Audio production assignment

Here is my audio production assignment:



Assignment: Branstad Visit to Morningside College

“I love Iowa” was former Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s quote when asked why he was running again. The current Republican candidate for the gubernatorial seat spoke Friday to a packed UPS auditorium on the Morningside College campus.

Branstad focused on a litany of ills that has befallen Iowa in recent years. Stating that unemployment has hit 8.6%, and when he left office that figure was at 2.5%, in addition to the state having a 900 million dollar surplus.

Morningside senior Alex Pacheco referred to his comments as “chicken$hit”, but went on to say that his comments were addressed to a “Private liberal-arts higher-ups group” which “may have explained this.”

Friday Comment – Facebook Fail

This week it’s not so much a comment on a specific news story, but an event that triggered many news stories.

Here is a link to the story on CNN.

It seems that technical difficulties brought about the death of Facebook for several hours yesterday.

I thought something was up as in one of my classes, people weren’t Facebooking as is normal during lecture.

The upside to this story is that, after that monumental failure of modern technology, we are all still here.


From the “burr under the saddle” dept.

Formatting and the Sioux City Journal’s website.

One of the things that irks me about the Journal’s online site is some of the weird formating. Some aspects of the formatting, which I am pretty sure is automatic, appears to either be out of the control of the staff, or the posting of some stories is completely automatic and nobody ever looks at what is posted.

If you click on many stories on the “Recent Local News” pane, the article which comes up will have a double headline:

Now, if these posts have no human intervention, then I suppose it is plausible that this an automatic thing.

Still, doesn’t anyone ever check what gets posted by the robots?  Ideally, robots in the newsroom might seem pretty handy – perhaps they could do some of the drudge work, like, well, scanning the tri-state wires for items that tick enough keyword boxes to automatically be amended to the online version of the paper.

(Insert awkward silence here . . . )

OK. Well then, has anyone of the programmers ever looked at what the automatic formatting is doing? Aside from misspellings of common words, I tend to think that this type of error is pretty glaring. I don’t think (at least I hope) that this goes through human hands on the way to the web.

As I worked my way up through production in TV, eventually to be the 6 & 10 weeknight director, one thing above many was hammered into me.


From graphics to music, to the structure of the show to the logos on the news vehicles, there was one way to do it.  Everyone knew the format (or was supposed to) and that way, the thought was that no matter who was working the show would always look the same.

I don’t want to nitpick, but this formatting error has been pretty constant for a while now.  I cannot say for sure, but it might have existed for at least as long as this current on-line format of the Journal has been around.

Well, I’ll get off of the soapbox now.  At least this is probably not as annoying to me as the ads that show up and move the content down the home page.  That’s probably a rant for another week.


Rewriting assignment for Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A car accident two miles east of Sioux City has left one person dead and three hospitalized.  Moyer Quick, 65, from South Sioux City, was killed when a truck driven by Randy Radin, 17, attempted to pass Quick’s vehicle.  Radin’s vehicle struck the front of Quick’s vehicle, sending both into the ditch on the north side of Highway 20.

Radin, of Sioux City, is also hospitalized in critical condition. Two passengers in the Quick vehicle, Dorothy Quick, 61, also of South Sioux, and Maxine Steuerwald, 43, of Lawton were hospitalized.

Writing assignment for September 15, 2010

Responding to a cat in a tree call could have turned out better for fire fighter Bob Harwood.  The cat’s ok, but Harwood is in St. Luke’s Hospital following a 15-foot fall while attempting to rescue the cat.

The calico cat, belonging to twins Suzanne and Samantha Decker, twin daughters of Charlie and Kim Decker, was trapped 50 feet up in the tree.  Fire fighter Harwood broke his left leg when a dead limb broke 15 feet up. The cat then landed on top of Harwood.


East High principal Laura Vibelius revealed this week that a series of suspensions has resulted from 5 students who were caught smoking Marijuana on campus.  Those five were suspended for one week.

Ten upperclassmen received one-week suspensions for triggering a series of false fire alarms in protest of the suspensions.  In a possible unrelated event, there was a food fight that closed the school cafeteria on Tuesday.  Principal Vibelius commented that there was general unrest in the student body, “not so much … because of the suspensions, but because of summer vacation being so near.” She feels that there will be no continuation of these “incidents” in the near future.


Catastrophe and HAZMAT procedures and training proved valuable when a Texaco tanker truck, filled with gasoline, overturned just outside of town.  The accident, occurring at the corner of 48th and Correctionville road, spilled the fuel into sewer lines and over the streets and ditches in the area.

Local traffic was re-routed through side streets, and four families were evacuated from their homes for the two hours until the gas was flushed away.