October, 2017

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.






http://www.foxla.com/news/local-news/scary-it-haunted-house-pops-up-in-hollywood (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…)