Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kentucky Mennonites Labor Through Grief to Bury Family

This news package addresses a very sensitive subject matter at a time which many people are mourning, and does so without any mention of press or other news lingo. There are not too many details of the crash itself involved in the written article, which keeps it from sounding like a strict news report, and allows the reader to really learn about the family that was involved in the crash, as well as the family’s influence on their surrounding community.

The written piece of this news package involves quotes from friends of the Esh family, who were involved in the vehicle crash that occurred on Saturday. The writing was able to capture the environment of the community, and ties in important anecdotes about the family, such as the site slated for burial. It is doubtful that an article written for a strict news broadcast would have included these types of details.

This is only made more possible by the video that accompanies the written piece. I was glad to finally watch a news video that did not use or include the voice of the reporter. As we touched upon in class, one of the most important aspects when creating a video to be used in a multimedia package is to allow only the subject’s voice and emotion to be heard. This video includes multiple members of the Esh’s community, and their statements are not clouded by media reports and facts about the logistics or technicalities of the car accident.

I think that these are effective means of portraying the attitude of the article without including the disturbing details of the actual car crash. To me, this is a much more rare and honest way to honor a family after they have perished, rather than by publicizing the entire investigation of the event. I feel that it is difficult to find a video or written piece that doesn’t mention the news worthiness of the events, which makes this news package even more special.

Julie Robenhymer revisits journalism roots at UMass

Julie Robenhymer, a University of Massachusetts 2003 graduate has not only fulfilled her dream to integrate sports and writing, but has also opened her own dress shop, Mullica Hill Bridal Shop, and was the winner of the Miss New Jersey contest in 2005.

A go-getter at heart, Robenhymer says she is always working, and that there is never an end to her day. While a student at UMass, she participated in sports management classes as well as journalism classes in an effort to mesh her two passions. After working at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, Robenhymer discovered that she didn't have an interest in strictly print media, and went on to work for former UMass athletic director Bob Marcum.

After taking a hiatus to pursue her Miss New Jersey title, Robenhymer was given the opportunity to become a member of, a website for the above-average hockey fan, in 2007. She began blogging for the site, and has since broadened her spectrum of work to include audio and video podcasts, as well as maintaining her twitter account.

Robenhymer says she graduated from UMass with very little multimedia experience, and that these aspects have evolved over time with her job. She believes that these different genres appeal to difference audiences, and allows for story deadlines to be immediate, an essential part of sports journalism.

While Robenhymer still feels the struggle between maintaining all of the aspects of her job, it is clear from watching her and listening to her speak that there is nothing in the world she would rather be doing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Housing at UMass

Visit this link to see some of the opinions that University of Massachusetts students have about on-campus housing that I created as a part of a project for my multimedia journalism class.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ovarian transplant controversy

This story, published by the Boston Globe, strikes my interest for a variety of reasons.

First of all, the fear of not being able to become pregnant is something which many women have to deal with. I have witnessed family members who are perfectly healthy and capable of becoming pregnant face great difficulty in doing so. Therefore, I can understand the insecurities which this European couple must have experienced when learning they could be incapable of having children later in life due to a bone cancer diagnosis.

No matter, in my opinion it is always wonderful to bring another life into the world, and make a happy loving couple into a family.

However, another key point in this article is the mention of the Denmark Health System as the financial support for the transplants. Although I don't know too much about pregnancy procedures, I am fairly sure that all fertility testing conducted is paid for by the couple or individual requesting the services.

The idea of payment also brings up issues of socioeconomic status and inequalities of that nature. If this procedure were to be done in the United States, it is likely that there would be no financial assistance granted by the government, and the couple would therefore have to pay for the ovarian transplant as well as treatment for bone cancer. Most likely, this amount of money would be a lot for any person, and could create a controversy for individuals with lower income who are unable to pay for such services.