Friday, October 30, 2015

Journalism Investigation

Megan Cotter
22 October 2015
D Block
Journalism
Journalistic Investigation Assignment

How do mediums work?
Citation: Deyball, Rennie: Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview, N.P, 22 October 2015

Distillation: In the interview "Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview", Rennie Deyball, the author and interviewer, displays how mediums work. Deyball supports this by using the example of Theresa, the Long Island Medium, in the interview. The purpose of this article is to help curious people understand the gift mediums have. The article is directed to people who do not understand mediums and how they work. 

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses the example of the Long Island Medium to support his article. In the beginning of the article, the author states "I'm what you call a skeptical believer. I'd really like to believe that this type of spirit-to-earth communication is possible." This means that the author did not believe in mediums, but after the reading Theresa did for Rennie, he started to believe. This is an example of the bandwagon bias.

Sources & Support: The author interviews a very famous medium, Theresa the Long Island Medium. She has a television show on the TLC network called the "The Long Island Medium". The interview supports the author's thesis because it gives an explanation to how mediums work.

Thesis: In the interview and article "Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview" by the Rennie Deyball, the author expresses how mediums work and information about them through the famous Long Island Medium named Theresa.

Tone: The author's tone in the interview is very curious and professional because he asks a lot of questions. The Long Island Medium's tone is very calm, humorous, and informative because she makes jokes throughout the interview and answers all the interviewer's questions. 

Opinion: Personally, I think that there is a possibility that mediums are real because how else would they know all that information about your deceased loved one?  Even though it is pretty hard to believe some people can talk to the dead, I do think there is a possibility they do exist. 

How is powdered cheese made?
Citation: Blackmore, William: Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask), N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article and video "Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask)", the author, William Blackmore, expresses how to make and facts about powdered cheese. The author supports this by using a video and article containing how to make powdered cheese from Matt Buchanan, the man who made the video. The purpose of this article is to inform people how powdered cheese is made and how there is barely any real cheese in it. The author seems to be speaking to people who eat food products with powdered cheese.

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses a video that explains how powdered cheese is made and also writes an article about it. William Blackmore, the author, is TakePart's Food editor. In the title is states "But We're Afraid to Ask". This is an example of the Ostrich Effect bias because you are ignoring an issue, not knowing what you are even eating.

Sources & Support: The author uses a video by Matt Buchanan to help support his thesis. The video is displayed in the article.

Thesis: In the article and video "Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask)", William Blackmore, the author, expresses how to make and facts about powdered cheese.

Tone: Blackmore's tone in the author is informative by explaining how powdered cheese is made. The author's tone is also humorous by calling Buchanan's video "yet another awesome video".

Opinion: I think the article and video gives a very good explanation of how powdered cheese is made and facts about the cheese.

Where did all the ships go in the Bermuda Triangle?
Citation: Bhattacharya, Raj: Bermuda Triangle Theories, N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "Bermuda Triangle Theories", Raj Bhattacharya, the author, displays many theories explaining how ships and aircraft disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. The author supports his article by giving many examples of peoples' theories giving an explanation of the disappearance of ships and aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle. The article's purpose for writing this article is display and show everyone different theories explaining the disappearance of ships and aircraft. The author is speaking to people who are curious about disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and are looking for an explanation.

Objectivity & Bias: The author has reviewed all of the theories so it is not some random theories that do not make any sense. The article uses the bandwagon effect bias because it is written for people are curious about disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and gives explanations, so people will believe something because it sounds logical. Therefore, the article displays the bandwagon effect bias.

Sources & Support: The author has multiple examples from different people to show different theories explaining the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. There is also many books based on this subject including The Bermuda Triangle Mystery- Solved  by Larry Kusche.

Thesis: In the article "Bermuda Triangle Theories", Raj Bhattacharya, the author, displays many theories explaining how ships and aircraft disappear in the Bermuda Triangle.

Tone: The author's tone is informative by giving multiple different theories explaining the reoccurring disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.

Opinion: Personally, I believe in the Strange Weather and Hurricanes theory because to me, it is the most logical. The Strange Weather and Hurricanes theory is that there was strong enough storms to destroy ships and aircraft and they could also be destroyed by waterspouts, a tornado at sea that sucks water from the ocean thousands of feet into the sky. It is proven that there are waterspouts in the Bermuda Triangle area.

Where do dreams come from and what do they mean?
Citation: Obringer, Ann, Lee: How Dreams Work, N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "How Dreams Work", the author, Lee Ann Obringer, displays how dreams work and examples of common dreams and what they mean. The author supports the article by giving many examples of common dreams and the meaning of them and Obringer also gives an explanation of how dreams work in the article. The author's purpose for writing this article is to display how dreams work and what they mean through examples of common dreams. The author is speaking to people curious to what their dreams mean and how they work.

Objectivity & Bias: The author's objectivity of this article is to give explanations to people who are curious about what their dreams mean and how they work. The article displays the bandwagon effect bias because the reader will see what the article says and believe it because they think it is the correct explanation. But with dreams, you can never find a true explanation, because they mean something different for everyone, and the explanations in the article are just theories.

Source & Support: The author supports the article by using multiple examples of what common dreams mean and the author has sources that she got the information from.

Thesis: In the article "How Dreams Work", the author, Lee Ann Obringer, displays how dreams work and examples of common dreams and what they mean.

Tone: The author's tone is informative by giving multiple examples of common dreams and their meaning.

Opinion: I think that the author's explanations for common dreams is very accurate, but I also believe different dreams mean different things for each individual.

Is there life after death?
Citation: Harris, Trudy: Evidence of Life After Death, N.P, 28 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "Evidence of Life After Death", the author, Trudy Harris, displays evidence that there is life after death by explaining how her patients see their dead relatives before they finally pass. The author supports this by giving many examples of patients that have seen their deceased relatives before they die. The author is writing this to show and help persuade that their is life after death. The author is speaking to people whom are curious about after life.

Objectivity & Bias: The author's objectivity is to get her point across that there is life after death. The ambiguity effect is the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem "unknown". This article displays this by the reader expressing this bias because most people do not know what to believe about after life because it is unknown.

Source & Support: The author supports her theory by giving multiple examples of patients seeing their passed relatives a few days before they die. There is also many books written about this theory including A Prayer For Every Need.

Thesis: In the article "Evidence of Life After Death", the author who is a hospice nurse, Trudy Harris, displays evidence that there is life after death by explaining how her patients see their dead relatives before they finally pass.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and calm because she gives multiple examples supporting her theory and her writing does not have that much excitement.

Opinion: Personally, I am still not quite sure what I believe about after life. After reading this article, it has made me believe more in the afterlife because the author gives evidence of how there is after life, but I am still indecisive.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Photo Journalism Project

Megan Cotter
 25 October 2015
 D Block
 Journalism
Friendship With My Sister, Alyssa,  Throughout the Years


This is a picture of my sister, Alyssa(right), and I(left) on my first day of kindergarten and her first day of first grade waiting for the bus outside our old house.

Alyssa(right) and I(left) dressed as a lion and cheetah on Halloween one year in our living waiting to go trick or treating.

Jackie(left), Alyssa(right), and I(middle) at Southwick Zoo chilling on a bench in the summer. Jackie is my other older sister.

Justin(first from left), Danielle(second), me(third), Alyssa(fourth), and Jackie(fifth) sitting on a bench at the Boardwalk Hotel and Resort in Disneyworld. Danielle and Justin are my cousins. Alyssa and I used to always go on all the rides together.
 Alyssa(bottom left) and I(bottom middle) in our Christmas card picture one year. Jackie, my other older sister, is on my right, and my parents are standing behind us. Alyssa and I decided to wear dresses together!
Alyssa(left) and I(right) on a zip-line obstacle course in Maine two summers ago. We had to have buddies through the course to make sure you do not fall and to help you go through the course.
 Alyssa and I from last cheer season(stunt group on the right). We were even in the same stunt group!
Alyssa(right) and I(left) at Beavertail in Jamestown, Rhode Island this past July. We are always laughing when we are together!
Justin(right), Alyssa(middle), and I(left) at Friendly's in August. Justin is our cousin.
Alyssa(right) and I(left) at Papa Gino's a couple weeks ago. She always knows how to make me laugh!






Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bias- Journalism

Megan Cotter
20 October 2015
D Block
Journalism

Bias Assignment
Citation: Wildlitz, Stacey: Retailers Jump on Kate's Baby Fashion Bandwagon, N.P, 20 October 2015  
Bias: Bandwagon effect

Explanation: The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to group-think and herd behavior.

Supportive Excerpt: The article "Retailers Jump on Kate's Baby Fashion Bandwagon" displays the bandwagon effect bias. The article explains how many retailers have started selling clothes that look like Kate Middletons' including shoes and dresses she has worn. This is a bandwagon effect because people see what Kate is wearing, and jump on the bandwagon to wear exactly or something very similar to what she is wearing. 

Citation: Hafner, Katie: A Breast Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Status Quo bias

Explanation: The tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).

Supportive Excerpt: The article "A Breast Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo" displays the status quo bias.The article explains how a surgeon, Dr. Esserman, is trying to change the usually routine, the status quo, for breast cancer surgery. This article has an example of status quo because it states "Most doctors, including the radiologist seated next to her, would have said yes. But Dr. Esserman, who has dedicated much of her professional life to trying to get the medical establishment to think differently about breast cancer..." This means that most doctors are the example of the status quo bias. 

Citation: Zeilinger, Julie: Meet the High School Student Shattering Stereotypes About Girls and Football, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Stereotyping

Explanation: Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual. 

Supportive Excerpt: Most people stereotype girls to be terrible at football, but in the article "Meet the High School Student Shattering Stereotypes About Girls and Football", the author displays the stereotyping bias. The title itself displays stereotyping, but throughout the article, it proves the stereotype of girls and football wrong. The article proves it by a high school senior girl being the kicker on the football team, and she is very good.

Citation: Hanzus, Dan: Rex on Patriots winning Super Bowl: 'It was Terrible, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Hot-hand fallacy

Explanation: The "hot-hand fallacy" (also known as the "hot hand phenomenon" or "hot hand") is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.

Supportive Excerpt: In the article "Rex on Patriots Winning Super Bowl: 'It was Terrible'", it states how the Patriots won last year's super bowl. This is a hot-hand fallacy bias because since the team was led by their quarterback Tom Brady, and Brady has won 4 out of 6 of the Super Bowls he has been in, it increased the chance of them winning. Overall, the Patriots winning last year's Super Bowl is an example of the hot-hand fallacy bias.

Citation: Zimmerman, John C. : Holocaust Deniers and Public Misinformation, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Ostrich Effect

Explanation: The ostrich effect is ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.

Supportive Excerpt: The ostrich effect is displayed in the article "Holocaust Deniers and Public Misinformation" by John Zimmerman. This bias is expressed in this article by Zimmerman explaining how many people deny that the holocaust happened. This is an example of an ostrich effect because people are ignoring an obvious and negative situation. Even though there is even evidence and Holocaust survivors, people still deny it happened. All in all, the ostrich effect is displayed in this article.
 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Photojournalism Review

Megan Cotter
16 October 2015
D Block
Journalism

Photojournalism Review

The Big Picture
      1.  Migrant Crisis is Europe- The strength of this photo blog is that the author uses children immigrants to display the difficulties they are going through. The author specifically uses a photo of a dead child washed up on shore and photos of the family and it displays the family grieving over their dead child. Although the strength's are not positive, they display the difficulties immigrants go through.

2.  Hot Air Balloon Festivals- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays the happiness hot air balloons bring people all around the world. The author also displays the different kinds of hot air balloons there are around the world and all the different festivals they are at.

3.  Historic Flooding in South Carolina- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how the flooding ruined people's homes and businesses. It also displays how severe the flooding was and the impact it had on people in South Carolina, including children.

4.  Peaking at Ninety- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how age is just a number and you can still be healthy and active at an older age. It demonstrates this by using the example of a 90 year old man named Richard Dreselly who still hikes and is very active.

5.  Back to School- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how different each first day of school is for every child around the world. The author uses a specific photo of a soldier walking into the school with a student. This shows how different students' first day of school are all around the world.

6. Global Photos of the Month, August 2015- The strength of this photo blog is it displays how different everyone's culture is all around the world. It also displays how different each part of the world is from one another.

7.  10 Years after Hurricane Katrina- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays the progress the people of New Orleans made since Hurricane Katrina, It shows how much happier the people are and it also shows how there is still damage, but the people of New Orleans have made very noticeable and significant progress.
 
  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Distillations for Journalism

Megan Cotter
5 October 2015
D Block
Distillations 
Distillations
    1.  Citation: Werner, Stetson, Rebecca: An Interview with Ben Hewitt, N.P, 5 October 2015
 Hewitt, Ben: We Don't Need No Education, N.P, 5 October 015

Distillation: In the article "We Don't Need No Education"(2014), Ben Hewitt, the author, portrays that you do not need to go to school in order to get an education. Hewitt supports his opinion by providing real world applications of unschooling. The author's purpose of writing this article is to show that children can still learn through unschooling and can still be social. Ben Hewitt seems to be speaking to students and students' parents.

Author Ethos & Credibility: The author also wrote a book about unschooling called Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World. Even though Hewitt writes about unschooling, he has college degrees and a high school diploma.

Objectivity & Bias: The author is a father of two boys, Fin and Rye, and believes that they do not need to go to school, so he does 'unschooling'. The boys do not spend more than two hours a month sitting, learning, and studying subjects like math and science.

Sources & Support: In an interview with the author, Hewitt states "My hope is that people start asking questions, of themselves as much as anything else. I hope people read my stories and ask themselves questions. And then find their own path."

Thesis: The author's thesis is that you do not need to go to school  in order to get an education and be successful.

Tone: Hewitt's tone is persuasive in the article because he is trying to make people question their decisions to make their children to go to school and show there is other options than just school.

Opinion: I think that although unschooling is a different option, I believe that school helps you engage in people you like and people you do not like and helps prepare you for the real world.

2.  Citation: Kohn, Alfie: The Case Against Grades, N.P, 7 October 2015
Cody, Anthony: Alfie Kohn Interview: Will the Common Core Benefit Children, N.P, 7 October 2015

 Distillation: In the article "The Case Against Grades"(2011), Alfie Kohn claim that eliminating grades overall will help students learn and make them more interested in what they are learning. The author supports this by having multiple examples of teachers that do not use grades and how positively effective it is. The author's purpose of writing this article is to show that non-grading does exist and is proven to help students obtain information better. The author is speaking to teachers and student.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: Alfie Kohn has wrote multiple books including The Homework Myth, Unconditional Parenting, Punished by Awards, and Feel-Bad Education. He was also on Oprah.

Objectivity & Bias: The author supports his article by using examples of non-grading by stating quotes of teachers who use this system including a New Jersey teacher named Jason Bedell who said "I had been advocating standard-based grading, which is a very important movement on its own right, but it took a push from some great educators to make me realize that if I wanted to focus my assessment around authentic feedback, then I should just abandon grades altogether."

Source and Support: At the end of the article, Kohn uses the word "rigorous". In an interview with the author, he explains that his definition of rigorous is brutal not difficult which is what most people think the word means.

Thesis: The author's thesis is that by eliminating grades overall will enhance students' ability to learn and make them more interested in what they are learning.   

Tone: Alfie Kohn's tone is mostly persuasive for teachers to switch over to the system on non-grading and for students to agree with the system.

Opinion: I agree with most of what the author is saying because the statistics, points, and examples are accurate. 

3.  Citation: Kohn, Alfie: Rethinking Homework, N.P, 8 October 2015
Cody, Anthony: Alfie Kohn Interview: Will the Common Core Benefit Children, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "Rethinking Homework"(2007), Alfie Kohn claims that teachers should rethink giving a lot of homework or just giving homework in general to students. The author supports this by giving examples of ways to decrease homework and alternative things teachers can give to students instead of homework. The author's purpose of writing this article was to demonstrate how homework effects students negatively and how teachers can change that. The intended audience for this article is students, teachers, and parents of students.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: Alfie Kohn has written 12 books including The Homework Myth that is based off of this article and goes further in depth about this topic.

Objectivity & Bias: The author supports his claim using examples of alternates ways of giving work to students instead of giving them loads of homework.

Source & Support: In an interview, Kohn talks about homework as a bad thing and how students get too much of it.

Thesis: The authors thesis is that teachers should rethink giving a lot of homework or just giving homework in general to students.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and persuasive because he suggests to teachers to not give homework to students and gives many examples of alternatives.

Opinion: I agree that homework does stress me out, but I do not think they should get rid of it entirely. I think they should lessen the amount of homework, but it does help me learn.

4.  Citation: Khazan, Olga: Study Finds that Green Space Makes Kids Smarter, N.P, 8 October 2015
 Brasuell, James: Want Smart Kids? Provide Access to Green Space, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "Study Finds that Green Space Makes Kids Smarter"(2015), Olga Khazan claims that students that have plants in their house obtain a better memory and are more intelligent than students that do not. The author supports this thesis by stating that they did the experiment at a school by students taking multiple number and word tests, and it was proven students who are around green space have a better memory. The purpose of writing this article is to inform schools about what green space can do and  to have teachers consider putting plants in their classrooms. The intended audience for this article is students and teachers.

Authors Credibility & Ethos: The author, Olga Khazan, is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers health.

Objectivity & Bias: The author actually did an experiment based on this thesis.

Source & Support: James Brasuell wrote a persuasive piece based off Khazan's article and suggests to buy green space because of her article.

Thesis: The author's thesis is that students that have plants in their house obtain a better memory and are more intelligent that students that do not.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and persuasive to get plants in schools because it is proven to make students more intelligent.

Opinion: I agree with the author that plants create a more stress free environment, but I do not think that green space makes students more intelligent.

5. Citation: Cook, Nancy: What if the Answer isn't College but Longer High School?, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "What if the Answer isn't College by Longer High School? "(2015), Nancy Cook explains how graduated high school students are getting a chance to work for IBM with just a high school diploma. The author supports this by using a student as an example, Radcliffe Saddler, and showing how he graduated from Pathways in Technology Early College High School and now works for IBM. The author's purpose for writing this article is to show that you do not need a college degree in order to be successful. The author's intended audience is for young students who know they cannot afford to go to college, but still want to be successful.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: The author, Nancy Cook, is a correspondent for National Journal.

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses examples of real students who graduated P-Tech and have been given the chance to work for IBM.

Source and Support: A student who now works for IBM that the author talks about states in an interview "I did not understand the level of work it would require, and that, sometimes, I would require me to give up hanging out with my friends." Saddler also says "I want to own my own company, having this business experience is amazing. What other 18-year-old could say, 'I worked at a Fortune 500 Company right out of high school'?"

 Thesis: Nancy Cooks explains how graduated high school students are getting a chance to work for IBM with just a high school diploma.

Tone: The authors tone is informative and persuasive to go to that school if you know you do not have enough money to go to college, but you still want to be successful.

Opinion: I think that the article is very informative and I believe that is amazing that students right out of high school could be able to work for IBM.