News Comment (November 2nd)

This week in pop culture news The New York Times reports that the Lion King live action remake has a full cast!

What I find interesting about how this is being reported though is that all the headlines have been a variation on “BEYONCE IS STARRING IN THIS MOVIE!!!! (and also these people are here).” This falls in line with the news values we have learned. This is news worthy because Beyonce is involved.

But what I find really interesting is that the story isn’t even really about Beyonce. That is a part of the news here but the story is that they announced the full cast. There are also a number of celebrities in this cast that could call for as much attention. I would have had just as much interest had the headline focused on James Earl Jones returning to the movie. I would have been even more interested had it focused on John Oliver or Billy Eichner (but thats just me). I have some friends who went nuts when I told them Donald Glover was in the movie. I assume this headline is trying to attract a younger audience but I don’t know if that is really in line with the people who read the New York times. Most millennials probably got this news from Buzzfeed before it even hit the Times.

News Comment 10? (October 26)

This week someone was caught pulling a “Producers.

Roland Scahill was sentenced to six months in prison for taking money from investors to back a fake play. This occurred between October 2014 and August 2015.

This story is probably one of the most interesting pieces of news I have read in the NY Times theatre section recently. It definitely falls under the “unusual” news value. Something like this doesn’t happen everyday and I found it very unique because it does follow (vaguely) the plot of The Producers.

I feel like this story could have benefited from being longer. The one time I would be interested to read a NY Times length story, its a short article. I want to know more about this. I want to know how, exactly, he got caught. From what I have gleaned about investing in a Broadway show you don’t speak to the stars or the organization that owns the theatre, you just talk to the person you give the money. I want to know what he did wrong in his planning.

Broadcast Story 2



Broadcast Story




The amount of time you spend on social media may be affecting your psychological state.


According to Psychology Today, studies are finding links between a person’s social media presence and the presence of the traits that make up the Dark Triad. These studies are gaining traction after two men from Ohio threated to open fire on their neighborhood if they received a 100 views on their Periscope live stream.


Social media is conducive for these dark traits because it allows users to control how they present themselves. They are able to communicate with others in selective and deliberate ways. It can drive every decision a person makes in life because they want to get attention and “likes” from their friends.


The studies show that there are specific psychological traits that are present with each social media platform. Users with a higher social media presence are said to have “grandiose exhibitionism.” This can predict how many posts selfies, statuses, and personal information they share; but can also predict how many “friends” they have and how often they accept friend requests from strangers.

Article #2 – Final

A group of students came together to present Morningside’s first ever student produced theatrical production. They hope that this will become a tradition after they and the theatre department are gone.

Earlier this year it was announced that Morningside would be phasing out the Theatre major and minors due to budget cuts. Despite this fact, the Morningside College Department of Performing Arts wants to present at least one student produced production a year.

The department has paired with Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society on campus, to create the office of Student Produced Liaison. This position is dedicated to teaching new students how to put together a production team and present a show to the department. This position is currently held by Amy Carothers. “My plan is to answer any questions that students could have about proposing a student produced and putting together a production team.” She is working with Professor Taylor Clemens to put together a manual about how to put a proposal together.

The first of these student produced productions was presented October 12th-15th. The production team consisted five Theatre students and a student from the Biology department. They have worked since last year to put this production together.

When Professor Taylor Clemens’ first Applied Theatre class met in the fall of 2016 he asked the class of six students to decide the focus of the class that semester. “There was not a set syllabus for this class so I figured I could ask the students what they wanted to do,” Clemens said. They decided learning how to work on a production team which would result in the presentation of a completely student produced play the following fall.

After the first day of class the group worked together to assign the responsibilities of a production team, choose a play, and put together a proposal to present to the department. Once that was all ready they made a presentation to members of the theatre department in the hopes to present the show during the fall 2017 semester. The department accepted their proposal and work began on the show.

The production they decided to present was Love, Sex and the I.R.S. by Bill Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. The show centers around a pair of male roommates, Jon and Leslie, who run into trouble when the I.R.S. notices that Jon has been claiming that he and Leslie are married. Hilarity ensues when Leslie is forced to dress like a woman to throw Mr. Spinner off of their tracks.

The production was directed by Brock Bourek. Brock said that “directing was something I never thought I would enjoy but I really do.” He was able to try his hand at directing during the spring semester of 2017 when he directed a one-act.

News Comment #8

A story that has been developing this week is the firing of Harvey Weinstein for sexually harassing at least 8 women, more than likely more, over his career. Weinstein is a prominent figure in Hollywood who is credited with having launched or furthered the careers of Judi Dench, Glen Close, and Kevin Smith. He has also worked with Meryl Streep. This article includes all of these people, plus a few others, who have spoken out against the producer. The Weinstein Company has been around since 2005 and has produced some very successful movies such as The Kings Speech, The Artist, and The Iron Lady. It was reported that this was open knowledge in Hollywood and everyone just ignored it but in the statements it is obvious that not everyone knew. I think that the actresses that they quoted in this article made very articulate and appropriate statements on the situation.

Now what I find interesting, and this isn’t a comment on the news as much as the state of the world, is that these comments are enough to get someone fired in Hollywood, but not enough to get booted from the White House. I mean, yes, there are far more instances and they are far more disturbing in this story but sexual harassment is sexual harassment. There are court cases and video evidence of our President making claims of similar behaviors. Even in a recent interview with the president (see I got back to the news) he was asked about the Weinstein case and he, rightfully, said it was disgusting. That was followed up with asking about his comments and he said “that’s locker room” and brushed it off. I just don’t get the difference here….

Print/Video Comparison (News Comment #7)

It’s October which means it Halloween time, my favorite time of year! This means that there is now a slew of haunted attractions that are popping up all over the country and oddly enough the news is reporting on that. I realize that these are a bit more to an advertising side than straight reporting but they were on “legit” news outlets so I figured I would compare them.

The first piece appeared on the NY Times website but it looks like it originated on the Associated Press. It was called “Can Halloween Freak You Out Any More Than the Real World?” and it reports on the different Halloween attractions around the entire country.

The second link is to a video I saw on Facebook from Fox 11 in Los Angeles (I don’t know why this was on my Facebook page but it was) where they sent a reporter to an IT themed haunted house and followed her as she went through the attraction.

As we discussed in class the two pieces differed greatly due to the medium on which they were reported. The video was far more entertaining and the NY Times piece was a lot more straight forward with the facts. The video focused on one specific attraction and the article could highlight a number of attractions.

In my opinion, the print piece seemed a lot more like a news piece than the video did. The video seemed to play on a trend that has been going on on a number of afternoon talk shows, mostly Ellen, where you watch someone go through a haunted house and make a fool of themselves as a thinly veiled promotion from said haunted attraction. That being said the other piece is also a form of promotion from a couple of companies but it seems more like a news story because there is this guise of a story hanging over it. This idea of “Are these any scarier than the real world” is carried throughout the piece and could be conceived as an actual report and not just a shameless promo.

Personally I enjoyed the video more because I love watching people make fools of themselves in haunted houses. Thats why I love to work them during this season. I personally love watching people be scared, the schadenfreude is real. I don’t think I actually learned anything about this house (where it is, when its open, etc.) from this piece though so I don’t know why they even put it under the guise of “news.” I learned more pertinent information from the print piece.
 (link to the Fox 11 LA website the video at the top of the page is what I am writing about)



(Writers note: I realize that there was a strong suggestion that this assignment would be easier if we discussed the shooting but I personally have a hard time dealing with stories surrounding tragedies like this therefore I had to find some semblance of a story reported on two different outlets that did not deal with that. So I know I used “news” in a BROAD term here…)



Room Observation/Sensory Detail Assignment

The cafeteria is a usual hang out for Morningside students. As I entered “The Caf” I was greeted by the familiar beep of students swiping their cards to enter the establishment. I took my usual spot in the first booth inside the dining hall where I could observe the entire room. I took a quick glance out the window. It was a particularly cool day with temperatures in the lower sixties but the sun streaming in and the flowers would lead you to believe it was a summer day. The all to usual smell of pasta bar was permeating the air and the general hum of the many conversations going was the music of the day. I was not planning on writing an observation about this room but then I heard the phrase that made my entire day. I caught the tail end of a conversation that I wish I had been a part of. “I like it when it’s cold outside because it matches the temperature of my heart,” he said. I had to use all of my restraint to not turn around and say “SAME!!” From there the room went back to normal until someone decided to turn on the song “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars which sparked a sing-a-long. The song then ended and the murmurs returned.

Alex Watters Interview Assignment

Alex Watters, a first year advisor at Morningside College, says that even though he is paralyzed “I can’t sit still!” He keeps himself busy in activites that benefit the community because he wants to give back to a community that has done so much for him.

Alex Watters is a first year advisor at Morningside College. He says he enjoys his job because he can see himself making a difference. “Some students are challenging cases,” Waters said, “It’s my job to give them the tools to succeed.” As an advisor he helps with the major change that is transitioning from high school to college. He said that a very rewarding part of the job was to see a student who was having a tough time with this transition get excited about college or a major.

While talking about his job and other commitments there was a theme of helping people. He said that there were so many people that supported him through his accident he wanted to take any chance he could to give back. He spoke of the members of the Morningside community that visited him in the hospital as well as the nurses and physical therapists who’s job it was to reteach him basic skills. He said that there were so many people who gave back to him that he now wants to give back in as many ways as he can.

One piece of advice that Alex Watters always holds on to is being told to have an “attitude of gratitude.” He displays that in his many obligations outside of his job at Morningside. He is a part of the city council and was elected Vice Chair of the State Rehabilitation Council.

Though Watters enjoys his position he said it was not something he sees himself doing long-term. He spent time working in Washington D.C. where the norm for jobs is to move on every couple of years. He said he could see himself moving around within Morningside and maybe even becoming President of the College.


News Comment #6

Interesting technology news this week as Slate reports that Twitter is testing out a new, longer character limit. If this test works out they plan on giving a 240-character limit to their users except for those in China, Japan, and Korea. I actually looked for someone to be talking about this specifically because I had been seeing freakishly long tweets this week and was wondering what that was all about. I am excited about this news. I’m not a grammar nazi per say but as a former yearbook editor I don’t enjoy the way Twitter makes me use language that was very obviously wrong.

The story reports that this change is meant to help people in countries that use more characters in their language express themselves more fully. The reason it isn’t being rolled out in China, Japan, and Korea is because their language uses fewer characters to express the same thing.

As the story points out there is sure to be backlash over this change. People don’t like changes on social media. I remember just recently when Facebook changed to circular profile pictures everyone I knew freaked out because it was odd and different and now the banners don’t work well! I am interested to see if this change gets rolled out to everyone. I really want to have 240 characters in the future!

« Previous PageNext Page »