Confessions of COMM 200

March 28, 2011

Monday, March 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 7:55 pm

Today we spent a stressful day in the newsroom creating an evening broadcast for EAC News. The broadcast had news, weather and sports segments. The stories, both local and national, featured a missing Cobra, the Blue Man Group, the Cherry Blossom Festival and March Madness.  Kelsey, Trey and Tala did great jobs as editors! Everyone else showed their ability to write stories on the spot. The activity demonstrated that working for a broadcast studio requires quick writing, and maybe some improvisation, as well as clear organization and specialization of tasks. Great work everyone!

We also learned the different between that and which. That signifies essential information, while which signifies optional information. A helpful reminder:

Go to the third house that has red shutters.

Go to the third house which has red shutters.

The homework assignment for Thursday, March 31:

The directions are listed on pg. 188 of the textbook under #3 – Turn this newspaper story into a radio brief. On pg. 49 of the textbook there is a story about a campus dog controversy. Turn this newspaper article into a 45 second radio brief for the American University Campus Radio (WAMU). Include one or two cuts to a different speaker and in your script, include the complete wording and timing of the cuts. Pgs. 178 and 179 have helpful information on how to write for radio.

Sarah Floyd



March 27, 2011

March 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 5:28 pm

Professor Crowe stated that Chardonnay helps grading and it reflected when we received our headlines back.  More Chardonnay during finals week!!  We played a fun game that Semi-colon-oscopy dominated.  Homework, Blue-dye #6, headline, blurb, sidebar, multimedia, story.

Important dates:

11 April – no class but groups should meet to work on the group project

14 April – Individual Project Due, Substitute (Behave!)

18 April – Group Project Due

21 April – Last day of class


Group Project – Press kit

Individual Project – 45-second radio spot, more info to follow.


Group 1. Tala, Alex, Kayla, Allie (Chocolate penicillin)

Group 2. Nicole, Haely, Trey, Joe (Cream-cheese sunblock)

Group 3. Sara, Kelsey, Paul (Tomato mouthwash)

Group 4. HT, Danielle, Michelle, Meg (Starbucks lemon latte)

Group 5. Ari, John, Adam (Mayonnaise infused conditioner)


March 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 5:28 pm

We started class by turning in our headlines.  Professor Crowe gave us an awesome quiz that had nothing to do with the readings. Surprise, surprise.  We continued with headlines.  So of the best ones: ‘Sheen finds Shiva’ and ‘God help Charlie Sheen’.

Professor Crowe returned our speeches only to let us know that, “Some were awful.”  Luckily, we received further practice using my deployments to Iraq as the meat of the information.


March 20, 2011

Thursday, March 17

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 11:35 pm

As a St. Patrick’s Day treat to the class, Professor Crowe cancelled the quiz that was originally planned. She then explained to us that the only way to make sure that the class would actually read the text in chapter 8 is if she told us we were to be quizzed on the material. Her plan worked.

Minutes later, we reviewed the material covered in chapter 8 through a powerpoint  entitled “Reading and Writing for the Web”  by Amy Ersman. The powerpoint entailed the ways in which the layout of newspapers differs from that of news on the web. The “F” shape way readers scan text is among one of the many things explained in the powerpoint. Other things we discussed include the need for news on the web to be short, concise and bold. By following such rules, the journalist makes reading easier for the audience. Aside from the importance of short text, the powerpoint also explained the significance of links and pictures as well.

Once the powerpoint was over, Professor Crowe made us work individually on our journalism skills by practicing headlines. Our topic of the day was to write headlines involving the dangers of eating and driving, according to Geico.

Our homework assignment is to cut out three stories from a newspaper so that we can write three headlines per story (each no longer than five words) and then write one small blurb (3 sentences), per story.

Also, there will be a quiz tomorrow on Ch 8 and current events.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


-Danielle Ortiz-Geis

March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14th

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 12:52 am

To welcome us back from Spring Break, Professor Crowe handed back our midterms during Monday’s class. No one cried, and Professor said we all did especially well on the lede-writing section, so overall I think we can say the exam was a success. If not, then at least we still have seven weeks to get ready for the final!

In class, those who were able to cover a speech over break shared their writing with the class, and we saw how two writers covering the same speech can come up with very different (but equally good!) articles. Those who didn’t cover a speech over break must turn the article in on Thursday.

We then had some practice in covering a speech when we broke into groups to write about Barbara Ehrenreich’s commencement speech from 2009. Ehrenreich told aspiring journalists not to worry about the recession, because true journalists will always have a job as long as there is a story to tell.

See you  on Thursday!

-Meg Kearns

March 13, 2011

The worst article I have ever read

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 4:57 pm

Hii Everyone,

Vanity Fair published a really bad article on Dubai this week. It’s not bad because it trash talks my hometown (tear) but because I think it goes against everything Prof. Crowe has taught us! The journalist wrote critically from one perspective, which is fine considering it’s an editorial but everything from the structure, attribution and constant declaration of exaggerated, illegitimate and fictitious facts. The author was not only racist and rude but also VERY prejudice.


March 3, 2011

Midterm Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — confessionsofcomm200 @ 8:15 pm

Professor Crowe’s “evil” exam came and went and happily, everyone survived. Just as she had warned us, the midterm was an intense marathon of everything we learned so far. We first had to answer some AP style questions as well as questions about attribution and other topics covered in the textbook. In addition, we were asked to write a a nut graf, an obituary, a feature story, and what seemed like 300 leads, all in  a mere 75 minutes. At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that there is one less thing standing in the way of our Spring Breaks. Over break, remember to do the speech assignment which is due when we return. Tips for covering a speech are provided at the end of the AP style packet as well as in the textbook on page 106.

Enjoy your breaks!


March 1, 2011

What I would study if I had to take Prof. Crowe’s evil exam…

Filed under: Uncategorized — socatau @ 4:43 pm

I had a dream the other night (not the one about showing up for an exam in a class I forgot to attend all semester, although I am sure some of you can relate!) No, it was the dream that I was pulling together a test that would indicate whether the folks I am yammering at each week (not my children; I know they don’t listen) are learning anything.
It was quite a beautiful exam. It was structured in four parts. One part was about the stylebook A – F. These were tough questions but the people in my dream were whipping through that part like their fingers were on fire. The second part was about what we have been learning. It included things such as the information in chapter 3; the information on attributions in chapter 4; the ghoulish obit writing in chapter 5 and profiles and editorials and short-form writing styles in chapter 6. Again, the students in my dream sped through this like they were snorting something (NOT SOMETHING THEIR PROFESSOR ENCOURAGES). Some of these students even paused to thank me for the opportunity to show me what they had learned.
The third part was about tight writing and attribution. I was testing how much these smart kids had been listening when I was saying things such as “erase the words ‘massive’ and ‘impact’ from your internal spelcheck/dictionary.” My exam takers were positively giggling through this part as they streamlined sentences and remembered what was said about attribution. It was probably a good thing they got through the other parts so quickly.
In the last part they had to write. A lot. They had to write a news story; they had to write the lede through the nut graf of a profile (they were sure to include that sentence that guides the reader from the anecdotal lede to the nut graf) ; they had to write parts of an obit and parts of a persuasive piece and they had to do some breakout boxes. I gotta admit, by this time the students in my dream, while still smiling, were getting a wee bit tired. 
(Of course they were smiling because in preparing for the test, they had actually re-read the chapters, looked over quizzes and homework assignments, and tested themselves with exercizes from the book.)
Just as they were turning in their papers; my bleeping alarm started whining: time to face the day.
It wasn’t until my third cup of coffee, after I had rolled the dream around in my brain for a while, that I realized I didn’t recognise any of the happy folks taking the exam. There was no Kelsey or Kayla; no senator or HJ; the voice of God wasn’t in the corner and of course, Paul was no where to be seen. 
I guess the lesson of the dream is that you don’t prepare adequately for my exam on Thursday, send a substitute.
Study hard. Prof. Crowe

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