Electioneering

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Our group tweet-‘n-click was not my first time following election night with other people. I watched the past few presidential elections on television with friends, chips and crass jokes about CNN’s graphics. However, this was the first time I followed an election with people online. NJ.com and MassLive.com are laid out the same (is NJ.com also run by Advance.net?) and feature, for the most part, softer news than a big guy like the Washington Post. Just softer stories for quieter places. The stories were not as grand in tone and generally told the news pretty briefly. The comments were the real story for the most part (see MassLive’s story breaking the Springfield race results… some good zingers there by STCCguy).

The stories from the Post and NJ.com had more national relevance because of the whole thing with Obama backing whoever he backed. I seriously do not remember. I only looked at those three sites a few times throughout our tweetsesh. I found myself sitting back and just waiting for you guys to post things while I flipped between CNN and Fox News. By the way, #wtf is a pretty popular hash tag.

My reaction to twitter? Very slow. Overcrowded? Reminds me of way back when, signing on to AOL after school on a dial-up connection and getting a busy signal. I also wish that hash tag posts had a longer shelf life for future referencing.

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Story Fragment: U.S. official resigns at crucial time of war

Foreign service officer and former Marine captain Matthew Hoh resigned from his position fighting the war in Afghanistan on Monday. Hoh cites in a letter to the State Department’s head of personnel that he has “lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” on September 10th.

While Hoh’s decision comes at a crucial time in which President Obama is re-thinking his strategy for the war, Hoh’s decision can also be used in the defense of the Republicans and Obama’s greatest rivals for his war strategy. The Christian Science Monitor is already calling Hoh a “poster boy for Vice President Joe Biden, liberal Democrats, and every American who looks at a troop surge in Afghanistan with deep skepticism.”

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Referential Blog Post Assignment

Politico blogger Ben Smith posted on his blog about Attorney General Eric Holder’s appearance at the University of Maine and how Holder addressed, or did not address the issue of gay marriage in Maine. Smith’s post works so well because he cuts right to the chase and proves that you can make headlines on your own blog with very few words as long as you engage readers quickly and link out appropriately. He linked out to the University of Maine newspaper’s write-up of the speaking engagement, a perfect source for the occassion.

Smith picks the perfect quote to bring the story full circle:

He did muster the opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act “is not necessarily a good piece of legislation.”

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Class Assignment

gawker

The three posts from gawker.com share some similarities but for the most part are pretty different from each other. The main similarity is in the format of the three: Headline, big main picture, and smaller pictures in the body of the story. All but the twitter story use multiple images in the body of the post to keep the story moving. The only story with just a main picture is the twitter story.

The twitter story contrasts most from the other two. It is very short, concise, to the point, kind of like a news brief. This story also takes less time to set itself up and instead goes right into the facts. I see this post as more of a traditional blog news post, reposting another source’s story in a new voice.

The balloon boy story is more of an exclusive piece for who wrote it and all of the new information revealed on a story that is already known. This long piece is more along the lines of a traditional story, with its length including video.

Each story is a different kind of reporting but all three ended on sort of a zingy note. This style of writing may present gawker.com as more of an informal news source.

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New York Times reporter speaks of his escapes

New York Times reporter David Rohde writes a five part series telling the story of his capture by Taliban leaders. Rohde attempted to write a story about the Taliban and was kidnapped in the process along with two Afghani journalists in 2008.

To all of you political journalists and those of you who took Steve Fox’s class about the Iraq war: how is this story spin?

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Bradley Nowell to Bob Marley: Pearl St. the new Rasta church in town?

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Bob Marley’s former bandmates recall the Natty Dread’s spirits tonight, Thursday October 8th at Pearl Street Nightclub, Northampton. In a mystical preview, I connect Bradley Nowell to Bob Marley and pose the question: Is Pearl Street the new Rasta church in Northampton?

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Proud Self-Promotion

sitting with some guitars in the basement

sitting with some guitars in the basement

This bout of self-promotion is not shameless because I like what I do in my spare time. I want to finally share my music on my blog. I wish I had posted links to my songs last semester but for some reason I’ve always smuggly swept my musical hobby under the rug from people.

In middle school and high school I first started on guitar and sang, writing songs for several bands- mostly loud, obnoxious trios. We would destroy cassette tapes on my 4-track recorder every few months and post demos online. After falling in love with the likes of The Replacements & Paul Westerberg, Jesse Malin and Bruce Springsteen early on in high school, I bought an acoustic guitar just to see what the polar opposite of loud could sound like coming from my self-taught hands. Almost all of the songs posted here were multi-tracks recorded alone, never used with any band, occasionally performed at open mics and park benches. Some tracks were from old bands of mine and I also posted some unfinished demos from current projects with friends. You’re bound to find a few different styles in the songs, so let the obvious comparisons commence…

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