Reaction to Presentation

September 30, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Reid Rosen

Reaction to Presentation 9/29/10

What is the best way to learn about the Journalism? By having someone that works in the industry come speak to you. Thomas Ritchie is the online director at the Sioux City Journal. Mr. Ritchie had several points over how Journalism has changed and how the newspaper industry has changed to engage the customer more.

According to Mr. Ritchie the Sioux City Journal used to have 72,000 paper subscribers and now is down to about 41,000 subscribers.  Mr. Ritchie also mentioned that there is about 10,000 readers online a day. This still works out be less then what the maximum subscribers were. Because of this the internet has become an important part of media. The Sioux City Journal realized this early by starting their web page in 1996. The discussion then went in which ways has the web changed? The answer as Mr. Ritchie pointed out was Social Media. This has been changed through things like Facebook and Twitter. The other point Mr. Ritchie points out is that Youtube has changed how media is conducted. Now when a reporter goes out for a report they just can’t write down a quote, they have to tape the story as well.

Mr. Ritchie had several examples in how Newspapers have tried to keep conversation going with their customers. The Washington Post created On Being which is basically one person comes on and rants about whatever, it is supposed to connect with the readers. For the Sioux City Journal they have started a weather blog. This has been successful for the Journal because it has allowed customers to send in pictures and tell stories of what the weather has been like in the Sioux City area.

The Social Media has had effects in how quickly the news can be presented. For example with the Earthquake in Haiti news channels weren’t able to contact many people in Haiti. So Twitter had posts of what was actually happening at Haiti which allowed News Medias to be updated instantly. The web also serves as a good place for newspapers because of the unlimited space. You can’t have large blogs, diagrams or videos on a newspaper. The Newspapers have tried to create conversation with the reader using these different sources and methods.

Are We Alone!?

September 30, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Reid Rosen

News Comment 9/29/10

An NPR article this Wednesday raises the age old question, is there life on other planets? Again our curiosity is peaked with astronomers finding of planet Gliese 581-g that lies in the solar system Gliese 581. The planet which is only 20 light years away, shows very suitable conditions for life. Scientists are calling the planet the first finding of this caliber and say that it is a perfect temperature and distance away from the planet’s orbiting star to have water. Paul Butler one of the Chief Astrologists in the finding, says that “What we know is that this planet exists at the right distance for liquid water, and that it has the right amount of mass to hold onto an atmosphere and to protect its liquid water on the surface,” he also goes on to say. “Of course, any subsequent discussion about life is purely speculative.” Scientists are saying that the solar system Gliese 581 is extremely similar to our own, but on a smaller scale. About one hundredth the size, Gliese 581-g’s orbit takes 37 days. The next step for Scientists is to examine the atmosphere of Gliese 581-g.

I thought this was a really interesting story for NPR to report on because everything the report covers has been based off speculation. In our Journalism class we recently had discussions over the dangers of reporting on speculation. Of course the sources from the paper are reputable. But, even in the quote from Paul Butler he clarifies that it is all speculation. As an editor I think you would have to be very careful in what material you cover, especially if you are a reputable source like NPR.  The report and the title of the report are exciting for any reader who is skimming over the internet page. It immediately grabbed my attention because of the concept of life on another plant. I don’t know whether this would fit under the bizarre category but it grabs a reader’s attention.


September 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While I was laying in bed watching the 10 o’clock news on channel 9 KCAU-TV. The news went through the National Political scene. The station covered Bill Clinton speaking for Barney Frank’s campaign. He said

“They Argue that we failed to solve the national debt. We had 21 months! How is that possible!”

Bill Clinton was pretty worked up and was surprising to me because the Bill Clinton I remember is usually very mellow and is not often worked up. I also thought it was surprising to see everyone’s reaction. He was very emotional and then settled down quickly

Lead Exercise 4

September 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Reid Rosen

Com 208

Lead Exercise 4


An armed robbery took place last night on 450 Stanley Street at BJ’s Drug. Two men entered the store with ski masks. The robbery which took place at about 8: 30 P.M lasted less than a minute. Store owner Barney Joseph Jr. was held at gun point by one man as the other man took the $382.65 from the cash machine.

Joseph the shop owner kept a gun under the counter but because of the pace of the robbery did not use it. He told police that he could reach the gun but felt that is was too dangerous. Joseph describes his decision by saying “I’d rather part with my money than my life.”

Joseph’s father, who also ran the BJ’s drug before, was shot and killed in a robbery. The robbery took place 25 years ago. Joseph recounts the story “Yes, Dad resisted, I guess. Anyway, they found him shot to death, his own gun in his hand, and a bullet in the store’s ceiling.”

Suffolk Downs

Suspicious fire kills 15 horses at Suffolk Downs Race Track. At four o’clock this morning a fire started at the barn where 25 horses were stabled. Ten of the 15 horses managed to escape the fire. Two of the horses managed to escape by stampeding through the barnyard with their backs on fire.

Only several rows of charred wooden supports remain.  Albert Ramos commented on the situation while watching the clean crew “That’s my best Friends.” He said, pointing to the surviving horses. “I love horses more than I do people. I feel like I want to cry.”

The fire started in the middle of the barn leading many to believe the fire’s cause to be arson. Dan Bucci assistant general manager commented on the situation by saying “It could have been of an incendiary nature because it started in the middle of the barn, not at the end. Only heaters and electrical outlets were in the tack rooms at the ends of the barns.”

Jim Connery the fire chief supported this suspension by saying “Flames were shooting out of the building when we got here. The fire is definitely suspicious.”

Lead Excercise 2

September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Reid Rosen

COM 208

Lead Exercise 2

1.            Local Firefighter falls from tree trying to save cat.  The 15 ft. fall broke the left leg of firefighter Bob Harward who responded to the call.  The cat was stuck in a tree on 102 11th Ave. the owners Suzanne and Samantha Decker made the call hopping that the cat would be rescued and brought back home to their twin girls.

Bob who is now at St.Lukes is doing fine. How is the family cat doing? The cat after the fall landed on top of Bob and is also doing fine after the fall.

2.            Incidents of unrest taking place through the week at East High School. East High School has seen the suspension of ten upperclassmen that were caught smoking marijuana in the school parking lot. Following the incident there has been three false fire alarms Wednesday and a food fight Tuesday.

East High Principle Laura Vibelius commented to the incidents by saying “Not so much unrest because of the suspensions, but because of summer vacation being so near.” She sees no continuation of these incidents in the future.

3.            Four Correctionville families evacuated due to overturned gasoline truck. The overturned gas truck spilled on 48th Street and Correctionville Road. The gas spilled over into the sewer lines, the streets and ditches for two blocks.

The incident forced cars to be rerouted. After two hours of catastrophe and hazmat procedures the gas had flushed away.

Fire Chief Charles Hochandel commented on the situation by saying “The Fireman followed catastrophe and hazmat procedures set up for just such a occurrence.”

The Story of Wiktoid Pilecki

September 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Reid Rosen

News Article 9/17/2010

This week NPR shared any article about Wiktoid Pilecki who was a Polish army captain, who snuck into Auschwitz to describe the horrors taking place. This weekend is the 70th year anniversary of his milestone and his responsibility in reporting of the prison camp. NPR describes that Pilecki lived in the camp for two and a half years. He had difficulty having his commanders agree to the mission as the article describes. Finally, after being signed off on the mission Pilecki inserted himself Sep. 14, 1940. Pilecki and the public for that matter was never sure what exactly happened outside of the German town of Aushwitz, but, after sneaking in Pilecki was able to release the news to the underground resistance. Pilecki hopped that a surprise attack would come from the resistance, but it never came. London and even the US became aware of Pilecki’s reports but they were disregarded as exaggerations. The NPR article reports one of PIlecki’s descriptions “Here we gave everything away into bags, to which respective numbers were tied. Here our hair of head and body were cut off, and we were slightly sprinkled by cold water. I got a blow in my jaw with a heavy rod. I spat out my two teeth. Bleeding began. From that moment we became mere numbers — I wore the number 4859.”

I thought this article was very interesting because Wiktoid Pilecki is a journalist. Our classroom discussions have been over famous reporters such as David Frost. But, I think our discussions have left out a very important group of journalists, war correspondents. I am sure we have all heard the news from somewhere in the Middle East where a media journalist lost his life. The job of digging up truth can be very surprising and dangerous as I’m sure it was for Wiktoid Pilecki.

Final Draft Article 1# Sioux City Stockyards

September 10, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Reid Rosen

Fundamentals of Journalism


Sioux City Stockyards

I came to a park as close as I could to the red and white John Morrell plant. The private property sign warned me was bright yellow with the picture of a camera on it. The sign didn’t serve a purpose now that the plant was closed. Behind me are Railway Cars and beside it are wheels lying in a pile, they are also rusty and are a reminder of how the stockyards were created, through the railroad. You could hear the cars on the highway as they passed by but not a sound was heard from anything else not a hog or cow or worker that would have been bustling around only twenty years earlier. There was only two semi-trailers parked out front and I saw no one walking around the plant. The parking lot was large, big enough to fit over a hundred cars and now was empty. The field beside the plant was not kept and had lumps and was tall, 6 inches in most parts. The vents on top of the building were rusted and so were much of the cooling units on the roof. Rust is a common color; the old railroad bridge in the distance complemented the colors of the abandoned John Morrell plant.  A fence surrounds the plant premise. It was silver, with barbed wire across the top. It was falling over though and leaned every which way, it looks as tired as the plant does. There is not much life at the yards now, I can make out people in the home depot in the distance and can see cars coming in and out of the store. There are two other buildings behind me but I don’t see anyone coming or going. I had been to a hog processing plant before and I recognized the shoots in which trucks would unload pigs into the plant. Even from a distance I could see the cement is cracked and the bumpers along the wall are worn from trucks coming and going. I look up and see that the sky is gray even at 7 in the afternoon, but the sense that even with the sun out the plant would still look worn out.

The Stockyards and the John Morrell plant played a profound role in Sioux City’s history.  James Booge started off the success of the stockyards by opening the first hog plant in 1858. It was a major success due to the Missouri River, which was just over the highway and the Railroads. At Sioux City’s peak it was comparable to the Union Stock Yards in Chicago, Omaha and Kansas City.  The John Morrell plant had been built in 1957 for Iowa Dressed Pork. John Morrell bought the plant in 1993. With its closing in April some 1,500 employees had been let go. The amazing thing about the stockyards is what sheer size it had been, to now only being an open lot with a Home depot, some small businesses, and a strip club.

My black shoes had stepped into the puddle which had shown up since my last visit. It was dreary out, and 12 in the afternoon. The yards had more life then when I was here last and I noticed the new workings of the yards. The John Morrell plant had several cars now parked around it and several people with yellow hard hats were coming and going from the front exit facing the East. I heard a churn of what sounded like a Venting system on top of the building. The John Morrell Sign on the side of the building says “Making a Difference.” There is a large metal wall separating the highway and the plants. It was put up to separate anyone driving from the view of the stockyards, back when there was a stockyard.

Not your every day spill

September 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

When BP spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the gulf of Mexico and killed 11 workers on the rig, nothing short of a disaster ensued.  Everyone has heard of the leak and everyone blames BP for it. However a article from  NPR released yesterday says,  BP has released a  report that concludes “multiple companies and worker teams” are to blame for the rig explosion and leak. The report goes on to say that “a series of complex events, rather than one mistake lead to this tragedy.” BP is trying to shift some of the blame to Transocean the contractor of the rig and the contractor Haliburton. The NPR article goes on to look fairly at what all three parties have done wrong with the spill. BP had been cutting corners and was 20 million dollars behind on the project. This lead to lack safety measures for example the failure of the blowout preventer. NPR’s article also looks at the other parties responsibility in the mess. Transocean employees could have easily checked the systems before the spill to see there was problem. Haliburton had done a bad job at constructing the well bore.

The way I look at the article is that the report made by BP is pointless. I look at the report as an attempt from BP who is backed into a corner trying to put the fire someplace else; even try to get more time for the hearings that BP is currently being investigated for. Mark Bly head of operations at BP says it all starts with the bad cement in the well. I can agree with this statement, however its your responsibility as a company to test the project from head to toe. If the results aren’t up to standard you take Haliburton to court. BP as a company should of also been aware that any type of budget cutting should never happen to safety measure especially in dealing with a oil well. I think the public will not pay any attention to the report by BP and if anything look down on their attempt to redirect some of the blame, even if some is due.

Where is the Food for Pakistan?

September 7, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

NPR posted an article Yesterday on why less food has been given to support the floods in Pakistan. The article states that only 25 million in donations have been given since August 30. Compared to Haiti, which in the first 5 weeks received over 900 million in aid. Whats the reason for the drastic difference. The article describes major differences in both incidences. The fist being that Earthquakes generate 10 to 15 times as much aid on average do to the immediate damage. Often being faster and having a higher death rate than floods. The article says that most people judge the damage by a natural disaster by its death count. I found this comment to be extremely true, we tend to not be able to grasp the idea that the Pakistan flood may be worse do to the displacement and damage. The article goes on to say that another cause is due to the lack of media coverage of the Pakistan flood. Its estimated that 40% of American homes gave aid to Haiti. I believe both statements by the article but it still does not completely answer, why isn’t the Pakistan floods being covered? The proverbial elephant argument that many people try to not associate with is that, we as Americans associate Pakistan with Terrorism. The article does interview Una Osili who does think that US perception of Pakistan has played a large role.

In general I think all of these are factors. Its a shame that as Americans we can’t crack open our piggy banks to give a little more to give. How can I critique th0ugh, have I given? No, and to be honest I haven’t even thought about it. Compared to Haiti Americans have not shown as much interest to this natural disaster, and maybe its the mind set we have enough problems. Whatever the case, Pakistan is facing an extreme natural disaster.