Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mayor Reed and the SJSU Stadium

My second article was in the Spartan Daily today. It is basically a follow up of my first article about the 150th anniversary gala and exhibit opening. I interviewed Mayor Chuck Reed at the event. I was so nervous I was shaking and did not really know what to ask, but he was very good about it.

He said that he is looking forward to more collaborative efforts between the city and university. I asked for more details and he mentioned the possible new stadium to be built. But the whole thing is still up in the air: “Who knows what will come of that?” he said. “I only hope that Don Kassing and I can be as creative as Robert Caret and Susan Hammer were in building this library.”

Of course, my article was not about the stadium, so that did not make the story, but I thought it was worth posting.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spartan blogs and the need for editors

Sean Gilpin posted about the Spartan Daily Blogs, or lack thereof. He is right that we need to have a place where students can contribute, not just those that are on the Daily staff. There are enough stories and things going on there there is no shortage of content.

I am on the Spartan Daily staff this semester and it is hard to stay on top of writing stories for the paper as well as doings to do online. I am going to try really hard to keep blogging. I am also planning on doing some podcasts and other multimedia projects for the Daily and for myself.

We do need some other students to contribute to the paper's website. The paper's role is to provide a voice for the students. We need a way to combine the content from the paper as well as the Update News, KSJS radio, and other students' websites and blogs. It is a big project, and it will not happen all at once.

Andrew pointed out in his comment on Sean's post that we still need editors to guide us to good content. Newspapers are definitely on their way out. However, I also think that reporters and editors are still going to play an important role. One of the problems of the Internet is that there is too much information out there. Like Andrew said, we need editors to point us to the stories we need to hear. But those editors do not have to only be using original material. They should be linking to and quoting blogs and other websites all over the place. I cannot read every story put online, but I can pick a couple of bloggers and editors that I like and follow what they say is important.

That is the nice part of Google's reader. You can share the stories you think are important, and follow the stories that others think are cool, even if they did not write them, I do not have time to read all the tech articles online, but I read Robert Scoble's shared stories (via my own reader) so I get the ones he thinks are most important. As more people share the stories they like, it will be easier to find these amateur editors to follow along with some of the professional journalists.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let's Communicate!

I just got out of my Theater Arts 141 class. Yes a journalism student in a theater class. But not really. For some reason, the radio, TV, video & film department has a class on web-design (Internet Production and Performance is the official title) and the journalism and mass communications school does not. In fact, the old-fashioned paper journalism design class being offered right now is not even part of the regular curriculum. Don't worry, I haven't figured it out yet either.

As we went around the room and introduced ourselves, our introductions turned into a conversation of how these types of classes are not offered in other departments. Most of the people in the class are not from the RTVF department. There were TV people there, but also a ton of graphic design majors, as well as journalism, photography and art majors.

It was pointed out that there is a lot of duplication and lack of communication in the university. Apparently, the art department does not ever do anything with the photography department. And what about the photojournalism students? There are TV and radio facilities in the RTVF department and the same thing in the journalism school. Do we really need both? Why don't we work together?

The professor said that they radio station is starving for content. So why don't we journalists help provide it? Our building is only a couple yards away.

I think this should be one of our goals as we build a club for those of us that are interested in technology. We need a place that students can get together and talk about what they are doing, whatever department they may be in. Wouldn't it be great if the graphic designers can come tell the journalists what classes and professors they should take, and visa versa? The university is certainly not doing it.

Instead of penalizing students for taking classes in other areas, the university should be encouraging it. The TV major sitting next to me tonight said that this class on Internet production is not part of his "Communications in the Information Age" minor, even though it is in the same department.

The university needs to take a good look at what is being done. We need collaboration and modernization. The only way it is going to get done is if students will work together to make it happen.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'm Back, and in the Daily, too!

Today is the first day of classes for the new semester at San Jose State. I am actually kind of excited to be back. This semester I am especially excited because I am on the staff of the student newspaper, the Spartan Daily. In fact, my first article was on the front page of the today's first edition! I am way proud of myself, it is the first time I have had anything published in a long time.

The article is about the exhibit in the library on SJSU's 150th anniversary. There is also a gala this Friday that I will be going to and writing about. I hope to keep writing more on this blog and doing some other online projects. I am going to try and do some podcasts and other multimedia projects for the Daily as well as for myself.

In other news, Andrew Venegas is still working on getting a club going. I say: "Let's do it!"

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Glorious Cause of America

I watched a speech last night that David McCullough gave at BYU back in September 2005 called "The Glorious Cause of America." McCullough is one of my favorite authors, having read John Adams and 1776 and being part way through Truman. I think that 1776 should be required reading for all American citizens. It beautifully shows the sacrifices made by our Founding Fathers to create this nation. 1776 was not a good year for anyone. America was losing badly, soldiers were dieing from exposure and starvation. Yet there were men and women who bravely gave all they had for the cause of liberty and justice. These people are rarely remembered and little understood by so many of us, myself included, that hurry about using the freedoms we take for granted. As McCullough told the BYU students:

We are taught to honor and celebrate those great men who wrote and voted for the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. But none of what they committed themselves to—their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor—none of those noble words about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, about all men being created equal, none of that would have been worth any more than the paper it was written on had it not been for those who were fighting to make it happen. We must remember them, too, and especially those who seem nameless: Jabez Fitch and Joseph Hodgkins; little John Greenwood, who was all of 16 years old; and Israel Trask, who was 10 years old. There were boys marching with the troops as fifers or drummers or messenger boys, not just Nathanael Greene and Henry Knox and John Glover and George Washington. And they were in rags—they were in worse than rags. The troops had no winter clothing. The stories of men leaving bloody footprints in the snow are true—that’s not mythology.
The sacrifices of the revolutionary men and women were real. We need to develop a greater appreciate for them and their sacrifices.
I hope very much that those of you who are studying history here will pursue it avidly, with diligence, with attention. I hope you do this not just because it will make you a better citizen, and it will; not just because you will learn a great deal about human nature and about cause and effect in your own lives, as well as the life of the nation, which you will; but as a source of strength, as an example of how to conduct yourself in difficult times—and we live in very difficult times, very uncertain times. But I hope you also find history to be a source of pleasure. Read history for pleasure as you would read a great novel or poetry or go to see a great play.

And I hope when you read about the American Revolution and the reality of those people that you will never think of them again as just figures in a costume pageant or as gods. They were not perfect; they were imperfect—that’s what’s so miraculous. They rose to the occasion as very few generations ever have.
I highly recommend McCullough's talk and books to all Americans. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about 9/11 and how quickly we have forgotten the patriotism and unity that was so abundant in the weeks following the terrorist attacks. I certainly do not always agree with our nation's leaders, but I hope that we can move on from some of the partisan bickering that seems to cover everything going on right now and move on so that we can once again stand united and strong, just as our fathers did.