Audio Rough Draft

So for my rough draft I have conducted an interview with two people from The daily Evergreen. Nathan Howard, the Managing Editor and Zack Briggs, the Former ASWSU Reporter. I felt these two gentlemen were going to be the best to interview for my subject considering their long background at the paper.

Since one of the main focuses of this over-arching project is the day-to-day challenges student newspapers face, I wanted to discuss some of the ethical challenges that come up to editors as well as some of the challenges that deadline reporters face (getting their story in within a short amount of time after an event takes place).

One of the difficulties I ran into with this draft was interview time; I have close to 20 minutes of audio even after my editing. Another issue that I have, that I intend on resolving by the final draft is background music. I couldn’t find anything that was suitable so far that wasn’t completely cheesy but will find something fitting by the end of this section.

So far I have to say this is my favorite portion of class; I have an odd interest in scanning audio files for minor details such as overused “ums” or “like’s”. I plan on making the audio for these interview for my final draft more crisp and more colorful with music. Hopefully, I can figure out how to loop music so that I can have a more streamlined audio content for this section.


Collage Final



Around the late hours of the afternoon, the Daily Evergreen editors begin the early preparations of putting together the next day’s paper. This can be anywhere from discussing the column margins, sports content, photo content/size, etc.

My earlier draft version, although not on here, did not feature the “DE” (for Daily Evergreen) . I wanted to include some traditional print news element in the and the Daily has a logo that has a similar match up but with a different font. The font itself I had to get from a website that offers many downloadable fonts for free.

I wanted to try and do something clever with my background for this collage; I didn’t want to go online and just find some stock photo or use one provided by the Daily. The font was probably the trickiest part of this project because I had to make it stand out in front of the background, which I ended up having to turn into a layer somehow. The font was pretty generic and solid black at first,  but I played around with ‘inner glow’ for bordering and added some shadowing.

I was going through some Daily’s I had picked up over the past couple weeks and found one that had just the right headline.With some positioning I got my “title” of this collage left-center. I took the photo with just my phone’s camera. The background was still pretty dull though because of the fluorescent light, I modified this with vibrance and hue/saturation.

The photos of the editing staff I took were in the Daily office and the lighting isn’t exactly ideal. I improved the photos by adjusting effects such as levels, exposure, vibrance and hue/saturation. I also added borders to all of them, they are pretty slim but I wanted to make them just big enough to stand out in the collage.

Photo Collection

The purpose of these photos is for submission requirement. All 3 were originally taken by me and may possibly be dropped and replaced for my future final project. These photos are currently my top pics for my Graphic Collage assignment. Thank you to the Daily Evergreen staff for helping me with this assignment.

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The news that never truly was, get the facts straight

The Society of Professional Journalists ran a thread of tweets yesterday in regards to the incorrect reporting that was done yesterday on the supposed arrest/custody of a Boston Bombing suspect. 

After reports were actually confirmed that was in fact, no suspect or any arrests, this led to some backlash against many news agencies such as CNN and AP.

This prompted the SPJ to tweets quotes as well as links to their ethics code about breaking news reporting among other topics.


Testing Accuracy:

And my personal favorite:

The reporting was erroneous enough to prompt the FBI into treading the rare terrain of media criticism.

“Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”

Whoops. The AP explained that they had used a source who provided information under the condition of anonymity, which at times, can be a shot in the dark for reporters.

Apparently the anonymous official had stood by the information even after it was disputed which prompted the AP to report the details.

I’d have to say my favorite reaction was from the likes of Jon Stewart, who just tore into CNN.

These sort of mistakes have seem to become too common. I wrote before about this topic during the Sandy Hook tragedy. And like I said in the post before, you can delete or retract tweets and statuses all you want but when you put something on the internet, you should expect that it will stay out there. And it will be seen.

And it will be perpetuated. I made the mistake of doing this on Facebook yesterday by sharing this incorrect information with my 700 friends. Luckily I was able to quickly follow about the incorrect reporting and apologized.

Only hours after that, another tragedy happened. A fertilizer plant in Texas exploded– dealing incredible amounts of damage.

And almost immediately after the initial reports of the explosion, the conflicting reports of casualties unfolded on twitter.

Within maybe 20 minutes of those original tweets, CNN was getting on the scene coverage from affiliate saying there were at least 2 confirmed dead.

Hours later AP reported that between 5 and 15 people were killed in the blast:

And right now that’s where the reports stand. They aren’t precise and they aren’t exactly confirmed.

As SPJ puts it, journalists should show good taste… and shouldn’t

Continue reading

Boston Marathon blasts, what is known and not known

Two blasts tore through runners and bystanders Monday at the Boston Marathon leaving at least three people dead and more than 140 injured.

The two blasts only being seconds apart spewed smoke about 20 feet into the air. After the smoke cleared, dozens could be seen injured, some laying unconscious and some with dismembered limbs.

An 8 year-old boy was confirmed to be among one of the three dead.

The street was covered in debris and blood after the blasts occurred around 2:50 p.m. ET.

As it currently stands, there are no primary suspects. Although there was one “person of interest” questioned. They are not in  law enforcement custody.

The Associated Press recently reported police that are investigation the explosions are searching an apartment.

Journalists, politicians and law enforcement have been careful and cautious not to jump to conclusions on possible groups or individuals.

The FBI has taken charge of this incident as a criminal investigation. The agency has set up a phone line for members of the public to call with information about the explosions. The call-in number is 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt (hash)3.

Shortly after the explosions, reports started coming out stating that the JFK Library had also been hit with an explosion. It was later ruled out as a fire but wether it was related to the two explosions is not verifiable yet.

Major cities around the US had heightened security after news of the bombings had spread across the nation, including Seattle and New York.

Around 6:10 p.m., President Obama gave an address vowing, “We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this.”

It has been confirmed that as many as two unexploded bombs have been found by law enforcement near the end of the course, but were safely disarmed.

UPDATE: Governor Patrick said at a press meeting this morning that there was 2 devices that exploded and no other bombs or devices were found.

The Boston Marathon is one of Massachusetts oldest and most prestigious events and is held on Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

Overview: The Death of Aaron Swartz and The Anonymous Vendetta

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

From a very young age it was not hard to tell that Aaron Swartz was a prodigy. By age 14 he was apart of a working group that wrote up RSS 1.0.

He eventually went to Stanford but  left after a year explaining in his blog, “It’s got some great professors and I certainly learned a bunch, but I didn’t find it a very intellectual atmosphere, since most of the other kids seemed profoundly unconcerned with their studies.”

Swartz then started his own wiki platform called Infogami that eventually merged with Reddit in 2005. All before he was 20 years old. In 2006, Reddit was purchased by the same publishing company that owns Wired magazine.

Also an activist, Swartz co-founded Demand Progress an organization that focuses on civil liberties, civil rights and government reform. The organization was originally created as his response to SOPA and played a vital role in stopping the bill. 

Back in 2011, Swartz downloaded over 4 million academic journal articles from JSTOR to his laptop at MIT. According to an expert witness on his case, Swartz did not “hack” JSTOR, but rather wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them.

Being a research fellow at Harvard, Swartz already had a JSTOR account and additionally, MIT has an “open campus” which allows JSTOR to be accessed from the campus network. Within a few weeks into the downloading, Swartz was arrested by police.

This led to a grand jury indictment, although JSTOR decided not pursue a civil litigation against him, MIT pushed forward. Swartz was unwilling to plead guilty in his case, he did not see himself a felon.

Apart of the controversy of this case was that the articles that were downloaded were already free to begin with. JSTOR called his access a “significant misuse”.

According to the same blog by the expert witness, “at the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader.”

Prosecutors such as Carmen Ortiz were persistent in pursuing Swartz and brought the case under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

“If convicted on these charges, Swartz faces up to 35 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of up to $1 million,” said Ortiz in a press release from 2011.

Swartz was found dead in his apartment January 11, 2013. It was reported that he hung himself and left no suicide note.

Shortly after his death , Ortiz defended her actions saying, that her office’s actions were “appropriate,” and that she had only been seeking a six-month sentence in “a low-security setting” rather than the 30 years’ jail that his actions might have attracted.

The prosecutors have received wide-spread criticism for their persecution of Swartz. The most dramatic response though, has been from hacking group Anonymous.

In a column for the Boston Globe, Swartz’s first lawyer expressed his frustration by saying,  “The thing that galls me is that I told Heymann the kid was a suicide risk, his reaction was a standard reaction in that office, not unique to Steve. He said, ‘Fine, we’ll lock him up.’ I’m not saying they made Aaron kill himself. Aaron might have done this anyway. I’m saying they were aware of the risk, and they were heedless.”

On January 26, Anonymous hacked the United States Sentencing Commission (known as Operation Last Resort) shutting down the website and leaving a youtube video explaining their intention and why they chose the USSC.

“This website was chosen due to the symbolic nature of its purpose — the federal sentencing guidelines which enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial, by a jury of their peers — the federal sentencing guidelines which are in clear violation of the 8th amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishments.”

It was explained in the video that enough materials were obtained for multiple “warheads” that would be launched against the US Justice Department. The warheads apparently contain sensitive leaks.

After the site was restored, it was hacked again turning the website into an interactive game of Asteroids. Once everything was blown away, a Guy Fawkes face would be revealed.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

The over all goal of these hacks from Anonymous was to make their demands from legal reform known. And unless that happens, the faceless group is willing to cause “collateral damage” by releasing these “warheads.”