found out how to convert these cells, now their next step is to see whether or not it is possible to do with humans. The cells they are trying to replace are the cells that would help repair the myelin sheath. So far, the only cells that the medical industry is aware of that could cure this disease are embryonic cells and those used in stem cell research.

How big of an impact would this have on the medical industry if they could find a human equivalent to these mice cells? Will this have an impact on the common person's view of the morals around stem cell research?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

 Sons of Gamauf Hardware owner recall his legacy:


I picked this story out of the Akron Beacon Journal, which is the local newspaper in Copley, where I am from. I chose to write about this story because the topic is about a Copley man, Addie Gamauf who just died a little over a week ago. If you live in Copley, and if your parents grew up in Copley, the chances are, you knew who Addie Gamauf was. I also picked  this story because I thought that it was relevant to class and what we learned about obituaries. Being close to the subject, I can vouch that story is very accurate to who Addie was. What I like about this story is that not only does it focus on who Addie was, but it also focuses what the future will be like after his death. Also I think that the legacy talk, and the future of the store makes this story relevant to more than just a few people. Another thing that I like is that the writer got a lot of the communities input. He incorporated quotes from six different people and might have talked to even more people. My only complaint about this story -- and I will say it is not a big complaint -- is that I am not sure if the writer got deep enough into who Addie was, but maybe that is just because I knew him. Maybe to someone who does not know him, they would think differently. So, with that I am interested in what you guys think about that. Do you think that the author described him well enough? Also how relevant do you think this story is to a wider audience? And, finally, what are your overall thoughts on this piece?

Friday, March 29, 2013

What can you say in 300 words?

Sometimes, you can say an awful lot.

Case-in-point: Brady Dennis, former night cops reporter for the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times (which is now known as the Tampa Times).

Dennis, who is now with the Washington Post, decided he wanted to highlight some people who never found their way into the newspaper. So he and photographer Chris Zuppa began a monthly series called “300 Words,” in which they set out to tell the stories of toll booth operators, dads in jail, rodeo clowns and others. The series won national acclaim.
In a 2006 interview, Dennis said he wanted to take on the project because “I believe that each person not only has a story to tell, but that each person has a story that matters. I’ve always felt humbled in the presence of everyday, ‘ordinary’ people who are willing to share their lives with us.”

Later in the same interview, he discussed how the series – specifically the rigid word limit – made him a better journalist (read on after the jump):

“300 Words” made me a better reporter by forcing me to rely almost primarily on observation. Notice that most pieces contain almost no quotes. I didn’t interview people as much as I simply shut my mouth and watched and listened. We don’t do that enough.
 It also made me a more economical writer. With only 300 words to spare, each one had to matter. I've tried to apply that rule to the other stories I do, even the long ones. The idea is to cut away the fat and leave only the muscle. As my editor, Neville Green, repeated again and again: "Less is more." It's true for most stories we write.
Dennis’ series is proof positive that you don’t need pages and pages of copy to tell a beautiful story. He wasn’t writing to win awards or attract fans (although he did both). He simply wanted to paint pictures of fleeting moments, and all the sights, sounds and emotions that went with them. These moments surround us every day. They are stories that most of us can relate to at some level. Good storytellers like Dennis recognize the universal nature of those moments, and put them in perspective for us.

All of the stories in the series are very good. Two of my favorites are “One hour at a time” and “After the sky fell.” Those two articles are not “feel good” stories, as are some other stories in the series. So check out a few of the articles (they are all very quick reads). Which ones spoke to you the loudest? Why? What techniques did the writers use to put readers into these scenes? What can we as writers learn from them?

For some reason, the Times has taken down the “splash page” that used to have links to all the installments in this series. However, I was able to recover several of them through Google – enough to give you a sense of what the series was like. These are the headlines – the hyperlinks should take you to the stories.

One hour at a time

After the sky fell

One minute and 123 dollars

Beautiful noise

The accordion man

Looking for a laugh

The man in the mirror

The end is the beginning

For the first time

City dreams

A cross for Carlos

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scientists Seek to Bring Back Extinct Species


Stanford Professor Hank Greely, recently spoke to a New York Times reporter about the advent of bringing extinct species back to life. Scientists around the world are trying to use new DNA technology to bring back extinct species, such as the wooly mammoth, the saber tooth tiger and the passenger pigeon. The article talks about innovations in DNA science and the different theories surrounding the successfulness of this process. Scientists note that it could be many years before we see the results of these endeavors, and there are ethical, moral and legal issues surrounding the nature of this type of science. 

This article caught my attention because of the nature of this controversial subject. The article does a good job drawing from many different sources and reporting the essential conversation points around bringing a species back into existence. Additionally, I like the use of the media to listen to Greely speak in depth about the subject. Even though we have seen many stories in the past about emerging science that does not come to fruition, I still think that this type of article stands a good purpose. Do you think this is newsworthy? Moreover, I appreciate science and new technology, but I disagree with the actions of the scientists trying to attempt this endeavor. How do you feel about the concept of bringing species back into existence? Did the author throughly cover all the legal, moral and ethical issues?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pittsburgh Teen Charged With Assault in Officer Shoot-off

18 year old Dante Bonner of Pittsburgh, PA has been charged with assault after shooting a police officer early Sunday morning. After a somewhat unclear turn of events with Bonner, his friends and the police officers, it resulted in Officer Christopher Ketris sustaining a leg injury. Ketris and his partners are currently being paid on administrative leave until the incident is further investigated. 

This article is informative and detailed, which is good since it is discussing a crime. However I do have a few issues with how it was written. Specifically, (because it has been throughly discussed in class ) inverted style pyramid writing. The author laid out facts in a disorderly manner. The first two paragraphs discuss what happened, with the most important content. After that the current condition of the shot officer is stated. Then, the past criminal history of Bonner is explained, despite it not being relevant to this shooting (especially because it is an open case). Quotes from any type of source as also lacking.

Do you think this article is too descriptive? Would a shorter, more straight to the point piece have been easier to read?