Life According to Krista

weeklyblog Archive

Feb 28

While at the Newseum there were many things that reminded me of our Online Journalism class.

There were six floors, all filled with information from news of all types and times.

I started off on the first floor, where there was a giant piece of the Berlin Wall. It was fascinating to see the west side of the wall versus the east.



The east wall was extremely clean and unmarked, while the west wall had graffiti on it and was full of  hate towards the government.

After seeing the wall, I went into a screening room that played different clips from the news with a great voiceover that talked about the history of news and reporting. There were many quotes that I found very inspirational in this including:

  • “There is a terrific disadvantage not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily, to an administration, even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn’t write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn’t any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press” -John F. Kennedy
  • “The cost of liberty is less than the price of oppression” -W.E.B. DuBois
  • “Journalism is the first rough draft of history” -Phil Graham


I took the elevator up to the sixth floor to see the observation deck.

There were also front pages from many different country’s newspapers and each of the state’s prominent papers. It was really interesting to see the differences between all the papers. I personally liked the 6 column Washington Post format, as I felt it looked clean and easy to navigate through.

One thing I noticed while looking through the papers was that many countries, though English was not their official language, printed their papers in English. For example, the Chinese newspaper writes everything in English.

I went downstairs to see more newspaper clippings and information about the evolution of the press. It was fascinating to see how so many countries do not offer the same freedoms that the United States does for journalists. There was even a giant wall dedicated to the “fallen” journalists who had died because of their jobs.

The September 11 exhibit was one that really stood out to me.

I’m not usually one to cry during movies or TV, however once I watched a compilation video of newscasts on September 11 I was grateful for the tissue box outside the screening room.

It was so emotional and moving seeing each of the journalists’ personal accounts for being on the scene that day.

The Newseum is my new favorite museum in D.C. and I cannot wait for my next trip there.


Feb 21

Here are some of the most important tips Mark Potts gave us when visiting our Communication 361 class:

  • In the last year or two, more people have begun to get their news from online instead of from a newspaper.
  • Only unique news products can be successful. You must find a way to separate yourself from the competition.
  • Declining reader interest/irrelevancy. People don’t read the newspaper like they used to, which means declining circulation and ad revenue.
  • Craigslist decimated classified section. Now people aren’t paying newspapers for ads (which was about 50% of their incoming revenue).
  • The bottom line: “the news business as we know it is screwed”
  • The argument that people will miss newspapers is not valid because people are not necessarily still interested in reading a paper; they can find news on their computers at home.
  • “Crappy newspaper executives are a bigger threat to journalism’s future than any changes wrought by the Internet” -John Paton
  • Google, Yahoo and Facebook are muscling out traditional media.
  • Print is still a $25 billion business, however it is continuing to decrease.
  • The future is now. We need to focus on online journalism and what is popular now, so that we can keep up with the competition.
  • Some papers are transitioning to online news by only printing papers certain days of the week or by having an entirely online news site and not printing papers at all anymore.
  • Clay Shirky wrote an interesting article called “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable” about what is happening in the journalism field.
  • There will be more destruction of traditional media in the future. Big print newspapers have about 5 years left.
  • There are a lot of new voices in todays media such as blogs, startups, hyperlocal sites, and niches.
  • One of the main goals for journalism is to have a large audience. It’s easy to gain a wide range of viewers through the internet and reach people from all over the world.
  • There are always new technologies and websites that are coming out. Things will continue to change and grow.
  • News with friends: the merging of personal and public news. This is becoming more prevalent with sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Mobile news is becoming popular. Phones, tablets–the world. Your world in your hand.
  • TV/mobile convergence: keep an eye on the Second Screen. People are using their laptops and televisions simultaneously in order to interact with other audience members.
  • New forms of advertising, such as Groupon, are coming out.
  • We’re in a golden age of journalism. There is more journalism, being committed in more ways, by more people, than ever before.
  • Be a disrupter! Create something new and different that will attract people and revolutionize what is out there.
  • Learn how the news business works.
  • Build what you like and that reflects what you do. Turn your passion into a new innovation.
  • Final thought: go out and invent the future.


These were a few of the main tips Potts gave our class for breaking into the news business. He was a very knowledgable and motivating speaker and I hope this blogpost helps share some of his good advice.

Lastly, at the end of class Professor Steve Klein said something that stood out. Create your own job because many of the jobs that are out there right now will probably not be there in the next few years.


Feb 21

I was born in 1990, so I find this article on the 90s very humorous.

Feb 21

Steve Myers writes about a new social media tool called “Seriously Rapid Source Review” (SRSR) which tries to filter out important, legitimate tweets.

The software creators came up with 741 words that could likely be used in a newsworthy tweet and made it easy to search with those words.

There is a formula in place that makes SRSR a great tool for reporters and researchers will continue working on it until it proves useful for journalists.

Feb 21

John Paton worked in the “Golden Era of journalism” and explains how newspapers and their executives have changed.

He goes on to say that he has to learn so many new things this day in age with new technologies, social media and new people in the business.

The article describes how the Internet is taking over print journalism and how advertisements are fewer and fewer for print, since they are so expensive and don’t bring as much of an audience as some online sites might.

“As career journalists we have entered a new era where what we know and what we traditionally do has finally found its value in the marketplace and that value is about zero.”

Since times are changing and everything is moving away from print, Paton and other journalists must adjust to the new times and learn everything they can about marketing themselves online.

Paton ends by giving the newspaper executives a piece of advice.

“Finally, I would say to newspaper execs learn to let go and love the ‘Net.

I am here to tell you, you can teach an old dog new tricks.”



Feb 16

Let’s hope we don’t see any more of this!

Feb 13

This is so true.

Feb 13

Jim Romenesko posted a list of frequently asked questions for Gannett about what journalists can do with their iPhones to further their careers.

This is a very interesting topic because of the dynamic, ever-changing technologies of distributing news. Journalists must keep up with the most current and upcoming trends so that they do not get behind in the game.

iPhones are preferred devices for journalists, as they typically have the most up-to-date technologies and the most apps. The iPhone 4S also has a great quality camera for photographers to use in news events, which is a very important aspect of reporting.

“The iPhone 4S is meant to enable you to do better, more timely journalism.”

By being able to take pictures with a portable phone, a journalist can easily keep their readers updated on current events as they are happening.

“And the phones can run specialized apps that do nearly anything – help you capture and annotate public records, transcribe interviews, map your way to a scene, listen into a police scanner, find nearby sources who are broadcasting their locations, tap into social media channels, do reverse lookups on phone numbers, perform background checks, etc… You’ll find all sorts of ways to power your journalism using this device, and we encourage you to boldly experiment.”

Overall, it seems the iPhone does it all. Having the iPhone 4S is like having a personal assistant, and serious journalists really need to invest in this smartphone to help enhance their social media, networking and ability to gather news.

Feb 13

Jim Romenesko recently compiled two essays reviewing Richard Tofel’s e-essay, “Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future”.

The first review, by Jeff Jarvis, complains that Tofel is wrong for wanting journalism to stay the same. Jarvis thinks that journalism is forever changing and needs to be able to grow. He is upset that Tofel wrote:

“it must follow that the decision to give away newspaper content was a mistake, that an alternative future in which nearly all newspapers sought to charge for content on the web, just as they had charged for it in print and on the online proprietary services, would quite likely have produced a happier outcome.”

Jarvis thinks that the online newspapers should continue to be free and the public should continue to have easy access to them.

He then writes that

“he [Tofel] gives much blame to the institutions’ proprietors, especially for killing their own efforts at innovation and collaboration.”

Jarvis does not like that Tofel seems to want the journalism companies to stifle progress and go back to focusing on money. He thinks that journalism is a very important tool of everyday life and that everyone should have equal access to it.

Jarvis ends by saying:

“I do recommend reading Tofel’s essay (it’s only $1.99) as, again, it is well-written and researched and smart and reasonable. But then I also urge you to take the assumptions made by the industry and reflected in it and question them.”

The next article critiquing Tofel’s essay is by Kirk Caraway, who begins his rationale by saying:

“While he does a good job of laying out these possible rationales, what he fails to do is offer any concrete evidence showing these actually led to the decisions by newspapers to publish their content free online.”

Caraway seems to believe there is not enough proof to say that the decline of newspapers is because of online journalism. He would have liked to have seen more proof in Tofel’s essay and concrete examples.

Caraway says that online newspapers cut the costs of making and distributing papers, which only increased profit margins. He believes the newspapers that give away their articles for free are smart and the ones that charge for information will not have much room for growth.

He ends his essay saying:

“After a lifetime in the business, it makes me sad to see newspapers going downhill. But I’m not going to let their troubles get in the way of my mission. We never know what the future will bring, but in a few years one of side in this debate will be telling the other, “I told you so.”

So far, I like my side’s chances.”

Caraway has faith that the online newspaper industry will only improve and become more used. He thinks Tofel needs to accept this so that he can progress with his peers.

Feb 13

The Washington Post newspaper is turning more and more into an online paper.

News is released much faster and is instantaneous when released online. People no longer have to wait for the paper to be delivered to their doorstep or go to the store to find out about the news, rather they are able to look at their computer right away.

Although there are some people who believe newspapers should remain printed, the way the industry is headed makes it impossible to only print papers. The Washington Post is beginning to embrace its new future with online journalism and accept its fate.

Although The Washington Post has usually been ahead of the competition, its reluctance to move toward online journalism set it behind. Jeremy W. Peters wrote an article for The New York Times about this dilemma. The article focuses on how The Washington Post fell behind and what it may need to do to catch up again.

As long as The Washington Post can start to bring up its webtraffic and gain a larger audience, they will be able to be one of the top competitors in the industry once again, but until they choose to start conforming to what people want, they will continue to lose viewers.